Saturday, October 31, 2009

Samhain 2009: The Fellowship of the Ring!

(Alternate title: Lord of the Rings Geekery, The Next Generation)

Here I sit, in peace and quiet, sipping coffee and goofing off on the computer. Aaah: a vacation!! It's been a whirlwind getting the boys ready for Halloween tonight, but I've finally gotten them all decked out and sent off for a day of fun with Daddy.

Courtesy of Billy's iphone, I have some pictures for you. I present to you. . . the Fellowship of the Ring!

(photo by Billy)

The Halloween costumes this year have been an adventure of sorts. It all started last Spring, when Littleman apparently decided that he was going to be Gandalf for Halloween this year. (Have you EVER known a kid to plan that far ahead, and then stick with it?!?)

I vaguely remember a conversation:
Littleman: Mommy, can you make me a costume?
Me: I probably can, as long as it doesn't need much sewing. I've never learned how to use a sewing machine.
Littleman: Do we know someone who uses a sewing machine?
Me: Oh, sure- several people! [Here I name a few folks, including my Grandmother.] Grandmother's really good at it, in fact. She used to make all sorts of clothes and stuff.
Littleman: Hmm. OK.
And thus, I thought, ended that conversation. However Littleman remembered what I'd said until the next visit with Grandmother. Unbeknownst to me, he asked her to make him a Gandalf costume for Halloween. She said she'd try. The first I heard of all this was a couple months ago, when she called me to schedule a time for Littleman to try his costume on.

Upon seeing Littleman's cool costume, The Pirate promptly decided that he would be Legolas. Then just as promptly he changed his mind, deciding he'd rather be Spiderman again like last year.

(photo by Billy)
Over the last few weeks, I've checked with him several times- letting him know that he could choose either costume, but if he wanted to be Legolas then I needed him to let me know ahead of time so I'd be able to make the costume. Long story short, he changed his mind at the last minute and on Thursday morning he just HAD to be Legolas for Halloween. Luckily I'd already researched some possible ways to pull that off (just in case), and made a quick trip to the craft store. Yesterday after Littleman's birthday lunch, I got started. Just a few finishing touches this morning, and I was done!

(Last night as I was working on this, he told me he'd rather be Spiderman after all. I decided to forge ahead, trusting that the finished costume would be cool enough to entice him. Luckily, he decided it is.)


We have a cute dog costume that we've used for the boys when they were very small. However, we weren't sure if that was going to work for Babyman because he wanted nothing to do with the thing. Yesterday Billy and I were wondering what costume we could get Babyman to wear, when the obvious occurred to us: he could be a hobbit! He was already short and had the curly hair. I felt sure I could find a ring on a chain and some hobbit-like clothes for him. After a little digging about this morning, here's what I came up with:

He wasn't too thrilled with the picture-taking, but he seems to like his "costume"!


Hee hee. I admit I'm a little proud of Grandmother and myself. Too bad it's too cold and wet tonight for Babyman to trick-or-treat barefoot! But he still looks hobbit-like enough that I think anyone who's seen the Lord of the Rings films will recognize this miniature version of the Fellowship of the Ring. And these fans (Mommy included) are more than a little thrilled with the result. :)

(photo by Billy)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Showing Love: A Question

I have been pondering something, and would really love to get some feedback from all of you. This has the potential to reawaken some warm fuzzy feelings in all participants. :) Here's my question:

What does your spouse or significant other do (or did, as the case may be) that replenishes your soul, and shows you that you are loved?

I'm looking for any thoughtful answer to that question, though the spirit of the inquiry leans toward those small things that happen often and truly keep us going. Tiny treasures of actions that mean more than all the words in the world.

Thank you so much for thinking on this, and responding.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Boys

Overheard yesterday:

The Pirate: (apparently referencing something I told him about yeast) "Did you know that there's tiny little creatures inside bread? And we eat them!"
Littleman: (dismissive) "Nuh uh"
Pirate: "Ah huh!"
Littleman: "Nuh uh"
Pirate: "Ah huh!!"
Littleman: "Nuh uh"
Pirate: (irate) "Ah HUH!! Mommy TOLD me so!"
~pause~
Littleman: (imperiously covering his ignorance) "Oh, yeah. Well that's just in SOME kinds of bread."


The Pirate: "How are oranges made?"
Littleman: "From seeds! Foods that have seeds can grow to make more of them."
The Pirate: "Oh. OK. So how are noodles made?"
Littleman: "I don't know. Someone just makes them."


Today Babyman climbed onto my bed. He arranged himself next to me, sighed mightily, collapsed back into the pillow and said with theatrical weariness: "Oh me, Mommy."


Littleman has been checking his mouth for loose teeth. He thinks he found one, though I'm still not sure. He asked if I have any, and I exclaimed "I hope not!". After I explained how people get only two sets of teeth, and the grown-up teeth have to last the rest of one's life, Littleman then informed me that I was mistaken. "No," he corrected, "we get three sets. First the baby teeth, then the grown-up teeth, and when you're really old, you get your alien teeth." (Dentures? I wondered, but didn't go there.) "Oh, I see," I said, "and how old do you have to be for your alien teeth to come in?" "REALLY old," he said. "Like, older than an old book that's so old all it's pages are yellow and dusty and breaking up." Wow.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Of Birthdays and Spontaneous Forts

Wow- the end of October is already around the corner. Soon, my big Littleman is turning a great big 6 years old! I am still without a camera cable, so have no new pictures to upload. But, I remembered a bunch of pictures that I took last year, at Littleman's 5th birthday.

(The birthday boy, 5 years old)


(And the Pirate, looking sweet and shaggy.)

It was a gorgeous, perfect October afternoon.


Babyman was having a ball. He was crawling, and loved the warm sun, pinestraw, and all the attention from adoring relatives.

There were bunches of kids running about, and after awhile I noticed a certain "purpose" to their busyness. There was much discussion and collaboration. I looked over, to find an interesting sight.



They were working together to build a small fort. Framed in sticks, "thatched" with pinestraw, it was really an impressive little structure. And, it was growing.


Soon it was attracting admirers. Still, the work continued.


I was impressed with the communication, cooperation and all-around teamwork that was operating to create the fort. Mostly cousins, the kids are a wide range of ages. Everyone put aside differences and simply enjoyed working together to make a great structure and have fun. Older kids let younger kids do their part, while helping ensure that the final product would be structurally sound.

I love thinking about all the skills they were building: teamwork, cooperation, compromise, empathy, assertiveness, problem-solving, creativity, communication, motor skills, hand-eye coordination, leadership. . . Then there's the "school" topics they were covering:

Natural Sciences, Social Studies, P.E., Art, even a little basic Math and oral Language Arts.

Not to mention the pure, healthy benefits of being active outdoors, working with natural materials to create for the pure joy and accomplishment of it.



There were many wonderful artistic touches and details.








It was a perfect project, entirely conceived and executed by the children. The ideal example of the rewards of hours of free play outdoors.


It was my kind of birthday party- outside, in gorgeous weather, with room to roam in natural surroundings, and plenty of wide-open time for plain old play. I'm a slacker party planner- and I like it that way. ;) This year we'll be trying something different, though- hopefully it works out well, and hopefully I'll have my camera working again so I can take lots of pictures!

(sigh) They're growing so fast.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday: Katherine Wheatley

Here's a new Music Monday video for you- someone posted this on Facebook (thanks, Luci!) and I really like it! The video is lovely and very fun, too. It's "Water Moves Me" by Katherine Wheatley, a Canadian singer-songwriter. I'd never heard of her before checking this out. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend Links

I have a couple links today, for your weekend browsing pleasure. First my current amor: my Holy Grail of chocolate bars:
Green & Black's organic Maya Gold chocolate bar. "Dark chocolate infused with spices and a hint of orange". Oooh, baby. Be still my heart. This is perfection. You can find them lots of places. Happy shopping. :)

* * *

Next, an essay for your reading pleasure. Please, don't miss this.
How to Talk to Your 43 year-old Son When He’s Only 13

(from the essay)
"When you speak to your children today, you are also speaking to every day of their future selves. Parenting is outside of time. Take care and take heart in that."

* * *

And finally, just some fun: a great list of some of nature's strangest critters.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October Night

The air is cool and damp, a soft mist is swirling down so lightly that I don't even notice at first. It simply feels alive, stirring against my skin, the breath of a kiss hovering just out of reach. The saturated atmosphere magnifies the orange glow of the streetlights, lending an autumnal brightness to the soft night. It shines over tree branches and driveways, casting stark traceries of golden light and shadows. I pause to drink in this night. Both intimate and infinite, it stretches endlessly between the cozy pleasures of the hearth and the wild promise of a deeply magical night. The gentlest of breezes stirs. I close my eyes to lose myself in the whisper of leaves and far-off windchimes. What secrets do the branches tell, one to the other, passing wisdom over the Earth? What spell does the windsong weave? I hear a soft tap in the dry leaves behind me, then another to the side. I open my eyes to the swirl of orange light. The air has thickened with promise. Tap, pop, pip. Individual sounds collecting together in soft percussive harmony. Gentle rain. I nod slightly in acknowledgment of this moment, a mental curtsy to the wild spirit of this night. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seasonal Flu and H1N1: To Vaccinate or Not?

On a couple of the email lists I read, people are discussing the flu vaccines. Parents are thinking about seasonal flu, and H1N1 (Swine flu), and whether getting vaccinated is the right course for their families. I can't answer that question- it's a personal decision with a lot of variables involved, and a lot of strong opposing opinions that I feel have merit. However I have been researching facts that can help me make the decision for my family, and I can share what I've learned and the conclusions that I have drawn. Perhaps my words and these statistics will help you as you decide the best course for your own family's health.

As of right now, I do not plan to get the H1N1 vaccine for anyone in the family, nor do I plan on getting the regular flu vaccine. I am open to changing my mind if the situation changes, however. I've been doing research to help me be more informed in my decision. I live in Georgia (USA), where H1N1 is particularly prevalent right now. The situation certainly deserves my thoughtful attention.

A little background: my children are all vaccinated. (Meaning the "normal" required vaccinations for children.) I have altered the vaccination schedule to delay certain vaccines, and to spread the shots out more so that each visit is limited to one triple-vaccine only, or no more than 3 single-vaccine shots. (I feel that this makes for an easier load on the child's immune system at any given time, and also makes it easier for me to watch for and pinpoint adverse side effects, if they occur.) I have opted out of the varicella vaccine for now. I think I'm a little behind on my schedule right now, but in general we've kept up with the vaccinations pretty well. My decisions are based on a combination of my own bias, research, the AAP recommendations, what feels like common sense, and gut instinct. It's not terribly scientific.

The only time I have gotten the flu vaccine for myself or the kids was when there was an infant in the house. Those years, I had myself and the older brother(s) get the thimerosal-free flu vaccine. All other years we've gone without, and only had mild flu one year. I avoid nasal-mist vaccines, as they have a higher rate of adverse side-effects than the injected flu vaccines. Also, I prefer flu vaccines that are free of adjuvants.

Based on my research, no one in our household is on the list of high-priority candidates for the H1N1 vaccine. The kids, being 6, 4 and 2, are arguably "school-age", so they could be considered high priority. However some researchers think that the higher incidence of H1N1 in school-age children has a lot to do with the fact that most of them are in school, where diseases are spread quickly and easily. Kids are germy. I think that makes sense. So as homeschoolers I feel pretty comfortable that we aren't priority number one in needing the H1N1 vaccine. We are all in good health, and none of us has a neurological or an immunological disease (thank goodness), so that's in our favor. (Mortality rates from H1N1 are higher for those individuals.) I'm pretty sure none of us has a bacterial infection (nasty if combined with flu). I hope to maintain good health and hygiene as much as possible. I am more vigilant about everyone taking their vitamins each day, and I plan to check our vitamin D3 and vitamin C intake and add extra if necessary. So far, H1N1 is mostly a mild case of flu for most individuals that contract it. For now, my risk-benefit analysis tips me toward not vaccinating for flu. However if the morbity of the flu this year starts to look really alarming (not just alarmist, which is what we have right now) then I will certainly consider the thimerosal-free flu vaccines. Also, if I fear the supply here will run out early in the season, I may decide to go ahead and vaccinate just in case.

There are some risks from the H1N1 vaccine (as with all vaccines), and specifically there is concern that it could be linked with a neurological disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). There was an H1N1 vaccine in the 70s that seems to have caused a higher rate of GBS in vaccinated individuals than in the normal population. Whether the newer H1N1 vaccine carries the same risk remains to be seen, although health officials assure us that the new vaccine will be safer. Either way the risk is small, so if H1N1 proves to be a strong danger than the risk-benefit analysis may still favor the vaccine.

I hope you find this helpful as you make your own decisions. I've looked up a bunch of statistics that have helped me come to these conclusions- I cited my sources but didn't bother to keep actual links, I'm afraid. I'll copy and paste what I have, though it will make this a very long post indeed. One particular statistic I looked for was the average mortality rate of seasonal flu in past years. I started wondering, because I kept hearing news reports about people dying from H1N1, and it sounded really scary. But then it occurred to me that probably lots more people die every year from regular flu, but it's not reported. Sure enough:
"normal" flu yearly averages: From WHO (World Health Organization): "With seasonal flu, we see in the United States over 30 million cases. We see 200,000 hospitalizations and, on average, 36,000 deaths." (During the entire fall and winter flu season.)

By contrast:
H1N1 this year: On August 8, 2009 (most recent confirmed data from CDC I could find), CDC is reporting 477 deaths due to H1N1 in the US.
Of course, that number hasn't even begun to reflect the actual cold and flu season here, so expect a much higher number before this is done. However it's quite small compared to the number of flu-related deaths in the US on a normal year. One thing about all my research on this: it may not have made me fear H1N1 overmuch, but it's taught me to have greater respect for the flu in general.

More statistics:
(CDC reports) In pediatric deaths (36 as of Aug 8) due to H1N1:
67% had at least one high-risk medical condition. Among those with high-risk medical conditions, 92% had neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g., developmental delay or cerebral palsy).
43% had a laboratory-confirmed bacterial coinfection (usually a staph infection or strep throat)
52% had received at least 1 dose of the 2008--09 seasonal influenza vaccine
and 61% had received anti-viral treatment

(CBS News reports) More than 80% of the pediatric deaths due to H1N1 in the US so far have been children over 5 yrs old. Almost two-thirds of the children who died with swine flu had epilepsy, cerebral palsy or other neurodevelopmental conditions. In a previous flu season, only a third of pediatric deaths had those conditions.

(CBS News reports) Swine flu has caused more than 1 million illnesses in the United States, the CDC estimates. More than 550 deaths and 8,800 hospitalizations have been reported to date.

(CBS News reports) The risk of death from H1N1, CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said, is roughly 1 in 1000 people. She said you should weigh that risk against getting vaccinated, which, however safe the vaccine may be, the risk is never zero. It is possible that swine flu vaccine could cause GBS (Guillian-Barre Syndrome), a brain disorder. She also says that the risk of getting GBS from the H1N1 vaccine is very low -- one in every million vaccinations. (Earlier in the article the rate of GBS infection is stated as 1 case in every 100,000 to 1 million vaccinations.)

(The Rhode Island Dept of Health reports) The majority of H1N1 vaccine will be packaged in multi-dose vials and will contain thimerosal, a preservative found in some vaccines. . . . because some women are concerned about being exposed to preservatives during pregnancy, a limited supply of preservative-free seasonal flu vaccine and H1N1 vaccine will be available for pregnant women and small children.

That's all I have now. I've been saving it as I have time to look things up. Hope it helps!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Music Monday: The Poozies

Driving home from my Gramy's on Friday evening, I was thrilled to catch The Thistle and Shamrock on public radio. This song came on, and I'm besotted.
It's "Another Train" by The Poozies. (Sorry the videography ain't so hot. It's the only video of this song I could find.) Just listen. Beautiful.



Another Train

The beginning is now.
It will always be.
You say you lost your chance,
then fate brought you defeat.
But that means nothing.
You look so sad,
You've been listening to those
who say you missed your chance.

There's another train,
there always is.
Maybe the next one is yours,
get up and climb aboard
another train.

You may feel you're done,
but there's no such thing.
Although you're standing on your own,
your own breath is king.
The beginning is now,
don't turn around.
For regrets about mistakes-
they will only drain you.

There's another train,
there always is.
Maybe the next one is yours,
get up and climb aboard.

We crawl in the dark, sometimes
we think too much.
We fill our heads with the craziest things,
that only break our hearts.
And I know you've seen
what the earth can do,
When it's dragging down another load,
Of worrisome fools.

There's another train,
there always is.
Maybe the next one is yours,
get up and climb aboard.

I know it's hard,
when you feel confused.
You can crown yourself with fear,
'til you feel you cannot move.
You're building worlds,
that don't exist-
imagination plays
the worst tricks.

There's another train,
there always is.
Maybe the next one is yours,
get up and climb aboard.

There's another train,
there always is,
Maybe the next one is yours,
get up and climb aboard
another train.

Lyrics and tune: Pete Morton

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Do public school students have a "right" to express themselves through dress?

I came across a news story a few days ago, about a high schooler here in GA that has run into trouble for the way he dresses. Apparently Jonathan Escobar, a 16 yr old student transferring from a Florida school, prefers to wear wigs and women’s clothing. This has caused a bit of an uproar in his public high school, and the school officials have told him to dress more normally or stop coming to school.

Escobar objects, stating that how he chooses to dress is simply a part of who he is, and that the school’s ultimatum is discriminatory. The school points out that it is clearly stated in the school handbook that students should “refrain from any mode of dress which proves to contribute to any disruption of school functions”, and Escobar’s manner of dressing has definitely proven distracting to the other students. (Apparently it caused a fight between other students in the short 3 days that Escobar attended classes.)

I am a little divided on this issue. When I first heard about it, I was fully in support of Jonathan Escobar. It takes guts to be that different in High School, especially when you are new and don’t know many people. Whatever Escobar’s reasons for his choices, I think it’s a positive thing to introduce more diversity to the High School setting, and to shake up the social status quo a little bit. Though many disagree with me, I think more awareness and social acceptance of gender issues is in general a very good thing. So when I heard about this story, I was ashamed of the school officials and wanted to learn more about the situation.

It didn’t take long for me to change my thinking in this particular case. While I still support Escobar’s choice of style if that’s what he prefers, I’m not so sure he has a right to dress that way at school. The school officials are correct: the rules very clearly state that any clothing “which proves to contribute to any disruption of school functions” is off-limits, and no matter what the mode of dress may be, if it’s disruptive it has to go. No doubt this school, like every public school I know of, has a dress code that restricts students from wearing clothes that are overly revealing, that have profane images or slogans, or (in many schools) are deemed to be typical of gang activity. Sometimes there is a judgment call to be made, but all students must adhere to these rules, no matter their color, size, gender or sexual orientation. Why, in this case, should Escobar be any different?

I’d say, if Jonathan Escobar wants to continue wearing “skinny jeans and “flats”, that should be just fine. Once the news hubbub dies down it shouldn’t be too distracting to the other students. Probably he can even get away with dramatic makeup, within reason. However, I think the school is completely correct to enforce the dress code, which probably means he has to ditch the wigs and hats. This is school, after all- not a local teen hangout where kids are really free to express themselves through clothing choices. The school’s handling of the matter lacks finesse and sensitivity (they told him to dress “more manly”), but in essence I think they’re on the winning side here. If Escobar wants to express his “Art” through how he dresses, that’s fine anywhere else- but at school, he is a student like any other, and must obey the rules just like the rest of them.

Am I clueless here? After all, what if a muslim student wished to go to school in a full burka, and it caused disruption? (Is that even remotely analogous?) Check out the article to read more on the story, and tell me what you think.

P.S.- I like how casually the school told Escobar that he should homeschool. It might be a bit insensitive, but I think it’s fairly indicative of how widely accepted homeschooling has become in Georgia. Besides, they might be right: an assertive, freethinking alternative individual might indeed be better served by directing their own education rather than trying to squeeze into the public school mold. But that’s just my own bias coming out. ;-)

http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/cobb-teen-told-he-156500.html

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Over The Top Blog Award

Look, it's another award! Too, too cool. Grace from Going to Graceland has gifted me with another award! I'm thrilled to add a new doodad to my small collection- what can I say? It makes me feel good. ;)



Aww, ain't it cute?

Here are the rules for the Over the Top Award: Copy, change the one-word answers to suit you, and pass it on. It's quite tricky to use only one word answers! Once you have filled it out be sure to pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers. Alert them that they have been awarded! Have fun!

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket.
2. Your hair? Unsatisfactory.
3. Your mother? Involved.
4. Your father? Searching.
5. Your favorite food? Depends.
6. Your dream last night? Forgotten.
7. Your favorite drink? Water.
8. Your dream/goal? Improve.
9. What room are you in? Bedroom.
10. Your hobby? Many.
11. Your fear? Failure?
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Learning.
13. Where were you last night? Driving.
14. Something that you aren't? Malleable. (For better or worse. . .)
15. Muffins? Yum.
16. Wish list item? Assistance.
17. Where did you grow up? Atlanta.
18. Last thing you did? Read. (to Babyman)
19. What are you wearing? Jeans.
20. Your TV? Unplugged.
21. Your pets? Hairy.
22. Friends? Special.
23. Your life? Blessed.
24. Your mood? Cheerful.
25. Missing someone? Yes.
26. Vehicle? Clean. (Unusual!)
27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes.
28. Your favorite store? Amazon?
29. Your favorite color? Purple.
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today.
31. Last time you cried? Recently.
32. Your best friend? Husband.
33. One place that I go to over and over? Laundryroom.
34. One person who emails me regularly? Anne.
35. Favorite place to eat? Sushi.

Now here are the 6 Bloggers I'm passing it on to:
(I'm going to make an effort to choose different bloggers than I awarded last time, so here goes. . .)

1) Laurie at Foolery Fun!

2) Sarah at Raising Three Thinkers Inspiring.

3) Alicia at Magic and Mayhem Learning.

4) Kitty at Into My Own Beautiful.

5) BHJ at BHJ Definitely.

I know a few of you don't do memes, so accept or ignore as you wish! Either way, your blogs are over the top!

Thank you, Grace! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Skywatch Friday

From Rock City Oct 3, 2009


The flags atop Lookout Mountain, GA in Rock City. They represent the seven states that you can see on a clear day from the Lover's Leap overlook. As you can see, we had a PERFECT blue, blue October sky for our visit! :)
(note: photo taken via iPhone)


See more Skywatch photos from all over the world! Visit http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 8, 2009

See Rock City


We've recently returned from a quick family getaway- Billy and I took the boys to Chattanooga TN, to see Rock City. (Yes, THAT Rock City, advertised for generations on the roofs of barns everywhere: "See Rock City"!) I got a package deal on our hotel room and family passes to Rock City, Ruby Falls and the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway.

Chattanooga is an easy drive from Atlanta, so we were able to enjoy Ruby Falls after checking in on Thursday afternoon. I've been before, and didn't recall that it was all that special. However I must admit, it's cooler with the kids. :) I'd like to post a video if I can figure out how to get it from Billy's phone to here, so I'll tell more about our Thursday and Friday adventures later.

Saturday we checked out of the hotel and headed for Rock City! The Pirate had been once before with Billy, but it was a first visit for the other boys.

Rock City is an attraction that many people find disappointing- it's fairly expensive, and it's definitely not flashy or exciting. I like it, though. Basically it's a lovely outdoor stroll through a small botanical garden that has lots of wonderful natural rock formations and some gorgeous views. That, plus some good old 40's kitsch and plenty of touristy stuff to buy. ;) It's a lovely outing in beautiful weather.

We definitely had beautiful weather! The boys loved running around and marvelling at the rock formations. The gardens have a "fairytale" theme, and the kids appreciated that too.

There was even a little fall color here and there, which was gorgeous in the early October sunshine.

The waterfall was pretty,

and the view from Lover's Leap was pretty spectacular. Yes, you can see seven states (just like the barn roofs say)!

Near Lover's Leap, there's a pavillion. Now in Rock City they are celebrating "Rocktoberfest", so there was plenty of live German music as backdrop to our wanderings. We stopped in to watch some patrons perform the Chicken Dance. The Pirate thought THAT was weird. Weird enough to hide from.

However he soon recovered.

We really did have a great time, and it was especially fun to see the boys running about and getting so excited! It's a comfortable, beautiful stroll for the grownups and an adventure for the kids.

Soon, we were near "Fairyland Caverns", which is the aforementioned 40s kitsch. I guess they added the black lights in the 60s, when "Mother Goose Village" was built. I admit, they're a little strange. But, hey- the kids liked them, and it gave Billy and me something to joke about. ;)

Before we knew it, we'd whiled away most of the day and it was time to head home. After a quick stop at Starbucks (yup, even at Rock City!) we loaded the kids up and drove off over the mountain.

Bye, Rock City! Until next time!

(note: all photos taken via iPhone)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009