Cave Dwellings: April 2013
Cave Dwellings

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

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Performance of “Guys and Dolls”, and One of the “Dolls” was Our Granddaughter!


  Well, FINALLY, out weather is acting as it should be…warm and 72 degrees today.  Den and I got lots done outside.  I washed windows upstairs and down, got out our birdbath.  Den cleaned out the gutters with the hose and then he rototilled out garden…I planted lettuce,spinach and radishes…so far.  We still have Yukon Gold and Red potatoes to plant, plus some tomato plants and pepper plants.  I also got our cactus out of the basement and hung up the hummer feeders (they had better be  here soon!!) ….But guess who just showed up at our feeders…


I was soooo excited to see these birds finally made the trip!! We have had Purple Finches already, but the yellow ones must have missed the first flightWinking smile!


I feel like my attitude is much improved with the improved temperatures…Last week, I was dressed like Nanook of the North for our morning walks..Ninja

   Our basement is now dry, and so it Jr. and Jeanette’s.  (This , too, will improve one’s bad attitude!)…Sooooo, all is now well in Casa la Cave ( for the time being).

Yesterday, the Harter Middle School put on a performance of “Guys and Dolls”…Some of you more mature adults might remember the movie, (done in 1955Surprised smile)…starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Vivian Blaine and Frank Sinatra.  Who can forget the classic songs, “Luck Be A Lady Tonight”, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat, I Love You, A Bushel And A Peck”…and many others…Our granddaughter, Taylor, had a roll as one of the Hot Box Girls, which allowed  her to do some dancing and singing…Did I take pictures? ….Do birds fly??? YOU KNOW I DID!!!


Tay is the one in the white dress that looks 12 years old and is really 14 1/2….



I cannot believe how many very talented kids there are out there…Everyone in this performance was “spot on” in their singing, dancing and acting!  The following is a 49 second video.  TURN UP  YOUR SOUND AND ENJOY THESE TALENTED KIDS…

The grand finale of the musical!

We had a great time….and of course her Dad presented her with flowers afterward….


LIFE IS SOOO GOOD FOR THE CAVE FAMILY..WE ARE BLESSED! (and I’m not PROUD at all, right?Rolling on the floor laughing

Monday, April 22, 2013

Get out the “high water” pants!

   Just for one day, I would like to have the life of this little guy….

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He just takes life slowly, going along at his own speed…No huge commitments, no big rush, carrying his house on his back, no real estate taxes, and no worries…

Oh, I know this is not realistic and “if wishes were fishes we’d all take a swim”, but it seems ever since we came back from Florida, we have been chasing our tails here in Illinois.  And as for the weather, we came back to a snowy February and March, a cold April…and a few days ago, we had lakefront property in our basement. The good news here is that we weren’t on the road somewhere when our sump pump failed!!!

Our basement has had water a few times, and in some instances it came up our drain ..So, a few years ago, McGyver and I hauled chunks of concrete from our basement floor out the basement window in a bucket, and he made a hole for a sump pit…He put the pump in, installed a pipe to take the water out the window, and assumed the next big flood it would kick in and we would be in “fat city”…You know what they say about that word, “ass u me d”Disappointed smile


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Luckily, Dennis had built shelves all across our North basement wall…That white thing behind my beauty shop chair, tipping on it’s edge, is our little chest freezer…doing the back stroke.

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Before MacGyver could do anything, he had to run to Rural King (farm store) and get himself a pair of boots!!!!!

To top it off, Uncle Jr. called that morning with the bad news that they had water in their basement too….SHEESH!…We told them we would be up as soon as we got our basement under control…Dennis figured out that the sump pump switch was stuck, and that’s why our pump never went on…the switch was never tripped…About 10AM, we felt we had the pump working and there was nothing more to do at our house, so we grabbed some tools and headed to Montgomery to see if we could get Uncle Jr.s basement under control…

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Left, we encountered some almost flooded out roads on the way.  The fields looked like lakes. I took the photo on the right as we were crossing the Fox River bridge.  I have never seen the river so high.  Jr. and Jeanette live on the Fox River, but their house sits up high on the East side of it…apparently not high enough!  Their house also overlooks the Montgomery Dam.  In fact the road that goes by their home is called River Road…That name pretty much says it all.  River Road was closed due to flooding at the South end, so we snaked our way on back streets to get to their house..

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River Road in front of their house was open. The left pic is looking at their house from across River Road.  Pic on the right is looking at their house from the end of their neighbor’s drive.  They have a lovely home, but we found 5” of water in their basement when we got there…Dennis got their sump pump out, and found the hose to hook onto it overhead in their garage. They have not one, but TWO drains in their basement and water was coming in both…The rain Gods were definitely laughing at us…I didn’t have any boots with me, so while Dennis was sloshing around in their basement, I took the opportunity to walk across the road to see the dam.  I noticed many cars stopped and people getting out to see the water coming over the dam.

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The water was RUSHING over the dam…and both ends of the walking trail were impassable..

I walked as far as I could and looked up the river North toward Aurora….

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….this is the view I saw on the other side of the river…How awful for those poor people. Suddenly, I felt very small and ungrateful.  I realized just how lucky Dennis and I, and Jr. and Jeanette really were!!

  Finally, about 4:30PM, Dennis had done all he could at their house. He plugged the drains as best he could, I helped him get the hose out their window and the sump hose into the street.  The water was still bubbling up some around their drains, but the sump pump was keeping up with it…Once the water went down a few inches, MacGyver relit their hot water heater and the pilot light on their furnace (the water had gotten high enough to put them both out).  On our way home, at the main stop light in Montgomery, we saw 2 of the sanitary sewer manholes at the stoplight….

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…You can see the water boiling up around both of them!!! Until that sewer water begins to go down, everyone’s basement drains were in jeopardy!!!!

So, that has been our excitement for this week.  I am happy to report that our basement is dry again today, and so is Uncle Jr.’s…Aunt Jeanette (age 97) was in their basement all day yesterday sorting through her barrels of clothing (yes , she really does have barrels of clothing) figuring out what to pitch and what to keep. I told her to wait until we come up tomorrow, but she said that it keeps her busy…And I will NOT argue with her…

Today the sun is shining and Dennis is installing new garage doors on our garage.  I actually think we will be mowing grass today, too.  That sunshine sure makes one’s mood improve.  I no longer want to be a snail.  Now I want to be Fred, the dog .  Fred belongs to bloggers FD 5 and Bridget, ( Travels of John and Bridget)..or should I say that John and Bridget belong to Fred..Now THAT dog has it made, and lately, I would be content to just lie on the couch and be fed 3 “squares” a day…yes I would!!

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”

                                              ~Allen Saunders

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A bittersweet memory for John and Chris…and SO many others…

  As you may know, we spent 5 nights in Zionsville, IN to watch our 2 youngest grandsons while their mom and dad went to Boston.  Their dad, John Wolff, had qualified to run in the Boston Marathon, and it was all very exciting …too exciting.  I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my brain around such acts committed by people who see it in their power to terrorize innocence…be it homegrown, or from afar.  Thank God that all is well with our family, and John and Chris are now home in Zionsville safe.  If only it were so for others.

Here is the scenario in a nutshell..

McGyver and I watched the race on the TV Monday, and John had programed Den’s phone at each 10 kilometers to give us his time, and after John crossed the finish line at 1:25PM, Chris called us with his time….We were sooo proud of John!!  He ran the 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 18 minutes…Chris had been considering waiting for him at the finish line, but others advised her to go to mile 24 where she could get a better view of him as he ran by. John and Chris went back at their hotel as soon as he gathered his pack and cooled down…The hotel they were staying at, (Hotel 140) was only 1 block from the finish line, that’s why they chose it…

As it turns out, McGyver and I went outside about 2PM with the kids, after we knew John had finished ..We were riding bikes, scooters, swinging, and then took a walk.….We managed to corral the two boys with the promise of a treat, and went inside about 3PM …Suddenly my cell phone rang, and I saw it was Chris…I answered and all she said was, “John and I are OK”…I was clueless. We had been outside and had no idea what had happened.  She told me to turn on the TV and watch..but assured me that she and John were safe inside their hotel.

As we watched in horror, the tragedy just kept getting worse.  Chris and John skyped the boys about 4:30PM, after Boston lifted the cell phone ban.  It was soooo good to see their faces and those boys were excited to see them too (although Maddox, at age 2, was wanting to jump into the computer and grab his mommy!)..Chris told us that their hotel was on lockdown, as was everything within a large perimeter near the finish line…Everyone was on edge because you just didn’t know if there were other bombs planted, and if so, where. 

  Something like this certainly puts things in perspective, and makes all else pale in comparison to having your family safe..Chris and John were also lucky that they made their 6AM flight out of Boston this AM (they thought it might be canceled),and arrived at Midway Airport in Chicago about 9AM Central time, then drove the 3 hours home to Zionsville. (They flew out of Midway because it was less expensive than Indy).

I want to thank everyone for their caring concern for our family on Monday…We had MANY phone calls, text messages and Facebook comments about their safety..  We are very blessed with great bloggers, great friends and extended family…and were lucky where other families were not.  I am sure many, many people will never forget this Boston Marathon, so marred by the tragedy of a cowardly, senseless act of terrorism.

  On a lighter note, we had a great time with those two Wolff Cubs..…If you click on it you can get the full effect…and yes, that is McGyver “swinging” with Madds.



Chris and John have a lovely home just East of Zionsville in an established “subdivision” called Raintree…

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Have you ever seen a Bentley Car Dealership…Well there is one in Zionsville (left photo). Middle is their Walgreens, and right pic is the McDonalds…very low key…and up

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We arrived Thursday about 1PM and went with Chris to see Aiden take his swim lesson.  This is held at the Zionsville High School pool, and his teacher is a student who teaches swimming after her classes..

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Aiden and Maddox thought they could sneak inside Chris and John’s luggage and tag along…WRONG! IT’S MUCH NEEDED “MOMMY AND DADDY TIME”!

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Pic on left is the “Wolff Den” from the back…and on the right is the house across the street from them that Aiden thinks his Mimi and Papa should buy…hmmm..only $599,000…NOT!

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Chris got a new dining room table…Looks like a board meeting could be held there..Right pic, if  you look close, you will see a white cat amongst the pillows on their bed…That is Lady Di..

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Lady Di loves McGyver..But McGyver???? not so much.  He hates cats..I find it hilarious that she choses him to lay onFlirt male!

With all of the scary news out of Boston on Monday, John’s mother, Jan, and step dad, Mark, came over with a bottle of wine and some pre-cooked ribs and dip…We had a toast to our wonderful blended family. Martini glass(OK, maybe a few toasts!)

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Mark and Dennis finished the ribs on the gas grill…Jan and I supervised…Every person in John’s family is AWESOME!!

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Grama Jan and Mimi…just part of one great big happy family…and counting our blessings FOR SURE!


These photos were taken Saturday…How could any of us have imagined how life would change for so many…As I said, bittersweet. This brings to mind the lyrics to one of my favorite songs…

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance “

                                                ~Garth Brooks, “The Dance”