Good Riddance to 2022…

by grace on December 31, 2022

I guess that overall the year has been ok, except for not taking any trips (that I recall) and many constant cat issues and the whole gallbladder malarkey.

But good lord…

The last time I wrote here was December 18th.

The next day I finished putting up all my xmas decor/lights and was pleased that things were festive plus I love to have the lights up at night because they’re so dang cheery.

That afternoon I called Mom, I can’t recall why. I asked her where she was. She said “I’m on my way home from Kohl’s I got hit by a car.”


Mom was leaving Kohl’s at 3:49 p.m. and in the crosswalk. She looked over and saw a white car, maybe a Honda or a Toyota, coming at her, but she knew the car would stop.

It didn’t.

The next thing she knew, she was lying on the ground and the car was sitting on her foot.

Yeah, sitting on her foot.

People ran up to her and told the woman in the car to back up off Mom’s foot, so she did. The woman, who Mom described as “old, maybe in her 70s” was quite distraught, as a person would be who just ran over an even more elderly person. Or I guess who ran over anybody at all not matter their age.

People helped Mom up off the ground and the car lady asked if Mom would tell her her name, but Mom said “No, I just want to go home.”

So my eighty-six year-old mother climbed in her car and drove home.

Whew. Because I was still not feeling so energetic after the Covid, Amy took Mom to Urgent Care. We had many phone calls, trying to figure out which one to go to with the least amount of wait.

In hindsight of course she should have taken her straight to the ER.

Coulda woulda shoulda.

They got to Urgent Care where they x-rayed Mom’s foot and her elbow, and her wrist, because she’d fallen on her arm.

I can’t recall the exact timing, I just know that at some point they thought the bones in her foot were crushed. She had to go to the ER.

Of course they had to wait around there a good long time but she did get into a room instead of on a bed in the hallway, where many patients were lying around.

This is the miraculous part – her bones weren’t crushed after all. All her toes were broken and they wrapped her leg up to her knee in many layers of cotton and then put a cast over that. Her elbow was fractured but it was very slight and they just put it in a sling. Her wrist was fine.

We decided that I’d spend the night with Mom, and she and Amy arrived back at Mom’s house at around 11:00 p.m.

I told Mom that if she needed anything in the night, I’d be in the next room and she just needed to call me.

We’d gone to bed at about one, and at two Mom called. I rushed into her room and she said “I think I’m dying.”

They had given her a prescription for hydrocodone but no actual pills to take home.

Mom normally doesn’t take anything at all. I told her I was sorry, that there was nothing I could do for her.

She called me again at 2:30. Again, “I feel like I’m dying.”

Mom normally has little or no pain, and of course she’d been run over by a car and everything hurt.

I looked around in her medicine cabinet and found a bottle of aspirin and gave her a couple. I told her that should help her sleep, and apologized again for not getting her anything else.

She didn’t sleep well, I didn’t sleep well, and at this point everything that went on was a blur. I spent two nights at her house then we decided it was better her for her to stay at our house, so Kevin took the bed frame off our bed so she’d be able to get in and out of it pretty easily. She had to sleep in our bed because it’s on the first floor, and Kevin and I slept in the upstairs guest room with Marley, who was delighted to have the company.

Mom’s cat Hobbs came over to stay since it’d be easier to take care of her at our house, and once you have six cats, what’s one more?

Things were slightly mad ever since, and Kevin was still positive for Covid, so to be safe, Mom stayed in the bedroom.

He tested negative on Christmas so Mom was able to come out of her confinement and have a meal and watch some TV with us.


Thursday the 29th I took Mom to the orthopedic place and they cut her cast off and gave her a little boot. The nice guy showed us the x-rays of her broken toes plus her ankle has a slight fracture. We all marveled at Mom’s incredible luck at being injured so minimally.

We’d been anticipating Mom being incapacitated for a while, and had managed to wrangle her a good wheelchair after lots of stress trying to make that happen.

Didn’t need it.

I took Mom home and all was good.

The whole thing seems surreal now. So many different things had to happen , like I called Kohl’s because we wanted to find out the name of the woman who hit her, because we figured her insurance should pay for it. They did have video footage but we couldn’t see it without filing a police report, and Mom and I did that over the phone on the 20th. The officer didn’t call me back and I finally called a few days ago. Her case had been turned over to the Detective Bureau, said the person on the phone at the police department, but they’re “understaffed and overworked” so who knows when we’ll find out anything.

People have asked if we’re going to sue but we’re not because it would involve lawyers and she wouldn’t end up getting any money because of the expense, plus of course who knows if we’ll find the woman’s name, plus it’s not like the woman did it intentionally and it wasn’t a hit and run.

It was a hit and Mom got in her car and drove off.

So far Mom has received two letters from slimy lawyers who want to help her sue somebody. One of them is from Wilmette, so they must have statewide access to police reports. Ridiculous.

Things have just been so crazy.

There’s an even longer version of this with many other things involved that have made me beyond frazzled and stressed and wiped out. It’s too much to go into here, plus I feel that too much info would infringe on Mom’s privacy, but if you have my phone number you’re welcome to call and I can fill you in. Of, better still, if you have Mom’s number, she’s always happy to chat.

Meanwhile, yesterday morning I was rushing around like crazy, trying to get ready to give a massage and Mom texted me to say that her foot feels much better without the boot and she’d rather not wear it.

So while going mad with the rushing I had to implore my Energizer Bunny mother to wear the damn boot.

I finally convinced her that if she didn’t wear it, it might not heal probably and maybe she’d have to have her ankle re-broken and have surgery and a cast again…

I’m pretty confident that I convinced her, but for good measure I told Amy about it so she’d be on the case.

Whew. That’s about all I have to say for the end of this year.

Meanwhile…here are some photos from when I went running deep in the old part of the woods, before I got Covid and didn’t have the energy to run, before Mom got run over, before the bitter cold set in.

This was November 29th, and at first the trail was decent…

…But then there were many many fallen trees. I had to scramble around quite a bit to make my way over and under and past the branches.

This might have been the worst spot.

But of course since then things went downhill. I actually did go for an amazingly slow run a couple of days ago because after the bitterly cold time of bitter coldness and some snow, it was fairly warm outside. I couldn’t figure out why I was jogging so slowly and then remember about the Covid.

I was hoping to at least do some yoga or something today but I think it’s past time for any of that. Instead, chocolate and wine is in order.

Surely, surely the new year will be better…

Like I said, many worse things could have happened.

I hope you have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. Kevin and I will hopefully watch a “Doctor Who” but then again he might fall asleep before it starts. That happened last night, and I was able to spend some quality time with a few of our cats. When you have this many and so many of them are desperate for attention, there’s never quite enough time to properly pet them enough.

Finally, finally, here’s Marley on Kevin’s lap on December 18th.

Good kitty!

ok ok ok,

Mrs. thank god 2022 is just about over hughes.



by grace on December 18, 2022

I’ve never felt as happy about a negative test result. Yesterday morning when I decided to test myself I was pretty sure I was still positive so it was awesome to see that I wasn’t.

Kevin started feeling crummy on Monday evening, tested positive on Tuesday morning, and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get Paxlovid. Every doctor is different about giving it out and Kevin had to have a video call with his new doctor before they’d give it to him and the doctor wasn’t free til Friday! I was outraged and finally called the doctor’s office and told them that this wouldn’t do. Within minutes they called him back and changed the video conference to Wednesday.

I didn’t need any of that to get the drug; I just called my doctor’s office on Saturday and the on-call doc prescribed it and that was that. I was especially annoyed about Kevin’s doctor because of Kevin’s diabetes, of course.

When he called in the prescription, the Walgreens was out. Clearly, everybody is getting Covid around here. But they had it at other Walgreens and finally, he got it.

And he’s been doing pretty well, better every day, and he never developed the violent cough that I got. Plus his eye is improving nicely; this morning he had me hold up fingers in front of him a few feet away so he could see if he could see them. He hadn’t been able to at all before his operation and hadn’t been able to see well enough til today. He can even tell how many fingers I’m holding up from about six feet away or so, fantastic.

He also has this little air bubble which was pretty big and right in the middle of his eye but it kept getting smaller and moving down and today it’s gone. So yay for all of that!

Meanwhile…I have suddenly become a terrible cook. Yesterday I thought about how long I’ve been cooking, and it’s been almost 50 years.

But after Thanksgiving I decided to make turkey stock out of the turkey carcass. I’ve never tried this before. It was a 13 LB turkey and we didn’t eat a huge amount of it and I managed to stuff the turkey frame and lots of other pieces into the pot.

The process took hours of simmering and I was hopeful that it’d produce enough broth for quite a while.

When I finished I put it into a big leftover container and stuck it in the fridge.

The next morning I opened it and realized that almost the entire contents was just fat. I separated it into two containers; the one on the left holds eleven cups and is fat fat fat and nothing but fat. The other dinky container held the paltry amount of broth.

So, big soup fail. I carried the bowl-o-fat down by the water and I’m sure some raccoons were happy to slurp it down, or maybe the mink.

I’ve been thinking about lentil soup for a while and finally decided to make it a couple of days ago. I hadn’t felt up to doing much of anything and when I finally had the energy to make it, I figured it wasn’t a big deal, not many ingredients, and It’d be warm and delicious.

I decided to double the amount of lentils so I added more and more broth but maybe I didn’t double everything else like the onions. I mean, I definitely didn’t double the onions. But still, I hoped it’d be good. I’d read an online recipe for chicken soup with kale and decided that would make it even more healthy, and added quite a bit.

Once again, massive fail. It tasted kind of like nothing, and also the texture was bad and, just…a failure. Kevin even admitted “this wasn’t your best soup” and when I suggested we dump it down by the lake he readily agreed.

All I’d been making lately, soup-wise, is chili. I’m not a huge fan of chili but Kevin likes it, and I feel that’s what I’m going to have to make again. I do have a recipe that I’ve made before, it’s an African peanut pumpkin soup, maybe I’ll try that…

Maybe the Covid has depleted my soup-making abilities. I know there are many different symptoms but I haven’t read about that one yet, but you never know.

Meanwhile…Christmas is coming right up, FYI.

Ok then,

Mrs. Post-Covid Hughes.


So, Covid…

by grace on December 11, 2022

It’s been almost three years since the world found out about Covid and I felt I was taking pleny of precautions. It was strange to not even get a cold in all that time.

Last Tuesday, Dec. 6th, my friend Randy and I went to breakfast and he helped me pick out Christmas presents. We drove to a few different stores and a good time was had by all, except he was super-tired.

He hadn’t slept well the night before and he’d been coughing intermittently for weeks, but now he seemed pretty bad. Randy has been around many non-masked people throughout the pandemic and I’d decided he must be immune to Covid. I figured he had a bad cold and I told him “I’m going to be mad at you if I get your cold.”

Tuesday night I went to dinner with a friend, which is still a rare occurrence for me. Wednesday and Thursday I gave massages to my two very elderly clients.

Friday morning I got up at 5:45 to take Kevin to his eye appointment. He went blind in his left eye a few weeks ago. He’d gone blind in his right eye about six or seven years ago because of diabetic retinopathy. That was really scary and he went through a long bout of having an ophthamologist zap the weak and puny blood vessels which grew because of the diabetes. Because the blood vessels were so weak and puny, they burst, causing his eye to fill up with blood which resulted in losing his sight.

Just typing this gives me the heeby-jeebies; it’s all pretty gruesome. When this happened years ago, Kevin’s fantastic ophthalmologist kept trying to fix the problem without surgery, but at some point hey agreed that surgery was the best option.

It’s called a vitrectomy, which basically involves sucking all the vitreous fluid out of the eye and replacing it. Ugh, sounds so scary.

But back then, the surgery went surprisingly well and Kevin’s right eye was pretty good not long after. He still has a bend in his vision because of the scar, but he can function well.

So I wasn’t as freaked out this time since he’d been through it before. Unfortunately, back then, Kevin’s surgery was the very last one his opthamologist performed, and now he doesn’t do surgery anymore. He said that his partner is great and would do just as good a job if not better.

So, i was up before six in the morning on Friday and it all went smoothly. Because it was on Friday, his day-after follow-up appointment was instead at noon on Friday.

They wheeled Kevin out of the pre-op room at 7:50 at which point I got in my car and raced home to feed and re-arrange our various cats. They said the surgery could take as little as 40 minutes and it took me 20 minutes to get home so I had no time to dawdle.

I raced back and settled down in the waiting room, and when they hadn’t alerted me by 9:15 I went up and asked about him and they said he was done. Supposedly the doctor had called when the surgery was over, but he didn’t call my phone and I wasn’t alerted there in the waiting room.

But no matter, I greeted my very groggy guy in the recovery room and he wore a lop-sided grin and did his best to sip water through a straw while contentedly munching on Lorna Doone cookies.

He was alert enough to leave pretty quickly; they had more people to shuffle in, and we had to go away til his appointment at noon. So we went to our friend Glenn’s condo, which was less then five minutes away.

I sat around in the condo trying to keep my eyes open while Glenn and Kevin chatted. At noon we went back to the office where the nurse practitioner checked him out and things looked good. He needed three different eye drops, each one either twice or four times a day.

We got home about one and I was really tired. I tried to sleep but I don’t think I was sleeping but really weird thoughts raced through my brain (more weird than my usual brain weirdness).

I finally got up and went to pick up his prescriptions and I took Mom with me. I suddenly felt like I was getting sick – was it Randy’s cold, or the flu? I was coughing and dragging.

When Kevin and I were watching TV later that night I wanted to go to sleep very early, and doing a lot of nose-blowing and coughing. I thought about sleeping in the guest bedroom but decided I was too tired to climb the stairs. Instead, Kevin decided to do that, so I was lying in bed and suddenly had violent chills. I’d just bought a new electric blanket and I cranked it up to high and I’m pleased with how hot it got.

I slept quite a bit, but when I got up in the morning I still felt really lousy. I decided I should take a Covid test just to be sure I didn’t have it. We’d used up all our tests so I walked over to Mom’s house because I knew she had one left. She’d spent the night at a friend’s the night before so I opened the blinds and fed the cat and took the test.

And immediately when the time was up the bright pink line screamed POSITIVE.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. I was freaked out because, well, Covid, plus the huge risk for Kevin.

The rest of the day was spent calling the doctor and friends and the people I’d given massages to. I still felt lousy and the doctor called in some Paxlovid for me, which I finally got to start taking yesterday afternoon at 4:30.

I’m feeling not so terrible today and I have to sequester from Kevin for five days which means I’m here in the bedroom with three or sometimes four of our cats who essentially just sleep cause they’re cats.

I’m worried about Kevin because I was around him all the time before testing and if he gets Covid it could be worse for him because of the diabetes, plus one of the instructions for his post-op was NO COUGHING but if he get Covid, he’ll cough. Plus sneezing! Hopefully it won’t happen because can’t you picture his eye popping right out of his head when he sneezes? I sneezed violently about a hundred times on Friday night, but at least that was after he’d gone to bed so I didn’t spray my Covid germs all over him.

He tested negative today, but I read that he could get it up to ten days after being around me. I feel that at least if he can manage not go get it right away, every day will help in terms of his eye healing.

So now we just wait and see. Meanwhile, here are a few photos of the poor sad kittes.

Here’s Spot on November 1st, snuggling on my lap at 10:30 at night. He’d have been super happy if I’d decided to stay out there all night with him.

Pumpkin realized that the upside-down clothes hamper in the living room was a perfect place to nap.

The other indoor kities were all in the fenced yard and very photogenic. I even got Lovey to look over at me.

Sweetie, hiding in the leaves.

This is one of my favorite photos ever. I can’t recall what Riley was doing here; I think he was looking at some bird or something above him but of course it looks like he’s doing a serious yoga stretch.

Lovey was very active that day.

And here’s our outdoor lights with many festive decorations on the cat house.

And that’s about it around here. More than enough stuff going on, and yet also just sitting here in bed for four more days.

Ok then,

Mrs. H, full of Covid.


More in the water in October…

by grace on November 28, 2022

We took my boat out of the water on October 29th and there were many white pelicans lined up on the seawall at the beach house.

Ha ha, taking my boat out has never before seemed like such a breeze. Motoring over, simple. Steering it up to the trailer, no problem. Because of the craziness of motoring Kevin’s sailboat with the falling-off motor and swerving all around and panicking, all the pontoon boat stuff was pretty effortless.

Of course Kevin is the one who had to back up the truck and do the hard stuff, but at least it wasn’t like the sailboat escapade. I felt a little sad getting the boat out, as I do every year, especially because it seems like it was way too hot or there was something going on with me, so we didn’t go out as much. But it was OK, and there’s always next year, plus it feels good that the boats are safely on shore for winter.

Here are the pelicans when I was out at the dock in the early evening on Halloween

The fallen oak tree is losing its leaves and we probably won’t hardly see it in the spring.

A lone white pelican!

And that wraps up October, as December looms. I’ve taken advantage of the nice weather and got all my outdoor Xmas decorations up so I feel good about that anyway.

Ok then,

Mrs. H.


More from October

November 8, 2022

Marley continues to flourish even though she’s quarantined to her bedroom because of the wild cat Pumpkin. Well, he’s not so wild now, as a matter of fact, right now as I type he’s stretched out on the chair opposite me, sleeping peacefully as Sweetie is nestled on top of the kitty tower. Things are […]

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November 5, 2022

I just might not get back to photos from summer as fall continues to roar ahead as it does. It actually felt like summer yesterday, reaching the 70s in the afternoon. I spent as much time as possible outside, including going for a jog wearing shorts and a t shirt and then washing and waxing […]

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Happy Birthday, Bev!

November 5, 2022

I’m hoping Bev has a lovely birthday today…

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An exciting sailboat adventure

October 26, 2022

Last year we didn’t get Kevin’s sailboat out of the water til after November 1st and were shocked to find that the boat docks had been taken out of the water and set up on the boat ramps, so we couldn’t take his boat out at the sailboat launch, which has a really good and […]

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June, continued…

October 13, 2022

So, June, so long ago…my sister Amy and our friend Amy joined me for a boat ride on June 11th, five days after my hospital release. My sister Amy hasn’t been on a boat ride with me since, which shows you just how momentous this occasion was. She massively relieved that my hospital visit wasn’t […]

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Mick’s Honor Flight!

October 10, 2022

I wanted to go with Mom to see her friend Mick come home from his Lincoln Honor Flight on June 14th but he wasn’t going to get back to Springfield til pretty late at night so I decided not to go. I’ve known Mick ever since I can rememeber – he and his family and […]

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