Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We're Packin'

Today has been one busy day at the ranch. Tony and John had to drive to Seguin to pick up dog food, while I held down the fort. I caught up on paperwork and then checked my e-mails and I had over a hundred of them—two were from friends and the rest were spam.

Herb wrote to tell me that he is glad that Kinky is becoming more health conscious, but had some serious issues—concerning the African peppers that Kinky is taking because, if it’s too hot for the mouth—what kind of damage could it be doing to his stomach lining? And, Herb is definitely not going on record as saying he’s happy that Kinky is taking the peppers, because he’s not. Sorry, about that Herb, I misunderstood. Herb also told me to my delight—that Erb is the hispanic form of `Erberto—so I am exonerated! Yeah, Erb! I mean Herb! And, thank you for wishing us luck with the fishing!

Spike wrote to me, telling me that her 2007 Naked calendars—which are totally awesone—with Kinky being the photo for July —is selling so fast, that she is spending more time shipping them out than she is able to write! If you want one, you had better order now from Wolfmueller’s Books or go to Spike’s site—they’re selling like hot cakes and you know what that means!

There is so much to tell about today’s happenings, but I must sign off, because I am fixing to vacuum the trailer and dust it, so tomorrow when Maribeth comes to babysit—it will look like we don’t live here. Then I have to pack for our twenty-four hour vacation.

I told Kinky today, while he and I were designing a new holiday card for the rescue ranch—that Tony and I are taking our: three cameras, two ipods, two laptops and ten rods and reels and he laughed. He said, “The older a person gets—the more stuff they take with them on trips.”

Will write later—Gone Fishin’

Monday, October 29, 2007

Old Faithful!

This morning I overslept! To make up for lost time, I hurriedly put my dogs outside and then proceeded to feed them. I was in the middle of making a pot of coffee when my dogs started barking wildly outside. Something was going on!

I skipped outside to see what was the matter, and then skipped, as fast as I could— to the truck and took off—to find Randy Travis, happily chasing after Brigitte Bardot, who was chasing one of our newly rescued dogs, Darla!

I stopped at Randy’s pen, honked the horn twice and Randy came to me within seconds! I opened his gate and he ran inside his pen. Darla, the wannabe Great Dane pup had followed him, so I put her into the alley next to Randy!

Brigitte had run down to Jack Kennedy’s and Betty White’s pen and was trying to jump into their pen! I jumped into the truck, drove down there, opened the door and told Brigitte to load up! In two seconds she jumped into the cab of the truck—wedging herself between me and the steering wheel!

We were stuck! The horn was blasting, I couldn’t move, and didn’t know what to do! I needed Tony, but he was still in Medina drinking coffee with the old timers, at “The Old Timer!”

Thinking fast, I used my foot to raise the seat release bar below me, and then pushed until the seat slid backwards enough for me to slide out of the pickup. I then grabbed a leash, put it over Brigitte's head and put her back into her pen.

As soon as I had closed her gate, I heard a sound that reminded me of something I haven’t heard, since I was eight years old, when my family and I—watched Old Faithful erupt!

I turned around. Water was not shooting up from the ground, but it was shooting in all directions, in Bocepheus and Bunny’s pen—because a pipe had broken! I didn’t know what to do, because Tony and the guys always take care of that kind of stuff.

Within twenty seconds, I had the answer. I climbed into the truck, drove down to the pump house and turned off all of the switches in the electrical box. Then I saw a handle and pulled it up. Then I drove back down to Bocepheus and Bunny’s pen to find that the water was no longer spewing out of the busted pipe!

I returned to the trailer to find that Kinky had called and wanted me to come over for some coffee, so I did.

After pouring myself a cup of Kinky’s kona coffee, I sat down at the kitchen table with him. We talked about the crazy morning that I had and the conversation—turned to my blogging.

“You know Sean Robinson called last night?” Kinky asked. “He wanted to talk to me about the African Cayenne pepper that I‘m taking. He said he read about it in your blog.”

“You’re kidding me?” I said. “He’s reading my blogs, too?”

“He’s been reading all of your blogs,” Kinky stated. “He even mentioned your blog about Herb—not Erb, too.”

“Well, I got an e from Herb this morning,” I said, using the ‘H’ in front of erb. “He bought a copy of my book, and he is in the process of designing a special holiday card and you’re going to be a part of it! And, he also said that he was glad that you are taking better care of yourself—because, he said—the world needs for you to live to be at least ninety years of age. He is so nice.”

“That’s great!” Kinky said.

“You want to live to be ninety?” I asked. I couldn’t believe my ears!

“No, I meant,” Kinky said, “that I’m glad that you and Herb are keeping in touch with each other. Tell him—I’ll make it to ninety, only if ninety becomes the new-sixty.”

When I returned to the rescue ranch—the broken water pipe was fixed!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Morning

Today is Sunday—my day off, so here is a joke that I’ll pass along from Fay, which I accidentally deleted and had to rewrite. I’m going outside to visit the dogs!

A taxi driver up in Dallas picks up a nun. She notices from the get-go, that the good-looking taxi driver won’t quit staring at her. Finally, she asks him why he was staring at her.

“I have a question to ask you, but I don’t want to offend you,” He answers.

“My son, trust me—you can’t offend me. I’ve seen and heard just about everything at my age. Go ahead and ask me your question. I’m sure it won’t be shocking to me.”

“Well,” he says. “I’ve always had a fantasy about kissing a nun and what it would be like.”

“I’ll kiss you under two conditions, you must be single and a Catholic.

“Yes!” says the cab driver, excitedly. “I am single and a devoted Catholic!”

“Good,” says the nun. “The next alley you see—pull into it.”

She fulfills the cab driver’s fantasy with a kiss—that wouldn’t quit!

When they got back on the road, in no time at all, the taxi driver starts crying.

“What is wrong, my dear child?” asked the nun, “Why are you crying?”

“Please forgive me—for I have sinned,” He weeps. “I lied and I must confess. I’m married and I’m Jewish. I’m so sorry.”

“That’s okay. My name is Kevin and I’m going to a Halloween Party.”

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Ride With Bob

This morning, I went over to visit Kinky. We started reminiscing about the past, and I remembered this story.

A couple of years ago, Kinky invited Tony and I to go with him to Kerrville, to see the musical, “A Ride With Bob,” the first ever, musical drama about the music and life of Bob Wills, starring Ray Benson, and Asleep at the Wheel!

We went early that evening, so Kinky could visit with his good friend, Ray before the show. We went to Ray’s bus and he invited us to come aboard! Kinky and Ray talked some politics and we left the bus twenty minutes later—with upgraded seats—compliments of Ray and the cast!

Before going inside the civic center, I saw an old friend of mine, Jim Finney, who was the Wheels sound man! Way back when, I used to embroider all of the jackets and caps for Asleep at the Wheel, and Jim was usually the man that we dealt with. I hadn’t seen Jim since 1995! We had a brief visit and agreed to catch up with each other, after the show.

The center was packed, and when the usher took us to our seats—I about fainted! We had the only box seats—right next to the stage!

Everybody there, was staring at us, because we had the best seats in the auditorium, but more importantly—because Kinky was there!

When the lights went down, Ray came out on the stage to talk to the crowd before the show began. “I want to say hello to my good friend,” Ray announced, just as a spotlight, from up above, shone down on the three of us. “Kinky Friedman! The next governor of the great state of Texas!”

The crowed roared with applause, and then Kinky stood up, and waved his cowboy hat at the crowd. When the applause ended—the show began. And, it was awesome!

During the intermission, about fifty or sixty people came over to our box, requesting autographs from Kinky and to wish him luck in his campaign! After ten minutes had passed, while Kinky was still busily signing away, a woman, who was probably in her early forties, walked up to me and handed me her program and a pen—asking me for my autograph.

What? Why does she want my autograph for? I thought. I politely took her pen, and wrote on her program—Nancy Parker-Simons—feeling dumbstruck. When I returned her pen and program, she said, “I love you—Molly Ivins! Thank you.” And then she vanished into the crowd.

After the show was over, Tony and I visited with Jim, while Kinky signed one autograph after another, in the lobby. Before leaving, Kinky visited with Ray and invited the entire cast to come out and see us. Then we left.

On our way back home, that night, I told Kinky and Tony about the woman wanting my autograph and Kinky almost wrecked the car, because he was laughing so hard. Kinky said, “I’m calling Molly tomorrow to tell her about this! I know it will make her laugh!”

“Well, ” I said. “I just feel sorry for that woman, because tomorrow morning, just as she is fixing to frame her Molly Ivins, signed program, and then reads my name instead, she’ll be asking herself, ‘Who is Nancy Parker-Simons?’ How sad can that be?”

The following morning—the entire cast showed up out here—and we had a blast!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Out of Africa!

Early this morning, Tony and I went over to see Kinky, at the his Lodge. He has been on the road for a long time, doing book signings for his newly published book, “You Can Lead A Politician to Water, but You Can’t Make Him Think!” And, to also promote his new line of cigars—”Kinky Friedman Cigars.” He offers five different kinds of Kinky Friedman Cigars and I’ve heard through the grapevine “They’re selling like hot cakes”—just like my book is!

One of his cigars is named, “The Utopian” and all of the proceeds from that cigar —go directly to our rescue ranch, and we are delighted!

This morning, while drinking some delicious kono coffee, Kinky informed Tony and I, that he was starting a new health program for himself. A friend of his, who is a nurse, had recommended that he start taking one teaspoon a day, of this un-radiated cayenne pepper—out of Africa, and found only in health food stores. Kinky explained, that basically all food is radiated in the USA, but this ground African cayenne pepper—was purely organic, and promoted good health.

He had one problem, though. He hadn’t figured out, an easy way, to ingest it—without burning his mouth! He had tried mixing it with water, putting it into his coffee, and mixing it into his cereal, but he was not real happy with the results. And, that is when I had a light bulb moment—put the magic cayenne pepper into a burrito!

Kinky liked my idea, a lot, but unfortunately—he had no burritos. I told him that I would go home and fix him up a week supply of burritos made with refried beans, onion, green chiles and cheese. Then we went back to the rescue ranch.

Tony went to work with John, and I made burritos. After making seven burritos, I took them over to the Lodge and gave them to Kinky. Anxious to try them, he unwrapped the foil from the burrito and then opened it up. After precisely measuring one teaspoon of African cayenne pepper, he then carefully, sprinkled it all over the bean concoction and then rolled the flour tortilla back up—then he microwaved it!

Right before the microwave’s timer announced it was done—I said, “Kinky, I think we need to rethink this method. You just radiated those un-radiated cayenne peppers. I suggest that the next time— nuke the burrito first, and then add the ground peppers afterwards.”

Kinky completely agreed with me. From here on out, he would nuke first, and then sprinkle. When he pulled the smoking burrito out of his microwave oven—we couldn’t quit laughing. We sat there, in his kitchen, watching smoke rise from that burrito, for over five minutes, and then Kinky ate the whole thing and liked it!

Mission accomplished.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lost, Again!

This morning after I’d finished all of my chores, Maribeth and I drove over to Jim and Liz Cravotta’s ranch to see their new home which they had built. Their ranch isn’t that far from us, but since I have not been over to their ranch, in over two years—we got lost!

We drove over the rivers and through the woods—over and over again. Since I was behind the wheel, and had actually been to their ranch before, I made one wrong turn after another.

On one of the wrong turns, I pulled up to an old hippie, with a gray ponytail like mine—walking his dog. I stopped the car—rolled down the window—the man stopped, looked at us‚ and I shot him the universal, two finger— peace sign.

He smiled and walked over to us with his giant, black, Great Dane happily following right behind him.

“We’re lost,” I declared. “Do you know where the Cravotta’s live?”

The old longhair started talking to us and didn’t make any sense to us. He was higher than a kite! Finally, when he quit talking, I thanked him and quickly drove off towards another river.

“That guy was obviously stoned,” I said. “Talk about rambling on.”

“I know,” Maribeth agreed. “He’s just an old hippie...”

“That did a little too much dope, back in the 60’s,” I said. “I’ll bet you, that he graduated in ‘69 or ‘70 like me because...”

“Stop!” Maribeth hollered. “Pull over!”

I slammed on the brakes, then pulled off of the road, and looked at Maribeth and said, “What?”

“I’ve got a signal!” she said. She waved her cell phone and said, “What’s their number? We’ll call them and get directions.”

“I don’t know—I can’t remember phone numbers,” I said.

Maribeth smiled, and then dialed information and got Jim and Liz’s phone number. When Jim answered the phone, she put the phone in my hand. “Hello Jim, this is Nancy and we’re lost.”

Jim laughed and then said, “I figured that you’d get lost! Where are y’all?”

“Sitting in front of the Volunteer Fire Department and no one is here, but me and Maribeth.”

Jim laughed and then gave me the directions, which I repeated to Maribeth, so she could write them down. Ten minutes later we arrived at the Cravotta Ranch!

Liz and Jim gave us the grand tour! First we went to their house, which was fixin’ to become their guest house real soon. Then they took us to their “Grey Goose Saloon” for refreshments. Their saloon is an exact replica of an 1880’s old west saloon and it is like walking back in time! We visited and did a lot of laughing.

Jim and Liz saved the best for last—we went to see their new home and we fell in love with it! The outside of their house looks like a giant metal barn, but when you walk inside—its incredible! I have to admit, while touring the big house, I became green with envy. Their new home was beautiful!

The tour ended after we went down and saw Liz’s design studio, and then the greenhouse.

As we walked back to the car, I told them, “This ranch is unbelievable. Y’all ought to seriously think about turning it into an amusement park!” Then we left and came back to the ranch.

Later, when Tony asked me about Jim and Liz's house, all I could say was, "I want it!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tipping the Scales

Tipping the Scales

Last night, I called Maribeth Couch to see if she could spend Wednesday night over here—next week, so that Tony, John and I could go to Port Aransas to see our friends, Pete, Kelly and Rick and to also do a little fishing. Her answer was yes! Next Ben called to tell me more good news! He told me that he had us covered for Wednesday and Thursday and that he would gladly take care of the rescue ranch for us! I just love those two, in fact, I wish they were going with us!

This morning after breakfast, Tony and I had to go to Kerrville to pick up Kinky’s dog— Mr. Magoo, who had been ailing, because Kinky was in El Paso for a book signing! After safely returning Mr. Magoo to the Lodge. I did some paperwork and returned phone calls.

I spent the rest of the day thinking about next week’s mini-vacation. After treating myself to two of Carol’s cookies, I made a list of the things that I needed to get done before going on our trip. The most important thing for me to do on my ‘to do list’ was—get fishing license with a salt water stamp.

A little after 3:00, I decided to drive to Medina to get my license. Along that nine and a half mile stretch, I was thinking about what might be required to get this fishing license and wondering if I would have to take a test. I knew I would flunk it if it was about fishing, because Tony knows all of that stuff—he’s nearly an expert!

The only thing that Tony ever taught me about fishing is—to be quiet, and to not do a lot of talking, because it will scare away the fish. I’m pretty sure that rule is ‘an old husband’s tale,’so they don’t have to listen to their wives chatter.

The next thought that popped into my head scared me! Are they going to ask me how much I weigh? I won’t get a fishing license—no way—if they ask me that question—forget it! Then I thought maybe the form will just ask me to check one of the boxes concerning my personal size. Like: ‘What body size would you consider yourself to be: small, medium, large, extra large or other?

As I pulled up in front of the Medina Ace Hardware and parked, I wondered—what would 'other' be?

I sat in the car for a minute, getting up my nerve, and then I went inside the friendly hardware store. A good-looking young man, from behind the counter, asked me if he could help me and what I needed.

In front of several people I said, “I think I want a fishing license, with a salt water stamp on it. Do I have to take a test or fill out a form?”

“All I need is your driver’s license, Cousin Nancy,” The man replied. “It’ll cost you—thirty eight dollars and that’s it.”

Showing someone my driver’s license with my picture on it— is almost as bad, as asking me how much I weigh in front of everybody. I hesitated, and then handed over my driver’s license—hoping it wouldn’t cause the man to faint or think it was some kind of Halloween prank.

When he looked at my license he laughed instead. “So, that’s what you look like without a cap! I’ve never seen you without a cap!” Then he puts my driver’s license down on the counter and before anyone could see it, I quickly slid it into my purse. Then I wrote the clerk a check, and came home with a fishing license!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To Bait or Not to Bait!

At 8:00 this morning, I received an e-mail from Fay telling me that today is Dwight Yoakam’s Birthday and Prince, that giant dog that she adopted from us, still stinks to high heaven—thanks to his close encounters of the skunk kind! I want to wish Dwight a Happy Birthday! And, if any of y’all know of a cure for skunk smell—please let me know so I can pass it on to Fay.

This morning at 9:30, when John arrived at the rescue ranch, I was outside waiting for him. As soon as he parked the van, it was time for ‘Operation Cookie Dough’ to commence! I walked up to the van and said, “Morning, John, can you believe what a beautiful morning it is? Oh, Carol baked these cookies for you and asked me to give them to you. She said that she thinks of you, and the rest of us as family—she is so nice.” Then I handed him the cookies.

“Why, thanks Nancy,” John said. “I love her cookies!”

(I thought to myself—Bribe Number 2. just accepted—thank you Carol!)

Then I said to John, “I love her cookies, too. Carol gave me some for my birthday and I’ll have to agree with you—they are the best cookies made in Texas. And, that’s saying a lot! I’m going to ask her for the recipe.”

“Hey, when are you and Tony going down to Port Aransas to fish and visit Rick, Pete and Kelly? I thought y’all were going to do that soon?”

(This is when I put into motion, Bribe Number 3. ‘To Bait or Not to Bait!’)

“We are and we want you to go with us! It will really be fun, too! What do you say?”

“Well, I guess I could go,” John said. “I know it would be fun, too. I’ll go if you will let me take off of work.”

“Not a problem!” I said. “Come on inside the trailer and let me show you where my brother Ron and his wife, Nita, and my sister Cindy and her husband Ray—went fishing. They said they had a blast at this place, and they caught their limit on Red Fish, too!”

I booted up my Apple G4 laptop, on the kitchen table, and typed in the web site and showed John—the picture of Ron, Nita, and their dog, Gus with Cindy and Ray taken with the fish that they had caught! By the look on John’s face—I could tell that he was hooked! I loved it!

Of all of the bribes accomplished, so far— I’d say Bribe Number 3. was Reel easy!

As soon as John had left the trailer, I quickly put calls into Pete Hartje and Kelly Broomfield, and Rick Reichenbach, and Ben Welch to set the reels in motion. Pete and Kelly said yes, Rick said yes, and Ben said maybe—he would have to check his schedule and get back to me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Yesterday, at the bottom of Sunday’s blog, I wrote: “P.S. Herb, I enjoyed talking to you! And, we are looking forward to seeing you and Karen!”

As soon as I posted that blog, I called Kinky to tell him that Herb had called, and he and his wife, Karen, from Massachusetts, would like to come down here and visit us in January! Kinky was delighted with the news and said, “That’s great, Nance, but I hope you pronounced his name correctly. It’s Herb not Erb.”

“I know it’s Herb and dog-gone-it—I did mispronounce it,” I said.

“That’s great, Nancy,” Kinky said, without enthusiasm. “It stands for Herbert— Herrrrrr-bert, not Errrrrr-bert.”

“Darn it Kinky, I know it stands for Herrrr-bert, but I can’t help it!” I tried to explain. “Kinky, for some reason, when I was in elementary school up in Fort Worth, my teachers taught us to pronounce Herb and Huge with the ‘H’ being silent. So, all my life I have been pronouncing Herb as Erb and Huge as Uge and Tony is always teasing me about it. I think it is just my North Texas accent.”

“Okay, Nance, I understand, but please try to work on it, before they get here.”

“I will, I promise,” I stated. “One last thing Kink, did you know that sometimes, when you answer your phone, you say, ‘Ellooooooooo.......?”’

Blowing, Blowing, Blowing, Keeping John From Going...

This morning a norther blew in, bringing two and a half inches of rain with it, which caused me to become depressed—not suicidal—just depressed. That norther made me blue, because I know that any day now, John Kemmerly, who has done miracles with our dogs, and who is like family to us, will be leaving—because he hates cold weather!

It’s not like John hasn’t warned us—he has—many times. He told us long ago, after he spent last winter with us, that he would continue working with us—until it got cold again. This morning, Tony and I talked about John moving on, while eating breakfast. And, it just made us sick at the thought of him leaving, until I came up with a brilliant idea—we’ll bribe him!

So, first thing this morning, when John arrived, I drove down to greet him at the barn. “Good morning, John!” I said, with my fingers crossed. “I hope you’re not going to tell me that you’re going to quit today?”

John smiled, even though he was shivering, and said, “Yeah, Nancy, I think I am.”

I guess the expression on my face said it all, because John quickly said, “Not really, not today, I’m okay. It’s not that cold.”

Talk about relieved. “That’s great, John,” I said. “That sweatshirt of yours looks a little bit worn. Come on let’s go down, and get you a few new rescue ranch sweatshirts, from my private collection, which I designed and paid for personally.”

I gave John three or four brand new rescue ranch sweatshirts, and he seemed delighted to have them!

Great, it’s all ready working! I shall call that first bribe, ‘Don’t Sweat It!’”

After John and Tony were finished with their chores, John left early, so he could take Kinky’s dog, Mr. Magoo, to the vet, because he wasn’t feeling good, and Tony headed for Medina to get some feed.

Five minutes after they had left, Carol showed up! “Hi, Nancy, I just passed John on the road. I baked you some cookies for your birthday and here’s a batch for John.”

“Thank you, Carol,” I said. “John told me that your cookies are the best that he has ever eaten! I can’t wait to try them!”

“Thank you. This morning when that norther blew in,” Carol said. “I thought about John quitting. That is a shame. He’s family now. What’s Tony going to do without him?”

“ I don’t know,” I answered. “Tony, Kinky, Ben and I are sick about it, too. And, the dogs will surely miss him, as well. But, I have a secret plan to tell you about. We have decided to bribe John, into staying and little does he know that he has all ready taken the first bribe, which I named, ‘Don’t Sweat It!’ And, tomorrow when I give him your cookies—that will be bribe number two!”

After pulling her wind-blown-hair out of her mouth, Carol said, “I love it! What are we going to call my bribe?”

I stood there for a minute and thought. “How about, ‘Cookie Dough?’”

Carol chuckled and said, “I Love It!”

“‘Operation ‘Cookie Dough’ will go down tomorrow morning, as soon as John arrives. By the way, have you gotten a chance to watch, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ or ‘Blades of Glory,’ yet?”

“No,” Carol answered, “but I plan on watching Napoleon tonight. Well, I need to go walk some dogs. Please, let me know how ‘Operation Cookie Dough’ worked.”

“I will, and thank you for the cookies,” I said. “And, if you come up with some more bribery ideas —please let me know! Bye!”

Sunday, October 21, 2007


This morning Catherine Berry called to tell me that George Strait, a yellow Lab pup, and Catherine Zeta Jones, that we had rescued from the Kerrville pound earlier this month, have both found great homes! Catherine’s and David’s first two adoptions for us! Congratulations!

Tony and John went fly fishing today, after feeding the dogs and cleaning their pens. They even asked me to join them, even though they both know I’m not real talented when it comes to fishing, so I told them I would join them later. When I hooked up with them, they had caught several bass and branches! And, of course, they released the fish after catching them. I watched them fish for about fifteen minutes and then decided to come back to the trailer and wash dishes.

After fishing for over an hour—they quit. John went home and Tony and I went to Kerrville. We had two missions to accomplish: 1. Go out to eat at Acapulco, our favorite Tex-Mex Restaurant, and 2. Get groceries. I made a list of our two missions and then stuck the list inside my shirt pocket.

The reason we always write lists is because we seem to forget things. I am sure that it has to do with Tony being fifty-three, and me being fifty-six. I had a great memory up until I turned fifty years old! In fact, Tony was always teasing me for forgetting this or that, and when he turned the Big Five-0, his memory began slipping, too. And, now it has become no laughing matter, because we forget to tease.

Today, while eating our lunch, we told Raymond, our favorite waiter, that we needed to get another quart of their famous salsa—to go. This has become an ongoing joke between us, because on several occasions in the past, we have ordered the salsa and forgotten to take it home! In fact, a few weeks ago when Maribeth and I were eating there, I ordered a quart, and while we were eating, Raymond came out with the salsa attached to a string. When he put the salsa down on the table, he grabbed my wrist and tapped the end of the string to my hand and said, “There. I’ll bet that you don’t forget it today!

Well, right before we left the Acapulco today, Tony paid Raymond for our dinner and salsa, and Ray jokingly pushed the salsa right in front of Tony and said, “Now, don’t forget to take this.”

We all laughed and then I said, “Don’t worry, we are going to try our hardest.”

Raymond walked away with our plates, and then we sipped our tea and left. On our way out of the parking lot headed for number 2.—Buy groceries, Raymond ran out in front of our path, holding our quart of salsa, and waving his arms at us! Tony slammed on the brakes—barely missing him!

“Everybody inside there is laughing at y’all!” Raymond teased. “That woman at the table next to y’all’s, saw the whole thing. I’ve got a witness, and she’s a Deputy for the Sheriff’s Department! She saw me remind you and put the salsa right under Tony’s nose, and then watched y’all leave the scene of the crime without it! Thank goodness, she was watching y’all, because when y’all left, she grabbed your salsa, ran it over to me, and she never quit laughing! See y’all later.”

We laughed and drove away with our salsa. After getting my list and checking it twice, I scratched off eat at Acapulco, and then we went and bought a cart full of groceries. And, fortunately, I remembered to get into the regular line to check out instead of getting into the ten items only line— like I did last week, with twenty seven items. Wow! I can’t believe that I actually remembered doing that! I’m going to go tell Tony before I forget! Wish me luck!

P.S. Herb, I enjoyed talking to you! And, we are looking forward to seeing you and Karen!

When Pigs Fly!

Yesterday, Paul Emerson, our friend and volunteer, came out to visit, and we started reminiscing about the rescue ranch and I remembered this story.

Years ago, during the Spring, a church group of about twenty young children and a few adults, came out to the rescue ranch, to volunteer their services for a couple of hours. Because, the children were so young, we decided to let them play with our pigs and clean their pen.

The kids fell in love with our pigs, and were disappointed when their work was completed, and it was time for them to leave our ranch.

While the parents were busily loading up the kids into their cars, one cute, little, seven-year old girl, pointed over to our pig pen and screamed, “Look at that pig! What is he doing?”

We all looked and gasped at what we saw! The children were laughing and screaming with delight, and the parents were mortified!

Apparently after we had left the pig pen, a three hundred pound, black and white-spotted, wild hog, had wandered up to the pig pen because Alice, one of our sows, was in heat. The wild hog was outside the pig pen, standing on his hind legs, leaning into the fence, and trying to make love to Alice! He was wildly, humping away, but to no avail—Alice wasn’t interested!

Tony took off, to run the lovesick hog off, and thinking fast, I said, “Oh, he’s just dancing. Pigs love to dance.” (Yeah right, when pigs fly—I thought to myself.)

With children laughing hysterically—the parents quickly thanked me, and then drove away as fast as they could!

That wild hog made several more visits to our pig pen during that week, and he did do a lot of dancing, so to speak. Fortunately, Alice didn’t get pregnant, and unfortunately, that church group has never returned.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Had A Dream!

Fall came and went today! We had an early Fall this morning when it was 45 degrees outside on the front porch, and now, eight hours later, that same thermometer outside, just hit 90 degrees! This morning Tony and I drank hot chocolate and he just now pulled a Popsickle out of the freezer and asked me if I wanted one, too. I didn’t.

This morning was great at the ranch! June Hartley and Carol Vail, two of our favorite volunteers, showed up and that was a very nice surprise for us and the dogs! While June was handing out treats and spending time with each dog, Carol began her dog walking program.

Inspired by the volunteers and the weather, I grabbed a leash and took Maggie, a shy sweet dog, for a three mile hike! At one point, Tony became concerned, because I was gone so long, so he sent Blake Kesterson out to find me. When Blake pulled up on our green, four-wheeler, “Kermit,” I explained to him that it was taking me so long, because about every five minutes, Maggie would stop and then jump up on me for kisses and hugs.

Normally, we try to teach our dogs not to jump up on people, but because of Maggie’s shyness towards people, I encouraged her and praised her for wanting to interact with me. The more I praised, petted, and kissed her—the more happier and relaxed she became.

When we returned to the rescue ranch, Tony and Blake were taking off for Kerrville, June was fixing to leave, and John and Carol were still out walking the dogs. After returning Maggie to her pen, I went inside the trailer to return some phone calls.

The couple who were coming out to possibly adopt today had canceled and are coming out tomorrow instead, and Kinky had called to check on his dogs, “The Friedmans.”

I checked my e-mails to find that Fay, my dear friend up in Canada, who had adopted our biggest dog, Kris Kristofferson, that we had flown all of the way up there, had sent me an update on Kris aka Prince and this is what she wrote:

OMG. I am FREAKING OUT!!! It's midnight, I just sat down for the first time in 2 hours of a nightmare. I let Prince out the back and when I went back to let him in I opened the door and ... SKUNK!!!

All I could see was Prince standing over a dead skunk, what a stink! Stink isn't even close: I DON'T HAVE A WORD!! Then little daughter comes to the back & FREAKS because the dog took the skunk out - Big Time. So I have a very smelly, distressed dog and my daughter bawling her eyes out. oh, and a dead skunk that the dog keeps nudging. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGH!!

I managed to:
1. Put the HUGE dead, stinking skunk in a bag. Triple YUK and a gag or twelve.
2. Shampoo the dog twice for 45 minutes. Twice.
3. Spray Febreze, Lysol and have umpteen candles burning as the stink inside the house is OBSCENE. I just can't leave Prince outside—the stinky #$%&^*.

OMG! I'm traumatized!!!! Poor Prince, he was just trying to protect us. Idiot.

I am actually managing a smile, but probably because I just had a 2 oz. straight shooter of Jack Daniels. WTF! F.

Trying not to laugh, I shot her off a short note to cheer her up.

Talk about high-speed—she sent back this note immediately:

Thanks Nancy ; )) This isn't the first time a dog we've had has been skunked. I just have never had to deal with the dead skunk part before. Yikes!! At first I thought he just got sprayed, then I turned the light on and he was standing over this huge dead skunk! It weighed about 10 lbs.!
I feel so sorry for Prince, he was SO sad this morning, he's miserable. Man, does he STINK.

I have to deal with the disposal of the skunk body bag when I get home. I have no choice but to take it to the pond and throw it in one of the garbage cans there. I will NOT put it in my van so I have to drag it up the street and through the park. I'll probably get reported and have a homicide SWAT team at my door in no time ROFLMAO!!

There's a deodorizing shampoo "recipe" a couple of people sent me, but it has hydrogen peroxide in it. No way! He'll get sick and look like a giant red fox at the end of it. Plus, wouldn't that burn his skin?!

A guy I work with told me his dog got sprayed and was told not to put any liquid at all on the dog, it just spreads it around. They put baking soda on the dog and then brushed it out. I've bathed him 3 times, he's really shiny LOL I'm going to try the baking soda tonight when I get
home, it won't hurt him.

I love him, poor wee soul. You're not getting him back ; )) F.

The dogs started barking outside because John and Carol were coming back from their dog walk. I had promised to loan Carol my copies of ”Napoleon Dynamite” and “Blades of Glory,” to watch because they are two of my favorite movies, and she hadn’t seen them. I caught up with Carol and John after they had returned the dogs to their pens and I teased her about finding a perfect arrowhead and then handed her the movies and we all visited for a few minutes.

“I had a dream!” John says with a chuckle. “Last night I had a dream and you won’t believe it!” “Nancy and I are at this huge coliseum, filled with people, who were anxiously waiting for Nancy’s book signing event to start. And, the reason so many people were there, was because Nancy was going to read from her book!”

“You’re kidding? I sound like Gabby Hayes on helium,” I said. “But, please tell us more.”

“Right before the event was to start the people in charge of the event tell Nancy that they had changed their minds. Instead of doing a reading—they wanted Nancy to sing instead!”

“What?” I asked. “I’m deaf in one ear—thanks to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and tone deaf, too! “Now we’re talking nightmare, John.”

John continues on, “Nancy agrees to sing, and then asks me if I can play the guitar for her. I tell her no, because I don’t know how to play a guitar and she says, ‘Oh, John—it’s easy, come on you can do it. I know you can.’ And then, she hands me a guitar!”

Carol took a sip of water, and was laughing so hard at John’s dream, I was waiting for the water to come shooting out of her nose, but it didn’t.

“I ask Nancy,” John said. “How do you tune it? And, Nancy says, ‘See those knobs up there at the top— turn them until they’re tight, but not too tight, because you’ll break a string.’ I knew I couldn’t play the guitar for Nancy, so I told her I was going to go find someone who knows how to play a guitar. Then I leave to go find someone. I’m now standing in this crowded, gigantic lobby and I see John Wayne. I walked up to him and said, ‘Hey Duke, I need a favor. Could you please play guitar for Nancy?’ Then he says, ‘I don’t know how to play a guitar, but I’ll help you find someone.’ And then I woke up!”

Carol and I stood there laughing for over two minutes.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

White Out!

First off, I want to thank everyone for giving me the best birthday I have ever had—even though I know that I peaked long ago, at the ripe old age of thirty nine years!

On my fortieth birthday, back in 1991, my whole world changed drastically for me overnight. I remember it well, unfortunately. The first thing I did that morning, after falling out of the bed, I went to the bathroom and stared into the mirror and didn’t recognize the person staring back at me! It was like I had seen a ghost—Casper the Friendly Ghost—to be exact!

My long brown hair was now white, my eyebrows were a lighter shade of pale, and my chest had taken on a new direction—straight down!

After whining about it to my husband, he quickly reminded me to count my blessings. I counted all eight of them, and then started crying as he drove me to the Texas Department of Transportation to renew my driver’s license. Now that, was fun.

The officer asked me a few questions and then she said, “Happy Birthday Ms. Parker. Do you want me to remove the motorcycle classification to drive one or do you want to keep that license, too?”

“Yes,” I answered. “I’ve had that motorcycle license since I was eighteen. I want to keep it. Who knows maybe I will get a Harley for my birthday.”

She sorta smirked and then asked me to step up and take the eye test. I did as I was told and I flunked it. I couldn’t see the last line that she was asking me to repeat back to her!

“You flunked,” She said. “Next.”

“Wait,” I said. I opened my purse and pulled out my dreaded, drugstore glasses and put them on. “I want another try, please.”

She let me take it and I passed that time—it cheered me up until she informs me that their would be a new restriction added to my license—I had to always wear glasses when driving. Ah, more good news.

Then it was time for my photo-shoot. That officer shot me all right, and after paying her for shooting me, I left the building feeling even more depressed.

Then to top it all off, as we were driving to work, I hear our good friend, Sammy Allred, who had and still has the most popular, morning talk show, in Austin, announce to the world, on KVET 98.1, “Today is Cousin Nancy’s fortieth birthday and I want to wish her a happy birthday! Happy Birthday, Cousin Nancy!”

After hearing that and knowing that the whole world knew, I cried so hard that my tears nearly drowned me.

Five weeks later, my new driver’s license finally arrived in the mail. And yes, after viewing my picture, I realized—Steve Martin and I could definitely pass as being identical twins.

That was sixteen candles ago, and I have changed. I now look like a white column and am a pillar somewhere. Anyway, I just want everyone to know that y’all made my birthday the most special birthday that I have ever had! Thank you!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

So far, today has not gone south on me. In fact, I just received an e-mail from my great friend, Fay McLachlan, telling me I had more good birthday wishes and to please check out this site:


I couldn’t believe it! While I was on the phone talking to my brother, Ron, I checked out the site above, while he was telling me a funny fishing story. When up pops Dwight’s site and Dwight Yoakam’s fans were posting notes on Dwight’s site, wishing me a happy birthday! I ended up interrupting my brother and told him to go to this site now and then I accidentally hung up on him. Talk about honored! I am fixing to call Kinky and tell him my exciting news about being on Dwight’s site and then I am calling Ron back!

Happy Birthday to Me!

First off, I want to wish myself a Happy Birthday! This morning has been a great day, but it is still early and things could go south. Earlier, I was shocked when I checked my e-mails to find that I had received over fifty happy birthday e-mails, four deals about Viagra, and twelve people, who I don’t know, telling me that they are ready to accept my application and give me money!

I loved reading all of my happy birthday e’s, I deleted the Viagra bargains, and sent the twelve people each other’s addresses!

Before I could finish my first cup of Kona coffee, that Kinky had given me, my phone began ringing off the hook with friends calling to wish me a great fifty-sixth birthday and I enjoyed hearing from all of them, even though my ear is still aching!

Everyone tells me to switch ears when I’m talking on the phone, but I can’t because I am deaf in one ear— thanks to an Emerson, Lake and Palmer concert in Dallas, that I went to in the early Seventies.

Well, my (older) sister, Cindy, who lives up in Austin, just called and I took the call—even though my ear is still hurting. We have decided to meet tomorrow morning in Fredericksburg to shop and have lunch together! I can’t wait!

John just walked into the trailer and wished me a Happy Birthday and gave me a very nice present and then we talked dogs. After discussing the dogs, John told me that yesterday, when Carol Vail, one of our great volunteers, was out walking our dogs, she had found an arrowhead and was very excited about finding it.

“Carol told me that she loves arrowhead hunting and she is always looking at the ground instead of watching out for mountain lions or wild hogs,” John said. “When she told me that it was perfect, I asked to see it and it was, and that’s when I remembered the story about the joke that Ben had played on Tony last year. When Ben bought those fake arrowheads and secretly planted them for Tony to find! So, I asked Carol where she had found them and sure enough it was one of Bens! When I told her about Ben’s joke—she got a big laugh out of it.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grin & Bear It!

Things have been really been busy out here—to say the least. So, since I haven’t had time to write, I am posting a story I wrote a while back about my dog, Bear. As soon as things slow down I’ll catch y’all up on what’s going on out here.

Back in 1981, in Fort Worth, Texas, I was the proud owner of a very successful embroidery business. I was thirty years old, newly married and for the very first time in my life, I was my own boss. What I loved most about being my own boss was that I could bring Bear, my Great Pyrenees, to work with me everyday.

My mother, Katie Culbertson, who was retired, decided to volunteer her services to help me out at the shop and to also get her out of the house. Mom, Bear and I worked Monday through Friday and we had a lot of fun.

Bear was a true asset to the business, too and he even became somewhat of a celebrity. My customers would always bring their kids in to meet Bear and he was great with them and especially the ladies. In fact, he loved the ladies so much he would often goose them with his nose while we were discussing their embroidery job. Once Bear goosed the bank president’s wife of my bank and her husband called me later to thank me!

After a couple of years as my business grew and became more successful I did what most people my age did—I bought a used Cadillac. And, even though my mother had strongly recommended that I ask my husband, Jim, if I could—I didn’t.

I bought the prettiest, biggest, 1981 silver, Coupe de Ville with leather interior and I named it Silver! I named it Silver because it was silver, but more importantly, my new feng shui book that I had been reading had strongly suggested that I give it a name so it could bond with me and we could become one.

I ‘m not real sure how bonded Silver and I actually were, but I was in love with my luxurious Cadillac and so was Jim! In fact, several times he would often borrow it for business trips and we always used it when we went out.

In 1984, two days before celebrating Santa Claus’ birthday, Bear and I took my mother out for breakfast at a very popular restaurant. We left Bear inside Silver promising him we would return with a doggie bag soon.

After waiting in line and finally getting a table, Mom and I enjoyed our conversation as much as we did our breakfast.

When we returned to Silver, my mother screamed—nearly scaring me to death! With the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up I looked at Silver and unlocked the car.

Bear was sitting in the backseat with a seat belt strap in his mouth! The other strap was on the floor. I looked at Mom’s face. She looked horrified and had her hands covering her mouth. I looked back at Bear with the strap in his mouth and his expression read, “What?” Then I burst out laughing.

By the time we arrived at my parent’s home, Mom and I were laughing hysterically. Dad came out to greet us and when he saw what was left of the seat belt straps dangling from the ceiling and one in Bear’s mouth—he laughed, too.

“What are y’all going to do with those straps?” he asked. “They look terrible dangling there.”

I reached in and tugged on one and let go. It recoiled itself out of sight into the ceiling as did the other one. “Not a problem,” I laughed. “What seat belt? Do you see a seat belt?”

When Bear and I were back home, I called Jim at work.

“Hello, this is Jim,” he answered.

“Bear and I took Mom to breakfast this morning and you’re not going to believe what Bear did to Silver while we were eating!” I said.

There was no sound.

“Jim, are you there?” I asked.

Still no sound.

“Oh my God, he didn’t eat the leather seats? Did he?” Jim said, with a tone of sadness in his voice.

“No,” I answered, as I handed a half-eaten biscuit, from the doggie bag, to Bear.

“Oh God, not the dashboard?” he gasped.


“Nancy, what in the world did Bear eat?”

“He just ate a leftover biscuit.” I said. “We got a doggie bag for him.”

“I give up,” Jim declared.

“It was just the seat belts from the ceiling,” I said.

“Oh, thank God,” Jim said with relief. “You really had me scared.”

“I’ve already fixed the problem, too,” I stated with pride. “They looked like bus straps waving in the wind and when I dropped Mom off, I tugged on them and they recoiled back up into the ceiling and Silver looks fine. Nobody will ever notice.”

Six months before the seat belt law came into effect, I took Silver to a Cadillac dealership and traded him in on a brand new burgundy Coupe de Ville without telling Jim, again.

When Jim came home that evening, Bear and I were sitting inside the Caddy waiting for him and he was nicely surprised and happy for me!

I named my second and my last Coupe de Ville—The Bear-mobile.

The Bear-mobile was a great Cadillac until three weeks after I had paid it off. It had a meltdown in the engine so we sold it to a friend of ours in Austin who was a mechanic.

Then I bought a used 1983 Volkswagen Beetle that didn’t have a reverse gear from John Henry Faulk’s son. Not having a reverse was not a problem for me at all because I have always hated going backwards. I named that little car, too and had custom license plates made for it that read, “Che-Che!”

I kept the Che-Che Bug for a couple of years and it never let me down or went backwards.

Friday, October 12, 2007

All You Need is Love!

This has been a great Friday! This morning Diane and her daughter, Susan, drove out from Kerrville to possibly adopt a dog! Diane believes two dogs are better than one, and because one of her old dogs had passed away recently, from old age, she wanted to get a companion for her other dog.

Ringo was the first dog she met on the tour and Diane fell in love with Ringo the minute she met him but she and Susan still wanted to take a tour to make sure. After meeting all of our other dogs—Ringo was the one for her!

After signing Ringo’s adoption papers Diane asked me several questions about Ringo and then she told me her plans. First off, Ringo will be an inside dog and will, of course, be allowed to sit on the people couch as well as the custom made dog couch, which by the way— was more expensive than her people couch! Diane told me that her routine for feeding her dogs has always been to feed the finest canned dog food mixed with dry dog food in the morning. Then several times during the day she gives them treats to eat. (I love the next part.) Then she cooks them dinner! Diane told us she has always enjoyed cooking for her dogs and every night she serves her dogs cooked liver or gizzards for dinner.

Here is Diane’s recipe: Cook meet in olive oil. Cut meat into small chunks. Then fill dog bowls with a little dry dog food, stir in the meat and then drizzle the remaining juices over the mixture!
Voila! Dinner is served!

After Susan, Diane and Ringo happily drove away, I said to Tony, John and Ben, “Ringo is going to think that he has died and gone to heaven with that new lifestyle! I can just see it now. Tonight, after Ringo has eaten his first home cooked meal by Diane, he will be sitting on his doggie couch with Diane’s other dog, thinking—screw that rescue ranch!”

The guys laughed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Harper Valley P.T.A.

This morning John showed up at the rescue ranch at 9:30 with six dogs! We thought we had rescued ten dogs from the Kerrville pound, but apparently it was eleven! My excuse is, I was never good at math and I’ll find out what John’s excuse is tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to take pictures of them yet, but with Ben’s help we did get them named early this evening.

The two tan males with white chests are Owen and Luke Wilson. Because, I love Owen Wilson! Owen's the one with the most white on his chest.

I named the Rat Terrier, Pepperoni and his new roommate, a little wannabe Min Pin—Dobie Gillis. If you are old enough to remember Dobie Gillis—don’t worry—you are definitely not a candidate for Alzheimers—you’re just old like me.

In the official Puppy Pen, we have Zelda, the Beagle mix, and we named her sister, Greta Garbo because she has beautiful eyes. We named the two little wiry, reddish-tan girls, Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen. Ashley doesn’t have a tail, but Mary Kate does. Ben named the cute, little black and tan, Minnie Driver.

Lastly, in the pen near our trailer, we have Ginger Rogers who is a beauty queen, and ginger colored. And, lastly we named Ginger's roommate, a gorgeous Great Dane mix, Darla because she looks like a Darla.

Around 11:30, Larry and Karen showed up to adopt Jeanie C. Riley! They had come out a month earlier and told us they wanted to adopt Jeanie, but they couldn’t adopt her until after they got back from their vacation. And, we promised to hold on to her for them.

Karen and Larry drove out several times before going on their vacation to take Jeanie on long car rides and walking expeditions, etc. and she loved it!

While Karen and Larry were cruising the East Coast, Jeanie’s roommate, Roger Miller, was adopted, so we put Jeanie in with Buffalo Gal and Little Lulu, and they all they got along great together. Today, when Jeanie saw Karen and Larry her tail wouldn’t quit wagging! I’m positive that Jeanie knew she would be leaving the rescue ranch for good and never coming back. She was going to her new home at last—to be spoiled rotten—she had been adopted!

P.S. Jeanie’s new home is approximately 30 miles from Harper, Texas.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

U.S. Male!

Here’s some good news! I called Ben up in Austin last night after I had posted yesterday's blog, and he was fine—just worn out—and no one had beat him up! Thank goodness!

Well, yesterday, around 11:45, Jon and I caravanned to the Kerrville pound and rescued ten more dogs that we intend to fly up to Kristine in Chicago within the next couple of weeks—and they are cute! After we loaded up the dogs, we caravanned over to Hoegemeyers and dropped them off to be spayed or neutered, wormed, and given their shots.

Today, around 2:30 Susan called from Hoegemeyer’s to tell me that they were ready to be picked up! So, Tony and I took off for Kerrville. First we stopped at the Kerrville Post Office so I could mail a package and that is where I learned what the term “Going Postal” means!

Tony pulled up to the door of the Post Office to let me out, because the parking lot was nearly full. As soon as I opened the door a middle aged man in a Hummer began tooting his horn and waving his arms at me! I looked at him and said, I’m sorry and scooted out of the way. Tony drove off looking for a place to park and I race-walked into the building.

There was a long line in front of me and just as I had gotten to the end of the line, the man owning the Hummer walked up close behind me and yelled at the top of his lungs. “One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Nine! And I’m number Ten! This is ridiculous! All I need to do is pick up a package! It won’t take ten seconds!”

Everyone in the line, (but me, of course—because I was scared) turned around and began staring at this weirdo. Then he cuts in front of me and approaches a Postal Clerk and interrupts her transaction and waves his card at her and says, “Excuse me sir, I need for this clerk to go get my package. I don’t have the time to wait in here. Hell, that line is going to take at least thirty minutes!”

The Postal Worker woman said, “ No sir, you have to wait your turn. Please get back in the line now.”

He angrily stomped back to the line waving his slip in the air, and such is my luck, was once again behind me. Fortunately, I did feel somewhat safe because number Eight, who was in front of me, was this big, strong, young man.

The next thing Hummermaniac did was holler, “Hey, everybody! Would y’all mind if I go to the front of the line? I just have a package to pick up!”

I remained silent with my back to this creep, but One through Eight turned around and together in two part harmony said, “No!” As I smiled nervously back at them.

“Number Two!” He yelled. “What are you here for?”

This cute, little elderly man, with a smile on his face says, “That’s none of your business.”

“Hey! Number Three! What are you in here for?” He loudly demanded.
This well dressed woman about my age says, “Shut up and do like the rest of us—wait for your turn!”

By now, I am praying that the Police or a Security Guard will show up—but that didn’t happen.

For the next five minutes this moron behind me kept on hollering. Finally, when it was my turn, I couldn’t wait to get out of there, so I quickly paid the postage due on my package! I wanted to run out of the Post Office, but at my age—I ended up skipping out of there as fast as I could skip. I waited until we were almost to Hoegemeyers before telling Tony about the Hummermaniac.

At Hoegemeyers we picked up five of the dogs and then we headed back to the rescue ranch because John is going to pick up the remaining five dogs tomorrow morning before coming to work.

So far,I have already named three of the dogs. The darling Beagle mix is Zelda, the little Rat Terrier is Pepperoni, and the beautiful wannabe Golden Retriever is now Ginger Rogers! I plan on naming the the rest of the dogs tomorrow morning when we take their pictures, to post on our web site.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I have some great news! Sunday morning, Catherine and David Berry drove down from Buchanan Dam, Texas and temporarily adopted seven of our dogs that we had recently rescued from the Kerrville pound. The reason their adoptions are temporary is because they plan to adopt our dogs out at their newly established rescue shelter—Happy Dog Adoptions!

For months we have been talking back and forth to Catherine on how to do and what not to do and they did it! They arrived at 10:30 and they were excited and couldn’t wait to meet the seven lucky dogs! After meeting Catherine Zeta Jones, Kawliga, Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, George Strait, Little Richard, and Ms. Toto—they fell in love with them!

Kinky was anxious and could not wait to meet Catherine and David, so following the canine introductions we went over to Kinky’s Lodge. Kinky greeted us at the gate, offered to make some coffee, then he made the coffee and then Kinky gave David and Catherine the “Grand Tour” of the Lodge. I could tell that he was greatly impressed with them as we were, because he gave David five or six of his new cigars from his new line of Kinky Friedman Cigars and he nearly talked Catherine’s head off.

Following the meet and greet, Kinky challenged David to a game of pool. Now that was funny. After he had explained to them that we call him “The Hummingbird Man,” he asked me to please hum everytime that it was his turn and so I did. After a lot of humming—David sank the eight ball, the game was over—Kinky had lost. I told David, “Around here we say, ‘”Beat Kinky once—Never play Kinky, again.” It brought a laugh and then they put up their sticks and we returned to the rescue ranch.

We invited them in for some coffee, which we forgot to drink at Kinky’s, and then Catherine signed the seven adoption forms. When it was time for them to leave, we went outside and loaded up seven happy dogs! As Catherine and David drove away I said to Tony, “This is so perfect! They are good people and Kinky likes them.”

Later in the day, Edward, an extremely polite photographer from England who was putting together a documentary, came out and shot me several times and then when Kinky arrived at the rescue ranch—he shot him, too! When the shooting was over Kinky’s friend, Jerome, Kinky and the shootist left the rescue ranch, but Kinky’s sister Marcie, and our friend Copper Love stayed so they could take a tour and visit with the dogs.

A couple of hours later, Marcie called and then Kinky called while I was in the process of taking a nap with my dogs. When I called Kinky, he told me that Copper wanted to adopt our giant Great Pyrenees / Catahoula mix—Macy! They were coming over now!

Tony and I went outside and climbed into “Kermit” our little green four-wheeler and drove down to Macy’s and Bob Dylan’s pen so Tony could put a new blue collar on Macy, along with her dog tags.

A few minutes later, our friend Dylan Ferrero arrived in his red pickup explaining that he had offered to deliver Macy to Copper’s house because Macy wouldn’t fit in “Ruby Tuesday”—Copper’s car. Then Kinky and Marcie arrived in “The Navigator”—Kinky’s car. Then Copper arrived in her little red Miata convertible! Adoption Time!

Without reading the form, Copper quickly signed it and then handed it to me so she could take Macy’s leash. I said, “Congratulations Copper! You just signed over your house and “Ruby Tuesday” to the rescue ranch!”

Following the handshaking ceremony, Copper loaded up Macy into the front seat of Dylan’s Truck and then Dylan and Macy left with Copper following right behind in hot pursuit!

Tony and I visited with Kinky and Marcie for a few minutes and there was a lot of laughing about getting a guest book and then they left for the Lodge.

Catherine called later that evening to report that all had gone well and the dogs were doing great!

And, as I finish writing Sunday’s story, on this Monday, Ben just called from Austin and left this message on the answering machine, “I’m sorry folks, but I am not going to be driving down to the ranch this evening as planned. I'm not feeling to good because I just got my ass whipped!”

Sunday, October 7, 2007

God Bless Mary Jo!

Saturday afternoon, October 6th, Jon and & Sandy Wolfmueller had a book signing party for Kinky’s new book, "You Can Lead a Politician to Water, But You Can’t Make Him Think: Ten Commandments for Texas Politics" at their bookstore, Wolfmueller’s Books!

Tony and I arrived late, because we had two adoptions to take care of and I am proud to announce that Wynona Judd and Naomi Judd (sisters that we rescued from the Kerrville pound) were adopted to a great family who live in Ingram!

As always Kinky’s book signing at Wolfmuellers was a blast! In fact, Kinky’s book signings at Wolfmuellers have become a Kerrville tradition—not to be missed! His old friends and new friends were all there including hundreds of his fans. Mary Jo Brandon, Sandy and Jon’s right-hand-woman, was taking money left and right and ringing up sales faster than the law should allow, along with her two daughters, Laura and Maura helping to bag the purchases.

The way I saw it, for every new Kinky book sold—one of Spike’s Naked Calendars sold! During the event I could have sworn that the cash register was literally smoking, but it could have been Kinky hiding behind the counter. Anyway, the hero of that book signing was most definitely Mary Jo! And, Sandy and Jon are tied for second place with all of their behind the scenes work.

Later that night, Jon called to discuss the event. During our conversation I asked Jon, “Is Mary Jo okay?”

“Yeah, I think so,” Jon said. “Why? What happened?”

“I have never seen such a hard working woman in my life,” I said. “She was ringing up your cash register faster than Kinky can pump dollars into the slot machines! It was amazing! ”

“Yes, Mary Jo’s good,” Jon said. “We love her.”

Friday, October 5, 2007


Early this morning Jennifer Lee Pryor called from Los Angeles and we had a nice chat. She told me that she is currently working on a movie about the life of her late husband, Richard Pryor. After catching up with each other she asked me if we could help her rescue some Pit Bulls up near Tyler, Texas. Unfortunately, I had to tell her no, because we are full and have no extra space at this time. Jennifer understood of course, and she told me that she plans on coming out to Texas soon, whenever she can get a break—to visit us. I can’t wait and am looking forward to it!

Around ten o’clock this morning, Tony and John had come to the trailer to discuss one of the dogs. Following that discussion I said to them, “I talked to Jennifer Pryor a little while ago and she wanted to know if we could help her rescue some Pit Bulls that needed rescuing in Tyler.”

“Thailand?” John quickly quipped. “What? You’ve got to be kidding me? How in the world can...”

“John, Tyler, Tyler, Texas.” I said. “Not Thailand.”

We all broke out laughing.

“Tony then jokingly remarks, “Sure Jennifer, we can go to Thailand, John can drive the van and pick them up. What will it take, four or five months? John, you can do it can’t you?”

We couldn’t quit laughing.

“Piece of cake,” John said between laughs. “I’ll get right on it and Google the directions!”

“John,” I said, pointing to the kitchen floor, “Cake is a four-letter-flour word around here.”

The phone rang and we were laughing so hard I had to let the machine catch the call.

When we had finally quit laughing, Tony said dryly, “See John, I’m right. I told you, Nance really does sound like Gabby Hayes on helium.”

All John could do was nod his head and smile.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, John!

At 7:45 this morning I called Harley Belew at The Rose 104.9, like I do every Thursday morning, to talk about the rescue ranch. This morning’s show went really well and we did a lot of laughing. It started out with me asking, “Harley, would it be okay for me to say Happy Birthday to John Kemmerly?”

Right on cue, Harley said, “No.”

“Okay,” I said, and then we started laughing and couldn't quit.

“Who's John Kemmerly?” Harley asked.

“John has been working out here for nearly a year—and we love him and so do our dogs! And he's a Libra, too!”

“Oh, okay,” Harley said. “Hey, what’s going on with Kinky? I called him the other day and he hasn’t called back.”

“That’s because he is in New York City,” I answered. “He’s coming to the ranch tomorrow so he can do his book signing at Wolfmueller’s on Saturday. You’re coming aren’t you?”

“Yes,” Harley said, “Of course I’ll be there...”

The show went great and I was glad that it had been so funny. I couldn’t wait to ask John if he heard it!

Tony and I ate breakfast and I saved one biscuit, so I could put a candle in it for John. Well, as usual I couldn’t find my candles so instead I stuck a stick of incense into the middle of the biscuit and lit it.

Then Maribeth Couch showed up at the ranch at 9:25—and John arrived promptly at 9:30. Tony went and found John and told him I needed to talk to him. When John walked inside the trailer we sang Happy Birthday to him and we gave him a card. And he liked my substitute biscuit wannabe cake.

“John did you listen to the radio show this morning?” I asked with excitement.

“No, sorry Nance. I couldn’t pick it up, but I tried everything to tune it in. In fact, at one point, I had the radio sitting on top of a roll of toilet paper to try to tune in the station.”

“Well, I ended up broadcasting Happy Birthday to you 3 times during the show. It was great and I wish you could have heard it.”

After drinking a cup of coffee, Tony and John went outside to work. Maribeth and I were catching up on things and right when I said Jon Wolfmueller’s name the telephone rang and it was Jon calling! “Hello, Nancy, Spike’s Naked 2008 calendars have just arrived and they are absolutely fantastic!” Jon stated with excitement.“I am so glad we ordered them! Kinky is July and he is only wearing his hat, vest and boots and he looks great!”

“Jon, this is too exciting!” I said. “Please hold back two for me. Maribeth and I are on our way! See you in thirty minutes.”

On our way out of the ranch I caught John and told him a lie on purpose. “John, Jon and Sandy just called and they asked me to ask you to swing by because they want to talk to you about something.” Little did John know that my lie was to get him over to Wolfmueller’s so they could surprise him with our birthday present—the 2008 Naked Calendar!

Maribeth and I made it to Wolfmueller’s Books safely, even though I drove like a bat out of hell. I bought two calendars, one for Tony and me, and one for Jon and Sandy to give to John for his birthday present. After a short visit with Jon and Sandy, Maribeth and I returned to the rescue ranch.

For information about this calendar go to www.spikegillespie.com and buy one because all of the proceeds go directly to the non-profit Austin Children of Musicians, Artists and Writers Fund which provides emergency, stopgap funds for artistic Austin families in crisis.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Secret Society

It’s 6:15, I’m listening to my iPod right now and Neil Young is singing Harvest Moon, one of my favorite songs.

First thing this morning, Kathy called from Hoegemeyers to tell us that the little 9 day old kitten that we had rescued three weeks ago has been adopted! My day got off to a good start with that news.

Around 9:45, John came to the trailer and I ended up spilling the beans about Kinky’s and my big secret! I couldn’t help it—I had to tell someone else besides Tony. John promised not to tell and told me that he was excited for us. After discussing the dogs, he and Tony went outside to give meds, feed the dogs and clean their pens. I was glad I had told John, but disappointed in myself for not being able to keep a secret. I vowed to myself not to tell one more person, but I broke that vow several hours later.

After the guys left I did some paperwork, returned a few phone calls and then proceeded to go outside to finally take pictures of our thirteen new dogs that we rescued from the Kerrville pound and get them posted on our website. That took about forty minutes. Then I came back to the trailer and sat down at my computer and resized, tagged, and wrote a brief history on each of the dogs. Then I e-mailed them to our incredibly great and talented web master, Pat Symchych, to post.

Pat has been taking care of utopiarescue.com for more than six years—for free! Everything that she does on our site is perfect and today I was feeling guilty for sending her such a load to take care of, but she shot back an e-mail in response saying, “Not a problem, I’ll take care of it quick!”
And, she did. Oh yes, one last thing about Pat, she has also adopted two of our large Lab mixes: Bill Clinton and Tien!

Around 1:00, Jon Wolfmueller called. “Nancy, I love your blogsite! Sandy and I have just finished reading the entire thing even the comments. We want to know who wrote: Nance, I love you—Ron C.” he asked.

“Jon, that’s my brother, Ronnie,” I answered. “I guess he was trying to help me jump start my site.”

Jon repeated my response back to Sandy who must have been close to the phone. They both broke out laughing and so did I. “Okay Nancy, we are dying to know your and Kinky’s secret, in fact—Sandy made me call you to find out.”

“Nope, Jon I am sworn to secrecy—I can’t,” I declared. Then there was a pause. “Okay, all right, I’ll tell you.” And, I did.

Then Jon repeated everything back to Sandy and he told me, “That is fantastic news. We swear not to tell anyone.”

“Please don’t tell a soul,” I said. “Shoot, now y’all know, Tony knows and this morning I told John. Can I keep a secret or what?”

“No, Nance, you can’t,” Jon said, “but you’ve created a secret society! And we’re it! Bye.”

Well, tomorrow is John Kemmerly’s 44th birthday and today Tony and I bought him a birthday card to give to him in the morning. Just a while ago, for a moment, I thought about fixing him a birthday cake, but decided not to. Not because I didn’t want to, but I have put an embargo on any flour or powder productrs coming into our trailer until the flour blobs are all gone. Knowing John, I am sure he will understand why I didn’t bake him a cake.

I said something about it to Tony just a minute ago and he suggested that tomorrow morning we invite John in for breakfast and then surprise him with a biscuit with a lighted candle in it! Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sugar Bear Has Left the Building!

Last night, I had a hard time falling asleep because Mama, our giant, rescued Great Pyrenees, kept pushing me off the bed because she has restless legs syndrome. Don’t worry, I’m fine—I’m used to it. The other reason for not getting much shut-eye last night was because of the exciting news that Kinky had shared with me. For now it is a secret, but as soon as I get a heads up y’all will be the first to know. I promise.

Well, early this morning around 6:30, while Tony was in Medina drinking coffee with his friends, I was outside chasing Randy Travis all over the ranch. Eventually, I caught him and there was peace in the valley once again—until he jumped out again.

This afternoon, Tony and I drove to Kerrville with three purposes in mind. First to drop off Sugar Bear at Hoegemeyers so she could be adopted and secondly, to get Little Richard, a little furry, black mutt, that we had rescued from the Kerrville pound a few weeks ago, a rabies shot. Everything would have been fine except one of them got carsick on the way. Eighty-six degrees outside and the car windows down—nice ride.

After dropping the dogs off at Hoegemeyers we went to the Save Inn for lunch. Tony had a chicken sandwich and I had my favorite—the Omelet Sinker. It was delicious!

Following lunch, we swung by and picked up Little Richard and headed back to the rescue ranch. When we arrived home there were 9 phone messages on the machine. Six of them were from people wanting to give their dogs to us for one reason or another, two were hang ups and one was from a clown in a circus who we know.

Don’t get me wrong, this clown is a very nice person, but he is one of the most depressing people that I know and I hate talking to him. So, I called him first to get it over with. He told me that he was fixing to go on vacation and wanted to know if he could come here and camp out for a week at the rescue ranch. I told him that I didn’t think that would be a good idea, because we are too busy and of course that depressed him, but he did reassure me that he totally understood. Before hanging up he told me that he would call me the next time the circus was in the area so we could be his guests and see his act. How sad.

It is now six-forty and my day is done. Tony and I are headed over to Kinky’s Lodge so Tony can practice on Kinky’s pool table before Kinky gets back. Those two are both good pool players and enjoy competing against each other. Tony, aka “The Medina Bulldog” is looking forward to shooting a game with Kinky, aka “The Hummingbird Man” as soon as Kinky returns home. I’m outta here...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday, Monday

10/1/07 This morning I was busy. Being the first of the month, I paid bills, wrote thank yous and cooked breakfast and then scrubbed at the flour glued to our floor in the kitchen while John Kemmerly and Tony fed the 56 dogs outside and cleaned their pens.

After they had finished, John came to the trailer looking like he had been in a tornado! His t-shirt had a huge tear in it with a hole the size of a tricycle tire and his jeans looked like he had stolen them from Dwight Yoakam. When I asked him what had happened he laughed and said with a smile, “Since I started working here all of my clothes look like this. In fact, this was my last good t-shirt!” We laughed.

Then John told me that before coming to work, he had picked up Sugar Bear, the sweet little shepherd mix that we had rescued from the pound, along with our porcupined cohorts: Randy Travis and Abbie who were glad to get back home. And the main reason for his visit was to borrow some paper towels and disinfectant to clean up the van. And, before leaving, John looked at the kitchen floor and laughed. “I think I just saw a boll weevil come out of that crack in the floor!”

Later today, Tony and I headed to Kerrville to run errands. When we stopped at Hoegemeyer’s Animal Clinic we visited with Susan and Kathy Janssen, Dr. Craig’s beautiful wife. They told us that Celeste, a vet-tech had fallen in love with Sugar Bear and she wanted to adopt her even though she knew Sugar Bear was one of the puppies that we were fixing to fly up to Chicago.

Before I could say yes to them, the young vet-tech appeared and I said, “Kathy and Susan were just telling me that you wanted to adopt Sugar Bear. We have no problem with you adopting her, but you will have to move to Chicago,” I teased.

Celeste smiled. “I’m just kidding,” I said. “I’ll bring Sugar Bear with me tomorrow and you can adopt her then. We would love for you to have her.”

When Tony and I returned home, Kinky had called and had left a message for me to call him as soon as possible—it was urgent—and so I did.

When I called him he said, “Nance, I’m still in New York City and I’ll be back at the ranch either Thursday or Friday in time for the Wolfmueller’s book signing on Saturday. but more importantly I have some very exciting news to tell you ....”