http://www.blogger.com/html?blogID=4316350785635987648 Cave Dwellings: January 2012

Everglades National Park, FL

Everglades National Park, FL
Loop Road

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A PERFECT 6-POINT LANDING…

  No, I do NOT mean the Hiker.. I mean myself falling off the last step of the Hiker…Here is the short version:

--We got set up at Goose Island in an unlevel site. Needed to pull it up on blocks on RV door side.

--McGyver puts 2 wood pieces after the last step to help me, (since I have really short legs)…but it’s still quite a step at to the ground. (bad omen)

-- I go to dump out some yukky dishwater last night after dark….forgetting the big step off…

--I do a great half gainer followed by a perfect 6 point landing..feet being the first to hit (painful, especially my bad foot), knees next(more pain) , and finally hands(no pain, just mud)…

--My “ensemble” was dripping  dishwater and mud, and after looking to see if anyone witnessed this maneuver, I pulled myself together and sat on said steps wondering if I  had broken both feet (it sure felt like it).

--Enter McGyver at the door, looking to see why I was taking so long outside.  “What the Hell happened?”

Well, Dennis helped me inside.  I could walk , and McGyver held on.  I figured if I HAD  broken anything, walking wouldn’t have been possible.  I assessed the pain in both feet, took 3 Ibuprofen, and went to my recliner.  I’m really good at hobbling around after my foot surgery last Spring, so I fell right back to it very easily.  This morning,after doing my “old lady” walk out of the bedroom, I put my good “walking shoes” on (yeah, right….)..and when McGyver went for his 2 mile walk, I jumped on hobbled over to my bike , knowing darn well from past experience, the walking will have to wait a while.

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OUR LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN AMONGST THE LIVE OAKS….

I got some really neat photos on my bike ride this AM….

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Deer…(see, that wasn’t hard)…                            ….Great Egret???? ( I am thinking)…  

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….Great Blue Heron??                           Snowy Egret???? (now, I am faking it)

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Northern Pintail???….. (I cheated, McGyver told me)           Got this one…two….ducks??

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A Mystery bird…Looks like Father Time to me..(having a bad hair day!)

He was far away on some wooded snarl…..just watching me.

 

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This bird was very big..and there were lots of them early this AM…After diving back into the Bird Book, I’m saying this is a Black Crowned Night Heron..and if he isn’t, he is probably wishing he was…Hey, I just NOW got my Jr.Bird Nerd badge!!!

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According to this sign on the above boardwalk, the Goose Island marsh restoration has now attracted one pair of the rare Whooping Cranes..They weren’t here 3 years ago when we were last here, but did hang out South of here at Aransass Pass.. Since  they have really been enlarging the wetlands and marshes here at the park they have a pair now …and…..Now that I know there are a couple of Whoopers that just moved into the area, I will make it my mission to meet them, and take them over some dead fish brownies.

I want to welcome old/new  followers, Barb and Jim Otto.  Barb has been following our blog since the beginning , 3 years ago..but she didn’t know how to actually “FOLLOW” officially until now…Barb and Jim are some of our best friends back in Sandwich, and Barb is the one who takes care of our mail…OK…those of you already “in the GMC”, don’t go saying we are playing favorites if we let Barb and Jim sit by the window next time..and  Kenny and Angela, ya gotta move your beer over..Jim wants to bring his beer along too!!

WOW, that was lots of photos for my first blog here…Sorry to those who are not into birdsSleepy smileGET OVER ITSmile with tongue out!!

I HAVE NOW DECIDED THAT I AM A PIRATE……

“Pirates do not cry, except in the case of the loss of a shipload of rum.”   ~ a Pirate

Sunday, January 29, 2012

RECALLING AN ILLINOIS BLIZZARD.

In 1967, Northern IL had one of the worst blizzards on record…Good friends of ours, Kathie and Jim Potter of Sheridan, IL., recall their ordeal the day of the “Blizzard of ‘67”…as recounted by the local news.. Jim graduated HS with Dennis…This is how local family and farmers pulled together to get Kathie to the hospital that day!! I thought I would share it with you…

“The worst blizzard to hit the La Salle County area occurred Jan. 26 and 27, 1967, when the region was blanketed with a record-setting 23 inches of snow.
Rural Sheridan resident Kathie Potter has a different reason for remembering that snowstorm — she gave birth in the middle of it.
"It was quite exciting. We always laugh over it," Potter recalled Tuesday as another blizzard whipped the Midwest.
At the time of the 1967 snowstorm, Potter and her husband, Jim, were living on a farm, with the nearest hospital in Sandwich. The blizzard was apparently too much for the township plow, which broke down, leaving five miles of snow-choked road between the farm and the hospital when the expectant mother went into labor early Friday, Jan. 27.
To get to the delivery room, a convoy was formed, with Kathie's brother-in-law Norm Potter in one tractor, Wayne Knight in another and Albert Stallings in a third, followed by Kathie and her husband in their car. The five-mile journey took five hours.
"It was strange too. It was in the 60s the day before, and beautiful," Kathie remembered. Records show the temperature reached 67 degrees two days before the blizzard.
During the trek to the hospital, Kathie said she and her husband kept wondering, "We don't want to deliver in the car. Should we stop at this house or keep going?"
They continued going, eventually pulling into the hospital's parking lot. However, there was no doctor present, so Norm Potter took his tractor to fetch Dr. William Kenshol. But nature did not wait and within five minutes a 7-pound, 7-ounce girl was born. The Potters named her Dawn. Nurse Irene Wasson handled the birth in lieu of the doctor. Dawn is now Dawn Lambert and lives next door to her parents.
Kathie recalled with a chuckle that if the baby had been a boy, the name would have been far different in honor of the men who helped get her to the hospital: Norman Wayne Albert.”

That’s how the rural communities did it back in the day…

We will be out of communication while traveling tomorrow to Goose Island State Park….Talk to y’all sometime Tuesday..Pray for us..Carlton the GPS is taking us through Corpus Christi….just great.

THE STICKS AND BRICKS OF THE CAVES….

A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Walking With My Foot In My Mouth….It Ain’t Easy.

  This morning McGyver and I went up to the Rec Hall because we were running out of clean clothes. I put on my stunning “Lighthouse fleece jacket” as it was only 55 degrees this morning.. Den helped me carry the duffel bag and basket of our laundry in, then he took off for his walk.  I put the $9 in the little box on the wall,  proceeded to fill the two washers and get the laundry show on the road.  Then, I struck off in another direction to walk on my own, knowing I had a full 30 minute wash cycle to get back...I guess I should never be allowed to strike out on my own.

  Just zooming along, minding my own business, I noticed I was coming upon a couple walking their dog off to the side of the road.  As I did my Jackie Joiner pass (huffing and puffing), the lady said, “I love your jacket”..and I turned and said “Garage Sale”..She laughed, and her hubby said “My garage sales are all tools”..to which I responded over my shoulder, “I call those Man Sales”…Keep in mind I had passed them, and this conversation was being shouted at this point…His response to me was, “That was a pretty sexist remark, are you one of those “Feminists”?  Do I really need this abuse?..He didn’t leave it at that.  He was shouting again, “I tried to open a door for one of you once  and almost got my head taken off!”..NO..REALLY?? ONE OF US?? Thankfully, I was almost out of screaming range..almost…I couldn’t resist  shouting back over my shoulder, “You could hold the door for me ANYTIME!!”  and I threw my arms up in the air in exasperation and began power walking …and talking to myself…Now, I ask you..Did I provoke that exchange?? OK, maybe a Man Sale wasn’t a good choice of words…Maybe I should have said a “Man-Stuff Sale”..and maybe my last words should have been “EAT MY DUST!”Nyah-Nyah

1-26-2012

A FEW PICTURES FROM OUR DRIVE ON RT. 83 TO RIO GRANDE CITY FOR GROCERIES…

 

Remember my stove light that McGyver installed so I could see what kind of “mystery meat” I was cooking??

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…Well, it looked like a airport runway landing light, not to mention it lit up the whole inside of our camper ..and was exactly at my eye level.  This was blinding me and causing me to overcook food and make meals that were terrible.. (Hey, shut up. ..that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!) Well….McGyver..being McGyver.. made me a great invention to shield my eyes AND to direct the light DOWN  upon my cooking area…You’re gonna love this!!!

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…Oh, the things you can do with an empty Busch Lite 30 pack box….I was wondering what he was so intently working on at our picnic table…No, this is NOT permanent…THIS, dear friends, is what McGyver calls a “prototype”..When we get home, McGyver will put his sheet metal skills to use and make me one just like this one…only prettier…and sturdier…and painted black…Don’t worry, this one doesn’t’ “catch fire”, it’s too far away from any flame..McGuyver is WAS a Fireman, after all !!  I’ll bet NONE of you have a light like this at home or in your camper..they are a  “one of a kind”..I think we should patent it…LADIES, EAT  YOUR HEART OUT!!

 

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I know there are a gazillion animal lovers out there…Well, Dennis and I discovered a fabulous new TV show called Blue Collar Dogs, on the National Geographic Wild channel…It showed how they train rescue dogs, police dogs, drug sniffing dogs…fabulous, fabulous show..Click the link to find out the channel and times in your area..you won’t regret it…

Before I forget it, we have a new brave follower.  I want to welcome DarnJoe to the land of the Cave Dwellers..Jump up into the GMC, DarnJoe..Don’t let all those crazy people in the back seat intimidate you…I didn’t see a blog site for ya, DarnJoe,…so come along with us…Can I  just say that you and I have something in common?..Your name is DarnJoe..and very frequently mine is DammitDonna.I don't know smile

             “One way to prevent conversation from being boring is to say the wrong thing.”  

                                                                                           ~ Frank Sheed                 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A “Gnatsty” Morning Walk For Treasure..

  Our weather finally dawned with the hope of sunshine, not fog…

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I took this from our Hiker door..Yep, that looks like ‘Ol Sol just beginning to peek above the cloudbank to the East…Yea!!!

 

 

At one point in time, when we had our Cougar, Dennis was heavy into “geocaching”…A.K.A. finding useless containers of useless stuff left by other people who have caught the “geocache bug”…But, first ya gotta get on the computer and find out exactly WHERE these useless prizes are stashed according to the global co-ordinates…We headed out this AM, McGyver clutching the hand held GPS tightly..(this poor hand held GPS thought we had given it up for our Tom Tom in the GMC…(well, we kinda did forget about this little bugger.) 

Our first “cache” was hidden in a big mixed nut container (did they know us?)hidden under the ramp to the bird blind…(explanation of bird blind to you home gamers..It is a place where you can stealthily hide behind camouflage netting to watch the birds and they won’t see you…yet another stupid humanoid trick that the birds have figured out..)

We still had one more“cache” to find and that took us on one of the trails around the perimeter of the campground…and that’s where we were suddenly accompanied by swarms of “Gnatsty” Gnats..in the eyes, ears,nose and stuck between our teeth…irritating little #@*#@#@!’s…  The only thing to make it worse is finding out that they are fattening.

101_1567  We were only yards away, according to Mr. Hand Held , who, by the way, does NOT talk…He’s very vain..you have to LOOK at him to see where the H--- you are!.. McGyver was not to be thwarted by insects the size of an a pinhead,  so he dove into the underbrush to come up with….

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HOLY JAIL TIME, BATMAN!  IT’S A TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE AMMO BOX!!  ARE WE IN TROUBLE??

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McGyver opened it up and it contained your typical geocache treasure… a zip lock bag with the usual pen, paper, and little dumb prizes like you get from those gumball machines at the Laundromat…Dennis signed our names, (cause that’s what ya do when finding a geocache), and returned it to it’s hiding place.  All the while , I watched from the trail, expecting to hear Border Patrol helicopters hovering over us at any minute…

So much for our geocaching adventure….But, rest assured we will do this again at Goose Island..(bet you can hardly wait..) I may consider calling our son-in-law, Detective Heiser Glenview IL PD to get a bail bondsman card..hmmmDisappointed smile

Apparently we hadn’t eaten enough gnats for the day, so we took a bike ride that same afternoon.  I let McGyver lead, and he led us down a very bumpy, sandy road to the edge of Falcon Lake..Guess who has the dirt bike?? It ain’t me!!

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Hey!!! WAIT UP!!! Sheesh, you would think he’s trying to ditch me or something….I have no idea why..After all, I am my usual stunning vision of loveliness while riding my bike…

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Ahhhhhhh, the wonderful wind…Suddenly my hair was all on one side of my head..making me look like Don King in drag…

 

(and I wonder why McGyver always wants to lead, and does it waaaay out front!)

 

 

The flowers are beginning to pop out, here at Falcon Lake…I know that they won’t be in full “Hay Fever” mode until the middle of February, and we will be gone..So, I will post some photos we took February of ‘09 . This is what it will look like ..Don’t get too close to the computer screen if you have allergies..

Hard to believe all this beauty from some prickly brush along the road. (It really is beautiful in person)..AAAAACHOOOOO!!

OK, I’ve succeeded in blabbering my way to the bottom of this blog , which has turned out to be about pretty much nothing…Oh…I forgot…I did get a very pretty sunset photo last night..

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TOOK THIS OUTSIDE OF THE HIKER , DRINK IN HAND, ENSEMBLE ON..GETTING LOTS OF “LOOKS”..Punk

 

“Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.”  ~ Maxine

Monday, January 23, 2012

In A Fog…Not Unusual For Me

Confused smile

This morning we awoke to a gray, damp and dreary day with fog turning into light “facial spa” mist.  McGyver got the spa benefits while taking visits to “the dump”, when it really should have been ME getting the facial! We have had a few foggy mornings here at Falcon lately.  The other day, while “feeling our way” on our walk, we suddenly heard the howl of one lone Coyote somewhere ahead of us near the roadside…oooooh boy.  It is unusual to hear just one of these soulful cries.  If one begins the serenade, others usually join in..but no one was singing with this dude..and I wasn’t about to try my skills at Coyote calling…We kept hearing him in the fog, and we were getting closer.  Now, as McGyver was forging ahead, I was falling purposefully behind, and really getting nervous.  I thought maybe he was injured…or rabid…or a serial killer…The Stephen King movie Cujo was doing flashbacks in my brain.

Suddenly, barely discernable in the fog, we spotted him loping across the road ahead of us, stopping right in the middle to look leeringly at these two tasty looking humanoids coming at him…QUICK!..CAMERA…ON…ZOOM…FOCUS…..WAIT! WHERE’D HE GO?? CRAP!!! He was totally onto me ,trying to catch a close up, and my camera lens couldn’t keep up with his ghostlike figure slinking off into the underbrush…I’m a little slow on the trigger finger, thus…no Coyote photos..I repeat, CRAP!

The birds here, (get ready to take a nap, bird- weary followers), are still very entertaining..but then, Dennis and I are easily entertained..

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This is a Yellow Rumped Warbler (no,I did NOT make that up)..Right is an American Goldfinch..(at least I THINK that’s what they areRolling on the floor laughing.   Of course, we still have the cast of “usual suspects”….easily identifiable to a “Jr. Bird Nerd”..(love that title!..Thanks, Judy!).

 

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1-23-2012

…And while we are on the topic of birds, I must confess my ignorance in the fine art of Bird Feeding.  After getting the feeling that Judy was disapproving of my marshmallow frenzy, I Googled it to see if I was amiss in my choice of bird treats…DARN RIGHT I WAS!!..Correcto Mundo, my bird blogger friend…and here is the Wikipedia  PROOF  AND TRUTH..AND I CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH!! I can also hear my mother saying “Just because everyone else is doing it, does NOT  make it right!”…no truer words..So, now I’m trying to find a troop of Cub Scouts and add my bag of marshmallows to their ingredients for S’mores… Angel

I will now quickly segue into the ever blossoming shrubs and brush around us…More and more every day!!

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Don’t ask me to identify the flowers, I already flunked “birds”..Thinking smile

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……I think this is NOT a butterfly, but a moth of some kind…Think I’ll just call him “Orange Eater”..see how I roll?  It’s no wonder my Biology teacher wanted me out of his class…He passed me just for his own mental health.Confused smile

We really don’t like to make definite plans, but when in Texas during February and March, it is wise to have some firm reservations set up..and by that, I DON’T mean Wal Mart parking lots.  So, we got online to the Texas State Park reservation system (which can be a challenge in itself) and made reservations for 2 weeks at Goose Island State Park, in Fulton…and then 2 weeks at Goliad State Park, in Goliad.  From there we will jump back into the Army Corps parks so we can actually get a perk for being old and crabby..HALF PRICE CAMPING!….This means 2 weeks at Lake Georgetown, in Georgetown (duh), and then 2 weeks at Lake O’ The Pines at Jefferson, TX….OH YEAH…LOVE THIS ITINERARY.  We have stayed at all of these parks and they are definitely on our list of Texas Favorites.

Well, McGyver and I are enjoying our last full week here…We do our daily exercise,  …..

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…take our daily bike rides…..                                    ..and have our daily “Happy Hour”…

Oops…I don’t wanta forget to welcome a new rider to the GMC.  Michael Kane has decided to give up his extensive movie career and come with all of us  to take a break from fame..…OH OH…OOPS AGAIN!.. I guess that was Michael “C”-aine…Sorry, Michael with a “K”, and NO “I” …Just jump into the back seat,  kick the candy wrappers aside, and explain to the crew already there why you are NOT signing autographs…Embarrassed smile

“Early each day to the steps of St. Paul's, the little old bird woman comes... In her own special way to the people she calls, come buy my bags full of crumbs. Come feed the little birds, show them you care, and you'll be glad if you do. Their young ones are hungry, their nests are so bare; all it takes is tuppence from you. Feed the birds, tuppence a bag. Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag...”  ~Mary Poppins