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What's your Permies take on the 4th of July?  RSS feed

 
gardener
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I thought this would be an interesting thread for those in America getting ready to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow - what are your plans? How are you recognizing the day? Without getting too political (as I know this subject often can), what's your homage to independence going to be tomorrow?

We're not keen on fireworks here, especially with fire season underway, so we usually take on some sort of outdoor project - garden, fence, whatever makes our spirits sing. My husband's sick, so I'll be taking the sheepdog and the baby up the mountain to collect some wild edibles tomorrow.

I'm taking tomorrow to consider a little wild edibles side business in our small shops here - just selling jars of dried mullein, with recipe cards and such for toddies. Another stroke for our self reliance, and one that won't take much of my time to put together.

I thought this was a nice article on using gardening to push for your own independence: The Importance of Gardening on Independence Day.

What about you guys, what are you up to tomorrow?
 
pollinator
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Overall, just not a fan.  It seems to bring out the mob mentality in our area.

The fireworks here go for days.  The big ones.  Tomorrow night the ground will actually rumble.

I have never understood a culture that celebrates winning a war by making it sound like a war zone for days on end.  People are fleeing war zones and we're audibly recreating one.  I've been listing to the sounds of bombs since Friday night. 

Not to mention the fires. And the stressed livestock. 

Tons of industrial meat on the grill.  I, at the last minute, thought I might pick up a side of ribs and looked at the grocery store.  They were so cheap I just walked away; there is no way they came from a good place.  I'll dig something out of the freezer instead.

I'm not anti-4th of July.  I like grilling and cherry pie and the old-fashioned sort of fireworks.  That's not what this county is about anymore.  It's about going to the casino to buy fireworks then spending a week blowing the county up.

 
steward
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It's about going to the casino to buy fireworks then spending a week blowing the county up. 


That stands to reason...
who else in the world has a national anthem with ..."Rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air..." ?

Our nation was forged through a war, and it has maintained itself with a (seemingly) continuous stream of wars.

If you can read, thank a teacher.
If you can read English, thank a soldier.

 
gardener
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Just another work day for me... The irrigation water comes down out of the mountain just the same as always. Might as well put it to good use.

 
gardener
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A day like any other, only with agitated dogs to soothe.

Without, as you say, getting too deep into politics: the patriotic pride I was taught as a child has not robustly survived my further education in history and modern affairs.
 
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Hmmm....just thinking about this over coffee.   I think I can do this without scraping my fender on the cider press

I read the Declaration of Independence.  Always strikes me hard that it's written to be read aloud, real loud.  Still is in our town, I've read where some places have stopped; too inflammatory or something like it.  Can't help but ponder that when it was written, more than 95% of our nation were self-sustaining farmers, or very close to it.  Occurs to me that would constitute real freedom if we could get back to that state, or at least closer.  To me the DoI is simply a clear statement to 'just leave me alone and let me do my thing" but doesn't absolve you of doing the right thing (and being nice).  How convoluted it has become. 

Perhaps your personal vintage has a lot to do with how you feel and act over the 4th.  I was born right after WWII to parents who grew up in the Great Depression.  My father fought in the Pacific for 3 1/2 years, against folks whose mission statement was clearly to deprive people (like my parents) of life and liberty.  No real gray areas there.  Not like today when we don't seem to know what we're fighting for or who.  My father despised the Vietnam war and the politicians who prosecuted it for his belief that it completely lacked of purpose.  I suppose he was in a position to know.

PTSD wasn't talked about then and was considered a shameful condition; as a kid we didn't have to worry about only the dogs getting upset over fireworks. 

240 years later and we can still talk about it and disagree with one another, or even protest against it without someone busting down the door and throwing us in jail. And isn't that an achievement worth a quiet moment of reflection?  

Have a safe Fourth, don't blow any fingers off.  Me, I'm having some grass fed beef burger and veg from my garden.


 
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YAY!!!  4th of July - it's a DAY OFF.  hahahahahaha.  As a 'wannabe' farmer, or at least, wannabe surrounded by sustainable farming, I work a full time J-O-B off the land to pay for the land - not time enough to do real farm work.  ANY day off work in the middle of growing season is a window of opportunity to try to catch up, so I get to work outside instead if in.   Without enough knowledge or experience, most of the time I don't know if I'm doing busy work or something productive (but at least it's 'exercise') and don't know if I'm removing what should stay or leaving something that should get pulled out, but I plow ahead anyway.   This weekend - independence for a sawtooth oak that was choking under grape & creeper vines, multiflora rose, and who knows what else (lot's of 'who knows what' around here); freedom from choking weeds for what I thought were huckleberries (but discovered are a mix of different who knows what); chopped down (and burned - is that permie?) wild parsnip before the seeds dropped (only need to get blistered ONCE to know what THAT is); and now I need a break from the sun, so have left rescuing the daylilies to complete later.  (I brought yellow daylilies from a cabin I lived in 30+years ago - reminds me of the encouragement of the landlord back there, who was willing to loan me a bit of seed money when I found the land I'm now living on...  And the smaller focal point of yellow provides a nice contrast to the orange daylilies that abound.)   Happy growing!
InThereSomewhere.JPG
[Thumbnail for InThereSomewhere.JPG]
looking for yellow daylilies
 
pollinator
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The homage to independence day here will be a bit of puttering in the garden, part of which is to gather edibles for a nice meal later in the day.  In terms of reflecting on the holiday itself, I tend to think in terms of Daniel Quinn's "Takers versus Leavers" and note that around the signing of the DoI there were both takers and leavers wanting to weigh in on the governance of the country....as seems to be just about the case anywhere.  My understanding of Quinn is that 'Leavers' are more live-and-let-live and aspire to a life with a low footprint, which seems to be a Permie inclination.  But also reflecting on that time-period, one can be thankful for the fact that some king, duke, or stand-in isn't knocking on your door every other month to gather your boys for the militia or simply take your goats and grain on a whim.   Not perfect, but with age life increasingly seems to take on more of that "work-in-progress" appearance.
 
pollinator
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Eric Thomas wrote:I read the Declaration of Independence.  Always strikes me hard that it's written to be read aloud, real loud.  Still is in our town, I've read where some places have stopped; too inflammatory or something like it.  Can't help but ponder that when it was written, more than 95% of our nation were self-sustaining farmers, or very close to it.  Occurs to me that would constitute real freedom if we could get back to that state, or at least closer.  To me the DoI is simply a clear statement to 'just leave me alone and let me do my thing" but doesn't absolve you of doing the right thing (and being nice).  How convoluted it has become. 



It's funny - this is exactly what I feel about the whole thing. This country was founded on principals of self-sufficiency, self-education and reliance on your local community over some far-off bureaucracy run by rich men wearing fancy clothing. We were farmers and craftsmen, looking for a better life created by us and for us. We wanted to be free to do our own thing without interference by depts of making you sad, which may have looked a little different in that day but certainly were exactly that. "Just leave me alone and let me do my thing" is exactly right!

I wrote up a thing years ago on the whole "the pursuit of Happiness" phrase being as it's so easily misunderstood in today's McModern World View. See, our country's founding fathers were men of philosophy, often citing John Locke as inspiration and using terms and phrases directly from his works. Thomas Jefferson himself is quoted as saying the John Locke was one of the "three greatest men to have ever lived". That use of a capital letter on "Happiness", if you're familiar with philosophical treatises, denotes it as having a very specific definition, and when we look for that, we do find it in Locke's works... The gist of it is that by "pursuit of Happiness", the DoI is specifically citing as an "unalienable Right" the act of removing "pain" and "uneasiness" from our lives. These (pain and uneasiness) are contrary to, and therefore hindrances of, the experience of Happiness.

John Locke - An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Chapter 21, Section 42 wrote:Happiness and misery are the names of two extremes, the utmost bounds whereof we know not... But of some degrees of both we have very lively impressions; made by several instances of delight and joy on the one side, and torment and sorrow on the other...



John Locke - An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Chapter 21, Section 36 wrote:For, as much as whilst we are under any uneasiness, we cannot apprehend ourselves happy...pain and uneasiness being, by every one, concluded and felt to be inconsistent with happiness...that which of course determines the choice of our will to the next action will always be- the removing of pain, as long as we have any left, as the first and necessary step towards happiness.



John Locke - An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Chapter 21, Section 61 wrote:But as soon as any new uneasiness comes in, this happiness is disturbed, and we are set afresh on work in the pursuit of happiness.



and, to quote myself here:

Me wrote:There is no mention of property or "possessions" here, only a very clear definition of "Happiness" being a spectrum of experience we perceive through impressions of "delight and joy", and of its pursuit being the removal of the hindrances to those perceptions.



How's that make you feel about depts of making you sad?   I truly do believe that permaculture, in all its varied forms and practices, are exactly in line with what the Declaration of Independence was purveying with its most famous second sentence. That "People Care" ethic is all about people having what they need to thrive, right? We permies, as trained and disciplined thinkers in whole systems approaches, should find a lot of encouragement in hearing an echo of the past reinforcing the messages we preach today.

So off to do some more puttering about in the gardens
 
Destiny Hagest
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Tristan Vitali wrote:I truly do believe that permaculture, in all its varied forms and practices, are exactly in line with what the Declaration of Independence was purveying with its most famous second sentence. That "People Care" ethic is all about people having what they need to thrive, right? We permies, as trained and disciplined thinkers in whole systems approaches, should find a lot of encouragement in hearing an echo of the past reinforcing the messages we preach today.



Exactly! So much this. To me, permaculture is independence and freedom, and it feels so good to practice it every day.

Today we went and harvested mullein and bee balm, and of course I produced copious amounts of food in the kitchen in celebration of my husband being home. We talked about plans to start our own business together (one of these days when we get the time), we ate berry trifle, and picked wildflowers with our son. Very nice way to spend the day

Eric Thomas wrote:Hmmm....just thinking about this over coffee.   I think I can do this without scraping my fender on the Cider Press.



I know what you mean, I cringed as I put this thread up - I seem to start fires inadvertently around here sometimes But I think we've mostly done a fine job here of keeping it from going the direction that lands it in the naughty section of Permies
 
pollinator
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Replying to this question from someone, I'm afraid I said that if I hung the flag out, as I used to do, it would have to be upside down... the naval sign of distress?   But I am proud to be an American when I'm working with like-minded folk who are taking action (a rare commodity), to further our patriotic ideals.  I'm afraid the rest of the 'cultural norm' for this date just seems more and more hollow the older I get.  I either know too much... or maybe not enough?  ;)
 
master steward
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Thank you all for all of your thoughts.

I agree that gardening or growing food is a great way to celebrate the day! Cooking food is my celebration for almost every or any event, too!

Here's a pic from the article Destiny linked to in the OP:



I'd love to be out in my garden more this week, but I'm cooking for the homesteaders pdc which takes up most of my time at the moment.

Plus, some of us (especially the self-employed) might not have any paid time off.

We talked with the class and instructors last night about the fourth of July. It seemed that none of us want or will miss fireworks. Though we all like the idea of a barbecue!

So we'll be cranking up the barbey and grilling a few fun things. The pdc class will be happening, per normal, with guest instructors coming and going. I'll be in the kitchen and doing accounting in between meals; and Paul will be at his computer as he is most work days.

Though I do look forward to more discussion around the 4th with this group of awesome folks.



 
pollinator
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We're going to Bisbee to watch the coaster races.  You gotta admire vehicles powered solely by gravity, can't get any greener than that.
 
gardener
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It might be of interest to some that this holiday is the traditional last day for planting pumpkins in central Texas, if you are growing your own jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.  I think that date would work for most of the southern US.
 
pollinator
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The Fourth of July is a huge celebration here, but this farm pre-dates the birth of the nation.

In 1746, my Great-Grandfather's loss of life at the Luisburge Seige resulted in the King of England granting us this farm. That battle was huge because it showed backwoods Maine farm boys (2000 of them) could take on a massive French Fort and win despite overwhelming odds. When the King of England gave back that fort only a few years later, it really was the catalyst that started the American Revolution. Backwoods farmers could take on the biggest military and win (the French), and they were pretty upset that their loss of friends was mere drivel to the King. It is why Maine and Mass are the only two states in the nation to have Patriots's Day as a holiday...(The Boston Marathon is always run on Patriot's Day)

Myself, I see no need for a distress call though. When I see people hating our country as much as they hate our benefits, I will be concerned.



 
gardener
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I'm taking the week off from work and spending 5 days on the beach really just taking it as an opportunity to rest, relax, and recover from a stressful few months. Also my birthday this weekend so going to have some cake when I get home I'm going to cut some grass and blackberries with my scythe.
 
gardener
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I think people who buy fireworks have money to burn. All joking aside, I thought fireworks were cool when I was a kid, I don't care for them now. A downside to the holiday for me is the bank and post office is closed, and it's hard to go to sleep with all the racket going on outside, but a plus is my wife has the day off, so we usually spend the day together.
 
pollinator
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I am reminded this July 4th that our country was created as a revolution against a corrupt and misrepresentative government.

We have a peaceful, regenerative way to revolt with permaculture, by not giving those fuckers (you choose the fuckers) money.  This is a functional weapon against corrupt companies and taxation without representation.
 
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I was just reading a post from last year about "who else has a national anthem that celebrates the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air".  It reminded me of a thought I had many years ago, that seems even better now.

If I was president for a day I would issue a proclamation that we would have two national anthems.  In times of peace, we would sing the Star Spangled Banner, a song about our country at war.  But, in war time we would sing America The Beautiful, a song about our country at peace.  Every time we would be pulling ourselves back to the center.

Just my thoughts on this, our national day of blowing sh*t up.
 
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I stumbled on this recently and it made me laugh.  And I think it's kept from being too political/divisive because it's as true today as it was 4 years ago when it was made:


I also read this recently - he long-windedly describes a 15 month RV trip he and his gf go on around the country:
https://www.getrichslowly.org/us-by-rv/

My favorite part is this quote: The best side effect of all? Realizing just how awesome everybody is. I’m not joking. The media has whipped us into a state of hysteria in this country. The Left hates the Right. The Right hates the Left. Nobody talks or takes time to understand the other side. That’s bull***, to be honest..... During our fifteen months away from Portland, we had two bad experiences — and they weren’t even that bad. (Maybe the people were just having off days?) Universally, everybody was friendly and polite and fun.

That's the part I celebrate with the 4th and what it means to me and the true reason I feel patriotic.  Lots of great people brought together around something bigger (like this site, actually), despite any differences.  And I'm celebrating this year with locally grown berries, corn on the cob and (thankfully) a day off work.  Hopefully I'll get a hike in too.
 
master steward
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I feel about 4th of July what, I think, many non-Christians feel about Christmas. It's a great chance to gather with friends and family and make special memories full of wonderment. My parents never really got into the whole history of the 4th of July, and since it was also my Grandfather's birthday, that kind of took precedence. We'd have a special dinner and cake for Grandpa; he'd open presents; and then later we'd light off some fireworks and watch the neighbor's fireworks.

And so, when I think of the 4th, I think of my Grandpa, family, and the pretty fireworks. I find them beautiful and "magical" and I'm filled with wonder looking at them. I love watching fireworks. (I lucked out for many years as a kid, as our neighbors would have a GIANT party, with a band and everything, and all their friends would bring fireworks and we'd get hours of amazing fireworks for free. We also got watermelons on our roof that they shot out of their cannon, and some things fell off our wall from the shaking of their cannon, but it was worth it for the fireworks!)

Anyway, so this year, like last, we bought some fun little fireworks: sparklers, ground bloom, tanks, and two aerial "shells" (they shoot up and make pretties in the sky). I can't stand the fireworks that just make noise without any pretty lights. If I'm going to endure the noise, it best be for a good cause! My brother and his wife and their two kids will come over, and we'll have a fun family time hanging out and setting off a few fireworks.

As a parent, I'm in the conundrum of trying to figure out how I want to approach the holiday with my kids. Do I teach them about the Revolution? What do I teach them about it? Or, do I just give them the watered-down version of Fourth of July is the day we get to set of fireworks! Of course,  this isn't the thread to discuss those ponderings, but they are ones I wrestle with.
 
pollinator
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Hi all. Canadian here, so happy Fourth of July to my family and neighbours down south.

We don't, at least I don't, see Canada Day as a slightly earlier Canadian version of July Fourth. We have fireworks, and it's a holiday for most, and some probably make more of it than I do, but ours is, I think, a little more sedate. Don't get me wrong. I am proudly Canadian, and wouldn't live anywhere else, but if it's been hectic, as it was this year, and if we're pooped, as we were this year, I don't feel I'm missing anything by having a quiet night of dinner and drinks at home with my much better half. Is it the same, I wonder, for you guys, at times?

Driving through Maine last summer, what struck me was the bunting and banners everywhere, on every main street. Off that street, I don't remember if I saw any houses not flying the flag. This was in August. It seemed to me to be a bit over the top, and I don't know why.

On the subject of the anthem of the United States, I hold an opinion to which about half of you will probably object. I think it's inappropriate that a country's anthem glorifies battle in the way the Star Spangled Banner does. But that's just my personal opinion, and it's not the only battle-themed anthem out there.

What I find unfortunate about it is how really, impossibly, and needlessly difficult it is to sing, especially some of the choral arrangements I've learned. I am a singer, by the way, classically trained, mostly choral, with some solo classical and jazz; I know what I'm talking about. The song is rangy as all get-out (something like two octaves), and has these really large intervals between notes in some places. So it's largely impossible for an untrained crowd to sing it without getting lost, and even professionals have issues. And just try to sing it a cappella...

But perhaps the poem is necessary in this day and age. I mean, the last thing I think the Untied States needs is more mythologising about its beginnings and ultimate destiny, but a country and a people need symbols to rally around, and song is one of the most unifying forces in the human experience. I think we all need unity.

I prefer "America the Beautiful" to the current anthem. Though I would pick through the versions available, as the references to "fixing" the wilderness and the use of "white" imagery are problematic in the current socio-political context, the message strikes me as hopeful and unifying, rather than brazen and blatant. Check out the lyrics, for those unfamiliar (I only knew the first verse of the most recent version).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_the_Beautiful#Lyrics

There's so much of caution to these lyrics, it's as if the author was prescient. She really nailed it.

"...Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!"

It sounds like she was a permie herself.

-CK

EDIT: I left the typo intact (Untied, if you noticed it, I'm sorry) in the name of honesty. I wasn't being flip. Happy Independance Day.
 
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John Polk wrote:

It's about going to the casino to buy fireworks then spending a week blowing the county up. 


That stands to reason...
who else in the world has a national anthem with ..."Rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air..." ?

Our nation was forged through a war, and it has maintained itself with a (seemingly) continuous stream of wars.



no joy here...in this country on this day.

Two of my neighbors are vietnam vets with ptsd...they are staying indoors for the 'festivities'.

I'm tired of this mindless celebration of war.
 
Travis Johnson
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I have nothing but joy today, despite family members who have given the ultimate sacrifice in every conflict since the French and Indian War (1746). That is 272 years of being here and we are still farming, and we are still free!

Conflict has happened to every society, and yet the United States has liberated the world. My own father and brother are both combat wounded veterans, and despite land lost to the english from the Indian side of my family, here in maine Indians and the English have been getting along since the 1700's.

More recent, I lost my health to cancer 3 years ago, but despite still struggling with it, we have the best health care system in the world. Its expensive, but it is also the best. If you do not believe me, ask Alfie.

I have to pay property taxes and wish it was not so high , but I get to vote on what that money is spent on, on a town, county, state, federal givernment level. When I asked my local selectmen some time to get the town the money, being neighbors and friends, I was given the time. Local reprenstation working at its best!

I had a logger come in, clear cut 70 acres of forest (72 tractor trailer loads) and not pay me, yet we live in a society with a Forest Service and Court System that will ensure I get restitution for that theft. Other countries bribes and corrupt would mean I was just robbed with no recourse.

As a landowner I am free to do what I want with my land! Grow organic veggies? Feed my family by a garden? Raise sheep? I have the utmost liberties. Go to Moldova and you will get a different outlook on land ownership. An acre here, an acre 5 miles down the road, all done so that no one might have better soil then someone else; all that running around making farming unprofitable.


Rock the Flock...my town was going to put up an ordanance to stop outdoor concerts. They did not, but our annual Rock teh Flock event is granted under the constitution because we as American's have the right to assemble for religious reasons. Even if my town put up an ordinance, I would be immune from it.

And should I need to finance something in the USA; a I have private financing companies, banks, low income loans, rural loans, the USDA, all with low interest and long pay back times. Moldova...24% interest, loan to be paid back on Jan 1st of the next year. Period.


I could go on and on, but today I am very thankful for the country I live in, and right now my life or many is considered miserble. Battling cancer, having a logger that owes me $11,000, losing an unborn child in miscarriage, owing a lot in property taxes, being unable to work...but still, it is a great place to live.







 
master steward
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I like fireworks, but finding a safe place is super important:
4thJulyFires.jpg
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  When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

 
Nicole Alderman
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Julia Winter wrote:I like fireworks, but finding a safe place is super important:



Very true!

If it hadn't been such a wet year here, and we didn't have a nice big cement patio and cement siding and a metal roof and really wet, green grass, I wouldn't be nearly as inclined to have fireworks.

I spent yesterday watering everything around where we'll be doing the fireworks, and sweeping away all the grass clipping and bits of wood debris that had accumulated on our patio, so as to reduce the risk of fire.
 
Travis Johnson
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

Julia Winter wrote:I like fireworks, but finding a safe place is super important:



Very true!

If it hadn't been such a wet year here, and we didn't have a nice big cement patio and cement siding and a metal roof and really wet, green grass, I wouldn't be nearly as inclined to have fireworks.

I spent yesterday watering everything around where we'll be doing the fireworks, and sweeping away all the grass clipping and bits of wood debris that had accumulated on our patio, so as to reduce the risk of fire.




Alright, that is it. Quit being so stingy with your moisture and send some rain our way would you? :-) This is like the third drought year of the growing season in a row. Oh sure we get plenty of snow, but it does not do much good when it goes out to sea in April.
 
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