Jul 222016
 

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what to do when life becomes a bit batty

What should you do when life suddenly becomes a bit batty? Buy a house!

When work on our house began and walls were taken apart, some of the workers mentioned finding a couple bats inside the walls.  It was winter and the walls were filled with old insulation.  My first thought was “hibernation”.  Do bats hibernate?

Fast forward several months.  It was a dark night, I had all the lights off, the kids were asleep, and my husband was gone to class.  Out of the corner of my eye I see something move.  However, when I look nothing was there.  I tried to convince myself I was being paranoid and go back to reading on my Kindle.

Then I see it again. Though I wanted to continue reading my book, I knew the adult thing would be deal with it and not ignore it.

Once the lights the mystery  was quickly solved – a bat was flying around our kitchen/living/dining rooms. {deep breath} I close the bedroom doors and head online to see what to do next.

Within 10 minutes the bad had been put back outside and I went back to reading … with the lights on this time.

The scenario above played out three times over the next few weeks.

Then, no more bats. Maybe we scared them away?  Maybe they found a new place to live?

That was till a month ago.

Very early one morning something woke me up.  At first I was not sure what it was.  The sun was not yet up and no kid was standing right next to me.  Then I heard it, a soft change in the air right above me (I was laying in bed).  sigh We had a bat in our bedroom.

This time I knew what to do and did not overreact or freeze up.  I laid in bed till my eyes adjusted then got up when the bat flew away.  I stood in a corner to see its path, turned off the fans in hopes it would fly higher, and prayed it would not go into the attic or George’s room.  I was not looking to play hide-and-seek with a bat at 3 in the morning.

I left the room to find a box in the basement.  When I came back, the bat was gone. Oh, fun.

to be continued …

 

 

 

May 052016
 

A productive past couple of days has left me feeling accomplished and very tired.  It has also left me feeling very behind and lacking.

I have been finishing up the inside of the house, in preparation for new carpet being installed on Friday.  I have finally finished removing wall paper, priming, and painting two coats on walls, as well as priming and painting (2 coats) on the ceilings.  Old carpet and padding has been pulled. Floors have been swept.  Closets cleaned out.

So why is it that I am feeling behind?  Because my yard is covered in weeds.  Look at it! It is horrible.:

yard weeds collage

They are everywhere I look.  The kids only help by “blowing on the pretty white flowers”, not realizing how much I hate those pretty white flowers.  My mowing seems to only help for a day or two, then over night everything comes back stronger than ever. Or so it seems.

Then it rains. It all grows bigger and bigger, laughing at me, while I have been whittling time away on inside work.  All hope is gone, I may as well throw in the towel now and not even try gardening this year!

(throwing in the towel)

I decided to walk around the yard, snapping pictures of all the ways I am failing as a gardener. See, I wanted to show you exactly how bad things had gotten. The proof is not in short supply.

By the time I had completed my trip around the yard, I found more that I was expecting.

spring flower collage

See, my focus had been distracted to the one part of the yard that received the most impact from our house work during the past two years.  It is the place where a 6+ foot deep trench had been dug and the dirt piled up, where trucks had been driving, where trees had been cut down, where wood chips had been piled since late last spring, and where almost no grass is growing.  My focus had been on this part of the yard.  Even though this small part was small in comparison to the whole, it is what my attention went to every time I pulled into our yard or looked out a window.

Meanwhile, in other section of the yard, flowers were blooming and growing.  Places that in years past held no flowers or were struggling, were now showing signs of thriving.  Color was showing up everywhere, pushing out the brown and mud of winter.

Isn’t this often how we view our gardens and life?  We worry and focus on the small part we are working on, forgetting to look around, forgetting to look at those places we improved upon in the past.

There will always be bare spots, weeds, lackluster parts of our garden.  And life.  People, including ourselves, live up or down down to our expectations of them.  If all you expect are weeds, then that is what you will find.  You will find yourself too tired to go do battle to take back your yard.  Other things will call out to you which seem to have a higher likelihood of success.  You will throw in the towel before you have even started.

However, if you can look at your garden and find all the things going right, or the potential for things going right, then that is what you will see.  You will find you have more energy to make it like you want it.  The rainy days will not seem so forlorn, but instead will be watering your flowers, making them ready to bloom brighter when the sun comes out.

Don’t believe me?  Take a look again at the pictures above.  Can you tell which part of the yard I feel better about, the part I have higher hopes for?  Hint: it is not the one with the “pretty white flowers” that my kids like.  The part I feel better about I am more likely to spend time in, working to make it even better.

Yes, I am talking about gardening, though the analogy works very well for life.  A conversation with a friend this week reminded me of that very point.  I proceeded to tell her about all the ways I am failing (persistent weeds), all the things going wrong (quick growing weed), and all the ways I should have done better (deep rooted weeds).  She then proceeded to encourage me (spreading flower seeds) and remind me of where our family has come from in the past (those perennial flowers planted several seasons ago that are now stronger and flowering more).  I was reminded to stop looking over at my neighbor’s life (“The grass is always greener…”) and focus on mine.

Sometimes, our garden really is shabby.  That is when you choose a corner to start improving upon, pulling weeds and planting things you enjoy.  Other times, it is only your perspective, looking at the areas still in progress.  You forget to turn and see the things you have added to make your garden your own.  Do not get so focused on the seed that your forget to see the flower.

 

Jul 012015
 

nature center bird identification display

It is 4:37 a.m. The first bird started singing.  I really need to figure out which bird this is.  It does not really matter. I feel like we share this special time, while the rest of the world sleeps we welcome in the new day together. Though, it is an hour later than the last time I made note of my feathered  friend’s song. A reminder that the sun will start rising later everyorning from here to the Winter Equinox.

Jun 172015
 

This is a Librivox recording, on YouTube. Most Librivox recordings I have listened to were read by one reader, or maybe multiple ones, but always one voice at a time. This recording of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a dramatic reading with different voices for various characters. This makes is easier to follow along with the story if there are large sections of conversation, so I greatly appreciate the effort put into this free recording.

The recording is 7 hours and 38 minutes long.

May 272015
 

This Librivox recording contains the full recording of A Child’s Garden of Verses by Roberty Louis Stevenson. The first minute and twenty five seconds are the introduction and dedication at the beginning of the book. All together the books takes just over an hour to listen to.

While the words are very clear in dictation, the speaker sounds on the younger side and sometimes is a bit halting in his speech.

May 132015
 

Having kids has been a great reminder of how much we take for granted, such as knowing that the green things growing in the garden will turn into food that we can eat. Or knowing that the roots are what take up the water and nutrients from the soil. If we do not teach the young ones, how will they learn and understand? Having them help also means they are more likely to eat the food grown.

This story is just over 11 minutes in length.

May 062015
 

This is a cute story for young children. While it can be used to show, in an imaginary way, how a seed grows, it can also be used to talk about other topics – change, trying new things, being yourself/different, etc.

I enjoyed the clear, steady reading that made it easy to listen to. Colorful illistrations were well done. The video is 5:21 minutes in length.