Cave Dwellings

LaBelle, FL

LaBelle, FL

Cave Dwellings

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~~

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Last Monday, McGyver accompanied “moi” on another adventure to see a doctor at Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago.  We drive about 40 minutes to Elburn, IL and catch a Metra train into the city. The train station is right downtown on Madison Avenue..When we got on at 7:35AM, we were one of the few on the train. By the time we got to the station (and hour and a half ride) we had people standing in all cars…



As much as I really don’t love the traffic and the hustle and bustle of Chicago, it was a beautiful sunny and warm day…and NO wind off of Lake Michigan…


The trees were in blossom and so were all of the daffodils..Middle pic is a statue of Irv Kupcinet, one of the great reporters and columnists for the Chicago newspapers…


A statue of Jack Brickhouse, one of our great sportscasters..and a Hall of Famer!


One of my favorite buildings in Chicago is the Tribune Tower…also home of one of my favorite radio stations, WGN. This is the fa├žade over the front entrance..


There were many street musicians all over the place…I love this kind of stuff!!

As it turns out, I will be able to post more photos of downtown Chicago…I am having surgery to remove a parathyroid tumor on June 8th…and I have two trips before that to get a Nuclear Scan of my parathyroid glands, and also have to go for pre-op evaluation. I LOVED my surgeon, Dr. Cord Sturgeon.  (Sturgeon the Surgeon..teehee ). He is one of the best in the country for parathyroid and thyroid surgeries…and it was important for me to get this guy because I have already had one unsuccessful parathyroid surgery.  This second one is what they call a “revision”…in other words, he is redoing this surgery…and this time he will get that nasty thing and get it out. He did an ultrasound in the exam room and saw the tumor clearly..YAY!! I’m NOT nuts afterall!!

I will be spending the night at the hospital, which is just fine with me…I know it sounds crazy to be excited to go through another surgery, but I have a very good feeling about this one..and great faith in this surgeon…FINALLY!!

Our weather here has been very nice…it’s about time! Dennis and I went to watch our oldest grandson, Peyton, run in an eleven school invitational High School Track Meet…Peyton is a Sophomore, and he is getting better , faster and stronger every time he runs..He turns 16 in June..and looks 12.. He ran the 800 meter, which is twice around the track…


In the left photo, Peyton is in the middle…right picture he is in the black and white running out front…He finished 7th of 16 kids, and his school,  Kaneland High School, was the smallest school there!  Peyton also runs Cross Country in the Fall, and this Fall he will be on the Varsity Team..WOOT!WOOT!

We have a busy weekend coming up…Our granddaughter, Taylor, is performing in the Kaneland High School Spring Musical, “Into The Woods”..and she is playing Cinderella…She has a wonderful voice and she will have a fan club in the audience..There will be 12 of the family seated all in one row for the 1PM matinee on Saturday…Den and I, Ter and Tim, her two brothers, Kelly and Cindy, their granddaughter ..and Chris , John and the 2 Wolff cubs ..Another regular Cave-A-Palooza!! Oh, …and of course you know I will have a plethora of photos to brag about..

OK, it’s cocktail hour and I am ready for a Cuba Libre…I thought I should update all of you with my merry medical news!!Cheers!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A look back at our first visits to Florida

When I was very small, my Uncle Walter Fry was in the Air Force and stationed at Fort Walton Beach, FL. He was in SAC (Strategic Air Command) and eventually traveled a lot with the military. It had to have been in the early 1950’s when my Dad packed up my Mom, brother and sister and we drove to Florida to visit Uncle Walt and Aunt Edie…I was only 4 or 5 years old and we had a 1953 sedan .  My 1 year old brother sat in the front seat on Mom’s lap…My 11 year old sister slept in the back seat…and I had the back window for my bed.  Dad drove non-stop to Ft. Walton Beach…One of my favorite memories is of the ocean..I loved it sooo much. I swore I would go back some day…

Fast forward to 1969…I met Dennis in May, we dated throught the summer and were married in November…Whirlwind romance, as it were.  One of the things Dennis promised me was that he would take me to Florida again someday…and he was true to his word!!



Above were taken during the “courtship” days, Spring and Summer of 1969…and yes, one of the attractions to Dennis was his motorcycle..

We were married November and immediately began planning our family…married November 22nd and our first born (Kelly) was born Sept. 5th…do the math! The summer I was pregnant with Kelly we decided it was time to go to Florida. So, after backing a baby bag with our luggage, we headed South during Caterpillar shutdown (2 weeks in August) and drove to Florida..I need to say that Den’s and my mom were NOT happy with me being about 3 weeks from due ..


Yep, this was Kelly’s first time in the Atlantic Ocean…and not to be his last..It began to be our favorite trip.  Every year when Caterpillar shut down 2 weeks in the summer, the Cave family headed to Daytona Beach..


Ahhhhhhhh, those were the days of curly perms, short swim trunks and bikinis…and, swimmies for the little ones.. We also were at Walt Disneyworld the second year it was open…and that became another “mecca” for our family..and still is for some.


A couple years, we took Den’s mother, Grama Kate with us…She even walked around Disneyworld once with July…She was a real corker! Years moved on and everyone slowly grew up…


The Cave sisters began attracting admirers at the pool, and making Dennis Cave begin paying close attention to the pool action…

When Kelly enlisted in the Navy, 1988, it was the first time we went without  him…and it didn’t seem the same…Pretty soon, the girls had other activities in the summer and we stopped going as a famlily..


In August, 2008, Chris and John got married in Long Boat Key, FL.  We had our Cougar at the time, so we drove down and met the Heisers at Walt Disneyworld.  We stayed at Ft. Wilderness, which was really a great campground to stay at on Disney property.  Chris and John were married at sunset on the beach of the Hilton, Long Boat Key. We parked the Cougar in their parking lot for 4 days and stayed in the hotel with the wedding guests.



Sooooooo, as you can see, we have this love affair with Florida…I must say, that seeing it in an RV opens up a whole new world of the wild and wonderful parts of Florida you just don’t see from 2 weeks in a hotel room and pool.

One more thing,…Chris and John were married August, 2005.  After the wedding, Dennis and I drove the Cougar toward the Keys…to meet Chris and  John at Key West, where they were spending their honeymoon. We stopped at LaBelle, FL and stayed at Ortona Campground for the first time…We still love it there…Then we stayed a Long Key for a couple nights and drove to Key West to visit Chris and John…


Ours spot at Long Key was right on the Atlantic Ocean..and we had a wonderful view…and a few sand fleas joined us…Below it our spot at Long Key..

We left the Cougar at Long Key to drive into Key West…

When we got back to the Cougar that evening we noticed there was a tropical storm off the coast and it was swiftly becoming a Hurrican 1…Yep…Hurricane Katrina was on her way…and we left at first light the next morning..I must say that the ocean was absolutely stunning that evening with the storm building off the East Coast…

We drove 12 hours that day and made it all the way to the Georgia/Florida coast…with rain squalls following us all the way!

As you can see, Florida and the Caves go a long way back…Not sure we will get there this year, but I know in my heart we definitely return as soon as we possibly can…Thanks for tolerating my Florida fetish!