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Family Gatherings

March 14-17
written March 16+
Dear Friends and Families,

I'm not sure this diary will be interesting to many, but I'd like to keep up our record of our own activities.  History has shown us that, occasionally, we like to know in future years what we were up to "way back then."  I suppose memory should be good enough, but photos and written notes are FAR more reliable!

Home work is dominated by gardening and digging.  Gardening seems to be reasonably productive, based on progress in the rose garden at least.  But digging?  The goal is to be able to remove some of the old water piping in the yard since it is no longer needed and would always be a risk for backyard fountains we would NOT want.  However, after hours of digging, and under-the-house investigation, I still don't know where we can cut off the old pipes.  Maybe this week I'll succeed and be able to rest peacefully.


On Saturday, we tried the first of our locally-grown fruit.  Fresno's Mong community grows some great fruit, and we were hoping strawberries would be ready and, almost, they were.  Oh well, the berries may have been marginal, but we enjoyed an excursion with Mamo.


I think we are about to shift to outside dining, something we might do in Germany in May or June.  Fresno's heat will be something to complain about in mid-summer, but for now we love this climate.

On Sunday, we had more house and yard work and then a family gathering over at Babi's house for "Reuben's Famous Fried Chicken". The calendar says it is still winter, but the afternoon in the 80's was perfect for outdoor cooking.
I am tired of digging, although it is good exercise
Nice family gathering.
Reuben's chicken was great and Scarlett got a lesson for next time.
Monday was normal busy.  I started with an attempt to fix the windows of the little shed that Marianne wants to use as a studio.  I worked on four window frames and only broke the glass on the last one.  Darn, now I need a whole new skill: glass replacement.  I'm not sure why I volunteer to take on tasks I have never done before.

We also had an appointment with the Fresno Water Department landscape expert who gave us guidance in creating a low-water garden.  Susan was great, both in providing planting ideas and in setting up our new automatic sprinkler controller.  This last, controller setting, isn't easy.  City rules are that watering can only be three days a week, between 7pm and 6am.  In July, we will need about 45 minutes a week watering, broken down into two or three sets of five to seven minutes each and, for now, we need to shorten each of those times by about half.  For our seven-zone system, that translated into 54 separate zone start times every week!  Engineering power plants was easier.  As for the plantings, we will keep the diaries informed as we move forward.

We ended the day with a family gathering at our place for St. Patrick's Day.  All family Hungarians and Mexicans were temporarily Irish and the beer was green.  Marianne's corn beef and cabbage was a hit, even though half the folks had never had it before.

On Tuesday we got the Lowes' delivery of our new BBQ and a kit for a gazebo.   Oh boy, another project.  And we prepared for a photo trip up into the Sierras on Wednesday and Thursday.  But that's another story.

Regards, stay in touch.

John and Marianne


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