Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cowboys and Rodeos

Hellooooooo! I'm here. I'm here. Don't hang up. Has it been awhile or what? I hijacked Big Sis's computer. I'll give it back, but it's mine for now. I'm in Texas!! I love Texas. Any good Texan is a proud Texan and I am a PROUD Texan. I so love this great country that I am from. And yes, I said country. Here's what we've been doing to fill our time.

We are mainly staying with Mermie. She lives in a little podunk town. It used to have four stop signs, all at the same intersection. Now they have 6! Times they are a changing. I think they call that growth. To get to Mermie's, you have to travel down several dust filled, gravel-if-you're-lucky roads. You should see the minivan. I'm going to get a pic today before we take it to get it washed. I can barely see out the back window and I've done the washer fluid/wiper thing about a hundred times. It just clings to everything. But what a great place to live. Except for the fracking and the gas wells. They weren't there when she first moved out there, though. That is a different blog for another time. My kids absolutely adore their Mermie and are loving spending time with her.

We even went to a rodeo a couple of Friday nights ago. It was the first time my kids have ever seen a rodeo. It was small, and we should have gone Saturday night. That was the big night, but my nieces wouldn't have been able to go. I wanted my nieces to be there sice it was their first rodeo, too. Living four states away, I don't get many opportunities like that. The rodeo was part of a weekend long celebration of Jim Bowie. You know, the Alamo and the Bowie knife Jim Bowie. Yeah, that guy. We gathered the troops and headed to town.

A local rodeo club was having a fund raising dinner of hamburgers with all the fixings, french fries, and a drink. When Mermie called, the nice woman she spoke to said she thought it would $3.50 each. I have three kids. I can afford that. Except for the fact that when we got there, it was $7 a plate. I only got three and I split one with the baby. That worked well until a big gust of hot air (not me, it really was the wind) blew the plate over and promptly dumped the baby's half all over the picnic table we were eating at. All this should have been a sign. I don't do subtle. You need to come right out and tell me. Once food hits the table, we don't eat it. Specially tables that are outside. Ugh! The big girl had only eaten half of her burger, so she shared the other half with her sister.

I was distracted from the time we got to the complex where the dinner was, across from the rodeo area. Wanna know why? Cowboys. I don't mean the ones that play in that nice new stadium and can't win a Super Bowl with their ineffective quarterback. I mean the real deal. I mean, real cowboys. Well worn Wranglers, real cowboy boots not just crap kickers, bushy mustaches, hats, and looking better than the Marlboro man on a horse. Men that own and ride horses and work the land and the ranch from horseback. I am a very PROUD Texan, and we make 'em really, really nice here. So much to see, so little time. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

It was time for the rodeo. The opening ceremonies seemed to take forever. The horses were so beautiful to see, but they had to introduce every rodeo group, every horseback rider, every beauty queen. The last girl out was late. So late in fact that the other beauty queens were already riding their horses out of the arena. She almost collided with another girl, her horse freaked out and almost ran into a fence, and then she fell. She had to be carted out on a stretcher. It was only a leg injury, but still. There was yet another cue. But again, I was distracted. Cowboys as far as the eye could see!

At one point, I went down to get a couple of waters for me and the kiddos. Want to know what the snack bar had? Hamburger and french fries for $5. The clues at this point are just racking up, and I am clueless. Next time, we know. They also had homemade ice cream. Ice cream makes everything better. That and peanut m&m's. Back up to the bleachers I go. 

It was the first rodeo I had ever seen where the announcer is actually in the arena on horseback. See what I mean about real cowboys? We got to see some kids ride mini bulls. Some of those weren't that mini. The boy's eyes lit up like fireworks on the 4th of July. I said no. He pouted for about half a second. I think he's plotting. He was way too compliant when I told him to stop pouting. It was all well and good until the bucking broncs.

The chutes are supposed to be small to keep the animals from getting too crazy. The first couple of riders did ok. One horse was havng none of it, though. He just sat down in the chute and refused to participate. He ended up turning himself upside down and they had to open the gate to get him out. That was kinda funny to see. They moved the rider to another horse. When that horse came out of the chute, which I think was too small anyway, he stumbled. Then he fell on his head. And then he went into death seizures and died. Holy catfish, are you serious?!? My kids' first rodeo and they have to see this? The announcer played it well, but we adults knew what was really happening. He was carted out on a stretcher, too. The baby cried and the boy held her. See, they can get along. The rest of the rodeo was a little blah for me after that.

We stayed for the calf roping. I like to watch that. One young man had a great time of 8.72 seconds. Another young man beat that time, but because he broke the line too early, he was penalized 10 seconds. We stayed until that was over, then it was break time, and we left.

The kids talk about the excitement of seeing the animals and all the people on horses. They talk about the rodeo clown. He was ok, but some of his jokes were a little too adult for my taste. He was wearing a headset microphone and would banter with the announcer. We cheered for the contestants. We hooted and hollered and screamed. We even sang some songs that were playing in the background. We were with family. And my kids got to see their first rodeo. In TEXAS!!

Have a great day.    

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