A whole new month…

by grace on April 4, 2021

It was so chilly on Thursday, with temps in the 40s and strong winds blowing. It’s continues to warm up and today it’s going to be in the 70s. The daffodils are blooming, as well as the hyacinth. Lots of positive changes here for April.

Meanwhile, way back in February, Sweetie was so very content, as well as beautiful, posing like a model…

Back on the first day of March Lovey bravely nestled into the repurposed laundry basket hideaway.

A few days later she jumped right up onto Kevin’s lap! She’s getting more and more tame but continues to be resistant to warming up to me.

On March March 11th the first crocuses bloomed. I love spring!

Lovey continuing to be bold and sit on Kevin’s lap. I think she’s only done this down in his workroom in the basement because that’s where she feels more protected.

On March 18th the winds were so strong that they blew mom’s old canoe down onto the rocks along the shore. You can just see Kevin dragging a kayak after retrieving the canoe, securing all the watercraft.

The lake level had dropped so far down, but by March 20th it was way up, yay for that.

The groundhog who live in our neighbor’s yard enjoyed the bird seed along with the two geese who have taken up residence here. The geese weren’t very excited to share, but the groundhog managed to get some food.

Unfortunately, the goose laid one egg and the next day it was gone. It then laid a second one and Kevin found fresh broken shells in the yard. I guess that’s why they said “silly as a goose,” because no matter how often Kevin told them to look for a safer spot to nest, they didn’t listen. Also, “bird brained” seems appropriate. There are always such huge families of geese in the spring that obviously some of them have figured out how to safely hatch a family. Maybe these are younger geese who haven’t learned, or maybe they’re developmentally disabled geese.

Last night a friend told me about her Easter plans, involving quiche and mimosas, and she asked about ours. I told her that we haven’t thought about it. Our plan for today is to launch the boat, a magnificent way to spend the day IMO.

I hope you’re doing well. Even though cases continue to surge again nationwide, at least it’s spring.

ok then,



the last of January, from here in February

by grace on February 11, 2021

The bitter cold has settled in, with temperatures maybe climbing into the teens, and it’s just going to get worse this weekend. It’s 16 right now but feels like 2 degrees, and over the weekend the high temperature will be 8 and three on saturday and sunday.

What do I do? Stay inside a whole lot.

Meanwhile, here are my final photos of January. On January 29 there were many geese out on the frozen lake and a couple of squirrels at the bird feeder.

The cardinal is eyeing the squirrel, I’m sure wishing that he knew how to take him out.

And then there were three squirrels, trying to completely take over the feeder and the seeds close by.

I love this squirrel’s curly tail, as the geese are so plentiful out on the ice that they look out of focus.

Finally the squirrels cleared out the birds took over again.

Right at this moment the yard is filled with geese, who I’ve been watching a lot lately. I’ll have to post a video of them as they sat in the yard while some of them swam in the water around the bubbler down at the dock.

The other evening I watched them as they left the yard in small groups, soaring away and then circling back to land in the little pool of water around the dock. When it got dark I couldn’t make them out but was pretty sure that the water was completely filled with geese, and when I finally went to bed I walked out on the back deck off the bedroom and could hear them down there, squawking at each other. Maybe they stay warm like that?

Maybe the moon will be out one night and I’ll be able to see them.

As life continues to filled with not much else going on.

But one huge thing is that last night I successful signed Mom up for her two vaccines, one on Monday and the next in a month. Yesterday her friend Wanda told Mom that her hairdresser told her that new appointments became available at midnight at Hy-Vee if you went on right then. I spent some time yesterday trying to get Mom to figure out how to do that, since I wasn’t going to be up at midnight.

But I stayed up too late again and suddenly realized it was midnight and I quickly clicked on the Hy-Vee website and sure enough, there were appointments every fifteen minutes all day on Monday. I frantically called Mom, who couldn’t make it happen but then I realized I could do it for her. When I clicked on the appointments I was then supposed to upload her insurance card, so I told Mom she could take a picture with her phone and send it to me, and she finally did. Yay! When I completed the final step it said the appointment time was no longer available, but I was able to get her in at a little later in the afternoon.

The thing is, I hope getting a vaccine gets easier. The only reason we knew about going online at midnight is because of Wanda’s hairdresser, and how many people who are eligible right now stay up til midnight, and how many of them know how to upload their insurance card?

But Mom has a date, a very good thing.

ok then,

mrs. february hughes.


Happy Saturday morning!

by grace on February 6, 2021

The sun is shining, always a nice thing, but the temperature is going to start plunging tonight and it’ll be super duper cold for at least the week.

Last night Kevin turned on the faucets in the bathrooms and opened the doors underneath so the pipes wouldn’t freeze.

After he went to bed I thought that maybe I should turn on the kitchen sink faucet, but maybe not? Then I told Bev about it and suggested that maybe she, too, needed to let her faucets drip. I went into the bedroom, where Kevin had been asleep for about an hour and gently said, “Honey? Honey?”

He opened his eyes with a panicked look on his face but when I asked if I needed to turn on the kitchen sink faucet I could see his brain roaring into gear. He assured me that I didn’t need to because the sink’s pipes were not against an outside wall. I then asked if Bev needed to turn on her bathroom sink faucets and he said, nope.

I let him go back to sleep, which he did before even setting his head back down on the pillow and Bev and I continued to discuss the freezing pipes issue.

“What about my washing machine?” she asked. “It’s against the outside wall in the basement.”

Hmm, I didn’t know about that and I finally said, “I’ll wake him up again and ask!” I set the phone down and could faintly hear her protest that I didn’t need to wake up the poor guy again, but I did it anyway. He said that because her washer is in the basement there was no need.

Whew. I then regaled Bev with the story of how, one morning many years ago, Kevin turned on the kitchen lights and water poured out of the canister lights in the ceiling. I couldn’t recall any details about the story except that it was quite dramatic.

This morning I asked Kevin if he remembered me asking him questions last night and for a minute he didn’t recall, but then said he did have a vague memory of me asking him. He said that the pipes in the kitchen did freeze long ago because the house builder had put in loose, crappy insulation between the attached garage and the house and the insulation had blown away from the wall.

That morning when the water was pouring down he ran to the crawl space in the basement and shut off the water in the house, and later he climbed up in the crawl space above the garage and added a wall and some good insulation. He’s quite a handyman.

Today I’m going to have him show me where this water shut-off valve is, because what if it happens again and he’s not home?

That’s my goal for the day.

Meanwhile…here’s a photo of a lone heron standing in the shallow water, taken from mom’s back deck on January 15th.

Riley, oblivious to the three deer in back of him. I like it that two out of three deer are looking in.

On this January day there were many geese in the circle as I pulled into the driveway.

Lovey frequently lies on this top step. She’s there now, as a matter of fact.

And there’s recent huge progress with Lovey. Last night before bed I bent down to her level as she slept in her bed on the bedroom floor. I reached out and petted her three times and she didn’t flinch or run away! That was awesome. This morning I petted her again as she was lying on the step above and again she didn’t run away. She definitely didn’t look thrilled about it, but progress is surely being made. Soon she’ll be letting me pet her all the time! Maybe.

Here’s a pretty good view of the moon rising on January 28th. If I hadn’t been so lazy that night I could have tried to get a shot outside in front of the trees, but realistically it probably wouldn’t have turned out any better.

ok then, I hope you’re doing well on this brisk February morning.

mrs. h.


Sunday Kitty Fun

by grace on April 6, 2020

I have things to post from march, but right now i’m posting this because it’s so funny and cute.

first – Lovey the outside cat is transitioning to inside, and kevin was upstairs where she’s quarantined for now. I was going to join them, but sweet Sweetie was lying in the massage room so i sat with her for a little bit.

It didn’t last long. she’s good for maybe 10 minutes at a time and then she needs her space again.

It was sunny and relatively warm yesterday and i noticed this volunteer daffodil had bloomed amidst the dried hosta stalks.

The forsythia bushes didn’t bloom as much as they have before but they’re still lovely and cheerful. That’s all i’m asking for, a little bit of lovely and cheerful.

Kevin dragged the gas mower through the house to get it into the fenced yard. i was out walking when he did it, and i’m sorry i missed that. the fenced yard grass is lush and was so long that the little push mower wouldn’t have been effective.

Kevin was very busy yesterday; he moved one of the bird feeders from the deck down to this tree so we wouldn’t have birds hanging around so close to the fenced yard and the predator kitties. the geese were appreciative.

And now, the Big Fun for the day – kevin also chain-sawed a long hollow branch and leaned it up on the kitty house. Riley was so excited about the addition that he kept hopping around the yard like a bunny rabbit. he then sat looking at the branch, jerking his head all around so much that i was alarmed but kevin assured me that he was merely overjoyed.

Les was the first one to venture up the log.

Watch what happens at the end as Riley explores…

This picture is the most funny to me because of the way Lester’s head is tilted back.

Finally, here’s the inevitable kitty showdown…

…which of course didn’t last long and soon Riley languorously settled down on top of the house while Lester kept watch.

This was such a wonderful respite from thinking about the ongoing crisis. The kitties don’t know that anything is wrong and they continue to keep us entertained.

ok then,



whoops, the really truly final photos from january…

February 2, 2020

i don’t know how i remembered this morning that i’d forgotten to post these photos. maybe it’s because my brain appears to be sharp and good, i’m sure because the sun is shining and it’s supposed to be in the 50s today. sunshine, good. this is the first picture i took of the birds at […]

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all geese all the time

January 31, 2020

On Sunday Jan. 26th the sun appeared! this was fantastic; i’m not sure how long it had been cloudy but i know that we haven’t seen it again since sunday. so i went a little bit bonkers taking geese photos on the lake that day. i mean, pretty crazy. i think i took over 100 […]

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more geese…

January 29, 2020

On January 22nd it was still gray but not nearly as cold so i took some more photos of the geese. You can see that they weren’t too bothered by me since this whole group was sleeping. i love it when they’re asleep with one leg tucked up. i like this one because there’s so […]

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Geese on the Frozen Lake

January 24, 2020

On Tuesday January 21st there were lots of geese in the yard and down on the recently-frozen lake so I decided to walk down and take some photos. And of course because i was creeping down to the water they got nervous and flew out of the yard and onto the lake. i love a […]

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early november

December 15, 2019

so…i just got back from NYC. Mom and i left on monday and got back yesterday afternoon. Right before i left i spent a lot of time uploading photos, creating drafts to post while we were gone. it didn’t happen. plus i took approximately 3.2 million photos even though i told myself not to take […]

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friday! and suddenly it feels like august…

May 17, 2019

i think it got up to 92 yesterday, or something completely bonkers like that. it’s already mighty warm today. go figure. also, suddenly we have lots and lots of buffalo gnats. on wednesday kevin and i were outside and all of sudden a bunch of tiny things were zipping all over the place, landing on […]

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