On sept. 18th kevin and i headed over to the fairgrounds to see this convoy of military vehicles.  they were trekking all the way to california on route 66, and i’m hoping kevin will remember some of the details and tell you about it.  here’s a pretty cool motorcycle with a sidecar that kevin really liked.

the next morning there a bunch of fogg had rolled over the lake, and i got these pictures of  birds skimming over the surface.



later in the afternoon lester hid in the vinca vines.  shhhh, you can’t see him…

that evening a heron perched on a buoy.  last night we had a neighborhood bonfire, and one of the neighbors told me that when they moved here 20 years ago it was pretty rare to see a heron.  that’s funny; since my grandmother lived here, i’ve been coming out here most of my life, and it felt like the herons had always been around.  but i guess not.

amy, jim, mom, randy and i went to a W.I.L.D. fundraiser which my friend Jill hosted, and amy and jim brought two of their darling doggies.  it was an incredibly hot day.

september 25th, taking the boat out of the water for the winter.  i kind of feel this is the latest we’ve taken it out, but then again i didn’t remember that the herons haven’t always been around in great abundance, so you never know.  the water was ridiculously low and the grass was brown.  since then it’s rained so much that new grass is growing, i have lilies coming up, it looks kind of spring-like.

this is our property, although you can’t see the houses.  our dock is over there on the left.

i think his is the first time it occurred to me to sit in the back of the boat.  all the many other times i always sat in the captain’s seat, as though somehow i needed to steer.  it takes me a very long time to think differently.

and there it is, the end of september.  i’m pretty sure there weren’t as many photo ops in october so there’s a chance i’ll be done with them before the end of the month.

but on the other hand i haven’t been able to give massages for the past two weeks and yet i haven’t managed to find very much free time.

right now there’s a threat of snow in the forecast for saturday.  good god.  it’s still about 70 today, but the temperature is supposed to start dropping.  i have to somehow dig up all my gerber daisies in the front and put them in pots for over-wintering, as well as getting plants from the deck into pots, but i don’t know how that’s gonna work with only having the use of one hand.  hmm, somehow i’ll have to get kevin to help me.

it’s always something.

ok then,

mrs. i hope there really isn’t any snow coming soon hughes.




wrapping up august, as fall is upon us…

by grace on September 25, 2017

i took this on august 15th, when we were taking the boat out of the water yet again for repairs.  there’s kevin, walking up to the house to get in the van and drive over the bridge to pull the boat out.  it’s funny, because today we took the boat out for the season.

also funny because it feels like the middle of august, not the end of september.  it’s a little odd, as the leaves start to change color and fall off the trees, and yet right at this very moment it’s 94 degrees but feels like 96!  which is why i’m sitting in the air conditioning.

gull on a buoy.  sometimes herons perch there, and i’m always amazed at their balance.

kevin did all the work as i sat there in the captain’s chair.

i love the re-blooming lilacs.  they did really well this year despite getting eaten to the ground by the crazy hungry beavers over the winter.  maybe they’ve moved on this year?  maybe they’ve lost their taste for lilac?  time will tell.

the boat was not working much more than working this year.  here it is still at our repair guy josh’s, with a brand new (used) motor.  i was very excited about this, except then we still had issues but josh kept making house calls to repair it.  then it got really hot, so not enough time was spent on the boat by me.  must change that next year!

so many half-finished projects…here’s mom’s patio, with so many weeds growing through the cracks between the bricks.  it seems like bad design to me.  i used amy and jim’s blowtorch to get rid of them, but i think i wore myself out on this day.  i was hoping there would be a lot of rain and i could pull them, but that hasn’t happened yet.

meanwhile…she has a whole different patio around the back and the grass was so tall that you could barely see the bricks!  the thing about this patio is that nobody would probably ever sit there anyway.

i looked after randy’s kitties while he took a short trip.  they’re cute, of course, and here they seem to actually like each other.  the giant Pee Wee, in grey, does always want to play with miss kitty, but she hates him a lot.

so cute!

pee wee had a nice box in the dining room but randy didn’t want a box cluttering up his fabulous space, so he put it in the garage.  i got it back out for the poor little deprived kitty.  he just wants a box, that’s all!  not too much to ask!

miss kitty preferred the comfy bed.

one morning i went with jill to take her dogs for a walk and came across a tree full of these interesting berries.  i looked them up online and finally found that they’re the fruit of something called a Kousa Dogwood.  the fruit is supposed to be delicious.  i didn’t try it.

here’s what the tree looks like.  i saw this tree the day after i’d seen the first one, and i wish i’d have picked some of those berries.

one more darling photo of pee wee…

…and sweet lester, ready for bed…

and BOOM, end of august already!

september, plenty has happened in september, including going to see yet another performance of herman’s hermits!

soon, soon…

ok then,

mrs. sitting around on a monday afternoon hughes.




by grace on September 23, 2017

trying to remember my excuse for being so lax in posting much in august, i looked at photos.  i was pretty busy doing stuff outside.

i power-washed the little dock, and wow, what a difference.

lester approved.

while i did that, kevin installed a portable toilet on the boat.  he also bought a privacy curtain!  he thinks of everything.  he replace the big bench seat with a smaller one, which he was in the middle of attaching here.

i’d borrowed amy & jim’s new power washer because ours broke and at some point i realized that i was burning the hose.  so dumb. at least it didn’t burn all the way through plus luckily for some reason kevin had an extra hose that he could swap for it.  it’s always something.

meanwhile…another beautiful evening.

i set the old bench seat amongst the chairs around our fire pit.  very comfortable, a couch by the water.

i found this great stand-up to give to kevin for his birthday, and added the caption.  i set it up the night before his birthday, and it’s funny how many times princess leia has startled me.  i assumed he’d take her down to his man cave, but she’s sitting in the living room right now.

a handful of the crocosmia bulbs i planted flowered.  they didn’t do that well, but i assume they’ll come up in more abundance next year.  everything is suddenly burnt up because we’ve had a last bit of ridiculous summer heat, plus no rain at all.  for example, right now at noon it’s 90 but feels like 94.  it looks a little like fall with leaves on the ground, but feels like the heart of summer.

uh oh..chester decided he was desperate for a mini cupcake.   cats don’t like cupcakes, but nobody told chester.

as i was driving home one day i stopped to look at these fawns, who were taken aback while their mom continue to snack.

lester, with the best view in the house.

amy gave me these beautiful yellow canna lilies – she didn’t know which ones she bought were yellow, and they’re so dazzling and still blooming now.

the last hurrah of our very old and dying peach tree.  we used to get an unbelievable amount of peaches from the two trees, and now the last one has had it.

here’s a “where’s waldo” peach – see it in the upper right corner?  there were actually about five of them, but they all disappeared.  we need to plant something else next year.  i love mimosa trees, but on the other hand it sure was nice to have our very own peaches.

i’m staying inside today because of the ridiculous heat plus i managed to get a cold two days ago.  i’m trying to be very still, hoping  it won’t linger.

like i said, always something.

ok then,

mrs. seeing the end of september lurking hughes.


the eclipse!

by grace on August 22, 2017

did you see it?  yesterday, at 1:18 p.m.?  that’s when it happened here, anyway…

i wasn’t that enthusiastic about the eclipse, really, but yesterday morning as i was driving home from work, my friend jill told me that she had eclipse glasses.  i listened to the radio and somebody was saying that seeing a total eclipse had totally changed their life.  that made me wish i’d driven down to carbondale, where it was going to be total, instead of staying home where it was 96%, i believe.  plus i hadn’t procured any eclipse glasses.

but as i pulled into the garage i thought about jill’s glasses, and maybe she had another pair.  so i called her and she did have an extra pair so i drove right back to her house to get them.

i got home about 11:30, and turned on ABC which was broadcasting the eclipse along the path.  mostly this involved a host yammering about how cool it was, and then the host would stick a microphone in different people’s faces and say, “what do you think?” and the person would say “awesome!”

that got old after a while.  in one of the spots, there were bright lights focused on the host so it wasn’t even very easy to tell that the eclipse was happening.  in other places it did get dark, but there was just too much yelling.

i was also streaming it on my computer, and that was mostly a guy also yammering, endlessly.

kevin and i walked down to the dock at about 12:20.  i looked through the glasses and could see a little sliver out of the sun and that was, indeed, awesome.

i took this at 12:58, as the sky was starting to get a little bit darker.  we could also feel the temperature drop; it had been hot and humid, but we could actually feel the air change.

winnie came down to join us.  there were a few boats bobbing out in the lake.

here’s the sky at 1:08, as it got darker.

mom came over and we took turns passing the glasses back and forth.  even though kevin’s left eye is still bad, he was able to see the eclipse through his right eye.

the crickets started chirping, and eventually we could also hear the cicadas.  a few geese came wandering into the yard, but they didn’t seem that interested in the eclipse.

this is what the yard looked like at 1:13, five minutes before the we had maximum coverage.  it was just so still and peaceful, and a nice breeze was blowing.  when we had first gone down to the dock it was cloudy, but the clouds parted in time.

these pictures can’t do it justice, you just had to see it for yourself.  the light was so interesting – it wasn’t like twilight, really, but it looked like we were in some kind of artificial light, like on a movie set.



this is 1:18, when it was as dark as it was going to be.  through the glasses the sun looked like the tiniest sliver; it was so slight that kevin couldn’t see it at all.

1:19, as the sun started to come back.

1:25, and it was already starting to heat up again.

a good time was had by all.

i was so excited about it that i was going to call jill and thank her for the glasses, but she called me first.  “that was a bust,” she said.  she claimed that it didn’t even get dark at all, and it didn’t get cool, but i think she was expecting to be plunged into total darkness.

she should have been sitting on the dock with us.

my lucky friend bev drove down to the carbondale area and got to see the total eclipse.  she hasn’t said yet whether it changed her life or not.

she’s lucky that she wasn’t actually in the town of carbondale, because she said she’d heard that there, it was cloudy and they only got 10 seconds of darkness.

last night amy and i drove over i-55 and saw that cars were gridlocked as far as we could see, everybody coming back from the eclipse.

that was another great thing about it, just walking down to the dock and watching instead of having to drive and get stuck in traffic.

i will say that the eclipse was about the most exciting part of my august thus far, although i did get to go to the fair earlier in the month and we ended up seeing the group herman’s hermits, and that was also pretty cool.

more later.

ok then,

mrs. approaching fall hughes.



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wrapping up july with kitties, as the state fair is about to start…

August 6, 2017

how is that possible, anyway?  why does time speed by so much more quickly as i get older?  how is it that the fair is starting on thursday? it’s a strange day today; it’s usually hot and humid at the start of august but instead it’s cloudy and cool and i should be out running […]

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august already…

August 6, 2017

i can’t believe it’s August 8th, as the summer sprints along. here are a few outside photos from july. oh, that moon. can you spot the heron in there on the right? another evening of beautiful clouds. we had a big storm, and just as i was opening the screen door, this big branch fell […]

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July 21, 2017

yesterday, thursday morning,kevin drove the van over to the boat dock as i slowly left the shore on the boat.  i noticed that kevin had installed a nifty new black lamp post at the end of the dock! cool. the water was still, no other boats around, and the breeze felt good.  i arrived at […]

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jinxed it…

July 19, 2017

a week ago i wrote that the pontoon boat was running great this summer, which is probably the first summer it’s done that since we’ve had it.  and i said “i don’t want to jinx it.” which of course i did. kevin and i took a lovely boat ride on sunday morning – amy had […]

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deer in june

July 17, 2017

a fawn appeared at the side of the fenced yard one day. can you see it, there in the middle? it saw me, and hid down in the weeds. it hung out at our house for a while, but amy and jim also saw it next door.  here it is, nestled outside their fence as […]

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more of june…

July 12, 2017

boat ride!  so far the pontoon boat has been running great; i think this is the first year since we’ve had it that it has managed to keep running this long into the summer.  hmm, better not jinx it.  the water was really high in june, and the yuccas were in bloom. these flower shoots […]

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