Saturday, September 22, 2012

That Old Room

I've been asking my mom if I can get a new nightstand for a while now. There's nothing really wrong with the one I have, but it's decorated with cartoon pictures of ponies, and as much as I still love ponies, the pictures on the nightstand just seemed a little baby-ish for my room.

Mom told me we can't afford that kind of thing right now, but she thought about it and said that if I was careful and promised not to make too big of a mess, I could paint the one I had! She had a leftover can of paint from another project, so I could get a nightstand that was like new and basically free. We like free around here. ;)

I decided to paint my shelves while I was at it, too. I've been meaning to do it for a long time, but I didn't realize we had paint. I had to clean them off first. I piled everything into my old roll-top desk, and it made a huge mess. So much for Mom cleaning my bedroom for me while I was gone. :D

I decided to start with the shelves first, because I thought they'd be quicker to do that my nightstand. Mom helped me protect the wall with some tape first; as much as I'd love to paint my walls something better than boring gray, we live in an apartment right now and that isn't allowed.

Next, I started on the nightstand. I have to admit,I was a little sad to see the ponies disappearing under the paint, but I think it'll be worth it!

It took a lot of layers to cover up the ponies. It started to get really boring since I had to stop and wait for the layers to dry before I could paint some more.

Finally, everything had enough layers and was dry enough that I could finally start cleaning up my room again (yay me!). I peeled off all the protective tape, and started to put my books back on my shelf.

Once I was finished putting everything back, Mom surprised me with some new posters to hang up! She said that since we painted over all the ponies on my nightstand, I needed a new pony poster to make up for it. I think it's the best pony poster ever!! I hung it up over my 'new' nightstand.

 Here's the whole view of my room make-over. What do you guys think?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Home Again!

I don't know if I mentioned this, but a few weeks ago, I was invited to fly to Kentucky and stay with an online friend, Katia. Our parents talked it over, and it was all set!
I had a great time hanging out with Katia and her sisters, but I just got back into town this morning, and I'm pretty happy to see my own room (even if it IS haunted.).

First thing I noticed was something was different! My mom had taken the opportunity to give it a good clean without me getting in the way, and everything was a lot neater than it had been before. But the biggest difference was my bed! It's white now!

I really love how it looks. They painted it with a textured finish, and it's like coming home to a whole new room! Well, almost.
Mom also hung some new corkboards for me... She knew Katia and I had been taking a lot of pictures, and she thought I'd like a new place to display them. She was right!

I dropped my stuff and gave my bed a biiiiiig hug hello! I think it missed me, too. See one of the new corkboards above my head?

As much as I wanted to curl up and take a long nap, now that I was home I really missed Katia and her family, so there were a couple of things I needed to do first.

When I was at Katia's house, we loved to play with her collection of My Little Ponies, and before I left she gifted me with a couple of my own! I don't have any like these. I needed to find a great spot to display them, so I could remember the fun times we had.

Don't they look good with my Grand Champions?

Mom came in after that, and asked to see some of the pictures we took. I was so busy having fun that I kept forgetting to email her some, so she hadn't seen them before. I spread them all out on my desk... I needed to pick which ones to hang on my boards anyway.

She said it looked like we'd had a good time, and helped me hang them up, plus a photo I'd taken a few months ago with my friend, Ivy.

It's a little bittersweet to be home... I'm super excited to see my friends again, but I'm really going to miss Katia and her sisters. I hope we'll be able to keep in touch online and stuff!
But, now for that nap!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Well, it's been a day and a half since I posted! I didn't mean to neglect this, but the last few weeks of school have been pretty rough for everyone.

To update on my ghostly situation, Bee and Mallory have helped me get rid of the poltergeist, and we all properly disposed of the ouija board. The exciting news is Maude is still here, though! Bee thinks the poltergeist used up all of the energy she had and she's gone now too, because she doesn't show up on any of Bee's ghost watching devices, but she isn't.
Sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I can just barely see her watching me. I can see her smile and on really bad days, I can feel this nice, warm feeling enveloping me and comforting me, and I know it's her. It sounds so bizarre, and no one really believes me that she's here, but she's my family, and I know I don't have anything to fear from her.
All I've ever felt from her is love.

My friends are having their own problems, and it's nice to be able to come home and not have to worry about being scared anymore.
Avalanche's dad is being a real jerk, and no one is real sure what is going to happen there. See, he was supposed to finish up with his dig and come back to the States to be with Avalanche and her mom, who has her hands full with Avalanche's grandfather, but that didn't happen.
They made some kind of massive discovery at the dig site and he decided to stay, even though Avalanche and her mom begged him to come home. I guess I get that it would be exciting to see your hard work pay off, but it also seems really selfish. Avalanche told me that he wouldn't even consider coming back for a few weeks so they could discuss things and work everything out, and her mom is talking about getting a lawyer for a divorce. Avalanche isn't the same person these days. She's so broken, it's almost too painful to be around her, even though I know she needs me more than ever anymore.
It seems like she's losing her grandfather and her dad at the same time.

I'm so glad school is finally out for the summer! I'll have more time to hang with Avalanche, and maybe we can try and communicate with Maude.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Gathering

Sorry it's been so long since I updated everyone! My science class is a bear, and I'm having trouble doing fun things like blogging. It's taking all of my energy to deal with the thing in my room and not failing.

I finally convinced my mom to let Avalanche come over, and Bee and her older sister, Mallory, showed up a few minutes later.
The thing had been sort of quiet lately, but it'd never met Mallory and took the opportunity to introduce itself by throwing a heavy snowglobe at her head.
"Hi, I'm Bee, and this is my sister Mallory," Bee introduced herself to Avalanche. "We did a lot of ghost hunting with our dad, and Mallory is really good at it. I brought her along to see what she thought."
"Awesome!" I said. Honestly, though, I was so tired from not being able to sleep, I didn't really care if she'd brought in a Klingon. I sat down on the floor to get out of their way as Mallory opened the backpack she had brought and pulled out a couple of things that looked like a camera, a tape recorder, and a couple of odd looking machines. She selected one, turned it on and started waving it around in the air.

Avalanche flopped down beside me in a huff. "If I'd known you already had professionals on the job, I wouldn't have bothered to show up," she said irritably.
"Maybe if you'd known what you were doing to begin with, Edie wouldn't need us!" Mallory snapped at her. She adjusted a dial on her machine and continued to wave it around.

Avalanche jumped up and started to say something, but I reached up and yanked on the pocket of her jeans and pulled her back down. "Aves, just let it go... I need this thing out of here, and you weren't allowed over. Bee was all I had. We're still best friends, nothing has changed."
Avalanche stared at the floor and picked at the carpet. She mumbled something about everything changing, and she looked miserable. I started to ask her what was wrong, since it seemed like more than just my new friends, but Mallory distracted me.

"It's not a ghost," she announced confidently, switching off her machine. "There's a ghost here, too, but the thing that's throwing stuff isn't one. It's a poltergeist."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Potential Solution?

Remember in my last post I was all worried about whether I should tell Bee about my problem or not? I shouldn't have worried, it sort of worked itself out.

So this morning while Bee and I were outside taking Rocket and Argos for their morning walk, Bee's mom called my mom and asked her if Bee could stay with us while she took Bee's sister, Mallory, to the dentist. Since Bee and I have been getting along so well, and Bee doesn't seem to have Avalanche's crazy problem, Mom agreed instantly.

Bee stopped to drop Argos off at their apartment and grab a few things from her room,and then she was walking into our living room. I still can't get used to having a friend that lives so close to me! We had a few awkward moments in the living room... I wasn't sure what to do about my bedroom, but my mom said "Edie, why don't you show Bee your room?" and I had to take her in there. I was hoping she wouldn't notice anything, but she had barely crossed into it from the hall way when the shadowy thing threw a shoe at her head and launched two books across the room in front of her. I had no idea what to say; I couldn't breathe for a whole minute. I was sure I'd just lost a friend.

Her mouth dropped open in shock, and she shook her head.I expected her to run for the door and never come back, but all she said was "Whoa, Edie! Did you know you've got some bad stuff in here?" She started to walk around the room, staring at the ceiling.
"My... my friend Avalanche talked me into playing with a Ouija board last week," I said shakily. "I think she let in two ghosts. I don't mind the one, she appears to be an ancestor of mine, but the other, well... It throws stuff."
Bee quickly dodged another shoe and a snow globe. "I can tell," she said wryly.

She pulled a cellphone out of her pocket and started using it to take photos of my room. She showed me one of them, and I was shocked to see a dark shadow in the ceiling in every one of them, even though I couldn't see anything there myself.

"Fortunately, I think we can get rid of it, but we need your friend, and some sage, I think. Edie, you have to try to stop being so scared of it. I know it's hard, but it feeds off of energy like that," Bee said. She seemed really confident; more so than Avalanche had ever been.

I nodded and took a deep breath. I told her all about Maude, and how we thought maybe the thing was feeding off of her energy, too.
"Do you think we can get rid of the negative thing, but keep Maude around?" I asked. "I'd really like to talk to her about her life and stuff."
Bee shrugged. "Maybe, but I think the most important thing is to focus on this negative thing. It has to go, and anyway, we have no way of knowing if Maude will ever regain enough energy to come back as fully bodied as she did that first night, or even if she will remember her life."

I nodded. "Ok," I said. "I'll see if I can convince my mom to let Avalanche come over soon so we can take care of this."

Monday, March 12, 2012

To the Park with Bee!

I don't have a whole lot to report on the whole ghostly encounters thing tonight. Mostly because I convinced my mom to let me stay over with Bernadette last night and I had some time away from it all. It's the first good nights sleep I've gotten in a couple of days, and I feel a lot better now. I guess the thing in my bedroom likes my room, not me.

I like hanging out with Bernadette and her mom, and I found out a little more about them.
It turns out, Bernadette likes to go by Bee, and she and her mom and her older sister moved here from Oklahoma City because her parents just got a divorce and her mom thought they needed a fresh start in a new town. Bee's dad left them and doesn't really have much to do with them anymore. Bee told me that it happened really suddenly and she's having a hard time dealing with it all. She says her dad took her dog, Howard, with him, and she's been really missing having Howard around, too. I can totally understand, I would be devastated if something happened to Rocket.
Bee told me her mom had offered to take her to an animal shelter to see if she could find a new friend, but she was afraid it would seem like she was trying to replace Howard. I told her that she couldn't replace Howard and she never had to stop loving him, but there were probably lots of dogs that could use some extra loving, too.

She liked it when I put it like that. She said she hadn't thought of it that way.
So, we told her mom that she'd decided to give a new friend a try, and we went to the animal shelter. Her mom liked the puppies, but Bee was drawn to an older dog named Argos. He was big, shaggy, and calm, and Bee said he was the exact opposite of Howard, who was little and hyper, and she really liked that about this dog. Bee spent about an hour with him at the shelter to make sure he was the one, and in the end Argos came home with us!

Late that afternoon, we took him to the park for some bonding time and photos.

He was really good at coming to his name when Bee called him!

This is Bee and Argos posing for the camera!

We found a ball and played fetch for a long time. Bee flopped down in the grass, and Argos came and snuggled her, and laid down in her lap. It was adorable!

Then, we took a pic together. I'm so glad to have met such a cool new friend, and I think she had a really great day. She's already totally attached to Argos, and we're all glad we went to the shelter today.

I wonder if I should tell her about Maude and my problem? Her family doesn't seem like they're into the paranormal, so they probably wouldn't be much help, but you never know. I just don't want to burden my new friend with anything else; she's already dealing with so much.
On the other hand, maybe it would help distract her?

Align Center

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Out of Trouble... Sort of.

I finally got my laptop back! I was in trouble for about a week, and Mom is still pretty angry with me.
So far, I haven't really 'seen' Maude again. I know she is there, and sometimes I catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye, but she hasn't come back as solid as she was the first night Avalanche and I saw her, and she hasn't been able to talk to me.

The other thing is something else. I've caught glimpses of him too (I don't know what it is, but calling it 'him' makes it seem a little less scary, although not much); but he's always dark shadows though. There hasn't been anything major happen since the first night, but lots of little things keep happening to make me jump, like things moving around or my alarm going off at random times during the night, even though it isn't supposed to. I haven't been able to sleep at all, and I'm always tired. It's also almost always freezing in my room now.
Maude seems like she's getting weaker, and this other thing is getting stronger. Since she was so strong to begin with, I sometimes wonder if he isn't feeding off of her strength and making her go away. I hope she doesn't go away completely, forever.

Mom still won't believe me about the ghosts, not even when I told her about Avalanche's Ouija board. I just got into even more trouble for messing around with one.
She also says Avalanche isn't allowed over any more... I don't know what to do! Avalanche is the only one who can help me, I'm really scared of the one ghost, but I don't want to get into any more trouble by sneaking her over.

Avalanche's e-mail

From: Avalanche Vitruvian =
To: Edie Hastings =
Sent: Friday, March 9, 2012 3:30 PM
Subject: You ok?

Hey Edie!

Guess what!? It turns out bringing spooky things through a Ouija board and destroying your room is the one thing my parents feel pretty strongly about, and they finally got mad at me about something! I can't believe it, I'm so excited! Of course, since it's my parents we're talking about, all that really happened was mom shook her head and said she was disappointed in my lack of respect and I got a strongly worded e-mail from my dad in Africa, but get this: Some of it was even in caps!

Anyway, back to business... How've things been going on your end? Is Maude still there, and have you been able to talk to her? What about the other thing that was causing all that damage? I'm pretty sure Maude didn't do all that. That thing really freaks me out, I hope you're ok!
I've been doing lots of research on our problem... I watched a whole marathon of Ghost Hunters yesterday, plus I flipped through a couple of my mom's books. I have some ideas we can try, but I have to be over there to try them.
Is there any way you can convince your mom to let me come over soon?

I honestly can't wait for spring break to be over, which is weird for me, but school is the only place I can see you!


Thursday, March 8, 2012



For the next few minutes, it seemed like a tornado had hit my bedroom! The curtains flapped against the walls and blew around wildly. They finally ripped in half from all the abuse. My posters tore off the walls and turned to tiny shreds of paper, dolls flew around, bouncing off the walls with their skirts blowing up over their heads, and the whole room was filled with flying books.

I snatched my special, autographed copy of Meet Marie Grace out of the air as it whizzed by my head, and Avalanche managed to snag the autographed Meet Cecile for me. The other books could be replaced, but I didn't know when I would have the chance to meet the authors again!
So, we each had a book in our hand when my bedroom door suddenly flew open and my mom stomped in in her PJs.

The paranormal stuff in the room suddenly stopped, and Maude faded away. I could just barely see her against the wall.

"What is going on in here?" Mom demanded, standing in the middle of the room with her hands on her hips. She looked around at the damage in the room furiously, then gasped when she saw the books on the floor and the two books in our hands.

"Are you two actually in here throwing books and destroying your room?!" she asked us in shock.
I shook my head and Avalanche and I both tried to explain what had happened with the Ouija board, but she wouldn't listen.

"Do NOT try and blame this on ghosts, Edith. I am furious at both of you! You're both far too old to be doing things like this, especially in the middle of the night! Avalanche, get your things together, I'm taking you home as soon as I get dressed."

She started to stomp out the door, but stopped and turned and looked at me. "Since you're apparently still wide awake, you'd better start getting this mess picked up while I'm gone.We'll be having a talk about this when I get back from dropping Avalanche off."

As soon as the door was shut behind her, I half expected the violence and winds to pick back up, but they didn't. Avalanche found her backpack under a heap of clothes and one of the curtains, and packed the Ouija board up.

"I'm really sorry about all this, Edie," she started, but my mom came back just then, and ordered her out to the car. "I'll do some research and figure out how to fix it," she yelled at me as she headed for the door.
My mom glared at her and she didn't try to say anything after that. No matter what she said, I had a feeling the only place I'd be seeing her was at school from now on.

I heard the front door close behind them, and had a sinking feeling that I was all alone, at night, in a haunted apartment.

The lights in my bedroom flickered as if I might need reminded of this fact, but I really didn't.

I was terrified.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Both Avalanche and I nearly jumped out of our skin when we heard the soft voice in the darkness, even though it didn't sound particularly threatening.
We knocked over our chairs as we jumped up and rushed to find the light switch. Unfortunatly, my bedroom isn't as tidy as it could be, and Avalanche tripped over some shoes and fell into my bookshelf. I don't think there was a book left on the shelf after that. With all the noise we were making, I was sure my mom would be in to investigate, but miraculously she never woke up.
I finally got the lights on and looked around the room, squinting in the sudden bright light. Avalanche was struggling to climb out of the bookcase with the shoulder of her shirt torn and her curls looking a little less bouncy than they had an hour ago.
"What was that?" I half-shrieked at her. "Please tell me that was you making funny voices!"
"No," said the soft voice from earlier, now coming from the opposite corner of the room. "It was me." Avalanche's mouth dropped open, and I whirled around to see a girl about my age standing there.
A transparent girl. Italic
A ghost.
After my initial shock to have a freaking ghost girl in my bedroom, I noticed that she did indeed look like the girl in the photograph Avalanche had picked up earlier, and that she wasn't anything like what I expected a ghost to be like. She wasn't a hazy cloud that drifted around and she wasn't covered in a sheet with clanking chains. She was about my height with glossy, red hair that was tied back with a black ribbon. She was wearing what appeared to be a gray flannel dress, black tights and these weird, black boots with buttons up the sides, and her nose was covered with freckles. She looked a lot like me, actually. Only... did I mention she was totally see-through?
As weird as it sounded, she didn't seem threatening at all, and I sort of calmed down. Avalanche, on the other hand, did not.
"Wha-wha-wha!!!" was the only sound she seemed capable of making at the moment. Her mouth gaped open, and she kept pointing at the ghost girl.
"Who are you??" She finally forced out.
"I aready told you," the girl said impatiently. "My name is Maude. I heard your summon with the witchboard and drifted over to see what the ruckus was about, and when you broke the circle, you brought me in."
She appeared to think for a moment, then looked at me.
"You really should not have broken that circle, you know. You can let in all sorts of nasties that way."
I shivered and looked over at Avalanche.
'What does she mean when she said we broke the circle?" I asked. "What circle?"
I noticed Avalanche looked really pale, and she cringed. "You took your hands off the planchette as the lights went off. That's what opens the doors your mom talked about. I guess I forgot to tell you not to do that."
Maude nodded. "I do not wish you any harm, but I must warn you, I am not the only thing that got through."
Avalanche and I looked at each other in panic. "What else came through?" I asked. I was really regretting not listening to my mom at this point.
Just then, the lights in my bedroom flickered and two toy horses flew off of the shelf over my bed and hit the wall so hard, one of the legs of my favorite stallion shattered.
"That can't be a good sign," Avalanche said blankly.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

I'm not allowed to play with Ouija boards.

Ivy says they're just a goofy board game and I tend to agree with her, but my mom says they can be used as doors, and it's best to leave those kinds of doors tightly shut.
Avalanche says my mom is right... Except for the tightly shut part. She's been bugging me to play with one with her for a while now, but since my mom hates them, I've always said no.

Late yesterday afternoon, just as it was starting to rain, Avalanche popped up unexpectedly and asked if she could spend the night since we didn't have school today (some kind of all day teacher's meeting... I love those!). As she was politely talking to my mom and asking for permission for an unexpected sleepover, I noticed her green eyes were practically glittering with mischief, but Mom didn't seem to notice. She just said it was ok if Avalanche stayed over, and then she went to bed early.
As soon as her door closed behind her, Avalanche unzipped her backpack and hauled out her prized, battered Ouija board, a pack of pink birthday candles, incense, and a cheap Bic lighter.

"Look what I brought!" she exclaimed happily, holding it out to me. "Now we can really have some fun!"

I looked uneasily at my mom's door... the light was off, and she'd had a bad headache. I knew she wouldn't be coming out to catch us in the act, but it seemed wrong to disobey her. I just didn't see what all the fuss was about; it was just a goofy game! She'd never know...

Finally, I shrugged and took the game. Curiosity over what the big deal was had won.
"We can set it up on my desk," I suggested. "But Mom will smell the incense, so we shouldn't use that, or the candles. We'll be in huge trouble if she finds out we lit things on fire." I dug around in the hall closet and found an old camp lantern with dying batteries to use instead.
"Who are you trying to contact?"

Avalanche shook her head, making her glossy black curls bounce on her shoulders. "I don't care. Anyone, really. You don't really get to choose, you just ask the board if you have a spirit present and then you ask it stuff you want to know. The spirit you get could be anyone. I talked to a guy who said he was Grover Cleveland last week.
"Hey, who is she?" Avalanche suddenly pointed to the top of the stack of papers and old photographs I was busy clearing off my desk to make room for the game board; I had spend the weekend working on a family genealogy project for my history class and had all kinds of old family photos scattered around.

I looked at the photo Avalanche had picked out. It was an old cabinet card of a girl about our age. She was wearing clothes that must have been stylish for the time, but were horrbily old fashioned to me. The name 'Maude' had been scribbled on the back in pencil, but there was no date or anything else to identify her.
"She'd be a good person to ask the board about, I guess. I don't know anything about her. My family thought she was my great-great grandmother's sister, but her name wasn't Maude, so we have no idea who she is. I guess we could ask about her family."
I switched on the camp lantern, and we turned off the lights in my bedroom. Immediatly, I felt a little creeped out.

Avalanche placed the planchette on the board, and with my fingers trembling a little, I put my fingers on it next to hers.
Since she had done this before, she was the one who asked the questions. She asked if there was a spirit present, and the board immediately told us there was. I was ready to stop right then, but Avalanche kept asking stuff. Next, she wanted to know if there was more than one, and when the board said there was, she asked "how many are there?"
I knew it was just Avalanche moving the little pointer, but I nearly jumped out of my skin when the planchette pointed at the number 7.
Avalanche didn't say anything, but the pointer began to move again.
This time, it spelled out B-E-H-I-N-D Y-O-U

I jerked around, but didn't see anyone there.

"Avalanche, come on... this is getting crazy! Let's put it up and watch a movie or something," I said nervously, but Avalanche just shook her head.
"Who is Maude?" She asked the board, but to my relief the planchette responded by moving to the ''Good-Bye' space on the board.

But my relief was short lived as the batteries in the latern gave out and the room was pitched into complete darkness.

Hello," came a quiet voice from the darkness behind us.

"I'm Maude."

Friday, March 2, 2012

How I celebrated my birthday!

I'm twelve now! Or... three. However you want to look at it.
Even though money is pretty tight still, Mom got me some really nice gifts. She got me a Lego Friends set, two hand-knitted hats that are gorgeous, and a my little pony.
My party has been postponed thanks to a water leak in our apartment. Mom said I could invite one friend over, but a bunch of kids was too much. She got me a Tinkerbell cake, and I invited my new friend, Bernadette, over since Ivy had too much homework.

I missed seeing Ivy, but Bernadette is really cool. She likes Tangled just like me, and has an American Girl doll. I forgot to ask which one, though. She just moved into the apartment next to ours, and she's my age! I met her a few days ago as she and her mom were bringing over some boxes from their old house, and she told me she'll be enrolling into my grade at school. It'd be awesome to have a friend I can hang out with more often. Ivy is my BFF, but she's so busy with school and now skunk training, I don't get to see her too much.

Anyway, Bernadette got permission to stay overnight and Mom popped us some popcorn and said I could watch my first PG-13 movie a whole year early! I was excited, and Bernadette and I picked out an older movie neither of us had ever seen called Overboard.
We loved it, but we didn't look at the rating until after we watched it and we were a little disappointed to find out that it was only PG. Boo, hiss, but we had fun anyway!

After it was over, Mom said it was time for bed, so we made a tent out of some chairs and an old blanket and pretended that we were camping out. I love an excuse to use Mom's old sleeping bags!

Overall, I think it was a great birthday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Skunks and Birthdays

I'm pretty sure that by now, everyone is wondering what happened with Ivy and the skunk. Shockingly, Ivy didn't really get in trouble at all... All her moms did was take it to a vet to have it de-scented and sent Ivy to her therapist a few extra times to make sure it wasn't a 'cry for attention.'

It wasn't, Ivy just really wanted a pet. I still don't know why she chose that one, but from what she's said, her moms were dragging their feet on getting her a kitten, and the skunk seemed friendly enough. He is really friendly, to tell you the truth. It's easy to forget that Ivy actually dragged home a wild animal, he's super tame. We got him home to my house before my mom even noticed, and we figure that was pretty impressive.
Speaking of my mom, she threw a fit when she discovered the stowaway. I don't blame her, but even though the whole thing was Ivy's idea, I got in trouble. Mom took my laptop away and I only just got it back. She said I knew better, and that I shouldn't have let Ivy bring him along.
Which is true, but it still isn't fair. Everything always seems to work out perfect for Ivy.

Oh! I almost forgot! My birthday is coming up! I was born in a leap year, on February 29th, so basically I'm going to turn 3 this year since leap years only happen every couple of years.
Ok, I'm joking... Usually we celebrate on March 1st, so I'm really going to turn 12. Mom says I can invite some friends over and have a little party if I want to, and I was pretty excited. Only... once again, there isn't much money and rent is due, so I'm going to have to get creative with my party and do everything myself, including make the decorations. All of my friends come from families who are a bit more well off than we are, and everyone else always gets elaborate store bought stuff.
I'm a little nervous now... I think it could be fun, and I have a lot of cool ideas, but I'm afraid my friends will think my party is cheap and stupid.
Anyone have any advice?

Monday, February 13, 2012


After Big Rock Park, Mom took Ivy and I to Subway for some lunch, then we kept driving. We headed out of town and wandered along a back road, and finally ended up at a state park.
Which was cool, but we were a little disappointed. The big rocks seemed like a much cooler spot to play... Until we turned a corner and saw:

Dinosaurs!? At a state park? What was going on here?
Turns out Mom had taken us to Dinosaur Valley State Park. It's called that because, according to wikipedia which can't be wrong, a loooong time ago this part of Texas was a big beach on the edge of a pretty shallow ocean, and dinosaurs lived here! We know that (the dinosaurs part, anyway) because they left tracks behind, and some of those tracks got preserved.

Unfortunately, Mom hadn't ever been here before, and didn't realize that the reason they're so well preserved is because they're in the river bed, under water a lot of the time, and that the river is high enough that they're under water right now. When we paid to get in, the park ranger said they weren't visible at all, and we were pretty disappointed, but Mom said we should find where they were anyway, so when we came back we'd be prepared.

We had to do a ton of climbing and hiking. At first there were nice, stone steps and it was pretty easy going, but the terrain kept changing.

After the steps came some deep sand. If it weren't so horribly cold, I'd want to stop and play in it and pretend I was at the beach! But it was freezing, so we didn't.

After the sand came more sand mixed with big rocks. It was tough going; we had to climb over a lot of them. We were glad we wore our hiking boots, but we kept having to stop and shake sand out of them!

After a ton of climbing, we finally found the river. Now to see if we could see some tracks!
Fortunately, the water was a lot clearer than we thought it'd be, but it was really deep near here. We were by a place in the park called the Blue Hole, and it wasn't very blue, but we could tell it was deeeeeep. We avoided the edge of the water near there. We really didn't want to fall in, and the banks were dirt and looked kind of fragile and crumbly.

We kept on going, and reached the edge of the river where it looked reasonably safe to walk.
Finally, we spotted something in the water next to us. Could it be...?

It was!! A dinosaur footprint! This was as close as Mom would let us get... The print was under water about a foot; way over our heads! We hope you can see it... Ivy is pointing at it. We were all so excited to have found one! It was almost like finding buried treasure or something. We took a ton of pictures, and Mom suggested moving on to see if we could spot any others.

We hiked a little farther up the river, and found some more:

This is sort of a bad photo, but you can kind of see two or three tracks in the shallow rock behind us. We really felt like adventurers now. It was so much fun to sit here and think about what this place would have looked like back then, and what these creatures would have acted like.
They'd probably be pretty smelly.

All too soon, we had to hike back to the car. It was so cold that water was dripping out of the rocks around us and freezing into icicles!

We were so exhausted and cold by this point, we didn't think we'd make it to the top. It was pretty slow going, but we made it back, and promptly did this:

But our nap didn't last too long. Mom left us alone to sleep while she went exploring another place along the river with tracks, then woke us up to ask us if we wanted to stop by the gift shop on the way out for a souvenir.
We did, and we each got to pick out something cool. I got a pressed penny and a badge with the name of the park to put on my hoodie, and Ivy picked out a dinosaur statue and a dinosaur hunting license. For fifty cents, she's officially able to hunt dinosaurs and remove their carcasses from the State Park!

We gathered up our purchases and headed outside for one more photo with the dinosaur statues while Mom stayed behind and chatted with the employees about the history of the park.

Before we could do anything though, this little guy popped out from under one of the feet of the dinosaurs:

I'm from the country, and was so afraid we were going to get sprayed and jumped back, but he ran right over to Ivy and acted like he wanted to cuddle, who of course scooped him up and gave him some cuddles like she didn't know what he was or what he was capable of.

"Ivy! What do you think you're doing!!" I yelped at her. "That's a skunk!!"

"I know! And he's so cute and friendly! Quick, your mom's still inside, let's take him home with us. I really want a pet so bad, and my moms haven't had time to help me get one. He's perfect!"

My mom is totally going to kill me when she finds out about this...

Oh, PS: If you want more info on Dinosaur Valley and see some photos of the tracks above ground, we liked this page:
If you're in the area, it's definitely worth the trip. Just don't let your bestie talk you into bringing home a wild animal.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Off to Big Rocks Park!

This weekend, one of my best friends, Ivy, came to stay with Denise and me. The three of us had a great time spending Saturday hanging out, watching movies (We all just saw Gnomeo and Juliet, by the way. Ivy and I love it!) and playing on the computer. It was nice to just relax and not do much of anything, but when Sunday rolled around, my mom came in and asked us if we wanted to go on an adventure instead of just being lazy.
Ivy and I jumped at the chance, but Denise didn't want to go with us. I know she has been through a lot, but it's hurting my feelings a little that she never wants to go anywhere with me and Mom. This is the third time Mom has thought up something special to do that she hasn't wanted to join in. I don't understand what's wrong, and I wish I knew what to do to help her, but I just don't. Denise has made a new friend at school, though, and she went over to her house to stay while we were gone.

Before we headed out ourselves, Ivy and I looked at the temperature gauge. It was just above freezing, and the weather website that we checked said it wasn't going to get any warmer! Ivy said she wasn't sure if she wanted to go out after all, but I told her that it was probably warm to Canadians, and we should go anyway. Even though we're actually Texans, and it's freaking freezing!

So go we did.
We drove for a long time, but Mom had packed some books and puzzles for us to play in the car and we had a good time. We're reading my mom's childhood Trixie Belden books together, they're mysteries about a bunch of kids our age and they're pretty awesome.
Anyway, Mom wouldn't tell us where we were going, so our destination was a surprise. When we finally climbed out of the car, we were here:

In Glen Rose, Texas. It's next to the Brazos river, and there is a state park here that is supposed to have dinosaur tracks. Mom has been here a bunch of times, but this is our first visit.
Boy, they weren't kidding when they named it Big Rocks park! These rocks are huge!

Ivy and I had a ton of fun climbing them, even though it was so cold our teeth were chattering the whole time. We pretended we were explorers and rock climbers, and some of the rocks were big enough that we could pretend the cracks between them were giant caves.

Down below the big rocks, we found this pile of smaller rocks, and decided it would be fun to pick out one to take home as a souvenir. We picked one each, then picked a third for Avalanche. She wanted to stay the weekend with us, too, but her mom wouldn't let her... She took her to do something with their coven, and they weren't coming home until Monday morning. Avalanche is so lucky, getting to miss a whole day of school! Ivy and I are jealous.

We decided we needed to find something special to take home to Denise, and I found this cool piece of wood. I thought all the layers in it made it look super old, even though it isn't.
I really hope she likes it!

We piled our finds intp the car and took a few minutes to warm up, then headed back out to play on the rocks some more. The rocks are next to an offshoot of the Brazos River, and we sat and watched the water flow by for a little while, too.

We had tons of fun here, but after about an hour Mom told us it was time to move on. I wonder where we're off to next?

We'll let you know tomorrow!