The Mystery of the Missing Gift Bags

by grace on December 24, 2021

First of all…I have no business sitting here on the couch but I’m trying to give myself a break. The most important thing is that Kevin somehow managed to get everything on the porch plugged in so now the blowup Minion and snowman are happily bogging around. I should go turn the outside xmas light on right now, because it’s a grey day.

I finally made that list of stuff to do and broke it down by day but then didn’t get enough done every day and yesterday I worked myself into quite a frazzle. I also wrote a very very detailed list for things to do today which is why the lack of business I have just sitting here. We’re having people over for dinner tonight, which is now coming right up.

Some of the things, though, are “chop tomatoes for salad” and I didn’t buy any more tomatoes so there are only seven of them, so that shouldn’t take so long. So in theory all the stuff won’t take but a bit of time, but that never actually happens. But at least I’m pretty sure I wrote down everything, including “water orchid,” because it had to be watered every Friday, and I already did that so I was able to cross it off the list and feel ahead of the game.

I was lying in bed this morning, desperate to get back to sleep because I knew I hadn’t slept enough, and I started to worry about Marley. Last night when I was upstairs sitting on the floor with her, she was just lying there on the floor, letting me pet her, but not seeming too great. So this morning lying in bed I thought WHAT IF SHE DIED IN THE NIGHT? And got myself fairly worked up.

When I got up, Kevin had been up there with her and said she was just fine. Whew.

Here she is; she has enjoyed lying on this kitty scratcher even though it doesn’t look particularly comfortable to me. But Lester has always relished lying on top of it, so it must be a cat thing.

Sweet kitty.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the story behind the title of this post – earlier in the week I was rummaging around in the basement searching for my Xmas gift bags. I have quite a collection of them and keep adding to it because I buy more after xmas, and some of them I save to give to Kevin, and the gift bags are a big part of my christmas wrapping experience. But after spending way too much time looking I finally gave up. Kevin then scoured the basement, looking in all the tubs down there, and there are many, many tubs. Many of them. He said he couldn’t find them, and I assured him that that had to be there, because what would have happened to them? Did somebody come in the night and steal them? That couldn’t have happened, because Riley would have alerted us, the way he hisses and growls at Spot whenever Spot appears at the kitty door in the back, hoping to get in.

Kevin went back down after a while and miraculously found them; he’d put a container of leather-working materials on top of my Very Important tub.

So whew for that. I’d be in much worse shape right now if I hadn’t had my gift bags.

Ok then,

Mrs. only a few more hours to get stuff done Hughes.

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Six More Days…

by grace on December 19, 2021

Yeah. Six. Not many. I woke up earlier than I wanted to this morning because my mind was exploding a little bit about all the stuff I have to get done this week.

I’ve been blearily sitting here on the couch for a while now, trying to organize my thoughts about what I really, really need to do but of course since I’m not lying in bed, my brain has slowed right down and I’m not making any progress about stuff. I have a pad of paper, trying to write a list of critical things to do, but now I feel like it’s not that big a deal anyway.

So here’s our porch.

But it doesn’t actually look like that anymore because last week…the week before? we blew a fuse because in addition to all the lights, we have about four heated kitty pads out there and it was too much for the outlets. Kevin went out a few times and tried to fix them but finally gave in, and we called an electrician who said it’d be a week before he could get here.

But then, Christmas miracle, he had a cancellation and came last Tuesday and fixed things. Yay for that! Except now the two blow-ups aren’t blown up because I think it was too much and so instead they’re just forlornly lying there.

Maybe I’ll ask Kevin if we could plug them in again? I could ask him right now, he’s doing something in the kitchen right behind me, but it seems like too much effort to have a conversation right now.

Overly-tired, I guess that’s my feeling.

And here’s the Hillbilly Hideout, the little warming center we’ve constructed for our outside kitties.

It’s made of an outside table covered with boards on the top and plexiglass around the sides and two heated pads on top of a rug and a pillow. Only three sides are covered, but at least it gives them some protection from the cold. We do have two perfectly nice cat houses with heated pads inside them but so far they’ve been resistant to going inside them which is why we constructed the hideout. We named it that (who came up with that name? Can’t remember.) because it adds to the general hillbilly look of our front porch right now. In addition to the hideout there’s an old leather red leather chair with the leather flaking off and a bunch of other stuff. I decided to cover everything with festive lights and the kitties seem to enjoy it.

Which is all that matters, right?

So now we have four inside and two outside cats. Mom’s friend Wanda passed away unexpectedly on Friday, and she had one senior cat named Marley who is very sweet but wasn’t expected to last longer a few months ago, but she continues to survive, so Kevin and I are adopting her. So tomorrow we’ll have five inside cats. Marley will spend her time upstairs in the guest room, not sure if she’ll ever want to interact with the other cats, but we’ll see how that goes.

It’s sad that Wanda also has two very sweet outside cats who she never brought in because she was concerned that Marely wouldn’t like them. I met them and it seemed like they deserve a nice inside home, but I think Wanda’s sons will be lucky to find them an outside home.

Whew. Things to do. But maybe not so many?

ok then,

christmas countdown grace


Final posting of Christmas Stuff

by grace on January 3, 2021

The ground is covered in snow on this Sunday morning. The sun keeps peeking out, making everything gleam frostily.

I’m happy to stay inside. Even though I do not like cold, I do not like winter, I can appreciate the snow once in a while as long as I don’t have to go out in it and especially don’t have to drive on it and know that it’s not going to linger.

and here’s my last Christmas posting, all about the kitties…here’s a short video of Lester exuberantly tearing up the wrapping paper.

Darling Sweetie who thoroughly enjoyed her new little pink sock.

Such a happy kitty!

Lovey relished her first-ever little pink sock while Sweetie looked on dubiously.

Here’s a very short video of Lovey in action.

Christmas evening, I picked up Sweetie from the bedroom and carried her all the way into the living room and settled onto the couch with her happily snuggling and purring on my lap. All other times I’ve picked her up she turns into a snapping writhing very angry spitfire, but because she was so warm and sleepy she didn’t mind being picked up and even let Amy take this nice photo.

And that was our Christmas miracle…

ok then,

mrs. Hughes 2021.


Christmas Gifts

by grace on January 2, 2021

I spent a good portion of yesterday taking down every last decoration and also the tree. I kind of miss the lights already since it’s another gloomy day out there but am happy not to look at the gobs of xmas stuff all around.

Kevin loves chocolate covered cherries, and when he was a kid his dad would buy a box for his mom and kevin got one cherry every year. Because he was so deprived as a child I try to buy them for his birthday and Christmas.

But this year on his birthday I went to Pease’s candy store and was dismayed to learn that not only did they not have any, but somehow the cherries were defective and they wouldn’t be getting any more this year. I bought him a big box of dark chocolate toffee which he also likes.

A couple of weeks before Christmas I called Pease’s to make sure they had toffee, and the woman said that they had chocolate covered cherries! She said they were using a different source, and had 13 dark chocolate cherries left. I asked her to save them for me and hurried over that afternoon to pick them up. because it was an odd number, she’d put six each in two little boxes, and then the last one was in a tiny plastic bag. the cherries were all wrapped in gold foil.

As I started wrapping presents on Christmas eve day (should have started sooner) I got inspired, deciding to wrap Kevin’s lone cherry in a big box with a giant bow. Here it is.

On the box I wrote “open last,” so he’d feel it was something extra-fantastic. Here he is on Christmas morning…

And here’s the one little chocolate covered cherry. He had a good laugh, which was my objective.

I realize now that I could have tried getting some from other places, but I always felt that Pease’s was the best because it’s a small, locally-owned shop. But since they outsource the cherries, maybe I should have tried Fanny May. Maybe next time?

And this is the most dazzling thing that Kevin got me…

It’s a leather purse! Still to be assembled – he needed to know what color I wanted it to be before dying and putting it all together. It’s funny, because sometimes I heard a little “ping ping ping” coming from the basement but didn’t think a thing about it because there’s always some kind of noise down there. But it was Kevin, hard at work hand-tooling all those fine details into the leather. Such craftsmanship! I’ll post a picture of the complete purse.

To the right is a darling set of Mutts ornaments that he bought me. I’d already bought a set myself, and I’m very happy to have two of them. You can never have too many Mutts things, IMO.

All right, one final posting about Christmas and then that’s it, on to the new year. Actually, I have a few things leftover from last year, but they’re not Christmas-related. Enough is enough.

ok then,

Mrs. 2021 Grace.


Christmassy Stuff

December 30, 2020

I feel like i’m done with Christmas now, tired of all the stuff that I put up everywhere. When Amy and Jim came over for Christmas dinner they seemed stupefied by the amount of stuff I had out, but I felt it wasn’t really over the top, and not more than other people have? I […]

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Countdown to Xmas!

December 19, 2020

I was startled to see that i’d last posted on the 13th; how is it possible six days have whooshed by? And even more alarming is that Christmas is in six days! I mean, in perspective it’s not really alarming. All the sadness and death from the coronavirus is what’s truly alarming. But the speedy […]

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the rest of 2019, kitties of course

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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ted’s boatarama!

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 […]

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