A couple weeks ago we had a ton of rain, which was very confusing to all of us in this perpetually droughted state. This rat snake showed up on our front porch, preventing Hubby from coming inside after work. I opened the garage for my precious Hubby, thereby rescuing him from a battle to the death to get through the front door. That’s just the kind of thoughtful spouse I am. This guy then retreated to under the front stoop, where I assume he can’t get into the house. We haven’t seen him since, so hopefully he’s moved on.
The same night there was a torrential downpour. I happened to hear a weird noise in the kitchen, and when I went to investigate there was water running down the wall from our kitchen window.
Our window are double paned, but they’re from the 80′s. That means each of the window panes is a separate piece that has to be opened or shut independently. The outer one was open, allowing rain to fill the inch wide gap between the panes. This was then pouring into the house because of the massive amount of rain. Hubby braved the elements to wrestle the outer window shut, and we then “bailed” water out of the tiny crack using wash clothes and towels. It took forever. We probably had 3 gallons of water come into the house through the window.
Later that evening I went into the back yard, just to check on things, and it was filling up with water. The area by the gate had gotten clogged with leaves, preventing water from running out into the street. It was my turn to fight the rain and wind. I pulled mountains of leaves and twigs out from the gate, allowing the water to drain from the yard. I came back in the house, dirty and soaking wet, and Hubby said, “Were you outside?” Of course we appreciate the rain, probably more than most people since it’s been hard to come by recently, but it can still be trying.
Hubby and I have a roommate who moved to Austin from Michigan. She is so enamoured of Texas and the West in general, that she decided she wanted a Western themed birthday party. I do love a theme party, so we went all out, of course.
We don’t really have a lot of “western” type stuff to decorate with around the house (shocking!), so we decided to make some cheap, but adorable decorations. Hubby drew things onto crafting foam, which we then cut out, and stuck to the walls with masking tape. It worked great, and there are no holes in the walls or damage to the paint. Here’s a little armadillo he drew, and there were some rattle snakes and lizards roaming around.
Another cheap and amazing decoration idea was these cardboard saloon doors leading into the kitchen. They are so cute I can’t even stand it.
We wanted to get a lot of decorating done cheaply and quickly, so we cut rock formations, inspired by Monument Valley in Arizona, out of that giant paper from a teacher supply store. It was (I think) 89 cents per yard. We also drew the rock formations on the paper interlocking, like puzzle pieces or Pangaea, so that we got a ton of them out of each yard. These were also attached to the walls using loops of masking tape. The tiny cacti are also cut from the foam used for the animals.
This is a real horse skull we’ve had for years, and it is surprisingly handy! It’s on the window sill outside the kitchen as though it’s looking in.
Cowprint balloons: a necessity.
And we found these mustache stickers at Hobby Lobby in the scrapbook sticker section. I think it was $3 for 6 stickers. Obviously, I got the picture after Hubby started having fun.
Back off ladies, that’s MY Hubby with the evil mustache!
People came in a variety of costumes, from an Old West bartender serving tiny bottles of whiskey, to a bandido, to a grimey old prospecter, to more traditional western wear. Since I was running around setting things up (and drinking), I opted for a straw cowboy hat, Wrangler shirt, and cowboy boots.
For food we had Texas beers, hot dogs roasted over the fire outside (as well as vegetable kabobs since we’re progressive, healthy westerners), corn bread, and “tumble weeds”. The “tumble weeds” were chocolate covered chow mein noodles made into little clumps. We also had hummus with veggies and fruit with angel food cake.
Some other ideas we had: give bandanas away as party favors, put a large jar lid in your back pocket to mimic a can of dipping tobacco, have a contest to shoot tin cans off of something with nerf guns, make “cowpies” which would be brownie or Nutella cookies, baked beans, s’mores, and try to lasso the dog.
It was a ton of fun, and everyone had a blast. Plus hot dogs cooked over fire? *Jazz Hands* Amazing! The costumes were epic, and I’m hoping to bum them off someone’s facebook page, since I was stupid and took no pictures. We played music by Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Willie Nelson. I never would have thought of this theme on my own, and it turned out great!