Hello from Bibby's house! This is my fourth night here in Houston while Curtis Wayne leads a mission team in Honduras. Jackson and I really don't fancy being alone for seven days, so we are just having a ball with his grandparents.
On Saturday we took Jackson to his first Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. You should know that for a native Houstonian, this is a major milestone. I feel a little more complete as a mother. We put Jackson in his boots and Wranglers, and I wore my Justins and old Seven for All Mankind bootcut jeans. (I feel like my day in Wranglers passed around 1996.) Mom and I drove out there to Reliant Stadium, which is clear across town, and marveled at the speed of our travel. Then we got to the Kirby exit and it took one hour before we were in a parking spot. And that parking spot? It was at a storage facility. The enterprising owner, dressed in business attire and closely guarding his decked out Yukon, was there to exchange safe, quality parking spots to anyone who was willing to surrender a twenty dollar bill. There were bicycle rickshaws waiting to transport us 3/4 of a mile to the rodeo gates. We were a little shocked to find out that they weren't included in the price. I was extremely skeptical of this method of transportation, especially since I don't even drive my child to church (1/100 of a mile) without strapping him into his carseat. But it ended up being okay and even a little fun.
When we got to the booth to buy our tickets, a sweet lady passing by gave us her extra ones. We were so shocked! How generous! Mom was so flabbergasted that the lady just grabbed her and gave her a big hug. I think she knew Mom needed to express her thankfulness. It was so sweet. Then we took Jackson in to the livestock show and passed up the very long lines at the petting zoo, pony ride, and photo op with a taxidermied bull, and headed straight for the baby chicks hatching out of their eggs. Hands down, that is my most favorite part. We also enjoyed seeing some baby goats playing around and being really bad in their pen. They were hilarious.
That reminds me of something I have failed to mention on the blog. Did y'all know that I have the honor of having a prize guinea pig named after me? Yes, indeed. In fact, there is also a Beth, Keith, and Melissa in this prize guinea pig family. That was a few years back, so I'm not sure those particular show animals are still with us. They could be in the Heavenly Kingdom by now. Perhaps they are waiting for me in my mansion with my cat of 17 years - Grayson. I'm believing God for that and I'm unashamed. Well, for the cat, not for the guinea pigs. I'm sure they'll want to reside eternally with their breeder.
After having loads of fun in a huge, smelly, crowded exhibition hall, we hunted down the Goode Company BBQ stand. Once a year - only once a year - Goode Company serves up an amazingly flavorful and tender BBQ chicken breast sandwich. His mercies are new every rodeo season. It is out of this world. Pile some pickles and onions on that bad boy and pair it with their outrageous potato salad, and you will never miss the rodeo again. You can beg and plead in the restaurant for this sandwich all year long and they will not have mercy. Get it while you can, people.
We skipped the concert because, hello! My child is two! Instead we went to the kids carnival and rode several rides with Jackson. My sweet boy did not understand the whole concept of waiting in line. That part was kind of a beating, but the rides were really fun. In order to pacify Jackson and comfort ourselves after our ride coupons ran out (and he was screaming uncontrollably), we loaded up with snacks. Popcorn, a caramel apple, lemonade, and a corn dog. Wow. And we had just eaten about an hour before. That is what happens when you spend so much time gazing at heifers. You begin to see yourself as impossibly skinny and in need of fattening up.
Curt called me from Tegucigalpa (try pronoucing that - it can be fun) tonight because there was a recurrence of a Honduran legend that I love to recount. It's kind of like Bigfoot, but it has to do with food. Three words: Honduran beanie weenie.
Every time we have been to Honduras, our group has stayed at the same posada, which is like a bed and breakfast. It is extremely nice and an exceptional place to stay on a mission trip. They even cook American food for you. However, the first time we went they served a dish that I affectionately call Honduran Beanie Weanie. Y'all, I am obviously not a picky eater, but I couldn't go there. It was rice topped with a runny, diluted ketchup concoction and cut up hotdogs. I cannot even describe the smell to you. It reminded me of the time I threw up hot dogs as a kid. It took me years to eat them again. I realize that some of you have probably eaten grub worms or lamb brains while on Mission trips. You are awesome. But Honduran Beanie Weenie. *Shiver*
The next time we went to Honduras, it wasn't served. When we got to the posada each evening I braced myself for the smell. It was never there. It wasn't served the following two years either (this was post-Jackson and I didn't go). I always made a point to ask Curtis or anyone else who stayed at the posada if they'd had H.B.W. I never heard of it again. I thought it might have been a one time thing. Eventually I felt crazy and paranoid for even thinking about it. Was Honduran Beanie Weenie only a dream? A nightmare conceived by my culinary fears and insecurities?
No. It is very real. This was the year. How fitting that it would be served on what may be my husband's last trip to lead there. It touched my heart that Curtis, who called me not even one time on his trip last year, would feel compelled to pick up his international call-enabled phone and let me share the special moment with him. So, Honduran Beanie Weenie, I will forgive you for the end piece of the hot dog being in there. And I will go so far as to thank you for giving me and Hubs such a tender moment while we are so far apart. God bless your sweet, ketchupy self.