No high heels!

by grace on June 24, 2021

Jeez, where has the month gone? Well, oing yard work. Lots of yard work.

It’s 6:18 a.m. right now and we have to leave at 7:30 for my torn meniscus surgery. It’s so lovely and quiet at this time of day, but I doubt that will make me get up this early on a regular basis.

It’s been a month of worry about my knee, about getting the surgery, and of frantically trying to pull so many weeds and put down so much mulch so that things will mostly be done post-surgery. I worked at the side of the house for three hours on Sunday and ended that session with dumping a bag of weeds into the ravine, but it was a bag from a while ago and a wasp shot out and stung my shoulder.

I didn’t think it was so bad, not too red, here’s a picture from Sunday evening.

But in the night of course it got really red and sore and it’s finally getting better, just in time for the surgery this morning. Here it is the morning after:

Ow. Like I said, it’s mostly better now, whew.

Last night while we had a delicious salad nicoise for dinner on the deck, Kevin told me that after his meniscus surgery he was pretty much incapacitated for a month, or a couple of months, or maybe three months.

He assured me that he thought things won’t be that bad for me. But really, who knows?

Deep breaths.

I got a packet of information from the Orthopedic Center about my surgery, including a list of things to do before the surgery and what to bring to the surgery and afterwards.

The thing that made me laugh was when it said to wear loose, comfortable clothes and slip-on shoes, and no high heels.

Obviously they wrote this because somebody coming in with a serious issue that needed surgery was wearing high heels.

In the instructions it said that I couldn’t have anything to eat or drink, not even water, after eight p.m. last night. But when a woman from the surgery center called me for my final pre-op instructions she said I could have 24 oz of gatorade last night before midnight and then 12 oz this morning before six. I felt like I’d won the lottery!

I set my alarm for 5:45 and had a refreshing glass of gatorade and last night Kevin susggested that I could go back to sleep, so I was happy to do that.

But back in bed, I figured that for the rest of the day I’m going to be lying around and sometimes unconscious, I might as well get up and enjoy the morning, one more little bit of time with my fully-intact meniscus.

So now I still have about a half hour before I have to take a shower with Dial soap. Because of the Covid, I was going to gave to get a Covid test on Monday and then quarantine til today plus I was supposed to take a shower last night and this morning with something called “hinibiclens,” a super-duper antiseptic soap. This sounded a little bit alarming because the instructions said DON’T USE ON YOUR HEAD OR FACE BECAUSE IT CAN CAUSE PERMANENT BLINDNESS.

I was also supposed to leave it on my body for two minutes.

Because of the easing Covid restrictions, however, I found out on Monday that I didn’t have to take the test or quarantine because I’ve been fully vaccinated, and instead of the hibiclens I could use dial soap. Score! Last night I took my first dial shower and when we leave for the Orthopedic Surgery Center I’ll be mighty squeaky clean.

Here’s a Friday night weenie roast on June 4th. I’ve been able to still make it down the hill to the dock and hopefully I’ll be able to continue to do that, but maybe Kevin will have to drive me down there. Probably not tomorrow night, but it’s supposed to rain tomorrow anyway.

The next day I babysat Amy and Jim’s dogs and spotted a chipmunk on their front porch.

That evening we took a boat ride and saw a goose ws comfortably nesting in somebody’s flower pot at the end of dock on Long Bay.

When we got home, there was the gaggle of around 23 goslings with their parents.

On Sunday a tiny baby fawn was curled up in the yard. I was going to rush out and take a picture but Amy said DON’T SCARE IT BECAUSE THEN ITS MOTHER WON’T BE ABLE TO FIND IT, so I crept out very quietly to get a picture. I was actually up on the deck taking this, so yay for my new camera phone that takes a great close-up.

The next day a giant limb fell out of our very old and beautiful Bradford pear tree in the front yard. This is a little worrisome because it’s such a lovely tree and hopefully the whole thing won’t come down. Since we have so many very old trees around here, it’s always a possibility.

Here’s Riley, admiring the blooming flowers in the fenced yard.

That’s all the photos for now. I’m starting to feel a little hungry. I have to be at the place at eight and they said the whole thing will probably take four-five hours, so I imagine I’ll be mighty hungry by then. Hmm, it seems like a good opportunity to get some decadent fast food or something, but maybe I’ll be too sleepy to care about that.

Hopefully everything will go quickly and smoothly. Never having had any kind of surgery before, I’m a little skittish.

Deep breaths.

ok then,

Pre-Op Grace.


More May Stuff

by grace on June 4, 2021

It suddenly got super hot around here but it cools off at night which is great.

I have photos from the end of May, but these are mostly from May 22nd, after Kevin and I took that lovely kayak trip. We need to do that again soon.

Anyway, that afternoon I babysat the dogs who enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

Later in the day the giant gaggle of geese sailed by the dock.

Lester and Lovey, chilling on the back patio. Lovey found the only tiny spot where there currently aren’t any ferns. All the ferns I transplanted last year are doing great so far. I’ve noticed that a few more have sprouted in the previous place where they were but I haven’t dug them up yet, plus if I do that I don’t know where Lovey will sit.

It’s nice that Lovey is comfortable enough when I’m around to lie there, but we’re really not making a lot of progress, her liking me-wise. But she sure is happy despite the fact that I continue to live here.

At this point Les Paul reigned on top of the kitty house. Hey, I’ve since emptied that mulch bag, yay for me.

In the evening the geese gaggle was snacking on things on the lawn.

The next day Kevin asked me if I’d shave his head. Amy has done this a few times but it had gotten pretty long. Kevin had bought a razor and I agreed to do it even though I had no idea how. How hard could it be?

Pretty terrible, it turns out. The razor had a protective shield over it and there were many different shields for trimming to different lengths but no matter which one we tried the razor was just swishing his hair around from side to side, no cutting going on at all.

I decided to try the trimming blade and shaved the hair at the back of his neck and then thought, “why not just use this to shave his head?”

And this is what happened.

Uh oh. It was quite terrible but I couldn’t stop laughing.

I finally texted Amy and told her we had a slight hair emergency and she came over and did a fantastic job in about three minutes.

But I did do a petty good job on his neck…

ok then,

mrs. early June Hughes.


May, quickly slipping away…

by grace on May 27, 2021

How did that happen? It felt like mid-summer with temps soaring high into the 80s but it’s suddenly cooling off a bit, now that June is almost upon us.

On May 20th we were down at the dock and a goose sauntered by…

Lester, always so happy…

We’ve seen this huge gaggle of geese a few times now – i think there are about 23 goslings! That’s lots of goslings to take care of.

Saturday, May 22nd we took a morning kayak trip down to the end of Long Bay again. This new dock used to be a very old and rotting dock, and it looks so nice now.

Up there, the yellow flowers mark the end of Long Bay.

I guess I enjoy it because it’s like a secret little cove. Here’s a short video of what it looks like.

On our way out of the bay we saw this small goose family.

I like all the trees hanging over the water.

And that’s photos for right now. Tomorrow I hope to post yet again because it’s going to be chilly so I won’t feel the need to do as much.

Because yeah, I’ve been doing a lot even though I got an MRI the week after I went to the Ortho and that was a very weird thing – the person doing it asked what kind of music I wanted to listen to and I said “jazz” so I had these earphones on and they had me lie down on this plank with my leg secured in it and a weight on top of my leg so it’d be very still. The woman said it’d take 2o-30 minutes because they’d take several images but might have to re-do them.

So then she left the room and I slid into the MRI machine, except really only my leg was in there but OH MY GOD IT WAS SO LOUD.

It seemed ridiculous that she’d asked about my music preference because it sounded like they were doing very loud construction right there. The woman said each image would take from three to five minutes and sometimes at the end of each one there’d be an additional even louder pounding drilling construction sound which sounded like it was right underneath me.

And very faintly, underneath it all, there was the sound of jazz. Probably. I’m sure she mentioned that it was Pandora, and sometimes there was an ad but I had no idea what they could have possibly been advertising.

I did my best to lie perfectly still and focus on deep breathing and after a bit my leg really started to hurt but I kept breathing through it and it was a little bit restful just because I was lying down. But at the same time deafening.

A few days later they called to tell me that yes indeed I have a torn meniscus. It’s weird because that’s exactly what Kevin had many years ago…2007, maybe?

I had to go in and see the orthopedic doctor who is going to do the surgery. I’d read up on torn meniscus – it’s a cushion around your knee, and there’s one on either side, and I read that they could sew it up. But the resident who first examined me said that they only do that for young athletes. If you’re over 40, they shave the torn part off.

I just feel that shaving things off can’t be a good thing. Except, say, my inner thighs…

So this is where it gets slightly terrifying. Many years ago Kevin tore his meniscus at work, tripping over some big exposed plug in the floor, so it was a big impact. The doctor he went to acted like it wouldn’t be so bad, but we both have memories of him being in a whole lot of pain afterwards, for a very long time. He’d been thinking about starting a fencing school after retiring, and he was very close to retiring, but because the doctor ended up cutting out 70% of his meniscus he can’t lunge, and if you can’t lunge, you can’t fence. He also can’t run anymore.

So as I’m typing thing it’s making me think that yeah, maybe I won’t be able to run after this. That would be a drag. But maybe it won’t be so bad, and I also know that this doctor I’m seeing is really, really good – he replaced both hips and both knees of a friend whose husband trained the doctor who will be working on me.

Kevin’s doctor, on the other hand, might have removed an excessive amount of his meniscus. When he was a kid he crashed his bike badly and Kevin thinks his meniscus was probably torn then and formed scar tissue and the doctor went in and removed the scar tissue. So that would be bad, not to mention incompetent. There were also some kind of shady-sounding things about his recovery – he did physical therapy but then the doctor told him it wasn’t working, so he wouldn’t be getting any more of that.

Anyway. We did do a huge amount of hiking in Wales and Ireland, but that was several years after his injury. Hopefully it won’t be several years before I can do things again. If not running, then at least hiking and biking and all the weights I’ve been doing a lot more of.

My surgery is June 24th, which seems like a long time to wait. A couple of days ago my knee was feeling better, and I started thinking that maybe I didn’t really need the surgery, but then I did a little too much something and then pain increased. I’m still doing some yard work – it’s amazing how much I can do by scooching around on the ground. I managed to do some weeding and putting down mulch in that manner.

But then I power-washed the deck for a couple of hours a couple of days ago and then an hour yesterday. My knee just feels weird. But today I managed to sit on the ground and put out all the shells that line my front walkway and that made me happy, and I coaxed Kevin into bringing most of my palms down from the upstairs and I arranged them. I even transplanted some shoots of plants that have been sitting on my dining room table for a few months now and have been driving me crazy. I sat on the little deck, digging around in the pots and making a huge mess. But now, the knee isn’t so happy about so much activity.

Ok, sorry, blah blah blah, what am I going to be like in 20 years when I have more serious age-related issues?

But right now I need to ask the people at the orthopedic center if it could possibly tear again, and what about the other knee? And I worry about having anesthesia which I’ve never had before, and what if I’m in pain for a long time afterwards? It’s summer and I need to garden.

Deep breaths.

ok then,

mrs. getting older all the time hughes (but consider the alternative).


the beginning of May

by grace on May 20, 2021

May 2nd, the first family of geese! I think there were about 10 babies.

Kevin and I took a wonderful kayak ride that morning.

I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures during our trip; we paddled all the way to the end of Long Bay, one of my favorite spots on the lake. We can’t take the pontoon boat all the way to the end so it feels enchanting to me.

We have a big rooster placement problem here. Kevin pounded a piece of rebar into the ground last year to place the giant rooster and so he put it back in the same place this year because when he pulled it out last year, one of the piece of rebar stayed in the ground because it was pounded right into a big root. So now it’s not going anywhere, but it totally blocks the beautiful irises that Dad planted down there.

As the ground keeps sinking down there, stuff isn’t looking good, which is why it’s even more important to at least have the irises. Kevin has talked about laying some railroad ties down along the edge, so hopefully he’ll do that this summer. The only problem with that is that there are approximately a zillion other things that need to be done.

Sweetie had never laid in this window sill before; she loves to mix it up in terms of sleeping spots all over the house.

I wasn’t able to successfully-enough capture the far shore which was lit up in the evening.

And here’s Spot, our outdoor kitty. He hangs out on the front porch quite a bit and also sometimes on the back deck and he has gotten in the fenced yard on more than one occasion. We need to make him part of the family! One problem with this is that he might terrorize everybody else. He’s definitely an Alpha male.

Darling little Lovey who might be related to Spot. She clearly doesn’t care for him but she continues to be quite in love with Kevin, even jumping up into his lap sometimes.

And that’s about it for here in May.

ok then,



wrapping up may, finally

July 1, 2020

a bunch of random images at the end of may…first, Riley and Les Paul trying to relax on the screened porch on May 24th. May 25th, Memorial Day, Kevin relaxed down at the water for a brief time after doing some herculean effort, i’m sure. There was quite a parade of goslings and geese that […]

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mostly Riley, way back in may…

June 27, 2020

here’s a short video of a couple of the cute baby groundhogs next door. I took some photos of them but they were too hard to see. meanwhile…this is the biggest gaggle of goslings I saw in may. they’re much bigger now. The moon looking pretty spectacular on may 8th. on may 10th, a beautiful […]

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happy (belated, kind of) birthday to me!

May 25, 2016

yesterday was my birthday, and it was certainly…different.  i worked in the morning, we had a tasty sushi lunch, and later in the day i went to rehearsal.  no cake at all!  but that’s ok, because cake is going to happen later. maybe i’ve mentioned it – we’re doing “the dixie swim club” again, this […]

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