4th of July Weekend

4th of July

I was a little apprehensive about the 4th of July this year. I was worried about how Bella would deal with the fireworks. Our street kind of shuts down and the neighbor puts on quite a show. We all get together, have a kind of impromptu potluck, Michael and I invite friends over…In the past when I just had the kitties, I’d check on them periodically throughout the evening when the fireworks started, they were clearly disturbed by the loud noises but didn’t seem too freaked out.

But Bella? I knew she’d be freaked out. She got pretty agitated in a thunder storm we had in the winter–not too bad but agitated enough. And the fireworks show was going to be right in front of our house essentially.


I looked online to find some tips on how to take care of pets during the fireworks show and I also talked to our dog walker. She had some great tips. She suggested Rescue Remedy, to put a few drops in Bella’s water, as it’s a natural relaxer. She said to turn on all the TVs and radios to try and drown out the noise. She said Benadryl can be good too. Bella already takes Benadryl on occasion when her allergies start flaring up (per her vet) so I planned on doing that too.


My poor baby. 🙁 I guess it’s pretty common for pets to run away on the 4th of July because they are scared and somehow get outside and run off. We were having friends over for a BBQ and the fireworks so I put the cats in a room with the litterbox, food and water and shut the door just to be sure they couldn’t get out.

We had 7 people over for a BBQ. Bella was outside with us all working on her social skills! There were a lot of people over and that made Bella a little freaked out but once she got treats and pets and they threw the ball for her she was good. Michael grilled up hot dogs and one friend brought a delicious baked bean dish, another brought a Moroccan sweet potato salad and there was also an amazing potato salad (it was so good!). Everything tasted great. I made a quinoa salad that turned out well, too:

Red Quinoa and Carrot Salad with Currants, Chickpeas and Cashews

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Category: 4th Of July, BBQ, calories, cats, Dinner, Dogs, food, Food Memories, Food update, Friends, Grilling, Holiday Foods, Holidays, Low Calorie Recipes, recipes, Weekend Update

Servings: 6 servings

From: http://www.floatingkitchen.net/red-quinoa-and-carrot-salad-with-currants-chickpeas-and-cashews/


  • 2/3 cup red quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (from 1-2 carrots)
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup cashews (I used roasted and salted cashews)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (use the REAL stuff, Grade B if you have it)
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Cook the quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 15-18 minutes, covered, until all the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let the quinoa stand covered for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Transfer the cooled quinoa to a medium bowl. Add the shredded carrots, chickpeas and currants. Toss gently to combine.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa salad, tossing gently to combine and tasting as you go. Stir in the cashews. Top with the chopped parsley and serve. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1-2 days.


Notes: If you don't have red quinoa, any color will do! The leftovers are delicious, but the cashews do lose their crunch. If you want to maintain that crunch, divide the cashews and stir them into individual servings as you eat your way through the salad. If you don't have currants, raisins or dried cranberries would be a great here. And agave could be used in place of the maple syrup.

Nutrition Facts

Red Quinoa and Carrot Salad with Currants, Chickpeas and Cashews


Amount Per Serving
Calories 321
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


I didn’t have parsley so added some chopped green onion and I really liked that addition. I think chopped celery would be really nice in this salad, too. When I make it again I’d probably skip making the carrots into ribbons and just chop them into small pieces. That would be easier to eat. (The quinoa salad was even better the next day for lunch.)

photo 1-1
Michael got these ridiculously large hot dogs from Costco–like bigger than the actual hot dog buns–but they were a hit and tasted great after being grilled. I’m not a huge hot dog fan but there is something tasty about a grilled hot dog that has a little crisp to it.

photo 4

We hung out for a bit drinking beer and finishing up dinner and then the fireworks started. I gave Bella a little Peanut-Butter-Benadryl treat and put her in her crate in the bedroom with her blanket. I turned on the TV and the radio and shut the door. I checked on her a few times during the evening and unfortunately the Benadryl didn’t put her to sleep. She was kind of wired and her eyes were really big but she didn’t seem too scared, so that was good. Our poor neighbor’s dog was another story. He was shivering and crying in their house. 🙁

photo 3
We set up our camping chairs in the neighbor’s driveway and they started the show. I’m not really sure what was happening here–it was kind of like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. One of the neighbor’s friends did laps around the island holding a lit sparkler, running while everyone encouraged him, until it fizzled out. It was pretty hilarious. The kids did their fireworks first.

photo 2

The neighbor turned on properly patriotic hair metal and then the teenagers did their fireworks. The neighbor stepped in a few times to do some REAL fireworks and then we all called it good a little earlier this year. The fireworks were gone by 10:30 and while there were still some going off in other neighborhoods nearby, it was mostly done. It was more low-key this year, which was fine because I had been worried about Bella and I was also getting sleepy from the 2 beers I’d had that night. God when did we get so old?

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After everyone left I took Bella outside to do her business and Michael sat with her for a bit outside. She was overly excited and kind of spazzy but didn’t seem scared so that’s good! All in all she did great on the holiday. I slept like a rock and thankfully wasn’t hungover for Boot Camp the next morning. 🙂

Tour de Portland

Sunday morning I skipped the pool and watched some of the Tour de France. I’m glad that the cheater Contador isn’t doing well!

I like watching the Tour de France. It’s pretty inspiring and VERY humbling. I’m humbled by their speeds and skills. I could never do that. I struggled in June to bike 85 miles. Did you read that Lori biked over 350 miles in June? I’m so impressed!

[blackbirdpie id=”85546685614399489″]

My hope is that July is a big biking month. I need the practice before the Portland Century! After lunch on Sunday we set out for the day. It was warming up but still a tad overcast. We biked from our house through neighborhoods and got to the Springwater Trail. Michael had mapped out a 40 mile loop on Google Maps. We headed West toward downtown.

I was feeling good. A little sore from Saturday’s workout but more sore from the gardening I did! My back felt really tender. I lead us passed Oak’s Park to the Esplanade and Michael drafted me. I stopped to see the Waterfront Blues Festival on the other side of the river. It was a sea of people!

We biked up the ramp next to the Steel Bridge and rode by the Rose Garden.

There was a goofy bike crossing–the first I’ve seen like this–where the cyclists have their own light and bike diagonally through the intersection. It was cool.

We biked by the max and passed the Rose Quarter to get to North Williams Street. The bike lane was wide and safe.

We biked up Williams and then stopped on Killingsworth to get some snacks: I got an iced tea and sucked it down in 2 seconds, Michael got a soda. I also had a GU.

We needed to get back to Williams and the bike lane ended. It was super sketchy and terrifying. We were clearly in a part of town that was NOT biker friendly. A car came inches from hitting Michael! 🙁

We got off this street and took some back streets until we could loop around to Marine Drive.

Marine Drive was much safer. Until we stopped to have another GU and water. I also wanted to stretch my back. I unclipped my right foot and then lost my balance. I was still clipped in on the left and struggled to get out and I FELL.

I hit the pavement — OF COURSE I had an audience too– and when I got up I was shaking from adrenaline. Scraped my knee, scraped my elbow, bruised my butt cheek, got road rash on my leg and scratched my bike. UGH!!!!

Not fun. I stretched and then we biked East on Marine Drive. The day had warmed up significantly and I was glad I wasn’t wearing long sleeves. We stopped a lot for water and stretches.

Marine Drive was nice and the mountain looked gorgeous. We biked to the I-205 bike path and headed South. There were a few huge hills we had to tackle on the way home. I was losing steam, growing tired. My butt hurt from the crash. My legs were NOT good on the hills either. I really struggled for some reason, while Michael zipped up them like they were nothin’.

The rest of the ride home was uneventful. About 5 miles from home I mentioned to Michael that we should get burgers for dinner. I didn’t have to twist his arm. He burned 2500+ calories or so?

Ride Stats:
Time: 3:44
Distance: 38 Miles
Calories Burned: 1788

We split a protein shake post-ride, cleaned up and went out for burgers.

QUESTION: What was the most active thing you did this weekend?