Cave Dwellings: October 2012
Cave Dwellings

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oooooh yeah, I’ve definitely got “some skin in the game”..yikes!



  Soooo….As I’m sure anyone who reads my blog, even sporadically,  realizes my “elephant in the room”…that elephant being my many chins.  I say it’s like an elephant in the room because everyone sees it, but nobody wants to say anything…Trust me, I’ve dealt with it for a looooooong time…On the rare occasion when I DO get out of my uniform and into some “big girl” clothes, I still cannot feel like a “hot mama” with all this skin hanging from my chin..It’s the Ross curse.  Our entire family had it..and as I got older, it got worse…I tried to tie it up in a bow..

…Nope, that wasn’t catching it…I would have to get many bows to match my many outfits…

It was getting so large that I felt my chin skin entered the room before I did…swaying to and fro like a willow in the wind…Speaking of wind, I do believe I could have hoisted those chin skins on a mast and set sail!

…I was beginning to understand the fascination with the Shar Pei dogs…What do they hide in those wrinkles?? When they shake, do they almost knock themselves off their feet?

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I feel your pain, sistas…..or brothas…kinda hard to tell….Smile with tongue out


How did I transform from left………………………………to right (no, let’s just say WRONG!)


What the Hell IS that under my chin…(My actual chin is really quite nice, eh?..If only you could find it!)

Sooo,  getting back to my next journey…Decision time …..I am officially booked in for a “procedure” (nice term for going under a plastic surgeon’s well  honed blade)…November 20th I will be saying goodbye to the only visible sign that I really am related to the turkey…Hey! I figured I’d better act before I ended up on someone’s platter in a few weeks…Yes, I have thought this over LOTS…Yes, McGyver is onboard with this…No, I am not scared, I am ecstatic! No, I am not doing this to please anyone….except MOI!…I want this done …FOR ME!!! And, no, this is no secret, for sure..I think my “experience” may be blog worthy…and maybe even help other peeps who are considering some “procedure”  (Wow, I just actually got serious for a moment…)




After comparing my photos to the real Maxine, I decided that I was even a better Maxine than she was…I ask you, if this isn’t the face of a grizzled, knarled, saggy 80 year old, what is??? This lovely photo was at the top of my list…truth time…YOU NEED SOMETHING DONE!! FOR GOD’S SAKE, YOU ARE NOT 80..YOU ARE ONLY 64…JUST DO IT!!!!





What looks like a pillow on my left shoulder is my neck…pulling me over…JUST KIDDING! ( but not about that neck!)

“ NOT BY THE HAIR ON MY CHINY CHIN CHIN CHIN CHIN”…with apologies to the Big Bad WolffHot smile

Sunday, October 28, 2012


  I must preface this blog to say that my baby brother, Michael, is a very gifted artist…He is 4 years younger than I and has always had a knack for creating very interesting “stuff”..One of his loves is the outdoors..Our son, Kelly, hunts with Michael every year.  Michael taught Kelly how to trap animals, hunt, gun safety…anything outdoors…They hunt deer and turkey in the 70 acre woods a friend of the family owns..The last few years Michael has had a tepee in this woods…His last tepee got blown down by a bad storm…He built this one ..and I think it is bigger than the last one…Today, Terrie, I and the Heiser grandkids went to see his tepee…What a fun day we had visiting him…

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Today was very cold and blustery, but inside the tepee it was warm and cozy….

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He can put a fire in his firepit, or in the wood burner he built himself..That pipe in the middle takes the smoke out of the tepee…In the last photo, he shows us how he brews coffee in the mornings when he and his wife, Helen spend the night here…

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The “Heiser Tribe”, left…Our daughter, Terrie, and her Uncle Mike, middle…and Mike and Helen’s granddaughter, Kylie, right…Mike’s grand kids all love to visit here, but especially Kylie, who already owns her own BB gun. Michael bought it for her and taught her gun safety….”You’ll shoot your eye out!”…but Kylie won’t…Kylie is age 11.

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Brandon, their grandson, Helen, me and my baby bro…(Michael is the picture of our Dad..)






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Mike adjusts the tepee flaps to allow more smoke to rise out of it..Those sticks on it are called lacing pins, and they hold it together..amazing.

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When the door flap is closed, you see some of Michael’s artwork. He hopes to paint more figures on it later.…Right, the 2 poles used to adjust the smoke flaps…

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Michael shows the kids how the lacing pins keep the seam of the tepee tightly together….

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They also have pulled a very old and used camper into the woods. Kelly and Michael use that when they are hunting if the tepee isn’t heated up…They have water to the camper  thanx to Michael’s home built 50 gallon “water tower: (the photo on the right)..and they also have a wood burning stove inside…Not much to look at inside or out…Taylor said it looked haunted…I said..”It’s a man cave”…

  We had a great day to visit and the Heiser kids learned lots from Uncle Mike… I must tell you that Michael also had buckskins that he made for himself, but didn’t wear them today…The grand kids didn’t even know what buckskins were …he had to explain to them that they are clothing of long ago, made of deer hide…You see, that’s the trouble…Some kids never get to experience something so absolutely as neat as this first hand..As you can see,  my baby brother has always “marched to the beat of a different drummer”…The same might be said of me, too…Winking smile….I sure hope so.!!!


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Being pretty on the inside means you don't hit your brother and you eat all your peas - that's what my grandma taught me”.

                                                                                        ~Lord Chesterfield

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The “Royal” Treatment

  Yesterday I drove to the Westfield Mall in Aurora, IL to meet a dear friend for lunch. 


Peggy and I went to Elgin Community College together in 1967 & 68…Peggy went on to finish college at Southern Illinois University, and then got her MBA from Aurora University…Me?…I spent a year after Jr. College working as a Nurse’s Aide in our local hospital…Shortly after, I met Dennis and the rest is history…


FYI, Peggy is now single again, in case anyone who isn’t already attached at the wedding ring is interested…Red heart


We agreed to meet each other at the perfume counter in Sears…I haven’t been to that mall in at least 10 years, and Peggy had never been there.  Luckily we found the perfume counter just fine..Before Peggy showed up I was drawn to the gatrillion sales that were absolutely EVERYWHERE!!

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YOWZA!! 90% off this jewelry….WALK AWAY FROM THE SALES, DONNA….

We headed to the food court to get a cup of coffee and some conversation..The food court had a Mickey D’s , so we got our coffee and found a table…This mall was NOT busy at all..a sign of the times..They did have a really neat Carousel for kids to ride, and there was a counter and chairs all the way around to keep Mom and Dad to keep close watch on their kids when they were on it. Very clever,eh?

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Peg and I found each other on Facebook about 2 years ago…When we were at Jr.College together, we became great friends…I think the thing that really endeared Peggy to  me happened in Anatomy and Physiology Class…We were partners, and for one of our labs we had to “pith” live frogs and attached electrodes to their legs..For those who are clueless, “pithing refers to a procedure used in biology classes to immobilize a specimen, for instance a frog, by inserting a needle up through the base of the skull (from the back) and then wiggling the needle around, destroying the brain. It allows for dissecting the frog, as well as observing its living physiology, such as the beating heart and expansion and contraction of the lungs, without causing unnecessary pain to the animal. The specimen remains living because respiration continues through the skin without cerebral control.”…..I know…disgusting.  But the worst thing for me was that we had to each catch our own live frogs from a tank before the “pithing” occurred…I HATE JUMPING THINGS!!! ESPECIALLY GREEN SLIPPERY ONES!Alien…My dear lab partner, Peggy, saw my horror and stepped in to retrieve my frog FOR me…I am forever in her debt…Thanks, Peg.

After some hot coffee and great conversation, we decided that we both had a craving for some Chinese food…I was familiar with only one Chinese restaurant across the road from the mall..Szechuan Gardens..They use to have a scrumptious luncheon buffet and we Googled it to see if it still existed…Since neither one of us were as smart as our phones, we figured we would do a “drive-by”, so I jumped in Peg’s car and we drove across the very busy Rt. 59 to have a look/see if this place was still there…

I just gotta say that riding “shotgun” with Peggy brings back some great college memories…Peggy and I use to drive around in her car to find out where the hot guys lived. Then we would sit outside their house to just watch them come out…Oh,no..We never let ourselves be seen…We slunk down in the seats and waited till it was safe to get another peek..Neither Peg, nor myself were delusional enough to even imagine the possibility that these stud muffins would give us 2 goofy college freshmen girls a second glance..(Actually, Peg was and IS a knockout looker…I eventually found out that hanging out with Peg got me at least within close surveillance distance..She was a guy magnet.)

So, the Szechuan Gardens was now some other joint..Not to be deterred, Peggy got on her cell phone, called a friend for some advice, and soon we were zooming off down 75th Street toward Downer’s Grove, reliving our college days and hoping to chow down at a place called Royal  Seafood and Sushi Buffet…

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That 2nd photo is a bit blurred, but above the words “Lunch Buffet” it says “Children Under 2 Free, 65 or Over Senior Citizen 10% OFF, Over 5 Ft.2 Inches, Adult Price..” Now there’s a first for me…Some very tall kids are gonna have some very honked off parents.Baring teeth smile

  Peggy and I paid our $8.99 each for the “all  you can eat” buffet and almost knocked each other down getting to the long tables of steaming Chinese cuisine…I took some photos, but not until I after I had consumed copious amounts of mussels, shrimp, egg foo young, some green things, some orange things, some crunchy stuff…The only thing I just could NOT do was the Sushi..Nope, No Can Do raw fish!

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Trays and trays of food…On the right is the Sushi Bar….Thanks, but I’ll pass..

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Food everywhere…Pic on the right has fried crawdads on the end..and calamari rings to the left of it…Thanks, Peggy, for another great time together…and we didn’t get arrested or anything!!! DARN IT!

So, this morning it was already 63 degrees when we walked…Since the weather was warm, McGyver decided to get some scaffolding up on our kitchen roof so he could re-stick some shingles that had blown off in the big winds we have had this Fall…Our friend, Jim Otto, was the owner of the scaffolding, and thank the Lord  he stayed to help Dennis get that heavy equipment up on the roof…Awwww, I coulda done it …NOT!

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Well, that’s about it for excitement here at the Cave Dwellings…Hey!..How about that?..I actually posted 2 blogs closer together than 7 days!!! Things are lookin’ up!! (Not sayin’ that this will continue, mind you).In love

“Most of us don't need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with.” ~Robert Brault

Monday, October 22, 2012

Raizing the Martin House…McGyver Style..

  Gloomy and gray day today..but the temps are in the 70’s, so I will NOT diss this day! McGyver has finally been released from his duty/fun of farming…I can’t say I will miss finding kernels of corn and bean chaff in our bed.  I was feeling a little like “the Princess and the Pea” at times.
The leaves have been just gorgeous here.  There is something wonderful in the smell of Fall…I cannot exactly explain this odor, but it makes me all fuzzy and snuggly and smiley….No, it isn’t the leaves burning…it’s just the “smell of Fall”. 
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I wandered out into the back yard and managed to retrieve a few “hangers on” tomatoes from our dying vines…
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As you already know, it doesn’t take much to make me happy…a few more fresh tomatoes from our garden did the trick Rolling on the floor laughing!

While I was doing the “happy dance” over our tomatoes, McGyver was contemplating taking down our Martin house for the Winter…We never have had any Martins in it, but have had Squirrels, Starlings, Sparrows and various junk birds make themselves at home in the Condo Cave…You gotta know that this Martin house was a huge condo, and very heavy…Naturally, as is the case with most men, Dennis will not ask for help unless he is going “under” for the last time (you ladies will understand what I mean).  When Dennis put this sucker up, he had our very young, very strong neighbor, John, helping him…McGyver dug the post hole in early Spring of 2011, and the bird house went up a month later.

Now, I am only so big…and only so strong…I use to be able to hold my own while helping McGyver attack his never ending  tasks…This included me holding dry wall up with my head while on a ladder, so he could nail it…helping take down our entire chimney, roof to basement, brick by brick, and toss it into the dumpster in our drive, and handing large buckets of wet concrete in to McGyver through our basement window,  so he could fill in our new sump pit….Oh, I could go on and on, because McGyver has done 99% of the work on our home with just himself…and “moi”..a MUCH younger “moi”..and we have lived here 38 years. That’s a ton of work, just sayin’… So, as I watched Dennis circle the Martin house, I knew darn well I couldn’t be much help anymore…and I could also tell that Dennis had his own plan….As it turns out, it included his treasured and trusty “Ol Blue” truck…
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The extent of my involvement in this project was being a “Nervous Nellie”, making woeful comments of doom, like “Look out!  Sheesh, you’re gonna  drop that Martin house on the truck’s roof!!!!”…I am always the sooth sayer to Den’s “lone wolf” projects,and I make sure to have 911 on speed dialFingers crossed…Surprisingly, his plan to walk the Martin house down from the back of the truck bed and lay it on the truck roof WORKED!!!Surprised smile!
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Great job, Dennis!!…………………………………..My work here is doneNyah-Nyah
This coming weekend we are taking the Heiser grandkids to a woods South of here to visit my brother….My brother, Michael, is a man of many talents…He is a gifted artist, has etched pictures on grave stones, carved decoys from a block of wood, done oil and water color paintings, fabulous sketching…and now has built a teepee by hand…(This is his 2nd teepee). This is a traditional Native American real size teepee, with wood burning fire in the center, made out of long poles he carved himself…The woods we are going to belong to a family friend, and this friend lets Michael and our son, Kelly, hunt and “play” down there…So, this weekend we are going to visit the teepee Michael built…Believe me when I say I will post many pictures of this…
So that’s about as exciting as our life is right now…However, I am going on a “journey” of my own sometime next month…No, not a journey of miles…More like a transitional journey…and now I sound a lot like Al…giving you a teaser…I will keep you informed when I choose to begin it…In the meantime, I appreciate those who are still hanging in there, reading my drivel….This road I take you all down can get pretty bumpy at times..Make sure you strap yourself in and hang on!!
Self-esteem is different than conceit. Conceit is the weirdest disease in the world. It makes everyone sick except the one who has it.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ~Hartman Rector, Jr.