Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Geek

The computer I currently have--the one I am using to type this blog post--is on its way out the door. The USB port doesn't work. The disc drives do not work. It's slow. I can't make photo cds or upload songs to my ipod. I can't open half of the documents people email me. So, it was time to upgrade.

My new(er) computer arrived today. It is sitting on the floor in the middle of my office. I am staring at it. I am wishing I could just click my heels or wriggle my nose or wave my daughter's magic wand or snap my fingers and all of the documents and photos and videos on this current computer would transfer to my new one...and my new computer would be in it's perfect place under my desk...and the dust mites that are currently occupying that space would be vacuumed up...and I could sit down and browse iTunes or upload photos or...

I guess if I keep on wishing the job will never be done and my new computer will still be in its place in the middle of the room.

Sigh!

Anyone know a good computer geek fairy?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting Ready

Today I am sharpening pencils, gathering reward stickers, organizing books, going over curriculum, finding flash cards, typing out a schedule, dusting off my desk and getting excited about teaching on Tuesday!

Amber will be in second grade--it's hard to believe that myself! Autumn will be in her last year at Noah's Ark Preschool, in pre-kindergarten! So my day also was filled with packing extra clothes for her, going over parent information, getting teacher gifts ready and dusting off Autumn's lunchbox.

Of course, that means that I had a large cup of coffee at breakfast, a few chocolate-covered espresso beans with lunch and I just finished an ice-blended peppermint mocha. I think I'm ready for school.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm bragging again

Today Eric got 1st Place in the Los Angeles Fathomiers Scramble Meet (spearfishing tournament). He speared a 37-pound white sea bass and a small barracuda and calico bass. This is the second time he has won a spearfishing tournament this year! Way to go, sweetheart!






Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cooking & Crafts

This summer, I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking. Tuesday I made a big bowl of guacamole, an even bigger bowl of peach salsa (3 jars) and six loaves of chocolate zucchini bread. I was in the kitchen for 4 hours that day! We have a lot of summer produce that I don't want to go to waste, so I make salsa of some sort once a week and either a cobbler or quick bread every week.

When I'm not in the kitchen, I've been scrapbooking and making jewelry. I've made several necklaces and some bracelets. My daughters and I have made scrapbooks together, too, and crafts using items out of the recycle bin. They are getting quite creative.

I also read two and a half books.

What have you been doing this summer?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Confetti in My Hair

Last night I took my nephew and niece, Pieter and Rachel, to State Street in Santa Barbara to walk around and do some shopping. It happened to be Fiesta weekend and the street was lined with people throwing confetti, waving giant glow sticks and having a good time. (Some of them were having too good of a time, but that's not what this story is about.)

Eric dropped us all of at the corner of Carrillo and State, and headed back home to his parent's house a mile away. Pieter had a wad of cash to burn and so he bought all of us confetti-filled eggs. Rachel cracked one on Pieter's head and in turn Pieter cracked one on Rachel's head and then they turned to me with mischievous looks in their eyes. Silence. More mischievous looks. Hesitation.

"Go ahead, crack one on my head," I said and then braced myself.

"Really?" Rachel said, and with that I was covered in confetti.

We had an awesome time window shopping and eating frozen yogurt and helping Rachel, who is 12 years old and five foot 9, find a pair of jeans. Okay, Pieter didn't enjoy waiting while Rachel and I were in the dressing rooms, but the two of us had a fun! We scored big at one store. We found jeans that fit Rachel perfectly, and when the cashier scanned the $54 pair, they had been discounted to $9.99.

From there, we decided to head home. We had thought of calling Eric's dad to come and pick us up, but decided the long walk in the cool night air would be fun. It was almost 10:00, and we were back at the corner of Carrillo and State. Then we saw them. They're called Pedi-Cabs. Little bicycle-driven carriages that--for a small price--will take you where you want to go. I hadn't spent any money except on yogurt, so I decided to treat my niece and nephew to a sweet ride home. We barely fit on the seat in the "carriage" and I felt bad for the rather small guy and the heavy load he was carrying--us. But he assured me that he could do it. Pieter and Rachel really enjoyed the ride, and the comedy of it all.

We started out down State Street so slow that we could have walked faster. Our driver was pedalling so fast and we were going so slow that people on the sidewalk started cheering and I heard one lady say, "Poor guy, he's pedalling so hard!" We turned onto Carrillo and picked up a bit of speed as we were on more level ground. Then we were really flying--for about a minute--as the road went downhill. We had our driver drop us off a few blocks from Eric's dad's home, when the incline looked too steep for him to make it. We paid him more than it was worth because we had such a good time and walked the rest of the way home.

I rarely go to State Street. It's not a place to take little kids at night. It's crowded and loud and a bit sketchy at times. Eric grew up near there, so he rarely wants to walk around downtown. However, I enjoy going there every once in a while--to drink coffee, people-watch, window shop and be in a place that doesn't shut down after 5 p.m. It was so much fun to hang out there with my niece and nephew--who live in the middle of nowhere in a town in Alberta. We all had a night we will long remember. Lights. Music. Confetti. And a slow cab ride home.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tha Canadian Cousins

Sounds like the title of a western novel, doesn't it?

A few weeks ago, we had cousin Sarah visit us. She lived in Canada until a month ago when they moved to Las Vegas. Sarah is the daughter of Eric's oldest sister, Sonja. Sarah is 10, and she and the girls got along great together. We all had a wonderful weekend. We made jewelry, crafts, swam in our neighbor's pool, had a tea party and--of course--Uncle Eric took all the girls on a boat trip the the islands.

Today, and through the weekend, we are having fun with the other Canadian cousins, Pieter and Rachel. They live in Alberta and belong to Eric's other sister, Amy. Pieter is 14 and Rachel is 12. Right now, Pieter is helping his Uncle Eric made soap and Rachel is braiding the girls' hair. They've only been at our home a few hours, and Rachel wants to move here! Pieter is anxiously looking forward to tomorrow, when Uncle Eric takes all the cousins on a boat trip to the islands. Here are a few pictures.

Amber & Sarah showing some strong Hodge genes.
Their baby pictures look very similar!

The Hodge girls!


Having fun with Eric!




Rachel & the girls.

Autumn is representing the brunettes of the world.



Pieter, Rachel, Amber & Autumn.

Quite a height difference.