Thursday, March 22, 2018

Armadillos - Texas State Animal

People sometimes ask if the Armadillo is really the state animal of Texas.  Yes.  Yes, it is.  Since June 16, 1995.  And they often asked if I have ever seen one.  Well, yes, I have.  I have seen them dead and alive.  I've even seen armadillo babies.  They're cute!  Here are some fun facts you probably don't already know about the armadillo.

1.There are about 20 different species of armadillos.  Our state armadillo is the nine-banded armadillo.
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2.The armadillo is a distant cousin to both the sloth and the anteater.

3.Their life-span is 12-15 years.

4.The word armadillo means "little armored one" in Spanish.

5.The armadillo has a bony,  scaly shell to protect it from prey.

6.Armadillos were once native to South America, but now they range as far north as Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kansas.

7.My favorite pose to see an armadillo is when it is upside down holding an empty lone-star beer bottle.  This happens first because the armadillo dies, usually because he's been hit by a car.  They don't have great eyesight, so they can't see that car coming down the road.  They're sometimes called "hillbilly speed bumps."  Then a good old boy sees it, gets out of his truck, and takes one of his "empties" and places it on the armadillo in memoriam. (You can actually purchase these on eBay!)
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8.Armadillos don't usually cause harm to people, but they are wild, so I wouldn't necessarily keep one as a pet, but you can if you want!

9.Some armadillos carry the bacterium that causes leprosy.  I bet you're re-thinking that decision to keep one as a pet!

10.The 9-banded armadillo weighs from 5.5 to 14 pounds and stands 15 to 23 inches tall.

11.They mostly eat insects.

12.Armadillos are solitary and nocturnal creatures.
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13.You can eat armadillo (I never have.)  During the depression, many people did.  They were called "Hoover Hogs" back then.  Some people call it possum on the half-shell.  Haha!  I bet Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies could have cooked up a mean armadillo dinner!

Sources: Mental Floss, Wonderopolis, AnimalSake.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I'm linking up with Stacy today.

Wow!  The time change and a week off school both have my body clock messed up.  I guess you could say part of it is my fault for failing to follow the same schedule I normally have throughout spring break.  Oh well.  I'm just tired.

News... news?  I don't know.  Too many bad things are happening.  Bombings in Austin, Texas (my home state), and we have friends and relatives there.  A shooting at a high school in Maryland.  The 14 year old boy is stable, but the 16 year old girl is in critical condition, last I heard.  The perpetrator was killed by the school resource officer, a former SWAT officer.

I need to focus on the lighthearted stuff!

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Are you old enough to remember when we called the newspaper comics "the funnies?"  I liked to read them every day, but especially on Sunday when they were in color. My favorite was always Peanuts.  I grew up, not only reading it in the funnies, but also in books.  I had stacks of Peanuts books.  I think I had these two (and dozens more), but mine were paperback.
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I'm pretty sure I still have them somewhere. The covers were colorful but the pages were black and white.  I didn't care.  I loved them.  I also had a few with the original Charlie Brown in them.  Or was he just the "young" Charlie Brown?
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Before I go, I will leave you with these:
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That's all for this week!
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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10)The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought this was one of the Plantagenet/Tudor novels that I would skip. I'm so glad I didn't. I loved it, just as I have loved all of Philippa Gregory's novels that I have read so far.

This is the story of three very different women whose stories overlap. First, there is Anne of Cleves. Historically, not much is known about her except that she left her home country to marry Henry VIII, and even after their marriage was over, she stayed in England and loved the country she eventually called home. She is characterized as the sister of a Duke who was overbearing and a mother who cared little for her. On her first day at Henry's court, a fateful incident takes place that sets the tone for her entire, though short, marriage to Henry. Does she have misgivings on her way to meet the King of England, the one who disowned one wife, beheaded another, and lost one during childbirth? Perhaps, but she is the essence of propriety and regalia.

Next is Katherine Howard whose story begins when she is a maid-in-waiting for Anne's court. Vain, beautiful, spoiled, and lusty, Katherine catches King Henry's eyes immediately, and he sets his sights on having her for his wife. She loves all the gifts, the attention, the treatment, but she doesn't love Henry. Instead, she falls for a young man in Henry's court, much like her cousin Anne Boleyn who lost her head on the chopping block.

A woman who is part of both Anne's and Katherine's courts, as well as the court when her sister-in-law was Queen, Lady Rochford, also called Jane Boleyn. Jane was married to Anne Boleyn's brother and gave testimony against them both that led to their demise. Back at court after Jane Seymour's death, Lady Jane has her sights set on wealth and a title. She acted as a spy when Anne of Cleves was Queen, at the ready to give testimony against her if necessary. And during Katherine's time as Queen, she assisted Katherine in treasonous affairs against the King.

This book is versatile. There is happiness and sadness, anger and lust, power and betrayal, shame, heartache, temptation, and triumph. I just wish Gregory would stop using the phrase, "It's early days." But seriously, her writing is so easy to read and so addicting. This book is hard to put down!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Below are some important events from the year of my birth:  1965.

1. On January 16, the TV show "Outer Limits" ended.

2. The Byrds recorded the song "Hey Mr. Tambourine Man" on January 20.

3. On February 1, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and 700 fellow activists were arrested in Selma, Alabama.

4.  The Sound of Music was released on March 2.  It starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.  The Sound of Music won the Academy Award for best picture the following year.  It's still one of my favorites.

5. On March 15, the first TGI Fridays restaurant opened in New York City.

6. The first baseball game at the Astrodome (The 8th Wonder of the World) was held April 9.  Houston beat the Yankees 2-1 even though Mickey Mantle had his first indoor home run.

7. On May 16th, SpaghettiOs came out.

8. The Rolling Stones released "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" on June 6.  It hits #1 on the charts July 10.

9. Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States signed the Voting Rights Act on August 6.  The Act prohibited voting discrimination against minorities.

10.On September 13, the "Today Show" was broadcast in color for the first time.

11.The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri was completed on October 28.  It stands 630 feet tall.

12.On November 8, "Days of Our Lives" premiered on television.

13.December 9, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" premiered.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Beautiful Moon

I'm linking up with Wordless Wednesday and Image-in-ing.
copyright DLA

This photo was captured by my husband at Goose Island State Park
near Rockport-Fulton, Texas in March of this year.

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