Sunday, September 14, 2008

A visit from Ike

We got a visit from Ike after all...our family from Houston who fled from the power outage. The Leslies came by to spend the afternoon with us. Don't feel too sorry for them since they're staying at The Hollows indefinitely. Here are Wil, Cate, and Hud with Jackson and Luke.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike...what happened?

Okay, so yesterday the boys and I spent the day preparing for the hurricane. They pretended to be members of Texas Task Force One while I organized the garage enough that we could get the Pathfinder in there. After that we decided to go out and get some supplies. Still pretending, Jackson took his hard-hat to protect his head from falling limbs, a gun in case he saw a snake, and a little funnel thing he was using to breathe in case we got submerged under water.

We filled the car with gas. We got a flashlight for everyone to keep by their bed, a lighter and candles, and plenty of milk in case the rain was too bad during the weekend to venture out to the grocery store. I even purposefully bought snack food that didn't require cooking in case the power went out. When we got home we gathered up all the potential projectiles from the backyard like the birdfeeders and chair cushions and stored them in the garage. And finally last night we hunkered down to watch the news as Ike came ashore in Galveston.

Well this morning, Jackson popped out of bed and ran over to the window to see if it was raining. I asked him if it was, and he reluctantly said, "No it's not raining, but just as I thought, the wind is blowing really hard." I looked out and didn't really see any signs of wind, but I played along.

We turned the TV back on and gathered that Ike was heading due north but we were still hopeful for some weather-related drama to come our way. As the morning wore on Jackson complained, "WHEN is it going to start raining!?!?" and "WHEN is the power going to go out?!?!" We didn't really have the heart to tell him that people in Missouri are probably more likely to see rain from Ike than we are.

Eventually we realized that we had the whole day ahead of us with absolutely no plans (other than to watch movies and ride out the storm), so we decided to make the best of it. We let the boys run around in the backyard naked (a new obsession of theirs) spraying each other with lava (the water hose) and eating serruhl (cereal) and it ended up being a great day!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Politics at Home

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mutton Bustin'

Okay before I begin this post...I have to remind everyone that I'm from East Texas. So I had a somewhat different experience growing up than all you fancy Dallas and Houston (and even West Texas) people out there. Just so you can understand where I'm coming was a big deal to go to Shreveport and eat at Pancho's when I was a kid.

In Texarkana and the outlying areas you can find lots of fun things to do in your leisure time like shop at TG&Y, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, or one of the many fine junkyards. Cruise state line. Go to church - there was always something going on at church. Go to a high school football game. Play volleyball with your youth group. (What was up with that? We used to play a lot of volleyball.) Eat at Taco Tico, The Charcoalbroiler, or Raleigh's. (No chain restaurants to speak of until I was well into my 20's.) One time when Mat and I were driving home to T-town we even saw a big crowd gathered and a hand-painted sign that said "Mud Bog." I always wished we had stopped to see what that was all about.

Anyway, it wasn't all that bad really. According to wikipedia the combined population of Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas metro-area is 136,000. So it wasn't like "the country" where I lived, we just didn't really have anything to do there. But somehow I managed to live there 18 years, and I never went to a rodeo. That wasn't my scene, though there were plenty of people at my school who were deeply attached to their hogs and cows (until they presumably slaughtered them for bacon and hamburgers respectively).

We felt like we were in for a real treat this last weekend when we were in East Texas visiting Mat's mom and found out there was going to be a rodeo. We (actually Mat) have been wanting to make sure our boys are exposed to the idea that food doesn't just come from HEB. You know, people hunt and raise cattle and farm and stuff like that. Well I can tell you it was eye-opening alright and not just for the boys. First of all, I think this picture just about sums up the crowd. (You may have to click on the picture and make it bigger just to take it all in.)

This young couple sat in front of us for most of the time we were there. Here they are entertaining their kids. Wish you could see the cigs in the mom's back pocket. They could not have been older than 19. We realized right away that we were not in Texarkana-East-Texas or Lake-Cypress-Springs-East-Texas where we feel completely comfortable and at home. No folks, this was DEEP East.

Yes, ladies, here's a camoflage baby bag.

Almost everyone I know from East Texas is just as friendly and caring and genuine as they can be. Truly, the salt of the earth. But some of these Boomhauer's had accents so thick I thought I was no longer even in America. And most of the women/moms/highschoolseniors looked like they'd just as soon stamp you out like one of their cigarette butts as look at you.

After we looked at the animals we sat down for some good old fashioned Texas entertainment and this is what we saw.

That's called Mutton Bustin'! That little girl was either a 3- or a small 4-year-old. And she was the first - but no where near the youngest - of about 20 kids we saw do this. The youngest was 11 months. Oh yes, you read that right. Luckily his daddy/brother/highschoolsenior held onto him the whole time until the sheep really took off and then he snatched him away just in time.

Each and every kid was hurt and crying when their turn was finished.

One kid cried the entire time we were there. I think the sheep stepped on his face. The thing is...there was even a policemen hanging around out there in the arena and the whole time I could not figure out why he wasn't arresting these parents!

Here is Jackson's reaction to the fun.

Uh...I don't think so. Now you tell me...have I've been living in the city too long? Is this typical for small town rodeos? Is it child abuse? Should CPS be called or what?!?!

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