4th of July at Joe and Diane's

After a whole night of "bombs bursting in air," I finally settle down to post up a few pictures from today. Well, technically yesterday because it is currently 12:44 AM on July 5th. If you live in the United States, Rick and I both hope that you all had a fun and safe Independence Day! If you don't, then maybe we can show you what this holiday is all about.
There's Rick with his oldest brother Joe. Every year, Joe and his wife Diane throw a 4th of July barbecue at his home in Chino. I am glad to be able to join them this year. 
Rick and Joe's mom Alice, in a lovely pink dress. She loves seeing her kids! 4th of July is a lot about family and community. I believe Alice is 89 this year, and she sure has lived through a lot!

Rick going to grab an ice cold beer. 
"Moose Drool" was what he had. Shout out to those who live back east!
Joe and Diane did a beautiful job decorating their country home. 
There were even pretty bows on the swing set. 
Which I had to test out, of course. Wheeeee!
To the right is Doug, Rick's long-time best friend. They've known each other since middle school. Doug told me some crazy stories about Rick... Apparently, Rick isn't the "angel" he leads me to believe. ;-)
Joe and Diane showing their mother Alice the pomegranate trees they grow out back. 
And the lemons. 
In addition to all the pretty sunflowers.
Don't know what these are called, but they were shockingly bright. 
Diane showing Alice more plants in her garden.
Like daisies... 
And rosemary, which we forgot to bring some home with us. 
Diane has a cute little shed to store all her gardening tools. 
It was lovely walking among the trees, fragrant and full of fruit. 
Joe hard at work on the grill. 
Then it was time to eat! Fourth of July is THE holiday for barbecue. Joe's short ribs were delicious! 
I didn't have any chicken, but Rick did! As you can tell, there's a lot of eating on Fourth of July.
One of the best things about summer is fruits like cherries, watermelon and peaches. We also had corn on the cob, which was as sweet as can be!
Fourth of July is also about celebrating new beginnings. Congratulations to Rick's youngest brother Bob and his new wife Shelly! 
And you can't have a party without cake-- better yet, ice cream cake!
Even the cat and her kittens came out to play.
Shelly's baby grandson, wondering about the weird lady who keeps taking pictures of everything.
Then Rick and Joe took one last walk out into the garden, just before the sun came down. 
Not sure what this was, but I guess they're trying to remove some seeds?
Then it got darker and colder outside. We're having a very cool summer in California, so far. 
So then we drove our butts home, and watched the fireworks color and light up the sky in all directions. ;-)

On Independence Day, close your eyes and remember the thunderous and fateful birth of our country.