kevin

More May Stuff

by grace on 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 enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

Later in the day the giant gaggle of geese sailed by the dock.

Lester and Lovey, chilling on the back patio. Lovey found the only tiny spot where there currently aren’t any ferns. All the ferns I transplanted last year are doing great so far. I’ve noticed that a few more have sprouted in the previous place where they were but I haven’t dug them up yet, plus if I do that I don’t know where Lovey will sit.

It’s nice that Lovey is comfortable enough when I’m around to lie there, but we’re really not making a lot of progress, her liking me-wise. But she sure is happy despite the fact that I continue to live here.

At this point Les Paul reigned on top of the kitty house. Hey, I’ve since emptied that mulch bag, yay for me.

In the evening the geese gaggle was snacking on things on the lawn.

The next day Kevin asked me if I’d shave his head. Amy has done this a few times but it had gotten pretty long. Kevin had bought a razor and I agreed to do it even though I had no idea how. How hard could it be?

Pretty terrible, it turns out. The razor had a protective shield over it and there were many different shields for trimming to different lengths but no matter which one we tried the razor was just swishing his hair around from side to side, no cutting going on at all.

I decided to try the trimming blade and shaved the hair at the back of his neck and then thought, “why not just use this to shave his head?”

And this is what happened.

Uh oh. It was quite terrible but I couldn’t stop laughing.

I finally texted Amy and told her we had a slight hair emergency and she came over and did a fantastic job in about three minutes.

But I did do a petty good job on his neck…

ok then,

mrs. early June Hughes.

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May, quickly slipping away…

by grace on 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 few times now – i think there are about 23 goslings! That’s lots of goslings to take care of.

Saturday, May 22nd we took a morning kayak trip down to the end of Long Bay again. This new dock used to be a very old and rotting dock, and it looks so nice now.

Up there, the yellow flowers mark the end of Long Bay.

I guess I enjoy it because it’s like a secret little cove. Here’s a short video of what it looks like.

On our way out of the bay we saw this small goose family.

I like all the trees hanging over the water.

And that’s photos for right now. Tomorrow I hope to post yet again because it’s going to be chilly so I won’t feel the need to do as much.

Because yeah, I’ve been doing a lot even though I got an MRI the week after I went to the Ortho and that was a very weird thing – the person doing it asked what kind of music I wanted to listen to and I said “jazz” so I had these earphones on and they had me lie down on this plank with my leg secured in it and a weight on top of my leg so it’d be very still. The woman said it’d take 2o-30 minutes because they’d take several images but might have to re-do them.

So then she left the room and I slid into the MRI machine, except really only my leg was in there but OH MY GOD IT WAS SO LOUD.

It seemed ridiculous that she’d asked about my music preference because it sounded like they were doing very loud construction right there. The woman said each image would take from three to five minutes and sometimes at the end of each one there’d be an additional even louder pounding drilling construction sound which sounded like it was right underneath me.

And very faintly, underneath it all, there was the sound of jazz. Probably. I’m sure she mentioned that it was Pandora, and sometimes there was an ad but I had no idea what they could have possibly been advertising.

I did my best to lie perfectly still and focus on deep breathing and after a bit my leg really started to hurt but I kept breathing through it and it was a little bit restful just because I was lying down. But at the same time deafening.

A few days later they called to tell me that yes indeed I have a torn meniscus. It’s weird because that’s exactly what Kevin had many years ago…2007, maybe?

I had to go in and see the orthopedic doctor who is going to do the surgery. I’d read up on torn meniscus – it’s a cushion around your knee, and there’s one on either side, and I read that they could sew it up. But the resident who first examined me said that they only do that for young athletes. If you’re over 40, they shave the torn part off.

I just feel that shaving things off can’t be a good thing. Except, say, my inner thighs…

So this is where it gets slightly terrifying. Many years ago Kevin tore his meniscus at work, tripping over some big exposed plug in the floor, so it was a big impact. The doctor he went to acted like it wouldn’t be so bad, but we both have memories of him being in a whole lot of pain afterwards, for a very long time. He’d been thinking about starting a fencing school after retiring, and he was very close to retiring, but because the doctor ended up cutting out 70% of his meniscus he can’t lunge, and if you can’t lunge, you can’t fence. He also can’t run anymore.

So as I’m typing thing it’s making me think that yeah, maybe I won’t be able to run after this. That would be a drag. But maybe it won’t be so bad, and I also know that this doctor I’m seeing is really, really good – he replaced both hips and both knees of a friend whose husband trained the doctor who will be working on me.

Kevin’s doctor, on the other hand, might have removed an excessive amount of his meniscus. When he was a kid he crashed his bike badly and Kevin thinks his meniscus was probably torn then and formed scar tissue and the doctor went in and removed the scar tissue. So that would be bad, not to mention incompetent. There were also some kind of shady-sounding things about his recovery – he did physical therapy but then the doctor told him it wasn’t working, so he wouldn’t be getting any more of that.

Anyway. We did do a huge amount of hiking in Wales and Ireland, but that was several years after his injury. Hopefully it won’t be several years before I can do things again. If not running, then at least hiking and biking and all the weights I’ve been doing a lot more of.

My surgery is June 24th, which seems like a long time to wait. A couple of days ago my knee was feeling better, and I started thinking that maybe I didn’t really need the surgery, but then I did a little too much something and then pain increased. I’m still doing some yard work – it’s amazing how much I can do by scooching around on the ground. I managed to do some weeding and putting down mulch in that manner.

But then I power-washed the deck for a couple of hours a couple of days ago and then an hour yesterday. My knee just feels weird. But today I managed to sit on the ground and put out all the shells that line my front walkway and that made me happy, and I coaxed Kevin into bringing most of my palms down from the upstairs and I arranged them. I even transplanted some shoots of plants that have been sitting on my dining room table for a few months now and have been driving me crazy. I sat on the little deck, digging around in the pots and making a huge mess. But now, the knee isn’t so happy about so much activity.

Ok, sorry, blah blah blah, what am I going to be like in 20 years when I have more serious age-related issues?

But right now I need to ask the people at the orthopedic center if it could possibly tear again, and what about the other knee? And I worry about having anesthesia which I’ve never had before, and what if I’m in pain for a long time afterwards? It’s summer and I need to garden.

Deep breaths.

ok then,

mrs. getting older all the time hughes (but consider the alternative).

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the beginning of May

by grace on May 20, 2021

May 2nd, the first family of geese! I think there were about 10 babies.

Kevin and I took a wonderful kayak ride that morning.

I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures during our trip; we paddled all the way to the end of Long Bay, one of my favorite spots on the lake. We can’t take the pontoon boat all the way to the end so it feels enchanting to me.

We have a big rooster placement problem here. Kevin pounded a piece of rebar into the ground last year to place the giant rooster and so he put it back in the same place this year because when he pulled it out last year, one of the piece of rebar stayed in the ground because it was pounded right into a big root. So now it’s not going anywhere, but it totally blocks the beautiful irises that Dad planted down there.

As the ground keeps sinking down there, stuff isn’t looking good, which is why it’s even more important to at least have the irises. Kevin has talked about laying some railroad ties down along the edge, so hopefully he’ll do that this summer. The only problem with that is that there are approximately a zillion other things that need to be done.

Sweetie had never laid in this window sill before; she loves to mix it up in terms of sleeping spots all over the house.

I wasn’t able to successfully-enough capture the far shore which was lit up in the evening.

And here’s Spot, our outdoor kitty. He hangs out on the front porch quite a bit and also sometimes on the back deck and he has gotten in the fenced yard on more than one occasion. We need to make him part of the family! One problem with this is that he might terrorize everybody else. He’s definitely an Alpha male.

Darling little Lovey who might be related to Spot. She clearly doesn’t care for him but she continues to be quite in love with Kevin, even jumping up into his lap sometimes.

And that’s about it for here in May.

ok then,

g.

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Last Saturday, May 8th, it occurred to me that Kevin and I had taken part in what I decided was a biathlon that I’m sure nobody else on the planet did. We’ve created a new type of biathlon! It won’t be in time for the Olympics this year which is just as well because that’s just a superspreader Covid event waiting to happen.

First, Saturday morning we played in a competition in our online game “june’s journey.” I must have mentioned the game before; it’s a worldwide phenomenon and when we compete about twice a week we’re against teams from Russia, Italy, Sweden, France, Japan, most every place you could think of.

Mom, Amy and Jim are also on our team, plus some other people from Springfield and elsewhere. We didn’t do great Saturday morning, coming in ninth out of 15. Sometimes we do terribly but then I think the company puts us with weaker teams so then sometimes we do great. Just yesterday, as a matter of fact, we had a competition where we came in 3rd.

Anyway, that was our first biathlon stage.

The second stage was a black powder shooting competition that afternoon. Kevin started shooting old-fashioned type guns a while ago and competed in some competitions out in Virginia. One year Mollie and I went with him and were going to camp out in our pop-up camper but it rained and rained and we stayed in a very nice dog-friendly hotel instead. We all enjoyed that quite a bit.

So, years and year later, I decided about a month ago to try the black powder shooting. I used a gun that Kevin bought when he was 17, called a Kentucky Long rifle. You have to pour a measured amount of black gun powder into the barrel then put a small cloth patch which you’ve sprayed with lubricant on top of the opening, then you use a special round tool to pound the bullet into the opening. You then use your ramrod, a stick attached to the rifle that slides out so you can use it, to push the bullet all the way down into the bottom of the barrel.

I find it interesting to complete all these steps, and I keep being amazed and distressed thinking about all the poor soldiers in the Civil War who had to do all this stuff, except in the middle of battle, and people were shooting back at them. But Kevin tells me they were actually used in the Revolutionary War so they must have been quite effective back then since we won.

Anyway, this particular black powder competition used a weird kind of wooden target made up of Xs, and you had to try to hit the middle of each X. It involved first shooting at a triangle paper target and then going back to the target to move the paper target over the wooden one. I realized it doesn’t seem to make sense, but when we did it I kind of figured it out. Kevin made our wooden targets and here they are after the shoot.

I can’t remember which was which, but looking at them, surely the one on the right must be Kevin’s because they’s all closer to the middles.

We had participated in another black powder competition in April, my first-ever competition, only the second time I’d ever shot the black powder, and we aimed at round targets. In that event everybody brought a prize and then at the end we all picked a prize, starting with the first-place winner. I knew there would be nothing at all to interest me but I tied for second-to-last place and was happy to claim some kind of flashlight. At least I got a prize! Plus, how poor a shooter must that last-place guy have been?

So it was disappointing at the end of the shoot last Saturday. Kevin had thought it’d be the same kind of deal, and brought a big pack of steaks for our contribution to the prize pool, but instead we all had to show up with eight dollar bills and then the person who shot closest to the first X got money for that, and on and on.

But the thing is that some of these guys, and yes, I was the only woman participating, have been doing this for years and years and three of them won all the money. Kevin assured me that it wasn’t rigged even though the guy in charge of scoring plus counting out all the money ended up winning quite a bit of cash, and the guy’s brother and nephew won the rest. Hmm. When I told Bev about it she pointed out that since there were nine of us shooting and we each put in eight dollars, the total amount was only seventy two dollars. That Bev, she’s a math whiz. Plus it doesn’t seem like that much money, but it did when the guy was counting out all those bills.

In retrospect we didn’t do so great in either part of our Novel Biathlon, but then again, it was the very first year in which we participated, so maybe next time we’ll do better.

But the other thing is I don’t know when there’ll be a next time. I’d been having a little knee pain for a few months but I pretty much ignored it, continuing to run (a very slow jog), and walk and and bike ride sometimes and do lots of weights including squats and lunges with heavy weights.

But Mom and I walked at Lincoln Memorial Gardens on April 27th and I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to do anything else with that knee. I quit all forms of exercise except doing weights using my arms, and I thought my knee was doing OK. Because my brother-in-law Jim has had many sports injuries he advised me that i should completely rest.

I’m not good at completely resting, but like I said, no more lunges with weights or anything.

But right before our second biathlon stage that Saturday, I hopped down out of Kevin’s truck and walked about 10 feet…and my knee buckled. Uh oh. I felt something like a snap. Bad bad bad.

At this point I totally should have taken a pass on the biathlon second stage but instead I was able to continue to hobble around. It didn’t feel good, and we had to walk out to our targets, 25 yards away, about ten times. So yeah, a lot of walking.

I thought maybe it’d be OK but on the way home I couldn’t get comfortable.

Resting at that point would have been a great idea.

But then there was the poor scared German Shepard on the road by our house…

We saw it running down the road and got it into the car, and Mom was right there and volunteered to drive it to the Animal Emergency Clinic to see if it had a chip. We got the very sweet and very strong dog into the back of her car and I sat with her, petting her and telling her she was a good girl, while at the same time figuring out what to do. I called the APL and luckily they were open so we went there, instead. The nice woman on the phone had to ask her manager if the dog could stay there for the weekend if it didn’t have an owner and luckily again, the manager said yes.

Who knows how long the poor thing had been running around – she kept trying to lie her head on my foot, but then she’d sit up again and I’d pet her.

They told me to come into the building without the dog and somebody would come out and get her. I hobbled in and filled out some paperwork and then a nice guy came out and got the poor scared sweet dog.

Here’s a picture of her.

She had no chip, and I guess nobody was looking for her, so APL would take her to the pound on Monday. I posted that picture on a couple of lost pets sites on Facebook and many many animal lovers re-posted it, but I don’t know what happened to her. The APL manager came out of her office to assure me that the pound wouldn’t just put her to sleep, that she was such a good and sweet dog, plus a pure-bred german shepherd, that somebody would want her.

I hope so. Poor puppy.

So, that was my very exciting Biathlon plus bonus Dog Rescue element.

That Sunday we had grilled steak for Mother’s Day.

Monday I went to the walk-in Orthopedic Center where they did an x-ray and a guy examined me and said it was probably a torn meniscus. Oh boy.

That’s now a whole different deal and I won’t go on about that right now. It has been raining here so much that soon the water will probably rise up the hill to the house, which will be something.

ok then

Mrs. will probably be sitting around a whole lot for the near future Hughes.

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More from April

May 8, 2021

I was so excited to get my new iphone a couple of weeks ago. I had a 6s+, which was about four years old and had started randomly shutting off for no reason, plus, of course, the new phones has cameras that are light-years better. Or so I hoped… Here’s my first photo, where I […]

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April Excitement

April 29, 2021

Ok, “excitement” might be stretching it a bit. Or maybe a lot. But I happened to see a great italian greyhound door mat on facebook and had to buy it for Amy and Jim. Maybe it’s a regular greyhound but I didn’t care because it’s so cute. They draped the mat over this sofa piece […]

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Out on the Lake and other random April Things

April 14, 2021

The day after Easter I drove past this grand house in Laketown. It’s always fully decked out for any and every holiday, but I thought this Easter decor was above and beyond, maybe because not so many people decorate do much for this holiday. The daffodils were beautiful this year as usual, except a part […]

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Outside April

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 […]

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A whole new month…

April 4, 2021

It was so chilly on Thursday, with temps in the 40s and strong winds blowing. It’s continues to warm up and today it’s going to be in the 70s. The daffodils are blooming, as well as the hyacinth. Lots of positive changes here for April. Meanwhile, way back in February, Sweetie was so very content, […]

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March Madness

March 30, 2021

Cerebral Volume Loss. Not something you want to read about, re: the state of your brain. But let me start at the beginning. Last Wednesday, March 24th, I was messing around the house, doing the stuff I usually do. I’d played a game on my iPad while drinking my lapsang souchong tea, I worked out […]

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