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.


The State Fair!

by grace on August 23, 2021

It was nice to go back to the fair since it was cancelled last year. The Sunday before it opened I decided to drive into the fairgrounds to see stuff since I figured that when at the fair I wouldn’t be able to walk everywhere I wanted to because of the lingering knee pain. I thought this statue at the herb garden was funny. It was also kind of funny to drive around instead of walking, and there were lots of horse and horse people; Kevin said there’s always a horse show before the fair starts.

Mom and I went for a short time and initially I felt a little freaked out being around so many people. But we kept our distance and there weren’t that many people, so I eventually calmed down.

For two years I’d been looking forward to getting a saganaki from the Greek booth at the Ethnic Village. Except it’s not called that anymore; in 2019, Governor Pritzker signed a bill to change the name to “Village of Cultures.” They didn’t change the name til after the 2019 fair, so this year is the first with the new name. Dang, I should have taken a photo of the new sign.

The place is completely the same aside from the name change, and I also can’t believe I didn’t take a photo of my saganaki. It was good but definitely an anticlimax after waiting around for one for two years. We sat by ourselves at a picnic table but soon a family sat down at the table which pretty much freaked me out. Maybe this contributed to my lack of enthusiasm for the saganaki?

Anyway, my favorite building is always the Hobbies, Arts & Crafts, and I know in years past I’ve gone bonkers taking a ridiculous amount of pictures. This year I decided not to go berserk about it. But look at this great boat made of spoons and other metal!

I loved these decorations so much that I’d like to make some of my own.

I won’t.

But it’s a good idea, anyway. This display only got 2nd place and I should have taken a photo of the 1st place winner because it was not nearly as good. Somebody had painted xmas scenes on bells, and the bells themselves were kind of ugly.

I took this shot in honor of Bev, who was robbed of a blue ribbon in the “holiday crafts – Wrapped gift box” category a few years ago. Her entry had a sewing theme and I think a tape measure was the box and it was fabulous. You see that the winner this year has a suitcase-looking gift and it’s ok, but not Bev-quality.

I wish I could take this one home! I love al this stuff from so many old state fairs, and wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to go back in time and see what it was like way back when?

I was very impressed with this award-winning quilt.

And hmm, this cake…they didn’t have many decorated cakes, and this one certainly was big. And ornate. After studying it for a while I realized it’s a Cinderalla cake, but only very subtly. The top is supposed to be the coach and beneath that, the gold circle is a clock pointing to 11:25, and there’s a teeny tiny white slipper down there at the bottom.

I thought this was pretty spectacular, and obviously the judges did too, since it’s the grand champion. The card says it’s a celery yacht and I think everybody needs a celery yacht! It says it’s “canary yellow uranium glass in a quadruple-plated silver stand.” But I wonder why they didn’t polish the quadruple-plated silver? Maybe that’s as shiny as it gets.

The butter cow kind of made me tear up just because. At the same time I was a bit freaked out because the place was pretty much packed and only about 5% of the people were masked. Many, many county fair queens were everywhere.

I have these two photos because I feel that you can tell a difference…

…not smiling in the first one, because I thought “who’s gonna see me smile?” but then I looked at i and I cold tell. Maybe you can too. Also, he inscription on the bottom of the cow says “Embracing tradition.” Really, really touching.

We walked past the double ferris wheel on our way out and now I wish I’d gone on it. It hasn’t been around for quite a few years, maybe a lot of years, but it was too hot and I was too tired.

Finally, meanwhile…Kevin used to work at the fair when a trooper, and when we were dating he claimed to love to go, but now that we’re married, I haven’t been able to convince him to join me. But we had a big storm the night before Mom and I went to the fair and Kevin spent the day chopping up and hauling lots of branches. I was amused at his sad pose here.

But then I convinced him to show me a strong man, which he reluctantly did.

And that’s all the excitement for now,

Mrs. late August Hughes.


Kevin’s Happy Day

by grace on August 7, 2021

Wednesday, August 4th, Kevin’s 64th birthday…after he’d gone to bed the night before I came up with the brilliant idea of leaving him a voicemail singing “when I’m 64.” I wasn’t sure where his phone was, but was confident that when it rang he wouldn’t hear it because he generally sleeps through most things. Just to be sure, I went into the bedroom to make the call so I could watch him.

His phone was right by the bed, and he groggily opened his eyes and looked at me. Damn! He asked what was going on and I said, “I love you,” kissed him on the forehead and left the room.

Oh well, it was a good idea anyway.

Last Sunday Kevin bought a shed that he had to assemble and spent his entire birthday day working on it. Last year he was putting a new roof on the old part of the house, so at least this job was less hot than that one. Also it wasn’t sweltering all week.

I’ve made him a few very lowfat lemon cheesecakes all summer and that’s what he wanted for his birthday, so the morning before I got out of bed and immediately started the cheesecake because it takes a while and I didn’t want to heat up the house. I got a stick of butter out of the freezer and popped it in the microwave, hitting the “one minute” buitton. I do this a lot, checking it every few seconds and turning it til it’s soft enough to use.

But because I was doing too many things and once and wasn’t fully awake, suddenly the timer dinged and I was dismayed to see that I’d forgotten all about the butter.

After that I slowed down a bit so I didn’t do any more stupid things and it turned out fine.

After he’d put in a full day of work on his birthday, Jim joined us down on the dock as Kevin enjoyed a birthday cigar. It was a beautiful evening.

It’s funny that his shirt says “Yes, I have a retirement plan. I plan to go sailing,” because his sailboat isn’t in the water yet. Hopefully it will be very soon.

mom also loves lemon cheesecake so that’s convenient.

Jim always has great birthday present ideas and suggested that I get Kevin a solar battery for his phone. I went down the rabbit hole of the almost infinite options for solar phone batteries and it was too much for me, but ultimately I decided a solar battery would be better if we were going hiking, but on the other hand he’s never run out of phone power on any hikes. So I looked up other solar things and there are of course many of them out there.

I got him a solar, hand-crank and plug-in radio, a solar lantern, and a cool solar flashlight. Very exciting.

I wonder what huge task he’ll undertake for his 65th?

Ok then,

Mrs. H.


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.


April Excitement

April 29, 2021

Ok, “excitement” might be stretching it a bit. Or maybe a lot. But I happened to see a great italian greyhound door mat on facebook and had to buy it for Amy and Jim. Maybe it’s a regular greyhound but I didn’t care because it’s so cute. They draped the mat over this sofa piece […]

Read the full article →

Outside April

April 10, 2021

Last Saturday morning, April 3rd, Lovely bravely ventured out in the fenced yard. She’d done this with Kevin, but last Saturday she was so eager to get out that when I opened the door she screwed up all her courage to rush past me outside. She was delighted to find the catnip plant which is […]

Read the full article →

So long, February!

March 3, 2021

This morning, March 3rd, the lake has finally thawed, it’s sunny, and might reach 60 degrees. Whoo hoo! I thought maybe this would be my last post from February but then was a little dismayed to see that there are many photos I haven’t yet posted. What was I doing all month? This is one […]

Read the full article →

the last of January, from here in February

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 […]

Read the full article →

Excitement in November…

January 16, 2021

…relatively speaking, of course. On November 17th I saw more than one boat out on the water and then I realized a lot of noise was coming from across the lake. I got out the binoculars and could sort of make out the activity on East Lake Drive. Mom came over and took a turn […]

Read the full article →

wrapping up October

November 17, 2020

Friday October 30th, mom and i walked at Lincoln Memorial Gardens and it was mighty chilly and windy, but the trees were beautiful. We’d put on our masks whenever people passed by but they were actually good for protection from the wind. Sat. Oct. 30th, I took Les Paul down to the water for a […]

Read the full article →