Cave Dwellings: June 2014
Cave Dwellings

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

Papa’s Pub…Now open for small gatherings

   Thanks to one of my Ya Ya’s, who wanted to get rid of a pub style table..I decided to create a small “pub” atmosphere on one end of our front porch!!

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Yep, it works just great…We sat out there watching it rain a couple nights ago…and speaking of rain, we have had our fill!



I was keeping a close watch on these clouds….They went South of us and hit the South side of Chicago with wind and downpours, but no tornadoes…Chris and John had a close call though!..


This tornado just missed Speedway in Indianapolis, and caused some damage in Plainfield, about 10 miles from where Chris works and the boys are in daycare…YIKES!!

One good thing about all this rain is how it has really popped our flowers! Our grass is really greeeeeen, too! There have been some Junes that is it all drying up, but not this June!!

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Not too much going on here.  Den and I have been helping out Uncle Jr. and Aunt Jeanette about every 10 days …getting groceries, doing some banking…They are back living at home, with no help wanted.  If they do decide to have someone come and help them on occasion we will let THEM decide who and when this time…Lessons have been learned!

Our niece, Leanne, got some good news this week. Her Cancer Doc looked at her last CT Scan and gave her the “go ahead” to leave for a 2 week vacation in Hayward, WI next week from today. More Chemo down the road, but for now Leanne is thrilled for this respite… Most of the family is going, as it has become a “mecca” of sorts for one of our famous “Cave-A-Paloozas”…Here are a few photos from last year..

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And here are MOST of the adults in our group, enjoying some beverages at Treeland’s Lodge…I may have to go through “de-tox” after this vacation!


We had a little celebration for Leanne’s good news at our neighbor’s “garage pub”..Leannes’ hubby and I made a toast to vacation…(Notice my very stylish Loony Toon evening wear).   LOOK OUT, HAYWARD, HERE WE COME AGAIN !! (It does help to take your own personal police officer with you …just in case ;-)


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dreamin’ of Florida for this Winter’s trip

  Well, Dennis and I have decided to try doing Florida again this Winter. We tried a couple years ago, but got called back after 5 weeks when Uncle Jr. fell..I got just a taste of it and knew we had to go back…Not that we haven’t been there before…When our kids were little we use to go almost every summer, beginning in 1972, which was the 2nd year it was open. All they had was the Magic Kingdom…

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The first year we went, Kelly was 2 1/2 and I was pregnant with Terrie…We stayed at Daytona Beach and drove over to Orlando for the day..As the kids got older, a couple of our friends started going with us…Eventually we had a small caravan of families, and the property got bigger and bigger…Walt Disney World is still one very magical place to me….




Left was taken on Den and my very first trip to Florida in summer of 1970.  I was pregnant with our son and oldest, due on August 22nd. We decided to go to Florida in July, when Caterpillar Tractor shut down for 2 weeks vacation. Hey, I wasn’t due for 6 weeks! So I asked my Doctor and he said “Sure, go ahead. They have doctors in Florida”. He then gave me a slip of paper with my blood type on it and something about I was healthy, told me to pack a bag for the baby and gave us his blessing. Heck, Dennis said he could deliver our baby, he had read the book!..My Mom and Den’s Mom , on the other hand, were none too happy.

Long story short, our good friends (he worked at Cat too) followed us down. That photo you see on the left was at Cocoa Beach Holiday Inn. My friend, Sharon is behind me, and that would be her hubby, Ron, with his toes on the diving board and his body underwater…No, I didn’t dive…we took this for our parents….and..NO, they did NOT think it was funny!!






Our love affair with Florida continued when Chris and John got married on the beach at the Hilton Inn on Longboat Key, near Sarasota….I think I have changed my favorite coast from the Atlantic to the Gulf…


In August, 2005, we took the Cougar down for Chris and John’s wedding…We met the Heisers at Disneyworld and camped at Ft. Wilderness, then drove to Long Boat Key for the wedding…I guess you could say that we have been in Florida more than any other state. Texas probably runs a close second. I have already booked us in for Ft. Pickens campground, Ocala National Recreation Area, and Ortona South Army Corps camgrounds at LaBelle, FL…DO YA THINK I’M ANXIOUS?????

Before I get up from my computer chair and have a nice white wine, I want to thank you all for the encouraging words concerning my parathyroid issues. I am booked for out-patient surgery at Rush-Copley Medical Center on July 23rd…Oh, and one more thing…Our oldest daughter, Terrie, was just diagnosed with Hyperparathyroidism..just like me..She has an appointment with an Endocrinologist August 1st…Yep, good ol’ genetics dealt her a real bad hand…

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“One of these things is NOT like the others”…That would be Christie, on the right….no thyroid issues there!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I’m going to hire Elmer Fudd…..PESKY WABBITS!

It does me absolutely NO earthly good to go all hyper spastic about our multiplying rabbit population here at 518 W. Center St.  As with Adam and Eve, I’m sure it all started with 2 ..Two adorable little yuppie bunnies who fell in lust love, found a preacher bunny, got married and had sweet adorable little baby bunnies. Hence the beginning of fencing in my vegetable garden, keeping any Impatience flowers up on our deck, and chasing the little darlings out of my flower beds…I thought we just had a ONE major problem with my naughty squirrels. Every morning I have to go out on the deck and fill in the holes of all my potted plants, sweep up the dirt and sometimes I even have to replant those poor little flowers who find themselves lying on TOP the dirt with their roots exposed to all the world.

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Yep, squirrel and rabbit stew is a recipe I am more than ready for.

Before all of you critter lovers send me hate email, I really do enjoy Mother Nature and her wonderful little animals of the world. REALLY, I DO!..But (here comes the rant), I am losing my fairly good sense of humor this summer at having to replace plants every week.  The WalMart garden center knows me well.  I finally Googled “plants that rabbit will NOT eat”, and came up with 3…Coleus, Snapdragons, and Marigolds…LET THOSE DAGNAB CRITTERS FIND THEIR GARDEN SALAD AND FLOWER LUNCHEON DOWN THE STREET FROM NOW ON!!

Some of you may remember my great find at a garage salel last week…my electric wood stove/heater…Well, the heater part didn’t work, so MacGyver got out his little test kit and proceeded to tear that wood stove apart on our kitchen counter…

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After removing a gazillion little screws and bagging them in various zip snak bags, the heater element underneath was finally opened up so Den could test all the electrical connections. And while we had it apart we gave it a really good cleaning.  Dennis even brought his air compressor hose in the kitchen to blow out all the dust in the heater coils…(and placed it all over my kitchen).  After a night and a day, we  had it cleaned up and Dennis found the problem. Don’t ask me what it was, I hate electricity and am basically afraid of it..All I do is hold MacGyver’s flashlight. At any rate, it is now fixed and not only is it just soooo cute…it provides heat if we would need it to!!

Well, I finally got the results of my parathyroid nuclear test that I had done last week.  Apparently I have one enlarged parathyroid gland, which means it has turned into a begnign tumor and probably needs to come out. “Parathyroid glands control the amount of calcium in our blood and bones. About 1 in 100 people (1 in 50 women over 50) develop a parathyroid gland tumor during their lifetime causing parathyroid disease, called: "hyperparathyroidism". Hyperparathyroidism is a destructive disease that causes high blood calcium--which leads to serious health problems--even early death. It can be cured in most patients in less than 20 minutes with parathyroid tumor removal. If you have high calcium, you almost certainly have a parathyroid tumor.” Yes, I do have high calcium (hypercalcemia).  “We now know that primary hyperparathyroidism is a debilitating disease like diabetes that takes a terrible toll on your body over time. It is much more deadly than high cholesterol--and it will make you feel miserable. Bottom Line: the days of doing nothing for hyperparathyroidism are long gone; the days of "watching" your calcium because it is "just a little bit high" are long gone. A little high calcium for many years is very dangerous. It is much better for the patient and cheaper in the long run to have a mini-parathyroid operation and fix the problem (usually 20 minutes or even less by some experts -- go home in an hour or two). How high the calcium is does not matter--a little bit high calcium is just as deadly as a very high calcium!”

  I guess this has just turned into a medical merry blogging session, but I do think it’s important to get this information out.  I have been suffering at least 2 years with high blood pressure, extreme depression and moodiness, kidney stones ( all my life), bouts of severe diarrhea and just not feeling good in general. I had NO idea what the Heck the parathyroid glands even did, until my Cardiologist was very surprised by my sudden high BP, plus kidney stones, plus high Calcium levels in my blood. He was the one who sent me to see an Endocrinologist..Thank you, Dr. Vijay Shah!! I might add that our daughter, Terrie, has had waaaaay more stones than I, and is probably going to pursue this same avenue I have….It can be  hereditary…

OK, enough of the General Hospital segue…On a lighter note, we are planning on taking a few days ,just after July 4th, to go to Hayward WI with family again this year. No, we won’t be taking the Hiker. We are only going for 3 nights, so Den and I will again be booking our little “love nest”, the Chip-Wa Motel, about 2 miles from Treeland Resorts.  The rest of the family spends the whole week at Treelands.   After only 3 nights of this Cave-A-Palooza, MacGyver and I have to come home and go to de-tox…JUST  KIDDING!! Here are a few pictures from last year…(Don’t panic, I put them in one big collage!)



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

An Ironman, a graduation…and a Triple A

After another whirlwind week, I find myself trying to sum it up in a few paragraphs called a “blog”.  Thanks you for all your kind words about my brother, Michael.  After I wrote the last blog, he ended back in Peoria Hospital with more back pain.  This time they ruled out the possibility that the pain caused by his Aortic tear….But, luckily, while searching for the reason for his pain, they discovered another aneurysm…in his abdomen.  In medical terms, this one is a “triple A”…Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm…Upon further examination, his doc determined that it would not yet require surgery and they would keep a close eye on this one too…His back pain very possibly could have been back spasms…being so tensed up could cause that.  They sent him home with pain meds and he will be spending some days with medical appointments in his near…and far…future. Thank God they found this second aneurysm!..Much better to know what is actually there and monitor it,  than never know and  have it rupture!!

Last night, Den and I attended Peyton’s 8th Grade Graduation from Harter Middle School .  Peyton is about to turn 14, and next year he will be a Freshman (not sure they even call them that now) at Kaneland High School.

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I believe there were over 400 kids graduating last night, but the administration did a great job on getting them filed through, diplomas in hand..It started at 6:30PM and we were on our way home at 7:40PM…Yep, now THAT is a fast graduation! Our son, Kelly, was able to come right from work. Kel’s wife, Cindy, was teaching a CPR class, so she couldn’t make it.

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Whenever Uncle Kelly shows up in his work uniform, everyone wants to get a photo op with him…


…Even Kel’s little sister grabbed the opportunity…(with Taylor photo bombing in the background).


These two siblings will be together in High School next year… Somehow I can’t believe this fondness will transfer when Taylor, the Sophomore, meets her little brother in the halls!!

Here they are camping with us 6-14-2005…my how time flies….

I am very proud to say that our son-in-law, John Wolff, is running in the Louisville, KY Ironman race on August 24th this year.  For those who are not familiar with what the makes up an IRONMAN triathalon, here it is:   a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. Most Ironman events have a strict time limit of 17 hours to complete the race(thus, earning the title: "IRONMAN"). We aren’t sure if Den and I will be part of his spectator fan club or babysitters for the Wolff Cubs!!

Last November John ran in the Boston Marathon…one marathon no one will ever forget…He has run about 4 marathons…maybe more, I could be wrong. The bicycling part of the Ironman Triathlon will likely be the hardest part for John,as he hasn’t been much of a “cycler”… The swimming will be a piece of cake for him (hopefully) because he was on the swim team in high school and also Purdue University Swim Team…As for the final leg of the triathlon, the 26.2 mile run… well…John is a seasoned runner, but after the swimming and bicycling it is a WHOLE new ballgame!!!!! We love John to the moon and back…but the main reason we love John Wolff is this….


He always find a way to “entertain” us and ALWAYS makes us laugh!!!!!

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.”  ~ Audrey Hepburn