April Excitement

by grace on April 29, 2021

Ok, “excitement” might be stretching it a bit. Or maybe a lot. But I happened to see a great italian greyhound door mat on facebook and had to buy it for Amy and Jim. Maybe it’s a regular greyhound but I didn’t care because it’s so cute.

They draped the mat over this sofa piece against their front door and Izzy posed in front of it.

These tulips have been blooming for at least a couple of weeks in the fenced yard. They’re so pretty. I have a vague memory of transplanting so many of them from the front yard, where they were eaten by the deer, but for some reason only the red ones survived. I took this photo on April 15th and by now the hostas have grown to about a million times the size they are here. Approximately.

My beautiful bleeding heart gets bigger every year.

The smaller bleeding heart is doing well, too, along a single red tulip.

Friday april 16, another weenie roast.

Here are a couple of green strawberries emerging from the two plants that Kevin planted.

Jim spotted this morel mushroom in mom’s yard! we didn’t pick and eat it though.

Unfortunately, the many lettuces and tomatoes that Kevin planted in the garden were munched up. He thought it was rabbits getting in under the fence so he thoroughly fortified it but the next day the top of the fence was bent over and there were deer tracks amongst the skimpy remains of lettuce leaves and chewed-on tomatoes.

Since then he’s fortified it even more, and hopefully he’ll prevail because it would sure be nice to have lots of fresh tomatoes this summer.

We ate the one strawberry that had ripened and it made me remember how delicious a homegrown strawberry is.

I’ve been taking some photos with my iphone and will post those shortly. theoretically.

ok then,

mrs. almost the end of april hughes.

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Dust Mites!?

by grace on April 22, 2021

Amidst all the anxiety, frustration, fear of the unknown and of what tomorrow will bring and general crappiness that started last year with our new Pandemic Reality, there has been one happy thing that’s stood out for me- my nightly conversations with my friend Bev.

Each night, after I’ve spent the day either doing stuff or not, going for a run or doing weights in the bedroom, making something for dinner that might even be something new, sitting on my couch reading too much bad news or sitting on my couch playing endless video games or just sitting on my couch, it’s been comforting and enjoyable to have a conversation with Bev.

In the Before Times Bev and I talked on the phone but of course I actually got to see her sometimes and she was always a vital part of having people over for dinner because she’d arrive early and help me with whatever overzealous meal I’d planned and then always underestimated how much time it’d take to finish.

I haven’t seen Bev in person for over a year now, except when I dropped things off at her house a few times and she’d wave from her window. But like I said, it’s been great to talk on the phone with her almost every night. We discuss the Positivity Rate here in Springfield, in her zip code and mine, in the country, and whatever critical things we’d learned from the news, coronavirus-wise and otherwise.

But then we’d veer off into many other directions. Last night I asked her how much she’d slept because she barely sleeps at all, staying up really late and getting up too early. She said she’d woken up early and started cleaning stuff, including vacuuming her mattress.



Is this really a thing?

Yes it is. I assume it’s part of most people’s cleaning process, vacuuming up all the dust mites lurking down there in the mattress. I know I’ve mentioned more than once that I’m not so great at maintaining any level of cleanliness in the house. And I also know there must be quite a few secret, critical components to everybody’s cleaning routine. But these are mostly a mystery to me and I feel like I’ve done a lot when I clean the bathrooms and vacuum the floors with an occasional bit of random dusting here and there.

I do change the sheets, probably not often enough, but I have never, ever even contemplated vacuuming the mattress. Who knew? Not me.

Bev said she read online that you can also rub baking soda into a mattress and let it sit there for a while and then vacuum it up. Oh brother. Surely there are legions of dust mites lurking in my mattress not to mention all over the house.

Up til the dust mite topic we’d been headed in a good direction; I told her about how I got an unbelievably killer deal on a new iphone, a deal so great that I’ve never seen such a deal and my new red iphone 12 is arriving sometime today. I was hopeful that by ending our conversation on a happy note I might get to sleep relatively quickly. But then when things veered off dust-mitedly I worried that I’d be kept up, thinking about the mites swarming all over my body while I slept.

Turns out I guess I don’t really care that much. I slept fine and today I might spend some time reading about the evilness of dust mites, but on the other hand maybe I won’t.

One other thing we touched on last night – I asked Bev about a story she’d told me about a squirrel in her yard that carried dog bones up into her tree. She’d told me this funny tale before, about seeing a squirrel carrying a huge bone into the tree but last night she sent me the photos.

That is, indeed, a huge bone.

A close-up. So funny, and such a determined little squirrel. It looks like a rawhide bone; I didn’t know squirrels ate rawhide. Maybe it just dragged it up there for protection, to bonk predators over the head with?

Do squirrels eat rawhide? What serious damage do dust mites do? Are the number of positive Covid-19 cases still rising here in Springfield?

All of these answers could be quickly found here online but instead I’m just going to wait for my phone to arrive. We’re also going for a bike ride today because it’s going to be warmer; it snowed two days ago which was ridiculous and then it was pretty chilly yesterday. It’s going to be 80 next week.

I have a few more April photos but then after that there will be some truly dazzling, iphone 12 photos which I’ll be eager to share.

Ok then, I hope you’re maintaining some sanity wherever you may be.

Grace Hughes, formerly Smith


The day after Easter I drove past this grand house in Laketown. It’s always fully decked out for any and every holiday, but I thought this Easter decor was above and beyond, maybe because not so many people decorate do much for this holiday.

The daffodils were beautiful this year as usual, except a part of them over there on the leftdidn’t bloom at all. Maybe because they’re under a tree? But it’s not a very robust tree, hard to say. It’s always something. Yesterday I did find a nice little clump of daffodils mixed in with the bushes at the top of the driveway.

An April 6th Mom and I took our second bot ride of the year and as we slowly glided down a nearby cove we spotted a swan. As we headed back out of the cove the swan started following us.

This happened to us last year but then the swan was much more aggressive. I wasn’t worries about this one, but I did document it in case it suddenly went crazy and tried to attack.

I sure with I had a before picture of this spot. It’d been piled with a huge messy clump of old boards and Kevin, Mom and I cleaned it all up. I guess we need to plant some grass there soon.

Friday April 9th we had our first Friday night weenie roast. Kevin started the fire, using some of the wood we’d collected a couple of days before.

Since he’s a fire expert we soon had a nice blaze going.

I thought about taking another picture as the night wore on but it was just so relaxing to sit there and start at the flames. Hopefully we’ll have another one this Friday although it’s going to be more chilly, but of course the fire would keep us warm. I mentioned to Bev about the Friday night weenie roast and she said she’d “come to one this summer,” which surprised me a little because I figured she didn’t want to venture out for who knows how long. I’ll have to keep reminding her, and hopefully she’ll join us soon.

Ok then,



Outside April

by grace on April 10, 2021

Last Saturday morning, April 3rd, Lovely bravely ventured out in the fenced yard. She’d done this with Kevin, but last Saturday she was so eager to get out that when I opened the door she screwed up all her courage to rush past me outside.

She was delighted to find the catnip plant which is getting bigger by the day.

Here’s a short video of Lovey, Sweetie and Riley.

Riley loves being outside the most.

Later in the day Kevin showed me the latest destruction down by the dock. Animals are always desperate to dig things up down there. Not sure what the animal was, but it must have been very strong to push the bricks out of the way. Maybe it was the mink? A mighty mink!

On Sunday morning we prepped the boat to launch it. This is the earliest we’ve ever put it in the water. First, Kevin had to take off the giant tarp and the structure that held it together. We’re quite pleased with the durability of the new cover and it was much easier to disassemble than it was to put it together last fall. It was easier for Kevin, that is, who did it all.

We then cleaned the boat, starting with waxing the pontoons. When we started I was grumbling in my mind, thinking that just the pontoon waxing would take hours. But Mom came over to help and it only took us an hour and a half, including cleaning the interior of the boat and I even went a little crazy and waxed the motor.

And then we launched it! Kevin expertly backed the truck up, unhooked the boat, then drove forward and quickly backed it to get the boat to glide free from the trailer. A family was picnicking and fishing there by the boat launch, and later Kevin told me that they all cheered when he’d successfully backed the boat into the water.

Mom and I motored back to our dock and Kevin was ther, waiting to jump on the boat for an inaugural ride. A great ride and it was interesting to see all the trees with their naked branches.

Kevin and I wore matching “Mutts” t-shirts, because why not? Such a beautiful day.

In the early evening I relaxed in the fenced yard. A truly lovely weekend.

Ok thenn,

Mrs. April Hughes.


More crashing around to the end of March

April 9, 2021

A couple of days before I felt like fainting and had to go to the ER, Amy dropped a glass pie pan and it shattered. She swept it up, but felt like there was a shard of glass in the sole of her foot. She tried to dig it out, to no avail, so the […]

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A whole new month…

April 4, 2021

It was so chilly on Thursday, with temps in the 40s and strong winds blowing. It’s continues to warm up and today it’s going to be in the 70s. The daffodils are blooming, as well as the hyacinth. Lots of positive changes here for April. Meanwhile, way back in February, Sweetie was so very content, […]

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March Madness

March 30, 2021

Cerebral Volume Loss. Not something you want to read about, re: the state of your brain. But let me start at the beginning. Last Wednesday, March 24th, I was messing around the house, doing the stuff I usually do. I’d played a game on my iPad while drinking my lapsang souchong tea, I worked out […]

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Marvelous Christmas Gift!

March 12, 2021

As I posted way back in December, Kevin hand-crafted a leather purse for me for Christmas. He has spent the past couple of months doing the dying of leather, and yesterday he completed the project! He worked so hard on it! All that work was worth it. And that’s it for this Friday in March. […]

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The Last of the Snow…

March 10, 2021

Hmm, hopefully that’s not wishful thinking. We’ve had a few unseasonably warm days lately, but it’s only March, after all. But even if we get more snow that’s OK because buds are starting to poke up out of the ground and spring is just right around the corner. So even if these aren’t the last […]

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Mom’s Special Day

March 6, 2021

Here are a few photos of Mom’s birthday celebration. Amy and Jim did quite a bit of festive decorating, and their house looked fantastic. We bought her a new pair of shoes because of the huge amount of walking we’ve been doing… …and she loved them! Amy made shrimp scampi, Mom’s favorite, plus she made […]

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