Saturday, September 6, 2014

My 52nd Birthday

Every year my birthday gets better and better. I’m usually some where new with new friends and it is so much fun.

This years festivities started out with a birthday luncheon for the volunteers at Kleb Woods for birthdays of July and August. The food was so good! I brought Red Velvet cupcakes but my favorite was this coleslaw dish that a lady brought.

Slaw Salad Kleb Woods
4 cups slaw mix
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
¼ cup chopped red onion
Mix together
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
Mix and pour over slaw
Chill as least 3 hours
Serves 6

So simple, yet so delicious.

The next event was Phil taking me out to dinner to a wonderful little Italian place, called Capri Pasta. I had won a 50.00 gift certificate to and this restaurant was on the list of places I could use the certificate.


Our meal started out with this wonderful fried mozzarella appetizers.


This was followed by the Italian Wedding Soup, which frankly I think mine is better.


Then the Lasagna which was very, very good.


Then there was desert, cake balls!

One of the best birthday dinners ever!

On Sunday, Phil took me to Galveston to take a Duckie tour of Galveston.


Galveston Duck Tours is a land and water sightseeing adventure spanning 15 miles of Galveston Island.


Commissioned by the Galveston Commission for the Arts and installed in 2000, David W. Moore's bronze sculpture is a monument to the victims and survivors of the 1900 Storm, which killed in excess of 6,000 Galvestonians.



The duck goes down into the water, what our guide called the Offatts Bayou



Moody Gardens


Galveston's Stormy Past

40,000 trees were killed on Galveston Island during Hurricane Ike in 2008. The city found chain saw sculptors to work on the trees in the historic district with amazing results.
A picture of one of the tree stumps that was cut down and an Oleander bush. Oleander is not native to Texas. It was brought here

In 1841. Joseph Osterman, a prominent merchant, brought them aboard his sailing ship from Jamaica to his wife and to his sister-in-law, Mrs. Isadore Dyer. Mrs. Dyer found them easy to cultivate and gave them to her friends and neighbors. Soon these new plants were growing throughout the city.
Galveston tree sculptors saw destruction and turned disaster into a thing of beauty. Hurricane Ike destroyed many of the ancient trees lining Galveston's streets. They are now beautiful works of art.


Tourist Attraction
The dead tree sculptures can be found all over Galveston island on every street and corner. The artists took the time to look at each tree and find the inner heart that turned the trees into mermaids, dolphins, squirrels, dogs and even angels. These sculptures are truly spectacular and will stand the test of time and the weather. They are worth a visit.
There are several old cemeteries on Galveston. I wish it hadn’t been so hot, I would have loved to wander through them looking at the dates and epithets.



This shows where the water level came to during Hurricane Ike at the Napa Parts Store.


The Moody mansion


W.L Moody Jr. bought the home from the heirs of the original owners soon after the great hurricane of 1900. Mr. and Mrs. Moody and their four children celebrated the first of more than eighty Christmas seasons in the house in December of that year. The house remained home for Moody family members until 1986.
Galveston is a beautiful city with more history than I expected.
After touring the city, we met Terry and Ginger for dinner at Outback. I laughed so much I almost got sick. It really was a terrific birthday.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Texas Prison Museum

Phil knows what a true crime buff I am so he made the plans for us to go to the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville, Texas.
The Texas Prison Museum, in existence since 1989, features numerous exhibits detailing the history of the Texas prison system, both from the point of view of the inmates as well as the men and women who worked within the prison walls.
The museum is filled with interesting memorabilia from the surrounding prisons, including death row.
One of the more infamous inmates was Henry Lee Lucas who had claimed to have killed over a 100 women.
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Texas Prison Museum 5

One of the unusual things about Huntsville Prison was the prison rodeo.
Marshall Lee Simmons, the general manager of the prison system, started the rodeo in 1931.
The events included bareback basketball, bronco riding, bull riding, calf roping, and wild cow milking.
One of the most talked about events was the  Hard Money Event. Forty Inmates with red shirts were turned into the arena with a raging wild bull with a Bull Durham tobacco sack tied between its horns. The object was for some brave inmate to get the sack and take it to the Judge. Fifty dollars had been placed in the sack but donations often ran the pay up, sometimes to $1500. This became a very popular event for the inmates due to the amount of money involved and was one of the most dangerous ones as well.
The last rodeo was held on October 26, 1986.
This saw blade was painted by one of the inmates of some rodeo participants.

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Some paraphilia from the rodeo years.
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Texas Prison Museum 7

A lot of the inmates were very talented and passed their time making beautiful things.
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Texas is a death penalty state.
Below is several items from various death executions protests.

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Death row was located in the East Building of the Huntsville Unit from 1928 to 1952.  From 1952 until 1965, the electric chair was located in a building by the East Wall of the Huntsville Unit.
Ole Sparky
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This man was put to death in 2002 for the murder of two little girls in 1992.
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Texas Prison Museum 4

A metal shield that the guards used during riots
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Inmates can be very creative. These are shivs and other objects that inmates would make inside prison.

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I really wanted to get this shirt for Alicia!
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A rocking horse made by an inmate.
Texas Prison Museum

We enjoyed our tour of the Texas Prison Museum and have already recommended it to several of our friends as a must see place to go while in this part of Texas.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Reptile Open House at Jesse Jones Park

Jesse Jones State Park had a Reptile open house on Saturday and I decided that even though my knee was hurting so bad I could just barely hobble around, that it would be better to get out of the house for awhile instead of just sitting there focusing on the pain.
The Reptile Open House features the largest pythons to the smallest frogs,with displays of live reptiles and amphibians from around the world.
I was glad I went.
The ranger was very informative about the snakes there at the center.
Texas is home to the following venomous snakes: the Copperhead, Cottonmouth, Rattlesnake, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Mojave Rattlesnake, Blacktail Rattlesnake, Western Rattlesnake, Massasauga, Pygmy Rattlesnake, and Harlequin Coral Snake.
Texas is also home to hundreds of other snakes, some of which mimic their venomous cousins. The Texas bull snake does a very realistic job of imitating a rattler -- even down to the rattling sound! A milksnake and a coral snake look alarmingly alike -- same colors but in different orders. Learn to tell the difference.
This is Lucky. She was found with her head almost chopped off. A ranger sewed her up and she is now a permanent resident at the park.

Lucky Jesse Jones Park

Lucky Jesse Jones Park2

A few people were brave enough to hold Lucky.

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Lucky weighs 40 pounds and is 10 feet long, quite the handful for this little girl.

A corn snake, beautiful colors.
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Corn Snake Jesse Jones Park 4
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Corn Snake Jesse Jones Park

A rattler

This little guy was outside and posed for me nicely.



A little flora and fauna.


Jesse Jones Park_FotoSketcher

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Jesse Jones Park 2

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rollover Pass

Isn’t that an interesting name? Rollover Pass (also known as Rollover Fish Pass) earned its name from the practice of smugglers who, from the days of Spanish rule through prohibition, avoided the Galveston customs station by rolling barrels of import or export merchandise (i.e., whiskey and rum) over the narrowest part of the peninsula.

Rollover Pass is a strait 200 feet wide, five feet deep, and more than 1,600 feet long across Bolivar Peninsula.

The Kleb Woods birding group went there to look at some shore birds.

Blue Heron Rollover Pass 2

Kleb Woods Beach Trip Ruddy Turnstone


Willet doing a perfect runway pose.


I’m rereading the game of Thrones series. Il ove the show and up until book four the series has followed the books pretty faithfully.