Hiking at Starved Rock

by grace on January 15, 2022

After lunch in the dining room, we headed out for St. Louis Canyon at Starved Rock at about 2:30 in the afternoon. It was cold, in the 20s, but the sun was shining which was great.

It was funny to start out on this trail which we’d done a few times before, because we saw exactly nobody all the way to St. Louis Canyon. Here’s a short video of the first little fall.

This is the view down Sac Canyon.

It only took us a half hour to reach St. Louis Canyon, and there was a couple at the falls when we got there, but they were moving off. I remember getting pretty warm when hiking this trail in the summer and fall, and it was great not to get overheated.

I’d seen photos of completely frozen falls at the different canyons and it was cool to see both icicles and falling water.

Yay, hiking in winter! I wouldn’t want to try it with snow on the ground, though.

I loved this picture of Kevin with the glowing rock behind him as we headed back out.

When we looked down at Sac Canyon again we both felt vertigo because of the swoopy striations in the rock.

It wasn’t a really long hike, but a great one. I think we might have seen maybe ten people the entire time. On our hikes there at other times of year there were many, many people.

The hike gave us an appetite for another great meal in the dining room.

Meanwhile, here at home today, it’s cold and windy and we had our very first snowfall of the winter. It was supposed to be 2 or 3 inches, but there was only a smattering of snow. It did rain for quite a while last night before it started to snow, so I wonder if it’s slick and treacherous out there? I hope to stay inside for most of the day.

Ok then,

Mrs. January Hughes.


Countdown to Christmas…

by grace on December 1, 2021

…Really??? How did that happen? Now it’s the first of December, and I’ve been MIA on here for much too long. I haven’t been lolling around eating bon bons, much as I’d have liked to, but instead I feel like I’ve been doing so many things, either boat or cat-related.

Also outdoor stuff – here’s a picture of the troll at Lincoln Memorial Gardens, which Mom and I first spotted on a hike on Oct 16th. Pretty cool.

I’ve also spent much time down at water with Spot and kept taking pictures. Here’s Oct. 17 at 6:10 p.m., back when it was still light at that hour.

By 6:18 the sky was more rosy as a pelican swam by.

On Oct. 18th Mom and I were out on the lake in search of pelicans and here was a huge gaggle of them.

This is a short video of more of them that we saw right across the lake from us.

As I was putting the cover over the boat after our ride, Spot jumped up to help. Because the boat was enclosed he was ecstatic, sure that this was a nice sheltered spot where we could live. I put a towel down on the captain’s chair so he didn’t puncture it with his claws as he happily purred and rolled around.

The next day, October 19th, we were out again, this time with Toun and Elaine.

A grand time was had by all.

I captured the moon rise after we made it back home for grilled hotdogs on the deck.

Kevin, hard at work on the patio on October 20th. Hmm, I wonder if I have a photo of the completed project? It now looks fantastic.

Later that day, another weenie roast, when it must have still been warm and lovely.

On October 21st I walked over to Mom’s house and naturally Spot accompanied me and he suddenly ran right up the tree. Even though we’ve gone back over there quite a few times since then he hasn’t repeated this funny act.

That evening, Kevin and I had our first date night since the pandemic began. Whew, that’s a mighty long time. We started at the delicious La Piazza restaurant downtown, which was fairly empty and it felt weird to be there. Afterwards we went to hear some blues at the Lincoln Presidential Museum but for some reason I’d thought it was bluegrass not blues that was on offer. The blues were OK, but I got a little big edgy sitting there in the theater with quite a few people, some of whom took off their masks.

Also, it was quite warm sitting there in masks and I feel for the many people who go to work with them on.

On October 22nd Spot happily joined us for the last weenie roast of October.

I believe that was actually the last weenie roast of the year, unless we decide to have a final one this week because it’s going to be warm today and warmer still for the next couple days. That’d be fun although very dark. But nice to have a fire when it’s a little chilly but not unbearably so.

November involved lots of putting away of boats, pictures of which will be posted here shortly.

Or at least before the year ends…

ok then,

Mrs. Getting Gobs of Stuff Done Hughes. Well, at least some stuff.


So much rain this Sunday

by grace on October 24, 2021

When I got up this morning there was already over three inches of rain in the rain gauge and I’m just realizing that I should go down to the dock and make sure that the boat is lifted far enough out of the water so it doesn’t float away. Hmm, not looking forward to that walk so much, although it looks like it’s not raining at this minute plus it’s supposed to be warmer today than anytime in the future.

I went out on the boat three times at the beginning of the week and I’m thinking that we need to take it out of the water soon. Maybe one or two more boat rides, though they’d be kind of chilly? I guess we forgot to add a little fire pit to the boat to keep warm.

Meanwhile…Les Paul and Sweetie enjoying a sunny early October day.

Spot was content to sit with Kevin as I took off on a boat ride.

October 9th, Mom was decked out in some of her Halloween finery as we took a lovely dinner cruise.

Glenn, Julie and Toun joined us and Kevin always loves to put a peace sign over his head, so Toun gamely did it too. Glenn was too dignified.

Later, everybody chilled out to watch the beautiful night sky.

I didn’t go out on the boat enough this summer. It seems it was either too hot or I was too busy pulling weeds or getting knee surgery. Next summer, I promise I’ll be out there more.

And that’s my goal…

Ok then,

Mrs. Really Nearing the End of October Hughes.


Getting Stuff Done on Sunday Morning

by grace on October 17, 2021

Well, getting stuff done on the computer, anyway. I want to do some weeding out front because there’s a crazy amount of pretty big things growing, plus it’s cool and the ground is soft. I’m also going to attempt to run a little bit.

Yesterday Mom and I tried to take a walk down the road to get across to the field but Spot kept trotting along after us. I kept turning around and yelling “get back! Go home!” but he wouldn’t listen to reason, so we finally gave up and walked around the lane instead.

He followed us there of course but then a neighbor drove up and parked, and at first Spot was leery of the car but then he came over and laid down at my feet.

This morning my strategy is that I’m going bring food and treats out for him before attempting to run.

Anyway, final photos of September, finally…

Can you see the bird flying just above the water, to the right of center?

June 30th, when Spot enjoyed sprawling across both our laps.

This is my favorite photo of him. Giant kitty!

And a good kitty, except when he’s not. This morning I put on a winter coat to sit on the porch floor with him and he was perfectly content until he decided to lunge at my sleeve and grab and bite. I yelled “bad kitty!” a few times, but I don’t think he cared.

I mean, he looked a little chagrined but I’m sure he’ll do it again. Maybe it’s because he continues to be vexed that we won’t let him inside? Or maybe he’s just crazy.

Just like the rest of us.

Ok then,

Mrs. Back Half of October Hughes.


Mostly Spot, way back in September…

October 10, 2021

Kevin took this photo of Spot in our attached garage. When I first glanced at the picture, I thought, “where on earth is that messy place?” And was chagrined to realize that it’s our garage. Soooo much stuff…but maybe a lot of it is just empty boxes? Let’s go with that. Spot was delighted to […]

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September 22, 2021

Kevin informed me that it’s going to officially be fall at 2:20 this afternoon, in just over two hours from now, so this new fall website banner is ahead of schedule, something I do manage to achieve once every lifetime or so. Meanwhile, back on September 2nd I took a boat ride by myself and […]

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Yeah, so

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 […]

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More August Fun

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 […]

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As the summer whooshes to a close…

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 […]

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The State Fair!

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 […]

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