Cave Dwellings

Cabreza Prieta, Ajo AZ..Charlie Bell Pass

Cabreza Prieta, Ajo AZ..Charlie Bell Pass

Cave Dwellings

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Short Trip…Wish It Was Longer!!

Dennis pulled our Hiker up on the drive and turned it around…We are leaving tomorrow on a long weekend to Thomson, IL,..Thomson Causeway Campground..We will be meeting some friends and attending the Quad Cities Airshow around Bettendorf Iowa, across the Mississippi River. We  have stayed there before and love it..I sure wish it was longer..we usually stay a couple weeks, but other obligations prohibit that right now…


WOOT! WOOT! I would rather be in my Hiker than in my house!!

Here are some photos of the campground, taken right after we got our Hiker…

I am beyond excited to get back camping, if only for a few days..Hopefully, we can get a couple weeks in this late Summer…I will post photos of our trip when we get back ..We aren’t taking our computer, so I will wait until we get back next week…WOOHOO!!!!



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

FINALLY…a surgical success story!!

WOOT!WOOT!!!!!! My surgeon, Dr. Cord Sturgeon, called me yesterday to tell me that pathology had discovered an overactive parathyroid gland embedded in my excised right thyroid lobe…This is what I have been praying for and pursuing the past 2 years…AT LAST!!!!!



Two days after my surgery, we had a Cave-A-Palooza here with the Wolff and Cave families…and a few of their friends…I was a bit tired, but rallied when I got to spend time with the grandkids…


These were my Saturday morning “coffee buddies” on our front porch!!!

We spent Saturday afternoon in our nephew’s swimming pool. I didn’t get in, and had to be careful not to get my incision in the sun.  The temp hit 90 degrees and that water was sooooo tempting…



After a day at the pool, Peyton Heiser offered to babysit the kids and the adults went “downtown” and did a Sandwich, IL Pub Crawl…Well, we only went to 4 pubs, and no one crawled. I kept my cocktails to a minimum and it was great to get out and relax…


The “Cave” sisters….


Us “girls” at the train car patio…Me, Terrie in the back, left to right Val, Chris, Cindy and Jenny…friends of Chris and John’s.

It was a busy weekend and I was pretty tired after everyone left…Yesterday, Den and I had to go take our aunt to see Uncle Clarence at the nursing home, so by last night I was ready to crash..and I did…I feel really good today, and managed to get our Hiker back to normal after using it as a “hotel room”  one of the families that stayed the weekend…It is great to feel normal again…in fact, better than normal..I’m not sure why, but my bad headaches haven’t returned after the doc yanked my bad parathyroid…Not sure if that is why, but I will take any good stuff I can get from the surgical results, right?  I have to go back to see the surgeon June 28th and then I won’t go back to Chicago until September for one more check of my thyroid levels with my Endocrinologist…YAAAAAAY!!

Mean while, our only granddaughter has been in Spain, performing at various cathedrals with the Kaneland High School Madrigals..


The cathedrals they are singing in our absolutely fabulous…Such wonderful old architecture ..and the crowds love them…


I managed to snag a short videio of them singing at one of their performances…Here is the link…Madrigals  Turn up your sound and click on that link…it is a short video but wonderful~~~

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful prayers and well wishes for my surgery…I promise I will not dwell on it any longer…I have better things to blog about, now that my attitude is improving every day!!!..and so is my humor!!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

A short sample of the Kaneland HS Madigrals in Spain

OK…I am posting a link below to hear a small sample of the Kaneland High School Madrigals singing in Barcelona Cathedral in Spain…Our granddaughter is in this video when they pan completely to the left…Turn up your sound and enjoy..It is a very short video…



Thursday, June 9, 2016

“ A difficult case”…that would be ME.

  OK, my surgery is over and I am back home…I was very excited to get this done and pretty much had convinced myself it would be a “piece of cake”.. Dennis and I took the 5:25 AM train into Chicago and arrived at the hospital about 7:45 with time for Den to have a cup of joe. I was to report to the 5th floor for day surgery at 8:30AM and was 10 minutes early. I put on my backless gown and they started an IV..My surgery was scheduled for 10AM, and they injected my IV with some lala drug before they took me down to the OR…I barely (and I to mean BARELY) remember them sliding me onto the cutting table…What seemed like seconds later I woke up groggy with a splitting headache in recovery…looked at the clock and it said 3PM…SAY WHAAAAAT?? What the Heck happened that took THAT long.

My Doc came over and asked me how I felt..I told him “like I got run over by a truck”…and he smiled and said, “So do I”..What was suppose to be no long than 1 1/2 hour surgery turned into 4 hours…with one hour in recovery..As I found out later, once I could focus, my thyroid was a huge mess of scar tissue from my last “unsuccessful surgery”…Doc said he had never seen such a bad job, and actually said there was so much scar tissue it was like cement..He had to go very slowly to get anything done…Apparently , I was born with one of my 4 parathyroid glands INSIDE the right lobe of my thyroid..highly unusual, but it does happen..He couldn’t dig into my right lobe for fear of tearing something else, so he too the entire lobe out, working very carefully with all of the scar tissue..They sent it to the pathologist to slice and dice and see if they could find it..that will take 4-5 days. Leave it to me to be “a difficult case”.


But this time I don’t have staples, I have dissolvable stitches inside and Derma Bond tape outside…and my incision doesn’t hurt…

My only problem is that being in surgery much longer than expected…and with my horrible sinuses, I am coughing a lot of junk out of my lungs, but if that’s the worse I have I can deal with it..I’m just glad it’s OVER, and I hope the pathology report shows they got that naughty parathyroid…A good sign was that my Calcium levels in my blood went down immediately after surgery..

Well, that’s enough medical stuff…I do want to thank all of you for the well wishes and prayers for me…I am confident that I will feel much better and hope to NEVER have surgery again…sheesh!!!

On a good note, (and you know I will now interject some family stuff), we are having a mini Cave-a-Palooza here this weekend…Our Wolff daughter, hubby and 2 cubs are coming and bringing a couple friends from Zionsville..Also, our son, Kelly and his  wife, Cindy will be here..The  Heisers will be here too, but they are on kid short..Our granddaughter, Taylor, is in Spain with the Kaneland High School Madrigals for 5 different concerts in the cathedrals…How exciting for her…and all of them.


Above is the entire group of kids that make up the Kaneland High School Madrigals..Tay in the lime green t-shirt left end..and on the right is their tour schedule where they are singing…


I love that photo above of them all with the quote. Right is a few of the group, Tay second from left front row…These were all taken here before they left..


How wonderful to stand in front of the Barcelona Cathedral…Love this girl!!! I have some video of their practice but cannot seem to load it..If I do figure it out, rest assured I will post it in a blog!!!!

That’s about it for now…Time for bed….

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

‘MY BAD???

Yep…just as I figured..I haven’t blogged in centuries, which brings me to this question, “Is blogging passe’?”…Is blogging being replaced by Facebook, Facetime, Google +, and the many other forms of social media?? I have to admit that I am NOT a big geek when it comes to getting involved in the social networking scene…Heck, I just started blogging in 2009. It would figure that just about the time I got the hang of blogging, it would drive off into the ditch..Or is it just “Blogger” that is slowing down?? I have a few blog friends who are on Word Press…and they seem to have many more people interested in blogging ..Just throwing that out there to chew on, for those who are MUCH more faithful bloggers than I have been lately..


Not too much exciting going on around here…Our rains have really helped my roses..They are so pretty, I had to pick a few..And the rains finally let up enough for Dennis to get a small garden planted..8 tomato plants, 4 green pepper plants, 4 jalapeno pepper plants, and 12 hills of potatoes…YUMMO!

We did have a “mini” Cave-A-Palooza here at our house for Memorial Day. Kelly and Cindy, the Heiser clan, Big Fluffy (Den’s brother-in-law) and Tommy (Den’s nephew) came over for a cook out…Taylor Heiser brought her “main squeeze”, Joshua Herrero, with her..This poor kid never knew what hit him..Our family is a bit overwhelming on first glance…I gotta say, that Josh held up quite nicely..Also, the poor kid is HIGHLY allergic to all  nuts and seafood (NO peanut oil either)…I really had to think hard to make sure I didn’t poison the kid while he was partaking of our picnic food..He has to carry epipens around with him like toothpicks!


Dennis Cave grilled his famous 3 whole chickens in Cave Dust (my rub).  They were deeeelicious!!


Left to right, Taylor, Joshua, Campbell and Peyton..our Posse’of kids.


This happened to be the 1 month “anniversary” of Taylor and Joshua’s “relationship…Josh’s mother made this and it was AMAZING! (Did anyone of you get a cake for dating a guy for one month??..Neither did I.)


Joshua is very skilled in the fine art of cake cutting..schooled by his mother who actually makes pastries and cakes for events…

Actually, Tay and Josh kind of met when they were both in the Kaneland High School Musical, “Into The Woods”..Tay was Cinderlla and Josh was “in the beanstalk”..They both have wonderful voices and a great love of theater..In fact their Madrigal Group is leaving to perform in Spain next week for 8 days!!


Now, on to the “medical mystery tour” that has turned into a journey for the past almost 3 years…I have my surgery next Wednesday, June 8th..and absolutely cannot wait!! Nope, not a bit concerned about going “under the knife” yet again. This time my Doc has a bead and a bullseye on this tumor..and ,with his great skill, will exorcise the devilish thing from my neck!!!. I am putting all my eggs in this basket for me feeling much better by the end of summer…One neat thing about this “in and out” of Chicago on the train thing is that we have really had some great walks down “The Magnificent Mile”. And most have been on beautiful sunny days along the Chicago River…I’m not a big fan of the city, but I have to say that it is very beautiful with all of the landscaping, flowers and greenery right down town!!

OK, I can now check “do blog” off my list for today..I am no longer making promises to blog more often, because I never know when the urge will strike me (or I have anything worth saying). From now on , I fly by the seat of my pants on blogging…I work better with no pressure..but I refuse to give up!!



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Now I have become “very interesting” to my Doc!

Dennis and I have been riding the train back and forth into Chicago so I can keep appointments at Northwestern University Hospital…This last trip was for a whole gamut of radiological tests in Nuclear Medicine..I had a sestamibi scan, a CT scan and some other stuff I cannot pronounce. Basically, I was being scanned 2 1/2 hours out of the 4 hours we were there…They sent me the results the next day on my private NW Health site..In the words of my surgeon:

Donna- this is a very interesting result. The scan showed that there is an area in the center of the right thyroid lobe with activity” say whaaat?? What KIND of activity?. are they playing cards?.He continued, “This could be a parathyroid buried within the center of the thyroid lobe.”..something buried in my neck?..”This  happens in a small percentage of people”. Naturally…I’m special..”It may be a good explanation why the parathyroid was not found during the first operation.  The implication of this finding is that we may need to take out some of the thyroid to get to the overactive parathyroid”…..Hey, what the Heck..get out your pickax and have at it..Just don’t disturb my 2 year old neck lift..I don’t want to have to hide at Thanksgiving again!!!

I have one more trip into Chicago before I go in for my surgery…I need to go in for pre-op, which means EKG, chest Xray, bloodwork…yada yada yada…My surgery is scheduled for June 8th..I will be overnight in the hospital and come home on the 9th barring any unforeseen hiccups…Den and I will take the train into Chicago the night before..We will spend the night at a hotel owned by Northwestern (which means if you are a patient it only costs $80 a night!..a perk for being ill!). We will walk the 2 blocks the next AM and I will go under the knife at whatever time they say..Dennis will ride the train home and I will party on with the medical staff, sans one naughty parathyroid gland and maybe part of a good thyroid gland..whatever…Our son, Kelly, will drive Den in and my two men will load me into Kel’s truck and whisk me away back to the cornfields of Sandwich…WOOT! WOOT!

OK, enough merry medical mystery tour..Den and I have been busy with our elders and also our Heiser grandkids who are deeply involved in track and field and musicals…Taylor and Peyton are now Academic Scholars at Kaneland High School..Tay is a Junior and Pey is a Sophomore..


Also, their little brother, Campbell, was in a musical at his middle school. Campbell is 12 years old, and a very special kid..He was part of the grassland ensemble in the production of The Lion King, Jr..The costuming in this musical was amazing…




Very proud Papa and Grama!!!!

I must apologize for not blogging as often..McGyver and I are so darn busy…We are helping our aunt get her husband into a nursing home…it is so hard. He is 92 years old and has dementia..He is in a wheelchair at a rehab place and really doesn’t understand what is going on..His wife is 100 years old and cannot take care of him at home anymore…and she is failing also…Dennis, I, a cousin and neighbors have been trying to get her up to see him as much as possible..Plus we have been making visits to Chicago for “moi”…It’s a trial just keeping the grass mowed!! I will try to be more diligent about posting blogs…


One more thing…If you have’t read my blog previous to this one, please take a moment to go to my previous blog and scroll to the bottom video..turn up your sound and enjoy a small sample of our beautiful granddaughter’s fabulous voice as Cinderella..I’m still emotional about that performance!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We had NO clue!!

This past weekend we had family over to go and see our granddaughter, Taylor, perform as Cinderella in the Kaneland High School Musical “Into the Woods”.  We took up about half a long row with 13 people there to cheer her on. It has been a while (over a year) since we had heard her sing alone..She had been in choral concerts and performed in a few musicals the past couple years, but it was with a group..As one of the “leads”, Taylor had some songs to sing herself..First here are some photos of her as Cinderella…
Here are a few still photos of her as Cinderella....
Poor Cinderella!    

We hadn't heard her sing in a while..WOW!!
I know this video will take data, but it is only under a minute..Turn up your speakers and enjoy..!!!!
Proud Grandparents~~