Dang, my belly is sizzlin’ !

Whooooo! It’s Hot On The Highway!

Carrizo Springs To Houston and Back


I rolled into Houston on Saturday morning after spending the night at a Super 8 in the Eagle Lake area and proceeded to Reliant Center to pass out some ranch real estate flyers but THAT got canceled by the powers that be before it really got started. Spanked but not broken, I wandered through the exhibit hall and saw what there was to see before proceeding to the home of my youngest to visit with her, her hubby and my new (and way too cool) grand-brat! I cuddled and enjoyed the boy while he practiced his flatulence on me and then, when hail joined the thunder, passed him off to his mom, whose job it is to polish the kid when his shine gets dull.

Joining my other darling daughter for a cold libation and a father/daughter chat at a local hangout, I  saw someone I’ve known a mighty long time. She feigned no knowledge of me. I didn’t push the issue. I enjoyed time spent with Daddy’s Girl and after wishing her an early Happy Birthday,  I returned to a prime rib dinner complete with baked sweet potatoes and sauteed asparagus.This lovely meal was prepared by the spouse of the youngest. He asked for and got my opinion of several culinary issues during the cooking process which he may or may not have appreciated but took gracefully.

Jackson, my grandson, who I think of as T.H.E. KID, decided family dining was a no-no and proceeded to air out his flipside disposition so, true to mommy form, my daughter rocked his Royal Highness in the other room while daddy and I greased our chins. Then Poppa-San switched out with her and she chewed on her cold meal while I cheerily chatted at her. The evening passed with conversation interspersed with cooking shows on the idiot box and at 10pm we called it a night.

I crawled out from under the covers, scratched, stretched, and bugled and slowly, without enthusiasm, worked my way through the three “S” kick-off that starts the day for most males of my acquaintance. At 8:05 I slipped out the front door, slid behind the wheel of my Caddy and started the long drive back to Carrizo Springs. The highway gradually heated up, shimmering and frying anything that remained in place on it for longer than 28.33689 seconds. DPS was working the speeders over with an enthusiasm only matched by their ill-humor at having to stand on the fringe of hell and deal with future fatalities that consider saving 30 minutes on a drive more important than hanging around to share in the joys of life, love and familial association. 55 didn’t do it nor did 70 and now 75 MPH is too slow for those who are in a hurry to die or spend their lives being fed intravenously by a fat chick wearing white lederhosen.

I pulled over to fuel up about 10 miles before Sequin and checked my windshield washer to see why the full reservoir of washer fluid wasn’t putting liquid on the bug butts dotting my windshield. Seems my washer reservoir is cracked and all that fluid leaked out., hopefully cooling whatever tiny brow it blew upon.  Grabbing a Big Red and smiling hugely at the sweet young creature behind the register, I returned to my car to find the tank full and so I hung up the hose, replaced the gas cap climbed in and turned on the ignition. The engine caught but suddenly I heard this weird clicking noise coming from inside the dash behind the a/c control panel. I turned off the a/c and fan but the noise didn’t stop so I killed the engine. Silence! Turned on the ignition but the car wouldn’t start. Turned over fine but sounded like it wasn’t getting fuel or ignition spark. Oh hell ! 96 in the shade and car problems scare the fool out of me. I raised the hood for the second time in 5 minutes and stared like an idjit at the NorthStar V8, which sat there sulking, in front of me. Totally without a clue what to do next, I closed the hood, slid back behind the wheel, turned over the ignition and Praise Be To God, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Seven Dwarves, the Caddy roared to life. I put her hastily into drive and, with fingers crossed , eased back onto the sizzling ribbon of pavement.

I wanted fried catfish but having missed the exit for Laguna Madre Seafood Restaurant, I spit out a mouthful of four letter captions  and drove on. At Lytle, Texas I exited determined to find a place with a catfish sign. Although I drove through town and stared intently at anyplace that looked like they might remotely serve up what I wanted, I finally succumbed to hunger and exasperation and pulled into Hacienda Jalisence. I sent up a prayer to the Caddy God, turned off Leapin’ Lena and went inside. A cute little Mexican hostess stood passively while I chose a table close to the front door then took my drink order. Sweet tea ! A big old glass ! She brought it and I gulped a pig swig. Perfectamente! She smiled, layed down a menu, and wandered off. I perused the offerings reminiscent of most of the TexMex eateries south of the Panhandle and upon her return ask her opinion of Al Pastor versus Carne Guisada. She chose Al Pastor, a plate containing diced beef and pork in a red sauce accompanied by Charro beans, Mexican rice, guacamole and pico de gallo. I chose corn tortillas but she brought flour and I didn’t fuss. The chips & salsa was grrreat! The chips were fresh and a perfect thickness. The salsas were a classic and very warm red, a nice and medium green and an oily red which had an unusual but pleasant taste. Then my groceries showed up. It was YUMMEE!  Each component from tortillas to rice, beans and meat was  well prepared and fresh tasting. The guacamole was tasty and actually tasted like avocado instead of the blended English peas many restaurants use to stretch this dish to accommodate their menu pricing. I was sooo happy! Also I enjoyed the smiles of several of the lovely latina employees who seemed to find some humor in my use of Spanish to converse.

Well fed, I returned to the seat of Leapin’ Lena and she roared to life with her usual enthusiasm for gobbling up the leagues of Texas tar, gravel, and concrete which  bake in the formidable August heat of the Lone Star State.

Turning on to 85 at Dilley, I blazed along past ranches with names like La Corona, Crosssight and Quien Sabe. Quien Sabe or “Who Knows” in English, is one of my favorite phrases in Spanish. I like the way it rolls off the tongue.. Rancho Quien Sabe tops the list of choices of cowboy songs by singer/songwriter/western award winning author Mike Blakely who I know, kinda sorta, and enjoy and admire immensely.

The normal procession of oil field trucks challenged the right of primary passage up and down this stretch of road where rattlesnakes do the St. Vitus dance on the smoking hot sand and scorpions hide under the shade of rocks and rotting brush. My old pappy said it’s an inhospitable land full of things which sting, bite, or stick ya and resembles hell on a bad Saturday night. I think it’s…..interesting! LOL.

I rolled into Carrizo Springs about 2:20 and treated Lena to a shower at the carwash then eased on out to Brush Country RV Park, owned by my brother. It’s also  my current residence of record.

It’s hot as Hades in Texas this time of year but with a little luck and a positive attitude  a traveler can find little pockets of happy experiences along the way ! I’ll pass them along to you.