And Now For Something Completely Different

Happy Fourth of July, all you Americans! The Best Husband Ever and I celebrated by sleeping late (both of us), going for a run in the sun/rain/sun (me), and heading to the farmer's market for some treats (both of us). Very patriotic, I know.

Unfortunately, our current favorite hangout was closed for the holiday, but we were still able to grab some goodies. Our late rising, however, prevented the hubby from getting his preferred Bernice's caramel or cinnamon roll, so he had to branch out a little. We walked away from the market with a Black Cat mini huckleberry coffeecake (me) and an ooey-gooey caramel bun thingamabob from a miscellaneous bake stall (him). I also snagged a couple of Black Cat bread samples: cheddar chipotle, and whole wheat sourdough. (Both were delicious, although I liked the sourdough best.)

Scrabble board and official dictionary in tow, we departed from the market in search of a new spot to camp, nibble, and play. The Break, my former place of employment and purveyor of lattes, had a long line, so I vetoed that one. We ended up at a very granola but also quite fun shop that sells herbs, teas, and other such items. It also boasts a small espresso bar/bagel emporium/sandwichery/milkshake creation hot spot, where we have shared tea and some God time before. It was a nice nook to hide from the [very hot] sun and visit over a [very difficult] game of Scrabble. Also, I had a super-refreshing iced Earl Grey and mango black tea mix to go with my mini huckleberry coffeecake (which was fortunately much tastier than last week's mediocre huckleberry scone).

We visited another farmer's market after our game, where we nabbed some delicious Montana-made cheese samples. I also bought two pounds of locally picked cherries and a bunch of kohlrabi. I've never had kohlrabi before, but my mother-in-law recommended it. I peeled a bulb and sliced some of it into tonight's dinner salad, and it was crunchy, delicious, and fiber-licious.

Speaking of my fabulous in-laws, following the market the Best Husband Ever and I defied the 90+ degree weather and biked over to their place. We had a lovely visit, got to meet a rather rotund and exuberant boxer that they were sitting, and recuperated from the heat so we could make the trip back to the car. Since then, we've rested, worked, worked out, and eaten (banana pancakes made with ricotta cheese!). As for the rest of our Fourth, we plan to go for an evening walk, watch 1776 (a poorly-shot but hilarious musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence), and, of course, watch the fireworks.

Holidays always get me to thinking -- where was I a year ago today? Two years ago? Thanks to my over-indulgence in photography (I just love it!) and the wonder that is Flickr, I can easily answer those questions. I also thought it would be fun to share it with you!

July 4, 2008: Taking the Best Husband Ever to visit the old stomping grounds where I grew up, northern New Jersey. Over the course of the week, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, swam in the Atlantic, and ate the pure ecstasy that is Jersey-style pizza. On the Fourth specifically, we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

That's me taking in one of my favorite exhibits (my all-time favorite is the wing with all the ancient Egyptian artifacts). Check out how skinny I am. You can see every bone in my back, each vertebrae with startling clarity. I can't believe that I was that unhealthy, and that I was sick enough to think that my near-negative dress size made me beautiful.

July 4, 2007: The Best Husband Ever (who was at the time the Best Fiance Ever) and I spent the day together, swimming in a gorgeous but unshady pond before taking in the town fireworks. This year we'll be sitting in the same place, only so much has changed. At the time, who would have guessed that in two short years we'd be very happy owners of a house just a few blocks away from that very spot?

July 4, 2006: My first summer in Montana, and my first with my new puppy, Cody. At the time I was living an hour away from my current home city in a tiny ranch town in the middle of gorgeous Big Sky Country. Despite my nine-month employment at a ranch for blind and disabled animals (which is where I adopted Cody from, incidentally -- he's not blind, but boasts a vision impairment, rapid eye motion, which doesn't affect him much these days), I still felt very much the city slicker. I spent the day brushing Cody's teeth, attending the minuscule but very spirited parade down the main street of the town (the population there does not even reach triple digits, so you can imagine the size of the celebration), then headed into the city (now my hometown) to visit my friend Ed and watch the fireworks with her and her neighbor, plus their cats, from the fire escape of their apartment building.

I love looking back. It's amazing to see how much I've changed and grown, and how much the world around me has shifted. What's even more exciting, though, is looking forward. Happy Fourth, y'all! Here's to a bright future, whether you're waving a star-spangled banner tonight or not.

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