Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Patriotic Events 2024


S
anta Barbara and Goleta Events

4th of July at West Beach -- Music and food booths at the Waterfront 11:30am-9:30pm
Elks Lodge of Santa Barbara  Family Fun Fair 11-4 Free Admission -- Crafts, dime toss, bounce house, rollerball game, and more)
Goleta Valley Historical Society at Stow House 11am-4pm $10/$5 entry -- Concerts and tours, hay rides, face painting, and games

Fireworks
9pm Solvang at Mission Santa Ynez

Other Events Nearby
Carpinteria Independence Parade Saturday 7/6 3:30-4:30
Carpinteria Lions Club hosts an Independence Day BBQ 7/4 12-3pm. Tickets $20/$10
* Montecito Association hosts events including a parade (11:30 Upper Manning Park) and picnic in the park (12-2 Manning Park) 
Solvang Events include a parade (11am), BBQ (Solvang Park 12-2) and festival (12pm-10pm, Mission Santa Ynez, $15 Entry, kids under 12 free)


Monday, June 24, 2024

Eastside Neighborhood Park

Eastside Neighborhood Park

Eastside Neighborhood Park got an overhaul! The new design leaves plenty of green space for running around, leaves the community garden, replaced the little kid playground and created a big kid place area. It also added a big kid play area and adult exercise equipment. The new play structures are built in the new style that gives kids freedom to explore in different ways rather than use it for one intended design, but it does keep the rubber mat for impacts. 

Little Kid Play Area

The little kid (2-5) play area is now fully fenced with one entrance and exit. This area is nicely shaded under oaks. There are two baby swings and a larger bucket swing for multiple kids. The play structure has a regular slide, a tunnel slide, and several climbing places. There are multiple benches as well as small picnic tables here.

Big Kid Play Area

The new big kid play area (5-12) is also fully fenced with one entrance and exit. It does not have trees to shade it but it does have a nice shade canopies. There are no swings, but a number of different climbing parts are much more explorational play. The benches in this prayer are often in full sun.

There are now bathrooms with a cool mural on the walls. Bathrooms were clean and well stocked on the day we were here.

Pros: 
*my big kid really loved the new climbing structures 
* there are bathrooms
* 2 divided areas for big and littles have plenty of space
* there's still plenty of green open space.
Bathrooms

Cons: 
* the little kid play structure might not hold the attention of kids for very long. 
* People looking for a sandpit or big kid swings need look elsewhere.











Related posts
Old Eastside Neighborhood Park
Eastside Library
Ortega Park
Franklin Park












Saturday, June 15, 2024

Choose Your Own Adventure 2024


With our quests, I have discovered that it is harder to try new things with my older kids! So this summer we are repeating last summer's quest: Choose Your Own Adventure. We have a few more beaches I would like to try as well as day trips, museums and hikes we didn't get to on our previous summers. We have a busy summer with things unrelated to my blog, but I will try to sneak in a few places on the list. I am aiming to share a new thing every week, a list that might be useful and a place we love. Here are some of the ideas for the new things:

From 2015 Parks
Armitos Park got new play equipment 

From 2016 Beaches
See 2020 below

From 2017 Nature Walks
Wind Tunnels at Gaviota State Park
Cheltham/Westmont Trail
Allan Road Footpath
Ortega Hill Loop
Ennisbrook Trail

From 2018 Day Trips
Lake Casitas Water Park got a facelift!
Canzelle Alpacas
Pump It Up (Ventura)
Marina Park (Ventura)
Ventura Aquatic Center
Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch (Santa Ynez)
Solvang
La Purissima Mission
Seein Spots Farm

From 2019 Museums
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Rancho La Patera & Stow House
Santa Barbara Carriage and Western Arts Museum
Santa Barbara Historical Museum (El Presidio)
Ablitt House
Bellosguardo Estate
Casa del Herrero
Casa Dolores
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
Reagan Ranch Center
Ridley Tree Museum of Art (Westmont College)
Santa Barbara Art Museum (UCSB)
Santa Barbara Surfing Museum
Santa Barbara Veterans Museum
Susan Quinlan's Doll & Teddy Bear Museum
UCSB Multicultural Center
Elveroj Museum of History and Art
Guadelupe-Nipomo Dunes Center
Guadelupe Cultural Arts Center
La Purissima Mission
Santa Maria Museum of Flight
Santa Maria Valley Historical Railway Museum
Wilding Art Museum
UCSB Marine Science Institute

From 2020 Beaches Part 2
Adding a few beaches beyond the Haskells to Miramar set we did 2016 and 2020
Rincon Beach
Sandyland Beach ?
Padaro Beach ?
Loon Point Beach *
Finney Beach *
Summerland Beach
Gaviota Beach

From 2021 
Zodos
Lotusland
Lompoc Aquatic Center
Art from Scrap

From 2022 Hikes
Gaviota Wind Caves
Lizards Mouth
Tangerine Falls
Lizards Mouth
Rattlesnake Canyon
Parma Park
San Ysidro falls
Seven Sisters
Skofield Park
Tunnel Trail

Related Posts
Summer of the Parks (2015)
Summer of the Beaches (2016)
Summer of the Nature Walks (2017)
Summer of the Day Trips (2018)
Summer of the Museums (2019)
Summer of the Beaches 2 (2020)
Summer of Kid's Choice (2021)
Summer of the Hikes (2022)

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Toad Walk at Restoration Oaks Ranch


Santa Barbara Blueberries is on Restoration Oaks Ranch which is 955 acres of woodlands and grasslands. In addition to the  Upick berries, there are other branches: Wild Dirt, an events space, vacation rental and grass fed beef as well as the non-profit Wild Farmlands Foundation which supports agroecology and smaller farmer advocacy . Part of their educational outreach is a tarantula walk in the fall and a toad walk in the spring. In May, my family walked with a group in the farmland behind the blueberry farm to visit the toads. Ed and Shay Seaman, who are managers of the farmland and the non-profit, lead the walks along with their son or another ranch hand. 

We walked from the barn out to a pond with nets. Ed, Shay and their son used the largest nets to look for toads, tadpoles and froglets as well as water bugs. Kids held the smaller nets and looked (less successfully) for them as well. There are occasionally snakes on the walk but none when we were there. After about an hour, we headed back to the barn to look at the creatures we had found as well as pass around a toad for people to gently hold.  

It was a fun afternoon and probably especially good for kids between 4 and 8. It was a little slow for my 10 and 13 year olds, but we still enjoyed it.  To find out about the open dates, sign up for the SB Blueberry email. The toad walk happens in May and signups are in late March early April. 


Toad Walk Pond (View 1)

Toad Walk Pond (View 2)

Nets to Catch Frogs and Toads

Nature Talk

Holding the toad



Related Posts:
Santa Barbara Blueberries

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Spring 2024 Snapshot

 This year I have continued to work and volunteer more, so I have still had less time for blogging. I love the ways I spend my time but miss blogging! 

Favorite New Product; Not completely new, but I love Thrive Causemetics Eye Line: the Infinity Waterproof Eye Shadow Stick in Riji and the Brilliant Eye Brightener in Gia. Get 10% off with this link!

Gia
 
Life Hack: I recently had my colors done and I have slowly been getting rid of things in shades that aren't my best as well as adding in new things. I am a Soft Autumn for those who speak the lingo. This link gets you $20 off! 

Soft Autumn

Last Book I Finished: The 5 Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman
The concepts of this book are worth five stars. Making sure that we apologize in a way that the other person hears an apology is truly important. However, this book has many, many examples and could be condensed down quite a bit. (Some of the examples are questionable/poorly chosen and could trigger people in ways where they completely miss the point of the book.)The audiobook is a condensed version, but I learned most of what I needed from a good podcast where Jennifer Thomas was interviewed. Three stars for the book and five stars for the ideas.

In a nutshell:
1. Expressing regrets (I am sorry)
2. Accepting responsibility (I was wrong)
3. Making restitution (what can I do to make it right?)
4. Genuinely Repenting (I will try not to do that again.)
5. Requesting forgiveness (Will you please forgive me?)



Life Project: We have a kitchen project going with new counters, cabinets and floors. Exciting to make it look refreshed! Love this Olive Grove color going on the new cabinets. 


What we are eating today: Skinny Chicken Alfredo (one of the recipes from my 40 new ones in 2016)! The version I make is not on that site anymore, but this one is close!

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Tarantula Walk at Restoration Oaks Ranch


Santa Barbara Blueberries is on Restoration Oaks Ranch which is 955 acres of woodlands and grasslands. In addition to the  Upick berries, there are other branches: Wild Dirt, an events space, vacation rental and grass fed beef as well as the non-profit Wild Farmlands Foundation which supports agroecology and smaller farmer advocacy . Part of their educational outreach is a tarantula walk in the fall and a toad walk in the spring. In October, my family walked with a group in the farmland behind the blueberry farm to visit the tarantulas. Ed and Shay Seaman, who are managers of the farmland and the non-profit, lead the walks along with their son or another ranch hand. 

We walked from the barn out back into the canyon. Ed, Shay and a ranch hand led the walk and were first to pick up the tarantulas. There were many to see and most people, even the reluctant, held for them at some point. They shared tarantula facts and ranch facts as we went along

It was a fun afternoon and probably especially good for kids between 5 and 10. To find out about the open dates, sign up for the SB Blueberry email. The tarantula walk happens in September/October and signups are in August.

Spreading Out to Look for the Creatures

Everyone wants to hold one!

Next?

Tarantula Holding


Ed Seaman

Plenty of Paths for Searching

Tarantulas All Over

Burrow

Related Posts:
Santa Barbara Blueberries

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Book Discussion Questions: Praying Like Monks Living Like Fools


I recently finished an excellent book called Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools by Tyler Staton. Love the book, the title --meh. It is free to read and listen at my local library through Hoopla as well as through Kindle Unlimited discussed with my spiritual formation group and thought I would share the questions. (We read the book in two parts, but I know other groups who discussed it one chapter at a time.)

Overall: What parallels did you find between other teachings on prayer you have heard and Praying Like Monks Living Like Fools?

Chapter 1: What reason among those given for why we don’t pray resonated with you most? (naive, fear silence, fear selfish motives, think we are doing it wrong,) What did it resonate? Would you add any reasons?

Chapter 1: How have you implemented pray as you can?

Chapter 2:How did the charge to “be still” resonate with you?

Chapter 2:What part of the hurry culture gets you most?

Chapter 2:How is choosing stillness countercultural? P46

Chapter 3:How was the description of how Jesus prayed different from how you pray? What is that? P55

Chapter 3:How does knowing who God is, who we are and who we are to one another inform our prayers?

Chapter 3:How do you hallow God in your prayers? Or what do you want to try to become better at it? 

Chapter 4: Why do you think the author thinks confession is so important?

Chapter 4:Does the picture of Jesus as our co-sufferer inspire you to pray? Why or why not?

Chapter 5: How did the fall change our communication with God?

Chapter 5: How do you think we can become more motivated to intercede in prayer for others/the world? 


Chapter 6: How does gratitude fuel our daily prayers?

Chapter 6: How does the encouragement to pray for parking spaces help your perspective? 

Chapter 6: Did you resonate with the ideas that prayer is about control/consent? Why or why not?

Chapter 7: What is praying in the middle voice represent?

Chapter 7: What does praying in the middle voice mean for you right now? 

Chapter 8: Did you resonate with the idea of prayer as labor/birthing? Why or why not?

Chapter 8: How do you think we can become more motivated to intercede in prayer for others/the world?

Chapter 9: How is prayer an invitation to relationship?

Chapter 9: How does the verb tense of ask, seek, knock change the idea for you?

Chapter 10: Do you agree with the idea that fidelity is boring? Does this help you with the life of prayer?

Chapter 10: How can you incorporate daily rhythms to encourage prayer practice?

Chapter 10: Why are we drawn to the idea of experiential spontaneous prayer? 201


“The modern church's best kept secret is this: we believe in productivity not prayer.” Respond 


Related Links: