Les Paul

Happy Mother’s Day!

by grace on May 10, 2020

That’s addressed to you, mom…but suddenly it’s already late afternoon on mother’s day and another day has gone by whoosh….

we bought a 25-lb bag of powdered skimmed milk a few weeks ago. i found it on some site that sells bulk stuff but there were some issues with the shipping because suddenly the site got overwhelmed with orders but a nice woman from the site actually called me on the phone to resolve the issues.

and here it is. i bought the ziploc bags and kevin measured the whole giant bag into these little baggies.

I know many people don’t like powdered milk but i think it’s a treat. it always makes me think of camping.

i’ve been doing a little yard work; on this day in april i was transplanting the final lilies into the fenced yard and after i dug up some of them i hurled the shovel over the fence. it landed like this and Riley found it to be quite interesting.

A relatively new bleeding heart – the biggest one i had got peed on by the cats so much that it died, but i have at least a couple of good–sized ones now. i love bleeding hearts.

These bluebells roamed over to the front of the house…

…from this other part of the front of the house. i don’t remember there being so many of them there before. We should try to think of doing something more with this piece of yard.

all the april rain toppled this lovely cherry tree over to the side in front. it’s sad because it’s one of the trees dad planted. it hadn’t been doing well for a few years and it was leaning precariously but still had quite a few blooms. but then, down.

I transplanted some tulips from the front of the house to the back but only two of them bloomed. i think i planted this one last year, but none of the others next to it bloomed. but this one just kept blooming and blooming, i think it stuck around for a whole month.

ha, all those hostas in back of it are about five times as big now. i’m hoping all the hostas in back will grow and cover up the weeds and grass which needs to be pulled around them.

here’s an historic photo; three cats all together. sweetie is way back there on the chair on the left. she’s getting more and more friendly; when i sat down on the couch to write this she jumped up and wanted to lie on my lap! a nice surprise, although she didn’t linger.

the other day Lester was scrabbling around on the chair and managed to get back behind the cushion and the cover. we could do with some new chairs.

Lovey! doing better and better all the time, even though she loves kevin and sometimes barely tolerates me. Kevin said that he and Les were upstairs with Lovey and that went pretty well. Les has ventured up there a few times and there has been no hissing at all. very promising.

I wish i’d been quick enough to capture this on video; one night sweetie was chasing her tail, around and around, there on the chair. darling!

after i went running one afternoon at the end of april these two geese were hanging out in front of the house, drinking from the puddles.

and this morning i looked out an upstairs window and a goose was standing up on the peak of the three-car garage. very funny.

and that wraps things up for april…

ok then,



well…today i kept reading so much bad news that i became overwhelmed. this happens too often.

i think we all have to try to find a little relief from it all, if we’re lucky enough to be safe and healthy.

in april i decided to finally tackle the disorganized mess that is my pantry. here’s one side of one side of the pantry.

I’d been talking about cleaning it out for about…three years, maybe? i know i’ve cleaned it out before, but as you know i’m not a tidy person. there was such a huge, huge amount of expired stuff.

here’s what this section looked like when i finished.

The oldest date i could find on an item was a box of barley that expired in Aug. 2006. it was opened but somebody had carefully put it in a ziploc bag.

that person could very well have been kevin’s final ex wife! I find this quite hilarious. we were married in Sept. 06, so the barley had to have been bought at least a year before august. kevin just said his ex didn’t ever make things with barley so maybe in the brief period after her and before me, he made some barley soup.

there was so much other stuff, and a lot of it was grains and stuff like very old taco shells. so many noodles, so much stuff…this looks like some kind of art to me like when i was a kid and we made something with noodles.

of course every last bit was eaten in the night by many i’m sure very happy critters.

I also had this can of pineapple juice. It used to be an ingredient in something that i used to make, but i can’t for the life of me remember what that might have been.

every once in a while i’d notice the can, tucked in a corner of the pantry, and think, “i should get rid of that.” Friday April 10th was the day. I want to say that the expiration date was 2009? Both the top and the bottom of the can bulged out because it was so fermented, and kevin said he’d take it out and shoot it with his pellet gun.

I envisioned a huge, dramatic explosion of pineapple juice.

We have to make our own fun.

As does Lester.

ok then,

mrs. living in this whole new reality hughes.


good monday morning…

by grace on April 20, 2020

and i know that “good” is pushing it a bit. but it’s good because it’s a dazzlingly sunny day and the weather is warming up and we’re all healthy and safe.

every day i try to accomplish something. some days i don’t get anything at all done. I’ve been exercising a lot, but that’s partly to keep my sanity and partly to offset the large quantities of brownies, cookies, etc that i have been eating.

yesterday i had four computer-related goals. i wanted to order some stuff online, i wanted to post right here, i wanted to look up a website and i wanted to start a journal.

i managed to get the first one done, but then i started reading the news, then got up and didn’t sit down until i was too tired to do anything else on my list.

I realize that when i start reading the CNN coronavirus live updates and then dive into other Covid-related things, three hours disappear in the blink of an eye. I also have to read the capitol fax blog, with daily press briefings from our great governor Pritzker, plus other random Illinois-based stories.

i check stories throughout the day, too, and it can be much too much. But i feel i have to know what’s going on with the disease all over the world and also right here.

yesterday i did dial it back a little and spent time working in the yard.

and this monday morning (and it’s increasingly difficult to remember what day of the week it might be) i feel good about finally getting around to posting here.

i’ve got some photos from march which seems like ages ago.

This first one appeared in the “springfield scene” magazine, and that’s kevin there on the left, instructing a guy in fencing for the “romeo & juliet” ballet which he performed the last weekend of February. a lifetime ago.

Mom and i went to the Unitarian Church fundraiser on Sat. March 7th and I bought this great homemade Harry Potter table, chairs plus fun accessories like wands and a quidditch. It was in the auction and i bid on it, not expecting to win, but i did which was surprising and a bit alarming. It wasn’t cheap. But it’s unique and fabulous and supported a good cause. And it fit perfectly on my screened porch.

Monday March 9th I went to Amy’s cardio jam class and sometime during the class i looked down at my feet. Oh boy. Obviously i was in a big hurry to get to class and didn’t notice that i was wearing one of each color of my running shoes.

And that’s my last pre-coronavirus photo. the next day i started to get a cold and was then sick for about three weeks as the virus spread around the country. even though i was pretty miserable, coughing my head off, at least i wasn’t out in the world at all.

Kevin took this picture of Les Paul contemplating the lake.

i think it was jim who got this terrific picture of two eagles up in one of our trees. but maybe it was kevin who took it? doesn’t matter, it’s just cool that there they were. We’ve seen eagles in the trees but never two of them together.

Many birds out on the feeders in March.

Ok, Lester had never done this before to my knowledge. Very odd but also hilarious. He has plenty of fresh water in the house but maybe it was the excitement of perching on the toilet to get a drink…

There’s much to report about our new tuxedo cat Lovey, but here’s the second outdoor tuxedo cat who has showed up a few times. Kevin calls him Spot because he has just that one white spot next to his nose. I looked out one night and there he was. He’s much bigger than Lovey and we’re definitely not trying to get him inside anytime soon.

Because i was sick i didn’t get to the grocery store so amy went for me, and kevin went once also. here he is with some of the many supplies littering our dining room table. he barely managed to clear a space to eat.

The middle of March, such a joyful sign of spring!

By now, of course, all kinds of springtime stuff has roared into bloom. photos to come.

ok then,



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,



Pass-A-Grille Beach!

March 12, 2020

I wanted to see the sun set over an actual beach so we chose the Pass-A-Grille Beach as our final destination on Tues. Feb. 18th. I’d read that it was uncrowded, very important to me, and i also found a site which listed good parking places; my goal was 8th Avenue, the only cross streets […]

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safely back at home…

February 27, 2020

whew. we got home late tuesday night and i feel like i haven’t sat down since then. i mean, i have, but…busy. last night i decided to transfer all my florida photos from my phone to my computer and was completely dismayed by the sheer volume. i feel like maybe there are a thousand photos? […]

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February 23, 2020

So…it’s Sunday morning here in sunny Florida and mom and I are going to be headed to the beach in a while. But here are some pictures of the darling kitties who I miss quite a bit! of course I really miss Kevin, but at least we get to talk on the phone every day! […]

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more of sunday feb. 2nd

February 14, 2020

it was so warm and kevin was feeling ok so he asked me to join him down at the dock. i thought we should include lester because he’s always dying to get out. this worked ok for a few minutes but les just wanted to get down and wander around, so it wasn’t the relaxing […]

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that’s it for January!

February 1, 2020

yay, we made it through january! Lester and Riley are chill. they stopped what they were doing for a moment so i could get a picture… …and then it was back to cleaning. i don’t think we’ve had two kitties who loved each other so much. Winnie and Honey were pretty happy together until Honey […]

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here in january

January 22, 2020

Brrrr…well, it’s not so bad today as yesterday. But still. January. not my favorite month. Lester doesn’t mind. I think i took this when walking from mom’s house to mine. so many deer relaxing. this is one of the lights in front and i was fascinated by the light it cast when walking by it […]

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