I had a rather delightful 4th of July. It started, really, on the 3rd of July when instead of writing with my friend Joyce, which we do most Wednesdays, we went thrift-store shopping. Have I raved about the thrift stores in Sanford yet? Obviously, if you’ve been reading my blog for longer than a few months, you know I like thrift stores, but Sanford has particularly great ones. The cute little local one, just down the road, is probably my favorite, but on this specific day, J & I went to the big thrift stores first.

I was looking for light capri pants, because all my pants are denim and denim is heavy when it’s 90 degrees outside. I found a pair, in a nice light blue, $5, with the $36 Kohl’s tags still on them. I have no idea why the person who bought them didn’t just take them back — even if they didn’t have the receipt, Kohl’s would have given them a store credit! But I am not complaining. I am complaining even less about the silvery tank top from Banana Republic, also with its tags on, ($8), or the rose-colored Simply Vera Wang ruffled shirt ($5) or the other $4 shirt I bought.

my thrift store outside

A slightly weird picture, because I was looking at Jamie instead of the camera, but I love my new thrift store outfit. So comfy, so cute, and so satisfying when worn to my stepmom’s birthday lunch the next day. It’s not often that I want a picture of myself because I like my outfit so much, but I did this time. Sorta dressy, sorta casual, very very me. (And I adore my pink shoes, and am always happy to find an occasion to wear them.)

So 4th of July then was a lovely lunch and good conversation at the birthday celebration over in Mount Dora, then a return home for a quiet afternoon. Around dinner time, though, I was hungry and had no plan for what I was going to eat. Bah. Fortunately, I had plenty of ingredients. I’d picked up frozen mahi-mahi at Costco earlier in the week, I had fresh tomatoes and spinach… and voila.

Mahi-mahi on tomatoes and spinach

It was so delicious! It’s tomatoes, sautéed with capers and pine nuts, then the mahi-mahi seasoned with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika, with spinach added at the last minute. Then I discovered that I’d forgotten to add the diced red onion while cooking, so I just threw it on at the end. Yum, yum, yum. The pine nuts (more or less toasted, I really just cooked them in the pan with the tomatoes, because I was not going to turn the oven on for any reason, much less to toast pine nuts) went so surprisingly well with the sharpness of the red onion. Hmm, I’m making myself hungry.

Anyway, post-dinner, Jamie & I had talked about going down to Sanford’s 4th of July celebration, but we were both feeling too lazy. Until 8:45 or so, that is, when we could hear the local fireworks starting. We hopped into the car, with Sophie, and drove down. Parking and traffic were insane, of course, but we stayed away from the center of town and parked on a side street that was a straight shot to the waterfront. We walked down to the water and got there approximately 20 seconds before the fireworks started. We stood on a grassy hill on the inside part of the street, comfortably away from the crowds, and watched as all the communities around the lake lit off fireworks, some in the distance, some up close. They were quite impressive!

One fireworkI got a few dirty looks, I think for bringing a dog to a fireworks show, but I ignored them, because I was exactly right about how it would go for Sophie: she was uncertain at first, definitely worried, borderline distressed, but once she’d seen the fireworks with Jamie and I being relaxed and interested, not tense, she was fine. Not particularly interested in fireworks, more interested in the people, but not at all worried about the loud noises.

We left a few minutes before the end to avoid the crowds, and the above photo was taken on our walk back to the car, timed pretty perfectly so that the grand finale was happening as we got there, and we beat all the traffic home. A perfect fireworks show — I think we were back at the house by 9:20, which is exactly how much time I’m actually willing to give to fireworks. Less than an hour!

I had a quiet Friday, working on various things, but Saturday I drove to Merritt Island and spent the day with my friend Lynda. We usually claim we’re going to write, so I did bring my computer, but it had been a couple months since we’d seen one another and she has a lovely swimming pool, so we didn’t write. We talked, talked, talked, floated in her pool, talked, talked, talked, ate lunch, talked, talked, talked.

Sophie was with me and very well-behaved: we stayed outside on the back porch and she explored everything, then found a comfortable place to sleep and napped. I’d hoped she’d come in the water, and maybe if I’d brought a ball, she would have. But I forgot to bring one, so she had no motivation to try swimming and therefore didn’t. Still, she did an excellent job in that new situation: no barking because her person was in the water (a habit Bartleby needed to overcome), no running around the pool frantically, no stress. She found herself a nice patch of grass where she could see the front yard and waited patiently for something interesting to happen.

Today, I spent the morning puttering through my course notes. So many notes! I have such a variety of things that I’ve written, things that I’ve learned, and I’m starting to put them together. So I think I will get back to that, maybe after some lunch and some outside time with Sophie Sunshine. Summer is really not my favorite season in Florida — it’s easy to love it here in winter, but harder in July. But we’ve really been managing surprisingly well. Sophie’s not getting nearly as much exercise as she used to but, as I probably should have expected, she seems fine with it. It turns out that a dog with a heavy fur coat doesn’t actually want to spend 30 minutes at a time running after a ball when it’s 90 degrees outside. Who knew?