a new lift at the end of june

by grace on July 11, 2018

this was the morning of june 28th, when the awesome jeff smith from his company JLS Marine boated over and installed our new boat lift.  it was quite an exciting morning, and remarkable at how quickly he and his worker, Fred, were able to secure the lift.

fred is the one in the yellow shirt and Gilligan hat.

here’s the first video I took of the operation…

here, fred was steering the barge to get the lift in place.

ours is a super simple lift, no top, no mechanized lift, just a giant wheel that we’d have to turn to get the boat in and out of the water.


the second video.

the thing that I didn’t get any photos or video of, that I wish I did, is when jeff needed to straighten it out.  instead of lifting it back out of the water, jeff jumped right in and held his breath, adjusting the front leg.  you know he’s done that a whole lot, in order to accomplish that neat feat.

and before we knew it, they were sliding the boat onto the lift.  so nice.

jeff waved as I continued to take photos…

…and off they went to their next job.

kevin practiced docking the boat into the lift; it’s a lot more exact that just docking at the dock with no lift, because it has to fit between the two boards.  he said he did it about a dozen times, and then he came out with me so I could practice.  I’ve gotten better at it, and i’m sure it’ll become easier after I’ve done it a whole lot.

right now it does take some energy to crank the boat all the way up and down, but it’s good exercise…but maybe next year we’ll add an electric component.

in the meantime kevin just launched his sailboat, so we’re all set for all kinds of boating.

ok then,

mrs. almost the middle of july hughes.




moving right along through june…

by grace on July 9, 2018

moving right along through june…yet another darling les photo.

it’s always impossible to take just one…

a couple of weekend ago, amy, mom and I got invited by our friend missy to a fundraiser.  it was for an organization called Gen H Kids, and its mission is

To create a generation of healthy kids through education, empowerment, improved nourishment and increased physical activity.”

an awesome thing to do, don’t you think? a good time was had by all.

I took a million pictures on the evening of june 26th, when the sky was beautiful.  I’ve tried to whittle them down to just a few here.

for some reason I had more luck than usual with creating panoramas.

it’s always mesmerizing the way the sky quickly changes color as the sun sets.  it’ll be nice to get some photos of that from the middle of the lake.

this is one of my favorites because the smoke is all blowing in a line like that.

amy took this picture of one of the few lilies still outside the fence.  the deer didn’t touch them this year…yet.  maybe they’ll be scared off by fierce little riley.

things are already ripening in kevin and amy’s vegetable garden.  kevin took this photo of either a zucchini or a cucumber.  we have a garden cucumber in the fridge right now, so maybe that’s what this is.

and that’s all for now,




more june

by grace on July 6, 2018

it’s been a windy summer so far.  hot, humid, windy.  this poor smoke tree cracked in the wind.

and this tree out in the circle also came down.  windy.

our friends glenn & Julie bought me this captain’s hat, and I like that it has bows on top.  I can’t actually wear it on the boat because it’d get blown into the water, but i’d like to wear it quite a bit.  maybe to parties!

we’ve already been over to the other side of the lake a few times; the lake is really big.  this is on the other side of the I-55 bridges, and the clouds were lovely.

I haven’t seen any cool floaty things like this on our side of the lake.

we went past the marina, and there were three skiiers!  isn’t that something?  it’s like a water show!  I wanted to keep going past the marina to see how far south it went but there were also some people on stand-up paddle boards and others kayaking and I didn’t want to bother them.

the other day kevin left the closet open and up lester climbed.

he was so comfortable up there that he took a little nap.  looks comfortable, doesn’t it?

this morning I wish i’d had my camera, because when I was sitting with riley in the fenced yard a deer came walking by, eating leaves as it went.  riley ran to the fence to watch it, and the deer came around to the side of fence.  it was only maybe ten fee away.  the deer finally looked over and saw me…and then she saw riley.  riley was going a little crazy, not making any noise that I could discern, but he was agitated.  the deer walked right over to him, just on the other side of the fence, and she kept stomping her foot, I guess to scare him.  then there was a noise, and I realized it was coming from the deer, kind of a snort like a horse would make.  she did that a few times, more stomping, and riley kept acting like he’d like to get at her.

finally she got scared and ran off.  riley walked up to the deck and laid down on the floor next to me, content that he’d saved me from the wild deer.

ok then,

mrs. july 5th hughes.




june june and more june…

by grace on July 3, 2018

i’m having a free moment right now.  it’s perfectly quiet here in the house, lester is sleeping on the back of the couch nearby, everybody is asleep.

I’ve been photoshopping my june photos, realizing I was very busy taking lots and lots of them…

here’s our neighbor frank using our new boat to tow the old boat over to the dock.

it looks so serene, doesn’t it?  the last ride on the old boat, it’s fitting that it was while being towed with the new one.  getting it into the lift was not so serene, involving kevin dashing about, leaping and jumping from dock to boat to trailer, pushing and pulling and getting into the water in his big boots, and whew, it was harrowing.  but somehow he managed to make it all happen, and now it’s all about the new boat going forward.

in the fenced yard at night, with riley up on his kitty house.

les, studying the hostas.

I feel this is the same bird that I see whenever I go sit by the dock, but probably it’s not.

our first boat ride with other, as toun appreciated the new boat.


I was in mom’s yard watering some roses of Sharon i’d transplanted and suddenly there was this momma and baby deer.  why does it seem that there are so many more of them this year?  the other day kevin says he saw five fawns playing together!

june june june.

ok then,




diminishing brain function, each and every day!

July 1, 2018

I felt so good and virtuous, finally posting some photos a couple of hours ago after not doing so for much too long…but just now I got a text from my sweet aunt sandy, who kindly informed me that i’d posted photos of riley but wrote that he was chester. brain dwindling. each and every […]

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the rest of june…

July 1, 2018

roared past, and I can’t believe it’s july.  the weather has made it seem like it’s august, however. meanwhile, a few june photos that weren’t boat-related. les finally sat on the floor to ceiling kitty tower we put up, but since then we’ve taken it away because nobody was really interested. riley at the fence […]

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boat part 2

June 17, 2018

on Wednesday, morning, june 13th, we unveiled the boat and got ready to launch her.  a very exciting morning! yes, we’re very proud of the boat. there are four levels of emissions, and we’re second from the top, at ultra-low.  I think the top one is ultra super stupendously low or something like tha. here’s […]

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boat!!! part 1

June 14, 2018

part one, of many parts ongoing for a long time to come… after mom and my perilous failed boat ride involving crashing and scraping along the shoreline, we bought a new boat. nobody in springfield had a boat we wanted, so kevin found one at the marvelously-named Ted’s Boatarama in Rock Island.  it’s a 2018  20-foot […]

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June 8, 2018

although it’s early june, it feels like august.  91 degrees right now, feels like 96.  might as well be time for the fair. meanwhile, the end of may….this tiny fawn was curled up outside amy’s porch.  since then we’ve spotted it and its mom quite a few times – the tiny thing is smaller than […]

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a three hour tour (a three hour tour)

June 3, 2018

I don’t know why our boat ride Saturday morning reminds me of Gilligan’s island – we didn’t intend to go out for a three-hour tour, and we weren’t shipwrecked on a desert island…but still, it was tumultuous event. I had high hopes for the boat this summer.  our new used motor was finally working right, […]

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