Yup........today's Seth's 31st birthday ! I have to wish him a "Happy Birthday" in this post as I haven't seen him for about a week and a half......even though he lives a mere 15 miles down the road ! Seems the climbing weather has been near perfect and so climb he does ! Climbing remains his passion, his salvation and his true joy.........and I hear he's never climbed better than he has been lately. Go for it, Bubba !.........when you climb it's a thing of beauty and I'm so proud of you've chosen such an awesome way of life !........kisses to both you and your lovely lady, Amanda. Tomorrow my Mom is driving up to Auburn and we're excited about having lunch at Max's.......a bay area restaurant that just opened a place up here. ......best cole slaw ever !! It's so freakin' hot the last couple of days just to eat lunch in an air conditioned location will be a treat My old friend from high school, Stan is coming up on Wednesday......both Jim and I were good friends with him and it's always a treat to have him visit.
A year ago tomorrow, a little before midnight, I got the call from Tess that Ryan was in the hospital.......as you all know Ryan died that night. As Tess said recently, " What a difference a year makes". .........Life , indeed , goes on........as it should, as it must.
Yesterday Josh's band Werewolf-Afro played on one of the main stages at the Utah State Fair !! I was thinking about him all day and wishing I had gotten my act together and driven there to see them........I'm sure they were awesome, plus I think I may have been able to kick-butt in that popcorn eating contest that preceded them! Way to go Joshy ! I guess Josh's kids were not so thrilled with seeing their Dad on stage......apparently they couldn't wait to go see the pigs!!! It was supposed to rain today , but so far not a drop in sight.......now I feel guilty that I didn't water anything today. Guess there's still time for a drop or two......time for Jenny and I to get our "Rain Dance" on ! I've been spending the day so far prepping apples and green peppers for the freezer.......and, in able to get them in the freezer, I spent a good deal of time cleaning and rearranging the inside of the freezer. Plenty of room for all now and nothing falls out when I open the door ! Now if I can get Jim to stop working on the deck I can curl up with a book without feeling guilty ! Probably an impossibility, but a girl can dream.
It's that time of year.......this will probably be the last of our sweet Asian eggplant. If I had to choose, these little purple eggplant would win my vote for favorite veggie ! They're so versatile and easy to build a meal around. Some years we are still harvesting them well into October, but this year the garden in general seems to be giving out early. Tonight I'm also using the last really big tomato ........the tomatoes from now on out will be pretty small. So, tonight's dinner will be the last of one of my favorite Summer meals.........tomato on whole wheat sandwiches, carrot casserole and baked eggplant. Adios, fresh veggies...........you will be missed !! This afternoon I headed down and had lunch with Seth and Amanda.......they've both been so busy.........Amanda working, Seth rock climbing!......that I haven't seen much of them lately. It was great to see them and I'm looking forward to having a Birthday Barbecue for Seth in a week or so. Maybe rain this weekend........that will be a hard adjustment.......however, on the bright side.......no more watering the gardens !!
Darn ! No colorful pictures......I forgot my camera, but what a fun night it was !! Small town fair......foothills people.....hogs, chickens, cows and lots of greasy food thrown in for good measure! Ohhh, I loved the smell of the barns......those of you that know me know I really mean that !..........I want a cow or a pig and I really want a barn to put them in !........childhood fantasies die hard ! I got Jim to concede that he also digs that barnyard smell........maybe there's hope for the future !!! After the barn browsing we headed to the food wagons.......and I must admit they smelled good also !! It took us a long time to choose.......deep-fried what shall we eat ? Jim decided on chicken wings and I wimped out and went for a somewhat healthy chicken wrap.......and immediately wished I'd gotten a corn dog ! Life is so full of poor decision making ! I made the best of my meal and we headed over to the hypnotist's tent......pretty entertaining stuff. Toward the end of the show I got a call from Molly .......they had arrived at the fair with surprise guests......Dan and Anna ! We made our way over to the stage .........hugs and kisses.....planted ourselves amongst the crowd and waited for the headliner to begin.......Jackie Green ! Jim and I have been following Jackie almost since the beginning of this career......he was a 19 year from Placerville , amazing songwriter- guitar player. He's made it into the big time now and plays all over the country. We hadn't seen him for several years and he's changed his style and music......I don't think for the better......but he's still pretty awesome ! I eventually made it up to the stage.....total immersion ....and much more to my liking ! I danced all night long , big smile on my face ! We walked back to the car with the kids.......kisses and hugs goodbye......and drove home......ears still ringing......big smile still on my face !
What a wonderful weekend !! Josh and his family arrived late Friday night. They got a late start because their 14 year old dog, Kiowa, woke up in a bad way and they needed to put her down. Always such a sad occasion , certainly not how they wanted to begin their weekend. Kiowa had been in pretty bad shape for a while so it wasn't a total shock, but still so sad. Saturday we headed up to "downtown" to the Foresthill Heritage Festival. The kids got to gold pan and came away with a little vial of gold. Jim and I headed down to my Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary...it was a lovely party and great to see all the relatives. Afterwards some us went over to Mom's for a little "after-party" and Josh, Mel and kids came down and met us there. We had a delicious Chinese dinner and more hilarious visiting ! Sunday was the highlight of the weekend.......my Mom and Dad were actually in the same room at the same time and everyone enjoyed it !!! Yep.......for a variety of reasons this was the first time in about 30 years. Denny and Joan also came up , as well as Dan and Anna, Molly, Ross and Ross's sister Jesse and of course, Josh and family were there also. We enjoyed lunch on the deck with lots of conversation and lots of reminiscing. I hope now that he's tested the waters my Dad will feel more comfortable joining all our family get-togethers........life's way too short to not share them with the ones you love. We ended the day with an all out competitive basketball game in the driveway.......Tia was awesome in her little pink skirt, flip-flops and scary game face on ! Half the crowd left after the game and then we gained one when Amanda came up and joined us for dinner. Standard on- the- deck summer barbecue..........kebobs, pilaf and huge green salad. All- in-all.......an amazing, fun and emotionally fulfilling weekend.......as Ross always says........."Life is good"..........yes, indeed.
The other night Jim and I enjoyed a wonderful fresh salmon dinner.......from Norway ! It was delicious fish and seemed extra fresh and clean......just like Norway ! Hopefully Raleys will be carrying this brand from now on. Apple pies have been consuming my life the last couple of days......I have a freezer full . I'll keep my fingers crossed.........no power outages !!! We've been drying peaches from the orchard by the pound. So delicious and I know those will be safe and sound....no matter what the electrical situation . The next onslaught will be peppers of all shapes, colors and taste. Most of those I'll freeze and enjoy in recipes all winter long. Josh and family will be here day after tomorrow......I'm so excited. Cookies and casseroles to make tomorrow.......I don't want to waste time cooking while they're here. Real hot the next couple of days , but cooling off this weekend......perfect weather for visiting and game playing out on the deck .