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February 18

I was much later than I wanted to be last night, and I didn't turn out the light until almost 10:30. I slept quite well, and the alarm woke me up. When I sat up, I decided not to go out, so, of course, I had a very vivid and very weird dream. I finally got up around 9:00.

 

 I knitted six rows, with some difficulty. For some reason, I had a hard time keeping my concentration, which is necessary for this kind of knitting.

 

I didn't do much besides my surfing. I had discovered three Hardanger bookmarks and I remembered that I had subscribed to a "bookmark of the month" some time ago (it turned out to be 2011), and i knew I had finished several of them. I wondered where they had gone to, and I thought they would be nice to have in my Bible and my Bible Study book. So I went looking, and the first place I looked, they were right on top! I had finished four of them - very pretty! - and I found the rest. 

 

While I was in that box, I looked at some of the rest of it. There are a lot of cross stitch charts, which I need to put somewhere else, and a whole bunch of beads that need to be put somewhere else, too. So now I know, again.

 

I had finished four bookmarks and started the fifth one, so I decided to work a few stitches on it. Well, I did - three times. First, I discovered I'd started one motif at the wrong place, and when I started it over, I missed a thread. After I pulled it out the third time, I decided this was not the day to do counted work, so I put it away. I'll work on it, because it uses a very pretty shade of blue linen thread, but not today.

 

I got the toe of the sock done, but I didn't feel like knitting, either. Some days are like that.

 

I had a nice email conversation with Ron for most of the afternoon. Email is almost as convenient as texting - and for those of us without cell service, it works pretty good, as long as we're on a computer someplace.

 

I had an accident again, so I washed a couple more pairs of sweats that are now in the dryer.

 

Then I went into zombie mode, although mostly I was reading, and it was 10:00 PM before I ate something.

 

The weather forecasts were accurate, although the snow was later in coming than they predicted. Unfortunately, I could have gotten to church, and I only would have run into snow halfway home. Sigh. Well, sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm not. The snow didn't start here until a bit after noon, and it continued until around 4:30. It was not snowing at sunset, but it is again now. The high temperature was 28, late in the afternoon. The wind was mostly not very strong, except for a bit around 5:00, when the gusts got up to 29 mph. Of course, it was dark and dismal all day. Since it wasn't very cold outside, it was quite comfortable in here. It only gets cold when the temperature gets below 20 and/or the wind gets over 25 mph.

 

The guys slept. They both got some serious lap time and Grayson got to sit on me twice. I think they like it when it's not so cold, too.

 

So that was my quiet day, and now it's a cold, snowy night in the field. It's late, and I won't be up very much longer.

 

February 17

Ugh. For some reason, I just did not want to go to bed last night, so I didn't. I didn't quite pull an all-nighter, but it was close. I slept well, of course - four hours before I woke up the first time, which is unusual - and I got up around 1:30.

 

i didn't knit on the shawl, but later in the afternoon, I got the first sock completely done and I got the toe of the second one started. I also took a look at my old stash of sock yarn, and I have to confess, I really wonder why I bought some of that stuff. Some if it is ugly. Some of it isn't, though, and some of it is interesting yarn that I want to try just to see what it looks like. I won't do what I did with the sweat sock yarn, though: I knitted one sock of all the colorways, and the others are still waiting to be started. Too bad, too. Since I lost that little weight, I can usually wear my heavier socks, and there are a couple pairs I would like to have had over the winter. Oh, well. I will never, if I live to be 200, knit or embroider everything I have stashed away. It's a problem most crafters have.

 

That was about all I did, but I was so late that there wasn't time to do much else besides my surfing. I tried to get the brace into the patio door and it won't fit. The door needs to be slammed, but if you think I'm going to open the door and slam it when the temperature is below freezing, think again. I got it in as far as it will go, but I doubt it will help. I fiddled with the aiming of the camera, especially after I nudged it a bit. I think it's in the right direction now, but it was getting dark when I did it, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to check it out.

 

The weather was actually rather nice. The high temperature was 28 and while it was cloudy this morning, it began to clear up around 3:00 PM. It was clear at sunset. The sun is setting over the Mountain Lodge now, which means that from here it disappears about 20 minutes before its official setting time. The wind was rather gusty, up to 25 mph from the west, which is why I was fiddling with the patio door. However, it doesn't look like I'm going to go to church tomorrow. We are under a winter storm advisory that starts at 9:00 AM, which is just about when I would be leaving. They are predicting as much as 6" of new snow. Thank you, I do not want to be driving around in a snowstorm unless it's critical. I'm sure they understand.

 

The guys were sleepy, but they both got some extended lap time. Grayson slept on my lap for most of the time I was surfing, and then Louie came and got a tummy rub. He will not allow me to even touch all his knots - every time I do, he tries to bite me. It's too bad, too; I might be able to cut some of them out, if I was very careful. Later on, Grayson was following me around again. I still don't know why he's doing that. And when I was over by the patio door, I discovered him sleeping in the ugly chair, or at least he was until I started making it rock. I know Louie has been there, too, and I'm sorry it was covered for so long. They really enjoyed the sunshine earlier in the afternoon. So did I.

 

So that was a very quiet, truncated day. I am going to try to get to bed as close to 9:30 as possible, but I'm not sweating it, since I already know I'm not going to go out tomorrow. If it isn't snowing at 6:30, I may get up and check the weather, but I'm pretty sure I'll be staying home. Call me chicken.

 

Now it's a clear (I think) breezy night in the field.

 

February 16

I was later than I intended last night, of course, but a lot earlier than the night before. I slept well, and I got up around 10:00. I knitted and I finished the second repeat. This repeat took me longer than the first one, but I haven't been knitting quite as long in the mornings.

 

It was another day of doing nothing. There was a lot of stuff to read. i get a weekly email from MSN, who, unfortunately, has my email address, and I finally had to shut down my browser when I had about a dozen windows open with things i wanted to read. It's a rabbit hole, and sometimes I have to just stop the whole thing.

 

I did get the system updates done on the laptop. As I suspected, I got a bad download yesterday - shows I shouldn't do that when I'm streaming music on the other computer - and today everything went fine. So I'm good for another month.

 

While the talking was going on, I got some embroidery done, and I will start on the baby the next time I embroider. Last night, I did about 10 rows of the ribbing on the sock, so I'm almost there. Of course, it's the first sock, but I'm making progress. I can do that kind of knitting while I read, so I maybe I can finish this pair of socks before summer.

 

The weather was cold and windy but sunny. The high temperature was 19, and around noon the wind was gusting to 28 mph from the north. Lately it's swung around toward the southwest, but it's very light. It was partly cloudy during the night - when I was up, I could see Polaris, dimly, but there were clouds in the west. When I got up this morning, it was nearly clear and sunny. The camera hung up, so I don't have a complete history. It was clear, or nearly so, until around 5:00 PM, when it clouded up, and it was cloudy at sunset. It was a pretty sunset, but the camera couldn't see it, and my camera batteries are dead again. There was lots of red in the clouds.

 

The guys slept, mostly. They got tuna for breakfast, which they like, although not as well as mixed fish with gravy (oh, that gravy!). They both got some lap time and they both got combed. Grayson seems to be beginning to shed, which is far too early, but I guess it has more to do with the amount of light than the temperature. Louie has all sorts of horrible knots on his back end, but I have no way to get rid of them that won't hurt him. I'm afraid to try to cut them out for fear I'll miss and cut his skin and it isn't possible to comb them out. I have to believe they hurt him, although probably not as much as having me pull them out would. Grayson didn't mind being combed, but Louie does NOT like that.

 

So that was my quiet day. Now it's a cold, sort of breezy night in the field and the forecast for Sunday is not good.

 

February 15

Well, we didn't go to choir tonight, and it was at least half my fault.

 

I was reading Voyages 3, which is one of my favorite stories, as well as the second longest (214,000 words), and I was getting close to the end, so I pressed on until I finished it. Since those stories sort of meld into each other (I wrote them as one humungous one), I started reading Voyages 4, until I made myself stop. Then I had to wash my hair, and it seems like I zoned out both before and after I took my bath. As a result, I was ridiculously late getting to bed.

 

I got up around noon, feeling lousy, and I didn't even knit this morning. When I was up around 8:00, it was snowing, and when I got up, the roof of the garage looked like a glazed donut. So when Mary Ann called and didn't seem too enthusiastic about going, I was more than happy to agree with her. Sometimes it just isn't worth the effort.

 

I was so late that I didn't do anything much. I did get the system updates installed on the desktop, but something happened with the laptop, and I'm still recovering from that, having had to resort to a system restore, after the install went into a loop that lasted at least four hours. The laptop isn't as fast a system as the desktop, but there was clearly something wrong. It just finally came up after the restore, and now I'm waiting to see if Norton comes up - it's not up yet. I think I will just wait until tomorrow to try the update again. I'm tired and I don't feel good, and a nice long sleep sounds pretty good to me.

 

Since I didn't knit on the shawl this morning, I dug out the black sweater that has been languishing in a corner of the powder room for several years, and I knitted on it. It's a top-down raglan and I'm nearly at the end of the yoke, which means there are an incredible number of stitches on the needle, but I did one row and I brought it down to the studio, in part to put it in a bigger bag, but also to have it here. Before I started this, while I was waiting on the laptop, I hauled out the sock and proved that I can still knit and read, even when I'm reading from a computer screen. I'm starting the top ribbing on the sock. I would really like to finish this pair, which is wool, because I discovered so much beautiful summer yarn, and I have a summer sock on needles that I need to work on.

 

While the talking was going on, I embroidered, and I have most of the straw along the top of the manger done. What a pain! It's all little stripes about five or six stitches long, in four or five different shades of yellow. The back is a mess, and it's so stiff it's a very good thing this isn't supposed to be a picture, because it would be all lumpy. I still don't like it, but I guess I'll just press on, since I'm about half done. And there are those two kittens...

 

The weather, after that one squall, was nondescript but foreboding. The temperature peaked at 38 between 3:00 and 5:00 AM and it dropped after that, until now it's 20 and on its way down toward 0. The wind has been around 20 mph from the north. It was cloudy and dull for most of the day, although there was a ray of sunshine right about sunset. I think the clouds have settled in again now. We probably could have gone to church, but the forecast kept saying freezing drizzle, and we were both chicken.

 

The guys mostly slept. They both got some quality time on my lap. Grayson has been very clingy lately, and I don't know why. It's annoying, because he keeps following after me and sitting right where I need to walk, or walking in front of the screen or something else that bugs me. I wish he could talk with something other than his tail.

 

So that was my quiet day. I've shut down the laptop for the night, so as soon as I publish this, I'll be off to the north end to sleep some more. It's a cold, cloudy night in the field and it's going to get colder and probably snow...Ah, winter!

 

February 14

If you celebrate Valentine's Day, I hope you had a happy one. That's another trumped-up holiday I believe was hyped by the purveyors of greeting cards, candy and flowers. If you love someone, you should tell them so more than one day a year.

 

I didn't get to bed until almost 11:30 last night. I zoned out in the bathroom, I guess. I slept well. I didn't have to wear my parka and bed socks and that made quite a difference. My right shoulder seems pretty much back together, thankfully, but my left shoulder was sore. If it feels like that tonight, I will put the heating pad on it and hope that helps. 

 

I got up around 9:00 and I knitted, of course. I'm now back where I was when I realized the other yarn wasn't going to work. This one is much better, so I can continue on.

 

i had some thoughts about doing something today, but I never did. I had a sneezing fit and my head was stuffy all day. Now I'm tired. I embroidered a bit, and I started the straw, which is going to be a real pain, like I thought. I had to stop because the sun was shining in the front windows and I couldn't see. Much as I like sunshine, it does cut down on my activities at this time of year. It's shining in the south windows when I want to do my surfing in the morning and it's shining in the front windows when I want to embroider during the talking. So I petted a cat and played games. One of my games hung up, I think terminally, and I'm going to have to see if I still have a CD for it. What a pain that is!

 

I got word from Ron that they put up a bunch of snow fencing in the culverts today. We don't know if it will help, but we're willing to try just about anything to try to keep the drifts down. We remember last year - and several other years - all too well. So far the drifts are only about 5' high, but this is only the middle of February, and we have at least six weeks of serious snow left to go, not to mention our occasional April blizzard. Nobody wants what happened to me to happen again, although Dave did get hung up a week or two ago. If we had cell service, it wouldn't be so bad, but as things are, it can be really dangerous to get stuck.

 

The weather was very spring-like, but just wait. It was clear overnight, but it wasn't at all transparent, so there weren't very many stars. The high temperature today was 36, at noon, officially. My thermometer was showing higher, but I think the sun was shining on it. The wind was under 10 mph all day. There might have been a cloud or two, but it was mostly clear and blue, and it was so nice to see. Unfortunately, that's going to be over. Tomorrow we'll be getting back to the snow and then the temperature will be dropping off. Winter isn't over yet.

 

The guys slept. They both got some lap time, and Grayson got a lot, although not as much as he wanted.

 

So that was another very quiet day, and now it's another warmish, clear (I think) night in the field. Hair night.

 

February 13

It was 10:30 when I got to bed last night, but that was because I finished loading the dishwasher. It was all for naught, though. I think I hit the button twice or something and when I opened it this morning, everything was still dirty. Grr. it's all clean now, though. I don't have to wash dishes at night, it's just usually more convenient. I did have to eat my breakfast on a large plate, though. I had used all my medium plates, for some reason.

 

The first time I was up during the night, I looked out and said "Oh, wow!" It's been a long time since I've seen skies as clear as that. Orion was just beautiful, hanging over the mountain, and I could see the Pleiades perfectly. Cassiopeia was setting behind the trees to the north. Remember, I was looking at all this without my glasses on. When I was up the second time, it wasn't so clear, and by morning it was cloudy again. But it sure was nice.

 

I knitted about 10 rows, I think, and it's getting easier as I get even more familiar with the pattern. I didn't confuse the needles today and I only dropped a stitch or two and didn't miss any yarn-overs. I still have a long way to go, though. There are still almost 340 rows to go in the center, so I'll be working on this one for a long time. And I'll probably be bored out of my mind before I'm finished and can go on to the border.

 

I didn't do a whole lot else. I did make it to the post office, though, in time for my mail to go out today. That was about all. And when I got home the information for the bulletins was in my inbox, so I got them done and out - three or four times. Sometimes I get things right the first time, and sometimes I don't.

 

The weather was sort of weird. It was cloudy this morning. The low temperature at 4:00 AM, was 0, and the high this afternoon was 32. The wind picked up this morning and got as high as 29 mph gusts from the west. It was cloudy and sort of dull until around 3:30, when it cleared up. We didn't have any snow, as far as I could tell. it was clear at sunset, and I still don't have the stop time for the camera set right.

 

By the way, on the subject of weather, I forgot to mention that it was a year ago yesterday that I spent 8 hours in a snowdrift. Our drifts are about 5' high this year, but last year, we'd gotten 15" a couple of days before, that really hammered us. That may happen yet, but so far we're good.

 

The guys slept, although Grayson was acting out all day. I don't know why, but it might be because his kibble bowls didn't please him. Louie is around, but he doesn't do that very much anymore. Grayson did sleep on my lap all through the talking, so I couldn't embroider.

 

So now I can totter up to the north end any time after the Beethoven ends. It's a warmish, clear night in the field and there may be some stars again.

 

February 12

I was in bed before 11:00 last night, and while I was up several times and i kept getting tangled up in a cat, I mostly slept well. I had the heating pad on for four hours or so, and after that I didn't need it, which was nice. I could have gotten up before sunrise, but it didn't feel right, so I went back to bed and I got up around 9:00. 

 

I knitted six rows - it's taking me an average of about 18 minutes to do one row, which is pretty good, but a couple of hours of that is enough. I had a problem I'd been anticipating; on the first row I did, I grabbed one end of the needle I'm using to hold the cast on row, so until I did the next row, I had sort of a cat's cradle. Fortunately, it didn't get tangled or anything, but I must be more careful.

 

I didn't do a lot, but I did get the taxes ready for the accountant - or I hope I did! - and I wrote the check for my taxes. Now I have no money at all again. Sigh. Tomorrow I must go to the post office and send all that off into the cloud. The bank doesn't want us to use e-pay to pay taxes, and that's a pain, for sure, although in this case, it means I would have had to pay them early last week. Someday we'll get over using paper checks, but not yet.

 

I just looked at my weather station, and it says 0.6! Zero!! Yikes! And when I looked at the pictures from the webcam, I discovered that we had a snow shower while I was knitting this morning. I missed that entirely, but I was engrossed. For most of the afternoon, it was around 9 and it was sunny. I have to reset both ends of the camera again. We are gaining daylight at over 3 minutes a day now, which is nice to see. Anyway, while the wind was between 15 and 20 mph from the north all day, it has gone calm now, so no wonder the temperature has dropped so much.

 

The guys were sleepy. Grayson slept on my lap for quite a while after I finished with the taxes. Louie came around and meowed, but I can only hold one cat at a time, especially when one of them is so big. Grayson is a bit put out with me, I think, even though he got canned food this morning. They ate all of one kind of dry food, and it wasn't the kind I just bought a 13 pound bag of, so I just left the bowl empty, and that is what they want. Too bad. The reason I bought so much was that they were eating all that kind and it's more expensive than the others. Well, they'll change their minds again, I'm sure. I've given up trying to predict them.

 

So I had my second lovely dinner in a row - tonight it was lamb - and I don't feel very good, even with such a nice warm pad in my tummy. I have the dishwasher almost ready to run, and I will start it before I go up to the north end, which is soon. I do have a sinus thing again, and I just don't feel good.

 

Now it's a clear (I think) very frigid night in the field and there may be a star or two to see.

 

February 11

I was a good girl last night. I went up to the north end early, filled the pill dispensers, took my bath, and I turned out the light about 9:20. I hauled out the heating pad, and it worked well enough that I slept. I was up several times, of course, and after about five hours, I didn't need the heating pad anymore. However, I woke up about 6:10 and had to pee bad, so I got up. The sad thing about that is that then I fiddled around and I didn't leave nearly as early as I wanted to.

 

The road was mostly ice covered and slippery in spots all the way to Phoenix, but south of there, it was clear and dry and that meant I got to church just about when I wanted to. I sang; it was a hymn that I know, so there wasn't any problem, and we practiced. I think we sounded pretty good.

 

I talked to Stuart about the floor, but it may be a couple of weeks before he can get up here to give me an estimate. I would like to give the business to him if I can, if I can do the floor. There's still that heating problem...

 

I decided that since I was there, I would do some shopping before I went home. I did, and I did a lot more damage than I'd hoped, but now it can blizzard and I'm set for three or four weeks. Then I went to try to use my reward points again, and it didn't work again, but a nice young man, who I suspect is a member of the family that owns the supermarket and the gas station, helped me as best he could.

 

I got home about 2:15, and I had to unload the car. I had to do it in two shifts, because I had to come in and go to the powder room, so while I was inside, I changed my clothes. Most of what I bought is still in the breezeway, but it's probably colder out there than it is in the fridge.

 

By the time I was through with that, it was 3:30 and I was exhausted and I hurt all over, so I didn't do anything for the rest of the afternoon. I wanted to work on my taxes, but that didn't happen. 

 

I was thinking about dinner when Debbie called to tell me that her cat died. He was over 17 years old and he had lung cancer - oh, what I know about that! - but still, it's hard to get over something like that after having a pet for so long. I know about that, too. We had a nice conversation. Her sons are doing extremely well, which is nice.

 

Then I got my dinner - a rather large serving of very fresh whitefish, which was just wonderful. I even figured out how to keep it warm until I could eat it, although I did eat a bit faster than I like to. I put the plates in the counter-top oven on "warm" while I was cooking, and then I put one plate upside down on top of the other (I do that with breakfast, too, although I can't warm them as much), so my fish was nice and hot when I got to the studio, Yum! Whitefish is still my favorite fish.

 

It was cold around here because our nice weather finally deserted us. It was a lovely, if frigid, morning. The low here was 1, around 6:00, but I understand that it was -12 or so down in Lake Linden. It was clear and sunny for most of the day. It was clear last night, too, but not transparent. I saw some stars, including the top half of Orion, but nothing exceptional. It's been so long since I've seen stars that I even forgot to look for Polaris! Anyway, it warmed up quickly when the sun came up, and the high here was 18 in the middle of the afternoon. It was actually rather nice when I was unloading the car, However, as the afternoon wore on, there was a line of clouds off in the west that kept moving toward us, and by sunset it was all clouded up. By 4:00 the wind was rising, and it has now gotten to 25 mph with 35 mph gusts. For a while it was from the northwest and it got cold in here, but now it's shifted to the north, which means that the studio is warmer and it's going to be really cold up at the north end. They think the clouds won't last long, but we'll see about that. Debbie got the force of the same storm that hit Chicago.

 

The guys slept, mostly. Last night, the first time I got up, I got tangled up in the heating pad and pulled it almost off the bed, but it was lying about where I sit down. When I came back into the bedroom, there, in the middle of the pad, was Grayson, looking very happy about being on that nice, warm thing. I had to shoo him away, of course, which didn't make him very happy. And he got a piece of whitefish tonight. I don't know how he figured out that the heating pad was there or what it was. They both got some lap time when I got home today.

 

So that was a much more normal Sunday than I've had in a while, and I'm exhausted. I hurt all over, so I guess I'll be using the heating pad again tonight for a while. Sometimes I wish I had a heating suit that I could get into and heat up all my joints. I still have my sinus thing, and my head hurts, too.

 

Now it's a frigid, cloudy, windy night in the field, but so far it doesn't look like there's any snow in the forecast.

 

February 10

I went into zombie mode again last night, so of course I was late, and then my shoulder acted up and it was after 4:00 AM before it finally settled down and I got to sleep deeply. That did mean I was able to see some stars, including Capella riding high in the northwest. I guess, from the star chart, that Orion was still partly visible over the mountain, but I didn't see it. I could see Polaris from the bathroom, but the sky wasn't particularly transparent, so I couldn't really see anything dimmer than about 2nd magnitude. It was just nice to see any stars at all, and if sunset is any indication, there may be some tonight, too.

 

I got up around 10:00 and I knitted a whole 10 rows and I finished the first repeat, which meant I was so late that I didn't do much of anything but my surfing. i had three sets of bottoms that needed to be washed, so I did that and this time I finished the wash and they are now in the dryer. I've been having more of an elimination problem lately, and I don't know why, except that I do know it's cyclic, and this is the bad part of the cycle. I filled the south end pill dispensers and i will be going up to the north end right now, so that I can do the north end ones while the bathroom is warming up.

 

The weather was mostly cloudy this morning and sunny this afternoon, but the temperature only got up to12. With the clear skies, it's now plunged to 5 already, and it will  go lower. The wind was from the north in the 5 - 15 mph range, but it's now gone calm, which is no doubt adding to the temperature drop. I guess I'll have to haul the space heater up to the north end again. It does look like I may be able to get to church tomorrow, which will be a nice change, although whether I actually go or not depends upon how well I sleep and how I feel in the morning.

 

The guys slept. Grayson got to sleep on me for quite a while, but when my tail started to get sore and I had to twitch, he went away. I don't know why he does that; Louie doesn't. But then, Louie doesn't move anywhere unless he has to. He has learned what "Louie! Move!" means, but whether he actually does it the first time I say it depends upon how he feels. Sometimes I still have to kick him. Last night when I got up for the first time to see if I could get gravity to pull my shoulder into shape, he was curled up in the middle of the bed, which means I had to move him when I got back in. He was not pleased about that, and he went away and slept on the rug for the rest of the night. Grayson has decided I twitch too much when I'm getting settled in bed, I guess, because he doesn't sleep with us anymore. One of his places was the counter in the laundry room until he pushed all the stuff on it onto the floor so it isn't comfortable anymore. Now I don't know where he goes, but sometimes I think it's under the bed. They know where it's warm and sleeping on the hard floor doesn't seem to bother them very much. That's kind of weird - my other cats preferred someplace soft. The floor is warm, though, and I guess in this weather, warm trumps soft.

 

So that was another very quiet day and now it's a clear, calm, frigid night in the field.

 

February 9

I think the problem last night was that I was afraid my shoulder would be sore again, so I didn't want to lie down and find out, and I was stupidly late. It wasn't, and once I got to bed, I slept well and I got up about 11:00.

 

I knitted, and I'm two-thirds through the first repeat. There are a few things about this pattern that are hard, and I'm remembering them. Most of the decreases are of a stitch and a yarn-over from the previous row, and the yarn-over seems to always get bigger and make the stitch tight, which means it's hard to get my needle into it. I don't remember what I did about that, so I'm just struggling. I did drop half the stitch markers, so there one between every two repeats. That helps my speed more than I thought it would. Eventually, I'll probably drop all of them, when I'm more sure I can count right on every row and I've seen all the rows. Shetland patterns are very logical, in that each row fits a certain way over the row before it, but I have to knit a while before I can see how they fit together.

 

I think that's one reason I like Shetland lace so much and the square shawls fascinate me so. Each part - center, border and edging - have to fit together perfectly and it takes some arithmetic to make sure they line up properly. I had to do some of that with this pattern, because it was wrong. I always check just to make sure, and in several of the shawls I've made, I've made them bigger, so I had to calculate how much extra to add so that the edging would fit properly. One of the next ones on my to-do list (after the two I have going now) is going to put that to the test, because all I have is the finished product and some very basic notes on the details. It's in the best book on Shetland lace, and it's the most beautiful one of all. I will be doing it with cobweb yarn, which is about half as thick as the lace-weight I'm using now, so it will be one of the most challenging projects I've ever done. I'm looking forward to it, but that won't happen until summer at the earliest. That's good, because I also have to scrape up the money to get the yarn, which isn't cheap.

 

Knitting, cross stitch and other counted embroidery are the things I like best, and the reason, I think, is that they are on a little grid and they require counting. Free embroidery intimidates me. I enjoy it when I do it, but starting it is almost impossible.

 

It's like my fascination with blank books. I've been thinking about that lately, because I heard about something called "bullet journaling." That's an interesting technique, but no way could I ever be that organized. It's just not in my genes. The books interest me, though. I hadn't ever seen blank books with a grid of dots on the pages. I could go with that, but I have any number of blank books, and while I treasure them, I simply can NOT bring myself to sully those pristine blank pages with my pen...or pencil. I look at the pages and either I have no ideas or so many ideas that I could never do them all.

 

The other thing about the bullet journal is that I'd have to lug it around all the time, and since a lot of the things i think about that I'd like to write down occur to me in the middle of the night, I'd be trying to write in my beautiful book in the dark Someday I'll get a smartphone, and I probably will lug that around. Only instead of writing down the things I want to look into later, I'll probably be on Google at 4:00 AM when I should be asleep... That's one reason I'm frequently so late getting to bed. I'll be ready to go and something occurs to me and off I go to Google...and that's that. And on the other hand, something will occur to me when I'm at the north end and by the time I get back to the computer, I've forgotten what it was.

 

Anyway, I didn't do much else. I did get a Schwan's order, which I had to put away, and I made rice, which i still have to put away. While the talking was going on, after the cat left, i embroidered and I'm getting closer every day to having to start on that straw. I think I've decided how to attack it, but I'm putting it off as long as possible. I should wash dishes tonight, but I think I'll go to bed instead.

 

The weather was as frigid as usual, but it was actually nearly clear all afternoon! It was so nice to see sun and blue skies! The high temperature was only 10, and for some reason, it dipped down to 2 at 8:00 PM, before it bounced back to 6. I don't know what that was all about. The wind was between 10 and 15 mph early in the day and less than 10 mph all afternoon, when it shifted around to more from the west. 10 is not very warm. It isn't warm in the house, but it feels tropical when I come in from outside.

 

The guys slept. Grayson slept on me for quite a while, including when I wanted to embroider, but I didn't see Louie.

 

So it was another quiet day and now it's a frigid, clear night in the field and I may even get to see a star or two.

 

February 8

Well, of course I was late last night, but not as late as the night before. I carried the space heater up to the north end, and while I was waiting for the room to heat up, I knitted two more rows on the shawl. After I took my bath, I discovered that 75 feels cold when you're wet, but not as cold as 65 would have, and it was fine as soon as I was able to towel off.

 

Then I went to bed, and oh, dear. For some reason I don't understand, my right shoulder was so sore and achy that not only could I not sleep on it, I couldn't sleep at all. Eventually, I did doze off, sort of half on my left side and half on my back, but I didn't sleep well. After i got up for the first time, I was fine on my right side, but by then it was ridiculously late. I finally got up around 10:30, I think, but I didn't get nearly enough sleep. Add to that, I seem to have some kind of cold or sinus infection, so today was not a good day.

 

I knitted for quite a while, and I'm making good progress, although I'm at the part of the pattern where I have to move the stitch markers every other row. I want to drop them, but not until I'm sure I'm comfortable with the pattern and that's not yet. There was one row where for several repeats, I missed all the yarn-overs and had to pick them up on the return row. Geez! Where was my head? That brought me up short, and the rest of the session went well. I started out by transferring back to the needle I had to go off of when I started. It has much sharper points than the one I was using, which makes it much easier to knit the lace. I'm far enough from the cast-on row, and I put a holder on that needle, so I can tell which needle I'm supposed to be using. I am much more pleased with this yarn than I was with the other, even though it isn't the very pale blue I'd hoped to use. Besides, I'm still in love with alpaca...

 

Mary Ann and I decided we weren't going anywhere today - it was snowing on and off all day and it was frigid - so I could relax. I don't think I would have gone anyway. I don't feel good enough. Apparently whatever I have is going around, because it sounds like Bill has it, too. 

 

When I had to go to the powder room, I took the wool sock I've been knitting on for so long. Somehow, I screwed up when I finished the heel and ended up with one more stitch than I should have had. I'm not going to rip back and try to find out where I messed up, just for one stitch! So, since my calves are thick, I decided to add one stitch (I need an even multiple of 3 to finish), and I did that while I was sitting. I'm getting to the end of the first sock, which will be nice. Since my socks are my waiting room projects, and I haven't been spending much time in waiting rooms lately, they are going very slowly. I guess if I really needed socks, I would work on them more, but I have enough. Not the ones I want and not enough, but I don't run out. When I was looking at the yarn the other day, I discovered so much beautiful sock yarn... IF I was able to knit all those socks, I could probably wear a different pair every week for a year, and maybe even every day... And I have my eye on several more skeins, too. That's the trouble with being a craftsperson. There's always something new and beautiful I just have to have!

 

While the talking was going on, I embroidered, and I'm swiftly getting to the point where I'm going to have to start doing hay, and I'm not looking forward to that. I still may abandon this thing, but the further along I get, the more I want to press on regardless and get it done. And there are those two kittens...

 

The weather was the usual. The temperature was nearly steady between 8 and 12, and there wasn't much wind, although that was variable, too. It was mostly cloudy, except for a short period this morning, and bands of snow kept coming through. 

 

When I got to the kitchen this morning (or was it afternoon? I don't remember) there were a whole bunch of people out on the ice. I guess this must be fish camp week. I sure know I wouldn't want to have been out there! It looked like a good way to freeze solid in a hurry.

 

The guys slept, mostly. Grayson got to sleep on me for a while, but I was busy when Louie came around, so he didn't get any. I don't like to do that to him, but he isn't demanding and he doesn't have the patience to wait until I'm ready for him. I will have to make sure I scratch is jowls tonight and tomorrow. 

 

So that was my day. Now it's another cloudy, frigid and probably snowy night in the field and maybe I can get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour - and sleep?

 

February 7

I fiddled around for much too long last night, so I was late getting to bed. I slept well, though, with only one wakeup. I got up around 10:30.

 

 I immediately grabbed my knitting needles and cast on the Shetland shawl. I was trying a different method, where I just twined the yarn around the cable on a circular needle, and it worked just wonderfully. It wasn't easy. I used a needle two sizes bigger than the one for the shawl, and I was glad that I did, because the cast on row turned out to be extremely tight. Then, of course, I had to start knitting, and for a while I was using three different needles at the same time, which was awkward. I began the setup rows, and I eventually had to change needles, because I couldn't tell the difference between the one I had used to hold the cast on stitches and the one I was supposed to be knitting with. As I get further into the piece, it shouldn't be a problem, but the first few rows are. And then, to top it off, I had to change the needle I was working with because the join was wonky. Well, eventually I managed to knit five rows, two of which are the pattern. 

 

I went about my business, and I had hot tea (with milk and honey - yum! I don't know that I've ever had tea with milk before) and for my whole life, hot beverages with breakfast have gotten things moving. That used to be a good thing, but not anymore! I had an accident and had to go back to the bathroom to clean up, so while I was there, I picked up the knitting and did two more rows!

I had some difficulties. I did something - I don't quite know what - while I was knitting the first row and had to fiddle for a while to get it right. I had to unknit the first pattern row I did because I miscounted - a good lesson that i need to put in the markers before I start the pattern. I think things are right now, and this project is addictive. All I want to do is knit.

 

I was so late that it was about all I did. I didn't get back to the studio until after the talking had started. I embroidered while the talking was going on and I'm making progress, but I'm still toying with the idea of abandoning this project altogether. I don't like it very well and it has a lot of fiddly stuff. However, there are those two kittens...

 

The weather was frigid again, but we did have some more sunshine, but not as much as yesterday, and by sunset the thick clouds were moving in. They may move out again - I was just looking at the satellite imagery - but it doesn't sound like it. The high temperature was 12. Except for a couple of hours where there was a bit of bluster, the wind was under 10 mph, mostly from the northwest. It was cloudy for most of the day, except for a couple of hours this afternoon. 

 

I had to reset the stop time on the camera again. We're gaining daylight at over 3 minutes a day now, mostly in the afternoon and the days are almost 11 hours long. It's a relief, for sure! The only thing is, from now on, I'll either be eating dinner after 7:00 or I'll be eating in the dark. Most of the time, that isn't a problem, but it means I'll be using the task lamp more and the pictures at the end of the day will look a bit weird for the next couple of months.

 

The guys slept. Grayson got to sleep on me today, and he wasn't nearly as rambunctious as he was yesterday. Louie went away and I don't know where he slept, but I didn't see him. He did come and say "Mrrp!" to me a couple of times when I was done knitting. It turned out that they ate all their food overnight - that was a lot! - but they've learned to wait until I get ready to move in the morning. They will get fed, and if they natter at me, they're likely to get shouted at or get a door closed in their faces. I always check the bowls first thing when I get to the kitchen and I fill them before I do anything else. I know what they need, and they have finally learned to trust me, I think. I'm not going to let their bowls stay empty too long. Since I'm so old and they were so old when we got together, it's taken a long time, but now I think we're a real family.

 

So that was another quiet day, and quite a truncated one. I have to wash my hair tonight, and I think I'm going to schlep the space heater up to the bathroom tonight. It's too cold up there to be walking around naked and wet.  It's a real pain to do that, walking back and forth and back and forth, both at night and in the morning, but I'd rather be comfortable. I hate to see what my electric bill is going to be for these winter months this year. Maybe I will knit another row while I'm waiting for it to warm up (remember, one row is 189 stitches).

 

Now it's a frigid, cloudy night in the field and I guess it's supposed to start snowing again. Sigh.

 

February 6

Of course I was late again last night and I had some trouble falling asleep. My right shoulder (yes, the other one) has been bothering me lately, and since I have to sleep on that side most of the time, I have to wait until the Tylenol kicks in before I can get comfortable and go to sleep. And in the middle of the night, I had one of those spells where I couldn't sleep on my left side at all. No muscle spasms, though, which was good. 

 

I got up around 9:30, I think, although I don't really remember, and I knitted for about an hour and a half. That shawl is going to be an interesting knit, but I got the yarn for the Shetland shawl today, and that's what I really want to knit next. 

 

While I was finishing my breakfast, I looked out and the sun was actually shining and the sky had some blue in it! Wow! So that's what a real sky looks like! So I hauled myself out and to the post office and the store and I got my mail, including all the rest of my tax stuff, and my packages. One of the packages was the yarn.

 

The road is in remarkable shape, although evidently Tom has been doing the plowing, and he only plows to a bit beyond Lake Lily Road. He lives on that road. From there to US-41, it's remarkable, wide and smooth and lovely to drive on. For as much time as there has been snow, we haven't gotten much. There is maybe 4" on my driveway since Walter plowed (I forget when that was, but it was a few days ago). Fortunately, the drift patterns left the driveway alone, so I had no problem getting out. 

 

When I opened the garage door, I found the package that had been left - in a snowbank at the side of the door. It had 3" or more of snow on it, and if I hadn't been looking for it, I never would have found it. I guess you don't have to be a genius to be a package delivery person, but geez! Sometimes it makes me wonder.

 

When I got home, I decided I really had to wind some balls, so I cleared off the desk a bit (just moved things around, actually) and picked up the part of the yarn swift that was on the floor behind the ugly chair. Much to my surprise, it was intact. The pivot, which is a 2" brad, was still in it and only one peg had fallen out, so in not very much time, I was in business. Even with the electric ball winder, it takes a while to wind a ball, so the talking was going on while I was winding, which meant I had to crank up the volume on the radio, and even then I missed some things. I had to stop after four balls, because when I had to take the swift apart to get some yarn off the pivot (it does that), i dropped the brad. For a while I thought it was gone forever, but when I looked down a while later, there it was on the floor. I decided not to do any more, though. I will wind some yarn for the other shawl tomorrow. That's not so critical anymore. I will probably have to wind a fifth ball for the Shetland shawl, but I'll wait and see how that goes.

 

In the meantime, I finally - finally!!! - got the webcam straightened out, at least until somebody goes after another mouse and jars it. And I looked into some of the bags of yarn that are over at that side of the studio. I found a whole lot of yarn I forgot I ever bought. Mostly, it's thicker cotton and linen that I was going to knit summer tops out of; that was before I got hooked on lace. I will want to look more closely at that sometime. And I don't know why I have so much of it. I didn't look much at the sock yarn or the lace yarn, but I did find a very pretty ball of mixed pinks for socks. Maybe I can do something with that sometime? I need to inspect the lace yarn more closely, but unfortunately, it seems like I only got two balls of most of it, and that isn't enough for a shawl as big as I like them. I want to transfer all that yarn into tubs, but I wasn't up to that today.

 

I did discover that wherever I thought I put my Q-snap frames, it wasn't in the drawer where I thought they were. Maybe there's a box someplace? I don't remember, because it has to be 15 years ago (!) that I did it. 

 

I didn't move the barrels of papers, but I did move the crates necessary to make room for them in the great room, so whenever i feel up to it, I can move the barrels. And there is still stuff strewn all over the studio that needs a better place to live. But I've made some progress! There is much more floor showing, and that's good.

 

It didn't make any difference in the temperature either here or in the bathroom, but that's because it's still frigid outside. and the sunshine didn't do any good at all. The high temperature was 9 for a couple of hours this afternoon. There was almost no wind. There was some blue sky for most of the afternoon, which was most welcome, but it was clouding up at sunset again.

 

The guys mostly slept, but Grayson just about drove me nutty. He wanted me to notice him, even though he did get quite a bit of lap time, and he was climbing all over the desks and knocking things off to make me do it. Louie slept mostly at the north end all day.

 

The bulletin information came in late this afternoon, and I got both of them (Ash Wednesday is next week) put together and out, which is one reason I'm late. I immediately had to send them again because of a change in the prayer list, but I'm used to that. When I think about the troubles I was having with them this time last year, it amazes me that I can get them out as fast as I have been lately. Of course, every so often I goof something up, but that's all right; I don't want anybody to think I'm trying to be perfect.

 

So that was my day. I don't feel very good again, and I was sneezing this morning. And now it's late again, so I will totter up to the north end and try to get a better night's sleep tonight. It's a frigid, cloudy night in the field and I guess the snow will be back tomorrow...

 

February 5

I was later than I intended last night, of course, but I was in bed before midnight. I didn't sleep well. For some reason I don't understand, I had a muscle spasm in my chest that would twitch randomly, and besides, there was a strong wind from the west, so it was cold and very noisy at the north end. I did sleep some, and after about 3:00, the spasm went away, so I was pretty good after that.

 

I got up around 10:00, I think, and I finished the scarf. I didn't do a very good job on the grafting, but nobody will ever notice. I'm not going for first place at the county fair, after all. It's a pretty thing and at some point, I will block it.

 

After I worked in the ends, I started on the next shawl, and I ran into a rat's nest, so I packed it up in a bag and stopped. When I went to the powder room after breakfast, I took it with me, and I discovered that my first take on the error was wrong; it's not in the directions, it's in the chart. Once I had that straight, I think from now on it will go well - at least for Chart A. Now I'm very suspicious of the whole thing, but if I can figure out the mistakes, it's going to be a very interesting knit. There are some really different motifs which will be fun. No more leaves, at least for a while!

 

I didn't get to the post office. It was so cold and so snowy that I stayed home. I need to go; i need my mail and I have some things at the store that I need, too. I didn't get out to the garage to see if my package is there.

 

HOWEVER. While the talking was going on, I attacked the avalanche, and now I can actually walk beside the desk, for the first time in over a year! WOW!! I just got to wondering what in the world had happened there - I think somebody was trying to climb the piles (ahem!) - and before I was done, the floor there was clear. WOW!!! I didn't move the barrels of paper, and i didn't look for the yarn swift because by that time it was getting dark, but things are so much better now. There was a clog right where I would walk, and things are much better on the other side. Maybe even one of these days, I'll actually be able to sit in the ugly chair again! 

 

I discovered that I have some extremely pretty summer sock yarn that I would love to work into socks to wear. Oh, and when it got too dark to work on the piles, I unraveled a sock that I knitted a bunch of years ago that was too small, and since it's almost all white (with little blue specks), I decided it would look better in a lace pattern. So that's on the list, too. Now it's ready to go if I should ever be inspired. I also discovered three boxes of quart-sized Ziploc bags, one of which had never been opened - and I was out of them in the kitchen. Why I thought I needed so many small bags in the studio, I don't know; most of my projects go into gallon bags, of which I don't have nearly enough. Weird. However, now i don't have to buy quart bags for a very long time!

 

i have formed a new theory. My house, and particularly my studio, is like a lake. stuff comes in and some stuff (not very much) goes out, but the rest just sloshes around. If it's higher here, it's lower there and so forth. Like the lake, sometimes the amount coming in exceeds the amount going out, and sometimes more goes out. Now I have a bunch of empty small baskets and a number of large bags (those Ziploc Big Bags are great; I hope they still make them), and a trash bag. Things are not in order, and there are still piles where there shouldn't be, but at least I can see more of the floor! Maybe tomorrow I can try to find the yarn swift.

 

I had to stop all that because it was getting dark. The sun still sets about 6:00, which means by 4:30 it's getting too dark to see without light, especially when it snows all day, like it did today. The high temperature was at midnight; during the day, the high was about 11 officially. It didn't get that warm here - maybe 10 - because the wind was from the west until it died to nothing around noon. Lat night, it was blowing as high as 35 mph, and it was frigid and noisy at the north end. Today, for most fo the day, it was nearly calm, but it snowed...and snowed...and snowed. Sometimes when i can't see anything down the harbor, I can't see snow coming down here, but not today. I won't say it was heavy, but it was steady and moderate for most of the day. It was a good day to stay inside and hibernate. When I finally went to find something to eat, the snow had stopped, but I won't be surprised if it starts up again.

 

The guys thought it was good to hibernate, too. I went up to the north end to pee one time and I found Louie sound asleep on the rug beside my bed. He sleeps more than Grayson does, probably because he's a couple of years older. Grayson was bugging me. He wanted to sleep on me and he wanted to see what I was doing, so he was climbing all over the desk and the counters in the studio until I finally chased him away. I'm not sure about Louie, but Grayson feels good these days. He just has to learn that I'm not always going to sit still and stare at the computer screen.

 

So that was my day. I feel good about what I accomplished, even though things are still sort of messy around here. I did get rid of the avalanche, and that was a great accomplishment in itself. Now if I can find the yarn swift and get rid of the piles on the desk, I can begin to wind yarn into balls. I'm using the skein I started the last time for the new project, but working directly from the skein isn't easy and I prefer center-pull balls, which means i have to wind. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel strong enough to get those four barrels out of here, too. I know where I can put them, but it will mean moving some things around in the great room. Besides, a barrel full of paper is heavy and I need to sleep well enough to have some energy. So far, I don't have any more muscle spasms, so maybe I can sleep better tonight. 

 

I'm not going to wash my hair tonight. At some point, maybe I can get back to washing my hair on Mondays, but it might not happen until summer. And it's midnight, so I won't be early again tonight. Sigh. If I can keep from fiddling around and playing games, it won't be more than another hour, though.

 

Now it's a dark, frigid and possibly snowy night in the field.

 

February 4

Oh, another Sunday at home. I got to bed about 10:00 last night, a bit later than I wanted, but not bad. I set the alarm, and I slept well, at least for most of the night. I was awake about 6:15, and one look out the windows and I turned the alarm off. It was snowing and I could tell even in the dark. I didn't sleep as well after that, and I got up around 9:00 or so.

 

I knitted, and I finished the knitting on the scarf. I didn't do the grafting, because it was getting late. I'll do that tomorrow. This afternoon, I started the next shawl - at least until I get my new yarn - and I immediately discovered an error in the directions, which I fixed before I emailed the place where I got the pattern. As a result of all that writing, I didn't get anything done except for the rows I had to add. I did remember why I like that yarn. It feels like butter on my fingers, but it ought to, I guess, since it's half alpaca and half silk. I wish it was thin enough to do the Shetland shawl, but oh, well. I'll have a lovely large pale blue thing which is a bit more than a triangle and should be nice to wear.

 

That was all i did. I was thinking about trying to find the pieces of the yarn swift so I can wind some balls, but I never got to that. I do finally know what to do with the barrels that are clogging up the works - several years' worth of papers - but it will require some moving and shaking and I didn't feel up to that. I still don't know exactly what happened where I used to walk beside the desk, unless some little feet were trying to climb around in there. That could be; I've caught Louie trying to get in there several times lately. Anyway, tomorrow is another day.

 

It was another good day to ignore the outdoors. The high temperature was 8, officially. It never did get that warm here. The wind was from the north in the 15-20 mph range. It died down a bit toward sunset, but I'm hearing something that sounds like gusts now. It snowed on and off all day, but the bands were wider than sometimes. I was glad I decided to stay in. It was cold out there.

 

The guys slept. They did get a bit of lap time, but not a whole lot, both because they came around when I was doing something else and they were wiggly. Grayson wanted both breakfast and dinner, but only what he smelled. I don't know what he thinks I'm eating, but when I show him, he isn't interested. So I have to eat with him sitting on the laptop staring at me or what's on my tray. I'd give him some, if he'd eat it, but he never does.

 

So that was it. Not much going on. Now it's another frigid, snowy night in the field, and this is getting old.

 

February 3

I didn't want to go to bed again, but I was several hours earlier than the night before. I slept very well. with two wakeups, and I got up around 11:15. I knitted a whole repeat on the scarf, and I have only one more to go, plus grafting the other edging on. It will be long enough without doing an extra repeat, and besides, I'm tired of it.

 

I was so late that I didn't do anything.

 

It was a typical day. It was marginally warmer than yesterday, with a high temperature of 12, which, for the record, is 14 below average. The wind was less than 15 mph. We had snow until about 10:00 AM, and again starting about 1:30 PM. That was still going on when it got dark. It was actually fairly bright, but there were thick clouds all day.

 

The guys slept, and I'm not sure where. They both got some lap time and I had to make Grayson go away, because he wanted to sit on me when I had other things to do. With the wind down, it's a bit warmer in the house, which we all appreciate, so they go someplace - who knows where? - to sleep. They did hang out with me in the bathroom, and Grayson slept under my feet.

 

So that was it. I didn't do much so I have not much to report. I did start looking for a package that should have been delivered this week, and it turns out that it evidently was, in front of the garage - and because it was a small package, it may very well be buried in a snowbank now. My only hope is that when one of the guys cleared my driveway, they saw it and put it inside the garage. Otherwise, it's lost in the snow and I won't find it until April or May. I don't know how to communicate with FedEx and indicate that they have to do something to let me know they are here.

 

I doubt I will be going to church tomorrow, but I will prepare as though I was and see how things are. Its a frigid, snowy night in the field. 

 

February 2

I didn't want to go to bed last night. I don't know why I do that. Anyway, it was ridiculously late before I finally turned out the light. I slept well, of course, and I think I was only up once. I got up around 11:00. I knitted half a repeat, and I'm now back where I should have been yesterday. I have two more repeats to go, although depending on how I feel, I may add another one, since I have plenty of yarn.

 

Other than that, cleaning up after a messy accident and washing the sweats that got dirty, I didn't do anything. While the talking was going on, I embroidered, and I'm working my way across the chart above the manger. The cow is done and so are Mary's hands and I'm working on her dress. I want to avoid the manger as long as I can, because it's going to be a real pain. Once I get done with all the hay, there are some interesting parts - a couple of lambs and a couple of cats. I'm still sorry I got into this thing, but now that I'm halfway done, I don't want to just drop it.

 

I was planning to go to the post office, but right before i was going to leave, I had a really messy accident that I had to clean up after, so I didn't go. I want that yarn! Maybe I can get out to get it tomorrow. The tractor is fixed, and Ron did my driveway around the time it got dark.

 

The weather was about the usual - frigid and snowy. The wind died down to under 30 mph, but the temperature finally got up to 10 a couple of hours ago, and we had bands of snow coming through all day. It was bad around sunset. It's still drifting in the culverts, but with the wind dying down and shifting toward the east, it should be better tomorrow. Evidently Tapiola Toivo saw his shadow today - how, I don't know - but as i wrote Steve, who told me about it, if it's only six more weeks of winter, I'll be  happy hibernator. Unfortunately, if history is any indicator, it's more like 10 or 12 more weeks. then, as he said, six weeks of slop and then black flies. Hey, I never said this was paradise. Pretty close, but not paradise.

 

The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but I didn't see Louie. I think he sleeps on the rug in front of my bed, and he mostly sleeps these days, even more than Grayson does. Louie and I have a lot in common - we both have very low metabolisms and we need a whole lot of sleep.

 

So that was another very quiet day, and now I'm going off to the north end. It's another frigid, snowy night in the field.

 

February 1

Well. I was late last night, and I'll undoubtedly be later tonight. since it's already 11:00 and I just finished eating.

 

I had to wash my hair last night, and it still amazes me how much longer it takes me to do these tasks than it did when I was 20 years younger. If it had taken me this long while I was working, I would never have gotten to bed, Anyway, it was about 11:30 when I turned out the light, wrapped securely in my fleece parka and bed socks. It was about 64 or 65 in the bathroom, and I didn't want to wait the hour or three it would have taken to warm things up with the heat lamp. 

 

i slept well for the most part. I was awake around 8:00, but that didn't seem to be enough sleep, so it was 10:00 before I got up. I opted to only knit half a repeat, because I was so late and it was so cold - about 64. I should have done more. It doesn't matter much.

 

I didn't do anything else besides my surfing. While the talking was going on, I finished the first chart of the stocking and started the second one. This part is going to be excruciating, because it includes all the hay in the manger and on the floor, which means I'll be working with three or four shades of gold, one stitch of each in a row. Sigh. I keep wondering why I'm always getting into these things, especially when I don't like it very well. The picture looked fine, but now that I've seen what the colors really are - and there is all that backstitching over whole cross stitches, which is ugly - I really wonder what I was thinking. Now I'm thinking, no more kits for me, at least from that maker. The floss is attached to two long strips which have the color number and a picture of what the color is supposed to be (why that? Who knows!) but the list of colors with the symbols doesn't correspond at all to the order of floss on the strips. It's been bedeviling me since I started, so finally - finally!! - last night I wrote down on the symbols list which strip each color is on. It helps, but not a lot, since there are 18 colors on each strip. But now that I'm halfway done, at least with the cross stitching, I guess I'll just keep at it. Or maybe not. We'll see. (Ugh! I just realized what I said, and I don't want to even get close to that...)

 

The weather was better ignored. The high temperature - if you can call it that - was 12 and that was at midnight. The high during the day was 10 during the afternoon, although it wasn't that warm here. The wind is still strong from the north, although it's beginning to die down. The high for the day was 28 mph with 44 mph gusts, between 4:00 and 6:00 this morning. It's now down to 24 mph with 31mph gusts. It was dark and cloudy and the bands of lake effect snow were coming in all day about half an hour apart. The camera did hang up, but I heard it go down and got it restarted right away, by unplugging it and plugging it back in. There is a data leak in that driver...

 

According to Ron, the situation down in the culverts is dire, but it's still passable. The tractor is over at the sewer plant. He took a piece of picture wire and went around the throttle lever and that made it possible to drive it. The guy who has been plowing while Walter is away has managed - barely - to keep things open. It's supposed to snow all night so we'll see how it is tomorrow. I have confidence that they'll get the tractor fixed, but we need a plow truck on site. Well, as i wrote Ron, at least now it's February, so we've gotten this far without getting snowed in. 

 

I need to get out tomorrow to go to the post office and the store, because I have packages at both places, but we'll see how far that goes. 

 

The guys slept. They both got lap time. Louie got a lot, while I was talking to Mary Ann (she called and I said "NO!" which she agreed with). I've felt like I've been neglecting him lately, so I wanted to give him a good loving, and he got it. He went away on his own. Grayson got some lap time, but not as much as Louie did. He gets some every day, so I don't feel bad about it. They sleep on the floor these nights, because that's where the heat is, and so far, the bedroom floor is warm. It's not warm in there, because of the issue with the window seat, but it's not as cold as the bathroom. Boy, I hope they can eventually get that fixed! I need a warm bathroom!

 

So that was my quiet day. I went into zombie mode after the talking was over, and I didn't eat until around 10:30. Since I had a cheeseburger, I don't want to go to bed on a full stomach, so I'll be late tonight. I still don't feel very good, and at intervals at least two of my bad joints hurt at once. Right now, it's my left shoulder and my tail, but it moves around. I was wearing a jacket over my sweats for most of the day, and while I got hot a couple of times, it was better than being cold. Well, that's winter in the Keweenaw, especially when the Arctic Gyre is tilted toward us. This is going to go down as a frigid, windy winter, for sure. As of this morning, we've had a semi-official 182.5" of snow so far, which is more than we had at this time last year, but last year February was a doozey of a month. Maybe we'll avoid that this year. 

 

Now it's a frigid, snowy night in the field, but it's not especially dark, because the moon is still just past full. I'm off to the north end to bundle up and sleep long and hard...

Last  updated 02/18/18 10:47 PM