God Bless Our Country; May This Be A Year Of Healing!

Territory is but the body of a nation.  The people who inhabit its hills and valleys are its soul, its spirit, its life.  ~ James Garfield

We Kept Active!

We examined our options this year to celebrate and came to the conclusion we would stay home and perhaps in the evening, join Joe and family for street fireworks.   While the tradition has been to go to Old Ranch, the cost is getting out of hand. Besides, home is always a great place to be!

The 4th was on a Tuesday this year so we had a long weekend.   What happened over the weekend?  Join us!

Saturday The First; It Was Movie Night!

We do movie night with the kids every few weeks and tonight was the night! We go the ballroom finished finally.

Independence Day weekend 2023
We decorated the Ballroom!

Independence Day weekend 2023
Our Independence Day tree is now ready!

Independence Day weekend 2023
Dinner is served!

Independence Day weekend 2023
Grab a seat, any seat, for Mission Impossible.

Independence Day weekend 2023
"Let the movie roll!"

Sunday The Second; Time To Get Ready!!

We had to buy supplies for the 4th so we went to Pacific Ranch Market on Chapman They have everything we needed and more!

Pacific Ranch Market
Just up the road from us!

Independence Day weekend 2023
Vanna Cote shows the beef selection!

Independence Day weekend 2023
Our grapefruit tree arrived courtesy of Carlos, our landscaper!

We decided to have a drink on the way home and I introduced Mary to Scotch!

July 4th 2023
I think she said, "Ewwwwww"

There are lots of names for a measure of whiskey. They include: a nip, a toot, a tot, a snifter, and a wee dram. But the most common name for a measure of whisk is a dram.   I think she just had a gallon!

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The taste buds were dying a horrible death!

Monday The Third

We relaxed a bit today!   I had my stitches removed from the jaw and we went to Los Alamitos to have breakfast at Hof's Hut.

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In the good old days the uniforms were different!

Independence Day weekend 2023
Berry pie for breakfast? Yes, we are old and we can do this!

We returned home making sure the pies made it to a cool location. We bought an apple and blackberry pie.

Independence Day weekend 2023
Mary finished off the flowers given to her by Becky!

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We will find a nice place for them in the house!

It was a beautiful day so we walked in the garden and did some minimal amount of trimming.

Independence Day weekend 2023
The yard got some attention!

Independence Day weekend 2023
This is our 4th of July busy-kit!

We drove back to Los Alamitos and  had dinner with Tom Burns in Seal Beach at Patty's Place.  It has been a year since Bunny passed and he was ready to go out and enjoy himself again!

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Charlotte came by for a short visit with us.

Independence Day weekend 2023
Paul is ready for the 4th!   Time to crash and get ready!!

July 4th: Happy Birthday America

July 4th 2023

This is our third 4th of July celebration together and it keeps getting better and better.

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism." - Erma Bombeck

Did You Know? - America. It is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.

July 4th 2023

July 4th 2023

We strolled the garden on this fine Independence Day morning talking to all the veggies and telling them about all the noise they will hear this evening.

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"I am patriotic! Have you seen the blue tomato?"

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"I'm here!!"

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The small tomatoes are going wild!

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Turning colors

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Ready for picking!

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"I am ready for the holiday!"

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Growing tall!

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The watermelon needs another three weeks!

July 4th 2023 More bugs!

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The new spaghetti squash is taking off!

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The squash garden is doing well!

Did You Know? - Ronald Reagan: If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

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The bees are busy, a good sign!

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He will need support in another two weeks!

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All summer long we will have these little fellows around.

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A few more days of heat and we ill munch on blackberries.

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The lemon-limey is doing well!

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Mary prepares the edible bugs; they made a great hit today with everyone!

Why do bees have sticky hair? A: Because they use a honeycomb.

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So cute!

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Mary made deviled eggs for the grandsons!
Charlie and Alex love these little guys!

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Lookout! One is getting away!

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Mary is in the delivery room!

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Making babies!

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Each have their own personality!

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Our kids have a secret recipe for ribs; something about simmering them in smoke-flavored water? It is a Duda family secret dating back to prehistoric times.

If god made Eve from Adam's rib… Does that make Eve his side chick?

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Simmering in the pot in Baja Corona!

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Looking good!

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Bob does the honors! They will soon be on their way to Orange!

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You get to cook outside, blow stuff up, wear shorts. Easter should be taking notes!

Bob and Robin came over early and assisted us in getting ready. Bob and I got the outside ready, moving tables, firing up the BBQ, and other such things. Robin and Mary did inside things! It all came together just in time for Jim, Vicky, Brenda, and Irene to join us.

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Slicing up a storm

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The patio is ready for business.

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We ordered the weather especially for today!

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Ready to go!

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Finally we were able to deliver Brenda's shirt to her!

The party don't start until I walk in, right?

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Eat a bug!!

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Vicky made homemade chips and a special salsa; to die for!!

Visiting is the big part of getting together; swapping stories about those things that never really happened! Great fun!

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"Remember that life's most valuable antiques are dear old friends."

There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends that become family.

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Vicky inspects the bugs!

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Oh dear, we do not have any Black Flag!!

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Chef Duda does the honors outside putting the finishing touches on todays feast!

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Bob slaves away!

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Paul makes sure Bob is libated!

My favorite part of the Fourth of July? Trying to out-grill my neighbors without burning down the neighborhood.

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It must fit precisely!

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Neighbors from three blocks around are drooling!

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"Baste me! Baste me you little devil!"

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David was feeling pretty good today so they joined the fray! As always, David loves to talk and share stories. Dianne is surrounded by Robin and Mary. They made the day very special!!

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A sea of Red, White, and Blue

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"hic"

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Ladies! It's time to go outside!

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Bob checks everything before we ring the dinner bell!

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Now we are ready!

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"Scotty! I need more power!!"
"Bob... That's all she's got or the atomic warp engine will explode!"

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Bob brought the shishito Peppers from his home; they were a real treat!!

Did You Know? - Shishitos are small, mild peppers from Japan. Their flavor is sweet and slightly smokey, not spicy (although it is reported 1 in 10 are hot).

Japanese shishito peppers are trendy in restaurants and farmers markets, but this is a vegetable you can also grow in your home garden. In fact, shishito pepper plants are easy to grow, early to mature, and yield a heavy crop of fruits.

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Our butler was on vacation today so we had to serve ourselves (image that!). It is only about ten feet from the kitchen to the outside patio so it was easy!

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A pair of ding-dongs!

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David does a "fly-by" inspection

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Never heard such a mashing of knives and forks!

Family isn't defined only by last names or by blood; it's defined by commitment and by love.

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The plates filled up quickly! Jim makes sure the table top is safe.

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Mary heard the oven beep! I think is was saying, "OK, how about me!!"

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July 4th 2023
The corn was cooked perfectly! We killed off fourteen ears in a matter of seconds!

Did You Know? - The tallest sweet corn plant on record measured 10.74 m (35 ft 3 inches). That's nearly 3 floors high. It was grown by Jason Karl in Costa Rica in 2011.

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Serve yourself!

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The ribs disappeared quickly!

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No wonder! Fall off the bone tender!

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Vicky always makes a gathering more interesting!
Friends for over thirty years!
(Yes, I met her when she was ten!)

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Potato salad and Watergate salad!

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Dianne came in for her "seconds" before we had finished!

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Mary gets the camera ready; we take team photos; just not of us!

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Mary's bug friends were a definite hit!!

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Food and drink are consumed in record fashion... .The chomping sounds were heard two blocks away!

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ROBIN!!!! You can not hide!!

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Robin dunks the ribs into the margarita; a new way to dine on ribs is discovered!

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Dianne brought a Dolly Parton cake recipe! It was delicious!

Did You Know? - Scotland is known as Caledonia which means 'Land of Cakes.

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Tummies are full; stories follow!

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We jabbered until 6:00 pm

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Hey! We got our picture taken!!

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Just one more in case!

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Vicky's private jet on the runway ready for takeoff!
Pilot to Tower, Pilot to Tower, Ready for takeoff!

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We are decorated!

July 4th 2023

It's Fourth of July weekend, or, as I call it, Exploding Christmas.

Tradition dictates we go to La Mirada and spend the evening with Joe and family plus Amy's folks. We joined them this year about 7:00 pm and had a great time. Mary and I love family.

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Ka-Boom!

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The fireworks begin!

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We could see explosions all around us and it was loud!

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We had to back up as the cinders came our way with the prevailing winds.

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It lit up the entire street!

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Enjoying the display!

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Love those colors

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Joe puts on quite a show!!

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Next year he gets a patriotic shirt and we all chipped in to buy him long pants!!

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The wind was coming up the street!

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Happy Birthday America!

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We had quite a show!

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We should have brought marshmallows!

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Joe's fireworks stand was perfect!

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Bam! Time to head home and get Scout off the ceiling!

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The sky was lit up; so was Scout.

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God Bless Our Dear Country