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


i don’t have the coronavirus, fyi…

by grace on March 21, 2020

in one of my recent posts about mom and my trip to florida i made this statement: “Ok, so…i’ve had a cold with a horrible cough for over a week now. plus, the coronavirus …”

what i meant to convey was that i’ve been feeling bad with a cold, as well as bummed out about the coronavirus. but bev called to point out that in reading it, one would think i have a cold AND the coronavirus.

so, bad writing on my part. but i don’t have it.

but really, how do people know they don’t have it if they haven’t been tested? i’m just saying.

bev also read about the giant jar of nutella left in the house where we stayed in Tampa, and said she thought “i hope she doesn’t eat it,” but i’m sure she figured, before reading the next sentence, that of course i wouldn’t pass up the chance to eat Nutella, opened or not opened.

she told me she has a jar just that size at her house and she puts it on a graham cracker now and then. but i already knew that she’s a don’t-eat-it-all-at-once rockstar. when i’ve been at her house she has mini chocolate bars just lying in dishes which of course is never the case here.

at least my declaration about having the coronavirus made bev laugh. we need more of that.

laughing, not the coronavirus.

which i don’t have.

ok then,

g.h. on a gray saturday afternoon.


fun at the fair!

by grace on August 29, 2019

we went to the fair on wednesday, aug. 14th. Bev was going to dance in the Illinois Building, so mom, randy and i all went to watch.

while we were waiting i had to get a picture of this ride in the children’s section; i’ve never seen it before and i don’t know why i like it so much, i guess it’s because the animals are all so cute.

I’m posting this being fully aware that bev will vigorously chastise me for putting it up here. but she looks so cute! i think i’ll also sent this photo to her daughter erin, who i’m sure will appreciate it.

Randy and i rode the giant slide, which i enjoyed, but randy said it was painful because he flew up in the air a couple times. ouch.

i took a bunch of close-ups of the giant animals on the double-decker merry-go-round. i promise myself that i’ll go on it next year. i’d really like to go on it at night with it all lit up.

isn’t this an awesome hummingbird?

plus the giant rabbit in the background.

next year, i promise.

later in the day i saw this cut-out in front of the IL state police tent and i got bev to take a whole lot of photos of me inside it. i was trying to get it so it really looked like my head was attached but i realized that it was kind of hard because they neglected to put a neck on the cutout. mom started to get bored with bev taking so many photos, but i think this one is pretty good.

it was entertaining to watch the lumberjack show; it was funny because the announcer guy told the worst jokes possible, and it was a good time partly because we got to sit down and rest. the guys were really good at what they did. here’s the axe-throwing.

you have to look closely to see the axe up in the air; it’s right below the car on the right.

this is a better shot of the second guy flinging the axe.

Here’s a video of them axe-throwing.

log-rolling was good, but kind of brief.

Video of the log-rolling.

we’d been to the ethnic village so i could get some saganaki, fried greek cheese, but when we were nearing the end of the day we went back and sat on the benches in the back.

but as we sat there watching Irish dancers, i started to think that i recognized two of them, so i moved up close.

and sure enough, this is Vaughn and Sherry from yoga! they’re really good at yoga, and vaughn can stand on his head. it was funny to see them in this different context.

Here’s a short video of them dancing.

a good time was had by all!

ok then,

mrs. nearing the end of august hughes.



by grace on March 11, 2019

it was just so warm and sunny there and i wasn’t thrilled about driving back to the cold and snow.

but i’m getting ahead of myself…before florida, there was the beginning of february, with sweet riley hanging outside as much as possible.

and then, bev and i took a short and fun trip up to chicago to see the Blue Man Group. i’d been dying to see them in their original habitat, the venue where it all began.

here we are before the show started.

it was a pretty good show…but the problem is that i’d built it up in my own mind so much that i was disappointed. when kevin and i saw it a few years ago here at sangamon auditorium, i felt it was the funniest, most wonderful performance i’d ever seen.

yeah, expectations too high.

this time it just wasn’t as funny. could it be because i’d seen it, i knew what to expect? but i feel that they did funnier things back then.

my biggest complaint with the chicago iteration is that it was deafeningly loud. when we first got to our seats, bev noticed that the kid next to her had a pair of earplugs in his lap. he told her they were free, and they were giving them out. he graciously scrabbled past the tightly-packed row of seats to get us some pairs, and he certainly saved my hearing quite a bit that night.

i know it wasn’t that loud when we saw the show here – maybe when they take the show on the road they think the small-town older crowd won’t appreciate the ear-shattering noise? or maybe sangamon auditorium is so big that they couldn’t crank it up full volume.

kevin suggested that maybe their sound people have been doing the show so long that they’re going deaf and so the show keeps increasing in volume over the years.

whatever the reason, it was annoyingly loud to me even with earplugs. at the end of the show i took them out and was amazed at how much louder it was.

we enjoyed ourselves despite this, and stayed at a lovely downtown chicago hotel. bev, because she’s a saint, drove us into the city, braving the crazy traffic, and then she decided she’d drive all the way home. nice.

so i guess this post isn’t really about florida yet…except here’s poor lester, who knew we were going to be gone and was desperate to go with us.

i love how riley looks like he’s praying here…please don’t leave us!

ok, soon, many photos and videos of florida.


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