Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Cabin Life


Back on June 25th, my family embarked on a car ride to a very old tradition... well, maybe "very" isn't a good word.  Let's just say I've been doing this my whole life.  Driving up to a resort on a lake to spend a whole week with my mom's side of the family.  Just last year we had to find a new resort due to the lack of updating the owner did to the cabins.  Even with a different resort, our traditions stayed alive.

Before my parents were even married, they and my grandparents from both sides of my family, spent some time up at a lake to take a break from all the craziness that goes on at home.  The cabins were small, but that didn't matter when there was plenty to do outside.  The resort had a sandy beach and plenty of docks to jump off of or fish from.  We had been going to that resort for as long as I can remember, the same cabins, the same lake.  My cousins and I used to catch frogs underneath the row boats and canoes.  The slimy amphibians could swim pretty fast once they got to the water, so we had to be quick in grabbing them.

For years, I was scared of jumping off the dock.  Why?  Because I could see seaweed touching the surface of the water.  I get so freaked out about seaweed, I thought I would never jump off that dock... until my brother pushed me off it.  I had it coming, standing near the edge, watching people jump in beside me.

Now, my family stays at a different resort.  The cabins are kept up to date and are given something new each year.  Like a new bathroom renovation or even a new set of deck chairs.  The docks are in better shape than the last resort, and the cabins aren't about to fall off of their foundations.  You know the parable where two men build their homes, one on the sand and the other on the stone?  That's what it felt like, two of the cabins were held up by cement pillars.  But the cabin was on the edge of the pillars, it was as if the pillars would slip out at any moment in time and the whole cabin would collapse.  They didn't, not while we were there.  That's why we needed to find a new resort to stay at.  Sure, I would miss the cabin memories I made at that lake.  But making new memories is what's fun about going somewhere new.

From Thunder Lake to Woman Lake, our Yahtzee tournaments, cornhole games, and campfire treats still lived on.  But enough of the backstory, you guys want to see pictures, right?  I was very excited about this post, and the number of pictures will show that. It was hard to pick and choose, so I put in as many I could :)

Most of these pictures were taken by my mom, I did take some of the lake and of the twins :3

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My brother grabbed his fishing rod the very first night.

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My cousin was just as excited to fish as my brother was.
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Dad was pretty happy he found a good place to hang his hammock.
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My aunt already started reading.
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My mom's parents.
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My dad's parents.
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Brother on the Rave water trampoline.
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My dad and brother swimming while
 my other sibling hogged the Rave.
My cousin had twins last October,
 and we got to see them at the cabin.
Me and my cousin Summer,
  holding water balloons.
I had such a fun time this year, and I'm always amazed at the amount of fun we can pack into one week.
Katie, Phin, Kai, and me.
My grandma looked pretty
 happy to hold Phin.
My dad and Phin.

Cornhole traditions.
Games in the late night hours.
Everyone onto the Rave!
Evening activities, which involved Yahtzee,
S'mores, reading and talking with one another.
AJ and Grandpa.

Me and Ryan on the stand-up
paddleboard.

It wasn't very hard, surprisingly.
My mom had 'trying a paddleboard' on her bucket list.
Giant Jenga.
My cousins soaking up the sun while writing.

Volleyball!

My dad took my brothers out on the canoe.
Father and son paddleboat ride.

Reading corner.
Our cabin.
Very conspicuous ninjas standing in front of the sign.
Patio Scrabble.
My brilliant team.
Ground level.

Jetski ride.
Family pictures.

Cornhole game.
We're only missing two people in this picture, I think that's a new record.

Ryan and Sam in the row boat.

A great view of the resort from the lake.

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Thank you all for staying tuned in.  I plan to post the last part of my California series.  It involves the Sequoia Nat'l forest and Mt. Rushmore.

I hope you all have a wonderful week until then.

-Anna Jolene o/

Friday, July 1, 2016

Raising Mallards


NaNoWriMo starts today!!! Yay!

Hello, everyone!  For the past four years, my family has been raising Mallard ducklings.  MingMing, Donald and Daisy, Beaker, and Louie.  Our yearly adventure started out with an abandoned duckling named MingMing.  Our neighbor ended up finding her in the middle of the street one day, with no way to care for it, she stopped my mother and brothers on their walk and asked if they could take the duckling off her hands.  And since then, we have gotten our ducks at two different stores that sold ducklings in bulk.  In our second year, we bought two ducklings, Donald and Daisy.  That ended up being a bad year, Donald was (most likely) eaten by a coyote.  And Daisy flew away a week later.

But this year, we had a better experience with raising two ducks at a time.  They were easier to "catch" and spend time with.  These two ducks were absolute sweethearts.  I loved them so much.
AND SEEING SIX GROUPS OF MOTHER DUCKS AND DUCKLINGS AT THE CABIN DID NOT HELP MY RESOLVE WITH RELEASING MY BABIES.

Today I wanted to share about the two sweetest ducks of my life this summer.  Skipper and Dharma.  To help you all with identifying which is which... Dharma has a yellow tuft on the back of his head.  We raised these adorable, sweet, small, loving ducklings for eight weeks from May to June.  We released these babies on the 23rd.

The name Skipper came from The Penguins of Madagascar and Dharma came from the show Lost.  I thought it was a little funny Skipper ended up being a girl and once it was a little more obvious I started calling her Skippy.  I always thought Dharma was going to be a girl, but I was surprised when Dharma ended up being the larger duck when he was smaller than Skippy when we first got them.

I wish I had pictures of our flight lessons with them, I will make sure that happens next year.  We make it a priority to give our ducks' flight lessons before we release them.  From the brick wall to the highest level of our deck, we love to throw them off of the ledge.  I guess it also gives them some sort of independence.

One thing I noticed with raising ducks, is that I get outside a lot more often when there are birds waiting outside for me to care for them.  They are so fun to watch, I just find it's easier to get myself into the outdoors when I have something to do.  I don't like getting hot, but seeing the ducks splash around in the pool makes me feel somewhat better.

I am currently at our cabin resort spending an awesome amount of time fangirling, writing, reading, playing volleyball, Yahtzee, and sitting by the campfire with most of my extended family.  I cannot wait to share with you guys, I am having so much fun and we leave tomorrow.  Why?!?!
I'm going to move on with the adorable duck pictures now, enjoy!

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This is a collage of pictures from our first day with Skipper and Dharma.  Skipper is the duckling on the left in both pictures.  And Dharma is the adorable bundle of fluff with the little tuft on his head.
Their first time in the kiddy pool and it seemed like they enjoyed it to the fullest.  
A Clear picture of the quickly growing Skipper and a little Dharma in the background.
This was a week into raising them and they were already growing so quickly.  I always forget how fast things go by when you raise ducklings.
Skipper, quite a large time skip.  Sorry.  I couldn't find any other pictures earlier than this.
Dharma, my big boy :3
This was either a smooch... or Skipper really wanted what Dharma was eating.
Testing the little chicken wings.  They're so puny.
Pool time in the hot sun.
Sometimes the ducks are seriously afraid of the hose (I suppose it looks like a snake) that other times they drink out of it and make a hole of mud.  Such a mess.
Look at that little tuft ^.^  We thought he would've lost the tuft by then, but he didn't/haven't.
One thing all of our ducks have in common is their cautiousness with planes.  You hear a plane overhead?  They are tilting their heads to watch it as it flies across the sky.
Nap time, Dharma?
I thought this picture was just so clear.  And you can also see Skipper's joker smile starting to show.... Yeah.  I thought it was just dirt from sticking their faces in the mudholes, but it never washed off.
They're so romantic.  Total love birds xD
My last picture of Dharma alone.  Oh, my baby <3
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Thank you all for staying tuned in for this post.  I loved these ducks so much and it made me so happy when I thought about sharing the pictures I took of them on the internet.
Fun fact, I made a Flickr account.  Click here to be brought to my profile.
Next week I will post a summary or something close to a summary about my cabin week.  We have had so much fun up north and I would love to share it with everyone.
See you next time,
-Anna Jolene o/