Deer in May

by grace on May 26, 2020

Kevin took Riley for a walk on Sat. May 2nd. I’m not sure if Riley has ever been out in the yard; he has always been content to stay inside the fence. But I think he thoroughly enjoyed strolling around in the wild for a bit.

And actually, yesterday Sweetie rushed for the front door when i came inside yesterday. She’s not getting out! It’s hard to say what she might do out there, but since she hates to be picked up it might be challenging to corral her. She does love being in the fenced yard, spending hours out there, sometimes hiding under a giant hosta.

On Sunday May 3rd I was working out in my bedroom and was surprised to see a bunch of deer congregating right outside my window. I kept stopping my exercises to take photos and videos. At first I counted four.

Here’s a second video, as I spied six deer in total and tried to figure out how far they were from me.

Riley, just chillin’ on the bed while i scurried around, exercising and taking photos and videos.

I walked into the sunroom off the bedroom to get this shot. One deer in the foreground and at least two or three behind him or her.

Luckily the deer were oblivious to me as one of them decided to lie down and rest.

Here’s another video as a second deer decides to take a load off.

A third one follows suit…

of course i also had to video them.

The fourth deer that I could see joined the others.

and one more quick video…

I went back into the sunroom to get photos/video of the other two deer who were lying down but then one saw me and stood up so they all walked away.

It was an entertaining distraction as i did lots of situps and squats and lunges and lifted weights to strengthen many muscles in my arms & shoulders.

The deer show hasn’t returned, but instead there are now six baby groundhogs who are living under my neighbor’s porch. Whenever I’m in there i can always spot at least one of them, and they’re so cute! but impossible to photograph which does make for a more consistent workout.

Meanwhile…where has May gone? it feels like July, with high temps and humidity.

Because we’re all sheltering together, the five of us in the family were able to celebrate my birthday on sunday at amy’s house. she went to way too much trouble preparing a huge Indian meal, plus an incredible surprise of car bomb cupcakes! i’d seen them online a long time ago and made them for Kevin’s birthday back then and have made them a few times since, but they require many steps and fancy delicious buttercream frosting plus chocolate ganache inside.

plus the name of the recipe was changed to irish whiskey & beer cupcakes because, you know, car bomb cupcakes is definitely not politically correct.

In addition to the fabulous cupcakes, my friend Julie dropped off a dozen assorted huge and fancy cupcakes in my mailbox, and then randy dropped off an entire double chocolate chocolate cake.

so yeah, i’m set for chocolatey goodness for quite a while plus julie’s cupcakes give a nice assortment for those in the family who aren’t chocolate-addicted. I guess dad and I were the only ones with a serious chocolate obsession. his birthday was on May 3rd, the day I was taking all the photos of the deer above.

whew, it’s been too long since i’ve posted here. it’s weird how the days seem to go so quickly but then lots of times i can’t remember what i’ve done all day. i try not to start reading the bad news early in the day because it sucks me into the black hole and sometimes i’m there for an hour or two, not very healthy.

things are starting to open up all over the place, but not here in our family compound. jim continues to work from home, and neither amy nor i plan on working anytime soon.

strange days, indeed.

ok then,

grace, with plenty of time to write here every day if only i’d do it. plus time to write a book/keep a journal/play the piano/get rid of piles of stuff all over/clean/pulls weeds.

i’m just saying.


boat launch!

by grace on May 11, 2020

here’s one final thing to share, our boat launch on April 24th.

first, here’s the fancy new cover that kevin installed. Because the top pole of the roof snapped in two when we pulled the boat under our big pine tree out front, we had to get a whole new roof. The replacement piece, plus an absurd amount of shipping costs, would have cost almost as much as the fancy new cover.

it took kevin about a week to install the new one because there was all kinds of wiring and many issues with doing it. but it’s totally cool, automatically lifting and lowering with a switch that kevin mounted on the console, plus there’s an additional little remote to raise and lower it.

here’s the video of how it works.

Shortly after that we drove the boat over to the boat launch.

kevin started backing into the water and i shot this video, but notice the object right in the middle of the water.

Uh oh! Luckily i saw this giant rock in the water…

Kevin pulled the truck forward and then managed to back up again really close to the dock and avoiding the giant rock. He thinks somebody must have put the giant rock in the water but how would they have lifted it? was somebody attempting sabotage? hopefully not, and hopefully it is gone now.

Mom and i were happy to be out on the lake.


When we got back to the dock, Kevin joined us for a nice ride on the lake. a good time was had by all!

ok then,



Happy Mother’s Day!

by grace on May 10, 2020

That’s addressed to you, mom…but suddenly it’s already late afternoon on mother’s day and another day has gone by whoosh….

we bought a 25-lb bag of powdered skimmed milk a few weeks ago. i found it on some site that sells bulk stuff but there were some issues with the shipping because suddenly the site got overwhelmed with orders but a nice woman from the site actually called me on the phone to resolve the issues.

and here it is. i bought the ziploc bags and kevin measured the whole giant bag into these little baggies.

I know many people don’t like powdered milk but i think it’s a treat. it always makes me think of camping.

i’ve been doing a little yard work; on this day in april i was transplanting the final lilies into the fenced yard and after i dug up some of them i hurled the shovel over the fence. it landed like this and Riley found it to be quite interesting.

A relatively new bleeding heart – the biggest one i had got peed on by the cats so much that it died, but i have at least a couple of good–sized ones now. i love bleeding hearts.

These bluebells roamed over to the front of the house…

…from this other part of the front of the house. i don’t remember there being so many of them there before. We should try to think of doing something more with this piece of yard.

all the april rain toppled this lovely cherry tree over to the side in front. it’s sad because it’s one of the trees dad planted. it hadn’t been doing well for a few years and it was leaning precariously but still had quite a few blooms. but then, down.

I transplanted some tulips from the front of the house to the back but only two of them bloomed. i think i planted this one last year, but none of the others next to it bloomed. but this one just kept blooming and blooming, i think it stuck around for a whole month.

ha, all those hostas in back of it are about five times as big now. i’m hoping all the hostas in back will grow and cover up the weeds and grass which needs to be pulled around them.

here’s an historic photo; three cats all together. sweetie is way back there on the chair on the left. she’s getting more and more friendly; when i sat down on the couch to write this she jumped up and wanted to lie on my lap! a nice surprise, although she didn’t linger.

the other day Lester was scrabbling around on the chair and managed to get back behind the cushion and the cover. we could do with some new chairs.

Lovey! doing better and better all the time, even though she loves kevin and sometimes barely tolerates me. Kevin said that he and Les were upstairs with Lovey and that went pretty well. Les has ventured up there a few times and there has been no hissing at all. very promising.

I wish i’d been quick enough to capture this on video; one night sweetie was chasing her tail, around and around, there on the chair. darling!

after i went running one afternoon at the end of april these two geese were hanging out in front of the house, drinking from the puddles.

and this morning i looked out an upstairs window and a goose was standing up on the peak of the three-car garage. very funny.

and that wraps things up for april…

ok then,



well…today i kept reading so much bad news that i became overwhelmed. this happens too often.

i think we all have to try to find a little relief from it all, if we’re lucky enough to be safe and healthy.

in april i decided to finally tackle the disorganized mess that is my pantry. here’s one side of one side of the pantry.

I’d been talking about cleaning it out for about…three years, maybe? i know i’ve cleaned it out before, but as you know i’m not a tidy person. there was such a huge, huge amount of expired stuff.

here’s what this section looked like when i finished.

The oldest date i could find on an item was a box of barley that expired in Aug. 2006. it was opened but somebody had carefully put it in a ziploc bag.

that person could very well have been kevin’s final ex wife! I find this quite hilarious. we were married in Sept. 06, so the barley had to have been bought at least a year before august. kevin just said his ex didn’t ever make things with barley so maybe in the brief period after her and before me, he made some barley soup.

there was so much other stuff, and a lot of it was grains and stuff like very old taco shells. so many noodles, so much stuff…this looks like some kind of art to me like when i was a kid and we made something with noodles.

of course every last bit was eaten in the night by many i’m sure very happy critters.

I also had this can of pineapple juice. It used to be an ingredient in something that i used to make, but i can’t for the life of me remember what that might have been.

every once in a while i’d notice the can, tucked in a corner of the pantry, and think, “i should get rid of that.” Friday April 10th was the day. I want to say that the expiration date was 2009? Both the top and the bottom of the can bulged out because it was so fermented, and kevin said he’d take it out and shoot it with his pellet gun.

I envisioned a huge, dramatic explosion of pineapple juice.

We have to make our own fun.

As does Lester.

ok then,

mrs. living in this whole new reality hughes.


at the start of april…

May 4, 2020

these two ducks were enjoying the bird seed scattered on the ground in back of the house. Riley had no interest in them at all. Kevin bought this remote for the upstairs TV. we probably won’t lose it. it’s funny, we’ve only ever had one TV, but he hooked up a small monitor that works […]

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happy birthday, dad

May 3, 2020

dad would have been 83 today. he was a really good dad. 1974, when he was 31 years old. This is one of my favorite photos – amy and dad in 2006. celebrating his birthday in 2009 – I don’t know what year this was, and i’m assuming it was dad’s birthday because he was […]

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on the first day of may, wrapping up march…

May 1, 2020

Yeah, pretty lame that i’m just doing this now. same excuse as before; it’s now 11:30 on this sunny friday morning and at least i’m out of my jammies, but only just. lots of time spent reading reading reading about the coronavirus; the latest news is that it could be here for 18 months to […]

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good monday morning…

April 20, 2020

and i know that “good” is pushing it a bit. but it’s good because it’s a dazzlingly sunny day and the weather is warming up and we’re all healthy and safe. every day i try to accomplish something. some days i don’t get anything at all done. I’ve been exercising a lot, but that’s partly […]

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an adorable turtle on youtube!

April 14, 2020

Trying to find happy things, i came across this on you tube and you have to watch it. soooo cute! today my plan was to post some photos/videos from march, but then other things have come up. so this is a perfect thing to share with you on this tuesday morning. i hope you’re hanging […]

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A stormy April evening

April 13, 2020

Last Wednesday, April 8th, there were thunderstorm warnings and big hail coming down not too far north of town. So of course I ran down to the water to take a look. This is the sky a little before 5:00 p.m. That’s kevin over there on the left, talking to his friend Glenn about the […]

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