Cave Dwellings

Zionsville, IN

Zionsville, IN
Sept 20th, 2013

Cave Dwellings

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Headed to the “Wolff Den”..and a new Doc…

  This last few days we have been deluged with rain, as a HUGE front marches across the nation.  At least we didn’t get any bad storms like they did in Arkansas, but we were under a tornado watch last night. Today it is a little rainy but warm and I have my front porch door thrown wide open.  Got our house decked out for Fall and Chicago Bears season…


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Our Tiger Eye Sumac (on the right) is always so pretty in the Fall!

I may have mentioned (Dementia Donna occasionally takes over), that we are in the process of converting our wood burning fireplace to gas.  “Why?”, you ask…After 40 years of burning wood, I am tired of: 1.Hauling it in from the garage  2.Cleaning up the wood chips and sawdust from my carpet  3. Seeing a soot spot on our ceiling over the fireplace every few years, and 4. I’m just plain tired..and maybe a bit lazy (YA THINK?).  We still have our outdoor firepit on our deck that we burn almost every evening…But it sure is nice to come inside, open the damper turn on the gas and…WALLA!! AN INSTANT FIRE!!. It was pretty neat how MacGyver followed the directions on how to create this masterpiece..(He almost never follows the directions).

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First you lay a screen thingy over something that looks like a large dustpan…then you poor on some sandy lookin’ stuff..(he was torturously meticulous at this…and yes, I’m pretty sure there is no word “torturously”, but you get my drift.

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Next, you get out your bag of ..well…something that resembles large lint with vermiculite mixed in…Here is where your artistic ability is challenged.  I was sooo  hoping MacGyver would defer to “moi” for this artsy fartsy part, but no…he suddenly became Michelangelo, tapping, pushing, molding and creating something of an artistic ash pile. My services were not needed.




Lastly, came the “ceramic” logs.  This particular gas log kit we got online.  It was called the “Charred Oak” logs.  I really liked that look of them being partially burned…I was told by Michelangelo Dennis that they are made of ceramic so they will heat up and create heat in the room.  I actually never knew that about a gas log…and let me tell you these suckers are HEAVY!

Still following the directions (SAY WHAAAAT?), the artist in charge laid, lay, placed the logs in the exact spots on the diagram.  Keep in mind we had not even done a test flame to see if the gas was even hooked up right.  Now all we had to do was turn on the gas key and light away…!! Get out the ceramic marshmallows!!!



The “master” surveys his work…It passes the “persnickity” test..and I LOVE IT!!!!

I was pleasantly surprised when I walked out past our Hiker to the garden…I found a bounty just ready to pick and “dig”…I knew the potatoes were there, but didn’t expect anymore tomatoes!



So, this Friday I drive to Zionsville,IN to attend our grandson’s 6th birthday party.


MacGyver will HOPEFULLY be in the combine if it stops raining!!  This trip has a duel purpose.  Of course I cannot wait to celebrate with the kids for Aiden’s birthday party…(hopefully there will be NO bouncy house this year…that is NOT a good thing after a glass of wine!)..I am also going to see a new Doc at Indiana University Hospital about my parathyroid debacle.   I don’t expect anything will be done until Spring, but I want to get this “show on the road” and start the process so the new Doc can study my case…and me..Ya know that could be a real scary thing for anyone, even a guy who “saw it all” in medical school..I’ve been told I am a “one of a kind” and not in a good way..

Our daughter, Christie, is going with me Tuesday morning for the appointment.  She works for a vascular surgeon in that huge complex, and I probably would get lost if she didn’t lead me around!  Actually it was the Doc she works for, Dr. Michael Dalsing, that recommended I go to Dr. Michael Moore..NO! NOT THE FILM MAKER..SHEESH!  Rest assured there will be photos aplenty after this trip!!!!

P.S.  I just did spell check..and there actually IS a word “torturously”…SCORE!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On a LOOOOOONG Countdown..Hey, at least it’s a COUNTDOWN!!

  OK, I am officially a “farm widow”..MacGyver has finally hopped up into the combine and become “MacFarmer”..

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There has been so damn (oops!) darn much rain the past few weeks it has put the harvest here in DeKalb County a tad behind!  I’m sure this is of no great concern to most, but our travel plans call for us to be in Pensacola, FL on Dec. 7th.  Our first full week in Florida will be at Fort Pickens.  Now you might know I am going to give you a bit of a history lesson…

Fort Pickens is a pentagonal historic United States military fort on Santa Rosa Island in the Pensacola, Florida, area. It is named after American Revolutionary War hero Andrew Pickens. The fort was completed in 1834 and remained in use until 1947. Fort Pickens is included within the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and as such, is administered by the National Park Service. Construction of the fort lasted from 1829 to 1834, with 21.5 million bricks being used to build it. Much of the construction was done by enslaved African Americans.

“Fort Pickens was the largest of a group of forts designed to fortify Pensacola Harbor.  Despite repeated Confederate military threats, Fort Pickens was one of the few Southern forts to remain in Union hands throughout the Civil War.  Captives from Indian Wars in the West were transported to the East Coast to be held as prisoners. From October 1886 to May 1887, Geronimo, a noted Apache war chief, was imprisoned in Fort Pickens, along with several of his warriors.”

“During the late 1890s and early 20th century, the Army had new gun batteries constructed at Fort Pickens.  Instead of many guns concentrated in a traditional thick-walled masonry structure, the Endicott batteries are spread out over a wide area, concealed behind concrete parapets flush with the surrounding terrain. The use of the accurate, long-range weapons eliminated the need for the concentration of guns that was common in the Third System fortifications. Battery Pensacola was constructed physically within the walls of Fort Pickens, while other similar concrete batteries were constructed to the east and west as separate facilities. The ruins of these later facilities are also included in the Gulf Islands National Seashore complex. Only one weapon of this era, a 6-inch M1905 gun on a disappearing carriage located at Battery Cooper, survives to this day.”

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Looks mighty fine to me!!! I cannot WAIT!!!

Meanwhile, things are pretty good around the Cave Cave…I am, however, continuing my ongoing battle with the wildlife around here…Yep, those nasty squirrels are now making snacks out of my Fall Decorations…




I guess they  have an appetite for more than flowers…Turns out they really like pumpkins and gords too..At this rate, I will be replacing a few pumpkins!…I really should put out plastic ones, but I have this strange feeling that they would eat those too…I remember when the critters destroyed my small American Flags I had in my pots…hence their nickname “Al-Qaida Squirrels”…

And they are still digging up my pots of grasses I have around my fountain area…Seems they hide their nuts in those pots…I know there are lots of animal lovers out there, so I will refrain from putting out any “ideas” I have (or recipes) for these little buggers!!


I managed to get my garage sale in last weekend…Of course the weather turned brutal…rain, frost, even a little sleet.  I ended up sitting out there in about 3 layers of sweatshirts and my sweatpants, gloves and ear warmers…Sorry, no pictures of that outfit…even scared ME!

Dennis wasn’t in the field on Saturday evening…rain puts a damper on combing…Therefore, we had our regular “date night”.  We got all “gussied up” and went downtown to The Olde Tyme Inn, a very old tavern and food place in Sandwich…This bar has been here a long time..not sure exactly how long. It still has the old wood floor and interesting old back bar…

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Notice the mural painting on the back behind the liquor..and the old pillars and cabinet…Rumor has it that the mural was painted by a transient who stayed in a room above the bar and paid for his rent by painting that mural…

20141004_182057 OK, I know…I took this picture of my stylish cowboy boots so I could show you the old wood floor, the brass rail and the bottom of the bar…I know what you are thinking..I need to get a hobby …or a life!..Hey, I just LOVE old stuff…just look at MacGyver!!

So that about does it for my excitement …I am in full Autumn and Halloween mood and found the perfect sign to put on our back door…


Pretty much says it all about the Cave household!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It’s Been A While….

  I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise and almost broke my toe getting out of bed to grab my phone camera to get a pic from our bedroom window…

20140925_063730   Ok, I know…you can see the darn screen, but oh it was soooo pretty! A great and beautiful new day!

I do believe this is the longest I have ever gone between blogs.  As our blogger friend Al says, the creative juices just weren’t flowing here lately.  With Autumn here, many of our RV bloggers are getting ready to get South for the Winter. The Bayfield Bunch is not too far from “lift off”. Elaine and Rick just traded their motorhome for a fiver and truck, and we hope to see them in South Florida again this Winter for an adult beverage! Mike and Gerri have been visiting some family in Tennessee, and doing some camping in their neat Casita at some beautiful parks there.

  This seems to be Monsoon season in South Arizona, and Jerry and Suzy have had some pretty torrential rains and thunder and lightening . They have also been enjoying the blossoming desert cactus flowers…beautiful! Bob is bursting his buttons with photos of his grandson, Chris, interviewing some of the Seattle Seahawks…Wow!!  And Bigdawg and Freeway are back at their “real home” after a great work/stay at Monck Park….What a neat place that looked to be!

  Al and Ingrid have been having some great family time in Colorado, touring with their RV, and they sure have a beautiful family! Dawn and Denise have spent the past months in Lavon, Texas, and just left their gig there to visit friends at Dangerfield State Park.  And talk about trading RV’ must be in the RV water because John and Bridget Hatch just traded their fiver and truck for a 40’ motorhome.  They spent the summer at Tamarac Wildlife Refuge work camping with Judy, birdlady of blogland.  Judy was there with them this summer . They just left Tamarac too, and Judy  and her brother are enjoying Yellowstone and headed to Grand Tetons…2 of my park fav’s!

   Randy and Pam, volunteers extraordinaire, have been volunteering their help all over the US…and attending a Grandbaby Reveal Party in between…It’s going to be a BOY!! And Sam and Donna are getting ready to go to Branson for a reunion of some of Sam’s Navy pals...A big THANK YOU to those brave sailors who served!! Meanwhile, Kenny and Angela have been whooping it up at a pizza place in Mesa, Arizona with friends…And our friends, Rick and Paulette, have been busy spoiling that adorable grandson Mason, and waiting patiently for their mecca to California this Winter.

What have I been doing??? Well, I washed both my chandeliers by hand….The littlest one is the BIGGEST pain, because it has about 260 Swarovsky crystals to wash!! Here it is ..all taken apart and cleaned up, ready to re-hang….

20140923_130515 I took this picture after I had the first row hung up….and here is what is looks like after my labors…


Notice all of the color reflecting off those beautiful CLEAN crystals…As you can see by the top photo, they are all clear, but when my camera flashed it brought all of the prisms to life…

  Of course we have been watching the Chicago Bears every game…Kelly and Cindy brought their dogs,  Murph and Finley, over to help cheer them on..complete with Bears jerseys.

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Finley is the boss of these two…a woman with attitude…and Murph loves to help Dennis start the campfire…

  Dennis has a new toy, by the way.. It is called a Fly Asalt gun…No, I didnt’ misspell assault…this is a gun that shoots salt at flies and kills them…REALLY!!!  The ammo, if you will, is simply table salt…(which I am swiftly running out of!)  Chris and John got this little gem for Dennis,  and all I can say is…”the only difference between men and boys…” no, what a minute!..THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND BOYS!!..


Kelly loved to play with it too…”another one bites the dust”..

   As most of you know, our wonderful niece, Leanne, lost her vigilant battle with Lung Cancer 10 days ago.   As per her wishes, there is no funeral, but a “celebration of her life” this Saturday evening at our local bowling alley.  Leanne was a real athlete, and excelled at every sport she tried, baseball, golf , bowling…and she had MANY friends. So this weekend all of the family and a gazillion friends will be remembering her great courage and infectious humor with a toast or two, and lots of photos and stories…


Den, Leanne and her hubby, Tommy…God, we’re gonna miss this girl.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


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

Missed It By THAT Much!!

    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.)

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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.



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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!

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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!!

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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…


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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…

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….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”.

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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.


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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”….

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How  many retired Firemen does it take to program a GPS??…and OOPS! Someone left the key on in the “toad”…tehee….

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Never hurts for McGyver to learn how to hook up a toad, right??? Just for possible future reference….

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Now we see who is “the lady in charge” of this organized bedlam…YOU GO BRIDGET!! …and….THEY’RE OFF!!!!!