A View From the Field








January. 2018


January 31

Some months seem short and some months seem long. For some reason, this January has seemed almost interminable to me, so I'm glad it's finally over. Winter is half over, too, although you wouldn't know it from the weather.


I was a bit later getting to bed last night, mostly because I sat in the bathroom too long, but it was only 10:45 when I turned out the light. I slept well, with the usual wakeups, and i actually got up around 8:15, I think. I haven't done that in a long time, and it was actually before sunrise, which is against my principals.


I knitted another repeat, and I now have only three left to go - well, a bit less than three. I've been working the first four rows of the next repeat, because they have nupps, and then when i start the next day, I have six easy rows to do before the next nupps. Anyway, I'm getting done with this. It's been a fun, short project, and the result is very pretty. I may actually have to block it, just so I can show it off. I don't have a reason to wear a scarf like that, so I suppose I'll just put it away where the moths won't get it.


I didn't do anything much else. There were a couple of changes to the bulletin, not serious. One of them had to do with apostrophes, which led me to believe the person who wrote it was someone's twin, when it was actually that he has twin sisters. Miss Black taught me everything i didn't already know about apostrophes in tenth grade, but evidently they don't teach grammar anymore and this isn't the first time I've seen things that meant something different from what was intended. My feeling is, if you're going to write anything longer than two words, you need to know what the rules are, but maybe I'm just OCD about it.


 I still don't feel good. My head hurts at intervals. I will say my joints weren't quite as sore as they were yesterday, which was good, but I feel sort of blah and sort of down. I guess the answer to the question I asked the last time I had this sinus thing is, I feel depressed because I'm sick. There isn't any other reason I can see.


Of course it was cloudy all night and into the morning, so I didn't get to see the eclipse, although I suspect it was darker before dawn than it should have been at full moon. The high temperature was 30, at 11:00 AM. It was very windy, and the highest wind was at noon, with gusts of 45 mph from the north northwest. It was extremely windy all afternoon, while the temperature went steadily down. Officially, it's now 19 with north winds of 30 mph with 42 mph gusts. Brr! However, even though our winter weather advisory has started, we haven't had any snow yet. Just wait. With the temperature going down and the wind going up, it's going to be hairy around here tonight and tomorrow.


Dave came around with the tractor this afternoon and cleared out the driveway. It wasn't bad, although there was a small but interesting drift about 10' from the garage. I suppose his thought was to try to keep ahead of it, and i agree with him. If I could work the tractor, I would do the same thing, even though blowing snow in the face of that wind must have been horrible. And while the garage door would open with the clicker, I had to go out to the garage and hold down the switch to make it come down. Probably something to do with the snow.


The guys slept, of course. Grayson got some lap time a couple of times, but Louie didn't. He did sleep with me for part of the night last night, including right after I went to bed, when he settled down on the pillow, right in my face. Later, he moved down by my knees and then he spent the rest of the night on the floor on the rug. When he curls up beside the pillow, he purrs and purrs, which is nice, but he was almost sitting on my head, and I didn't like that very well. It took Louie a long time to get over his last owner, but I think he really likes me now. Grayson liked me from the time Dawn introduced me to him, and he hasn't changed his mind. As for me, it took me some time to take to both of them, although Grayson was easier, but now they're my guys and we get along just fine. It's just that there were so many others...


So now January is over and we're a month closer to the end of winter. Other things being equal, I don't dislike winter, although this one is colder and windier than most. But then, I don't have to get out on days like this and move snow. We've had 53" of snow this month, which is a little under average, and 180" for the season, which puts us on a path to an average snow year, unless something weird happens in the next three months. However, in spite of the warm days we've had this month, it's still been a much colder and windier season than usual, so one never knows.


Now it's a dark, windy and potentially snowy night in the field. Brr.


January 30

i was so tired last night that i didn't wash my hair, unfortunately, but I was in bed by 10:15. I slept well, with the usual wakeups, and I got up around 9:45, I think. I was awake around 8:00 and i could have gotten up, but it didn't feel right, so I didn't. I knitted, and I finished the 11th repeat, so I'm still making good progress. The yarn for the Shetland shawl should be at the post office, but if I get it, I'll be tempted to start it, so I can wait until Friday or so.


I didn't do anything, of course. I don't feel very robust, My head hurts and my throat is scratchy. I got the bulletin information late this afternoon and I just got that sent out - maybe right this time, but at least early enough that I can make any changes that may be necessary.


While I was knitting, the gas company came around and filled my tanks, so now I should be good until March, at least. That's a good thing, because winter isn't over yet.


The weather was nondescript. The temperature was around 12 for most of the day, but after about 4:00 it started to rise and it's now 21. The wind has started to rise, too, and it is now around 16 mph with 27 mph gusts from the south. Radar shows that it should be snowing, but I haven't turned on the lights so I don't know about that. The forecast for the next several days is dire - lots of snow. Well, we've had our January thaw, and it's now almost February. It was dark and dismal all day, except for about five minutes this morning when the sun almost came out.


The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie only came around while Grayson was on my lap, so he didn't get any. He was so sweet this morning. I was knitting, with Grayson under the lap robe, when Louie came and sat down under the heat lamp and sat there for the longest time, purring. I don't know why. 


It seems pretty clear we won't get to see anything of the eclipse. Too bad, because it's supposed to be a good one, but I've seen lunar eclipses before, including at least one around this time of year when I nearly froze my tail off sitting outside on the driveway on Champine.


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


January 29

Another quiet day in the field.


I got to bed around 10:30 last night, and I didn't get up until about 9:00 this morning, but I was wakeful for three or four hours in the middle of the night - I don't know why - so I actually didn't get that much sleep. I had to take a throat lozenge in the middle of the night, and my problem may be that I'm fighting a sinus infection again. It has all the signs, and I don't feel very good. Sigh.


I didn't use all my extra time very well. I knitted a complete repeat on the scarf. I think the yarn for the Shetland shawl came today, but I forgot to call and ask about it. I'll probably use the yarn I have for the shawl made for it anyway. I almost got the dishwasher ready to run tonight and I made rice. When that thing works, it works really well, and I think I've finally gotten the right amount of water, at least for brown rice. It's so nice to pour everything in the pot, push a button and whenever I get around to it, there is the rice! Besides, it's cooked about the same way every time, or it will be once I get the amount of water right.


The weather was frigid again. The temperature was 15 at midnight and it's 12 (officially) now, so it went down very slowly all day. My thermometer says 10, so I suspect the proximity of the weather station to the pumping station is skewing the report from there. The wind was from the north, between 6 and 16 mph. It snowed lightly off and on all day. The camera hung up around 5:30, but there wasn't much to see anyway.


The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie didn't. Louie slept for most of the night on the rug by the side of the bed, which makes getting into and out of bed rather interesting for me, but not as bad as when he's in bed with me. I think possibly Grayson slept under the bed, but I'm not sure about that.


I finally called the heating people to get on their list to try to fix my bathroom problem, but it may not be until later in the spring that they get here. I wish they could come sooner. It's cold in there. On the other hand, I'm trying to gather the money to pay my taxes, so I don't have anything to pay them, so I guess it's better. I've decided I can't get the kitchen floor fixed; I don't have the $500 deductible I'd need. It's probably better anyway, because it's likely to happen again. 


So it was another quiet day. I embroidered on the cow while the talking was going on. i really do not like this project, and it's getting to the point where I may actually abandon it, although I don't like to do that when I'm almost half done. This is the first kit I've tried in a long time, and it's likely to be the last, although I have a couple of smaller ones that may not have the same problems. Even though the design looked nice, I should have known better.


Now it's a very cold, dark, snowy night in the field and I may even try to wash my hair tonight. My scalp is getting bad.


January 28

Oh, it was another one of those Sundays.


I actually got to bed when I wanted to - at 9:30 - and I slept well, although I was up several times. It was rather nice. We're near enough to full moon that it was quite light, even with all the clouds, at least until the moon set. Unfortunately, I was up about 5:15, so I was just getting deeply asleep again when the alarm went off, but I got up anyway. 


I ate my breakfast and did some surfing, and I inspected the weather reports, but it sounded like I could go. Then, when I was about to get up and get dressed, I looked outside - and I couldn't see beyond the lighthouse. I certainly couldn't see the mountain, even though it was light. I debated for a while, but I just did not want to face the snowy, windy roads. I'm just chicken. So I went back to bed and I didn't get up until about 10:30.


I knitted, of course, but that was all I did do. I don't feel especially good today. I've had an on-and-off sinus headache all day and that always leaves me dragging.


The snow continued on and off all day. It never snowed really hard, but it didn't let up, either. I guess it sort of has now, but it's hard to tell when it's dark. Every time I thought it might have stopped, I'd look out and there would be big flakes coming down again. The temperature was close to steady. It was 22 at midnight and it's 16 now. The wind was from the north or north-northeast, and for most of the day it was under 15 mph. It was dark and gloomy.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me for quite a while, but when Louie came up, he wanted to stomp all over me rather than settling down, so I booted him off. He is so heavy that his little pointy feet hurt my thighs anyway, and when he's stomping around, it's very annoying.


So that was another extremely quiet day. Somebody once complained when I said it was a "nothing day" but that's really what it was. I did nothing and nothing happened. Nothing day. Now it's a dark, cold night in the field, but I think it may have stopped snowing at least for a while.


January 27

Well. I was in bed at 10:30 last night and I could hardly believe it. I slept as well as possible after eating fish - I was up a lot - and I got up around 9:15. I knitted, of course, and I did my surfing, and that was about it. I can't say I felt exactly robust.


Oh, the rice cooker is still working, but I'm still fiddling with the right amount of water.


Ron just emailed me to tell me that the tractor is back in business, which is a good thing, because we're supposed to get some snow tonight and tomorrow and I don't know if our plow truck driver will be around. Well, for the next six weeks or so, we'll probably need both of them.


The weather today was sort of icky. When I got up, it looked like there had been a few snow flurries, but nothing serious, but the wind was gusting from the northwest, and it continued all day, with gusts up to 35 mph. The temperature started out at 41 at midnight, and it is now 31 and on its way down. And there is snow in the forecast. It was extremely dark and dreary all day, but I don't think there was any more snow. 


The guys slept, of course. They felt pretty feisty this morning, but they slept for most of the afternoon. They both got some serious lap time. Louie got a bit upset when I started trying to comb out some of his knots. He just can't (or won't) try to wash himself south of his hips, and his fur is so soft that it mats like crazy. I can't believe it doesn't hurt him when he walks, but he does NOT want me to try to get the clumps out. I should try to cut some of the big ones, but I'm always afraid I'll cut too close and nick his skin, which is really soft and thin. I suppose I could get him shaved, but not while it's still winter, and I don't think it's worth the trauma to both of us to try to get him down to the vet. So far, Grayson seems to be able to groom himself properly, but he's a couple of years younger than Louie, and I'm afraid he'll have the same problem when he gets old.


I do, too. In the morning when I brush my hair, there are frequently big tangles in it, but I can work them out with a bit of patience.


So it was a very quiet day, and now I need to totter up to the north end and get ready for tomorrow, in the hopes that I can get to church. We'll see. It's a dark, windy night in the field, but it's not too cold. Just wait.


January 26

I ended up getting to bed about the same time as the night before, but this time it was because I completely zoned out in the bathroom. I went up to the north end at a semi-reasonable hour, but then I started thinking about something from my extreme youth and time just passed. Sigh.


I got up around 9:45 anyway and I knitted 22 rows, I think. Anyway, I'm halfway through the 8th repeat, which means that I'm past the halfway point. It keeps surprising me how much faster a project goes when there aren't very many stitches in each row.


I didn't do much else, I guess. I went to the post office, where at last the 1099s have begun to come in. I've promised myself I'll get my taxes in to the accountant as soon as possible after I get everything together, not like last year, when I ignored the whole thing until April 1.


Among the mail was a letter from the mortgage company saying they had not gotten my insurance information and they would be buying insurance and charging me for it. What??? Of course they did. I am so disappointed. I haven't had any trouble with this mortgage company before, but clearly they've gone greedy. I had to go and pick up my Schwan's order (where they had an item they said they were out of, but they did not have an item that was on sale...oh my). So when I got back from that, I called my insurance agent and I'm sure they faxed the information right away. 


While I had the agent on the phone, I asked about the floor in the kitchen, and now all I have to do is get an estimate of the cost to fix it. I don't remember if I've talked about that. Of course you know that there was water all over the floor for almost a month before I finally turned it off. I knew there was some damage, but when it finally dried up, the boards shrank, and now there are 1/8" gaps between most of the boards in the kitchen and stains at the end of some boards about 5' into the great room. It's really ugly, and besides, stuff is already getting in the gaps. It's a real mess, and it makes me sad, because the floor was so pretty. So I will have to try to find somebody who would do the work and get an estimate for how much it might cost to fix it. We'll see what happens. It isn't going to be cheap.


The weather was strange for January. The high temperature was 39 (just an hour ago), and it was breezy to windy. The highest wind gusts were around 11:00, at 43 mph from the southwest. The wind has died down since, but it's going to be ugly tonight and tomorrow, with drizzle and fog and then snow...ugh. There was some sunshine today, which was nice. I can't tell you how much, because the camera hung up around 1:45 this afternoon. It was quite sunny then, with some blue sky showing. There was a pretty nice sunset, too, but there were dark clouds in the west.


Grayson was happy to come in when I went up to the north end last night, but he is still acting like he owns the place. And I found out who was responsible for the enhanced avalanche I have in the studio now, because Louie apparently wants to get over toward the patio door. I had a terrible time convincing him that he doesn't want to do that, and I suppose he'll try again after I go to bed. I guess I like it better when they sleep all the time.


So I guess that was all of my day. When I backed out of the garage, I hit the house a bit harder than I like and dented a couple of pieces of siding, but I don't think I cracked them. I have replacements, but I need somebody to put them in, and there's no point in doing it until spring comes, because I may do it again. Sigh.


Now it's a warm, dark night in the field, and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...after all, it's still January.


January 25

I wasn't as late last night as the night before, but I wasn't early. I had to wash my hair, which looked like somebody had poured a bottle of oil over my head, and that took some time. I slept well, and I got up around 11:30, I think. I knitted my 20 rows and I really like this thing. Of course, I love natural white alpaca lace yarn in any project and this one is really pretty. I folded the underwear and put it away, so I'm good with that for a month or so.


I ate a late lunch and I had to trot up to the north end when I had an accident. Fortunately, all I had to change was my underwear. About the time that happened, I suddenly realized I hadn't done the bulletin. Ack!!! Double ack!!!


So as soon as I got back to the studio, I got at that, and I got it together in half an hour or so. It's getting fairly easy most weeks to just make the changes from the last week. Every so often there are a few more things to change, like last week with the confirmation, and I rely on my sources to get the information, but I like to think I'm in the swing of it now.


Good thing, too, because we actually went to choir and Bible Class tonight! Wowee!! I like to be alone, and I'm content to be alone, but every so often even I need to be with other people, and it had been too long. 


Choir was good, with everybody there. Bible Study was good, too. It seems we didn't miss much. Our next study is going to be the Augsburg Confession and its Apology, which set down the basis for our faith - Christ alone, Scripture alone, Faith alone (I don't remember the right order). I was so happy to at least begin the study, and I really hope we can get there for this whole 13 weeks. It's going to be a good one. Weather, be good!


i didn't get home until 10:00, and I was happy to hear that they've decided to truncate choir practice and start Bible study at 7:00. That should make it a bit earlier.


Oh, and when we came back, there had apparently been an isolated snow shower down on the covered road south of the Mountain Lodge that didn't hit further south and didn't hit here. Weird.


Actually, without that, the weather was pretty good. We had some sunshine today, and I had to wear my sunglasses on the way south - good thing I got them fixed. The high temperature was 28 and the wind was under 10 mph. It was sort of partly sunny for most of the day. and early in the afternoon, there was some blue sky. Being outdoors wasn't bad at all.


The guys felt good. They were wrestling while I was in the bathroom, and while I was folding laundry, I had one of my vests on my lap with the straps hanging down and Louie wanted to play with it. He didn't get to, because he has claws and besides, he wants to chew on any string he sees. Right now, Grayson is out in the breezeway. I had to go out to turn off the lights, and when I did, he rocketed out the door. I hope he'll be ready to come in when I go to bed, because he'll be out all night if he doesn't. After he went out, Louie went around calling. I think he thinks Grayson is as crazy as I do.


So that was my day. I am really tired, with not enough sleep and the long drive and i don't think I'll be up very long. It's a cold dark night in the field, but I think I detected a bit of moonlight on the snow when I closed the garage door. We must seize the moment.


January 24

So I did it again. This really must stop, and maybe I can stop it tonight. I can't stay up all night and sleep all day, because the rest of the world doesn't do that.


So I got up around 11:00 and knitted and finished another repeat, and that was all I did. I had to wash some sweats - don't ask - and the load of white stuff is ready to be folded. I can do that tomorrow. I was late enough that there wasn't much time to do anything but my surfing. While the talking was going on, I embroidered, and I finished most of the white bed sheet (that Mary seems to have over her head) and started on her hands. Soon I'll be able to start the cow. Frankly, the cow is nicer looking than Mary, who I still say looks stoned. Anyway, I'm getting to hate this thing, but not so much I want to abandon it.


The weather was nondescript. The high temperature was 25 briefly, and the wind was calm for most of the day. Several times I looked out the window to see flakes coming down, but it didn't amount to anything except between 10:00 and 11:00 this morning, when the weather station reported some liquid precip. The garage roof is covered again, but not with more than an inch of new stuff. It was dark and cloudy and dull all day, except for a short period around 5:00 PM when the sun peeked out for a few minutes. The sunset was rather nice, but it was because there were dark clouds over in the southwest.


When I got to the kitchen this morning, there were guys out in the bay fishing again. All I can figure is that the bottom is very lumpy at this end of the harbor and in the deep spots. there may be some fish trying to survive the winter. If I remember where the deep spots are, that's where they have their huts and things. It probably wasn't too bad out there today, but it was cold enough that I imagine they got chilled, unless the alcohol content of their blood was too high to freeze...


The guys slept. Grayson got to sleep on me for a while this afternoon, but I was doing something when Louie came by, so I ignored him when he picked my sleeve. Most of the time, he is not a demanding cat at all, so he went away. Poor Louie. I'll have to make it up to him sometime. When I got up this morning, he had a nice scratch on his nose, the first time that's happened in quite a while. While Grayson starts their tussles at least half the time, Louie gets carried away rather easily, and Grayson has very sharp claws. It's a wonder Louie doesn't have a scratch on his nose all the time. Obviously that happened while I was completely out this morning.


So that was another quiet day. Now I have to wash my hair and try to get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour tonight. It looks like we may even get to church tomorrow, but we'll see. Mary Ann is my outside reporter, and she'll tell me if it's slippery. 


It's a dark, cold night in the field, and at least one weather report said we might have a combination of snow and fog...


January 23

Today is my parents' 78th wedding anniversary. I always try to mark it.


I didn't want to go to bed last night again. I have no idea why, but I just sat for a ridiculous length of time before I finally went up to the north end. I slept well with only a couple of wakeups, but I was so exhausted that it wasn't surprising. Then I knitted for an hour and a half, so it wasn't surprising that I was late enough that I didn't do anything. That happens.


Late this afternoon, Walter ran the plow around my driveway, but I don't think there was much new snow. They only had about 3" at Delaware.


The weather calmed down overnight, i think, although it's still quite windy. There were gusts up to 33 mph early in the morning, and the wind is still around 15 mph, from the northeast. The lake was singing loudly, which was interesting, because I think there is ice around the shore now. It didn't seem to matter. The temperature went down from midnight again, and it was around 19 all day. It snowed from around 9:00 last night until 4:00 this morning, but it didn't snow hard. So that winter weather thingie was a dud this time. It was dark and dull all day.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me for part of the afternoon, but I haven't seen Louie since breakfast. They've been mixing it up when I'm in the bathroom, but they always do that, and if I threaten to drop a crochet hook on the tile, they go away. The noise doesn't bother Grayson, but it terrifies Louie. I suspect that before I got him, he got some stuff dropped on him by his first owner. I try hard not to do that, but he's suspicious now, which means I can get him to stop what he's doing.


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


January 22

Well, I diddled around again last night and it was around 12:30 when I got to bed. I thought I slept well, but in the middle of the afternoon, I almost fell asleep, so clearly I needed more than I got overnight. I got up around 9:15.


I knitted, and I'm halfway through the fifth repeat. I'm going to have plenty of yarn, unless I can't calculate at all, so I can go merrily ahead and make the scarf as long as I want it. I spliced in the new ball this morning, although I turned out that I didn't need to splice. Well, it makes a seamless join with no threads going through the stitches.


I didn't do anything else except the last load of clothes, which I forgot, so it will have to dry overnight. This is the underwear and other white stuff. It seems like I last washed five weeks ago, so it was time.


The weather was - well, I ignored it. The high temperature was at midnight, 28, and it went down slowly all day, until now it's 24. The wind was from the east all day and it's now risen to 25 mph with 33 mph gusts. It was very dark and dreary all day. So far our blizzard has been a complete dud. There hasn't even been any drizzle. That may change overnight, but the advisory is now only until 6:00 AM tomorrow. They all punted on this one.


The guys slept. Grayson got a whole lot of lap time. He kept going away and coming back. They got something they really like for breakfast today and it's almost gone already. Grayson had to tell me how much he likes it by going and eating some every time I went into the kitchen. I haven't seen Louie since this morning, but he ate so much, I imagine he's been sleeping it off ever since. It was a good thing to do on such a yucky day.


So it was quiet. I embroidered again this afternoon, as much as my fingers could stand. I'm mostly doing white again, on the thing that covers Mary that looks like a bed sheet. After that, I can do the top part of the cow and then I can go on to the lower half of the stocking. That won't be fun. There is a lot of hay both in the manger and on the floor, and it is mostly in little vertical strings that I just hate to stitch. Oh, well. I'm getting there.


Now it's a dark, cold, windy night in the field, and there might even be a little new snow tomorrow. Or not.


January 21

I got to bed about when I wanted to last night, amazingly enough. So apparently sometimes I can still move a bit. I slept so-so. I was up several times, and after I was up around 4:30, it seems like I just dozed until around 5:45. I guess I had to pee, but I managed to string it out until 6:20 or so before I finally gave in and got up. 


I ate my breakfast and did my surfing. When I got up, I could see the lights of town down the harbor, but around 7:45, I looked out and I couldn't see anything! This wasn't snow, it was fog. The temperature was 29 and the fog was so thick I couldn't see across the little bay. I considered the situation, and I just chickened out. It seemed to me that the combination of 29 and thick fog was likely to result in very slippery roads. Mary Ann says it wasn't bad, but I was just too timid to try to find out. So, instead of getting ready for church, I went back to bed and I didn't get up until 10:30. I was very sorry not to go - I hate to commit to something and then back out - but I'm getting so timid in my old age!


I didn't do anything much for the rest of the day. I finished the load of clothes in the washer, finally, and it's in the dryer now, but I have another load to do tomorrow.


The fog was still around when it got dark, although it had lifted some, so that I could see down the harbor but I couldn't see the mountain. The high temperature was 34, briefly around 1:00 PM. It's down to 28 now. There wasn't any wind, of course. It was actually brighter than I would have thought, but it was dull and cloudy all day. Yuck.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me as much as I'd let him. Louie came around once, but Grayson was already on my lap. 


So that was a useless day. Now it's a dark, cloudy, foggy night in the field, and they still say the snow is coming, but it's going to be warmer than they originally thought and they don't think there will be as much snow as they thought. I wish they could give us better forecasts...


January 20

Well, instead of going to bed early, I didn't. Don't ask my why, but as you know, I do that frequently. Tonight will be different. I got to bed about 12:30. Sigh.


I got up around 9:00, I think. I didn't want to, but I had to pee and I knew if I didn't get up, I wouldn't in time to go to Laurium, so I did. I was early enough that I finished the third repeat. Half a repeat - 14 rows - is a nice short knit. I can do more if I have more time.


I started a load of laundry, but it's still in the washer, and I don't have time to finish it tonight.


In spite of a few glitches, like forgetting to put on my watch, I left only about 10 minutes later than my target time. It didn't matter. While our road is snow-covered, and US-41 between here and Copper Harbor is sort of slushy, most of the rest of the ride was on bare pavement. There were a few areas of snow or slush, and much of the covered road was wet, from Delaware south, it was either dry or nearly dry. It felt so good to be driving on a reasonable road again, and I made good time. I did have to pass one guy who was in no hurry, but that frequently happens.


Then there was Pat's parking lot. While the lanes were just wet, there was 4" to 6" of slush in the parking places, not exactly what I like to walk on! I did my shopping, although I spent a bit more than I hoped. And a very nice woman helped me get my cart out to the car and braced me while I got into it. Now I have eggs and bread to last for two to three weeks. Those were the important things, although I got a bit more lettuce and some other stuff I might have been able to do without - and JD, of course.


I was a couple of minutes late getting to church. When I got there, the parking lot had a lot of cars in it, including one that was parked crosswise across the handicap spot that I usually use, so I just pulled up beside the door. That turned out to be a good thing, because I was able to clear the slush enough that I had no trouble getting in when I came out. We got the altar set up for tomorrow, although, as frequently seems to happen to us, Deanna had to change all the candles.


We have the neatest candles i have ever seen. The outside is a tube with a follower on it (that's the thing on top), but inside is a spring and we put a real, beeswax candle into the tube. The spring keeps it moving up, so that it always lights, and the tube means the candles are always the same length. Besides, we can use shorter candles, rather than the 24" ones my other churches used, and they're cheaper.


I managed to fill two whole trays (71 cups) without spilling, and then on the last one, I went spastic and got wine all over everything. Geez! We got it cleaned up, though. My goal is to fill two trays (72 cups) without spilling. Maybe I'll be able to do that before I have to stop.


I got home around 3:30, and after I got the groceries onto the platform and the serious stuff in the fridge, I sort of collapsed. I'm sorry to say that driving that distance, especially when the roads aren't the best, is beginning to leave me exhausted. I have recovered a bit, though, and while the bottom half of my bod isn't doing well, I think I can make it into bed.


It was another day of January thaw. The high temperature, 40, was at midnight and for a couple of hours after that. It was windy all night, too, with gusts up to 33 mph from the north. The wind died down later in the night, and there was almost no wind all day. The temperature when I was out was around 36. There was a big dark cloud over the lake, but when I got south of Delaware, it was sunny! Weird. It was nice to see the sunshine, though. They are still saying we will be getting hammered Monday night and Tuesday, though.


I think the guys slept. Grayson slept on me as long as I'd let him, both before I left and after I got home. Louie wanted to sit after I got home, but I can only hold one cat at a time, and Grayson wasn't moving.


So that was my day. Now it's time to totter up to the north end and take my bath, so I can get to bed at a reasonable hour and get up in time to go to church tomorrow. It sounds like the morning, anyway, will be all right, although there may be some ice on the roads. After that, it's iffy. Now it's a sort of warm, cloudy night in the field.


January 19

When I wrote last night, I forgot something that happened Wednesday night. I mentioned that I had been out in the garage to bring in my boxes. I went about my business, and when I went out into the kitchen on my way to the north end, I glanced out the door to the breezeway - and there was a little gray and white face looking in, looking rather sad! How in the world Grayson got out, or when, I do not know. It was probably when I was bringing in the rice cooker, which is rather large. So I opened the door, and he was very glad to run in. Little snot. I thought I'd cured him of that.


Anyway, last night I got to bed around 12:30 and I slept very well, although my kidneys seemed to be working overtime and I was awakened several times having to pee badly. Didn't keep me awake, though. I did take off the parka and I didn't wear my bed socks, but it's been warmer. At least once when I was up, I could see a dim star or two, but that didn't last long.


I actually got up around 9:15, but then, I said I slept very well. It was just as well because my second least-favorite span call came at 9:45, which is illegal. Even the collection company doesn't call before 10:00. I don't have any idea who that is - it says it's a cell phone, but I get a call nearly every day. I must report that one. It used to be that you could do a reverse phone lookup, but now all those sites want you to pay, and I don't want to do that. One problem is, they ask you to pay, and then they tell you they don't have the information, which I think is another scam.


Anyway, I knitted for an hour and a half and started the third repeat, so I'm making progress. It's a pretty thing, rather lacier and more delicate than the model.


I didn't do much else, because there was a whole lot to read today. I've been getting an email from MSN every week for the past few months, and the trouble is, they have articles that are fun to read, so I do. Or lists...or something else. There was other stuff. I went to the post office, where there were a couple of bills - not all of them - and my pills that I didn't actually need yet, but now I should be good for at least a couple of months. Somehow, the north end pills have gotten decoupled from the south end pills, which is fine, especially when I go into the donut hole. Next week the gax stuff should begin to come in. This year I think I'm set up to get my taxes in early, or I hope so.


I unpacked the rice cooker and tested it before I even washed the inner pot. I turned it on and off several times and plugged it in and unplugged it a couple of times. Then, after I washed the pot, I made rice. It seems to be working, so maybe the third time (and a different source) is the charm. Tomorrow I will try it on my beans and rice and see how that works, and I would like to try my barbecued pork chops as a slow-cooker recipe. It's my new toy, and it seems to be working, so I want to play with it. I got the rice the way I like it by cooking it with a bit more water than they said. It certainly does that well. Oh, and I added a very small amount of salt to the water, which makes it taste much better to me.


The weather was very nondescript but very warm. The high temperature was (and is) 43, which is 2 warmer than it was last year on this date and a new high. Thankfully, it didn't seem to make the road slippery, but there was ice on US-41. it was a bit breezy late this morning, but nearly calm all afternoon. It was dark and dreary all day. Now they are saying the big storm will be coming in on Monday and Tuesday, but they keep pushing it back. Hey, it's only January, and we've only had 168" of snow so far. This is our January thaw, and it should be colder next week.


The guys slept, mostly. Grayson got a long time on my lap, but when Louie came by, I was busy, so he didn't get any. He did chase Grayson out of where he wanted to sleep, so he laid down on the pile of flannel nighties outside the studio door. That's a better place anyway. They got canned fish this morning, so they were pretty happy.


I embroidered through the talking again, sort of here and there, but I did a lot more white. I'm not sure what they think Mary has draped over her, but it looks like a bed sheet. Or at least, it's that big. I'm making progress, but it's slow. I couldn't play games today because my hand hurt after just a little while.


So that was another quiet day, and I'm writing this so early that I think I'll go to bed early, too, and get geared up for Sunday. The only thing I really want to hear on the radio is right before 1:00, and I don't want to stay up that late. It's a warm, dark night in the field.


January 18

I was actually a pretty good girl last night. I went up to the north end at a sort of reasonable hour, and after I took my bath, I was in bed by 1:00. I slept very well, thank you. I was up several times, of course, but I didn't have any night sweats. So I suppose my problem the night before was that I had to pee badly enough that my poor old bod was working hard to keep it all in. It doesn't know that I wear an incontinent pad to bed these days and I probably will until it warms up next spring. Oh, the inexpressible joys of getting old! I hate to wear underpants to bed, but it beats peeing all over myself. And the floor.


Anyway, I slept well. I was awakened at 10:15 by my least favorite spam call, but I managed to doze until 11:00 or so. That call is from a collection agency that is notorious. Possibly I could turn it off if I called them back, but I absolutely refuse to acknowledge that they've called me. People like that are the scum of the earth and I refuse to acknowledge them at all. I had a lot of problems with them last year, you may recall, but toward the end of the year, the calls stopped for a while. I know absolutely that they have the wrong number; I just refuse to even tell them I know they exist. They can't call before 10:00, so every so often, they will call about 10:15, usually when I'm sleeping later. Fortunately, I haven't completely lost my ability to tell when a phone call is going to come in, so I wasn't completely asleep, and these days, they only let the phone ring 4 times before they hang up, so I was able to doze a while longer.


I was afraid it was Mary Ann, but she knows better than to call me so early, and if she did, she would leave a message. 


So I got up and I knitted about 20 rows. This thing is going to go fairly fast, so when I can do it, I will have to get the yarn for my next project. Now I'm dithering between the pale blue, which is what I wanted to do the Shetland shawl in (even though it's not traditional) and off-white in my most favorite yarn. Weil, I have the better part of a week to decide. Or I could just use the yarn I have for the pattern that calls for it...or I could try to return the yarn. Decisions, decisions! I have time to think about it.


Mary Ann did eventually call and we decided to wait until 4:00, but when we talked again, we decided against going south. it was warm enough today that it was slippery, and she said it was slimy when she was out with the dogs. I don't like to drive in weather like that, especially on the twisty roads we have, when you may never know what you may find around the next curve. So we stayed home and I got dressed for no reason. 


Actually, it felt good to be wearing a bra again for a change. I'll be doing that again tomorrow, because I have to go to the post office, and Saturday, I have to go south, both to shop and to meet Deanna at church. Next week I can slack off again. You who don't need to wear bras don't know what you're missing. If I had two good sides, I could probably get away without one, at least when I'm wearing my sweats and fleece, but I don't like to go out that way. Even though I'm not that big, it's obvious that I'm flatter on one side than the other, and while it doesn't bother me - that was the first kind of cancer I beat - I'm afraid it would bother people I meet and I don't want to make them uncomfortable.


THe weather was warm and blah. The high temperature was 34, at 4:00 PM, but it was above freezing (officially, that is) after 2:00 PM. There wasn't much wind. It was dark and dull all day but if there was any precip, it didn't register at the weather station. I don't think there was. My problem with weather like this is that it's actually slipperier when it's warm than it is when it's very cold and you can never tell where the slippery spots may be. I was glad when Mary Ann said she didn't want to go.


The guys slept. Grayson got a couple of nice long sits on my lap, although both times, I had to move him because I had to run to the bathroom. I don't know why that always happens; it isn't usually the time he wants to sit. I don't think Louie tried to come up today. They are both happy, because it was nice and warm around the house.


So that was my quiet day. I paid a bill and rearranged some of my funds and did my surfing. While the talking was going on, I embroidered, mostly white. I think I know what I'm going to do about Mary's eyes, but I have until I start doing the backstitching to decide for sure. I think she should be looking at the baby, like Joseph is. At least she shouldn't be staring off into space like she's stoned. She knew what she was about. At least I'm making progress. Today the places I was having to embroider meant I was forcing my needle a lot and it hurt my hands, but that might have been the humidity, too. It's good that I have more than one craft to do, because my poor arthritic hands can't stand too much of any one of them.


Now it's a warm, dark night in the field and maybe I can get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour?? Oh, that's right - they're playing Beethoven's Choral Fantasy this hour, so I have to wait until that's done. It's one of my favorites.


January 17

I sometimes wonder why it takes me so long to get to bed. I apparently left the south end not long after 10:00 last night, but it was 11:30 before I turned out the light. What was I doing? I have no clue.


I slept, but I was up a number of times - fish again - and every time I woke up, I was having a night sweat. i hope that doesn't mean I'm trying to come down with something. I got up about 10:45.


I knitted, and I'm still wrapping my head around how fast it goes when there are only 56 stitches in a row. So I finished the first repeat of the pattern (28 rows) and knitted a couple more on the second repeat. This is actually a rather simple pattern, with the only hard part being the nupps. Since there are only 16 rows with nupps, and only two in any row, it all means the knitting goes fast. I like that, for a change. I've done enough to see that the pattern is very pretty, and that helps, too. So on I go.


I didn't do a lot today. The bulletin information came through, and I got that out without too much trouble, and I guess it's all right. I had some exchange with Pastor, because we are having a youth confirmation on Sunday and I wanted to get the information about that into the bulletin. He has autism spectrum disorder, and it has taken several years of patient instruction to bring him to this point, but I think (I nope) that everyone wants to rejoice with his family that he has made it so far.


The weather was a rather abrupt turnaround  from what we've been having. It was almost clear and sunny until around 3:30 this afternoon. The temperature spiked up to 34 at 1:00 PM before it dropped back a bit, and it was about 31 since 6:00. It was breezy for most of the day, and the wind has now shifted north with gusts up to 30 mph. It was so nice to see the sunshine and blue skies for a change! I only went out briefly, and it was nice not to be an icicle.


I had to go out because my Walmart order came, and I forgot to tell the delivery guy to honk his horn when he came, so I didn't hear him and he left my boxes about 4' outside the garage door. Getting them inside was, um, interesting. Fortunately, neither of them was too heavy - 13 lbs of cat food and my rice cooker. The cat food is still in the garage, but I brought the rice cooker in to thaw it out before i test it. Wish me luck. I really want this thing, but I want a thing that will work consistently. We'll see tomorrow.


The guys were sleepy. Nobody got any lap time. Grayson went away before i was through eating and while Louie came around twice, I was busy both times. They are still mixing it up fairly often, and I can't tell who is the grumpy one.


So that was my quiet day, and now it's a dark, cloudy but fairly warm night in the field.


January 16

I turned out the light around midnight again, but I didn't sleep very well. Part of it was because I thought maybe I could sleep without the parka and bed socks and my feet were so cold that I couldn't. Once I took care of that, it was better, but I was still wakeful at times. I got up around 9:00.


I knitted the end of the edging and started the body of the scarf. I was afraid that because the yarn is so much thinner than what the pattern calls for, the pattern wouldn't show up, but it does, it's just more open. It's going to be a pretty thing. There are only 61 stitches in a row and the return row is almost all purl, except for when I'm finishing the nupps, so it's going fast. It's going to be very pretty. The only thing is, I don't really need a scarf, so I'm not sure what I'll do with it. Probably just put it in a bag with all the other lace I haven't blocked.


I didn't do much, because there was a whole lot of things to read again today. While the talking was going on, I embroidered again, and I have almost finished the cross stitch in the faces. There is a lot of back stitch, of course, but the background shading is almost all done. I am still not sure what to do about Mary. If I do her eyes the way the pattern says, she looks stoned, but I'm not sure how to change them. I guess I may just fiddle and see what the result is. I still have a lot of white (Mary's head scarf) to do, but I'm getting done with the top half of the stocking. The next big thing, besides the scarf, will be the cow and then I can go on to the bottom. That should be more fun, because besides Baby Jesus in the manger, there is a lamb and two cats, one of which is trying to play with the lamb's ear. I still don't like the colors they used in the faces, but I guess it will look all right. This is not coming out quite like the model picture.


The weather was the usual blah. We had one rather serious snow squall, but the camera hung up around 9:00, so it doesn't show up. Walter came by and plowed out the driveway again, so I'm not stuck here, if I should decide to go out. There was more snow out there than I thought. The temperature was between 21 (at midnight) and 17 (this afternoon), and while it was a bit breezy (around 20 mph) overnight, there wasn't much wind today. It was dark and gloomy, of course, but with all the white out there, it isn't quite as dark as it might be. Pretty soon I'm going to have to change the end time of the camera. The day has lengthened to 8h 54m - a whole 24 minutes since last month - and while it's still dark when the camera wakes up, it isn't when it goes to sleep, especially when it hangs up and i have to reset it.


The guys were sleepy. Today, Louie got some lap time, which he enjoyed by wiggling all over me, but Grayson didn't, for some reason. They have been after each other all day, too, which i guess means that somebody doesn't feel very good, but I can't tell who.


So it was another nice, quiet day and now it's a dark, quiet night in the field.


January 15

I got the pill dispensers filled and I turned out the light right about midnight. I slept well, although I was up several times - fish, you know. Since I was up so much, it was 10:30 before I got up for good, and when I did, I hurt all over - both shoulders, my hip and my head. Sitting and knitting for a couple of hours made most of it better, but my head has hurt off and on all day. It's a sinus thing, I think, plus the low humidity in the house.


I finished the second edging and started the first one. I know, that sounds weird, but since I don't know if I have enough yarn, I am doing it backwards. The instructions say to knit the whole scarf except for the second edging, knit the second edging from the bottom up and graft the two pieces together. I'll do that, but I wanted to make sure I have enough yarn for the second edging, so I did that first. It's the same reason I knit the sleeves of my sweaters first. Since I have very rarely bought a pattern and the yarn for it at the same time, I have had to develop strategies to make sure I can finish a project. I almost always knit my sweaters from the top down, so after I do the yoke, I knit both sleeves and then knit the body of the sweater until I run out of yarn. Works fine. In this case, I know I can finish the scarf, I just don't know how long it will be. I hope it will be at least as long as the instructions say, but we'll just have to see. I stopped knitting right before the six rows of nupps, which I will do tomorrow. The rest of the edging is mostly just garter stitch, which will go fast, so probably I will be able to start the body of the scarf, too. The pattern is called "lily in a leaf" and it is a very pretty one, something quite different from anything else I've done lately. 


And oh, how I do love that yarn! If only it wasn't so expensive and it had more colors! I compared it to the yarn I didn't use for the Shetland shawl, and that yarn is considerably thicker. It's not fingering weight, but it's not really lace weight, either. So I guess I'll just have to use it for the pattern that specifies that yarn and spend some more money for yarn for the Shetland shawl, which I am determined to knit. That's going to be at least six months' worth of knitting...


Speaking of spending money, the bank is jerking around with my credit card, and I don't know how or why. When I checked my available balance on Saturday, it was almost $500. So Sunday I got gas and ordered my rice cooker and some cat food...and the remaining balance was $48! WHAT???? The only explanation I can see is that the gas doesn't have an amount on it, for some weird reason. And today when I checked the balance again, it was $83. I guess I'm going to have to call them and demand an explanation. And get my gas someplace where they do their credit card purchases right. Since Pat's didn't want to allow my loyalty card, it doesn't matter where I get my gas anyway. Geez.


During the talking, I embroidered. I haven't done that in a while, and every time I do, I remember how much I enjoy cross stitch, even when I don't like the pattern very well, which I don't. The picture looks nice, but once I started working it, I do not like the colors they used in a lot of the shading, especially of the faces. And, as I've mentioned before, the way they did Mary's face, she looks stoned. However, I hate to abandon a project, so I'll keep at it. It's the process anyway. Today I abandoned skin and worked on some of the draperies, which make more sense. And I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to wear a thimble again. I think I finished the last angel before my gout was diagnosed, and soon after that, I couldn't find a thimble that would fit my middle finger. The way I stitch, and the thin needles I like to use, mean I have to wear a thimble or stab myself. And I find, by the way, that stitching is less wearing on my hands than knitting. It was lovely, and I didn't want to stop, even to get dinner.


It was a good day to do something like that. It snowed all night and all day, although it was clearly mostly lake effect and it came in waves (or bands, as they call it). Several times, it snowed hard, and since it was a bit warmer than it has been lately, sometimes the flakes were rather large. The high temperature was 24, which is reasonable for winter and not uncomfortable, especially since there was almost no wind. The wind has picked up a bit lately, with 24 mph gusts from the southeast, but for most of the day it was nearly calm. Of course it was dark and dull.


The guys slept. They both got some lap time and they got canned food as well as getting their kibble bowls filled. Mostly they slept, of course.


Can you believe it's the middle of January already???!???!!!!


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


January 14

I got to bed about 9:45, which was pretty good. The only thing is, I forgot to fill the pill dispensers, so I have to do that tonight. I slept well, although I was up several times, the last time, about 5:30, unfortunately. I wasn't going to get up then, and I had just gotten back to sleep when the alarm went off. I didn't want to get up, but I'd promised myself I'd take advantage of the clear weather, so I did.


I ate breakfast and read my devotion and my funnies, and I thought I was doing pretty well with the time. Then I had to curl my hair, and in the middle of that, I had to sit back down for a while. I almost couldn't get my turtleneck over my head - it's been a while since I've worn that one - and then I discovered that it takes a lot of time to pull together three bottom and three top layers, not to mention how long it takes me to struggle into my parka, so I was much later leaving than I wanted to be. Sigh. I was wearing all those layers because I had to get gas, and it was cold outside. See below.


Our road was completely open and nice to drive on, since the snow mat has now filled in all the potholes. US-41 was snow and ice covered and slippery the whole way down, and Laurium does a horrible job clearing their streets, so people who were parked around the little restaurant on First Street were parked in the middle. I ran across several cars on US-41 parked almost in the middle of the road, too, including a couple together where there was a guy on a bicycle, of all things, riding around right in the middle of the road. Some people... I had to pass one guy south of Ahmeek who was going entirely too slow, but on my way home, I passed a couple of people on the other side who were doing the same thing. Yes, it was slippery, but it was not glare ice or anything like it. I like to give those slow people the benefit of the doubt, because I don't know what their tires are like, but in most cases I think it's just that they're too timid, and I still think that if it freaks them out that much to drive in this weather, they should stay home.


We had a relatively good turnout for church, and Pastor's sermon was a good one. He is still battling his cold, but he's getting over it.


I had to pee after church, and Joe helped me into my car, because I had to get gas. I went to the station owned by the Pat's Foods people, and they didn't ask for my loyalty card, which really annoys me, because I have 25 a gallon discount on it. Grr.


Eventually, I got home and put on my sweats, although I left my longjohns on under them, so I've been nice and cozy all afternoon. Now I'm tired, and I have to do those pill dispensers tonight!


The weather was, um, frigid. When I got to the studio with my breakfast, the temperature had been 4, and at 8:00, it was 2. It was fairly clear, though, no doubt one reason it was so cold. I saw a couple of stars before it got light. That was why I put on all the layers; I didn't want to freeze while I was pumping gas. Then I started south, and when I got into the "higher elevations," the temperature dropped to -6 for a while, and it was still -4 when I got to church. Joe said that when he got to Allouez on his way to bring Simon to Sunday School, which would have been before 9:00, it was -10. When we got out of church, it was still -2, and that was after noon. The wind was (and still is) from the southwest, so while I was pumping gas, I could turn my back to it. Longjohns with cords over them, a wool sweater and my nice cozy parka kept me from freezing, but my hands got pretty cold. After I got home, the temperature started to rise here, and it's now a balmy 13. There is still a brisk southwest wind, in the 10-20 mph range, and there is a snow system headed our way. It's snowing at the airport now. It was nice to see the sunshine on my way to church, but the clouds soon started to move in and the later afternoon was dull and gray.


The guys slept. They both wanted to sit on me, but I was doing things, so Grayson didn't get much time and Louie wanted to stomp on my legs, which hurt, so he got booted off. 


So that was a rather nice Sunday. It was good to be in church again, and if the long-term forecast is any good, I may get to go next weekend, too. I hope so, because I'm on altar duty, and I don't like to leave Deanna by herself if I can avoid it. So far, Thursday through Sunday look good. I can hope.


Now it's a cloudy, breezy night in the field, and the snow is coming again. 


January 13

It was a quiet day in the field, where I live...


Sorry, I just couldn't resist that. I always knew Garrison Keillor is a dirty old man (he's more or less a year younger than I am), but he is funny. Don't ask me how I know things like that, but my gut feelings about those things have never been wrong. And now we are at a point where we can't overlook the nasty things just because the person is talented. I think maybe the pendulum has swung a bit too far, but never fear, it will swing back, and I only hope it doesn't swing so far back that it becomes OK to attack a person just because the attacker has status. Yes, I had mine, too, when I was about 13 years old. That's all I ever want to say about it. I don't think there's a woman alive who hasn't had something happen to her, and a lot of men have, too. It's sad, but that's the way the world is. And if we can call out the scumbags who leverage their status to satisfy their cravings, it's a good thing.


Anyway, I was a bit later last night than I wanted to be, but that's normal. I think I turned out the light around 12:30. it was not a good night, and I don't know why. I was up several times, and one time it was because I was lying awake and twitching and I hoped sitting up for a while would help. I guess it did, because after a while I did go back to sleep. I got up around 9:30.


I took a look at the sock last night, and the stitch count is off, so this morning, I started an Estonian scarf from the latest issue of Piecework, which is one of my favorite magazines. I think I have enough yarn left over from the last Shetland shawl to do it, but I'm doing both end borders first, so that I can knit the body until I run out of yarn. I'm happy to say I haven't forgotten how to work nupps, but I've done so many of them, it's in my fingers. It's going to be pretty, and prettier than the model, because the yarn I'm using is much thinner. I know what I want to make the pattern I ripped out from, and I also know what I'll do with the yarn, so all that will keep me busy for another six or eight months. I'm sorry not to be knittng the Shetland shawl, because I really love to knit those, but it will come. I think what little extra I might have in my credit card this month will go to a new rice cooker and a big bag of the guys' favorite kibble. We'll see.


Otherwise, I didn't do much. I did get the pill dispensers at the south end filled, and I found the bottle of my blood thinner that I knew i must have and couldn't locate. That's good, because I had only one pill left in the old bottle (they come in bottles of 30) and my order isn't likely to get here until late next week. I don't think it would be fatal if I didn't take them for a few days, but I'd rather not test that. And besides, it's so expensive, I want to make sure I take every last pill!


In the middle of the afternoon, Walt came by with his truck and cleared the driveway, including the drift in front of my garage door. He said there was an 18" drift across the east-west part of the driveway, but he plowed through. I was happy to meet him, and he seems to be a nice person. Evidently the part for the tractor is here and the guys are working on getting it installed, so by the end of the week, we should have a tractor and blower again. i guess we're in for another quiet week and maybe another thaw, but this is still only the beginning and we need that tractor!


The weather was nondescript. The temperature started out at 5 overnight and has gone up to 12 now. Ooh, a heat wave! The wind has been from the north, in the 15-20 mph range with gusts up to 30 mph, although it's dying down now. We had our usual snow squalls, but they weren't as bad as yesterday. It looks like I might be able to get to church tomorrow. That will be nice, and maybe I can fill up the gas tank, too. When I'm never sure where I'll end up or when, I like to keep the tank filled.


The guys were sleepy. Grayson slept on me for quite a while, until I had to do something. Louie came by, but I was busy then, so he didn't get his. They hibernate in this weather, too.


So see? It was a quiet day in the field, and now it's a frigid, dark night, but I don't think it's snowing, or it wasn't when I looked.


January 12

I was a little earlier last night, and I slept well. I got up around 11:00, I guess. I started knitting, and then I took a good look at what I was doing and decided that while I love the yarn and I love the pattern, the two just do not go together at all. No way. So I pulled out the needle and unraveled the whole thing. Sigh. I think I've located a suitable yarn, but I don't think I can buy it this month - I'll have to check that further. I'm not sure what I'll do with the yarn, which is lovely, but I'll find something. I was disappointed, but there was no use in plowing ahead when I know for a fact that I'll never be happy with the result. What I will do until I get more yarn, I'm not sure. I have a scarf pattern that might go in some leftover yarn I have, and maybe I'll start that, or maybe I'll work on a sock. I'll take both of them with me tonight and see how I feel in the morning. And I just discovered that the place I got the yarn has a lot of suggestions for using it, most of which are in books I've already gotten from them. Hmm... But I really wanted to do that Shetland shawl...


That was about all I did. There was a lot of stuff to read today, and it took a while.


The weather has gone back to what it was last week. It snowed all night and all day, more or less hard. The temperature went down from midnight and it was between 5 and 7 all day. The wind was from tne north again, mostly in the 20-25 mph range with gusts up to or over 30 mph. I ignored it. 


So did the guys. They both got some lap time, but I was doing some typing, too, so they couldn't stay long. 


So that was a very quiet day, and as soon as the Schubert finishes, I will be toddling up to the north end and maybe be in bed by a reasonable hour. It's a frigid, snowy night in the field again.


January 11

Grr. I just discovered that the camera hung up around 5:00 PM, It means I will have to reboot, so I'm starting the install of the latest system updates. I'd hoped to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. Grr.


Last night, I didn't want to go to bed at all, so I didn't, and I almost pulled an all-nighter. Once I got to bed, I slept, of course, except that I had two phone calls. The first one was from my favorite spam caller (the debt collector), and it was at 10:15, which is just barely legal. Grr. Grrr.


So I got up around 11:30 and knitted about 8 rows. I didn't want to do more, because it was getting late anyway. When I looked outside, I knew we wouldn't be going to choir, and when Mary Ann called, she said so, too, but we had a nice conversation, as always. 


I was late enough that I didn't have time to do much besides my surfing. There were emails flying all around the web about the weather, and Kathleen called off choir practice, because she's sick and because of the weather. Pastor was thinking of calling off Bible Study, too, if none of us would be there, and I imagine he did - I didn't hear.


The weather. Ah, the weather. According to Mary Ann, it was raining or sleeting this morning, but it soon turned to snow and it's been snowing more or less hard all day. The temperature was 35 all night, but by 11:00 AM it had dropped through freezing, and it's been dropping steadily all afternoon. It's 16 now and I guess it's supposed to get down into single digits overnight. The wind has been rising since the temperature started dropping, and it's now at 30 mph with 38 mph gusts from the north or northeast. Like I said, it snowed all day, and I couldn't see down the harbor. I haven't looked out enough to tell how much accumulation we had, but there were a couple of inches on the roof when I got up this morning. So our respite is over, although this is supposed to stop tomorrow and the weekend is supposed to be frigid but snow-free. We can hope.


The guys slept. They both got some lap time, but I had to move both of them when I had to do something with the keyboard. We all know how to handle this weather.


So that was my quiet day, and this system install doesn't look to be a bad one, although it takes a while to reboot, and then I can go to bed at a reasonable time, I hope. It's an increasingly frigid, windy, snowy night in the field - a good one to hunker down under the comforter and sleep forever.


January 10

I went into zombie mode again last night, so I was late getting to bed and late getting up, and then I think I knitted 10 rows. I'm getting the hang of the pattern, so it's going faster.


I was late enough that I didn't do much of anything but my surfing. i did make rice, the old way. It was a bit too dry in the rice cooker and it's a bit too soggy in the pot, so what I need is someplace in between. A little less water in the pot or a little more in the rice cooker, I guess, but whatever I end up with, I'll have to experiment. I'm waiting for the credit for the rice cooker to come through, and then I think I'm going to get another one, probably from Walmart. They have it for about the same price as Amazon. Mary Ann has a magazine with comparisons of rice cookers and multi cookers, so maybe I'll wait until I get to read that.


All day long, every time I wanted to look at certain websites, I was getting messages from Adobe Flash asking if I wanted to let it run. I haven't changed anything and I checked all the settings and they were correct, so I just finished reinstalling it. I think that fixed it, but we'll see. it just goes to show that stuff does happen to files on computers. Sometimes they don't load right and sometimes the files get corrupted. We just have to live with it.


I was sitting at the computer in the middle of the afternoon when I started hearing crunching noises outside, and when I got up to see what the noise was, I discovered my neighbor with the plow truck was clearing the east-west part of my driveway. I'm very grateful for that. I was afraid that if I got out of my ruts, with the thaw, I would get stuck, and now there's no possibility of that, at least until we get more snow. He did come into the garage, but he didn't stay long enough for me to get out there, so I didn't have a chance to thank him in person. I really appreciate what he did, and he did a beautiful job.


Yes, it's been thawing. The temperature got up to 40, briefly, and it's been over freezing all day. The water was dripping off my eaves. It was breezy until around noon, with gusts up to 34 mph from the southwest, but then the wind died down. There was a bit of sunshine this morning, but it soon got dark and cloudy again. Yuck. However, we are under a Winter Storm Warning, starting at 7:00 tomorrow morning and going through Friday noon, with 5" to 8" of snow. winds, and frigid temps again. I guess we won't be going to choir again, but Kathleen is apparently sick and may call it off anyway, We can practice on Sunday. It looks like I may get to go to church on Sunday, but things change.


The guys slept. They got canned food, but they don't like that variety too much, so they didn't eat much of it. Louie slept with me again, and in fact, when I got up, I guess he was in bed and I threw the covers and the body pillow on top of him, which meant he jumped down with a thud, just to let me know he was there. And he slept on the rug under the heat lamp all the time I was knitting.


So that was it. I have to wash my hair tonight. Now it's a warm (for January), dark night in the field and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...that is, after the rain and sleet go away. Yuck.


January 9

Write, Shari, write!


I actually made it into bed by about 11:30 last night. I went up to the north end around 10:30, I think, so I don't know what took me so long, but then, I do tend to go into zombie mode frequently. I slept quite well, and I got up around 9:00, I think. I knitted six rows, and I've started the second repeat. I had less trouble with the yarn tangling today, which was a relief. Maybe I'm over that.


It was a rather busy day for me. I finally got to the post office to mail my outgoing letters, and a whole bunch of stuff came in yesterday, a lot of it junk or no longer of interest. I didn't have any trouble getting out of our road. I was fearful that the wind had covered up the tracks I made in the driveway yesterday, but it hadn't, so I didn't have much trouble there, either. There is a drift in the east-west part of the driveway, but it's only 8" deep or so, and I could follow the tracks I made coming in yesterday.


When I got back, I called to suspend my paper subscription until later in the spring. In the winter, I get out so seldom that my paper box gets overfull, and I may not get my papers for a couple of weeks. It's better just to stop getting it for a while. I miss the flyers from Pat's, but that's not a good reason to spend all that money. For what we get, the local paper is very expensive, but I like to try to keep up with the news when I can get the paper in a timely manner. 


Then I called and canceled my subscription to LogMeIn. i love that program, but I don't think I used it at all last year (I haven't been away from home) and they've raised the price to $350 a year, which is far too expensive for me. Especially since when I started using it, it was free. Oh, how things have changed! They would have lowered the price to $250, but I still can't justify it. So from now on, if by any chance I have to go away from home, you just won't get any journals until I get back. Sorry. Maybe I won't have to go away.


I got the information for the bulletin, and I just finished putting together the first draft of that and sending it out. This is when I wish I could still code. Most of the motions I have to go through are the same every week, and it could be coded into a program, which would be a fun thing to do, but I don't know C++ and I don't know the Windows environment, so I have to do it manually. It doesn't usually take that long, though. I misspelled "January" last week, and nobody caught it, so I guess a few typos won't bother anybody.


The weather was lovely. The high temperature has risen to 31, with almost no wind from the southwest until lately. It was clear to partly cloudy all day, and there was a whole lot of sunshine. There was an ominous looking cloud looming up from the southwest at sunset, though, and tomorrow and Thursday are  supposed to be nasty. It was only around 24 when I was out, but I wasn't actually outside and the sunshine was lovely.


The guys mostly slept. Grayson nattered at me until I filled his bowl with his favorite dry food. Louie slept with me for most of the night, but this time, he did get out when I got up, so I didn't have to try to arrange myself around him.


I forgot to mention last night that I got at my sunglasses, and after some difficulty, I got the lens back into the frame and tightened down. It turned out that the screw didn't come completely out; it just came unscrewed. So I had a screw loose...not the first time... It was good to have them working when I was out today. Bright sunshine on clean, white snow can be actually painful.


When I got to the kitchen this morning, there were a couple of ice huts out on the harbor, but they went away by about 12:30. I don't know what the allure of this end of the harbor is, but I do know there are some deep trenches where I suppose there are fish and not many people fish here. I can see normal fishing, because that could be very relaxing, but I'm not sure I see what there is in ice fishing. Sitting in a 4'x4' tent staring into a hole in the ice doesn't sound very enticing to me. It can't be very warm, unless it gets too warm.


So that was another very quiet day. I will wash dishes tonight - and the dishwasher isn't overfull! 


Now it's a possibly still partly clear night in the field, but the snow (and rain!) is coming...the snow is coming...


January 8

I didn't want to go to bed last night, for some reason I don't know, so I didn't until around 2:30. I slept well, of course, and I got up around 10:30, I think. I knitted six rows. This pattern is a lot easier than the one I just finished, or at least so far it is, so it's going a bit faster. I will finish the first repeat tomorrow. Which reminds me, I found a couple of mistakes in my version of the chart that have to be fixed, just to keep me straight.


I wanted to run out to the post office early to get my bills in the outgoing mail, so I did that, although I had to go back into the powder room with my parka on for a few minutes. And when I came around the curve into the culverts, there were two cars, a van and a tow truck. The van was stuck halfway up the first hill - not far from where i dropped my transmission - and while I watched, the tow truck driver got out and went back to the guys in the other cars. That was clearly going to take a while to clear, so I backed up the hill - yes, I actually backed up the hill, although I got disoriented after I backed into Lake Lily Road. I was so delighted that i didn't back into a snowbank or a tree! Anyway, I turned around and went home. The bills will just have to wait, and I have two other envelopes to send now anyway. 


All I can guess is that some guys were planning to try to ice fish - there was a hut out on the ice - and the guy in the van got stuck when he tried to leave. 


That was about all I did for the rest of the afternoon.


The reason the guy got stuck is that it was warm. The temperature actually got up to 33 between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM, although it was down to 30 when I went out. What some of these turkeys don't understand is that when the temperature is that warm, the snow gets extremely slippery. Believe me, I found that out the past couple of years, and I now have the reputation for getting stuck in snowbanks...and burning out my transmission. It's down to 25 now, but I'm sure it's still slippery out there. It was dark and cloudy all day, and the wind was from the north with gusts up to 41 mph. However, the warmth (relatively, of course) meant it was comfortable in the house for the first time in several weeks. I didn't have to run the space heater at all today, although I did turn on the heat lamp in the bathroom this morning.


The guys slept. Grayson got a little lap time, but I was busy when Louie came by. They were pretty happy, because they got canned food today. They immediately sat down and licked up all the gravy, and then when Grayson went away, Louie licked his bowl again, just to make sure he got all of it.


I didn't mention that in my mail on Saturday was a flyer from the township. We now have complete recycling! I'm so excited! about 80% of my trash has been things like plastic jugs, glass jars and paper that I used to recycle in Grosse Pointe. And they way they do it now, it doesn't have to be separated, so I can throw all that stuff into a trash bag (not an expensive one, like the orange bags!) and haul it off to the collection point. The papers and magazines (and junk mail!) I can put in all those paper bags that have been piling up in the breezeway. I'm so happy we're finally doing this. Having once carefully recycled everything I could, it has really pained me not to be able to do that here. I hope it works out, because it should make buying the orange bags much cheaper for me. Yea!!


So that was my quiet day, and I hope not to be quite as late tonight. i had my nice lamb chop for dinner tonight, and it was about the most tender I've had lately. It was so good!


Now it's a dark, windy but not very cold night in the field. And there was no snow today!


January 7

What with my bath and all, it was almost 1:00 when I got to bed last night. I knew I wouldn't be going to church today, so I slept. And slept. And slept. I think I was up three times, and it was nearly 12:30 when I got up. I'm tired now, and I've been achy and creaky all day, but I feel better than I did.


I knitted six rows with few problems. There was almost another tangle, but I fixed that one easily, and the hank seems to be mostly straight now. This yarn is hard to handle, but it is very soft and I like the color a lot. I think part of my problem on the smaller needles was that the base row, which is crochet, is very tight, but I think it will be fine once I undo that.


I didn't have much time to do anything but my surfing, and I didn't. I'm tired again now, and I don't feel very robust. I have been creaky all day, and it will be nice to lie down and relax again. My head has hurt, too, but sleep will help that. I think I still have the sinus thing.


The weather has warmed up a whole lot - thank goodness! It had gone up to 15 during the night, and it has continued to get warmer all day. Right now it's 24. Radar shows that it's snowing again, and I guess it is, if lightly. It was quite breezy overnight, with gusts up to 28 mph from the west, but the wind died down to under 10 mph during the day. It snowed overnight, too. It was dark and cloudy.


The guys slept. They both got some lap time, although not as much as they wanted.


So it was a quiet day and I'm recovering slowly from yesterday. I was sorry not to get to church - apparently Pastor had a particularly good sermon - but there was no way I was going to be able to function on 5 hours' sleep. Now it's a dark, snowy night in the field, but thankfully, it isn't frigid anymore.


January 6 - The Epiphany of Our Lord

It was 12:40 when I turned out the light last night, for the second night in a row. It may be that  late tonight, too. I guess I won't be going to church tomorrow, but that's all right. I went today.


I slept well and I got up around 10:00. I immediately got at the tangle. During the night I figured out how to attack the last little bit. That's a talent I had all the time I was working. If I just went to bed with a problem, either during the night or the next morning, I would realize how to handle it. Helps a lot. Anyway, it took me a few minutes and several weaves through the knots, but I got it straight and I knitted four rows. If I can keep the tangles away, I should be able to do six or eight rows a day. That's good, because there are 378 rows in the center.


I had quite a number of things to do today, but I did have time to do my surfing. Then i packed up the rice cooker and I thought I packed up my bag for the afternoon. Well. Everything takes longer than I think it will, especially when I have to walk back and forth to the studio for things I forgot, but eventually I got the rice cooker in its packing box and the box in the car (it's quite heavy) and I started off for my afternoon, a good half hour after I'd hoped. I left the package at the store and got my mail and started for town.


It was a rather slow ride. The road was snow or ice covered all the way, but it was so cold that it wasn't exceptionally slippery. The worse problem was that I got behind about eight cars after Allouez, and the guy in front was going rather slowly, I wish those people would realize they should pull over and let everybody else pass them! But they never do.


When I got to Pat's, I discovered that I didn't have my checkbook with me. That was weird, because I thought I'd put it in my small bag before I left, but it wasn't there, nor were the three bills I had to mail. Oh, sigh. At least I had balances in my credit cards! Or my debit card, but I've never used that except at an ATM. I used the credit card.


I did a lot of damage at Pat's, but it wasn't anything I didn't need. I now have cat food and orange juice and eggs and some other things I had used up. I think the only thing I forgot was milk, but I can go without that for a while or get it here. It was one of those trips where I kept getting tangled up in the same people wherever I went in the store, and they were even slower and more confused than I was. There were a lot of people there, too, but at least they had almost all the checkout lanes open.


I was later than I wanted to be, but I got to church about 3:40. That was good, because I really had to pee and I had time to do that. It was so nice to be in church again! The service was my favorite, and while Pastor has a cold, he had a good sermon and he managed to make it through without losing his voice. I sang with the choir, and while I messed up a bit, it was the same mess-up as the people beside me, so I doubt anybody noticed. It was a neat song, too, because it has a wind instrument obbligato, and our organist, Jan, is also a really great clarinet and sax player. I hope everybody enjoyed it. I know I did.


The service started at 4:00, which meant that by the time it was done, the sun had set and it was getting dark. I don't enjoy driving on the snow in the dark, but at least it wasn't snowing. There were, however, a remarkable number of cars going south - even more than in the summer - and I don't know why. It was a slow drive home, but not too difficult. 


Then i had to get everything into the house. That was hard, because by the time I got home, I was exhausted. Some of the stuff - OJ and bread - is still out on the platform, but I did get the rest of it put away. The first thing I did was to bring in a bag of cat food and fill the dish, and the first thing Louie did was to sit down and eat some.


The first thing (or almost the first thing) Grayson did was run out into the breezeway. Snot. I ignored him while I was bringing in the food and cooking my dinner, and after he caught a teensy mouse, he decided I was right: it was too cold out there, and he asked to come in. Then after I ate, he came and slept on my lap for a while, just to let me know there were no hard feelings.


It was cold. The temperature has finally gone up to 14, but it was 9 most of the day, and if the thermometer on my car is at all right, it was down around 5 up in the higher elevations. Fortunately, there was no wind. I was dressed for the out of doors, which meant I nearly melted away in Pat's. It snowed this morning, but around noon it cleared up and it was partly cloudy all afternoon. That was nice, but when I went to put on my sunglasses, I discovered that the screw had come out of one side, and the lens popped out. So I tried the yellow glasses I had never used, and they definitely helped, but I don't like them very much. They aren't very comfortable, for one thing. But it was better than trying to see with the sun on the snow.


I guess the guys were happy to see me, although they seemed mostly happy to have their favorite food again. I got some canned food, too, and that should help. I imagine they slept for most of the day. Louie slept in my bed for most of the night.


So that was my day. Oh - when I got to the studio, I ran the chair over my checkbook and the letters. All I can figure is that I tried to do something stupid like put it in a pocket and it slipped on the floor when I was in a hurry. Thank goodness for that! 


Now radar says it's snowing again, and it's a dark night in the field. And it's late and I have to wash my hair and I'm not even going to try to get up at 6:30 tomorrow.


January 5

It was a weird day and I don't have much to report.


I was a bit later than I'd planned last night because I decided to work on the border chart. I got it right, I think, but it took a while. I slept well. This time, I put on my socks.


I got up around 10:30 and I knitted four rows. I was working on the fifth row when I discovered that I had a tangle in the yarn. That's a problem with working from the hank. So I started to try to untangle it...and it was 5;00 before I finally put it down. it's not completely untangled yet, but I'm working on the last little knot. This yarn tangles worse than any I've seen in quite a while, and it's been very frustrating. I had to stop because it was getting too dark to see, but I probably should have stopped a while earlier. I hope I can finish it either tonight or tomorrow and get on with the knitting. Aarrgghh!!


I had a few things I had to do, but most of them are done. I had a bunch of bills to pay, and that's done. I wanted to try the rice cooker one more time before I send it back, and that didn't get done, although I'll try to do it tonight. 


The weather was better off ignored. It snowed all day, more or less. it was so cold that the crystals were small and I don't think there was much accumulation, but I couldn't see down the harbor at all. The high temperature was 6, now. It was between 4 and 5 all day. It was windy, with gusts up to 33 mph, from the north, so I didn't notice much except that the bathroom was cold.


All the time I was in the bathroom, Louie was on the floor under the heat lamp, sound asleep. I don't know where Grayson was, but he was really glad when I finally moved. They got canned food today, and every time I went into the kitchen, he had to come and eat, I guess to tell me how grateful he was. They are weird little critters.


So that was it. Not the way I'd intended to spend my day, but oh, well. Now it's another frigid, snowy night in the field.


January 4

I got to bed not long after 12:30, with clean hair, but I had some trouble falling asleep. I think it was because my feet felt cold. The neuropathy is weird. I have very little feeling on the surface of my feet, but sometimes I can perceive them as being cold when they really aren't. Finally, I got up and put on my bed socks and that helped enough that I was able to sleep well for the rest of the night, with the usual wakeups, of course. I haven't been eating enough rice lately, so I was up several times. I got up around 10:30.


I knitted six rows, although it took me a long time. I think I'll have to cut back to four, although with this pattern, I could do an odd number, because there is pattern on both sides. I think I could have used an even bigger needle, but I'm not going to rip it out again.


I didn't do anything else. I might have considered going to choir, but Mary Ann talked me out of it, and she was right. It snowed in waves all afternoon, So I sat in my sweats and did nothing. Sigh.


The weather was frigid and snowy - so what else is new? The only strange thing about it is how cold it is. The average high for this date is 26. Well, it was 6, and it was about steady all day. It was breezy overnight, but today it was around 15 mph from the north to northeast. According to the camera, it snowed more than it didn't, but it was light and i doubt there was much accumulation. By the way, we've had 142" so far this season. Of course it was dark and cloudy all day. No wonder we get SAD.


The guys slept. They both got some lap time. Louie has been coming to sit on my lap lately. I think it's because he hasn't been able to sit in his favorite spot in the bathroom because I have my robe on the floor there. I don't mind, but he is big and he takes too long to settle down when he gets on my lap.


So it was another quiet day, and now it's another dark, frigid and snowy night in the field.


January 3

So I almost pulled an all-nighter last night, and there was no reason for it. I just didn't want to move, I guess. As a result, I didn't get up until 1:30 this afternoon and I didn't do anything.


Well, not quite. I was starting to look at my knitting when I decided that the needle I was using was too small. This yarn is a bit thicker than my usual lace-weight, and the holes weren't big enough. So...I hoped I could use the base row, the one that's crocheted onto the needle, but it turned out that the yarn had tangled it and I couldn't. So i unraveled everything and started over from scratch on a bigger needle...or I thought it was a bigger needle. After I finished the first two plain rows, I discovered that I was using the old needle anyway! Eek! Well, it will just have to be a bit tight. Then I decided I'd better do a couple of rows with the right needle, so that I wouldn't start out with the wrong one tomorrow. I was all afternoon at it, but I think things are all right now. I usually have problems with a new pattern at first, but not usually like thls!


That made me so late that I didn't do anything at all except for my surfing, and that was all while the talking was going on. I found I can read while I'm listening to music, but I can't read when somebody is talking (not a surprise). So I alternately listened and turned off my internal hearing aid.


Then while I was getting my dinner together, I had a nasty accident and had to clean up from that. Yuck. I had put a load of dirty sweats in the washer on my way to the kitchen, so I just added my bottoms and washed the whole thing over again. I need to put the fabric softener in, and I guess I'll dry them tomorrow. Yuck.


The weather was better off ignored again. It snowed all night and all day. The temperature went down from midnight, too, and it is now 6, on its way to 0. The wind has been strong, but it's from the north, so while I hear it, it isn't having as much of an effect on the house. I didn't have the heat lamp on in the bathroom, although I should probably have. The highest gusts were 38 mph a while ago. 


Well, so far, it looks like Saturday afternoon will be all right, so I guess I'm aiming for that to do my shopping, and I will go to church while I'm there. They are having an Epiphany service, but it's at 4:00 PM, because there is a ladies' tea that was scheduled before it. I think I can make it, or I hope I can.


The guys slept, of course. Grayson and I were sort of at odds, though. He was acting out today, I think because he is out of his favorite food, and he was bugging me. He did get some lap time, but not a lot. Louie is wherever Louie goes after I get out of the bathroom.


So that was a really nothing day, and I'm still tired. I must wash my hair tonight, so I hope that doesn't keep me from going to bed at a sort of reasonable hour. It's another frigid, snowy night in the field.


January 2

I was later than I hoped, of course, but when I got to the north end, I started looking at my chart for the border and I realized I'd screwed it up, and that took a while. Once I got to bed, I slept well, even though it was extremely noisy around here, as well as being cold. The wind was strong and it was from the northwest, which is the worst direction. Didn't keep me awake, though.


I got up around 9:30 and I cast on the center of the new shawl and knitted six rows. Two of those were plain knitting, but even though the pattern is on both sides, so far this doesn't look like a difficult pattern. At least I'm able to put some sanity markers for every repeat, which will help a whole lot. The yarn looks a bit thicker than I've been using, but not fingering weight, but I love the color, and since it's merino and silk, it's almost as soft as alpaca. I'm knitting from the hank. I just haven't gotten to the back of the desk to find my yarn swift, if I can. So far it's working all right, not more difficult than the end of a ball.


That was all I did. I was a bit late getting to the studio and I just sat and did my surfing, and once I was through with that, I went into zombie mode. Pastor sent the bulletin information for the weekend, and I just finished putting together the bulletins for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is Epiphany and there will be a service in the afternoon, although how many people know about it and will come is another question, since there wasn't any church last Sunday.


The weather was...wintry. It was only partly cloudy last night. When i was up in the middle of the night, the moon was high overhead, and while it was sort of fuzzy, it was shining extremely brightly. However, the wind was ferocious. It was from the northwest, with gusts as high as 36 mph and it was extremely noisy around here. The wind was so noisy that I couldn't hear the lake. Around 11:00 this morning, the wind was dying down and shifting toward the southwest, but then the snow moved in and I haven't seen the other end of the harbor since. The temperature dropped down to 12 around then, but it has since recovered to 19. Gee, a heat wave! It was a good day to ignore all that, and I did. They've corrected our Winter Weather Advisory to a Winter Storm Warning through 5:00 PM tomorrow. I guess we'll just have to hunker down. The food situation is beginning to get dire, but we'll just have to see how it plays out. 


The guys slept, I guess. Grayson slept on me for most of the day, and while Louie came around and picked my arm with his claw, Grayson didn't move so he went away. Hey, guys, my lap is only so big!


So that was my day, and I'm tired again. Maybe I can get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour. Now it's a cold, snowy night in the field.


January 1 - New Year's Day



I just didn't want to go to bed last night. I don't know why I do those things, but it was ridiculously late when I finally turned out the light. I slept well, but not very long. I got up around 10:30.


I didn't do any actual knitting today. There were some things I wanted to do with the charts for the new project, and when I started looking at the directions, with my calculator in hand, I realized that the stitch and row counts are totally screwed up. Square Shetland shawls have to fit together perfectly, so that the start of the border fits the center exactly and the edging repeats fit exactly on the upper part of the border. Well, in the directions, they don't. At all. That book is a piece of junk, and I was even considering picking another pattern to use my pretty pale blue yarn on. I worked on it for an hour and a half and I realized I was going to have to re-chart the border and make it wider in order for everything to fit right. 


So after I ordered the pills I ran out of, which involved calling the prescription service, I sat down with my charting software. It took the rest of the afternoon, and I'm still not sure it's right, but it's a whole lot better than it was originally. I have nice big charts and I can start casting on tomorrow. I will probably be working the calculator some more, but I have a lot of knitting to do before I have to worry about the border, so I can go ahead and knit the center. And if the count is off, it's only off by a couple of stitches, so I can fudge it if I need to - not like the original pattern, which was off a half a repeat of the edging! Not to mention that the directions said "work rows 1-60 of the border pattern" when the chart was 69 rows long...I think I already wrote a review of that book, but I think I should probably try to amend it. What a piece of junk!


So that was how I spent my New Year's day. I cooked a turkey breast in a bag (not from Schwan's) and it turned out well, although it has some herbs in it that I don't care for much. It came with a gravy packet, which was nice. So I had turkey again, and now I have enough for the rest of the week and some lovely sandwiches as well.


The weather was sort of divided into two parts. All night long and until noon, it snowed. Hard. And blew. Hard. The wind was from the north all day, and there were gusts up to 32 mph. This morning, it was hard to tell whether it was snowing or just blowing. After noon, the snow stopped and it got partly cloudy. There was even some nice sunshine off and on. It was nice to have respite, before it starts all over again. The temperature got down to 2 overnight, but the high this afternoon was (is) 19. Gosh, a heat wave!


The guys slept, of course. Grayson got quite a bit of lap time, but not as much as he wanted. He was interested in the turkey, but I let him sniff it up close and he didn't want any. I haven't seen Louie in a while.


So that was it. I'm tired. I didn't get enough sleep last night, but maybe I can do it tonight. If I can get up at a reasonable enough hour, I might just wander down to Calumet and do my shopping tomorrow. I'm getting low on a lot of important stuff. We'll see how that works out. I still have to get myself to bed. 


Now it's a warmish (for January) partly cloudy night in the field and we should be able to see the moon tonight. And it's 2018. Amazing.


Last  updated 02/01/18 11:47 PM