Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yummy in my Tummy

Hi Kids,

I told you about visiting the Blue Bell factory in my postcard but I thought you might like to see some pictures. The second one is me in front of one of the windows that looks down over the factory floor. Most of the tour for the public is on these contained walk-ways.

We (my travel writer friends and I) got to go down on the factory floor. Miss Elaine and all the writers had to wear hairnets. I guess they didn't have one big enough for me! I don't think I am shedding so I don't think I got any bear hair in the ice cream!

The next picture is part of the production line. The empty containers come in on the left. The ice cream comes down that white pipe. You can see the cartons with ice cream in them. See the row of lids on the right? As the ice cream carton goes by, a lid falls down and gets pressed onto it. The cartons are then packed into boxes and taken to one of the freezer rooms.

At the end of the tour, we got to have some ice cream. Miss Elaine chose Pralines and Cream. She ate most of it herself but left a little bit for me. I wanted to put the picture of me with the ice cream here but Miss Elaine is having problems with her computer!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Everything's Rosy in the Bluebonnets

Texas was beautiful. The bluebonnet is the Texas state flower and they were all over. I learned a lot about Texas history this last week. We went to Washington-on-the-Brazos. You know, originally, the Spanish claimed this part of America -- we were part of their Mexico colony. Then the Mexicans fought for their independence so we were part of the country of Mexico. Everything went pretty well -- lots of Hispanic (Mexican or Spanish) people lived in the area and so did a lot of Anglos (people from the U.S.) Then the Mexicans got a really nasty leader and he did a lot of things that made the Tejanos (people living in Texas) mad.
He sent an army and the fought at the Alamo in San Antonio. While that was happening, a number of citizens met in Washington-on-the-Brazos. They wrote a declaration of independence (just like the American colonists did in 1776). The elected a president and wrote a constitution. Lots of Tejanos were killed at the Alamo. Then there was another battle at San Jacinto and the Tejanos won!

They called their new country the Republic of Texas. They didn't belong to Spain or Mexico or the United States. But lots of them wanted to be part of the U.S. That happened ten years later.

I visited Barrington Farm. This was the home of the last president of the Republic of Texas. You can go here and learn how people lived in the 1850s. Even the animals are like the animals they had then. This is a picture of me and a Piney Woods calf. Piney Woods cattle are a blend of longhorn cattle and domestic cattle. This little calf and his half-sister were learning how to be an ox team. The word oxen just means any kind of cattle used for pulling things -- like plows or wagons.

Then we went to the place where the delegates met to write the declaration. This isn't the real building -- but it's built just like it and on the same spot, too. It was very cold when the men met and the building wasn't completely finished -- no doors or glass in the windows. As you can see, the furniture wasn't fancy. But that wasn't important. What they did was!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Miss Elaine took me to the Tulsa Zoo during spring break. They have a lot of animals. I loved seeing the mother chimp with her baby. The Tropical Rainforest was really cool -- well, no, actually, it was really HOT -- very warm and humid like being in the jungle. I wanted to take off my coat! There are replicas of Mayan and Inca ruins in the Rainforest. Here, I'm sitting on one.
Can you see the sloth in the tree in the next picture?
Sloths are really slow movers. Do you think sloths live in the United States? This one had a hammock in the tree. Then I got to ride on the train. What a nice day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Working Bear

Miss Elaine and I have been busy working on the Tulsa guidebook. We spent three days there this week. Mostly my job was to guard the car. Grrrrr -- I just dare anyone to try to get in! But sometimes Miss Elaine took me in with her -- like when she went to Kaleidoscope, a children's museum. There were lots of things to do. I played like I worked in a grocery store and in the doctor's office, Miss Nancy from the city convention and visitors' bureau (she was showing us around the town) let me listen to her heart. Then I got put in jail -- but it was just a joke!
I loved the playhouse. Do you like my comfy spot by the fireplace?

Later we went to a small Route 66 museum next to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealers'. I got to sit on the handlebars but Miss Elaine NEVER lets me drive anything. I think I would be good at it if I could reach the pedals!

I was guarding the car -- again -- when Miss Elaine went into an Embassy Suites hotel to check it out. Guess who lives there? Another bear! Miss Elaine took me in to meet him. He was still wearing his pajamas and it was after 9 o'clock. I was polite and didn't mention it to him. I thought maybe he would come with me and be another friend for Oso but he was too tired.