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

Dinosaurs!!

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: http://paleo.cc/paluxy/dvsp.htm
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!