the rest of 2019, kitties of course

by grace on January 20, 2020

Sweetie got real brave in December and sat up on the kitty house. sometimes she’s brave, sometimes she spends her time up in the upstairs bedroom. when i got up this morning she was right here but then she decided she needed to be back upstairs.

kevin bought all the kitties two different catnip socks each. they were all thrilled! he also got one for mom’s cat Hobbs which was really nice of him. she, too, was happy to get a christmas present for once.

Sweetie was very excited and played with her sock a lot. of course i don’t know where any of them are by now.

new year’s eve excitement as riley jumped into a sack while sweetie devoured some food. yep, we went crazy around here for new year’s eve…

Actually, Kevin suggested that we watch “when harry met sally” on new year’s eve. it wouldn’t have been my choice, but then we watched it and it was so fantastic, as always. a nice evening, in spite of me being sick.

ok then,

mrs. finally it’s 2020 hughes.



by grace on December 18, 2019

Les and Riley can’t help being so adorable all the time…here they are on the first day of december.

christmas swan!!!

mom and i went to hobby lobby at the beginning of the month and were were about to check out but i hurried back in to pick up some candles. I glanced up and saw three beautiful white swans on the tip tip top of a shelf and i thought I MUST HAVE THEM.

i hurried over and got a worker to get a ladder to get one off the tall tall shelf…and it was styrofoam. hmm. ok, styrofoam, didn’t matter, it was still beautiful. and then i looked at the price.

it was half off…for forty bucks. good grief. for styrofoam? no way, i wasn’t going to pay that. no sir.

i got home and described the swans to kevin and decided that i could make my own styrofoam swan. i started looking online and you can buy styrofoam forms for all kinds of animals – horses, bunnies, cats, deer…you name it. but no swans. hmm, maybe i couldn’t make one after all.

so surely, surely somebody must be selling one online cheaper than $40?

my search resulted in a similar swan, except the beak was glittery and it had some brushed gold on the tips of the feathers and quite frankly i didn’t like it nearly as much as the one from hobby lobby. and it was from Harrod’s. And the price was about $175 pounds. around $230.

I quickly realized the Hobby Lobby swans were a steal. I looked them up online but online hobby lobby was all out, so i sweated it out til the next morning and i rushed back to the store when it opened and bought all three. One for me, amy, and mom.

i added embellishments to mine – a few ornaments, a few flowers, a festive green poinsettia cap.

i love my swan. i just looked up the one from Harrod’s so i could show you what it looked like but it’s now nowhere to be found. No fabulous white swan photos on Pinterest either, plus they no longer exist on the hobby lobby website .

valuable lesson learned – when you see a magical swan you must buy it. I’m sure my white swan will be worth gobs of money, a styrofoam collector’s item, but i’ll never part with it. When xmas is over i’ll take off the xmas embellishments and display it all year round.

here’s sweetie, happy to sit in the living room with us for a little bit.

we’d almost decided to get rid of this cat bed so of course riley decided it was the perfect spot.

and of course les is always happy to sit in or on top of a box.

here he’s saying , “ssshhhh, kevin, you talk on and on way too much.” which is funny, because kevin is a very quiet fellow.

even better than a cat bed, of course, is a big wad of shipping paper.

saturday the 7th, before mom and i left for NYC, i was looking for some xmas thing or other and i kept getting stuff out and putting it on the dining room table. this is what it looked like. nightmare. piles and piles of stuff.

i stayed up late trying to put things around but i just couldn’t finish before we left.

i was ravenous, so randy and i had dinner at steak-n-shake. I went crazy and had a nutella shake, a kid-sized one. it was pretty good but didn’t really taste like nutella.

sweetie was calmly sitting on kevin’s lap when i got home. she’s been a little more skittish lately but hopefully she”l continue to get happier about living here with us.

when i got back from new york i was determined that the first thing i’d do is clear the dining room table of extra decorations. i did put up a few of them but unfortunately there are some really great ornaments that don’t have a home. i know it’s too late to build an addition to the house to put them up somewhere and i keep thinking i should put them all away for the year. so today is really, really the day when i figure out where to put things and move on from the whole decoration thing.

many things to do. luckily none of them involve going outside because it’s dang cold out there. and oh yeah, i do have that 6.5 million gob of new york to sort through and post…it’ll happen.

ok then,

mrs. in the christmas mood hughes.



by grace on January 15, 2019

i don’t have lots of photos from the holiday and i’m so over it now anyway, but i think this photo is very funny because why is kevin’s arm bent like that? he looks just about as uncomfortable as a person could be! funny.

Mom, of course, always enjoys herself…and the dogs just want people to pet them.

randy stopped by on christmas night dressed in this festive ensemble. lester was impressed.

randy gave kevin this star wars stocking hat. it has yoda ears, which i don’t think you can see so well here.

and here’s the final photo of 2018 – jim, winning in disc golf! what did he win? a hole in one, i’m surmising…

yaaaay jim!

and BOOM, we’re moving on to the new year…

ok then,

mrs. getting stuff done as we start 2019 hughes.


ted’s boatarama!

by grace on December 26, 2018

on the first week of december kevin told me he’d had a call from the guy at ted’s boatarama where we bought our new pontoon boat during the summer. he said the guy invited us to a holiday dinner, and i said, well, that’s in the quad cities and he said, well, we could spend the night. i asked him many questions – was it just for people who had bought boats there this year, was it a fancy dinner, etc, but he didn’t have any answers for me. cause he’s a guy. and guys rarely ask questions. he did say it was an open bar, which would be nice for me but since he can’t drink it didn’t matter to him.

now, kevin rarely suggests that we go somewhere. he’s been on more trips with his friends than with me this year, but that’s partly because we don’t don’t to leave winnie for too long, even with our expert catsitter bev.

so since kevin suggested it i said ok let’s go! quad cities here we come!

we drove up to davenport on wednesday december 12th and arrived at the fantastic downtown Davenport hotel i’d found on tripadvisor. it’s called The Current Iowa –; it was built in 1910 by Daniel Burnham, the man who designed chicago’s waterfront, as well as the Flatiron Building in NYC.

The hotel was both historic and super modern with lots of artwork all over the place.

i loved the cool lights by the side of the bed.

This funny dog wonder woman statue was set in a little alcove in the wall of our room.

Plus there was always hot cocoa with so many toppings in the lobby. i’ve never seen that before.

we got to the hotel in time to check in and look around a bit, then it was off to ted’s. it’s less than 10 minutes from the hotel, and when we got there the parking lot was packed. the event had started at 4:30 and we arrive at about five.

We stepped inside and there was a line from the buffet snaking all the way back to the door, with at least 50 or so people waiting patiently in line. long table were set up in the huge showroom and the place was bustling. most people in line carried beverages and i found coolers with beer and beer-a-rita kinds of drinks, but then realized they had a full bar set up at the service counter. you could get any possible drink you could think of, and i chose wine.

in line in back of us was a nice old couple named bob and dee. he was a cheerful wisecracking kind of guy, and told us that ted’s boatarama has been throwing this shindig for years and years. somebody told me they’d been doing it for at least 20 years, and it’s for anybody who has ever done business with the company. that’s a lot of people, and it seemed that most of them were in attendance. i guessed that 99.9 percent of the crowd were fishermen. they just looked like fishermen, most in ballcaps.

the buffet was fantastic, clearly all homemade, with so many choices including jambalaya that i enjoyed so much that i made it for christmas.

holiday fun with bob & dee!

this shows only about half the space. a nice dog who i remembered from when we bought our boat was wandering from table to table, and somebody had attached a little sign to its color reading “please don’t feed me.” the dog was clearly hoping he’d find somebody who couldn’t or didn’t choose to read the sign.

in addition to all the food and alcohol, they had at least three big tables loaded down with more homemade desserts than i’d seen in one place in a very long time. yes, i went a little crazy over them.

I love their old sign.

you can get an idea of how big the place is. by the time we left at about 6:00, there weren’t quite as many cars, but the place was still jumping. there had been a line out to the door the whole time, but it was slightly shorter by the time we left.

here’s a panorama of our room.

our bathroom mirror had a built-in tv. i’ve never seen thbis before and thought it kind of funny that you could watch tv while getting ready. truly we are spinning out of control with our watching dependancy.

i loved this photo of a wet eagle, although it’s hard to see in this picture because of the reflection from the mirror.

yet another first for me – this is the remote for the bidet!

kevin in the cool lobby the next morning.

one more photo of the hotel – i love an old-timey sign.

and that’s it for this morning – i hope your xmas was shiny and bright! i’m a little relieved that it’s all over and have a bit of desire to pack up all the decorations right this very minute, but i feel unmotivated to do much of anything today…

ok then,

mrs. holiday hughes.


TWO days til xmas…

December 23, 2018

…I’m just saying. not a huge amount of time for getting ready. not huge. some might say, not much time at all. i’m not one of those people. I guess i don’t have that much to do, not very many people to buy gifts for, i guess i’m done with that. i felt like i […]

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other things at the end of 2017…

January 25, 2018

well, here’s the great photo of lester and chester, as chester patiently waits for les to finish his meal so he can swoop in and devour the remains.  poor little kitty. winnie, sleeping on a “mutts” pillow. here’s mom’s living room facing the lake, with the darling little Hobbs kitty. here’s a panorama of the […]

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wrapping up november…

December 15, 2017

Mom got an iphone!  a big one, and she’s very please with it, and is doing a great job of figuring out how to make it work. lester scaling a stump on a november walk. another beautiful lake view. a bunny lives in the diminishing log pile, and les is always determined to chase him […]

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happy new year’s eve day!

December 31, 2016

things have changed dramatically around here. the puppy had been here a week, and the cats were traumatized and i knew that coco would continue to be puppy-like for two years.  les spent much of his time hiding in the bedroom. and one night i sat in there with him, feeling depressed and pretty sure […]

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wrapping up december, making way for this shiny new year…

January 2, 2016

the sun is shining this morning, although it’s cold…it’s nice when we have the blue skies, because of the many gray days we’ve already had. just a few more december photos, and then on to 2016!  which will be filled with…about 365 days.  except now only 364, so let’s try to make the most of […]

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happy…three days after xmas…

December 28, 2015

yeah, i’m not even quite sure how that happened.  whoosh, and it’s over.  the day after christmas i got up and thought that i really wanted to take down all the decorations, but since i’d put the very final ones up on xmas morning, i decided i should hold off a little. i went a […]

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