Cave Dwellings

Nogales, Mexico

Nogales, Mexico
March 2005

Cave Dwellings

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Bit Behind ….AGAIN!

I seem to find it more difficult lately to sit my arse down at the computer chair and write a blog…This could be because some of the stuff I would write about might just be interesting to ME, and no one else…Since we got home here, my mood and attitude have managed to bottom out..I wish I could say that about my blood pressure!

Since I am still having thyroid issues, my Endocrinologist wanted to see me when we got home..I called right away  at the end of March to make my appointment. It seems she is “out of the office” until May 5th…I guess I get to celebrate Cinco de Mayo getting my neck palpated. I would much rather be in Goliad, TX, drinking Margaritas by the campfire with my private strolling Mariachi, MacGyvergonzalas.  I wonder if I could just carry a flask of them with me to the office appt?..No, you’re right..bad idea.

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I was busy last weekend cleaning off the front porch and our deck, getting our patio furniture out.  I sat on our front porch last Saturday AM for my morning cup of Joe..

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The view wasn’t exactly what I had been used to in Texas, but it would have to do…We even had our Sunday breakfast on our porch…then by afternoon it began to rain…

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I couldn’t post Den’s first picture I took…He was giving me the “table for 1” hand signal..It seems I’m no the only one with a bad attitude, right? By Monday our wind switched and the bottom fell out of our nice warm weather…And by Tuesday morning, well, take a look at our deck.

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As our daughter-in-law would say….”SERIOUSLY????

As I mentioned above, my blood pressure did NOT improve while on our Winter trip. This was very disappointing. I know we had been under some stress, but I thought it would correct itself once Dennis and I were on the road…NOPE. It took us a couple weeks to “unwind” ourselves from stuff back at home, and I thought that about middle of January we finally had our camping cadence (even though my BP was no better, my demeanor was  mending). Then we got some crumby news that our niece had been diagnosed with Lung Cancer, stage 4…That will take the wind out of your sails in a hurry. We spoke with her by  phone, and she assured us,“There is NO reason for you guys to come home!! I am doing my Chemo and following all orders per the Doc. I better not see your asses back in Illinois until April 1st!”. Ya gotta know Leo to love her…And yes, she is doing well…and they just got a new Black Lab puppy!

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I’ll bet none of you have a “potting bench” built into the tailgate of a truck!..and…your own potter!

I did feel that my BP issue needed to be addressed before May 5th, so I went and saw our GP here in Sandwich. Dr. Erik knows that my pressure used to be low…I was barely alive until last year. Then it took off like Ol’ Faithful…Due to my family history, (Mom died age 64, Dad died age 67, Mom’s Dad, my Grampa, died age 52…all from heart attacks), Dr. Erik thought it best to put me on some BP meds…I wasn’t fond of the idea, but I’m also not fond of “strokin’ out” at this young age…I  hate pills, but …I guess this is the least of one’s problems and I am very lucky to be in pretty darn good health at my extended  years…Hard to believe I’ll be 66 years old this May


Who IS this person???

“You know you're old when someone compliments you on your alligator shoes, and you're barefoot.”

                                                                                                                                                                                   ~Phyllis  Diller

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend at the Wolff Den

This last weekend MacGyver and “moi” got back on the road (sans Hiker) and drove to Zionsville, IN to attend our youngest grandchild’s #3 birthday bash…that would be Maddox Wolff.

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Yep, that right there is the famous Thomas the Tank Engine on the cake..every 3 year old boy’s idol.  Madds has Thomas EVERYTHING!!!

Zionsville is a 3 1/2 hour drive for us.  We lose an hour going and gain it back coming.  The party was a Saturday lunch party…hot ham and cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, dips, chips,  and cake and ice cream.  Dennis and I probably should have taken extra vitamins with us….

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The cake, being Thomas, was frosted in bright blue frosting….as you can see by Maddox’s blue mouth…

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They played “pin the smoke stack on Thomas”, there was a Thomas piñata, and of course the best part to Madds…opening gifts!!  I don’t know how a young mother does it…I was worn out just walking through the organized bedlam.

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I drifted from the adult area and into the kid area taking photos, trying to keep a low profile and carefully trying to avoid the ground-in blue frosting, streamers hanging precariously in the doorway, and broken pieces of the poor Thomas piñata, lying blue and lifeless on the garage floor.   

It wasn’t all party time…We managed to get in some good quality “quiet time” with the boys too…

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The reason the party was early in the day was that Chris and John were attending a Cancer Benefit at one of the big fancy hotels in downtown Indy that evening.  They left at 4PM so they could get dressed at the hotel…MacGyver and I put on our “adventures in babysitting” outfits, (you KNOW what mine looked like), and rode herd on the Wolff Cubs that evening.  This way, Chris and John could enjoy the entire evening, spending overnight downtown.  Someone took their photo there, and she sent it to my cell phone…WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE??? 


Christie and John, looking like movie stars ready to walk the red carpet…Hard to believe that this handsome couple were knee deep in blue frosting and wrapping paper just a few hours before this…

So, Dennis and I had a great time in Zionsville, IN.  I hope some of you will use this link to see what a great little village it is…They still have brick streets and little boutique shops, a lovely park, and tons of events going on …worth a visit for sure…!!

We will be seeing the Wolff family again because they are coming to our house for Easter weekend..We are hosting a  family BBQ the Saturday before Easter Sunday, and I sure hope the weather warms up by then, or we will be sitting by the campfire in our Winter coats…HEY!! MACGYVER AND I DID THAT MANY TIMES IN TEXAS THIS WINTER!!!!

“When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States.”                        ~ Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Well, “the party’s over”, so to speak.  We had a target date of March 28th to be home.  We left Clear Springs CG in Texarkana Wed, March 26th at 7AM and pulled into Lake Wappapello, MO about 2PM. To say it was cold is not entirely true…IT WAS DARN COLD AND DARN WINDY!!  We left there the next morning with the intentions of driving to Ramsey Lake in Central Illinois, but the wind was out of the South and pushing us Northward..Once through St. Louis we decided to go all the way to Sandwich..This turned out to be a really good idea because later that day some severe weather cropped up right where we had passed…We arrived home at 2PM..(South wind was a GOOD thing!)

When we pulled into the drive, Den pulled the GMC right up into a snow drift leading to the camper pad…This made it much easier to unload, being closer to our back door. I HATE unloading the camper..I have absolutely NO sense of humor doing it and every year I think we take more stuff we don’t need! We left the Hiker in the drive for 3 full days to allow the rest of that snow drift to melt and finally pulled the Hiker over to the camper pad early Sunday AM (after a heavy frost so the ground was more solid).

It is a bittersweet thing, this being home stuff. I missed some things for sure…I missed family, of course. I missed long hot showers, my dishwasher, garbage pickup, a real size oven, “room to roam” about the house.. and my Native American decor.  Also, our niece has had some MAJOR health issues that began in January. We heard about it, but she insisted we did NOT come home, that she was getting the treatments she needed and there wasn’t a thing we could do. In her exact words, “ I better not see your asses back here in Illinois till April 1st!”…So, .. Kiddo, we waited almost until April 1st, but here we are..And the most important thing I am really glad for is that we are back for her!!

We have a few new additions to our family toO.. Our nephew and his wife just got a new Chocolate Lab puppy…..

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This is Cadbury (like the chocolate candy) …and if you look close he has dog slobber on him. This is because he has an older brother…

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…obviously NOT a real brother, but another dog at the house.. This is Paddy, a Bull Mastiff…and he DOES slobber. Den says Paddy looks like he swallowed a tennis shoe most of the time…(You get the picture..laces hanging out of each side of his mouth  that drip!)

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Cadbury has LOTS of new friends..cats, dogs and horses at his new home.. Oh, and here is the best part of the story…They surprised our niece (his sister) with Cadbury’s sister…

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Meet Molly Angel..7 weeks old and already a model..She has a wonderful new home with our niece and her hubby. (they had to put their 12 year old Lab down this last February).

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Oh, Oh,….No, Dennis…Molly already has a home…..

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Their will be no dog loved more than by our niece and her hubby…couldn’t come at a better time!!

Also….Our son, Kelly, and his wife, Cindy, got TWO new dogs while we were gallivanting all over Texas this Winter.  You may remember that they had adopted a rescue dog last fall, a German Shepard  named Guinness.   Alas,  as it turned out, Guinness was not a dog to be around kids, and they had to return him. They decided to get 2 puppies the same age to raise together…


Here we have Finley, a Silky Terrier, on the left…and Murphy, a Weimaraner, on the right.  We haven’t met these 2 adorable coverdogs, but we hope to tomorrow,

As you can see, it has been a very Canine Crew kind of homecoming…We are finally getting everything settled in the house Terrie brought our 3 Heiser grandkids  here today for a visit.…This weekend Den and I are going to Zionsville, IN for our youngest grandchild, Maddox, 3rd birthday..Rest assured I will post pics of the birthday boy and his brother, Aiden.. We haven’t seen them since last November…WHEW! I am sure getting my kid/dog  fix this week!! LOVE IT!!

“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”   ~ Doris Day

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Drawing To An End….

  Well, our trip I never thought we would get to take this Winter is coming to an end this week.  Reflecting back on it, I would say it was one of the most anticipated trips ever, but had it’s bumps in the road.  Our first 2 weeks, we were very tempted to turn around and go back home…Nothing was going right and MacGyver and I were floundering around trying to re-learn how to use the Hiker.  I think that we were both suffering from some form of PTSD…Things were a bit stressful just before we left, and the big stressor for me was my health scare/thyroid problem.  Everything else paled in comparison when the heath issues popped up. I still have to revisit that one when we get home..more blood work, and addressing my high BP, which hasn’t come down on this trip. Oh well, “this too shall pass”.  When there are a few worries gumming up your mind, it can take some of the wind out of one’s “vacation sails”..

We will leave Clear Springs CG, Wright Patman lake in Texarkana A.K.A. “the Ark- La- Tex” this Wednesday as soon as the sun is up.  Our drive home to Sandwich, IL takes us up through Arkansas, into Missouri.  That night we will spend at Lake Wappapello in Army Corp campground called Redman Creek. Our next drive will go South of St. Louis and into Southern Illinois..(FYI, this Southern Illinois route is famous for having a “mixed precipitation” this time of year…). If we chose to , we could make it home by 5-6PM that night, but what the Heck is the rush? Soooo, we opt to stay at a place called Ramsey Lake State Park, in Ramsey IL.  From here we can leave about 8AM and be home after lunch on Friday…

We have enjoyed our last week here in Texas.  We  have a great campsite..

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This campground has many campsites. We are in the W & E only, but there are many sites they just redid and they are full hook-up.  This being March and Spring Break, we had a full campground this weekend and lots of families with boats, smokers, kids and dogs…The campfires started in the early AM and went all day.. There is nothing like a campfire first thing in the morning, and Den and I joined right in…That campground had a wonderful smell of wood fires, BBQ and grilling… What a combo!

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Left, you are looking at the full hook up area…and right is one of the big shelters that has a swimming beach and sand volleyball pit.

Last night was date night and we have been having trouble finding a Moose Lodge on our trip…but we knew there was one here in Texarkana, TX. (Texarkana city has an Arkansas side too..).  So  our last date night “on the road” was a cocktail at the Texarkana Moose Lodge. ( This link will be of interest for those who think we are drinking with large mammals…Hey, we ARE !)

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If Mr. Moose looks a little “hazy”, well it’s because, unlike Illinois, Texas still allows you to smoke in restaurants and bars. Now THERE is one, and ONLY ONE, thing we miss about Illinois!! Actually, we did miss a couple things that involved 2 of our Heiser grandkids…Taylor, age 15, was chosen for a part in the Kaneland High School Spring Musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone”…


Friday and Saturday night and a matinee today..WE ARE SOOO PROUD OF YOU, TAYLOR!!


And Peyton was a finalist in the Harter Middle School Science Fair, at Northern Illinois University..WOOT! WOOT! PEYTON!!!

Suddenly, heading home to Illinois seems much less painful now…It’s time to get back to “home and hearth”…and a family we have missed very much….!!! As I say to Dennis, “Ice down the cooler and get in the truck!”..See y’all back in Illinois!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

A little taste of N’Awlins’…a Loony blog

Having been here in Jefferson, TX about 5 times before, there is nothing that I already haven’t said to describe it…One of my all time “favs” to visit  in Texas! You would be better served if I just posted photos…so I will start with a collage…


I was very disappointed that some of the Spring flowers weren’t out yet…Must be the nasty cold Winter that made them stay in their “buds” a bit longer…

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We tried a new campsite this visit…and we LOVE it.  We have pretty much an unobstructed view of the lake here….which means we are  almost out on the point…Today I am paying for my braggadocio “cave”lier attitude..We have wind gusts to 45 mph…ROCK AND ROLL, BABY!

jefferson5Sometimes ya just gotta stay inside for cocktail hour and enjoy the view…(Yes, I did have my wine glass in one hand and camera in the other.)

Last night, we went back into town and decided to get some smoked brisket for carry-outs.  We stopped in at a place we had never tried…Joseph's Riverport Barbeque..and we were NOT disappointed..Here are a few pictures of the place…

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Left, MacGyver ordered at the counter…middle is a bin of peanuts for the taking…and right, well, that’s the menu over the counter…

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Yep, we be in Texas for sure!!!! Middle is the front of the place, and left is the “walk/drive up” window on the side street..Note the firewood stacked for their smoker…

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Today is Sunday and the campground was full this weekend.  Since the weather has “turned South” and lots of the peeps were here to fish, most have turned tail and ran…cowards..Whatever happen to fishing from the shore?? There are some neat birds here both water fowl and little perching birds…



There are lots of Loons here on this lake (which is why I fit right in…batta bing, batta boom!) These birds are great swimmers, but not so good on their feet when it comes to land (something else we have in common).  “Loons are well equipped for their submarine maneuvers to catch fish. Unlike most birds, loons have solid bones that make them less buoyant and better at diving. They can quickly blow air out of their lungs and flatten their feathers to expel air within their plumage, so they can dive quickly and swim fast underwater. Once below the surface, the loon’s heart slows down to conserve oxygen.”

Loons are like airplanes in that they need a runway for takeoff. In the case of loons, they need from 30 yards up to a quarter-mile (depending on the wind) for flapping their wings and running across the top of the water in order to gain enough speed for lift-off.

“Migrating Common Loons occasionally land on wet highways or parking lots, mistaking them for rivers and lakes. They become stranded without a considerable amount of open water for a long takeoff. A loon may also get stranded on a pond that is too small. The Common Loon is flightless for a few weeks after molting all of its wing feathers at the same time in midwinter. The oldest-known Common Loon lived at least 24 years, 1 month, spending its summers on a lake in Michigan.”..Probably more than you really wanted to know about Loons, but for some reason I have this special affinity for them :-)

101_5473Had us a bit of a “stand off” at the feeder…Turns out there IS a pecking order!