June 2007

We tend to do a lot of talking in our house…with this crew, how can you avoid it? But it’s not always just idle talk. We talk about important things quite often. In fact, we do a lot of “school” this way with the kids. We talk about scientific concepts, mathematical equations, and literary endeavours. More often that not, this is around the dinner table…the kids really love to talk about what they’ve learned over the course of the day, and I’ve found that doing this furthers their understanding and knowledge of any given subject. Sometimes, however, the subjects aren’t really “school day” related, but more along the lines of “what is your favorite….?”, the favorite being color, song, animal, etc. The animal category seems to be the most popular, and I’m very often asked to participate and state which animal is my favorite. I usually can’t answer, because there are far too many to choose from. But the next time the question is asked between the passing of the potatoes and the cutting up of the 3 year olds meat, I’m more than prepared to give an answer. Bats. I love bats. Let me expand upon this a bit, and give a bit of history on why as well.

Bats are just generally cool. They are nocturnally adept, more than most mammals…the fact that they are mammals that fly is also a very interesting aspect. They are ecologically beneficial for they rid us of many of the hordes of insects that love to sting and bite. Who can hate an animal that does that? And they are really fun to watch. Go out at dusk, and look up into the sky (something I do quite often). You’ll see them, attempting to “echo”-locate their dinner on the wing. We’ve also discovered that if you throw a baseball up into the air, a few of them will all of a sudden go after it…until of course they discover that it’s far too large to be a bug and disengage, flapping off to find something that is edible.

You may wonder why I find bats so fascinating and, more importantly, why on earth I like them so much. My love of bats stems from my hatred of them in my house. Let me explain this a bit.

One night, as my husband and I were preparing to go to bed, my then 14 year old son yelled down the stairs “Mom, there’s some bird like thing flying around in the hallway!”. I looked at my husband, knowing full well that it wasn’t a bird, and was about to go up the stairs to investigate, but before I could the darn thing flew down the back staircase (the one I was about to ascend, I might add) into the dining room. I, of course, screamed and ran into the living room, grabbed a blanket, and threw it upon my head in an attempt to keep the evil thing out of my hair, since everyone knows that bats live to fly into a woman’s hair. My husband was a bit more calm, thankfully. He did try to get it out of the house, but unfortunately it disappeared into the pantry area, and we couldn’t locate where it actually was. Since the back door was open, we assumed that it found it’s way out (well, my husband assumed this…I on the other hand was not convinced), and proceeded to go to bed. Despite the fact that I had visions of bats flying around my room all night, I finally was able to fall into a much needed sleep.

The next day proved uneventful, even by bedtime when there were no more reports of sightings. The night went by blissfully bat free, thankfully. One batty night was enough for me! The next morning, specifically breakfast time, was a different story.

The children were at the table, about to begin breakfast. I was still in the kitchen, cleaning up a bit when all of sudden I heard screams and general pandemonium coming from the dining room. I rushed in, thinking that someone must have taken too large a bite of oatmeal and was choking to death, when I saw it. A huge bat (it really did look huge) flying around my dining room light…mind you, this was breakfast time. In other words, it was daytime. Hardly the time that you find bats roaming your house in search of whatever it is a bat would be looking for in a house. But there it was, flapping it’s way, surprisingly gracefully, through the dining room as it avoided the lighting fixture and the walls. The kids were going nuts, and since my husband wasn’t home, we had to fend for ourselves. I tried to come up with a plan, but since my mind was reeling with thoughts of hair and blankets, I had a hard time figuring out what to do. Luckily, the thing flew into the office…I immediately slammed the door closed, and looked into the beveled glass door to see what it was doing. More of the same…slowly circling around the ceiling trying to find an escape route. PHEW! That was that…at least until the braver half was home and could do whatever it was he needed to do to get the thing out of my house and back where it belonged (preferably FAR away). Needless to say, the braver half did indeed come home and the winged object that caused far too much excitement was forcibly evicted from my house.

We did have a few more bats in that house during the course of that year. But that first one was the most exciting, and the one that inspired us to learn more about bats. They had always been mysterious and somewhat evil-ish to me…I think I’d seen far too many “Dracula” movies or something in my youth. We invaded our local library many times in search of more and more books about bats. We read bat stories, bat poems, and books about bats in general…did you know that the largest bat in the world has a wingspan of almost 6 feet? Quite a bit bigger than the little brown one in my dining room, that’s for sure!. We also learned that they are the only mammal that flies, and that an average brown bat can eat about 600 mosquitoes in a single hour. We felt sorry for poor Stellaluna who lost his mother, and found out that Tennyson actually wrote about bats in his poetry. In the end, we found out that there really wasn’t anything to fear, and quite a bit to admire about these little winged mammals. Bats were the subject of many dinnertime “school sessions” and I’m sure will be for many more to come. And most importantly, now when I’m asked what my favorite animal is, I’ll be able to say without hesitation: “I absolutely LOVE bats!”. As long as they are not in my house, at least.


to take the plunge into writing for something much more substantial than just a blog. I know, it seems weird. I’m probably the last person who could even do it well. But here I am, seriously considering it anyway. All this on the heels of my sabbatical too. Darn it all…and sophistication was almost within my reach. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do…write for periodicals or a book or SOMETHING . And I think it’s time to just do it, and forget that I’ve lost my inspiration. I’ll still write here…this is where the idea took more form anyway. Plus it’s where I bounce my ideas around and actually write something that can be read (well, sort of). I doubt I’ll be able to do that elsewhere.

Wish me luck…maybe, if I am indeed lucky, I’ll be able to actually come up with something to submit to a periodical that I’ve been wanting to submit something to for a while. I’ve just lacked the moxie thus far. And the inspiration. But I’m working on that.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve actually written 50 posts on this blog. When I first started out, I thought I might get to 10, and then dramatically fizzle out, never to be heard from again. And while my posts aren’t always the most witty or inspiring, they are all me…kind of what makes me tick, if you know what I mean. But 50…wow…that seems like an awful lot, especially for someone who can’t write to save her life, but has always wanted to.

It’s funny…ever since I’ve been writing here, I’ve been thinking in terms of “blog worthiness”. Something happens here, and I wonder if it will be something that I could write about. Lately, no…there’s not too much that inspires me as of late (my inspiration has “slipped into obscurity”, it seems…). But on the whole, I’ve discovered that there are quite a few things that happen here at Casa Izz that are interesting enough to write a quick entry about. Must be all these kids. Or maybe the bear. Or perhaps the weather. Who knows. But most of the time I do feel inspired to write about something because there is always something going on.

If I were to really think about this entry, I would have to deem it highly UNblog worthy. It really isn’t blog worthy in the least. Afterall, my main objective here is to show all of you, my readers (yes, all three of you…although we’re up to a whopping ten today!) how witty I am and how well I write. Well, guess what? I’m neither witty nor am I a good writer. I’m just an average person who seems to have an anything but average life at times.

So here we are at 50. That’s a good number, I think. Many interesting people are 50, or are going to be soon. And it’s half of a hundred. That’s a lot. And still I have people who read on a daily basis. Who wudda thunk. Happy 50th post to me…and here’s to 50 more….that is if my inspiration somehow miraculously surfaces from the obscurity that it has sunk to.

Well, not really, I suppose, since a sabbatical really pertains to one leaving their work to pursue something other than their work. This blog is hardly work. It’s more of a leisure activity. But, regardless, I will still refer to it as a sabbatical…if only because I’ve always wanted to go on one. It just sounds so…I don’t know….sophisticated or something.

At any rate, I’m taking some time off from computerly endeavours for a while. There are a few reasons for this. Primarily, Mr Izz is home, and is not attending school during the summer. This means that he needs to be on the computer for work more than he had been. This also means that my time is now very limited. This is fine for me…I have lots of work to do in the house anyway.

The other reason is a bit more complex, and one that I won’t get into here. But I need time away…..things have become very crazy in my life in ways that I couldn’t have imagined they would. I need to take time away from this virtual world and re-prioritize my real world a bit more. I have many things to deal with right now in my real life (both physically deal with in regards to the new house, as well as emotionally deal with), and being here, in the virtual, will not allow me to do that I fear. So….off I go on sabbatical. I may attempt a post or two through the course of the summer, but honestly, I’m doubting there will be time, or that I’ll really feel up to writing. I suppose saying that the craziness in my life has effected my writing is very accurate. I really don’t have the desire right now. My only hope is that I will again soon…I do enjoy it immensely.

So to all of the numerous people who read my blog on a regular basis (yes, all three of you know who you are!), thanks for reading thus far. I hope that when I am able to come back, you’ll still be here, and I’ll actually have something worthwhile for you to read.