Cave Dwellings: July 2012
Cave Dwellings

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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Come experience our CAVE…isn’t that called “spelunking”?

  Well, it was another wild Cave experience this weekend (imagine that)…The Wolff clan from Indiana got here about 4PM Friday nite, and our house went from spotless (that may be a stretch) and having some semblance of order,  to sticky, sandy and looking like it was stirred with a stick…BUT, WHAT FUN WE HAD!!

This blog will consist of many collages, due to the frenzy of my 100 photos I snapped of the family…Hey, I believe in capturing as many memories as possible!! Terrie and her youngest showed up (the other 2 kids and Tim had other commitments, and didn’t come until Saturday, and Kelly had duty at OFD..)





Somehow we always end up outside, creating havoc in the backyard and testing our neighbor’s “neighborliness”….






Saturday morning I  made a nourishing, healthy breakfast…


…and we all got ready to head up to our niece and nephew’s house to swim…Basically, the Cave Clan invaded the Bernhardt pool….



Everyone brought a few snacks….My contribution was hot wings and dip….


…and NO, that I was not drinking my Rum and Coke out of that “sippy cup” you see there…that happened later  Nyah-Nyah.. I took this get together opportunity to get some great close ups showing you some of the faces that make up this family..Here are a few..


Our son, Kelly, who is by no means a small man (6’2” and 260) became the launch pad for our grandson, Peyton…He shot up like a rocket with Uncle Kelly’s help!


Terrie’s hubby, Tim (the detective), had to leave by 2:30 PM..He and some of his fellow cops had to be on duty as uniformed police officers at the debut of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the theater in Glenview..Soooo unfortunate we have to feel terrorized by going to a theater…

After the Cave invasion the North side of town, we moved the party back to W. Center Street to further test our neighbor’s sense of humor.  I had made pulled pork, potato salad, slaw…AND our good friend, Jim Fritsch (the farmer Den helps every Fall) had given us some of his fabulous sweet corn…



YIKES!! McGyver got a little sun at the pool, eh??

That corn was soaked about 2 hrs in a bucket of water before grilling…That’s the easiest way to fix corn, in my opinion….get’s me off the hook!

The only drawback to this method is if you let kids husk their own ears inside the house. You end up wading through husks all over the kitchen…and I do mean ALL OVER!! It looked like a tortilla factory!



Our son, Kelly, became the key entertainment in our back yard…He is a frustrated quarterback, and cannot wait until football season begins (GO BEARS!)….He had the kids (AND the adults) go out long for passes… and he was shouting orders to them before winging the football…I laughed my butt off..(Where the Heck does he get this crazy side???…HMMMMMMM…)


…Just when I thought it could NOT get any better….


….What can I say???  The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Saturday evening, the 5 grandkids and our neighbor girl spent the night..along with Chris and John…making 6 kids and 4 adults …The “Cave” was full-up…This morning, I awoke at 6AM (ya gotta love these trains) to kids all over my floor downstairs, and 2 upstairs.  The 2 youngest grandsons slept in the upstairs bedroom , with their mom and dad in the next one… They needed to be confined to crib and a blow up mattress, and not watching TV most of the night with an 8, 2- 12year olds, and a 13 year old..who were awake until 1AM!


..As you can tell, it was a really great weekend…Lots of insanity, fun, frolic, sticky floors, half eaten popsicles, corn husks, diapers, (for some of usSurprised smile), DVDs, Power Rangers, Nick at Night and, sunburns…and most of all …another FABULOUS CAVAPALOOZA!!!!! I’m quite sure most of you are getting tired of the family pics, but I have just one more collage… to make sure I push the envelope of your wonderful patience yet ONE MORE TIME!!!!


It’s 3:45 PM in the Cave… I am in MUCH need of a shower…and… I should NOT need a cocktail hour, but I do believe I will have one anywayWinking smile…Thanks for joining the fun!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

McGyver Goes Nuclear….

  Ever since McGyver was diagnosed with hypertension and a bad calcium heart score, he has had a Cardiologist..There is some heart disease in his family.  He had an uncle who died of a sudden heart attack at age 40, and that same uncle’s son ( Den’s cousin) died at age 65 a few years ago of the same thing.  We discovered Den’s hypertension when we both went to give blood in about 2004…His blood pressure was 200+ over 90….not good…His Doc told him that if he lost 20% of his body weight and started walking and watching his eating, he would not have to go on BP meds..

One year of watching and walking later, he had his weight down from 205lbs to 170, and that is where it stays..He also goes for a Nuclear Stress test every other year or so….

“How Is the Procedure Performed?

An IV will be started for the injections. A resting image is usually obtained prior to your stress test. In the case of a two-day study, one day is for rest, the other day is for stress. When you are prepped for the stress portion, your chest may need to be shaved and an abrasive material will be used to remove dead skin cells and gels in order to allow for optimal ECG tracings during your test

Multiple blood pressures and ECG tracings will be taken throughout the stress portion. At peak exercise, you will be injected with a small amount of the radioactive tracer again, through your IV.

A second set of images will be taken after the stress test to see if there is any change in the blood flow to your heart at stress, compared to rest.

After the Test

You will be able to leave immediately after the test and can return to your daily routine, as your doctor permits. When the results are evaluated, your doctor will be able to decide the next course of treatment. Your doctor may prescribe additional testing if he or she feels it is necessary.”

This test takes about 4 hours.  They wouldn’t let me go in with him due to the radioactive part…I’m not sure if he was glowing at one point, but he wasn’t when he finally came out Green with envy.  I took a few magazines, a good book, and my “to go” coffee and pot..(Den wasn’t allowed coffee 12 hrs. prior..) Four hours can be a really long time for someone as giddy as me!

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I suppose I could have jumped in the GMC and gone shopping, but there is something about leaving your significant other (age 70) running uphill on a treadmill and being injected with radioactive stuff that tends to make one WANT to hang around…in case they want you..know what I mean??

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I took these pics with my phone..Rush Copley Hospital campus has lots of medical buildings and you can see a few in the distance…Our son, Kelly, use to work in the ER here. That blob of pea green in the middle of these photos is a pond that is now becoming a huge petri dish full of some kind of Science experiment…YUCK!…Apparently that green crud and the weeds is all that will grow in this drought.

So, we got the call today that the Stress Test went very well.  McGyver is doing just fine, and his cholesterol is 150 something…(much better than mine).  I do love it when you can check another scary medical test off the list of “things to do”!!

This weekend our youngest daughter, Chris, and her family are coming ..Even though the Hero Dash they were going to participate in was moved to October, they decided to come up, taking part in another grand and always memorable Cavapalooza .  For anyone who doesn’t know, that’s just a fancy word for Cave family get together.  It usually involves snot nosed laughterLaughing out loud, crazy stuntsSurprised smile, lots of foodPizza…and some adult beverages…Mug Martini glass…Rest assured I will post some photos (after properly screening them for content)….

I do believe we have a new follower here at the Cave Dwellings…Welcome to this insanity, Janice.  Janice spends some of her time as a devoted quilter.  I am envious of those who use a needle for things other than medical stitches..I am here to say that the talent of sewing and needlework is not inherited..My Mother was a gifted seamstress, and I cannot thread a needle, let alone sew a straight line…Heck, Dennis can KNIT (his Mom taught him)…She tried to teach moi, but I kept getting stuck and had to have Den rip my knitting stitches out and put them back on my needles…very degrading, let me just say.

OK, you know by now that I am really bad at keeping up the ‘ol blog, but if you are brave enough to stick around, I will try to do better!!

Satan Maxine

Friday, July 20, 2012

NowTHIS is truly a “grilled Sandwich”…

  I have not been a very good blogger yet again..For the life of me, I believe we are busier now that when we both worked…We had to drive into Oak Brook Terrace, very near the big City, to get my brand new phone fixed…The nearest AT&T Service Center was located there…This meant driving in on I-88 and then the great money- sucking Illinois Tollway System.  I really dreaded this drive..I HATE that 4-5 lane raceway, so I was thrilled when McGyver offered to drive me in.  To make a harrowing story short, the nice man at the service center took my phone and in 10 minutes he had installed new firmware… All in all it was a rewarding trip unless you factor in each of 4 toll booths (2 on the way in, and the same 2 on the way out), which cost us $1.50 each time…You do the math…Yep, $6.00 to go about 20 miles on the great octopus road tentacles that suck your money up greedily…Illinois…what more can I say?

I have also been busy trying to get us booked into a few campgrounds in South Florida…YIKES, that is harder than I thought..They only have 3 Army Corps campgrounds, and you cannot book them until 6months prior…I got online and found out the the Ortona South was almost totally booked. (We stayed there in August of 2005, after our daughter’s wedding).  We hope to be there on Jan 5th next year, so on July5th, at 9AM ( you cannot book before that time), I got online and managed to snag the last spot available…Whew! Not so lucky with the others…Finally today I found a state park, Lake Griffin, near Leesburg, to book for middle on Jan for a couple weeks…Texas was not nearly this tough!! I still have to look for something Feb 2nd for a couple weeks, but if it becomes impossible, we will zip on over to Alabama and squat there till mid March..

I know some of you are wondering why we don’t just book a private campground…That’s just not how we roll…We like a lake, river, or waterway in our campground, don’t need a pool,  and don’t want to be parked on top of the next RV..(not to mention we are cheap old farts)…Different strokes for different folks..and we are definitely differentAlien!!!

  Northern Illinois is in a pretty bad drought here, as is the whole Midwest…It is so dry here, that they have re-scheduled the Hero Dash that was going to be held next weekend here at our fairgrounds…Because some of the “obstacles”  included fire, and also the high temps due here again next week, they moved it to Oct. 8th…I think some very smart heads prevailed in this decision, and I heartily approve!

I crunched through our grass to get some photos of our dry yard and dying floral displays…







Here is our lawn….The John Deere is becoming a haven for spiderwebs….





That brown thing on my Hydrangea is the seed pod where the seeds are plentiful after it’s done blooming..The photo on the right shows them on the ground…No seed pods this year..

The Cave Dwellings vegetation is virtually non existent…What the sun and heat hasn’t devastated, the bunnies HAVE…


Above is the only green pepper left, and this is all that is left of HIM!  Right photo is one of my Impatient plants…all of those little while spots is where the leaves USE to be…Mother Nature sure has been up to no good this year.  If we had the money for every plant that has either burned to death or been devoured by bunniesBunny, we could have a gourmet dinner for 2 somewhere…(or at least about 10 pizzasWilted rose)

Even though the Hero Dash was postponed, the Wolff kids will still be  here next weekend…That makes Mimi (that’s moi) and Papa VERY happy campers!!  Those darn grandkids grow so fast we gotta put a brick on their head to slow ‘em down, right?? Maddox is only 15 months old and he is singing the ABC song…Yes, I do believe virtually EVERY Grama and Grampa think their grandkids are …GENIUS!!!!

So, tonight, McGyver and I are ordering out…Fried Cod dinners from the Bull Moose Bar and Grille (the Teddy Roosevelt Pullman train car)….We will think of Sam and Donna (who dined with us there) when we chow down!!

  This heat is a real killer and I am getting quite concerned about my trusty owl on our deck…I think this sun has caused him to develop cataracts…so I loaned him my sunglasses. 


I close with a heavy heart at the terrible tragedy that happened in Aurora, Colorado….Why can’t we all just love one does someone get to this point???? To quote an old favorite song of mine, “the answer is blowin’ in the wind”…Some things never change…

Saturday, July 14, 2012

With Apologies to Blogland…

  I feel I must apologize for the nasty, disgusting, garbled comments left by “Anonymous” on my last blog…Lately, I have not been so good about checking my comments page regularly.  I have been trying to do a little less time in front of the computer screen and more time being outside, tackling projects, or McGyver and I have been booked to do “something else”. 

When I noticed my comment count went from 6 up to 11 overnight, I was elated and quickly checked in to see who the crowd was and what the comments were…Suffice to say, I was embarrassed and appalled.  Those 5 new comments were not only foul-mouthed, but they made absolutely NO sense…As it is, they appeared there waaaaay too long, and the first time I checked in, I saw only the last 2…then later found the other 3…Sheesh!! Again, I say….soooo sorry I neglected to check in sooner…lesson learned.

  Thanks to Al for the helping me change my settings.  I remembered that he had problems with “anonymous” nasty comments with foul language, he gave me the steps to regulate who can comment…..   and hopefully this won’t happen again!!……




This Hibiscus is only flowering because I have been dumping major water on it in this hot drought…I must say, it IS very prolific this year and each flower is the size of a dinner plate…





The poor thirsty “dirty” birds are still drinking and bathing in the same water at our fountain, but I no longer chase them out..I just keep refilling it several times daily..


Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal were in it together today…saving water and “showering with a steady”, so to speak…We actually had a little rain this morning, but not enough to even measure in our rain gauge..In fact, our rain gauge has cobwebs on it. 

  Dennis and I are changing up our plans for a Winter trip..First of all, we aren’t leaving until after Christmas this year in order to spend more time with the family…Also changing is our destination.  We have decided to go to Florida this year.  When our kids were little, we use to drive to Florida every summer in July, when Caterpillar Tractor shut down for 2 weeks.  Kelly was about 18 months old the first time we went to Disneyworld..That was the 2nd year they were open and all they had was the Magic Kingdom…and we were immediately hooked!  So, every year and 2 more kids later,  we drove to Daytona Beach and then Walt Disneyworld as our family summer trip.  We did that many years until we decided to put an above the ground swimming pool in our backyard..

  McGyver and I are finding that it is almost a MUST to have reservations if you hope to stay at any Army Corps parks OR state parks during the Winter months…and you can only reserve within 6 months of your date for the corps parks..I managed to grab a site at Ortona South campground Jan. 5th for 2 weeks..This is on the intercostal waterway near LaBelle, FL…We stayed there once before in August, 2005, after Chris’s wedding and really loved it…In August, we were the only ones camping there, and needed no reservations, but in the Winter it’s a whole different story…

  We have been busy helping our Aunt and Uncle weekly, taking them grocery shopping and running errands, since he no longer drives.  They still live in their own home, and it is hard to find any Sr. transportation in the town they live in…There is a grocery that delivers, and also some neighbors close by to help, but as long as we are around we will help as much as possible…

We are getting ready for another Caveapalooza here at the Cave Dwellings… Our 3 kids and their spouses and the grandkids will all be here 2 weeks from today to participate in the Illinois Hero Rush, held at our Sandwich Fairgrounds on July 28th…Last year all the kids were in the Warrior Dash held in Channahon, IL… Click on my link for Hero Rush and check it out..Here are some photos from last year’s Warrior Dash…


……………before……….                                    ……………..after…………..

…..and in between….

…The difference in last year’s and this years is that you are challenged by doing things that firefighters do, and sometimes wearing fire gear  All the money gathered from entries will go to the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation…There will be food, drink and fun for the little kids too…a really big deal for our local fairgrounds!!

All 3 couples are going together as “Team Cave” , with our son Kelly as team leader (he is a Lieutenant in the Oswego Fire Dept.)…This one could be VERY interesting!! Of course, since this is happening just one block from our house, our backyard will be used as the staging area/ base camp…PLUS,  local “watering hole” and “eating establishment/hose down AFTER the fiasco….I cannot wait for this one…!!!

  Thanks for sticking by me after the disgusting comments temporarily posted…I hope I have that problem licked!!!

"Firefighting is all about @$$, busting ours to save yours…"