Cave Dwellings: June 2010
Cave Dwellings

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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blogging…..By the Seat of My Pants….

I am ferclempt (not sure what that means, but I am that) …I am forlorn…I am panicking…and I am pissed off!! My camera (my very best buddy after Dennis) has decided to shut down until we provide it with a new battery…THE NERVE!!!! I feel like my friend just shut me down….However, I can do this..I know I can..a blog with ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH  photos…AL , talk me off the ledge!!!

  Ok, ok, I think I have a handle on this problem…Adjust and overcome..Take deep breaths and just let your fingers do the talking..

  Hmmmmm……OK..yesterday we did lots of work in the yard…That was something that was really in need!  I reluctantly did this, considering the fact that I had to go waaay out in the back of our yard to pull some of the weeds, and the trains blowing the crap out of their horns as they were almost bearing down on me out there...(I long for the quiet of a good campsite)..I donned one of my more risquee’ outfits ( for backyard viewing only) for my “tiptoe through the thistles” ..Geez…How the Hell did the Ark people clean up all of the weeds after 40 days and 40 nights of rain???

After about 3 hours of kneeling on my kidney shaped foam knee pad ( you ladies know the ones), I foolishly decided to get out the dreaded electric hedge trimmers.  Our bushes by the back deck were beginning to resemble one HUGE hedge, imagine a unibrow with branches.  Dennis hates when I use those hedge trimmers. He would like to have the paramedics on speed dial when I begin to wield those babies.  He is afraid I will lop off one of my digits,or the extention cord,or the hose,…… or worse yet, one of the Hughesnet cables (just because I knicked on ONCE) …Oh ye of little faith!!

  Tuesday morning I made a list of “to do’s” for McGuyver.  It was a one item list …ORDER ME A NEW CAMERA BATTERY!  I have to admit, I am an Ansel Adams“wantabe”, and I miss my camera.  I also miss hiding behind trees and bushes, sneaking around birdbaths scaring the birds, creeping up behind the garage amongst the asparagus...all the fun , stealthy things I do to get a decent photo. It makes me feel like James Bond in a tube top.  Den found a battery on Ebay and ordered it.  My luck it probably won’t be here in time for our July 4th Parade on Saturday morning.  The parade route goes right around the corner by our house.  A good old fashioned small town parade would be a real boon for a blogger..IF I have a camera!

  Here are a couple pictures from my archives…Admit it…you knew I couldn’t complete my blog without a picture or two…



These were all taken at Falcon Lake State Park, North of Roma TX…a birder’s paradise….

Well, I have given it my all. I am drained and strained from trying to come up with witty things and no pictures so that you can better understand my rantings.  To make things even worse, my Wren pair have moved OUT of their little love nest.  Maybe it was too close to the feeders, maybe we gave them no privacy for “together time”…or….maybe it was the fact that McSquirrel used their birdhouse to jump onto and catapult from it onto our feeder. Yep, I’ll bet that was it…ya think?????

  More Thursday….maybe I can draw stick people and upload them in lieu of photos…

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Turning “Blahs” into Blogs…Not Easy

  The usual random thunderstorms blew through again.  Dennis decided to see if he could outrun the rain on the John Deere…Dennis won.  We have a competition mowing event with our neighbors..when one neighbor “breaks the seal” and mows the others try to keep up…


On the right is our East side neighbor’s yard.. they have a trillion roses!

It was a very hot and steamy Saturday.  About 5PM we showered and tried to get gussied up for date night.  I say “tried” because pulling on clean clothes over a clammy body was almost laughable.  Within minutes of stepping out of the shower, we were still dripping.. We finally decided to pull a fan over and we dressed in front of the fan.  It was a tad difficult for both of us to be “in the airflow”… therefore, it worked fine until you got away from the fan and became a limp, sweaty lump of flesh yet again.  As I have said before, we have no A/C.  Yes, I know …we are always about 3 steps off of the norm ,and way behind the times in lots of things..This seems to be our nature.  I really don’t mind being without air conditioning until I try to “fox up” after a shower.  My make-up job quickly begins to melt, and I resemble the Joker from Batman within minutes….



Sometime in July, our little town is going to have some excitement ..well, it will seem exciting to US!  The Catholic Church in the photo below is being moved…. lock, stock and pews, to a location on the North side of Sandwich, about 3/4 of a mile away.


  Dennis is very “torqued” for this occasion.  He used to help Lyle Hyatt & Co.  , the house mover in town, who has the job of hauling this heavenly building up the road.  Rest assured that Den and I will be “front and center” to watch.

I think Den secretly misses helping these guys.  He got involved in “house moving” about 10 years ago.  Everett Hyatt, who lives in Sandwich and is a family friend, asked Den if he wanted to help out every once in a while. I was not really fond of the idea of a 58 year old guy crawling around on his hands and knees under a moving house, but, not being one to rain on “McGuyver’s” parade, I smiled and said,”Have at it, Hon”.  Secretly, I tried not to visualize where he was and what he was doing when he helped, but I KNEW it had to be somewhat perilous. Now a days, Everett has his son basically doing the grunt stuff along with other able bodied men.  If you click on the link I put in for their house moving company, you will find an article about Hyatts moving a 2,000 sq. ft.,  3 story historic home in Aurora, IL.  I took this article from the newspaper..very interesting. Alas, it seems that moving an actual house is really a “younger” man’s job.  I will post photos when we have house “lift off”..(no, really?) 

  Well,  I just proofread this blog and it seems that reading this blog is about as interesting as cleaning a toilet.  Ya gotta hold your nose and just do it, if you get my drift.  Nevertheless, I will not give up trying to make blogs out of blahs….I’ll see what I can come up with Tuesday…

Friday, June 25, 2010

Time With The Heiser Grandkids

  Here are some shots of Wednesday night’s storm.  I was “right on” when I thought it would hit just about cocktail hour…I never did get to the basement though…I was too busy playing Steven Spielberg…I have a feeling he has never balanced a camera in one hand, Rum and Coke in the other…On second thought, I’ll just bet he has!

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…This big tree really need to be topped. We are always afraid it will be lying on top the Hiker after a big wind…We lucked out again last night and the Hiker survived another big storm..It is the neighbor’s tree…need I say more?

  Once the big blow was over, the sunset played innocently amongst the clouds…

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…That last one was taken just as the sun actually set.  Unlike being in Arizona, where the horizon is always visible, we are tucked in between lots of big old homes.  This explains the lame photos…We certainly wouldn’t want to blame the photographer, now would we??

Our computer Satellite AND our TV Satellite both shot craps when the storm went through, so all we had left to track the Apocalypse was our Noah Weather Radio and the Police Scanner..Why ,oh why did I forget to bring the weather radio downstairs???? Note to self…they call it a weather radio so you can stay updated about severe watches and warnings of incoming hail, wind, lightening, thunder and downpours…DUH!!

Yesterday I went to Sugar Grove to watch my middle daughter’s 3 rugrats while she went with a friend for a Doctor’s appointment.  They are great kids, and the oldest, Taylor age 11 1/2, is actually good at holding down the fort when her mom and dad are gone.  But because Taylor is watching her brothers tonight, Terrie thought it may not be fair to ask Taylor to watch them 2 days in a row..Enter Grandma, stage right.




  I managed to finagle a piano solo from Taylor and a guitar rendition from Peyton…

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  Maybe we could have another Partridge Family here, right??

  Our weather is much better today , but I, for one, am not letting down my guard…I heard the weather forcast…I am no fool…”possible severe storms Saturday and Sunday”..say what???? This is becoming very tiring indeed.

  The Heisers have an above the ground pool just off their patio…It looked very enticing, but not enough for Grandma to don a swimsuit and risk nauseating her own grandkids.  It could scar them for life…plus run the risk of the neighbors complaining to the police..I am a dead ringer for Maxine, the comic character..I have her body, her drinking habit and her attitude…and I am proud of it!!


  Tomorrow is Saturday and my Ya Ya ‘s are coming for coffee…AND it is date night, too!  This means I have to actually wear real clothing, such as jeans that fit and a top that doesnt’ have a saying on the front. No striped socks or sweat aloud on date night…Hey, maybe I could really shock Dennis and wear a skirt….hmmm…..maybe not.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Texas State Railroad..Train Lover’s Dream

  I am digging back into our archives for photos of the steam train we saw at what used to be the Texas State Park at Rusk, TX.  Anyone who has a train fetish would go crazy here.  I don’t think the actual park is a state park anymore, but it was when we were there in December 2006.  It is part of the The Texas State Railroad now, but still offers RV and tent camping at both depot sites, Palestine and Rusk, Texas..

  We were there before Christmas and they had the steam train all decked out, greenery, ribbons and reindeer antlers!!  Here is Santa standing in front of the train…Oops, sorry…This guy has only a beard. Maybe he’s an elf…



  She was a beauty, that old steam train.  She travels between Rusk and Palestine, Texas.  Check the link for current schedules and special events because it has been 4 years since we were there and I am sure things have changed.

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  The day we were at Palestine, they had a luncheon train you could ride on.  Most of the people were dressed in period costume…

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..Here I am on the right at the Rusk Depot…We camped here for a few days.



These pictures were taken at the Palestine Depot, about 30 miles from Rusk.

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As you can see, Den and I were NOT in period attire ( Oh my God, my hair was non-existent!! I don’t think women wore their hair that short back then)…We had no idea what to expect when we drove from Rusk to Palestine to check it out.  We didn’t ride the steam train that day, you needed a prior reservation…if we get back there we definitely WILL!! We soooo enjoyed just hanging out with the warm and fuzzy feeling of Christmas and history in the air all at once.

Den and I were very impressed with this place ,and the wonderful “days gone by” it represented…They also had some diesel engine trains running that day.  I highly recommend the camping also.  We stayed at Rusk, but they have camping available at both depots. The depots had a great gift shop full of train memorabilia…( OK, SAM ,wipe the drool off your face!)

  Above are photos of our campsite at Rusk…If you click on the picture on the right, you may notice that the train tracks ran right through the park..(look closely on the mid right side of the photo..)

I hope at least some of you RV’ers ,( and also those who aren’t), get to see this place…especially if you love trains and train history.  There are hotels to stay at too, but we pull our hotel behind us.

At our house, we have a  deep backyard that runs right up to the tracks… Just for the record, I would much prefer to hear the great whistle of an old steam train chugging along behind my house than the present scream of AMTRA.  Well, it ‘s Wednesday afternoon and we are under a tornado watch YET AGAIN!! I got so tired of taking down my umbrella over our patio table, I finally just left it in the garage for the last 2 days.  And after riding through the movie “Wizard of Oz” on the way back from Indy Monday, I have no desire to see any more black ominous clouds!!  However, I think I WILL take my stash of Rum to the basement , just in case I end up down there about cocktail hour!! Thanks for reading!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ominous Skies On the Way Home ……

  Just a very short blog about our weather on the way home from Indianapolis this morning…We left Indy about 8AM.  Just about 20 miles South of Remington the Western skies got very stormy, which makes for some pretty neat photo ops! Now all I need is Al’s expertise…and his damn camera!!

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….When did we sign on for “Storm Chasers?”..Glad the Hiker wasn’t hook on!


…Thought we got far enough North to escape the bad weather….but this is what we saw dead ahead… You know that saying,”just bend over and kiss your ____ goodbye”?…I was assuming the position in the front seat of our truck..not pretty.

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   We were feeling a little like Don Quixote….in a storm…. Wasn’t he loony tunes?? My pucker factor was 8.9 on the Richter…and I was now SURE we were loony to head into this puppy…

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OK, now we are NOT having fun…people were stopped under overpasses and driving with flashers on (I meant TRYING to drive)…We edged up I-65 in driving rain and wind for at least 45 minutes…I had to peel my fingers from the “sissy bar” over my door when we finally stopped at a rest area..


…. We finally jumped off Rt80/94 and back on the rural Illinois roads and the skies still looked like choppy waves over the knee high cornfields…

WHEW!! We made it home about 11:45…Den thinks he’s gonna mow grass….Should I tell him about the radar coming across the Mississippi River???


Kudos and hats off to all of you storm chasers out there….I would need a change of clothing for every funnel cloud…

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mimi In Grouchland…Please..NO MORE ELMO!!!

  Friday night here in Indy we had a storm…ALL night long!  When Den went outside Saturday morning, the toneau cover over our truck bed looked like LAKE TONEAU!!  (Is that how  you spell that?? I used to think it was “Tonto” cover, as in The Lone Ranger!)   The weight of the water even bent the metal bows downward.  Den started the truck,  backed it up , then stopped really quick…There was a small sunami of water that slopped up and out between the bed and cab.  And by the looks of the weather channel, our yard back home in Illinois will be tall enough to be classified as a tropical rain forest.

Our days with Aiden are numbered now…We have had a great time inside and out (and being TURNED inside out) with him. 

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He is quite a character…I already notice a few “McGuyver-isms” beginning to surface…He loves to pound his plastic nails into his plastic table with his plastic hammer..(Thank God it all IS plastic)…


We discovered that Chris and John’s dog, Sara, enjoys a “backyard” salad for breakfast.  I haven’t decided if I should tell Chris how fond Sara has grown of her new plants that she just put in their backyard…..and Sara enjoys the salad without dressing, so it seems.


  She also finds them very comfortable to lie in while snacking on them……

Chris called Saturday morning and said the wedding in Cabo was beautiful…how could it NOT be???  The wedding was on the beach, of course.  Actually, Chris and John were married on the beach at Long Boat Key, Florida in August of 2005.  They spent their honeymoon at Key West, accompanied by Hurricane Katrina…

  In the last 5 days we have watched an Elmo Festival of DVD’s.  I have watched Elmo in Petland, Playland, Pottyland, Happyland and Grouchland…(and I now understand why Oscar the Grouch is soooo grouchy!  I have only lived on Sesame Street for 5 days, and I am becoming a touch grouch too!)


We have also become experts at Legos,  Mr. Potato Head,  and remembering to keep the ice maker/water dispenser on their refrigerator door LOCKED!.  Proficiency in pacifier reconnaissance,  Diaper Genie emptying, and “under the couch” ball retrieving have become second nature to Mimi and Papa.  But if I never hear the song “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” again, it will be toooooo soon.  Personally, I don’t find spiders cute in the slightest,  even if they ARE itsy bitsy!


  So now it is Sunday, and our replacements will stroll through the backdoor about 2AM tomorrow morning.  At that time we can hand off the Desitin, baby monitor, baby wipes, and liquid Tylenol to THEM.  Tomorrow morning we will wave bye bye, blow kisses and, yes, shed LOTS of tears….Then we will jump in the GMC, point the GPS North and listen to peaceful, uninterrupted radio, without the throngs of “Sunny Day,  Keepin' the Clouds Away…On Our Way To Where The Air Is Sweet…  Can You Tell Me How To Get…How To Get To Sesame Street?”…OH YES, I DEFINITELY CAN!!!!