Thursday, June 27, 2013

Moss Dragon

I have spent the past few weeks making the daily announcement, as I head out the door, "I'm going to go water the dragon".  Dragon care has been pretty labor intensive.

The dragon started out as a project for, so that Blaze could complete his biology badge.

This is the video we used as directions for growing moss on a wall:

First, we had to go out moss hunting.

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Then, assemble the ingredients:
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Mmmmm! Moss smoothie.
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By the way, make sure there are no tiny pebbles mixed in with the moss before blending. Also, it's not very easy to clean out of the blender afterwards, but it can be done.

I drew an outline of the dragon on the wall, using chalk.
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Painting the moss mixture onto the wall wasn't working very well for us, so we ended up using our fingers to apply it.

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Every day, sometimes twice a day, the dragon was misted. At first this was Blaze's job, but like may other childhood pets, it soon became mom's job.
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And then...the war began.
If something grows in Florida, something eats it, maybe more than one something. Millipedes, centipedes, and snails turn out to be the enemy of intentional moss growth.

These are the worst!
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They are big enough that I could hear one eating the moss. I'm pretty sure that if they were left to devour the entire dragon, they would continue to grow until they rivaled the sandworms from Dune in size.

The "worms", as we've been calling them, caused so much damage that we had to head back out into the woods to find more moss and start all over again, but I was determined not to let them win, loudly announcing to my family, "I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED BY WORMS!"

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After the new layer of moss was added, the toddler and I started planting seeds and plants in the neglected flowerbed under the dragon. We planted marigold and nasturtium seeds and transplanted a sweet potato plant and some yellow mums. She even tried to plant herself.

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It still requires a lot of vigilance, but the dragon is beginning to grow.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dragon*Con Prep

Blaze and I really enjoyed going to Dragon*Con two years ago (DH, not so much, since big crowds bother him). If you have never heard of Dragon*Con before, it is a HUGE convention, covering just about every topic in popular culture. It's held every Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.

The crowds in just one of the five host hotels in 2011:
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We weren't able to go last year, because we had just moved to Tallahassee and didn't have any money to spare. This year, however, we will be attending. We have tickets and hotel reservations, now we just need to choose and complete costumes. DH is working on a costume for the first time. He plans to be Indiana Jones.

Blaze and I are sorting through our steampunk clothes and choosing what to wear each day of the con.

I've been doing a little repair work on the Ghost of Christmas Past costume, so that I can wear that one day of the con.

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I am adding a Sam Brown belt to my adventurer's outfit.

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I have already added a teacup holster, a fan holster, and a little box (the latter two items, purchased at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire) to the belt and I plan to add more things before the con.
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We're taking the Tesla Ranger costume for one day, since it was created after our last Dragon*Con.

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We've also been working on a new inventor's costume for Blaze. Even the little girl I babysit for has been helping out with costume creation (if you want something to look old and battered, let a toddler bang on it with a hammer).

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Here are some of the kinds of things we have to look forward to at Dragon*Con (these are pictures I don't think I put into any of my blog posts about the con two years ago).

Awesome steampunk costumes:

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fantastic concerts,

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and panels for some of our favorite t.v. shows and movies.

The "Being Human" panel:

The "Walking Dead" panel:

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More of the pictures I took two years ago can be seen in the following posts:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wakulla Springs State Park

The Tallahassee Homeschool Group has an outing to Wakulla Springs State Park every other Thursday from June through August. Today was our first time going (two weeks ago the event was cancelled due to the first tropical storm of the season). It started out with Ryan Means presenting a very hands-on and engaging talk about prehistoric mega-fauna that lived in the Wakulla area.

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After the talk, we were all free to explore the park on our own. For most of the kids that meant going swimming in the Spring.

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After an hour of swimming, we went on the boat tour. The boats are a great way to see wildlife close up. We saw many birds and fish, several alligators and two manatees. The tour guide also pointed out sites that people may have seen on the silver screen. Wakulla Springs was the location for two Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies (1941's "Tarzan's Secret Treasure" and "Tarzan's New York Adventure") and the 1954 "The Creature from the Black Lagoon".

Then we were back to swimming for a little while before it started storming.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Steampunk Link Party

A new monthly link party for steampunk blogs is going on at Steam Ingenious:

It you are visiting my site from Steam Ingenious, this is not strictly a steampunk blog, but you can see all my steampunk content by going to the section titled "Labels" on my sidebar and clicking on "Steampunk". There are quite a few pages of past posts.

Steam Ingenious Blog Link Party

Saturday, June 8, 2013

First Friday At Railroad Square (a tour with the 2 year old)

Last night was our first time going to First Friday at Railroad Square in Tallahassee.

"Come with me and I'll show you what it was all about!"
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There were lots of food trucks there,

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 many little shops and art galleries to look through,

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and live music and dancers.
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The vintage store was fun to play in!

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Here is an official ad for this event:

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Ula!

My oldest daughter will be turning 24 on June 10th. Even though that is still three days from now, I am posting her birthday blog post now, because I know she has already opened the package we sent her.

So, Ula, I found the perfect birthday song for you on YouTube:

 Blaze made a card.

We've been reading the Harry Potter books, so Blaze based his birthday card design on the "Monster Book of Monsters".

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I sent her a T-shirt:

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and a check, which almost fell into the wrong hands.

The reason that Ula opened her birthday package already, is because someone tried to steal it, but was scared away in the middle of opening it and dropped it in the driveway. I'm very grateful to whoever frightened the thief away.

I made a new video retrospective of Ula's life, for her birthday, using what she claims is "the song I will use for my campaign for world domination."

Crafty Crow