Outside April

by grace on 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 getting bigger by the day.

Here’s a short video of Lovey, Sweetie and Riley.

Riley loves being outside the most.

Later in the day Kevin showed me the latest destruction down by the dock. Animals are always desperate to dig things up down there. Not sure what the animal was, but it must have been very strong to push the bricks out of the way. Maybe it was the mink? A mighty mink!

On Sunday morning we prepped the boat to launch it. This is the earliest we’ve ever put it in the water. First, Kevin had to take off the giant tarp and the structure that held it together. We’re quite pleased with the durability of the new cover and it was much easier to disassemble than it was to put it together last fall. It was easier for Kevin, that is, who did it all.

We then cleaned the boat, starting with waxing the pontoons. When we started I was grumbling in my mind, thinking that just the pontoon waxing would take hours. But Mom came over to help and it only took us an hour and a half, including cleaning the interior of the boat and I even went a little crazy and waxed the motor.

And then we launched it! Kevin expertly backed the truck up, unhooked the boat, then drove forward and quickly backed it to get the boat to glide free from the trailer. A family was picnicking and fishing there by the boat launch, and later Kevin told me that they all cheered when he’d successfully backed the boat into the water.

Mom and I motored back to our dock and Kevin was ther, waiting to jump on the boat for an inaugural ride. A great ride and it was interesting to see all the trees with their naked branches.

Kevin and I wore matching “Mutts” t-shirts, because why not? Such a beautiful day.

In the early evening I relaxed in the fenced yard. A truly lovely weekend.

Ok thenn,

Mrs. April Hughes.


So long, February!

by grace on 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 thing that Riley was doing.

The snowfall on February 16th was pretty deep; see the mound there in back of the fence? That’s the tree stump, completely covered.

I realized a deer was standing at the shore looking up at me.

She quickly bounded away.

Meanwhile the geese seemed to be enjoying sleeping on the snow-covered lake. I didn’t hear them complaining, anyway.

The morning of February 18th, this deer was only slightly upset to see me watching her.

Later in the day, a couple more deer were wandering around in the yard and the one in the background is intently watching Riley who is lurking in the fenced yard.

Here’s a little video as Riley wishes I’d shoveled a clear path to the fence so he could get that deer.

After realizing that it’d be impossible to catch the deer that day, Riley sat under the swing on the one little patch of bare deck.

The next day he was content to lie on a cushion from the warmth of the plant-filled room.

On this same day Mom and I ventured out into the field.

Here’s a snowy wasteland video.

The snow ended up being deeper than we’d thought it was and it was quite a good workout to trudge along.

Glenn came over that day to do some cross-country skiing with Kevin, and on February 20th I joined them.

Mom was taking these pictures and I can’t remember what we all must have been doing here.

My turn at skiing only last for one turn around the circle. One of Kevin’s skis broke and I was happy to surrender mine so he and Glenn could head out into the field.

I heard Kevin tell Glenn that he hadn’t thought he could get me out to ski again after the last time and I was indignant. Quite a few years ago we went out for my first time of cross-country skiing and we went out into the back yard and naturally I had a deep fear of plunging out of control right down the hill and into the lake. So when I fell down while vainly attempting to turn around, Kevin suggested that I turn around while lying there on the ground.

Yes, I’m not graceful or good at any kind of skiing. But of course I did it again this year, and I’ll certainly try it again next year.

Meanwhile…thoughts of spring. Later today I’m going to chop down the tall grasses down by the lake so the new ones will have room to shoot up. I already made a pretty long list of “spring 2021” projects and I’ll be able to check that one off today, which will give me a sense of accomplishment.

And that’s it for today…

ok then,

mrs. h.


the last of January, from here in February

by grace on 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 lot.

Meanwhile, here are my final photos of January. On January 29 there were many geese out on the frozen lake and a couple of squirrels at the bird feeder.

The cardinal is eyeing the squirrel, I’m sure wishing that he knew how to take him out.

And then there were three squirrels, trying to completely take over the feeder and the seeds close by.

I love this squirrel’s curly tail, as the geese are so plentiful out on the ice that they look out of focus.

Finally the squirrels cleared out the birds took over again.

Right at this moment the yard is filled with geese, who I’ve been watching a lot lately. I’ll have to post a video of them as they sat in the yard while some of them swam in the water around the bubbler down at the dock.

The other evening I watched them as they left the yard in small groups, soaring away and then circling back to land in the little pool of water around the dock. When it got dark I couldn’t make them out but was pretty sure that the water was completely filled with geese, and when I finally went to bed I walked out on the back deck off the bedroom and could hear them down there, squawking at each other. Maybe they stay warm like that?

Maybe the moon will be out one night and I’ll be able to see them.

As life continues to filled with not much else going on.

But one huge thing is that last night I successful signed Mom up for her two vaccines, one on Monday and the next in a month. Yesterday her friend Wanda told Mom that her hairdresser told her that new appointments became available at midnight at Hy-Vee if you went on right then. I spent some time yesterday trying to get Mom to figure out how to do that, since I wasn’t going to be up at midnight.

But I stayed up too late again and suddenly realized it was midnight and I quickly clicked on the Hy-Vee website and sure enough, there were appointments every fifteen minutes all day on Monday. I frantically called Mom, who couldn’t make it happen but then I realized I could do it for her. When I clicked on the appointments I was then supposed to upload her insurance card, so I told Mom she could take a picture with her phone and send it to me, and she finally did. Yay! When I completed the final step it said the appointment time was no longer available, but I was able to get her in at a little later in the afternoon.

The thing is, I hope getting a vaccine gets easier. The only reason we knew about going online at midnight is because of Wanda’s hairdresser, and how many people who are eligible right now stay up til midnight, and how many of them know how to upload their insurance card?

But Mom has a date, a very good thing.

ok then,

mrs. february hughes.


Excitement in November…

by grace on 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 with the binoculars.

We decided they must have been dumping rip rap over at the fishing area, so the next afternoon we drove over to investigate.

I pulled into the parking area and we watched as they scooped up the rock.

Over and over, with the scooping and the dumping…

We’d planned on taking a walk at Center Park so we headed there. When we walked over to Vachel Lindsay Bridge the wind almost blew us over.

Here’s the guy trying to steer his barge in and rock being dumped onto it.

It seemed that they moved so quickly, with at least three but maybe even four barges.

The next guy lined up his barge while the other one was being loaded up.

Another video where you can see the guys chatting. The guy in the cabin is lucky to be sheltered from the wind.

Mom counted five scoops that they dumped into the barge, and you can see as it motors away that the rock isn’t even visible because the barge must be so deep.

I think maybe it took them a few days to complete the job. It’s just funny that they waited til it was so cold to get it done.

And finally, one darling kitty picture, Riley so cozy back in November.

And that’s it for this cold and gray January morning.

ok then,

mrs. 2021 Hughes.


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 […]

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wrapping up september…

October 18, 2020

Mom, Kevin and I had a lovely weenie roast on Friday Sept. 25th. We’ve been having them every friday night since then, and it’s a fine tradition. Kevin goes down to the dock about an hour early and starts a fabulous fire – fires are one of kevin’s many talents. each week we don’t deviate […]

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Launching Kevin’s sailboat!

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 […]

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way back in august…

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 […]

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happy birthday, tiny sister!

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 […]

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(mostly) outside in june

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 […]

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