Art Car Parade preview

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The Art Car Parade is an annual event in Houston, and I’ve been told by many people that it is quite the quirky thing to attend.

Unfortunately the parade is on a Saturday, (like most events) and I work weekends. However, I lucked out this time because there was a special preview of about half the cars at the Discovery Green park on Thursday night.

It was really neat to see so many different cars. The collection of “junk” on some of them was just amazing! The owners of the cars really get to show off their artistic abilities and their creativity. My favorite car was¬† one with singing fish and lobsters. The lobsters and the fish would move in sync with songs! It was hilarious!

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Bluebonnets

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The state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet, named so because the petals look like the shape of a women’s bonnet. Photographing bluebonnets was high on my Texas bucket list.

You can find bluebonnets just about anywhere in the state, but they are more prevalent the more west you go. I was figuring that I would have to take a road trip quite a distance out of Houston in order to find some. But then as bluebonnet season approached, I saw some pictures on Facebook of bluebonnets in Houston. Every time I came across a photo, I would comment, “Where was this picture taken?” But still being fairly new to the area, the vague answers I got did not help. I kept searching though. Eventually I found a picture of bluebonnets that said it was taken in Hermann Park. Ah hah! I know where Hermann Park was. That narrowed it down a bit. Then I saw in more pictures that the field of bluebonnets in question was by the Bill Coats Bridge. Google maps is my friend. The map showed me right where it was, on the southern end of the park.

That Wednesday I set out to find and photograph them. I was nervous though. Just because I had seen a picture of the bluebonnets weeks ago, would they still be there? I knew it was about a six week growing season, but had it just started, or was it ending? Well I had no worries because I walked from the parking lot smack into a huge field of them. They were beautiful, and I was not disappointed!

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Feline friends

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There is a small population of feral cats at our apartment complex. You can see them out and about but they tend to stay away from people. We noticed a kitten and due to it being so young, we got her to be comfortable around us by enticing her with food. Food is always the way to a pet’s heart, right? All of the cats look relatively healthy, so we’re probably not the only people feeding them, but I am glad I can help out in some way.

The kitten is black and white and just about the cutest cat we’ve seen (aside from our own cats of course!) and her mom is orange and white. We’re not sure if it is a biological mom since they look nothing alike. It may just be a foster mom. The mom is more skittish towards people, so for the first month or so, she just hung out in the background and kept a watchful eye on us. But eventually she realized that she was missing out on the food, so now she comes closer. We are able to pet the kitten, but not the mom yet, but at least she is getting some food now.

We kept calling them momma and baby so eventually we decided to give them names. Derek came up with both names. I said that I wanted to do something to do with a cow since the kitten was black and white, so he suggested Clarabelle, the Disney character that is a cow. I also suggested something to play off of momma’s orange color and Derek said Cheddar. I didn’t like it at first but it stuck eventually. So Clarabelle and Cheddar it is.

The only problem with feeding the two of them is that other cats have taken notice and boom, you have the crazy cat lady starter package. At least we don’t feed them every day. The cats hang out in a different part of the complex, by the front office, so they will only follow us back to our apartment if they happen to see us when we’re going to get the mail. At least it has not become an every day thing, yet.

Another good thing about feeding the cats is that our cats like looking at them out the window. Well, at least 2/3 of our cats enjoy it. Sabrina and Ginny seemed intrigued, but Chessie just hisses. Oh well.

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Crawfish season

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Crawfish season runs March through May. I happened to look at a post on the Houston Chronicle’s website for the best places to eat crawfish, and one of the places, Hungry’s had a midweek special Crawfish on the Patio special, which is perfect because my days off are midweek, plus the restaurant was nearby.

We went one night a few weeks ago, and it turned out to be quite the experience. We got a pound of crawfish for $7, which was a great deal. A pound seems like a lot, but the amount of meat inside each crawfish is small, so you have to eat a lot of them to get your filling. The meal is also served with corn on the cob and potatoes.

The crawfish are served whole, legs, head, eyes and all. It was a little weird and took some getting used to!

There is a technique to getting the meat out. I actually looked up YouTube videos on it in advance! You have to put two fingers on the head, and two fingers from another hand on the tail and you twist and pull apart. The meat is in the tail.

We found out that some people suck the head to get the fat and the juices out, but that seemed a bit to much for us, so we skipped that part. If you feel we’re truly missing out, please let us know!

The meal was seasoned with cajun spices, which, while they were good, was a bit too much for me. I wasn’t feeling the spices inside my mouth, but rather on the outside of my lips, which started to burn after a while! At one point I was close to crying.

Apparently crawfish, also known as crayfish, crawdaddies, mudbugs, can be found just about anywhere near a body of fresh water, but Louisiana¬†supplies 95 percent of the crawfish harvested in the U.S. Being so close to Louisiana, Houston gets to reap the benefits. I’m glad we went. It’s good to try something new, and we’ll probably go back for more each season.

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