Cave Dwellings

Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day 2015
Freedom Isn't Free

Cave Dwellings

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Remembering Memorial Day..and Tweeking the Hiker slide

Our 2007 HitchHiker SL fiver is showing her age..(some of us age faster than others, right?).First of all , the graphics on the front are peeling off, which really gets aggravating when trying to wash her face..similar to us ladies when we “exfoliate”…Her bedroom slide had an issue with a rubber seal not wanting to come all the way out when putting it OUT..Den adjusted this last year, but it seems to  have slipped out of sinc again..(much like my eyelids have slipped into creases). I remember having to work on this same problem and was NOT looking forward to it again..However..

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After completely emptying out the storage under our bed, Dennis climbed his big ol’ self under there and took a look.  He finally figured out that the whole bed slides out, so he could get up in front of it to do the adjustment…Of course I helped here and there…mostly there..He still wasn’t really satisfied…It seems the whole slide is off center, and after much thought about how what he could do to adjust THAT, he made a good decision..He decided that this was a bigger project than he could tackle and just let it be..(WHEW! I was a tad concerned about him trying to wrestle that big slide from underneath it!). He did get the slide so that the rubber seal did come all the way out though…Of course he did, he’s MacGyver!

We have been doing some yard work while the weather is was warm.  I have a lovely Rose of Sharon bush/tree in a flower garden by my bird bath..I have been busy weeding around it and planting some Lavender..Everything was looking just fine until a few days ago….I went outside to this..

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WTH???? Something…some beastie…had made shredded wheat out of the base of my Rose of Sharon bush..I kid you not, the whole base and bark was totally shredded!! Rabbits don’t do this …do they?? We have had some Woodchucks, but they never have touched any of our bushes or trees..Beavers??? nope, no water except a puddle or two..Deer?…I think not..Something that had a rotorooter for teeth..or very sharp talons…I’m thinking a Sasquatch…Yep, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it…And, by the way, this killed the darn bush and I dug it up today, which was NO easy task…SHEESH!!

Other than out of kilter slides and a mysterious bush terrorizer, not much is going on here. Our weather has turned pretty chilly for a couple days, but looks warmer for the weekend. Memorial Day is early this year, May 25th..We have no big plans for a picnic …I’m pretty sure Ter and Tim will be opening their pool (YAY!) I am on deck for an appointment with my Endocrinologist tomorrow.  I am losing faith and have begun to think I just have to live with this stuff…We shall see. I have been doing some research and found a place in Tampa Florida (yes, I did say Florida) that does nothing but parathyroid surgeries..They have the whole top floor of the Tampa Hospital …It is called Norman Parathyroid Center…Hey, it’s food for thought.

OK, it is almost cocktail hour and I am very much ready for a Cuba Libre…Everyone have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend…and let’s not forget why we celebrate it…

10986710_10204679703138515_4089626214928867315_o This beautiful mural is at Soldier Field (Chicago Bears football stadium)…and it says it all…

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Gut Check…I Have NO Worries!!

Mother’s Day, Dennis and I went for breakfast..Well…we drove through McDonalds (Mickey D’s) for a couple breakfast burritos and some hash browns..We had our thermo pot of coffee with us. When we travel with the Hiker we always take our travel coffee mugs and our thermo pot for refills.  Even though we didn’t have the Hiker lashed on, we did have a bit of a “road trip” in mind that morning.

Some of you might have heard of the Northern Illinois tornado (an F-4) that hit a small town called Fairdale…That town is about 50 miles North of where we live. Right after it happened, the town was off limits to the public ..a few reporters were allowed in.  Later, quite a few people took the drive to see the destruction. We waited almost a month to go…giving the people a little time to begin the healing process ( 2 people were killed) . Here is a map of Fairdale, IL, population in 2010 was 150 people.

data=RfCSdfNZ0LFPrHSm0ublXdzhdrDFhtmHhN1u-gM,V_u0xZKBDcvfCMC6G_svmm2wHTv-j2uZSXdCH4-kjn_CXm8AnXwPamJbScIPIUw0ADUnCiJZE6lZ4J_vwCsD_XDXAsraGw Yes, it has about 7 streets total..

We were about the only car driving through. Most of the debris and demolished homes had been cleaned up..Let me say this..Dennis and I didn’t go there to be gawkers or to poke our noses into their misery. We never got out of the GMC, drove slowly through the streets and left quietly..There were very few homes still standing and the orange fence was marking the foundations to keep people from wandering through…I will let the photos speak to you about the spirit of the families that call Fairdale home ..

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As I said, it was almost totally void of homes..all that remained was foundations to mark where the homes had been.

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Someone put this statue in what’s left of a large tree, right, notice the chair and vase of flowers in front of this foundation..


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Cars thrown like toys…and huge trees ripped by their roots from the ground…

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A lone dresser sits on this one…..   and a green grill sits in front of this foundation on the right…

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Just a few homes remained…I love this last one..The American Flag and a heart…This speaks volumes of Fairdale people and their spirit!

And this is what I meant by “gut check”…Compared to these brave survivors, I have NO problems…and no words .


Friday, May 8, 2015

Medical Merry Go Round

Short blog…I am YET AGAIN having more ultrasounds of my neck…Not sure why everybody is so concerned about my Thyroid…I was told my Parathyroid was the “big problem”…Plus, I needed a Bone Density Scan…and when you are on Medicare, you can only have one every 2 years and you must have a diagnosis (I have 3)…I cannot get one of those until August 1st…sheesh…I am so ready to tell them all, “just give me a Happy Pill and leave me alone!”

On a good note, our son-in-law who is a Detective in Glenview IL PD was just promoted to Sergeant! WOOT!WOOT! Terrie and their 3 kids went to watch their Dad get his star pinned on…

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…and guess WHO got that honor?? Terrie said he was a little nervous, being that she had a sharp object in her hand…

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Taylor and Sergeant Heiser……..             Peyton and Sergeant Heiser……              Campbell and Sergeant Heiser……….

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Sergeant and Mrs Sergeant Heiser……              The whole darn Heiser clan with the Glenview IL Police Chief…..

Not much else going on here…We have had a couple days of rain, but are starting to get some flowers planted..Our Aunt Jeanette will turn 100 years old this September..and yes, she and her 92 year old husband (Uncle Junior), are still living at  home..though I’m not sure that is the best for them…They won’t discuss at home care or anymore assisted living…Sometimes ya just gotta shut up and let them do what they want…As for my medical mess, I will keep you posted if anything new comes up…As for now, I’m in limbo…


Makes my back hurt just to look at this!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Phew!..Busy Week!

MacGyver and “moi” had a great visit with at the Wolff den last week. The original reason we went to Zionsville was for me to go to an appointment with my ENT at Indiana University Hospital…We got to Zionsville Monday afternoon . We got up the next AM and followed our daughter, Chris, into downtown Indianapolis. Chris works for a Vascular Surgeon at Methodist Hospital downtown.. It was a busy drive through rush hour and I was very glad Dennis was my chauffeur!!


Chris showed us the best way to park down there…valet parking. You just drive up in front of University Hospital and give your keys to one of several “valets”, get a ticket and you’re good to go…Valet parking is only $5.00 if you are a patient..and I was an out-patient..SCORE!!

I was scheduled for a CT scan of my neck and chest, which required an injection of contrast (dye) to see what was going on. I am not one who gets uptight with needles and such, as I worked in our local hospital as a Nurse’s Aide when I was in college..If you can to that job, you can handle most anything!..After all this, I met with my doc, Dr. Moore, after he looked at the scans. Good news was that he saw nothing major on either scan.  He did see my growths on my thyroid gland, but didn’t see anything definite in the way of an enflamed parathyroid…(He did say,however, that a Radiologist would read my scans and give the final results). Sooo…nothing much new…The doc wants me to get more bloodwork done ordered by my Endocrinologist and have a copy of the results sent to  him…

While I was there, I signed up to be on My IU Health, which allows you to view all of  your medical stuff online. Today I did find my results ..but am not exactly sure I understand them…I guess if  Dr. Moore isn’t worried, than I shouldn’t either, right??

After a hectic day at IU Hospital (we went in at 7:30AM and got out at noon), we all went out for dinner…a celebration of health…

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Dennis and I watched these two Wolff cubs for 2 days so Chris and John could do a quick trip to Las Vegas, where John had a presentation to give for his work…We had a great time with those boys!!

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Chris and John flew back on Friday and we got home here Saturday about noon…and drove through some pretty heavy rain all the way!…

Sunday we went to see our granddaughter in her musical. Taylor is a Sophomore at Kaneland High School, and the school puts on a musical every Spring. Last year we missed it because we were still gone, but THIS Spring we made a point of being here.. This year it was “Shrek, The Musical”. If  you remember that kid’s movie, it is really cute..a story of an Ogre in a world of nursery rhymes and storybook characters…  They had a Friday night performance, a Saturday matinee performance, a Saturday night performance and a matinee performance on Sunday..we went to Sunday’s matinee and it was spectacular!!  Here is a collage of a few of the wonderful performing and talented kids…

04-26-2015 Taylor had 3 different parts..She was a dancing rat, one of the Three Little Pigs, and a Duloc dancer..which meant 6 costume changes.  The musical even had a live orchestra of high school members in the orchestra pit providing the music for all of it..What a fabulous production..and what talented kids…Of course, we were very proud of Taylor!

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Above is our darling Duloc dancer…and on the right, she is now a Dancing Rat, trousers, tails and tophat!

101_7089 …and on the left, Tay is now one of the Three Little Pigs…what a hoot!

The musical was 2 1/2 hours long with a 15 minute intermission…and after it was over we took a few photos of our “shining star”…


I gotta say it…she is a keeper, this one!!…and so are her very proud brothers!!

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Mom and Dad…(they brought her the flowers)….and..of course, Papa and I were verklempt…

101_7102 What a wonderful week full of grandchildren we had..we are sooooo blessed!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Busy Weekend

Busy times here at our house..All the kids and families were on deck to attend my brother’s daughter’s wedding…The Wolffs arrived Friday evening and just kept going until this morning..

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Saturday morning, Chris and John went for a 9 mile run (both training for a half marathon and Chris for a marathon)..While they were gone, I took the boys up to our Sandwich Park District to see a Civil War encampment.  I’m not sure they really liked it as much as I did…After all, they are only ages 4 and 6…and I am at least 14…

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This lady was cutting up lamb for stew…Those Wolff Cubs tolerated my love of history…because I took them to the play park afterward…

Saturday afternoon, the entire Cave Clan, kids and grandkids, went to my niece’s wedding about 35 miles from Sandwich, in Ottawa, IL. We all managed to clean up pretty well…


The Heisers, back row…Sophia, my step great grandaughter, and the two Wolff Cubs, Aiden and Maddox..I think Maddox will follow my lead as a fashionista…He wore that “Gangsta” hat all evening long!

Here are a few photos from the wedding…

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What a great time we all had…Dancing our socks off, and trying to keep up with those kids!!!


Yep…Me and my baby brother, Michael…The older we get, the more I look just like our Mom and he looks like our Dad…

Everyone left this morning and MacGyver and I are now trying to recover..temporarily..Tomorrow we drive to Zionsville, IN so I can see my IU Doc, and then we babysit those Wolff Cubs Wed –Friday so Chris can go with John to a business trip to Las Vegas…What kind of business trip would take them to Las Vegas?? John is the IT man for Monarch Beverage in Indianapolis and has to give a presentation at a meeting in Vegas…Monarch Beverage happens to be the biggest beer and wine distributor in Indiana. (How fortunate for US!) .And what better place to have a meeting than one of the biggest cities that consumes these items??

Oh, and one more thing..I need to give a big “shout out” to John Hatch (FD5)..I used John’s recipe for homemade ice cream to impress the family…and it worked FAMOUSLY!!


Just look at these two kids chowing down on sundaes made with my homemade ice cream!! Maddox, in particular, licking his lips!! Our daughter, Christie, added some to her morning coffee Saturday…and last night we adults just got spoons and finished it off standing around our kitchen island..


John Hatch’s Homemade Ice Cream

3 C. heavy whipping cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 T. pure vanilla

Using hand mixer, beat whipping cream until it has stiff peaks...5-6 minutes.  Add 1/2 of the SCM and the vanilla, folding them in thoroughly..Then add the rest of the SCM and completely fold that in..I used a Pyrex large measuring bowl that had a lid and put it in the freezer overnight..YUMMO!! (You can also add candy bars, or cookies , or make a different flavor, but this Vanilla was in a league all its own!)