Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Family Fun on the Un-Fourth

Ah...the family tradition, and the holiday I get VERY excited about - the Fourth of July! However, since Roger and I have to get up early to work on the 5th, we decided to have a premature celebration on the night of the 3rd. Who said we were normal, anyway?

On the way to Roger's dad's house - the site of the annual event, we saw the most amazing thing. It's been raining for WEEKS, and yesterday was no exception. However, after the rain stopped, we saw a full rainbow, spreading across the hilly region where we were headed. I was driving the car when we spotted it and couldn't stop to take a photo until we arrived at Paw's. But, I managed to capture half of it. It was the perfect start to our evening - and I just wish I had been able to take a better photo. Mother Nature's little contribution to the festivities.Now, when I say I enjoy this holiday - I mean it. I take it VERY seriously. Roger always rolls his eyes when we do the shopping for fireworks, b/c even though we do buy the traditional items, nothing will stop me from buying at least two large packages of mortars. LARGE packages. We lay the bounty on the hood of his dad's truck, and my job is the unwrapping and untwisting of the fuses.And THIS year, I didn't have much help. Why? Well, The Offspring spent a good deal of time hanging out with A BOY. A BOY. Nothing like teenage-years to make a mother's heart grow faint, but The Offspring really likes this BOY. To be honest, ANY boy would make me nervous. The Offspring is growing up - yet she is still a petite little thing. And THE BOY is two years older than her - but looks like a giant next to my precious baby! He seems to be a nice kid, and he has made an huge effort to be upfront and communicative with Roger and me. He has tried to put our minds at ease about his intentions, and he is very open with us - so far. But, let's be honest, he's still A BOY. Sigh.At least they won't be able to see much of each other. They have this strange affliction that causes their hair to flop over one eye. So they'll only see each other half as much as normal kids.

Another fine family tradition is the "Redneck Launching System." Since Roger's medical background has exposed him to all sorts of trauma, his greatest fear is that someone will lose an eye or a limb during our blasting sessions. Well, what better way to solve any construction dilemma than to use copious amounts of duct tape? Hey, we be country folks. We know how to do this stuff up right.A friend and his two young daughters came with us this year, so to pass the time until it got completely dark, the girls lit the traditional sparklers.Paw is getting up there in years, but doesn't he look proud of all our loot? We're gonna have a bang-up good time. Oh, and the toilet seat? Well, Paw is also a Yellow Dog Democrat, so he was showing us his latest invention. If you lift the lid, the "bowl" has a photo of George W. inside, and the lid portion says, "Flush." Clever Paw.These Arkansas men have set the stage and seem satisfied that the correct trajectory will be achieved. Nothing like a few heavy rocks and a cinder block to ensure stability.Better yet, the launcher must be tested while it is still daylight, lest any additional adjustments need be made to the Redneck Launching System. Wastes a couple of mortars, but when you have over 100 of them - what's a few wasted?Well, now that seems to be just right. Let's see what the launch looks like in the dark.Oh yeah - at this point, my heart is racing with excitement - we're going to be rockin' the hillside like nobody's business! First, we start off with some of the smaller, self-contained fireworks.Okay, okay - I'm about to pee my pants, waiting for the big show - so let's get it GOING! WOOOHOOOO!I've got this fireworks setting on the camera, and I had to try several times to get good photos and time the capture just right.The littlest lady had to take a break under the carport with Paw. Plus, it's tough to carry a two-year old on my hip while taking photos and keeping my eye on The Offspring and THE BOY. It IS dark, now, after all.This is when we go...Ooooooooh....and Aaaaaaaah....and RUN! RUN! RUN!FANTABULOUS!! I'm so excited - but I can't light the mortars fast enough to be able to run away and reposition for photography's sake, so I let the boys handle it, resulting in photos like this:The boys got it down to a science after the first few rounds, figuring out how to tie the fuses together and synchronize their lighters. They managed to get all four mortars to launch within seconds of each other.Makes for a great display. I'm lovin' every minute of it.And what kind of fireworks celebration would it be without a good old-fashioned Roman Candle War?Getting near the end, my photo technique got better.Oh yeah, just like I like it.Putting on this show (mostly for MY benefit) does take its toll, as evidenced by Roger's hands.
Another fantastic holiday with no limbs lost. I can't wait until next year!


willowtree said...

Boy do I miss fireworks! They were legal when I was a kid, but they've been banned for years now. We do have big fireworks displays, but nothing beats having your own.

Listen Tiff, I'm a guy, and I'm telling you no matter how polite that little scumbag is, his intentions are not honourable!

Pamela said...

I felt like I was there with your fun narration and tanfastic pictures.

Big ones are popping all around our neighborhood tonight and our cat is running through the house hissing.

Debs said...

LOVE the pics and the way your write!

I agree with WT! Oh how I dread boys coming around my little precious angel.

Tiggerlane said...

WT - So, if I sent you fireworks in the mail, we would DEFINITELY get in trouble. And I'm inclined to agree with you about THE BOY.

Pamela - I had to bring Poo Woo in the house - he was a spaz last night! Next year, feel free to come to Arkansas and join in the fun.

debs - thanks! Here's hoping that you don't have as much grief as your daughter gets older. I think I'm sprouting more grey hairs by the day.

RAFFI said...

nice firework pics.

Dan said...

wow! Look at all those cool fireworks photos! Awesome! And you all still have your limbs. Good show!

swamp witch said...

Happy Fourth...Fifth to you. Loved the fireworks. Cute kiddos. Do they know about their appearance on your Blog? giggle giggle.

Matt-Man said...

Holy Crap...I am a fireworks freak. Great shots Tigger. Cheers!!

Robinella said...

First let me say thank you Lord for giving me boys! I love your comment about seeing half as much of one another. What a hoot! I definitely would watch that guy with the prominent adam's apple. :-)

Tiggerlane said...

raffi - thanks! I should have had someone taking photos of me, trying to capture just the right moment...that would have been a laugh!

dan - all limbs intact. Even THE BOY'S. You should come to our show next year - it's more participatory than most!

swampy - I told The Offspring today - and she vowed she's going to read EVERY WORD of the blog, now that she knows I talk about her. HA!

matt-man - at least you're not just a freak in general - those are the boring kind!

robinella - wanna trade? Yeah - he looks so....manly....and it's even worse when he's in his football uniform. And she's so...little...any sage advise besides the purchase of a chastity belt?

Kaytabug said...

OK, I am still green over that camera feature, and I am a big fan of Paw, reminds me of my Grandpa!

That rainbow photo is breath taking!

Kila said...

Great photos! Thanks for sharing. Glad you had fun celebrating! Our redneck gathering went through quite a few fireworks too.

The Offspring and The Boy are so darn cute, and definately up to no good ;)

The Sarcasticynic said...

The Offspring fell for Ashton Kutcher??

Memphis Steve said...

That was fantastic!I wish I had been at your house. Your daughter is beautiful, like her mother. I see why you watch that boy so closely. He's probably going to marry her and this post about him will be out on the internet for generations to come.

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

I like the natural fireworks (the rainbow) best! Good luck with the teen years! I wouldn't want boys - more responsibility to teach them to do the right thing - Girls mature faster (thank goodness!) Who needs extra years of teendom!?

Desert Songbird said...

Growing up in Indiana, the only legal fireworks were sparklers (along with caps and snakes). We've never had big ol' mortars like y'all.

Here in AZ, NOTHING is legal for private useage, and I mean NOTHING. My kids don't even know what sparklers are. The fire danger is just too damn high.

Looks like y'all had a good ol' country celebration!

Oh, and THE BOY? Not good, not good at all. And WTF is with teenagers and their hair these days?

Tiggerlane said...

kaytabug - it would have been better if I had just stopped the car and gotten the whole thing. Bad thing about this camera is that I can't widen the photo - but I can stitch together for a panaromic. But it's tougher than it looks.

kila - thanks! And yeah - there was a KISS. Horrors! I'm keeping both eyes open now. I need a BOY ALERT setting on my camera.

sarcasticynic - Good one! If he Punks her, I'm calling in the troops, AKA, her dad.

memphis steve - are you trying to send me into coronary arrest? Marriage? Then again, in this town, they DO marry early. Thanks for complimenting The Offspring and her mom on their looks, tho. I think the BOY is going to faint when he reads this blog!

artist formerly known as purpleworms - at this point, I'd rather try raising a boy.

desert songbird - you guys may just have to travel to Arkansas for next year's celebration - I can't imagine no SPARKLERS...that's almost unpatriotic! And THE BOY - you should see him in the football uniform. And I'm trying to convince The Offspring that forehead pimples are caused by hair in the face. We'll see if that works.

Karmyn R said...

Wow - you guys REALLY get into it!!!

Anything that goes into the air is banned in Oregon and Washington - but that doesn't stop us from buying them at the Indian Reservations - where they are very much legal.

Angelina said...

I'm glad you had a good un-fourth. The pictures of the fireworks are very pretty. I actually really dislike fireworks but I understand the allure.

Oh my- a BOY. I wonder how I'll feel when my boy starts bringing girls home? Yikes.

Tiggerlane said...

karmyn - you are a sneaky one, aren't you? At least you get to have SOME fun!

angelina - fireworks can be quite stressful, and like my husband says, "We're just blowing up money." Yeah - and the BOY...scary! I think you have more to worry about - girls can be quite persistent in this day and age!

Piglet said...

WOW! i really admire the professional way in which you guys go about the fireworks :)!

we usually do a huge pile of them but we celebrated early this year. those are awesome!

Tiggerlane said...

piglet - thanks! The roman candle war was the best - you are welcome to come to the celebration next year!

devin said...

wow yall talk about us a least its not bad tho lol

as far as me bein a scumbag...well i hate gettin in word fites over the internet so ill keep my mouth shut :D

and i take the whole ashton kutcher thing as a compliment... =D

Devin said...

o yea and btw...for ne of u who wanna check out my myspace just to see wut im all the


Vicki said...

roman candle wars are the best!!
My son loves this time of year too. He bought a whole bag of army men to blow up with some kind of firecracker that goes in water..?? I'm posting on it this week..

Okay what kind of camera do you have? I'm loving those shots. Did you set it on a night or low light setting?

Tiggerlane said...

devin - you are too sweet. Don't worry - these bloggers just know The Offspring better than you!

vicki - I know what you're talking about - they boys did some of those things, too.

The camera is a Kodak EasyShare C875 - CHEAP at around $200, and it has a special setting, just for fireworks! That's what I used.