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.


More August Fun

by grace on September 7, 2021

On Aug. 16th Kevin removed the very old deck off the bedroom and is in the process of replacing it with concrete tiles.

Riley has been excited about it ever since. He finds it a fascinating place to sniff and creep around in.

Kevin unearthed this giant slab, part of the old patio off the back door. Riley loves it all.

Here’s Kevin hard at work tilling it up. Riley wasn’t so keen on that.

The next day I went for my very first walk through the field by myself since my knee surgery; I’d taken a couple of short walks with mom, but on my own I went a little faster and further and was delighted to see the field for the first time this summer. I hadn’t even known if it was planted in corn or beans until I asked Jim.


I walked to the other side of the old part of the woods trail and found it a little bit…overgrown.

Lots of scrambling and struggling to get over/under mighty big fallen trees. Clearly they haven’t done any maintenance on the trail for quite a while.

I finally made it out of the woods and a couple of deer were interested to see what I was doing.

I headed into the new trail in the woods, assuming that maybe it’d be a little better maintained. It was, until I encountered all of this.

The tree on the ground was more massive than any in the old woods and it took some effort to get over it.

I can see parts of the new wooded path from the road and it all looks completely overgrown. Maybe they’re just abandoning it for good? Starting in mid-October they’re going to allow bow hunting for deer in different woods around the lake and we’re pretty sure that our own private path across the road is going to be one of the designated places. Kind of scary, but I’m wondering if they’ll clean up the trails for the hunters? It’ll only be maybe one weekend at a time, only a few times of the year, or maybe one week each time? There certainly are way to many deer in the woods everywhere but I don’t want to get pierced with an arrow.

It’s always something…

Ok then,

Mrs. September Marching Right Along 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 New Shed

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. […]

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Baby birds in the mast plus yet another sting

July 28, 2021

It’s nearing the end of July, and I just got my second wasp sting of the summer. This morning I was trying to rotate a big planter/bench that’s on our back deck off the bedroom. Dad planted coral bells in the planter, and the ones at the end gets more sun so it’s shiny, but […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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More May Stuff

June 4, 2021

It suddenly got super hot around here but it cools off at night which is great. I have photos from the end of May, but these are mostly from May 22nd, after Kevin and I took that lovely kayak trip. We need to do that again soon. Anyway, that afternoon I babysat the dogs who […]

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May, quickly slipping away…

May 27, 2021

How did that happen? It felt like mid-summer with temps soaring high into the 80s but it’s suddenly cooling off a bit, now that June is almost upon us. On May 20th we were down at the dock and a goose sauntered by… Lester, always so happy… We’ve seen this huge gaggle of geese a […]

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