Where In The World…Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon 
Canyon, Texas
 

Less than an hours drive south of Amarillo, Texas is the mysterious terra cotta badlands of Palo Duro Canyon.  Coming off the staked plains of the Texas Panhandle, this 60-mile-long and 800-foot-deep canyon is surprise among these treeless plains. Surrounded by miles of open land and endless skies, visitors will be amazed at the towering cliffs, banded by a myriad of colors, and the amazing rock formations carved over millions of years by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River.  

The second largest canyon in the United States, it is often called “The Grand Canyon of Texas.”  The term “Palo Duro” means “hard wood” in Spanish, and was named by those first explorers for the canyon’s abundant mesquite and juniper trees from which the Indians made their “hardwood” bows.

The first humans to inhabit the canyon dates back approximately 12,000 years, when the Clovis and Folsom people first lived in the canyon, hunting large herds of mammoth and bison. Later, the tribes of the Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa utilized the canyon’s abundant resources of ample game and edible plants, as well as the protection the canyon provided from weather and intruders.

The first European explorers to come upon the canyon were members of the Coronado expedition in 1541. At that time, the Apache people called the canyon home. However, they were later run out by the Comanche and Kiowa tribes, who had the advantage of horses brought over by the Spanish.

The canyon was first surveyed by a military team under the guidance of Captain Randolph B. Marcy in 1852.  Though white settlers were beginning to migrate to the area, the canyon remained the lands of the Indians until a military expedition led by Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie was sent in 1874 to remove them to reservations in Oklahoma.  This resulted in the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, the major skirmish of the Red River War. On September 28, 1874, Mackenzie led his Fourth United States Cavalry on an attack of the of Comanches, Kiowas, and Cheyennes encamped in the canyon. Though the tribes had forewarning of the attack, their camps were scattered over a large area on the canyon floor and they were unable to assemble a united defense.  In the end, the Indians were defeated and forced onto reservations in Indian Territory.

Two years later, in 1876, Charles Goodnight, famous for spearheading the Texas -Wyoming cattle drives, drove a herd of cattle into Palo Duro Canyon and began the first commercial ranch in the Texas Panhandle – the JA Ranch.  Over the next fifty years, the canyon remained the private property of cattlemen, but over the years, began to be an increasingly popular spot for tourists and local residents.

In 1934, the upper section of the canyon was purchased by the State of Texas and turned it into the Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Thanks to efforts by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and conservation groups, an additional 2,036 were added to the park in 2002.

Today the park, which includes more than 16,000 acres, annually receives over half a million visitors. Sixteen miles of scenic drives wind through the canyon and park activities include hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, picnicking camping, and wildlife viewing.

For history buffs, a replica of Charles Goodnight’s dugout cabin can be seen in the park, as well as a number of historical markers. The Visitor’s Center provides a number of exhibits pertaining to the park’s geology and history.

            A summer musical pageant, Texas Legacies, is presented annually in the outdoor amphitheater from mid-June through late August.

 

Belive it or not:  

Tales of ghosts in Palo Duro Canyon and Tule Canyon abound, remnants of the area’s Wild West days gone by.

Canyon resident John Matthews filed an oral history narration at PPHM, telling of one haunting in Palo Duro Canyon. The story, told to him by a former Texas Ranger, goes something like this:

One cold winter night, in the late 19th century, a man was camping in the canyon with two other men watching cattle. The other two men went to investigate a sound and never returned. So the third man followed to find them both dead, with their throats cut. All three were working on the Charles Goodnight ranch. He buried the two men – one Anglo and one Native American – in the canyon. Later, people in that area, said they would hear the screams of these two men.

Here is another tale:

“The story goes that three outlaws robbed a stage wagon containing government money with Army wages. They buried the money near Lighthouse Rock, but were then captured and executed. They say during thunderstorms you can see them around the rock and hear their moaning and shovels scraping to dig up their gold.”

Then, there’s the mysterious ghost herd. Almost 1,500 horses and mules were slaughtered in the canyon on the order of Gen. Ranald Mackenzie, according to a story written by the late George Turner in a 1971 Globe-News story. Turner chronicled supernatural stories for the Globe-News and other publications in the 1960s and ’70s.

“For many years, the long western slope of the basin was piled deep with bleached bones. Eventually they were carted away by a fertilizer company. Today, none are visible on the surface, but a bit of scratching will uncover teeth and small bones,” Turner wrote.

“The area, between Tulia and Silverton, was long held in superstitious veneration by the Plains tribes. No Kiowa or Comanche would venture near the place for fear of being trampled to death by a herd of ghostly horses,” Turner wrote.

 

Palo Duro Canyon can be found on Wikipedia.

On a personal note: I have been to Palo Duro Canyon twice in my life as a kid. Both times I have had strange experiences happen to me.  I personally think there are spirits that still hang around the canyon. 

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I Just Don’t Understand!

We have the same routine pretty much every morning. I wake up at 5:15 chug down 6 cups of black coffee and make my way upstairs at 6 to make sure that both of my girls are alive and moving. I go back downstairs to make breakfast for them and pack their lunches.

My oldest daughter’s school starts at 7:20 and my youngest daughter’s school starts at 7:40. We leave the house at 6:40 to make the daily school run. I drop my oldest daughter off at 6:50 and then head over to my youngest daughter’s school. We get there about 7 and have to sit for 40 minutes. I don’t mind waiting as we study for spelling and multiplication or just have fun singing with the radio.

This was the conversation I had this morning with my adorable 16 year old:

  • Sweet 16: “Mom can we leave for school a little earlier this morning?”
  • Crabby old Mom: “No, we can’t leave much earlier than we we already do!”
  • Sweet 16: “But Mom, I have to stop by Mrs. So-and-So’s class this morning.”
  • Crabby old Mom: “You have plenty of time to do that. The first bell doesn’t ring until 7:10.”
  • Sweet 16: “But Mom, I have people I need to talk to in the morning.”
  • Crabby old Mom: “Well I guess your people will just have to find a way to get their morning started without you today.”
  • Sweet 16: “I wish you could swap places with me and see what I have to do every day! You just don’t understand!

I let her have the last word, because like my mom used to always say: “Last tag’s a dirty pig and I’m a little lady!”

Just to note: We left at our usual time of 6:40! 🙂

Video Of The Week

Happy Halloween!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Toast or roast pumpkin seeds in your oven in no time at all. They can be salted or spiced to suit your palate. The shells are edible and are a good source of fiber. Use this method with other seeds such as acorn squash and butternut squash.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:
Pumpkin seeds
Cooking spray, olive oil, or butter
Optional: Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, or other seasoning of choice
Preparation:

Rinse pumpkin seeds. Use your fingers to remove all the pulp. Drain pumpkin seeds and discard pulp. Spread out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight.pumpkin seeds in olive oil, butter, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, or your choice of seasonings. Toss to coat.pumpkin seeds before eating. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months or refrigerate up to 1 year.pumpkin seeds extra-salty, soak overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt to 2 cups of water. Dry an additional day, then proceed as above. 

Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.

Toss

Bake about 1 hour, tossing every 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool

If you like your toasted

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: Should kids address adults by Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss or is it alright for kids to use an adults first name?

  

This has been a pet peeve of mine since I was a kid! I have always addressed adults as Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So. Even to this day I address people who are older this way. To me it is a sign of respect. I have tried to teach my children to do the same thing but they seem to run into adults who insist that they use their first name. The other thing I hate is when they tell the kids to call them Ms. Jane or Mr. John.

I had a little boy the other day at my daughter’s school ask me my name. I told him I was Mrs. So-and-so and he said no I want to know your first name! He kept on asking for my first name so I finally told him it was Mrs and walked away!

Fall Is In The Air

Fall is my favorite season of all. To me it is a time to slow down a little, a time to reflect on my life. It’s time to put away the iced tea and grab a nice warm cup of coffee flavored with Vanilla Caramel Coffee-Mate.

Today is the first time we have had to put the heat on in the house. This is also the first day I have put on a pair of jeans in months. I love jeans and sweatshirt weather. Of course living in Texas this will also be the first day that we have the heat on in the morning and the air conditioner on in the afternoon!

Certain events always remind me that Fall is finally here. The Wings Over Houston Airshow is one of these events. We went this past Saturday and had a blast. This year we had the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and they were awesome.

Halloween is definetly another event that reminds of Fall. Sunday I climbed up in the attic and brought down our Halloween decorations. We put our headless man out and hung homemade ghosts from trees. I am attempting to find a head to put next to him that has sound or moves. Come Halloween night we will put our candy bowl in the headless man’s lap and attempt to scare the crap out of the neighborhood brats kids!

Another thing that reminds me that Fall is finally here is the first time one of the kids catch the dreaded cold. Both of my daughters have been fighting allergies all week long and finally Sunday my youngest one spiked a fever of 101! So Fall is finally here!

Video Of The Week

Don’t forget to vote!

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: How often do you weigh yourself?

I have found that I have to weigh myself every day or I start to gain weight. For the past 2 weeks I have gotten really lazy on my eating habits and I stopped weighing myself every day. I gained almost 10 pounds! Now I am pissed off at myself and I am back on track with my eating and I had to step up my exercising program. So far this week I have lost 5 of those pounds. From now on I am stepping on that scale!

It’s All My Fault

Yesterday it finally happened, my oldest daughter broke up with her boyfriend, Baby Huey. They have been dating for 6 months, which to them is a lifetime. Keep in mind that by the time I actually publish this post things will probably change and they might be back together.

My dear daughter has been in a bit of trouble around our house lately. She has not done anything really bad but she just can’t comprehend that if you keep breaking the rules you keep getting punished. Two weeks ago I ended up telling her that she could not go to her homecoming dance which is this weekend. For some strange reason she thought I would change my mind on this punishment and did not tell Baby Huey about not going. I guess Baby Huey found out from my daughter’s friend that my daughter was not going to the dance. He thinks that my daughter is making it all up about being grounded so they are now “taking a break.”

These are some of the comments that my dear sweet 16 year old made to me last night:

  • “You could fix everything if you just let me go to the dance.”  (My response: “You would be going to the dance if you hadn’t gotten in trouble!”)
  • You never did like him” (My response: Nothing, I really don’t like the boy. He is too much of a suck up.)
  •  “You got your wish. We didn’t make it to Homecoming, just like you predicted!” (My response: “What can I say I’m good! I told you I know everything.”)
  • “It’s all your fault!” (My response: “You can blame me if you want but I was not the one dating Baby Huey, you were.”)

I can’t wait until she has to put up with me going through Menopause!

My Daughter The Golf Stalker

This past Friday we let the girls skip school and we went to go see the Champions Golf tour that game here to Houston. We love going to see the Champions play because they can still play great golf and they are so friendly especially to the kids.

First of all let me give you just a little background on our family history with Fuzzy Zoeller. My father-in-law got to play in a Pro-Am golf event with him many years ago. He has a signed dollar bill from Fuzzy that he “won” on a hole. My daughter’s named our first family hamster Fuzzy after him. About 4 years ago my oldest daughter got his autograph and Mr. Zoeller overheard me say “Wow, that is a 3rd generation autograph you got there! You Grandpa has one, your Dad has one and now you do too!” Mr. Zoeller came up to me and asked me, jokingly of course, “Are you calling me old!?”

Friday, my youngest daughter got Fuzzy’s autograph on her pairing sheet when he came off the putting green. He was asking her about her Hannah Montana shirt and kidding around with her. We started to walk around the course a bit and we caught up with his group on the 6th hole. My youngest daughter decided she wanted to watch him play so we followed his group. She kept getting right up to the ropes when he was hitting the ball. When he was done on the 9th hole he signed his ball and gave it to my daughter. She was in 7th heaven!

We went to the 18th green and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon. My youngest daughter took a white hat she got and was standing outside the scoring shack getting players to sign it. She got some great autographs, Lee Trevino, Bernhard Langer, Fred Funk, John Cook (He also gave her a signed ball) just to name a few. She got Fuzzy to sign her white hat as well.

After Fuzzy was done he went up on the balcony of the clubhouse to relax, no doubt and probably try and get away from my daughter! My oldest daughter took her hat and threw it up to Fuzzy for him to sign. My youngest daughter tried to throw her hat up to him but he told her kidding around, “No way, I already signed it for you! Don’t you have enough from me today!”

So, if you here in the news that Fuzzy Zoeller is being stalked by a 9 year old that would be my little 9 year old!

Where In The World…Ruidoso

DowntownRuidosoNM.jpgRuidoso, New Mexico

Ruidoso New Mexico Visitor Information Web Site: 

Ruidoso, New Mexico is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of southern New Mexico.
Towering above the village of Ruidoso is Sierra Blanca and the New Mexico ski resort,
Ski Apache. Ruidoso weather is mild and great for outdoor activities including
camping, hiking and bicycling in the Lincoln National Forest.

The Ruidoso Area claims two of New Mexico’s finest casinos, New Mexico
horse racing at the Ruidoso Downs race track, top rated golf courses, horseback riding,
golf, tennis, art galleries, museums and shopping.

Lodging in Ruidoso includes cabins, resorts, hotels, motels, Bed and breakfast, RV parks,
campgrounds, condos and homes. Ruidoso dining and restaurants offer a full range of
options to fit any budget or taste. If you decide to stay or make our town your second home,
Ruidoso real estate has proven to be a popular investment.

Come vacation in New Mexico. Ther are things to do. Ruidoso: It’s Where To Go!

Ruidoso, New Mexico can be found on Wikipedia.

On a personal note:We went to Ruidoso almost 3 years ago in February. I was the only one in the family who had ever been skiing before and I had only been once prior to this trip. We skied at Ski Apache and we all had a blast. I was shocked that everyone took so well to skiing. The town is really small and very friendly. I would love to go back and stay at the casino they have there, without the kids of course! 

Video Of The Week

My oldest daughter brought home the lyrics to this song last night for her history homework. The first thing I thought was: Crap I’m getting old! This song came out the year I graduated High School in 1989! Then I started thinking what a great homework assignment she got. She has to take each event from the song and give a brief description of it and make a chronological graph for it. She has a week to finish it.

We Didn’t Start The Fire
Billy Joel
Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I”, and “The Catcher in the Rye”
Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye
CHORUS
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
Though we did ignite it
But we tried to fight it
Josef Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez
Chorus
Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California Baseball,
Starkwether, Homicide, Children of Thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo
Chorus
Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land,
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say
Chorus
Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore
Chorus 3 Times
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire…

Question Of The Week

Question of the week:  At what age should kids stop trick-or-treating?

This question comes up in my house every Halloween. My husband thinks that our oldest daughter should have stopped trick-or-treating around the age of 12 or 5th grade. I think you should stop trick-or-treating at what ever age you want too. I think I was 15 when I stopped. By that age we were into the tricking part of it! My daughter is 16 years old and she is planning on dressing up and taking her little 9 year old sister out trick-or-treating this year. Then afterwards she will have a couple of friends over to enjoy our annual neighborhood cul-de-sac street party.

To Dye Or Not To Dye…

I am a brunette who is making the climb up the Hill of Life. Oh, alright I will be 38 in January! I started getting a few gray hairs back in my early 20’s. No big deal I just pulled them out. Then came the day in my late 20’s when the gray hairs decided to gang up on me! If I were to pull them out then I would have to start shopping for a wig!

Now that I am approaching the final steps up the Hill of Life I am starting to wonder if I should start to dye my hair. The gray hairs are not all bunched together on my head but are spread out randomly so it looks like I have silver highlights. Both of my girls think I should get my hair dyed and my husband, trying to stay out of trouble, doesn’t care one way or the other.

I don’t have a problem with my hair going gray to be honest. I feel like I have earned them, I think it is a sign of wisdom, it is my rite of passage into my 40’s. Or is it just time for me to shut up and dye?!

Friday’s Are For Fishing and Our Church Bazaar!

Friday, we finally got to take our boat out on the water. This was the first time out on the boat since Not-So-Nice Ike hit us. We have been on the hunt for a ramp we could launch from for a month now since our normal ramp is no longer there. We made it out on the water just fine but I can tell you we did not run our boat very fast at all! There is stuff sticking out of the water all over the place. There are people’s personal piers that are now resting in the middle of the bay, along with people’s refrigerators. We managed to bump into something in our boat while we were in 20 feet of water. We saw a lot of boats washed up onto a levy as well. The good news for the day was that the fish are still here and they were biting! We managed to bring home 5 sand trout and we threw back about 4 that were just too small to mess with.

Saturday, our church had it’s annual fall bazaar. We had bingo, food, beer, kid’s games, moonwalks and Karaoke. We played all day Saturday and had a great time! My oldest daughter managed to win 3 bottles of soda by knocking down milk bottles with a softball. All of those years playing softball finally payed off! My girls were not brave enough to do the Karaoke but let me tell you I think every other girl there sang! I heard Hannah Montana at least a 100 times! I thought my ears were going to start bleeding! Even my youngest daughter kept saying “Make it stop!”

Sunday, my youngest daughter and I had to work the Lollipop Tree for her school’s spirit squad at the bazaar. We had a good time and the 2 hours of working went by fast. I told my oldest daughter she could bring our neighbor. Now mind you we are Catholic and our neighbor is not. She thought it was very strange that we had beer there and that we let the kids play Bingo. I do not drink, but I played my share of Bingo! I won once and my oldest daughter won twice! I even think we corrupted our neighbor because she did not want to leave the bingo tent!

Today my youngest daughter had the day off from school so that they could clean up after the bazaar. Since she has to do 20 hours of community service for the school we spent 2 hours this morning breaking our backs taking everything down. But we had fun doing it!

Video Of The Week

Dallas

Knots Landing
 The original Desperate Housewives

Dynasty

Dynasty II: The Colbys

Falcon Crest
 Jane Wyman was Ronald Reagan’s 1st wife

Where In The World…San Antonio

SA tower view from between.jpgSan Antonio, Texas  

 

The Alamo 

Riverwalk20.jpgSan Antonio River Walk

San Antonio, TX can be found on Wikipedia.

On a personal note: We absolutely love San Antonio! We try to take a family vacation to San Antonio at least every 2 years. There is so much to do there. We go to Six Flags over Texas, where I have to ride The Rattler. The River Walk is just beautiful and at least once every 10 years you have to take the boat ride. The Alamo is always on the list. This city is so full of history it is amazing. I never get bored with this city, I find a new place every time we go there.

The Great Lunch Room Debate

Yesterday, my youngest daughter informed me that they were given assigned seats at lunch time. The boys sit at one table and the girls at another. I figured the boys must have been picking on the girls or the girls were teasing the boys. You know, simple 4th grade stuff! Once again I am wrong! Life can not be that simple in 4th grade, what ever was I thinking?!

The teacher had to separate the kids because of a much heated discussion about the presidential election! Turns out they were not arguing over whether or not the next president should be McCain or Obama, no they have already had that discussion on the playground! They were arguing about the 2012 election! The girls told the boys it would be the first time both parties would have a woman nominee for president, Hilary Clinton versus Sarah Palin. The boys apparently disagreed with that scenario.

So, now for the next 2 weeks the girls and the boys will be eating at separate lunch tables. Personally I think the girls will be hatching another plot against the boys. Maybe they will figure out how they are going to take over the NFL!

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: If you could give up one bad habit what would it be?

I was thinking about this the other day when I was in line to pick up my youngest daughter from school. I already gave up working, smoking, drinking, over eating, and being a couch potato. What else is there for me to give up? I could finally give up biting my nails which I know is a very disgusting habit! My mother tried to break me of it for many, many years with no luck!

Friday Night Lights

This past Friday I took my two daughters and a friend of my oldest daughter to the High School football game. My oldest daughter’s high school was playing against my old high school. This was a game I could not miss! My youngest daughter wanted to go because I promised to buy her some pom-poms!

My daughter goes to a new high school that was added to our district just last year. This is their first year to have a varsity team and they are doing pretty good with having no seniors.

I reluctantly sat on the enemy’s my daughter’s side of the stadium. I figured I could embarrass them more doing this! I was nice and wore neutral colors but I did stand up and sing my old school song when they played it, and I kept cheering when my old team scored! During the 3rd quarter my daughter’s school finally scored a touchdown. I was told by my daughter’s friend that I was jinxing them! I just laughed!

My school had the game well in hand with a score of 32-7. The last play of the game my daughter’s school had the ball. Everybody was pretty much really down so I made the comment: “Cheer up! It’s not like you guys are going to have a bad snap and fumble the ball or something horrible like that!” Well guess what the hell happens next! Yep, a bad snap and the quarterback fumbles the ball! I had two very large dads turn around and give me the look of death!

I couldn’t help but laugh and I swore that next time I would root for my daughter’s school or go sit on the other side!