Guess what? Laura loves ducks! Guess what else? Laura is turning 9 this month! Guess what other else? To celebrate Laura’s birthday we are giving away one of Gary Rith’s ducky mugs! (Also, Deb, I’m totally cheating counting this post as my not so very prompt PROMPTuesday #38: My Awesome Things, because Gary Rith’s pottery and his charming blog are two awesome things everyone should check out.)

To win one of these ducky mugs, all you have to do is leave a comment wishing Laura a happy birthday. You have until the end of January, and then we will use a random number generator to pick a lucky ducky winner on February 1!

Why does Laura love ducks? Every flower, tree, animal, and person has important lessons to teach us if we stop, look, and listen. Ducks have important lessons too, and Laura’s interest in ducks gave our family the opportunity to talk about some of them. We would like to share them with you.

Lesson One: After two ducks get in a fight, which never lasts long, they will separate and float off in opposite directions. Then each duck will flap its wings a few times to release the surplus energy that built up during the fight. After they shake it off, ducks make up their minds to float on peacefully. This teaches us that our thoughts about a situation are more important than the situation itself. (I totally shoplifted lesson one from Eckhart Tolle. Heh.)

Lesson Two: When we take to something “like a duck to water,” it means that we learn how to do something very quickly and enjoy doing it. Learning new things and having fun doing it is a good thing.

Lesson Three: When we have our “ducks in a row,” it means that we organize things well. This is a good thing to learn to do in school when we are young. It will help in all areas of our lives when we are old and it gets harder to remember where we put things.

Lesson Four: When we question whether something is really as it seems, we can ask, “Does it walk like a duck? Does it quack like a duck?” If the answers are “yes,” then chances are that it is a duck. This means to trust our instincts when making choices.

Lesson Five: Ducks appear to glide effortlessly across the water, but at the same time their webbed feet are working hard to paddle beneath. It is possible to be peaceful and calm, and still go far.

Count Duckula ~ Halloween 2008
Ducky Pitcher by Laura

From Laura’s Rubber Ducky Collection

Visiting Ducks in the Bay Area 2008

Ducks at the Spirits in Stone Exhibition
at the San Diego Natural History Museum

Laura and The Girl in
ducky pajamas, natch
Ducky pancakes are an essential
part of a Saturday morning

Please leave Laura a happy birthday comment and enter the lucky ducky mug giveaway!


P.S. When you’re in the comment section read the incredible story by katydidnot. I just read it and now I am more in love with my wife than I was on the day we got married, if that is even possible.

P.P.S. Laura is really enjoying reading your comments. And she Lovey McLoveys katydidnot’s ducky story. She said, “Awesome!”

71 comments on “Laura’s Lucky Ducky Birthday Giveaway”

  1. I swear I am coming over next Sunday for some of those pancakes!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Laura and WELL done to her parents for making such a great kid.
    And like I say, me, my bathing suit, my frozen fingers and my huge appetite will be over on Sunday….

  2. I had never really thought about what all a duck has to offer…other than a really great “bathtub song”!!
    Happy Birthday, Laura…May you enjoy your “birthday month” to its fullest!!

    And I know that the random number generator doohicky-thingy doesn’t really like the ‘lower’numbers, but…that’s okay…pottery would be a challenge to send…but,of course, you could always bring it when you came. just saying.

  3. I generally don’t participate in giveaways, but I love Gary’s pottery – he is totally awesome!

    So have a happy ninth birthday, Laura, and may it be just ducky for you!!

  4. Happy Birthday Laura! I hope you enjoy your birthday month and your 9th year. I LOVED being 9 years old – you’ll have a wonderful time!

    Thank you for the insightful and educational duck lessons. I have a new found respect for them now.

    Happy Birthday again!

  5. Happy birthday Laura. May it be ducky! (Sorry.) (NO, really. Sorry. It’s early, what can I say?)

    Anyway! Toots and Booger, The Rock and I, just recently walked the beautiful grounds at the Vacation Resort near Mission Bay and ducks were everyWHERE! A whole line of ’em followed us on our walk for a block or two and it was the cutest thing (coulda been the hamburger buns in my purse).

  6. Happy Birthday, Laura. Deb stole my “I hope it’s just ducky” comment. Look, a birthday wish coming your way–duck! Okay, I’ll quit with the lame duck puns. Speaking of lame ducks . . . I know you’re an Obama fan–less than a week to go before no more lame duck president.

  7. Happy birthday, Laura. I hope you have a ducky day (I’m not sure what that means, but it sounded fun and pleasant so I’m going with that).

    Jay *Lauren’s Dad*

  8. I LOVE #5!!! People think I’m simple because I usually appear calm and peaceful. Whatevs, really. Also I liked what you did for #1 🙂

    I hope Laura has the most awesome 9th birthday ever 🙂

    (don’t include me in the drawing, k? the duck mugs are wicked cute, but I have so many mugs and I’m trying to downsize!)

  9. Awww, happy birthday, Laura! NINE! I can’t believe that. Amazing. Have a wonderful birthday and year.

    Love all the duck photos. And those mugs are the cutest EVER.

  10. Happy Birthday Laura. All the way from the Blue Mountains in Australia.

    How I would love to take you and your mum to our lake to look at the ducks. Now I understand why they get up high in the water and shake their tailfeathers!

    (no need to include me in the draw – posting to Australia would be a pain!!)


  11. once upon a time there were two lovely girls who were very best friends and swore a pinkie oath to be best friends forever.

    they grew up and lived together in new york city, where they were very busy, important people with no time for cat’s cradle or shrinky dinks or paper chains. they often felt caught up in the rat race, but they never called it that, because it offended their sensibilities on behalf of the rats of the world. the girls often bemoaned their lack of time to enjoy the simplest and best things in life.

    until one january, when on a whim, one girl bought the other a duck for her birthday. you see, the other girl had always loved ducks. rubber ducks, duck pancakes and duck sculptures. but this? was a real duck. a quacking, waddling, fuzzy yellow baby duckling.

    the duck lived in their loft apartment in soho, frequenting the bathtub and kitchen sink until she was three months old, and had lost her downy baby fuzz and grown into a beautiful tawny duck.

    the girls were always sad when they saw their duck sit on the windowsill day after day watching the city. they imagined that their duck was wishing she could be a pigeon, even if just for a moment.

    these two girls knew things. they understood things more than ordinary people. and they knew that the duck needed her own pond. they knew it was time to let the duck go. and on one cool march day, on the one girl’s birthday, actually, they drove to a beautiful country farm in vermont to set their duck free.

    it was getting so be spring and the farm’s pond was lovely and warm and still, seemingly waiting for the city duck to arrive.

    the girls each gave their duck a kiss on the head before they set her down on the bank, and they held hands while they watched their duck spread her wings and run clumsily to splash into the still water.

    one girl laughed as she watched her duck push her head under the water while her tail bobbed on the surface. and the other girl cried when their duck looked back at them only once before before swimming away to the other bank.

    as one girl wondered why her friend was able to watch duck swim away without a tear, the other girl took a very small box out of the pocket of her coat. it was wrapped in yellow “quacky birthday” paper and was tied with a lovely red ribbon. she handed it to her friend who pulled the ribbon off, looping it around her wrist, and eased the lid off the box.

    inside, was one very old looking key on a flimsy ring with a cardboard circle attached to it by string that said “the cabin”. one girl turned the other around and pointed to a small, ramshackle little cabin on the far bank and said only “happy birthday”.

  12. Happy birthday, Laura. When you hit the double digits, ask your mom to let you watch a movie called Pretty in Pink. There’s a cool guy named Ducky!

    PS: I hope I find a wife half as cool as katydidnot someday.

  13. Happy Birthday, Laura! Nine is awesome. You know why? Because it’s almost ten and it’s so much better than eight. I know this because I used to be nine once upon a time. I remember. (I’m not as old or forgetful as I look)

    Anyway, I hope you have a great birthday!

    And I hope I get to have one of those mugs because 1) I am The Duck Lady. For reals. 2) My friend Mikey, the first time he came out of a coma (yeah, he’s done this to us three times. THREE!) saw ducks as a result of ICU psychosis. It’s really common. This last time, he was seeing cats, dressed up like the Japanese Navy. To give the man his due, it was December 7th and he’s a big WWII buff. But back to the ducks, we like ’em. I want one.

    And Happy Birthday again!

    Da Goddess

  14. The random number generator better generate kate’s number because that? Was what author’s aim for in their entire career and she? Nailed it!

    P.S. Happy birthday to a beautiful spirit with a global heart of joy and goodness and brains and hope and wonder and love and peace and righteousness.

  15. Happy birthday … may it be a ducky one., (Couldn’t resist the pun.)

    PS – So I bought my kid these AWESOME looking disco ducks for Christmas. And then I read the label and was all “huh” because it was all “these ducks contain mercury and you should wash your hands profusely after you touch them.” And I was all, “Huh?!” and then I had to get rid of them.

    PPS – I found a Mr. T duck on … it’s the coolest thing EVER.

  16. Sweet Laura! Happy Birthday! And, we all know that Gary had lots of ducky fun working on those ducky mugs.

    But, he’s artist in true fashion. All about in enjoying what he does.

    So, Laura [and Cheri] what a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday and “share” a gift to the rest of us!

    — Farmer*sWife

  17. Can we comment more than once? For the random number generator thingie? No not cheating. But, I haven’t used the random number thingie.

    I use good old fashioned pen, paper, bowl or hat and a child willing to draw for the winner. LOL!

    Just curious, I’m old school but everyone seems to be going to the random…

  18. Farmer*swife: Yes. Each comment is assigned a number 1 – whatever. So if you’ve left more than one comment, then more than one chance to win! Also? I’ll take my and Laura’s (aka The Rat) comments out of the running. We wouldn’t want to win our won prize. That would be bad form. 😉

  19. Dear Laura,

    I’ve only met your mommy once, but she is a special lady. And I know from her writing how proud she is of you. Turning 9 is the best! You will be the duckiest!

    Happy Birthday!

  20. Happy 9th birthday, Laura! SnakeMaster is loving being 9, and I know you will, too. 🙂
    SM has 2 new snake mugs from Gary, so we don’t really need any more mugs. We just wanted to wish you a happy birthday!

    Now if only I can master the first 3 items on the duck list…
    I’m glad you are learning them at a young age. They will help you much in life.

    PS: Do you have any Army duckies? Because if you don’t, SnakeMaster could send you one.

  21. Happy Birthday Laura! And a very snowy wintry Ithaca birthday at that. I looove Ithaca and wouldn’t mind being snowed in there right now! 🙂

    So, wishing you a very happy birthday from this former Ithaca girl.



  22. The ducks around here have all headed south for winter. I saw them a couple weeks ago, flying in big v’s. The geese went away back in November. Occasionally I will see a lone duck flying around in the country and wonder what on earth he or she is doing here by him/herself.

    When I was 9, my favorite things were riding a bike and flying kites! Wishing you a day of ducky kites and bikes! Happy birthday, Laura!!!

  23. Yes, I’m back…but not with a story for I’m thinking that Katy kicked some major ducky butt with hers. She’s too cool.

    Last night, Issei and I were reading a book about the Japanese horoscopes using animals…for example, this year is the Year of the Cow. Did you know that you were born in the “year of the Dragon”? Which, Issei tells me, is the only one of the 12 that is not a real animal!!! A very unique year, to say the least!!

    It said many interesting things about “you”…but here are the best points:

    “Dragons shine at whatever they try. Their lives are crowned with success. The sign of the Dragon is a lucky sign and a symbol of strength and power. Dragons spit fire and even gold at times. Legend has it that the Dragon lies on hidden treasure, and that this is the essence of this sign.”

    I think, Laura, from what I’ve read and seen….YOU are truly a Dragon!!
    Happy Birthday to a magical young lady.
    Hey…does this mean I get two chances at one of those mugs?!?! Ooh!! I hope that’s a “yes”!! 😀
    debbie…a Tiger, by the way!!

  24. We have ducks wandering around our neighborhood (Spring, summer, and fall, I don’t know where they are in the winter). Last summer there was a non=traditional family. 2 daddy duck and a mommy duck. They were so cute.

    Happy Birthday Laura!

  25. I just tagged you on my blog with an award because I like your blog, not because I think you’re illiterate. When you see the award, you’ll understand.

    PS: I see that your wife has already been awarded this honor. So that makes it cool, right?

  26. Happy Birthday Laura:

    I love the duck imagery. It is totally spot on. I never realized how many of life’s lessons are so “duck inspired”. I think I have a new favorite animal.

  27. Happy of the happiest birthdays, Laura. I have a little girl who is just about to turn 8. I have always (from the day she was born) called her ‘The Puddleduck’ and I truly wish with all my heart that you could meet her and tell her all about being 8, because I can plainly see that you are bright and beautiful too.

  28. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURA!!! I love ducks too! And, I was seriously looking at a set of Duckie Mugs from Gary!
    I hope you have a Fabulous birthday and get “many Duckies!

  29. I don’t need a duck because I just got a herd of cows and pigs from Gary, but I still want to wish Laura a very, very happy birthday. I think Laura should have a cake shaped like a duck for the big day.

  30. Happy B-day Laura!!! You know, when I was little my favorite stuffed animal that I slept with every night was Donald Duck. He had been dragged around and beat up so much that he only had one eye, but he stuck with me for many years…Even longer than my “itchy blanket.” I betcha anything my mom still has him somewhere…Hope you have a great 9th b-day! XOXOMichael

  31. Happy Birthday, Laura! May it be nine times more magical than any other day in your life (including those Disney days…speaking of which, I’m sure your mom would agree that this is a fabulous way to spend a ninth birthday, right?).

  32. WOW Laura! over 68 comments and they are all for you!!

    I just wanted to come over and wish you a very happy birthday. I love Lesson #1. I had never ever heard that before and I learned something from it today.

    I have a daughter that is 26 years old and is about to be 27 in February. She, like you, likes ducks.

    I think I will have to go and buy one for her birthday and tell her that a lovely little girl named Laura reminded me that you are never ever too old for ducks.

    I hope that you have a wonderful Saturday morning filled with duck pancakes!

  33. Happy Birthday Laura from everyone here in Chicago!

    Here’s an oldie but goodie:

    A fortune teller told little Jimmy, Billy, and Kenny they were never kiss a duck or something bad will happen.

    So one day Jimmy comes to school with a gorilla handcuffed to him…Billy and Kenny asked “Jimmy what happened to you?” and he said “I kissed a duck”.

    The next day Billy came to school with a gorilla handcuffed to him…Jimmy and Kenny asked “Billy what happened to you?” he said ” I kissed a duck”.

    The next day Kenny comes walking with a very pretty girl handcuffed to his hand and Jimmy and Billy said “WOW! what happened?” Kenny said with a big smile “She kissed a duck…” 🙂

    Have a Great Birthday! 🙂

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