by grace on December 2, 2019

gee, i can’t believe it’s already the last month of the year…my goal is to get everything from this year posted in this year. not a huge goal, so hopefully it’s attainable.

first – when i jog on the lake road i pass a house that has a secret opening in the bushes across the road. once i went into the opening and found a swing there in the woods, which i thought was pretty cool.

the house is now for sale, so i wondered about the swing. when i saw it on October 19th I was sad to see that it had fallen apart. you can just see it leaning against the tree.

On that same day we took a boat ride and got pretty close to this white pelican.

Riley, always so stressed.

When kevin took Les for a walk he loved to stroll along the rocks.

Yet another boat ride – i think this really is the last one. this was October 23rd and the pelicans were back at the point where they’d been in years past.

I tried to get a good shot of this heron standing on a buoy, but this is the best i could come up with.

On the afternoon of October 28th, mom and i rode along with Glenn as he got his boat out of the water. there were plenty of pelicans on the other side of the lake and i caught these two as they were getting out of our way.

Good times.

and boom, end of october.

ok then, mrs. running out of 2019 hughes.


here at home!!!

by grace on November 26, 2019

whew, plenty has been going on around here since we got back to spfld at the end of September…like, for example, it’s almost thanksgiving! two more days. must get on it.

but backtracking, highlights of this fall:

on Monday Sept. 20th we drove up to Sterling because kevin’s sister retired and had a party. we spent the night at Starved Rock. We’d stayed at the party longer than we’d anticipated so it was kind of late when we finally made it to Starved Rock. We had a nice dinner at eight o’clock in their lovely dining room and Kevin had a cup of what i believe he feels is the best coffee ever.

Hmm, could that be right? i know he loves it, but is it better than the stuff he found in Glacier? Or Hawaii? He’ll have to let me know. maybe part of the appeal is that somebody makes it for him? or maybe he does think it’s the best ever. Unfortunately they don’t offer it for sale in their gift shop, but maybe also a little bit fortunately because then we’d have even more bags of coffee in our pantry.

He had yummy pot roast and i can’t remember why i decided to have this huge and healthy salad. good for me. i suppose…

It had been a very warm day but when we finally got into our cabin the air conditioner was cranked so that it was teeth-chatteringly cold in the room. So naturally, kevin built a beautiful fire.

This was fantastic…until the middle of the night when the fire was barely smoldering but the room was stiflingly hot, so kevin cranked the AC back down.

This is the same cabin we’d stayed in when we were at Starved Rock in 2016; back then, mosquitoes had swarmed under the door and down the chimney and were attacking us in the middle of the night so we had to light citronella candles and stuff grocery bags under the door. It’s always an adventure at Starved Rock!

The next morning we hiked for a few hours, but like i said, hot. and the trails aren’t super-well maintained plus it had rained a lot so i kept slipping in the wet sand and felt hot and annoyed. Kevin kept asking, “do you want to stop?” and i kept grumpily saying NO!

Because it had rained so much this waterfall was flowing nicely.

we’d been to this one before, but it was flowing more prolifically now. very cool. kevin stood under the waterfall…

…and then i did, too.

It was kind of weird, though, to take that overnight trip right after getting back from Glacier – we’d returned home on Sept. 24th (a day late) and went up to Sterling six days later.

Here’s the second-to-last boat ride of the season on October 8th. It was a beautiful evening and mom, always stylish, had a great time…

…as did Toun…

…and so did Kevin and I! We had a picnic dinner that night and the water was so still and there were no other boats out. good times.

ok then,

mrs. it’s going to be extraordinarily windy today hughes.


Hosta Stick Garden

by grace on July 20, 2019

Last Saturday morning, the 14th, i finished transplanting every single last hosta from all over the yard into the fenced yard. Whew.

As i wrote previously, i first dug them up, piled them in the wagon and pulled the wagon into the bedroom front door and out the back into the fenced yard. because, of course, there’s no way to actually open the back gate because then Lester would immediately find out a new way to escape.

this was a lot of work because the wagon full of hosta sticks was quite heavy.

the next time i tried it, i instead hurled the hostas over the fence. i had been meaning to ask kevin to lower them in a buck over the fence to me, but i decided this other way wasn’t bad. the hostas survived my hurtling, and it way better than the wagon.

but then i decided that the perfect solution was to pile some into a bucket and carry it back to the yard. the ones i’d flung over the fence had left piles of dirt in the yard, which annoyed me.

so last saturday morning i dug up the remaining hostas down at the bottom of the deck and then dug up a giant hosta right in front of the porch; last year the deer hadn’t touched it, but this year, anything goes.

i finally dug up the few remaining hosta sticks in the circle out front – this was the last part of the giant hosta circle that dad had been proud of. i’d transplanted some of the hostas from there to other places before, and there were only six or seven little hosta sticks left. it’s a little sad that the hosta circle is gone, but at least many of those hostas are going to live a happy life in the fenced yard.

kevin had tossed seven bags of mulch over the fence for me, and he’d also helped dig a few holes, and i got it all done and was exhausted but happy.

my Hosta Stick Garden

I took these pictures on saturday after i finished, and they’re already looking better.

this one even bloomed! i’m pretty sure this is one i’d transplanted a few days earlier.

I’ve been watering them and have high hopes.

and then, i have about eight or 10 daylilies that need to be transplanted, plus some big hydrangea, all at the side of the house. every bud has been eaten off the lilies plus the deer are eating the stems, and they’re making their way through the hydrangea.

right now there’s no place to put all these flowers until kevin does more tilling in the fenced yard. so that’ll wait a while. which is fine by me.

plus i want to plant some roses of sharon in most of the empty places where the hostas had been, but that can also wait.

last friday night, amy, mom and i took a lovely boat ride.

the motor was making such a spectacular wake, but there was no way to get a good photo – maybe somebody with a better camera could get one that’s not so blurry.

and one final funny thing – i wasn’t home last saturday afternoon, and kevin decided to take les for a walk. lester walked under the deck and sat there, waiting for unsuspecting birds to appear. soon kevin realized that les was not going coming out; he wouldn’t even look at kevin who was trying to get him to emerge.

kevin texted me, telling me of his quandary and i suggested shaking a treat container at him.

he tried, and later told me that les did finally turn to look at the sound, then he poked his head out a litttle, and then one paw, and finally came out enough for kevin to pick him up. funny kitty!

ok then,

mrs. july 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,




getting the boat out of the water for the year…

September 25, 2017

we did this just a few hours ago, and i want to post this to show the dramatic difference in the water level between when we took the boat out for repair on august 18th, and today. there goes kevin again, after untying all the ropes so i could set sail. many of the huge […]

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wrapping up august, as fall is upon us…

September 25, 2017

i took this on august 15th, when we were taking the boat out of the water yet again for repairs.  there’s kevin, walking up to the house to get in the van and drive over the bridge to pull the boat out.  it’s funny, because today we took the boat out for the season. also […]

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final photos of june

July 22, 2017

so, ta da, the final photos of june as july zooms right along. here’s bev, giddy with excitement when she spent the night a few weeks ago – she had a procedure done at the hospital and they told her she shouldn’t be alone for 24 hours in case anything happened. all that happened is […]

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July 21, 2017

yesterday, thursday morning,kevin drove the van over to the boat dock as i slowly left the shore on the boat.  i noticed that kevin had installed a nifty new black lamp post at the end of the dock! cool. the water was still, no other boats around, and the breeze felt good.  i arrived at […]

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jinxed it…

July 19, 2017

a week ago i wrote that the pontoon boat was running great this summer, which is probably the first summer it’s done that since we’ve had it.  and i said “i don’t want to jinx it.” which of course i did. kevin and i took a lovely boat ride on sunday morning – amy had […]

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boat launch! plus more from april…

May 17, 2017

we launched the pontoon boat on april 15th, which might be the earliest we’ve ever done that, although i can’t possibly remember yesterday much less last year.  even if we might have launched it earlier one year, it always broke down. kevin did all the hooking up and then unhooking and i was in charge […]

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