Yes, I'm still alive.
Where to start?
Most of the hot summer is behind us but we're still having air quality problems. Ray's been in and out of the hospital a few times - he's home right now.
Jim's so called desk job in Iraq has turned into flying here and there. I heard from him yesterday - he spent last week in Baghdad. He says he's staying very busy.
Tim and I are hanging out whenever we can. His friend in Fresno is in the chorus of the Fresno Grand Opera so we went yesterday to see him (and the rest of the cast of course) in La Boheme. I took the train down (Tim was already there) and we all had breakfast. Then we saw the opera which was wonderful. I was so surprised to find that kind of quality in the middle of the farming area. They do two major productions a year and I'm already planning on Faust next June. They import the leading singers; all of whom are young, extremely talented and on their way up.
We were planning to attend a pizza party for the cast later but decided on a quiet dinner instead. I still met some of the cast in the parking lot and that was enough.
Tim may move to Fresno next year. He's been busy with college here but his credits will transfer to either the Junior College or Fresno State so no problem. And the job market may be a little better in the larger city. It's awful here. Businesses are closing down almost every day, houses are either standing half build or empty. We made the New York and London Times as one of the most depressed cities in the country. I can think of better ways to be famous. Of course it's bad everywhere.
And, now that the court hearing has been held, I can say that the girls are back in town and living with their dad - right around the corner. I see quite a bit of them - they show up to raid the refrigerator and I've tried to have them over for dinner most weekends. It's great to have them close.
I've been somewhat involved in local politics which is nothing new. I haven' t been able to do much but I've helped with phone banks. I just can't seem to walk or even stand for any length of time without paying dearly. We did get to one rally at the University and I'll do a little more this week.
Our tomatoes are still producing. For some reason they turned from plants into very tall bushes. Strange. We had a few bell peppers too.
Oh, and my kitty died last month. She'd been slowing down a lot so it didn't come a shock but still we were sad. Spunky had been part of our family for around 10 years or so. Now I have a visiting cat. He lives in the front house and used to visit us often. Then I didn't see him for months. He turned up a couple of weeks ago so I went and bought a small sack of cat food. He comes in each morning for a snack and water, visits for about an hour, and then leaves. Sometimes he repeats in the afternoon. He's a beautiful, neutered male, mostly Siamese and mostly while with streaks of light orange on his ears and tail. Great cat - much more affectionate than most Siamese I've know. Dawn's daughter named him Sally when he first started turning up months ago. We explained Sally was a boy but the name stuck. It can always be short for Salvatore.
I should go back and read from I wrote in the last post - I may be repeating.
I've been doing some baking - experimenting with different kinds of bread. We decided we like the banana the best and it's certainly the most economical. I can get day old bananas at half price and friend Janet and I picked up large sacks of walnuts and pecans at Costco.
I'll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. My friend, the computer geek and his wife, will be here, possibly Tim and his friend later in the day, and possibly the girls with their dad. As usual, I'll cook for an army. Melissa (Jim's wife) and the kids are always invited of course.
Baby Zachary is walking and Jonathan is talking a blue streak. They're adorable.
I think that's about it from me for now.
Take care everyone. It's cooler now so maybe I can start spending a little more time at the computer. I've missed keeping up with all of you but it's been almost impossible.