Cave Dwellings: August 2010
Cave Dwellings

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

Monday, August 30, 2010


  Yesterday Uncle Jr., Aunt Jeanette and Aunt Neenie met at our house for a cocktail before the party.   Left to right, age 91, 87, and 95….God, I love these people!!!


We loaded up the 110 deviled eggs and 7 lbs of spaghetti salad, got the elder family members settled into their Caddy, and Den and I drove them out to Lake Holiday for Kelly’s 40th Birthday Party.   We knew they would never find Kel and Cin’s  house, and Uncle Jr. isn’t suppose to drive after dark…(Den drove all 3 back to our house before the sun set and they drove themselves back to Montgomery safe and sound…WHEW! )

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Kelly enjoyed all of his friends and family..Left, my brother and our youngest daughter (I think these two look similar)…Center, Kelly and wife, Cindy…Right, Kel greeting Jack, the one who got Kelly interested in EMS.


Cindy had a surprise planned…We all sang Happy Birthday to him, and just as we finished…..



The Bagpipes showed up and EVERYONE was surprised…especially Kelly.  They were married in Ireland, so this was very special…Below are some photos from Ireland….They LOVE it there, and have made at least 3 trips.



…After Kelly recovered from the great bagpipe serenade, He sat down to open his gifts….


..This drawing he is holding was drawn by HIM, when he was in kindergarten…I think he was destined to be a firefighter…This little drawing was a sign of “things yet to be”. I found it amongst old stuff in our basemen, framed it and wrapped it up for him.  I remember when Kelly was little, and the Sandwich FD was called to our hospital when someone was being transferred by helicopter…There were no landing lights, so the fire trucks would go up and shine their headlights on the landing pad…Kelly got to go with his Dad a few times, and I think it really impressed him.  After his stint in the Navy , and the Persian Gulf War, he came home and became an EMT in Sandwich…He then became and EMTI, which means he could give meds…then he became a paramedic with the Oswego Fire Dept.  Now he is a Lieutenant …Like I said..destiny.


He got some really neat stuff… a set of Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champion shot glasses for their new bar …..

And on the right he is holding a beer keg tapper that has the Chicago Bears logo and says “Cave’s Pub”.



Kelly, Cindy, sister Vivian, Chris, John and Aiden were all here for some of my breakfast casserole this morning.  The Wolffs were on the road back to Indy by 10:30AM, but this time had an extra passenger.  Elmo wouldn’t let Aiden leave without him, so John made sure Elmo was strapped into the seat next to Aiden, and away they went.  They lose an hour going back to Indy.  They have their house on the market, looking for a little bigger one, and they had a house showing this afternoon.

After everyone left our house, and it got strangely quiet again, it hit me how unbelievably fortunate we are in this crazy, goofy, fun, jazzed- up family.  Yesterday, we were lucky enough to have some of our “elders” with us, some of the “almost elders” (that would be OUR vintage), OUR kids, THEIR kids…right down to the little ones…This was kind of like a “burgoo” stew of Cave Dwellers….all gettin' down and partyin’ like there was no tomorrow….Now that’s enough to put one’s life in perspective, eh?

Since there were a goodly amount of the family present, we HAD to get a photo…These past few days seemed to be one endless photo shoot!!!100_7853



Thanks for coming to Kelly’s party with us. We hope you had a good time….WE HAD A BLAST!!!

(My baby boy CANNOT be 40 years old!!???)

Saturday, August 28, 2010


  Last night The Wolff family arrived about 8:30PM…Kelly and Cindy were already here, sitting around the campfire with us.  After hugs all the way around, Chris took Aiden upstairs, rocked him for a few minutes and lay him down in his crib…He was out like a light.  It’s about a 4 hour drive from Indianapolis to Sandwich normally, but allowing for food stops….and a few diaper changes, it takes them about 4 1/2.  We all sat around the campfire and finally got to bed about 11PM..I vaguely remember being “over served”…


This morning our living room looks like a full-time day care center, complete with a sizable Elmo, some Legos and  the good ‘ol Lincoln Logs.

It is extremely hard to get all 3 of our kids together in one location.   Kelly works some strange hours, and Chris is  on call at the hospital some weekends, plus she lives 4 hours from us    I needed them ALL to be here today…and it had to be HERE! This is what I had cooked up;  When we purchased our home in 1975, we got our mortgage from The Sandwich State Bank.  For some reason, they picked our family to be photographed on our front porch steps and then put the photo in the Sandwich Newspaper to advertise their bank…. Here is the ad..(I saved that newspaper.)


If you are brave enough to click the ad, you can read it…Left to right is Terrie, Kelly, Den,  and yours truly, holding Chris.. Remember that hairdo ladies?? Why did I ever think it was attractive?…And check out Den’s white shoes!!  (Shades of Pat Boone!!) This picture was taken in 1975 on our front porch steps right here in this very house…sooo…….one of my Ya Ya’s gave me the harebrained idea of recreating this picture…I was fortunate enough to have the actual photo in my hands, too.


  This morning, with the help of Chris’s husband , John, who was behind the camera, and Kelly’s wife, Cindy, who helped us get posed just like the old photo…we revisited the photo shoot …..35 years later….




                           1975                                                              2010


  Tomorrow is Kelly’s birthday party.  Uncle Jr. and Aunt Jeanette are coming to our house, and we are driving them and Aunt Neenie out to Kelly’s and Cindy’s house.  Kel and Cin live at Lake Holiday, and that place is a huge lake with a gazillion homes…They would NEVER find it.  I can just visualized them driving around the lake forever,  because not a one of the three owns a cell phone…I will post this tomorrow morning before we “make like a baby and “head out” for the party…(OK, I know that was a bad one!) A shout out to new follower CarolinaKate….thanks for being brave enough to ride this all the way downhill!!!


Pictures from this afternoon…..

….Party pics on Monday….There will be plenty of pic from the party!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Remembering a few favorite spots on the road….(boo hoo)

  The next few days around here are going to get hectic, but will be great “fodder” for blogging…if I live through it.  Our youngest daughter and her husband and almost 2 year old are coming in late Thursday night.  They will be staying  with us until Sunday and we will all be attending our son, Kelly’s, 40th birthday party Saturday afternoon and evening. …and into the night, I have a feeling.  I have Aiden’s room ready and can’t wait get my hands on him….My blog may not happen until the Sunday when they leave for home…I could be incapacitated, recovering or hung over…maybe all three …temporarily.

  I was going through some RV trip pictures ( with hankie in hand), and ran across our visit to the LBJ Ranch in the Hill Country of Texas.  By now you know how I love history, and this trip was very special…

…The LBJ Ranch was an amazing place, and it was free!  You could drive yourself through the ranch..If you wanted to get a guided tour of the “Texas White House”, A.K.A.  LBJ’s office, it cost $1.00 per person…and it was a very interesting and informative tour…As you can see,  it was Christmas time, and I could sense how warm and homey it used to be when Lady Bird and LBJ spent a Christmas here….I do love Christmas in Texas…jalapeno pepper lights and all. (How is it that WE  don’t have any of those??..note to self..get the red pepper lights).

On our way back from the LBJ Ranch, we had to stop at Luckenbach, Texas….”with Waylon and Willie and the boys”…On the weekends they have local musicians, pickers, and pluckers, harmonica players, fiddlers and sometimes a washtub player (don’t ask)..  They  show up and sing requests from us baseball cap wearing (see Dennis is photo below) tourists… for tips…They sit inside the General Store, which in itself is a real trip!,


….There is something about Texas that warms my soul…Is it the people, the history, the 7 different regions???  Texas is one of the few states that you can be at the Rio Grande amongst the cactus at 9AM, and dipping your toes in the Gulf of Mexico  at Corpus Christi by 1PM…It is home to the fabulous Hill Country, The Piney Woods, The Gulf Coast, the High plains, and the beautiful, mountainous Big Bend….ZOWEE!!!…AND YEE HAW!!! WE DO LOVE TEXAS, YESSIREE!!!

Update on the train car restaurant…


  They are working on the front of the train car, rebuilding the nose…they took off the ugly metal stuff that was suppose to make it look like a California Zephyr….They are getting it to look like it did in 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt used it in his Bull Moose Presidential Campaign….I am STOKED to see it complete..(“stoked” is the one the workers chose to use…and I kinda like it, it makes me feel younger).

So today I am boiling 5 dozen eggs for 120 deviled eggs for Kelly’s party..I am making spaghetti salad for 75 people, getting Italian beef ready for the crockpot tomorrow morning, making Greek Pasta Salad, Hot Salsa, yada yada yada…Busy few days at the Cave Dwellings…Pictures to follow..and I’m sure a few stories to tell….

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


  Well, Dennis strapped on his gun belt, put a can of wasp spray in it…..and had a duel with the Queen and her kingdom…There’s a new Sheriff in town, and his name is …..McGuyver!!!!




The duck was saved to return to his former life as a decorative candle holder!! Den made sure the kingdom was entirely destroyed, then cleaned out the nest, scrubbed the duck out ….and……..

TRA DA!!!!


He is safe and sound on our front SCREEN porch…Whew!

One of our favorite places we frequently stay is Georgetown, TX.  It is just North of Austin off I-35…We stay at Lake Georgetown Army Corps Campground…a place called Cedar Breaks.  I love it because it sits up on limestone cliffs and the lake is beautiful.  We like to stop on our way going …and coming home. Georgetown is usually where I begin tying myself to trees, so we won’t have to head back North to Illinois. It’s also where I began picking up LOTS of rocks.

  At first, I picked up just a few rocks…then I picked up more, and more, and more…..and more….If you haven’t seen the classic camping movie, The Long, Long Trailer, you need to!!  It is 1950’s vintage comedy with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the starring roles..  Suffice to say, I would be playing Lucy.  Here are some of my finds at Georgetown Lake..


If you look closely, you will see some really neat fossils…Notice the shell fossil, bottom left…On the bottom right, possibly a fossil from a piece of wood toward the bottom left….Oh, if only the rocks could tell us where they have been and what has happened through the thousands of years…..

  I actually picked up my very first significant rock when we were in Alaska in 2002…We drove all the way to Prudhoe Bay and dipped our hands in the Beaufort Sea…and I filled my pockets with rocks…Here is the only one I kept..and I am sooooo glad I did!!!


It looks like a brain, right?…Every nook and cranny could tell a story older than time…This rock is about 3” across…and very smooth in spots from the ocean rolling it along in the abyss.

Sooooo, this year, when we went to South Western Arizona and stayed at Hickiwan Trails RV Park for the first time,  I rediscovered my uncontrollable urge to put every rock I see in my pocket (if possible).  So here is a big shout out to Al and Kelly for telling us about Hickiwan (and Ray), and setting us up for a GREAT 2 month adventure!!

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…According to people who know more than I do (which are MOST),…these rocks are called roses..because of the rose-like shape…I had my pockets so full, the crotch of my jeans hung down almost to my knees..I was becoming an embare-ass-ment to Dennis (imagine that!!).  The rock on the left has many smaller “roses” embedded in it..This was my biggest find…We found all of these rocks just outside the perimeter of the campground and into the Sonoran desert surrounding Hickiwan Trails…I think I may attempt to make myself a necklace out of one….I WANT A ROCK TUMBLER FOR CHRISTMAS, SANTA!!!

  OK, in the time I was playing with my rock collection, taking photos and writing this blog…I managed to pick up 4 more followers!! …Man, that was fast!!!!  Ohhhhhh, you are brave souls, I must say.  Thanks for taking the time to jump on this circus train…I have no idea where our circus is headed, but come on along..and thanks again to all of you who check us out from time to time…More in a couple days…