Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Rewind (4-23-12)

Hope everyone had great weekend weather like we did (although the mornings were a bit chilly), and was able to get outside to enjoy it.  Our household is still recovering from the onslaught of illness - week-long fun of kidney stones for my husband (they finally went in after the 1 remaining stone), strep for my son & just because she didn't want to be left out - my daughter with a horrendous sinus infection - but we did manage to enjoy the weekend. 

We drove out to the George Ranch for a visit with the scout group - we've been there before, but the kids don't remember it since our last visit was several years ago.  The George Ranch is still a working ranch, but has set aside about 400 acres to create living history depicting 4 generations of the family starting in the 1830s with a dogtrot cabin - very interesting if you like that kind of thing.  I took several pictures inside the dogtrot cabin since they had a fire going in the fireplace, a candle burning, & the open window (no glass) provided the only light for the log cabin - made for some nice shadows/light inside the "living room."  Since it is living history, the couple who work there present themselves as if this was their personal homestead - they make the repairs, upkeep the cabin, grow food & can answer any question you can think of - and they are very nice.  There are free range chickens who were very funny to watch running in/out of the cabin - one named Gabby liked to lay her eggs in the master bedroom.  The ranch also has a demonstration of calf sorting & they show/explain how they "dipped" cattle in past times - they literally swam in insecticide (they use water for the demonstration).  This family is descended from Stephen F. Austin's old 300 (the original settlers of this area of Texas) - if you are studying (or just like) Texas history - seeing the houses & hearing a little of how they lived (including accurate dress/costumes of the times) helps give you a better understanding of the life of some early Texans. 

inside 1830s cabin with working utensils & fresh eggs on the table

We also stopped by Brazos Bend State Park just for a very quick visit & say hello to the alligators since we were within 15 minutes of the park.  I visit this park fairly often during the week & am able to really enjoy the peacful sounds of nature & take a few photos. 

baby alligator
We knew to expect crowds since it was the weekend, but we didn't expect to see crazy people - groups of people - some seriously not respecting the personal space of the alligators.  I realize it is almost surreal to walk among the gators - this is not a zoo - sometimes within 3 feet of them - but there are clear rules & the rules are in place for a reason... very sad to see visitors do as they please without regard to respecting the rules or nature or the gators.  There were also cars literally speeding down the roads inside the park, parked in the grass on the side of the road (parking lot only 50 feet ahead of them) .... just very sad & discouraging.  Not sure if we will camp at this park during the spring/summer/fall months at all if this is the kind of people who will be visiting.  Yes those people bring money into the park, but at what price/cost?  The park doesn't have the manpower to cover all areas of the park at one time (thank you economy/budget cuts), so they do the best they can. 

Of course our weekend wouldn't be complete without a visit to the barn.  My daughter's Friday evening lesson was canceled due to the lightning & severe weather, so the makeup was done over the weekend (with much improved weather).  She also completed her "chores" of washing tales & general grooming of a few of her special horse friends. 

large canter on a large horse
Although we had a good weekend, it certainly wasn't long enough.  We had so much more on our list of things we wanted to do.  Hope everyone was able to do a few things on their list this weekend.

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