Les Paul

The Dreaded Chameleon Plant

by grace on September 9, 2021

I’m always writing here about Kevin’s many projects, but don’t get the idea that I’m just lazing around. This plant below has been my obsession when I identified it with my friend Wanda’s help on August 17th. Maybe you know about this already, but she said that if you have the google app on your phone, you can turn on the camera in the app and point it at a plant and it identifies it. How cool is that? I clicked on it, and found out it’s a Chameleon Plant.

It’s called a Chameleon plant, but there are many other names for it, and it’s called a plant but it’s really a horrible, horrible weed. The latin name is Houttuynia cordata, and Wanda texted me that it was a “houttuynia,’ but I wonder if she’s ever said the name out loud? Here it is close-up.

I read lots of stuff about it online and many posts from people all over the world who have tried desperately to eradicate it. It has rhizomes which are rootlike stems that grow and spread horizontally. If you pull the root you have to get every last little bit of it because even a tiny piece will propagate like crazy. People reported that it grows underneath any kind of barrier – concrete or whatever – and it just keeps coming back.

Meanwhile…Kevin made and actually narrated this video about digging up the ground for the new patio. In the video you can see some of the noxious rhizomes which were all over the place under the old deck. They’re little white pieces of root.

The weeds are already coming back in an area where I tried to pull all of them up and it takes me from an hour to two hours to clear one little bit of land, as I use different tools to try to get every little piece. My Dad had left something called a Garden Claw, a long pole with a handle at one end and spike on the other; you push it into the ground and turn it, which brings up the pieces of root. Even though I didn’t bend my knees when turning it, Kevin says I was actually doing some tiny turns, which were very painful on my injured knee.

Luckily Dad also left a Garden Fork, another pole that kind of resembles a pitchfork. I used it yesterday and it’s much more straightforward as opposed to turning.

I’m making a little progress every day I can, but I had to half my efforts there for a week or so when it was just too hot out. Right now, though, the weather is perfect and I’m about to start in again today.

Kevin also bought me something called a Garden Looper, which can be used for just pulling out the tops of the plants, or also for other weeds. It has something at the end that looks like a triangle and you rub it over the earth, going down about a half inch, and it neatly cuts off the weeds.

Busy busy busy. And speaking of busy…Riley and Lester, very busy on the bed.

Ok then,

Mrs. September Hughes.

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As the summer whooshes to a close…

by grace on September 6, 2021

September, really? It was almost fall-like for a few days but now it’s hot again, but not into the triple digits at least.

Way back in August, Riley kept trying to relax.

Ditto Lester. He’s lying on the case for our giant inflatable swan that we pull behind the boat and it has become a favorite spot for the kitties to nap on.

Here’s a hummingbird sitting on a feeder at Amy’s.

On August 15th we launched the sailboat, whoo hoo for that! Kevin backed the truck and the boat shot out off the lift and I was in charge of hanging onto the rope so it didn’t go floating away.

But as I pulled on the rope it quickly slipped out of my hands and I shrieked. Luckily a couple of girls had started fishing off the pier and without a word one of them grabbed the rope and saved me. I thanked her profusely but she didn’t talk at all.

Then it was my job to drive the truck home as Kevin and Mom motored home. I took this picture in the side mirror. I wonder if the girls talked to Kevin at all?

Mom took this great picture of Kevin as they set off. Mom has been taking a few pictures here and there finally and hopefully she’ll start taking more of them. I love this of Kevin.

It didn’t take me long to safely drive the truck with attached trailer home, and by the time I got there they’d arrived.

He pulled the motor up out of the water and all was good.

That was August 15th, about three weeks ago. He hasn’t taken the boat out yet, but we did manage to step the mast yesterday, which involved me pulling on a rope and Kevin hoisting the mast upright. He had the much harder job but my job was very hard for me.

Hopefully the weather will cool off a little and a breeze will pick up and we’ll be out on the water soon.

ok then,

Mrs. September Hughes.

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Kevin’s New Shed

by grace on August 17, 2021

As I mentioned previously, Kevin bought a great big shed Sunday Aug. 1st. It came in a big box, but the box was smaller than I thought it’d be to hold such a giant shed.

It required a whole lot of assembly.

Here’s the bottom 12 x 12 frame.

Spot helped him the entire time.

He’d started later in the day on Sunday and on Monday he really went to town.

All the banging around made Spot retreat to a safe viewing area.

He needed my help but my knee was giving me trouble; I think that’s the day I stupidly did squats, and I had all kinds of pain. So for a while I lounged on this great lawn chair with a footrest, waiting to help.

Here’s his progress by August 3rd.

And he spent most of the day on his birthday almost finishing it. The instructions weren’t really instructions per se, but rather a bunch of drawings accompanied by one terse line of explanation. Because they lacked detail he ended up attaching backwards some part holding up the roof and had to take it down an fix it.

But by the 5th it was all set. Well done, you! at the end I had to help him putting bolts into screws into the roof which wasn’t at all easy, but somehow I managed to be a tiny bit of help.

When he was at Menard’s picking up his shed he bought me this super cute kitty solar light.

Meanwhile…darling Lester continues to enjoy the top of the kitty house, as the hydrangeas get a deeper shade of pink.

Ok then,

Mrs. August Hughes.

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New Gutters!

by grace on August 1, 2021

Ok, now that it’s August…August! How did that happen? It has been so hot and humid around here, but yesterday was freakishly cool and cloudy. It it rained in the morning and after a nap I trimmed the forsythia bushes outside my huge picture window. They’d been growing like crazy and bugging me and it was so nice to work outside when it wasn’t hot. After I finished I couldn’t help myself, I started pulling weeds.

Luckily, my friend Nan called and she and her husband Jim were in the neighborhood and were going to stop by. If she hadn’t called I probably wouldn’t have stopped til it got dark.

Today is warmer but there’s this large rose of sharon at the front of the house that I’ve been dying to dig up and transplant over to mom’s house. I’ve been patiently waiting til my knee got better and the plant grew and decided that today was the day.

It didn’t take long and I ended up transplanting four of them. I was very careful, not putting any pressure on my right knee. But then when I finished my knee was very unhappy. So now I’m sitting on the couch icing it. I feel like I’ve done plenty of things since the surgery on June 24th but I guess that digging holes is not the best idea at this time.

Luckily there’s nothing else I want to dig up right now.

Meanwhile…In June we got new gutters, which have fancy gutter guards so the whirly birds won’t land in them and clog them up. Kevin paid a down payment last year to a place called “Gutters and More” and the guys were supposedly going to turn up “after the last frost.”

They finally arrived late morning on June 17th. Just two guys in this truck and these big rolls of aluminum.

And here’s the amazing thing – the made the gutters! This is a gutter that has been formed out of the box there on the right, as the guy adjusts the aluminum.

Dang, I wish I could remember his name. He didn’t mind me videotaping him, and it was fascinating to watch the roll of aluminum go into the machine and come out a gutter. He measured as it went in order to get the size perfect. The video is short and I promise it’s entertaining.

Here he pulls the lever to cut the gutter off at the right spot.

This looked mighty dangerous to me. Who’d want to be up on a ladder at such and angle?

We have quite a bit of guttering and different levels and it was such a huge job. I think it was a pretty hot day, too, and I wondered how many days they’d be at it.

They took a break mid-afternoon but came back and worked and worked and as the sun started to set they were still going strong. It was almost dark by the end, but they’d somehow managed to finish it all in that one very long day.

Here’s what the cool gutter guards look like. We’ve had quite a bit of rain since they’ve been installed and they’ve worked perfectly. From a second-floor window you can look out and see whirly birds and other detritus sitting on top of the guards which I think is quite something. I which I could buy Bev some gutter with guards for her birthday because whirly birds in her gutters are one of the things she really dislikes intensely.

Ok, just one photo of darling Les and Riley, always so stressed.

And I’m pretty sure that’s all I have for June, here on the first day of August.

Ok then,

Mrs. August First Hughes.

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Lovey’s time on top of the kitty house

July 29, 2021

I don’t think I’d ever seen Lovey being confident enough to sit on top of the kitty house, but there she was on June 15th looking very confident. But then, aha! Riley spotted her up there. He trotted right over as Lovey eyed him suspiciously… …and then she quickly looked away so as not to […]

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June, in July

July 8, 2021

June 11th, to be exact. I was up pretty early (for me), enjoying the morning and the darling kitties who were also enjoying the morning. It’s usually Lester who is posing for the camera while Riley sprints away, but here Riley stopped for a minute. Lilies are so beautiful. I wish they lasted longer. Some […]

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Alive!

July 4, 2021

I lived through my surgery, yay for that! Gee, it’s been way over a week since it happened. Much has happened, but not so much. First – two days before my surgery, June 22nd, Les Paul and Riley were on top of their cat house and suddenly there was something out in the yard and […]

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More May Stuff

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 […]

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May, quickly slipping away…

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 […]

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More from April

May 8, 2021

I was so excited to get my new iphone a couple of weeks ago. I had a 6s+, which was about four years old and had started randomly shutting off for no reason, plus, of course, the new phones has cameras that are light-years better. Or so I hoped… Here’s my first photo, where I […]

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