Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your day off with family and friends, relaxing in the sun, eating yummy foods, and lighting sparklers and those weird snakes. Me? In my office dungeon at Rushmore. So I’m rebelling and taking a few minutes to put up this blog post.

I have always loved the 4th. Mainly? Fireworks. (Also? Prelude to my birthday. Woo-hoo!) For the first 8 years of my existence in South Dakota, I spent the 3rd up to my eyeballs in patriotism and celebration. (And getting paid for it. Perk!) Mt. Rushmore used to put on quite an awesome Independence Day Celebration, always held on the 3rd so as not to interfere with local communities on the 4th. Unfortunately, the fireworks have been put on hold indefinitely. (They’re blaming the pine beetle infestation…) The NPS still tries to provide a variety of entertainment on the 3rd, but without the fireworks it doesn’t have the same draw. People used to line up to get into the park at 5 am. Seriously. And they wouldn’t leave until midnight after the fireworks. But now the 3rd is just another day and while I’m not required to work it, it also means no big-league CNN-airing celebration in the area. The 4th, either way, is not a paid holiday for us, so here I be. This evening we’ll head over to Custer to hang out with friends and watch the fireworks. It will be a much more low key affair, but that’s okay too. I shall try again for some awesome firework photos. And likely fail miserably what with the contributions of little hands to the attempt.

‘Round the house, I swapped the frames again…


First one is my own creation – photo shop and a free fireworks brush. Middle one is an image I think I found on Flickr eons ago. It’s been hanging out on my computer and I can’t find it anymore.. The 3rd one is from here. Found via Pinterest.

I also spruced up the entertainment center.

Stuck a couple pinwheels in the orchid (actually, stuck one on the stake for the flower stalks, the other on a dead flower stalk I hadn’t trimmed back, hence the wonky angles). The small USA tryptich is made from a couple sheets of scrapbook paper and some stick-on embroidered letters. You know, the ones you used to have on your letterman’s jacket. Instant cheap art! The red frame art is found here. Love this blog. So full of fun ideas! Much to my husbands perturbation, I also put up her Candaian version for a few days. Did you know I used to be able to sing the entire Canandian National Anthem? Call it a hazard of attending a major hockey school who happened to import a large number of Canucks. So a nod to our northern neighbors.

What’s everyone else doing to celebrate our birthday? Somebody, please go watch the Chicago fireworks over the lake for me…