Cave Dwellings: September 2011
Cave Dwellings

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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Memories of Clear Springs, Texarkana

   I’ve been slightly busy with a garage sale here, so I have been negligent in my blogging duties…However, I DID get lots of “stuff” cleared out of our basement..Next step: organize the basement so we can see the floor!  I need to say “Hey” to some new brave souls who have jumped in our pick up truck, waiting patiently for us to “make like a baby and head out”…(sorry about that one.)  Welcome to  Jerry and Wanda and also to Sheryl and Larry…I hope you enjoy our trip…You will have to fight over who sits by the window..we have quite a group riding in the truck…

  Dennis and I are still researching some places to potentially stay along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama…maybe Florida’s too…But, if we do decide to head toward Arizona, we will just deal with the fire bans (of any kind, even cooking outside) and I’ll just have McGuyver put on his apron and cook inside Plate, or….we will do carry-outs ONLY, through the Lone Star statePizza…. If any of you have heard of some good places, preferably State Parks or Corps sites , in those states, let  us know…HeckFire, McGuyver still isn’t in his combine, so we may be later getting out of here than we thought..BOO HOO!


These photos are from Texarkana, TX…Wright Patman Army Corps campground Clear Springs…We stay there almost every year on the way unless we dive right into Mississippi directly South…Sometimes it is better do take a straight line right down through Illinois to get out of the cold weather..Have I said just how absolutely BOOOORING  the state of Illinois is to drive through…lengthwise?? watching paint dry.

Some of the sites at Clear Springs are deep in the pines…and some are out on the lake…I love ALL the sites at this park…There isn’t a bad one….And we old folks only pay $9.00 a night…Nyah-Nyah


….Not sure if we will go this way again, or the do the yawner through the Land of Lincoln…but at this point I really don’t care..Just “get us outa here!!!!!”……There..I vented and I feel somewhat better..however cocktail hour is looming and I need some “happy juice” and Coke….Thanks for listening to me rant…I gotta work on getting my “smiley face” on again!



Monday, September 26, 2011


  Dennis and I have been RV’ing the past few winters in South Texas and some in Arizona lately..No, not in “the Valley” , land of curbs, gutters , hot tubs and pools.  We use to spend a month or more at Falcon Lake State Park..We ALWAYS spend some part of December at Canyon Lake, North of San Antonio, stopping at Texarkana Wright Patman  Clear Springs on the way down and back…We love Texas, and we love to have a campfire AND Dennis cooks outside almost every night…and breakfast too.

OK, so I’m spoiled!! But we both love the idea of grilling outside most every night on the road…Oh, I do have a crockpot, and a stove and oven inside the Hiker, but there is nothing better than the taste of food cooked outside…That is just part of our “camping” experience which we personally do love.

Just yesterday, I was looking online at some of the parks in Texas we frequent and here is what I found….

“NO Grills are allowed in the parks or on the beaches. This includes wood, charcoal, gas or any other method of cooking that produces and creates a source of heat.

Bring premade foods or eat at the local restuarants, but NO grilling. The only items allowed are electric devices that you can plug in and cook with.

It is a ticketable offense if you are found grilling/cooking on Federal Property. “Crying face

This may be no big deal to some of you, but to McGuyver and me it really takes some of the fun out of camping.  Oh, I guess we will figure it out…We do have an electric skillet, and…a 20’ extension cord…Thinking smileI even have thought of staying around the Gulf Coast, where there are NO burn bans..We could just head straight out to Arizona and spend only a few days on the road in Texas , too.  I’m really glad we found this out…Man, they are just burning up down there in Texas..and I DO sooooo understand their fear of any fire at all…


 Speaking of McGuyver, he was on plumbing duty this Sunday at Terrie and Tim’s house…She called Saturday and said that they were having some water getting on their basement floor coming from their injector pump area….MCGUYVER TO THE RESCUE!!


I hate plumbing problems….They can get really MESSY!! Notice no photos of me…no way, Jose!  Den diagnosed the problem to be the sump pump in the injector hole…It was dead as Davy Jones in his locker…





This crusty piece of a pump looks like it was discovered on the Titanic..This one got pulled out of the hole…and a nice fresh new one was lowered into the hole..courtesy of McGuyver the Wonder Plumber…





I  managed to get in a bicycle ride this weekend before all the rain hit us…(and still is hitting us)…I remembered to take my trusty Kodak to get a few shots…


That cornfield above is right on a street in town..I found a “nutty” little friend on the way…Loved his hat, but it wouldn’t fit me..

For those of you who remember the Catholic Church that was moved in our town last Fall….



…Here it is  at it’s new location on the other side of town, and they added on to it…

Well, that is just about as exciting as it gets here in Sandwich…We are in a monsoon right now, which will probably delay Den’s farmer “wannabe” combine driving for a while…DRAT!  Oh well, that will give me more time to research  possible alternate places to go this winter if we don’t head to Arizona…Florida isn’t an option. Not that we don’t like it, but..we use to go there every year when the kids were  little and we are tapped out… (no offense to Florida)..

Our son, Kelly and his wife, Cindy, spent a week out in the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore….and they brought me a little gift…No, not an “all I got was this T-shirt” T shirt…My gift is a one of a kind and when they saw it , they said it had my name written all over it….




For those of you who don’t keep up with the latest “hot items” in fashion and wine glasses…This is a “RedNeck” wine glass..positively MADE for me to drink my wine while dressed in the latest craze in evening wear…(notice my lovely lighthouse cardigan)…DON’T DENY IT..I KNOW YOU ARE ALL JEALOUS!!!!!!!

“You only need to know 2 things to become a plumber. Sh_t runs down hill and payday is on Friday.”

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fabyan Villa and Lunch with a College BFF…

  I gotta open this blog by welcoming another blogger brave enough to try and follow the Cave Dwellers.. If you can “follow” along, you are doing better than most. Welcome aboard to Merri and Steve of Jammin' Along .  I’m likin’ your name and jammin’ along with ya!

  Friday, I met a dear old college friend for lunch.  If you read my blogs, she is the one who took me to the Turtle House last year..This year, she took me for a private tour of Fabyan Villa and Japanese Gardens, located along the Fox River in Geneva IL.  




My great friend, Peggy Fox.  We had lunch at Noodles and Co. in Geneva, and then she drove us over to the Fabyan Villa.  She works there as a docent and gives tours of the Japanese gardens on the grounds of the park.  We just pulled into the drive that said “authorized vehicles only”..She has that power…and walked around the calming and peaceful beauty so prevalent in Oriental gardens…



They give tours of the villa too, but it wasn’t open Friday…That will be another trip…

A Brief History...

“The Fabyan Villa was home to Colonel George and Nelle Fabyan from 1905-1939. Riverbank, the name they bestowed upon their property, was initially their summer escape from Chicago. They hired Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907 to enlarge and re-model the existing farmhouse and shortly thereafter, took up permanent residence at the Villa, as they called their home. They acquired 300+ acres, creating a country estate which soon became a lavish showplace complete with fountains, gardens, a Roman-style swimming pool, a Dutch-style windmill, a private zoo, a working lighthouse, a boathouse, tennis courts, and more.  The Fabyans pursued their varied interests on their estate, including horticulture, animal husbandry, and scientific research.”


“The Fabyans' Japanese Garden:       Installed c. 1910, the Japanese Garden is a tranquil oasis where history melds with nature and design. This historic garden affords the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of Japanese gardening and enjoy a moment of harmony with nature while strolling the winding path of this 100 year-old site.”


“When visiting the Villa Museum, you discover the Fabyans' uniquely fascinating legacy. The Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie-style house contains the Fabyans' private collection of Asian artifacts, natural history specimens, original furniture and more! Documents and photographs detail George's involvement in the Treaty of Portsmouth and Japanese international relations, the Bacon/Shakespeare controversy, code-breaking that significantly influenced both World Wars and pioneering research and development in acoustics.   The captivating combination of significant architecture, military intrigue, Japanese culture and personal exploration makes the Fabyan Villa Museum a unique experience for all ages.”






The above photos are the arbor that leads toward the Fox River. In the first photo, you can see the river in the background of the arbor. This arbor is covered with Sweet Autumn Clematis vine (See, Peggy, I actually remembered this!)…The photos do not do it justice…and it’s smell was heavenly…





Left, is a Weeping Spruce tree, thought to be over 100 years old. Right, looking through Hydrangeas at the bridge…


I am standing in front of  a rock wall made of Wisconsin Limestone..and right, is a tile embedded in the wall where a fountain once was…This stone is amazing..





I gotta say, this cement table , left, looks like some sort of sacrificial ceremonial table..Notice the figures sculpted into it…The bench Peg is sitting on is quite unusual, too. Mr. Fabyan had a taste for the bizzare and different…FYI, above the photo of Peg is what they call a Snow Lantern…she just told me, so I thought I’d share that..thanks for getting my back, Peg…


This was engraved on the top of the table…looks like a vulture to me…WEEEEEIRD!

I highly recommend this place if you get to Geneva, IL…There is a windmill on the property, which we never got to….




The Fabyan Dutch Windmill is an authentic working Dutch windmill, dating back to the 1850’s.  It was constructed by German craftsmen on a site near Lombard IL in the mid 19th century.  By the 20th century, it was falling to ruin, and in 1914 Mr. Fabyan purchased it for $8000 and had it moved to his estate…It has since undergone a totally revamping ..I have seen this when I was younger and we lived in Elgin, and my feet were not up to walking too far, so we didn’t revisit the windmill..Like I said..that’s another trip..

Well, this blog has rambled on waaaaay too long. I want to say a huge shout out to my BFF, Peggy, for a most wonderful afternoon….I hope I got everything correct, Peg…I’ll never be a docent..I’m having trouble just be decentAngry smile!!