1- For the first time in my life on "Fat Tuesday" [aka Mardi Gras], I bought a King's Cake which is a New Orleans tradition for celebrating. The cake itself is supposedly originating in France and the idea came to America circa the 1870s. To me, it was like a frosted/heavily sugared croissant! Rich and heavy. I couldn't finish my piece. Since I've been trying to cut down on sugar intake, I tried scraping off the frosting and eat it without...nope, still way too sweet. It laid on my stomach late into the evening. Okay...that was the first and most likely the LAST King's Cake in our house. With his sweet tooth, Bud enjoyed it a lot. lol By the way, I got the 'baby' in my slice. That too means something. Good luck and fortune coming my way? Nope...tradition tells me I must host the next Mardi Gras party. Probably not. The vivid colors of Mardi Gras, purple, yellow and green represent some significance also: Yellow [or gold] is POWER, green is FAITH, and purple signifies JUSTICE. And, to write even further of the legend, the colors were chosen by the gifts of the wise men who visited the Christ Child on the Epiphany. Mardi Gras Day has a moveable date and may occur on any Tuesday from February 3rd to March 9th. It is always the day before Ash Wednesday, and always falls 46 days before Easter. I'll skip the traditional cake, but give me a trip to New Orleans and I'll take it!!
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2- Then, on March 2nd, it would be Texas Independence Day! I have finished the book Surrender and Infamy...a novel about the Goliad, Texas massacre by Santa Ana's troops. As I said previously, the book was VERY GOOD. And since it's historically 'the month' in Texas History, I am now reading another novel on the same subject. This time a highly acclaimed, with numerously given accolades to be one of the best ever written in novel form; with extreme accuracy in the events that proceeded the Battle of San Jacinto [near Houston Texas] which gave Texas its independence from Mexico and Santa Ana's surrender. The book: THE BUGLES ARE SILENT. I've read 6 chapters so far, and I think I'll stick with it throughout. I'm enjoying the difference in perspectives from the two authors on the same subjects and persons in the state's past. I've become more inclined to take a side trip to Fannin and Coleto Creek between Goliad and Victoria Texas to see for myself the area where the capture and surrender of Fannin's men took place, and were then escorted to Goliad and SHOT execution style. Then...the revenge of the loss of the Alamo [we've been there], and the surrender of Santa Ana at the Battle of San Jacinto [we've been there]. Texas is rich in history of a whole different kind.
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3- Speaking of Texas. Y'all know I'm a native born child of Nebraska, growing up and raising a family in Colorado...then retiring to Texas. The saying goes, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as quickly as I could". Well, I have to be honest, I buy my groceries at the locally established H E B grocery chain that is found, for the most part, throughout the state. It originated in Kerrville, Texas and I shop here at H E B's several times a month. Funny part is, I have walked past this entry way to the garden shop MANY times, and have never noticed this before. See the "We Have Texas Roots"? Well, duh, Anni...clever play on words for an in-store plant shop, don't you think? It could be the 'roots' of the sold plants, OR the 'roots' being that it was established here in the Hill Country of Texas. Trust me, it was a BLOND moment...well at least blond ROOTS...
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4- Another subject on Texas...and that is Texan pronunciation. Remember, in Texas it's a whole 'nother world. For instance a few that continue to boggle my mind. Amarillo [pronounced correctly in Spanish it should be Am-a-REE-oh], yet, in this fine state, it's Am a RILL o. Another one is Refugio. In the Texas lingo it's pronounced Ra FEAR ee oh. Bexar...in Texas it's BEAR. Armadillo [the animal] it's arm a DILL o. Another comes to mind, and that is Mexia, Texas. The local town residents pronounce it Muh HAIR Texas. The town's motto is: "A great place, no matter how you pronounce it." Which brings me to this. A joke:
Two foreigners visiting Mexia Texas couldn't agree on how to say the town's name.
They pulled into a Dairy Queen and one said to the clerk:
"We're not from here and we can't agree on pronunciation."
"Can you tell us where we are?"
The clerk smiles and says slowly to help the foreigners...
"You're at DARE EE KWEEN."
I ♥ Mexia, Texas sign courtesy of Google Images
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5- The mini-series, Texas Rising, starred Bill Paxton as General Samuel Houston. Mr. Paxton died this past week at the age of 61 due to complications of surgery. In reading articles online about his acting career and family, I understand that Paxton was distantly related to General Houston. Excerpt from Bill Paxton's interview: "Sam Houston and I share common grandparents going back six generations. His mother would be a great-aunt of mine. That makes Sam Houston and me second cousins four times removed. My dad was always a huge fan of Sam Houston from the book "The Raven," that won the Pulitzer in 1930, by Marquis James. I'm first-generation Texan."
photo courtesy of Google Search and History Channel