Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spiders, Salamanders, Stalagmites and Singing Boys

September was full of all things slimy a boy could love. The brave salamander, pictured on the left, survived a terrorizing trip from a dirt fill lot, where he'd probably lived decades, managed to get into a dump truck, be hauled several miles and deposited on our neighbors new barn pad. Talk about a bad hair day! Of course, our neighbors, know Gavin would love to see a night-varmint and notified us immediately. Initially, Gavin was more interested in learning how to shell peanuts from Gordon, than handling the salamander. (Who would guess a kid could be so mesmerized by learning how to shuck a nut from a shell?) Did I mention, we do feed him.?Once he had about 1lb of peanuts, shelled and being digested, Gavin thought the salamander was the new cool thing. The salamander was anxious to get back in the dark earth where he was returned to forage a new millenia of local relatives.

The tarantula, on the other hand, was found near our KOA campsite while in Carlsbad touring the caverns. He was much bigger than the palm of my hand and quite shy. They are not poisonous, but up close, they aren't really soothing either; kinda like a date you brought home at night that subsequently began to depreciate by morning, if you get my drift; U_G_L_Y.

The Cavern's were totally amazing. Our second trip down, this time with the Boy. He hiked all the way to the bottom, 1.25 miles and loved using his headlamp to see the stalagmites and stalagtites. Eric and I were totally stunned when we watched over 500,000 bats gracefully exit the cave the night before. It was surreal and took nearly 2 hours. The Mexican bats travel hundreds of miles to the Pecos river, feed and fly back before dawn. The Ranger told us it was the "thickest" flight they had all summer due to thousands of other bats who were just visiting as they passed through, headed to Mexico for the winter. We really enjoyed this but found it tough to keep Gavin silent until they began their night flight~tough for a kid to be quiet but for a period of time-he did fairly well.

The KOA was fancy-smancy; pool, onsite BBQ prepared for you, private showers and super duper clean. Highly recommend you take a trip there in the fall; the weather was perfect.

Gavin just completed his first semester at school and did really well. Eric attended the parent-teacher conference and we agree that his teachers' are truly talented women. We are blessed to have both of them. Not unlike every school in the country, resources are very tight; people and cash. I have been volunteering in class and with fundraising and will continue to as I believe in the tremendous work they are doing; Gavin is learning so much but most importantly, his behavior and decision-making just keep improving.

Recently, fundraising commenced with the annual SBCA Gospel Sing. Gavin only sang one song, but he belted it! We thought he'd be shy, but obviously, we were mistaken!

Headsup; For those of you who would like a super easy way to help SBCA raise money, we are embarking on a new fundraising program and I will be the coordinator. You get to help us raise money and it won't cost you an extra dime! Stay tuned, I'll be knocking.

I had to post this picture of Gary; 110lbs lighter, taken in September in our yard, by none other than Eric. Gary is progressing and looking forward to registering for a driving school at Craig hospital in Denver. Professionals believe he can begin to embark upon this and other things in the upcoming year.

Other Important News;
Thank gosh the ballot to keep our Racetrack passed because work was down to a crawl. The measure gives Ruidoso time to come up with new ways to generate revenue before the five-year-term is complete. The ballot was divisive and the vote was very close. The next day, following the results, we were flooded with jobs. Goes to show us how much the economy was already being impacted. So, Eric is super busy again and working on some very interesting and exciting jobs.
I am busy with the MakH20Pak and with school. I have also been attending an informal girls-only breakfast club on Monday mornings~where I laugh my can off! The rest of the day is filled with the hilarity of these women and the stories we share. Still working out 5x per week and running is always a part of that...and my fall hiking has been glorious. I swear, our Fall this year has been impeccable for outdoor activities! Hugs to all.