The Texas Wild West

Which happens to be on the North side of downtown Fort Worth. No need to consult a map, it’s true.

The wild West begins with a cobblestone street (isn’t that what brick is called?). Twice a day there is a cattle drive of Texas Longhorn steers; 1865 style.

Truth is…..I’ve lived (and worked) in the Fort Worth area for over twenty-one years. This was the first time I’ve seen the historic cattle drive. Isn’t that the way it is with tourist-y spots?

It was short, but very, very cool. You know if I make a collage, I’m not pulling your leg.

Fort Worth Stock yards

I actually wasn’t feeling all that well today. I got up, then went back to sleep until almost noon. I can’t remember the last time I slept longer than seven hours. I must have needed it, either that, or the decongestant the doctor prescribed needs to be cut in half. I was still tired most the day. I can’t seem to shake the sinus headache, even though I’m on antibiotics and two different decongestants. I guess it’s that time of year for the insane clown cold. Point is…..I do have one in my fuzzy brain, I promise…..I still took pictures.

LOTS OF THEM.

I didn’t think any were good. Finally, after two hours of poking around with edits (I like the cinema edit on these the best), I am finally happy with some of them. Here are a few.

The beautiful lead horse of the cattle drive with ice-blue eyes.
Fort Worth Cattle Drive

After the cattle drive, the little girls wanted to ride the ponies, and sit on a Texas Longhorn. Who wouldn’t?

Bridget riding the oldest sweet pony on the circle block.

For all fairness sake, I did get Molly’s picture on the ponies and I did get Bridget’s picture on the longhorn. However, I had to narrow down the photo usage, because this post is already post heavy with pictures (Is that possible? If you are on slow upload…I am incredibly sorry).

Molly on the Texas Longhorn.
Sydney rode the (?) race horse. Uh, giddy-yup Syd! You go cowgirl.

Next, we shopped. Okay….not really. Those things are waaaay too expensive, but we had fun anyway.

Fort Worth Stockyards store.
Sydney getting country in the stockyards.
Rough and tough Bridget in the hat shop at the stockyards in Fort Worth.
Howdy ya'll! It's Molly the cowgirl.

Then we saw something crazy – really crazy.

It is what you think it is.

A real cat with a real rat.

It’s a little hard to see, but the rat is on the cat, and the cat is on a dog.

I have no idea how he did that, but it was fur real. Heh.

Our little outing ended when the outlaws were thrown in jail. All THREE of them!

It's jail time for the criminals.

S’cuse me, make that all FOUR of them rascals!

Enjoy your stay...

I will bail you out tomorrow, okay kids?

My most wanted crazy blended family.

That sums up our afternoon in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The girls really enjoyed it. I think they have watched some western shows with their mom and they soaked it all up with big happy grins. Their maternal relatives hail from New England, but my goodness…..it’s obvious these little girls were born in Texas and it is soooo cute.

If you have not visited the Fort Worth Stockyards, and you live here (shame), you definitely should. The cattle drive happens twice a day. We caught the one at four pm.

Fort Worth Stockyards

It was a great family time. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend too, and enjoying the nice weather if you got it.

Timeless Memories

I never imagined this weekend as a gift, but it truly was. A gift of delightful memories.

This weekend wasn’t just about Thanksgiving, it was about how much could Jason take and still love me? Mom staying with Jason and meeting the girls for the first time. Of course, she fell head over heels in love. And they took to her like stink on a dog because, well….she brought four furry children with her. FOUR.

Two tiny Papillons, Buddy the man, and Little Chevy who weighs an ounce? A Yorkie terror terrier named Lola. Poor thing, she has a disorder that requires medication every six hours to keep her from convulsing scarily. Yikes! And lastly, one FRED, a Shih-tzu boy, the biggest of the bunch, found wandering the highway one evening, that she promptly picked up in the Chuckwagon.

I call her vehicle the Chuckwagon, because it’s like the old commercial where the dogs are chasing the wagon with dog food, except it’s her van. The van stops and the dogs pile in. She takes them ALL home. I am not even kidding. My mom has 23 dogs (yes, she lives in the country).

I think half of them she has been trying to find homes for…for-EVER. But ya know? Her guidelines for a doggy home is VERY strict (which is good). Most don’t qualify, the rest don’t want grown up dogs. Then, MORE dogs come chasing down the Chuckwagon, which isn’t hard to catch. I think she ties meaty lamb chops to her bumper. Kidding! She doesn’t.

In all honesty, she rescues bloodhounds. She is part of an organization that will save a bloodhound (or part bloodhound) before they are euthanized at a shelter. They pick them up, put them in foster care until they can be adopted out. So, some of the dogs are fosters, others followed the Chuckwagon, and the rest happened to be on the right road, on the right day.

Whichever way you want to look at it, if you need a pet, please let me know. It really is a great service they do. They all have their shots and have been fixed. The fact that Mom only brought FOUR, ha, that’s a miracle. Lucky JASON!

Why did she stay at his house and not mine? Well, there was a little incident at my Mom’s house where Buddy the dog decided to get in Salem’s face, all chest bumping, and fake punching. She told him to get lost with her teeth and thirteen stitches later……yeeeeeaah. Not good.

Salem does NOT like little yappy, bossy Buddy dogs. Did I mention Buddy is eleven years old and has no teeth? Oh Salem, you are such a brute. Making her apologize would not have come CLOSE to making up for what happened to the little guy. In her defense, she only put her mouth on him for a second.

So, NO, I would not risk four doggy lives at my place with not only one big dog, but three. Not to mention, I have no extra bed. AND three grown ups share a very tiny bathroom already. One more might just push me over the edge. Ahhh!

Jason’s house it was. Extra bedroom, new mattress, cleaned up toy room, converted to guest bedroom (which Bridget kept asking me if I was going to sleep there). Uhh, no GRANDMA is “Gwanmah seep dere?” Yes, SHE is sleeping there. Isn’t that cool? (nods head, beams a smile) She only thought it was cool because Grandma has presents, and puppies.

Jason has a doggy run in his backyard, and LOTS, and LOTS of tile. Jason, sweetie, I know I can never EVER possibly make up for your most generous hospitality in the whole wide world. Ever to infinity times squared to the tenth power. But pssssst, you totally passed the TEST. Heh! You had no idea right?

Watching the little girls with my Mom and the dogs brought me great joy. Molly and Bridget LOVE the puppies. They love to hold them, pet them, cuddle them, and even drop them. Luckily they are close to the ground. Please don’t tell them they are not “really” puppies, especially old man Buddy. They were in heaven with all the puppy love.

Fred the Shih-tzu is one of my personal favorites. Cutest dog in the world. He is a love. I am not a little dog fan, but I would take him home in a second (Jason says no, hmph!). This weekend we carted around lots of dogs. Moving them back and forth from outside to in (even in the rain, right Jason?). Pictures galore were taken, adorable subjects, equals timeless shots.

Molly and Fred

Molly, Bridget, and Sydney – Can I just say this photo turns me to mush, awh!

Mom and girls walking together.

Then finally, we ended with ICE at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. What a finale! That place was incredible. The decorations, the art, the imagination of it all, just wraps you up, like a living present. Plus the ice slide, a grown up child’s dream – FLYING down the ice – no holds barred – Weeeeeeeee! It was glorious fun. If it wasn’t so crowded, I would have done it over and over til my fingers and nose froze off (totally worth it by the way).

Did I mention it was nine degrees? Before you can go in, they wrap you up in these big blue suits made for Eskimos. I guess they know Texan’s don’t have “real” winter coats, nor do we need them, although some people think we do when it goes from 110 degrees to 60 degrees, phhsss. Either way, we got a nifty warm sleeping bag garmet to wear in the ICE. Awesome.

Without further ado, timeless memories..


Jason, Mom, Me, Sydney, Kyle, Molly, and Bridget in front.


Jason and his two beauties.


Sydney and the girls.


One of my favorites, Bridget and my Mom.


Ice sculptures.


Molly and an ice lamb.


Me and Sydney. I swear that’s a camera bag under my coat, not like one of Mom’s small dogs or something. Heh!


The Grinch and my heart after this weekend.

Sweet timeless memories, I am not worthy.

The Cheshire Kid

Jason had the kids this weekend, but I didn’t get to see them until Sunday.

We get back from Church, then they arrive from Church with their Grandma (Jason’s Mom), and proceed to attack Jason.

Grabbing his legs, trying to pull him down, giggling madly, evil gleams in their beady innocent eyes. Scary, I tell you and they just came from CHURCH. Well, along with Sunday school snacks, which could include large doses of popcorn, skittles, and possibly liquid sugar shots? Yeah, I think that’s what it was.

Sydney was at home, she wasn’t able to go to Church, since she went to her boyfriends races the night before, and they ended late. I found out via Facebook she had a terrible night and possibly her boyfriend was cheating on her? What?!?! Her Dad even called me, once he got her update, to find out what was going on.

Oh my, is this how we parent? Of course back in my parents day, they had no CLUE what was going on. Unless you count the wailing sounds from my room, or Air Supply blaring from the speakers. I am grateful for Facebook and Twitter – I get to keep in touch with my teen. I actually know what’s going on or when something is going on (well at least more so).

I decide to go get her (right away) and immediately take her for chocolate, and guy bashing, aka The Cure.

The kids were so busy playing, they didn’t want to pack into the car again. J’s oldest wanted to stay home and kill Dad play with Dad. The plan was..I would go get Sydney and we would eat lunch, trash the no good cheater catch up, polish off desert and be good as new to reunite with everyone.

I had my keys in hand, and was saying good-bye, when I feel a tug at my pants. I look down to see the Cheshire kid. You know the one? Face of an angel, twinkling eyes, playful charming smile….yeah that one….the one that gets you.

J’s youngest, Bridget

Bridget: I go wit choo. (cocks head smiling sweetly)

Me: You want to go with me? (I point to myself, look around at J in incredulous wonder – J shrugs)

Bridget: Yesth, I go wit CHOO. (pokes me with her little pudgy finger)

Me: Ooookay. (still looking for help, getting none)

Don’t get me wrong, she asks to go with me all the time – it just usually doesn’t work out. Plus, she can get moody when she is hungry or tired (it’s so cute, it’s just like Jason). We had talked about doing separate things with the kids, so he could have some one on one time with each of them. This seemed as good a time as any. It’s just so strange to see her away from her older sister Molly. With them only two years apart, they are very close, they even sleep in the same room. Plus, she had never left alone with me. She is a Daddy’s girl through and through.

Alrighty then, I grab her car seat and off we go to get Sydney. She is happy, beaming her mega-watt charm of a smile. I end up taking them both to a restaurant. She was so good. Never cried, wasn’t bored, picked out exactly what she wanted to eat, and ate it. No fuss at all. I love this kid!

I had chicken nuggets, but I didn’t like the sauce, so I asked for gravy. I get my gravy and the Cheshire kid promptly dips her fries in it. I was shocked! I said, “Did you just dip your fry in MY GRAVY?” I give her the scary eye.

An eruption of delighted giggles burst forth, not scared at all, as she continued to dip every fry, cackling gleefully each joust. I immediately picked up the phone and text Jason. My text read:

Your daughter is country! She is dipping her fries in my gravy.

Oh my sweet Lord, the Cheshire kid is sucking me in. She likes gravy with her fries, just like a good ole girl from Oklahoma. We finish with dessert and come to find out, Sydney’s boyfriend thing? False alarm. Something about a fortune cookie on Sorority girls, huh? Whatever THAT means. Heh!

Back we go hand in hand to the car, Sydney helps belt her in. She hasn’t even asked about Daddy, little stink. She finally does in the car. We head back with her all grins and charming endearment.

Later that afternoon, as Sydney and I are preparing to leave, after we shopped at Wal-Mart for FIVE Operation Christmas Child boxes, with two still hyper banshees kids. THEN, stuffed them to the gills packed all of them. If that wasn’t a work out, I don’t know what is.

Here she came, the Cheshire kid, with those big eyes, and that sweet little face turned up to me, arms reaching.

Bridget: I go wit choo.

Me: But baby, I’m going home. (lifting her into my arms)

Bridget: I not Baby! I Bridget! I go WIT choo.

Me: You want to come home with me? Where will you sleep? With Sydney or me?

Bridget: Swedney.

Me: What about the closet? I can string you a hammock in the closet and you can live there.

She nods.

Bridget: I go wit choo. (lays her silky head on my shoulder)

That little Cheshire kid. I’d take her home in a heartbeat. She has charmed me out of my mind, take a three year old home with me? What? It’s like I’m hypnotized! Nodding my head, picking her up. Goodness gracious!

Me: One day, you can come visit me at my house, OK?

Bridget: Ochay.

Why do I get the feeling she is not going to forget that promise? What in the world am I getting myself into?

Oh, my heart.