Fourth of July festivities officially kicked off last night in Mendocino. Oysters, barbeque, cocktails and geodes. That's right. Geodes.

I can't cook. At all. The last time I tried to boil eggs, I forgot they were on the stove. All the water boiled out and the eggs exploded all over the kitchen. So whenever I get invited to an awesome party like this one, I'm sometimes at a loss as to what I can contribute. I mean, I always bring liquor. You gotta bring liquor. But sometimes you want to go that extra step...

Clearly, leaving the cooking to others is doing everyone a favor. These Tomales Bay oysters were shucked on the spot, and served up with cilantro sauce and that spicy red stuff over there.

Still, when everyone is enjoying so much fantastic food and drink, I feel a little guilty if all I've contributed is the napkins or the potato chips.

I mean, it was Ken's birthday, and he was doing most of the grilling. Yeah, he's drinking a nice beer here and wearing his daughter's nifty glasses, but mostly the man was just working hard to make sure we all got fed.

But he did take a minute away from grilling duties to bash the beejesus out of these geodes I brought. You know. For fun. Because what's more fun than bashing the beejesus out of a rock? Unless it's bashing the beejesus out of a magic rock which might have crystals inside of it. Crystals! I may not be able to cook, but no one can say that I'm lacking in the imagination department.

Ken had never bashed open a geode before, and he told me he thought that was a good birthday gift. Happy Birthday, Ken!

But then it was back to the grill to cook up some of those oysters. They were delicious raw, but Ken has a knack...

He wanted to make sure we were all properly fueled up on food and cocktails so that we'd have a full stomach and a nice buzz should someone wind up in the emergency room after trying to break open a geode. Because drunkenly swinging a hammer around at a bunch of rocks is the best idea ever.

Speaking of the emergency room, Doctor Professor says, "Safety first!"

The ladies know how it's done. Raw power in heels with a purple purse. And safety goggles. Which Samantha here rocks, by the way.

The boys weren't so much into the safety goggles. Cigarettes, yes. Safety? Geodes, as with life, aren't safe, my friend.

The ladies also know how to use some finesse. Check out Meaghan's hammer and chisel approach.

Victory is mine!

Yep. Nothing says Fourth of July like geodes.

Geodes. Dangerous. Magic. Patriotic.


  1. I love geodes. Seriously, you don't cook? It is difficult to haul special treats off to the campground, so I do understand. Anyways, a good imagination is always, in my estimation, the best. Many fewer calories, as well. Happy and Safe 4th to you and yours. xoxo

  2. That looks like a very fun party! We LOVE geodes. Marvin always breaks them open and I don't think he ever wears goggles or any type of eye protection when he does it. We have a really big one that we bought in New Mexico that has beautiful purple crystals inside.

  3. Happy fourth, Swallowtail and Denise! It is a true fact that I can't cook. Although, Swallowtail, if I had to choose between cooking skills and a wild imagination, I'd definitely choose a wild imagination. Thanks for putting it in perspective for me! I'm glad to find two girls who love geodes as much as I do. Denise, that one you got from New Mexico sounds amazing! You should photograph it and do a post, for sure. And what is it with men and not wearing eye protection? Didn't our mothers always say that it's only fun until someone puts an eye out?