Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cindy Pickard! You Rock!

Today is my dear friend, Cindy Pickard's birthday! We have been close friends for over twenty years. This morning, I e-mailed her a note—wishing her a happy birthday. She shot back an e-mail to me—thanking me, and asking me to please check out the e-birthday card that was sent to her by her friends, Bob and Heather. I just checked it out and it was fantastic! The address is:

I promise that you will love it, and want to send it to your friends. I am going to show it to Kinky as soon as he arrives back at the ranch today. Happy Monday!

You Will Love This Video!

My dear friend, J. Callahan, who just attended a black tie dinner, at the House of Lords, Parliament, sent me an e-mail asking me to watch this video—"The Memory of a Lion"—and it is awesome! Please check it out at:

Tony loved it! I can't wait to show it to Kinky when he returns to the ranch today!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Guns of Nozzlerone!

Yesterday, as I was leaving the rescue ranch, I noticed an older compact car, parked by the feed barn, and someone was talking to John, so I drove up to see who it was. It turned out being our good friend and volunteer, Carol V.!

“Hi Carol,” I said. “Did you get a new-old car?”

“Yes,” Carol answered. “I love it! It’s a 1992 Toyota Corolla and it gets thirty miles to the gallon! And, I decided to take your Feng Shui advice, about bonding with it, so I named it Ruby—Ruby Red. We’re buds!”

“I’m jealous,” John said. “Carol got a great deal on it, too.”

“I’m jealous, too,” I said. “Congratulations, Carol. I like what you named her. It’s good.”

“Guess where I’m going on vacation?” Carol said, wearing a grin.

“Kerrville?” I said. “Fredericksburg?”

“Costa Rica!” Carol said. “My friend, Lori and I are going in a few weeks—to hike, scuba, etc.! I’ve never been there.”

“Where in Costa Rica?” I asked, even though, I knew very little about that country.

Carol laughed. “I don’t know,” She said. “I really don’t know the name of the place, but I do know the city has a smoking volcano, and our hotel is real close to it, and we will have a great view of it—and it’s really, really cheap.” She and I both started laughing.

“I’m sure it is. I’ll bet the rooms have lava lamps, too.” I said. “Shoot, they ought to pay you to stay in a room with a view—of a smoking volcano?” I started laughing, again. “Carol, you’re brave. I wouldn’t be able to sleep a wink, in a room near an active smoldering volcano—heck, I’m even scared to go out and take a nap in Outer Space.”

“I’ll send you an e-mail of the place,” Carol said. “You will love it.”

“Great,” I said. “I’m sure that y’all will have a blast—literally! Be sure to bring me back a lava lamp.” Carol laughed and then she took off laughing, as she went to go walk some dogs.

This morning, when I was fixing to go to Kerrville with Maribeth, Tony asked me to please go by Home Depot, to pick up a replacement nozzle, for his Troybilt pressure washer. I told him that I would be glad to do it for him. Boy, was I ever wrong about that.

When I was ready to take off for Kerrville, Tony walked me to Buttermilk, opened the door for me to get inside, and then he handed me the broken old nozzle, so I could take it inside the store, to make sure that I matched it up—and looking at it—made me sick. “Tony,” I said. “I can’t walk into Home Depot with this thing!”


“It looks like a gun! And, it says right here on the nozzle, ‘Warning! Never point this at anyone!”

“Nance,” Tony said. “It doesn’t have a trigger—it broke off. And, it means never point it—when it is shooting water out of it. I need to replace it. Please go to Home Depot. We need it, so we can pressure wash the dog houses, before Daniel paints them. Please?”

“Okay, I’ll do it, but I am not real happy about doing this,” I said. “And Tony, if I get arrested—we’re talking divorce and you had better bail me out of jail—fast. I’ve never been in jail.” As I drove away, I watched in Buttermilk’s rearview mirror—Tony, Daniel and Aaron laughing.

When I arrived at the Lodge to pick up Maribeth, she was standing at the gate and was ready to go, but she made the mistake of asking me what was wrong. So, on the entire twenty two mile trip—I whined about not wanting to go to Home Depot or jail.

When we arrived at Home Depot I opened the back door and carefully picked up the weapon. “Maribeth,” I said. “I can’t walk into Home Depot with this—it looks like a gun.”

“Put it inside your canvas grocery bag,” Maribeth suggested.

“I can’t—I could get charged for carrying a concealed weapon—and hiding it in my HEB grocery bag. I really don’t want to do this.”

“Come on Nancy,” Maribeth ordered. “Nothing’s going to happen.”

I decided to carry it by its nozzle, so no one would think I was going to fire it. As we walked towards the entrance, I noticed several people watching us. “Maribeth, walk close to me,” I said. “So, people won’t think that two overweight, white haired, senior citizen women, would go into Home Depot carrying a gun.”

“Do you want a basket?” Maribeth asked. “I’m getting one.”

“Yes, please,” I said. Maribeth shoved a basket towards me. “I can lay it right here in the basket. I’m going straight to the first employee that I see and ask them to please help me find the replacement part. Wish me luck.”

When the second set of sliding doors opened for me to enter the store, I walked in pushing the basket, and nothing happened! No sirens, no cops—absolutely nothing! But when a senior citizen, male, employee approached me—I froze in my steps, as Maribeth pushed her cart past me and smiling from ear to ear.

“Welcome to Home Depot. Can I help you find something?”

“Yes,” I gasped, nervously. “My husband asked me to bring in this broken, triggerless Troybilt nozzle, so I could get a replacement for it. I didn’t want to do it. Honest.”

The gentleman smiled, raised his eyebrows and then looked down into my basket and said, “Follow me, please.”

I followed him, as Maribeth rolled past me, again—wearing a grin.

“We don’t carry Troybilt,” He said, as he reached down and picked up the black nozzle from inside my basket. “This is a different brand, but I am sure that it will work. See? They are the same size with the same fittings.” He then handed me the new water gun— with a trigger. “Just as a reminder, Ma’am—don’t ever point this thing at a person.”

“I won’t. I promise.” Then I immediately went to the checkout counter, and got out of there as fast as I could. I was so relieved! While waiting outside the store, for Maribeth, I phoned Tony, but got the answering machine instead. “Tony, it’s Nancy. I went to Home Depot and I’m in jail. Not really, I have your new water pistol. You’re off the hook. Love you, Nancy.”

P.S. Kinky just called from Port Aransas and he is looking forward to tonight's show!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Apple Of My Eye!

This morning, I asked my dear friend, Maribeth, to ride with me to The Apple Store, at La Cantera—in San Antonio! She said, “Yes!”

We left the rescue ranch at 12:05. When we arrived at The Apple Store, it was packed full of all kinds of happy people, checking out the latest Apple products. Before we had taken ten steps into the store, we were greeted by the nicest young man, Ryan M.! After telling him the story of us not being able to connect to the internet—he took my iPod touch, and began pressing the buttons. “You’re connected.”

Then he started punching those cute buttons, and we went to the Safari, iTunes, GPS, Weather, Youtube sites, etc.! I was thrilled! Ryan talked to me about my problem of not being able to connect at the trailer, and then he asked me if it would be okay, for me to call our provider and ask them a couple of questions. I told him that I had forgotten to bring my cell phone, and that I also didn’t have their phone number handy.

Ryan walked us over to a new Apple computer, punched a few keys, and voila—we were at the Hill Country Telephone Co-op! He then found the phone number, and took his cell phone out from his pocket, and then offered to call them on his phone!

“No Ryan,” Maribeth said. “I’ve got my cell phone, please use it.” She handed Ryan her phone, and then he dialed their number. In less than a thirty second conversation—Ryan hung up. “They didn’t set up your wireless router. The problem has to be with your router. Let me go ask a ‘Genius.’ I will be right back.” Ryan then walked over to the “Genius Bar” and began talking to one of the many ‘Geniuses,’ who were busy answering questions, and solving techno problems. I was so impressed. Maribeth could not believe how friendly, polite and helpful the employees were at The Apple Store and that is when she told me that she wanted an Apple computer.

When Ryan returned to us, he was smiling, “It is definitely a router problem.”

“Do y’all have routers?” I asked. He shook his head, yes, and then Maribeth and I followed him over to the router section. “I’ll take that one, and I need to buy a couple of chargers.” We then followed Ryan over to the charger section of the store, and I took two of them. “I guess that I am ready to check out. Where do we go?”

“I can check you out right here,” Ryan said, as he pulled a small device out of his pocket. I handed him my credit card. While we waited for the machine to do it’s thing, he said, “Are you Cousin Nancy?”

“Yes,” I said. “That’s me. How’d you know?” I was surprised, that he had heard of me.

“You’re wearing a ‘Kinky for Governor’ hat. Please tell Kinky, that I asked all of my friends to vote for him, but I couldn’t, because I was only seventeen. I love that guy.”

We chatted a few minutes longer, and then we thanked him for his help and we left the store—to go home.

When I got home, I installed the new software, and then hooked up the new Apple router. It worked! Tony and I were finally connected to the internet using our iPod touches! We love our new toys and all I can say is, “I love Apple products! They Rule! and Maribeth wants a Mac now.”

P.S. Thank you, Ryan M.! Apple is lucky to have you working for them! Tony and I have to go play with our toys, now!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

May Day! May Day! Pierce Bronson Needs Your Help!

This afternoon, I returned Dr. Jim Jensen’s phone call. He is a fabulous, caring veterinarian, in the San Antonio area, and was hoping that we could help out this wonderful dog, who deserves a great home. Unfortunately, we are at capacity right now, but I offered to post his daughter’s picture of Pierce Bronson, along with his story. If anyone wants to adopt this fine fellow, please contact Lacy and call me. Our rescue ranch will help with Pierce’s travel expenses. Lacy wrote:

“My father, Dr. Jim Jensen, spoke to you earlier today regarding a sweet stray dog that we are trying to find a home for. I have included some information about him below, and I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have about him. Thank you so much for being willing to post his information for us. Sincerely, Lacey M.

Sweet Chow mix in need of a great home! Pierce Bronson is a black male Chow mix, that is middle-aged and weighs approx. 35 lbs. He was found by a good samaritan wandering the streets with an entire face full of porcupine quills! He was in terrible pain and was unable to eat or even close his mouth. Pierce was brought to my father, who is a vet, and was given emergency surgery to remove over 100 quills from his face and paws. In addition to that, he was very skinny and his coat was matted and full of burrs and stickers. He had to be almost completely shaved when he was groomed, so he is having a bit of a bad hair day right now! When his hair grows back he will look like an adorable black teddy bear.

Pierce has recovered well, and is so grateful for the care that he has received. He is a loving dog and he will make a great companion pet. He walks well on a leash and enjoys attention, but is just as happy to sit by your feet and hang out. Pierce is currently living at the clinic that my father works at and needs to find a new home as soon as possible.

He is neutered and gets along well with most dogs. Pierce also seems to do well with children of all ages. He is not great with cats as best we can tell, and therefore should go to a family without cats. Pierce tested positive for heartworms, but the clinic has agreed to treat him for free and he is happy and healthy in every other way. He tested negative for all other parasites and has been given all his shots.

This poor guy has suffered some major hardship, and he really needs to go to a family that will give him the love and attention that he deserves. He is looking for an owner with a huge heart that will give him a second chance at living a great life! Please contact me at with any questions you might have. Thanks!

Help Me, Ronda!

A week ago, today, after Woody’s and Rose’s visit, I decided to use up a little more of my government stimulus check, because I am almost certain, thanks to Publisher’s Clearing House last personal note to me—that I am going to be a $25,000.00 winner!

Seriously, their last note told me to be expecting them soon—at my front door. I can’t wait, in fact, I have already decided to officially accept their check to me in Outer Space! “Live, from Outer Space, we present Cousin Nancy with her winning check for $25,000.000!”

It was around eight o’clock, when I was at, that I ordered the Apple iPod touch! Just as I had clicked the check out button, Tony came into the kitchen and said, “Are you still looking at the ipod touch?”

“Nope,” I answered. “I just bought one, and it will arrive Tuesday, the 24th—engraved with my name on it.” Tony left the room.

Friday afternoon, around two o’clock, Tony went into Outer Space, to tell me that he had just ordered an iPod touch, too, but his was not scheduled to arrive until Wednesday, the 25th.

Later that evening, I went to the Fed Ex web site to track our iPod touches. “Tony,” I said. “My iPod has left the plant, and is now in Shanghai, China, and yours is still at the plant, in a word I can’t pronounce, China.”

Saturday morning, “Tony,” I said. “My iPod is now in Anchorage, Alaska, and yours is in Shanghai, China!”

Sunday morning, “Tony,” I said. My iPod is now in Memphis, Tennessee and yours has left Anchorage, Alaska.” And, that is when I realized, I had turned into a FedEx tracking commentator—following every move, of our new, soon to be toys.

Monday morning, “Tony! Your ipod left Memphis, Tennessee, late last night and our ipods met up in San Antonio around two in the morning. And, they are now on a FedEx truck in Kerrville for delivery—today!” Tony was ecstatic with my news!

Around eleven o’clock that morning, Kinky called. “Tony, I think your iPods just arrived here. There’s something about Blue Tooth?”

Tony and I jumped into Buttermilk and went over to the Lodge! When we walked into the kitchen, Kinky was on the phone, doing a telephone interview, and he waved at us. Then he left the kitchen and went back into his office. Tony and I looked at the kitchen table, where Kinky usually leaves stuff for us—no FedEx packages! Then we went into the ‘great room’ and looked around—no packages! “Tony, where are they?” I whispered. “I’ve carefully tracked those iPods, all of the way from China, Alaska, Memphis, San Antonio, to Kerrville, and now we can’t find them!”

Kinky hung up his phone and walked into the ‘great room’, wearing a smile on his face.

“Kinky,” I said. “Where are our iPods?”

“What iPods?” he said, casually.

“Kinky!” I said.

Kinky left the ‘great room’ and we followed him into his bedroom. He went to his suitcase, opened the lid, and picked them up. “Is this what y’all are looking for?” Then we all laughed. “I got ya!”

Tony and I went to the kitchen, and opened up our packages! They were beautiful! Kinky invited us out to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard for a visit, and since, we didn’t know how to work our new toys—we went outside with him. After a fun visit, we went home, when his phone rang, for another Kinky interview.

When we got home, we quickly read the instruction manuals carefully, and followed the directions carefully. After doing everything it had told us to do—we turned them on!

“Hello, Houston. We’ve got a problem!” Our iPods would not connect us to iTunes, Safari, the GPS or anything else! ‘Help me Ronda,’ should have been the next song to play on my old iPod, but it didn’t, because I don’t have it on my play list! Instead, it played, ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ by Bobby McFerrin. Tony and I were like two little kids at a candy store—with no candy.

We then started over with our iPod touches, doing everything the directions told us to do—but no cigar—no nothing. I then went online to Apple troubleshooting—and it was all too confusing for me. I am not real good at high tech stuff.

Yesterday morning, after Tony and John had finished feeding the dogs, and cleaning their pens, Tony came inside the trailer and I dialed The Apple Store. We were immediately helped, by a friendly, patient service technician, and she spent over twenty minutes with us, trying to solve the problems—but, at the end of our conversation, she suggested that we first go to a nearby Star bucks, which is a ‘hot zone’ to see if we could connect to the internet from there. Then, she asked us to call her back, and we would proceed from there.

Tony and I jumped into Buttermilk and drove to the only Starbucks in Kerrville, Texas!

I have been to a Starbucks only once in my life, and that was in San Antonio, years ago, before a protest. Tony has never been to a Starbucks, so when we arrived at Starbucks, Tony and I ordered two small coffees, and then we sat down at a small round table in the corner. We quickly turned on our iPod touches, and they worked! Hello, Safari, hello iTunes, hello GPS! We were so happy—like two senior citizens, using their senior discount cards, at the movies, for the first time!

We stayed at Starbucks for about thirty minutes, and that is where, we fell in love with our new handheld computers! When we arrived back home, I booted my iPod, hoping that it might just work—nope. It showed I had a Linksys signal, but it would not get me online. So, now after taking care of paperwork and returning phone calls, Tony and I are fixing to call Kimberly back at The Apple Store for more help.

I think the problem has something to do with our Linksys wireless router, and we will find out soon enough. Wish us luck!

P.S. Tonight's the Fort Worth Bonefit at The Flying Saucer at 8:00 pm!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Hope That Y'all Can Make One Of These Bonefits!

More Texas Bonefits For Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch!!

June 25 Flying Saucer 817-336-PINT $50.00
8:00 PM 111 E. Fourth Street
Fort Worth, TX

June 26 Dan's Silver Leaf 940-320-2000 $40.00
8:00 PM 103 Industrial
Denton, TX

June 27 Reynolds Compound $50.00
8:00 PM Private
San Antonio, TX

June 28 Rialto Theater 361-758-0383 $50.00
7:30 PM 327 South Commercial
Aransas Pass, TX

June 29 Executive Surf Club 361-884-SURF $40.00
4:00 PM 309 North Water Street
Corpus Christi, TX

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The End Of The Innocence!

“Hi, Kinky,” I said. “Would it be okay for Tony and me to come over there for a minute?”

“Sure, Nance. Come on over.”

At 12:14, just as Tony and I were walking out the front door, the phone rang and I let the answering machine do its job. “Nancy, This is Garnett. Sandy and I want to adopt Red Sky. Call me.”

I set my camera and the Buddha Dog down on the breakfast bar, and then I called Garnett. After a brief visit with her—I hung up the phone. Red Sky had officially been adopted, and he will be going to his new home, in just a few days! And, I know that Red Sky is going to fall in love with Garnett, and her husband, Sandy—the minute that he meets them! They are great people.

I was running late, so I grabbed my camera and the Buddha Dog, and then Tony and I drove over to the Lodge to see Kinky. As soon as we arrived, I handed the Buddha Dog to Kinky, and then told him the entire story of the Buddha Dog.

When I was through telling him the epic story, Kinky smiled, and then offered the Buddha Dog back to me. “Here Nance, you can keep it,” Kinky said.

“No, Kinky. Thank you, that is awfully nice of you, but I am fine about it, because I bought two Buddha Pugs this morning, and they will be arriving very soon. Keep it—it’s yours, from Nancy Lemon. Can I take a picture of you holding it, for my blog?”

“Sure,” Kinky said. “Let me get my hat.” Kinky left the kitchen, went into his bedroom, and then returned wearing his cowboy hat. “Let’s take it outside.” The two of us, followed Kinky outside, to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard. “Nance, I need your help as to where to put my Buddha Dog.”

“Okay,” I said. “One, two, three.” Snap! “Thanks, Kinky.”

Kinky first placed the precious Buddha Dog near the Eternal Squirrel, none of us really cared for the spot. After a couple of more placements—the Buddha Dog had finally found his home, and we loved it! It was a perfect location.

Then the three of us visited in the chairs, near the Bone Orchard for about an hour. When it was time for Tony and I to leave, Kinky and Gooie walked with us, outside the Lodge. Just as we came around the corner of the Lodge—it happened! And, it happened way too fast for me!

A little kitten, about the size of a small squirrel, about twenty feet away from us, suddenly ran out of the Annex’s flowerbed—headed for a nearby tree. Goo saw it, and took off for it! “No Gooie! Stop!” Kinky screamed, as he and Tony ran to try to save the poor little kitten, that Mr. Magoo had caught in his mouth, and was now trying to kill it! Horrors!

It was over, as fast as it had happened. “Get out of here Mr. Magoo, you bad dog,” Kinky scolded. Gooie understood his words, and quickly vanished.

“Is it dead?” I asked.

“No,” Kinky said, holding the terrified kitten. “I don’t think he’s hurt. Let’s go into the Lodge and check him out.”

When we got into the kitchen, Kinky quickly closed it off, so The Friedmans would not be able to hurt or scare the frightened kitten. Then he handed me the kitten, which I quickly handed off to Tony, because it was scratching and biting me! Tony then put it down on the kitchen table.

Kinky then opened up a can of chicken, and put it on a plate, and set it down on the kitchen table, and then stood back. The kitten was more hungry, than it was scared, and it pounced on its gourmet meal! While the starving kitten devoured its Friedman Sunday dinner, we discussed what we should do with the kitten.

By the time the kitten had eaten half of its meal, it was decided that tomorrow morning, I would take it to Hoegemeyer’s for a check up, and shots. And then, I would ask them to put the pretty kitten in a crate, in their lobby—so it could be adopted quickly. Then the kitten quit eating.

We took turns talking to the little kitten, telling him that everything was going to be okay and that he was safe. The kitten seemed to listen. At one point, Tony tapped his finger on the kitchen table, and the kitten came to him. As Tony spoke softly to it and began petting it, the little one started purring—it trusted Tony! Kinky and I were grinning from ear to ear, as we watched Tony and the kitten interact. “We need to give it a great name, Nance, so it will get adopted fast,” Kinky said.

“Kinky,” I said. “I think it should be named Kinky. You saved its life. It needs to be Kinky.”

“It’s a boy,” Tony said, as he and the kitten continued to play on the kitchen table.”

“Good,” Kinky said. “His name is Kinky. I like it.”

“Me, too,” Tony said. “I think we should take Kinky over to Nancy’s cabin, and let him stay in there until tomorrow morning. I need to go over to the rescue ranch to get a crate, and to turn on the air conditioners in the cabin. I’ll be right back.” Tony left the Lodge. Kinky and I stayed in the kitchen—watching the kitten tackle the last half of his meal.

When Tony returned with a small purple crate, Kinky had cleaned his plate, and was licking his paws. I was dreading crating the kitten, knowing it would scare and upset him, so I picked up the crate from the floor, and set it on the kitchen table, hoping that it would be less scary for it to go inside.

“Watch this,” Tony said, as he tapped the table, near the crate’s opening. Kinky and I watched. Tony tapped the table, again, and little Kinky walked towards the crate, and then he calmly walked inside it. No fuss at all! Tony then gently closed the door. Still no fuss. Tony and I then left the Lodge and drove home, without one sound coming from the crate.

When we were inside the cabin, Tony opened the door of the crate, and then he left. Within thirty seconds, Kinky walked out of his crate, and began exploring my cabin. When Tony returned with a bowl of water, a dish of Lucky’s cat food, and a small litterbox—Kinky ran to him—to get petted!

After playing with the kitten, we decided that it would be best to leave, so Kinky could rest after his eventful day of starving, nearly being killed, treated to a Kinky gourmet meal, being crated, riding in a car, and winding up in an air conditioned cabin, full of stuffed animals and big wooden-carved bears guarding its doors.

As I finish writing this, Lucky, my cat is asleep next to my laptop and purring, and Bruce Hornsby is singing, “The End of the Innocence.” How perfect.

P.S. I will write about my near death cow experience soon. I promise. Enough near death experiences, today.


Last night, I spent two hours searching for the Buddha Dog. I checked Craig’s List, Amazon, and e-Bay, but found nothing. So, when I went to bed, before falling asleep, I asked myself, “What would Buddha do?”

This morning, when I awoke—I had the answer to my question! Give Kinky his Buddha Dog! After feeding my dogs and cat, I sat down at my laptop, and checked my blog. When I read Mari and Fay’s comments—I knew that I was on the right path.

So, taking Mari’s advice, I went to to check it out. The second that I saw the Buddha Pugs—I fell in love with them! I ordered a small one for the kitchen, and a big Buddha Pug for Outer Space. I am now on cloud nine and cannot wait until I receive them!

I’m going over to Kinky’s, in a little while, to confess my sins, and give him his Buddha Dog, that Nancy sent to him!

I never knew that there were Buddha Dogs, but thanks to Nancy Lemon’s gift to Kinky,—I am now ready to receive!

P.S. I’m naming the big Buddha Pug—Karma, and the small Buddha Pug—Dharma!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


On Thursday, June 5th, my nephew, Tom Roche, my sister’s son, came out to the rescue ranch, along with his beautiful girlfriend, Nicki, and her parents, Nancy and David Lemon!.

When Tom’s party of four arrived, I invited them to join Tony, Maribeth, Ben and me—in Outer Space! We had a wonderful visit, and the only thing wrong about their visit, was that they didn’t stay long enough in Outer Space.

Well, today Nancy Lemon sent me a care package, addressed to me and the rescue ranch. It was full of many different products to use on our dogs, and as Tony and I dug through the box, I pulled out a Dog Buddha! “Oh my gosh!” I said. “Tony, I love this! Look! It is so cute! I’m gonna put it on my kitchen window sill, so I can see it in here, and when I am in Outer Space!” I then placed it carefully next to a little dog, that Tony’s mother had given to me before she died. “Look, Tony—it looks perfect there. “Welcome, Little Buddha Dog.”

Tony looked. “I like it there,” he said, “Nancy sent us two high quality dog nail clippers, and look at this fancy dog brush. Oh, here’s a card addressed to you.”

As Tony pulled more goodies out of the big box, I read her sweet note to me—out loud:

“Dear Cuz Nancy,
I told you I would get a box to ya. I really want you to throw away the one you have (nail clippers).

Sure am enjoying your book. Almost finished. I feel honored I have a signed copy.

Tell Kinky the Buddha Dog is for him. xxxx”s +o’s, o’s, o’s to Toto. Love, the other Nancy”

Tears came to my eyes, (not really) when I read the last line of her note. “Tony,” I said. “I love that Buddha Dog, and I am going to keep it. I’ll buy another one, and then give it to Kinky and tell him that Nancy Lemon sent this to him.” I then picked up my Buddha Dog, and turned it upside down—hoping to find the manufacturer’s name—”Made in India” was the only thing there.

“Why are you looking at his butt?” Tony asked. And, then he started laughing.

“I’m not looking at his butt, Tony” I said. “I was hoping to find a manufacturer’s name. I bet I can find it on the internet.” I then put the Buddha Dog in his place, and went over to my computer.

After searching the net, I finally found a site that had a picture of my Buddha Dog! I was so excited! “Tony, I found it! Look, it is the same Buddha Dog!”

Tony came over to my laptop, and I then I started scrolling down. The ad was cute and clever, but the last sentence was depressing— ‘Out of Stock, sorry.’ Tony tried not to laugh, but failed miserably. “Instant Karma,” I said. “It belongs to Kinky, not me, and that is why they are sold out. I’m gonna call Nancy and tell her I love it, and ask her where she purchased it.” I then dialed her number.

I got Nancy and David’s answering machine, and started talking. Telling her that I loved her care package and wanted to know... Their machine hung up on me in mid sentence. More instant Karma. I then speed dialed their number and got the machine again. I talked fast. I finished the sentence, and said a little more, and then raced against time, so I wouldn’t be hung up on—again!

This afternoon, Tony and I went over to see Kinky and welcome him home. When we walked into his kitchen I popped the Buddha Dog out and showed it to him. He loved it and took it from my hands. “Tom’s, girlfriend’s mother, Nancy, sent this to me. I just love it! I am trying to find out where to get more. I will get you one, too.”

“Yes,” Kinky said. “I definitely want one of these. Maybe you could come up with a mold and we could manufacture them?” Then he went into his office, and came out with a present for Tony, not me—Tony. Hello, Karma, I thought. After a fun visit, Tony and I returned to the rescue ranch with the Buddha Dog, and then we went to Kerrville.

We went to Kerrville, because of me. Two days ago, I went to the HEB, to put some gas into Buttermilk, because she was running on empty. I haven’t put fuel in a vehicle in over five years—that’s Tony’s job, and he is real good at it, too.

Well, when I pulled up to the pump, I got out of Buttermilk and started reading the instructions. As I was reading, a white pickup pulled up behind me, with engine running, and a boom box booming so loud—you could have heard it in Kansas. I looked over, and wondered why he hadn’t pulled into one of the other three empty stalls. When I had finished reading the instructions, I could not find the button to push, to pay inside, while the Rap music, vibrated my bones. At last I finally found the green button and pushed it, and then I opened Buttermilk’s fuel cover. I then unscrewed the gas cap and it fell to the cement.

I bent down, picked it up quickly, and then laid it on Buttermilk's butt. Then I pumped gas into her, which seemed to have taken forever. When the pump read $74.55, it cut off. I quickly returned the handle and then hurried off to pay for the gas.

After getting the receipt, I skipped back to Buttermilk, as fast as I could, and then I quickly drove away. When I arrived home, Tony greeted me as I pulled up. “Buttermilk’s gas door is open, Nance,” Tony said. He walked over to close it. “Did you forget something? The gas cap is gone.” Then he started laughing. “I’m telling Ben, John, Maribeth and Kinky about this one. You had better blog about this, and you also need to blog about that cow—that nearly killed you last week!” Then he started laughing, again.

This evening, at 6:31, Nancy Lemon called me. I told her the whole story about loving the Buddha Dog, and wanting to buy one for Kinky, and then telling Kinky that she had sent it to him.

Nancy had bad news. She had bought it a while back, and she was not sure which store she had purchased it at, but she did remember that it was a closeout item. She had bought one of the last ones.

So, this evening, as soon as I finish with this blog, I will spend my time searching the internet.

P.S. I will blog tomorrow, about my near death experience with a cow. Right now, I have got to find another Buddha Dog—just like mine!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Four Day Vacation!

Yesterday, Kinky called me and we had a lot to say to each other!

The first part of our conversation was him telling me how glad he was about returning to the ranch tonight! He said, that he was tired from being on the road, and that he was looking forward to doing nothing, but resting and spending the next four days with us and his dogs! I am so excited that he has nothing scheduled or planned events to be at—until this coming Tuesday, when he must take off, again, to do the Bonefits that he, Little Jewford and Steve Fromholz are doing for the rescue ranch!

In the middle part of our conversation, I told Kinky about Woody and Rose coming out for a visit. He told me that he was sorry that he had missed seeing them, but hoped that I had told them that he was so happy about their engagement, and sorry that he had missed seeing them.

When it was finally my turn to talk, I told him that I had done that, and they of course understood, and they were sorry that they had missed seeing him, too. While it was still my turn to talk, I said, “Kinky, I baked up a loaf of Cousin Nancy’s Miracle Bread for Rose and Woody and they loved it! They ate the whole loaf!”

Kinky laughed. But, before he could say anything, I said, “Have you seen the documentary, ‘Super Size Me?’”

“Yes, Nance,” Kinky said. “It was great.” Then Kinky and I had a lengthy discussion about it. He agreed with me—that everyone needs to see it.

In the final part of our conversation—we both said, “Bye.”

I can’t wait to see Kinky, and having him at the ranch for the next four days. It will be like a vacation for me! And, Tony is looking forward to the many pool tournaments between the two!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Texas Bonefits For Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch!!

June 25 Flying Saucer 817-336-PINT $50.00
8:00 PM 111 E. Fourth Street
Fort Worth, TX

June 26 Dan's Silver Leaf 940-320-2000 $40.00
8:00 PM 103 Industrial
Denton, TX

June 27 Reynolds Compound $50.00
8:00 PM Private
San Antonio, TX

June 28 Rialto Theater 361-758-0383 $50.00
7:30 PM 327 South Commercial
Aransas Pass, TX

June 29 Executive Surf Club 361-884-SURF $40.00
4:00 PM 309 North Water Street
Corpus Christi, TX

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

California vs. Texas!

Woody and Rose arrived at the rescue ranch at 1:30 this afternoon, exactly when the song, ‘California Dreaming’ sung by Feliciano, started playing on my iDeck! Gosh, it was so good to see Woody and to meet his fianc√©, Rose! As soon as they were out of their rental car—we went into Outer Space!

They loved being in Outer Space, so we stayed out there, and visited for about thirty minutes. When the temperature hit 94 degrees, we left Outer Space and went inside the trailer to discover that another loaf of my miracle bread was ready to eat! After telling them all about my miracle bread—they could not wait to try some! And, yes, Rose and Woody loved it— they ate the entire loaf and never asked for a glass of water!

They wanted my stolen recipe, and I told them that I had just posted the recipe on my blog. We had a great visit! Woody, Tony and I talked electronice—iPhones and iPod Touch, to be exact. He showed Tony and me all the many things that it can do and we were impressed. Then Tony showed them many of his wildlife pictures, and his newly printed postcards and they were impressed.

Rose and I had a great time discussing the world of embroidery—and Husqvarna sewing machines—the sewing machine line, that she sells and represents. During all of this fun, Woody was videotaping all of us, so I grabbed my camera and started shooting everyone, too!

After Woody and Rose had made my miracle bread disappear, our dogs cleaned up the crumbs on the floor, as we talked about going over to Kinky's Lodge, for the pool tournament between California Dreamin’ and the Medina Bulldog or Texas vs. California!

After a short discussion we decided to cancel the pool tournament, because Woody said that he was too full of Cousin Nancy’s Miracle Bread! I was honored and so relieved, and I think Tony was relieved, too. So, as my iPod played one great song after another, we visited some more and did a lot of laughing. It was a blast!

Unfortunately, around 3:00, Woody told us that they needed to head back to San Antonio, so they could catch their flight back to San Diego. After several hugs, we went outside, said our goodbyes, and then hugged each other, again.

As Rose and Woody drove away, I said to Tony, “We are so lucky to have great friends. I just love them.”

P.S. Woody and Rose have seen 'Super Size Me,' and they had loved it, too. They too, no longer eat fast food—just Cousin Nancy's Miracle Bread!

Cousin Nancy's Miracle Bread Recipe

This morning after blogging, making a new loaf of my miracle bread, I checked my e-mail and had over 200 requests for my recipe! So, here it is! Enjoy!

1 pkg. of Yeast or 2 tsp. Bulk Yeast
3 c. Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur Flour, 100% Organic)
2 tsp. Organic Sugar
1 tsp. Alessi Sea Salt
2 tsp. Dry Milk
1/2 cup of Crushed Pecans
1/2 cup of Paul Newman’s Organic Raisins
2-3 tsp. Cinnamon (I prefer 3-4 tsp.)
1 1/4 cup Warm Water
2 tsp. Organic Butter (cut up and placed around the edges) or use 2 tsp. of Olive Oil
1/4 cup Organic Oatmeal
2 tsp. Spectrum, Cold Milled, Organic Ground Flaxseed

First, I recommend that you have your favorite music playing as you dump the above ingredients into your bread machine.
Then mix the ingredients in the above order. Set Bread Machine on Sweet-setting, medium setting for 3 hours. Kinky loves it and so will you!

Don't Super Size Me!

Yesterday afternoon, Tony and I had to go to Kerrville to run several errands. One of the errands on our list was to go by Copies Plus to pick up six more sets of Tony’s postcards! As usual, Trish had outdone herself—they were beautiful!

Then we went to Wolfmueller’s Books, to show them off. Sandy and Jon loved them and they purchased nearly all of them! Tony was delighted, which made me happy!

Last night, after blogging, Tony and I watched Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Super Size Me,’ an incredibly great documentary, about McDonalds and the fast food industry. John Kemmerly had highly recommended that we watch it. He had told us that it was awesome! And, he was right!

In the scary documentary, Morgan vows to eat only McDonald’s fast food for one month and nothing else. Before starting his fast food diet, he goes to doctors and has many tests done. The outcome of the tests give Morgan a clean bill of health—he is in excellent shape. Then he starts the diet, vowing that if he is ever asked, ‘do you want to super size it?’ he will always say yes.

Morgan’s documentary left Tony and I speechless. Then we watched the bonus features. When Morgan interviewed Eric Schlosser, the author of ‘Fast Food Nation.” After watching that—Tony and I vowed to never eat at McDonalds or any other fast food chain, ever again!

I highly recommend that everyone see this documentary—it is life changing, as John had said. I can’t wait for Kinky to see it! John just told me that you can watch it for free at:

It is almost 10:00, Woody and Rose are coming out this afternoon, and I need to clean the trailer. But, before I tackle that job—I’m going to bake another loaf of ‘Cousin Nancy’s Miracle Bread’—to share with them. Right now, Neil Young is singing ‘Long May You Run!’ I just love him, and that song.

P.S. I hope the Medina Bulldog wins today! We love California Dreamin,’ but the title must stay in Texas!

P.S.S. Our good friend, Billy Joe Shaver, is now singing, ‘Live Forever!’ Another favorite song of mine. ‘I’m gonna live forever...’

Yesterday, Was Denise Steven's Birthday! Happy Belated Birthday!

Happy Birthday—Mark Stevens!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Well, Excuse Me!

This morning, I woke up at 5:30. After feeding the dogs and the cat, I decided that I would bake ‘Cousin Nancy’s Miracle Bread’—a recipe that I stole from an old friend of mine, that I have since tweaked and re-tweaked, over the many years, since the recipe robbery.

Tony named it ‘Cousin Nancy’s Miracle Bread,’ because it is the only bread, that I have ever made—that hasn’t wound up being used as a doorstop or an anchor! My Miracle Bread actually tastes great and is very healthy. It is almost completely organic. I use organic: raisins, honey, oats, flax seeds, ground whole wheat flour, cinnamon, yeast, pecans, butter, sea salt and water.

After loading all of the secret ingredients into my bread machine, I plugged it into the wall, and it went to work. Before checking my e-mail, I turned on my Bose iPod deck, put it on shuffle, and then cranked it up. As the Buffalo Springfield began singing, ‘For What It’s Worth,’ I poured a cup of Paul Newman’s Organic Coffee into my new mug, which I love. Now, I was ready to sit down at my laptop to check my mail.

As they harmoniously sang, ‘Something’s happening here,’ the bread machine churned and chugged—in perfect rhythm. It was exactly what I needed, and it kneaded. My first e made me smile. It was from my good friend Carol V., the dog walker, who volunteers out here and who has been in Outer Space with Tony and me. Carol wrote:

‘I bought some Miles of Chocolate in Denver, Colorado yesterday. Ben is a nationwide company! And, I love his chocolate! I hope all is well at home. It's mid 70's here in the day and 50's at night. Perfect! I'm ready to come home though. I miss my doggies and your doggies too!’

Since it was already 84 degrees in Outer Space, I wrote her back a note, recommending that she stay up there, and that I would be glad to bring her dogs up there. I am still waiting to hear from her—I’m packed!

My next note was from one of my favorite authors, N. M. Kelby. It made me smile, too. She wrote:

‘We've been having thousands of visitors to my site, so I linked to you w/ a blog. If you have a jpeg business card for the ranch, I can put that on my "information page" under "cool stuff".

Here's the blog link:

Hope all is well!


Wow, now I know what it is like to be blogged about! I checked out her blog immediately, and it too made me smile, as I listened to Phoebe Snow singing, ‘Poetry Man.’ I wrote Nicole a short note, thanking her for her sweet blog, along with our logo attachment, and I also told her—how much I had enjoyed reading, ‘Murder at The Bad Girls Bar & Grill.’

My third e was from another author friend of mine—Cindy Lou Ruffino. And, it too, made me smile. Cindy Lou wrote:

I feel like I'm on a magic carpet ride. ‘Out of the Texas Mist’ is available on-line at Barnes and Noble, and at my publishers website! When I came in from work today I had an e-mail that read your press releases have been sent to your media contacts. I was floored. I have been waiting to see my first book in print for quite awhile. I am amazed at how great it feels to have one of your dreams come true. The press release follows this little short note.

‘I want to thank you for your encouragement and friendship and thank you for helping me get the word out. I'll have to decorate a cake for you at work and bring it by on one of my days off. Would that be white, marble or chocolate? Butter-cream or non dairy whipped? lol

Who could believe that a scary dream that had me gasping for air and holding onto the headboard could end up as a mystery novel and be published. I remember waking from that dream my heart pounding in my chest gasping for air and saying "What in the heck was that?"

I remember sitting at work at the little tables by the deli and writing on my breaks and before work. I remember people asking me what I was doing and shyly saying writing a murder mystery. I remember having to hide it because of some of my co-workers sneaking my little purple notebook and reading as I wrote. The funny part was trying to explain who Kinky was and why I was dreaming about him to the younger girls I worked with—then getting teased about it. Now when everyone ask me when is your book coming out, I can say just go on line and order it. Okay here are the particulars:
Out of the Texas Mist
by Cindy Lou Ruffino
ISBN 1-60563-916-8

PublishAmerica Presents Out of the Texas Mist by Cindy Lou Ruffino

Frederick, MD June 16, 2008 -- PublishAmerica is proud to present Out of the Texas Mist by Cindy Lou Ruffino of Granite Shoals, Texas.

“After waking up in a strange vehicle, Cindy realizes that she is in danger. Using her head, she escapes then runs for her life through the dark woods. Waking the next morning in a mist-covered field, she ends up on the doorstep of a familiar-looking man with no idea who she is or where she is at.

With the help of this nice cowboy she finds out who she is, then finds out that she landed at the doorstep of her favorite author, Kinky Friedman. Together they try to find her kidnapper to clear her name once her cell phone is found in the hand of a badly mutilated woman. Once they discover the mutilated woman is just one of several, they begin to discover body after body as they get closer to finding the killer.

Cindy Lou Ruffino grew up in Houston, Texas. ‘Out of the Texas Mist,’ which started from a dream, was written on a spiral notebook before work and during breaks at her neighborhood Kroger, where she worked in the deli. Cindy lives with her Boston Terrier in the Texas Hill Country.”

Thanks so much for everything. Love ya, Cindy Lou’

As Willie Nelson sang, ‘Far Away Places,’ I wrote Cindy Lou a note from Outer Space, telling her how happy I was for her, and that I could not wait to read her book.

At 7:45 this morning—while Steve Martin was singing, ‘King Tut,’ two exciting things happened at the exact same time! Right when the bread machine buzzer announced that my miracle loaf was ready—Tony walked inside the trailer, wearing a big smile on his face, and carrying, in his hand, three Heirloom-Organic Serrano Peppers—which he had grown! Our first peppers!

While Steve sang, ‘He ate a crocodile. He gave his life—for tourism. Tut—Tut. Tut—Tut. Golden idle. Tut—Tut. Tut—Tut. Tut—Tut. He’s an Egyptian...’ I grabbed my camera! I quickly dumped out my miracle bread onto the cutting board and then placed Tony’s three peppers beside it. Snap!

‘King Tut. He could have won a Grammy. King Tut. Buried in his jammies...’

The phone rang. It was Kinky! And, we had a short conversation. As Stephen Stills began singing, ‘You Can’t Catch Me,’ the phone rang, again. It was Woody! He was calling to tell me that he and Rose would be coming out tomorrow for a visit, and he asked me to please tell Tony, “To start practicing, because ‘California Dreamin’’ was fixin’ to come out, and show him how real pool is played!’

Tony laughed when I gave him Woody’s message and he just shook his head. We can’t wait to meet Rose, and catch up with Woody, tomorrow! The Medina Bulldog Rules—at least for now!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Words To Live By!

This morning, at 6:30, I phoned Kinky, to make sure that he was up, so he could do the Imus show at 7:30. After four or five wake up calls, Kinky finally picked up the phone—he was up. He thanked me for the wake up calls, and then we talked briefly, as he made some coffee. “Can you come over after the show? I have something for you, from Little Jewford” Kinky said.

“What is it?” I asked. “Another kazoo? I already have several.”

“No, Nance,” Kinky said. “It’s not one of Jewford’s kazoos. Come on over after the show.”

At 8:00—I arrived at the Lodge. “Morning, Nance,” Kinky and Ben said.

“Morning,” I said, as I poured myself a cup of coffee. “You were good on Imus this morning.”

“Thanks,” Kinky said. “And, thanks for waking me up, too. Here’s your present from Little Jewford,” Kinky said, as he pointed to an unsigned poster of him and Willie Nelson.”

“Wow, that’s a great picture of you and Willie,” I said. “Don’t you agree, Ben?” Ben nodded his head.

“Please tell Jewford, I love it, and that I am going to get this one framed. But, I need for you to sign it for me.”

Kinky picked up the silver ink pen from the kitchen table. “What do you want me to write, Nance?”

“To Tony and Cousin Nancy,” I said, then I paused. “Thanks, for letting me down, again.” I said dryly. Ben and Kinky both started laughing.

“That,’s a good one, Nance! I like it.” Kinky said, in between laughs. As Kinky began writing down my quote—Ben and I started laughing and could not quit. After he had written it, Kinky said, “I’m going to add that quote of Willie’s, too.” Then Kinky began writing, and Ben and I burst out laughing, as we read Willie’s words!

After Kinky had written Willie’s latest quote, I said, “I love it Kinky. Please date the poster for me—then you’re done.”

“Hey, instead of writing June 13th,” Ben quipped. “Write the word, ‘yesterday’ or ‘today ‘08’”

We all started laughing again. Kinky picked up the silver ink pen and wrote, 6-12-08 and then added some x’s. The poster signing party was now over. Before leaving, Kinky gave me a copy of his new book, and he wrote the same thing inside it! His new book will be released sometime next week.

I love Willie’s quote, but unfortunately, I can’t tell you. Here is a portion of what Kinky wrote to Tony and me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday—Fay!

I sure hate getting old. I forgot one of my best friend's birthday! Yes, I will admit it, too—I simply forgot! Fay turned 45 on May 31st, and everyone at the rescue ranch says, "Happy Belated Birthday, Fay! And Fay, remember—you're only six and a half in doggie years!

P.S. Good grief, I just realized that I am eight years old, in doggie years—how sad. And, Kinky is 9 years!

Our Ton of Fun!

Yesterday, after going to Copies Plus to pick up more of Tony’s postcards, and to also pick up the three sets of postcards, that I had secretly made up for Kinky, as a surprise—we went to Wolfmueller’s to show them off.

Jon, Mary Jo and John Kemmerly, were sitting near the counter visiting—when we walked in. They loved the Kinky postcards! Then Jon said, “Tony, your postcards are selling like hot cakes!” He also suggested to Tony, to make up some postcards of his Hummingbird and flower pictures, because he thought they would be great sellers, too.

So, when we arrived back at the rescue ranch, I went over to the Lodge to give Kinky his postcards, while Tony busily e-mailed more of his pictures to Trish, over at Copies Plus, to make up more postcards.

Kinky loved his postcards, which made me happy! During our visit, I found out, that Kinky’s new book, ‘What Would Kinky Do? or ‘How to Unscrew a Screwed Up World’ is being released in about a week! And, he is also going to be on Imus—tomorrow morning, and on the O’Reilly Factor—Monday evening!

This morning at 7:45, I will be doing ‘The Harley Show’ with Harley Belew, on The Rose 104.9, to discuss the rescue ranch, and Harley’s Pet of the Week—Ms. Pepper! She was rescued from the Kerrville Pound, got adopted, and then came back to us, because she was weight challenged, and that is why we call her "Our Ton of Fun!”  Ms. Pepper is a great dog and is approximately 3-4 years old and she is definitely—worth her weight in gold!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Two Thumbs Up!

This evening, while Tony and I were over at the Lodge, Kinky challenged Tone to another pool tournament. The Medina Bulldog won the first game. The Hummingbird Man won the 2nd game. Third game—The Medina Bulldog won the tournament!

After The Medina Bulldog had won his title back, I told Kinky, "Today, I bought the just released movie—'The Bucket List' and I loved it. You've got to see it!"

"I would love to watch it," Kinky said. "I've heard it is a great movie."

"Great!" I said. "I'll take Tony home and drop him off, and then come back with the DVD, so you can watch it." Tony and I drove home.

Ten minutes later, I was back over at the Lodge, "Here's the movie, Kinky!" I said. "You want to watch it now?"

"Sure," Kink replied. "You want to watch it with me?"

"Sure," I said. "I will watch a little of it with you." We then went into the 'Great Room' and started watching the movie. I ended up watching the entire movie, again, because I love Nicholson and Freeman—they are two of my favorite actors. Kinky loved the movie, too—and he gave it a two thumbs up as did I!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sandy Wolfmueller Rocks!

This afternoon, Tony and I went to Kerrville to run some errands. One of the errands was to pick up Tony’s four new postcards at Copies Plus. When we walked inside the store, Trish was standing at the counter grinning. “Here are your postcards, I hope that you like them.”

We loved them! They were beautiful. When I pulled out my checkbook to pay for them, Tony said, “I can pay for them, Nance.” I let him pay for them.

When we got into Buttermilk, Tony told me that he wanted to drive over to Wolfmueller’s Books to show his cards to Sandy and Jon. So, we headed their direction.

When we walked inside their bookstore, Sandy and Jon greeted us, and then invited us to sit down at the counter for a visit. When Tony showed them his postcards, they had the same reaction that we had had at Copies Plus—they loved all four sets of them! In fact, Sandy couldn’t get over the bird perched on a wire postcard, and she took ten of them—telling us, that she knew they would sellout fast! Then after looking at the deer, the pups with tire, and the cardinal in the bowl—she took ten of each, too! Sandy is so sweet, she’ll never know how happy she made Tony feel.

After a short visit, which included a lot of laughing—we left them, and drove home. Unfortunatley, when we reached the pass, an eighteen wheeler was stuck on a windy curve, and we had to wait thirty minutes for a wrecker and the police to show up. This happens regularly on that pass, because of the tight ‘S” curves.

At six o’clock, Tony had to go to Medina to get milk, so I went over to see Kinky at the Lodge. I sat outside by the Friedman Family Bone Orchard and visited with Kinky, while he watered his many plants. Twenty minutes later, Kinky challenged me to a game of pool. We then went inside and grabbed our sticks.

The game was fun, even though The Hummingbird Man was out shooting me. In the middle part of the game, while I was talking, I mistakenly mistook the ‘one’ ball as the cue ball and fired away. After The Hummingbird Man pointed out my mistake—we continued to play, because I didn’t sink anything. Near the end, we both had two balls remaining on the table, but that didn’t last long! The Hummingbird Man hit his stride and won, leaving my two balls still on the table. As usual, he did his standard signature Hummingbird Man victory dance, which is absolutely hilarious! Then I came home, poured myself a glass of red wine, from the wine box, and then went into Outer Space.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

He's Back!

Kinky arrived back at the ranch today around 4:00! At 5:00 he called, “Hi Cousin Nancy, are you in Outer Space?”

I picked up the phone, “Nope. I’m right here, in The Big Room. Welcome home, stranger!” We talked on the phone for a couple of minutes, and then he invited Tony and me over to the Lodge.

When we arrived, Kinky was already outside, standing by the gate to greet us. After a hug and a handshake, we went inside the Lodge for a fun visit. Then we went outside to The Friedman Family Bone Orchard, where Tony and Kinky watered and discussed the plants. “For the past three weeks,” Kinky said. “I’ve received many reports from several people informing me about Tony’s pool victories, like ‘The Medina Bulldog beat this person, did you know the Medina Bulldog has beaten Kanof twice, etc. and I am now challenging Tony to an official tournament!”

We immediately went inside the Lodge. “But Kinky,” I said. “It’s not fair. You’re tired and you have jet lag.” Kinky ignored me, and grabbed his pool cue. The first game, The Hummingbird Man was shooting fast and accurate, and it looked like he was fixin’ to take away The Medina Bulldog’s title, but when he accidentally sunk the eight ball—before it was its time to drop. The Medina Bulldog had won, and there was much teasing and laughing going on!

Then we went back outside to the bone orchard. After Kinky and Tony pulled several weeds, Kinky said, “Come on Tony, one more game—let’s give Cousin Nancy something to blog about.” Back inside the three of us went. Game two was fast and furious! The Medina Bulldog sunk one ball, and then The Hummingbird Man nearly cleared all of his balls off the table. Then it was The Medina Bulldogs chance to play catch up. Just after he had teased The Hummer, that he was fixin’ to kick his you know what—The Medina Bulldog missed his shot! The happy Hummingbird Man then aimed at the eight ball and sank it! The Hummingbird Man had won!

Then we went back outside to the bone orchard. Kinky and Tony then spread some new organic dirt around the plants and bushes, then Kinky said, “Tone, one more game. I’m feeling lucky!” We marched back inside the Lodge, to hear a Fox News reporter updating the latest news story on the Texas Governor’s Mansion fire! Game three was temporarily postponed for three full minutes. Game three was great! The Hummingbird Man and The Medina Bulldog were equals. They both were shooting good pool, and it was a very interesting game to watch, especially with all of the joking and teasing going on between them. I wish that I could repeat some of it, but my lips are sealed. The Hummingbird Man finally won the game, but it was close. The Hummingbird Man had won the tournament! The two shook hands. Then it was time for us to go.

As Kinky walked Tony and I back to Buttermilk, he said, “Nance, this is a quote from me for your blog. ‘Tony, now that I, The Hummingbird Man, am the reigning current pool champion at Echo Hill, I am seriously thinking of retiring—you know, go out—while I am still on top! The Hummingbird Man Rules!’”

P.S. I am so glad that Kinky is back at the ranch—we have truly missed him!

I Just Love It!

This afternoon, when Tony and I returned from Kerrville, I turned on my Bose iPod Deck to listen to some music while unpacking my canvas grocery sacks. After that, I checked my e-mail, while listening to Michael Franks singing one of my favorite songs of his, ‘Under the Sun.”

I had twelve e-mails. I scanned them quickly, deleted three spams and then I opened Stacie’s. Stacie is the woman who put together the wonderful slide show for last Fridays benefit. I just have to share her note with y’all.

“Hello Nancy,
The show went great and I will be sending you a copy of the slideshow on disc. You know one thing I noticed was that everyone there, was there for the dogs (and of course good entertainment doesn't hurt either). I say that because it was actually funny, I was over at the Silent Auction table and I bid on about 6 things. I met some wonderful ladies and we started to joke because every time I went back, someone had outbid me. To say the least, it was great when I would look down and a $25 gift certificate was already going for $30, i.e. everything got bid on over the normal amount of what it was worth. I realized, these people are doing this for the dogs!!!!!!!!!!! How fantastic. Of course, I won the one I really, really wanted; A basket with the two books: ‘Whale Season’ & ‘Murder at the Bad Girls Bar & Grill’ & 3 BBQ sauces in it. I can't wait to sit down and read them!

It was a pleasure to make the slideshow & I would love to make a trip up there sometime and meet them. If you ever need anything, feel free to contact me. Thank you for all your help & support. Stacie Chinni”

I am thrilled that Stacie bid the highest and won N.M. Kelby’s care package! And, I can’t wait to see her slideshow of our dogs! Everyone, I hope that you have a great Sunday! I am!

Congratulations, Ben and Miles!

This morning, Sue, a good friend of mine, up in Austin, called to tell me that she was reading last weeks Austin Chronicle’s list of the Best in Austin, and Miles of Chocolate, won Best Chocolate in Austin, Texas 2008! Yeah, Ben and Miles!

I believe that Miles of Chocolate is the Best on this planet, and I am not kidding! I am fixing to call Ben now, to tell him congratulations! Check it out:

P.S. Kinky just called, and will arrive at the ranch this afternoon! I can’t wait to see him!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Bonefit Was A Howling Success!

Tony and I were unable to make it to the Bonefit last night. We really wanted to be there, but unfortunately, we just couldn’t make it. Today I received a note from Kim G. about last night’s benefit that she put on for us. This is what Kim wrote:

“We had a blast last night. Joe King Carrasco talked a lot about Utopia up on stage, and he put on a great performance. The crowd loved him! The slide show ran all night long with the dogs up on the wall and I received many compliments on it. Stacie did a nice job on the slides. I think she is making you a copy.

I don’t have all the numbers together but it looks like about $2000 for you all. I’m hoping that there was enough advertising and networking going on that it will bring you more money and some nice homes for some of the dogs.

I’ll get you the final number soon, Kim”

After reading Kim’s note, I want to thank everyone who attended last nights benefit. I want to also thank the many people and businesses that contributed to the silent auction. And, I want to especially thank these great people for their hard work and generous hearts: Kim Galusha, Joe King Carrasco, Ruta Maya Coffee House and Organic Coffee Importing and staff, and Stacie! Y’all are the cream of the crop! Our ranch cannot thank you enough! We love y’all!

I can’t wait to tell Kinky about this! He should be arriving in Austin anytime now. I know that he will be thrilled!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tonight's The Night—Bonefit In Austin!

I hope that all of y'all can go! It's gonna be a blast! I can't wait!

Bonefit, Bonefit—up in Austin,
Bonefit, Bonefit—we love Kim!
Bonefit, Bonefit—we gotta go,
Bonefit, Bonefit—to see Carrasco!
Bonefit, Bonefit—at the Ruta Maya,
Bonefit, Bonefit—miss it and you’ll sigh-a!
Bonefit, Bonefit—up in Austin,
Bonefit, Bonefit—it’ll be Awesome!

Rumor Has It!

The other night when Kinky called, somewhere in our thirty minute conversation, he asked, “Nance, has Albert called you?”

Albert, is a dear friend of all of ours. He is about my age, which is sad, but he is one great friend and we all love him!

“No Kinky,” I said. “Why?”

“He called yesterday and left a message on the machine, saying that he was in jail.”

“What, you’re kidding me? Albert is in jail! Oh my gosh! For what?”

“I don’t know,” Kinky said. “I couldn’t hear his message real well—there was a lot of static on the line. I’m pretty sure he said jail.”

Yesterday, while eating lunch with Ben, Tony and Maribeth, I remembered the deal about Albert. When I told them about Albert—they were shocked and concerned, and we talked about Albert for several minutes, wondering why he would be in jail.

This morning, John came inside the trailer to return a book that I had loaned him. “I just heard about Albert being in jail? Tony and Ben just told me. I can’t believe it.”

“I know,” I said. “I still can’t believe it. I hope that he’s okay. I might try to call him today.”

“Good, let me know,” John said, as he was walking out the door to go back to work.

I went back to my paperwork, but when the song on my iPod shuffled to Willie Nelson singing ‘I’m Sitting Here in Limbo’—I put my pen down, and went over to the phone and punched in Albert’s phone number. “Hi Cousin Nancy!” Albert said, happily. “What’s going on girl?”

“Hi Albert, I am calling you—to solve a mystery,” I answered. “Kinky, Tony, Ben, John, Maribeth and I are all concerned about you. Are you still in jail?”

“What?” Albert said, with a laugh! I’m not in jail?”

“Good. Is everything okay? What happened?”

Albert laughs again, “Honey, I’m not in jail. I’ve never been in jail. Who told you I was in jail?”

“Kinky did. He called me the other night and said that you had called his machine—telling him that you were in jail. He said there was a lot of static on the line, but he’s pretty sure that you said jail.”

“Nance, that’s a hoot!” Albert said, with a laugh. “I didn’t say jail. I told Kinky that I was in Vail.” Then Albert and I both started laughing. “That’s hilarious, Cousin Nancy. I’m gonna call Kinky right now. Tell, Ben, John, Maribeth and Tony—I said hi. Bye.”

As soon as I said, “Bye,” I went outside to tell the guys. “I just called Albert. He’s not in jail, and has never been...”

P.S. Albert is not his real name.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In The Company of Angels!

This morning, I woke up at 5:30. After feeding the dogs and Lucky, the cat—I sat down at my laptop to get some work done. As the coffee brewed, I sat at the kitchen table, pulling pictures of dogs that we had adopted out, from my iPhoto album, so I could e them up to Stacie, who is working on a slideshow for tomorrow night’s Bonefit at the Ruta Maya, starring our good friend, Joe King Carrasco!

I enjoyed looking at the many pictures of our dogs, that we’ve adopted out, and they brought back memories and smiles. After I had picked out about thirty or so pictures, I resized them and then I e-mailed them up to Stacie, in Austin! And, it took less than 20 minutes for me to do!

At 7:45, I phoned Harley Belew, so I could talk to him, on-air, about our dogs, and to tell him, who was his Pet of the Week. Harley’s Pet of the Week was Lexi, a beautiful tan and white muttigree, about 3 years old and is very well trained. She is a great dog and would be a great companion for someone who likes to jog! Hopefully, she will be adopted soon. Before the interview was over, Harley let me plug tomorrow nights Bonefit in Austin!

After the interview, I started preparing breakfast, knowing that Tony would be home soon. The breakfast was tasty, and after cleaning up the kitchen— I returned a few phone calls to people wanting to bring their dogs to us, because they could no longer keep them—for various reasons.

At 9:20, the phone rang. I decided to let the machine take the call, because ‘Kokomo’ by the Beach Boys was playing on my iPod Deck, and I didn’t want to pause it. “Hello, Nancy? This is Tom. Nicki and I and her parents, Nancy and David are leaving Austin...”

“Hi Tom!” I said, to my nephew. “Are y’all coming down for the Kerrville Folk Festival?”

“Yep,” Tom replied. “Would it be okay for me to bring them out today to meet y’all and to see the rescue ranch? We were thinking of driving there first and then going over to the festival.”

“Good grief, Tom,” I said. “I would love for y’all to come see us! You’re not going to believe how cool Outer Space is!”

“Hmm,” Tom hummed. “What’s Outer Space?” And, then he sorta laughed.

“Tom, I named the screened in porch, that you and Ronnie built—Outer Space!” I explained. “And, you are going to be blown away!” (Little did he know the wind was gusting up to 25 miles per hour outside.)

“Oh, okay, Nance, we should be there in a couple of hours. Bye.”

As soon as that call ended—Maribeth arrived, and twenty minutes later—Ben arrived from Austin!

Around 11:00, Tom’s party of four arrived! Tom’s girlfriend, Nicki gave me a hug, as did Tom and then Nicki’s parents. Then I invited everyone into Outer Space. As they followed me up the porch steps, I bragged to them about Tom being a talented carpenter, and they agreed with me and were impressed with his and Ronnie’s work.

Unfortunately, we had a pretty short visit, but it was a lot of fun, and there was a lot of laughter! They needed to leave, because they were anxious to get to the festival to set up their camping gear. But fortunately, before leaving, they told us that they would be coming back tomorrow, for a tour and a longer visit! And, that made my day! I thought.

Well, around 4:35, the dogs outside started barking! Someone was driving onto the ranch! I hoped that it was Tom, Nicki, Nancy and David, but unfortunately it wasn’t. Instead, it was a FedEx delivery truck, so Tony left Outer Space, to go meet up with the driver. As Ben and I watched from Outer Space, Tony signed for the package, and then headed back our way—wearing a smile and giving us a thumbs up!

When he returned to Outer Space, he said, “Nance, it’s for you—from N.M. Kelby. You want me to open it up for you?”

“Yes, please,” I said. “I’ll bet that it is the ‘Bad Girls Bar & Grill’ BBQ sauce, that I had ordered!

“Yes,” Tony said. “And no.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Yes, it is the BBQ sauce, six bottles, and two copies of her book— ‘In The Company of Angels!’” Then Tony handed me the books! “Ben, Nicole is so sweet. She wouldn’t let me pay for the BBQ sauce. So, I am going to send her a brick of y’all’s ‘Miles of Chocolate’ as soon as her book tour is over.” Ben smiled, and nodded his head. “I am nearly finished reading, ‘“Murder at the Bad Girls Bar & Grill’ and it is a fantastic read—just like ‘Whale Season!”’

“Can I read them, when y’all are through?” Ben asked.

“Of course, you can, Ben,” I said. “They are so good! I can’t wait for you to read them!”

“I’m nearly finished with ‘Whale Season,’” Tony said. “And, you’ll like it.”

When the temperature in Outer Space reached ninety-six degrees, Ben decided it was time to leave, so he went over to the Lodge, to see his dogs, Penny and Valerie, and Tony and I came inside the trailer to—escape the heat.

P.S. Thank you, Tom, Nicki, Nancy, David and Nicole—y’all just made my day! I love it!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Blown Away!

This afternoon, I contacted my good friend Fay, and asked her to please share some information with me about the Dwight Yoakam fan club that she belongs to, so I could share it with y’all. Here is her information that she sent to me, so I could blog about it! I’m gonna join the club now, and after that— I am going to sit down, with a glass of red wine and enjoy reading Nicole’s new book! I hope everyone has a great evening!

P.S. When I talked to Kinky last night, our conversation, at one point, turned to my blog and book—he told me that several people in Scotland, Ireland and England had told him that they loved my book, and that they also loved reading my daily blogs and he was—blown away by it! He thought it was too cool! And, then he went on to say, "They all said to tell Cousin Nancy hello!" And, then when I heard that news—I was blown away!

Heresssssssssss Fay!
Nancy asked me to share with ya’ll some information about Dwight Yoakam’s online fan club, the Route 23 Club. DY is a huge fan of the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, and we’re all fans of Dwight so it’s all good. If you like Dwight’s music you’re gonna LOVE being a member. The best thing is, I’m NOT the President of his Fan Club, just another satisfied customer like the all the rest who’ve joined up.

For only $23 a year you can get all the Dwight news you can handle, PLUS: Exclusive audio, video, upcoming TV appearances, photo gallery (sweeeeeet!), contests to win cool DY stuff and chances at every show to Meet & Greet with Dwight! They’ve just added exclusive pre-sale tickets to his concerts so members have the first chance at the best seats at his shows!

His online store will be open soon with all kinds of fun and exciting DY stuff. They have a great message board, the Lonesome Roads Hotel, where you can interact with other fans, see awesome fan photos of DY, and meet some cool new DY friends. They just keep coming up with exciting new perks for members, we all love it!

It’s worth the money just to view Dwight’s Welcome Message on video. He seems more fun than a barrel full of monkeys, let me tell you. My personal favourite place at the Route 23 Club is Kissin’ Corners. As a member of the club you can submit questions to DY and every couple of months he’ll choose a whole bunch and answer ‘em. It’s so fun, and funny! As Dwight says… “just remember, kiss all you want... but don't tell!”

Here’s a VERY SPECIAL OFFER from me: To all the great folks who read Cousin’s Nancy’s blog and decide to join Dwight Yoakam’s online fan club, I’m offering to make a $100 donation to the Utopia Rescue Ranch on behalf of one lucky new Route 23 Club fan club member!

All you have to do is join the fan club by June 30, 2008 and put “DY Goddess” in the Referral field when you join. Send me an email with the name you registered under to

I’ll enter everyone’s name in a draw and choose one lucky winner at random. It’s for a great cause, and, you can claim it on your taxes! Dang, life as a Dwight Yoakam Fan Club member just keeps getting better all the time!

Join today, you won’t regret it or have buyer’s remorse, I promise you. You can have a free tour if you go to Check it out and join today!

Sunshine, On My Shoulders...

Today, N.M. Kelby kicks off her 40 stop book tour for her latest book, “MURDER at the BAD GIRL’S BAR & GRILL” and I wish her the Best of tours! I started reading her new book, early this morning, and I am already having trouble putting it down—the first page hooked me. But, when Tony came home, from the Old Timer, I had to put down Nicole’s book.

When Tony walked inside the trailer, he was carrying a big box and said, “Surprise! I hope you like it? I bought this for you.” And, then he set the heavy, green box down on the coffee table, in ‘The Big Room!’

I was shocked! “I love it! Thank you so much, Tony! I love it! Let me get a picture of this.” I grabbed my camera, and then asked Tony to please pick up the box, so I could take this picture.

Yes, it’s a solar reel mower! Green, good for the planet! I have been wanting one for some time, so that I could mow our front and back yards, and the yard of my cabin, and it’s also another way for me to get in a little more exercise!

Tony set the box down once again, and then he began assembling my earth friendly mower, so I took another picture, with Hank helping him out.

In the brief time that it took for Tony to put it together, I had come up with a name for it. “Tony, I am going to call it the Green Goddess! Thank you so much for getting this for me! Let’s go try it out. I can't wait to tell Kinky!”

Tony picked up the Green Goddess and we went outside for a test drive. I let Tony test her out first, because I wanted to read the instruction manual. As Tony took the Green Goddess for a spin, I said, without hollering, because there was no noise, “It says here, for safety precautions, that you should never go barefoot or wear sandals or—run with the Green Goddess!”

Tony laughed, and continued to mow, as I quickly skipped into the trailer to remove my pink Crocs and to put on my New Balance skipping shoes. I love New Balance shoes, because they have my initial ‘N’ on them.

Now wearing shoes, I knew that it wa safe for me to mow, so I went back outside and then gave the Green Goddess a push—and off we went! I loved the experience of pushing her around the yard, because it brought back fond memories of my youth, when Ronnie and I would get to take turns mowing our parents lawn with a push reel mower. Those were some good times.

As we neared Tony, he said, “Nance, I am glad that you love the Green Goddess. Do you want me to go get you a solar edger?”

“What? I didn’t know there were solar edgers?”

“Yes,” Tony replied. “And, we already have one—out in the barn. It’s called a machete.” We laughed.

Well, I have to go now. I’ve got to go hang up some clothes, on my solar dryer—which I have named—Sunshine!

'Erb and Karen Report on Kinky's Tour!

Last night, Kinky called me at 6:17 and we talked for over thirty minutes! He told me that he had a great time with Karen and Herb in Perth, and he said that the tour has been awesome! This morning, I received this report from my friend 'Erb!

Cousin Nancy---

Just got back, and a day late thanks to Air France. I left before your e-mail came, but we hooked up with Kinky on Friday. We didn't make it in time for dinner together, but we had a lot of fun socializing before and after the show. You were absolutely right---Kinky was in great spirits.

He broke up laughing so badly during the performance, he had to have Little Jewford play Arrivederci Roma!!!! We enjoyed meeting Ratso and especially Little Jewford. Karen is going to donate the cost of our free tickets to Utopia Rescue Ranch.

Speaking of Karen, it looks like I'm getting yet another variation on my name. After a week in Scotland, Karen is affecting a rich Scottish burr, and has taken to calling me Her-r-r-r-r-b!

One of the first things we did when we unpacked was to check the blog, and Karen was thrilled to see us there again! But how about you! You seem to have a more event-packed life when Kinky is away!

More later---my jets are starting to lag badly!

'Erb (or 'Er-r-r-r-b)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thank You Very Much—Fay! LOL!

My good friend Fay, just sent me an e-mail, requesting that I watch this youtube with Tom Rush. She said it reminded her of me and that I would love it! It's about remembering.

So, I went to this address to check it out:

I am sitting here and still laughing about it! I truly believe that the song was written for me, or for the people of my generation, who are now Senior Citizens! Please check it out, if you want a good laugh! Thanks Fay, I truly loved it! I'm going to show it to Kinky—if I can remember to! I'm fixin' to write myself a note now, in my little notebook, that Tony bought for me—but I can't remember where I put it!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Whale Season by N.M. Kelby!

I stayed up until midnight, so I could finish reading Nicole's great book, that Dwight Yoakam bought the movie rights to! I started reading her mystery book after lunch, and could not put it down! Every chance that I had, yesterday—I picked up the book to read some more.

It was a great read, and I love N.M. Kelby's style, wit and humor! I can't wait to see the movie! As soon as Kinky gets back, Tony will have finished reading it, and I can't wait for Kinky to read it! N.M. Kelby is good—Real Good!

P.S. I loved Jimmy Ray and Leon, and I cannot wait to see which character Dwight decides to play! I wish that I could play Leon's Grandma, Lettie Pettit, and run her Pettit's All-Star Alligator Farm.

I Just Made It To Rocketing Rabbit!