by grace on September 23, 2017

trying to remember my excuse for being so lax in posting much in august, i looked at photos.  i was pretty busy doing stuff outside.

i power-washed the little dock, and wow, what a difference.

lester approved.

while i did that, kevin installed a portable toilet on the boat.  he also bought a privacy curtain!  he thinks of everything.  he replace the big bench seat with a smaller one, which he was in the middle of attaching here.

i’d borrowed amy & jim’s new power washer because ours broke and at some point i realized that i was burning the hose.  so dumb. at least it didn’t burn all the way through plus luckily for some reason kevin had an extra hose that he could swap for it.  it’s always something.

meanwhile…another beautiful evening.

i set the old bench seat amongst the chairs around our fire pit.  very comfortable, a couch by the water.

i found this great stand-up to give to kevin for his birthday, and added the caption.  i set it up the night before his birthday, and it’s funny how many times princess leia has startled me.  i assumed he’d take her down to his man cave, but she’s sitting in the living room right now.

a handful of the crocosmia bulbs i planted flowered.  they didn’t do that well, but i assume they’ll come up in more abundance next year.  everything is suddenly burnt up because we’ve had a last bit of ridiculous summer heat, plus no rain at all.  for example, right now at noon it’s 90 but feels like 94.  it looks a little like fall with leaves on the ground, but feels like the heart of summer.

uh oh..chester decided he was desperate for a mini cupcake.   cats don’t like cupcakes, but nobody told chester.

as i was driving home one day i stopped to look at these fawns, who were taken aback while their mom continue to snack.

lester, with the best view in the house.

amy gave me these beautiful yellow canna lilies – she didn’t know which ones she bought were yellow, and they’re so dazzling and still blooming now.

the last hurrah of our very old and dying peach tree.  we used to get an unbelievable amount of peaches from the two trees, and now the last one has had it.

here’s a “where’s waldo” peach – see it in the upper right corner?  there were actually about five of them, but they all disappeared.  we need to plant something else next year.  i love mimosa trees, but on the other hand it sure was nice to have our very own peaches.

i’m staying inside today because of the ridiculous heat plus i managed to get a cold two days ago.  i’m trying to be very still, hoping  it won’t linger.

like i said, always something.

ok then,

mrs. seeing the end of september lurking hughes.


whew, i can’t say what happened to september, but i finally have a few photos and clips of the great and free show at the grandstand at the IL state fair.

Bev wanted to see herman’s hermits and i figured, why not.  we didn’t have a plan, really, and were hot and tired by the time 7:00 rolled around, but we decided to walk to the grandstand and see what was what.

there wasn’t a huge crowd at first, and we found seats between the grandstand and the track.  pretty good seats!  we felt very young, because most of the audience was quite a bit older.  bev had listened to herman’s hermits when she was a little kid, but he was before my time.

they started performing when peter was only 15!  incredible, because now he’s 70, still getting up there and performing a great show.  his voice is still fantastic, he had lots of energy and was so funny and entertaining.

here’s where we sat for the first half hour.


this is a little part of the first song.  so good!

there were big screens on either side of the stage, which was nice for the people who were farther back, except the screen on one side was partially blocked by some big something.

at one point Peter mentioned that folks in illinois probably wanted to hear country music, and proceeded to sing johnny cash’s “ring of fire.”  he sounded just like him!

of course everybody had their phones out, recording and taking photos.

the show had started at 7:30 and by 8:00 i’d gotten a second wind.  down on the track there wasn’t such a huge crowd and i talked Bev into heading down there.  we managed to easily get about 20 feet from the stage, which was awesome.

this is the only good close-up i have, which is too bad because he was usually smiling.

he sang so many good songs, and then sang one where he inserted the words “illinois state fair” into the lyrics.  very clever, but i don’t know what the song was.

This is near the end of the show,  a bit of “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

Finally, his incredibly popular song “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.”  i haven’ been able to shake this ditty out of my brain ever since we saw the performance. there are worse things that could be stuck there, but i fear that it will never go away.

And this is so funny, here’s the band on the Ed Sullivan show, June 16th, 1965.  I’m sure that he had no idea he’d still be singing it 52 years later.

i am simply amazed by this man’s stamina.  what an entertaining end to our day at the fair!

i came home and told Kevin all about it, and it turns out that kevin is a big fan.  I immediately looked up shows online, and they were going to play at a place called the Indiana Grand Casino & Racetrack on Sept. 16th, our 11th anniversary.  Kevin thought it was a good idea that we take a drive to see them, so that’s just what we did.

eventually i’ll have a few videos up here about that experience; it was a memorable way to spend our anniversary, although the venue wasn’t as good as the big grandstand at the fair.

ok then,

mrs. approaching the end of september although right now it feels like the middle of sweltering august hughes.’




bev and i go to the illinois state fair

by grace on September 2, 2017

i don’t think i’ve been to the fair for a few years.  i didn’t go last year, and we were on vacation the year before that, so that means it’s been at least since 2014.

i love the fair, even though usually when i get there i immediately think “what the hell am i doing here at the fair?”  it’s exhausting and most often hot and sunny.

but i still love it.  i love all the old buildings and looking at all the stuff in the hobbies, arts & crafts building, and i like to watch a bit of a horse show.  i like people-watching and looking at the butter cow.  i’d like to ride the giant slide, although i didn’t do that this year, and haven’t probably done it for quite a while.

there’s always next year.

and then there’s the food…those scrumptious Culler’s fries, served freshly-fried, piping hot, which i douse with vinegar.  mmm, even though right now it’s morning, i could eat some of those fries if i had some.

our first stop at the fair was a doughnut-hole-eating contest.  bev listens to brian and kelly on the radio and they’re her friends, so she wanted to catch up with them.  brian, the guy on the left, said that he really wanted to eat some doughnuts, so it wasn’t really that much of a competition.  the guy on the right just happened to volunteer a the last minute, and he sort of ate fast…but the woman in the middle was all in.  her t-shirt reads “i’m just here for the FOOD,” and she managed to stuff a huge quantity of doughnuts into her mouth.  each contestant had three buckets full, and i think she ate two buckets.  she started dipping them in water, i guess to make them slide down easier.

here’s a fair queen – i think she was the illinois state fair queen, although you never know how many different kinds of queens you might find at the fair.  she might have been the sangamon county fair queen.  it would be funny to walk around the fair wearing a crown.

the tiny ponies!  so cute.  they just happened to pass us by.


this is a new spot called thrillville.  there’s a guy on some kind of motorcycle inside that cage, driving around and around and upside down like crazy.

we wanted to find the chickens – they’d been housed in the air-conditioned Orr building in years prior, but they moved them this year.  we finally found the chicken spot on the map; it was full of chickens and rabbits, but when we got there the chickens were all gone.  somebody told us that they had only been there over the weekend, so next year we’ll have to go to the fair earlier.

but the bunnies were very cute, all of them.



i can’t remember the official name of this giant bunny.

we stopped for a minute to watch the bunny-judging.  the bunny didn’t seem very excited to be poked and prodded and squeezed.


we spent quite a bit of time in the arts & crafts building.  i thought this birdhouse was pretty cool, but it’s hard to get a picture with the glare.

i took a shot of the stuff used to make it – it reads “bark, twigs, daylily stems, and pistachio nut shells.”  it would be fun to try to build one.

this is a fine collection of ticket stubs from the old riverview park in chicago.  the names of the rides are so funny – “bump ’em, chutes, flash, and fireball” are just a few.

this was fascinating, a very old insulin kit from the 40s or 50s.

unfortunately, the tag covered up part of the description, but i could see that it said there were metal needles which had to be sharpened.  good lord, it looks primitive.

it’s funny, because at this point we’d been at the fair for almost two hours, and had only managed to cover a very small amount of ground.  we wandered back to thrillville, where the xpogo stunt team was performing.  it’s extreme pogo-sticking, which i know sounds silly.  but obviously it’s risky because this guy is wearing a helmet and is really high up in the air.

the finale was when he pogo’d right over four guys.  pogo-sticking in the extreme, to be sure.

the one food i’d been dreaming of was saganaki, fried cheese from the greek booth in the ethnic village.  it was pretty good, but in a way i was happy that it wasn’t as good as i’d remembered it, because maybe i won’t need to get such a fattening thing next time.  it’ll save me more room for those delicious fries.

bev borrowed a hat for the fair so her ears would be covered from the sun.  i think she looks very cute here, and i’m pretty sure that was dad’s hat.  he’d have been happy that she was wearing it.

the coliseum is closed now because it’s in such disrepair; i wonder if it’ll manage to open again since illinois is in such pathetic financial shape?  instead, the horse shows were in a small building in back of the coliseum and it was still fun to watch.  not so easy, though, to get a good shot of the massive clydesdales.


mom had joined up with us at some point, and by now bev and i had been at the fair for four hourse and i was dragging, and mom decided to go home because she’d volunteered there in the morning and had been walking around much longer than we had.

bev and i thought about leaving, but the group Herman’s Hermits was performing a free show at the grandstand, so we eventually made our way over there to check them out.

more on that later.

ok then,

mrs. is it seriously september already??? hughes.


Les Paul finds a hole

by grace on August 25, 2017

On our walk yesterday afternoon, lester was really excited about a hole in the ground that he found.  he never did find out what was down inside it, but he did enjoy himself thoroughly.  when it was over he was content to find cicadas emerging from the ground, chomping them up.  who knew that cicadas were such a delicacy?  also, kevin had to tell me that they emerge from the ground.

ok then,

mrs. friday morning hughes, another balmy fall-like day here in august.


so many boat shenanigans, the day after the eclipse

August 23, 2017

as i’ve written about, something is always going wrong with our pontoon boat.  yes, it’s very old, but kevin replaced everything from the floor up several years ago, the pontoons are fine, in theory it is perfectly seaworthy.  lakeworthy. the issue is always the motor, which was always breaking down, and we replaced a couple […]

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the eclipse!

August 22, 2017

did you see it?  yesterday, at 1:18 p.m.?  that’s when it happened here, anyway… i wasn’t that enthusiastic about the eclipse, really, but yesterday morning as i was driving home from work, my friend jill told me that she had eclipse glasses.  i listened to the radio and somebody was saying that seeing a total […]

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wrapping up july with kitties, as the state fair is about to start…

August 6, 2017

how is that possible, anyway?  why does time speed by so much more quickly as i get older?  how is it that the fair is starting on thursday? it’s a strange day today; it’s usually hot and humid at the start of august but instead it’s cloudy and cool and i should be out running […]

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august already…

August 6, 2017

i can’t believe it’s August 8th, as the summer sprints along. here are a few outside photos from july. oh, that moon. can you spot the heron in there on the right? another evening of beautiful clouds. we had a big storm, and just as i was opening the screen door, this big branch fell […]

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July 28, 2017

as i ran between the corn rows at the end of may, i thought it’d be interesting to take pictures of it as it grew. corn grows mighty fast around here. may 25th: June 2nd, just eight days later: June 8th, just six days after that! June 17th, a mere nine days later: June 24th, […]

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giant chicken!

July 27, 2017

the addition of the giant window was fantastic, but i’m in love with my new giant chicken.   lester, however, was nonplussed. here’s the view of the chicken from out new giant window. yeah, technically it is a rooster, but i like saying “giant chicken” better.  i was at menard’s early in july, and for […]

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