Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Day of Independence!

Well, happy Independence Day for those American readers of mine.  I do realize that other countries have different days of independence than we have.

A few years ago, okay, many years ago now, we were in Germany, and the base put on a fireworks show.  My husband and I, along with our kids, went to see this show.  We all sat down in the bleachers provided, and were teasing our British friends, asking if they were even allowed to celebrate this day with us.   Suddenly, there was an announcement over the P.A. system, and we were told to move across the field to the other set of bleachers, so we wouldn't  be hit by flying embers.

The show began, fireworks were shot into the air, and the wind shifted suddenly.  We were being bombarded with glowing embers, pieces of fireworks, and ashes.  Of course, we found it hysterical, not because we were being burned alive, which we weren't, as most of the embers went out before they hit us, but because they'd made us move before the show started.  Had we been left alone, we wouldn't have gone home with blackened faces, smelling like smoke and gunpowder.

It was fun, though, and a very memorable Fourth of July!

Sometimes I wish Ob were still alive, so I could say, "Remember that 4th of July in Germany where we were getting hit by falling fireworks and yelling out, 'INCOMING! as they fell towards us?'"

So today is Britney's 21st birthday.  Saige and I ran out to the Dollar Store yesterday afternoon, and purchased quite a few gifts for her.  Saige is really good at picking out gifts for others, and puts a lot of thought into what she picks out.  Me?  Well, in all honesty, I spent most of my time picking out a case for my cell phone.  Hey!  It took quite a lot of thought to be able to find one that fit my phone and that looked good enough for my standards.  Okay. I have no standards.  But while Saige was picking out girly nail polish and art supplies, I was putting my phone in various cell phone holders.

I did pick out some adorable flip flop shaped erasers for Britney, and I picked out the colored pencils.

Saige picked out everything else.

We came home, where Saige wrapped all the gifts.  At one point she looked around, surrounded by gifts as she sat on the floor, and she said, "Well, I am a bit overwhelmed!"

Still, she did a great job. She wrapped quite a few of the presents, and we'd picked out a couple gift bags for the rest.  We loaded up the truck with the gifts, and a huge bouquet of balloons.  We wanted to try to make Britney smile, at least, for a moment.

Have  you ever tried to drive for an hour with a bouquet of balloons bouncing around behind you, blocking your rear view?  If not, may I suggest you don't try it?  Not unless you have a helper in the seat beside you, so when you screech, "I can't see!!"  The helper can try to push the helium balloons downwards, so you can see, if just for a brief moment.

We got to the hospital, and then drove forward a few blocks to the Dairy Queen, to buy an ice cream cake.  (Britney had requested one)  We wanted to get one that would allow us to put her name, or to put something like, "Happy 21st 4th of July!" but alas, all the cakes were already covered.  We found one that had a tie-dyed design on top, and it said "Happy Birthday".  It was white with green frosting trimming around the top of the cake.

We drove back to the hospital after we bought the cake.  This is a large complex, you see, and you have to park in a parking garage.  We found a place to park, and then we had to figure out how we were going to carry all the gifts, the balloons, and the cake up to Brit's room.


The handles broke on one of the gift bags.

I don't know how we did it, but we did it.  Saige had to do most of the work, because with my muscle issues and tendency to drop things, I can't carry too much.

The balloon bouquet covered everything we could think of:  The 4th of July, Happy Birthday, Princess (Which is the theme Saige came up with to make Brit smile.  She's more the, well, vampire type than a princess), favorite colors of Black and Red, and Get Well Soon.

Still, she put on her blow up crown right away, as we came into the room and visited with her and with her dad.

Princess Britney and her Dad

He refused to put on his crown.  

There are just so many lines some men won't cross.

Erma and Ambrose showed up to say "Happy Birthday", which was nice.  Ambrose?  He willingly put on his crown. In fact, he wore it all the rest of the evening, and even into Taco Bell, where we met up after the birthday celebration.

We did a lot of laughing, which was awesome, considering the circumstances.  But laughter heals the bones, and in Brit's case, I hope it helped heal the spine, too.

She's been in a tremendous amount of pain in her legs, which the doctors say is good.  That means her spine is healing.  Slowly, but it is healing.  

Saige decorated the room.  There's the Happy Birthday banner on the wall behind the bed, and she decorated the door with streamers. You can't see that.  She didn't put a lot of thought or time into decorating because, as she said, the nurses would probably pull the decorations down anyway.

So Britney received art paper, paints, crayons, coloring books, colored pencils, erasers, and anything else we could think of that was artsy.  Saige picked out some foam frames and some foam stickers, as well as glitter glue, so Britney could make some cool picture frames.  She got the girly stuff, like nail polish, nail polish remover, facial towels, baby wipes, and some of those cute little towels you put in water and they get bigger.  Anything we could think of, like I said earlier, that might be fun and make her smile, as well as give her stuff to do, is what we brought her.

I think she liked her gifts.  Sadly, she found out about the death of one of her hamsters right before Erma and Ambrose arrived, which was rough, and then she was in so much pain right as we were leaving that I felt badly for her.  It's hard to see anyone in that much pain.  

I bought Jethro a present at the Dollar Store, but he is not answering his phone.  Hmmpht. I might just keep it for myself.

Oh, in case you were wondering, I did find a case for my cell phone.  

Gotta love the Dollar Store.

So, what are our plans for tonight?  Apparently, according to Saige, she and I are having a silly string war, and then she's going to decorate the tree out front with the leftover birthday streamer.  I'm not sure what that has to do with the Independence of our nation, but hey, I'm all for Silly String.  You can't beat that for a fun time!  

We saw quite a few fireworks as we drove home, as it was pretty late by the time we took off to head back to our town.  We could see several shows going on at the same time, and the skies were filled with dark, scary storm clouds, AND with bright, happy, sparkly fireworks.  

Saige said she thought she preferred seeing the fireworks from the moving vehicle, rather than sitting there in a large group of people, oohing and aahing.   

One more thing.  We bought some of those birthday, oh, what are they called?  You know, you blow them and the paper part unfurls?  They don't make any noise, really.  Well, whatever they are called, BDG is absolutely TERRIFIED of them.  Terrified.  Saige blew on one, not even facing him, and he came unglued.  That silly dog was barking his panicked, scared bark, and then he leapt on to the couch, right on top of me, and attempted to somehow meld his body with mine.  It was not a pleasant sensation, as he is one big old dawg.  I told Saige to stop doing that, but then, it was so funny, she did it again. And again, BDG panicked, and burrowed against me.  

We cannot figure out why he was so scared.  Fuzz Dawg, the dog who is afraid of singing, didn't bat an eye.  In fact, I think she was bored by the noise maker that made no noise, and she fell asleep.   

I finally got BDG off of me, and he laid down on the floor beside the couch, wanting protection in case that scary thing came back to bother him.  

That was our day.

Hope you have a great holiday today.  

Go in peace, be warm (but not too warm in this weather!), and filled. 

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