Launching Kevin’s sailboat!

by grace on September 27, 2020

We didn’t put it in the water til Friday August 14th, but it’s awesome that he got it shipshape and in the water this year. for some reason it didn’t happen last year. We realized that Kevin has had the boat for ten years now, hard to believe. In prior years our friend Glenn has helped with launch; Kevin drove the truck and Glenn motored the boat back to our dock, usually with mom and me aboard. Glenn is insanely busy right now so i convinced Kevin that if he backed the boat into the water that I’d certainly be able to drive the truck home without doing any harm.

Kevin had to think about this for a while but then agreed that it was unlikely that i’d back the truck into the lake or anything.

Mom was there to help, ie looking up stuff on her phone.

And the launch was a success!

Here’s an incredibly short video.

After I got home i rushed down to the dock to help with securing the boat to the shore, but Kevin of course did the hard part including climbing the tree like a monkey (or like Lester, who has managed to climb this tree) and wrapping the lines.

The boat has been in the water ever since and Kevin and I have gone on some nice sails since then, and hopefully there will be time to continue before the water drops too far and the weather gets too cold. there’s now a 100% chance of rain tonight which might help the ever-dropping water levels.

It’s going to be much cooler starting tomorrow which means that today i want to do just about everything. must get to it…

ok then,

mrs. onset of fall hughes.


way back in august…

by grace on September 25, 2020

i thought i’d just slap a couple photos from august up here and get right on to september but then i thought, why not post as many as you want?

I love this photo from the beginning of the month, with my wonderful giant rooster and the hydrangea that were so lovely and of course les paul, so photogenic.

I planted the forget-me-knots that my late friend christine’s sister gave out at christine’s funeral last year. they’ve been doing great, and i wonder if they’ll come back next summer?

The only thing i’ve posted for kevin’s birthday was back back on his actual day, when the night before i was talking on the phone about wanting to give kevin a homemade card but then realized he was standing in the hall hearing every word. so instead i hung some decorations around for a festive surprise when he woke up on his special day.

and here’s the actual celebration as kevin enjoys an incredibly delicious car bomb cupcake that amy made. she actually baked a huge amount of them for my birthday and i’d frozen a lot of them and there were still moist and scrumptious for kevin’s birthday.

he’s wearing a sporty and practical head covering that amy and jim bought for him, made of some kind of anti-sweat and lightweight material. Very thoughtful of them especially for his continuing roof work.

I’d bought some porterhouse steaks for the meal and we had that along with some french bread i’d made with some fancy cheeses. man that steak was delicious plus the weather was perfect for a lovely dinner lakeside.

I also like the fact that the deck looked so good. we haven’t sat out on the deck for many meals this summer and dad would have been pleased to see that i’ve been keeping it clean and full of flowers.

instead of presenting kevin with a homemade card on the morning of his day, i created a little card book later in the afternoon while he was out doing something and i had time to make one. it was called “kevin’s busy summer” and illustrated with pretty awful photos of all the handyman stuff he accomplished. this is the final page, to give you an idea of the artwork quality.

we also inspected the fine job he did on re-doing the smaller dock.

here’s riley who is alway in a state of agitation about getting out for a supervised walk. obviously he’s deep in thought here as he enjoys his freedom.

August 8th, Kevin was almost done with the front part of the roof.

and here he is after he finished the next day.

Looking at the picture makes me think yet again that i want to paint the door frame and the little point above it and the door. maybe next week, when the temps will be in the 60s.

here are the two cute t-shirts that amy and jim gave kevin; he has bought me so many mutts t-shirts that i could wear nothing but them all the time, and i don’t know why it never occurred to buy any for him.

We bought him an apple watch which at first he didn’t seem too keen on, but he’s definitely starting to realize that it’s a great thing to have.

darling lester and riley. i always have to make a fort of the two extra bed pillows so i can dangle a light chain with a wooden ball on the end in front of it and lester shoots through the chute to grab and play with it. he continuously wants to do this, but on this afternoon after he’d gone through the chute, riley followed him! this was a first.

Les was delighted to play with a couple of pairs of socks while Riley sprawled inside the tunnel. such busy kitties.

Riley, so regal, on the backyard swing.

and there you have it, a good part of august documented.

soon i go back to cleaning the screened porch, just part of my exciting and productive late september fun.

ok then,

mrs. h.


happy birthday, tiny sister!

by grace on September 4, 2020

amy’s birthday was on Tuesday, and we had a lovely indian meal. she’d made me a lavishly delicious Indian feast for my birthday and I hoped that she’d be open to me reciprocating. She was!

I’ve been making Indian food for years, i realize. So long ago i bought Madhur Jafrey’s cookbook, Indian Cooking, and I’ve made quite a few delicious dishes from it.

I know I had this cookbook in the early 90s, so that’s a very long time. I don’t know if you can tell, but i set part of the pages on fire in the upper right corner near the back.

I’m highly confident that i set it ablaze while making a multi-course feast in my tiny little kitchen in my LA apartment. I decided to buy a sturdier version later, and that hardbound one has even more photos but i always turn to this one. I can see which recipes i’ve used because they’re usually grease-stained as well as charred…

I used to spend a few days cooking for one dinner, but for whatever reason, no good reason at all really, i didn’t start making amy’s meal til monday afternoon. Mom, amy and I had spent the morning shopping, including going to a fantastic Indian mart that I’d never been to. This place was crammed with everything and anything you’d ever need to make anything Indian. I found this spice combo called “Panch Phoron” that i needed for a spicy chickpea recipe that i’d never made.

It only called for one teaspoon and i bet nobody would have been able to taste a different if i hadn’t bought it. but now i have it, in case i ever run into a recipe that calls for it…

When I finally got home on Monday afternoon I started cooking at about 2:30. I figured that if i worked for a few hours i could get a lot accomplished.

That morning, the first thing i’d done when i got up was to check and double-check all the ingredients i needed for each dish so I’d buy everything i needed.

But when i pulled my bag of onions out of the pantry, they had gone bad. are you kidding me? i called amy to see if she had any, but she didn’t have enough and was willing to get some for me because she was out anyway. i decided the fastest thing would be to rush to wal mart because it’s less than 10 minutes away.

i’d already been there at 8:30 in the morning, when i realized it’s the best time to be in the store because the few other shoppers were properly masked.

but in my afternoon trip i was so fast that it didn’t matter if they were masked or not, i was in and out in such a flash.

I was home and started in earnest at about 3:30 and did make great progress prepping and cooking some of the dishes.

I had all day Tuesday, and it was all good. Here are the fried shimp and samosas. the shrimp were best when first fried – mom and i had to sample them to make sure they were edible – so next time I won’t cook them ahead of time. Mom helped with the samosas; i’d made them for my birthday and she had filled them, and by now she quickly became very adept at making them professional-grade.

I set everything upon the screened porch and my favorite grape lights added a festive touch.

We sat out on the deck and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. It wasn’t hot, and a breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay.

I bought some assorted cupcakes from Hy Vee and found many many cake topper decorations in my pantry.

Amy is wearing the “june’s journey” t shirt that we bought her; after three years i finally convinced her to try the game and she loves it a lot now.

and the shirt i’m wearing is one that amy had that was dad’s.

and one more september photo…kevin planted a japanese maple in our front yard and our many roses of sharon and impinging on it, so i decided to dig some of them up. as i dug i realied that they were mostly pretty good-sized and the roots were intact so i put them in a bucket of water.

the day after amy’s birthday, wednesday, i had planned to relax after doing all that birthday cooking but instead decided to start planting the bushes in mom’s yard.

i’d thought there were about a dozen plants, but there were actually 23. Yeah, that’s a lot of holes to dig.

Mom helped by watering the ground so i could dig because the ground is hard right now.

when i finally staggered home after a few hours of work i had to take this picture of myself because i haven’t been quite such a dirty mess in a while.

My phone is covering the side of my face where there’s streak of mud, plus i got mud in my ear because a mosquito, not finding any other exposed skin, stung me there.

that was two days ago, and today the weather is again incredibly lovely and i’m about to put those filthy pants back on and head over to mom’s this time to put mulch around all the plants. shouldn’t take so long…

and that’s all on this lovely pre-labor day friday.

ok then,



(mostly) outside in june

by grace on July 22, 2020

Les and Riley, always happy to hang out in the fenced yard.

Lilies! All transplanted last year from different place in the yard. Now i kind of wish i’d planted them someplace where we could see them more often, but I think this is where they’ll stay.

Can you see Sweetie there on the swing behind the hydrangea? It’s funny, the bright white flowers have already changed into a deep pink.

My other hydrangea bush at the side of the house continues to get chomped by deer so i’m going to transplant that into the fenced yard next spring. wow, such far-away plans!

On this boating day i jumped into the lake. because it has been so hot here the lake is now at about bathwater temperature. you can see here the fabulous new boat top that kevin bought for me, which took such a long time to install. here it is tilted back to shield us from the sun.

The handles on my wicker clothes basket so kevin turned it into yet another kitty house. Riley loves it and Les tried to squeeze himself inside but we didn’t think he’d make it, but he somehow managed it. I wish i’d gotten a photo of when he was halfway in.

Because he doesn’t have enough boats, Kevin has been hard at work helping Glenn clean up and repair this sailboat of Glenn’s. This is Glenn’s smaller sailboat that was stored for many years at a guy’s repair lot. the guy was going to repair the boat but never did it. Then the guy died, and it seemed like it might be tricky to get the boat back, but about a month ago the new owner of the lot tracked Glenn down and called him, saying he wanted the boat off the lot, so that guy delivered it to our driveway. Kevin and Glenn have enjoyed working on it, and you can see Kevin’s sailboat in back of him, and maybe somebody will actually get a sailboat out on the water this summer?

And because Kevin did so much work on Glenn’s boat, he bought us dinner at the Yacht Club! Carryout, that is. Kevin, Mom and I enjoyed it on our deck.

baby deer! there’s always some kind of wildlife in the yard between our house and mom’s.

And here’s a baby groundhog in that yard. This one’s in the back.

Here’s a short video of some of the babies.

and now i am getting so close to wrapping up photos from june…

ok then,

mrs. july hughes.


wrapping up may, finally

July 1, 2020

a bunch of random images at the end of may…first, Riley and Les Paul trying to relax on the screened porch on May 24th. May 25th, Memorial Day, Kevin relaxed down at the water for a brief time after doing some herculean effort, i’m sure. There was quite a parade of goslings and geese that […]

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fresh air!

June 21, 2020

whew, i was starting to worry that maybe i wouldn’t write on here anymore. i have so many hopes of getting things done every day and then somehow the days continue to slip away… i really wanted to start a journal at the start of the coronavirus but i haven’t even managed to do that. […]

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boat launch!

May 11, 2020

here’s one final thing to share, our boat launch on April 24th. first, here’s the fancy new cover that kevin installed. Because the top pole of the roof snapped in two when we pulled the boat under our big pine tree out front, we had to get a whole new roof. The replacement piece, plus […]

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Once more to Pass-A-Grille Beach

March 29, 2020

Real-time life update: Yesterday it got up to 71 degrees and kevin and i took a little walk through the fields which which had lots of standing water. it was great to get outside. After that i decided i needed to transplant a few tulips which had somehow come up in the front. i though […]

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Another beach!

March 25, 2020

Life update – not as much coughing, plus the sun might actually come out today which would be fantastic. Back in Florida, before everything shut down: Sunday Feb. 23rd was warm and wonderful and i went for a good run. Here’s me in front of the door to our rental house. Today we were headed […]

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Back to the beach!

March 14, 2020

Wed. afternoon, Feb. 19th, we made it to the beach a half-hour earlier than the day before, at about ten til five. More time to relax/walk on the beach before the sun set. more ibis. Ibis plus a gull! Today I brought a big ziploc bag for picking up shells, plus another bag to double-bag. […]

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