Cave Dwellings: Toads Should Be Forced To Wear Red Hats!
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Monday, April 26, 2010

Toads Should Be Forced To Wear Red Hats!

Today I got ambitious, got out the hoe, wheelbarrow, kneeling pad ,(no, not for praying, for gardening on my old knees), and started digging in the dirt.  I have to tell you, I have a phobia for toads….and toads seem to enjoy seeking me out when I am in the garden..”OK, here she comes.  Let’s hide behind these dead leaves in the dirt till she reaches in, and just sit here look ing as hideous as we can.” I must have scared up 4 toads today…OK, maybe it was the toads who scared me up 4 times. I think toads should be required to wear bright red fedoras, so I can spot them waaaaay ahead of time….No??…Oh well, I thought it was a GREAT idea.

100_6697 I told you that it seemed everything broke when we got home from our winter trip this year. Today was the final straw. We have a very old Seth Thomas mantel clock that was Den’s Great Grandpa Cave’s.  Den’s mom gave it to us when his Dad died, (after she had a clock repairman get it cleaned up and back in working condition. ) This was in 1974.  It has been ticking away on our fireplace mantel ever since.
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In the right hand photo you can see there are two places to wind it, and I wind them both every night before we go upstairs to bed. And you can see the patent date of July 30, 1878. Also,in the photo below left,  inside where the pendulum is, it says “Manufactured By Thomas Clocks”. Some of it has been worn away from years of hands reaching in to get those keys, including ours. I have this feeling I am channeling history when I reach in to get them.  In the right hand photo below, you can see the ST, initials for Seth Thomas. So, you see why I was devastated when this clock suddenly stopped.
I knew McGuyver was a wizard, but clocks were something he had never tackled. Never the less, he took the clock apart, took the works out of it, and, decided that maybe it needed cleaning, because the parts seemed to be sticky.. He then took some carburetor cleaner and sprayed in on the insides.  No, REALLY??…Yes, really. The clock is now back in one piece and ticking away on our mantel…
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McGuyver’s next project was our daugher-in-law’s slot machine, which, for some reason, wouldn’t take the coins. They are building a bar/family room in their basement and want to put the slot machine in it, but they want it to WORK!  Below is the coin feed part that Den removed from it today. He then proceeded to work on it in our kitchen for about an hour while I was gardening.100_6695 I know, it have no clue how this damn thing works either.  However,  Dennis figured it out. He “jury rigged” it , and thinks it should now work, and he is taking it back to their house to try it out.  Not to brag, but, the man in uncanny. He’s like a Houdini with fixing stuff…. I’m constantly amazed.
We had a busy Saturday and Sunday.  It was our son-in-law’s 40th birthday, and he and Terrie were going in to Chicago to tour Wrigley Field and meet some friends for dinner. We volunteered to watch their three kids  Saturday afternoon and overnight.  We drove about 25 miles to watch Peyton play soccer at the Kaneland High School.  Peyton is 9 years old and this is his second year playing..
We met his mom and dad there with Peyton’s little brother, Campbell.  Their older sister, Taylor, was at rehearsal for the musical “Annie” at the Presbyterian Church in Aurora.  We then took Campbell and Peyton with us and drove about 35 miles to attend a birthday party for our son’s step grandchild, Landon, who lives in Earlville, IL.  We arrived there about 12:30PM…( after sitting outside their apartment before we figured out where the back entrance was..DUH! ) We left there about 2PM and drove another 45 miles so we could pick Taylor up from rehearsal at 3PM, and bring her back to our house…Talk about a “round robin” drive about!!! What we all do for our grandkids, right??
  When we had all of our grandkids finally collected and on our turf, Papa lit a campfire and we tossed footballs, kicked soccer balls and just ran around. I tried to sneak in a little spinach dip and crackers (trying to be somewhat healthy with the spinach), but those darn kids saw the green stuff and acted like we were trying to poison them, soooo Den and I ate it!!
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We ended up with an extra overnight guest when Jessica, the little girl next door, ended up in the mix.  This is no problem, she is a great kid.  They all slept in the same bedroom upstairs, Taylor and Jess got the big bed and Peyton and Campbell crashed on the floor…This only works until someone hits puberty, and that is a ways off, thank God. Sunday morning I was the “line chef”, frying up sausage, bacon, pancakes and eggs for the hungry crew, and our home once again got quiet when Terrie and Tim collected their 3 munchkins, and Jessica walked home across the backyard.
  Well, I have yet again gone on way too long….Sorry….Lots of craziness at the Cave’s these past couple days….And I just couldn’t resist McGuyver’s latest escapades…. If you stuck with it until you got here…you’re a more focused individual than I am…THANKS FOR READING!!!


  1. Donna,

    I read the "clock cleaning" with interest, its a beautiful clock. My method for cleaning up old clocks is this - 1) soak "clock works" in Sudsy Ammonia for a few hours 2) place "clock works" on a cookie sheet and place in oven until done (dry) 3) oil "clock works" preferably with clock oil at all pivots or places where things are turning, Den will know this intuitively (oils like WD40 can be too abrasive), and then simply replace and you are done.

    That is a secret family recipe handed down from past generations and much cheaper than having a "real" clock repair guy do essentially the same thing.

  2. I will have to get with Denny about clock cleaning and spraying, glad I didn't use wd40 or silicone.
    Donna's Mom gave us clock like yours with the two keys, I think she called it a Station Clock. its good for about two weeks on each winding but I usually wind it once a week,It looks like you guys had your hands full with the Grandkids and guest, but those are memories you will always cherish, That is the one thing I will miss is when we go fulltime and Adam isn't living with us anymore. Actually this will occur when school gets out in May and he moves back with his Mother.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna

  3. A great article indeed and a very detailed, realistic and superb analysis, of these books, very nice write up, Thanks.