Thursday, February 28, 2008

And, The Winner Is Tony!

This morning, when I checked my e-mail, I was happily shocked! Tony has won his first photo contest and the picture is the one of Bosco and Bunny holding the tire! I immediately phoned Tony at the Old Timer to tell him his good news!

“Nance,” Tony said. “Are you kidding me?”


“Did I win any money?” Tony asked.

“Nope,” I answered. “You won a trophy!”

“That’s great. I’ll be home in a few minutes. Love you. Bye.”

Tony hung up on me before I could say, “love you, too.”

Here is the official notification letter:

Hi Tony,

Thanks for entering the Photo Contest.

Your entry has been voted on and qualified as a trophy winner. We just created the trophy prize so you will be the first to receive.

Please let us know what address to mail your trophy and we will send via USPS ASAP! We require that you have someone take your photo holding the trophy so that we can display on the site. You'll be famous:) If you prefer you can take a photo of your two dogs sitting behind the trophy. The trophy is about 14\" tall I think. Hope we made your day.

Thanks for your interest in
Shirley Compton
Site Administrator

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And the Winner is!

Congratulations to all four of y'all! John has graciously decided to give all of the four participants in the contest— a free copy! You're all winners! And, anyone who would like to buy a copy of the best children's book ever written—go to Wolfmueller's link on this blog to order your copy now or call Jon, Sandy or Mary Jo at 830-257-7323 at Wolfmueller's because they have plenty in stock! I promise that you will love the book and fall in love with Velma!

All four winners please call me at 830-589-7544 so I can get your addresses and how you would like to have John sign your book!

The contest is officially closed.

P.S. Jon Wolfmueller is waiting for your call!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Velma Contest!

This morning, when I saw John, I told him about me loaning Kinky his book, ‘Velma the Vomiting Vulture’ to read. I gave Kinky a twenty-four hour time period to read it. Yesterday when I went over to the Lodge to get my book back—Kinky had read it, liked it, and wants to send a copy to his editors!

John was once again amazed. Then he told me that his mother, Mary, had sent him several copies of his book, and he wanted to give me a few copies to share with my friends. I told him that I only needed one copy. And, that was a bold face lie.

I lied, because I am fortunate to have more friends than you can shake a stick at, and I would have needed more than a hundred copies, and I wasn’t about to ask John for a hundred free copies of his book.

John went to the van and gave me one book, and then he went back to work, and I came back to the trailer—and then it hit me! I’m going to have a contest, and the winner will receive a signed copy of ‘Velma the Vomiting Vulture!

Anyone can enter—except John’s family and the NoMads, because they already have a copy and love the book! The contest will last for twenty-four hours—starting now! And the winner will be posted at noon, tomorrow! John, Tony and I will be the judges. When the winner is announced, I will need for the winner to call the rescue ranch at 830-589-7544 asap—to give me their address and how they want John to sign it.

All that you have to do is write a comment on this blog, telling me, in twenty-five words or less, why you think you deserve to win the free copy of “Velma the Vomiting Vulture.” That’s all there is to it—so do it. I can’t wait to read your comments!

P.S. John is going to kill me when he reads this and finds out what I’ve done! Laugh out loud!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Yesterday afternoon, while I was outside, John came up to me, and told me that he had something to give to me from his mother, Mary. He handed me a heavy plastic sack. I opened it, and was shocked at what I saw inside!

“I told Mom about you wanting a good gumbo recipe,” John said. “And, she sent me this—to give to you—along with her secret family recipe.”

“Good grief, John—that is so sweet of her,” I said. “I just love her. I will e-mail her a thank you note, later today. In fact, tomorrow morning, I’ve got to go to Kerrville and I’ll fix Mary’s Gumbo recipe for lunch tomorrow.”

This morning, Ben and John decided to join Tony and me for some coffee, before going to work outside. “Ben,” I said. “Look what John’s mom sent to me. She sent me two big shaker’s of ‘Tony Chachere’s Instant Roux,’ and a shaker of ‘Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning’—along with her family’s secret recipe for gumbo!” I picked them up, and handed them to Ben. Then I picked up a small shaker of Gumbo File that Mary had also sent in her care package to me.

“John,” I said. “In your mom’s note, she wrote that some family members like Gumbo File, and some don’t. What do...”

John burst out laughing! “Filet,” John said. “It’s not file, like in file cabinet. It’s pronounced— filet.” Then he, Tony and Ben started laughing!

“John,” Ben said. “She pronounced Merlot as Mer-Lot, as in parking lot.” We all started laughing, again.

“In Fort Worth,” I said, in my defense, “the word ‘file’—is pronounced file. There’s no accent mark—or ‘t’ added here on this label—it just simply reads— file. You're telling me that people in Louisiana say things like: ‘Go filet this in the filet cabinet? It says file, John. No ‘t’. Sorry, I’m not buying it.”

“Nancy, you mispronounce everything. It’s because you’re from Fort Worth,” Tony chimed in. “You call pliers—plowers!” Another wave of laughter went around the kitchen.

“Okay, okay guys,” I said. “John do you like file in your gumbo?” I purposefully pronounced it like— file cabinet.

“Not really,” John said. Then they went outside to go to work, and I took off in Buttermilk—headed for Kerrville.

When I returned from Kerrville a few hours later, with all of the ingredients needed for Mary’s gumbo—I got busy in the kitchen. An hour or so later, I went out to the porch, and clanged the dinner bell, and the guys came running! They were hungry!

After everyone had served themselves, and had started eating, I asked them what they thought of my first gumbo attempt. Ben and Tony told me that it was great! That made me so happy!

“Nancy,” John said. “This is soooooo much better than my mom’s! I’m not kidding!”

(LOL, Mary, just kidding. I know that you’re reading this, and John really didn’t say that! It was Ben’s idea for me to write that—and so I did. We got you!)

I was thrilled with the gumbo being such a success, and seeing the four empty bowls—proved it! After putting the dishes into the sink—to soak, I opened a card addressed to Tony and me —from Mari Bailey, our good friend, and member of The NoMads!

I opened the card and read out loud to the guys—what Mari had written. “What a hoot your blog is! We NoMads have had a blast reading it, and we (with we underlined twice) have a copy of ‘Velma, the Vomiting Vulture’ coming, too! We wanted to let you know that...”

“What?” John said. “They bought a copy of my book, too? I don’t believe it. Let me see that card.”

I handed the card to John. He read, what I have just written above, of what Mari wrote a few days ago, and then he handed the card back to me. “They must have bought the expensive ‘Velma,’” John said, scratching his chin. “That’s amazing.”

“You’re famous, John,” Ben said. “Deal with it. You’re another famous author on this ranch.”

“That’s true John,” I said. “I just hope that I get my copy first! I was hoping that it would come today. I wish that I had FedEx’d it.”

“Nance, thanks for the delicious meal, but before I go,” John said, in a serious tone. “You pronounced Tony's seasonings last name as Cha-cha-heiress—the correct Cajun pronunciation sounds like this: Sha-she-airs. I just thought you would like to know.” Everyone laughed, including me.

“Thanks, John,” I laughed, and then quickly quipped. “I’m just going to call it ‘Tony’s!’”

P.S. Mary, thank you so much for sending me the great gumbo recipe, and the ‘Tony’s’—and you can go filet this with your other correspondence! Peace and Love to you and Richard, cousin nancy

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tomorrow, Tomorrow!

I apologize for not writing, it's been a little bit too busy at the rescue ranch, and I promise to write tomorrow evening. I blaming it on the full moon and lunar eclipse!

Monday, February 18, 2008


Kinky returned late last night to the ranch. This morning, I went over to the Lodge, to drink a cup of coffee with him. During our visit, I told Kinky about John’s children’s book, ‘Velma the Vomiting Vulture.’

“That’s a great title!” Kinky said. “I want to read it. Do you have a copy?”

“Not yet. I’ve ordered one,” I said. Then I told him about it being sold on Amazon for $49.58, and before leaving the Lodge, The Hummingbird Man beat me in a game of pool!

When I arrived back at the ranch, John was fixing to take Bunny, and Buddy, aka the Ghost Dog to Hoegemeyers, because Bunny had a bad cut on her back leg—that might need stitches, and to get Buddy checked out, because he just didn’t seem to be feeling too good.

Then Carol Vail arrived to walk some of our dogs! “Nancy, I read your blog about Velma, and that is so cool! After reading your blog, I went to—that’s where I buy all of my books, and they had John’s book there, too! And, I think you are right about timing—now days—kids love reading about stuff like that. Oh, here’s your ‘Grateful Dawg’ video that you loaned me. I loved it, and the music was incredible, and I have some farm eggs for you and Tony.”

Carol and I visited a little longer, discussing her chickens and her rooster. Her chickens lay brown and green eggs, and her rooster only crows at three o’clock in the morning. “Besides always waking me up every morning—he has this unusual way of crowing. Instead of the common—‘Cock-a-doodle-do’—it sounds more like—‘Trick or Treat!’” We both started laughing.

“That’s great,” I said. “Our rooster, Alfred Hitchcock only crows at noon.”

Carol took off to the pens to walk some dogs, and I went back to the trailer—to work. I caught up with my daily paperwork, and returned phone calls, before fixing homemade Chili for lunch. Following lunch, I took my rescued, Great Pyrenees, Mama— for a long walk.

While I was gone with Mama—Tony got busy on his computer. When we returned to the trailer Tony had some exciting news for me. “Well, I finally did what you have been asking me to do,” Tony declared.

“You vacuumed your TV room?”

“Nope. I entered a photo contest!” Tony said.

“That’s great! Which pictures?” I asked.

“The contest only allows for one entry per family, and they had rules about not being allowed to enter again for six months, so I entered my Bosco and Bunny picture—carrying the tire. What do you think?”

“I think it’s great, and I’ll bet that you’re fixin’ to win your first photo contest! I know it will win.”

I then went to on my computer. I then typed in Tony Simons—at the top of the page and it took me to a page, where the words: ‘Tony Simons—Bosco and Bunny’ appeared. I clicked on it and Tony’s photo came right up—just like the one below! I love that picture! (As if you couldn’t tell. This will be the second time that I have posted it.) Have a great evening.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

'Velma the Vomiting Vulture' Has Been Shipped!

This afternoon I received an e-mail from informing me— that John's book that I ordered from Amazon, has been shipped from the Mondazzi Book and Bead Warehouse in Conneticut! I can't wait!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

John Has Left The Building!

Thank goodness—John Kemmerly has just left the trailer to go home! Since John joined Tony and me for lunch today—I have been anxiously waiting for him to leave, so I could sit down, at the computer—to write this blog about him!

Around 12:30 today, when Tony and John came into the trailer, after feeding the dogs and cleaning their pens—I fed them my famous enchiladas, black beans and Spanish rice! No sooner, than we had sat down to eat—John and I started talking about our shared passion— writing.

“What’s the name of the children’s book that you wrote?” I asked. “Tell me about it.”

“I wrote my children’s book and self-published it in 2000. That was a long time, ago. It’s about vomit.”

“Vomit?” I asked, while there was still food in my mouth! Then Tony, John and I started laughing, and milk nearly came out of my nose! “Maybe we should talk about your book after we finish lunch?” I jokingly suggested.

“What do you mean, John—real vomit?” Tony teased. “Which reminds me—great lunch, Nance.”

After successfully swallowing my milk, I asked, “What’s the title?”

“’Velma the Vomiting Vulture,’” John said. “It's about a friendly, attractive vulture that uses her ability to vomit to save kids who are in danger and I had an artist illustrate it for me. It’s a story passed down through generations in my family. I love the story and my family and friends liked it, too. And, the author of the famous children's book, 'Walter the Farting Dog,' did contact me, and told me that he loved the story, and he even offered to help me get it published by the big publishers—but, it just didn’t take off.”

“I love that title!” I said. “It's dynamite! And, it really sounds great. Do you have a copy that I can buy? I’m serious. I would love to read it. And, I bet the reason it didn’t take off was because it wasn’t its time. Fate, you know.”

“I think Mom still has several copies left. Everyone in Lake Jackson has a copy, and I donated the rest to M.D. Anderson—for the kids to read. In fact, M.D, Anderson sent me a nice thank you letter—telling me how much the children enjoyed reading it.”

After putting the dishes into the sink—to soak, I said, “John, let’s google, ‘Velma the Vomiting Vulture’ and see if it is still out there?”

“Okay, Nance,” John said, “but I’m sure that you’re not going to find anything.”

I dried off my hands, sat down at the kitchen table, and first went to I carefully typed in ‘Velma the Vomiting Vulture’ by John Kemmerly and clicked the search button. “Oh my gosh!” I said with excitement in my voice! “They’ve got it! Look John! They have two copies of your book for sale!”

John came over to the computer and his jaw dropped! “I can’t believe this!”

“One’s selling for $25.00 and the other is selling for $49.58!” I said.

“No way!” John stated. “You’ve got to be kidding me? Where does it say that?”

I quickly scrolled down the page to where the two books were listed. “This is really exciting! No offense, John but I am going to buy the cheaper one. I can’t wait to read it!”

“No Nance,” John stated. “I’ll get my mom to send you a few copies—don’t spend your money.”

“It’s too late. I just bought it, and I should get it by Wednesday or Thursday. I can’t wait! Now I’m going to Google it!”

“Okay,” John said.

I typed in the title and we waited and watched as Google searched the internet. It came up with 14 sites about ‘Velma the Vomiting Vulture’ by John Kemmerly! “John, you’re famous!” I said. “Will you sign my copy—when I get it? I signed yours.”

John laughed. “Sure, Nance.”

“You need to sell those other copies, too,” I suggested. “Good grief—$49.58! And, maybe you ought to think about reprinting it—second edition? John you're a great writer and you write better than me.”

Then John went home and I wrote this blog. I can't wait to tell Kinky about it!

P.S. Anyone looking for a copy of John’s book, the ISBN number is 0970375409 And, good luck finding a copy!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mr. Sneaky!

Early this morning, before sunup, and before The Eternal Squirrel quit glowing—Tony was leaving the ranch, to go to Medina, to drink coffee with his friends, when he found ten large boxes stacked outside our gate! He stopped and loaded all of the boxes inside Buttermilk, before driving to the Old Timer.

When Tony came back home, he told me about finding the boxes, and he had no clue what was in them or who they were from. “Another unexpected delivery,” I remarked.

After breakfast, we went outside to inspect the boxes. After Tony ripped open a few of them we found that they were full of packaged rawhide chew toys and Fed EX had delivered them to our closed gate, and they were from a friend of Kinky’s!

After John had unloaded the heavy boxes into the feed barn, he and I figured, that there must be over two hundred pounds of them!

After John had unpacked the Explorer, I drove over to the Lodge to check on Goat and The Friedmans. Goat was fine, as were the four dogs. As I was about to leave, Goat suggested that I go into Kinky’s bedroom to see what Mr. Magoo had done to Kinky’s bed.

I went into the bedroom, and looked at Kinky’s bed—then I laughed out loud at what I saw! Gooie had been stockpiling! The bedspread was covered with toys, bones, treats and Mr. Magoo’s tennis ball!

“Cousin Nancy,” Goat said. “Gooie’s been doing that ever since Kinky left. I’ve watched him come in here when the other dogs aren’t looking or are outside, and he steals their toys, bones, treats etc. And then Magoo carries them off to Kinky’s bed. And, the rest of the Friedmans are clueless. I’ve handed out, at least, one box of treats this morning and most of them are in there.”

“It looks like Magoo has at least a three day supply in there. I’ve got to get my camera from the car and take a picture of this to show to Kinky when he gets back.”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope that everyone has had, as great a Valentine’s Day, as I have! And, I want to thank everyone that has called or written to wish us a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thirty minutes ago, a UPS truck drove up to our trailer, to deliver a package to the rescue ranch. Tony and I weren’t expecting any deliveries, and we couldn’t figure out what was in the box or who had sent it. The label on the outside of the box, showed that it had been shipped from Jeffer’s Pet.

Tony carried the box inside, and opened it—to find thirty-six of the prettiest dog collars—in assorted colors and sizes! And, they were the buckle up kind, that we prefer to use on our dogs!

“Tony,” I said. “Who sent these? Is there a card inside?”

Tony pulled the collars out of the box, to find that there was no card or invoice slip, except for a new Jeffer’s Pet catalog. “I have no idea who sent these, Nance.” Then he opened up the catalog—and a blue colored invoice—fell to the floor. Tony picked it up, looked at it and then smiled—“Mari Bailey sent these!”

“That doesn’t surprise me, Tony. This isn’t the first time, that Mari has surprised us with gifts for our dogs, and I’m fixin’ to surprise her right back! I am going to blog about her right now, and I hope that— The Nomads read it! She just made this—the best Valentine’s Day ever!”

P.S. Mari, thank you so much for the dog collars! Our dogs will love them as much as we love you! You Rock!

Good Morning, Harley!

This morning at 7:45, I called The Rose, at 104.9, to talk to Harley about the rescue ranch. This morning Lana was ‘Harley’s Pet of the Week,’ but fortunately, and unfortunately—she had been adopted, so basically there was no Pet of the Week, to discuss.

We talked about Randy and Lisa over at The Save Inn, and how good their food is, and Harley suggested that we try their Migas. Before our conversation was over, I told Harley about Kinky’s Friedman Family Bone Orchard, and Kinky wanting his ashes scattered in Rick Perry’s hair. And, before signing off—I told Harley that I was going to blog him today. Here is the story I wrote a while back about him and one fine dog.

On December 19, 2006, at 10:30 a.m.,the phone rang, and I let the machine take the call because I was doing some paperwork.

“Hello? Hello? Please call me, I need your help! I am at a Shell station in Kerrville and...”

“Hello. This is Nancy. Can I help you?” I asked.

“Yes! Thank goodness you are there!” said the woman. “I am at a Shell station in Kerrville, and I have just rescued a beautiful, big, black dog! I am trying to get out of town for the holidays, and I don’t know what to do!”

“Is the dog wearing tags?” I asked.

“Yes! One of them is a Utopia Animal Rescue tag and that is why I called you.”

“Can you give me the tag number?” I asked.

The woman gave me the tag number.

I quickly looked up the tag number! It was Bridgett Bardot!

Bridgett Bardot belonged to Harley Belew, a good friend of ours, and the most popular radio personality, in the Texas Hill Country. In fact, once a week, I do a short call-in to his popular radio show, and we discuss the happenings that go on out here. And, every week, there is a dog that I pick out, who is the ‘Harley Pet of the Week.” His show has really helped us with our adoptions, too.

“Ma’am,” I said. “The dog’s name is Bridgett Bardot. Can you stay at the Shell station long enough for me to call the owner so he can come and pick her up?”

“Yes, but please hurry because I need to get out of town. Here’s my cell number...”

I immediately called Harley.

“Hello?” Harley said.

“Harley, this is Cousin Nancy. Bridgett Bardot is at a Shell station in Kerrville!”

“I’m at Shell station in Kerrville. Hey lady! Hey that’s my dog! Lady that’s my dog! Nance, I will call you right back!”

Harley called me back a few minutes later. “Cousin Nancy, this is Harley. I apologize for hanging up on you, but this lady was putting Bridgett into her car as I was walking outside to check on Bridgett. And this man, who was sitting in a truck nearby said, ‘Hey, dude that woman is messing with your dog.’ Right when you called me. Then I see this old woman trying to force Bridgett into her car.”

I started laughing and said, “Harley, that woman had just called here, and thought Bridgett was lost, and she was going to wait there so I could call you.”

We both laughed.

“Thank goodness Bridgett was wearing her rescue ranch tag,” I said.

“I know and thank goodness you picked up the phone,” he teased.

We said our goodbyes and I went back to my paperwork.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Gardenia Bush!

This morning, it was so nice when Kinky called, and he didn’t complain about the Eternal Squirrel once! In fact, he raved about how much he liked it, and how glad he was to have it! That made my morning, because around here, everyone knows—if Kinky ain’t happy—no one is happy.

My day, was uneventful, and I spent most of it catching up on some much needed, but boring paperwork. John ended up going home early today, because he is coming down with a cold, I hope—and not the flu. Carol showed up a little before noon, and she spent most of her time working with the Ghost Dog, because he might be getting adopted soon. I have my fingers crossed for him. And, by the way, we are calling him Buddy now.

Around five o’clock, I went over to the Lodge to see Kinky. We sat outside, near the Friedman Family Bone Orchard and had a nice visit, until I caught Brownie, one of the Friedmans, lifting his leg on the Gardenia Bush—to water it! “Kinky, look at what Brownie is doing!”

“No Brownie.” Kinky said gently. “Bad dog. Stop it.”

Brownie paid him no attention, and when he was finished with the project that he was working on, he walked away, as if nothing had happened—which made Kinky and me laugh. Then Mr. Magoo ran over to us carrying in his mouth— one long green amputated leg from his new, stuffed toy octopus. We laughed even harder. Then I came home, so I could watch the Westminster Dog Show with Tony!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The War of The Roses!

This morning Kinky called. “I am so disappointed in the Eternal Squirrel. It didn’t come on last night. It’s defective. I will never endorse the stupid...”

“Hey, Kink,” Tony picked up the phone. “Do you want us to come over and check out the squirrel? Okay. Do you want to talk to Nance?”

Tony handed me the phone. “Good morning Kink,” I said.

“Good morning, Nance.”

“Kinky, are your allergies bothering you? You sound all stuffed up.”

“He’s been crying all morning,” Tony said, loud enough for Kinky to hear. “Because his Eternal Squirrel hates him.”

Kinky and I both laughed. “Come on over, Nance,” Kinky said. “I just fixed some coffee and maybe Tony Expresso can fix my broken Eternal Squirrel.”

When Tony and I arrived at the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, Kinky was outside, tossing Mr. Magoo’s new stuffed, green octopus toy—for him to catch. “Morning, y’all. Tone, would you mind taking a look at broken squirrel, and see if you can find out why it doesn’t work?”

Tony went over to the squirrel and picked it up. “Kinky, there is nothing wrong with the Eternal Squirrel, except for your karma. It thinks you hate him,” I teased. “My Eternal Squirrel loves me and has never failed to glow—except when it died. They only last for about a year or so.”

Tony and Kinky laughed. “Kinky,” Tony said. “It’s working. It’s not broken. Here look.” Tony covered the solar cell with his hand, and the Eternal Squirrel lit up! “I think we need to move it, because it probably isn’t getting enough direct sunlight.

Kinky put the Eternal Squirrel on a rock around Fly’s grave, and then moved the laughing Buddha to the middle of the stump. “It had better work tonight or I’m buying a new one tomorrow.”

We visited for awhile, and then Tony and I came back to the trailer, so we could go to Kerrville for lunch and supplies.

While we ate lunch, I told Tony that I wanted to make Yoda’s grave site nicer—like Kinky’s. He agreed to help me.

When we arrived back at the rescue ranch, we unloaded the supplies at the feed barn, and then we drove up to the trailer and unloaded—one Camellia plant, one Gardenia plant and two pink Rose bushes and one bag of dirt! Then we got busy!

Tony planted the Camellia and Gardenia plants first—then we ran out of dirt. Tony loaded up the wheelbarrow with some dirt from his organic, heirloom garden and then his back went out! So, I suggested that we plant the two remaining Rose bushes in deep pots—and wait until his back got better or when Ben and John were here to help him. Tony liked my idea.

After Tony had finished planting, he said, “Are you going to get a Buddha and a wind chime to keep up with Kinky’s shrine?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I think I will. Then I will be ahead of Kinky by—one extra Rose bush, one thirty pound steel cast—flying pig, and one silver dog bone. If nothing else, it will offset Billy Joe Shaver’s painted feather.”

P.S. Tony and I went over to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, at dusk, to find Kinky sitting outside with Goat glowing with happiness! The Eternal Squirrel #2 was glowing, too! Hopefully, this will be the end of the eternal saga. And tonight,The Hummingbird Man is the Pool Playing Champion of Echo Hill! He beat me and the Medina Bulldog!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

This Is Creepy!

This morning Kinky called. “Nance, I am very disappointed in the Eternal Squirrel. Last night it didn’t put out much light. Does the Squirrel need an adjustment or something? Call me.”

I immediately got up from the kitchen table, having just heard his message, and called him right back—and then I got his machine. “Kink, it’s Nancy. Nothing is wrong with the Eternal Squirrel. Call me.”

As soon as I had put the phone down, and sat back down at the kitchen table, to work on my computer. Kinky calls back, again. “Nance, pick up the phone. It’s me...”

“Hi Kink,” I said. “Sounds like you’ve got squirrel trouble.”

“Very funny, Nancy,” Kinky remarked. “Can you come over and check out the squirrel?”

“I’ll be there in five minutes.”

Kinky met me at the gate, and then escorted me around to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard. The minute that I saw the smiling Buddha, and the not-so Eternal Squirrel—I knew what was wrong. “Somebody has been messing with this, Kinky. The Buddha and the Eternal Squirrel have swapped places. Buddha is now where the Eternal Squirrel was, and the Eternal Squirrel is now where the Buddha was! This is creepy. Who in the world, would have done this?”

“I did it, yesterday afternoon,” Kinky confessed. “And, it’s not creepy. I decided to switch them around, because I was afraid that they might fall off of the stump.”

I walked over to the stump, looked behind the Eternal Squirrel. “Kinky, the way you have positioned them—the Eternal Squirrel’s solar cell panel, back here, is now in the dark, and not getting charged.”

Kinky walked over to the stump to take a look. Then he picked up the Buddha, who was laughing at him, and the weak Eternal Squirrel, and then returned them to their original placement on the stump. We both then looked at the Eternal Squirrel’s rear end, and yes—the sun was shinning on it!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Voted Most Popular!

My dear friend, Pete Hartje, down in Port Aransas sent me an e-mail yesterday, with a test to take about how popular were you in high school. Pete encouraged me to take the test, because he had found it to be right on! So, I took it, and it was so accurate that it scared me! I then sent it to several friends and they too were amazed!

Pete wrote:
Cousin Nancy, how cool were you in high school? I’m sure that you were pretty popular, but this is a pretty cool test, check it out. This test is based on how cool you were in high school—what crowd you ran with, etc. It's pretty accurate. You may want to send it to your friends to see if they've changed. Hopefully, we will see y’all soon. Pete (Voted Most Popular!)
P.S. Kelly sends you and the gang her best!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

From Here To Eternity!

This morning, I had to give Kinky an early wake up call, to make sure that he was up in time, to do an early interview. After ten calls, starting at six o’clock, with no answers, I drove over to Kinky’s Lodge, in the dark, with headlights on. No lights were on in the Lodge.

“Kinky! It’s Nance, you need to wake up! It’s nearly seven o’clock!” I hollered, from the dark kitchen. “You only have thirty minutes...”

“I’m up, Nance. Give me a minute.”

I flipped on the kitchen light and then made some coffee for us, because neither Kinky or I have learned how to make expresso or cappuccino with our new, fancy coffee machines. We drank a quick cup of coffee together, before it was time for the telephone interview. As I was going out the door to leave the Lodge, Kinky said, “Are you still going to bring me the Eternal Squirrel today?”

“I’ll bring it over after the interview. Bye.”

Anyone who has read my book, already knows about my semi-famous Eternal Squirrel, which resides right out front of my front yard. Here’s a capsule version to the story: Years ago, when Yoda, my Boston Terrier, the love of my life died— Tony buried her right next to the front yard fence, but wild hogs came in, two nights in a row, and they tried to dig her up! So, Tony and Ben built a heart-shaped slab for Yoda and me, and just before the cement had hardened, I grabbed this solar lighted, amber colored squirrel, that I had been saving for a birthday present, and then asked them to please bolt the plastic squirrel to the slab—and they did. At dusk that evening, when the little squirrel lit up for the very first time—it made me tear up, and that’s when I officially named it—The Eternal Squirrel.

Okay, back to today’s story. After Kinky’s interview was over, I went back over to the Lodge with my boxed, backup Eternal Squirrel. I keep backups because they only last for about a year or so. Ben was over there, and he put the solar parts inside the squirrel and we took it outside so it could start charging. Needing to get back over to the rescue ranch, Ben and I promised Kinky that today, after work—we would come back over, and Ben would set it up properly for Kinky’s pet cemetery, which resides just outside Kinky’s back door, where he has buried his cat, Lady Argyle, Tom’s faithful dog, Sam and where Fly Friedman now rests.

Kinky has put a lot of work into his pet cemetery, since Fly died. A few weeks ago, he purchased plants and planted them over their graves and made rock circles to mark each grave properly, before planting Chamillas on Lady’s grave site, Gardinas on top of Sam’s space, and Roses for Ms. Fly.

A few days later, Kinky hung a beautiful wind chime above their graves, attached with a painted feather, that his friend, Billy Joe Shaver had given to him long ago. Then a couple of days ago, Kinky decided to take his most favorite Buddha, that had been sitting in his office for years, and he placed it on a tree stump near their graves. And, yesterday when Kinky took me outside to see his newly created perpetual garden for pets—I was shocked, because it had become a shrine and it was absolutely beautiful! I then suggested that he add an Eternal Squirrel to it, and then offered to give him one of my backups.

This afternoon, Tony, Kinky and I ate lunch together. “I have decided to name the cemetery—The Friedman Family Bone Orchard!” Kinky declared—which caused me to choke.

“That’s a great name,” I said. “And, it is really beautiful, and I’m glad that their graves are now marked.”

“When I die, I want to be buried their, too,” Kinky said, in a very serious tone. “But, if I can’t—I want to be cremated, and have my ashes scattered in Rick Perry’s hair!”

We all broke out laughing!

Around five o’clock today, Mountain Man Ben (Ben’s nickname for our pool games) and I returned to the Lodge, so Ben could secure The Eternal Squirrel # 2 and the Buddha to the tree stump. And, I brought along my camera! Enjoy!

P.S. Please note: the first picture is my Eternal Squirrel. And, I apoligize if I have misspelled the plants, because I don’t have a green thumb.

P.S.S. I just phoned Kinky, and Eternal Squirrel # 2 has just lit up, and so has mine!

Monday, February 4, 2008

We're Fine, Dwight! And, Thanks For Asking!

This morning, Kinky called, and asked me to come over to discuss some business, over a cup of kona coffee. When I arrived at the Lodge, Kinky poured me a cup of coffee, and then he asked me to come into his office with him, because he had a message that he wanted me to hear on his answering machine.

After skipping over a couple of old messages from me—I heard Dwight Yoakam’s voice! Dwight had called Kinky, because he had found out in a round about way, from someone who had read my blog on last week’s fire evacuation. His message was short, but he wanted Kinky to call him back, because he was concerned about Kinky and us and our dogs.

Kinky told me that he was going to give Dwight a call in a little while, and thought it was something that my blog about the fire evacuation had reached Dwight!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ghost Dog!

Last Tuesday morning, before coming to work, John swung by Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic to pick up Buddy, a dog that we had rescued a week earlier, from the Kerrville pound, because Sara, who works at the pound, had called me—to ask if we could please help save this dog—because his time had run out!

Sara told me that Buddy was a surrender, and the owners who had taken him to the pound, had begged the employees, to please put Buddy down immediately— because he had been run over by a car, and his front leg was injured.

After hearing Sara’s story about Buddy, I went outside to discuss it with Tony and John. Within a couple of minutes, it was decided that we would save Buddy’s life! I then returned to the trailer and called the pound.

The next morning, John went to the pound and picked up Buddy, and dropped him off at Hoegemeyers to get shots, treated for any injuries, and neutered. Later that day, Susan from Hoegemeyers, called to tell me that they were treating Buddy for trauma! She told me that Buddy had no broken bones, and they wanted to keep him for four or five days before neutering him.

Susan called last Monday afternoon, to tell me that Buddy was ready to come out to the rescue ranch. So John picked him up, before coming to work. As soon as John arrived, he and Tony put Buddy in a pen, and then began feeding our dogs.

A few hours later, Tony and John came to the trailer to tell me that Buddy was gone—AWOL! It appeared that Buddy had found a weak part in the fence and had managed to escape. They told me that they had been all over the ranch and everytime that they spotted him—he would take off running—like he had seen a ghost!

Tony had some paperwork to do, so John and I went looking for him. Second verse, same as the first. Everytime that Buddy spotted us—he’d take off! We decided to wait him out and came back to the rescue ranch. It was decided that we would have to use a live trap to catch him.

“Nance,” Kinky said. “I just returned to the ranch and I was calling to let you know that there is a dog running loose on the ranch?”

“I know, Kinky,” I said. “We brought him in this morning, and before the guys could feed him—he escaped. He’s fine, as long as he stays on the ranch. Hopefully, we will catch him soon.”

Later that night, Kinky called, again. “I just saw that dog run by! He’s really fast!”

“I know, several times today, I would look out the window, and see him running by. In fact, he keeps coming through the rescue ranch and the minute he sees one of us—he’s gone. I’m changing his name from Buddy to Ghost Dog.”

Wednesday morning, there were several more Ghost Dog sightings at the rescue ranch, and even more reported from Kinky’s Lodge. “Hello Nance,” Kinky said. “I’ve got a great idea! Today, when Carl, Steven and Angie arrive—let’s gang up, between all of us, I am sure that we can catch Ghost Dog!”

“No way, Kinky,” I said. “Ghost Dog is scared, and he’ll go nuts if he sees a bunch of senior citizens chasing after him. Heck, that would even scare me. We need to let him be. Besides, he is starting to calm down, and is hanging around a little longer each time he does one of his— Ghost Dog run-bys. In fact, I have actually caught him on camera! And, John saw Ghost Dog go back into the pen to check the pans for food, but the wind blew open the gate before John could get there to latch it. Don’t worry—Ghost Dog is coming around. In fact, I’m sure he’ll be coming around the mountain anytime now.”

Thursday, Ghost Dog spent the day watching us from afar, and he quit running off everytime that we saw him. Then came the threat of the fire. After we had evacuated all of our dogs, Ghost Dog made several more appearances!

Friday morning, when the dogs were coming back, I put three of those pigs-in-a-blanket in a bowl in the pen that Ghost Dog had escaped from. And, sure enough—Ghost Dog took the bait. He had a fast food breakfast.

Well, this morning while John, Tony and I were out on the porch—discussing the dogs—we were pleasantly surprised! Carol drove up with her friends, Lorri and Malea! The three of them had come over to walk our dogs!

I invited them inside the trailer and we visited for a little while. During our conversation, I told them the story of Ghost Dog. Before leaving to go walk our dogs, I loaned Carol, my newly purchased ‘Grateful Dawg’ movie, and she was delighted and couldn’t wait to watch it. Then they left the trailer.

Twenty minutes later, Tony walks inside the trailer, “Ghost Dog has been caught.”

I stopped what I was doing (washing the dishes) and gave Tony my full attention.

"Carol and them were down at Betty White’s and Jack Kennedy’s pen ready to leash them up, when they spotted Ghost Dog. Lorri took off and went into the woods, then she sat down, and then Ghost Dog walked up to her. She started petting him and talking to him, and then he let her loop the leash around his neck. Carol told me that it was so touching that it made all three of them cry. They are out walking him right now, and he is doing great.”

I was so happy with Tony’s good news, that I immediately picked up the phone to tell Kinky! “Kinky, I have some great news! Ghost Dog has been caught!”

“That’s great news, Nance. How did y’all catch him?”

“We didn’t catch him,” I said. “Carol came out this morning with her two friends, Malea and Lorri to walk dogs...”

“That is great! Please thank Carol for bringing Lorri and Malea out. And, please ask them if they want to volunteer out here. I find it very interesting that Ghost Dog was caught because they came out.

“It was fate, Kinky. Pure and simple—fate. Ghost Dog would still be running around out here if they hadn’t come out.”

Later this afternoon, Bunny got adopted, Lana got adopted and Mae West got adopted to great homes! But unfortunately, Bunny was returned later this afternoon, because of a bunny. Their pet bunny is recuperating and doing fine, and our Bunny is glad to be back at the ranch.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Homeward Bound!

This morning at 8:00, Ellen, Charlie, Travis, Aron, John and Jimmy met up with Tony in Medina, to help him bring our dogs back home! While they loaded up the dogs, I was here at the trailer, fending off one phone call after another—concerning our dogs evacuation!

At 8:40, a caravan of trucks, driven by our friends, rolled in with twenty-three of our dogs! I pulled the pigs-in-a-blanket, that I had been baking, out of the oven, and rushed outside with them. I was so happy to see our dogs, I forgot to offer them to our friends first, and instead started handing them out to our happy, barking dogs! The rescue ranch had come back to life! I loved it!

Within thirty minutes, the dogs were back in their pens with tails wagging!

Now it was time for them to caravan to the Ag Barn in Kerrville, to pick up the remaining thirty-one dogs! While John cleaned crates, Jimmy went to borrow a horse trailer. When he returned pulling the trailer—John, Jimmy, Ellen, Tony and I loaded up the clean empty crates into the horse trailer, trucks and van—and they took off for Kerrville.

An hour and a half later, Jimmy and Tony returned! In less than twenty minutes, every dog was back in its pen—happily wagging their tails! And then, John and Ellen arrived with the remaining dogs!

John pulled up in the van. “Nance, I have some bad news,” John said, seriously.

“What?” I asked.

“Guess who Pryor bit?” John said. “And, it wasn’t me.”

I looked over at Ellen. She had this big wad of paper towels wrapped around her wrist— all the way up to her elbow! “I’ll be okay,” Ellen said. “I’ve been bitten before.”

“It’s pretty bad,” John said, as he climbed out of the van. “Come take a look at it.”

Well, I didn’t really want to look at it, because I am pretty squeamish, and I usually faint at the sight of blood, but I reluctantly followed John around to the other side of the van.

“Ellen, here,” John said. “Let me help you out.” John carefully grabbed Ellen’s shoulder and gently helped her out of the van—as she held her arm.

“Ellen, why don’t you let me take you to a doctor?” I said. “I think we really need to do that.”

“It’s really bad, Nancy,” John said, as Ellen looked at me and nodded her head, in agreement.

“Tony!” John hollered. “Ellen got attacked by Pryor! You need to come take a look at this.”

Tony jumped out of the back of the pickup and when he was nearly to them—Horrors! Ellen pulled off the paper towel bandage! Thank goodness, she was in front of me—so I didn’t have to see the blood!

Tony, Ellen and John then broke out laughing! What? “We got you, Tony and Nancy!” John declared. “Ellen didn’t get bit! And, Pryor was great!”

I don’t know if I was more happy about Ellen not getting bitten, or me not having to see blood. It really doesn’t matter, because either way—I was relieved.

After Jimmy, John and Tony had all of our dogs back in their pens, Jimmy drove home, and then Ellen. Tony and John quickly fed the dogs and then John went home.

I want to thank our great friends for all of their help: Travis, Charlie and Ellen, Aron, Lance, Curtis, Jon, Maribeth, our John, Jimmy and Janie and her team of great folks at the Kerr County Animal Shelter, and Diana Ross of D and D K-9 Training! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Fire On The Mountain! — Part II

After Officer Janie of Kerr County Animal Control arrived with her crew of rescuers, Diana Ross, of D and D K-9 Training, arrived to help us evacuate! We had planned with Leifeste Animal Hospital and Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic to bring our dogs there, but Janie’s emergency evacuation plan made more sense.

Ellen, Charlie, Lance, Travis, Curtis and Tony then took off to drop off the dogs in Medina at Tony’s father’s house.

While they were gone—we got busy! In less than thirty-five minutes, thirty one remaining dogs were loaded up into crates and taken to the Ag Barn in Kerrville to spend the night!

After Diana and Janie had left with her extremely efficient crew, Tony, John, Lance and his wife Stassa, Curtis and I returned to the trailer. Somewhere in the next ten minutes—I crashed from the adrenaline rush that I had been on. I was suddenly exhausted and so was everyone else.

After a brief visit, Lance, Stassa and Curtis left to go back to Kerrville, and then John went home. Tony and I then went outside, and for the very first time—the rescue ranch gave me goosebumps—it just didn’t feel right—it was like it had become a ghost town! No dogs. No barking. In less than two hours, the rescue ranch’s vibes had changed from vibrant and alive— to stillness and silence.

When we returned to the trailer, I phoned Kinky. “Kink, this is Nance,” I said. “First off, before I tell you what has been going on—I want you to know, that everything has turned out fine. Okay?”

“Okay, Nance. Tell me what’s going on!”

“All of our dogs are gone.”

There was silence. “What?” Kinky asked. “What do you mean?”

I then gave Kinky a quick version of what all had taken place. When I had finished my story he was glad that we had evacuated our dogs and pleased that all of our dogs were safe.

“One last thing, Nance,” Kinky said. “Who pulled the trigger on deciding to evacuate?”

“I guess you could say, that Tony loaded the gun, and then I pulled the trigger.”

“You made the right choice. Please thank everyone involved for me. Take care and call me tomorrow.”

After that conversation, I wrote yesterday’s blog, and then I went to bed. Tony stayed up most of the night checking outdoors to make sure that the fire hadn’t started up again.