Cave Dwellings

Once a cheerleader, always one

Once a cheerleader, always one
An OLD Sandwich High cheerleader

Cave Dwellings

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Autumnal Poem time…with apologies to Robert Frost.

I just love this time of year…There is something magical about crisp nights, full moon, campfires, candles, pumpkins and mums…Tom and Jerrys and Hot Buttered Rum…. I was outside a few days ago with my phone camera, taking a few photos …..

20150818_114236 One last blast of summer..This little guy looked like somebody chewed on his wings!

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And then there is the ever present sign of Fall. This dude was hanging out around my patio umbrella. Left is his top side and right is his underside. Pretty evil looking, and he kept me from cranking open my umbrella until Super MacGyver swooped in, wearing his famous raggedy T-shirt and jeans shorts, and did away with said Mr. Evil…Dennis…my hero!!

It is almost time for our Sandwich Fair to begin. It opens the Wednesday after Labor Day. They have 5 days of events, rides, animals, cooking and sewing prizes…you name it they have it..One thing they WON”T have this year is our famous Sandwich Fair Grandstand.

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The grandstand was built in 1915. The photo on right shows Den’s Grandma Jenny Bark sitting in front 4th person from the left (second woman). This was taken not far after 1915.


Above is what it looked like last year….


…and this is what we have this year…How awful. I cannot believe that the old grandstand couldn’t be saved. I just bet if they would have asked for donations and fundraisers, it could have been fixed and saved…”They paved Paradise to put in a parking lot”…right?

On a lighter note, we are looking forward to November for many reasons…Of course, leaving for Florida is right up there, but also we are going to Indianapolis for the Monumental Marathon. Some of our kids and spouses are running in the Marathon and the Mini Marathon…Christie, Terrie and Tim are running the marathon, 26.2 miles Kelly and Cindy are running the mini marathon, 13.1 miles. Den , Moi, Terrie’s 3 kids and John Wolff (Chris’s hubby) are going to be driving around like crazy people to cheer them on.  Actually, last Sunday our oldest daughter, Terrie, ran a mini marathon in Batavia ,IL. She went up alone because her hubby, Tim, had to sleep so  he could go to work the midnight shift. Enter, Dennis and I..unbeknownst to Terrie. We decided to drive up to Batavia (30 miles) and surprise her at the finish line.

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Here she comes!!! Only Terrie would co-ordinate her running attire…soooo unlike her mother!!!

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Check out her Wonder Woman socks…Hey, she IS my daughter after all!!! I do love my “fashion statement” socks…(hmmmm, I might have to add these to my “ensembles”.)

Other than this excitement , we are pretty boring here at the Cave Dwellings..Oh…I do have to add one more “event” that is coming up.. Dennis’s Aunt Jeanette will turn 100 years young Sunday, September 6th. She was born in 1915.

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Not sure when photo on left was taken..maybe1940’s..middle one is pure Jeanette, taken Thanksgiving 2012…her age was 97…The picture on the right was taken in 2013, when Uncle Clarence was at Alden’s rehab..She is one amazing woman.. It’s been a rough year for both of them, but they are now both at  home with a part time caregiver…She did NOT want a big party, but that won’t stop us from taking a cake….with a few close friends…right??

I told you it was time for my Autumnal Poem…I have posted this before, so feel free to nod off..I won’t care…


Farewell Summer, Oh, I’ve had fun,

But FALL is what I love!

Bright new colors catch the sun,

Crisp, clear evenings have begun

And ..Oh, those Harvest Moons above.

OK, Jack, bring on your frost.

We’ll have a campfire every night.

And fallen leaves the trees have lost

By chilling winds they’re gently tossed

As flocks of geese begin their flight.

Oh, Fall, I relish all you bring,

As yet another Summer ends.

And different birds begin to sing

Oh, I’ll be loving everything!

I welcome you, my Autumn friend!

                                 D.Cave 08/30/2011

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Finally…an ALMOST complete itinerary for our Winter trip (hope we can do it!)

OK, kids…If you are willing to jump into the GMC with us one more Winter, we have finalized our plans..Here is our itinerary, so you can make plans to join us (on our blog) this Winter.

We will be leaving the armpit of the nation Illinois sometime after Thanksgiving…Our first night will likely be spent at Rend lake. This is just a perfect drive to get us into warmer climate than Northern IL…We always stay at Gun Creek for the night…(Last year we got 3+ inches of snow overnight…)

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It can get a little muddy there too, but they have nice long campsites and it’s Army Corps so there is half price camping for us elders!


Our next week or so is up for grabs, but we always seem to gravitate toward Grenada, MS Army Corps park..really nice sites!


Our first reservation is for Ft. Pickens on the Gulf Islands National Seashore…It has great old fort onsite, and isn’t far from Pensacola Naval Air Museum..We arrive Dec 6th and leave Dec 16th.

10847965_923308957679583_6487558160633044791_n 101_5956 "The Spirit of Naval Aviation"..Pensacola Naval Air Museum

Dec 16th we drive to Salt Springs Recreation Area 35 miles East of Ocala, FL…We will be here just 3 nights..enough to relax and do the drive to South Florida…

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There is an awesome natural springs here…Last year we were too early for the Manatees here…maybe this year we will see some, but no matter what, this is a great place!

Leaving Salt Springs on Dec. 19th, we drive to LaBelle FL, East of Ft. Myers for our 2 week stay at Ortona South, another Army Corps park..(yes, we are cheapskates!) We love this place and actually were able to reserve our same spot we had last year!!  We just LOVE this place..and we will be spending Christmas and New Years here. 

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We will beleaving Jan 2nd for Big Cypress National Park, Midway Campground (yes, we stayed there last year too!)We love Midway, even though our cell phone service is non-existent..You have to drive 6 miles to get a signal, but our internet was better…not perfect, a little sketchy, but better!

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While at Midway CG, we can drive the road that takes you deep into the Cypress swamp..Lots of beautiful birds there, and also alligators! We are leaving Midway CG Jan 12th and going farther South to Flamingo, in Everglade National Park..another fav with us. Here it is sketchy internet and great cell phone service..

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Leaving Flamingo Jan 20th and driving back toward LaBelle to stay at a brand new to us RV park called Palm and Pines RV Park. We will be here 2 weeks, full hook up for $120 per week, cash or check only. This place is on the edge of Felda, FL and has a bird sanctuary there too. It gets great reviews..There is no pool or fancy stuff, but we don’t care about that…It’s all about the wildlife for me. Hey, ya gotta “step outta the box” once in a while!

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Leaving Felda, Feb 3rd and driving about 10 miles back to Ortona South, but in a different campsite..The ones on the water are almost impossible to get end of Jan, so we took the one and only one left..We shall see how it is, but it really doesn’t matter, we love this park.

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Leaving Ortona South AGAIN after 2 weeks, we get back on the road Feb 17th and drive back to Salt Springs Recreation Area near Ocala, FL. This time we will be staying 5 nights, resting up to try another “new to us” RV park. Feb. 22nd, we will drive almost laterally across Florida to stay at Angler’s RV Park, just off Cedar Key on the West Coast. Last year we stayed at Manatee Spring State Park and drove the 60 miles to Cedar Key..I fell in love with it, albeit more “touristy” than I like..there was lots of history in the old town…Here is a few shots I stole online of Angler’s RV Park…another “we shall see”.

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Leaving Angler’s on March 1st, we go farther North to the panhandle again. They have rules for 10 days a season to stay at Ft. Pickens, so we opted to try another Pensacola park, Big Lagoon State Park. This is very close to Perdido Key, and looks pretty nice..I hear there is great seafood in this area too..WOOT!WOOT!

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Right about now, this looks like Heaven to me!! We will be here 1 week and leave here to our final “reserved spot” on our itinerary, Meaher State Park, LA.  This is on Mobile Bay in Mobile Alabama and about one hour from Big Lagoon. Last year we stayed at Blakely Lake State Historical Park, and though it was FULL of Civil War history, the park itself left much to be desired. We noticed Meaher SP and decided to try it this year..I do love me some Mobile Bay Alabama!!


And so ends the mostly reserved portion of our 4 month Winter trip. We don’t need to reserve the Mississippi corp parks on our way down or our way back. There is always room…But going into Florida requires more planning, unless you want to have stomach cramps, chewed finger nails …or like to be parked in the “overflow” for a week. I know, I know, we could make a 2 month reservation at one of the gazillion RV Resorts in South Florida, paying upwards from $600 a month..and maybe when we get a tad older, that will be more practical  and with lots less driving. As for right now, it just isn’t our thing….but who knows what the future will bring..My feeling is , if we have to get a smaller camper to scoot around the nation in, I have no problem with it…As they say, “plans are made in jello”.

This ends my long, drawn out “itinerary with boring photos”. I’m sure some of you have nodded off, and I totally get it…But I, ME, MOI, DONNA, needed this…I have to have something to look forward to …that’s just how I roll.

“And I will never again underestimate the power of anticipation. There is no better boost in the present than an invitation into the future.”          

                                                                 ~ Caroline Kepnes

Friday, August 7, 2015

“The Three Trucks”…and…I just can’t get my mojo goin’.


Yep..I actually sat down and decided to post a blog..I have been toying with the idea of dumping the whole thing.  My desire to try to come up with an entertaining subject is waning. Either it’s my lousy attitude ( PROBABLY!) or my lack of exciting things in my life to post about (MORE POSSIBLY!!)   It seems that this summer has been one big snarl of broken trucks, broken lawn edgers, more broken trucks, broken lawn splitters, yet more broken trucks, ceiling replacement…did I mention broken trucks?  Dennis has been busy installing his new little truck….and now in the “Ol Blue” (yes, we still have his old blue truck).  THEN, our nice black GMC got jealous at all the attention we were giving the other trucks, so the steering began squeaking.  Enter MacGyver yet one more time…He took off the front wheel and discovered a bad bearing, or some such thing. All I know is he had it all torn apart and managed to find out how to fix it AND put it back together…YOU DA MAN, MACGYVER!!

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So we are still the proud owners of 3, three, yes,I said THREE trucks…The GMC gets a pass, that’s MY truck. But Dennis is having a hard time deciding on which of these two other “gems” to keep. I hear what you're thinking..Why would he want to keep that nasty old blue 1989 piece of rust no paint truck. I gotta say, it’s apeeling . Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’m going out on a limb here and saying that I personally do NOT like that new silver bumble bee of a truck. WHY?? Well, it sounds like a bumble bee….and the “extended cab” amounts to a little jump seat fit only for a 3 year old child’s derriere butt. Also, I do not feel safe in it…sits too low…I like to be waaaay up in the air, like a Queen in her throne black GMC..Dennis put liability insurance back on “Ol Blue” so he can drive it..and also the silver bumble bee…Decisions, decisions…All I know is ..leave MY big black wonderful GMC alone!!!…unless you have plans for a new ride..

Den 1998 July 4th parade 

NO,NO…THIS ISN’T OURS!! Dennis drove this in one of our parades. (He does look pretty darn good behind that wheel though…) I have an idea that is more his style…



My parathyroid soap opera continues.  I just had a bone density scan ..already know I am pre-osteoporosis (fancy word is osteopenia…whatever). Probably because my bones were being robbed of Calcium, which was going into my bloodstream and wreaking havoc on other organs. I have found a website online called Norman Parathyroid Center in Tampa Florida..I also have a good friend whose mother went there for her surgery and was very satisfied..I’m still researching, but the docs around here sure aren’t very helpful.. OK, enough about my merry medical merry-go-round..BOOOORING!

On a lighter note, I have been pretending all is normal here and we have no obligations..I have our Winter Florida RV trip almost entirely booked. It begins with Fort Pickens CG on the Gulf Islands National Seashore..We do lots of the same we did last  year..Ortona (twice), Big Cyperess National Park, Everglades National Park, with a few new and different parks thrown in for giggles…We will again end up in Spanish Fort AL the second week in March, and wind our way home through Mississippi..details to follow (if I can get my act together).

I won’t even insult your intelligence with a whiney apology for my errant ways in the blogosphere..Suffice to say I am irresponsible and sporadic at best.



Friday, July 24, 2015

More time when you are retired?? What a myth!

Go ahead…give me a “dressing down”…My blogging is becoming fewer and far between..Our elder family members are in much need of help right now…and family does come first..However, I do see it taking it’s toll on both Dennis and me…We are no “youngins” our selves, after all! At any rate, I will try to fill you in on a few fun things we HAVE been doing…We made it to Hayward, WI for 3 nights to be with some of our family members.  This was our first trip to Hayward without our niece, Leanne, who passed away last September..She made that one last trip with us last year, and it was so great she got to go one last time…

20140709_134046We sure missed you this year, Leo.

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11731588_471229679706009_760499135433751552_o Our nephew, Tommy, (Leanne’s husband), caught himself a 42” Musky!!!!!


The Boat Bitches

We had a great time in the Northwoods. Our daughter ,Chris and her family, and our son, Kelly and his wife and son were there. The Heisers didn’t come up this year..Ter and Tim flew to Punta Cana for a week for their 20th wedding anniversary..We have been watching their kids (really don’t need much watching at ages 16, 15, and 11.)

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The Heiser kids….and their deaf rescue dog, Bogie…

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These things use to be called “skate boards”… Now they are a different shape and called “Rip Sticks”…whatever. All I know is that these kids are ACES at it…(our neighbor Jessie was over for the fun too!)

In my last (and too long ago) blog, I mentioned Toby Flaget and his walk to promote suicide awareness..Toby's Walk for Awareness…Well, Toby showed up at our house last week!!!!

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Toby has re-injured a leg on his walk, so he is being driven by his side kick,  Roi, for some of the trip. He still walks some, but his leg swells up and he will probably have to go to the VA hospital when he is done and have surgery..Toby cannot drive himself because has epilepsy, so he has a great kid/friend who has been with him, driving ahead with flashers on, or driving him if need be…

11707747_1049712321705912_5156330483454355501_o Toby and Roi, his driver.

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I had the privilege of walking through town with Toby and Roi..We stopped at the Mayor’s office (our Mayor use to be the Police Chief when Toby was an officer here), and we went to a couple businesses in town to promote the cause…


Roi and I just cannot get TOOOOOOO serious!!!

Well, as you can see, we have been busy…and life is full of surprises, that’s for sure!! I will try to be more diligent about posting…key word…TRY!  Thanks for all of you for continuing to read this drivel…