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.


more happenings in October

by grace on November 2, 2020

the white pelicans are back and as usual i keep trying to get a good close-up. this one on october 16th wasn’t too bad. the problem is that when i walk down to the water they start to quietly glide away.

Kevin bought and assembled another component for our kitty condo and now it’s wider plus goes farther out into the room. his hope is that more kitties could lie there without hating each other. it’s really only sweetie who abhors having anybody else next to her. so here she’s happy as riley is sleeping peacefully at a good social distance. as I’m typing this, riley is giving himself a bath as he lies in the middle section so a lot of time it’s just an expansive condo for one.

i spent quite a lot of time cleaning out the former hot tub room, which we ended up calling the hot tub room because of habit.

when i was cleaning a window i saw a praying mantis who looked like he was on the outside of the screen. when kevin came in to look at my progress i showed him the little guy and luckily Kevin realized that he was actually on the inside, trapped between the screen and the window. He put him on one of the plants inside and i took this photo of him.

I kept checking up on him to see if he was surviving but the next day i couldn’t find him anywhere. as i cleaned yet another big wad of dust from the bottom of a shelf, there he was! a big dust clump was attached to his back leg and i carefully pulled it off and put him up in another plant.

i hope he’s doing ok in there. now that it’s filled with so many plants hopefully he found a nice home.

on the morning of October 21st Glenn came over to steer kevin’s sailboat across to the sailboat launch to get it out of the water. in years past he’s helped us step the mast, which means lowering the mast, but because he’s been so crazy busy with work kevin and i did it by ourselves. that process went well except i was anxious about it, fearing that somehow the mast would get away from us and crush kevin. but we did fine.

because i haven’t ever steered the sailboat s we agreed we’d need glenn’s help. we tried to figure out some way that kevin could drive the truck to the launch and then sail the boat over but we concluded it would be a little impossible.

it would also be good if i was able to back up the truck with the trailer into the water but i think i’d be more likely to be able to motor the sailboat since the last time i backed up our van with the trailer i ended up breaking the trailer because i hadn’t put the van in park. i have a fear of managing somehow to plunge a vehicle into the water so it’s best left to kevin.

it was a chilly morning but a smooth crossing.

it all went smoothly and now our boats are securely parked in the driveway.

and you can see the sailboat parked behind the truck. Kevin bought his truck used a few years ago and boy were the sellers rotten. shortly after buying it he had to plunk down a huge amount of money to fix critical things that were wrong with it. since then the truck has many problems that aren’t worth it to fix. however, because kevin is excellent at repairing vehicles he decided to replace the bearings. bearings are behind the tires and behind the brakes and here he’s giving me a detailed explanation of what he was doing.

I think he described what he was doing and what the bearings do at least three or more times and I tried to 100% focus and tune in and grasp the concepts but to me it sounded like “the bearings do blah blah blah and i’m going to yadda yadda yadda.” my brain firmly rejects car maintenance understanding.

kevin’s ipad is here on the lower left. he used it to follow along on how to replace truck bearings. he’d replaced bearings on many VW bugs he’s owned but i guess it’s more complicated with a truck. the process took longer than he thought it would but he finally successfully replaced the one bearing.

today he tackles the next one.

ok then,

mrs. is it really already november here in the pandemic hughes.


ricocheting from one thing to the next…

by grace on October 24, 2020

i can’t say why i’ve been so productive lately. On Friday it was, indeed, really warm outside and I dug up most of my gerbera daisies but when i was done putting them in pots i realized i’d missed a small one and decided that enough was enough, and that one poor little flower could be a guinea pig to see if it’d survive the winter.

guinea pig and flower.

it was hot and exhausting work, plus i transplanted the palm that had been massive because i’d put it in a massive pot a few years ago, but then it got scorched by the sun this year and there was only one living section. it was relatively easy to transplant that one, and i also re-potted a very healthy and manageable-sized peace lily because it had outgrown its pot.

the only problem with that is that this is the second re-potting i’ve done and i’m afraid that soon it will be massive. i’ve learned the the chief problem with taking care of plants (which mostly just involves watering them enough) results in plants that are way too large.

i have some variation of a palm that used to be perched on top of the piano but now it’s a towering tree.

meanwhile…we did do some sailing in October and here we are on a beautiful day, October 6th.

Kevin so happy to be out on the boat in his nice t shirt that bev bought him. i can’t remember the whole story but i know that bev was looking for shirts to wear for her bowling team (back when she felt safe to go to a bowling alley) and for some reason she bought matching shirts for kevin and me. that was very nice of her but like i said i can’t remember why she bought so many of them. We wore them when hiking last september in glacier, back when we took trips.

darling Lovey, so brave to lie on the arm of the chair all the way into the living room.

Here’s our sailing expedition on October 11th, the nice picnic day that ended with me grabbing onto the light pole on the dock and it crashing down on my face.

the view of the yard from the sailboat.

on friday i also painted the front door and it looks really good now, although i didn’t even go outside yesterday to admire it from the driveway. my final friday project was to power-wash kevin’s sailboat because he was too busy replacing a bearing in his truck all the livelong day so he didn’t have time to get to the sailboat.

i was just going to power-wash for a short time but of course that’s never what happens and i cleaned til i ran out of gas and cleaned some more and finally ran out of gas again. i didn’t get as much stains off the boat as i’d have liked but i did manage to get a fair amount and at least the lake scum was gone. it’s amazing how dirty the boat had gotten after only being in the water for two months. hmm, maybe we need to figure out a lift for it.

yesterday was chilly and windy and grey and i finished cleaning the hot tub room and painted one coat of paint on the sills around the skylights. i’m going to finish that today and paint the very rusty heater along the baseboards and then i’ll start setting up the room for all the plants that need to come inside. it might freeze on monday night so i have a deadline.

not such a busy day as yesterday which is good. i have a new chocolate chip cookie recipe that i want to try. it’s called “perfect chocolate chip cookies” which sounds great except you have to chill them overnight so if i’d taken the time to mix them up yesterday we’d have fresh cookies today.

not that i need any cookies.

ok then, i must get off the couch,



a rainy saturday…

by grace on October 3, 2020

it’s chilly and rainy today so i’m taking a break from painting the old entrance to the house. i started the project yesterday and spent two hours taping all the glass that needed to be taped and then another couple hours applying primer but i got so tired and it got so late that i didn’t finish priming.

maybe tomorrow. it’s supposed to warm up into the 70s again next week, so maybe tomorrow i’ll do something else fun, like cleaning my house a little.

but not too much. don’t want to overdo it.

here’s us on Kevin’s sailboat on August 13th. i think this is the only time we actually wore our life jackets. what a lovely day.

Kevin bought his sailboat, an18-foot O’Day, in 2010. it came with a main sail and a smaller sail that he thought was the jib, which is the sail in front that gives the boat more power, and a third sail that he thought was a spinnaker. i think. and i believe that a spinnaker goes sideways to give you power against the wind another way.

but then he realized that the jib was a storm jib, a smaller sail for sailing in stormy weather when you didn’t want the wind to overpower you. he used the storm jib but didn’t get so much speed.

then he realized after only ten years of owning the sailboat that the other sail was actually a jib. i think he realized it because we saw another sailboat out when we were out and they were going much faster. suddenly it all clicked for him. at least this is my recollection of events; you’d have to ask him for the real story.

anyway, here’s the great big jib, a very exciting day!

We’ve definitely been out with the mainsail and the jib and did go much faster. i’m hoping we’ll get to go out again this week.

meanwhile…here’s mom’s row of new roses of sharon, which the deer haven’t devoured yet because we’ve been spraying them. plus mom has done such an excellent job of watering them that a couple that looked totally dead suddenly grew a bunch of tiny leaves. nice. that’s not mom’s house in the background, that’s the neighbor’s house between mom and us.

Les Paul and Riley were lying on the floor looking so peaceful but by the time i picked up my phone to take a photo, Riley was leaning in to start gnawing on Lester.

September 16th was our 14th anniversary, and I’ve already written about how kevin said we should ride 16 miles for 16 years and i told him it was only 14 years. We rode on the Sangamon Valley Trail, which is 11.3 miles one way. it was a lovely day, not too hot, not too many people on the trail. It was fun to go on a path that i haven’t been on for most of it. as we rode kevin kept asking me if i was OK, and i was quite ok and we made it all the way to the end. Here we are.

This section was mostly fields but there was plenty of shade along parts. I hope we ride this trail again soon.

and that’s all for right now.

ok then,


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Well, an Ant.

September 30, 2020

On sunday August 2nd I took a little video of an ant carrying around a gigantic bug. He was working so hard… I thought it was interesting to think of this ant’s struggle and wondering if it was successful in getting to its final destination. there were actually three deer in the yard on this […]

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final images of july…

August 12, 2019

On Saturday, July 27th, we went over to the Yacht Club for a fundraiser. It was a beautiful night and awesome to sit out and watch the boats going by on the lake. i know i’m lucky enough to sit outside and watch boats go by all the time, but this was great because i […]

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one last boat out of the water in october…

November 16, 2018

after glenn helped us get out sailboat out of the water, we helped him get his out. this was Tuesday, October 30th – we all drove over to the yacht club in kevin’s big truck and attached glenn’s trailer.  glenn climbed aboard, and I was excited to get to go out one last time for […]

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october boat rides

November 13, 2018

this is one of my favorite pelican photos (and I took approximately one million of them during the summer/fall).  we went out on the boat on October 20th, and I went out again on the 22nd.  kevin didn’t want to go with me, so I went by myself and had a surprisingly good time.  I […]

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more stuff from august

August 29, 2018

first, there was kevin’s birthday.  I attempted to make a healthier version of a black forest cake and it ended up taking a very very long time and there was lots of oozing of cherries and it was sort of a big mess…but he seemed to like it. kevin took this lovely photo one morning, […]

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more of july…

July 26, 2018

glenn helped kevin launch his sailboat at the beginning of the month.  kevin lowered the boat into the water, and glenn motored back to shore…except the motor died, a constant theme in the hughes household up til recently.  luckily we have the new pontoon boat that always runs, so kevin was able to go retrieve […]

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