Hit hard by the economy, our city cancelled the fireworks over the bay last year and added the Fourth of July Parade to the chopping block this year. So, we felt it was important to wrassle up some fireworks of a different kind for our friends and family. For the second year, we'll be hosting our Fireworks in your Mouth Chili Cook-off. More than a dozen families bring crock-pots full of their signature chilis for a chance to win a medal and bragging rights. We have tasting cups at every station, and provide all the fixin's & accompaniments~ burgers, hot dogs, tater tots & Fritos, bacon, chives, sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese, nacho cheese, tomatoes, get the point. We have a big jug of raspberry lemonade and plenty, oh yes, plenty o' good beer! This year's categories are "Best Turkey Chili", "Best Vegetarian Chili" and "Best Beef Chili" and "Grand Champion". I hope to share the winning recipes here!

How will you be making "fireworks" for the Fourth?

I received a wonderful crepe paper flower tutorial from my friends over at Blumchen today. If you haven't yet discovered Blumchen, they are an incredible source of vintage florals, dresden trims, vintage German scrap pictures, and other hard-to-find German craft supplies. Here's a link to the instructions on how to make your own Fourth of July inspired "Pretty Posies".

Lastly, I pulled two Fourth of July postcards from my collection to share with you. These were both sent to my husband's great-grandmother more than 100 years ago!  Enjoy!

This one is dated June 27, 1910 and postmarked in Overton, NE.

It reads, "We are enjoying ourselves fine altho {sic} it is very hot. Have been harvesting alfalfa for a few days. Will leave this morn for Cheyenne. Send me a card. Address me San Jose, Cal. Frank S. Van Dyke"

This one is dated July 6, 1909 and was postmarked in Jewett, OH.

It reads, "Sat. eve. Hello Rosa -- I was just thinking about what was happening one year ago today. Do you remember where you were just tonight, one year ago and who all was here? And think where we all are tonight. I expect all in different places. Where will we be in another year I wonder? I suppose you arrived home safe from Scio Com (?). I reached home that night at 1:30. I was very tired but I enjoyed the day. Rosa, can't you come out to see me this summer? I would like to have you so well. Let me hear from you sometime and come to see me. Your friend, Bessie"

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