Slicker than two eels humpin’ in a bucket of snot.

After visiting The Cadillac Ranch, I drove to the top of the Texas panhandle.

Perryton, Texas, the Wheatheart of the Nation.

Perryton, Texas, the Wheatheart of the Nation.

There isn’t much to see or do around the top of the Texas panhandle, at least that I saw. (Note the landscape in the background of the above photo – it’s like that as far as the eye can see.) But, tucked away in Perryton, Texas, on the side of the highway shortly before entering Oklahoma, is one of the better museums I’ve seen in a long time.

From the outside, The Museum of the Plains in Perryton, Texas, looks small and nondescript. I had passed it a couple of times on my way somewhere else, before I noticed it. Mainly for lack of anything else to see or do in the area, one day I decided to check it out.

Holy Tardis, Batman! It’s bigger on the inside!

Much like Doctor Who’s Tardis, the museum is deceptively small-looking on the outside. However, Continue reading →

Bucket List Item: The Cadillac Ranch

O.M.G. The. Cadillac. Ranch!

One of my top three Bucket List items is officially checked off! (The Largest Frying Pan and the Largest Ball of Twine being the other two top items.) The Bucket List exists because of these three items.

Do you all realize how looong The Cadillac Ranch has been on my Bucket List? No, of course you don’t because I haven’t been blogging as long as it’s been on my list. If I tell you how long it’s been on my list, you may not believe me when I tell you all I’m 27.

Let’s just say it’s been decades and leave it at that, mkay?

Yes, I’m still 27, dammit! (Although, another Anniversary of my 27th Birthday is rapidly approaching. Nonetheless, I will still be 27. Forever. 27.)

The Cadillac Ranch. (I thought it would look bigger.)

The Cadillac Ranch. (I thought it would look bigger. Really, I did.)

The Cadillac Ranch

In 1974 in Amarillo, Texas, a group of three artists, Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, created the Cadillac Ranch art installation, with the financial backing of Stanley Marsh III. The artists were part of a group called Ant Farm, and as such they created several architecturally unique installations around the country. This installation, ten used Cadillac cars buried ass-end up in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid, is slightly west of Amarillo on the former Route 66.

One good thing about taking photos in flat, desert landscape like parts of the Texas panhandle: there’s never anything to get in the way of your shot. No trees, no plant life, no wildlife, no big rocks, nothing really. There weren’t even clouds in the sky to block the sun. All of which helped accent the cars, and helped the colors turn out sharply. Now, about the colors… Continue reading →

Dream Catcher and Metal Men

Or should that be Metal Dream Man Catcher?

Because I would really like to have a metal Dream Man Catcher. What woman wouldn’t, right? If you hung it over your bed at night, you would wake up in the morning to find your dream man inside. You could let him out, have your way with him, and then put him back to save him for later.

Or have him go make breakfast.

Somebody get to work on that right away.

Back to reality: the Giant Dream Catcher, and Metal Men Climbing a Feed Mill Silo.

Yes, believe it or not, those two things are more real than my Metal Dream Man Catcher. Such a pity.

In Marble Falls, Texas, (north Hill Country) on the side of the highway that runs through the center of town is a Giant Dream Catcher. No, I don’t know the significance. It didn’t have a sign explaining its purpose for me to take a photo of for you all. You folks know I rarely read those wordy signs.

Giant Dream Catcher in Marble Falls, Texas.

Giant Dream Catcher in Marble Falls, Texas.

 

In nearby Johnson City, there are metal men climbing Continue reading →

Kernut and BluzDude Do Baltimore

This is how rumors get started.

The cat is out of the bag: BluzDude is the fellow blogger who invited me for crab cakes a long time ago. Bluz used to live in Pennsylvania but has called Baltimore home for many years. Those of you who follow his blog know he is eloquent and possesses an enviable wit. If you don’t already follow him, check out Darwinfish

A hearty Welcome! to any fans of Bluz who’ve ventured this way from his blog.

Here’s how Kernut and BluzDude Doing Baltimore got started: In a simple comment on one of my posts, he offered to buy me crab cakes if I ever made it to his neck of the woods. I was in Texas when he made the offer a few years ago. I don’t forget offers of food, especially from good-looking bloggers.

But here’s the odd part – I can not find the email or comment. Anywhere. Now, we all know I have a memory like a goldfish… once around the bowl and I’m thinking, “Oooh, that rock’s new!” But, I forget things – I never make them up. At this point, I can only assume Bluz was gentlemanly enough to agree he had once promised me crab cakes.

I digress. (To those of you who are new, if you stick around you will come to find that this is a common occurrence.)

The area of Baltimore Harbor done by Kernut and BluzDude.

The area of Baltimore Harbor done by Kernut and BluzDude.

BluzDude and Kernut doing the Stad Amsterdam in Baltimore Harbor.

BluzDude and Kernut doing the Stad Amsterdam in Baltimore Harbor.

The Tour of Baltimore Harbor

I spent a day in Baltimore and got The Official BluzDude Tour of Baltimore Harbor. It was great – he could charge tourists for that tour! We did Continue reading →

Picking fly turds out of pepper.

This post is a selection of random photos from around Texas. Some I’ve had for a long time, but there hardly seemed enough story about any one of them to form a whole post by themselves. Then I had the brilliant idea to lump all the mini posts into one…

Hence, the title: Picking fly turds out of pepper.

Not that these are turds, per se, they’re merely lacking in back story. Although, some of these were taken before my photo skills improved, so they are turds in that respect.

Canyon Lake in Canyon Lake. This was taken three years ago. If you decide to visit, do not wear a sundress. Why? Because it’s windy on top of the dam. The wind will catch your skirt, flip it up, and show your rear end to everyone behind you, also walking along the dam. And then you will have to walk along the rest of the dam and back holding your skirt down with both hands. You will look silly holding your skirt down. Probably. It’s just a guess.

Canyon Lake

The dam at Canyon Lake. A nice place for a walk, but not in a dress.

100_2169 But wait, there’s more… Continue reading →

Kerrville Museum of Western Art

Most of you know I’m in Pennsylvania, and just a bit more behind than usual in posting… hence the Texas posts. I still have Oklahoma posts after I catch up with Texas. Then we’ll be all caught up with the goofy sights. It’s only the cheezy roadside attractions that are behind. Depending on what we do next week, I may or may not delay the post about my visit with the famous fellow blogger. I’m sure he’ll appreciate being publicly linked to a bonkers blond blogger. *snicker*

Now, where were we? Oh right, my last (maybe?) post about Kerrville before moving on to other areas in north Texas….

Kerrville doesn’t have much in the way of cheezy roadside attractions, but it does have a few fun things to see if you find yourself in the area. There is the chalk festival, and The Empty Cross, and the Museum of Western Art.

Museum of Western Art

Cowboy with horse.

Cowboy with horse.

I love museums and bronze sculptures, and therefore enjoyed the museum. The sculptures were some of the best bronzes I’ve seen in a long time. Continue reading →

The Empty Cross in Kerrville Texas

Today’s post is short, and mostly pictures. Have you noticed that as my photography skills improve, I’m writing less? And I’m sure you all can guess why… “A picture says a thousand words.” Which is awesome because I’m going to use the extra time to clean my house and paint my nails.

High atop a hill in north Texas Hill Country and visible from Interstate 10, a giant cross watches over the town below.
The view from above.

The view from above.

Kerrville, Texas, is home to The Empty Cross, a 77′ 7″-tall, 70-ton steel tribute to Christianity. It is the largest cross I’ve ever visited, but it isn’t the largest in the world, nor the largest in the US.

The cross tops a hill, the side of which is a sculpture and scripture garden. As you enter the park, you are greeted by this sculpture of three nails. The cross is seen in the background.

Three spikes at entrance to park.

Three nails sculpture at entrance to park. The Empty Cross is seen in the background.

Continue reading →

Moving slower than molasses on a cold day.

The Good, The Bad, and The Pretty

Moving slower than molasses, I’m still in Ohio but determined to leave this week for Pennsylvania. It’s cold, it’s flat, and women are often treated as objects, and men are reluctant to stand up for a woman when they see a man verbally abusing her in public (a church-like environment). I didn’t witness that event, but heard of it in detail from a man who was bothered by it. A few of the other men listening said it was none of their business to say anything to this man they knew, a man who had done this before.

As the only woman present for this discussion, I was quick to tell the men who said it was none of their business that it was, in fact, their business to teach the other members of the fellowship how to treat people, to be respectful. I pointed out it was easy for me to see why I was the only woman there… they had chased all the others off as much by the aggressive behavior of some as the passive behavior of the others.

I probably just lost all male readers in Ohio, but I call them as I see them. Needless to say, this is not an isolated incident in that town but rather an underlying part of the culture in this area (near Dayton). It’s not everywhere, but it is a far more common and accepted occurrence than I’ve encountered in a long time. But this happens to some degree every day all over this country…

UPDATE:  This article better describes how pervasive this problem is in our culture. Please read.

Now for something pretty… (hey, I never claimed to be good at segues)

Kerrville Chalk Festival

Every summer Kerrville, Texas, hosts a chalk art festival. Continue reading →

Ten Things Tuesday: Ways Texas Made Me A Better Person

For Ten Things Tuesday – on a day that might actually be a Tuesday – I present Ways Texas Made Me A Better Person

(Once upon a time, I used to post a random ten things on a Tuesday. Sometimes it was Tuesday, sometimes it wasn’t, but that’s besides the point. It’s been some time since I posted a Ten Things Tuesday post so don’t feel bad if you don’t remember. I promised infrequent posts, and I’ve kept to that.)

I’m in Ohio for a short stay. I missed Texas as soon as I left it five days ago. I miss the wonderful people I’ve met there, I miss the weather, I miss the low cost of living (especially fuel), I miss the slower pace of the country life, and the slower pace overall.

The place in Texas that I left. What was I thinking? Oh, yeah. Work, that's right. Note to self: Buy a lottery ticket today.

The place in Texas that I left. What was I thinking? Oh, yeah. Work, that’s right. Note to self: Buy a lottery ticket today.

 

Before I came to Texas, for a long time I felt drawn to the state, a desire to go to there. I had no idea what it was really like, and no idea how much of an imprint it would leave on my soul. Texas changed me for the better. That may seem silly to say, but it is so different from the other states in which I’ve been – it really is like its own country.

(It may seem in some of the items below like I’m picking on California. I don’t mean to bash California. It is the one other place I lived for a long time, therefore my best reference point. I still consider it one of the most beautiful states.)

Ten Ways Texas Made Me A Better Person:

Driving polite. Oh, how I love the polite drivers in the Texas country! I’ve mentioned this before. Having come from the rush-rush “me first” attitude that seems to permeate the California cities, polite driving and polite drivers were a surprising – and refreshing – experience. As a whole, people in Texas don’t tailgate. If they want to go faster than you, you just drive on the shoulder for them until they pass. If there’s no shoulder, they pass you in the opposite lane when it’s clear. When they’ve passed, they even tap their brakes at you to say “Thanks”. Continue reading →

A Tiny Church in Ingram and other stuff

There is a teeny town in northeast Texas Hill Country, right next to Kerrville, called Ingram. It was the first time since being in Texas that I saw actual hills. (“Hill Country” is a misnomer… what they call hills in Texas, they don’t acknowledge as a change in elevation in California.)

Ingram is home to fewer than 2,000 people, and there’s a large gap in the population between the upper and lower income brackets. One of two things generally define the two: lots of silver jewelry from a local, quasi-famous jewelry shop, or lots of tattoos and piercings. The people weren’t as openly friendly as much of the Texas country. They stick to themselves, but many are friendly once they decide you’re okay.

Below are several photos from around town. The captions tell the story. The cute tiny church is at the end.

Indian in a truck.

Indian in the back of a truck.

Back of Indian in a truck.

Back of Indian in the back of a truck.

Continue reading →