A View From the Field








December 2017

December 31 - New Year's Eve

This is usually the time when I look back over the year and sum it all up, but I don't feel like doing much of that tonight. It wasn't a bad year, but it wasn't a good year either, and there were a lot of frustrations. I can stand to let it go and hope I can get the outstanding frustrations out of the way soon.


I was late last night, and I'm not quite sure why, except that I wanted the bathroom to be as warm as possible before I took my bath. I guess it was. I slept well, although I got tangled up in a cat in the middle of the night. I got up around 10:30.


I finished the Shetland cape!! Wow! It only took me 3 months, 1 weeks. It looks like a pretty thing, although I didn't spend much time looking at it. In the middle of the bind-off rows, Mary Ann called and we had a nice conversation, but a rather long one. We haven't had time to really talk for several weeks.


Otherwise, I didn't do much of anything. I had hoped to find the yarn swift today, but I was so late and there was so much surfing to do that I didn't do anything else. So I guess I will start the next project with the hank draped over my arm. That works, but it isn't the best. First I have to work on the charts for the shawl (there aren't any row numbers!) and then I have to cast on almost 200 stitches. This is another Shetland square shawl, but I'm doing in with a very pale blue yarn. It should be pretty, and it should keep me occupied through the winter.


The weather was better off ignored. They were right to cancel church, for sure. It snowed all night and all day, with almost no letup, although since it's mostly lake effect, it came in bands or waves. I couldn't see down the harbor all day. The temperature was around 5, plus or minus a degree or two, all day. The wind has been from the north and it has been rising all afternoon. There were gusts up to 38 mph, which puts the wind chill down around -20. Brr!


Dave came around this afternoon to clear out the driveway and I went out to pay him for my shovel, and it was brutal out there. It was blowing hard enough that no matter which way he tried to aim the blower, it blew back on him. His beard (which is a very nice, neat one) was caked with ice.


The guys slept. Grayson wanted to sleep on me all day, and he pretty much did, until I said "Enough, already!" Louie tried once, but I can only hold one cat. When I went up to the north end to clean up after an accident, he was sound asleep on the rug beside my bed. The bedroom is cool, but the floor is nice and warm and the rug is, too.


So now it's a frigid, snowy night in the field, and I wish everyone a Happy New Year! I am going to bed, although I hope I wake up in time to see the fireworks. 2017 is now nearly history. Good riddance.


December 30 - New Year's Eve Eve

It was about 11:00 again when I turned out the light. I didn't sleep well. My mind was going around in circles and after I got that under control, for some reason, my feet felt cold. They weren't, but they felt like it. I finally put on my bed socks again and that helped, but I still didn't get much deep sleep. I got up around 8:30, because i had to pee and it seemed clear that going back to bed wasn't going to help.


I knitted, and it looks like I will finish this project tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow. We have had another winter storm, and in the middle of the afternoon, our congregation president, Steve, called me to tell me they have canceled church tomorrow, because Pastor is still down in Wisconsin visiting his mother, and they are having a snow event, too, which would make it nearly impossible for him to get back. I had already decided there was no way I would be going anyway, because of our snow event, so I'm not missing anything.


Then, about when I was going to start my dinner, Debbie called, and we had to tell each other about all our problems and that took well over an hour. 


Oh, yes, and when I went to fire up my rice cooker for the second time, it was dead. This is the second one, so I will send it back and find another option. I would still like one, but I'm leaning toward an Instant Pot, even though it's much more expensive. You get what you pay for, I guess. I need one appliance that will do more than one thing, because I don't have much counter space or storage space left. I really want a rice cooker, and I would like to have a slow cooker, too. The one that died was ideal, except that it doesn't work. What a pain. I think I'll wait and mull it over for a while, and see how much my pills and the other important things cost before I decide.


The weather was, um, interesting. When I went to bed last night, the lake was roaring and the wind was blowing, although since it was from the northeast, it only hit the house occasionally. It roared all night long and into the morning. The highest winds were between 8:00 and 10:00 this morning, with 43 mph gusts. The temperature peaked at 15 at 9:00 this morning, then it went down from there. It's officially 7 now (6 here). The wind is still gusting, but much lower than it was earlier. It snowed hard all day, although it's not possible to tell how much we had, since it has been so windy. It was dark and dull, and for most of the day, I couldn't see down the harbor. I stay home in that kind of weather.


The guys slept. They both got some lap time, although Louie went away in disgust because I wouldn't pet him as much as he wanted. Grayson slept.


So that was my day, and I've been thinking how frustrating the past two or three weeks have been. Please, I don't need this! Now it's a dark, frigid, windy and snowy night in the field and another long winter's nap is in order.


December 29

Well, I didn't get to bed quite as early as I wanted, but I turned out the light around 11:00...and I got up around 11:00 this morning. I still have whatever I had, so I don't feel great, but I had much more energy today. Not that I did anything with it, but it was nice. It was nice to be able to get up and sit down and walk a bit easier, too. When I'm tired, it's very hard to do all those things.


I knitted two repeats, and now there are only four left. i really must try to find the yarn swift tomorrow, so I can wind my new yarn. I can knit without the yarn being in balls, but it's sort of messy, and I'd rather not. I didn't do much else besides my surfing. There was a lot of stuff to read today. I had to go up to 41 to get my Schwan's order and my newspapers, which I didn't read. Maybe tomorrow.


I was sitting in the powder room after I finished putting the frozen stuff away when I heard some strange noises that at first sounded like a cat downstairs scratching up something, although it seemed rather loud for that. When I got up, I discovered that it was Dave clearing the ice off the platform in front of my garage, and when I went out to thank him, I discovered that he had bought me a new shovel - and wouldn't let me pay for it! Wow, do I have great neighbors, or what? Of course, he and Ron will use it most, but still. He also had an ice chopper, which he kept. I think I have one of those, too, but I haven't been able to find it. One of these days I must take all the tools out of the box they're in and see if I can find that. If it isn't there, somebody stole it while they were moving me, because I distinctly remember discussing it with my helper and saying, no, I need that. Anyway, I now have a good shovel again, so we all can keep my garage cleared open. Dave does a nice job of clearing with the blower, too. He makes sure the paths are wide enough. Ron has a habit of making things so narrow I have a hard time getting around in my big car.


The weather was surprising, considering what all the forecasts said. For most of the night, it was nearly clear. I didn't look up to the north, but around 5:00 this morning, I saw Orion, dimly, setting in the west. It wasn't really clear, but I could see stars. And for most of the day, at least until 2:30 or later, the sun was out and there was some blue sky! Amazing! Of course, by 4:00 it was starting to snow again, and we have a winter storm warning in effect for tomorrow and possibly Sunday, but still. It was nice to know the sun still shines and the sky really is blue. The temperature reached 19 at 8:00 tonight, but it's started down again. Until 6:00 there was no wind, but it has now gotten up to around 20 mph with 25 mph gusts, from the north. It's going to be a snowy weekend. Sigh. I guess no church (or Pat's) on Sunday.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me almost any chance he got. Louie came and wanted to sit, too, but I can only hold one cat at a time. he has since gone off.


So that was a quiet - thankfully - day and now it's a dark, cold, cloudy and snowy night in the field. Back to normal, I guess. It was nice to see the sun for a few hours.


December 28

I have to go to bed. I HAVE to! I was up for most of the night last night, again, in part because I had to wash my hair. Then I had to get up around 10:00, because I knew Ron would be coming by around 11:30 with my mail. I did get to knit, but only one repeat. I have 6 left to do, so I really have to get behind the desk and find my yarn swift.


It was not a good day, or mostly not a good day. One of the bills I was looking for didn't come, although there was a lot of other junk and a lot of other bills. The good thing was that they finally came to look at my heating system. The bad thing is, it wasn't a zone valve. The water wasn't getting through the tubing under the bathroom. The guy drained it as well as he could, but it looks like they are going to have to install a valve so they can pump through that zone and clear out all the crud. This looks like the beginning of some very expensive repairs...sigh.


Then I tried to open a new checking account and picked the wrong kind (I can't find the right kind) and had to call online banking again. Trying to set up the account took me about two hours, because, besides the error messages, i kept getting logged out and having to start over. i told them about that.


It was, over all, not a good day.


The weather was frigid, but not as frigid as lately and there doesn't seem to have been any snow, for the first time in a couple of weeks. It felt sort of weird to be able to see down the harbor. The official total for the month to date is 75", which is just a tad over the average since 1959. We haven't had nearly that much here in the Harbor, but it's beginning to pile up. The high temperature for the day was 12, which seems warm by recent standards, but it's not. And that was this afternoon, which is unusual. It's been about there for several hours. There was almost no wind, but what there was came from the southwest, which is no doubt why it's so "warm." It was cloudy and gray all day.


The guys were sleepy, mostly. They both got some lap time, and Grayson slept on my lap until the heating guys came. When we opened the basement door, Louie was sitting one step down. He went downstairs, but slowly, like he really didn't want to go. He is a funny little cat.


Well, I have to go to bed. I'm exhausted. I am going to assume it's warmer in the bathroom than it has been, and I'm not going to haul the space heater up there tonight, so we'll see. Now it's a cloudy, frigid night in the field. And I'm exhausted.


December 27

Sheesh! Last night I pulled an all-nighter without realizing it. So I didn't get enough sleep and hopefully I can begin to get back on track today.


I knitted, but I didn't do a whole lot else. The dishwasher is just about ready to go.


However, I had a most unpleasant surprise late in the afternoon. Today is Social Security Day (for me, at least) so I logged into my bank to check things out. Evidently I haven't done that for a couple of weeks, because there in front of me was a check with a 6 digit number on it (mine are all 4 digit), and when I viewed the check it was all printed - no handwriting at all - and made out to some company I've never heard of. Fortunately, it was only for a bit over $30, but still. Clearly, my checking account has been hacked. So I called the generic help line and opened a fraud claim, but things are still iffy. They want me to close the account, and I'll have to do that, but I can't, because I have all sorts of things coming in and going out in the next ten days or so, and there is no way I could get them all changed over before the transactions happen. So my bank account is in a precarious position. I had a hard time understanding the people I was talking to, so I tried to call the branch where my account is housed. They were busy, so I called online banking, who didn't help, either, but I finally got somebody at the branch and she was very nice and very helpful. I now know what I have to do next, but considering that it's the holiday week, I think I will wait for most of it until next week and hope nothing else happens. There was just that one check, on December 18, so maybe they'll wait long enough for me to get things fixed. I can't help but wonder, why me? I don't have any money. This was not the way I wanted to end the year. It's compounded by my being 600 miles away from my branch, so I can't go in and talk to them face-to-face. Oh, woe.


In the meantime, Ron tried to deliver my mail, but I was so engrossed in the telephone that I didn't hear him, so we'll do that tomorrow.


The weather is slowly mitigating, I think, although it's still frigid and it still snowed all day. The low temperature was 1 and the high was 6. It's supposed to get into the middle teens tomorrow - a heat wave - before it plunges again over the weekend. The wind was between 10 and 15 mph for most of the day and it's now under 10 mph. Like I said, it snowed all day, except for one picture late this afternoon when we could see the mountain. That didn't last long. There wasn't much accumulation. Dave cleaned out my driveway this morning and there wasn't much new snow on it at sunset. This is supposed to continue on into next week, I guess, so when I'll get to go food shopping, I don't know. I have a Schwan's order coming on Friday, but I need some things, like JD and cat food, that I can't get from Schwan's.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me for a very long time and after I had to move, he wanted to come back. He also thought he wanted some of my dinner, but I know he wouldn't eat it. They got something they like - or at least they like the gravy - this morning, and all their kibble bowls are full, so they're all right.


So that was my day. Not very pleasant, at least at the end. Now it's a dark, snowy (I think) and frigid night in the field again.


December 26

I zoned out again last night. Tonight, I hope to be in bed at a little more reasonable hour. I got up around 10:30 and knitted, mostly because I got one of those spam telephone calls. Fortunately, the space heater does a pretty good job in the bathroom, which is so small. The wind is still from the north, and that means the north end of the house is cold, even though the heat is still on in the bedroom. I went to bed in my parka and my bed socks, but I was so tired I don't think it would have mattered.


I didn't do much of anything because I was so late, but I do have to wash dishes tonight and I just finished sending out the bulletin for Sunday. So I guess I accomplished something.


I finished updating the software on the laptop. Before I went to bed, I fiddled around with the plugs and got them working again, so the battery charged up. Now the only problem is, I'm afraid to unplug it for fear it won't work again. I know when I bought the thing there were some complaints about the plug in the side of the unit, but this is the first one I've had. I don't know what caused it. It seems fine now. Oh, technology...


The weather was frigid, windy and snowy. The official high was 4, for the past three hours or so. It's been a steady 2 colder here, according to my thermometer. The wind is still from the north, mostly in the 15-20 mph range, but the gusts have been up to 32 mph. It has been impossible to see down the harbor for the past 48 hours, what with the snow, but since it's so cold and the flakes are so small, it hasn't piled up as much as it might have.


The guys slept. Grayson wanted to sit on me all day, but I haven't seen Louie since this morning. I don't know where he is. Someplace warm, I'm sure, although they can cuddle up on the floor, except in the bathroom.


So that was it. I guess I'll read a bit longer before I get the dishwasher ready to run. It's another frigid, snowy night in the field. Ah, winter in the Keweenaw!


December 25 - Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful day.


Ah, Dearest Jesus, Holy Child,

Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled

Within my heart that it may be

A quiet chamber kept for Thee.


My day was extremely quiet. I went into zombie mode last night and didn't get to bed until a truly ridiculous hour this morning. I slept hard, but around 10:30, I heard an odd noise that seemed to come out of the clock. I turned over and dozed for another 45 minutes, but then I decided to get up and knit, which I did. So I'm tired.


I was so late that there wasn't much time to do anything, if I'd felt like doing anything. Around 3:00, Donnie showed up with a very generous turkey dinner - enough for two meals. It was delicious. I had some then and the rest around 8:00. I was prepared to cook something, but it sure was nice not to have to. And I love turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy - lots of gravy. It was great.


I did finally do the system updates to the desktop, and I started trying to do them to the laptop, but I had some problems, and then I discovered that event though the cords are in place, I'm not getting any electricity from them, and I'm running short of battery power, so I finally stopped the update and closed it. I don't have any idea what might have happened, or what to do about it. The transformer is cold, so I suspect that's where the problem is. I wonder if I can get a new one for that laptop? I know the surge protector is still working, because my little lamp is connected to it, and it's working fine. Oh, woe. Something is always breaking...


The weather was bad enough that I'm glad I told Peg I wouldn't go out. Donnie made it through, but we've had quite a bit of snow overnight. Evidently, our plow-truck driver has been out, but my driveway is getting full and there's a good-sized drift in front of the door.


The reason is the wind. The temperature started at 19 at midnight and went down steadily to 2 at 5:00, before it recovered to 3 now. The wind has been from the north in the 20-30 mph range all day, with gusts as high as 36 mph. It snowed all night and all day, but with it so cold, the flakes are so small that it isn't piling up quite as much as it could, thankfully.


The guys slept, mostly. They both got some lap time. Grayson evidently liked the smell of the turkey, but when he got up on the counter, he didn't want that, he evidently wanted to be petted. Weird. Louie got some lap time, too, but Donnie came before he could settle down much.


So I'm tired. I should wash my hair tonight, but I'm so tired and it's bound to be so cold in the bathroom that I think I will just ignore it and take a long winter's nap. I hope to get my heating problem fixed this week, but we'll see. I also hoped to be able to get down to town on Thursday, but the forecast has gotten considerably worse in the past day, so I don't know.


Now it's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field and it's almost bedtime. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


December 24 - Christmas Eve

i find holidays like this one extremely disorienting, especially when, for various reasons, I don't go out. I kept thinking it was Monday or something. Or Saturday or some other day of the week.


I got to bed before 10:30 last night, and I slept very well. I didn't wear my parka to bed, and I was quite comfortable except when I got up. Evidently, I'm getting used to the cooler temperatures. I was awake right around 6:30, and I could have gotten up, but between my head, which is still stuffed up and sore, and the snow we had overnight, I decided not and went back to bed. I didn't get up until almost 10:00, and I still felt lousy. I did knit, though. I had to bundle up, because while the space heater warmed up the bathroom, it was still drafty over by the windows and my toes were cold.


I didn't do very much else. However, Peg called to invite me to dinner tomorrow. I had to tell her no, because I still feel so bad, but we had a nice conversation, and somebody is going to bring my dinner to me and take away any orange bags I happen to have filled. As a result of that, I had to rustle around and start getting the stuff off the counters. I have two filled bags of that trash, two bags of papers and stuff from the bathroom, and I have at least another big bag of trash plus the stuff from the bathroom trash baskets to go. What a good excuse! I should have done more, but I just couldn't.


The way I feel now, I'm very glad I decided against going to church tonight, much as I would like to have been there. My head hurts, and I'm so tired, I should already be in bed. I was so un-hungry, though, that I didn't finish eating until after 10:00, so I will be late.


The weather was cold and there was a surprising amount of sunshine early in the day. We are still under a winter storm warning, and it's supposed to start snowing any time now. The high temperature, 24, happened at 6:00 this morning. It was around 20 for most of the morning before it started to plunge, and it reached its low, 11, at 6:00 this evening, after which it rebounded a bit. It was breezy until noon, after which there was almost no wind at all. We had 0.29" of liquid precip overnight, which means there were several inches of snow, and my decision not to go out was a good one. It's supposed to hit again tonight.


The guys felt good this morning, when the sun was shining, but they soon went back to sleep. They both got some lap time this afternoon. They were asking for canned food, too, but they won't get that until tomorrow, when it will be something I know they like. 


So that was my very quiet day, and now it's a dark, cloudy and soon to be snowy night in the field. Time for another long winter's nap.


December 23 - Christmas Eve Eve

Well, as usual, I was later than I intended to be last night. It was 12:45 when I turned out the light. I slept well, without aggravating my hip, but I didn't get up until 10:30 or so. I knitted my two repeats. I've found that I have to sit for a couple of hours before my back and hips are in order and I can move around without much pain. That doesn't include my knee. For some reason, my right knee has been extremely sore for the past several weeks. It's fine when I'm not on it, but when I have to stand on it, lifting my weight off of it just about sends me through the ceiling. I hope that will go away eventually, too.


I didn't do much of anything else. I was too late. I did start a trash bag and empty the bins under the counter, but I didn't get much else into it. It looks like it's going to take at least three bags to get the garbage off the counters. I emptied the dishwasher, but I didn't start filling it yet.


I have resigned myself to not going to church tomorrow. We are under a winter weather advisory for the next two days, with the possibility of large amounts of snow, most of it tonight, and I just do not want to get involved with that.

I need to do a little food shopping, too, and I don't know how or when I'm going to do that. 


Today, it was much colder than yesterday. The temperature went down all night, and it was around 18 all day. It was breezy, too, with winds up to 25 mph from the north, although they've shifted toward the west now. It was dark and gloomy.


The guys slept. They both got some lap time, although Louie left me bleeding when he jumped onto my lap. He missed and hooked a claw into the side of my knee as well as the tops of my thighs. I wish he would come around on the counter like Grayson does, but I guess he's forgotten about that. Louie is a canny cat, but I don't think he's too smart. Grayson is too smart.


So that was another quiet day and it's a dark, windy and probably snowy night in the field.


December 22

Oh, hey, I have to write something.


I was late getting to bed last night, but I did sleep, and I managed to sleep for a few hours on my left side without doing too much damage to my right hip. Now if I could only remember what I did...


I didn't get up until noon, but I only knitted one repeat, because I had to fold the laundry. That's done for another few weeks. It was all I did. I was so late that I didn't do much else but my surfing. I was too late to go to the post office. Oh, I did weigh myself, and I guess I really am sick, because I've lost 3 pounds in the past two weeks. I don't like being sick - I felt really lousy today - but it does have one upside.


The weather was nondescript. The temperature got up to 28 for several hours today, there wasn't any wind, it was dark and gloomy and there were a couple of light snow squalls. The weather service has canceled the hazardous weather advisory for the next three days, but they still say it's going to snow, so I don't know what that means. It is going to snow, particularly tomorrow night, so I guess I'm right that I won't be gong out. 


The guys slept, They were a bit petulant, because while they got canned food today - which is all gone - their kibble bowls weren't as full as they'd like them to be. Unfortunately, they're going to run out of their favorite, because I won't be near a supermarket for a while. They'll just have to cope. It's not like they don't have any food or anything.


So that was it, and I'm going to bed. It's a dark, cold, and probably snowy night in the field, as usual.


December 21 - Winter Solstice

So now it's officially winter. Of course, it's been winter around here for almost two months, but that doesn't have a whole lot to do with the position of the sun in the sky.


I was late last night. I sat around, both here and at the north end, and I had to wash my hair. I slept fairly well, except for a couple of hours in the middle of the night when I was lying on my left side. I got up around 10:00 and of course I knitted. Slowly, I progress. I have to look to finding the swift, so I can wind the yarn for my next projects.


I didn't do much of anything except wash the bottoms I soiled. Well - that was partly Louie's fault and partly the fault of the people I'd called about the heat. They called back and said they would not be able to come. At all. Period. Humph. They did give me some suggestions of who else I might call, and the first one I called seemed to think he might be able to come, if not tomorrow, then sometime next week. Schlepping the space heater back and forth is getting old, and besides, it gets quite cold in the bathroom overnight. I need heat there.


I decided not to go to choir. I still don't feel good. It snowed all night long, and while there wasn't any more after noon, the weather said that it is going to snow tonight...and tomorrow...and Sunday...and maybe Monday, too. So I bailed. I hate to do it, but I doubt I'll be going anywhere this weekend anyway. Between my stuffy head and the Hazardous Weather warning the NWS has out (which the Weather Underground doesn't agree with, by the way), I'm pretty sure I'll be staying home. 


Like I said, it snowed all night and there was another squall around 11:30. The high temperature was 28, between 5:00 and 7:00 this evening, but it's now gone down to 22 on its way south. There wasn't much, if any, wind. It was mostly cloudy all day, although, as is usual with lake effect snows, there were a few peaks of almost-sunshine in the morning. It's very humid, which is no doubt why my hip, shoulder and tail are so sore.


The guys were rather feisty this morning, and they both got some lap time. When I went to get my dinner, I found Louie cuddled up on the pile of old nightgowns outside the door to the studio. When I had to take down the names of the repair people, Louie was on my lap, and he did not want to leave. He had his claws hooked in my clothes so much that I had a terrible time getting him off my lap. And they didn't get any canned food this morning, which made them grumpy.


So that was my day, and I need to sleep again. It's a cold, dark and probably snowy night in the field.


December 20

I think it was a bit after 11:00 when I turned out the light last night, and I'm going to be even later tonight, I think. I slept well, and I didn't mess up my hip too badly. it's a matter of finding the right way to lie before I fall asleep. I've tended to curl up with my top knee on the bed, and rotating my right hip that far forward and around doesn't work anymore. By lying almost on my back, I managed not to rotate my hip very much. I'm not going to say it wasn't sore when I got up, but I could walk and sit. 


I didn't do anything much. There were the usual changes to the bulletins, but not as many as I would have thought. Ron came by around 5:00, I think, with three packages. Two I knew about, including my replacement rice cooker, but the third was a nice present from Debbie - or I think it was Debbie. She didn't sign the card, but I recognize her handwriting. She's getting old, too.


I called the heating people again, but it doesn't sound hopeful that I'll get my bathroom warmed up any time soon. They are so busy they are turning people away. Typical winter, I guess.


The weather was sort of nondescript. it was windy overnight, but the wind died down during the day. The temperature hung in around 19. It was dark and cloudy, and between 11:00 and noon there was a snow squall that was light enough that it didn't register at the weather station. Sort of blah.


The guys slept. I think Grayson got some lap time - I don't remember - and in the middle of the afternoon, Louie jumped onto my lap, curled up in a ball (which is unusual for him) and went to sleep until Ron came and I had to move him. 


So it was another very quiet day, and now I have to wash my hair. It's a cold, dark night in the field, and we're supposed to get some more snow overnight and tomorrow.


December 19

It was 10:30 when I turned out the light, but I didn't sleep very well. I went right to sleep, but after the first time I woke up, I couldn't go back to sleep for two or three hours. Once I did, I was lying on my left side and I didn't manage to get my right hip in the right place, so when I got up the next time, I could hardly walk because of the pain. It's why I'm wearing underpants to bed these days. It was excruciating. I slept fairly well after that, and I think it was about 9:30 when I finally got up. it took me all the time I knitted to get my hip straightened out, and it has been bothering me all day. I still don't feel good.


The task of the day was bulletins. There are three - Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Monday. The Sunday evening one was the hard one, because I had to manufacture it from scratch, although Pastor helped me a lot there, because he put it together pretty much the way he wanted it. I had some spacing things and some typeface things to do, and I finally found a small graphic that I could put on the front. This one couldn't be a half-sheet. I think we will be singing about a dozen carols, interspersed with readings, the sermon, the prayers and so forth. I sent them out around 3:00 and so far I haven't heard from anybody, so hopefully, everything is OK. It looked nice to me, but we'll see. They had to be done early this week, because they have to be printed Thursday morning.


That was about all I did. I was doing something, sometime after 3;00, when all of a sudden the generator fired up. Huh? That's the one disadvantage of the UPS. Unless I have a light on, I never know when there's been a power failure. This one probably lasted a couple of hours. All the clocks are screwed up, as well as all my settings on the countertop oven. Sigh. 


The reason for the power outage was the wind. It was breezy all night, but it picked up abruptly around 9:00 this morning. The highest gusts recorded before the power failure were 41 mph. It was mostly from the north, with just enough west that it was whistling through the gap in the patio door. The temperature got up to 37 between 9:00 and 11:00 before it started to go down. It's 25 now, on its way down. When I got up this morning, there was actually some blue sky and sunshine, albeit intermittent. And then between 1:30 and 1:45, I looked out and we were having a blizzard! That only lasted about five minutes and it cleared up, but it was neat.


The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie came around when I was in the middle of the bulletins and even though he complained bitterly, I couldn't let him on my lap because I can't type with a cat, especially as big a cat as he is, on my lap.


So that was another quiet day. I don't feel good, and I intend to be in bed early again tonight. It's a cold, windy night in the field, and it's supposed to get colder and maybe snow a bit. 


December 18

Well. I was in bed by 9:00 last night, and I didn't get up until 10:00 this morning. I should have had enough sleep, but I felt just as lousy when i got up as I did when I went to bed. I think I have some kind of sinus infection, which has left me with a stuffy, achy head. I'm not hungry, which is a good sign that I'm unwell.


So I didn't do much. I knitted two repeats and now I really am on the second half. I boxed up the dead rice cooker and carted it off to the Gas Lite (I've been spelling it wrong, according to the telephone directory). I got my mail, which included a lot of bills and the usual pleas for money. I fed the cats. And that was it. I still feel lousy. I won't be so early tonight, but I'm going to forgo the bath again.


The weather was sort of blah, except for the temperature. The high was 35, which is a whole lot warmer than it's been lately. There wasn't any wind. However, we are under another winter weather advisory, and radar shows it should be snowing, although I haven't looked out to see if that's actually happening.


The cats slept. Louie got some lap time, until i had to pee, but Grayson didn't, for some reason. Louie was a real pest while I was knitting. His food bowls were nearly empty, and he wanted them filled! I ignored him then, but not only did he get kibble, he got canned food, of a variety that he likes, or at least he likes the gravy. What a pest he can be! Grayson is much more patient. He will try to be cute, but I think he knows that eventually I'll feed him and he doesn't feel that he has to holler at me.


So that was my quiet day and now I'm going up to the north end and sleep and hope that helps me get over whatever it is I have. It's a dark, cloudy and possibly snowy night in the field.


December 17

I was later last night than I wanted to be; I got up to the north end at a semi-reasonable hour, but I wanted the bathroom to be warm when I took my bath and I just zoned out after i filled the pill dispensers. I'm going to run out of a couple of important pills on Jan 1, but I'll be damned if I'll pay donut hole prices for them, so I may not have them for a few days. Oh, the joys of being old and poor...


I got up around 10:00 and I knitted two repeats. I've now done 25, which is just about half. That took me 12 days, so I guess I won't be done by Christmas. That's good, because before I can start my next project (or what I thought was my next project) I have to get around to the back of the desk and find most of the parts of my swift. Grayson nudged it onto the floor back there a while ago, and if you saw that floor...Sigh. I do have a new pattern for a scarf that I want to do (Estonian, with nupps), and we'll see what I do next. I have enough yarn left from the Shetland square to knit it, and that yarn doesn't need to be wound into balls. So we'll see. I have at least another two weeks before I have to worry about that.


I don't feel good. I didn't intend to go to church today because of the Sunday School thing, so I didn't do much. However, I was walking toward one of the bathrooms when I looked out the window and saw a package by the breezeway door. Oh, no! My ink came, and the idiot just left it! Aarrrggghh!! I had planned to go out into the breezeway anyway, because I needed the pills that came a while ago (hopefully, that's why I've had so many accidents) and I need some more TP. However, I felt so cruddy that I just sat until it was getting dark and I had to pee before I did anything.


It turned out that there were two flat packages and they were between the doors, but now I'm wondering what happens to ink cartridges when they freeze (if they froze). I'm thawing them out in the house now, so we'll see. I need them, because the old ones won't print, just like the Indian guy said. While I was there, I got my pills together and brought some TP into the house. I'm hoping it wasn't so cold between the doors that the ink froze, but I don't know. The breezeway seldom gets below freezing, and it's a wonderful, very large ice box in the winter.


So that was all I did, and my back and my knees were so horribly sore, I doubt I could have done any more.


The weather has abated a bit. The high temperature was 28, there was almost no wind, and I doubt there was even a snow flurry. So the Sunday I don't go to church, it wouldn't have been bad. Sigh. It was dark and cloudy all day.


The guys slept. Grayson felt particularly good this morning and he was attacking all the rugs in the bathroom before he got under my feet with the robe over us. He got some lap time and so did Louie, although I had to move Louie, because I had to get up and do something. Their favorite food bowl is empty (although there is some on the floor) and they've been telling me all day that they want something good to eat. Maybe I was better off when all they wanted was one kind of food...


So that was it. Nothing happened. Now it's a dark, cold night in the field and I'm doing this early, because I intend to be in bed soon. I have to wait until the weekly backup goes, but then I'll be gone, too.


December 16

I didn't want to move last night, so it was 1:30 before I got to bed. I slept very well, and I got up around 11:00. I knitted two repeats.


Otherwise, I washed. There wasn't a lot to do, because I did the bottoms earlier in the week, but there were socks and then I had an accident, so I washed what I was wearing, just so it would be clean. I had peed all over my bed socks, so I washed those, too. The load of whites is in the washer now, ready to be dried, and I will start that when I go up to the north end.


I filled the pill dispensers at the south end and I will do the others when I go north.


My nice rice cooker is going back for replacement. When I tried to start it tonight, it died. Zapped the circuit breaker. Grr. I'm getting another one, but I'm not sure I want anything that is so sensitive that it may decide to fail at any moment. The other problem is getting it sent back. UPS can't get down the road now, so I will have to leave it at the Gas LIte and hope the UPS driver is smart enough to know where to pick it up.


Oh, and my printer has decided not to print, so I guess it did manage to use all the ink. Eighty-two pages? Geez! I know they put small cartridges in the printer when it's shipped, but this one says it's an XL, so what's going on is difficult to say. Sigh. So I won't be able to print anything until I get the new cartridges, which I guess will be about Wednesday or so. I don't know about you, but I always seem to want to print when I can't.


The weather was nondescript. The temperature was steady around 19 all afternoon, and there were a few snow squalls. There wasn't any wind. They canceled the winter storm advisory before it expired. It was dark and gloomy all day. Yuck.


The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie didn't, because he came around when Grayson was on my lap and he was not about to move.


So that was my quiet day. I am going up to the north end early tonight, to fill pill dispensers and knit a repeat on the shawl. I am not going to church tomorrow (Sunday School program - yuck!) so it doesn't matter much when I go to bed. I absolutely must wash my hair, but I want to get the bathroom as warm as I can before I do.


Now it's a dark, cold night in the field, but I think the snow is over for a while.


December 15

I got to bed around 11:00 last night and I didn't get up until 11:00 this morning, with three wakeups, so I should have gotten enough sleep. I still don't feel good. When I got up, my back and hips were so sore I could hardly move.


I took the space heater up to the bathroom last night, but I didn't get to run it long enough to do much then. The cord isn't long enough for me to put it on the floor (all the plugs are above the counter). This morning, I turned it on when I got up, and it was 77 (by the thermostat) when I finally turned it off. That's a nice temperature for a bathroom, in my opinion.


However, I was there for a couple of hours. I knitted two repeats of the edging, and it looks like it will take me 40 minutes, minimum, to do one repeat. even though there are only about 500 stitches, there are enough turns and other manipulations that I can't get up the speed I could on the body of the shawl. I've done 21 repeats, so I have 30 more to go. I am nearing the center, though, and that's nice to know.


I didn't do much of anything else. I brought in the rice cooker, set it up and cooked rice tonight. It does a good job, although there was some browning (not that there wasn't when I cooked it in a pot). The rice is done nicely and quite dry. My beefs are with the measuring cup they include and the directions. The cup is only 6 oz., and they don't give any actual measurements for water - only "fill to the appropriate line on the pot" which I can't see without a flashlight. Grr. So I will have to experiment. I'll figure it out. I don't know why people do things like that. It's so stupid - do they think any cook can't measure properly with a measuring cup or two?


It was a blah day weatherwise. The temperature went down from the middle 20s during the night to the upper teens this afternoon. The wind was from the north in the 15-25 mph range. The humidity was around 70%. It snowed on and off all day, but not a lot. It was dark and dull all day.


The guys slept. When I got to the bathroom this morning, both guys were sleeping in front of the toilet on the rug I put there. I don't know why; it wasn't any warmer than anyplace else in there. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie didn't because I was doing something when he came around. 


So that was my day, and I still don't feel good, so I'm going to try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight and sleep long and hard. It's hard, because I have to make several trips back and forth to get everything from the south end to the north end. Now it's a cold, dark and probably snowy night in the field. Oh, and December is half over!!


December 14

I was reading last night, and I like that story, so it was a really ridiculous hour before I got to bed, and then I couldn't get to sleep. I got up around 10:00, I think, because after I got up for the second time, I couldn't go back to sleep, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep. I think I was probably cold.


Sometime in the middle of the night, I finally realized that I don't have any heat in my bathroom. The floor is like ice and the temperature is around 67. So when I got to the studio, I called the mechanical people and they will come when they can. I know they're busy, because everybody's heating systems seem to fail in this weather, and at least I have heat in most of my house, and hot water. I will schlep the space heater up to the bathroom tonight, and that should warm everything up except for the floor. I think only ice is colder than ceramic tile when it's cold. I'm sure this is happening because i have only one more payment on my repairs for last summer.


I washed the load of bottoms that has been sitting in the hallway, and that was about all I did. I don't know if it was because I was cold or something else, but I hurt all over today, so there was no question of whether I could do anything.


It actually was a pretty nice day for early winter. I can't give you a complete picture, because for some reason the weather station was down from midnight until 11:00. The temperature was nearly steady around 21 and there wasn't much wind. We actually had a bit of sunshine! The sky wasn't completely clear, but the sun did shine in. Since it's less than 20 above the southern horizon at noon, it wasn't much, and it didn't last long, but it was so nice to see and to see some blue skies. Of course, there were also a few snowflakes coming down, and we are under a winter storm advisory for tonight and tomorrow, and it's snowing at the airport. Sigh. But it was nice to see what sunshine and blue sky looks like.


The guys were sleepy. They both got some lap time. I wondered why Louie wasn't sleeping in the bathroom on the rug, and now I know; usually, even if it's cool there, the floor under the rug is warm. That isn't happening now. I have a rug in front of the toilet and when I sit there for any length of time, I put my robe over my lap. Grayson liked to curl up between my legs when I do that, so that my warmth warms him up. He would know more about that than Louie does.


So it was a very quiet day. I should wash my hair tonight, but I'm going to let it go and to to bed. I don't think even with the space heater I could warm it up enough in the bathroom. So i will just look greasy. I'm not going anywhere.


Now it's a cold, dark night in the field, and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


December 13

It was a nice, quiet day. I got to bed around 11:30, and it was 10:00 before I got up. I slept well, except that when I first lay down, I was having palpitations. That hasn't happened much lately, and I don't know what brought it on, except that I do seem to be fighting a bug, and maybe that's it. I had them again after breakfast today, but now they've stopped. Anyway, it didn't keep me awake for long.


I knitted two repeats, and I've now done 18 (out of 51), so I'm making some progress. it will be slow, and I obviously won't be done by Christmas, but that's all right. If I get to go to church, there are other things to wear.


I washed the last two loads of fleece, including a robe, the parka I've been wearing, and my heavy outdoor jacket. I have a whole bunch of stuff that needs new elastic in the cuffs, and in all of it, the old elastic was serged into the turn, so it will require some major surgery to replace it. That annoys me. If the elastic isn't meant to be replaced, it should last. Very little of it is these days, though. So my pile of mending is getting bigger all the time. I finally picked up all the t-pins that fell off the table along with everything else a couple of weeks ago. I kept putting my cane down on them and sliding, so I thought I'd better remove that hazard. I have some work to do on that table before I can block any more shawls. 


The weather wasn't very good. When I got up it was snowing rather hard and it kept it up for most of the afternoon, although none of my weather sources thought that would happen. We've had 0.10" of liquid precip, which translates into several inches of snow, I think. I know it was pretty heavy at times. It was cold overnight, but the temperature began to rise around 4:00 and it was about 22 all afternoon. The wind started out from the south, but it soon veered around to the east and it's moving north now. It got as strong as 26 mph with 32 mph gusts. I was just as glad to stay in. I'm happy to say that the glaze of ice that was over the harbor seems to have broken up quite a bit, so maybe we're safe from the drifts for a while longer.


The guys slept, mostly. Grayson slept on me. He was full of something tonight, playing with a piece of wax paper that somehow ended up under the dining room table. Louie mostly slept, and he didn't come to get on my lap. 


So it was a very quiet day, and I like that. I don't feel good; I have the Shari syndrome, which sometimes turns into something and sometimes doesn't. So I'm sleeping a lot and otherwise doing even less than usual, which has caused me to go through two sets of bottoms today, because I just did not want to move.


Oh, I finally figured out how to sit down in the laundry room to fold clothes. If I put the chair close to the window, I can use it and the seat to push myself up rather easily. That's good, because I have a lot of stuff to fold and I'll have more tomorrow when I have to do a load of bottoms and Saturday when I do the rest of the wash. We make do...


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


December 12

I had my usual trouble with going to take my bath, but it was only about 1:00 when I got to bed. The lake was howling loudly and that helped put me to sleep. I was up several times, of course. I was awake around 8:30, but that didn't feel like enough sleep, so I didn't get up until around 10:30, I think. I think that because I only knitted two repeats, and it was 11:30 when i finished. I didn't look carefully at the clock when I got up.


I had a long conversation with Mary Ann and decided not to go to choir, and I washed one load of fleece tops, which should be dry by now. I have another load to go. I more or less live in polar fleece in the winter, and nearly all my tops are dirty, or at least well-used.


The weather was nondescript. The wind was strong all night long, and the lake was howling, but it was beginning to wind down by the time I got up. It was snowing when I got up, too, and there were a few small squalls during the day, but the main event was over. The temperature was nearly steady around 15. The wind has been from the north, but it is now nearly calm and the temperature is down to 12. It's going to be a cold night in the field. It was dark and cloudy all day. The humidity has been around 80%, which means I hurt.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me until Louie came by, and then Louie slept on me until I had to stand up to turn on the radio. Grayson felt really good last night, which means he was beating up on every rug he could get his claws into. He is a funny little cat. i don't think Louie ever really learned how to play, and he thinks Grayson is crazy. Grayson was even chasing his tail last night!


So that was a very quiet day and now it's a dark, frigid night in the field, but at least there isn't any wind.


December 11

I was in bed by 9:00, but I had a restless night. I slept between wakeups, but I was up about every hour and a half for a while. I finally settled down, and I got up around 9;00 this morning. I felt much better, but I feel like I'm fighting a bug, so I don't feel so good.


I knitted three repeats, and I spliced in a new ball of yarn, which should get me to the end. I've done 14 repeats out of 51, so I have a way to go.


Otherwise, I ended up not doing much. I was going to wash a load of fleece, but I got sidetracked. Much as I like my new printer, it has been annoying me, because it doesn't seem to be able to tell how much ink is left in the cartridges. When i had to shut it down last week, it said they were half full, which I know was wrong, but when I turned it back on, it said the cartridges were almost empty, and in fact it started giving me warnings about the black one (which went away after a while, by the way). So I decided to complain. I found a way to get some technical support - actually two ways - and I decided to use chat.


Well. The first session I started did not go well. There were extremely long pauses, and finally, I sat for 40 minutes without a response - during which I went to the powder room finally - and when I came back, the tech had ended the session. So, not to be deterred, i started another session. This one went better, except that nothing the guy did fixed my problem. I did discover that I have only printed 82 pages since I got the printer, which confirms my feeling that I do not want to sign up for HP's automatic ink replacement service. Anyway, the tech decided the next thing to do was to replace all the cartridges. Well, fine, except that when I gave him my shipping address, Copper Harbor isn't in his data base, so he couldn't complete the order. Oh, sigh. I thought we were over that.


Sometime later, I got a phone call from his manager or something, who (as I suspected) was an Indian and had such a poor accent and spoke so quickly that I almost could not understand what he was saying. Anyway, I guess I have new cartridges on the way, which may get here anytime between Wednesday and a week from Wednesday. Not that it's critical. The printer still works. The thing is, new cartridges will cost me around $100 and I don't have that much money right now, so getting new ones should postpone my need to buy new ones. 


I'm very disappointed. After my problems with the old printer, I thought this one might be better, but it looks like it might not be. The only good thing is that the problems are turning up now and it's still under warranty, so if they can't be fixed, they will replace the printer (or at least the guy said so). HP products used to be top quality, and I'm so disappointed that they don't seem to be anymore.


Anyway, that took almost 3 hours, so I didn't do anything else. 


The weather was better off ignored. It was a bit warmer than yesterday. The temperature spiked up to 27 around 3:30, right as the wind shifted around to the north and rose to 32 mph with gusts to 41 mph, which triggered an off-hours report. At 6:00, it was 36 mph with 54 (!) mph gusts. It's died down minimally since then, but it's still gale force. Since it's from the north, I don't feel it in the studio, but I noticed when I went to the powder room that the lake is howling. Until the wind shifted, it had been snowing fairly hard all day, but I don't know how much accumulation there was. I hadn't paid much attention until I was talking to Ron, but when I looked out the windows, this end of the harbor is frozen, out to about the lighthouse dock. I'm sure you couldn't walk on it, but there was snow on the ice. Ah, winter!


I was talking to Ron about replacing the shovel I broke last spring. I hope he knows what to look for, but I think I'll be sticking close to home for the foreseeable future.


The guys slept. Grayson got to sit on me, but Louie came around when I was chatting with HP, so he couldn't sit, much to his displeasure. Grayson bugged me until I gave him a piece of my chicken, and he ate most of it. I hate to do that to him, but he was pawing at me with his claws out, and I know he likes chicken. He didn't want much. I still think it's more that he wants to know I'll give him something, rather than that he really wants to eat it.


So that was a quiet day, and tonight I am going to wash my hair, just in case I go out tomorrow, although that doesn't look likely. Now it's a cold, dark and very windy night in the field. Ah, winter!

December 10

Ugh. I am tired, and it's not that I was so late getting to bed. I turned out the light at 9:45, which was only 15 minutes later than I was aiming for. I slept well, but with a couple of wakeup. I was asleep when the alarm went off - for once, it was something fast with trumpets - and I didn't want to get up. Ugh. 


I did, and I moved at a good pace, so I left the house at 9:00. It was a good thing. The roads were miserable, snow covered and, I think, slippery. It took a full hour to get to Laurium. Not only were the roads bad, there was a lot of blowing snow, especially around other cars. I had to keep quite a distance behind any cars in front of me, just so I could see the road, and as usual, we were all driving down the middle of the road. It was not fun.


Church was good, although there weren't very many people there. Not surprising, since there is a ton of snow there and most of them are old. We cleaned up and I had a conversation with Pastor - which I'm glad I did, because somebody had asked me to add someone to the prayer list but didn't tell him. 


They were decorating the church today, and there was a potluck beforehand (of course - you can't get Lutherans together for anything without food!) and I was invited strongly to stay, but I was already tired, so I came home. I was glad I didn't stay. If anything, the roads were worse coming back, although I'm not quite sure how long it took me to get here. By the time I did, I was exhausted.


I was so exhausted that in the middle of the afternoon, i actually did fall asleep in my chair. I'm old. I did it. Louie woke me up, coming up beside me and mewing. Thanks, Louie. I did not need that.


I have been trying to get to Mary Ann since Thursday, and she finally called back late today. Everything is all right - they were just busy and Bill didn't want to drive with the road the way they are. I can't blame them. He was a big-rig driver long enough that he doesn't need that anymore. 


The weather wasn't actually that bad, just about the same as it's been for the past week. Oddly enough, the high temperature, 25, was at 5:00 this morning and it has been going down slowly since. The official temperature has been around 17 for most of the afternoon, although it's been 14 here and it's now 12. There was a lot of wind before noon, with 34 mph gusts around 10:00, but it's been from the north or northeast, so I didn't notice it. There were some snow squalls, especially around Lake Medora, and I think we had a couple of inches of accumulation overnight, but not much today. 


There has been an awful lot of snow from Phoenix south, and especially around Calumet. The piles are getting too high at the corners and it's hard to see around them. Well, we'll get ours, too, I'm sure. I'm just grateful (and I'm sure Ron is, too) that we haven't had more here.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me and after Louie woke me up, he sat on me for quite a while and got a tummy rub, although he didn't sleep and he was much too wiggly. As usual, they didn't want me to leave and they were glad to see me come home. Grayson has been nattering about something to eat, but he has stuff to eat, just not what he wants. He wanted some of my lamb chop tonight, too, even though I know he wouldn't have eaten it. He is turning into a real snot.


So that was my day, and I am so tired! I will be off to the north end shortly, and I expect to sleep long and hard. It's another cold, dark night in the field.


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 01/01/18 09:54 PM