Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Winter 2020 Snapshot

This post was longer in coming because of how crazy the world has been the past month. Surprise crisis schooling and social distancing.

Life Hack: In Box Check Lately I have a scheduled time every week for all the papers. There is a tree worth of paper that enters my house every week and it piles up fast. I have a set time in my calendar to go through all the mail, school forms and whatnot. The goal is to deal with it right then as much as possible and to keep only what is necessary. Take photos and file if needed. More inspiration here. (This system worked great until the past month!)

New Product I Love: Khan Academy Before COVID-19 I was going to share about my favorite gluten free pretzels, but the world has changed a lot in the past few weeks. Khan Academy is the math program we have been using alongside math worksheets, and flash cards. Khan has videos to explain the concepts, then practice and quizzes/tests to show competency. If you were truly homeschooling, you would need to supplement this, but it is great for this strange season. (And it has been helpful to supplement what we are getting from the school.) Other websites we have used DreamboxEpic and Lexia as well as Inner Explorer and GoNoodle.

Last Book I Finished: Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
We love Shannon Hale over at our house, so when I saw she had written some Pride and Prejudice inspire literature. I had to read it. I love the first one Austenland, but this one I wasn't as crazy about. These aren't serious literature, but for fun.
After Charlotte Kinder's husband leaves her for another woman, she needs some romance that doesn't require blind dates. She books a two week vacation at Austenland and leaves her kids with him. As she meets the Austen characters in residence, not as is as it seems. While there is a pretend mystery to solve, it seems as though a larger mystery that actually needs Charlotte's attention. She seems to be paired with Mr. Mallery, but is he as authentically brooding as he seems? or is he hiding something? And what is Miss Gardenside's ailment if not consumption? Was that actually a dead body she found in the hidden room? Will she find her Mr. Darcy after all? Or will Northanger Abbey mysteries rule her stay?

Life Project: Yard Map I just finished a map of our yard with all the plants labeled so that we can make a plan going forward. I used Google Maps with satellite view to help me.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Tide Pooling

Carpinteria State Beach
Tide pooling is a fun thing to do as a family appropriately distanced from others at this point. We normally camp at Carpinteria State Beach over spring break and this year we couldn't, so I promised the girls tide pooling soon.

To go tide pooling well, check the tide charts first. You want a low tide with the lowest possible number (negative is best) as well as the right time of day and weather. Wear sturdy shoes that can get wet. Touch gently with caution. We sometimes bring a bucket for things we catch or a toy sifter. We friend-sourced to get this list and looked at Yelp, Trip Advisor, and the Independent. If you have an iPhone, I found an app called California Tidepools that can make your trip more educational (a viewer says it is not currently available, but hopefully it will be back soon!). The King Tides website will let you know when there are exteremely low and high tides. (You can subscribe to their emails too!)

1. Coal Oil Point was the biggest suggestion and one we have been meaning to check out. It is located next to the Devereux Slough between Sands Beach or Devereux Beach. )

Coal Oil Point
We park at the corner of Camino Majorca and Del Playa, then walk straight down the path (directly off the end of the road) down the steps to the Devereux Beach. The best tide pools are closer to the point. Alternately you can go right on the path and head to the end at Devereux or Sands Beach. Coal Oil Point is to the right. (It also says clothing optional to the left for your planning information.)

As a former science teacher, I got lost in all the info for the Devereux Slough. There is a virtual tour. And a videographer that has created videos on the Devereux Slough or the Snowy Plover.

2. Tar Pits Beach is a spot near our spring break camping. Tarpits Beach is an interesting spot with huge rocks of asphalt that seep naturally out of the ground and the low tides uncover great nooks and crannies what sea life sits. I blogged about it here.

Take the 101S to the Casitas Pass exit (86A). Turn right onto Casitas Pass Rd and then left onto Carpinteria Ave. Turn right onto Arbol Verde St. Then immediately right onto Concha Loma Dr. Then a gentle left onto Calle Ocho. Follow Calle Ocho until it dead ends at the railroad tracks. You will have to cross the railroad tracks to get to the beach. Be careful crossing the tracks of course.

3. Campus Point has simple parking but it does cost.

4. Rincon Beach

5. Leadbetter Beach is accessible with plenty of parking we have reviewed it as a beach, but never gone tidepooling there.

Leadbetter Beach

We will add more details as we go but here are the top 5 according to our sources. Did we miss one? Where is your favorite tide pooling spot?