4th Annual Houston Kite Festival – 2017 Fun at Hermann Park!

Sunday, March 26th I headed out to Houston’s 4th Annual Kite Festival.  I had previously thought…a kite festival? fun? maybe? Until I went the first time!! What a blast to see all the people and their families having good, old fashion fun and enjoying the outdoors!! Everyone truly seemed to be having a great time! Tons of brightly colored kites all around you and both little ones and big kids (like me), zipping around with their kites (hopefully) airborne, great, local entertainment, cowboys and butterfly people on stilts walking around, food trucks, vendor booths, crafts for the kids, dancing contests, you name it!

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Jones Reflecting Pool
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Food trucks in case you didn’t pack a picnic
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Fun, human flowers 🙂
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Race your boat
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This pup was even in on the action!
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That smile was huge!
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The triangular building is the Miller Outdoor Theatre
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Ready for take off!
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Fun!
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Don’t miss out next year!
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Texas Southern University rocked!
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Sorry about the yucky quality of the photo, but I wanted to still show all of the band 🙂
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These ladies were so kind in allowing me to take their photo!!
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The juggling cowboy on stilts was a big hit!
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I love Kite Day!

Thank you for visiting and sharing in the fun!

Elizabeth and her cutest pup in the world…Max!!!

Tree Spirit Carvings in St. Simons Island

I thought I’d reach back into an old road trip album to show your these cool “Tree Spirit” carvings by sculpture, Keith Jennings.  Jennings started with a tree in his backyard in 1982 and then was later commissioned to do his interesting and wonderful carving works in St. Simons Island which is right of the coast of Georgia.  Each tree carving took 2-4 days. This is their locations. Here is the Facebook link.

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It was like being in a fairy tale forest!
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It was so fun to search and then finally find a new one!
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This is my favorite!

Hope you enjoyed! Leave a comment and thanks for visiting!!

Elizabeth

Project Row Houses in Houston, TX

I discovered the Project Row Houses years ago in 1993 was when Rick Lowe, Founder, was just starting to launch this wonderful idea – wow, has it just snowballed into something amazing!!! I met Mr. Lowe back then and he was just such a nice guy and very passionate – I knew this would turn into to something way beyond his vision!!!All it takes is one person to create a huge community difference and fantastic change!! Mr. Lowe has since been awarded a  MacArthur “genius” fellowship in 2014.

They provide FREE tutoring each Monday night to students of any age who need assistance.

They have The Third Ward College Bound Project to help our future college students.

Artist Rounds are twice a year where new artists can display their works in one of the 7 houses.

(*Anything in bold, italics I have taken directly from Project Row’s website)

*”Young Mothers Program provides housing and counseling on personal growth and parenting skills, allowing these mothers to raise their children in a creative, nurturing community. This programs offers up to two years of subsidized housing in one of seven refurbished, fully furnished row houses that recall the way communities used to be – when neighbors knew each other and gave a helping hand when needed. Our ultimate goal is to support our mothers and their children in reaching their highest potentials.”

Project Row Houses and Rice Building Workshop collaborated to create a series of row house-inspired duplexes to provide affordable housing for people in the community. In 2003, Row House CDC was created to act as a sister organization of PRH to manage the Affordable Housing Program. If you are interested in the availability of these duplexes, please contact Row Houses CDC at 713.374.1210 or visit them online at rowhousecdc.org

*”The mission of Project Row Houses is to be the catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture.”

WARNING…SPOILER ALERT!!!! If you are in Houston and planning a visit you should STOP READING now as I have tons of photos and don’t want to ruin your visit!!! 🙂 

This particular exhibit:

* Round 46 | Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter at Project Row Houses

Viewing Period
March 25 – June 4, 2017

What happens when individual artists use their platform for collective organizing to address challenging socio-political economic issues we face as a society? This Round will utilize the seven art houses as a platform to cultivate public dialogues about the issues that impact the lives and movement of Black People while creating space for the general public to get involved in generative ways. Throughout the houses, a collection of objects, ephemera, performance, digital and installation-based work by the many women of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter will be installed. Some houses will be home to immersive installations of videos while other houses will create opportunities for the public to create ephemera and host meetings to respond and organize based on our current political moment while addressing issues that impact the lives of Third Ward residents.

During the incubation period, we will work with local artists to establish a chapter of BWA for BLM in Houston and to create an installation or performance based on conversations. The Houston chapter will become a part of the larger network of BWA for BLM groups that are active in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London. 

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These homes are private homes that are part of the program to help the community.

(Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses, Third Ward TX Documentary posted by Andrew Garrison)

Hope you enjoyed your trip to the Project Row Houses!

Thanks for your comments and visiting!! Thank you Rick Lowe for improving our great city!!!

Elizabeth and Max

Houston Holi Festival – Labeled as “The Biggest Holi Festival in The USA”

Saturday, I went to the Houston Holi Festival.  Several of my blogger friends have mentioned “Happy Holi” so I wanted to share in the experience!  The festival was a blast! People throw or rub colored powder on one another as a token of love, togetherness, forgiveness and restoration of relationships of all kinds. From what I have researched, the idea behind this is that in color we are all one and the same…no, skin color, economical, religious, etc. separates us.  I like that! Plus it was just super fun to see all those colors all over everyone and people just having fun like children!  There was also a ton of vendor booths with Indian foods, merchandise and lots of great entertainment!! The crowd was all smiles and fun!! The Bollywood performances were really a hit too!!

Holi is derived from the word “hola” the meaning of which is to offer prayers to the gods for good harvest.

Color symbolization that I’ve found so far are: Green:  Nature, Blue:  Life and Power, Yellow:  Healing and Holiness, Red:  Opulence, Fertility, White:  Purity and Serenity.

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Ticket to fun!
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What am I in for???
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She was having TOOOO much fun!!!
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Didn’t see unhappy ANYWHERE! 🙂
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My camera backpack may NEVER be the same 🙂
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Such a blast!!
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The crowd was thrilled with the performances!
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These young ladies were EXCELLENT entertainers!!
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Not a clean face in sight!!
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He must not have been there long because I can still see his white shirt!
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There energy and happy faces made everyone happy and dancing!
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LOVED them!
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This lady was cracking me up – she was really in the spirit!!
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What a beautiful mess! I LOVE Holi Day!
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His face says it all!!! FUN!!!
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Two of the beautiful dancers
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Hope he has a change of clothes or towel in the car!!!
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I love seeing all the colors of happiness!
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How could you NOT want to take this family’s photo??!!!
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Break time!
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Look – it’s Rainbow Brite!!!
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A MUST do at least ONCE in your lifetime!!!
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I’d rather play in the colors!
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Such a great time!!
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The energy of this whole festival was so fun and carefree!!
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When’s the last time YOU did something this crazy fun??

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Please let me know if I got anything wrong as this was a first for me :).

Thanks for visiting and your comments!

Elizabeth

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (Wow!!! – this post is important to me)

This is my first time to ever write a book review I suppose you’d call this, so be patient with me. I’m more into taking photos than being a writer 🙂 much less a “book reviewer”. I am an avid reader and have been since I was a kid!!  Lately, due to my eyes going cross after a while, I have been listening to books instead using Audible on my way to and from work each day and any other time I can squeeze in!  As I have enjoyed several of Jodi Picoult’s novels in the past, I read the usual blurb about Small Great Things and thought – ok, add it to the cart, as you can’t really go wrong with a Jodi Picoult book.  Little did I know what was in store for me!! This is now my all time favorite book!!!

What an amazing and exceptional book!!! I feel this should be required reading for our teens especially!! It deals with racism in a very different sort of way. It hits the topic from all angles really.  It’s a really interesting story line that’s a real page turner in itself, but more than that, it is very thought-provoking – at least it was for me!! I think it would though for ANYONE!!

As a white woman, I never have had to THINK even about if the birthday card I buy pictured kids that look like mine…(i.e. white), – nor do I or have I ever “sought one out” – they are just “there” in abundance and I am more interested in what the card says anyway! I have to confess though, I never have even THOUGHT about this and how it must really stink to seldom have that option! I am sure thinking about it now!! Nor a doll that looked like my daughter – white, yes, this is now better in selection, but still…start to look around next time you are shopping and see for yourself-slim pickings!  I can go into any salon and not worry that the beautician doesn’t know how to deal with my hair because I am white. Now in MY, personal, neighborhood, (not the case certainly in ALL neighborhoods!), if a Policeman/woman is looking for someone, say a teen, that might have done something bad nearby and they see a white, black or whatever color kid running down the street, I’d honestly say ALL kids would be stopped – perhaps, in my case, this is also attributed to the fact that my neighborhood is culturally diverse and lower income folks like me to begin with so there wouldn’t be a situation where anyone of color “stood out”, unlike many areas if that makes sense.  The book really does make you think about things and how hatred and racism manifests itself amongst all races, people, etc. and sometimes the why behind it too which is equally just as sad and tragic.

Anyway, like I said…I am no writer or experienced book reviewer but if you’re looking for a good read, regardless of your background or skin color, this is indeed, I think, a book well worth reading! The ending rocks too!!

I really should have been a flower child…I just want peace, love, equality and harmony for everyone 🙂

Here is an excerpt taken from a recent interview on NPR with host, Scott Simon and Jodi Picoult:

“PICOULT: I’d wanted to write about racism. I’ve wanted to do that for a very long time. Twenty years ago, I started a book after reading a news story about an African-American undercover cop who was shot four times in the back on the subway by his white colleagues. And I started that book, and I tried very hard to write it, and ultimately I failed. I just couldn’t write an authentic story. And I really second-guessed myself. I thought, you know, do I even have the right to write this story? I am a white woman. I have not lived this life. This is not my story to tell.

And then in 2012, I read a news story that came out of Flint, Mich., and there was an African-American nurse there with 20 years of labor and delivery experience who helped deliver a baby. And in the aftermath, the father called her supervisor into the room and asked that she not touch the baby nor anyone who looked like her. He pulled up his sleeve to reveal a swastika tattoo. There was a Post-it note left on the baby’s file that said no African-American personnel to touch this infant. And the nurse wound up suing the hospital. She settled out of court. I hope she got a very large payout.

But it became a seed for me that grew, and I began to push the envelope a little bit, wondering what would happen if that nurse had been left alone with the baby? What would happen if she had to make a decision that could result on her going to trial and being defended by a white public defender who, like me and like many people I know, would never consider herself to be a racist? And I began to think about trying to tell the story from three different points of view – the African-American nurse, the white public defender and the skinhead father – as they all confronted their beliefs about power and privilege and race.”

Thanks for listening and pick up a copy and tell me your thoughts or let me know if you have read it yet!!!

Elizabeth and Max (my faithful pup and buddy)

PS I reached out to Jodi Picoult to thank her for writing this amazing novel and guess what? She, herself – not some assistant, etc. responded! What a treat! I have to say I was I giant goofball with her as she’s so famous, etc. that I really didn’t expect that!!! But, wow – how kind and impressive that she actually responded to me herself! Thanks!!! :)!!! You made my day!!!

Adventures in Birds

Adventures in Birds is a wonderful place that’s one of a kind in Houston! Opened in 1980, this is a bird lover’s paradise!

 

You’ll see this sign at 7414 Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77055 to welcome your arrival.  There are so many bird cages there my lens couldn’t capture it all!

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This sweet little cockatiel greeted me in the bird room.

 

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Peachfaced Love Birds happily looked at me with curiosity – I think they’re so cute!
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Beautiful little yellow canaries (sorry about the pix but hard to do while in cage)
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Ecectus Parrot – Now that is one stunning bird!!! The color is amazing!! (They have a gorgeous red one too!)
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Want a little guy with some pizazz? How about this Red Fronted Macaw?
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This Cockatoo was so sweet and bashful looking!
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Of course they have (Budgies) Parakeets, Finches of all kinds, Canarys of all colors and tons more if you want a smaller bird.
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I loved the striking colors of this Rose Breasted Cockatoo!! Gorgeous!!
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Love that this guy is right at home – not a care in the world!! I also spotted two cute cats running around too – one black and white sporting a super shiny coat who was rather curious and one doing what cats love to do – napping!

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This little one was visiting for grooming while I was there.  The lovely couple had him for over 20 years!!

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Beautiful right?!
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So you want some toys for your special little bird??? Pretty sure you will find it here!!
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Need any kind of seeds, treats, etc. – This is only a PORTION of what’s available here!
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It just goes on and on of the things you’ll be able to get your feathered friend!
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The nice gentleman working there on Sunday, took this huge guy/gal? out for a little photo shoot for me 🙂 – thanks! It’s a Blue and Gold Macaw who was very friendly.
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How could you not LOVE that face!?!
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What a character!!!

If you are in the Houston area and looking for bird grooming, need to safely board your feathered buddy or want to get a new friend, why not support this independent instead of some big chain store – these people care and are very knowledgeable! My Dad went to them for years for his African Grey or I may not have known they existed! Great place to visit and fulfill all your birding needs!

Thanks as always for taking time out of your day to stop and visit!

Elizabeth and Max (who is a bit scared of birds so he passed on this trip).

 

 

 

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! Livestock Show – Part II

As promised – Part II of my trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo…minus the rodeo as I haven’t decided if I want to deal with the traffic in order to see the Rodeo and Concert yet. Saw Kid Rock last time I went a few years ago and he was great!  Then, back a million years ago, I saw KC and The Sunshine Band there back when they were popular, (and he was hot :)) – wow, I’m dating myself now!!  Just to put it in perspective, in 2016 the total attendance was  2,462,030 for the Rodeo Season.

This year’s concerts, held immediately after the rodeo each evening feature these artists: Banda El Recodo, Siggno, ZZ Top, Fifth Harmony, Willie Nelson, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato, Sam Hunt, Alan Jackson, The Chainsmokers, Alicia Keyes, Chris Stapleton, Aaron Watson, Cody Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, Blink-182, and Florida Georgia Line. (Would love to see Alicia Keyes!! But good luck on those tickets/price!).

Oh, there’s also the traditional Bar-B-Que Contest each year before the Rodeo begins to kick off the rodeo and it’s VERY competitive!!! Typically 250 team entrants or so – this year’s Grand Champion Overall, Champion Ribs winner was American Royal Winner – Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ, Darren Warth (Chief Cook). The winner gets a belt buckle, trophy and banner.

Before the Rodeo begins there is also a massive Trail Ride and YES, they ride all these horses, carriages, etc. right down the major streets of Houston –  from various starting points and will eventually end up in the parade, which I missed, but it was in early March. It’s quite the site to see in Houston traffic! One of the Trail Riding Teams, Los Vaqueros Rio Grande rides for 333 MILES from Hidalgo, Texas!!! Ouch!!! They began February 25th and arrived March 3rd!!!! My behind hurts even thinking about that trip!!!

Ok, so on to the Livestock show we go….

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Onward! Not near as many cowboy hats this year 🙁 but this gentlemen was ready to get his “Texan” on!
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There was row after row of these little piggies waiting to be judged, name a pig breed and it was there!
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Gotta wear your cowgirl clothes! (They were super sweet, cute young ladies)
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Cute little piggie! (I loved the nose)
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Now THOSE are some horns!!   (Not sure about the ring in it’s nose though… I bet his Mama was mad when he came home with a pierced nose and my guess is a tattoo too! 🙂
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I even got to see a calf born about 2 minutes after I got there! (not this cow – I wasn’t gonna bother Mama Cow!)
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And Chickie #18 was born!
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Love the cowgirl boots! Cute! (The little ones are cute to watch and see their excitement!)
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Yes, they are just strolling along the aisle… walking their cows around!
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Time to go outside now little cow.
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These students get their pigs to move by tapping them with these little wands (not hurtful in any way) but very funny to observe and see how well some of the pigs mind their students while some are just not gonna have any part of direction!
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Isn’t she beautiful?! She was just soooo relaxed!!!
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Outside in the parking lot there were like a bazillion cows!!!
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Mr. Cow here was being a bit stubborn!
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This guy reminded me of one of those wrinkly pups and his fur felt like velvet!
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Your animal better be sparkling clean for the judges! Yep, we have Texas Car Washes here 🙂
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Want some Texas style?? Plenty of vendors here!!
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Need those rodeo boots shined?
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Shop ’til ya drop….or go broke!
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Notice what’s hanging from the ceiling?
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All sorts of scholarships are awarded here but they displayed them all in sort of an odd manner, behind glass so it was harder to see the inside artwork which kinda bummed me out a little as I would have liked to have a better visual of the art but still…great job these students do – some are quite phenomenal artists!
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Ya don’t have a cowboy/girl hat???! What???? (Get a rope!! :)) Well, don’t leave without one!!! (In truth, no,  I don’t have any “Cowgirl clothes” except a ridiculous cowboy hat I got at a local thrift store for work for crazy hat day).

Until next time, Cowgirl Elizabeth and Cowpup Max wish ya’ll happy trails 🙂 – (sorry, couldn’t resist being cheesy!)