Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Week Away...

So much for the summers off. A little unknown fact about principals: they work right through the summers, or at least Nate is. Nate did take one week off where he didn't even open his laptop. And we spent that week in our beloved Santa Barbara - a trip long overdue. We stayed in a cute little home of friends of ours who were out of town for the week - so we got it all to ourselves! That's really a treat for a family of four. Our SB friends really rallied. We saw them just about every day as we went to all of our favorite spots. Going back was strange. Nate and I kept talking about it - we still felt like we know SB so much better than we know Sacramento. Every corner was familiar - the whole feel of the place hadn't changed. The whole city and beach feels like an old friend.

The weather was kind of bla the whole week (for Santa Babara), but it was nice to get out of the heat and have those foggy mornings. I miss that.

Good friend Lindsay and family drove 45 minutes to visit us two days in a row. I love Lindsay, she's always up for a good time and a hard workout. We did Nite Moves together, the ocean swim and 5k biathlon they have once a week at the beach. She's a stellar athlete and she kicked my butt, but I still had fun!

The girls, bonding.

We tracked down Finn's old friend Vanessa for a play date at Shoreline Park. Her mom and I used to do a babysitting swap while the other mom went to work for a couple of hours. So these two were stuck together 3 days a week for 3 years - best buds. I miss them and it was so good to catch up and see how different Vanessa is now....glasses and hair as long as Goldilocks. It seems weird to think that our kids are probably not going to remember any of their time together when we lived in SB. That makes me sad.

We tried to go to the beach every day. And luckily, we stayed in a house one block away!

Beach day at Mondos. The conditions were pretty flat, but we all caught a wave or two and played in the sand with the kiddos. I really miss the ocean.

I'm surprised that we even able to capture surfing pictures! You can wait out there for a while before you catch a wave on a day like this - so usually we don't even bother. But this time, we both grabbed the camera just in capture each other's ride as the wave petered out. I was the worse photographer.

Am I trying to fly or something?

A little lesson for Finn!

This is Selah. She just takes off and keeps going and going. And usually she's not even doing that thing where she looks back at you to make sure you're going to follow. Nope - she just wants to be alone and do her own thing sometimes. yoga.

Mud slingin'.

Finn and Selah reconnected with some old friends. Finn totally remembered everyone of course. It was neat to see the recognition on his face when he saw the kids, since it's been so long.

Like I said, friends really pulled through and gave up a lot of their time to spend time with us! We went to a "Nate favorite", Knapp's Castle for a picnic...a 30 minute drive up into the mountains and a short walk to some ruins that overlook the Santa Ynez Valley. It's beautiful.

The two year old pout.

Most exciting part of our little jaunt up to Knapp's Castle: One of the guys went to go relieve himself nearby and ran into this rattlesnake instead! It was so neat to see it up close - most of us were standing safely up on a wall above it. The rattle was so loud!

There was a guy up there with a shovel, and he "took care of it" for us. The snake kept moving for a long time after it was dead. It was just slithering around on the shovel. So creepy.

The girls, relaxing...snake free.

The guys lugged this bean bag game up there too. Bag-O (or whatever it's called.) Selah simply cannot resist climbing into small spaces like that. It's too tempting.

Token family pics.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Am I a total weirdo for taking pictures of my garden and the stuff that grows in it? If so, I guess I'm okay with that. I love my science experiment of a garden, and it just amazes me that we can grow our own food with dirt and water basically. And apparently if you compost, you don't even have to buy sees at the store. I think right now we have more volunteer plants from our compost than ones we actually planted there on purpose. The jury's still out on some of them, but I can confirm that two of the plants are butternut squash and a couple are acorn squash. Yay! That's not the only "drama" going on back there. We have a young nectarine tree and all 15 of the ALMOST ripe nectarines were STOLEN by pesky squirrels a few weeks ago! I know it was them, I saw them in the plum tree a few days later going for more. Gggrrrrr...... I've got to devise a plan for next year. Its ME versus the squirrels. (I just realized that I am becoming one of THOSE people.....a grumpy old garden lady.)

At first, in May and June I was going out and picking handfuls of snow peas to eat with the kids as a snack. Now that those faded out, we have so much more going on in the garden! Here's a picture from a few weeks ago in June.

We were getting cute little batches of produce like this for weeks, then we went on vacation for a few days and came back to this...and I didn't even pick all the plums and all the peppers from Nate's pepper farm. He has about 8 different flavors of "hot" growing out there.

I had heard that zucchini could get big if you don't pick them, but this is ridiculous! What am I suppose to do with these guys? Slice them up as pancakes? Well, guess what's for dinner for the next 3 weeks.