Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fun times at the Lane County Fair!

The Lane County Fair started last week and ends tomorrow. Since we can’t go to the Fair until the weekend, we went today. We had an early dinner before we headed out because the food sold at the Fair is expensive! One year that we went, we paid over $50 for a cheeseburger/fries/soda meal for all 4 of us. Since we have to watch our budget, we ate our dinner early and then we headed out to the Fair.

Because we usually spend a lot of money when we go to the Fair, I had planned to save up for it this year. Last year’s attempt to save for the Fair failed, but this year, I was able to save for it! Yay! And I’m so glad I did, too.

There was something totally awesome at the Fair this year: They had ride bracelets for sale at $50 each giving the person wearing them unlimited rides! That is SO COOL! I found out about it while watching the local news earlier this week. So, the money I saved came in pretty handy after all, as it got the kids those bracelets. Unfortunately, the bracelets were only good until 10 p.m. (with the fair closing at 11), so we spent as much time as possible making sure the kids went on as many rides as they could!

Something else was different when we went to the Fair this year. Usually, when we go, we have such a hard time finding a place to park. As it normally happens, we end up parking the car blocks away from the Fair, on a city street, and walking quite a ways there and back. Not so this year! This year, they had an extra parking lot available. It cost $10 to park there, but it’s WORTH it since it was right next to the Fair! I am so glad we had that convenience this year.

And, finally, a third thing was different for us at the Fair this year: Jennifer got to enjoy the Fair solo. First she went on a ride with her dad (with me escorting Jesse to rides) then she headed out on her own. Last year, we took one of her friends along, and the two girls went on rides together on their own. This year, Jennifer was going it alone. I was nervous, but I reminded myself that she is a teenager now and should be able to take care of herself at the Fair. We DID keep in touch via text messaging, though.

Jesse had so much fun going on lots of rides! He loved it! One ride did scare him a little – and he went on it again! LOL! I have to say, compared to last year, he went on more rides than ever. I was SO grateful for those bracelets! We usually have to tell the kids they can’t go on anymore rides because we usually run out of money to pay for the ickets. That didn’t happen this year and I’m glad they got to enjoy so many rides. Yay!

Oh, and I went on one ride, too. My favorite ride: The Haunted Mansion. Here is a pic of me and Jesse in front of it.



And here are pics of Jesse on the rides. He also got to play games thanks to the bracelet and I took a pic of that too.



















 He sure did have so much fun going on lots of rides!

Also, last year, Jennifer bought some kind of fried pastry thing called an Elephant Ear. After she bit into it, she was all like, "ZOMG! These are SO GOOD!!" So I tried one this year. In fact, I made it my mission to have an Elephant Ear from the Fair this year! And she was right: They ARE good. Very big, too. I couldn't eat all of it. LOL But Jennifer ate all of hers AND what was left of mine!

Here is a picture of Jen enjoying her Elephant Ear:



And here is a pic of Jen when she was on the ride with her dad:

We had a really great time at the Fair!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gender-neutral clothing? Yes, please!

This morning, as I sat at the kitchen table drinking coffee and reading news articles on my phone, I came across this article and the title alone got me excited. However, I wanted to read the article first before I did any celebrating, just to be sure it said what the headline actually said that it said. (Darn devious headlines!) Happily, the article was indeed about how some clothing stores out there are FINALLY recognizing that women are tired of the whole “men’s clothing” and “women’s clothing” separations in stores. I got a feeling that men might be tired of it, too. I showed this article to my daughter and told her, “It’s about time!” She read the headline, got excited and said, “Finally!”

Finally, indeed.

Both my daughter and I have NOT been happy with the clothes available for sale in the “women’s clothing” departments in stores. She just doesn’t like the designs on them and they don’t fit her right, either. (She is painfully thin and she doesn’t have much of a “figure”). As for me, I can never really find anything that I like when I shop in the “women’s clothing” department. Whenever I go through the clothes on a rack in those departments, my train of thought as I look at each item usually goes like this: Yuck. Yuck. Old lady. Yuck.

Also, I don’t like wearing clothes that are too revealing. I HATE V-collar shirts. And I also dislike shirts with a low front collar. Call me old fashioned, but I would REALLY like to wear a shirt that does not reveal the top part of my boobs. I also prefer long skirts (never one above the knee) and pris instead of shorts. Unfortunately, even in the women’s clothing department, a majority of the clothes available for sale make us out to be tramps! (I run into the same problem when shopping for a “women’s” Halloween costume. The collar is too low and the skirts are too short.) Also, I don’t particularly like wearing tops or shirts that are girly, flowery, rainbows and sunshine. Ugh.

In fact, I must confess: Almost all of the shirts I DO wear have come from the men’s department. That’s right; I buy and wear men’s clothes. They just have the COOLEST T-shirts and a lot of those clothes just fit better. And my daughter shops in the boy’s clothing department, too. (FYI: She is a gamer. Yes, there ARE girl gamers out there! And girls like stuff like zombies, skateboarding, Xtreme sports and surfing, too! But you won’t see those images on a shirt sold in the girl’s clothing department.)

The T-shirt I am actually wearing today came from the “men’s clothing” department. I bought it, and wear it, because I like the design. I like pirates, and Harley-Davidson is awesome! This is the shirt:



This is also another reason why I like to buy shirts at Hot Topic. They don’t have “men’s clothing” or “women’s clothing.” They just have all kinds of clothes on display everywhere – clothes that any guy or girl can buy. I like buying their T-shirts because they have some really cool designs and I don’t have to worry about it being for “boys” or “girls.” Their shirts are unisex. We should have more of that going on in other department stores.

I know this kinda thing is not limited to T-shirts. (As a side note, I wear T-shirts and not blouses.) This kinda thing applies to other types of clothing, too – jeans, shorts, swimwear, etc. But as far as my daughter and I are concerned, we appreciate it that there are retailers out there who are finally catching on that many consumers are growing tired of clothing being ONLY for men or ONLY for women. We gotta tear down those gender barriers! A guy should be able to buy and wear any kinda clothing he wants to in any part of a store. And you know what? So should a girl.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Disappointed? OK, let's go there...

Ever since my dad died, I have been having these dreams. I either see my dad, my mom, or both of them. So far, the dreams have been nice. One of them was a little weird, but for the most part, they have been pleasant.

That is, until last night’s dream.

Last night I dreamed that I was sitting at a table with my parents. My dad happened to say that he, my mom, and even my grandmother (his mom) had all been so disappointed with me for dropping out of college.

After I woke up from that dream, I thought to myself, Well, there wasn’t anymore money to PAY for college! I had no choice!

At the time that that had happened, I was living in my own house, paying the mortgage and half utilities (since I shared the place) and covering the usual living costs like gas, insurance, food, etc. So, yeah, after paying for all that stuff, money for school was a little tight. It got to where I could no longer afford to go to school. So, that’s why I had dropped out. I am not proud of this, but you know, it’s not like I can go back in time and change anything. I DID try going back to school later but stopped because of the same result. (I was denied all forms of financial aid, by the way.)

I have always hoped to go back to school. But there’s NEVER been any money for it. Especially after I had kids. I would LIKE to go back to school, but right now, it is just too much of a financial hardship.

All that stuff was in my head today as I thought about that dream. But then the more I thought about it, the angrier I started to feel. Why in the hell did I even HAVE that dream? I KNOW I’m not doing anything with my life right now – just floating through it because I don’t know WHAT to do ever since I walked away from being a writer – but is that dream supposed to be any help to me at all? I have already contacted schools about enrolling and they all said “we’ll get back to you” but they never did. Story of my freaking life!

But then the anger started building up over the whole “we are so disappointed in you” card my parents played in that stupid dream.

So they were disappointed in me for dropping out of college? Wow. You know what? I have a whole book full of things I am disappointed with THEM about.

Like the fact that my dad ALWAYS let his temper get the better of him and he hit his kids. Or threw things around the house when he got mad.

Or the fact that my parents took the mortgage money that I gave to them each month for a house that was in our names and instead of paying the mortgage, they gambled that money away at the casinos. Then, when the house went into lien, they wanted ME to file for bankruptcy. Thereby ruining my credit even more. (That case was dismissed but it was ALWAYS on my record.)

Or the fact that they wanted to use MY name on their utility bill accounts and when they went bust on those accounts, I had to take the fall.

Or the fact that they knew that their precious son, the youngest one, was molesting me but did NOTHING about it. Oh, and my dad even accused ME of bringing him on to cause him to do it. Nice!

And while we’re talking about the Golden Boy: I’m disappointed in my parents for allowing him to get away with so much crap that he pulled with his siblings and other people. He was NEVER at fault. And it was totally fine he could mooch off my parents for years while doing drugs.

I’m disappointed in my dad for giving up on me after my novel was a bust. I was new to the book world. I had no idea signing with a co-op publisher was a bad thing. Of course the book was doomed to fail. It was so nice of my dad to call me after ALL of that blew over and to tell me, “You messed up.” He pretty much stopped supporting my writing after that. Not that there's anything to support since I never really succeeded with the writing anyway.

I am disappointed with my dad for failing to give me his new address after he moved in Illinois. How nice it was to get back the Christmas card I sent to him, which had pictures of his grandchildren in it. Oh, and while we’re on that topic: I’m disappointed they never tried to reach out and connect with the kids. My mom’s mental state was deteriorating before she died, so I get it that she forgot about my son and could not communicate with the kids. But my dad never even TRIED. In fact, I am grateful to my husband’s father for at least stepping up and trying to be a grandfather to the kids in his own way.

But probably the biggest disappointment I have is that my parents lied to me about the accident my mom and I were in. They told me some story about it but then refused to let me see any newspaper clippings about it. I found out that the story was told wrong after communicating with one of my cousins back east. This cousin knew the story better.

I’m not surprised I was lied to about it. People who KNOW my family knew we were all liars and cheaters and outlaws. It’s not anything new! But I was hurt that I was not told the truth. And for all those years, I told EVERYBODY that same incorrect story. I felt pretty rotten after that.

So, as you can see, I have my OWN disappointments I can file against my parents. Wouldn’t do any good now, since they’re both dead. But I fail to see what good bringing up past disappointments would be. You want disappointments? Oh, have I got them! I’ve got LOTS of them! And not JUST about my parents. I have disappointments about my life. About myself. So, yeah, I know ALL ABOUT disappointments. You know, my parents are not the only ones who have let me down. Other people have let me down. I have even let myself down.

There’s pretty much not much more worse it can get from here. But of course I could be wrong. It’s been a crappy year. I don’t think it's going to be getting much better. But, yeah, I know about disappointments. I know ALL about them. I have to carry all of them around and live with them every day. Sure I can try to fix things, make things right, and turn a disappointment into something I can forget about, but I just don't see it happening.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Two banana pancake recipes


Recently, one of my sisters sent me a recipe for a banana pancake. It looked simple enough to make and so I decided to try it. However, as I read through the comments about the recipe, in which one person called it a “banana omelet” instead of a “banana pancake,” I came across an alternative recipe to try for a banana pancake. Since we had extra bananas, I decided to give both recipes a whirl!

The first recipe is the one my sister sent to me. Here is what’s needed for Recipe 1:

1 banana
2 eggs
Cinnamon (as much as desired)

Mash up the banana in a bowl, add the eggs and stir to mix well. Add cinnamon and stir again.

I poured it out on the griddle and cooked them like pancakes.

Here is what’s needed for Recipe 2:

1 banana
1 egg
1 Tbsp. Flour
Cinnamon (as much as desired)

Instructions for this one are the same as for the above recipe. I just mixed them all together one at a time.

I also cooked this one like pancakes on the griddle.

Here they are, ready for tasting:



The result? Recipe 1 was the winner. Both my son and I tasted each recipe. We tried them first plain then with syrup then with Nutella. Even with Nutella, the second recipe was gross. Yuck! The first one was definitely the best. We both gave it a 5. Even my husband liked the first one best. Yay!

Here’s the winner:



I also enjoyed the first recipe plain. It was sweet enough to enjoy without any toppings or anything. The best part is, it kept me full. It was several hours later in the day before I was hungry again, and I only ate 2! I guess it’s another bonus that the first recipe makes more pancakes (8 compared the Recipe 2’s 6).

I am glad we have this new recipe and I’ll be making them again. Yay! (And thanks to my sister Millie for the recipe!)





Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bookworm and proud of it!

Today, I spent some time reading the local paper while eating lunch. In between bites of my pasta and garlic bread, I read an article about a new website launched by University of Oregon students called “Booklandia.tv.” The “tv” part of the web address instantly turned me off because it was a good indication it meant the site was all about videos. As someone who is profoundly deaf, without hearing aids, I tend to stay away from videos and don’t really visit YouTube much because a great many videos on the Internet are not closed captioned. Unless the video states it includes song lyrics or captioning, I won’t watch it. This is also why I elected not to stream any movies on Netflix, as I heard they were not closed captioned. (Ditto when I had an Amazon Prime membership.) Still, I was curious about this site lauded as a “video channel just for book lovers” since I am myself a booklover.

I didn’t check the site out right away, though. I wanted to read the article first. And there were a couple of things in that article which bothered me.

First, the author of the article claimed that we are living in an era in which “writing, publishing and reading are all in decline.” Really? We are? That’s news to me! One thing I love about living in Eugene is that I am among booklovers. Seriously, every time I go to the library or the bookstore, there are a ton of people there perusing books, buying books, checking books out and READING them. I am curious where the author got her information. I have associated with people who are bigger bookworms than I am. I also often see people leaving the library with stacks of books in their arms or bags filled with books. When I have gone to the annual book sale, there’s people everywhere loading up boxes and bags of books.

Granted, this may not be proof that they actually READ the books, but there is no shortage of booklovers in my neck of the woods. These are my people!

I read for at least an hour every day. I read 2 books at a time: One novel and a nonfiction book. I have 4 bookcases of books in my home, plus 3 boxes of books and a shelf of books in my room. My kids read, too. My son has two bookcases filled with books in his room. My teenaged daughter has a ginormous bookshelf of books in her room. My husband is also a reader. I even keep a couple of books on my nightstand – there for me to read when I have trouble sleeping.

My daughter is a huge reader. She reads every day, particularly in a book. But she also reads on her phone. So I was a little troubled by someone in the article being quoted as saying: “My generation gets kind of a bad rap – ‘Oh,  we’re always on our phones, we’re not reading[.]'” Why would someone assume that just because someone is on their smartphone, they are not reading? My daughter loves to read fanfiction and she often visits a website where she’ll spend hours reading stories. She also reads Creepy Pasta stories. She does this on her smartphone. So just because someone is on their phone, that does not mean that they are not reading!

Reading should not be limited to a book. We read newspapers, too. We read magazines. But in today’s technological era, reading is transitioning to a whole nother mainstream. It’s not that we don’t care about books anymore; it’s just that these days, many people prefer their books available to be read in another medium. People read ebooks on their Nooks or Kindles or Kobo Reader. They read stories and news articles on their smartphones. (I often spend time every morning sitting with my coffee and reading news articles on my phone.)
 

People DO read on their phones. Just because “they’re always on their phones,” this does not mean that they are not reading anything. Smartphones have done for us what the Internet and digital readers have done: They have made more forms of media available to us to read. Yes, perhaps what this person said is an unfortunate myth perpetrated among the older generation who perhaps feel some kind of aversion to this new way of reading, clinging to their print books and bemoaning the loss of a publishing method of yesteryear that was so much more simpler (if not more affordable for the readers), but that is a myth which needs to be dispelled fast because people ARE reading on their phones just as they would be reading on their digital readers. Same thing, different device. And the smartphone allows for a further advantage: Affordable access to short stories or other forms of media. My daughter told me she would not be reading as much on her phone if she had to pay to read all of those stories. As long as they are available to read for free, she is reading them.

Now, all of that said about the article, here’s what I have to say about the website. And I DID visit the website!

The website looks professional and everything seems to be easy to find. They make it easy for visitors to find them on social media like Facebook and Twitter and I didn’t see any poor grammar or misspelled words anywhere on the pages I visited. The site is not cluttered and it provides a handy list of contents readers can use to help find relevant posts easier. Additionally, there’s a search feature which made finding posts on topics a snap.

Now for the videos. As previously mentioned, I am deaf, so I was wary of watching the videos. I wasn’t sure if they would have any captioning or subtitles. (THE best thing about reading, for me, is that you don’t need to hear in order to enjoy a book. A regular book, anyway; I’m not talking about audiobooks or those new forms of digital books I’ve heard about that include videos and sounds.) Still, I was curious, so I clicked on a couple of them. The videos I watched were titled "What's on your nightstand? (Eugene #2)" and "Book That Changed Your Life: "Broken For You"". Fortunately, there was an option to click on “CC” for closed-captioning and I did so. I held my breath, because when I have tried the “CC” option on videos in the past, the captioning was never much accurate. It got maybe two or three words right in a sentence and sometimes words are not even spelled correctly. Sadly, that was the case here, for both of the videos. In the first video, the only part of the captioning that made any sense was “The Chronicles of Narnia.” The captioning in the second video was so confusing that it was almost hilarious. This is from the second video: "We didn't have access to my period" and "scarf things up look good for you" and "I'll nope no what it meant".

Yeah, me neither.

Booklandia.tv seems to be a good concept and a nice home on the Internet as a video channel for booklovers. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be a video channel for deaf booklovers. Maybe it’s time for the deaf community to create a site for booklovers that is a little more deaf-friendly. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Third plan's the charm

If there is one motto that can sum up my life, it is this: “OK, new plan!” As frustrating as it is, usually it’s not the FIRST plan I have for something that works out the way I hope. (This is why I tell the kids, “Always have a Plan B!”) Life really hasn’t gone according to plan, but I have learned to accept that. Just roll with the punches. They say “Man plans and God laughs.” Well, He must’ve gotten quite the chuckle over how my plan for today got botched.

For all of last week, I had my sights set on an event taking place this weekend: The Lavender Festival (link). I asked Jennifer if she wanted to go with me but she wasn’t interested. Then I considered asking one of my friends but then I thought more on it and realized I would be much more happier if I went solo. I do enjoy going places with my friends (although there is just ONE friend who I go places with), but for the most part, I like to experience things by myself. I’m a loner and prefer to experience things alone. Just totally immerse myself in it without having to remember a friend or family member is with me that I gotta stay connected with.

Well, that was my plan, anyway. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to the Lavender Festival today. I spent some time last night figuring out just where it was (not Eugene or Springfield) and then going over the route on how I’d have to drive there. Sadly, the festival was being held too far away (out by Walterville) and, also, my car is not in good enough condition for the trip.

Ohhh, dang. Why do so many fun and cool events take place so far away???

Well, despite this setback, I checked out the calendar of events to see what else was going on this weekend. I may not have been able to go to one thing, but I knew I wanted to go SOMEWHERE and do SOMETHING. I was happy to discover there was a book sale going on at the library today, with books selling for just a dollar. Awesome!

Before I could go to a book sale though, I had to take stock of what books I needed for my book collections.

That’s right, I collect certain books!

I am not just talking about classics. I am talking about types of books.

I collect history books, science books and biographies. I also collect the Guinness World Record books. And I also collect what I call “President books” (biographies of the Presidents), textbooks and books by my two favorite authors: Anne Rice and Michael Crichton. So I took stock of the books I already had for these collections so I’d know if a certain book would be needed or not.

With all that done, I figured I was all set to go to the book sale. But, alas! I didn’t get ready to go in time. Darn it!

Sooo I wanted to figure out what ELSE I was gonna do today. One thing I knew: I was in a book-buying mood. And there was definitely one place I knew I could go to to see if they had the books I needed: A thrift store called St. Vincent dePaul. It is not far from my house and the last time I was there was with Jennifer and she scored a couple of textbooks she would be using for her next (and last!) year of Junior High. Apparently, I am not the only one who buys textbooks: Jen buys them too. She even has a calculus textbook on her bookshelf.

So I drove out to StVdP and checked out their books. I love buying books at thrift stores. Not only is it more affordable (the textbooks are $2.50 each – a very NICE price drop compared to a receipt of $92 I saw for a similar textbook!) but sometimes I will find a book that is out of print, by a favorite author or a book that is rare to find. And it’s always a plus if the book is in good condition.

Fortunately, I did find a couple of good textbooks to add to my collection, and I also found a couple of history books too. Thankfully, these books were in good condition; no torn pages, weak binding or excessive interior writing that makes them unreadable. I was happy with the condition of the books. And even more happy that THIS time things went according to plan. Yay!

The third plan for today was a success. I am happy with how it turned out. Hopefully next year my car will be working better and I can go to the Lavender Festival and maybe the library will have another $1 book sale this year. At least I got to go somewhere and that’s all I wanted to get out of my Saturday.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Drawing the line on Facebook haters



Why is it that pretty much most of the drama and BS I have to deal with on Facebook comes from my family and relatives? I am not talking about my husband and kids. I LOVE my husband and kids and I enjoy their company. It’s PEOPLE like siblings, cousins, and aunts that can really come at me with their latest round of “let’s pick on Dawn” and really create more bullshit in my life.

I say all of this because I had to block/unfriend a relative on Facebook today. I have had it with this relative’s complaints over my use of swear words on Facebook.

Heads up: I swear. Guess what? I swear A LOT. Fucking deal with it.

I refuse to change anything about myself just because it makes someone uncomfortable. And it really, really irritates me that they think it’s okay to drag a dead person into their shitstorm, too. I mean, seriously??

I am not the same person that they used to know. People cannot come back into my life expecting me to be the same person they were so close to once upon a time. They forfeited the right to have ANY influence over my life when they walked out of it.

I have had to deal with So Much on my own. It has changed me. It has made me into someone else. And I’m not going to throw all of those life experiences, life lessons and truisms I had to learn the hard way and go back to being the person I once was just because someone is uncomfortable with the person that I am now. 

And just so you know: People who are dead -- grandparents and my parents -- know EVERYTHING past and present and understand that this is my current life journey and that I still have some more life to live and changes to go through. They don't see the person I am now and think that all is lost or that they have a broken heart because of the person I am now.

I have lost a lot. I have struggled a lot. I have had to deal with a lot. And you cannot look at someone with all that wrapped into one and expect them to come out of it being the same na├»ve, innocent, delusional, trusting and religious person that they once were. Because, guess what? Life does not work like that. And before anyone says “stop acting like it’s only you,” I am not acting like it is only me. I am not the only one who has had all that happen. I never thought I was. I KNOW other people have been hurt, had loss, etc., and came out of it a different person. That can be said about EVERYONE.

With all that said, I am NOT going to allow people to make ME the one they go after on Facebook with their judgments, criticisms and complaints. If they don’t like something on my FB page, too bad! They can keep scrolling. But if they have to post their crap on MY page, I am going to block/unfriend them. I won’t lie down and take their crap. They will be GONE.

This may seem harsh, but I will not take any of it anymore. I don’t care who it is coming from. I won’t take it! I am not anyone’s punching bag. I am not anyone’s obstructive child that needs to be disciplined. (FYI: I’m 41.) I am not some black sheep someone grew up picking on, hating, bullying or shaming that is used to that crap and is perfectly fine with taking some more of it. No, I’m not that person. And I don’t care how YOU feel about it.

This is the life I am living right now. This is how I am right now. I am not going to be this way forever. I will not think, see, talk, act or live this way forever. But this is the kind of life that I am living right now. This is the kind of person that I am right now. And you can either love me or leave me the fuck alone.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The ups and downs of this year's 4th of July

Today we celebrated the 4th of July – a holiday that became something of a challenge for many people here in Eugene. First there was the Civic Stadium fire that happened recently, which cast a sad pallor over the forthcoming holiday festivities. And maybe it was because of this fire or because of the drought we have been having which caused the City Council to ban fireworks in some areas of Eugene. Fortunately, my neighborhood is outside of this ban, but I felt bad for the people on Facebook complaining about how they had already gone out and bought fireworks before this ban was enacted. (They probably would have gone somewhere outside of the ban zone to enjoy their fireworks.)


Not only was this going on but there were a few people in my neighborhood watchgroup pleading to neighbors to not set off fireworks this year. Some shared stories of how the fireworks frightened their pets and others of how the fireworks affected their PTSD. In fact, some people posted signs in their front yards giving notice that a combat veteran lived there and to please respect their situation and not set off fireworks.



I understand their feelings and I get it that it bothers other animals, too. But I was irritated by this whole thing because the 4th of July is only one day out of the year. (Someone else in the group suggested people keep their pets somewhere safe or wear noise-reducing headphones.)



You know, it used to be that the only thing people worried about during the 4th of July was fires.



I still went out and bought fireworks. And we still set off our fireworks, today. The neighborhood watchgroup set up a “noise curfew” from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., so we went outside to do our fireworks shortly after 9.



But the day got off to a shaky start for some people – literally!



I was surprised to learn that an earthquake had occurred this morning in a nearby city (Springfield). It was registered at 4.2. Some people reported feeling it but we didn’t feel it at all. Well, Jesse and I were up, but we didn’t feel it. And Jennifer and hubby slept right through it! Our local friends were on Facebook posting about it. Unfortunately, one family we know really felt that earthquake. She said it felt like it was going off right under their house! Yikes! I am glad they were not hurt but really felt for them because it was a terrifying ordeal for them. (Like us, minus Jesse, they are from California, so they’re used to earthquakes. But we just don’t get many earthquakes here in this part of Pregon. Hasn’t been an earthquake here for some time! I didn’t even know there COULD be an earthquake here! I guess they can happen anywhere.)



Soo, yeah. We enjoyed fireworks today. Yay! We also baked cookies, ate hot dogs and pizza and had cupcakes.



Jennifer wanted to bring outside her pet rat, Salazar, to enjoy the show, too. I warned her the fireworks would scare him but she insisted he would be okay. 


Turns out he wasn’t. The poor thing got scared. Jen had to take him back inside.




 Here’s Jesse with sparklers.



And Jesse watching fireworks going off.




Jesse watching fireworks, Take 2.





Jennifer “watching fireworks.”




OK, no, really. She’s paying attention.




See? She’s being all patriotic and everything.




Jesse got a lesson from his dad on how to toss a lit firework.




Jesse with sparklers again.





Annnnd our water bucket caught on fire. I guess fire beats water!



Unfortunately, Jesse burned his hand this time. It was not a bad burn, though.




After the sparkler incident, Jesse was too nervous to enjoy the last sparkler. Being the good big sister that she is, Jennifer went out to help him feel better.






We had a fun 4th of July. Unfortunately, we weren’t done with our fireworks until 10 minutes past the curfew. What can I say? We’re a bunch of rebels – and isn’t that how our country won its independence in the first place?