Archive for the 'Weekend Stuff' Category

Bat, Bites, and Bills

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

I’m still trying to come to terms with just what the odds are, astronomically¬†speaking,¬†of the occurrence of¬†some bizarre events in¬†our house over the¬†weekend.¬†

Paul and I left town for one night.  It was our first out-of-town overnight away from Emma.  My mother stayed over to take care of her.

Nothing could possibly go wrong in less than 24 hours, of course!

I made a routine check-in call to my mother from the hotel in the morning of our¬†weekend getaway.¬† Mom said that she had “had quite an adventure” the night before.

“Oh, Emma didn’t want to go to bed?” I asked, innocently.

“No,” she replied.¬† “There is a bat in the house!”

My jaw dropped.  We have never had a bat our house before. 


The events (and related, impending bills) are not yet far enough in the past that I’m able to spin¬†this one for humor.

The short version is that during a middle-of-the night check on Emma (in her room), my mother saw something swooping by.  

She turned the light on and saw the bat.

She screamed.  Emma shrieked at her scream.  (This pattern was repeated several times as the bat fluttered and echolocated around the room and into the hallway).  

Mom and Emma spent the rest of the night in another room with the door closed.   

Before we arrived home, things devolved from the novel to the unfortunate.

At my urging, my mother recruited the friendly upstairs tenant to help catch the bat, which was, by day, sleeping on the side of the kitchen cabinet.

During the course of the otherwise successful capture, the bat turned its head and bit our tenant on his fingertip.

Upon hearing that news (in Chicago), the first thing to flash through my mind was my homeowners insurance policy, followed quickly by other thoughts, which, of course, included great concern for the tenant.

A¬†representative of the Health Department¬†recommended that the tenant get the rabies vaccine right away.¬† She also read from¬†guidelines recommending that Emma and my mother should also get the shots, because the bat was in the house while they were sleeping, so we can’t know if they might have been bitten.

Because a Texas boy bitten by a bat during sleep died recently, and because of a well-known case of bat-related rabies in our state, the officials and medical professionals are all taking this very seriously.     

My mother got the first of her two shots the ER on the afternoon we arrived home, and I took Emma to the ER for her first (of five) shots, too.

Emma is scheduled for another shot on Tuesday.

The bat is being tested for rabies, and we’ll know its status on Wednesday.¬† If it has rabies, I’ll take Emma for the three additional shots over the next month.¬† The initial ER visit aside, I’ve made arrangements with¬†a reasonably lower priced (but still not that low) clinic for purposes of getting the rest of Emma’s shots.

But here’s the rub.¬† I told¬†my mother¬†to tell the tenant that¬†I would pay for his vaccine expenses.¬† It was the right thing to do, but I said it¬†before I thought through all the permutations of how much¬†that might cost if he has no health insurance.¬† ER visits aren’t¬†cheap, and he’s going to have to go five times!¬†to get the full vaccine series.

The good news is that everyone is being¬†cared for, and¬†there should be no health problems, even if the bat has rabies and bit everyone that¬†could.¬† And it’s all at zero cost to my mom, thanks to her insurance design.¬†

The bad news: in addition to the cost of Emma’s visits and shots, I may be¬†paying for five(!) of¬†ER visits for the tenant, who may or may not be insured.¬†¬†I cringe to think of how much that may¬†set me back.¬†¬†So much for our free trip weekend!

I’m still going to try submitting whatever it is as a claim on my homeowner’s policy.

Paul promised to check the attic soon to try and determine whether¬†any of the bat’s friends are up there.

I’m hoping this was a¬†one-time, freak occurrence.

Am feeling a bit more uneasy now, about that week away that we’re planning for later this year.¬†¬†¬†¬†

Oh, . . . BATS!!

Grand Prize Weekend

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Hotel Monaco

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


In late July, 2005, Paul and I attended my firm’s summer picnic. I was as pregnant as the day was long, and we were generally in the process of preparing for the imminent arrival of our new family member. At the picnic, we were distracted from thinking about our changing family status, however. There was something else to look forward to there – the prize drawings.


Fruit and Wine in our room

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


Every picnic attendee was allotted the same number of tickets to insert, as we did, into different containers to to win different prizes. Gift certificates, spa treatments, booze (this is Wisconsin), and sports and theatre events.

When the drawing was held, we compared our ticket stub numbers to each prize number that was called out. No winners in there. Nothing. Zip.



Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


But wait. There was one more prize to be called. The “Grand Prize” Рa round trip for two to Chicago on Amtrack, a night at the Monaco Hotel (witha special arrangement for wine and fruit in the room), and a gift certificate to the South Water Kitchen. And the winner was. . . ME! I certainly wasn’t expecting to win, and was quite surprised to hear my name called.


The Yoga Channel

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


As I waddled up to the front to receive my prize (a lovely assemblage of the gift certificates and several Chicago tourist magazines and maps, in a bag), the place erupted into loud applause and cheering. I wasn’t sure what to make of that other than the fact that I suppose people felt sorry for me in my state of advanced pregnancy and imminent sleepless nights, and figured that I could use the getaway


El Station

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


We recently noticed the convergence of three sets of circumstances: 1. I can drink wine again; 2. Emma is old enough to be left overnight in the care of a relative; and 3. Paul’s school schedule is clearer now that it’s summer, and all.
So we finally made our reservations, and headed off, last Friday, on our “Grand Prize” trip.


Ann Sather Coffees and Menu Selection

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


It was a lovely, if short, getaway. We caught the train to the city, avoiding all the traffic. Checked into our hotel and promptly enjoyed the “wine hour” in the lobby. We walked around the Chicago River area for a while before arriving for our dinner reservations and a lovely meal. And when we returned to our room, our new pet-for-the-night, was delivered to us. We named him Fishy.


Street Scene – Belmont Avenue

Originally uploaded by Koog Family.


The next morning, we took the “L” train to our old neighborhood and breakfasted at a place we‚Äôd been a few times before. After the trip north and back, it was time to head Amtrak station and get home again. But all in all, a lovely little trip!

A Bad Thing

Sunday, May 7th, 2006
Paul clearing gutters - front of house      Paul clearing gutters - front of house      Paul clearing gutters - side of house

Paul borrowed the neighbor-lady’s ladder and cleared out some gutters this weekend.

I was inside when Paul came in to report, anxiously and glumly, that he had done “a bad thing.”

At the direction of the neighbor, who advised that such things can cause water to leak behind the siding, Paul removed a birds’ nest located between the roof and the siding.¬†

Paul had assumed that it was too early in the year for the nest to be in use.  But after he removed it, he saw that it contained two eggs.

Inside the house, he reported that he felt bad, and would make a donation to the Humane Society.

Outside again, later, the neighbor told Paul that the nest belonged to “blackbirds – the kind that eat other birds’ eggs.”¬† So she told Paul that he shouldn’t feel too bad.

I asked Paul if he would still be making a donation to the Humane Society.

“Yes,” he said.¬† “Just less.”



Lemonade Purchase

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Over the weekend, I stopped by friend J’s rummage sale to check out her cute, cut-rate baby clothes.¬†

Lemonade Stand

While I was there, I purchased lemonade from a couple of young entreprenuers (J’s five-year old son, P, and neighbor girl, A).¬† The conversation went like this:

Background: While I was “shopping,” P and other kids had been playing in the back yard.¬† P’s little sister, A, had been repeatedly running from the back yard to the front yard (the site of the rummage sale) to tell her mother what was going on in the back yard.¬† First,¬†A complained to her mother that P and others were “laughing to” her.¬† Next, A tattled on P for saying “poop.”¬† Finally,¬†P himself, wearing pajamas, came to the front to¬† implore his mother not to take him to T-Ball, later, because he didn’t want to go.¬† After he lost that battle, he ran toward, at sat down at a chair next to,¬†a table at the front of the yard, and was joined by a neighbor girl.¬† I noticed that the the table was set with stacked cups and a pitcher.¬† I approached.

Me:  Oh, are you selling lemonade?

P: Yes.

Me:  I might like to buy some lemonade.  How much are you charging?

P: Um…¬†Either a dollar or two quarters.

Me: (Thinking, ‘Wow, prices have¬†really gone up!‘)¬†¬†Well how about two quarters then.

P: OK.

(P began pouring my beverage, and I got out my money.  With two quarters in hand, I looked back up.  P was reaching inside my already partially-filled cup with his hand, fishing something out.)

Neighbor Girl, A: Gross.

Me: Oh, did a little bug get in there?

P: No, just something from a tree.

Me: Well, uh, maybe we can just . . .

P:¬† It’s OK.¬† I got it.¬† (He resumed pouring)

Me:  Just half a glass will be OK.

P:  OK.  (He handed me about a quarter-full cup.)

Me:  Well, thank you very much! (I started to walk away)

P:  What about a glass for Paul?

Me: Paul’s not here.

P:  But you could take it to him!

Me: (I visualized the cup-holder in my car).¬† Yes, I could take it to him.¬† Alright.¬† I’ll take one for Paul.¬† I suppose I should give you some more money.

P: No, you don’t have to.¬†

Me: Oh, OK. (Thinking: I like this system.) 

P:¬† I don’t need any more money.¬† I’ve already got a whole bag full of money.

(I brought the lemonade home to Paul.  And he drank it).