A View From the Field








Previous Months





December 9

I guess it was around midnight when i got to bed. I slept fairly well, but I had a wakeful period in the middle of the night. I got up around 8:30. I knitted two repeats of the edging, which took me about 40 minutes. I guess that's pretty good, actually.


I ate breakfast and read my devotion and my funnies, but when I got up to get ready to leave, I had an accident - the first one in a while - and I had to clean myself up and change my bottoms. That meant that instead of being early or on time to leave, I was late.


I got to Calumet with about 45 minutes to do something. The roads were all snow-covered and, I think, slippery, so I took my time and went fairly slowly, although not as slow as the guy I got behind going up the hill from Allouez, who was going 30 mph! I passed him when I could, but still. Yes, it may have been slippery, but it was so cold that I don't think it was that bad. I had my back end break loose a bit a couple of times coming home, but not going down.


I decided to shop anyway, since I didn't need a lot and I knew where it all was, but when I got to the checkout, there were only two lanes open, so I was a bit late - about 5 minutes. So we got things ready for tomorrow and were gone in a bit over half an hour. 


i had to get gas. I had half a tank, but i didn't want to have to do that tomorrow. I don't like the place Pat's is now - it's right out in the open and a long way from the place to pay inside - so I picked the nearest station. It doesn't matter; gas is $2.599 everyplace from Calumet north.


Like I said, I had the back end break loose just a bit a couple of times on my way home. Not enough to be serious, but I felt it and I went a bit more slowly after that. There was a lot of traffic for a winter day. Today was Winter Wonderfest in Copper Harbor, and there seemed to be quite a few cars going north when I was going south. Going north, there were more than I'm used to, but they all turned off and I got to drive the covered road by myself, mercifully. The roads were snow covered enough that I couldn't feel the rumble strip in the center - or see it - so I, and I think everybody else, was driving sort of down the middle of the road most of the time. The only trouble with that was that while I tried to pull over a bit when I met oncoming cars, the oncoming cars didn't, which I resent. Hey, it's my road, too!


Well, it's winter in the Keweenaw. It's really winter in the Keweenaw. The temperature here was 19 for most of the day, but it was only 14 down south, and there was a nasty wind as well. It was cold out there! The wind chill was close to 0. I had my parka on, but my legs and my head got a bit chilly when I was outside (yes, I was wearing a hat, but I didn't pull up my hood). There were snow squalls all day, but not strong ones, although when it got dark I couldn't see the lights of town.


I did see the fireworks. They lasted less than 5 minutes, I think, but they were pretty. At the end of WW, they turn on the lights in the park and set off fireworks. I'll be interested to see the decorations. Usually, they're spectacular. And it was nice to have some fireworks, too.


I'm sure the guys slept. They were both around when I came home, and they had to watch me bring in the food and put it away. Grayson slept on me before I left and after I got home. I have managed to convince them not to get too close to the door, because it's cold enough out there that my frozen stuff didn't melt. They have decided they want canned food every day, but so far, they're not getting it.


So that was my day, and I nearly fell asleep before dinner. I'm tired. A bunch of stuff I'd hoped to do after I got home didn't get done and I'll be off to the north end soon.


Oh, I forgot. When I went into the laundry room to get my parka, I heard dripping water, and I determined that the hot water hose hadn't been attached to the spigot completely. So I fixed that. On my way out, I stopped again and I heard dripping water again, but this time into the drain, and I had to tighten the cold water hose, too. Geez. They weren't dripping yesterday. I think things are all tight now, but I'll be watching. Tomorrow maybe I can wash a large load of polar fleece, and then i can do a bit more wash. Next Saturday is regular washday, but if I can get some done in advance, it will be good.


Now it's a very cold, dark, snowy night in the field and I'm ready for bed. Unfortunately, I have to wash my hair. Sigh. Winter is here with a vengeance. Sigh.


December 8

I was in bed by 9:15 last night, and I didn't wake up the first time until over 5 hours later. i guess I was even more tired than I thought. I was up around 5:30, I think, and I figured a couple more hours and I'd be up. Well. It was 10:00 before I finally woke up. I feel much better today. I knitted my three repeats - it seems to take about 2 hours.


I got my breakfast and read my funnies and then...wow. I got the washer hoses out of the car and I proceeded to install them, as well as the filters. It isn't hard at all, except that I had a hard time pulling the washer out far enough to get behind it. For some reason, it didn't want to move on the left side, and since that's my bad shoulder, I had a hard time. And I had to detach and reattach the cold water hose twice. When I tried it, it still wasn't flowing the way I thought it should, so I checked, and it turns out that there are filters in the washer, as well as the ones on the other ends of the hoses. I cleaned that one off and now - wow! I have cold water again! I should have checked the hot water one, too, but I was getting tired, and I think it's OK. 


There were several things I learned. The first one is, when the water is turned off, it won't flow into the washer. Duh. Second, Stuart was right. The fittings on the washer are just plastic, and I had to be very careful when I was screwing the hose on so that I didn't strip the threads.


I had never done this before; the water down in the big city is clean enough that the filters don't get clogged, so I never had to change the hoses. They say to change them frequently, but it really isn't necessary. I could have used the old ones, with new filter washers, but I figured that since I had the new, pretty red and blue ones, I would just change them out. Now that I know what I know, I don't think I will ever have to change them again. If the water doesn't seem to be flowing properly, I will just check the filters and maybe replace them. I got filters when I got the hoses, and it seems like I only got three, although there may be another one hiding under something.


Anyway, I started running water into the washer before I even got it back where it belongs - pushing it back is a whole lot easier than pulling it out - and I immediately put my parka into it and washed it. So now I have something appropriately warm to wear.


I also went to the post office, where the yarn for my next project came, and I stopped at the store, where my rice cooker came. I haven't unboxed the rice cooker, but maybe i'll do that tomorrow. I might try to use it to cook my beans and rice tomorrow.


I have to try to get to town tomorrow, to do a little shopping and to get the altar set up for Sunday.


I'm glad I have a clean parka, because the temperature is frigid. The temperature went down steadily all day, from 24 at midnight, to 14 now. Tomorrow is supposed to be just as cold. It was windy this morning, with gusts up to 36 mph at 10:00, but then the wind died down, and now it's nearly calm. It was dark and cloudy all day. There were a few light flurries, but we didn't get much snow today. 


The road is in good shape, and I ran into our plow truck when I was coming back - as well as one of my other neighbors. Traffic jam on Woodland Road. That didn't even happen in the summer.


The guys slept, mostly. Grayson slept on me for quite a while, and Louie came up and got a tummy rub that only ended because I had to stand up to turn on the radio. They know what to do in this weather!


So that was my day. I am so glad to have gotten the washer fixed! I should have done it a long time ago, and I just didn't. Now that I know how easy it is, I won't be tempted to procrastinate the next time the water doesn't seem to be coming out right...I may pull it out and check the hot water before i do any more wash. Although the next task is to wash all my fleece tops, and that takes cold water, too, so maybe I'll do that first.


Now it's a dark, very cold night in the field and I'm off to the north end.


December 7

I was about four months old when Pearl Harbor happened, and it colored my early life, so I always remember it.


I was late last night, of course. For some reason, I just can't make myself take my bath early except on Saturdays. I slept so well, I didn't wake up the first time for five and a half hours, which is nearly unheard of. I went back to sleep, but then I got three phone calls, so I finally decided I might as well get up at 10:30. I knitted three repeats of the edging, and I'm getting the hang of it.


i didn't do anything else. I didn't get enough sleep and as a result I didn't feel good all day. I didn't go to choir. Mary Ann couldn't go, and they put out a winter storm advisory for tonight through Saturday noon, so I chickened out. Not enough sleep, dicey roads and night was just a combination I didn't want to deal with. We'll see about Saturday and Sunday.


The weather was nondescript for winter. The temperature has finally risen to 28. which is another reason to stay home, but it was in the low 20s for most of the day. The wind was gusty for most of the day, but the highest gusts, 38 mph, were in the middle of the night. It was in the 15-30 mph range from the north all day. It was dull and cloudy and every so often a snow squall would come through. They are saying that the lake effect machine is going to ramp up overnight, which is the other reason I didn't want to be out in it.


The guys slept, Grayson mostly on me. He wanted canned food for breakfast, too, but he didn't get any. Eventually I may start giving them some every day, but I don't want him to think he made me do it. Cats have a well-developed sense of causality, much of which isn't right, and I don't want to reinforce it. They have plenty of dry food. Little snots. Actually, I don't think Louie is such a snot. He sort of goes with what is, although sometimes I have to show him. Grayson, though, thinks he can manipulate me. Little snot.


So that was my quiet day, and tonight I do intend to go to bed. I'm tired enough to have a headache, and I only make myself feel worse when I sit up like I did last night.


It's a very cold, snowy night in the field. Winter is here, for sure.


December 6

Let's see, where were we?


I got to bed around 11:00, I think (or was it 11:30? I don't remember, and it doesn't matter). I didn't sleep well for most of the night. I think it was a problem of being too warm. I went to bed in what I had worn all day, minus the compression hose and my bra. Ever try to get out of a bra without taking off all the layers above it? Doesn't work very well, I can attest. I managed to do it, but it was frustrating. Anyway, first I took off all that stuff and put on my nightie and my fleece parka, and then later on, I took off the parka. It wasn't as cold in the bedroom as I thought it would be, and I got about six hours of good sleep, with only one wakeup. I got up around 9:15.


I knitted two repeats of the edging, with some difficulty, like I always have with a new pattern. The real problem was that when I charted it, I made all sorts of mistakes and that made it difficult. I guess I didn't have any trouble with the first repeat because I knitted it the way it should be, not what was on the chart. I just finished correcting things, and now it should be easier.


I was so sure I would have to go downstairs and reset the circuit breaker that I called Mary Ann before I tried things. She wasn't home. Then I turned the UPS on and it was fine!  We had several more power glitches during the night, and I guess that reset the breaker properly. I had to shut the computer down to move the plug, but that was all right. And that was about all I did. I didn't get enough sleep last night and I didn't feel very robust today, so I got the bulletin out and otherwise, I sat. Too long, as it turned out, and I wet my pants. but oh, well.


By the time I went to bed, the wind was shifting more to the north and it was slightly less strong. However, the sustained winds have been around 25 mph with gusts up to 38 mph all day. The lake is still singing loudly, and at least this morning, i could hear gusts battering the house. I am more sheltered on the north and east sides, so there should be less of a wind in the bedroom and it should be a bit warmer in the bathroom (it was 67 this morning - a little cool for taking a bath). The temperature outside went up to 25 and stayed there all afternoon. Of course, it was dark and cloudy, and we kept having lake effect squalls come through. We got a modest amount of snow, but not as much as they had further south. The wind has suddenly died down almost completely in the past hour, so tonight should be a much quieter, warmer night.


The guys slept, after they got a can of stuff they like a whole lot. It has a gravy that looks like cheese, and they love that, but they eat the meat, too. Grayson slept on me for most of the afternoon, and when he went away, Louie came up and got a short tummy rub, but he was fidgety, so he had to leave. He is too big to fidget on my lap.


So that was my day, and now it's a dark, snowy, windy night in the field. Actually, it isn't that dark, because the moon is still almost full and that lights things up. I'm off to the north end to wash my hair and try to sleep better tonight.


December 5

Ugh. What a day.


I was late getting to bed, and I nixed the hair. I slept well, but since I had to make a trip to the bathroom before I ever go to sleep, I was still awake when all of a sudden there was a tremendous blast of wind on the front of the house and all hell broke loose. For the rest of the night, we had high winds and snow and the temperature plummeted. It was really noisy. It didn't keep me awake, though. I was cozy and warm in my cocoon and I slept well.


I didn't get up until almost 11:00, though, and then I knitted the last three rows of the body of the shawl and started the edging, so I was really late.


We had several power glitches during the night (enough that I gave up trying to reset the clocks) and while I was getting something to eat, the power bounced a couple of times and the generator took over. I think I was on generator power for most of the afternoon, but I couldn't really tell. It's so noisy I couldn't hear the generator if it was on. 


When I got to the studio, the temperature in here was 61, which is a bit too cool for sitting around - or anything else but vigorous exercise. So I broke out the space heater. It's finally up to 65, but I have enough clothes on that the only thing that gets cold occasionally is my hands. I had my lovely fleece gloves on for most of the afternoon, both doing my surfing and petting the cat, who really wanted to be on my lap today.


I did do one thing. I had to put something away (!) so while I was out in the vestibule, I put away the summer banner and hung the Christmas banner, the one that says "Noel." So it's officially Christmas around here. I wish I could get out my little glass tree and my ceramic angel votives, but I don't have any free space on my desk for them. Someday...


I thought things had settled down again, but while I was getting my dinner, the power bounced four or five times again in a way I don't like and the generator came on again. When I got back to the studio, the UPS was beeping, and now it won't stay on and the surge protector says the circuit isn't grounded. I don't know if the UPS has failed or there is something wrong with the wall circuit. The only way to test that is to go downstairs and reset the breaker, and I'm just not up to that tonight. So the surge protector is plugged into another surge protector and if we have any more power problems tonight, my computer and the camera won't come up tomorrow until I get here. I think the internet relay will be all right, so my neighbors will be OK. Tomorrow I will endeavor to get downstairs and reset the breaker and hope that solves the problem. Ugh.


Otherwise, I didn't do much. I was so late that there wasn't time to do anything, which is a pity. I had plans. i really don't feel too bad, considering what the outside humidity is.


Well, we seem to be down again, so this may or may not get posted tonight.


The story is the weather. Since that blast of wind hit the house, the temperature plummeted, and it's been in the low 20s and going down slowly ever since. The wind chill has been around 10 all day. The wind is from the northwest, which is the reason it's so frigid in here, and it's been up around 20 mph with gusts as high as 40 mph. At least those are the official numbers. I doubt that they're right. The way it's sounded and felt around here, I'd say it's been a whole lot windier than the reports. It has been snowing in waves all day, too, but we haven't had that much. It looks to be mostly lake effect. The humidity has been around 80%, but for once, it didn't bother me a lot, because it's very dry in here.


The guys slept, of course. Grayson slept on me as much as I'd let him, curled up against me to keep us both warm. I don't know where Louie has been, but he apparently has a warm spot that he inhabits when the weather is like this. 


So it's been a quiet day. My internet connection is back up, suddenly, so I guess I'll try to get this posted before it goes down again. It's been a hairy day in the field, and the night looks to be just the same. Ah, winter! Now you're here.


December 4

I got to bed around 10:30 last night, but except for the first three or so hours, I didn't sleep very well. I finally decided it was because I was too warm - I was wearing my fleece parka - so the second time I got up, I took that off. it helped, but I still didn't sleep as well as I hoped. I was coming too around 8:00 when there was half a ring from the phone. I had to pee, so I decided to get up. I knitted four rows, and now I have only three left before I start the edging. 


It was so dark that I had the lights on, even in the closet, but there I was folding clothes. I found a few more things with spots on them, but when I got down into the basket, I discovered that it was full of things I'd folded a long time ago. Yea! Maybe tomorrow, I will be able to get them filed away on the shelves. I was too sore today.


I didn't do anything much else except to call the broker about my health insurance. It turns out that the letter I got with the good premium rates on it was an ad, and since I'm already using that plan, I can't get them. Then I got into it with them about my meds, and they were bound that I should change plans. I'm not at all sure I did the right thing, but I guess all I can do is try it and see. The premium is a lot higher, but there are no co-pays and the numbers seem to work out to save me money. We'll see. That took the better part of two hours, most of which I spent on hold. We'll see. I'm suspicious.


The weather was so miserable that it was better off ignored. It rained all night, until about noon, and it's started again - a total of 0.68". It seemed like more than that to me. The temperature was ridiculously high. It's been 45 for the past few hours, but the humidity has been over 90%. I knew that without looking. The wind has been from the south, with gusts as high as 33 mph. It was dark and gloomy. And tonight and tomorrow we are under a winter storm warning, when the temperature plummets. Right now it looks like we won't make it to choir practice on Thursday, although I'll wait and see before I commit. Ah, winter!


The guys slept. i don't know where Louie is right now. Grayson slept on me for a long time, and while I was in the middle of talking on the phone, Louie jumped up on me and sat for a while, too. It was all right, since I was on hold most of the time. They got some canned food this morning that they really seem to like - I don't know why I didn't know that. Well, now I do, unless they change their minds (which they've been known to do). Funny little critters.


So it was a very quiet day, and I didn't do anything much that I'd planned, but I hurt too much. Now it's a dark, cloudy night in in the field, and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...or should I say the sky is falling? Stay tuned.


December 3

I made it into bed by 10:00 last night, which is only about half an hour later than I wanted. I slept well, but with the usual wakeups. I was up around 5:00, and I was sleeping when the alarm went off. I really didn't want to get up, but I did. Sigh.


I did my thing and I was early, for once. However, it still seems to take me at least ten minutes to pull up my pants, get my coat on, gather my bags and get to the car. I just move very slowly these days. It turned out all right, though. Someplace south of Delaware, I came up behind Bill and Mary Ann, and I followed them all the way to church. Bill was a professional truck driver - big rigs - so I figured the speed he was going was probably a safe one. We don't know that it was slippery, but we had a remarkably heavy frost overnight, and we weren't sure what that stuff on the road was. We made it safely with no slides.


Church was good, as usual, and it was very nice to be able to get in my car and come straight home for a change.


I didn't do anything for the rest of the afternoon. I haven't been getting enough sleep for the past few days and I am really tired. Hopefully, I can discipline myself enough to go to bed after I finish this.


The weather was all right, after the frost went away. The high temperature was 44, at about 3:00 this afternoon, so I didn't get to feel it. The wind was from the southwest all day, and between 11:00 and 3:00 it was breezy, with gusts up to 21 mph. It was dull and cloudy all day. It was extremely humid this morning - thus the frost - but this afternoon, the humidity got down below 70% for a while. That's not optimal for me, but it's much better than 90%. I hurt this morning, enough to take some Tylenol, but things were better this afternoon.


The guys mostly slept. Grayson slept on me almost all afternoon. Louie didn't get any lap time, because he didn't come around until I was about to get up and get my dinner. Grayson was bouncing around and scratching on furniture - for which he got shouted at - and even Louie was running around a bit. I don't know what got into them.


The weather, after a good week, is going to turn miserable. Tomorrow we will have rain and temps near 50, but then starting Monday night through Tuesday night, we are under a winter storm watch and the temps are supposed to plummet to below 20. Much as I hate to see it, it's time. October and November were better than usual, but the snow will come. It always does. At least I have a fridge full of food and I can keep myself occupied otherwise.


I did order the rice cooker. It should arrive Wednesday, and I hope I can get it (because of the weather). I also ordered two tow straps. One is for the car, of course - last winter showed me I need one - and the other one is to loop around the fridge in the hope that it will make it easier to pull out of the cabinet. I am just about fed up with having that thing in the middle of the floor, and besides, I can't get into the cabinet over it where it is now. I'm hoping not to have to have any repairs done for a long time, but I like to be prepared.


So that was the First Sunday in Advent, and now it's a relatively warm, breezy, cloudy night in the field. I'm tired.


December 2

Well, I didn't go to bed last night. I started reading what I've been working on and I ended up being stupidly late again. I got up at 10:00 anyway and I didn't knit, because I had an appointment with Johanna at noon.


That was nice, and we got caught up on our various lives. She is going downstate for the winter again, so I might see her in February, or I might not.  Probably not, though, until around May. She is such a nice girl, and I miss her when she isn't here. The only thing is, with the weather getting bad, I might not be seeing much of her even if she was here.


I didn't do anything but read when I got home. 


The weather wasn't too bad. There was some sunshine this morning (!), but it got cloudy and dull again this afternoon. I think it's supposed to clear up overnight, but we'll see about that. The high temperature was 42, about the time I was out. It cooled off a bit after that. There was officially hardly any wind (under 5 mph), which I don't believe, because when I looked out, the tree branches were moving around. It was very humid - the lowest the humidity got was 79% - which is not good for my joints, but it smelled good. I guess we're in for snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, though. Sigh. Well, it's time.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me until Louie came around. Louie didn't sleep, but he did get a tummy rub. I was interested that it didn't seem to bother them that I came home smelling like dog. I met a lovely old (and rather small) blond standard poodle, who thought I was really good at scratching behind his ears. If I were ever to consider a dog, a standard poodle is one breed I would have to consider. They seem to be generally calm beasts, and they are very smart. Upkeep of their coats can be a problem, of course, but that's manageable. And a nice thick, curly coat would be a good one for this climate. Well, that won't happen. I find the more dogs I meet the more I like them, but I'm just not physically capable of handling a dog. So my little furballs will have no competition.


So that was my day. I am edging closer to getting a rice cooker. I make so much rice, it would be really convenient, and I've found one that is also a slow cooker, which is an item I've considered but never gotten around to investigating. I don't have room for both appliances. I was considering an Instant Pot, but since I probably wouldn't use most of the functions - and I have an inherited suspicion of pressure cookers anyway - I find it hard to justify the price. Just to be able to pour stuff into the bowl and push a button and know that sometime later I would have rice or something is about all I can see that I need. I don't actually cook enough other stuff from scratch. So we'll see. It would be my Christmas present, although I may also end up with a journaling Bible, too. Maybe.


Now it's a dark and (I think) cloudy night in the field and I'm off to the north end.


December 1

It hardly seems right that it's December already. It seems like there were only about two weeks in November, but here we are.


I was stupidly late getting to bed, and I didn't get up until around 12:30. I knitted two rows. I would like to have done more, but I was getting hungry.


I finished up the turkey. There wasn't actually that much meat, because it had bones, including half of the breast bone and that big long bone that turkeys have in front of their ribs. It was so good. I will have to do that again, although next time I may spring for a boneless turkey roll from Schwan's. I love turkey, and I don't get enough of it.


I didn't have time to do much besides my surfing. I got a Schwan's order, including something I didn't really need - well, I'll eat it anyway, but still. I hard-boiled some eggs; that's been another of my sandwich breakfasts lately. And I made rice. While that was going on, I got the dishwasher unloaded. I wanted to do something about the trash, but I got so tired standing that I couldn't.


The weather was nondescript. The high temperature was 41 and the humidity actually did get under 70% for a while. The wind was under 10 mph all day. It was cloudy and dark again. Blah.


The guys slept. Grayson got a little lap time, but Louie didn't.


So that's all i have to report, and I'm going to bed tonight. Really. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field and 2017 is almost over.


Last  updated 12/09/17 07:52 PM