fireworks Fireworks are not allowed, but there’s such a strong tradition that if you sit in front of your house, you can see at least 11 shows and hear about 100+ explosions this week (some decibel-busting ones). I wear earplugs.

Pets are freaked out, and people don’t understand drought, dry oil-filled trees, high fire-risk warnings, laws, etc., so I usually stay home on guard with the hoses ready, and trimmed about 50 branches from shrubs and trees this week.

I’m also re-landscaping more of the pathetic-looking, pepper-damaged clay soil; and was surprised by how many neighbors on evening walks stopped to talk about it, or told me I shouldn’t be doing all that heavy shoveling myself. (It was the people of other cultures who felt instinctual protectiveness and concern, both genders.) It’s true, but I was wearing my boots that convey an illusion of competence.

I’ll post pictures later. I got some cool rocks.