sweet christine

by grace on September 8, 2019

on labor day, sept. 2nd, i was working out at home and christine’s name came up on my phone. i was happy that she was calling; she had called on christmas day and kevin and i were watching a movie, and i told her i’d call her back.

but i didn’t.

i kept meaning to.

i kept working out, thinking i’d call her back when i finished. she didn’t leave a message, but people rarely do anymore, do they?

she called again, and i called her back…but when she said hello, it wasn’t her.

it was her sister, beth. she told me that christine had died on friday. august 30th, 2019.

WHAT? i yelled. i couldn’t believe it. her sister cried, i cried…the whole thing still seems unreal to me.

i felt like she was my best friend…we’d met when we were both living in austin in 1994. then i moved back to spfld, and at some point she moved to LA, and then i moved to LA. when her rotten husband blair said he wanted a divorce, christine moved in with me. i can’t remember how long she was there – a year? a couple of years? i’ll have to try to piece it all together.

i hate it that i can’t remember more about our time together – i know that we spent lots and lots of time hanging out in the apartment, drinking wine and laughing and talking.


i flew to denver on thursday, the funeral was friday, and i got back home last night.

here’s a photo i just found, when she came to visit at the beginning of may in 2010.

she had chron’s disease, and she had pain from it back when i met her, and the pain got worse through the years. i visited her last december, 2017, and i know the pain was so much worse. so at the funeral i was shocked that she apparently hadn’t shared her pain with anybody i talked to. our friend jerri, who christine also knew in LA, had no idea. i kept saying, “her joint pain! she had horrible joint pain!” nobody knew. her sister must have known…

so, besides being kind, funny, super duper smart, easygoing, a wonderful friend, christine was also incredibly private about all this pain she always lived with. it makes me sad that nobody knew, but on the other hand, that’s what she wanted.

i don’t exactly know how i’ll be able to convince myself that i don’t totally suck for not calling her back on christmas. if i’d been better about being in touch, i might have persuaded her to go to a doctor – a friend of hers in denver told me that she’d had issues last spring but didn’t go to the doctor.

i know there’s nothing i can do about it, but i can’t help but feel bad. and so sad…

the gathering after the funeral was at christine’s house and that was very surreal, because i felt like i’d just been there. i was there in december and she’d had it decorated and i helped her put up her tree. i took lots of secret pictures of her two dogs, and made her a great calendar, which she loved. that makes me happy, anyway.

whew. i hope the dogs are given good homes. i think somebody said that one had a home, and they were looking for a permanent home for the other one.


ok then,

mrs. sunday morning hughes.


more of the denver dogs

by grace on January 12, 2018

i love this picture of christine’s dog Kita, with the soft glow of the lights on the tree.

i took Douja for a run with me to the nearby park in christine’s neighborhood and we both had a great time.  i haven’t gone running with a dog in quite a while – not since Mollie? – and Douja was thrilled, especially when i let her stop to see the squirrels up  in the trees.

when we got back to christine’s i spent a lot of time trying to get a picture of douja in front of the wreaths on the door.  it was challenging and i kept worrying that christine would realize that we were out there, but finally managed to get one decent shot.


an interruption from our trip – amy and jim went to captiva island and were gone around the same time as i was.  i kept insisting that they had to go to The Bubble Room, a fabulous captiva restaurant where kevin and i had been.  they went and got their picture taken in the same place we did.  nice.

back to denver – a friend of christine’s created this photo and used christine for the model.  and that’s all the details i remember, except that she got if framed and it was sitting in her home office wrapped in plastic, so we opened it and hung it up.

on our second day of running douja was mildly interested in this huge flock of geese, but i decided we wouldn’t run through them and make them fly away.

the funny thing about running with her is that she was just loping along, not running at all, and i tried to go really fast in order to get her to run but i couldn’t keep that up for more than a couple of minutes.

another pose that took a while to capture, but she’s an A+ modeling dog.

…and also very happy.

we didn’t spend a lot of time in the mountains, but we did take a drive on my last afternoon. we passed some quaint little villages and i hope to stop at some of them when i go back…and i hope we get there sooner rather than later.

we were with christine’s sister beth, who needed to stop at a wal-mart.  so we stopped at the wal-mart that was something like 7,500 feet up.  i’ve never been at a wal-mart at such a high elevation.  very noteworthy.

also of course very odd, because going in i’d think i was at my own wal-mart, except mine is nicer.  at this point we were so high up that i suddenly felt exhausted and incredibly thirsty.

next time, no wal-marts (unless i’m out of something critical) and definitely stopping at picturesque mountain towns!

ok then,

mrs. bitterly cold and snow friday hughes.


a quick visit to denver…

by grace on January 11, 2018

this has been an odd day.  it started out warm, got up to about 64 I think, and i was able to go running in a long-sleeved t-shirt.  but the temperature is dramatically dropping and we might have freezing rain and it’s going to get down to 18 tonight! and then more bitter cold, but at least we had a nice little break.

and i’m taking a break today from posting photos of our charming chester.

at the beginning of december i took a short trip to denver to visit my friend christine.  because we’re both phone-averse, and terrible about keeping in touch, long stretches of time will go by without us communicating.  but i finally made it out to visit her in her lovely new house with her sweet and darling doggies.

when i was there i took lots of photos because i was secretly going to make her a custom calendar.  she knew that i was taking some of the photos, but i was able to sneak around and take some when she was otherwise occupied.

here are Douja and Kita, before we decorated the tree.  Kita, on the right, was her first dog and she had cancer, i can’t tell you what kind it was exactly, but i know she had something removed from around her nose.  she was in very bad shape and christine had to take her to a medical school that was maybe an hour or more away for chemotherapy treatments.  this went on for a very long time, but so far kita is doing very well. yay! a happy story about a pet!

douja had that name when christine got her, and later she was aghast to discover that douja means pot.  she decided to keep the name because she felt that that’s what douja knew, but when she’s at the dog park and calls them, i think she just says, “here, girls!”  this amuses me.

i packed extremely light for me, mostly just black leggings.  they were completely covered in dog hair fairly quickly.  such sweeties.

christine has a friend with two dogs, and they came over one night for a sleepover.  i decided to try to get a picture of them all in front of the tree, and of course that was never going to be a perfectly posed shot, but i love this one because nobody is paying any attention to me whatsoever except Douja, who looks like she’s grinning at me. haha! she says.  i’m the good dog!

i also love his photo because the husky named…monty, i think…seems to be thinking “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”

christine had many cute decorations, and she’s painted her fireplace silver which is totally cool.

while i was gone kevin took this picture of chester, always hoping that somebody would feed him.  he was still feeling fine as far as we knew, on december 9th.

some of christine’s art – when we lived in LA, she went to rome for a while to study art, and she still paints.  very impressive, this artistic side of her, because in her day job she does stuff that i can’t even exactly describe.  she builds websites or something like that for huge, huge global companies.  i mean, she writes computer code and mysterious things like that. and she taught herself!   she’s incredibly brilliant with that side of her brain, the part that on me is just barely functioning, but she’s so well-rounded because of all the artistic stuff, too.

this is a very old tiny apron that belonged to her grandmother, i believe.  he middle name was La Verne, as is christine’s mom and christine’s.

another fabulous painting.  that’s the other good dog who was at the house for a play date.

that’s all the christine and dogs photos for now, more to follow.

ok then,




happy mother’s day

by grace on May 9, 2010

i hope you have exciting mother’s day plans.  i’m giving my mom a massage for mother’s day.

here are photos from dad’s birthday celebration.

this is my favorite photo of the night.   wouldn’t you say dad wasn’t so crazy about noodle?  or maybe about getting his picture taken.  maybe both.

then, of course, i made him smile.  dad really does like noodle, and i think he likes getting his picture taken, but i’m not so sure about that.  at least he’s usually cooperative about it.

yes, numie is one of the most lovable dogs ever.

goslings!  now that’d be a lot of work, being a mom to all those little goslings.

they love to eat the food around the bird feeder, and if kevin comes outside, they hurry up to the feeder, assuming he’s there to feed them.

friday morning, the lake was dazzling.  it was cold and really windy, but beautiful.

ok, so you might have noticed that the changing pictures usually over there on the right of the the screen is missing now.  yesterday morning christine and i started working to update this wordpress, because it hadn’t been done in about a year.  it worked ok and i felt like i could do it the next time by myself.  we had to update it a lot because they keep making new versions all the time, it seems, but christine says some of those updates were them fixing problems.

we got that done, but then…no photos.  no videos.  christine then took over and worked at getting the videos up.  she did that and started working on the photos, but it was frustrating, so we went to lunch.

we came back in the afternoon, and i was gonna give her a massage since i haven’t given her one in about eight years, maybe, but she kept working and working…the deal is that these plugins that create things like rolling photos are all created by users.  they’re all free, but they don’t necessarily work with the stuff that i have on my host server, so she’d install one and it wouldn’t work and then she’d have to un-install it and this went on and on and on.

here she is, still smiling even though she was working like a SLAVE.  not a nice way to spend a relaxing weekend in springfield.  at least now i know that she has been here MANY MANY TIMES, and she has been able to do fun things here in the past.

mollie, of course, was right there with her.

amy was hosting a large dinner party last night and i went over to see if she needed help, and she did need help, so as christine worked on the website, i worked at amy’s.

christine finally got to stop working, as did i, and we had a nice evening.

she has to leave soon, which is too bad, but she has to get back to work.  she builds websites for a giant international company, and they even called her here on friday to ask her how to upload something or do something like that.  so that makes it even worse that she had to spend all that time trying to fix my site…

and meanwhile, there will be no rotating files for a while, but i’m sure they’ll be back someday.

here’s another gosling video, because who can get enough of them?

and here’s mollie, in action with her orange ball. she gets the ball in the morning when i get up and if i don’t give it to her right away she is quite despondent. she then theoretically gets it at about nine at night, but lately she wants it earlier than that and she’ll jump up on the couch and bounce around on us til she gets it. she’s a big dog to be bouncing on it, so of course she gets it whenever she wants. not that she’s spoiled or anything.

ok then,
sunday grace

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May 8, 2010

yesterday i took her picture with my phone so i can see her photo when she calls…ok, she rarely calls from denver, but you never know.  plus now i have the photo.  here it is. christine looked at the photo and talked again about how FAT she has gotten.  she looks like a total porker, […]

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