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5th of July
7:37 a.m. - 2004-07-05

Today is my daughter's birthday. She is far away at school getting moved into her first real apartment, but Happy Birthday anyway. We will eat cheesecake in your honor.

Yesterday was a nice day, though I worked very hard. I changed the sheets, skipped my exercises, went to church, and came home to cook and spiff up. The EGs were coming to dinner at 4:00. I made the boneless pork country ribs, using a rub I got from the food channel. Once again I forgot that this bottle of cayenne pepper is much hotter than usual, and when I tasted the ribs they just about made my hair stand on end. I ended up taking them out of the oven after a few hours and washing them off under the faucet, then dousing them with sauce and putting them back in. I did not want to kill the EG's right off the bat, and it turned out very tasty. There was salad with our own cucumbers and radishes, corn on the cob, Abby's delicious mashed potatoes, EG's watermelon, and for dessert, a concoction of mine that turned out to be great. I had some syrup left over from freezing the plums that I had boiled down some, and I spiced it a little with cinnamon and allspice, then sliced the peaches from our tree into it. We served it on raspberry sorbet and peach gelato with a sprinkling of blackberries on the top. It was light and delicious.

Grandma told us a long and hilarious tale about how the squirrels are getting into their abode by chewing through the screen door. She is finding nuts under the chairs and dining table. They come in because Grandpa has been feeding them nuts, and he keeps a bag of nuts by his chair. One day they found the bag dragged halfway across the room. They tried to patch up the screen and ended up putting one of Grandpa's boards across the bottom of it, but the squirrels are chewing a hole in the screen across the top of the board. EG says they stick their heads through the hole and Grandpa feeds them nuts! "That'll teach them," I said, and EG echoed me in tones of great disgust, "Yeah, that'll teach 'em!"

After they went home, we hurried over to the junior college and waited for the fireworks. This year the end volley was a little different from usual, a little lower and including one enormous mulitiple blast that rocked us back in our seats. He had his exit all planned, having backed into the parking space, and he was able to get out and down the street in record time. We were home in 19 minutes, an all-time record!

Some jokers in the neighborhood were shooting off real fireworks (I thought that was illegal) so we were a little worried about fires, but I fell asleep anyway, and was awake shortly after midnight, having heard breaking glass. I got up to check the house, while my manly protector slept on, and found nothing, but while I was looking out the front window I saw some person come out of the druggie house, or the one next door and set off a huge firework in the street. It failed to go up and exploded at street level, throwing sparks and fireballs everywhere (but not near us). Those Peruvians on the corner have a very dry side yard, so that was a very stupid thing to do, could have burned up the whole house. Idiots. At least it was not shooting guns in the air, which happens in some neighborhoods, the (usually Mexican immigrant) shooters failing to think about the bullet coming down again with equal velocity and killing someone (which has happened in other cities) or poking a hole in your roof (which, though not fatal, is highly annoying and expensive).

So a good and hazardous 4th was had by all, and today I am going to sew and take it easy after all that cooking and house spiffing up of.

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