The Rasco clan gathered in Lake Jackson this weekend for the wedding of our nephew Andrew, my sister Katy's son. It was enjoyable in every respect. My four surviving siblings were there along with my late sister Mary's husband Philip and his new wife Linda. Philip and Mary were married 45 years ago, so he is truly part of the family, and Linda is a very nice and pleasant person whom we also consider part of the family. Like Philip, she also lost her long-time spouse to cancer, and she and Philip were lucky to enter each other's lives.
Andrew recently graduated with his Chemical Engineering degree from Lamar University, and his new wife Stephanie is an R.N. who is entering post-graduate school to become a Nurse Practioner. They are both only 22 years old, and already have the groundwork laid for a good life. They've dated since high school, so Stephanie has already been part of the family for years, but now it is official.
I got to see the youngest member of the clan, my nephew Jeffrey's son Kevin. Kevin is ten months old and quite handsome. Katy gave him to me to hold and he immediately started screaming and crying. Once I returned him to his grandmother his hollering quickly ceased. Oh well, sometimes I want to start screaming in horror when looking in a mirror, so I guess I can't blame little Kevin.
May 23, 2008
Tiffany Johnston, told me she has been named a Summa Cum Laude graduate at Groesbeck High School. Tiffany is a sweet young lady who has become a very good waitress during the two or three years of working at the cafe. Beyond making excellent grades, Tiffany was heavily involved in athletics, served as photographer for the yearbook, joined community organizations, and earned a lot of tips at the Kosse Cafe. We are most proud of her.
This should be a busy weekend for Kosse. Not only is it the Memorial Day holiday, but there is going to be a large equestrian event at the Lindsey's Meadow Creek Park. Needless to say, the temporary influx of humanity is beneficial to the sales at the cafe.
May 20, 2008
The heat has arrived in Kosse. Today's high was 96 degrees, only a few degrees below what it will be during the dog days of August. To compound the situation, the electricity went off for an hour or so during the afternoon, so the 10,000 B.T.U. Wal Mart air conditioner in my bedroom was temporarily unavailable.
As mentioned on May 2 in this blog, government-mandated ethanol production is being blamed for the recent skyrocketing of food prices. Texas U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is sponsoring a bill that would freeze production of corn-based ethanol at this year's level of 9 billion gallons. Click for article.
The Texas Rangers are reopening a cold case file involving a girl who went missing from Kosse in 1985. Click for article. We were living in Houston at that time so I am not familiar with the case.
May 15, 2008
We were very pleased to be able to see Ryan for the first time since Christmas. He had three days in a row off from his job in Washington State and flew into Houston on Tuesday before returning today. He loves his life in the Great Northwest, so while he is terribly missed, we are most supportive of his choices.
Karen Partin sent me an e-mail in regards to the upcoming Kosse Homecoming activities. As I've said numerous times, Karen is a real go-getter in support of our community. I don't know who came up with the ideas for some of this year's activities, but they are great. To quickly go down the list:
It is time to sign up for the 2008 Kosse 5K Run/Walk. To download a copy of the entry form, click here. All proceeds will be going towards repairing the Kosse Heritage House roof.
Following the 5K Run/Walk, there will be turtle races at the Kosse City Park. Be on the lookout for a fast turtle to enter, although snapping or water turtles are not allowed.
The Kosse City Park's new restrooms, benches, and sculptures are scheduled to be finished by homecoming.
A cleanup day in preparation for this year's Kosse Homecoming will be held at the Kosse City Park on May 31 at 8:00 a.m. Volunteers are needed and are asked to bring weed eaters, mowers, and chainsaws. All help will be greatly appreciated.
The Kosse City Park will be open on Saturday to all vendors who would like to sell their items.
Homecoming 2008 is less than a month away, and promises to be an exciting couple of days for the Wonderland of Texas.
May 11, 2008
Mother's Day 2008 has arrived. This will be the first Mother's Day following my mother's passing, but the thoughts of her will forever be remembered.
The April Texas State Comptroller's sales tax rebate checks have been disbursed, and the Kosse business activity continues at a scorching pace. Quoting the Mexia Daily News, "The City of Kosse April check totals $4,089.28, representing a whopping 96.86 percent increase over the $2,077.15 check last April. Kosse almost doubled in an increase for year-to-date - $18,177.82, compared with a year ago when the checks totaled $9,437.42." Click for article.
The Kosse/Bremond area's housing values are in total contrast to the deflating national pricing trends. It is unbelievable to see small frame houses in Bremond being listed in the $80,000 range that would have sold a couple of years ago for $35-40,000. While no one can be faulted for trying to cash in while the gettings good, it is easily predictable we're in for a bust cycle in three or four years once the power plant and coal mine are completed and the temporary workers depart. Plan accordingly.
May 8, 2008
Even though most of my contact is with Kosse, we actually live in Bremond. With that said, a tornado hit outside of Bremond last night at 8:01 p.m. Click for article. Fortunately our neighborhood was not hit, as the tornado touched down a couple miles east on the road going towards Franklin. We had about ten minutes notice and I will have to say it was a strange and apprehensive feeling hearing the town's air sirens wailing and the newscasters saying to take immediate cover from the deadly possibilities.
May 7, 2008
The Kosse Roping Grounds will be the site for another Ranch Rodeo on May 24 at 7:00 p.m.. These have proven to be exciting events which are well attended and offer great entertainment. All are invited to enjoy some Kosse Cowboying. Contact Wes or Honey Suttle for additional information.
On yesterday's Neil Cavuto show on Fox News, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (who is still in the race despite John McCain now having more than enough delegates for the nomination) said he would not be supporting McCain in the November election. Click for video. While this may seem insignificant on the surface, if Congressman Paul can convince enough of his very ardent supporters to vote for someone other than McCain, it could have a decisive impact on a number of close states. Remember Ralph Nader's third party effect on the 2000 election? He siphoned off enough votes in some states (particularly New Hampshire and Florida) to give George W. Bush a victory in those states, and finish with 271 electoral votes (one more than needed to gain the presidency).
May 2, 2008
As those of us who eat food know, the price of groceries has skyrocketed in the past year. On yesterday's "Imus in the Morning" show one of the guests was Jim Cramer, the host of "Mad Money" on CNBC. According to Cramer, the skyrocketing food costs are a direct result of 30% of our current corn crop going towards the production of ethanol, and the price of food commodities would drop by half if the government stopped offering subsidies to the farmers who grow corn for ethanol production. This definitely falls into the category of unintended consequences of an idea which on the surface sounded good.
This Sunday's "Meet the Press" will feature Barack Obama for the full hour. It should be quite interesting as host Tim Russert is known for his tough questioning style. It is acknowledged by most pundits that the November election will be between Obama and John McCain, although Hillary Clinton continues to insist she has a chance at the Democratic nomination. Click for article. I'm undecided at the moment between supporting Obama or McCain. On most issues I tend to agree with McCain, with the exception of the issue of the Iraq War. If it were not for this deal breaker, I would be very comfortable being a McCainiac.
April 28, 2008
Wild hogs are evidently taking over nearby Fort Parker State Park. According to the park supervisor, the hogs have tilled up a large portion of the park. Click for article. In the late 70's, my brothers and I were in the hog business at Owl Roost Ranch. We would often use the swine's enjoyment of rooting to our advantage in clearing roots and underbrush. This was accomplished by tying three 16' steel hog panels into a triangular pen, putting a few of the chosen porkers into it, placing it in an area that needed clearing, and letting them root to their hearts delight. Normally the area would be cleared and tilled within a day's time, and to further enhance the experience, the hogs would add natural fertilizer to the space. We would then move the pen to the next needed spot and wait for a repeat of the results. Nature at its best, and happy hogs to boot. Unfortunately for the hogs, they were destined to soon end up on a plate, but what are you gonna do?
As I've mentioned numerous times, I have so many maladies that my doctor once told me I was a walking time bomb. As a result I have to take more medicine than is normally found in your average drug store. Being of feeble mind, on a weekly basis I re-stock my plastic Wal-Mart medicine dispenser with the appropriate doses for the upcoming week. This past week I made what turned out to be a grievous error and forgot to put the pill in that keeps my craziness at a minimal level. Within a couple of days I began to think I had finally become eligible for the funny farm. I could not think, remember, or function. It was awful. You see shows on television about psychotics who must stay on their medication in order to function, and I can now officially say I am among that group.
April 22, 2008
I was in the cafe last night enjoying a delicious ham and cheese on wheat sandwich when Mary Lauderdale told us her prospective son-in-law Mike Wheal has moved to the United States from England. I am anxious to meet Mike, as we have corresponded numerous times by e-mail. Welcome to Texas!
I also visited with Mayor Daniell, who said he was the dunkee at this past weekend's Kosse Spring Festival dunking booth. I'm not sure if this is included in his official duties as mayor, but it does show he's not only a progressive voice for Kosse but also a good sport. Even though we were raised on the Texas coast, I never was really into the water sports scene. For some reason my ears always suffered for days if they filled with water. Now my greatest fear of swimming in the Gulf of Mexico is that I may be mistakenly identified as Shamu by a near-sighted sailor on a whaling vessel and end up being harpooned.