Monday, September 30, 2013

Picking This Year's Holiday Card

Earlier today, Blaze and I set up a photo shoot for this year's holiday card picture. I took 28 pictures and  I have chosen the four that I like best. I just can't decide which one I want to go on the cards, so I'm having people on the Steampunk Christmas Facebook  page ( vote for the one they like the best.

The choices are:

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Florida Caverns

Yesterday, we visited Florida Caverns State Park for the first time.

The cave is beautiful and a great place to visit on a hot day, since it is aways cool inside.

Our guide, leading us down into the cave:

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I did decide that there were not nearly enough bats, because the mosquitoes outside the cave were really bad. We had a large banana spider sitting in a web near us during our picnic lunch, but it did little to keep down the bug population there, either.

There is a spring where visitors can go swimming on hot days and a nice campground, that we are thinking about going back to visit someday.

Here are the things we saw, both inside and outside the cave:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A New Steampunk Christmas Group

A few days ago, one of my Facebook friends began sharing pictures from a Christmas Facebook page and made me think that it might be fun to have a steampunk Christmas page, where people could share their craft ideas and recipes. Two night's ago, I started that page and, in this short amount of time, we already have 43 members.

Inspiration for new ornaments can happen at unexpected times. At Goodwill this past Sunday, just moments after I told my son that I was not going to buy any more toys, I found this toy. It would actually make a terrible plaything, since it's not very sturdy and the front wheel doesn't turn, but with very little modification, it makes a decent ornament.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

While we were in Atlanta, over the Labor Day weekend, we took our first history field trip of the new school year. I want to focus on 20th Century history this year and it is the 50th anniversary of King's "I have a dream" speech at the March on Washington, so this was a perfect time to visit The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

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There are several sites to visit within a two block area, the museum, the Ebenezer Baptist Church, King's birth place, and his grave.

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The "I Have a Dream" speech:

Blaze was introduced to another topic in 20th century history while at DragonCon, as George Takei spoke about his youth in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War 2. This is a subject we will definitely be revisiting when we reach the Second World War in our studies.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Saturday and Sunday at DragonCon 2013

We've been talking about how there is so much to see and do at DragonCon in Atlanta, that it is a unique experience for each attendee. Even DH and I did not attend all the same panels. He went to see Lee Majors, while Blaze and I gave up on the Warehouse 13 panel's incredibly long waiting line. He also went to the Time After Time reunion panel, while Blaze and I went to meet The League of Steam.
What we all shared, though, was getting very little sleep, seeing lots of awesome costumes, and having a good time (except that the boy and I really need more comfortable shoes).

Blaze hugging his new Professor Elemental comic book as we're waiting for a taxi to take us back to our hotel at 3:00 a.m.

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Dark goggles: the secret to napping in a hotel lobby

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"Hey, look! I didn't spend ALL my money at DragonCon."

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Biscuits and Bowlers at Dawn (Friday at DragonCon Continued)

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This event was two competitions, a fashion duel and a tea duel.

By-the-way, it was not held at dawn (the only way that anyone at DragonCon ever sees dawn, is if they are still up from the night before), but at 4:00 p.m. Friday.

The MC for the event was Professor Elemental, who was really excellent at this job. He explained things clearly, was funny, and regaled us with songs whenever there was a lull in the competitions.

Here he is introducing the fashion duel:

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A musical interlude with lots of audience participation:

I signed up to participate in the second half of the event, the tea duel.

The Professor demonstrates tea dueling:

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Before the tea duel, there were three women who I would consider to be my friends, even though we have only interacted online and never met in real life. Now there are only two, because I was able to meet one of them at the tea duel.

This lovely lady and I have been following each other's blogs for many years:

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We not only had a chance to speak in person for the first time, but she was also the person that I completed against.

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Choosing our cookies:

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Then, I dropped a soggy cookie down my shirtfront.

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The winners of the first round, went on to a second round, and so forth.

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Finally, only two remained and a winner was declared.

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For more information about tea dueling, check out the American Tea Dueling Society on Facebook:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Friday at DragonCon 2013

 We had a surprisingly relaxed first day at Dragon*Con this year.

We left home around 6 a.m. and arrived at the Sheraton Hotel in Atlanta around 11:30 a.m. to pick up our pre-paid Dragon*Con membership badges.

The line to pick up badges was intimidatingly long, but moved quickly and turned out to be a fine place for people watching. One of DH's internet friends joined us in line, so they were able to talk and make standing in line more fun.

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We were through the line and made it to the Westin Hotel in time for our 2:00 p.m. lunch reservations at the Sundial Restaurant.

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The Sunday has the most amazing sweet tea, made with an orange and vanilla syrup.

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The restaurant is on the 72nd floor and rotates, so the view is amazing!

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The food is amazing, too!

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Crafty Crow