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Welcome to my blog, the online version of my life!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Need To Wait A While...

....before posting more sunsets. Cause there's something wrong with blogger right now; it should be fine in a few days. There was a different glitch a few days ago, and they're probably just making changes to the blogger sytems.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wet Lagoon, Wet Rain

A bird perched on a stalk of grass as the people walked by.
It took suddenly to the air, showing its red wings, and darted off across the water. A small rabbit noticed the people too, and leapt to the side of the path.
The people continued their walk.

Rafie and Solomon ran ahead while mom remarked over every bird we saw. I snapped yet another photo as we strolled toward the lagoon. To be honest, it was quite tiring for a quarter-mile walk. Most quarter-mile walks are not that tiring.
It was a beautiful walk, even if it was a bit tiring.


When we reached the actual lagoon, there was lots of sand. There were sand dunes, soft, fine sand that our feet left dimples in.
Rafie and Solomon slid down the dunes, or rolled, and it looked so fun I had to try it. The sand was so warm! We came up with a great game. Simply put, we got a running start and jumped off the clifflike edge of the sand. We flew through the air for a few feet, before falling onto the cushion of sand.Crazier still, the boys deliberately slid into the water! (I didn't do that.)
Well, as soon as we had sat down for lunch, the rain began to soak us. There were ripples on the lagoon wherever a raindrop hit. Mom urged us on, but being wet wasn't fun. We drove home.

The rabbit retreated into its home in the bushes. The red-winged bird flew to wherever its home was. The water ruled the world, if only for a while.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Second Sunset

Okay, this is the second sunset from what I might call my Sunset Project-- a series of photos of the sunset. I really liked this sunset and I am glad to show you my photos of it.


Mousies!

I know, I know, I didn't post yesterday's sunset. That's because I had a friend over last night when the sun set, and the sky was dark by the time she left. And it looks like it'll be too cloudy for a sunset today, but I'll post if that changes. (Edit: The sky has cleared up. Look for the Second Sunset today or tomorrow.)
My friends Evelyn and Clementine and Greta and Susan and Mike are going on vacation, meaning that WE GET TO KEEP THEIR PET MICE FOR A WHILE!!! :D :D :D
So cute!
 Crawling around in the fold of my jeans. I became convinced that this one was afraid of the camera, since I could rarely get his face in a picture.
 They can even climb sideways along the vertical bars of the cage.
 Speaking of the cage, it's the same model of cage that Driedel lived in. Driedel was a hamster that we got on Hanukkah. I remember that Rafie and I tore open the wrapping paper and found... a plastic sphere. Wait! There was a little furry thing in it! Driedel escaped from her cage a few months later, to our disappointment, and we never found her. Here's one more picture of one of the mice we're mouse-sitting:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First Sunset

So,
I have discovered that one of my favorite things to take photos of is the sky, particularly sunsets. My mother says that the sky is incredibly hard to photograph, that most people use special filters for their cameras, blah, blah, blah. Well, maybe that's why I like to photograph the sky. It's hard.
Anyway...
I decided to record (almost) every sunset that comes my way with photos from the window for a while (Rafie and Solomon's window works best), maybe for a week or a month, or maybe I'll do it for longer. And of course I don't have to do every sunset.
First Sunset:


Mean Weather Gods!

Hickman Charter School was going to have a swimming pool party. But, it rained and we decided not to go. Then, after the party was OVER, the weather cleared up.

Oh, and remember to vote on my new poll! :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Photos

This is a collection of my favorite photos I've taken since we got back from Italy-- that is, my pictures of May.

A spiderweb between two rocks-- Taken at Indian rock.
There were enough ducks for a duck convention-- Taken at Lake Anza.


 An example of my  fascination with the sunset-- taken at the windowsill at home.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dragon-Flown

The sun is so nice today.
A creature zips through the air
And
Wow.
It’s on my arm.
Its crystalline wings
Clear and thin
Quiver only slightly.
The dragonfly
Is blue
Like it’s made
Of lapis lazuli.
Its tail,
A cylinder
Sky blue with stripes of black,
Bends up and down
As if by the wind.
And the round, lavender eyes
Bulging out
On either side of the head
Seem to watch me too…
I could stare at this
Forever.
I breathe out.
It doesn’t move.
I’m so huge
Compared to this animal.
I can’t stop watching
The dragonfly.
The drago—
It zips off my arm!
I bite my tongue
In surprise.
Why was the movement so small
But surprised me so much?
Too bad it’s gone.
I sink back in the deck chair.
The sky
Is the color
That the insect’s body was.
Wait.
It drops back onto my arm.
Oh my gosh.
I have a friendship
With a dragonfly!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Some Photos From Gettysburg

That's me holding the flag.


Battle!!!!!! I'm the one on the far right.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Please Vote On My Poll!

When I put up polls on my blog, I want you all to vote on them! I don't want, say, just four votes, one of which is mine, before the closing date of the poll! So vote while you have time! A favorite YA authors poll is still open, it's on the right sidebar of the website if you scroll down a little. So vote, vote, vote, VOTE!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Welcome to Gettysburg-- Are You Union or Confederate?

The second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, in the summer of 1863. Eight kids-- "The army of the potomac"-- and my mom stood in the backyard dressed like Civil War soldiers. "General Meade" (my mom) gave the army a quick pep talk to make sure they knew the plan. "And Soldiers! Can someone tell me what is the advantage of having the highest ground?"
"Because it's hard for the confederates to get up it!" said Yakov.
"Well, that too."
"I know!" I said. "We can see them!"
"Exactly," replied Meade. "Hey, who wants to be calvary? Clem, can you go see if the confederates are done in the Armory so we can get our guns?"
"Okay!" Clem grabbed the army's single hobby horse and bounded out the back gate to the bamboo patch. A few minutes later she returned, telling us that "General Lee's" (Susans') army was gone. We all marched to the bamboo patch in the park and cut stalks of bamboo for "guns". I honestly don't know what the eight "confederates" were doing. You could ask Susan; she might post it on her blog. But OHHH my god! Our homeschool co-op was doing yet another awesome historical re-enactment.
So once we had our guns, Meade marched us to Little Round Top. S/he then explained that we had claimed the whole ridge that hung above the town of Gettysburg. Little Round Top was the edge of the ridge, and if we lost it, we lost the battle.
In no time, the Rebs (rebels; aka confederates) charged up the hill with their "guns". We fired back, pointing our sticks at them and  shouting dramatically. It was all "Bang! I shot you!" and "Blam blam!" The "angel of death"(Denise) tapped a few people on the shoulders, and they had to fall over until the next charge. A couple union soldiers went down, but more confederates. The same thing was repeated a couple times. The second time, I "died" but for the third I got right back up.
The battle continued to rage until we had no more ammunition. Gen'ral Meade announced that we must use our bayonets! We rushed at the Rebs and drove them downhill with our pointed bayonets. They had no time to do anything but flee or die. After they did both of those things (which soldier did which was about half and half) the dead all stood up and we ate lunch.


"Okay, we've got a different hill this time, the highest in Gettysburg," our General shouted. "The Rebs won't make it across the field so we shouldn't attack! Cease fire until they come out and we'll have a clear shot at them!"
We waited for the Rebels to cross the field, but when they began to cross it we shot at them with noisy cannons. "KA-BOOM! KA-BOOM!" we shouted. Marina set off smoke bombs that completed the effect by sending smoke to drift up into the air. The angel of death tapped nearly every confederate as they ran across, but by the time they reached our hill every single one was dead. Dead bodies littered the ground.


Even we union soldiers were tired out. We didn't want to fight more, but General Meade told us that if we pursued General Lee and his army we could end and win the war right then. Just then, a man rode up to us, probably a lone survivor. "I hate the union!" he shouted. "Uhhh sorry, I meant the confederacy. I'm a deserter and I want to join you."
"Look!" General Meade cried. "The Rebels disappeared into the woods! We missed our chance!"
"Ahhhhh!" we started shouting. "Kill the traitor!" We all chased the "deserter" around the hill. The re-enactment was over. We could play!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Brussels Sprouts

Mom said, "We're going to have sweet potatoes, steak, and Brussels Sprouts for dinner." Aaa! (The dreaded) Brussels sprouts!
I do not like (the dreaded) Brussels Sprouts at all. But, I like to think that it's not just the classic thing of a child who is scared of anything green. That's partly because I like lots of other vegetables, but mostly because I cannot eat a (dreaded) Brussels Sprout without gagging.
Gag!I can pretty easily convince mom and dad not to give me any (dreaded) Brussels Sprouts.
white bowl of cooked brussel sprouts isolated on white Stock Photo - 8832079See! Even in a photograph it's disgusting! And it smells awful when you cook it!*

*Not you, Mom (since you inevitably read this blog occasionally). I mean when one cooks it. I have nothing against your particular way of cooking (the Dreaded) Brussels Sprouts.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

3 Very Interesting Things that Happened During The Civil War

1. A soldier named Sullivan Ballou wrote a letter. My very dear Sarah: Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure—and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine O God, be done... Sarah, my love for you is deathless. If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the brightest day and in the darkest night—amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours—always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again.
As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. 
Sniff sniff. You can read the whole letter on wikepedia, and it's REALLY worth reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sullivan_Ballou#The_letter
2. Three young Union women published a newspaper full of interesting news. The Waterford News was a newspaper put out by three Quaker girls, who wrote "Edited by Sarah, Lida, and Lizzie". They also wrote poems, like this:
While war is stalking through our land
And Treason rears its serpent head,
And hearthstones sad and desolate
And mothers mourn their patriot dead...
Well, that's just the first stanza. Two pages of an issue of the Waterford News, including the poem, are at: http://www.waterfordhistory.org/graphics/history-photos/waterford-news-1-1.gif and http://www.waterfordhistory.org/graphics/history-photos/waterford-news-1-1-2.gif

3. Women actually fought in the civil war! But they didn't get the vote for a LONG time later.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Everyone Bragging About Their Summer Plans

Me: What's everybody doing this summer?
Arina:Vacationing! And math!
Me: I'm doing Cazadero! A music camp!
Evelyn: I'm going on a long backpacking trip!
Gabriel: I plan to win the film festival for the SECOND year in a row!
Kyle: I bet my backpacking trip's longer than yours!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Music Recital

By the way I now have a twitter account: @alexandra_w_b! I post similar stuff to what's on the blog, but much much shorter.

My mom convinced me to perform in Rafie's cello recital, accompanying him on my clarinet. I wasn't sure I wanted to, because:
a) Everybody else in the recital is a cellist.
b) Although family members of the cellists sometimes accompany them, there has never been a clarinet at one of those recitals before.
c) Almost all of Rafie's cello teacher's students memorize their pieces while I need my music.
d) My part to the piece we played ("Nina") was written by my music teacher in, like, five minutes. I didn't know how good it'd sound.

But mom convinced me, so we played. Rafie and I played first in the recital. I put together my clarinet. "Someone's gonna play the flute?" a little boy called out. "Or, um, is that a recorder?" He looked at it for a moment. "Oh. Clarinet."
We started to play. It felt good, and sounded fine. I noticed that this pianist played a little differently from Larry London, my teacher. She played in a quieter and calmer way. After we played people clapped. People said I played really well, even Cathy, Rafie's teacher. Cathy said that she liked it. "I didn't know a beginning clarinetist could play that well," or something like that. Some people at the end of the recital told me I had a nice tone.