Cave Dwellings: September 2012
Cave Dwellings

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Now I AM a harvest widow…

  I have been busy around the house here lately, getting out some more Fall/Halloween “stuff”…I posted a portrait of a goulish young woman in a previous blog…Here is what she looks like as you pass her by….


…walking from left to right, she changes…OK, I know…I am one sick puppy, but you don’t get this stuff on just anyone’s front porch, right??? Not only that, but look who else greets you as you go up our front steps…


…I have ALWAYS wanted a Gargoyle..Yep, ALWAYS!!  I’ll bet most of you have no idea how these beasties got started…and leave it to me to have researched it….

Gargoyles originated somewhere between the 11th and the 13th Centuries. They served two purposes - to scare off evil, and to divert rainwater. Many have open mouths because they also functioned downspouts to divert rainwater from foundations. As a result, many of the early Gargoyles also had rather long necks. The word "Gargoyle" originates from the old French word "Gargouille" meaning "Throat" but which also fairly well describes the gurgling sound of water coming through the downspout.”



Photograph:Gargoyles sit on top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.


The Catholic Church originally used Gargoyles as a visual reminder to their Pagan converts, many of whom were illiterate. They were something of a "sermon in stone", or a warning of sorts to teach the people how to behave in a non-written way. They are now pretty much ornamental and assume many different forms.
Most gargoyles are grotesque, but stone carvers in the past also honored relatives and friends by carving their faces into them. As they evolved, they morphed into often very elaborate statuary

I have named my Gargoyle Snarl….( I may have just lost a few followers with this one, but I never claimed to be a “normal” personPunk). This whole episode may explain why McGyver spends so much time in the fields, eh?

Speaking of the harvest season, I now OBVIOUSLY have waaaaay too much time on my hands…One can only do so much mowing….

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Hey, I am pretty good at handling the ol’ John Deere….When I tried to start it in our garage, I flooded it, and it backfired..I nearly wet myself and called Dennis whining…He told me to try it again…I did…and ….I just have to say it, “Nothing runs like a Deere”…I even trimmed with our push mower AND swept off the sidewalk…I AM  WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR!!…


Sometimes Dennis leaves before he has time to take his morning walk with me…I use this time to strike out on my own in different directions.  A few days ago, I walked up through our fairgrounds campground (a field with water and elec) and I climbed over the wire fence to get into the fairgrounds behind the grandstand….There is only one gate open year round at the Sandwich Fairgrounds, but ya gotta walk out on the edge of town to get to it.  I prefer to break some rules and climb the fence than walk all the way around it…


I was rewarded this time by one of the harness racers warming up on our track…

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I have also gotten very good at my campfire starting technique…I learned from the best, after all….

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As  you can see, McGyver gets a little carried away with the size of his campfire wood…I consider this a small treeDisappointed smile!

I tend to stick to a smaller campfire, not wanting the Sandwich Fire Dept at our house anytime soon…and on MY watch…

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I have a few well placed decorations on our deck…

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Those 2 beady little eyes belong to my latest garage sale find..the Tree Ent..Right is a better view…Now if I can just teach that darned owl to stay off his head!!

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My fountain is turned over and now is the base for my chimaera candle..HEY!! I THINK THAT DARN SNEAKY SNARL SNUCK OUT HERE!  He’s trying to get into the picture!   Actually I think I will call him “Sneaky Snarl” from now on.

Well, it’s about 2:30PM here at the Cave Dwellings…I’m not sure what time McGyver will roll in tonight..Last night, when I took the above photos, he came in about 8PM…. This will mean I have some “deck time” to myself again, and I can play MY music really loud (Arrowsmith and Kiss come to mind)…Maybe Snarl will ask me to dance???

Through humor, you can soften some
of the worst blows that life delivers.
And once you find laughter,
no matter how painful your situation might be,
you can survive it

                 ~Bill Cosby

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our First Ever Big RV Trip…

 A word of warning..This is a long and tedious blog…Be aware that there is extreme danger of nodding off, drooling, and dropping your drink onto the keyboard….Please keep  your hands and feet inside the computer perimeter and strap yourself in tightly.  Also, be forwarned that there is a whiplash danger, as there are some steep dips and sudden turns while my mind jumps aimlessly from topic to topic..

I was rummaging through some old photos the other day and came across the Cave Dwellers first big trip with our new Cougar 5th wheel.  This was in March, 2004, before we  had a digital camera.  I sat down and scanned them (or most of them).  We actually got our 2004 Keystone Cougar in August of 2003, bought it in Michigan and drove it home to Sandwich…I thought I would share bore you with these photos…Let me just say that Den and I had been on a vacation longer than 2 weeks only once in our lives, and that was when we left Aug.18th, 2002, drove all the way to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and arrived back in Sandwich Sept. 18th, one month later(11,000 miles in one month)…I knew this trip would be different, as we were still very much “newbies” at this RV stuff.  Let me just say that if a marriage can hold up after going from Illinois to California and back in one month in a confined space, it can withstand ANYTHING!!


Left is the inside of our little “lovenest” on wheels….Middle photo is Den, relaxing at Settler’s RV Park in Round Rock, TX…(pretty tight quarters).  The last photo was taken at Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, TX…This is really a great state park..Here are a few more pics of Pedernales..


We drove to Luckenbach, TX from there for a Sunday “jam session”…I love Luckenbach. Go, (if you can find it)…”ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain” there, that’s for sure!!…The Bayfield Bunch would love it!



Left, …well…what can I say?..We were in Van Horne, TX…and it was 80 degrees.  Using Van Horne as a home base, we drove up to Carlsbad Caverns..That middle pic is the entrance to the “bat cave”, where a gazillion bats exit at sunset April-Sept…Luckily we missed it by one month…I am not a big fan of bats after having them in our under construction bedroom 5 times while we were remodeling. Disappointed smile Right pic is Kitt Peak, AZ and the world’s largest solar telescope…We drove to the top of the 7000 ft. peak to visit and tour this observatory..and took our Cougar with us. (not one of our smarter decisions). I nearly wet myself as we drove up those steep grades with no guardrails…and coming DOWN that mountain with the Cougar pushing us around those twists and turns….well….a harrowing experience. Even McGyver was silent the whole way down, and I was making our my will.


Left pic, very heavy security before we could cross Hoover Dam.  They even searched our Cougar (no, they didn’t confiscate my liquor supply)…At this time, you could still drive across the dam bridge, but no semis or buses had been allowed since 9-11.  The photo on the right was taken at the MGM in Las Vegas…We met our daughter, Chris, who was there for a few days with some friends…We stayed in Sam’s Town, where we discovered there was razor wire on top the concrete walls around the park….The guy we parked next to had 2 Dobermans and asked if we brought our flack jackets..there had been gunshots on the other side of that concrete wall the night before…SAY WHAT????? Needless to say, we left at daybreak and never have been back.


Left, Den at our site in Alamo State Park, North of Wenden, AZ…a great stop in the middle of nowhere…no razor wire  hereFlirt male. The photo on the right was taken there also, and the middle photo is a stop sign on a gravel side road near the park…Those paper plates had names of towns with arrows on and how many miles it was….I know we were about 40 miles from Wenden. There was also a little place at that sign crossroad called the Wayward Inn …It was a beer/wine bar, gas station, grocery store, RV park, pool hall…A crotchety, crusty 74 year old guy named Walt (who had spent waaay too much time in the desert) owned it…He kept their milk out back in a huge freezer run by a couple HUGE generators…I actually got Walt to smile…once…his face almost cracked.


Left…our very first time to walk across the border into Nogales, MX.  We had a wonderful time, even stopping at an outdoor courtyard for a Tucate and a Marguerita…or 2….or 3Martini glassBe right back.  From what we are now told, Nogales is one of the most dangerous places to cross now.….I’m sure those border towns are suffering from the dip in tourism, which is all that keeps them going….


Left, we are back in Texas…I was standing on the banks of the Guadalupe River near Gruene, TX…Right photo is the old Cotton Gin and Grist Mill Restaurant in Gruene…


Of course you knew we went in for some adult beverages and nachos….If you have never been to Gruene, TX (pronounced Green), do make it on your list of things to see…That whole area and much of the Hill Country of Texas was founded by German immigrants….It’s a small world..


This was our very first trip to Jefferson, TX..and it remains one of our very favorite places now.  We had a great interesting spot…Dennis was almost eaten by the Rotweiler next door, and it rained that evening.  OOPS…I just realized that last photo of me was taken in Canyon Lake..I recognize the covered shelter outside the back window…We usually end up going from Canyon Lake to either Jefferson or Texarkana, TX traveling to and from Texas…Actually, my outfits use to be much more tame than they are now…I prefer the NOW look myself…I was waaay too boring in all navy blue.

I am quite sure some of you have nodded off by now…I almost did myself… I have 2 more photos of what still is sometimes our last stop before we pull into 518 W. Center in Sandwich…It is Lake Wappapello, MO…




This campground a bit of a distance South of St. Louis and almost into Arkansas…It is an army corp park, which means we old people get to stay cheap…leaving us more change to toss into our “drinks” fundRolling on the floor laughing!!  Usually on the last day of any of our trips, McGyver has to pull into the truck, kicking and screaming “NOOOOOOO….I WANT TO STAY LONGER!!!!” I haven’t changed in 9 years of camping…except that now I can be bribed with the promise of a campfire and glass of wine at home.

Before I end this drivel, I need to acknowledge a couple new and brave followers…First, there is Jeff, who didn’t have a blog. Thanks for checking in with our insanity, Jeff.  Then there is Mike Mills and Sandy, driving the motorhome dubbed Phannie, and pulling their “toad”, Mae….HMMMM…very interesting names, you two!!  Oh, and also joining this melee are Mark and Lauree, who travel in their Airstream Land Yacht….Welcome aboard to all!!!!…If we ever get this show “on the road” again, you will find that the crowd riding with us in our GMC is quite amicable….and like to party. They have to like it, after all,  they are with US!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ol’ Blue takes a ride….and…I LOVE FALL!

  McGyver and I have been really busy the past few weeks…Lots of family stuff going on, some fun and games, some…not so much.  All I can say is that I really hate witnessing the toll the aging process takes on some people….So very hard to watch, and some of these things are very hard to overcome.

On a lighter note, well..maybe not for McGyver…the old blue Chevy Pick Up truck pitched a huge-ass fit and refused to start yesterday…Ya gotta understand that Ol’ Blue is Den’s main means of transportation…I get the GMC, and he clings to his old Chevy pick up like a fly to flypaper…The darn thing was in the garage and would NOT come McGyver pushed her out!  He borrowed a friend’s flatbed truck and pushed, pulled ,prodded and hooked on to Ol’ Blue with the tow strap..My wonderful black GMC had to help get Ol’ Blue on the flatbed…



I swear I saw a smirk in those GMC headlights!!!..Once on the flatbead, McGyver chained her down to the flatbed like she was a “crazed” truck.  There was no chance she would make a quick getaway.. Den hooked up the GMC to the flatbed and hauled her, kicking and screaming, to the truck Doc…..Hopefully the fix won’t cost too much, or her next trip may be to the junkyard!!!

Not much else exciting around here..I moved our front porch chairs to the East side of our screened porch to catch the warm morning sun with our coffee…I really do love Fall, but sometimes our North porch is a little brisk in the early AM…I also brought out a few more “Fall” items…Now don’t any of you cringe or chastise me for this…I am truly a witch at heart, and just like any good witch or warlock, I LOVE HALLOWEEN TOO!!!


The picture above is really primo cool!  As you walk by this young woman’s portrait, she changes from very pretty to  very NASTY and very HALLOWEENY..Vampire bat




I also got me some great purple Halloween lights to string on our back deck…I was busy all day decorating…



This weather is soooo wonderful…The Hummingbirds are feeding at our 2 feeders like crazy…They should hang around until end of September, then they zip off toward the South for the Winter…I guess you could say that those little  Hummers join the other aviary folks and become “Snow Birds”…I really hope Den and I can follow them and get out of here this December, but it is becoming more and more questionable. As I have said before, sometimes life gets in the way, but ya gotta work through it, and we will… I absolutely HAVE to close with one more of my favorite Halloween D├ęcor items…



“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near Halloween.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~ Author Unknown