a very good excuse for this first picture
Yes, those are my feet. Frightening, isn't it? Well. Here in Utah, these people celebrate the state's birthday with all the sha-bang of the 4th of July. It's a state holiday - everyone gets the day off. There are picnics and parades and fireworks. Oh boy, are there fireworks. I knew this, but since I'd never been here on July 24th, Pioneer Day, I had totally forgotten. Every time we drove by an empty fireworks booth during the middle of July I kept thinking, "take those down already!" It was starting to grate a little bit like Christmas lights still on a house in February. Then when the installer for the last piece of our kitchen counter came over last week and told us all about "that Mormon Day - July 24th", I remembered. And I got excited. Fireworks! Legal fireworks! In front of my own house! We got busy that weekend and never made it to a stand to buy any. And I was fine with it. After all, we're not moving again for a long time. We'll be here for more July 4ths and July 24ths. Then, Monday night, the 24th, I was doing dishes and watching this horrible show I had on to keep it from being silent in the house and having to listen to my own head. It was on TLC, I think, and called 1 Week to Save Your Marriage. I remember listening, horrified that people created and then stayed in marriages so mean and sad and unhappy. Horrified that people go on national TV and let everyone in the world see inside their unhappiness, see their meanness first hand. Right when I was thinking that, Nathan called. He was in Albertsons, wondering what aisle to find matches on. He knew I had really wanted fireworks, so he stopped at the booth near our house on the way home, and then got some more at the grocery when he went to get matches. And I thought "everyone should have such a thoughtful, kind husband." And they should. But that's not what this story is about. We're talking about those feet in the picture above. Wearing socks AND flip flops. (Remember the old days when flip flops were "thongs" because "thongs" just weren't "thongs" yet? Anyhoo...) As it started getting dark we went outside and started setting up our own personal pyro display. I was getting bit by mosquitos. Bad. After five minutes, I couldn't take it anymore. I was spending more time hitting mosquitos off my body than I was setting up the fireworks. With one last swat I hit a mosquito and came away with a handful of my own blood. Time for plan B. Plan B was me wearing sweats, a sweatshirt, socks and flip flops (couldn't find the tennis shoes quick) in 85+ degree weather. Cute, wasn't it? That terrible outfit made it possible for these: By the way, I have no final count on the bites. I counted up to 16 on one leg and 18 on the other, and that's just between my knees and ankles. And then I decided to quit counting, because I just didn't want to know. The number doesn't include the bites I got later that night through my clothes, or the bites on my feet, hands, arms or head before I covered up. Yes, I bought bug juice the next day. Ewwww... (and scratch).