HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Hi everyone! I hope you all aren’t too stressed this time of year, because it’s time to celebrate… and to remember! Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, and food, but mainly being thankful.

I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my home, and my life. Those are fairly common things to be thankful for. I’m thankful for my family because they put up with me and are supportive of me. I’m thankful for my friends because they don’t abandon me. My home is basically where my life has taken place, besides school. My life has given me the ability to exist. I’m thankful for other things, such as music and video games. Both provide a distraction or escape from reality and are really fun (music is fun to sing with and video games are fun to play, even when you get stuck in a dungeon in Ocarina of Time and your playing info. is lost [true story]).

Food, food, where do I start? There’s definitely an array of food at this time. Pumpkin pie and turkey are probably what comes to mind when Thanksgiving comes up, but I prefer green bean casserole. I don’t understand why turkey is the main meat of this holiday, though. At the first Thanksgiving, Native Americans and Pilgrims were eating quail and fish. I’ve never tried quail and I don’t like fish, so I guess I’m fine with turkey.

I am upset that Thanksgiving doesn’t seem to be a big holiday anymore. It always seems to be Halloween from August to October 31, and then on November 1, it’s straight to Christmas. Thanksgiving should be more important, even if Black Friday is right after. If it hadn’t been for the first Thanksgiving, America might have been a lot different… just something to think about.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, appreciate everything you have, and don’t each too much food!

Everything SPOOKY!

Happy (belated) Halloween and Day of the Dead! Did you guys see any ghosts? Speaking of which, that reminds me of my science project on the paranormal! It definitely was a weird topic to have, especially since it isn’t a real science (yet). In this project, I had to research a lot of stuff, including what “paranormal” is, why it isn’t a true science, and what has already been disproven/proven in the field of the paranormal. Of course, that wasn’t all. I got to hold an experiment of sorts to test my classmates for “extrasensory perception” (telepathy, aka mind-reading) and I had to write a fictional story about the paranormal. It was a fairly fun project, but very long and tiring to do.

The reason this ties into Halloween is, of course, ghosts! They are a type of paranormal, not yet proven but possible within the laws of physics and nature. I think that was my only tie to Halloween with my paranormal project, since vampires, zombies, and werewolves would be more under the supernatural aspect of unexplained phenomena. But Halloween ties to horror movies, including PsychoThe Shining, and The Birds.  Now they may not all sound like horror movies, especially by the title The Birds, but they all are horror movies (or just plain out weird/creepy to the point of horror). This was the first time I had seen these movies, and I thought they were really good. I don’t have a favourite, though.

halloweenfest

At the park district’s Halloweenfest, I worked at a game where kids could reach in and grab prizes. We had A LOT of kids play. My costume was a broken porcelain doll–wearing a volunteer vest.

Sadly, we did not get the chance to carve a pumpkin. However, we did do a lot of Halloween activities. I helped the park district with their Halloweenfest and repeated the same thing about 28 million times (ok, maybe not that many, but close to it). I also trick-or-treated with my friends after one of them came back to visit. It was a really fun October this year, even without the pumpkin guts!

PUMPKINS!!!

Pumpkins are one of my favourite things about autumn. There is pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, jack’o’lantern pumpkins, eyeball pumpkins, twine pumpkins, fake pumpkins, virtual pumpkins, the Pumpkin King, the Great Pumpkin, and the list goes on and on! We like to carve our pumpkin and keep the seeds. I don’t know what our pumpkin will look like this year, but we have been getting more adventurous each year.

Miscellaneous Pumpkins

Skyward Sword: Pumpkin Landing/Lumpy Pumpkin

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Twilight Princess: Pumpkin Patch at Ordon

 

 

 

 

When I say virtual pumpkins, I really mean virtual pumpkins. In Legend of Zelda (LoZ), pumpkins show up in a few games. In Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, both of which I have played, pumpkins contain hearts and rupees (the LoZ currency). In Skyward Sword, there is a pumpkin diner of sorts. In Twilight Princess, there is even Pumpkin Soup in one of the dungeons/temples! You can do a lot with pumpkins in real life, too, but I doubt you’ll find a heart or money in them.

Food Stuff With Pumpkins

I have a recipe of sorts that we use for baking pumpkin seeds. First, make sure that your pumpkin seeds are rinsed/cleaned well and dry. Lay them out on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil. Sprinkle brown sugar on them as evenly as possible and as much as you would like. Bake them between 350-400 until they are crispy, but not too terribly crispy. They taste really good when they are done.

We have also madepumpkin-funnelcake pumpkin funnel cakes and pumpkin-cookiespumpkin cookies. With the pumpkin cookies, we followed the recipe on the link, but we added some maple syrup with the glaze to make a maple-vanilla cream glaze. They were delicious, but now they are gone! In our pumpkin funnel cakes, we didn’t really change anything. They pretty much tasted like normal funnel cakes, but with a little bit more spice than normal ones. They were still good, but I think I’d rather make the cookies again.

The Kitten Project

On September 3rd, we brought home two feral kittens! One is Rory Williams Woods, named after a character in Doctor Who, and the other is Oswin Oswald Woods, named after another character in Doctor Who. Their sister was taken home by my grandparents, and her name is Skittles.

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This is Rory when we got him.

This is Oswin, on top of his brother.

This is Oswin, on top of his brother.

These two sure were a handful. On the first day, they did not trust us and kept running away from us. Oswin even got under the couch in the room several times! They wouldn’t eat when we were around, so we left them alone. They started to eat later that night.

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This is Zip, outside the door where the kittens are. He looks a lot like Oswin.

The next day we fed them again, but they still didn’t like us too much. We decided to introduce our older cat, Zip, to the kittens since he had been hanging outside the door since we got them. He didn’t like Rory too much and hissed at him, but Rory didn’t retaliate, which was good. He just meowed at Oswin.

They have started to warm up to us more. We gave them catnip a few days later, and they mellowed out even more. Oswin got under the couch a lot, and Rory started to follow, so we moved the couch so we could get them out easier.

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Zip is inside the box, and Oswin is trying to play with him.

Rory doesn’t run as much from us since the catnip. He greets me at the door because I am their food-bringer (they run from me unless i have food or have brought some recently; so far I have been food-zoned). Oswin is okay with us, but he still runs to his bed sometimes. We’ve had Zip come in almost every day now, and Oswin really likes him. He nuzzles Zip’s chin every time he sees him.

The kittens are growing every day, including their claws. Hopefully we can learn how to trim their claws soon!

Tips for Kittens:

  • Give them space, but make sure they are okay with you. Stay in the room for a little bit and play with them; give them food/water when you are with them. Once they seem tired or bored with you, leave them alone so they can rest.
  • If you have other pets, gradually introduce them. Use a baby gate so the kittens and other pet(s) can see/smell each other and none of them hurt each other. As they start to get okay with each other, then you can have them in the same room.
    • Also check out your kittens and other pets to make sure they don’t have anything contagious. Until you get them checked out, don’t let your other pet(s) use their litter pan or eat/drink their food/water.
  • Make sure the room you have them in is safe. Make sure they can’t escape through an open door or window (they can jump pretty high) and that they won’t get stuck anywhere. Kitten-proof the area(s) they will be in.
  • Claw-trimming should be done safely in about 1-2 week intervals, depending on how fast their claws grow. You can ask your veterinarian how to do it.

More updates on the kittens will be coming later!

How to Make A Fairy Garden!

Hi guys! I just got done creating a fairy garden with my dad, and it was really fun! I have a how-to video showing just how we made ours. There is a list of what you need in the description. Have fun!

Fairy gardens are actually fairly popular, partially because they are easy to make and also because they look really neat when they are finished. They can also serve as homes for butterflies, hummingbirds, and dragonflies depending on the type you make. There a tons of ideas out there, especially on Pinterest.

I made mine because I am a huge fan of fairies and have been since I was little. We figured it would fill an empty and dull-looking patch of dirt and I had always wanted to make one, so we got to work on our garden.

Northwest Vacation: Part Five

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Chateau de Mores in Medora, North Dakota

North Dakota is the 49th state I have been in! In my 49th state, we went to Medora, where we saw the Chateau de Mores.  It’s a 26-room hunting cabin from the Victorian Era West that belonged to Marquis de Mores. He wanted to be the richest financier in the world by sending packaged meat in refrigerated train cars. His first step was to build right by the railroad that led east to the Chicago stockyards.

You can tell the Marquis and his visitors liked to drink!

He named the six-square mile land he built upon Medora, after his wife. It went though several economic booms and busts over the years, but now it is home to historic landmarks and small businesses. While we were there, we went to a restaurant there and got buffalo burgers and I got sarsaparilla, a type of root beer. It was really good. We then went to the old slaughterhouse of Marquis de Mores, which was almost all rubble except for a chimney. After we took our pictures, we headed to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It was a long drive, but we saw thousands of prairie dog mounds in the prairie dog “towns.”

In the upper left-center, there are buffalo, and in the lower right-center, there are two prairie dogs.

We also saw deer, horses, and a lot more sage. I saw a group of some sort of animal on the way in, but I didn’t know what they were. On the drive on the trail, we saw lots of pretty scenery, then the trail circled back. It turned out that the animal herd I saw before was a herd of buffalo! We took our pictures and left the park to start on our journey home.P1010312
Now, the only state I have left to visit is Hawaii! I don’t know when I’ll get there, though. My mom started planning a trip for the Upper Mississippi River when we were headed through Minnesota, since it starts in Lake Itasca. Geez! We just finished this one, and she’s already thinking about the next one!

Northwest Vacation: Part Four

rainbow at Shoshone FallsThe next day, we went to Twin Falls, Idaho, also know as Shoshone Falls. There were some neat waterfalls there, and we even saw a rainbow! The site of one of Evel Knievel’s jumps was also there, but the path to get there looked like a death trap, so we decided not to go there this time. It was close to lunch, so we headed off.

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We had a lot of fun on vacation so far, but 20160618_120147when we went to the Idaho Potato Museum, we probably had some of the best food all vacation! We walked through the small museum and learned about potatoes and their 20160618_120431history. I even learned that there is a Potato God, which I thought was pretty neat. There are four categories of potatoes, too, including Red, Gold, Russet, and Fingerling. When we learned about the process potatoes go through before they are sold or consumed, it was a lot to look at. They’re picked, cleaned, stored, cleaned again, examined, “perfected,” examined again (bad ones are thrown out), peeled, boiled, cut, packaged, and then sent off to stores or french-fry places. They certainly go through a lot of work for the perfect potato!

potato chocolate milkAfter our walk through the museum and seeing some of the equipment they use, we stopped in at their Potato Cafe. We ate a chili baked potato, some southwestern fries, potato chocolate milk (yes that is a thing) and potato cupcakes. The chocolate milk was actually pretty good, considering it was something that sounded so bizarre! The cupcakes were good, too!

Waffle fries with southwest topping at the Potato Museum-yum!

Waffle fries with southwest topping at the Potato Museum-yum!

Stayed tuned for part five – North Dakota!

Northwest Vacation: Part Three

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One of the several signs we saw that made no sense of being there (I think we know we are in air and breathe it) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The next day, the 16th, we saw some pretty weird signs before we went to the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. It was like a miniature Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not museum, but in a store. I got a wooden “voodoo” doll. It was bizarre looking, but still cute.20160616_110634[1] On our way out, we saw a cupcake truck. We got two cupcakes and ate one of them. It was very good. The other one we saved for later. Continue reading

Northwest Vacation: Part Two

In part one of the Northwest Vacation, we went to Mt. Rushmore, Little Bighorn Battlefield, and fed prairie dogs. After the battlefield, we drove through Montana, Idaho and most of Washington. In Tacoma, we went to our hotel to rest up for the next day: Seattle, Washington!

A picture of the different sizes of grinds coffee can be.

Wednesday morning, we drove to Seattle and parked at Pike’s Place Market. We didn’t do anything there yet because my dad and I really wanted to get to the Starbucks Coffee 20160615_090738[1] Roastery. It was really cool, looking at all the tools they have to use to roast, store, grind, and blend the coffee beans to get the right type of taste. After we looked around, we got a pretzel bagel and a coffee. My dad and I both got an iced “No. 11” brew. It was amazing.

After getting our caffeine fix, we went back to Pike’s Place Market. We saw the famous fish tossers toss a hole bunch of fish, but I only got one on video.

We walked around a lot, looking at the interesting signs and stores and found an ocarina salesman. He makes ceramic ocarinas all the time, from tiny, one inch big 4-hole ocarinas to larger, 6-hole ocarinas. I got a 5-hole ocarina as well as two books on how to play it. Next we went to Honest Biscuits for food. I really liked the Sweet Potato Biscuit. It was delicious! We also went to a chocolate store in Pike’s Place Market, and later saw a steel drum player. We then went to some stores specifically for fans of almost ANY show, band, game, card game, or movie! I got a Doctor Who ID for the Tenth Doctor, or David Tennant’s Doctor. He’s my favorite.

After our walk around Pike’s Market, we went to the space needleSpace Needle. space needleMy mom and I went up the Space Needle and got an amazing view of Seattle. We could even see our car! Later in the day, after some driving north, we did a whale watching tour and saw two orca whales a bunch of times. They aren’t technically whales, as we learned on the boat. They’re actually the largest member of the dolphin family. They didn’t breach at all, but they did surface so more than their dorsal fin was showing several times. We got back to the hotel late, but it was worth it to see the sunset on the boat.

Orca sightingP1050350

We got back to the hotel late, but it was worth it to see the sunset on the boat. Stay tuned for part three about Ye Old Curiosity Shop and Oregon.