Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

>Photography Thursday: Rodeo Style!

>March in Texas is when the Houston Rodeo is full effect. We have Go Texan Day, when the trailriders ride into the city from all over, Texan Independence Day, and of course three weeks of the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show, apparently the biggest rodeo in the country. I had no idea how seriously Texans take their wild west heritage until I moved here almost three years ago. So today I thought I’d simply share some of my favorite photos that convey the sentiment of this month. These are all from the past couple of years.

Ending her trailride in the city
Crusty Old Cowboy
Texas Proud!
My Little Buckaroo
Texas Flags EVERYWHERE
Ready for the Rodeo Parade
Little Cowgirls
Hatchlings at the Livestock Show
Mutton Bustin’!
Newborn piglet at the Birthing Center in the Livestock Show
If you like this, you may also enjoy my post on the Top Ten Things I Love About Texas

>Texas to the Big Ten or Pac-Ten? What about Texas A&M?

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I never thought I could get so excited about college football in the month of June.  Big Ten expansion was a distant pipedream less than a year ago, but this week all hell is breaking lose in the conferences.  Jim Delaney, commissioner for the Big Ten has been saying for months that the conference is looking to expand but it would take 12-18 months and a very deliberate and researched process.  Rumors have been swirling for weeks about who we would invite, but most have been shot down as uncredible until just this week.  When people really started to think that the Big Ten would try to pluck at least one Big Twelve team, the Pac-10 saw an opportunity and apparently went all spazo.  Larry Scott, the commissioner of the Pac-10, started jumping up and down yelling about how they would expand to 16 teams and take SIX teams from the Big Twelve, most notably Texas. 

So Texas is sitting back with both the Pac-10 and the Big Ten suddenly courting them, and the Texas legislature is trying like hell to keep the other Texas teams from being left out in the cold.  Namely Texas A&M and Texas Tech, but they also tried to keep Baylor in the mix.  Suddenly Texas A&M starts getting interest from the SEC and now nobody knows what’s going to happen…anyone saying otherwise is just making semi-educated guesses.  Nebraska is jumping ship to the Big Ten, a perfect fit, and I couldn’t be happier.  Yes, I loathed Nebraska in 1995 when they stole Penn State’s national championship, but I have a close friend who is a prof at UNL so my grudge is almost gone. 
You will see from these photos that my family are huge Penn State fans, but I am also a Longhorns fan.  However I am seeing the attitude at UT now that is reminiscent of Notre Dame and USC’s obnoxiousness.  I’m not sure I want that for the Big Ten, but it sure would be awesome to drive over to Austin or College Station to see Penn State play.  I’m willing to deal with Texas to get that opportunity. 
The biggest remaining question, probably the very last domino in this mess to fall, will be what Notre Dame does. They’d be stupid to not jump on board, but they have a habit of being stupid.  And they are the one team that I don’t see myself cheering for when they play out of conference.  I despise them.  So we shall see. 

>Top 10 Things I Love About Texas

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I’ve read Stacey’s Top Ten Tuesday posts for a little while and today I had writer’s block, so I let this inspire me a bit.  So since I am a pretty recent transplant from Philly to Houston, I thought I would share with you the top ten things I love about living in Texas. 

1. The cost of living! It is amazing to me how much farther a dollar goes here in Katy than it ever did in Philly.  Our house, which is gorgeous, cost 36% less per square foot here.  Seriously, I am not even kidding.  Gas is cheaper, groceries are cheaper, daycare is cheaper…the list goes on.

2. The diversity.  I thought our Chester County/Montco neighborhood in Philly was diverse! On my perfectly manicured street I have Chinese neighbors, African American neighbors, Indian neighbors, Colombian neighbors, liberal neighbors, conservative neighbors, and good old native Texan neighbors.  And we all get along really really well, and our kids all play and go to school together. 

3. The sunshine.  There are pros and cons to this, but overall it is so much nicer having sunshine year round.  My mood is incredibly dependent on the weather, and I didn’t know that till I moved here.  I just need to buy stock in sunblock. 

4. The values.  Even though Houston is not as reflective of the “Bible belt” culture as many other places in the  South, waaaaaaay more people I know go to church every Sunday.  It is totally surprising to me, coming from a place where a lot of folks just enjoyed sleeping in on Sundays.  And not just protestants either, I have a bunch of Catholic friends and a few Jewish friends here and they ALL attend services and are actually involved in their church bodies.  I’ve never asked my Hindu or Muslim neighbors whether they attend religious services, now I’m kinda curious about that. 

5. Texas pride.  It’s everywhere.  It is pervasive and seriously contagious.  I come from a place where we take huge pride in the Revolutionary War and teach it every year in elementary school.  Here they take pride that Texas fought for its own independence from Mexico, and I get it. 

6. Culture.  Houston has unbelievable culture.  There are a TON of great museums here!  And we have our own world-class ballet, opera, and symphony.  I could go on forever about this. 

7. Social Media community.  I’ve written about some of the events I’ve attended recently, but the thing is, Houston’s SM community is amazing. Bigtime bloggers.  Events are planned almost every day of the week.  Tweetups of all sizes and shapes.  There is a tech boom going on here nobody outside of TX seems to know about.

8. Cowboys.  Enough said.

9. Schools. This is specific to where I live in Katy, but we have some of the top public schools in the nation.  The schools in my area are exceptionally competitive academically. 

10. Food.  We have fabulous Tex-Mex and BBQ.  Wonderfully fresh seafood.  And of course fantastic steakhouses.