Sunday, March 29, 2015

Slumber Party!

Today has been great and so was my "bachelorette" weekend that I spent without Tony. Last Friday morning, around 7:30, as planned, my sweet husband and our dear friends Chet and Fourth, took off for Big Bend and beyond.

So Friday afternoon, when I went to go eat lunch with our fabulous friends/volunteers, at the Koyote Grill,  I made a dietary decision and announced to our friends, "Since Tony won't be back until Sunday, I am ordering a pizza with everything on it, because I plan to spend a lot of time writing while he's gone and I can just eat pizza all weekend instead of wasting my time cooking for one!"

Even though no one seemed impressed, I thought it was a brilliant decision I had made. So Friday afternoon I ate two oven-hot slices of the delicious pizza for lunch. Then Friday night I ate two more slices, but I shared a lot of it with our dogs. And that's when I discovered that Little Debbie really loves pizza and that she's also a drooler.

Friday night I had a slumber party with all five of our dogs. The dogs loved sleeping with me, but when I woke up Saturday morning my shoulder was aching, probably from a pinched nerve, due to sleeping in all kinds of odd, uncomfortable positions, to accommodate our dogs sleeping arrangements.

For breakfast Saturday morning, I had coffee and one slice of cold pizza and I shared the crust with the dogs. For lunch I ate two more cold slices and divided up one slice to give to the dogs.

Around 2:30, this nice couple, Kelly and Maydell, from Kerrville, came out to look at our dogs, because they were interested in adopting a dog to be a companion to their other dog, because their old dog had recently passed. I showed them all of our dogs and I had a really fun time getting to know them and before we adios-ed each other, they told me that they were very interested in Hank and they would call me back.

Later that afternoon, after I got back from Kerrville, Kelly had left me a message, on Carlton. Bottom line, he told me that they could not wait to adopt Hank and he wanted to know if they could come out this morning to adopt him. And you can guess what my answer was.

This morning, when I reached into the fridge, I just couldn't make myself pull out another slice of cold pizza to eat, even though our dogs were cheering me on like crazy and Little Debbie's drooling had formed a cute, little, miniature pond, for her to wade in or for me to slip on, beneath the kitchen sink cabinets.

Now don't get me wrong, I love pizza, but enough was enough, so I ended up dividing up one slice of cold pizza and giving it to our dogs and then I went outside, with an empty stomach, to go open our gate for Kelly.

I had nearly finished feeding all of our dogs when Kelly arrived, but I intentionally did not feed Hank, because I wanted Kelly and Maydell to be the first to feed him today. Hank totally understood my logic and it was very obvious to me that he could not wait for Kelly to sign-off on his adoption papers, so he could get the heck out of here and go to his fabulous forever home. In fact, when Kelly opened his truck door, Hank immediately jumped right into the front seat and went and sat down in the passenger seat. Here's a quick picture that I took of Hank and Kelly before Hank eagerly jumped into their pickup.

Late this afternoon around 4:30, Tony, Chet and Fourth arrived. They had a wonderful time, in Big Bend and they were a little road weary. I am glad that they had a great time out there and I am more than thrilled to have my Tony back home with me.

As I finish writing this, I want you to know that I've put the remaining slices of leftover pizza, in the freezer and please know that I won't be eating pizza again for a very long time. And please keep your fingers crossed for Hank's adoption to stick.  

Y'all have a great evening! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ximbal! or My Problem!

Yesterday and today have been great. Early yesterday morning while I was cooking breakfast for Chet and Tony and making smoothies for all of us the phone rang and I let Carlton take the message.

Bottom line: A young, Black Lab mix had shown up a couple's home and they could not keep the dog and they did not want to take this sweet, friendly male dog to animal control. So after breakfast, I called the couple back. Then I called Kathy, at Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic. "Hi Kathy... The reason that I'm calling is a couple is going to be dropping off a young, male dog for us. He needs the works: shots, tested for worms, heartworms and neutering, etc. I'll call y'all later today to give him a name..."

Later in the afternoon, while we were outside mowing, Kathy called and left the funniest message. She said that after Dr. Rydberg had vetted the dog he jokingly named him, Ximbal. After she had quit laughing, she continued, "Ximbal is Lab mix spelled backwards. Call me when you've come up with a name. Bye."

Last night, before I fell asleep I came up with Ximbal's new name.

Early this morning Tony woke me up, as asked, at 6:00, so I could be awake enough to do the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch segment on The Harley Show. It was a lot of fun and Harley's Pet of the Week was B.B. King. A one-year-old, sweet, Shepherd/Lab mix. And he's not a digger or jumper or hyper.

After doing The Harley Show, I grabbed the Direct TV remote to turn on the television and nothing happened. I then punched all of these different buttons, on the remote, but nothing happened, so I figured the remote's battery must be dead.

A few minutes later, after installing a new AA battery, in the back of the remote, I tried turning on the television, but once again nothing happened.

So when Tony returned from The Old Timer, I told him about "my problem" with the remote, etc. While I was cooking him breakfast, he tried to make the remote work, to no avail. So, while he was eating his eggs and piece of toast, I put the phone on Speaker Phone and called Direct TV.

After explaining to a very nice technician about the remote not working and having replaced the batteries, she started walking me through things to do, etc., as Tony sat, at the kitchen table, eating his breakfast, while watching me do this and that with the Direct TV receiver box.

When the woman was telling me that she would send me a new remote and thanking me for being a long-time loyal customer, since 2005, I was watching Tony remove two batteries from the back of the remote. "Wait a second!" I said. "Tony, it has two batteries?" Tony nodded yes. Then he closed the back of the remote and pointed it at the television. The Emerson TV came on. It was working! Then he started laughing and so did I.

"Never mind," I said, just like Rosanna Danna used to do on Saturday Night Live, to the technical advisor who was now laughing, too. "I'm sorry, I only replaced one of the dead batteries. I didn't know...."

Then I called Sarah, at Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic, to tell her that Ximbal's new name is going to be Jack Black.

After lunch today, Tony and I plan to spend most of the afternoon mowing. And that is about it for today and tonight.

Y'all have a great day and evening!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I Don't Know!

Yesterday and today have been great. Late Saturday afternoon Kinky invited Tony and me to come over, to the Lodge, for two reasons. The first one being that our good friends Sean Rima and Syria, his beautiful, new bride and Chet O'Keefe were over there. The second reason was that he wanted us to come over to listen to the songs he had just recorded, for his soon to be released CD, that our friend Brian Molnar is producing.

We had a hilarious and super fun visit, in Kinky's kitchen, with our friends, while Sean was busy cooking up his famous, homemade Vodka Sauce Pasta dinner, for everyone. While the tasty sauce was simmering, on the stove top, all of us went next door, to the Annex, so we could listen to Kinky's newest recordings.

Before we sat down and started listening, Brian introduced us to Mike, the friendly, technical recording engineer, for the CD and Joe, a super talented musician that plays the guitar, mandolin and violin, on Kinky's songs. Oh my goodness! All of us were blown away with the songs Kinky sang and the fabulous sound quality. And to say the least, I had goose bumps from the beginning of the first song to the ending of the last song we listened to. And I told Kinky and Brian, "I know that I am going to buy at least ten copies of this CD and probably more..."

This afternoon, Tony and I went to Kerrville, to meet Lori and then eat lunch with her. She had called me Saturday morning, while it was still raining outside and told me that she was in Texas, visiting relatives and she wanted to come see our rescue ranch and meet all of us, but because of the weather she asked if maybe she could come out today, instead of Saturday.

After I told her that it would be fine, she said, "I am also a good friend of Bill Christman, in St. Louis. The man that has the most popular bar and music venue, Joe's Cafe Galleryin St. Louis, where Kinky recently played. Bill told me that he had met you and that I had to come meet you, too. And, I must admit that I also read your blog and I love it and what y'all are doing. I also love dogs and have two of them..."

When Tony and I arrived at the restaurant, there was a young woman, standing in the parking lot, talking on her cell phone, so Tony waved to her and she waved back to him. So I waved to her, and Tony says, "Hi Lori."

The woman then gives Tony and me a funny look, like we're crazy, and says, "I'm not Lori." Then she sort of ran, inside the restaurant, to get away from us.

Then Tony asks me, "What does Lori look like and what kind of car does she drive?" And I started laughing.

"I don't know." Then Tony looks down at the pavement, shakes his head sideways and starts laughing with me. "Maybe she's already here. Let's go inside to see if she's in there."

When we walked inside the restaurant, the place was packed with people and this young waiter comes over to us and asks, "How many?"

"Three," I said. "But she might already be in here." And I already knew what was coming next.

"What does she look like?" The waiter asked.

"I don't know," I said, as Tony started chuckling. "Tony, I'm going outside to call her." But I didn't get very far, because Lori walked right up to me, stuck out her hand to shake mine, and said, "Hi Cousin Nancy...."

We had a really fun lunch with Lori and then she followed us out to the rescue ranch, so we could give her a grand tour and visit with her some more.

While Lori was out here, I drove her over to the Lodge, in Kermit, so she could meet Kinky, The Friedmans, Chet, Brian, Mike and Joe. After a short, fun visit with them, we came back over here and had a great visit, in Outer Space, with our new friend, from St. Louis.

And Little Debbie really liked Lori too and she spent almost all of the time that Lori was here, sleeping peacefully, on her lap. And here is a picture that I took of Lori, from St. Louis, so you'll finally know what she looks like, too. Mystery solved.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, March 20, 2015


The last few days have been great. Nothing real exciting to report, from the rescue ranch, except that we've been way too busy push—mowing, weed-eating and riding lawn mowers, because of the weather man's latest guess, that we might possibly get up to 4 inches of rain, before Sunday. Anyway, I'm sort of doubting that we get that much rain, but his guess is as good as mine, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I've been getting a lot of writing done on my Part III novella, so tonight I am going to take a break from it so I can watch Deadly Drifter, a movie starring Danny Glover and Peter Coyote, that Chet O'Keefe has recommended and loaned to me. And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates!

Yesterday was great. We had many errands to run, in Kerrville, so we called our good friends Kris and Jim and asked them if they wanted to meet us for lunch somewhere and we also asked them to pick the restaurant. And around 1:00 we met them, at The Lake House and we had a really fun lunch with them.

After we adios-ed each other Tony and I went to Wolfmueller's Books, because I needed to drop off Gumbo's (Forrest Gump's) medical history folder and his adoption papers, so Duane and Sherry could swing by and pick them up and take Gumbo's paperwork to their veterinarian, before they come out, this Thursday afternoon, to officially adopt this great dog.

Last week, I had talked several times, on the phone, to Duane. The last time we talked was a week ago today. Duane had called me to see if they could come out, on Thursday, to see our dogs, because they wanted to possibly adopt a big, short-haired dog from us.

I told him that it would be fine, but explained to him that I wouldn't be here to meet them, because early Thursday morning I was going on a research trip with my sister Cindy. Then I quickly added, "But my husband Tony can show y'all our dogs and...."

After I finished telling Duane about Gumbo/Gump and Hank, two of our big, sweet, smart, short-haired, super dogs, he told me that he was having minor hand surgery, on Monday and that he wanted to know if they found a dog that they wanted to adopt, on Thursday, could we please hold the dog for them until his hand had healed. And you can guess what my answer was.

So last Thursday afternoon, while Cindy and I were guiding Sparky, to our destination, Sherry and Duane came out and Tony gave them a tour. And they fell in love with Gumbo aka Forrest Gump, the name that I had given him.

Now back to the future—Yesterday, after we dropped off Gumbo's paperwork and had a fun visit with Sandy and Jon, I called Duane back to tell him that we had just dropped off Gumbo's folder.

When we got back home, we had just missed a phone call from Duane. "Hello Nancy. We just dropped off Gumbo's paperwork at our vet's office and we are heading your way. In hopes that we can adopt and pick up Gumbo today, because we can't wait to take him home. I hope it is okay. Please call me back as soon as you get this message."

Ten seconds later, I said, "Hello Duane. We just got back home and yes, we would love for y'all to come on out...." Then I went down the hall and told Tony, "Tony, they are on their way and we need to go outside and get Gump ready..."

Fifteen minutes later, Sherry and Duane arrived and Gumbo seemed to know what was fixin' to happen, because he is that smart. This sweet couple couldn't wait to be with Gumbo/Gump and they told me that they loved Gumbo's original name and that they were going to call him Gumbo. And they had already bought him a new bed and dog collar and that Gumbo would also be an inside dog, etc. That made Tony and I smile and when I looked over at Gumbo he was smiling, too.

We had a really nice visit with Sherry and Duane talking about how much they love dogs and Gumbo, even though I could tell that Gumbo could not wait to get out of here and hopefully never come back. Here's a pictures I took of Gumbo with them and the other just seconds before he happily jumped inside the back of their SUV to go home.

Kinky, Tony and I are so thrilled about Gumbo finally finding his fantastic forever home. And that Forrest Gump movie, where Sally Field says that famous quote is so true, "That life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." And that is about it for tonight, because I need and want to work on my Part III novella.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Under Pressure!

Today has been great, but I am still a little bit tired. Tony and I got up real early, so we could get a lot of things done. While he was outside feeding our dogs and cleaning their pens, I was inside The Cabin, returning as many phone calls, e-mails and catching up on middle-of-the-month paperwork, before we took off for Kerrville to run several errands.

While we were in Kerrville, we decided to eat breakfast, at Randy's & Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant, because we had skipped breakfast at home and were running on low. Right after we had sat down, at our table, our good friends Eileen and Wayne walked inside Kerrville's popular eatery, so we asked them to please join us. And to say the least, "Tony and I really enjoyed eating breakfast with them and we did a lot of laughing."

After we bought groceries, at the big H-E-B, our last stop was at Wolfmueller's Books. I needed to purchase a copy of my book, Road To Utopia: How Kinky, Tony & I Saved More Animals Than Noah, because I wanted to send it and my three other books to our new friend, Jim, that Cindy and I met, while on our "book research trip."

The reason for wanting to send Jim (James Everette) my books was because he had nicely surprised Cindy and me, by leaving two of his fantastic music CDs, that he had secretly slipped, early in the morning, in the door handles of Sparky, before we woke up, packed and took off. "Thank you, Jim. We love your music and have a safe trip."

Sparky, is the name that I gave to our fabulous and fun to drive, silver, KIA Soul rental car. Cindy and I loved taking turns driving Sparky, until Sunday afternoon, when we were heading back home, on I-10. It happened around Sonora, when Sparky's "Low Tire Pressure" light came on.

While Cindy drove I checked the Soul's manual about under pressure tires, I said, "Cindy, it says that the tire or tires could heat up, blow up and come apart and possibly kill us. Thank goodness I wrote that holographic will last week."

A few minutes later, we swerved into a filling station and drove up to the air thing, to check our tires, even though neither one of us knew how to do it. While Cindy and I walked around, staring at Sparky's tires, trying to figure out which tire looked under pressure, I said, "Cindy, I have no problem asking a man to help us. I'll use the "old ladies card." Then I went inside the convenience store and purchased an air pressure gauge, for under two dollars.

While Cindy and I were trying to get the dang tire gauge, out of its packaging, this big pickup pulls up and a nice cowboy, probably in his early forties, jumps out of it and starts walking past us. "Excuse me sir, my sister and I are old and we rented this car for a trip and the "under pressure tire" light came on. Could you please help us, because we don't know how to do it?"

Then this nice man, wearing a big shiny belt buckle and a tight green t-shirt, says, "Sure." Then he took my tire gauge and quickly started checking the four tires. After checking three of the tires that were fine, he checked Sparky's rear passenger tire and he looked up and said, "It's this one. It's fourteen pounds low." So I dropped four quarters into the red and silver, air box and we stood back and watched him put the right amount of air into it. "That light should go off now."

After thanking him for helping us, he asked us where we were from. "I'm from Austin," Cindy said.

"And I'm from Medina," I added.

The cowboy chuckled and then he looked at me and said, "Howdy neighbor. I live between Medina and Kerrville, on 16." Then Cindy and I started laughing with him and then I told him that Tony and I lived, off of 16, too. Then we adios-ed each other and wished each other a safe trip.

And that's about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening.