The food part of this blog has moved to I'll see all you foodies over there!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Back to Hiking

Walked our first hike of the season to Suicide Rock. The same hike that started off my hiking interest last spring. 6.5 miles was just about right. Not a single (human) soul on the trail, and not too hot. Nice mellow hike.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ernie Maxwell Trail

Hiked Ernie Maxwell Trail in its entirety for the first time. Had always turned around halfway since the kids were with me. Hard to believe I hadn't done this one yet since it is one of the popular trails up here in Idyllwild. It was a nice, quiet trail. Came across only one person. Having too many people on the trails always ruins the enjoyment of being in the wilderness. Going during the week is the key. 5 miles roundtrip, 1:50. Elevation gain: 400', rated easy for hiking novices, families, and hikers who have let themselves get out of shape (like me.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day of School

The day has finally come...the first day of school. Although they were a little bummed their summer vacation is over, (no more staying up late and sleeping in, and more importantly, no more playing ALL DAY), they had a good first day back. Abby was the most excited of the three, probably because 1st grade is still fun and games. They've been half-ass practicing going to bed early, they had no problems waking up early. I had the hardest time of all. My body's still used to sleeping in till 9am. (nice life, huh?) This year all three FINALLY go the whole day, giving me some free time. After dropping them off, did a short hike up Deer Springs to the wilderness border. Try to make it a regular thing so my body gets used to hiking again. And I'll start hiking with David again on Fridays, hopefully hitting some new trails. I have my iPod now, so maybe I won't think about the pain as much, and David not talking won't be so bad.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Scott, Bill, and Anthony stopped by on their motorcycles and gave the kids a ride. They were stoked. Joe came by and ran away with Scott's goggles. Joe's the neighborhood menace dog. Scott gave Joe some cookies and got them back. Anthony was cracking up pretty hard!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Last Days of Summer

We headed down to San Diego for our last getaway before school starts. The kids did so much in the five days we were there. Started off playing at Mission Bay Park...

It was really warm, getting a nice cool down...

Allied Gardens Pool. The kids sure love the pool...

Teru and Takeru

Mission Bay

Portraits from the Picture People (thanks Karen for the coupon :) )

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil... cute!

Bahia Point...Sage getting suplexed by Teru.

Playing with Kaichi. Our family has been friends with his dad since I was in elementary school. He came to visit from Japan for a week.

Ate lunch at the famous Tommy Burgers...I think the kids prefer a regular ol' hamburger...

Playing basketball at the Rec center.

La Jolla Shores
Abby and Takeru collecting shells...

Yamamoto-san and his son, Kaichi. He is 11-yrs. old, just the right age for our kids to play together. He was such a crackup, the kids just couldn't stop laughing...

Takeru making sandballs to throw at his dad...

Arm wrestling tournament...

A group picture on the stairs in my dad's backyard. This is the place where we always take pictures. When I look back at old pictures, I can see the bushes on the side getting bigger...
It was really nice to see Yamamoto-san again. Last time was 9 years ago when Emi was a baby. I'm glad the kids all had fun together. Sage was really happy to play with a boy. It was like having an older brother for a few days. A nice end to a pretty active summer break. Pretty soon, back to hectic school days...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Farewell to Dave Thompson

A good buddy of David's is moving away to Flagstaff. He was adored by the kids, and we really enjoyed his company whenever he came by to ride with David. We will miss you, and as David puts it, "There will never be another Dave." Best wishes to your new life in Flag.
Look, we Simpsonized you!

Darth Maul

It's been a while since I've drawn. Sage asked me to draw Darth Maul from an image on a postage stamp. I must say, it came out better than I expected. Pencil on paper.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hacky Sack

Every time we go camping, I wish we had a hacky sack. Since we can't buy one around here, and everytime I'm in the city, I forget to get one, I decided to make my own. At first, the instructions called for embroidery floss and a really small crochet hook. It was too small for me to see what I was doing, so I practiced on yarn first (and got a humongous one), then tried it with floss (and got a tiny one), so now I'm working on a third one. Hopefully this one will come out right. Its amazing the things you can make with a little effort.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

My first attempt at laundry detergent. Only four basic ingredients: laundry bar soap, baking soda (was supposed to use washing soda, but accidentally bought the wrong thing, although I've found some recipes calling for baking soda), borax, and water. It didn't turn out the way I thought it would, after the 24-hour rest period, some of it solidified and created a layer on top. But if I shake the bottle before each use, it might work. For less than $1.50, it made 2 gallons. Next time, I'll try the washing soda.
Had kept some bottles and filled them up. Will do laundry tomorrow, keeping my fingers crossed...
One day, my parents forgot to put detergent in their washer, and the clothes still came out clean. Makes you wonder... I figure, if the clothes aren't heavily soiled, this detergent should do the trick. We'll see...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Emi's Painting

Emi's painting of Mt. McKinley from a photo she found in an Ansel Adams book. It came out pretty good, and I think she was stoked. Took her about 2 1/2 hrs. Acrylic on canvas board.

1st Baseball Game

Took the kids to see their first baseball game, the Lake Elsinore Storm (minor team for the Padres.) Sage had been bugging me all summer about taking him to see a game. So we finally went, and thought it'd be fun if their friends went too. We had great seats, it wasn't crowded, and the weather was just right. Couldn't of asked for anything better. The kids had a good time, hangin' out with their buddies.

It was Disney night, there's Mr. Incredible, Snow White, and Robin Hood, and the team mascot riding a quad.

There were 17 of us, yes, that sounds like a lot, but it was a good group and it was a lot of fun. This may be the start of an annual tradition...

Our seats were 10 rows from the field. This would of been impossible at a major league game, unless we wanted to pay $50. For $9 a seat, what a great deal.

Sage and his friend Ben, with Thunder, the mascot. The girls thought he was mean and didn't want to get near him...

Sage and Ben were determined to get some autographs. In front is the Inland Empire 66ers' bullpen. It's funny, one guy's doing the "peace" sign.

To the kids, it was celebrity night...

After the game, a few players came out to the parking lot to sign autographs. Emi's getting her hat signed.

Emi's first picture with a professional (?) athlete. Hopefully she'll grow up to like athletes for their talents instead of their looks.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Sage's latest Lego creation...a carnival. Complete with game booths, rides, ticket booth, restrooms, and an ambulance. Pretty cool.