A View From the Field








Previous Months




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 01/15/18 10:13 PM