So Many Things

by grace on April 27, 2022

Ok then…first, Pumpkin’s ulcer quickly turned into something called a Corneal Sequestrum. It showed up on April 8th, just six days after the ulcer had formed. It’s basically a hole in the cornea, and it’s so uncommon that our vet had to get out a big book to remember the name.

Our vet said we should take Pumpkin down to St. Louis to an ophthalmology specialist vet ASAP, and we were able to get him in on Tuesday the 12th. The St. Louis vet was wonderful and reassuring, instantly diagnosing Pumpkin’s corneal sequestrum. He’s been practicing for 35 years and said that he sees about one of these a month, but he’d never seen a sequestrum that deep before. When he normally operates on an eye, he digs out the sequestrum and then sews a bit of the conjunctiva on top of it. Since it was so deep, he said that he’d leave the sequestrum alone and just sew the conjunctiva over it. The conjunctiva is the inner eyelid, we found out.

The surgery was scheduled for Monday the 25th, two days ago. Kevin took Pumpkin back to St. Louis and the operation was successful. The vet put two stitches over the eyelid to protect it, which will remain for a while, but then they will be removed and hopefully he’ll be able to see and will do fine. So far Pumpkin is doing great, and we have to go back for at least a couple of re-checks.

So, that was quite a bit of stuff happening. Meanwhile, Mom and I went to Seattle on the 12th to visit one of her old high school boyfriends, a guy named Stan, who is in failing health. She wanted to see him one last time, so I booked our trip.

On the morning of April 12th, Kevin and I drove down to St. Louis with Pumpkin for his consultation, and then we got home and I finished gathering together a few things and drove back to St. Louis with Mom an hour later. A big travel day.

I took approximately one bazillion photos and videos while we were gone. I always promise myself that I won’t go crazy with that, but then inevitably I end up overdoing it again.

I’ll post some of them here, but not all one bazillion. Maybe only half a bazillion. The thing is, we stayed in a beautiful air b&b overlooking Puget Sound with the Olympic mountains in the distance, and every morning I was able to run down the hill to the shore, where I jogged along the sidewalk at the marina. It was filled with so many boats and there was always some kind of activity and I wanted Kevin to be able to see it all, so I’d stop every few minutes to take a photo/video.

I sent him so many that he stopped watching at some point, and I plan to sit down with him and watch them on the TV at some point.

Just not right now.

We had a good time, more on all that later, but I have two photos today.

On Sunday there were many kitty shenanigans, first of all the fact that we couldn’t find Pumpkin. He’d been sequestered in a bedroom, but we’d started letting him roam free and I couldn’t find him anywhere. Kevin was gone in the morning and when he got home we scoured the house and worried that he might have gotten out the kitty door and escaped over the fence. I was starting to panic, and was inside looking and Kevin was in the fenced yard, after scouring the perimeter and looking around our neighbor’s property.

Kevin then sent me these two photos.


What was going on? How had he taken the photos while a bird perched on his finger and what was that bird doing?

The bird had gotten trapped under the extra fencing on top of the fence and Lovey was underneath, waiting to pounce. Kevin was able to rescue the bird and it hopped onto his finger, too afraid to move.

I rushed outside where Kevin was standing inside the fence holding the bird outside the fence, safely far from Lovey’s clutches. I stuck out my finger and it hopped onto it and Kevin instructed me to start slowly walking towards the bird feeder, which I did. After I’d taken a few steps the bird suddenly realized what he was doing and flew off.

Whew. It’s called a rose-breasted grosbeak, and we’d never seen one before.

Yeah, lots going on, not enough time to sit here and process everything.

More later.

Ok then,



So much has happened in just a week…

by grace on April 3, 2022

…and the most important thing is that there was a Harley sighting!!!

Last Sunday I spent a great deal of time creating an eye-catching lost cat flyer and changing it around a lot making many copies. Doing this made me feel that at least I was doing something about poor lost Harley.

Monday wasn’t such a good day. Rainy and dreary, plus I worked myself up about Pumpkin’s eye and texted a lot of people and talked on the phone, then finally called the vet and they said we could bring him in that day.

We took him and they wanted to keep him there for a few hours, so in the meantime we drove to Edinburg to put up flyers and when we got there it felt like it was a completely fruitless endeavor. I put one up in the sad little post office and another up at the gas station but the entire downtown area was boarded up and it looked like every house surely held a meth lab.

I stapled flyers to several utility poles and felt discouraged and hopeless.

We picked up Harley and the vet said he had a corneal ulcer. He needs a drop in his eye three times a day followed by ointment, with a 10-minute gap in between. They put a plastic cone over his head and he seemed OK with it, although very dejected.

We got him home and took off the cone so he could reach his food bowl, and then Kevin went downstairs and I finally put the cone back on Pumpkin whereby he totally freaked out. He crashed into everything, desperately trying to flee the cone. Smash smash, smashing into a shelf next to the couch and into a table and smash smash smash. It was horrible and we were both traumatized. Finally I got it off him and it was all battered. I called Sunny, our friend the cat-whisperer and said he’d be ok without wearing the cone.

Whew. Not a great day, all in all.

But then, Tuesday night, Nancy called to say that her husband Butch had spotted Harley down at their burn pile. Unbelievable! I didn’t know exactly where this burn pile was, but it was fantastic to know that Harley hadn’t run away and hadn’t been eaten by a coyote. Or maybe he did run away but then he came back. Doesn’t matter, it’s just good to know that he’s somewhere near Nancy, because she feeds everybody who comes near the house.

We still have two cameras set up on her property in hopes of catching sight of Harley just so we know he’s sticking around, but so far it has just been photos of cats, deer, possum, raccoons, leaves, more cats…but no Harley. But at least we are hopeful that he’ll want to stick around because of the plethora of food. When I dropped by later in the week to swap out SD cards in the cameras so I could bring them home and look through them on the computer, I realized that the burn pile is kind of down the road from their house, so it’s not as close as I’d hoped. But still…hopeful, that’s my mood right at the moment. Harley lives!

As for Pumpkin, I was worried because he kept his eye shut and I didn’t know if I was even getting any of the drop into his eye because when I pulled his lower lid down all I could see was the inner lid. On Friday I called the vet with many questions and we got to take him back on Saturday morning. When the vet checked out his eye she said he was improving, but it would be a good idea to put in a drop and then wait thirty minutes before putting in the first ointment, so the drop would definitely get totally absorbed. So now it’s a good hour that I spend with him three times a day, which is fine because he’s completely sweet and loving.

So things are pretty good right now, I think.

Meanwhile…I realize there are plenty of photos from January and February that haven’t made it here, but since many have to do with lots of snow, I’m over that. So here are just a few from March, which, dang, it’s already April.

A big platoon of white pelicans mid-March; maybe they’re migrating back home? Not sure about that.

Kevin took Les Paul down to the water and Spot joined them.

I love this picture. Just relaxin’.

Marley spend most of her time upstairs in the guest bedroom but she comes down quite a bit to eat from everybody’s food bowls. This is the first time we saw her on the couch.

Sometimes she lies in Kevin’s lap, which is awesome. Or on his legs…

And here’s a canna lily that bloomed for quite a while inside. Maybe it’ll warm up enough to put plants outside again.

Kevin took me to see a wonderful production of “Fiddler on the Roof” at Sangamon Auditorium.

It was a fantastic production, so well-done, and also so sad and overwhelming because in the end all the people in the town are forced out by the Russians…it’s incomprehensible that the Russians continue to commit atrocities right now.

Whew. On that happy note, I hope you’re enjoying yourself…

Ok then,



November, before we were blanketed in snow

by grace on February 4, 2022

They say we got about a foot of snow starting Tuesday night and ending yesterday afternoon. Not just a lot of snow, but blowing and drifting and I really just don’t care for snow.

Yeah yeah yeah it’s lovely to look at but I’d be happy to see a photo of it instead..

Meanwhile, I’m focusing on November when it was still lovely. I guess it was kind of chilly back on November 1th because I sat on the front porch in my flannel jammies with Spot in my lap.

November 17th, a good group of white pelicans down at the water.

Lovey perched on top of the plastic tube thing in the fenced yard. It had been buried, but Kevin dug it up to make the patio. He has buried it since then and Lovey has been bitterly unhappy about not getting to get outside. The outside is her bathroom, so there are issues about this which affect all of us.

November 20th, I cleaned my boat and we started putting up the NAVIGLOO boat cover. Up here on the boat was a terrific vantage point, and here’s a boat’s-eye perspective of the many tarp-covered things which are parked. From left to right, the pop-up camper, Glenn’s big sailboat, and Kevin’s sailboat.

Up on the boat was also a good place to spot a deer.

Oh my, Spot was so enamored with being up in the boat with me. To him I’m sure it was like being in a home. I quickly covered the seats with towels so his sharp talons wouldn’t pierce the plastic.

I should get some kind of prize for most crazy hair, as we finished up the boat cover the next day. We’d started the project in the afternoon of the 20th and of course it took much longer than we thought it would, but it did come together better than it had last year. Kevin has figured out ingenious tricks to make the whole thing work better. Last year was the first year we had it, and it was very frustrating, but we love the protection it gives from the elements. Next year should be even easier.

Meanwhile, Spot hunkered down on top of the pop-up camper.

And finally, darling Lester, posing gracefully on top of the DVD player.

We’re going to venture out in a little while to take some food over to the outside kitty at Wanda’s. Much more later on that poor kitty Harley,. I hope the streets aren’t too treacherous. We’ll take the truck, which is covered in a foot of snow right now and Kevin is getting a new motor for it on Monday, so hopefully it’ll survive this trip.

ok then,

Mrs. H.


Putting Boats Away Part Two

by grace on January 25, 2022

Tuesday, November 9th, we prepared to haul my pontoon boat out of the water. Mom and I headed over to the sailboat launch, but were surprised to find…

The dock was gone! Well, not gone, but moved out of the water and it was sitting right in the middle of the boat ramp. What???!!!

I called Kevin, and headed over to the Lindsay Boat Launch. Because this happened back in November, we’re not exactly sure how it all went down – Kevin says that he drove over to the sailboat launch, saw that the dock was up on the launch, took a picture and called me. My recollection is that I saw it was gone as we motored over.

We’ll never know.

But it doesn’t matter, I instead pointed the boat in the direction of the Lindsay Boat Launch. Many white pelicans were hanging out at the beach house and I captured these in flight.

There were lots of gulls perched on the wall and I don’t know if you can see it, but a couple of the pelicans were sleeping there, precariously balanced with their butts hanging off the edge.

We were happy to see that there was one dock still in place at the launch.

In the picture above, you can see that the back of the truck bed is closed, but in this photos it’s open – Kevin must have needed to do that to get to the hook at the front of the boat? All I remember is that there was a big thing in the truck that went sliding back but luckily didn’t actually fall in the water. What was that big thing? Something important for sure, that we didn’t want to lose. An air compressor! I looked it up in my daily planner, where I jot down a few things from the day.

Kevin is always such an acrobat when putting in/taking out boats. Note how he is so agile climbing around on the top of the truck bed cover. The truck is so far down in the water because the incline on this launch is much more shallow than the one at the sailboat launch.

Yay, sitting there doing nothing as Kevin pulls the boat out!

Two down, one to go. Kevin’s sailboat was going to be hauled out on Wednesday.

But there’s one more puzzling thing. This photo is date November 9th at 1:15 p.m., which is before all the preceding photos of taking the boat out.

But in the other photos Kevin is clearing wearing a white sweatshirt. But I definitely took this photo before all those other ones, and what were we doing out in the boat before taking it out of the water? And would Kevin have gone out on the pontoon boat with me for some reason and then changed into the white sweatshirt before driving the truck over to the boat launch???

We can’t remember, and that’s what I get for waiting so long to post all of these.

Not that I’d have remember what had happened even a few weeks after…

Maybe we went out for one quick boat ride before taking it out? And maybe he put the sweatshirt over the shirt before driving the truck to the launch.

Anyway, one more day of boat hauling to come! I hope your week is going well.

Ok then,

Mrs. almost the end of January Hughes.


More hiking at Starved Rock

January 20, 2022

After breakfast at the lodge we headed out for another hike, but first I took a picture of these incredibly cute elf bushes. Such a clever idea, I bet I could do that next year but there’s little chance I’ll remember it by then. Our first stop was Wildcat Canyon. Once again, it was awesome […]

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Hiking at Starved Rock

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 […]

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Countdown to Christmas…

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 […]

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So much rain this Sunday

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 […]

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Getting Stuff Done on Sunday Morning

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 […]

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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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