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Starting September -- Almost Fall

August 30 - Sept 7
written September 7+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

The premise of these diaries is that we will be better off with an illustrated record of our lives.  I still believe in that, maybe more so when the topics I find I am writing about are as ordinary as they are this time.  Without a diary, we might not remember any of what went on through the first week of September, 2014.  That would be a shame, because it might repeat week after week, month after month, year after year.  That said, visitors may not find this notable.  Oh well.

On the August 30th weekend, we took Mamo up to Shaver Lake to join the local Hungarian community celebrate Hungarian National Day (August 20).  The day commemorates the thousand-year-old founding of an independent Hungary and also offers a chance for locals to overeat traditional delicacies.  My favorite is langos, a fried flat-bread done extremely well by the Fresno cooks.
One route up and another back.
Socializing with a wonderful Sierra view.

Monday and after we had no major focus.  Marianne ran errands, both our own and some helping Mamo.  Without a car, I often find myself just wandering around our neighborhood.  The neighborhood, The Tower District, remains an interesting mix.
Our old neighborhood has a fair number of old trees and some will not handle the current drought as they age further.
Street scenes range from fliers for eclectic attractions to classic California homes.

On the first Thursday of every month, the Fresno Arthop opens downtown artists' studios and galleries.   We visited this month, after being far too busy for the past several.
Displays include a wide variety of art products, from paintings to furniture.
I particularly liked this symmetric photo collage and the photo-like painting of Studebaker grills.  Can you tell that the painted horizon circles are the inverse, one of the other?

Our other neighborhood development is the arrival of Babi, Marianne's sister, husband Ruben, dachshund Max, and egg-laying hen Penny.  They have moved into a house a couple blocks from us, backing right up to the neighborhood train tracks.

On Saturday (6th) we took Mamo out for breakfast and a long drive through local farm countryside.
Grapes turn to raisins in September.  The San Joaquin valley is the source of all US raisins and a large fraction  of the world's market for the dried fruit.
We saw miles and miles of other fruit orchards too and stopped for pictures of peaches and pomegranates.

After our farm tour, we stopped by the local garden nursery for their Saturday-evening food truck festival.  Nice neighbor.

Now it is Sunday, and nothing is planned.  Maybe that's what will happen.

John and Marianne

Meanwhile, the garage and bocce court project is on the home stretch.
The back door has been replaced with a more-authentic design.  Details, they will drive us nuts.
Meanwhile, Marianne is finishing our bocce court score board -- one-of-a-kind
As for the court itself, we ordered oyster shell for the top covering and Ben and Rick worked to level it out.  Unfortunately, the first attempt was too thick, so I re-spread the shells thinner and now we need more leveling.  At this late stage, we also learned that we used the wrong form of oyster shells.  We should have used "flour", a finely ground version, not the little shell chunks we just spread around.  Hopefully, we will be able to just apply the flour over the top.  Amateurs!
Kenny also has started the last of the concrete work.  Pretty soon our dirt patch will be covered and Marianne art hut can stay cleaner!
Marianne did succeed at finishing our bocce score board.  Looks great!
On Friday (12th) I had hopes that all the heavy work would be done.  John and Paul cleaned up the dirt and Kenny started with the concrete walkways.  Unfortunately, he could only do a part, the rest will wait for Monday.  We are tired of waiting for things to be done!


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