Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Best Blogger Award!

Hey everyone! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

Sophia and Emma from Sophia and Emma: Halifax Twins nominated our blog for The Best Blogger Award! Thank you so much!

Now we have to answer some questions...

1. What is your favorite post you have ever created?
I think the post where Zoe and I raked leaves might be one of my favorites. There's no particular reason why - I just had a lot of fun with it, and really enjoyed playing in the leaves with my sister, even though we did end up getting pretty dirty! Runners up are the triple birthday party we had with Dani, Saoirse, and Jess - it was great to finally meet them, and we all had a lot of fun taking pictures for the post - and our christmas day post.

2. What is your favorite photo story you have taken part of?
I can't really say that I've taken part in any photo story or a stop-motion video. I hope to at some point, though - they sound like fun to make!

3. Why do you blog?
I started this blog because I love to write, but I've never had the patience to sit down and write an entire story from beginning to end. This blog allows me to continue writing, without it requiring quite so much patience!

4. How many followers do you currently have on your blog?
We currently only have 12. To these 12 people - thank you so much for reading our blog and leaving such wonderful comments! 

5. Do you like being nominated for blog awards?
Well, that goes without saying :) This is the first award we've been nominated for and are very excited about it!

Finally, what other 5 blogs would you like to nominate for this award?

1. Dani from Dabbling Dani
2. Saoirse from Saoirse's Space
3. Jess from Bye Bye Belize! Hello Michigan!
4. Samantha Parkington and Co. from Teeny Tiny Spark (This blog is no longer in use, but the link to their new blog hasn't been posted yet, so for now, I'm just going to use the link to their old one.)
5. Inky from Super Inky!

I apologize if you are on this list and have already been nominated - I tried to find ones that hadn't received the award yet, though I'm sure some of you have!

If you were nominated, please answer the same questions that we did and nominate 5 other blogs, and include the image of the award in your post. Thanks again, Sophia and Emma!

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Writer's Retreat

Hey everyone!

Today was the first really warm day of the new year, so I decided to grab some food, a light jacket, and my writing notebook and search for a suitable, secluded place where I could begin my new story. My English teacher suggested this past week that I should submit something to the school's literary newspaper, and I have a great idea for a short story. The only problem? I absolutely, positively cannot write when I'm around other people. Like Snoopy on top of his doghouse, I can only write when I'm completely by myself. So, I thought I'd take advantage of the warmth and the sunshine, and take my writing out into the fresh air.

I packed an apple, three cookies, some pencils, and my notebook into an L.L. Bean duffel bag that my mom had lying around the house.

Then I set off across the driveway.

The snow piles made by my dad's plow have yet to melt, somehow, but they're a lot smaller than they were. I scrambled up the small incline and stumbled across the uneven, frozen surface of the snow towards the patch of grass under the trees.

When I reached dry ground, I began searching around for a suitable place to sit.

Unfortunately, most of the ground was either too cold, too wet, or too pine-needle-y for my tastes. I looked thoughtfully up at the trees. There were plenty of branches that I could use as footholds, and maybe there would be one big enough for me to sit on. I decided to try.

I balanced on a thin branch, gripping the tree trunk to hold myself steady.

After clambering up a few feet or so, I noticed a large clump of something off to my left. Peering closer, I realized that it was a nest of some sort.

I climbed over to it and sat down. Even though it was made of pine needles, it was soft and springy, and firm enough that I didn't feel as if I was about to fall through. What could have made it? I was pretty sure that it wasn't a bird's nest, but what else made its home in a tree?
Oh, well. It was the perfect place to sit down and write. I took the apple, a pencil, and my notebook out of my bag and settled in to do so.

It wasn't until nearly two hours later that my fingers became so numb with cold that I couldn't hold the pencil, and I looked up to realize that the last light was fading from the sky. I sighed and climbed down from the tree. I guess it's still not quite warm enough to spend the evening sitting in a tree.
As I wandered across the lawn and onto the driveway, I glanced back at the nest one last time. It was completely hidden amongst the branches; from here, one might think that it was just another, rather lumpy, part of the tree. I grinned. I could imagine that becoming quite a writer's retreat, just as long as Zoe didn't find out about it.

Do you have a place you use for hiding yourself away for a few hours? Do you like to write?

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hide and Seek in the Snow

When we have snow days, Zoe and I do all the typical things - build snowmen and forts, have snowball fights, go sledding - but there's something else that we always do when it snows. It's a bit like playing hide-and-seek, but we play it all throughout the woods, and to find the other person, we follow their footprints. Zoe's tricky; she always makes a bunch of loops so you're stuck wondering which trail to go down. But it's always fun, and when Zoe suggested it on Saturday, I eagerly agreed.

She instructed me to count to 100, made sure I had fully closed my eyes, then fled. For a few moments, I heard the crunch of her quickly fading footsteps, then silence. When I turned around, she had completely disappeared into the snow.

Her hurriedly made footprints seemed to be heading towards the woods, so I headed in that direction.

I reached the edge of the woods and found her footsteps leading up a rocky incline.

I climbed up after them, cursing myself for forgetting to wear gloves.

When I reached the top of the incline, I found that I had emerged into a cave of sorts. The pine boughs above me and on either side were weighed down with snow and formed a little shelter from the falling snow and wind.

Zoe's footprints continued under the branches and into a dense thicket of pine saplings and hemlocks. When I broke through the trees, I found that they formed a ring around a small clearing. The trees had grown above and to the sides of it so thickly that only a thin dusting of snow had fallen onto the ground.

I bent down to search for Zoe's footprints, and when I found a circular impression in the snow that looked as if it had been made by a shoe, I followed it without hesitation.

I hadn't gone more than about ten steps when I realized that the prints weren't Zoe's; when I looked closer, I found that the impression contained several divots that made me think it had been made by a paw as opposed to a shoe. My curiosity was aroused. The prints were fresh; what animal would I find if I followed them?

I stood there for a few moments, indecisive. Should I return to search for Zoe's prints, or follow those made by the animal? I probably would have stood there for a while longer had I not been suddenly doused with snow by a tree branch seeking to lighten its load. I looked up, startled, to search for my assailant, only to find Zoe clinging to a tree trunk while sitting astride a wide branch.

She slid down the trunk with a grumpy expression.
"Oh, you're no fun at all!" she said as she landed with a whump! on the pile of fresh powder at the base of her tree. "I made a whole complicated loop in the backyard and you just had to look up when you passed by!"
"Sorry," I said, grinning. "I lost your tracks in the snow over in that clearing, and followed these ones by mistake."
"Do you know what made them?" she asked, curious, her anger forgotten. She bent down to inspect them. "Let's follow them! They might have been made by a raccoon, or a fox!"

So we followed the tracks as they wound through the woods. It wasn't until we had almost completely circled the house that they led us to a little shelter, made from a pine bough pinned to the ground by a heavy drift of snow.

I peered down into the depths of the shelter, and let out a cry of surprise. Zoe came rushing up behind me to see what was the matter.

In that hollow, huddled in a little ball as protection against the cold, was none other than our Shiloh! I ran over to pick him up, and was startled to discover that he was limp, thin, and cold to the touch.

"Is he -" Zoe began. I shushed her. I put my ear down next to his mouth, and was relieved when I heard him breathing. Each one was much too shallow and quick, but at least he was alive.

Zoe and I hurried inside to get him warm. Little icicles had frozen into his fur and on his nose, and these we rubbed away with a towel. Once he was dry, I realized that there wasn't much else we could do for him. The storm had knocked out the phone lines and our cell phones got no reception around our house, so there was no way to call the vet. And there was no way to bring Shiloh to the vet either - the snow was falling faster than ever and Mom didn't want to risk it. Not wanting to do anything that might make him worse, I ended up laying Shiloh on a blanket in front of the fire. Zoe and I sat next to him for the whole evening, feeling helpless and worried.

Now it's Sunday night, and he hasn't gotten any better. Mom promised us that she'll bring him to the animal hospital first thing tomorrow, but right now tomorrow seems far away. I don't want to leave him, afraid of what we'll find in the morning.

I guess that's all for now. Thanks for reading!