Santa Barbara: The Good

Back again from Santa Barbara, which has become our summer tradition. It’s not that we aren’t willing to travel anywhere else, it’s just that Santa Barbara is so nice, and so easy–easy to get to, and easy to be in. We got to see friends and family, and we revisited some greatest hits:

I know what you're thinking. We packed too much stuff.
I know what you’re thinking. We packed too much stuff.

Although we did need an awful lot of it.

Wait, where's Baguette?
Wait, where’s Baguette?
Rug removed, not for aesthetics, but for marker avoidance
Rug removed, not for aesthetics, but for marker avoidance
Baguette's first train ride, to Carpinteria 15 minutes away
Baguette’s first train ride, to Carpinteria 15 minutes away
Baguette's second train ride, returning from Carpinteria
Baguette’s second train ride, returning from Carpinteria
The goats will eat food handed to them through the fence, but that is not how Baguette rolls.
The goats will eat food handed to them through the fence, but that is not how Baguette rolls.

We found a new-to-us restaurant–Kyle’s Kitchen, which each month donates a portion of their proceeds to special needs organizations in the community.

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And also makes very tasty burgers.

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After years of driving by and saying, “Next time I want to check out that place,” we explored Tri-County Produce.

Featuring a Brussels sprout the likes of which I had never before seen
Featuring a Brussels sprout the likes of which I had never before seen

Of course we went to the beach, again and again and again.

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Where Mr. Sandwich made sand castles, and Baguette destroyed them.

DCIM113SPORT

DCIM113SPORT

DCIM113SPORT

And then, on the way home, this happened.

Like Christmas in July for drought-stricken Californians
Like Christmas in July for drought-stricken Californians

“Go Outside Walk in Rain”

California is experiencing a record drought. To those caught in a polar vortex, our balmy winter temperatures may sound like paradise–but they actually indicate a really big problem.

Winter is our rainy season, and we just haven’t gotten rain this year. But finally, starting Thursday evening, we did get some. By Friday, the streets along my route to work were flooded, with cars or water or both. I chose to go home and work from my kitchen table, and that turned out to be the right choice; when I did head in, my drive was only about 30 minutes. It would easily have been two and a half hours if I’d gone during rush hour, like everyone else.

There have been breaks in the weather, but for the most part it’s been pretty wet. And it’s wonderful.

Baguette is in heaven. She loves the rain, and her boots, and her raincoat. Thursday night, she had me take her out at 8 p.m., and I swear I could see her beaming in spite of the nighttime darkness.

This afternoon, she walked to the front door, rattled the knob, and said, “Go outside walk in rain.” So of course we both suited up and splashed down the sidewalk, even when it was pouring. She had me sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” about four times, and she signed it along with me.

Walking hand in hand in the rain with my little girl? I can’t think of a lovelier way to spend the afternoon. Even though it turns out that my trenchcoat has sprung a leak.

Rainboots

Thankful Thursday

Looking back, it’s clear that weather is on my mind a lot this November–all but one of my Thankful Thursdays have been related to that topic! And since we’re having a grey, rainy spell here in sunny southern California, it’s on my mind today as well.

I’d love to say that I’m thankful for heat–but I can’t say that yet. Our HVAC unit is finally scheduled for replacement . . . Wednesday of next week.

But there’s one thing that makes any day sunny, no matter the weather:

I’m thankful for Baguette’s smiles. I love that girl so much.

This is Winter?

I live in L.A., which means it never gets that cold. Mind you, you’ll find plenty of people bundled up against the weather. But it doesn’t rain that much, and while the temperatures can drop over night, a really cold day in the L.A. area has highs in the 50s.

That said, this winter has been unusually warm and dry. We usually have spring-like weather for a few days around New Year’s, and then some more in February. This year, though, we’ve had the occasional chilly day, but most of the time our highs have been in the 70s and even 80s.

While this sounds great to someone shivering through a snowstorm, consider this: winter is southern California’s rainy season. And along with our lack of cold, we have a lack of precipitation. It is really, really dry.

So to my fellow Angelenos, I guess I should say this: while the weather’s good, start planning your home fireproofing measures. If we don’t get more rain, this fall’s going to be a doozy.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rain Study 2

Actually, I like the rain, except when I have to commute in it. But I do think that the rain predicted for today and Sunday is going to put a damper (that only sounds like a pun) on our usual activities.

What do you do with an 18-month-old who would love it if I just sat next to her and let her watch Elmo all day long? Because I’m not going to let her do that.

Photo by amandabhslater, via Flickr.