Cave Dwellings: October 2011
Cave Dwellings

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

“All Hallows Eve”… and …."Day Of The Dead”

“All Hallows' Eve falls on 31st October each year, and is the day before All Hallows' Day, also known as All Saints' Day in the Christian calendar. The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows' Eve when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself.”

“The name derives from the Old English 'hallowed' meaning holy or sanctified and is now usually contracted to the more familiar word Hallowe'en”.

When we were in Palomas ,Mexico, at The Pink Store, we saw a TON of skeletal figures you could buy..and each one was of a different sex, age, dress, profession, demeanor….So, …you could buy one to honor a family member who had passed.

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“The Day of the Dead in Mexico is not a mournful commemoration but a happy and colorful celebration where death takes a lively, friendly expression .  Indigenous people believed  that souls did not die, that they continued living in Mictlan, a special place to rest. In this place, the spirits rest until the day they could return to their homes to visit their relatives. Before the Spaniards arrived, they celebrated the return of the souls between the months of July and August. Once arrived, the Spaniards changed the festivities to November 2nd to coincide with All Souls’ Day of the Catholic Church. Presently, two celebrations honoring the memory of loved ones who have died take place: On November 1st, the souls of the children are honored with special designs in the altars, using color white on flowers and candles. On November 2nd the souls of the adults are remembered with a variety of rituals, according to the different states of the Mexican republic.”

Well, I know that different people honor members of their family who have “passed” in different ways.  I found the Mexican history of honoring their dead ,with a celebration of their life, really interesting and refreshing….

  At our house, we simply think of Halloween as a time for  CANDY, PARTIES, COSTUMES, ….and an excuse to load up on sweet treats and SAY  we gave it all to the Trick or Treaters…. Yeah, right.

I thought I would share some photos of Halloweens past at the Cave Dwellings….


        Heiser kids 2006       “07, one of our Trick or Treaters…….       Heiser kids, 2008


Transformer, Miss Candy Corn and Jason the killerStill not lovin' itCOUNT XAVIER CURRAN

Heiser kids, ‘09…..             Aiden Wolff, ‘09……               Xavier Curran, my YaYa Mary’s grandson

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The “yard decorations” in Sandwich can get pretty ghoulish..NO amount of candy would have made me pass this stuff!



We officially start “Trick of Treating” at 4PM this afternoon. Gosh, when I was little we use to wait until it was DARK, and we stayed out till 10PM..Unfortunately, there are just too many stupid creeps out there now that we bring the kids INSIDE at dark..How things have changed…So everyone have a safe and fun Halloween….I, for one,  intend to hold back some Butterfingers for myself!!!

“From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!”   ~Scottish saying

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Suddenly I Feel Murphy Following Me…

  So…. I have been getting my groceries at the local Wal-Mart,  about 3 miles from us, ever since they opened in 1986.  I’ve basically seen the store morph  from a regular Wal-Mart to a Super Wal-Mart, watched the “Great Value” brand become a household word.  I have also watched my “grocery” bill begin to include such things as mascara, candles, decorative vases and wrinkle cream that is suppose to work miracles, but that’s another story.


In the past month, (I get groceries once a week), I have had my Visa credit card declined on 4 separate occasions.  Rest assured that we have plenty of moola in that account, but it appears the Wal-Mart Gods who read the stripe on my credit card chose to single me out for an embarrassing check out.  I do carry another card  (Mastercard) with me (THANK GOD!) , but we almost NEVER use that card, it is just a spare.  The checker even put the number in by hand and…..nope, nada, zilch. ….Sooo, now I had to drag that Mastercard out, while all the time trying to explain to the checker who is giving me the “Yea, right” look, that I DO have money in that Visa account, and I had no problem at the previous store with it.  By now, the line behind me has grown, with smirky people peeking around from the end nodding at each other as if to say, “Obviously, SHE has reached her max, snicker, snicker”….If I had reached my limit, I would have to have had the entire electronics department in my cart!!


  Sooooo, when I got home, after walking to my truck with my tail between my legs, I called the credit card company.   My Fidelity credit card people saw by the transaction record that it was swiped 2 times,  entered by hand once, …and declined 3 times, …. but they had no reason for me.   I would repeat this exact story for the next 3 weeks..yes, I did say THREE WEEKS of getting groceries at Wal-Mart…Every week for 3 weeks, ….el swipo, el denyo…get out the Mastercard.  Right about now, you are saying, “Why didn’t you just USE the damn Mastercard?”..Well, that Visa card is the account we use virtually for EVERYTHING!!!!  After repeated calls to the card company, who saw no reason and nothing wrong with my card… they send me a new card…GREAT IDEA….And I got that card yesterday..YEA!!!!

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  Today, confident in my newly acquired Visa card, and after making sure it was still activated and signed (I wanted no glitches), I jumped in the GMC and headed out for groceries…First stop, Art’s Super Mart….Swipe, approved, sign…WALA!…Life is good.  Next stop, Walgreen’s…Swipe, approved, sign….OK, that’s what I’M talkin’ about!!  Let’s keep on goin’.  On to Aldi’s, where I have to use the same card as a debit card….Swipe, pin number, approved, sign…and I’m on a roll!!  NOW…the big test..but I wasn’t worried a bit.  I was sure the new card was a success and , after loading my cart with groceries (and the usual stuff I didn’t need), I marched right up to one of the checkout lines and took my place, grinning like a Cheshire cat……..


  I do not need to tell you what happened next, do  I??  My hands are still sweating  and the veins on my neck are still standing out.  Yep, you got it….Swipe, …….(heart palpitations begin…..sweat beads are forming….my hands are now shaking)….UNEQUIVICABLY DENIED!!!!! #*%@*#@##~!!! Of course, they swiped it 2 more times, once as a debit card…and…DENIED...DENIED!! GOTCHA AGAIN, HA HA!   By now, I could feel the strong disapproving stares from the “Wal -Martites” lining up behind me …and a strong impulse to cry was beginning to form in the back of my throat…Maybe if I went nuts and screamed and ranted it would have been better, but I just pulled out the trusty Mastercard, paid the tab, and with disapproving heads wagging all around me… crawled toward the door…BUT, HEY!! WAIT JUST A MINUTE..I WANT TO SEE A MANAGER, THE MANAGER!!! THIS IS NOT MY FAULT!!! I AM A GOOD PERSON..I PAY MY BILLS!!!!

  Unfortunately, I had to settle for an assistant manager, and she was about as helpful as a screen door on a submarine.  She coldly listened to my rant, shrugged her shoulders and said, “Sometimes our registers just don’t like the card..”…..the silence was deafening…..  WHAT??? DOES NOT LIKE MY CARD???? MY CARD!!!!! THE SCANNER/CARD READER DISLIKES MY VISA CARD!!!!  I cannot completely repeat what I said, but it went something like “Thank you ma'am.  I shall have a talk with my card…” Actually, I think that’s what she THOUGHT I would say….  What I basically said was that I wouldn’t be shopping at that Wal-Mart until Hell froze over…and marched out the door, nearly doing the snot nosed cry, trying not run over people with my cart, and maintaining my dignity all the way to the GMC…Then, as I was putting the bags in the truck,…… my frozen chicken fell through the Wal-Mart bag to the ground, and my stone ground mustard rolled across the parking lot and under the car next to me…OK…NOW IT IS TIME TO CRY!!..But I didn’t …I called McGuyver , the only one who can make me smile after a day like this….I called him while he was combining corn to tell him what happened… and that I just bitched out a Wal-Mart assistant manager..and he laughed,… which made me laugh…till I snorted…..

Other than that…how was YOUR day???

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Few Thoughts On Photos…

…And speaking of photos, I would like to give you some news about my previous header photo of The Turtle Cottage, in case you didn’t see her….If you look closely, you will see why it was called that.  There in the middle of the picture , close up by the porch, just in the grass under the middle pumpkin on the porch, you can barely see a HUGE tortoise…Yep, that’s right….She lives there and her name is Rhonda..


…and she has her own little house (see what looks like a dog house on the left in the following photo???)

  Sometimes you really gotta study a photo to take it all in..That darn tortoise scared the bejesus out of me when she began slooooooowly moving across the lawn…Bet they don’t get many Trick or TreatersTurtle

OK, Before I forget, (and you know I might!),  I now need to again thank a few more willing souls for signing on to keeping track of the Cave Dwellers…Lord knows SOMEBODY needs to Surprised smile!!  A big “jump into the GMC” to Merikay  their new Alpha (and her toy RV), Gene and Judy  and their passion for the great outdoors (shared my many of us).  Also, a “get in the truck” to Jessica and Harry, who live in upstate NY and are getting ready to sell their sticks and bricks and hit the road soon.   (Gotta find out WHERE they live in upstate NY. Dennis was stationed at Sarratoga Springs in the Air Force a gazillion years ago. ) Gypsy Boho has also been brave enough to travel with us, and a big “welcome to the Cave” to Rick and Elaine NB…Phew!…We gotta get U-Haul!

  As I was adding yet MORE photos to the computer, I had a few thoughts on this digital computer photo stuff.  Lately, I have been going through old photos,  trying to get them in some semblance of order..It suddenly occurred to me that we make very few pictures we take into “prints” anymore..You know, matte them and frame them , or put them in you wallet to brag about, or send them in Xmas cards (which is also a dying tradition)Sad smile…It actually made me sad to suddenly realize that we rely soooo much on our techy stuff to hang on to our memories for us…



Left, Den, me, Dave and Sue, on our way to Florida…Our precious Gypsy….and my sailor son, Kelly.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I am the first to admit I am TOTALLY into putting these photos on disc for posterity…Really, I get that…But…there is just something about holding that old, worn, maybe torn, photo in your hand and putting a finger on a familiar face as if to bring them closer to you..


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My Grandma Ross’s graduation class 1898,..My Uncle Walt and Aunt Edie on the Alcan Highway, 1948…and Den’s family gathering at Xmas, late 50’s.

Luckily, both our families were big picture takers…with the old Brownie box camera, then the fancy 35 mm..We were in photography heaven with that one!! Den’s Mom was also FABULOUS at documenting ‘who’ was ‘who’ in almost all of her old photos…


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Den’s Grandpa Cave….Den’s Mom and Dad on their wedding day…Den’s Great Aunt Clara Elliott…Oh, boy…there are some stories out there about her…She was quite the politician in her day, so I hear!!…



Uncle Jr. (you’ve met him)  ….Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Jr , and…my Dad.  My Grandma Ross made him take violin lessons when he was little…He hated it…But a big thanks to her ….I loved listening to him play, and he didn’t do if often because it embarrassed him..

  So now you see what diggin’ through old photos does to me…makes me wax nostalgic…And yes, it is nice to have them preserved on the computer..but it’s oooh so nice to hold them in my hand


I don’t need to tell you who this All American family is…taken on our front porch,  1975…

And, yes, ….I still have that newspaper clipping……to touch.

"Faded, ragged, torn or dusty pictures means someone cared enough to hold onto them......"

Author: Kirbyquotes

Sunday, October 23, 2011



  The weather certainly warmed up here this weekend..I even heard a stunt plane zooming around overhead, enjoying his barrel rolls and stalls…No thanks..not for me….I would be needing a garbage- size barf bag for that…


  Seems like a few of the “snow birds” are beginning to stir.  Rick and Paulette are loading up their new rig.. I know Rick is keeping an close eye on how much quilting stuff Paulette stashesDisappointed smile .   The Bayfield Bunch are also rustling the Ontario leaves, getting everything on their motorhome “ready to roll”Rolling on the floor laughing.   Dennis and I are hoping for a Nov. 14-15th lift off out of the Midwest and into the South.   I see that Jerry and Suzy got “Grandma” home in “TIME” for an Arizona winter.  Randy and Pam are now in the Virginia Beach area for dental work after helping build homes all over the USA!…And talk about great spots, Chris and Melissa are in the Florida Keys and  Kathy and Robert, last I knew, were in Gulf Shores, Alabama at the Shrimp Festival!..AND, exactly what are Nellie and Jonathan up to these days????

There are a whole lot of full-timers out there that we follow, wishing we had that life of NO real estate taxes, no lawn to mow, no big electric bills….Ah, yes…All of you are truly living that dream…However,  just as in any house, things can go askew…Take  Judy and Emma   for instance.  If it weren’t for bad luck, Judy would have NO luck at all!! Brakes, and now the fridge, plus walking the highway to find her “thingamajig” for her break-away brakes …She is a real trooper.  John, Bridget and Fred have just come East from a trip through Montana and Wyoming.  They will have to land for a spell soon, they’re gonna be new grandparents shortly!!  Stu and Donna had some rotten luck with a blow out on their fiver…plus some damage to the rig.  Good thing Stu is a “McGuyer”.. Dawn and Denise  have been waltzing about Texas, being with family, and trying to figure out where to spend the winter…No campfires in Texas this year, which really is a deterrent for Den and I.


  Odel and Laurie are hanging out around Sacramento, CA, visiting family and friends till after Thanksgiving.   And..have ya checked out our blogger friend, Teri  , and her blog?? She is all aflutter with just a few more days till she “pulls the trigger” and goes FULL TIME!!!  YEAH, TERI…YOU GO GIRL!! (I suggest you keep close tabs on Judy and her blog..She is becoming quite the “woman on the go” and a PRO full-timer!!) We are WOMEN, hear us ROAR!

  Of course, there are  still some peeps hanging out, enjoying their RV/camper whenever they get a chance.  That would be those who are still working and waiting with baited breathe for the dream to come true…To Sue, Doug, and Tucker,  you keep up that dream…don’t give up!…Sam and Donna (and Riggins), you just hang in there and take care of yourselves.  It won’t be  long and  you will be “on the road” too! Kenny and Angela, you were some of our first followers.  You rode with us when no one else would!!..and your Wednesday funnies are killin’ me!!! Mike and Gerri  have been spending some beautiful Fall days at their home in Georgia, and posting some great photos!  Sue and Mo are about to finish up an East Coast cruise…that flight out to La Guardia made me nauseous!..And Bob and Vicky are splitting their time between Mission, TX and Minnesota…whoa! Now that’s 2 very different climates!! The assured us that Progresso felt very safe to cross into Mexico…that’s good to know.


So…to all of  you bloggers out there who I didn’t mention, I apologize…My fingers are cracked and getting sore…(Yep, that sounds like a cop out to me too.) To those who I did mention, I apologize for any thing I missed or got wrong..They don’t call me Dementia Donna for nothing, and I can only multi-task when under EXTREME pressure.

I cannot tell you all how much we enjoy following and being followed by such a wonderful group of friends..and yes, even though we haven’t met most of you, we feel we know you…(You might know more about us than you really want toNyah-Nyah!!!!

I also need to thank a couple brave new souls who are now waiting in our GMC for us to hook up the Hiker and head South…. A shout out to Russ and Donna and  Howard and Lynda…You are now following 2 elderly dweebs who have no idea where they are heading…Oh, don’t worry…we won’t leave you in a gas station bathroom along the way…We haven’t gotten that bad yet…oh, …and WELCOME ABOARD!

..Since the frost has gone away, I decided to do some indoor “frosting”…For those who know how I am, you know that when I get bored I either cut all my hair off…or I frost it…Today was a frosty day…


Chances are…..I might “frost”….               …….but the “glow” just ain’t happenin’

OK….I am done embarrassing myself now….Thanks to all for taking time out to read my drivel….

Cocktail hour awaits…

“Beauty fades . . . dumb is forever.”
- Judge Judy -