Cave Dwellings

Rusk-Palestine State Park, TX

Rusk-Palestine State Park, TX
Dec. 9th, 2006

Cave Dwellings

Saturday, July 19, 2014

One more trip to the “surgical suite”….

  Not much happening around here these days.  After our trip to Hayward, Den and I have been chilling in the peace and quiet. Our weather here has finally straightened out…well, at least it has stopped raining for a few days. Seems like the minute Den finishes mowing he gets right back on and starts again..I use to be really glad we had a big yard, but lately I feel the day coming when we really don’t need all that grass!

Today Dennis went over to our son’s house to help him cut down a “couple” bushes…Pretty soon I saw this pulling into our driveway…

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Hmmmmmm…Looks like we are about to have a “burning pile” in out back…Now here is one BIG advantage of our large back yard..We have our own little big burning pile that is ongoing.

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If you look closely at the photo on the right you will a dark line on top a little hill. You see my nemesis…the dreaded railroad tracks..

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What we have here are two firefighters at play…They love nothing better than to work with fire…Like two  little kids, right?? I was a little concerned at all of that brush going up in flames at once. A few years ago our neighbor (who has a burning pile too) lit a fire in his backyard and almost burned down that telephone pole you see behind Kel in the  photo on the right..Kelly looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t worry, I’m a “trained professional”…

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…Yep, he surely is, as you can see above. That’s him on the top of that ladder…These photos were taken at “Fire School” quite a few years ago. Kelly is now a Lieutenant on Oswego Fire Dept…Dennis was the Hose Captain on Sandwich Fire Dept…Den’s Dad was a volunteer firefighter for the old Sandwich Fire Dept…It’s in the blood.

OK, next Wednesday I am going “under the knife” to remove one of my parathyroid glands which has something called an “adenoma”attached to it. Adenoma is a fancy word for growth. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this out patient surgery will be the answer to my “moans, groans and stones”…Maybe I am hoping for too much, but this surgery cannot come soon enough..

Senior surgeon (angrily) : 'For goodness sake, nurse, get me my auriscope.' [a medical device which is used to look into the ears].

Distracted young nurse : 'But doctor, I don't even know your star sign.'”

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I LOVE the Northwoods !! Our Cave-a-palooza in Hayward, WI, 2014

This mundane summer was broken up by a great trip to Hayward, Wisconsin . Most of our family has been going there for  years and years…My Grampa Fry owned a cabin up there when I was a little girl and we always spent 3 weeks every summer in that cabin on Grindstone Lake.  When I married Dennis, I found out that his family was going there too!..and the tradition continues.  The resorts have varied over the years, but the one they have been going to lately is Treeland Resorts, on the Chippewa Flowage.

As  usual I took a gazillion photos..I will post a few close ups dear to  my heart and put some in a couple collages…

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Left is our niece, Leanne, and her Lab puppy Molly..on a boat ride….right you will see Den and I and 2 of our 3 kids, our beautiful daughters.

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Left, Terrie, Chris, Leanne Chris’s friend, Jessica…middle is the oldest of the Wolff Cubs, Aiden…Right, it’s the younger Woff Cub, Maddox.

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Left, Ter and her oldest son, Peyton….middle is Tim and their youngest, Campbell in the lake, and right is Taylor, their oldest and our only granddaughter.





As you can see, we had a real great time and I don’t think any of those bars/ restaurants we went to will ever forget us. When we pulled up and unloaded about 27 adults and kids on their docks, they HAD to be a little scared!..Actually, most of the places we went know this crazy family well. Great friends of our family from Sandwich also have been going up with us for the last many years. A big shout out to Gene and Julie Frieders and their wonderful kids Chelsea, MacKenzie and Mike..Gene brings his boat up and so does our nephews Mark  and Tom…so we who DON’T   have a boat mooch rides off these three boat owners…Yep , just one big Cave-A-Palooza!


Brenda managed to talk the owner of Tiger Musky (our last stop together on the Chippewa Flowage) to take our picture…He also managed to put his finger over the sign for Tiger Musky at the top of the photo..there went to free advertisement!!..hee hee..

Friday, June 27, 2014

Papa’s Pub…Now open for small gatherings

   Thanks to one of my Ya Ya’s, who wanted to get rid of a pub style table..I decided to create a small “pub” atmosphere on one end of our front porch!!

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Yep, it works just great…We sat out there watching it rain a couple nights ago…and speaking of rain, we have had our fill!



I was keeping a close watch on these clouds….They went South of us and hit the South side of Chicago with wind and downpours, but no tornadoes…Chris and John had a close call though!..


This tornado just missed Speedway in Indianapolis, and caused some damage in Plainfield, about 10 miles from where Chris works and the boys are in daycare…YIKES!!

One good thing about all this rain is how it has really popped our flowers! Our grass is really greeeeeen, too! There have been some Junes that is it all drying up, but not this June!!

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Not too much going on here.  Den and I have been helping out Uncle Jr. and Aunt Jeanette about every 10 days …getting groceries, doing some banking…They are back living at home, with no help wanted.  If they do decide to have someone come and help them on occasion we will let THEM decide who and when this time…Lessons have been learned!

Our niece, Leanne, got some good news this week. Her Cancer Doc looked at her last CT Scan and gave her the “go ahead” to leave for a 2 week vacation in Hayward, WI next week from today. More Chemo down the road, but for now Leanne is thrilled for this respite… Most of the family is going, as it has become a “mecca” of sorts for one of our famous “Cave-A-Paloozas”…Here are a few photos from last year..

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And here are MOST of the adults in our group, enjoying some beverages at Treeland’s Lodge…I may have to go through “de-tox” after this vacation!


We had a little celebration for Leanne’s good news at our neighbor’s “garage pub”..Leannes’ hubby and I made a toast to vacation…(Notice my very stylish Loony Toon evening wear).   LOOK OUT, HAYWARD, HERE WE COME AGAIN !! (It does help to take your own personal police officer with you …just in case ;-)


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dreamin’ of Florida for this Winter’s trip

  Well, Dennis and I have decided to try doing Florida again this Winter. We tried a couple years ago, but got called back after 5 weeks when Uncle Jr. fell..I got just a taste of it and knew we had to go back…Not that we haven’t been there before…When our kids were little we use to go almost every summer, beginning in 1972, which was the 2nd year it was open. All they had was the Magic Kingdom…

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The first year we went, Kelly was 2 1/2 and I was pregnant with Terrie…We stayed at Daytona Beach and drove over to Orlando for the day..As the kids got older, a couple of our friends started going with us…Eventually we had a small caravan of families, and the property got bigger and bigger…Walt Disney World is still one very magical place to me….




Left was taken on Den and my very first trip to Florida in summer of 1970.  I was pregnant with our son and oldest, due on August 22nd. We decided to go to Florida in July, when Caterpillar Tractor shut down for 2 weeks vacation. Hey, I wasn’t due for 6 weeks! So I asked my Doctor and he said “Sure, go ahead. They have doctors in Florida”. He then gave me a slip of paper with my blood type on it and something about I was healthy, told me to pack a bag for the baby and gave us his blessing. Heck, Dennis said he could deliver our baby, he had read the book!..My Mom and Den’s Mom , on the other hand, were none too happy.

Long story short, our good friends (he worked at Cat too) followed us down. That photo you see on the left was at Cocoa Beach Holiday Inn. My friend, Sharon is behind me, and that would be her hubby, Ron, with his toes on the diving board and his body underwater…No, I didn’t dive…we took this for our parents….and..NO, they did NOT think it was funny!!






Our love affair with Florida continued when Chris and John got married on the beach at the Hilton Inn on Longboat Key, near Sarasota….I think I have changed my favorite coast from the Atlantic to the Gulf…


In August, 2005, we took the Cougar down for Chris and John’s wedding…We met the Heisers at Disneyworld and camped at Ft. Wilderness, then drove to Long Boat Key for the wedding…I guess you could say that we have been in Florida more than any other state. Texas probably runs a close second. I have already booked us in for Ft. Pickens campground, Ocala National Recreation Area, and Ortona South Army Corps camgrounds at LaBelle, FL…DO YA THINK I’M ANXIOUS?????

Before I get up from my computer chair and have a nice white wine, I want to thank you all for the encouraging words concerning my parathyroid issues. I am booked for out-patient surgery at Rush-Copley Medical Center on July 23rd…Oh, and one more thing…Our oldest daughter, Terrie, was just diagnosed with Hyperparathyroidism..just like me..She has an appointment with an Endocrinologist August 1st…Yep, good ol’ genetics dealt her a real bad hand…

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“One of these things is NOT like the others”…That would be Christie, on the right….no thyroid issues there!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I’m going to hire Elmer Fudd…..PESKY WABBITS!

It does me absolutely NO earthly good to go all hyper spastic about our multiplying rabbit population here at 518 W. Center St.  As with Adam and Eve, I’m sure it all started with 2 ..Two adorable little yuppie bunnies who fell in lust love, found a preacher bunny, got married and had sweet adorable little baby bunnies. Hence the beginning of fencing in my vegetable garden, keeping any Impatience flowers up on our deck, and chasing the little darlings out of my flower beds…I thought we just had a ONE major problem with my naughty squirrels. Every morning I have to go out on the deck and fill in the holes of all my potted plants, sweep up the dirt and sometimes I even have to replant those poor little flowers who find themselves lying on TOP the dirt with their roots exposed to all the world.

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Yep, squirrel and rabbit stew is a recipe I am more than ready for.

Before all of you critter lovers send me hate email, I really do enjoy Mother Nature and her wonderful little animals of the world. REALLY, I DO!..But (here comes the rant), I am losing my fairly good sense of humor this summer at having to replace plants every week.  The WalMart garden center knows me well.  I finally Googled “plants that rabbit will NOT eat”, and came up with 3…Coleus, Snapdragons, and Marigolds…LET THOSE DAGNAB CRITTERS FIND THEIR GARDEN SALAD AND FLOWER LUNCHEON DOWN THE STREET FROM NOW ON!!

Some of you may remember my great find at a garage salel last week…my electric wood stove/heater…Well, the heater part didn’t work, so MacGyver got out his little test kit and proceeded to tear that wood stove apart on our kitchen counter…

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After removing a gazillion little screws and bagging them in various zip snak bags, the heater element underneath was finally opened up so Den could test all the electrical connections. And while we had it apart we gave it a really good cleaning.  Dennis even brought his air compressor hose in the kitchen to blow out all the dust in the heater coils…(and placed it all over my kitchen).  After a night and a day, we  had it cleaned up and Dennis found the problem. Don’t ask me what it was, I hate electricity and am basically afraid of it..All I do is hold MacGyver’s flashlight. At any rate, it is now fixed and not only is it just soooo cute…it provides heat if we would need it to!!

Well, I finally got the results of my parathyroid nuclear test that I had done last week.  Apparently I have one enlarged parathyroid gland, which means it has turned into a begnign tumor and probably needs to come out. “Parathyroid glands control the amount of calcium in our blood and bones. About 1 in 100 people (1 in 50 women over 50) develop a parathyroid gland tumor during their lifetime causing parathyroid disease, called: "hyperparathyroidism". Hyperparathyroidism is a destructive disease that causes high blood calcium--which leads to serious health problems--even early death. It can be cured in most patients in less than 20 minutes with parathyroid tumor removal. If you have high calcium, you almost certainly have a parathyroid tumor.” Yes, I do have high calcium (hypercalcemia).  “We now know that primary hyperparathyroidism is a debilitating disease like diabetes that takes a terrible toll on your body over time. It is much more deadly than high cholesterol--and it will make you feel miserable. Bottom Line: the days of doing nothing for hyperparathyroidism are long gone; the days of "watching" your calcium because it is "just a little bit high" are long gone. A little high calcium for many years is very dangerous. It is much better for the patient and cheaper in the long run to have a mini-parathyroid operation and fix the problem (usually 20 minutes or even less by some experts -- go home in an hour or two). How high the calcium is does not matter--a little bit high calcium is just as deadly as a very high calcium!”

  I guess this has just turned into a medical merry blogging session, but I do think it’s important to get this information out.  I have been suffering at least 2 years with high blood pressure, extreme depression and moodiness, kidney stones ( all my life), bouts of severe diarrhea and just not feeling good in general. I had NO idea what the Heck the parathyroid glands even did, until my Cardiologist was very surprised by my sudden high BP, plus kidney stones, plus high Calcium levels in my blood. He was the one who sent me to see an Endocrinologist..Thank you, Dr. Vijay Shah!! I might add that our daughter, Terrie, has had waaaaay more stones than I, and is probably going to pursue this same avenue I have….It can be  hereditary…

OK, enough of the General Hospital segue…On a lighter note, we are planning on taking a few days ,just after July 4th, to go to Hayward WI with family again this year. No, we won’t be taking the Hiker. We are only going for 3 nights, so Den and I will again be booking our little “love nest”, the Chip-Wa Motel, about 2 miles from Treeland Resorts.  The rest of the family spends the whole week at Treelands.   After only 3 nights of this Cave-A-Palooza, MacGyver and I have to come home and go to de-tox…JUST  KIDDING!! Here are a few pictures from last year…(Don’t panic, I put them in one big collage!)