Countdown to Christmas…

by grace on December 1, 2021

…Really??? How did that happen? Now it’s the first of December, and I’ve been MIA on here for much too long. I haven’t been lolling around eating bon bons, much as I’d have liked to, but instead I feel like I’ve been doing so many things, either boat or cat-related.

Also outdoor stuff – here’s a picture of the troll at Lincoln Memorial Gardens, which Mom and I first spotted on a hike on Oct 16th. Pretty cool.

I’ve also spent much time down at water with Spot and kept taking pictures. Here’s Oct. 17 at 6:10 p.m., back when it was still light at that hour.

By 6:18 the sky was more rosy as a pelican swam by.

On Oct. 18th Mom and I were out on the lake in search of pelicans and here was a huge gaggle of them.

This is a short video of more of them that we saw right across the lake from us.

As I was putting the cover over the boat after our ride, Spot jumped up to help. Because the boat was enclosed he was ecstatic, sure that this was a nice sheltered spot where we could live. I put a towel down on the captain’s chair so he didn’t puncture it with his claws as he happily purred and rolled around.

The next day, October 19th, we were out again, this time with Toun and Elaine.

A grand time was had by all.

I captured the moon rise after we made it back home for grilled hotdogs on the deck.

Kevin, hard at work on the patio on October 20th. Hmm, I wonder if I have a photo of the completed project? It now looks fantastic.

Later that day, another weenie roast, when it must have still been warm and lovely.

On October 21st I walked over to Mom’s house and naturally Spot accompanied me and he suddenly ran right up the tree. Even though we’ve gone back over there quite a few times since then he hasn’t repeated this funny act.

That evening, Kevin and I had our first date night since the pandemic began. Whew, that’s a mighty long time. We started at the delicious La Piazza restaurant downtown, which was fairly empty and it felt weird to be there. Afterwards we went to hear some blues at the Lincoln Presidential Museum but for some reason I’d thought it was bluegrass not blues that was on offer. The blues were OK, but I got a little big edgy sitting there in the theater with quite a few people, some of whom took off their masks.

Also, it was quite warm sitting there in masks and I feel for the many people who go to work with them on.

On October 22nd Spot happily joined us for the last weenie roast of October.

I believe that was actually the last weenie roast of the year, unless we decide to have a final one this week because it’s going to be warm today and warmer still for the next couple days. That’d be fun although very dark. But nice to have a fire when it’s a little chilly but not unbearably so.

November involved lots of putting away of boats, pictures of which will be posted here shortly.

Or at least before the year ends…

ok then,

Mrs. Getting Gobs of Stuff Done Hughes. Well, at least some stuff.


So much rain this Sunday

by grace on October 24, 2021

When I got up this morning there was already over three inches of rain in the rain gauge and I’m just realizing that I should go down to the dock and make sure that the boat is lifted far enough out of the water so it doesn’t float away. Hmm, not looking forward to that walk so much, although it looks like it’s not raining at this minute plus it’s supposed to be warmer today than anytime in the future.

I went out on the boat three times at the beginning of the week and I’m thinking that we need to take it out of the water soon. Maybe one or two more boat rides, though they’d be kind of chilly? I guess we forgot to add a little fire pit to the boat to keep warm.

Meanwhile…Les Paul and Sweetie enjoying a sunny early October day.

Spot was content to sit with Kevin as I took off on a boat ride.

October 9th, Mom was decked out in some of her Halloween finery as we took a lovely dinner cruise.

Glenn, Julie and Toun joined us and Kevin always loves to put a peace sign over his head, so Toun gamely did it too. Glenn was too dignified.

Later, everybody chilled out to watch the beautiful night sky.

I didn’t go out on the boat enough this summer. It seems it was either too hot or I was too busy pulling weeds or getting knee surgery. Next summer, I promise I’ll be out there more.

And that’s my goal…

Ok then,

Mrs. Really Nearing the End of October Hughes.


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

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 […]

Read the full article →

No high heels!

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 →