Cave Dwellings: August 2014
Cave Dwellings

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Weekend of pride and amazing athletes…

  To say that our weekend at the Ironman Triathlon was amazing doesn’t begin to describe it.  I have never seen so many people putting forth so much effort to fulfill a dream. There were old and young alike with one goal ….just to complete a 140mile, 3 event competition. And I feel sooooo privileged to have been a small part of it. 

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Louisville was all decked out for it. Our hotel (on the left) was the host hotel where almost all the athletes stayed. There were racing bicycles on almost every elevator we rode in, and we were on the 17th floor just a few rooms down from John and Chris.

We got there Friday afternoon. The Triathlon wasn’t until Sunday, but Saturday, John had to ride the bike for 1/2 hour to practice.  Then, we all took a ride in John and Chris’s car and followed the route of the 112 mile bike ride so John could get the “lay of the land”. Saturday afternoon John had to take his bike and bags to the bicycle transition area. This is where 3000 athletes transitioned after their swim to the bikes…


Each athlete packs a couple bags…one with clothes and another with water, snacks, Gatorade…whatever they might need  1/2 way through the ride. More about that soon. Above is John, oiling his bike chain just before he dropped it off at the transition area. Right is a picture of just SOME of the bikes parked there. Each bike has the athlete’s bib number on the bike in 3 different places. The bags also have their bib number on them, so when they show up to get their dry bike clothing after their swim, they give the volunteer helpers their number, and they get it for them….

Sunday morning, John got up at 5:15 AM and walked down the Ohio River to line up for the first leg of the Triathlon …the 2.4 mile swim.


There were 3000 swimmers lined up. John got in line about 6AM. The Triathlon swim began at 7AM, and we got there about 6:45AM. We finally found John amongst the green and pink (women) swim caps. FYI, the first swimmer got in the river at 7AM…John finally got to the river at 7:25AM…and there were lots more behind him. The athlete’s time begins when they get in the water.  I have was most confident about the swim.  He was on his high school swim team AND the Purdue University swim team.

When the athletes are done with the 2.4mile swim (part of it against the current)each athlete runs to get their bikes and dry clothes for the 112 mile bike ride…(SAY WHAAAAT?).  We were kept active getting to spots where we could cheer John on. Luckily, Chris and Kelly had a phone app that told us what John’s times were and therefore we knew just about where we could see him on the route.. We saw him just after he transitioned to his bike. Then we jumped into Kel and Cindy’s car and drove 30 miles to see him go through LaGrange, KY…It was really hard get pictures of him, but we finally did get a good photo when he grabbed his bag at the “special needs” station. This is the half way point, where a gazillion volunteers are ready with the nutrition bags the riders packed. As they rode by, the athletes called out their bib number and a volunteer ran and got it…Some stopped here to use the port-a- potties..and while they were using them, the volunteer would hold onto their bikes for them…( kick stands on THESE bikes!) Did I mention that it was hot as Heck and the humidity was about 90%??? Even we supporters were soaked with sweat!

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Above are the bags lined up by numbers…Everyone in orange was a volunteer…Right is our own Ironman athlete…GO WOLFFIE!!

After the 112 mile bike ride (which ends up back at the transition area), each athlete begins his 26.6 mile Marathon run….We figured we could catch John a couple times…We saw him at about mile three of his run, but it happened so fast we didn’t get a photo… Then we walked a couple more blocks to the 13 mile (halfway) point.. We were in time to see John run by…He spotted Chris and ran over, gave her a kiss, and kept on running. Yup, she cried.…The cut off time for finishing the Triathlon is midnight. After that…well…you were just out of luck.

johnfinish Ironman John Wolff coming across the finish line at 7:16PM.

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So….here are John’s times……Keep in mind that 3000 people started the race and only 2095 finished.

John’s swim time for 2.4 miles was 55 minutes, 33seconds.

John’s bicycle time for 112 miles was 6 hours, 22 minutes, 29 seconds.

John’s Marathon time was 4 hours, 13 minutes,30 seconds.

Total time to do all of that was 11 hours, 50 minutes, 55 seconds….He came in 323rd out of 2095, finishing in the top 15%.Even making the Zionsville paper.NOT BAD FOR HIS FIRST TRIATHLON!!!!



And here is the Ironman John Wolff Support Crew after the race…with our hero…


Thursday, August 21, 2014

A weekend of fun coming up!

I’ll take a vacation any way I can get it…and this weekend we are going to Louisville, KY…Why? you might ask…I’m very glad you did. We are going to watch our son-in-law, John Wolff (A.K.A. “Wolfie”) participate in an Iron Man Triathlon.  On Sunday, John and a couple thousand others will begin their 140.6 mile journey by jumping into the Ohio River and swimming 2.4 miles…After which they will jump on bikes and ride a course of 112 miles…after which they will run a full Marathon, yep…26.2 miles. No, John is not crazy (well, maybe slightly), he just loves to challenge his endurance. I cannot swim 20 ft, ride a bike across town without being winded, or run ANYWHERE without stopping at Walgreens for my Depends.

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Above left are Tim, Terrie, Chris and John before running a Mini-Marathon (13.1 miles) in Indy. Right photo….Well, when those Cave sisters get together no one is safe.

Den and I are riding down to Louisville with our son, Kelly and his wife, Cindy.  Chris and John are going down Friday morning, and we will meet them there about 3PM at The Galt House in downtown Louisville. Not sure if the The Galt House staffers have ever read my blog (who am I kidding?), but I’m very sure they have no idea what a mini- Cave-A-Palooza is like. They should count their blessings that there will only be a small portion of the Cave Clan present.  The actual Triathlon is Sunday, August 24th, and we will leave Monday morning, having left our “mark” on Louisville and The Galt House..  Our other daughter, Terrie,  and her hubby, Tim, cannot make it because their kids have sports this weekend….Sooooo, it will be up to US to cheer John Wolff on as he swims, bikes, and runs his way to the finish line…I am, of course, making big orange sign saying “GO WOLFIE!” to hold up in the crowd.  John’s goal is to finish in 12 hours or under. (My goal is to get a glass of Wine somewhere in that 12 hours..)…Oh boy, this is gonna be soooo much fun!!

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Above 2 photos are when John ran in the Boston Marathon, 2012…No one will ever forget. Boston Strong! Thank God Chris and John weren’t at the finish line when all Hell broke loose.

I’m not sure where these 4 kids get their love of running.  I DO know it isn’t from MY side of the family…I never do anything to draw attention to  myself…

Sunday, August 17, 2014

CANNOT WAIT UNTIL SEPT 1…officially the beginning of Fall in my opinion!

Surprise! I managed to get my act together and create another meaningless blog within the 1 week time frame. This is no easy feat for one as busy as “moi”…Remember that great looking pan of spaghetti sauce I slaved over? …blanching, peeling and seeding a gazillion tomatoes, adding fresh chopped basil, parsley, a few bay leaves and other assorted items,(“Fillet of a fenny snake, in the caldron boil and bake; eye of newt, and toe of frog”…you get my drift.)

20140810_131526  Well, I put said “caldron” of home made spaghetti sauce in the refrigerator overnight to cool. The next morning I got it out and set it on our kitchen counter. My intension was to dip it into quart zip bags and freeze it… I then commenced to open the overhead cabinet to retrieve a plate…and proceeded to drop the plate and break it into a thousand  pieces INTO said caldron of sauce!!! CRAAAAAAAAP!!!!! Down that hungry garbage disposal went all my hard work!!! Soo, guess what I’m going to do tomorrow??? Yep, I’m gonna give it ONE more try..20 gazillion tomatoes will again meet their demise at my little paring knife. Thank GOD, I have a great harvest this year!! SHEESH!!

We have the Hiker mostly ready to hit the road, but we wont be doing it for another 15 weeks…MacGyver’s quote: “You can never spend too much time in the planning stages”…Not to mention that he will be back in the combine again this Fall…

I tell Dennis he pulled a “bait and switch” on me when we met..He never said he was a “farmer wanna be”, and would be booked half of  September, all of October and some of November!!!

But…..I married a MacGyver…and MacGyver is a wizard of many things…Yep, he certainly has many hats!

Yes, I DO love Fall!!!! It’s far and away my very favorite season!!

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…and I ADORE Halloween…There is something very wrong with me, I think, that I so enjoy all of the creepiness, scariness and bedlam it brings with it…

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Now if this doesn’t either scare you or make you nauseous, you have a cast iron stomach and constitution of an Ox. (note…this was also pre-turkey neck surgery…I could have had the doc save that waddle and had a purse made from it..with enough left over for a little change wallet!)

In closing and also in my eager anticipation of Fall, I will yet again re-publish my contribution to poetic literature…


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

I thank you for reading this far…You must be bored to death today!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Decisions, decisions, decisions….

My, my…seems I have been stretching the time between my blogging to the max lately…I have been pretty busy here…

20140810_131526 …our tomatoes are beginning to ripen, sooooo…I have been making spaghetti sauce!

Dennis and I have been busy too…

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…taking 7 huge garbage bags of crushed cans to get some CASH!..109lbs @ .60 a lb came to $65 +change!! (FYI, not ALL of them were beer cans!)

I have been busy taking photos of a few clouds…


…and…I  had a visit one of my Sandwich High School classmates that I hadn’t seen for years/ He surprised Den and me a few days ago….

20140810_153255 Meet Mr. Patrick Waite.  Pat is a huge hunter and outdoorsman, and he lives just 70 miles North of us.  I should also mention that Pat is a distant cousin of Dennis’s…small world, right?

Oh, yes…I have also been busily planning our Winter trip, hoping to spend some time in Florida.  Our family has been going to Florida since our son was 2 years old…that would be 42  years.  We had so many trips to  Disneyworld that I made a collage and it hangs on our wall….


If you look close, you will see the “Cave Family” at many stages of their lives through the years…Mickey was a close personal friend….

However, most of my time has been spent busily looking into a good surgeon for my NEXT parathyroid excavation…I did a LOT of  research. I was told by many peeps that I should go to a University Hospital for my next “opening”.. I found a highly recommended Doc at Chicago University Medical Center.  I emailed him and (surprise surprise!)he emailed me back that he would be glad to see me…But I also had some good  help hunting for a doc. Our daughter Chris (who works at Indiana University Medical  Center in Indy) asked her boss whom he would recommend there for this type of surgery. Her boss is a Vascular Surgeon, and has been at IU Health for 30 years. He gave Chris a name of a surgeon down there that he thought I should look into.  Very gratefully, I contacted that Doctor by email… Surprisingly, he also got right back to me…within an hour after I sent the email!   Sooo I now had 2 options good on my plate.  Long story short, I decided to go to Indianapolis…Having some family there and a daughter working there was the determining factor. Decision MADE!!

I made the appointment today. I will be seeing Dr. Michael Moore (NO, not the movie maker) on Oct. 21st.  Dr Moore said he needs my records, reports and labs from here and he will do some tests of his own.  He does many surgical “revisions”, and is a head, and neck surgeon specializing in Cancer.  My surgery won’t happen until next Spring. I really don’t want anyone cutting on my neck just now, and Dr. Moore said it would be best to let everything heal. (I’m still having some swallowing issues..GRRRRR!) I am, however, feeling really good about my decision. Also, Den and I will be going to babysit Chris’s kids in middle of November, so if I need further appointments I can make some for then…I think I made the BEST decision..Being pro-active in your own healthcare is a MUST! these days.

OK, this was a dumb blog.  I will try to “bring it”the next time I decide to create some drivel on the computer. Now that my brain isn’t so full of decision making, I can get back to my sick humored,  politically incorrect, often disturbing (but VERY stylish) SELF!! tee heee..  Now HERE is a big decision….

Just couldn’t help myself…Yup…I’m sick humored…

Friday, August 1, 2014

Tryin’ to see the humor….

  Not much going on here in Sandwich, IL. We seem to get a shower about every other day, which keeps MacGyver on his John Deere about every 5-6 days.  It seems like this summer has already flown by, and Fall isn’t very far from right now. Most of our birdhouses are fledging their 3rd go round of young ones…Those Sparrows are about as bad as rabbits!

20140720_133006 This is one big fat baby Sparrow I caught  hanging out on the bricks outside our screen porch..

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…Then I noticed his Mom..or Dad, bringing him some food…REALLY??? This baby Sparrow is bigger than his parent..the Baby Huey of birds!! Dude, just use those wings and go to our feeder..It’s like an” all you can eat”smorgasbord!

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I’m being “toyed with” by the Wrens again this year. They have been building nests in my two Wren houses, only to lay their eggs in a big tree out back. I thought by now those Wrens would be done with their breeding, but I have yet another Wren who just started building his nest in my Wren house…I would have thought all of their “ gettin’ busy” would be done by now…I think this one is just playing with my mind…pretending to be interested in becoming a renter in my Wren house when he actually has NO intentions of setting up  housekeeping!

As for my magical medical mystery tour, I had my 7 staples removed last Tuesday…Maybe this doc took one look at my tough old tanned skin and thought sutures wouldn’t hold…but staples??? Yes, the bad  news was the staples…the good news is that I now have a ready made Halloween costume for this year…Bride of Frankenstein…And now, get ready for a good look at THIS incision…



I can’t decide what’s worse , me sans make up, or the droopy skin scar on my neck…Hopefully it will get better with time…Speaking of time, I am on the hunt for a good Parathyroid Surgeon. My quest has taken my to the internet and I am researching University of Chicago Medical Center and Indianapolis University Medical Center.  My youngest daughter, who works as an Ultra Sound Tech in one of the medical center’s hospitals, is going to ask her boss, a Vascular Surgeon to recommend one..(Her boss has been a surgeon for 30  years, so I think he should be “in the know”!)…Right now I really don’t want to imagine one more scalpel being applied to my tender neck, but in the future I will certainly be more diligent in looking for an “accomplished” one!!


Gotta keep that sense of humor!!!!