31 May 2008

i forgot to sit down

what a lovely day! the weather was stunning, the people at the fair were nice, the music was good, the snacks were naughty, thehobbit was well-behaved, & i had fun.

it was well worth all the hard work, & the aching feet. i really should have sat down occasionally.

here are a few photos:

the small bags are the new ones i mentioned the other day.

click on the photo to see the dinkie gnomie orphanage! heehee. i cannot believe how fast those little guys get adopted.

now it's etsy shop time. yes i know i've said that before, but this time i mean it. yes i know i said that too. be quiet.
i'm off to enjoy a hot cup of tea, & to beg a hot cup of manlyman for a foot massage.

30 May 2008

tired with a side of caffeinated

is this not the most adorable sammich ever?!?!?

photo :: property of shenanigans

the make believe lunch is made of wool felt, & has lovely embroidered details. plus pickle slices! alas i did not make this bit of loveliness - the artisan would be miss soap. if you think the sammich is sweet, you have to see her strawberries. which you can at tomorrow's show. did you see that sly segue?
i've had to swear to myself that i would not buy anything from my fellow dragonfly artisans. i do not exaggerate when i tell you they are amazingly gifted women.
did i tell you that i'm really tired? not the usual tired of which i often complain; but the didijusthaveanewbornbabe sort of exhaustion. the lingering pestilence, combined with trying to cram tons o'stuff into each day is wearing me to a nub. don't worry though dear reader, i'm not really taking it easy. plus manlyman brought me home a blended mocha with whipped cream medicine!
as if being caffeinated beyond belief weren't enough to make a day happy, we had three butterflies emerge today! thehobbit was in absolute heaven. i have to admit i find it pretty damned amazing myself; holding such a beautifully delicate creature... sorry i lost it. i was about to be poetic, but i'm either too tired, or too wired. you choose.
have a great night my one & only reader. come to the show tomorrow, & say hi.

29 May 2008

come one, come all!

the dragonfly artisans will have a booth this saturday, from 1:00 to 5:30 - here are the details !

i shall be selling:

needle books, dinkie gnomies, dragon tear magnets, drink slings, patchie totes, market bags, kiddie market bags, drawing kits, wool pins (flowers & leaves,) & a surprise or two.

all the artisans will be in attendance; including the debut of our newest member! i've seen a sampling of what everyone shall be selling, & i can tell you that it's all gorgeous.

i am looking forward to seeing you saturday :-)

28 May 2008

the butterfly caught a cold

since thursday i've been playing kat & mouse with the pestilence. i thought if i took things slowly, & spent a good deal of time on the couch, i'd suffer no more than a whisper of a cold. poof! it would be here & gone before anyone was the wiser.

it would seem i suffer from delusions not only of grandeur, but of wishful thinking as well. insert dramatic sigh here. my throat is on fire, my head is stuffy, & now thehobbit's glands are huge. this is not a good time for all this pestilence brouhaha.

feeling crummy aside, it's been a lovely day.
thehobbit & i were thrilled to find our first butterfly emerge! my boy sat quietly in the sunshine for nearly half an hour, whilst the butterfly dried its wings, cupped in his hands. finally he deemed flutterbye (i did not choose the name) ready to be put in the bougainvillea, & we went back inside.

i created a sweet bag today. it's slightly smaller than the kiddie market bag, & has one handle instead of 2. there's a patch on the front, with the word treasures embroidered in a pale, icy blue. i took photos to share with you, but i haven't the energy to see if elvie is uploading today or not. if there is interest in the bag this weekend, i'll make more.

i also finished the embroidery for thehobbit's little pouch. he asked for a special zipper pouch in which to keep his inhaler. i asked what he'd like embroidered on the front, & he chose asthma sucks - ha! i love that boy.

well my one & only reader... i need to get off my arse & get my cupcake medicine. you look a little pale. perhaps you need medicine as well ;-)

27 May 2008


i was at the back fence chatting with rubelin, when thehobbit came out to ask if he could put some butter on a few rye crackers.

i; being an amazing mama; said that he could. he; being a butter fiend; was then reminded to not lick the knife, nor any other utensil, nor his fingers. basically all extra butter licking was forbidden.

a few more minutes of chatting, & i went back inside to finish the project i'd been working on. i found my sweet hobbit walking to the snack table to eat his crackers. did he lick anything he was told to not lick? no! why? because he's an excellent listener? no. why then?

because he'd sliced; length-wise; thick slabs of butter to place between his crackers! the butter looked like thick slices of monterey jack cheese. extra butter without breaking one promise! the boy is a genius! i couldn't even get pissed, because i was so utterly impressed with his cunning.

just then daddyo arrived home. i showed him the butter sammich his dinky boy was eating, & shared the story. do you know what he said? do you? he said like mother like son. awww. what a lovely thing to say! the expression on his face, coupled with his tone hinted that he did not mean it to be complimentary, but i'm sure that was just exhaustion from a long day at work.

time for me to be off. i'm feeling a tad snacky myself.
p.s. those crackers have no wheat, soy, or corn in them. they taste pretty good, & hold up to spreads of all sorts.

26 May 2008

of curses & shoes

were one to look through the stack of things i sewed today, one would assume i had been drinking through the night, & into the day. since i haven't had any boozie loveliness, the fault cannot be placed there. no my one & only reader, we both know where the blame lies. clearly my machine has been cursed. some person; jealous of my fame & fortune; placed a curse upon my sweet little sewlie. i can't think of any other explanation for the utter crap that was sewn upon her. i finally gave one of the birthday crowns o'crap to thehobbit, then decided to stop trying. oh, & go shopping :-)

have i ever shared thehobbit's shoe obsession with you? holy maude my child loves shoes. where other children squeal in the toy aisle, begging for the latest plastic nightmare, thehobbit can be found doing the same at shoe stores. he's always had more shoes than a small child ought. & no i don't think it's wrong to indulge his shoe obsession! shoes are pretty.

for about 6 months now, he's only owned 3 pairs! crocs, wellies, & tennies with holes where no holes should be. i know what you're thinking; just buy the kid some shoes! well you see a) he's extremely picky about shoes, & 2) his latest thing is a disgust for laces. after years of all tennies having velcro straps, now they have laces. as we grownieups have a disgust for character shoes, that slims the choices a bit.

have no fear dear reader - i had a brilliant idea! i realized i could replace the laces with elastic! sheer brilliance! i really should have thought of this ages ago. & yes... duh.

after discovering the curse upon the sewing machine, we took thehobbit to buy shoes. manlyman told him he could buy 2 pairs: one for walking, hiking, etc, & another for no reason at all. they found a pair of tennies that passed all our tests. manlyman declared them well-made & sturdy, thehobbit proved them to be excellent for running, (sorry miss salesperson,) & i proclaimed them not ugly cute.
now i need to remember where i put the elastic. hmm. the other pair are his homage to my manlyman's new toy - guitar hero 3.

they're cute, & i'm sure they'll look splendid with his dress shirts, & ties. hahahahaha! no seriously. i'm hopeful that one day his little rocker boy look, & his ties & sweater vest kid look will merge into something wild & cool. because if it doesn't? well... being a grandmama would have been lovely.
i'm off to watch a little wwry.

24 May 2008

lest i forget again...

i keep meaning to tell you:

i love that a few of you visit me a few times a day. if i could offer you tea & baked goodies i would. since there isn't a table of treats when you get here, i imagine you're checking for new posts.

look to the right. there you'll see a place to enter your email, with a subscribe me button beneath. if you sign up, you shall have emails sent to you to tell you there is a new post.

there won't be any ads or spam along with it. i subscribed when i first added the widget, to be sure it was just what it claimed.

i hope this helps. if you're not interested in subscribing, no worries - just pop in whenever you want. please do say hello though. i so love reading your comments & emails.

i miss sleep the most

elvie is behaving today, so i have photos to share! mind you, it took 3 attempts to upload them, but at least it worked in the end.

when i'm not running from one homeschool event to another, or watching this, you can find me chained to my sewing machine these days.

i couldn't find a project to go along with our latest book-project-club title. it needed to be something that tied in with the book, & that we worked on together. with only days left, i recalled this project that amanda does with her kids. thehobbit drew his version of the motorcycle, then i took it to tu-wednesday night craft to embroider. we both love how it turned out!

i had to leave out a lot of his detail due to my fingers falling off, but he didn't mind. it will become a couch pillow when i am done with the upcoming show. thanks amanda!

baskets are quickly filling with items for sale. as exhausted as i am, it is so satisfying to see the baskets fill, & the stacks threaten to topple. below are my drawing kits, dinky gnomies, needlebooks, & wool pins.

this morning i finished a custom order. i hope the little girlies like their birthday crowns.

i forgot to photograph the backs. they are the opposite color on the reverse, with french knots at the tips of the crown. the ones i'll be selling at the upcoming show will be backed with fabric instead of more wool felt.
that's all for today's show & tell. i've got to get back to sewing, & check the farm. the last few days have been rainy & windy. i hope all the seedlings are ok.
what are you doing today?

23 May 2008

hey world...

i am what i am.

have you ever had a moment of clarity? i did last night.

manlyman had not been home from work for 15 minutes when i asked him to look at this video from wicked i'd found on youtube. just this one i said.

2 hours later he was still watching videos i'd found. i felt this gentle tug behind me, pulling me slightly out of the moment. i looked to my left, & saw this man willingly watching showtune after showtune with me. for me. he was there, & he was present. his eyes weren't glazed, his face showed no sign of being bored out of his skull.

don't get me wrong - manlyman has nothing against musicals, he enjoys them on occasion. they just aren't his favorite genre. he isn't the one who dreams in them. of them. about them. there were a kajillion other things he would have rather been doing, or watching; but he sat with me instead. he probably knew that there would be more than just that one video when he sat down; even though i really did mean just one. i always do mean just one.

in that moment i realized he does things like that all the time.

he'll look up from a golf an art magazine; for the umpteenth time; to listen to me read a paragraph about grammar, or an entire chapter on how the english language came to be. these things don't fascinate him in the least - they're my bit of freak. still he looks up, & listens without a hint of not caring in his demeanor. he never says a word when i say that i'm going to listen to music with my headphones, but not to worry because i won't be singing along. i always mean it, but i always end up singing at the top of my lungs. afterward i apologize, & he says that he enjoyed listening to me sing. he even sounds as though he means it.

i am not saying he should be marked for sainthood - oh no. the man does not understand the lure of the dollar store, he neither oohs nor aahs when i show him my treasures from an afternoon thrift-shopping, he doesn't crave any food of any kind ever, he doesn't believe that i really am allergic to doing the dishes, there are golf art things strewn from one end of the belfry to the other...

i think what i'm saying is that i saw that he takes me for who i am. he accepts my freaks, & sees them as a part of the whole. i was going to say as part of the package, but that just sounded a tad dirty for the middle of the day. or is that just where my mind goes? no need to come out of lurkdom to answer that question - it was rhetorical.

it comes down to acceptance. i learned (the hard way) a few years ago to look at my friends, & decide if the quality of love & friendship they offered was worth the freak they brought along for the ride. if i were to gather my nearest & dearest today it would look like a freak convention to be sure - but they are truly worth it all.

the other side of that is that i need to be accepted. i need to know that the people to whom i entrust my love & friendship accept me in spite of the freaks i bring along. usually i feel that they do, but lately not with everyone.

i digress. the point of this post; yes there was a point originally; is that i think i'm pretty damned lucky. manlyman knows i'm flawed. he knows my freaks better than i - he knows it all & accepts it all. it's like having permission 24-7 to just be me! hey world, i am lucky indeed.


19 May 2008

through the eyes of a hobbit

my boy is obsessed with taking photos these days. usually they're ones only a 10yo would love. we ooh & aah appreciatively; but that's only because we don't want to scar him for life. more than we already have.

i must admit that this past week he's taken a few interesting pictures.

do you remember the moon sand we talked about a few months ago? well this is what it looked like when the hobbit made a kajillion tiny plops using a miniature ice cream scoop:

i'm not fond of bright red, purple, or blue, so goodness knows why i like the above photo. this angle is brilliant:

here we have one of many, many, many self-portraits:

i call this one hobbity rock star.

as i said, most of the photos he takes are too close so they blur, or they're of minipaper taking a picture of him, or the pics are of the inside of his mouth - the usual kidfreak stuff. don't get me wrong, i understand the value of the kidfreak photos. when he's a grown man we can look at the pictures, & remember how silly & dinky he once was. we can also show them to his significant other to embarrass the bleep out of him. unless of course he marries minipaper... then they'll probably ask for the pics, so they can frame, & hang them on the wall with pride.

speaking of the boy & his best girl - this was a chat we had yesterday morn:

th - mama, when me & minipaper are grownieups & married..

m - (gasp) um what?!

th - no mama! (duh you idiot tone) i am not marrying minipaper! she is my best friend! when she is married & i am married to other people!!

m - (heehee) ah. ok. &?

th - well when we are married to other people, we can bring our kids that we have with the other people to see our tree. right?

m - (awww how utterly sweet!) yes baby that's right.

th - cool.

(yeah. cool.)

happy full moon! go moon someone. tell them i sent you.


18 May 2008

no photos in japan with blended mochas

today i tried four times to upload photos to share with you. f-o-u-r! four times! don't you dare say what's the big deal? !!! that is 4 times on dial-up. on the slow-as-dirtest (real word) computer since the beginning of time. yes slower even than before computers existed. so i'll have no sass from you, thank you very much.

needless to say; but apparently i am saying it; i was unable to upload photos. don't ask me what is going on with elvie (she of slower-than-dirtitude: also a real word,) because i haven't a clue. i managed to get the wifi working for one day only. it was a magical day. i'm sure you noticed birds singing, & bees dancing about in tutus. i was responsible for this.

enough of that. this morning we went to the japanese dollar store. that place is amazing! as soon as manlyman wins the lottery, i am going to spend every cent there. i bought a great many things bamboo knitting needles for $1!!

it takes me forever to get through the place. not just because of the wonderful things for sale, but because i love reading the terrible translation on the packages. most are slightly left of target, with the rest being utterly silly. i don't know why, but the wonky translations make me happy.

there were more errands, all of which were ran with thepapers. running around town is a wretched way to spend a few hours, but it's fun when you have good friends along. when all the to-dos were to-done, we treated ourselves to blended mochas. mmmmm.

we picked up two little wooden houses today. one was tall & skinny, & looking very much like an outhouse. i couldn't resist commenting such, so of course both kids chose it. thehobbit even painted a little crescent moon over the door of his. hahaha! i love my odd child.

i don't know about you, but i'm guaranteed a good hour of quiet time if i sit my boy down with paints, & a birdhouse. one day soon his faery village will turn into a faery metropolis!

that's all for this photo-less, random post. did you have a lovely weekend? i hope so.

17 May 2008

ugh. yay! ouch. ooh. zzzzzzzz.

oh my one & only reader i am one tired mama.

today we met with other r&s groups, & the treepeople organization to plant trees in griffith park's burn zone.

ugh: it was 100 degrees where we were working! remember how i don't do well in temperatures above 75 85? let's just say i became seriously dizzy & nauseated a few times today - & yes i did drink lots of water. the blazing sun, & the hard, physical labor was not a good combination for me. plus i am a heat-whimp.

yay!: our little band of 4 weeded the area assigned to us, dug a freakydeep hole in solid clay, planted a 15-gallon catalina ironwood, sunk in posts, & mulched. it took us the entire 2 hours alloted, but we did it! they had us join hands after it was completed, & say "trees need people. people need trees. welcome insert name here!" we named our tree professor sprout after the hogwarts herbology teacher.

ouch: i ache from head to toe!

ohh: thehobbit discovered something whilst in the shower today. unwilling to get his hair wet, he decided to shower wearing his plastic, construction-worker hat. the water hitting the hat sounds like an audience applauding! oooh indeed. not one to just discover something, & move on; thehobbit then stepped out of the water, sang a little opera, then stepped back in for applause. over & over & over...

zzzzzz: seriously zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

what are you waiting for? go plant a tree!

15 May 2008

"never wake a sleeping dragon...

for you are crunchy, & taste good with ketchup."

i saw that on a bumper sticker about 7 years ago, & it just cracked me up.

the same could be said about kats - minus the you tasting good with ketchup bit. that said, please don't be offended if you do taste good dipped in ketchup, i really wouldn't know. i'm merely stating that that doesn't apply here, because i'm a vegetarian. sheesh. see what a mess i make when trying to be pc?

let's try that again... i am evil when someone wakes me. if you try, i'll bite your head off, & dip you in ketchup. ha!

ask thehobbit if you don't believe me. oh wait - you cannot. he sure did taste good. not a bit like chicken.

i'm tired.

14 May 2008

sit down!

i know how you enjoy blogging whilst standing, & have no desire to be responsible for you fainting to the floor. below you shall find... wait for it.... photos. not. from. clip. art. see? aren't you glad you sat?

here we have a corner of my home:

it's thehobbit's nightstand. well actually it's one of my dining room benches, but he stole it for his own. these are the things he must have near him when he goes to bed. hanging from the bedpost is his teddybear's jacket, & his wand bucket. below the bench is professor lupin's suitcase. i'm not allowed to know what he keeps in there, so i cannot share what secrets it holds. heehee. on that little shelf you'll find his pygmy puff. last, but not least, we have the top of the bench. here are his most treasured items: his pet dragon beneath a blanket, & his pet owl in a cage. thehobbit has agreed to let me share this photo, but is refusing to let me share the names of his pets. the 'painting' behind the dragon is a golf art calendar from daddyo. apparently the pets like fine art.

here we have part of the farm as of a week ago. the brussels sprouts had to be pulled due to nasty worms, & the sugar snaps were pulled because they stopped producing as much.

i couldn't resist taking a close-up of the fennel - isn't it beautiful? it was tasty too. mmmm.

totally unrelated to any of the above: i have had sitemeter for a few weeks now, so have been able to see who's visiting, & from where. i want to say that i'm thrilled so many people are stopping by the belfry, & from so many places around the world! i also want to ask something of you: please say hello! i have enjoyed the comments immensely, & would love more of them. i want to get to know all of you peeping toms ;-)

that's all for today. i have to finish here, so i can play outside with thehobbit. manlyman won guitar hero 3 on monday, & thehobbit is sad because i won't let him play with it. a little running around with mama in the fresh air should stop the pouting. hopefully. or i could give him candy! (joking)

have whatever kind of day you feel like having (after you say hello.) ~peace.

13 May 2008

the way to a kat's heart....

... is through her stomach. manlyman learned this long ago, & the last few days has been getting to my heart big time! for mama's day he brought me home half a dozen gourmet cupcakes from here. he also surprised me with dinner at my favorite monglolian bbq place. then last night he liberated an eclair from the golf tournament art show he played in attended yesterday. i'm not usually an eclair gal, but the pastry on this one was flaky, & on the dry side... much nicer than the donuty ones i've had in the past. the last few days have seen the expansion of my heart & my arse. i do love that man of mine.
* to those who have asked why i keep referring to manlyman's tournies as art shows: yes i am supportive of his passion, i'm just in denial. *

on a serious note: with the tens upon tens of thousands of people who've died from cyclone nargis, & now china's quake, i find myself unable to shake the sadness. i'm sure many of you feel the same. how is it that i can go about my days, complaining about the rising gas prices, about my child not putting away his toys, about anything? how is it that it takes the lives of millions of strangers being ripped apart... to see how blessed i am in my complaints? when did complaining become a luxury? i suppose it always has been, i've only just noticed.

i've been thinking a lot about those strangers, mourning for them, hoping for them. i must be honest & tell you that when i do think of them, i try not to think for long. if i do, i find that the sadness quickly overwhelms me, & paralyzes me with fear. another luxury. to be able to stop thinking about horror & grief.

the past few weeks i'd been doing a bit of soul-searching; wondering why things were feeling so out of sorts, wondering what was going on, or why it seemed as though things weren't right in my world. these two tragedies have increased that tenfold. especially the quake in china. i do not mean that i care less for the cyclone victims... it's just that earthquakes hold a special fear for me. i've lived through two large quakes, & can recall both experiences in absolute, frightening detail. i would like my child to grow very old without ever having had a large quake touch his life.

what i realized this morning is that the soul-searching was doing more harm than good. i wasn't able to figure out what was wrong, or why things seemed wrong. all i was doing was focusing vast amounts of energy on things that were hurting me. for now i will take advantage of another luxury - i'll move on. if the soul-searching wasn't working? i'll move on. if i'm just imagining that my world is off kilter? i'll move on. if things truly are not right? i'll move on. what else can i do?

what next? well i shall still think of those millions of strangers. how could i not? how could any of us not? i hope to not let thoughts of them overwhelm me though. i also hope to not focus on things in my world that overwhelm. i definitely know where my focus needs to be, & that is with my sweet hobbit. the best luxury of all! today i dragged my sleepy arse hopped out of bed, & read a few chapters with him. before coffee! how is that for focus? i know i'll have days where i delve into my soul for answers that won't come, but i'm now more aware, so i know they won't be many.

i hope you too have all the luxuries of a blessed life. the luxuries that really matter at any rate. plus cupcakes.

10 May 2008

of trolls, needles, & time

i'd like to know who has been at the belfry the last few days pigstyificating (real word) it. manlyman's been back at work, & thehobbit & i have been leaving shortly after breakie. clearly trolls are sneaking in, because i cannot believe we are able to make this mess in the few hours we're home & awake. or!!! manlyman has taken up sleep-messing. that has to be it. or the other.

with the pacifica may fair just weeks away, i've been sewing like a mad woman. i had begun to panic, when i realized i'd sold almost all my market bags - luckily my sweet visitors brought a bag of fabric from maman, so i'm able to make more. merci maman!

yesterday we had hogwarts. the kids played with hydrophobic sand, then watched a documentary whilst the mamas crafted. i was able to get snaps on all my needlebooks, with time left to do a little embroidery.

look at this!

the auntie & uncle gave this book to thehobbit. it's great fun, & came with a pocket watch like the one pictured! it's well-made, actually works, & the best part is it runs backwards. seriously... i am tempted to steal it for my own.

ok one & only reader, my the rewinder says it's time for me to go. we're off to an environmental festival today. i hope you have a loverly saturday. ~peace.

08 May 2008

boxes of naughty, spicy goodness

the majority of meals i make are either from scratch, or using very little ready-made food. one glaring exception uses mostly packaged food, with a little fresh tossed in for bulk. since coming up with the recipe (can it still be called a recipe?) it's been one of my favorites. the menfolk don't like it, so i've no guilt in making it as often as i can.

here are the naughty ingredients:
both are not low in salt, so if you're watching your intake please don't make this meal. there... that's my responsible disclaimer.

kimchi noodle soup revamp
1 box annie chun's korean kimchi noodle soup
1/2 box imagine no-chicken broth
1/2 head of cabbage
1) chop cabbage into bite-sized pieces
2) place cabbage, broth, & both kimchi's season packets into a pot. bring this to a boil, then turn the flame down to simmer.
3) when the cabbage is nearly to your liking (in this recipe i like mine with no crunch left) add the kimchi's noodles. simmer for 3-5 more minutes, then serve!
(in which 'serve' means 'don't share with anyone')
* notes: even with the additions, this soup is really spicy. if you don't like that much heat, add more broth. this makes enough for one big meal. if you feel you really must share, then serve it with a side of rice, or some yummy asian veggies.*
make this, then make another for me. yum!
~peace, kat

07 May 2008

belfry gone wild

my mellow little belfry has been turned into an insane asylum for the adorable. thehobbit & his cousins have been having the time of their lives these past few days. i have loved mostly every moment of it - watching them run around, squealing with laughter, holding hands, & snuggling as if they'd grown up together. extremely unusual for my freakyshy boy, & oh so wonderful to see.

sadly today shall be their last day with us. my brother's best buddy is next in line, & he is aching to see him. i don't know how he's stayed with us for so long - must be the lure of the sweetest hobbity nephew that ever there was. & that hobbit needed this... a few days of uninterrupted cousin play... attention from is beloved auntie & uncle. i'm so sad they have to go.

that's it really. i've nothing else to report: no crafting, no sewing, no gardening, no anything. it's been all about focusing on my family. oh... & the pestilence. manlyman decided now would be a good time to celebrate the year of the pestilence. ugh.

i hope you can spend time (pestilence-free) with family you love.

01 May 2008

spamalot tours santa barbara

that's right my one & only reader... i starred in spamalot for two whole days courtesy of blogger. two nights ago i received an email from them, telling me my blog had been tagged as possible spam. until they determined otherwise, kats in the belfry would be frozen. how rude!

happily i woke today to my blog out of blogger prison, so i can now call off the hitman chat with you about our field trip.

yesterday we went with a large group of homeschoolers on the train to santa barbara. with the exception of having to be at the station at 8am, it was a magnificent day.

as with our san diego trip, we had a double-decker car all to ourselves. it was most likely to keep the other passengers safe from the horde of unruly homeschoolers, but we didn't care. our own car meant we could stretch out, & not have to keep the volume to a minimum.

the views were stunning. we went through mountains, and right along the edge of the ocean. the kids loved the pitch black when we rode into tunnels - including thehobbit with his fear of the dark.

splitting from the group, we walked around santa barbara, then had lunch by a fountain in a lovely courtyard. after some more walking, we rejoined our group to take a bus to the mission. unfortunately we missed the bus that went directly there, so had to take one that dropped us a few blocks below the mission. i love walking, but going uphill with a 2 full packs on my back... well not so much.

the mission was stunning, & our tour guide joy was fabulous. she was a sassy old thing, & we all adored her. if you take a scheduled tour, you really must insist on her.

after the mission trip, we split again from the group, & took a bus back to the main drag. a bit more walking around, then we rode an electric trolley to the pier. the day's theme seemed to be different modes of transportation. thehobbit thought all the vehicles were great fun. especially when i opened a tin of mints on the bus, & they went flying all over the place. those things sure do roll.

we had veggie burgers on the pier, played on the beach, then walked back to the station. the kids got to run on the lawn for a good half hour before the train arrived. it was wonderful seeing them all so happy & free - with the bonus of knowing they'd all have their yayas out before getting on the train for the 2.5 hour ride home. ha!

i enjoyed the train ride home, chatted with friends, snuggled with manlyman, watched the kids play, & even managed to embroider 6 crowns. no rest for the wicked weary.

it was truly a glorious day. i'm so thankful for the adventures homeschooling has brought my family. what a childhood thehobbit shall look back upon!
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