In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Blessed By A Bat

The new place has a pet door. The old place didn’t. I have two dogs and I had three cats. One of the cats decided to leave here after one week. I am still sad about that but there’s nothing I can do about it. At the old place we had no fence around our yard, so the dogs had to go out on a leash. Sadie the cocker spaniel is a very leashable-walkable kind of dog. Eleanor the some kind of bird dog/chihuahua is not. She’s very zig zagable and jumpable though!
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You can totally imagine the time they had when they first arrived here. They almost didn’t know what to do. But once they figured out they could go in and out at their leisure we had it made. After a few days here one of the animals brought me a dead rabbit. A dead rabbit into the kitchen. It didn’t have a head. Nice. I’ve been graced with 2 drowned mice during the rains we had and a whole bunch of baby birds. One night about 4 a.m., my cats had a full grown robin in the laundry room. No more. I was done. The animals were to be locked out here in the back office/porch with their dog door and their kill. That lasted about 4 whole hours. The dogs whined and barked the entire time!   It’s been over a week now and they have not brought any animals in the house. I’m guessing because there’s nothing else out there to kill.
Early yesterday morning, my parents took off with their camper back to FL. They left around 6 a.m. I went into the laundry room and noticed a BAT high above my cabinets close to the ceiling. Great. What do I do now? I had to go to work. I got the litter box and all the animal food out of there and shut the door. I figured the bat would still be there when I got home. And it was.
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I have two huge windows in my laundry space, so I took the screen off of one window, raised the blinds and opened it from the top. I got a great seat on the deck with a glass of wine at dusk and waited for the exit. It was cool to watch her spread her wings. I guess she was getting warmed up for the flight. She made a few practice flights, but never hit the opening. Great. What do I do now? It was too dark for me to view her anymore, so I gave it up and went inside. I considered sleeping with that window open but you know, I’m on the north side. It would’ve totally been fine and I think I would’ve done it if I had to! But around 12:30 a.m. (bat hour) I peeked in the utility area. I cracked the door, I flicked on the light. No bat, that I could see anyways. Still afraid she might be there, I shut the window and locked it. Then I shut the utility room door as well.
I slept and checked the space again in the morning. No bat. But I have lots of clutter in there due to the move and the garage sale that I just had. I shut the space up just to keep the animals out of the bat space in case she was still around. After work today I felt positive that the bat was gone. I am doing laundry as I write this and lots of it. That little critter but a damper on my clothes cleaning party last night for sure.
How she got in I’ll never know. I’m having someone check the attic for bats just to be sure there’s not an entire colony up there.
I feel blessed by the bat. They’re cool animals and often arrive in times of transition. I feel that’s just why this one came to visit. Have a safe flight my friend.


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Ritter Springs is Yoga

The WOLF School (conservation based 5th grade) that my daughter attends held their camping trip this weekend at Ritter Springs Park.  We had great weather with the exception of lots of wind Friday night!  We rented a tent which was missing some poles and heck, I don’t even think the rain cover went with it, but you make do with what you have and it’s all good.  Check out our weekend pad.  Stellar.  Actually, it was great!  More room than we really needed that’s for sure.  

100_37521Fast forward to that same evening.  We were scheduled for a Night Hike.  I had no idea where we’d be hiking, or what we’d be looking for and neither did anyone else.  We hiked to the mouth of a cave and checked out the bat flight.   We all stood around the mouth of this cave (like a huge sinkhole actually) and watched around 3,000 bats (not kidding) come and go.  They flew over our heads and side swiped our cheeks.  It was cool. 

Sleeping that night was cool as well.  The breeze was a little bit too much at times and it really kept whipping at our tent.  In turn that kept me awake, being the light sleeper that I am.  I didn’t think a bottle of wine was appropriate for this trip so I dealt with the wind.  I sat outside for awhile and checked out the stars and felt the wind on my face, I went to the bathroom (which was a hike) and watched my kid sleep like a baby.   

 

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I was up at 6 a.m. and took a jaunt down to the creek and meditated for half an hour.  I had originally planned to be in STL this same weekend with one of my favorite yoga teachers, but this trip was yoga in itself.  The grass around this creek was so lush and green.  I truly felt like Frodo might pop out from behind one of those trees any second.  I took advantage of the early morning sun to capture some of the beauty. 

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There were several activities we could sign up for and I let Lauren pick them all.  So on Saturday morning I found myself signed up for Trail Running.  Uh oh.  I’m no runner.  It was obvious that our guides were serious runners but they weren’t intimidating one bit.  In fact, a few of us found ourselves connected by some other time or place and I always enjoy reconnecting with people under different circumstances.  We learned about trail running do’s and don’ts.  We then headed to the lake and creek for a short little run.  Here’s a photo of our trail running team.  Go WOLF School!

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After lunch (all the food was provided) we met up with our cave guides and headed to Junction Cave.  This cave is up high, steep high above the river.   We stopped at an outbuilding and grabbed flashlights, hard hats and gloves and onward we went.  Actually, 3 people from Nebraska just happened to be walking by and the guides asked them to join us.  They’re probably thinking that the parks here in Springfield, Missouri totally rock right about now!  We had great guides and we were amongst another fun group of people.  When we arrived at the cave, we did a little cleaning.  This cave is open to the public and people like to leave lots of marks in the way of graffiti, candles and broken glass.  You remove graffiti with water (preferably cave water) and a wire brush.  How simple is that? 

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After a bit of cleaning, it was our turn to enter.  We were able to go in about 150 feet or so.  At one time, we all turned off our flashlights.  I have never, ever experienced darkness like that in my life.  You literally could not see your hand in front of your face.  It was awesome!  I shot a great photo of a cave salamander and a bat.  Below is my daughter Lauren, her friend Sierra and Sierra’s aunt, Jeri100_37592

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We slid on out of the cave and down the hill back to camp!  We played some  games, challenges and puzzles with groups that were fun, but I will say by the time we got to that event, I was spent! 

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I’m hoping for a smooth transition from this very cool 5th grade, to 6th grade when we re-enter civilian school.   And, if you have a 4th grader that likes being outdoors, applying for WOLF school is a great idea as well.

Go camping, it’s so worth it.