July 3rd was the ninth anniversary of our first date, so we went to dinner at Applebee's and saw a movie, the same thing we did on the first date - different movie, obviously. This time we saw Despicable Me 2, which was very funny. We both think the first one was better, simply because it had a more compelling story arc, what with Gru turning from evil to good. But 2 was quite good also and had some great moments with the minions.
On the 4th we went to Matt & Tammy's for a cookout. It rained, so we couldn't swim but Matt has his grills (yeah, plural - Matt takes his grilling seriously) set up under their screen porch, so they were out of the elements and we could still grill. It was a "bring your own steak" party and we decided to bring a flank steak for ourselves and Mom, along with our special Helly & Alan developed soy/lime/garlic/ginger steak sauce. We had enough flank steak for the three of us, plus some to share, and a couple of folks decided to try our sauce on their own rib-eyes. The sauce got many compliments.
Tammy made a ton of delicious appetizers and sides. We had cheese and crackers, potato chips with French onion dip, taco cups, Fritos with Tammy's chili-cheese dip and tortilla chips with homemade salsa - actually Alan and I brought the tortilla chips and salsa. Earlier in the week, Alan found a salsa recipe he wanted to try, so we bought the ingredients and whipped up a batch. Turns out the recipe makes a metric shit-ton. The taco cups Tammy makes are really good; she does ground beef with taco seasoning and spoons it into Tostitos scoops, and tops with grated cheddar cheese. They taste great and since they're bite-sized, I don't make nearly as much of a mess as I do with your standard-issue taco.
For sides, we had mashed potatoes infused with heavy cream, butter and bacon, grilled bacon-wrapped corn on the cob, green beans and her famous mac-and-cheese. Alan loves Tammy's mac-and-cheese and ever since she found out how much he likes it, she always makes a second, smaller dish just for him to take home. She's very thoughtful and generous that way.
Another couple was there that we hadn't met before, who have a daughter the same age as Matt & Tammy's, and also a 5-month old son. They were very nice and I even held baby Logan for some time - a mistake, as it turns out. A different couple stopped by later for a while; we had met the lady before, at Brooke's birthday party, but not her boyfriend. We enjoyed chatting with them, too.
Then there were massive fireworks thanks to Matt's Uncle Lyle and Aunt Linda, who live one state over where the fireworks regulations are far more lax, and every year they bring hundreds of dollars worth of fireworks to Josh (Matt & Tammy's son, now 15 and *gulp* armed with a
learner's permit). We could also see some professional fireworks from their driveway - not sure if it was Stone Mountain Park's or their city's, or maybe a combo, but the rain cleared out long enough for us to see some great fireworks.
The next morning, I had the day off and planned to spend it floating in my pool (which I've finally got almost chemically balanced enough for a dip) if it didn't rain, or reading some good books if it did. My cunning plan was foiled when I woke up with a sinus-throbbing head cold and a vicious sore throat. I blame myself for holding the 5-month old. I completely forgot that infinks of that age are pretty much plump pink tubs of contagion. I was so miserable! I couldn't even concentrate enough to read any books. I felt too badly to run errands with Alan on Saturday, and on Sunday I slept probably 16 or 17 hours, no kidding. I was up from around 11AM to 1PM, went back to bed since I was nodding off on the couch, got up again around 5PM and was in bed for the duration before 10PM.
For the record, as an adult I think summer colds are every bit as unfair as I found them when I was a child. As of this morning, it seems I have passed it on to Alan. He's walking around groaning and drinking Alka-Seltzer Plus.
Since getting my very own iPad, I've become addicted to a couple of games. During my convalescence, I kept playing Hay Day - one reason I find it fun is that you don't have to constantly play and play; you can set up actions like running the feed mill, baking bread or making butter, leave the game and come back later to collect the products once the process is finished. The animated animals are very cute too. From things people have said to me, I gather the premise is similar to Farmville but since I'm not on Facebook I can't speak to that personally. The game itself is free but you can spend real money on upgrades and items if you don't want to wait long enough to earn sufficient in-game. *in an Inigo Montoya voice* I hate waiting.
The other game is Logo Quiz, free also unless you want to purchase hints. It shows a picture of a logo with all/part/sometimes most of the letters obscured and you have to name the brand. I actually completed the iPhone version of the game. The iPad version is different both in content and gameplay, though obviously there are some duplicate logos. I'm not done with that one yet. I've found it very entertaining and got Matt hooked too. It's one thing when it's the golden arches or Ferrari's prancing pony, but I can't tell you how many logos I looked at, knowing I knew the answer but unable to call it to mind. One particular "d'oh!" moment was when I spaced on a well-known watch brand which wouldn't have been quite so bad if it hadn't been the brand of watch I actually own!