Monthly Recap: September

Well, we arrived home today, five in the morning, bright and early. We actually left yesterday, around 1:30 in the afternoon. We arrived in Seattle at about 9:30 at night, their time. It was good that we got there when we did, because all the restaurants close around 10 pm. We had somewhere between one and two hours before we got to board the plane for home. Most everyone tried to sleep at least a little bit on both of the flights, but I don't think Christian slept at all. When we got home, everyone pretty much unloaded their stuff and rolled into bed, everyone except me anyways. I've been wide awake ever since.

Because of the time difference, we probably won't start to feel sleepy until one or two in the morning. We always watch a couple of movies the day we get back.

Our cat missed us a bunch while we were gone; Nana sent a photo of him sitting next to her, and he is not a snuggly cat.

Only one of the chicks remembers what to do when I hold up my hand with food in it (actually, one of the two hens was trying to perch too, but our rooster kept chasing her away). The rooster is acting a little bit defensive, that's probably because we've been gone for over three weeks, BUT he's eating out of my hand now(!).

Now, the sad bit: our little runty chick and one of the ducklings died. :(
But hey, that's life on the farm for ya, and we've had a much better record this year for keeping most of the chickens alive.

There's the rundown, and now the monthly recap:

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September happenings:

1. Mia turned seven. O.o

2. Mom, Aunt Cendei, and I left for Maui and the rest of the family joined us a couple days later.

3. We met up with friends of ours, who live in Maui, for breakfast.

4. We stayed the weekend with those same friends on a different part of the island, upcountry.

5. I turned eighteen (for the record, it feels the same as being seventeen).

6. We did a lot of eating out. Everything is so much more expensive out in the middle of the ocean.

7. It was rainy for a week, so one of the friends taught us how to make a certain type of bracelet. Then, a few days later, we (all the girls except Mia) spent the afternoon at a bead store picking out beads for more bracelets.

8. Mom, Ava, and I went to Barnes and Noble for a couple hours. So yeah, I bought books. The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle (656 pages, gorgeous hardcover- bargain priced), and The Greatest Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (939 pages, 44 short stories and 4 complete novels, hardcover and bargain priced). Both Ava and Aunt Cendei want Holmes whenever I finish it. The total ended up just under $15, so I'm very happy about that.

9. We watched The Fiddler on the Roof per my request. Goodness, I forgot how depressing the ending is.

10. Oh my goodness y'all! I completely forgot to show you the picture of our ducklings!
So fuzzy!
Aren't they the cutest?! Their names are Huey, Duey, and Louie, but we are all hoping that they end up being girls, because we already have two drakes and only one female. (of course, this photo was taken way before our trip, August 31 to be exact, so now they are probably much bigger.)

10. I put out a survey, and got some pretty good feedback.

11. I read that same series I read last Maui trip. Same feelings.

12. Lydia spoke in her sleep. I heard her say something just as I was about to fall asleep. I asked her "what?" Then she said something else. The next morning I asked her if she remembered saying anything, so she was able to tell me what she had actually said: "You are concerning me!" "What?" "You are pointing a sword at me!"

13. I had to join Facebook, because I needed to set up a business page.

14. I joined Instagram for the fun of it.

15. We broke tradition. Instead of going to a particular restaurant on the last day, we went to it several days before we left so that we could see Brooks Maguire play (He was only there Sunday and Thursday nights, and we were leaving Thursday morning). He is our favorite musician to listen to when we are in Maui, and he has sung to all of us girls when we were little. He was originally from Texas, but relocated to Maui. He's pretty much watched all of us grow up. He remembers us, even got our address and Dad's email. Plus, when we asked for a picture with him, he wanted one of us on his phone as well.


16. My assignments for Art Appreciation said to plan six hours to complete. "Psht, I can get that done in two or three hours." *six hours later* "Yeah, right."

17. Mom got really excited when she saw In the Heart of the Sea at Walmart (I think), so of course she bought it. Lydia, Christian, Aunt Cendei, and I hadn't seen it yet, so we watched it as a family, but about halfway through, I decided that it wasn't my favorite, so Ava and I went back to Aunt Cendei's condo to read. (I had also read the synopsis on Wikipedia, so I knew that some things were going to be hard to watch.)

18. We packed up and returned home. One long flight to Seattle and one almost equally long flight back to Texas.

Revelations:

1. Not every month will have new revelations.

2. There is no secret change once you turn eighteen, you'll just have to start doing more things for yourself.

Awkward:

1. I was making the Starbucks run at the airport, and a lady arrived at the line at about the same time as me. I said she could go ahead, and I thought she said "are you sure?" So of course I said "yeah, go ahead." But then she asked "do you want a piece of gum?" I was a bit confused, but said "no, thank you." But then I realized she was talking to her companion, who was just behind and to the left of me.  I can only hope she didn't hear me- I was not talking very loud. To be fair, I had gotten up before four that morning, and had only had about three hours of sleep that night. I was trying not to bust out laughing in the middle of the line!

2. That moment when the couchbed mattress is more comfortable than the mattress you have at home.

3. Seeing the dolphins, then looking at Blackrock (a huge rock formation in the water that separates a hotel from the side of the beach we stay on, and the ruins of a dock where there are almost always snorkelers) and seeing a bunch of black blobs sticking out of the water that looked like fins to me, then exuberantly pointing out said blobs only to be told that they were snorkelers. In my defense, I did not have my glasses on.

4. Somebody thought I was Mia's mom. *odd look* "No, I'm her sister!"

5. The people at the airport had to ask if I was twelve or under. "Good grief y'all, decide already!"

Awesome:

1. We went to Maui for almost a month!

2. A turtle beached itself on our beach for a few minutes. He certainly drew a crowd before he decided to leave.

3. A pair of dolphins swam not fifty feet away from shore! (I think they were sleeping or resting, because when I put my head under water to listen for them, I couldn't hear them.)

4. Not having to share a bed for the first time ever on vacation! Normally, everyone shares a bed with someone else, unless you decide to sleep on the floor. Usually, Dad will rent out a one bedroom-two bathroom condo, which can fit all of us, but the kitchen is super-duper small (like, if the dishwasher is open, only one person can be working in there, and if the dishwasher is closed, two people working is pushing it). So whenever Aunt Cendei comes with us, usually Lydia, Ava, and I will sleep at her condo. Except for last year, Aunt Cendei didn't come with us, so Dad decided that we really did need a two bedroom-two bathroom condo.

5. Finding a bunch of sea glass and shells.

6. We have a group of people who always come around the time we are in Maui. There's a dentist and his wife, from California they come for about ten days. A family from Australia, who come about every other year. A retired couple from Canada, who come about a week or two after we arrive, and stay for a month or two. A retired couple from Arizona, who love playing golf and who taught us how to play Hand and Foot. Another retired couple who used to be from Delaware, but relocated to Arizona to be with the other couple he taught us how to play five-card draw poker. Unfortunately, the last two couples didn't make it this year; hopefully we'll get to see them next year though, because they are very special to us.

Urg moments:

1. My nose doesn't fit very well in any of the masks we have for snorkeling and sea glass hunting. The mask is always either pushing the tip up, or the bridge down. I definitely got the big nose from Dad's side.

2. School on vacation. Wait a sec. I've been taking school with me on vacation since, like, third or fourth grade. I should be used to it by now!

Musical finds:

Not a lot of new stuff this month, mostly just listening to my favorites.


Blast from the past:

I'm feeling lazy today, so look in the archives. Basically, Mia turned six, I turned seventeen, we went to Maui, and I did a couple of games.

Snippets of story:

So, remember that new story idea I mentioned back in July? (see Archives- Monthly recap: July) (also, here's the Pinterest board)

Anyways, Mom and Dad were out one evening and Lydia had a headache, so I was the one looking after the others. Long story short, they were taking half of forever to get back and I didn't have a book with me so I was incredibly bored. So I pulled up "Notes" on my phone.

Start of the story. Bam. There ya go. That's all I did. Right there.

(working title) Dr. Shadow: Professional Personal Shadow

"We open on a stormy evening in a library. A frazzled librarian with ginormous hair leads a mysterious-looking person down each row of shelves. Lightning flashes every few seconds. The grandfather clock located by the front desk strikes the hour. Seven."

"Who am I? If we were having a lighthearted conversation, I would jokingly say '24601.' However, that is not the case. The case being that I am hiding inside the grandfather clock and it is very cramped, thus this entire thing is altogether quite serious as I have no idea how to get back out."

"Anya, by the way. Professional Personal Shadow, at your service. I have a doctorate."

"Also, why am I narrating all this? We'll just say that it's for posterity's sake."

Abi released her finger from the "record" button, finally satisfied with her progress. It wasn't easy to leave a believable false trail, especially for her alter ego, who always took great pains to slip by unnoticed.

In reality, Abi was sitting cross legged on her closet floor with an old alarm clock to mimic the "grandfather clock's" ticking. A half empty mug of forgotten hot chocolate was balanced precariously on a stack of old textbooks behind her. Since the closet light had long been burnt out, a flashlight hung from one of the selves, overall giving a rather exciting feel.

Abi checked the alarm clock for the time. "Well past midnight. I am now a true college student, I have stayed up way later than I should have. And now, our hero must crawl out of her hiding place unnoticed and make for the safety of her fort." She chuckled under her breath and, gathering up her mug, recorder and flashlight, she opened the closet door and finished getting ready for bed.

"One semester down. Summer, here I come!" Though her roommates where spending their last night on campus elsewhere, Abi had had a delightful evening eating ice cream and recording the false trail. She washed out her mug and put it in the dishwasher. Of course, in the morning she would have to start the dishwasher, but there was still plenty of room left, and she fully intended to use it for the breakfast dishes.

-

After washing the sheets, towels, and dishes, Abi packed up her final belongings, hugged her roommates, and lugged everything down to her truck. The old Ford had served her well and still had many miles to go before she would need a new one.

Even though the bed of her truck had plenty of room for her luggage, Abi had to crowd things as tight as possible because she was also driving her friend back as well.

This friend was also her alter ego's sidekick. And though he was the perfect crime-fighting buddy everyone would love to have on their side, his parents had a sense of humor and named him "Ishee-saso." So of course, while he was playing sidekick, he would go by "Ra-pua Tzu," which, in reality, wasn't much better since he came up with it while playing "rock-paper-scissors-shoot."

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