Spot

Yeah, so

by grace on September 16, 2021

happy anniversary to us. We were married 15 years ago today and at this exact time on that day it was official and we were probably making toasts or something at the Motor Boat Club.

I got sad looking at some of our wedding photos because so many people are dead, or we’re no longer in touch. Some of them I’m in touch with but just barely. Maybe I’ll get out of this no-talking-to-most-people-but-Bev rut. Maybe.

But here we were on that day, looking very happy. Because we were.

Yeah, so, I just want to contrast that photo of us here in what is now our backyard with the selfie I took this afternoon in selfsame yard.

Yeah, so…oh my. This is the 16th day I’ve been battling the dreaded chameleon weed, wearing Kevin’s Australian hat which on the inside says it’s a “Swaggies hat with fly control”. I wear it so mosquitoes and gnats don’t bite, but that big red thing high up on my cheek is where a mosquito took a big chomp.

The corks are on strings which bounce all around and are supposed to deter the bugs. I’ve worn this hat a lot and some of the corks have fallen off and right after this I’m going to see if I can buy a new one on Amazon.

But then there’s…whew. The other red splotch on my face is just that, it’s sun damage but actually it might have been there 15 years ago but carefully concealed. Not quite as glamorous as my wedding day there in the yard.

But oh, the fun I’ve been having. This is how many rhizomes were under a stone in the yard. This is actually just one layer; they go down pretty far.

This is about the entire section I finished in one day, and this was the second time I dug up the ground, because the first time I was using that garden claw instead of this very helpful rake.

I finished this strip in back of the fence today. We had paving bricks and three mums which I had to cover with netting so the deer wouldn’t eat them. I’d already dug up part of this bit, but yesterday and today I tried to get lots more of the rhizomes. The thing is that if you keep digging around you just keep finding them. At some point I had to stop digging because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing it.

Today I also had the brilliant idea that we’re going to forget about putting the bricks back. That’s what I did with other parts along the outer edge of the fence – I put down landscaping cloth and put the bricks and some mulch over them. I know this won’t prevent the weeds from coming back but at least it’d slow them down.

But we decided it would be OK to leave out the bricks and just plant grass along the fence, the way Dad left it. And when the evil chameleon plants poke their heads out, probably in the next few days, I’m just going to chop them off at the base, no more digging.

Well, no more digging after I’m done digging. After I finished this section this morning I went back into the fenced yard to work on a section I’d already worked on a week or so ago and found gobs and gobs and gobs more. Many were nestled down into the roots of this beautiful vine that Amy gave me a few years ago.

I finally had to stop for the day because I was getting a little delirious plus it’s our anniversary and we should be celebrating. Celebrating!

While I was doing all the digging Kevin was hard at work on our new patio.

And Riley was just trying to relax.

I’m not pulling weeds constantly, though. On Saturday I sat down at the dock and read this awesome book that Jim and Amy bought for me. Spot was at my side because he just wants to be with us all the time.

Yes, reading a picture book about Lake Springfield while sitting on the shore looking at the lake. Doesn’t get much better than that.

ok then,

Mrs. it’s going to be fall in a few days Hughes.

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Kevin’s New Shed

by grace on August 17, 2021

As I mentioned previously, Kevin bought a great big shed Sunday Aug. 1st. It came in a big box, but the box was smaller than I thought it’d be to hold such a giant shed.

It required a whole lot of assembly.

Here’s the bottom 12 x 12 frame.

Spot helped him the entire time.

He’d started later in the day on Sunday and on Monday he really went to town.

All the banging around made Spot retreat to a safe viewing area.

He needed my help but my knee was giving me trouble; I think that’s the day I stupidly did squats, and I had all kinds of pain. So for a while I lounged on this great lawn chair with a footrest, waiting to help.

Here’s his progress by August 3rd.

And he spent most of the day on his birthday almost finishing it. The instructions weren’t really instructions per se, but rather a bunch of drawings accompanied by one terse line of explanation. Because they lacked detail he ended up attaching backwards some part holding up the roof and had to take it down an fix it.

But by the 5th it was all set. Well done, you! at the end I had to help him putting bolts into screws into the roof which wasn’t at all easy, but somehow I managed to be a tiny bit of help.

When he was at Menard’s picking up his shed he bought me this super cute kitty solar light.

Meanwhile…darling Lester continues to enjoy the top of the kitty house, as the hydrangeas get a deeper shade of pink.

Ok then,

Mrs. August Hughes.

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Alive!

by grace on July 4, 2021

I lived through my surgery, yay for that!

Gee, it’s been way over a week since it happened. Much has happened, but not so much.

First – two days before my surgery, June 22nd, Les Paul and Riley were on top of their cat house and suddenly there was something out in the yard and I managed to get this action shot of Riley leaping down into the hostas. Of course he didn’t get out of the fence but it was very exciting for both kitties.

Lester the kitty model.

The next night, June 23rd, a lovely moon shot. Have I mentioned that I love the camera on my new phone?’

Surgery morning, after I wrote on here and then took yet another Dial soap shower, we walked out and Spot was lying there waiting for us.

And then the surgery – well, the whole thing went pretty darn quick. We got there by eight in the morning and were on our way home by 11:30.

When they led us into a room a nurse asked me many questions and then eventually the anesthesiologist came in and I told him that I was worried about anesthesia and he had a puzzled look on his face and asked, “why?”

I guess most people don’t worry about it. And no, they didn’t intubate me with a tube down my throat, they gave me some kind of sedative and then put something just inside my mouth so i didn’t swallow my tongue. I think?

I just remember that they wheeled me into the operating room and I tried to look all around since I’d never been in one, and then they put the sedative in my IV and that was it.

When I woke up I was in the second recovery room. They took me to the first recovery room so a nurse could help me get dressed and I’d be more lucid, and in the second recovery room, Kevin said I told him that I was chattering away to the nurse, but I have no memory of that. I lounged there in a recliner for a while and the nurse gave me one of the two opiods; this one was Norco. I’d take them intermittently every three hours, the Norco and the Tramadol. Super duper strong drugs. I had a big gauze bandage from just above my knee all the way down to my ankle, with lots of protective cotton over my knee.

I didn’t spend the day napping. Instead, the narcotics which were supposed to make me sleepy instead had me wired. For some reason I insisted that Kevin needed to go fill my car with gas (was I planning on driving around somewhere?), because my 15 cent-off coupon was going to expire that day. While he did that, Amy came over to babysit me and seemed surprised at how very animated I was.

Sometimes my knee would hurt a little but Kevin assured me that I wanted to keep ahead of it, so I kept up the drugs every three hours.

I was sort of tired late in the afternoon and three of the kitties were very happy to lie in the bedroom with me.

But I didn’t nap. Amy brought us over some delicious taco salads and I continued to be wide awake. Here’s me at 10:20, still wide awake. My right leg had an interesting orange tan from the iodine prep stuff. Kevin had to add some strips of tape around the top because it had started to sag.

We went to sleep; it had been an exhausting day for both of us. But I lay in bed wide awake. I finally got up to pee at about 1:30 and as I was walking back to bed I felt something on my leg – the bottom of the bandage was dragging on the floor. Panic! I hobbled into the kitchen and wound and wound more tape around it to secure it.

And then I started seriously worrying. What if I hadn’t wrapped it right? Should I wake Kevin and have him look at it? And why was I wide awake?

Here’s the bandage at two in the morning, looking very securely secured.

I had read the accompanying dire warnings for the two drugs I was taking and one of the many things they said was that if I took them with a whole list of other things, including Xanax, that this could cause difficult breathing resulting in DEATH.

I take one .5 Xanax every night before bed and it helps me sleep. Since that surgery night I’ve been reading about Xanax and I worry that maybe I’m addicted, but since I always take one to help me sleep, I wasn’t sleeping.

What to do? There was an emergency number I could call, and I finally did that and realized at that point that I wasn’t able to put together a coherent sentence. “I…had..surgery…bandage unwrapped…” I sputtered to the woman at the other end of the phone and she finally said “do you want to talk to a nurse?” and relieved, I said, Yes! She said somebody would call me back in a half hour which seemed way too long to me, and I said, what if I fall asleep? And she said they’d leave a message.

So while I waited I called Bev and sent her the above photo of my knee. Bev doesn’t sleep much and lucky for me she was dozing on the couch so I was able to prattle on to her til the nurse called me back 15 minutes later.

The nurse said she thought I should wake up my husband to show him the bandage and she kept saying, “are your toes blue? Can you move your foot?” And I thought I’d have had to be some kind of moron to have wrapped it so tightly that my foot turned blue.

I told her about the drug warnings and she said she didn’t think I should take any Xanax and I’m pretty sure I then had a conversation with her about the risks of opiods and I know I was talking really fast and I’m not sure how she finally got me off the phone.

I called Bev back and we agreed that I shouldn’t wake up Kevin. After about an hour I finally said “I’d better go to sleep,” and Bev asked, “Are you sure you can sleep? Because you seem a little wired.”

Maybe she didn’t say the wired part, but clearly I was. Well after three I finally hung up and lay in bed but I think I only slept an hour and a half.

The next morning I had a huge list of questions for the nurse at the Orthopedic Surgery Center and the most important answer the nurse gave me was that I could take my Xanax, that goodness. Right there on one of the many post-op instructions it said that I could take everything I normally take (besides Xanax, it’s mostly just vitamins of different types). She said that since I take Xanax every night, I wouldn’t die from taking it with the other drugs.

WHEW.

But the thing is, I took one of the opiods on Friday morning and then started taking Tylenol instead, and then didn’t even take anything after Saturday morning. The horrible pain never materialized and things are going swimmingly.

I was able to take the bandage off on Sunday and shower my leg back to its pre-op whiteness. All i needed was two little band-aids to cover the two little slits. My knee wasn’t swollen for long, and I go back on Thursday and hopefully they’ll say that things are going great.’

But one other thing is that I think the anesthesia affected me for a few days. I did sleep on Friday night because I could take the Xanax, but for the next few days I felt like my brain wasn’t quite right. But then it got better and I wanted to start doing everything again.

I still can’t go up and down stairs normally and I haven’t taken a walk and I get sore after standing around too long, but I think things are good. I’ve been able to pull more weeds and put down more mulch, still mostly scooting around on the ground, which works well. We had a weenie roast on Friday night and yesterday a boat ride.

And here it is the 4th of July and I hope you’re having a relaxing one.

I have many photos of June and I’ll try to select just a few to put up here very soon.

ok then,

mrs. recovering nicely hughes.

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Don’t be dumb, that’s me talking to me. You can do whatever you want, but I, personally, I’m trying like crazy to not be dumb.

So far it’s not working out super great.

It’s all about my dumb knee and how I keep doing things that make it feel really, really bad. Last week I tried doing some squats which felt fine but then afterwards it was OOWWWWWWWW.

Monday I decided that I could drive to the grocery store – I hadn’t been driving since I injured myself. The driving seemed OK but then the pain started as I walked all around the store and by the time I got home it was back to OWWWWW.

Ok, so don’t walk around a big store and don’t do squats. But then on Wednesday I added one little yoga move to my core training. It’s a “bird dog,” also called “balancing table pose,” with one leg and the opposite knee out and I just looked it up and it’s called Dandayamana Bharmanasana in Sanskrit. With a name like that, it’s no wonder I’ve never heard a yoga teacher utter it.

Anyway, I balanced on the good knee, just fine, and then on the bad knee and I thought “this is great!”

It always takes a bit of time for the pain to start coursing through my knee, which of course it did when I finished.

Don’t walk around a big store. No squats, no balancing table pose, and you probably shouldn’t drive, either. I drove just a little today and it didn’t end up well.

Amy suggested that I make a list of things that make my knee hurt so I’ll remember not to do them but I decided that it will be simpler to just not be dumb.

Don’t. Be. Dumb.

On Wednesday we went to Sam’s Club and I said I’d be fine walking, I’d go slowly, but Amy was very insistent that I use one of those motorized shopping carts.

Naturally, she had to take a video.

It was a little bit fun riding around in it, but it also didn’t go very fast and also it’d be easy to crash into somebody if you weren’t paying enough attention. I also wondered what other people thought about me cruising around since I wasn’t wearing a cast or even a knee brace. It was amusing to back up because there’d be a loud beeping when I did that.

I did manage to get out of there without more knee pain so of course I should listen to Amy. Here we were in the big line to get our receipts scanned as I did my best not to crash into Mom who was standing around in front of me.

Today I started reading some medical articles online about whether or not you should even have surgery on a torn meniscus and although I didn’t understand a lot of it, it made me worry about the whole thing even more. Amy suggested that I call the doctor and make an appointment to talk to them about it, so I’ll do that on Monday.

And once again, blah blah blah me and my knee.

Here are some photos of my beautiful orchid which keeps blooming again like crazy.

Here it is on May 25th with one bloom.

On June 1st, just a week later, three blooms.

June 8th, I think there were five blooms.

Two days ago, June 9th, six blooms.

Yesterday, June 10th, eight blooms! There are still eight opened right now but I’m sure there will be more tomorrow.

I read about getting an orchid to re-bloom, but I wonder if it’ll do it again? When Kevin gave it to me for our anniversary back in September the blooms lasted at least a couple of months. So pretty.

We have sizzling hot heat around here right now and there’s no end in sight. Surely it won’t be like this all summer? We’ll see.

Meanwhile, back at the first of the month,

Spot made himself at home! He hasn’t been back up on the kitty bed on top of the wheelbarrow since then but it’s been so sweltering that it might be a bit warm for him up there. He does come around just about every day, sometimes twice a day, and enjoys a nice meal with a refill. Lemondrop, the other feral kitty, also usually comes by.

Friday night, I hope your weekend is a good one.

Ok then,

Mrs. June Hughes.

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