Cave Dwellings: August 2012
Cave Dwellings

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

Friday, August 31, 2012

A frog in my throat…my “watering can” throat.

  Thursday AM McGyver and I were loading stuff to take up to his aunt and uncle’s house..Den put plastic on their screen porch screens here and we were taking them back…Also, they a bad leak in their hall when it rained the other evening.  Dennis went up on their roof and discovered that all around their chimney, the bricks were pulling away and they need the chimney rebuilt…Uncle Jr. thought he had enough of the original brick still stacked in the corner of his garage, so Den and I were also on a mission to see if there were enough brick.  We hauled out the bricks and stacked them up outside their garage..You can see by the following photo how they look laid up, as the garage is all brick just like the house…


Yep, we hauled out 140 brick (Aunt Jeanette was sneeking a brick or two until I caught her…after all, she will turn 97 next Thursday!!)…Looks like they have plenty of brick..and have found someone who will lay a new chimney for them.  Den is pretty handy, is not a brick mason…although he did lay all our brick on our front porch and fireplace.  When it comes to someone elses he prefers to let the pros do it.…Uncle Jr. and Aunt Jeanette’s home is vintage 1955, and after 57 years, some things are in need of replacement…McGyver is going to calk some of the valleys in the roof for them.  He can do that easily .  After hauling all that brick,  it was time to get some groceries for them, take them to pay their taxes and pick up their prescriptions at Walgreens…Dennis is the chauffeur for this adventure..and trust me…it is ALWAYS an adventure!!  Afterward, we all gather around their kitchen table for some snacks , and a few adult beverages..


  Check out the wonderful retro 50’s d├ęcor..wall roosters and all…I especially love their wall rotary dial telephone (just over Jeanette’s head) , and the Formica kitchen table with the vintage light over it…Ya just don’t see this stuff anymore, eh??


Watching Hurricane Isaac come onshore in Louisiana made feel very grateful that we don’t live in a flood area like that.  It must be sooo discouraging time after time.…Much as we have visited there, I don’t think I could do the “standing on my roof” boogie.  I couldn’t handle waiting for a helicopter to pluck me off,  with the possibly of doing a high wire act,  swinging in mid-air above rushing water..Kudos to those people…You are in our prayers…We use to go to Florida almost every summer when our kids were small, starting the 2nd year Walt Disneyworld opened…Here are a few memories from a trip we took with good friends in the 80’s.…



Left, Den and our good friend Dave Ikonen…They took catamaran sailing lessons for 1 hour and thought they were Captain Hook and Mr. Snee….Right photo are the 4 of us… Den and I in the back, David and Sue Ikonen in the front…These photos are from about 1988….I can tell because my 2nd, 3rd and 4th chins were not yet an issueSurprised smile..



Left, the Ikonens and the Caves… Left to right around the table are David, Sue, myself, Den, Pete Ikonen, Terrie and Chris (our 2 girls) Kelly was in the Navy at this time.…The photo was taken at Aunt Catfish’s in South Daytona Beach..Picture on the right are the 2 “Big Kahunas”, David and Dennis, enjoying a beer outside the Caribbean Resort Food Court…



Ahhhhh yes, two men relaxing in the motel room…David, pretending he was a surfer dude..and McGyver,  who was looking just too studly for words…Please notice our cocktail “suitcase” open on the table…Inside were all the necessities for survival , just in case drinks at the hotel bar were tooooooo pricey for us “el cheapo” touristas!!







David, Susan and Moi….Gosh I wish I still had those sunglasses!!(and that body).


I shall now spin your heads around to yesterday morning at our house… I was outside and decided to give our homemade urn fountain a drink, it was getting dry…The night before, I left my watering can out on the deck with some water in it, so I grabbed it and began dumping the water in the fountain…


But..nothing came out of the spout…Sooooo, wondering what was the hold up, I tipped it up high and peered into the spout from the open side …and this is what I saw….



Holy Crapoly!! If you only knew just how much I FEAR toads and frogs, you would understand why I immediately dropped said watering can and ran off the deck… I WAS laughing…at myself…I was also hollering, ”DENNNNNNNNIS!!!!! OMG, COME GET THIS THING OUTTA MY WATERING CAN!!!!”…He almost bumped his head on the overhead door of the Hiker basement, which he was getting something out of…”WHAAAAAT IS IT NOW?????”… (McGyver hasn’t much patience for my fear of frogs and toads)…He was looking at me like I was nuts as I told him of the little “spout toad” tightly stuffed up inside the watering can…

“Helllllo up there…I see you and I am NOT going to kiss you, hoping for a Prince Charming…I already have my Prince,  and certainly do not need another…”

FYI, to get this photo of Mr. Toad, I lay flat on my stomach on our deck, (as far away from the watering can as possible),  stretched my arm out, hit the zoom on my camera and snapped the picture. Then I jumped up and ran to the other side of the deck…Hey, I figured I had already P.O.’d this guy enough… and I had a feeling he was one toad’s breathe away from jumping out at me…Shortly after this photo, McGyver (A.K.A. Prince Charming) came riding up on his white Reebocks, saving me from the evil toad and my embarrassing stance for getting this photo… (I’m glad Den didn’t grab his cell phone and take a photo of me taking this photo…Now THAT  would have been one for the family album!Confused smile)

Long story short, Den shook the water can a few times, said toad hit the water inside with a splash,  and got poured out onto the soft grass, living to hop again, and scare the bejesus out of some other big toad sissy…

We had an email from FD5, John and Bridget…They are gonna be North of where we live in their Mobile Suites, coming to  beautiful ??Illinois, and a little town called Sublette….They are coming to visit us here at the Cave Dwellings this Sunday morning…We have met John, but not his wife, Bridget…or their Beagle, Fred…We are really anxious to see them and get a big wet Beagle howl and kiss from dear Fred….As you may know, I will get some pics of us all…There is a possibility they will drop in with Fred tomorrow AM also …..Fred the Beagle truly has a “dog’s life” with  John and Bridget!! So life has been pretty exciting around here lately, and the Sandwich Fair begins Sept. 5th, next Wednesday…Actually, our son, Kelly was born on Sept. 5th and will be 42 this year… giving a very real meaning to the term “LABOR DAY” for meSleepy smile..

“Kissing the frog to get the prince is a waste of a perfectly good frog”.~ Jim Benton

I heartily DISAGREE!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


  I am a little concerned with the newest “bad boy” Hurricane… Isaac.  It seems he may march on shore smack dab in the panhandle of Florida…just where we have made several reservations for this coming Winter.. just great.…Ft. Pickins Campground, Florida, could be in it’s crosshairs…Also affected could be Rocky Bayou State Park in Florida, Shepard State Park in Mississippi, and  Grand Isle State Park in Louisiana…All are on the coast, all on our reservation list, and all could be seriously “wounded” by the marauding Isaac….Last time we went to Florida camping we were introduced to Hurricane Katrina, Isaac’s very evil twin…and we barely made it off the keys and to the Georgia coast when she came ashore…  

Our exit through South Florida in August, 2005… We drove all the way to Georgia that day in bad downpours and wind….

So you see that if I have a “bad feeling” about just what kind of havoc these dudes ( and dudettes) can cause, I have good reason…Isaac could very easily devastate the coastline, leaving death and destruction in his wake..Actually, I guess the destruction would be bad, but death and injury are much bigger deal, Donna..sooooo I should shut my yappin’ mouth and just pray for all in his path…(I think I just “typed” myself out of a pity party, so it seemsEmbarrassed smile…) Sometimes I really need to quit thinking about me, me , me…and worry more about others, others, others…duh.

  I shall now segue back to our camping tripat Thomson, IL last week… (Sorry, my mind jumps around a bit…Don’t let your neck snap from this sharp turn….)

When we were at Thomson last week, we did get to drive North to the town of Savannah and visit the local Moose Lodge..Dennis is a Moose (told ya he was an animalSurprised smile)..The “lodge” was located right downtown in a very old building…similar to our downtown here in Sandwich.

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I could tell by the lighted “Moose” sign hanging up outside, that this place was quite old….Turns out the Savannah Moose was celebrating 100 years at this building the very next weekend…

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The inside was circa “old”…I wish I could remember our bartender’s name, but I have the CRDT (CAN’T REMEMBER A DARN THING) disease…My humble apologies to her..She was a great gal, and very friendly.. We find that most Moose Lodge’s are like that all across the USA…and they are usually full of very colorful local characters.  I guess you could say that Dennis and I are considered just that in the Sandwich Moose Lodge..VERY much local “characters”…

The Cave people are now fully vested members of the “dump Hughesnet, join Verizon” fan club…and loving it.. I am a firm believer that good things come from bad, and the one good thing that did come from our “camping trip from Hades” last week is that we made the jump to wireless MIFI…. GREAT IDEA, MCGYVER!!!

I shall close this melee of a blog with a poem I wrote last year ..I love the Fall…and I couldn’t resist to put it into a poem and, yes, bore yet another captive audience…Yes, I know…. I have no shame!!



Farewell Summer, Oh, I’ve had fun,
But FALL is what I love!
Bright new colors catch the sun,
Crisp, clear evenings have begun
And ..Oh, those Harvest Moons above.

OK, Jack, bring on your frost.
We’ll have a campfire every night.
And fallen leaves the trees have lost
By chilling winds they’re gently tossed
As flocks of geese begin their flight.

Oh, Fall, I relish all you bring,
As yet another Summer ends.
And different birds begin to sing
Oh, I’ll be loving everything!
I welcome you, my Autumn friend!

D.Cave 08/30/2011

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

“Home again, Home again, Jiggety”…awe SHOOT!

  We are back home now…camper and all…Left Monday morning…Man, it took all afternoon to unload stuff just for 1 week of “fun”….I did get some great sunset photos on the Mississippi River Sunday night before we left…



It had rained for about an hour before, and once it quit raining, we had a campfire with this sunset….

As it happens, I got some neat cloud photos Monday night right here from our campfire in the driveway of our house…




These were storms that were moving just North of us and into South Chicago..We could  just sit and enjoy our campfire …watching…with not a drop of rain…


OK, this is about as creative as I get …It is 9:30AM, and Den and I are on our way to Montgomery to help our aunt and uncle grocery shop…I’ll get more done another day….and yes, we are no wireless, thanks to Verizon..Thanks to all you commenters who made us feel better about changing from Hughesnet…..!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Restful Week In Thomson…NOT!

  No, I didn’t fall of the end of the earth into the abyss..well, not quite.  McGyver and I left in the Hiker for Thomson last Tuesday for a nice restful “vacation”…I’m gonna try to get this all down in as little space as possible…
Day 1, Tuesday….Arrive in Thomson and set up Hughesnet dish in our campsite…great signal….no connection!!…Dennis tried all day…NADA!
Day 2, Wednesday…Left Hiker there and drove 1 hr and 45 min. back home to Sandwich with Hughesnet dish, receiver, transmitter, desktop, router,..etc. and so on, in the truck..Tried Hughesnet at home…nope..a big NOT HAPPENING!!  Wed AM Den spends 3 hrs on phone with Hughesnet tech ( Abdul A.K.A. “Mark”, from a foreign land) …zip, zero, zilch. “Mark” says we need someone to come to our house and take a look …$125 house call.. A tech will call us and make  appt…Grabbed our laptop in case we need it,  and drove 1 3/4 hrs. back to Thomson and our Hiker,  the GMC full of “blue air”..
Day 3. ..Thurs. AM, tech calls makes appt. for Monday, the 20th..OK..we have to pull up stakes and leave here Sunday. Suddenly, a light bulb shines above McGyver’s head …We drive the GMC 10 miles to Clinton, Iowa to the Verizon Store..Get all the info but don’t purchase…yet.  Drive back to Hiker and drink heavily..Call Hughesnet tech and cancel appt.
Day 4..Friday, AM…mulling over the possibilities…Wouldn’t it be sooo much nicer to travel without the big Hughesnet dish, tripod and transmitter…and save Den all the work of the setup every time we land somewhere.  HMMMMM…McGyver calls and cancels Hughesnet tech appt…AND.. calls and cancels our entire Hughesnet account…YOU GO MCGYVER!! cocktail hour is a long one Friday night.
Day 5..Sat AM, drive GMC 10 miles back to Clinton, Iowa from our Hiker and sign up for Veriizon wireless…Get back to Hiker and drag out laptop….Get set up…good Verizon signal on both phones and laptop..but cannot browse on any of them…GRRRRR…A call to Verizon tech…says we must have a bad “device”..advises to take it back to Verizon LCC store…SAY WHAT????  ok…Den goes alone, I stay at the Hiker to brood.  Den calls from Verizon Store… they try it there and all seems well. Den comes back and tries again..still no browsing. WISH I HAD SOME VALIUM!!!  Where is Rick when you need him??? McGyver puts on his “techno geek” hat and does a few things to our laptop…WALLA!! WE ARE NOW WIRELESS!! (We both lost our screws long ago anyway.) McGyver has regained his title as GODMAN!!
Day 6…Sunday….Trying to get the catch out of my neck and shoulders….Here are some photos of our campsite and surroundings..I will not bore you anymore with our story…as we are now finally CAMPING after 5 days of trauma….
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Note in right photo, the Hughesnet dish on tripod…the trouble begins here.
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We are in “lilypad” Heaven…on Turtle Crossing Road…
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Left, the outdoor amphitheater..Right, a campsight for military families only……:-)
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Left is our site..We didn’t get the bikes off the rack until Friday..SHEESH!
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Picture 037  Notice that  the Hughesnet dish is now EL GONNO!! We are technologically exhausted….
This is a really nice park…We were planning on staying for 2 weeks….but we are leaving this Tuesday after only a week….Like, I said ..sometimes life just gets in the way.  We need to go home….and relax. ;-/

Monday, August 13, 2012

Emotional “60 Miles In 3 Days”… Kudos, ladies!!!

  Yesterday Den and I went with Tim and the kids to greet Terrie and their team, The Pink Lemon Ladies, who were finishing the Komen walk for breast Cancer…They walked 20 miles a day for 3 consecutive days..The ending celebration was at Soldier Field….


Soldier Field is /was a really historic place…In my humble opinion, they ruined it when they “renovated” it..Now it looks like an alien spaceship landed inside…Baring teeth smile..We arrived about 3PM, and all of the participants were kept in a holding area inside Soldier Field until the final finish line was to be crossed.  Being early and since we had some extra time, we walked over to the Chicago Police Memorial, right behind Soldier Field…


Just in front of the wall of water, there are a gazillion bricks, put there in honor of fallen and career Chicago Police Officers by friends and family…very touching..This is going to be a very snotty nosed cry kind of day, I can just feel it.



The Heiser kids had all made signs for their Mom….

All along the 3 days, Team Pink posted some photos on Facebook for us to see….Here are a few…


Mt. Prospect Fire Department was very gracious to the walkers. Most of the firefighters (and a couple dogs) were wearing pink T’s in their honor..



Note the Mt. Prospect Officer on right…wearing a pink shirt.. and even the squad car had a pink ribbon. Mt. Prospect was one of the towns they walked through…People were even coming out of their homes and applauding them, offering them water and encouragement.



The girls took time out to pose for photos at the check points, where they got drinks and encouragement. I intend to snag those pink socks from Ter for my “ensembles” Winking smile.



Left to right, Ter, Kelly and Nancy…Back at “tent city”,  they put a poster with the names of those who they were walking in honor of.  YOU GIRLS ROCK!!



At 4:30 PM, the “walkers” all came out, walking , some very slooooooowly, to the finish line..and to a huge round of applause and “woot, woot’s”.     The music “Celebration”, by Kool and the Gang..(some of you know who they are, I sure do.) was blasting over the loud speakers…komenfinish

  It was hard to find Ter and her girls in the crowd, and I am pretty short soooo, I handed the camera off to Dennis….He could get the camera above the heads..and he did good!!




There were several ambulances involved in this walk, and they followed the walkers…


  The emergency personnel obviously have a wonderful sense of humor. I especially loved these 3…

What a wonderful experience…Everyone was crying, hugging, dancing ( well, some of the walkers dancing very gingerly..). Terrie’s two teammates both had injuries, and had to stop for part of the walk..Kelly had 13 blisters and a bad back, Nancy had a bad knee, which was aggravated by the walk AND many blisters…I really gotta give kudos to those two Pink Lemon Ladies…they ended up walking the final day in lots of pain…Luckily, Ter didn’t have any bad injuries.

Terrie did have a couple blisters and when she got in the car, she said she would really  like to cut her feet off, and her knees were very sore…NO, REALLY???  I called her later last night, and when she got home, she took a shower, put her feet up and got some “carry-out” Chinese food in her belly. After that, she actually felt good.  This morning, I talked to her and she said she feels just fine, and she was out getting school supplies and groceries with Taylor…sheesh…more walking!!



That button above says almost all of it, except this last picture, (an idea I shamelessly snagged from Judy)….