Blue Ridge, Two Kids: Tales of a Roanoke Dad

Unidentified Flying Objects

My kids are about the least likely in the state to become addicted to video games. That’s mostly because their dad and mom aren’t into video games, and we’re fine with keeping things that way. Growing up in the earliest era of gaming, I managed to stay clean even through college, and by that point…
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Reptiles in Roanoke

Both of our kids have been interested in reptiles for a while. Our older son is more predisposed to the extinct variety. He fills notebooks with dinosaur drawings and has gotten quite knowledgeable. Just the other evening after dinner, he was chatting with me about one of the stories he wrote that involved a stegosaurus.…
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American Indian heritage in Roanoke and our home

My kids have been fascinated by the American Indians for years, stimulated by a combination of books, trips, and artifacts. The Indians’ deep connection with nature, their resourcefulness, and the sad story of their vanished way of life seem to strike a chord with my kids, and usually lead to deep conversations. All the Indian…
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Having a Blast in 2020: Part 2

Having a Blast in 2020 – Part II OR The Journey of A Thousand Feet Begins with a Single Stomp My last post explained how my kids became Youtube rocket-launch junkies. As time went by, they wanted to get their hands dirty (sooty, gluey, greasy…). Here’s how their rocket careers got (increasingly higher) off the…
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Having a Blast in 2020: Part 1

Having a Blast in 2020 – Part I One of the (few) positive things about 2020 has been space exploration. Over the past months, my kids’ interest in space has, shall we say, sky-rocketed.  Admittedly, they already had a head-start, as over their first few years of life they’ve amassed a personal library of space…
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Chickens and the Animals that Love Them

In a previous post, I mentioned some of the advantages of raising chickens in the Roanoke valley. As I wrote, I was reminded of one disadvantage of chicken owning: it allows you to encounter the Roanoke valley’s range of predatory animals up close. There are effective ways to protect chickens from each of these predators,…
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Five Reasons to Get Chickens

Chickens are one of the easiest ways to raise a part of your own food with a low upfront investment and minimal daily exertion. We owned them for a few years, and intend to do it more in the future. There are many excellent blogs and books by subject matter experts (chickenologists?) about raising chickens,…
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The Lord of the Ringing: The Return of the Cicada

The last several weeks, Virginia has seen (and heard) the return of the 17-year cicada. Now that the heat of midsummer is here, it’s the very end of the season for these remarkable insects, but you can still find their molted skins and occasionally hear them. Before they completely disappear for the year, it’s worth…
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