Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Like/Love #7

This has been a summer of many tears. I could fill more than one post with all my sadness and deep grief. Two unbidden and unconscious things keep happening during these periods though. First, my higher self keeps reminding me that my woes, though they seem insurmountable to me now, pale in comparison to the woes of so many just within this past week: people in Burkina Faso, where there was a mass shooting, people in Sierra Leone where there was that horrific mudslide, the many teen refugees drowned in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Yemen when the smugglers pushed them overboard too far from shore, more of those same teens from that boat who survived and witnessed and now must live with such inhumane horror, and then there is the ongoing tragedy of refugees who have no homes, or whose homes consist of a tiny shack one can't even stand up in, or a single bed in a sports stadium... Second, a part of me keeps being quietly grateful for small things, on a daily basis. Here are a half dozen or so for this month. I am blessed.  In many ways.

1. I thoroughly am enjoying writing to Brady, pen and paper in hand, thinking of how happy he will be when he finds another letter for him in his mailbox, imagining him reading it. The last letter took a couple of days to write, and when I picked it up to continue, I re-read it, and I'd told him of something (see #3) that I'd been doing, and how I needed to add that to my list for this post. He's written to me once, and drew me a very good picture of the Wimpy Kid, which I walk past many times a day as it is on my fridge.

2. I love the sound of cicadas here in southern Ontario. We don't have them in Alberta, and before I knew what they were, I just called them heat bugs, because I seemed to hear their extraordinarily loud buzzing on hot days and nights. We all know I like hot days and, well, okay, maybe not hot nights unless I have AC, but warm ones, no prob.

3. I love the smell of fresh sheets that have been dried outside in the sun and breeze. Getting into bed at night, the cotton feels extra-crisp as opposed to coming out of a dryer, and when I lay my head on my pillow, that scent that no detergent can capture wafts up my nostrils, and ahh! I smile.

4. I like a good night's sleep in said sheets. I haven't had one for the past several nights; in fact, a couple out of these several were, I'll kind of sheepishly admit, terror-filled. Yet I kept thinking, as I sobbed and cowered and trembled and jumped at every noise or movement in the guest room in which I'd barricaded myself and the dogs, how much worse it is for kids, for adults, who deal with gunfire and bombs and intruders each and every night in places where there is war.

5. I like bats. I love that one bat can eat about 3000 insects in one night, I love seeing them fly (so FAST!!) over my head in the darkening sky when I'm out walking, I find them fascinating creatures, this one a Little Brown Bat, furry brown with a rather cute black face and amazing very thin almost opaque black leather wings.

I do not like intruder bats in my house, however.
5:40 am earlier this week - note her little feet hooked onto the top of the crown molding; note Bella in the window.
Yeah. I'm pretty sure more than one were flying around in my house around that good ol' witching hour...midnight...1 do not need to ask how I know. Pretty sure more than one because I high-tailed it out of my room, Sunday night when it first appeared, then took half an hour where I made several forays back in to a) get dogs out, then b) get each dog bed, one at a time, then c) get my pillow, d) get my book I'd been pleasantly reading when it had made its presence known, e) get my phone f) grab my favourite quilt off the bed so no poop would get on it g) gaze at it in fascinated horror when it had landed on one wall near the ceiling h) get Bella out (yay that she comes running to treat bags being shaken) and finally i) slide a lamp in the room, suggestion of husband MacGyver to hopefully keep it out of our room and up the stairs in my (waaahh) sewing loft from whence it came.

Of course this happens when my MacGyver is not home.  Of course.

So back to that Tuesday morning of the photo. Could I go to yoga, come home and not see that bat, and know I'd have to live with it again for another day and night? No. I knew of several ways I could catch it because by now I'd done a fair bit of research and learned a fair bit about bats, a ton of stuff that I did not know or had incorrectly assumed: for one, they certainly CAN see, very well. So I grabbed the dust mop, then got my phone and took a couple of photos, so I could show MacGyver I was not batty, pun intended, imagining this, and then gently nudged it, trying to get it to fly out of the door, which I'd opened, bugs coming in be damned. It hung onto the molding a lot harder than I'd figured it would! Finally, Bella not moving, bless her feline heart, because she could have run out the door or grabbed the bat, it fell to the floor and lay fairly still. I figured it was exhausted from flying around trying to find a way out and/or keeping away from Bella all night, or fingers crossed it was not, hurt by Bella. It didn't appear hurt, but I wasn't getting too close! I finally managed to nudge it out of the door and onto the deck and PHEW!!! Heaved a massive sigh of relief and wished it a safe journey to hang out (pun intended) for the day and rejoin its baby and sisters that night. Females roost in colonies so that while they hunt at night, the babies keep each other warm. Females only have one baby a season, and I figured maybe the baby was the first bat I saw in our bedroom because it didn't seem very big, and this second one was the mama, because it was a good 5" in length, come to rescue her baby. But I'm not sure, because this one could have crawled under the doorjamb of our bedroom where I thought I'd trapped it, and been what I thought was the second one flying around over the course of the couple of nights. How do I know this is a female? Males roost in trees, not in buildings. I named her (didn't plan to) Hermina. Hilarious sidetone: my phone autocorrected that to Bernina when I was texting Tish about all this drama!

Once I got home from teaching yoga, about 7:10 am, I went around to the deck to see if the bat had moved, hoping she hadn't been caught by a predator. She had moved!! The first shot is of her, yes I got up close and personal and she just moved one wing a little when I took the picture. I kept a close check on her all that day (ya, protecting her after she'd terrorized me over the course of two nights and days) and when the bat people came to do the legal and safe and harmless eviction of them out of our chimney, one of the guys moved her to a tree, where she flew up into it to hang out until dusk.

6. I really am enjoying the deck on this new old house. One day last week I decided to take advantage of one of my Featherweight's portability and brought her out here (where I'm writing this post btw) to sew, in the sunshine. I set up a pressing station on the kitchen table a few steps away through the deck door, thanks to a small homemade pressing and cutting 'book' and my favourite little Steamfast iron, worth every cent. (affiliate link) Hmm, that pressing/cutting 'book' might be worth a future tutorial; I use it a ton.
That is the door out of which I shooed Hermina; she crawled to the right and hung out where you saw her, just under the siding and on the cement blocks of the basement. That little couple leaning together is a bubbling fountain that was a gift from my mum for our 30th anniversary; last week we celebrated out 37th! (I was married at 5 years old right, ha.)

7. I do love my Featherweights. This is the 1947 gal, who I have yet to write about, and tell you her story. She is a dream to sew on. I'm thinking to buy the quarter-inch foot from Nova Montgomery (no affiliation, but a great resource) because her throat plate has no markings, and the one that is on my 1951 girl, and which I switch out on the '47, the seller had etched with the seam guide, but it is not a true quarter-inch; it's too wide. Any thoughts on that, please let me know in the comments or email me by clicking on About Me.

I feel bad about making the bats refugees but I definitely do not want to share my house with them, sorry. I have another project for MacGyver now, to make a bat house, and hopefully one day some offspring from that colony will inhabit it.  There are a great many bats around here, and that may be a big part of why there aren't as many bugs bothering us as there were at our previous house just on the other side of town. 🦇

Linking up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.


  1. So, the only photo I see at first on my Bloglovin' feed is the bat. I'm thinking "Is that a BAT?" so open your post and sure 'nuff, it's a bat. Wow! So sorry you had to spend a couple of terrified nights but glad it all came out okay. I'm on the gardening committee where I live; we are beginning some renovations and will be pressing for a bat house. We have way too many mosquitoes in the evening. It shouldn't be too hard to hide it from those with bat phobias. :-) I always struggle with the 1/4" even though I can move the needle on my machine and find myself considering resorting to something like this seam guide.
    How lovely just to take your machine outside on a nice day. Just a little jealous here. lol

  2. First, my cicada story....We had Scottish guests two Summers ago. One evening the cicadas were singing their song and one of our guests, Izzy, said sharply and fearful, "what is that?!!, we heard it last night coming close then going away, then coming close again, etc." She had a very hard time believing it was an insect. The incredible look on her face was something I will remember, lol. My bat story...About twelve years ago I lay in bed on a hot night looking at the window....the drapes were open and the window, so that any little breeze might come in. I watched with fascination a bat flitting across the window, over and over. Then it dawned on me that the bat was in the bedroom! Something that worked for me to get the bats out...we turned on all the lights in the house except for the front entranceway. We left it dark with the front door open...the bat flew out.

  3. Wow, I am so sorry that all the excitement had to happen at night and keep you from getting a good night's rest. I love bats, too, but bats in the house is definitely too much to ask for. I'm glad there were people locally who could come out and relocate them for you. I bet MacGyver will have a bat box figured out in no time.

  4. I enjoy seeing the bats come out in our neighborhood when it's getting dark, but have not thought too hard about where they might nest! I hope it's in the trees! Your story reminded me of the time a bird got into my classroom! I had left the outside door to the playground open during lunchtime, and in he came. Of course, getting him out was not so easy. Had to turn off the lights and close everything except the wondow, and eventually, he flew to the light! It is a horrible time out in the world right now, but to have your lovely family in such mourning is the worst. Hugs to you!

  5. You are much braver than I dealing with bats! I am not a fan and woulf freak out. But, I don't wish them harm as we need all mammals to coexist. I'm sorry to hear you are grieving! I hope sewing therapy is for you. Love your Featherweight. Hang in there. mary in Az

  6. You batty never! My daughter was here when I opened up your email, she had a bit of advice for you check your shoes. She had a bat in her house and her hubby thought he got rid of it until she put his shoes on and kept hearing squeak, squeak. YUp they found the bat it was in the toe of the shoe.

  7. girl!

    Once a bird flew into our house. It flew back and forth from the living room to the office/loft. Nothing worked, no agency took us seriously. Finally I read they like light, so we turned off every light except the ceiling fan light in the office. Sure enough it went up, got pushed around by the fan and fell into the waiting sheet. Swoop! up and out the front door!
    Meanwhile Cole ran back and forth, up and down stairs barking the whole time!

  8. No bats in the house! But I do love how they fly around. They have such great moves. I love the Featherweight - so shiny and cute!

  9. I love all those things, too, including bats , which I haven't seen here all summer. Teaching about bats at Halloween time was one of my favorite things. I hope you are feeling better and better about things as each day passes. Sometimes, life is just damned hard. Will keep thoughts of you in my heart.

  10. Washing dried outside smells like nothing else, sham I lost my washing line, double shame I have now waited six months for my husband to install a whirly. Love your Featherweight, I struggle to lift my machine in and out of the car so I have reluctantly decided not to take it to my monthly group any more, sad. A Featherweight would be perfect, if only I could find one over here that wasn't a stupid price.

  11. Like Kate, I love line dried washing. And like yourself, although i like and respect bats, I would much prefer not to share my house with them. And I would have to move out if a mouse moved in. And, like yourself, I have found recent world events very upsetting

  12. Wow! In our old house we used to get birds down the chimney. They absolutely terrified me because they were so erratic when they tried to find their way out. So I can't even imagine staying in the house with a bat. I probably would have high-tailed it to a hotel for the night. So yea for you for being so brave. I have the little plexiglass seam guide from Nova to get my quarter inch. It was a little tricky at first to keep it screwed in tightly enough to stay in place (The holes on my FW were a little worn), but Nova sent me larger screws and that helped. Now that I'm used to it, I love it for keeping my seams right where I want them. I use it with my regular FW foot--the one with the 1/8 inch side on it. I love sewing on the deck, too. And cicadas! (Even though I still think of TV antennas when I hear them because when I was little, I thought that's what made the sound.)

  13. So much to think about in this post Sandra.. world events, nature, thought processes, grief, bats and the lovely sewing much we cannot control but some we can and you sorted out your bag problem in the nicest, kindest way and I too am sure the Mr Mcgyver will have you a bat house sorted ASAP....

    It is wonderful that you and Brady are pen pals, I am sure he loves getting and sending letters....
    I love your porch and look forward to seeing your ironing mat tutorial...I made myself a little ironing table for my sewing room. I covered a little fold up table with wadding , covered it with fabric and use it all the time. I am so proud lol..

    I was at a quilt show last week and had a go on a manual Singer sewing machine, it was lovely to see with. It was on the Modern Quilt stand but they were using manual sewing machine to demonstrate techniques because it would be easier as they didn't know how many electric power points there would be..I thought it was a beautiful contrast between old and new and how they can work together. It sewed like a dream😀

    Thank you for another beautiful post Sandra

    Love and hugs from your friend across the sea


  14. Oops, spell checker...obviously I meant BAT problem.xx

  15. My goodness, I could write a post as long as yours because we have bats in our house, too! They have taken up residence in the attic of the log cabin we own further north in the mountains of central Idaho. We have thrown a lot of money at the house, trying to seal up any small crevice that they might enter, but it seems to no avail (long story). They ignore the bat houses we bought them. They just really like our attic. And once in awhile, they find their way downstairs and want to hang out with us. NOT acceptable! My sil is braver than I, and he is able to capture them in a wide-mouthed glass, slip a cardboard over it, and take them outside to fly away. Not sure I could do that. We've even set up a Game Camera that is motion sensitive and records at night. There is a spot in the eves where they like to take a break from their bug eating ways and compare notes with their companions. I could go on and on. But the end result is that is it OUR house and not theirs and we sure need to get rid of them! Oh - and did I mention they have about 1,000 little teeth inside that cute little face of theirs?

  16. I often get caught up in the busyness of life and forget how blessed I am. You are braver than I. If I found a bat in the house, I'd be at the nearest hotel so quick. Let me know if you order a 1/4 inch foot and how it works. I need one as well, but didn't know where to get one.

  17. So sorry that you've had to endure that batty experience. I've had a bat or two pay a visit here, but with three sons and a husband, someone is bound to be in the vicinity. They'd fight each other to be the one to catch the poor bat. And yes, their ages range from 32 to 38 and the husband is 57, but that never mattered before.

    I was the responsible party for removing the one in my mom's house several years ago. I used the broom, which it held onto after the slightest little poke, and carried it safely outside. Both of us trembling the whole time.

  18. Oh my! It never fails that those adventures happen when the helper is out of the house! I am sure Brady is just loving those letters. He will especially love the story of the Bat Caper!

  19. Glad you can still look for the sweet things. We have a lot of bugs. Maybe some bats would be nice... as long as they don't invade my house.

  20. Sounds like an exhausting week. Glad you were able to get that one moved back to the outside. Sewing outside sounds lovely. Hope you got lots of stitching time in.


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