Is this what is meant by a tin-horn cow, boy?
A sight like this might be enough to shake up a cat on a hot tin roof.
Cow-sized charcoal grills rounded up and trailered to a grocery store parking lot. No doubt these are searching for one of those green suburban pastures they’ve herd about.
An imported breed which must have a docile temperament. Only a small cable corrals them in place. Certainly not the wild and wooly rodeo stock bull riders get things cookin’ with.
Store owners have a tin ear over these bovines being in the wrong place….at the grocery store which also sells fertilizer and log yard furniture along with fine wines and bakery goods.
It’s Texas. Fits right in.
“Longhorn charcoal grills? Sure, right there in the garden aisle – by produce still in the seed packets.”
Bet at least one UT student has this on their back to college supply list.
More than one way to heat up the tailgating parking lot.
Time to hoof it,
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Wild. Untamed. Dropped into primitive surroundings, would they forget where they came from or hold on to any shred of civilization from their former lives?
No doubt family and friend back home worried.
Renouncing citizenship, forced to learn a new language, and expected to bow to the mandated religion.
Why would they put themselves into circumstances like this? Why abandon who they were?
The immigrants shrugged.
Feeling if someone asked, there’s no way they would ever understand.
On this Fourth of July, thought you might be intrigued by a few passages from journals of early Texas settlers.
A different time and place. Life without a safety net. Yet they still celebrated July 4th.
(1834) The Fourth of July was a fine day. The barbecue was near Mr. Dyer’s house, and the quilting and ball were at the house. The ladies spent the day in conversation and work, the young people dancing in the yard, the children playing under the trees, and the men talking politics. There was no political speaking, as the Mexicans were present. The politicians and lawyers from San Felipe and Harrisburg were there, but they had little to say. The people were very anxious about Stephen F. Austin, as he was in Mexico, a prisoner. Three of the Mexicans ate dinner and were very sociable. One of them danced a Virginia reel, but the others could not dance anything but waltzes, and our young ladies did not waltz. Well, it was a grand affair for the times. The young people thought it magnificent……Well, the young people danced to that music from three o’clock in the evening till next morning. Mother went home with her family before day. Everybody else stayed all night. We ate barbecued meat, all sorts of vegetables, coffee, fowls, potatoes, honey and corn bread, but no cakes, as there was no flour in the country. The whiskey gave out early in the evening, and there was no fuss or quarreling. Everybody went home in a good humor…. This was the second time we attended a Fourth of July celebration in Texas. The first time was in Harrisburg. I remembered the Fourth of July celebrations in St. Louis. I had seen the militia parade, drums beating, flags flying, cannon firing, but the glory was not to be compared with that of the Fourth of July in the year 1834, near Stafford’s Point on the Brazos, about fifteen miles from Harrisburg.
Source: Dilue Harris, “The Reminiscences of Mrs. Dilue Harris I,” The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association Vol. 4, No. 2 (Oct., 1990), pp. 110 – 111.
(1835) The Fourth of July, Texas Style: First Hand Accounts of Independence Day Celebrations in 19th Century Texas I hope you spent the 4th of July pleasantly with your friends who feel some reverence for the day. As to myself, I can not say I enjoyed it. I got a bottle of vino muscale and drank to the Federal Constitution in all parts of America. I had no countrymen to join me or perhaps I should have done better.
SOURCE: July 5, 1835 Letter from Benjamin Milam to Francis W. Johnson in John H. Jenkins, ed., Papers of the Texas Revolution. (10 vols.; Austin: Presidial Press, 1973), 1:206.
(1845-1847) The 4th of July, the great national festival celebrated in commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the year 1776, was also celebrated here. A large American flag was hoisted on the Verein’s building and a formal banquet was given to which the officers of the Verein and a number of dignitaries of the city were invited. The heat had increased considerably during the first days of July and at noon the thermometer registered between 79 F. and 86 F. However, I must confess that it never became oppressive and disagreeable to me. Of course, I refrained from leaving the house during the hottest hours of the day. I was also fortunate in that the house was on a hill, where throughout the day the south wind blew strong enough continually to carry off paper and other light articles through the open door.
SOURCE: Dr. Ferdinand Roemer, Romer’s Texas, 1845-1847. Oswald Mueller [trans.] (San Antonio: Standard Printing Company, 1935; reprint edition, Austin: Eakin Press, 1995), 178.
Although Austin County had only a few settlers in 1846, the Fourth of July was marked with a celebration at a site where Bellville is now located. Apparently the celebration, including a big barbecue, took place at this beautiful location in order to promote it as a town site and county seat. Mr. Jack Bell, a tall man with dark curly hair, was in charge of the affair. Although we could see the houses in the vicinity of Bellville from our farm, which was located fairly high on a hill, we had to travel for miles to reach the place. We had to detour through the impenetrably dark “Millcreek Bottom” and the over prairies of thick grass, with a kind of wide-bladed grass reaching the chests of the horses. A path had to be hewn in order that the animals could get through. Then, after going over some open hilly land we finally reached our destination…. I was just a child at the time, so I must have been all the more impressed by the strangeness of it. The official speaker was General Portis. His wife, a lady of considerable stature, like most of the other ladies wore a muslin dress with large flowers printed upon it and fanned herself with an enormous fan made of the tail feathers from a turkey. Incidentally, there were no domestic turkeys at that time, but there were many wild turkeys about. Sometimes when the eggs were found in the wilderness, they were brought home to be hatched out by chickens, and then one had tame turkeys. At the Bellville celebration we also saw for the first time large quantities of meat being roasted over open pits and then spread out on long tables where everyone could help themselves as desired. Later we attended other celebrations of this kind and became less aware of the uniqueness of this custom. Seeing young and old armed with huge chunks of meat that disappeared into the mouth without ever having been cut a first created considerable astonishment among us. Best I do not describe how the little ones coped with it. It must have been quite a sight.
SOURCE: Ottilie Fuchs Goethe. Memoirs of a Texas Pioneer Grandmother, Translated and Edited by Irma Goeth Guenther. (Burnet, TX: Eakin Press, 1982).
(1853) But do not think that we do nothing here but work and that we fail to enjoy life. For some time now life has become very congenial here and gay; much more so than I ever expected it to be. I wrote you that we formed a club out here. The club house has been finished; it is across the road from my mill, to the north of my house. We celebrated the 4th of July in grand style. At 7:00 in the morning we all assembled on horseback at the club house. One man carried a flag which had been embroidered and decorated by the local ladies, at which work the ladies Lungwitz and Petri distinguished themselves. We all rode leisurely towards Fredericksburg, and the procession grew steadily in size. Just before entering the town we got into accurate formation and rode to the Market Place where members of the City Club, which is called The Reform Club, were waiting for us. We were received with music and loud Hurrahs! After about ten minutes the people from the Northern settlement came carrying a beautiful Texas flag. This had a large five pointed star on top and the words “Club of the Backwoodsmen”. The flagbearer was dressed in a blue denim shirt and trousers; he was an excellent representative for the backwoodsmen, The procession was much longer than yours at home when the Shooting Club meets, for as everyone was mounted and others followed in wagons, we made a huge parade. The parade moved through the town to music with the presidents of the various clubs leading the way to the “Vereins Haus” (club). After we had passed through Fredericksburg, the formation broke up; otherwise we would have made too much dust. In full gallop we made the three miles to the “Verins Haus”, around which we rode in stately formation. A lot of people had assembled
here. Now we formed a “Caree” and someone read the “Declaration of Independence” first in English and then in German. After that everyone unsaddled and we set up more than 30 private tents. In these each family served refreshments to its members and their friends….. Then the young people danced. At off times there were shooting matches, foot races and jumping matches. The winner had to pay for the wine, which all enjoyed very much. At 4:00 o’clock there were speeches and after that they danced the Polonaise. The gay life lasted until 6:00 the next morning – July 5th, when everybody had a cup of coffee. The celebration was not stiff nor was it rough or unrestrained. It was most congenial.
SOURCE: July 14, 1853 Letter from Carl Hilmar Guenther. Translation of Diary and Letters of Carl Hilmar Guenther. Edited and Translated by Regina Blackman Hurst. (San Antonio: The Clegg Co., 1952).
So it looks like it wasn’t all skinnin’ possums and shaking’ rattlesnakes on the Texas frontier.
They still made time to celebrate a holiday from the old country.
Not such a primitive idea.
Phil the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
A nod and thanks to the archives of the DRT (Daughters of the Republic of Texas) – You know, those little ladies who gathered up all the money they could and managed to buy the land with the crumbling Alamo to keep it from becoming a parking lot or shopping center. Oddly, no one else was interested in the old place at the time. The Alamo saved and sheltered for years as a shrine to honor those who fought and died on both sides of the wall. Kept it from turning into an event venue or amusement park. (Heaven help the State of Texas Land Office if they do not do the same.)
Always better than Christmas, is Fourth of July.
None of those weeks of stress about presents.
Locating the right level of wonder-ness and price point expected by the receiver.
Hiding purchases from snoopers and shoppers favoring alternative gift sources: those home invasion kick burglars.
Feeling guilty from constantly keeping tired, anxious, demanding kids in line with Santa threats.
None of that.
No arguing about which house to go to and risk irritating the other side of the family.
Cramming stuff in suitcases. Rushing to the airports. Worrying about all the sick people right next to you. Pretending the pets are just as happy boarding as they would be at home if you were there.
None of that.
No mandatory “friendly” competitions with neighborhood yard lights, home decor, or beauty pageants of cookies and holiday treats.
No bolts of reindeer/ snowmen/ Santa fabric jokes.
Itching with wool or worrying “Please don’t let anyone I know see me in this” outfit some family member thought was cute for pictures – “and since we bought them, let’s get some use of them and wear them everywhere”
(You know those ugly Christmas sweaters were originally bought thinking they looked fabulously stylish. It’s true. Deranged thinking often goes unidentified for years)
No blaring ads screaming at children to nag parents for this year’s must have toy.
All that whining and insecurity, “If you really loved me….” Guilt tripping. Obvious retaliation for the Santa’s watching threats.
(Although you must wonder if marketing departments are even able to create a sales promotion/campaign without a holiday to base it around, to justify it: SALE. SALE. SALE….Insert your favorite holiday here. Seems there are more and more to choose from each year.)
Fourth of July explodes with freedom from all of that cloying Christmas stuff.
For us, July Fourth was the real gathering of the clan.
Far out in the country away from phones, people, and mandated city/civilized behavior.
Bare feet, dirt on clothing not scolded, hair brushed in the morning, but often untouched the rest of the day, and smudges on knees and elbows (but clean hands at supper – “Even if we aren’t using the good china”).
Eating messy stuff outside. Let the watermelon juice run down chins. Seeds get spit off the porch.
Dogs really feeling part of the family as we all sat down.
A ragtag bunch, but we knew how to really celebrate.
Such cheers when it was finally – at least mostly – dark. Let the fireworks begin!
Sparklers handed to little ones while the older kids jealously guarded their paper bags of firecrackers. (“Waste of good allowance money,” my mom always sniffed from porch swing.)
Then the grand finale: one or two coveted Roman Candles sending orbs streaking down the long red dirt road. Closely supervised by my dad with “Hold it way out to the side of your body in case it goes wrong and blows out the back.” (Which it did once. Experience is the best teacher, still.)
Staying up late – outside – counting falling stars as well as lightning bugs.
Christmas may have ribbons, glitter, and glow, but the Fourth of July has the best presence of all.
Still free and independent after all these years.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
- “Pets and fireworks don’t mix” How to celebrate Independence Day with You Pets.(Local ABC 13)
- “Combat Vets Ask neighbors to be courteous with fireworks over Fourth of July Holiday” (local news) Nonprofit group, Military with PTSD, sends a gentle reminder with yard signs that unexpected fireworks outside a window may just be startling for you, but for a vet coping with post traumatic stress disorder the loud pops may trigger flashback and anxiety. (Organization’s Facebook here)
Click here for The Old North Church’s history.
Totally selfish coward to use a dog as a weapon. Idiot. Let sleeping dogs lie!
Just a quick update on Prada the innocent pooch who was shot by mistake by a startled HPD officer in pursuit of a drug dealer.
(See previous post if confused.)
Prada’s owner has always tried to do right by her.
Raised her from a pup. Seen she has all her shots, deworming, and those all important for this area heart worm pills so she is HW free. He is also overwhelmed that people care enough to help. Right now he just wants her well and back beside him, and is relieved to know she’s safe and cared for while he’s at work.
“Her back leg/foot has 2-3 fractures to the metatarsal and there are also bullet fragments. Her front leg is wounded but luckily no bone damage. Vergi will run some lab work to check for anything, including possible infection of bone and continue to monitor healing of tissue and hopefully be able to save her back leg.”
Want to keep up with Prada’s progress?
Here’s the best place: Pit Bull Rescue of Houston’s Facebook page.
This group is making sure she is cared for. (“Vergi Vet Clinic in Houston. To donate towards her treatment and help save her leg, please call Vergi at 713-932-9589 and mention HPD GSW“)
Money isn’t the only thing needed. Positive thoughts, prayers, and healing wishes gladly accepted.
She’s on her way.
Paws up. Smiles all around.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Noooo! That is not what is meant by open carry, you Dunderhead!
Just because the police are chasing you, it’s not fair to grab an innocent bystander to protect yourself.
Prada was simply napping and minding her own business. She had never in her wildest dreams imagined she’d become a crime victim – and, even worse, be abandoned by authorities in her hour of need.
The strange man swooped her up into his arms. Shook her violently. Yelling. Her head was spinning – unable to comprehend.
Then, without warning, he threw her forcefully right at a policeman rounding the corner – who totally freaked and shot her. Her! An innocent pit bull tossed by happenstance into a chaotic situation not of her making.
Poor Prada. Her back leg badly injured, bones shattered, unable to bear weight. (News story/video)
The cops took the guy, but left her there. In pain and distress.
Her owner, who barely is able to make ends meet, was naturally distraught when he arrived home from work and found her.
Prada, his baby girl, was hurting, and how could he pay for vet care?
One look at that desperate owner and that even sadder doggy face on TV and people started calling offering to help.
A pit bull rescue group stepped up.
A vet said, “Come on down.”
Tonight Prada is bandaged and healing in a clinic. She looks a bit confused, but grateful.
Not sure how certain police officers can look themselves in the mirror knowing that while the shooting was an accident, they didn’t do anything to help an animal they injured.
Difficult to condemn others about neglecting or abusing animal, isn’t it?
Difficult to ask a police dog for an assist in dangerous situations you when you’ve hurt one of their clan?
Guilt is hard to carry if people are honest and open about it.
Open to new ideas is the Alamo’s newest diva: Bella, the official Alamo cat.
And she is extremely adorable. See her portraits and casual poses here along with the story of her name, Miss Isabella Francisca Veramendi de Valero.
Bella knows she has her work cut out for her.
It’s been about a year since the famous Alamo cat C.C./Clara Carmack said goodbye after almost 18 years. C.C. always considered herself a Park Ranger whose duties included greeting visitors and fiercely defending the Alamo against invading dogs, cats, mice, and rats. Read more about her story here “Alamo’s beloved cat will likely be buried there”
Recently, Bella, a new generation girl, opened her own Twitter account.
You can follow her @bellaalamocat along with her many fans.
The fluffy calico, brings a smile as she encourages visitors to “Remember the Meowlamo!”
Bella, what a grand opening for the newest star. Already making history.
Carry on, paws and all.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Between the excruciating heat, the emerging childish boredom, and endless daylight hours, July promotes rot.
Spring plants smiles: tomato blooms on vines, complexions glowing with tans, a general light-hearted giddiness.
That all quickly wilts.
By July many desperately seek shelter and amusement in shopping and malls.
It helps if they arrive as the doors open, not before.
Use the front one and let the hard-working clerks finish stocking before making demands.
Seriously, robbing the Dollar Store? Setting goals a bit low. Just how much money do you think they have before opening?
Dropping the gun might be a good idea – but not like this. Dropping an unsecured gun out of pocket or waistband while tying up workers and accidentally shooting a poor woman in the back is certainly not professional.
Was this robbery attempt a practice like using training wheels when learning to ride a bike? In any case suggest a certain individual should try another direction…like getting a job.
Clumsy is not a legal defense.
Of course, mall entertainment includes Parking Lot Car Rodeo events.
Upon completing a fast round-up of items last week at one local mall, we got back in the saddle-stitched car seats and moseyed toward the closest exit chute opening into trail to home.
Only to pull up with a big Whoa – and to witness some serious woe.
A seemingly undamaged Mini Cooper was angled across the road – the driver’s door flung open wide. The little car looked frozen in shock at being abandoned and at the scene in full view of its’ headlights. In front of the Mini was another stopped car with a large woman sprawled across that car hood screaming, yelling, kicking and beating on the windshield. You could see her head bobbing back and forth as she violently attacked that glass.
Not seeing a Hollywood movie crew with cameras, we decided to steer around that whole wacky rodeo. Hot tempers can lead to hot lead, and we’d had enough adventure for one day. 911 can rein in that stampede.
Shopping on-line is looking more and more attractive.
Was it a simply a confused concept? When in Texas, ya’ wanted to try bulldogging, but couldn’t find an available calf for practice? Or trying to start a trend of suburban mall rodeo steer wrestling? Lookin’ for YouTube hits?
Newcomers here don’t always get it right. Some things get lost in translation.
There are times when it’s best to keep quiet. Jabbering on too much at the wrong time can be dangerous.
Therapists say there’s a preferred way to argue with a spouse – you know, “fight fair”.
One Dallas man should have signed up for a course in conflict resolution.
Utilized a pretty drastic way to get his wife to shut up. An innocent TV suffered, too.
Waited two days before calling police. Was he waiting to see if she took his hint? Silence may be golden but as a legal defense?
Now that’s a collection of really rotten behavior.
Classic throw overly ripe tomatoes at them rotten.
No doubt, Shakespeare, having dealt with some stinkers himself, would be one of the first to initiate crushed veggie reviews for such dunderheaded acts as these.
Way out in left field for July.
(If you care a fig, there’s some over there…on the left..next row…keep going…)
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Talk about jabbering. That last incident has an odd connection with the 8 Word Comment Challenge that debuted in the last post: Knowing when enough is enough.
Coincidence you say? Really it is. Still if you’re gaming, 8 words or less it is. But as things do tend to grow during the summer, branch out with additional spouting if you please. Please!
If play is the thing, Time is the essence.
So where’s the time – as the Walrus said, (overheard by Lewis Carroll)
“To talk of many things:”
(Babble. Seasonal beverages tend to bubble into babble.)
Of flip flops –and cruise ships–and screaming of wax
(Well, it is summer. Swimsuit season…)
Of cabbage heads–and those who run for King.
(Difficult to distinguish between the two at times.)
“And why the sea is boiling hot–“
(Global warming. Sun cooling. Endless mumbling.)
“And whether pigs have wings”
(Seriously? Removing product labels showing the origin of meat products because the World Trade Organization and big corporations don’t like it?)
“But wait a bit,” the
Oysters Bloggers cried,
“Before we have out chat;
For some of us are out of breath,”
And attention spans are fading fast.
(Bludgeoned to death by overly emotional, hysteria building, scandal seeking media.)
Summer tends to turn heads towards frivolity.
(Fingers crossed this little offering is game, not gamy.
So much foul already around.)
A simple challenge for readers (and those slipping in between lines).
You know how woolen winter layers, warm heavy socks, and straight-laced shoes get put aside for a more seasonal loose-fitting something with sandals or feats bare during summer?
Why not lighten up blogging a bit, too?
Trade out commenting’s heavy word load for bare briefs and skimpy dressing downs?
Create a comment of no more than 8 words.
And in response I’ll attempt the same.
(I heard that snort of disbelief…I’m standing right here, you know.)
Some say, if you can’t write your idea/thought on the back of a business card, you don’t have a clear idea.
Good for sales people, perhaps, but bloggers?
We’ll see how it goes with this post and maybe the next one(s).
(Even if HRH RC Cat is making face of the miffed. “Her words being so treasured by the Realm’s subjects. Selfish to deny them small pleasures…”)
Clocking it. Are you game?
You’ve got your script. Let the play begin.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
HEY. The game is 8 Word Comments, remember?
Oh, Ok. You can bend the length a bit…
Make up a few words. Creative vocabulary allowed.
It’ll all be fine. (Promise? About time for that.)