Cave Dwellings: April 2015
Cave Dwellings

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Phew!..Busy Week!

MacGyver and “moi” had a great visit with at the Wolff den last week. The original reason we went to Zionsville was for me to go to an appointment with my ENT at Indiana University Hospital…We got to Zionsville Monday afternoon . We got up the next AM and followed our daughter, Chris, into downtown Indianapolis. Chris works for a Vascular Surgeon at Methodist Hospital downtown.. It was a busy drive through rush hour and I was very glad Dennis was my chauffeur!!


Chris showed us the best way to park down there…valet parking. You just drive up in front of University Hospital and give your keys to one of several “valets”, get a ticket and you’re good to go…Valet parking is only $5.00 if you are a patient..and I was an out-patient..SCORE!!

I was scheduled for a CT scan of my neck and chest, which required an injection of contrast (dye) to see what was going on. I am not one who gets uptight with needles and such, as I worked in our local hospital as a Nurse’s Aide when I was in college..If you can to that job, you can handle most anything!..After all this, I met with my doc, Dr. Moore, after he looked at the scans. Good news was that he saw nothing major on either scan.  He did see my growths on my thyroid gland, but didn’t see anything definite in the way of an enflamed parathyroid…(He did say,however, that a Radiologist would read my scans and give the final results). Sooo…nothing much new…The doc wants me to get more bloodwork done ordered by my Endocrinologist and have a copy of the results sent to  him…

While I was there, I signed up to be on My IU Health, which allows you to view all of  your medical stuff online. Today I did find my results ..but am not exactly sure I understand them…I guess if  Dr. Moore isn’t worried, than I shouldn’t either, right??

After a hectic day at IU Hospital (we went in at 7:30AM and got out at noon), we all went out for dinner…a celebration of health…

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Dennis and I watched these two Wolff cubs for 2 days so Chris and John could do a quick trip to Las Vegas, where John had a presentation to give for his work…We had a great time with those boys!!

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Chris and John flew back on Friday and we got home here Saturday about noon…and drove through some pretty heavy rain all the way!…

Sunday we went to see our granddaughter in her musical. Taylor is a Sophomore at Kaneland High School, and the school puts on a musical every Spring. Last year we missed it because we were still gone, but THIS Spring we made a point of being here.. This year it was “Shrek, The Musical”. If  you remember that kid’s movie, it is really cute..a story of an Ogre in a world of nursery rhymes and storybook characters…  They had a Friday night performance, a Saturday matinee performance, a Saturday night performance and a matinee performance on Sunday..we went to Sunday’s matinee and it was spectacular!!  Here is a collage of a few of the wonderful performing and talented kids…

04-26-2015 Taylor had 3 different parts..She was a dancing rat, one of the Three Little Pigs, and a Duloc dancer..which meant 6 costume changes.  The musical even had a live orchestra of high school members in the orchestra pit providing the music for all of it..What a fabulous production..and what talented kids…Of course, we were very proud of Taylor!

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Above is our darling Duloc dancer…and on the right, she is now a Dancing Rat, trousers, tails and tophat!

101_7089 …and on the left, Tay is now one of the Three Little Pigs…what a hoot!

The musical was 2 1/2 hours long with a 15 minute intermission…and after it was over we took a few photos of our “shining star”…


I gotta say it…she is a keeper, this one!!…and so are her very proud brothers!!

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Mom and Dad…(they brought her the flowers)….and..of course, Papa and I were verklempt…

101_7102 What a wonderful week full of grandchildren we had..we are sooooo blessed!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Busy Weekend

Busy times here at our house..All the kids and families were on deck to attend my brother’s daughter’s wedding…The Wolffs arrived Friday evening and just kept going until this morning..

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Saturday morning, Chris and John went for a 9 mile run (both training for a half marathon and Chris for a marathon)..While they were gone, I took the boys up to our Sandwich Park District to see a Civil War encampment.  I’m not sure they really liked it as much as I did…After all, they are only ages 4 and 6…and I am at least 14…

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This lady was cutting up lamb for stew…Those Wolff Cubs tolerated my love of history…because I took them to the play park afterward…

Saturday afternoon, the entire Cave Clan, kids and grandkids, went to my niece’s wedding about 35 miles from Sandwich, in Ottawa, IL. We all managed to clean up pretty well…


The Heisers, back row…Sophia, my step great grandaughter, and the two Wolff Cubs, Aiden and Maddox..I think Maddox will follow my lead as a fashionista…He wore that “Gangsta” hat all evening long!

Here are a few photos from the wedding…

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What a great time we all had…Dancing our socks off, and trying to keep up with those kids!!!


Yep…Me and my baby brother, Michael…The older we get, the more I look just like our Mom and he looks like our Dad…

Everyone left this morning and MacGyver and I are now trying to recover..temporarily..Tomorrow we drive to Zionsville, IN so I can see my IU Doc, and then we babysit those Wolff Cubs Wed –Friday so Chris can go with John to a business trip to Las Vegas…What kind of business trip would take them to Las Vegas?? John is the IT man for Monarch Beverage in Indianapolis and has to give a presentation at a meeting in Vegas…Monarch Beverage happens to be the biggest beer and wine distributor in Indiana. (How fortunate for US!) .And what better place to have a meeting than one of the biggest cities that consumes these items??

Oh, and one more thing..I need to give a big “shout out” to John Hatch (FD5)..I used John’s recipe for homemade ice cream to impress the family…and it worked FAMOUSLY!!


Just look at these two kids chowing down on sundaes made with my homemade ice cream!! Maddox, in particular, licking his lips!! Our daughter, Christie, added some to her morning coffee Saturday…and last night we adults just got spoons and finished it off standing around our kitchen island..


John Hatch’s Homemade Ice Cream

3 C. heavy whipping cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 T. pure vanilla

Using hand mixer, beat whipping cream until it has stiff peaks...5-6 minutes.  Add 1/2 of the SCM and the vanilla, folding them in thoroughly..Then add the rest of the SCM and completely fold that in..I used a Pyrex large measuring bowl that had a lid and put it in the freezer overnight..YUMMO!! (You can also add candy bars, or cookies , or make a different flavor, but this Vanilla was in a league all its own!)


Friday, April 17, 2015

MacGyver’s new “ride”..and EF-4 Tornado footage


Here it is!! 2001 GMC Sonora…I’m likin’ those fancy pants wheels and tires myself..

Actually, Ol’ Blue  is running again, but Den is pretty sure something else will “go South” on it soon, and it will continue to be a “money pit”…Hey, it’s 27 years old…I wonder how old that is in truck years??? At any rate, Ol’ Blue will likely go out on Center Street “FOR SALE”…or to our local junk yard…

Lots going on here….All our kids will be here this weekend to attend my brother’s step-daughter’s wedding in Ottawa, IL…So I plan on a Cave-A-Palooza here at the Cave Dwellings Saturday night after the wedding and reception. Sounds like it might be perfect campfire weather…The Wolff family will leave here Sunday AM ( after a Casey’s Breakfast Pizza) for home. ..Then Dennis and I will be heading down to their house in Zionsville Monday. I have my much anticipated appointment scheduled at Indiana University with Dr. Michael Moore.  I first have to have a CT scan of my neck, then I see the Doc..We shall see what  he says…

We are staying with the Wolff Cubs from Wednesday until Friday afternoon so Chris can go with John on a “business trip” to  Las Vegas..He has a meeting out there and she may as well go along while we are there to watch the boys…I love that area they live in anyway…Going to their home is like a vacation trip for me…I have been working in our yard for about 4 days and frankly feel that we don’t NEED all of this land!! I would live in our camper in a heartbeat…

Next weekend our one and only granddaughter, Taylor, has a role in a musical at Kaneland High School. Den and I are attending the Sunday matinee of “Shrek, the Musical” at the high school. Taylor has 3 different parts, and one is a dancing pig…I don’t remember much about Shrek, but I am sure it will be lots of fun! 

Our daughter, Terrie, is at it again, working on projects in her home…

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Here are a few of her latest accomplishments as Terrie Heiser Designs…An old wooden spool now holds books as an end table…and on the right…both of those thing she made..sheesh!

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Above is her clock she made out of a wooden spool top, and the kitchen light was made with those lights they use to keep baby chicks warm in the barn…She just put regular bulbs in them…I cannot even hold a screwdriver the right way..She is a MacGyverette, for sure. She had MY MacGyver over to her house to get advice on her next big project…

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See those French Doors? Well, Terrie wants to make them into sliding French Doors..Sounds like a huge deal to me, but she has researched it and Dennis says she has it under control…MacGyver, of course, will be available for “consultations” on this one…

Some of you may have heard about the EF-4 Tornado that ripped through Illinois last Thursday, the 9th of April…It began in the town of Rochelle, IL, about 40 miles North of Sandwich and did some damage, but the worst hit was the little town of Fairdale, IL.  Make sure you click on those links…you will see some very frightening video of this monster storm on both links!!

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The photo on left is the tornado in it’s first stages, out in a cornfield..The right photo is the damage it reeked in Fairdale, a town of 200 residents..Miraculously, only 2 people died. They attribute that to the great news coverage of the approaching storm . I know our weather radio here at our house went off a few times, and I did hear that Tornado WARNING for Northern DeKalb County…Man, that was waaaay too close!

OK, this is a quickly thrown together blog…(no, really Donna?)..I have to make my chicken salad for our lunch tomorrow…The Wolff family will roll through here about 7PM this evening…and I am quite sure there will be a cocktail hour by our campfire with roasted marshmallows for the boys!! I will let ya know how my Doc appt. turns out and post some photos of our trip to Zionsville!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I sure am missing that relaxing Winter Trip right about now…

As I said, we have had a bit of a busy homecoming here in Sandwich, IL…leaking water pipes, leaking upstairs sink, toilet flushing issues…and Den’s faithful Ol’ Blue truck basically died…Not exactly what we had planned, but we are tackling it one two three four leaks at a time…Oh, and by the way, our blue truck is in two pieces right now…

11138598_991617314182080_4970606518450106468_n From what I understand, the truck needs a new fuel pump..and the fuel pump is located on top of the fuel tank, under the truck bed..So what does McGyver do? He invites a few strong backs over, and after taking all of the bolts out of the truck bed, they lift it off…And now Den isn’t sure that is the problem, but  he ordered a new one online…What a royal pain in the arse!! (NOT McGyver, …that blue truck!) I am pushing for a new old truck..Hey, Ol’ Blue is a 1989 model…get over it, McGyver!!

Now to the more important problem…the broken water pipes from our upstairs bathroom, causing it to rain in the kitchen..When we left in November, Den shut off the water upstairs but not downstairs…In February he was concerned so he had Kelly turn off the water there too.  Those thermostat batteries must have died after that, causing our furnace to shut off and leave some water in those pipes. McGyver wasn’t sure just how many leaks we had, but he knew where the “rain” had come down, so he started cutting our drywall at that point..

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On the left, you can see our old lathe and plaster ceiling at the bottom..Dennis found the first leak (exploded copper pipe)…then he noticed another one…Then he found a third on the outside wall over our sink…Let me just say that watching poor Dennis working in that little space with a blow torch and solder was very scary!..I made sure we had Sandwich Fire Dept. on speed dial…He got those 3 leaks fixed (up and down the ladder a gazillion times). We have an air compressor in our garage, and to test the newly soldered pipes he dragged the compressor hose from the garage, up on the kitchen roof and into the upstairs bathroom window. Apparently, the pressure of that air finds any other leaks and you can hear the air coming out where there is a crack…I know this because once he hooked up the compressor, my job was to stick my head up there and see if I heard any air rushing…Sure enough, there was yet another leak, but this one was farther down the ceiling. The only thing McGyver could do was cut another hole in our kitchen ceiling…oh joy.

11129922_993358557341289_629684851799484189_n ….one more hole to get to the 4th bad boy leak…sheesh!!



….hmmmm , maybe we could make a couple trap doors to make it faster to “drop” down into the kitchen for a midnight snack…??

Finally, after a long day for poor McGyver, we HE had fixed all four blown pipes. One more listen after hooking up the air compressor told us they were sealed…The biggest test was turning on the water, and that went just fine…Well, kind of..We also discovered a pipe leaking under our sink in the upstairs bathroom sink…and our toilet needed a new piece for flushing. This required a new PVC pipe under the sink and a trip to the local  hardware store..Luckily, McGyver fixed those items quickly…This whole “coming home” episode has been a real test of endurance for our little love nest here at the Caves…But after some swearing, bitching, raised voices, red faces,  and a few non-descript hand signals, ..we are still together…

Maxine pizza

On a lighter note, I have decided to do something to show our support for the police officers in our town and everywhere. I have seen on Facebook that a lot of people are involved in showing their support by placing blue lights outside…This is called Project Blue Light, and is a tribute to all police officers, especially those fallen heroes…I put a blue lighted lantern on our front porch and am in the process of getting some blue rope lights for our back deck…





This is a waterproof lantern I got at a store…It has 3 LED lights inside and runs on batteries…Also, it has a timer that automatically turns it on for when you set it, and then turns it off 6 hours later…Lord knows I need something automatic, or I would never remember to turn it off!!



OK, that’s enough of our traumatic homecoming…We are in recovery mode, and I am a little giddy.. I know that FINALLY our 1970’s kitchen will get a much needed facelift!!!!