A short post to acknowledge our wonderful niece, Leanne Eisenberg Berhnhardt, who passed away yesterday after an all too short battle with Lung Cancer at age 59..You controlled this to the very end, Leo….and did it YOUR way…Now you, your Mom and brother, Scotty, can whoop it up for the Chicago Bears …with a million dollar seat from above…
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Dennis and I are still recovering from our weekend of the Sandwich Fair…and our family get together, better known as a Cave-A-Palooza. If you have never been to our fair, I have to say it is one of the best County Fairs in the State of Illinois. It always begins the first Wednesday after Labor Day and ends that Sunday. This is the 127th Sandwich Fair, and I think Dennis was at the first one..JUST KIDDING!!! But he DID direct traffic during the fair when he was in high school. We still have the bamboo cane that was wielded by the car parkers back then to direct traffic….This cane is
possibly definitely an antique…at least over 50 years old!!
The Wolff family rolled in Friday night about 7PM and the Heisers came the next day, with Kelly and Cindy coming over after 4PM.. We waited for Peyton to run in a Kaneland High School Cross Country Track Meet Saturday morning and then we all went out to the fair together…(This group can be overwhelming when you actually meet up with us on the narrow sidewalk.)
Peyton is 14 years old and a Freshman in High School this year. I know….He looks much younger, and this is his first year of Cross Country in High School. In these meets, he competes with all 4 years of High School kids, Freshmen through Seniors.. He finished 12th out of 40 runners, so I’d say he did REAL well!! Yet another Cave runner in our family!WOOT!WOOT!
We arrived at the fair about 1:30PM, just in time for the “heat of the day”... Actually Cindy had to be at the EMS Medical Tent everyday at 7AM and leaves at 4PM, and Kelly was out there with her already. She is in charge of this and has been doing it for years. If anyone needs any kind of medical attention, they end up either here, or in the ambulance.
Look closely at this photo of our daughters, just in between their heads, and you will see the best “photo bomb” ever, courtesy of Iron Man John Wolff!
Spending most of my life living in Sandwich, this fair has grown unbelievably…and so have the prices. I use to go out to see old friends and people I hadn’t seen in a while…now I don’t see ANYONE I know!
Saturday night, the adults went back out to the fair to watch the Tractor Pulls…Not “moi”…I prefer to stay home with all the kids and have a campfire. A little of the fair goes a loooong way with me. I’m not a big fan of the crowds and the noise of the Tractor Pull…I can hear it just fine from my house!!
The kids and I stayed back at the campfire…Cindy stayed back with me as well…Enough fair IS enough fair!
As you can see, the traffic going into the fair was backed up past our house again this year…
On their way to Sandwich, John Wolff stopped in Hammond, IN and picked up some great shrimp, already breaded and ready to fry…He and Kel cooked it up in our cast iron skillet…AWARD WINNING! …and it sure beats that fair food by a long shot. Not only is it less costly, but you don’t have to eat it standing up!!
After everyone left on Sunday, we had more visitors arriving…They missed our Cave-A-Palooza by THAT much!!! and here is what they arrived in…
….Yep, that would be John and Bridget Hatch (FD5)..driving their new to them 2007 (I think that’s the year) Monaco Diplomat…FINE LOOKIN’ RIG!!! We have met them a couple times before and they are just a great couple. Currently, they are volunteers at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota and working with the birdlady of blogland, AKA Judy. They just missed the crazy Cave Clan, but were still in time to go to the Sandwich Fair, so we walked out for about an hour and did the “tour”.
John and Bridget enjoyed the fair, though we didn’t linger long…The sun was hot , and being the last day of the fair, it was PACKED with people!! We got our fill of the fair and walked back to our house for some adult beverages, a campfire and some left over lasagna and Italian sausages…John and Bridget did get to meet our son and his wife…and Fred met their 2 dogs, Finley and Murph..
Fin (female Silky Terrier) and Murph (male Weimaraner) are the same age, came from the same kennel and they were raised as brother and sister by Kelly and Cindy. Finley is a “wild child” and Murph is a “cool dude”. And just for the record, they have both been neutered, so no worries about “Silky Weimaraners” running around the house…They roll and tumble and play together great, but if Finely gets in trouble (which frequently happens), Murph scolds her by putting his big mouth around her head…very gently..He never hurts her, but just reminds her she needs to settle down.
I’m pretty sure Fred had his
pants Beagle spots scared right off him when these two rolled in…However, after a few “hairy eyeballs” and sniffs, they all settled down as friends….well, they accepted each other as equals…Well……Finley was satisfied that Fred was NOT going to knock “Her Highness”off her throne any time soon.
Monday morning, after some Casey’s breakfast pizza, John, Bridget and Fred prepared to get “on the road again”..I hooked them up with some home grown tomatoes, potatoes and my world famous “rub”….
How many retired Firemen does it take to program a GPS??…and OOPS! Someone left the key on in the “toad”…tehee….
Never hurts for McGyver to learn how to hook up a toad, right??? Just for possible future reference….
Now we see who is “the lady in charge” of this organized bedlam…YOU GO BRIDGET!! …and….THEY’RE OFF!!!!!
SAFE TRAVELS TO OUR GOOD FRIENDS..UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!!
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Just a short blog to touch base with the blogosphere… Actually we are doing nothing right now, but our street has gotten very busy…The DeKalb County Fair A.K.A. Sandwich Fair started today and ends Sunday. Our family of Wolffs from Zionsville arrive Friday evening, and that means the other two kids and their kids will be here to partake in family activities this weekend….another Cave-A-Palooza in the making!
Our grass is still very green and growing like a weed..which is mostly what it consists of! Dennis mows about every 5-6 days. Today he went to our garden and dug a few hills of our Yukon Gold potatoes…
NOW THAT THERE IS WHAT I CALL A MEAL FOR A FAMILY!
I have been pressing the envelope by getting out my Autumn “decor” and making it festive for campfire on the deck. I have to slap my hands to keep from grabbing any Halloween decor’ yet…Well, maybe I DO have a couple items out…
Yes, gourds are allowed for Fall… However, the witch’s “brewpot” may be a little premature, but I LOVE that sign!
Is that a PUMPKIN I see ?? Well, the one in the red shirt is a real “punkin”…As for the one behind him, someone must have snuck that one in…tehee.
My brother and his wife stopped by Monday. They brought me a nifty gift…an induction hot plate cooker…I know absolutely NADA about using this…the only thing I know about “induction” is the Hall of Fame…
Somehow it cooks with magnets at a much faster rate than regular stoves do…AND, you MUST have the correct cookware that will act as the magnet…which I didn’t have until….
Thanks Mike and Helen…If I can figure this out, I’ll boil me up some water!
So I am getting ready for the “group” to arrive…Rumor has it we might have a couple “surprise guests” visiting this weekend too!…Hope they can handle this Cave Clan…..We tend to party hardy and fall asleep just about anywhere!!
…and you gotta know I’ll post a blog about our family shenanigans…hope you can handle ONE MORE CAVE PARTY!
(I gotta get ME an Elmo blanket!)
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
To say that our weekend at the Ironman Triathlon was amazing doesn’t begin to describe it. I have never seen so many people putting forth so much effort to fulfill a dream. There were old and young alike with one goal ….just to complete a 140mile, 3 event competition. And I feel sooooo privileged to have been a small part of it.
Louisville was all decked out for it. Our hotel (on the left) was the host hotel where almost all the athletes stayed. There were racing bicycles on almost every elevator we rode in, and we were on the 17th floor just a few rooms down from John and Chris.
We got there Friday afternoon. The Triathlon wasn’t until Sunday, but Saturday, John had to ride the bike for 1/2 hour to practice. Then, we all took a ride in John and Chris’s car and followed the route of the 112 mile bike ride so John could get the “lay of the land”. Saturday afternoon John had to take his bike and bags to the bicycle transition area. This is where 3000 athletes transitioned after their swim to the bikes…
Each athlete packs a couple bags…one with clothes and another with water, snacks, Gatorade…whatever they might need 1/2 way through the ride. More about that soon. Above is John, oiling his bike chain just before he dropped it off at the transition area. Right is a picture of just SOME of the bikes parked there. Each bike has the athlete’s bib number on the bike in 3 different places. The bags also have their bib number on them, so when they show up to get their dry bike clothing after their swim, they give the volunteer helpers their number, and they get it for them….
Sunday morning, John got up at 5:15 AM and walked down the Ohio River to line up for the first leg of the Triathlon …the 2.4 mile swim.
There were 3000 swimmers lined up. John got in line about 6AM. The Triathlon swim began at 7AM, and we got there about 6:45AM. We finally found John amongst the green and pink (women) swim caps. FYI, the first swimmer got in the river at 7AM…John finally got to the river at 7:25AM…and there were lots more behind him. The athlete’s time begins when they get in the water. I have was most confident about the swim. He was on his high school swim team AND the Purdue University swim team.
When the athletes are done with the 2.4mile swim (part of it against the current)each athlete runs to get their bikes and dry clothes for the 112 mile bike ride…(SAY WHAAAAT?). We were kept active getting to spots where we could cheer John on. Luckily, Chris and Kelly had a phone app that told us what John’s times were and therefore we knew just about where we could see him on the route.. We saw him just after he transitioned to his bike. Then we jumped into Kel and Cindy’s car and drove 30 miles to see him go through LaGrange, KY…It was really hard get pictures of him, but we finally did get a good photo when he grabbed his bag at the “special needs” station. This is the half way point, where a gazillion volunteers are ready with the nutrition bags the riders packed. As they rode by, the athletes called out their bib number and a volunteer ran and got it…Some stopped here to use the port-a- potties..and while they were using them, the volunteer would hold onto their bikes for them…(nope..no kick stands on THESE bikes!) Did I mention that it was hot as Heck and the humidity was about 90%??? Even we supporters were soaked with sweat!
Above are the bags lined up by numbers…Everyone in orange was a volunteer…Right is our own Ironman athlete…GO WOLFFIE!!
After the 112 mile bike ride (which ends up back at the transition area), each athlete begins his 26.6 mile Marathon run….We figured we could catch John a couple times…We saw him at about mile three of his run, but it happened so fast we didn’t get a photo… Then we walked a couple more blocks to the 13 mile (halfway) point.. We were in time to see John run by…He spotted Chris and ran over, gave her a kiss, and kept on running. Yup, she cried.…The cut off time for finishing the Triathlon is midnight. After that…well…you were just out of luck.
So….here are John’s times……Keep in mind that 3000 people started the race and only 2095 finished.
John’s swim time for 2.4 miles was 55 minutes, 33seconds.
John’s bicycle time for 112 miles was 6 hours, 22 minutes, 29 seconds.
John’s Marathon time was 4 hours, 13 minutes,30 seconds.
Total time to do all of that was 11 hours, 50 minutes, 55 seconds….He came in 323rd out of 2095, finishing in the top 15%.Even making the Zionsville paper.NOT BAD FOR HIS FIRST TRIATHLON!!!!
And here is the Ironman John Wolff Support Crew after the race…with our hero…
JOHN WOLFF…..YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!