Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
On Wednesday my friend Leslie and I made a 30 minute trek to Gruene, Texas (pronounced Green). Even though it is a short trip, I have never made it there in the three years I have been here. It is located on the Guadalupe River which is always a great place to go tubing and spend a day during the summer, provided we get rain and the river makes it to a decent depth and isn't dried out. In the mid-1840's German farmers became the first settlers in what is now known as Gruene. Ernst Gruene built the first home in Gruene in early fatchwork style. His son planted his land with cotton and it became the #1 cash crop . The cotton business soon brought 20-30 families to Gruene's lands. They built houses in various styles--a Victorian cottage, a large brick home, and a frame house for the farm foreman. The first mercantile store was built in 1878 and a cotton gin powered by the Guadalupe River was added soon after. Further construction during this time included a dance hall and saloon--Gruene Hall (pic above)--which became the center of the community's social life. In 1922, the original cotton gin burned down and was replaced by a modern electric model. The economic disasters of the boll weevil and the Depression were too much for the family businesses and they went under, except for Gruene Hall, which never closed. Gruene Hall is the oldest, continually operating dance hall in the State of Texas. Its stage has seen the likes of Lyle Lovett, George Strait, Bo Diddley, The Dixie Chicks, Jerry Lee Lewis, Garth Brooks, and Willie Nelson. It has also been featured in music videos and movies, of special note being a favorite of mine--'Michael' starring John Travolta, whose dance scene was filmed in the hall. For some reason, I really LOVE that particular scene. We had a couple of glasses of wine and watched an alternative band from Austin who were fairly decent. We also toured some of the shops with local art--pottery, paintings, etc. Got some green jalapeno jelly and pumkin coffee beans-yum! The jalapeno jelly is great spread over cream cheese and used as a dip with crackers! Pumkin coffee screams of fall!The inside pic is the dance hall itself, the floors are all OLD wood planks.Crrreeaak! Not all that easy to danceon really, especially in certain spots!The pics on the bottom were taken of a van parked out in front of the dance hall. All I have to say about this hand-painted mural is.....ahhhh, only in Texas!!!! The deer scene struck a special cord in me and I had a chuckle. Just had to photog it! --grin---
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
"The round pen was the classroom for "traditional horse breaking." Horses were restrained, blindfolded and broken to submission.
It goes on to say, "You could call it a kindergarten of sorts for those untrained animals who needed to learn how to comply with the wishes of man."
"I remember seeing a roundpen in Nevada, where an old rancher had created a tradition of painting black and white crosses on the planks. The white crosses were for cowboys who died; the black crosses were for horses."
I simply can't comprehend it. I am so thankful that their are folks who have been able to turn the ways of thinking towards training to a more humane, effective pursuit for all involved. I will not lie and say I haven't seen brutality in training methods here in Texas, but the vast majority of the cowboys (and gals) I have met are wonderful with their horses. OK, I'm tagged out! Don't really have any followers or peeps to tag, so if anyone reads this and would like to have a go, have fun!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
It was an uneventful night from about 3am on, except for the growling Les heard at the end of the bed....