March 1, 2011

Deep in the Heart of Texas

As this time of year rolls around, I find myself quite happy to be in Germany. The hockey season is winding down, the snow is finally melting and spring is (hopefully) just around the corner. I start to think that I don't miss Texas all that much.

That is, until I realize what all is going on in Houston these next two weeks. I can't believe that it is already here, but the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officially starts up today. And the cowgirl in me is longing for a quick trip home to see the bucking broncos, chow down on roasted corn and giant turkey legs, and jam out to some good ol' Texas Country. 

2,000 calories on a stick, don't mind if I do! (source)

This year, the HLSR really snuck up on me. I didn't realize the Cook Off, which kicks off the festivities, was this past weekend. And don't let the words "Cook Off" fool you. There is way more drinking and country music playing than cooking going on! 

My mom had to rub it in when I called her on Saturday. "I'm at the Cook Off, it's sunny and 80 degrees. Oh, and we got into special radio tent with all you can eat and drink!" Can you say jealous! Haha, I am glad they had a good time.

I think I attended the HLSR for over 10 years consecutively, and wouldn't ya know, I missed my first rodeo because of hockey a few years back. Damn that sport :) So, in honor of these next great weeks in Houston, and because I will always love Texas, I wanted to share some interesting facts with you. I am not being biased (well, I guess I am, I love Texas!), I know that other states are awesome too. But, I figured that after my Canadian post, I owed the Lone Star State a shout out too. Hope ya'll enjoy!


*Texas is one of the most historically rich states. In the last 165 years of statehood, and even stretching far back before that, Texas has a very interesting and exciting cultural past. Believe it or not, we even had to take a full year of "Texas History" in junior high.

*They say everything is "bigger and better in Texas" (who am I kidding, I say it too. Obnoxious!). But, it actually comes in second in the U.S. in population and area (behind California and Alaska, respectively). Still, Texas stretches 800 miles each way and the entirety of New England, as well New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois could all fit inside the state's landmass.

*Almost everyone is familiar with the saying "Remember the Alamo", and although there is a lot of legend surrounding the actual facts, it really was a turning point in Texas history and to this day makes for a great heroic story. The Battle of the Alamo, in present day San Antonio, has its 175th anniversary on March 6th this year. Around 190 Texians defended the Mission and held their own for nearly two weeks against 5,000 Mexican soldiers. In the end, all but two of the Texians were killed. "Remember the Alamo" became the cry of the Texas Revolution and sparked the attack and quick win against the Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto, which took place a little over a month later, in April of 1836 (and, no joke, the soldiers probably marched over some parts of our neighborhood). Hey, my hometown's motto is "The Birthplace of Texas"!

Gotta love Davy Crockett and his coon skin cap defending the Alamo! (source)

*The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world's largest live entertainment and livestock exhibition. In 2010, attendance reached a record high of 2.2 million visitors. With that many visitors, the shows required over 20,000 volunteers. And they are proud of their job! I bet they break the attendance record again this year :)

Oohhhheeee, get along little doggies. (source)

*Speaking of rodeos, Pecos, Texas, a small Western Texas town, claims to be the site of the world's first rodeo, held on July 4, 1883.

*Not surprisingly, Texas does have a lot of 'mosts'. 
*It produces more wool than any other state, I found out much to my surprise. Weird, because it doesn't really get cold enough in most parts of Texas to even wear wool!
*Texas has more individual farms than any other state, as well as the most tornados.
*It also leads the nation in livestock production and cotton (big shocker, right!?).
*Since the discovery of oil in Spindletop, Texas in 1901, oil has been an iconic symbol of Texas. The Baytown Refinery area just outside of Houston is the largest in the country. 
*Texas also leads in natural gas production. And I'm not talking about passing gas, people.
*Even with all these 'bad' energy sources, Texas makes up for it by being the nations leader in wind power, a renewable energy source. So, hah!

Can you imagine seeing this!? (source)
*The name Texas comes from a Caddo word meaning "friends" or "allies". Ain't that sweet :)

*Six Flags, as in the nationwide amusement park chain, gets its name from the six flags that once presided over Texas. First Spain made a claim to the Texas area, then the French had power for a bit with a short-lived colony. Mexico was the next to preside over the region, until the Battle of San Jacinto when Texas won it's independence and became its own Republic. Yep, Texas was once its own entity. Then, of course, it became the 28th state in the union, and broke off with the Confederacy during the Civil War. 

Everyone just wanted a piece of Tex-Ass. (source)

Hope you enjoyed a mini trip to my home state. I would love to see other people write about what is great in their state or country! 

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


  1. This is a great post....We lived in Tex-Ass for two seasons....I miss the weather and the BBQ.

    There was nothing better than walking around in our shorts while looking at the neighborhood Christmas lights!


  2. Houston is my favorite city. Greatest folks in the world. The random appearances of the Goodyear blimp took a while to get used to.

  3. @HW - too cool! I love Texas hockey, we would hang out by the pool in Feb, haha. And yes, all my Xmas pictures I am in short sleeves.
    @Rusk - oh, good man! I didn't want to just come right out and say that, but so true. The nicest people you might ever meet. :) Thanks for agreeing, lol

  4. Except for driving in the city, I ♥ Houston!! Our son lives there ... and he is volunteering at the rodeo this year. Ohhhhhhhhh, but wait...TEXAS still boasts about being the largest state in area. At least they've now changed it to the largest in the LOWER 48. LOL [can't blame us, right?]

    If you don't mind, I'm going to begin following your blog.

    Loved this post!! Nice to meet a fellow Texan. [I'm a transplant from Colorado, we retired on the TX coast]...but as they say "I got here as quickly as I could".

  5. hail the humango turkey leg --- can't stop lookin' at that pic ~ ~ ~ would go good with a smooth ale :D

  6. I have never been to Texas but wow it does have a lot of History! One of my closest friends lives in Houston and has invited me later this year and I am so excited to go! Hopefully I'll be able to spend Christmas in Texas this year! Yayyy :P

  7. Oh TX, I've considered moving there instead of Chicago, it was a tossup between three different states and this was a hard one to walk from. For the Big 30 I was going to go to San Antonio with friends because the state is so rich with history but had to put it off until late summer. I could see how you love it! Do you know of the Riverwalk? Is it too touristy?

  8. Texas is pretty awesome! Except we have winter in my part of the state, so there will be no pool in Feb!

  9. @Hootin Ani - haha, no kidding. I can definitely tell when I am back in Houston city limits for sure. Glad your son is volunteering, and no joke about the biggest comment. Thanks for stopping by, I am glad you did!
    @b. lee - mmmmm, sooo good with an Ale! haha
    @Apfel - You should definitely go, and if you do, let me know and I can give you some great ideas of things to see!
    @Morgan - I miss San Antonio soooo very much. What a fun town. The River Walk is touristy, but pretty cool. If you want, I can give you some good recommendations of places to eat/go out that are less touristy!
    @Mrs. M - haha, yeah, the Germans think I am so weird when they ask if it snows in Texas and I say some parts yes, and some parts no. It's too big to umbrella under one climate! :)

  10. wow sounds like such a good time, i might need to take a trip to Texas i have always wanted to see a rodeo!!!

    i went to texas in nov (dallas) and went to the state fair, that was a blast and i ate alottttttt! They have great food there.


  11. Thank you for the comment on my blog...Oh how I love Texas! I can just imagine how homesick you are, I would be too! I wasn't born in Texas but I spent 34 yrs trying my darn'est to get here and I did, WooHoo! Loved your post and I hope Spring is coming for y'all. Take care ~ Wen

  12. So great that we Houston gals have made a connection as blogger friends. It would be fun to compare stories! I'm in Houston this week where the weather is absolutely glorious. I"m enjoying it while I can, because next week in London will be a different story! Yes it's rodeo time--if I had some boots, I would wear them, but instead, I'm enjoying airing these little feet out in some sandals!


  13. @Lisa - The Houston Rodeo is a lot like the state fair in Dallas. If you liked that, you would love it!
    @Wendy - Haha, I love those bumper stickers that say "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as quick as I could!". Glad you stopped by too, really!
    @A Tale - no kidding, as I said I was happy to have found your blog. Haha, I would be airing out me feet too. When we return back to Texas, I pretty much live barefoot, just because I can. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. This is awesome! Makes me so proud to live here. Deep in the heart of Texas...

  15. Great post. Speaking of Texas Country . . . would you by chance have heard of a band called Jason Boland and the Stragglers? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. We have friends that live in Dallas and I keep telling them that we are going to plan a trip around when JB&S is playing in Ft. Worth.

  16. I can't believe you live in 3 different places! That sounds so stressful to me. I've never been to TX, but it sounds like a lot of fun and I've heard great things about it from friends going to graduate school there.

    xo, Grown Up Rachel

  17. We visited TX over Thanksgiving. Had a great time & great weather too :)

  18. @Tanya - oh yeah, I bet you know that song now, lol
    @April - I sure do know who that is! I love me some Texas Country. It is different from regular old country music, in a good way. Hope you get to go see them play!
    @Rachel - Nah, not stressful, but nice in a lot of ways. I never get sick of a place, so that is good, haha.
    @Trisha - glad Texas could show ya'll a great time! :)

  19. Love it! I'm sooo ready for the rodeo! We have tickets for two shows.

    And "Birthplace of Texas" aren't from Deer Park are you? I'm a Brazoria County girl, myself. :)

  20. Haha, oh Heather, how in the heck did you know that?! YES! I am from Deer Park, Houston is just easier to say. That is hilarious that you would know that. I am jealous of your rodeo tickets, have a great time for me too :)

  21. That beef on a stick! whoa! ha. I have never been to Texas, sad to say..need to go visit, sounds great:)

  22. Haha, I know my Texas history! I had to think for a minute though. My initial guess was Brazoria, since it's Washington on the Brazos.

    I'm dying for a corndog at the rodeo. I'll get the hubby to eat a turkey leg for you. :)

  23. I have only been to Texas once, but we really liked it! And I loved reading all of those facts- I heard the other day that some historians are saying the Alamo was a draw between the two sides...thought that was weird!

  24. This is a good post! But all Texans are super proud of the republic!

    Maybe I'll have an ode to Oklahoma Day!

    Oh man, when I was reading Mollie's answers to my questions, I was cracking up! My roommate was like "I can't wait to read it if it's THAT funny!"

    Hope you have a great day!

  25. The hubs use to live in San Antonio for a while and he tried to convince me that Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a true story..:O I hope not!!!

  26. Have you ever read True Women by Janice Woods Windle? Most of it takes place near San Jacinto River/Texas Hill Country area so if you haven't you might enjoy it (if you like historical fiction). There was also a Hallmark made for TV movie that came out in the 1990s that was based on the book starring Angelina Jolie and Annabeth Gish, believe it or not :)

  27. GOOD BLOG! Is fantastic! I´m following you!

    Follow too my blog:

  28. Never been to Texas, but my hubby was born there! Thanks for following Mom is the Only Girl!

  29. @Ashley - no kidding, can you say artery clogger or what?!
    @Heather - well kuddos to you for knowing Texas history :) Love it!
    @Shalyn - there is a myth that Davy Crockett? drew a line in the sand and everyone had to pick which side they were on. I don't know if it is true though, but makes for a good story!
    @Mallori - haha, so true. I would love to see an Okie one for sure!
    @Mrs K - hmmm, my hubs was in San Antonio for a while too! That is where we met :) And yes, I try to NOT think about that story, so scary
    @KT - No, I have never heard of it, but I would LOVE it! Thank you for the recommendation :) So nice!
    @Olavo - thanks for stopping by, glad you did :)
    @Tricia - well I bet your husband is a pretty good man then, haha. Ya'll should visit some time! Thanks for stopping over too!

  30. I would love to visit Texas one day! I used to think that they only wore those big cowboy hats in the movies, but when I was in Las Vegas I saw a hole bunch of people who actually wore them. So that was cool. Sometimes it actually is just like in the movies. ;-)

    And thank you for your reply regarding your blog hop. Monthly sounds great! :-)

  31. I officially jealous! I wish I could be a rich folk eating a country fair chicken leg shouting "remember the Alamo!"

  32. Thank you for educating a German here - all the one million things I didn't know about Texas. Basically my knowledge had been limited to the fact that it took me two days to drive through it with the ex-files. Two days? Mind you, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia took a day total all together!

    Btw, I am [finally] a new follower - I thought I had been for a while, but I kept missing the posts. . .hmm. Well, now it is all set in place :)

  33. Okay, so Alberta & Texas have a few things in common!! I've never been to texas but I will someday! I loved this post, very cool idea!!

  34. When it's shitty here in the midwest, I read about you happy people in warm weather states.

    On the one hand, good for you. Great. Grand. Wonderful.

    On the other hand my urge to smash things goes up exponentially. You understand, right?

    "yeah, well Caleb, instead of b*tching about it, just move!"

    Shut up, that's why. I would have applied to UT Law school, but they aren't real friendly to out-of-staters.

    I DO wear cowboy boots though. You think that would have helped my application?

    Nice blog!


  35. I grew up in Houston, but then moved to CO which is home when we're not here in Germany. But there is something about Texas, like a big fraternity, once you've lived there your in this huge brotherhood.

    I love it!!!

    Oh, and by the way when I was 6 I ate an entire turkey leg by myself at the HLSR :o)
    Good memories - thanks for the post.

  36. @ropcorn - well I am sure us Texans would love to have ya! I have to warn you, in the Houston airport, at least in the international arrivals, the workers wear cowboy hats and say welcome home ya'll. IT IS AWESOME! lol
    @Copyboy - haha, not sure exactly what the comment means, but I am laughing, and intrigued...
    @Rebecca - I am glad you enjoyed it then! Haha, for some of those states, that is all you need to know. WHOOOPS, didn't mean it :) Just kidding ya'll! I am glad you came over!
    @Sherri - no kidding, I always call Alberta the Texas of Canada. I am glad you liked it too!
    @Caleb - haha, you are too funny. I would be nice to you. Some of my best friends are originally 'out of staters' Just warning you, you won't want to leave :) Thanks for stopping by!
    @Charmain - that is a great way to put it, a big fraternity (in a non-douchey way, lol). Good memories in deed, I can almost taste one now...

  37. Texas is always a fun place to visit, and for me just a hop-skip away.

    Thanks for the follow. I am your newest follower.


  38. I have to give some love to MN- our summers on the lakes can't be beat!
    I want to visit Austin, I hear its pretty cool and I have friends there too.
    Neat post about your home state!

  39. @Victoria - haha, I can guess a couple of states you might be in :) Glad you stopped by as well!
    @Meri - YOU BETTER do a MN post, I would love it! And Austin is pretty cool. This hill country is one of the most beautiful places in the world

  40. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your blog title. That is so creative and funny. I'm your newest follower now :)

  41. I'm Canadian but lived in Texas (Houston area) for almost 8 years; I miss it every day! I loved everything about it and your post brought back a lot of good memories!! 'Specially the picture of the Pterodactyl leg...and fond memories of funnel cakes :o)

  42. Ooh eee thanks! If the trip comes through I'll definitely be asking questions of 'what not to do' and good places to hit up!

  43. @Greenearth - yeah. It does :)
    @Melanie - Thanks so much. I am glad you stopped by too. What a great compliment, thanks.
    @AbsolutelyPrimed - My Canadian husband missed Houston too, and I think he has lived there for a total of 6 months, lol. Pterodactyl leg, haha, awesome! Thanks for stopping by!
    @Morgan - Awesome! I mean it :)

  44. I miss the Georgia State Fair!!! Well I miss Georgia in general - but that dang fair food... LOL It ain't the same out here in Arizona! I will have to do a Georgia post soon, how cool this was!

  45. Way to give us a shout out! We are enjoying month of moderate weather right now and things are great. Also, in case you didn't know, we have more strip clubs here than anywhere else in the nation. Also, fattest U.S. City!

  46. @Yotes - I bet the Georgia state fair is fun too! I would love to see a GA post!
    @Johnny - you know it! I can't believe how great the weather has been there. It is so hit and miss at the end of Feb beginning of March. How in the WORLD did I miss putting up fattest city. Might have to go revise. And strip clubs too?!? I guess you do learn something new everyday, lol

  47. My brother lives in Texas and I'm always amazed at the BBQ there. I can see how you would be missing it.


Whoomp, there it is!