Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gone Batty

Bats freak me out. They really do.

I know they are good for mosquito eatin'. I know they are just flying mammals. I see them frequently, and yet they still give me the heebie-jeebies. They live in our shutters on the outside of our house. We even have a bat box on the side of the house for them. They fly freely around my inlaws' vacation home and near my dad's cabin. They still freak me out.

I think my fear started when they swooped at my head as a child while out night fishing with my dad. There was also one in our cabin, and my dad caught it with a fishing net as I hid under the covers. Also there's the rabies thing. If you get bit by a bat and it has rabies, you get rabies. And if you don't get treatment, you die. I have a (rational? irrational?) fear that my kids will get bitten by a rabid bat and not realize it and not get the treatment they need. Am I batty?

Last week a bat was trapped in our fireplace. I put the kids to bed and came downstairs to hear a flutter from the fireplace. We've had squirrels in there before, but put a cap on our fireplace to keep critters out. Apparently not all critters.

I went downstairs and told my husband (he said I had an angry expression), "There is a bat in our fireplace!" I went upstairs and closed all the bedroom and bathroom doors in case the bat escaped. I googled how to catch and release a bat and paced and shouted the same unusable directions twenty times ("Spray it with Lysol!"). My hubby informed me that the bat was probably the vampire Eric Northman from True Blood. That prompted me to put on lipstick and fix my hair, but on further observation, I noticed the bat did not have six pack abs, so it couldn't be Eric after all. Thankfully my Knight in Shining Adidas Shorts rid our fireplace of the bat. The place got a little crazy with a fluttering bat being captured. I admit I cried a little over the whole traumatic ordeal (my husband said I was hysterical. I don't remember it quite that way).

Now I am in northern Wisconsin at my dad's cabin where bats are aplenty. I had to take my dog out at 5 am for a little potty break one morning. Yep. Swooping bats. At my head! I whimpered and ducked and ran in with my dog. No matter how many times I have encountered bats, they still freak me out. Bats. Why does it have to be bats?

What freaks you out? What freaks out your main character?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Camper

Howdy, peoples! I'm back from yet another traveling adventure. This blog has been more of a travel blog than writing blog lately! Though I did happen to write 2000 words in my MG and read four middle grade books while on the road in the RV!

Where in the heck did I go this time? I went from a city slicker in New York to a country bumpkin exploring campgrounds and monuments in South Dakota and Wyoming. We started in Wisconsin at my inlaws' vacation home where we spent the fourth of July weekend with lots of family. Then my inlaws, hubby, three children headed west in an RV. I've never camped before, but I was a trooper in the campgrounds - public showers/restrooms and all! Of course some of you may argue that a motor home is not camping, a tent is! But an RV is as far as I'll go camping! No tent for this gal!

Here are some of the fun sights we explored as a family.

The Badlands and Wall Drug, SD How could we not go to Wall Drug after all of those signs?! Here are the bbbbadlands...

Mount Rushmore, SD My youngest was so excited to finally see it in person!

Custer State Park, SD We saw a buffalo and deer while driving through. We also drove along Needles Highway in a long, winding trek through the Black Hills. Beautiful scenery!

Crazy Horse Memorial, SD My daughter, hubby and inlaws rode in a van up to the arm of Crazy Horse and saw it up close! Here is my daughter next to the face.
The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD We saw actual mammoth skeletons and workers excavating more right in front of us.
Bear Country, USA, SD We drove through a wildlife park in the Black Hills encountering bears, elk, wolves and more! We were OMGing the whole ride through! Bears walked right up to our car! The baby bears were adorable, too. It was much safer than Anita's recent bear experience!
Deadwood, SD My mother-in-law went next door to a casino while waiting for our lunch to arrive and came back in five minutes with $1000 winnings!

Devil's Tower, WY was my favorite stop of the trip. We camped where Close Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed. We hiked around the tower, and watched the movie in our RV one night!

A former campground in Minnesota that my husband's grandparents used to own and run. It's no longer there, but cool to see the lake where they vacationed!

Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, MN which had awesome rides for all ages! My oldest and I went on this and more!


Best quotes of the trip from my 7 yr old daughter: "Mom! I just saw a hillbilly!" and "Mom, could you just act normal for once in your life?"

I was away from my house for two whole weeks, which is a very long time for this homebody! We made lots of fun memories, but as always, it's good to be home.

How are you spending your summer?