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4th of July BLAST!

Pictures from our 4th of July Party below!

If you're on the local Austin Party Email List you'll get this article there too .... but I wanted to share it on the blog because it's fun.

Gettin' Down and Dirty
After a two-year sprint in the fast lane, the summer-bug bit me hard. Ah... lying in the hammock, taking daytime naps, working little, playing lots -- and more regular parties!

I always enjoy a stunning view of the fireworks from our hill at City View Ranch, and I thought, "Let's add to it!"

Boy, did I add to it. The First Annual City View Ranch/AAN July 4th Picnic was a bang-up success. A mad shopping spree at the Fireworks Warehouse brought out the little kids in us ... and they stayed up way past their bedtimes. Handing out sparklers whetted pyromaniacal appetites, resurrecting sweet memories of childhood. Massage therapist Tom LeMire said there was no hair left on his hands after he accidentally lit about 20 sparklers at once. That burned spot in the yard will bring back fond memories till the grass (sigh) grows over.

All evening my friend Michael officiously sported a two-foot tall Cat In The Hat version of Uncle Sam's stovepipe, brought by another guest, Roxanne. Oddly, he looked entirely natural in it.

Superstar author/teacher Joe Vitale brings wonderful new friends and fans to the party mix, including the "Wimberley Mafia", his inner circle and entourage. Joe's many passionate fans love the opportunity to meet the legend in the flesh - maybe even sit with him and puff a cigar. Though mobbed constantly, he graciously signs magazines and has a genuine interest in every single person. Mr. Fire graciously declined our offer to light the fireworks, probably thinking it best not to risk the nickname becoming too literal.

I had no such good sense. To the strains of Jimi Hendrix's Woodstock Star Spangled Banner, I lit up the sky with the rockets' red glare, and bombs bursting in air. A literal blast. Artillery fireworks shoot 60 feet high and give even pacifists like me the spectacular thrill of battle. They've come a long way since I was a kid. I couldn't believe they let me buy them without adult supervision! Round after round inspired oohs and ahhs as we marveled at the varied effects. For the finale we lit big boxes that shoot 20 in rapid succession -- then we did it again! Two finales! No one was actually set on fire or blown up. It was a huge success.

Lola and Joe Vitale mug with their magazines.

Hey, you're hogging the camera.

This party was indeed magic. Cool breezes, in July no less, a LOT of people dancing on the outdoor dance floor, many of us for three or four sweaty hours. One woman, probably 60ish, finally couldn't resist anymore and joined us, commenting she hadn't danced like that in years. Later I saw her kneeling, gasping for breath, and asked if she was OK. She smiled and nodded.

On sudden inspiration, I started a new Dance Email List, and 30 people signed up on the spot! We'll be meeting wherever great dance bands play. If you weren't here and want to be on that list, join it on the Parties in Austin page. Only dance invitations will be mailed to you.

Some kind of Gourmet Vortex magnetized the most amazing and abundant array of delectable culinary delights, far beyond the usual picnic fare. Add a couple hundred very interesting people, an irresistible music mix, fireworks dotting the city skyline, and we cooked up a palpable sense of unity and community.

Thanks to all who attended. You made the party. We enjoy catching up with old friends and getting to know new friends better at each party, course, or expo. Great friendships are built gradually through time and shared experience. Keep showing up. If you weinered out, this is to rub it in and make sure you never miss another City View Ranch/Austin All Natural party.

Lotsa hugs.

You can't ever recreate a moment. No two moments, or parties, are ever alike. In parties as in life, it's happier to let each moment be whatever it is - from mild to wild. This party will go down as one of the most high-energy.

My teaching philosophy has long been "stop working on yourself and LIVE." The solemn, serious demeanor of a stereotypical spiritual teacher has never suited me. At the last party, new friend Shawn Madden (who also came to this one) sang his original song, "Lighten up, oh-oh-oh lighten up. Don't take yourself so seriously." I second that emotion.

After all revelers were gone, I realized I was all dirty and grimy like a little kid, from sweaty dancing, and stumbling a couple of times after crouching to light fireworks and leaping out of the way, a gay splash of red wine decorating my new blouse. I guess you could say I got down..... and dirty. How long has it been since you got your party clothes dirty?

This article will appear in the August issue of Austin All Natural. Check it out online, or catch those issues you missed.

Can you say "pyro"?

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Bring your enlightenment home to your family, embrace them rather than trying to change them, finally seeing the truth of the perfection in them exactly as they are .

Lola Jones