Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Computer Glitches, Camping and Quotes

It's been quiet here on the Best Family Adventures blog. It's not that we haven't been busy, but while I didn't confess any resolution on New Year's Eve, I suppose I made myself a personal commitment to spend less time on this confounded machine. That means fewer blog entries, perhaps, and an end to daily updates on the Charitable Deeds project. Less frequent e-mail checks. No farm-related online applications or related time-sucks unless one of the girls is playing during a break from their busy real lives. It's not that I don't enjoy sharing, but something's gotta give, and spending less time with the computer is an obvious and relatively easy change for the better.

So, why is it, if I haven't blogged in more than a week and have left Facebook and related apps behind, I haven't spent ANY less time on the computer? Best Family Adventures: Santa Barbara County, that's why! This past weekend, Mr. B took the girls out for (most of) a day so I could have one WHOLE day, relatively uninterrupted, to complete this book project long in the making. Doing all the work after 9 p.m. makes for some long, late nights, and working when I'm already tired means I'm easily distracted. I figured a good, solid, morning start would do the trick. And it worked! The interior pages are COMPLETE. (This is me doing my happy dance.) By Friday I hope to have the cover completed, and the whole package prepped for the printer and out the door!

Of course, spending that much time on a computer that's suddenly acting whacky has also ensured I stay off my traditional blogging M.O. For the past couple of weeks, when I've plugged in the external hard drive (where all of our photos are stored until they can be backed up on to DVDs and printed for that old-school form of backup called PHOTO ALBUMS), I invariably face mayhem on the computer. Files vanish. Really. So, rather than risk losing the HUNDREDS of hours I've spent on this book, I won't be downloading photos from the camera, uploading photos to the 'net, or even plugging in that black box until the final disc is burned and shipped off to the printer. (Yes, I've backed up on DVDs, so I have it saved in various forms. Still...why risk it?)

While awaiting the book's final map file deliveries (yes, this one has professional maps), we enjoyed a lovely camping trip with friends at nearby Lopez Lake. We camped the same week last year and FROZE our buns off! This year? T-shirt weather by day; jackets the first evening; sweatshirts around the fire on the final evening. We hiked, played in the lake, visited, read, watched the kids explore, and managed to use Dutch ovens every night. I'm very pleased to report that I have graduated from knowing just two Dutch oven recipes (Peterson Peach Cobbler and Wilder Blueberry Pudding) to knowing (gasp!) FIVE workable Dutch oven recipes. I can now complete a MEAL! Made some scrumptious chili Friday night, and Oops-I-Forgot-Potatoes Stew with corn bread Thursday night.

Photos soon... thanks for tuning in.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely. Broad, wholesome, charitable views can not be acquired by vegetating in one's little corner of Earth." - Mark Twain

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lightening the Mood

While wrapping up my thoughts on A Year of Living Charitably, I came across this ditty I found far more enjoyable:
Photo courtesy Thomas Hawk under Creative Commons License.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

"Look, Mom! It's a Bisexual Scarecrow"

Such was my greeting upon re-entering our backyard, home of some big gardening projects to start the new year. Mr. B and I planted posts on New Years Eve in hopes that a grape arbor would spring up in the New Year.

Lo and behold, fewer than 24 hours later, our grape arbor was nearly complete. (Something about triangular math not quite measuring up leaves us one piece short 'til payday.)

Meanwhile, the girls worked on replacing the old rotted scarecrow with a new man. Turns out this one's special.

"Look, Mom! It's a bisexual scarecrow! It has a boy's haircut, girl's cheeks, earrings and a caricature of Dad's nose."

I managed to keep a straight face, but the tears leaking out of the corners of my eyes nearly gave me away.

Welcome to 2010!

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