The past couple of weeks we have been getting some much needed rain. I love the rain, because it means green grass on the hills and clean air. Unfortunately, we don't get much, if any, in the summer, which gets old when it's hot and dusty, but for the time that we do get it, all of the Valley is rejoicing! One of the great benefits of Valley rain is the view we are left with after a good storm. We are surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the East and the Coastal Range on the West, but except for a good rain, most of the time you wouldn't even know it. That's a sad statement, but true. It's not one we as Fresnan's like to brag about, but something we have to live with. Like any city that sits in a valley with a lot of agriculture and people, the air isn't always the cleanest...then put that city in California...well, need I say more. But I digress! Here we are in the time of year when I like living in this valley and love the view, so I thought I'd share it with you today. I live just a short jaunt from Cal State, Fresno, and Diesel and I regularly walk or jog the Ag fields. Makes me feel a little like I'm back in Kentucky as a girl taking a walk in the country. The view, the day I took these pictures, was just breathtaking....and Diesel was enjoying it as much as me!
Sierra Nevada's to the East
That's my neighborhood straight ahead. Alfalfa fields...a dog's playground! It's as if he's saying,"Are you coming?" He even leaps canals in a single bound! Notice I never take his leash off. We are still working on the "come" command. The leash is a little more insurance that I'll get him back in a hurry if I need too!
As an early birthday celebration, Dave and I took off this morning with the Rocca clan to the World Ag Expo just an hour down the road in Tulare. It is the largest agriculture show in the world. After walking it for seven hours I can see why. They said we had seen about half of what was there! What birthed the idea of going to the farm show is Dave's love of anything John Deere. His grandpa was a wheat, rye and barley farmer in eastern Colorado owning 640 acres. Even though he didn't grow up in Colorado, they would go back there most years to help with the harvest. Dave has fond memories of riding on the combines and grain trucks with his grandpa, which is where his love of John Deere comes from. He has a small collection of toy replicas of all of his grandpa's tractors and combines, as well as many other miscellaneous John Deere items, including a few that we picked up today.
So here we are 10 days before the big 50 heading down Highway 99 to Tulare to the Ag show. Randy and his dad go every year, and with good reason as raisin growers, and I've taken the kids once six years ago, but this was Mr. T's first time.
Getting ready this morning....Dave putting on his John Deere socks that Tina and Terrell gave him this past Christmas. Can you read what it says?
Entering the Expo
We're here! Randy, Dave and Earl, name tags on and ready to go...
This is the entrance into the expo....One of many large streets inside the expo Group photo This one is for my dad. He's an Aflac representative and always gives us fun "duck" paraphernalia. When we went by the Aflac booth and saw the duck, I just couldn't resist. This was at the Dewalt booth. This is the car that was driven in the Nascar races this past year....can't remember the driver's name, but I'm sure some of you Nascar lovers will know who he is. The long awaited John Deere tent and tractor display!
Just gotta try a few out. "So, that's not too big for the lawn, is it honey?"
"Or maybe this one?"
A love affair with green...(we actually put him up to this one)
Checking it out a little closer....
Besides anything farm that you can see at the expo, they also have great food. We had tri-tip sandwiches for lunch and Hanford's Superior Dairy ice cream...a local favorite.
Randy and Christy in front of yet another big tractor
How would you like to change that tire?!
This is like the wheat harvester Dave's grandpa used to use only a whole lot newer, safer and high tech. They are just huge!!!
Taking in the view....
...and the end of a great day. Many thanks to Rusty for driving us all down and Randy and Christy for showing us around. Dave loved it.....10 days till 50 and counting!
Diesel's latest trick is to steal this laundry basket. It's light enough for him to carry around. Now all I need to do is train him to put the laundry into the basket (as compared to eating the laundry) and carry it to the washer for me. Diesel the Super-dog....that's what we'll call him.
He so knows he's not getting away with it... Poor guy, just looks like he's begging to keep it. What kind of master am I anyway?!
Yesterday was Superbowl Sunday. I was never much into football growing up, but having been married for 23 years to a man who knows a lot about football, I have grown accustomed to spending the fall and winter watching and somewhat following the sport. Dave is no football fanatic. He says he was in his younger years, kind of like our son now. Knew every stat on every player, including baseball and basketball too (he still has a vast knowledge of those things..amazes me how guys can keep up with all that information). But he still loves the game and it's always more fun to watch a good game with friends. I have grown to love it too, well sort of. I still have trouble figuring out what is going on most of the time, but he is very patient to explain things to me over and over again (hey, good prep for when I'm old). I've actually grown so used to it that it just doesn't seem like fall if there isn't a football game on. Well anyway, that was a huge detour to this post. Who doesn't love to watch the Superbowl, if for no other reason than the commercials! There were some good ones this year, minus the few that always get thrown in the mix that make you wonder if you are watching the Superbowl at 3pm or late night television. I like the Budweiser ones the best I think. Don't go having a heart attack or anything. I don't drink beer..can't stand the stuff...except once when I had an upset tummy and my sister made me. But their commercials are great....my favorite was the one with the Dalmatian playing fetch, then the Clydesdale decides to do the same. If you haven't seen it, look it up on YouTube. It's probably there.
For the second year in a row Dave has made his wonderful bierocks for the Superbowl. It is no small task. Lots of preparation, but he loves to cook and he loves sharing them with all of us grateful, hungry people. He made the hamburger/cabbage mixture on Saturday night and the dough on Sunday. Then it's time to put it all together. We have this wonderful tool from my Pampered Chef days that I can't even remember the name of now. It's a little sandwich press. There are two sizes...he uses the big one for the bierocks. They are so yummy and we eat them way too fast for how long they take to make.
Above is the evidence of his hard work....below, the finished product.
Chef Teter Christy will love me for this picture...she's enjoying some dessert We had Dave's bierocks and Christy's chili, which was very yummy. Then dessert...need I say more? Dave and this killer apple-raisin pie from Sunmaid....very good. There's a plug for you Randy (he grows for Sunmaid). Just doing my duty as a good friend. Truth be known this is why we really got together at Rocca-land. They got a new TV and it's huge and wonderful to watch. You can even see the small print on the commercials!
Wife of 23 years to David, Mom to Josh - 19, Jenna - 17 and Nacoya - 16. Voice teacher, choir director and church choir member. I love the outdoors... ocean and mountains, my family, friends, pretty flowers, quiet mornings and more than all that, Jesus.