Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday, Go To Lake Clothes!

This morning, Cindy Lou Ruffino, sent me a few pictures of the wonderful dog, Bridgett Bardot, that she adopted from us last Wednesday, with Bridgett's new best friend, Mater! Cindy and her 'kids' went for a swim at Lake LBJ this morning, and they had a great time in the water! I love their outfits! Mater is the Boston and Bridgett is the drop dead gorgeious one! Besides Cindy Lou being a fantastic author, she can add clothes-dog to her list of many accomplishments! I can't wait for Kinky to see these pictures!

Save The Horses!

Yesterday, I received this from my friend, Paula Bacon, and I think we Texans need to help save our horses. Please call your representative today.

Hi! Good things are happening fast.. Our people in DC are saying we have an excellent opportunity enacting into law this new bill that criminalizes horse slaughter and aims particularly at the killer buyers. The Judiciary House committee hears it on Thursday the 31st. The Judiciary Comm. already supports the ban on horse slaughter and, the Chair Conyers (D) and the ranking member Burton (R) are the bill's sponsors, H.R. 6598.

Would you please make calls on Wednesday? Not just you but everyone in your household's name, your n'bors, relatives.If they are too busy you can call for them. Capitol Switchboard is 202-224-3121, ask for your Representative’s office. Polite and respectful but we are never going away until we have a federal ban on horse slaughter.

We have the votes once it reaches the floor in both the House and Senate, by a very wide margin. Please help get this done THIS session, this year...

To find out more about Paula, who was voted this month's Shining Star, go to Texas Humane Legislation Network

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mystery Guests In Outer Space!

This morning, around 9:45, a famous Baseball player and his lovely wife, went into Outer Space with Kinky, Tony and me! And we— launched into a fun conversation! It was a blast!

He and his wife are friends of Kinky’s. Kinky had invited them, last month, to come out to see our rescue ranch, because they are both big time animal lovers, and she is involved with several animal rescue groups.

After we had a great visit in Outer Space—Kinky, Tony and I gave them a tour of the rescue ranch, as his wife handed out treats to every dog and petted them. Our dogs loved her! Tony was on cloud nine, because he is and has always been, a big fan of this man and his team—so they talked baseball—while Kinky and I talked dogs with his wife.

Here’s a hint: He struck out Willie Mays on September 22, 1964, on his 18th birthday! He pitched a no-hitter on July 9, 1976 and in 2002, his team honored him and retired his number 49.

After the tour, we returned to Outer Space and visited, until it was time for Kinky to leave. He is doing the ‘O’Reilly Factor’ tonight at seven. He invited them to follow him up to Kerrville, and meet up at Wolfmuellers Books, so he could give them a copy of his new book, and then join him for lunch at Conchitas, around the corner from Wolfmuellers Books. They said yes!

A few minutes later, the caravan of two—drove away. Tony and I then skipped into the trailer to look at the pictures I had taken of Judy and the Houston Astros # 49—Larry Dierker! They are great people and they have promised to come back soon! I can’t wait! And yes—they loved Outer Space!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finger Lickin' Good—Almost!

Well, I kinda hate to say this, but I had another great day! It started out with Tony and me drinking our Super Smoothies in Outer Space! Then he went to work, and I did some paperwork in Outer Space. While Kinky was driving The Friedmans to Kerrville.

Actually, Kinky was taking Mr. Magoo, who wasn’t feeling to good—to Hoegemeyers, and the other Friedmans just wanted to go along for the ride. Kinky called me from that Orange restaurant to tell me that his friends Julia and Benné were coming out to the rescue ranch, so Benné could adopt a dog! And, The Friedmans were at Hoegemeyers, keeping Gooie company, while he was having breakfast with Max Swafford. We decided to meet at the rescue ranch around two o’clock for the adoption.

At two o’clock sharp, Kinky, Julia and Benné arrived at the rescue ranch! We all visited in Outer Space for a while and they loved it! Then I gave them a tour of the trailer and they loved it, too! Then it was time to go meet the dogs.

Kinky went back to the Lodge, to get some fried chicken, so he and Toto and the rest of my bunch, could have a picnic on our front porch. So, he took off. Tony and I showed them all of our dogs. Benné was considering Kahlua, Bobbie Nelson, Honey, Rocket Man, Blue Pearl and Lucy Lieu, until she met—Red Sky! “Oh, this is the one!” Benné said. “Red Sky just stole my heart! He is absolutely beautiful. This is the one that I want to adopt.”

Another, love at first sight deal! Tony, Julia, Kinky and I were thrilled for Red Sky! Red Sky was fixing to have a great life, for the second time! He had been adopted on June 26th to some good friends of ours, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out, because he was a chicken murderer, so he came back to us. Oh dear! I forgot to tell Benné that!

Benné wanted to spend some time with Red Sky, so Tony stayed with her, and Kinky, Julia and I returned to the trailer to have a fried chicken picnic, on the front porch, with my dogs. It was finger lickin’ good—Kinky nearly lost a finger—thanks to old Thunder. To put it on a bumper sticker—my dogs ate it up! They love Kinky picnics!

Tony and Benné returned just as the picnic ended, so we all went back into Outer Space and visited some more. And yes, there was much laughter. Before leaving, Benné filled out the adoption forms, and then we took off to go get Red Sky.

Red Sky was a little nervous, but quickly calmed down, by the time we reached Benné’s car. After she gave Red Sky some water in a dish—Tony loaded Red Sky into the back seat and then we all hugged and said our goodbyes—then everyone drove away. Here’s a picture of new best friends—Red Sky and Benné! I love it!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Some Like It Hot!

This morning, while Tony, John and Aaron were outside working, I decided to watch the video that came with my latest purchase—a Vita-Mix machine and I was blown away!

For anyone who is not familiar with the Vita-Mix machine, it is a turbo charged blender. It is for making healthy smoothies, desserts, sauces, soups. It also cooks and can even knead bread dough in three to four minutes! I love it!

Our friends,Drew and Renee, told us about it, a few weeks ago, and they swear by it! Drew said a cuss word, when he was proudly showing off, their Vita-Mix machine to us. Drew told us that they drink a smoothie in the morning, eat a regular meal for lunch, and then they drink another smoothie for dinner, and it has changed their lives and improved their health drastically.

When we came back to the rescue ranch, I went online and purchased one for us! And, I must confess—I tracked it, too. In fact, I tracked it so well, that Tony and I were standing at the gate when it arrived!

As soon as Tony had our Vita-Mix out of the box, I pulled out my organic vegetables and fruits and we began chunking them into the large pitcher! When we were finished loading our organic crop, Tony turned on the machine for fifteen seconds. Voila—we had the best tasting, healthiest smoothie—on this planet! We loved our drinks and our Vita-Mix machine!

The ingredients we used for our first smoothies were: organic blueberries, strawberries, black berries, orange, avocado, apple, banana, pear, bell pepper, spinach, carrots, plum, flax seed, lemon grass and ginger, along with rice soy milk, dry powdered protein, and pomegranate juice! I know It doesn’t sound tasty, but it was absolutely delicious and extremely healthy! And, John will vouch for that, too! He couldn't believe it tasted so good.

As soon as we had consumed our Super Smoothies, I phoned Drew and Renee to thank them for telling us about the magic machine and how much we already loved ours. Then I sat down and quickly thumbed through the pages of their great cookbook. Then I went back to work—cutting out and pasting labels on my latest Publishers Clearinghouse forms.

I know this is starting to sound like a commercial for Vita-Mix, but it isn’t. So, this morning after watching the informative video about Vita-Mix, I took Jaws, that’s what I named our mighty machine, into Outer Space, to make some healthy salsa. I then went back to the kitchen to get the ingredients and then returned to Outer Space.

It took less than two minutes to prepare and the salsa was delicious! Tony loves it, and so does Kinky! This is my newest recipe, and for the very first time—I didn’t steal it from anyone! I hope that you will give it a try.

Cousin Nancy’s
Outer Space Salsa
Created on July 26, 2008 in Outer Space


1 Can of organic peeled tomatoes - 14.5 oz.
1 Can of organic tomato paste - 8 oz.
1 Can of organic green chiles - 4 oz.
1 large jalapeno (Smokin’ Dave's Jalapenos)
1/4 of a medium sized organic onion
Add Alessi Sea Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients into a Vita-Mix blender or your blender. Blend for 4 seconds or more if you don’t own a Vita-Mix machine. Enjoy!

P.S. Soon, we will be eating from Tony’s organic heirloom garden and I can’t wait! And, I have nearly finished reading Cindy Lou Ruffino’s book, ‘Out of the Texas Mist' and I love it as much as I love Jaws! Have a great Saturday night!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Purple Pair!

Yesterday was once again, great! Cindy Lou Ruffino and her friend, Sharon H. drove down for a visit and also so Cindy Lou could give Kinky, Tony and me a copy of her new book, Out of the Texas Mist! They arrived around ten-thirty, and we had a wonderful visit, in Outer Space, for several hours! As usual, there was plenty of laughter, too.

After our visit, Tony and I gave them our grand tour of the trailer. Sharon loved our trailer, especially the painted rugs on the floor. Also, our dogs fell in love with Cindy Lou and Sharon and would not leave them alone—until we left the trailer to show them the rescue ranch, but more importantly— Bridgett Bardot.

Cindy Lou had seen Bridgett on our web site: and she was pretty certain that she wanted to adopt Bridgett and take her home! Her Boston Terrier, Mater, needed a companion!

While Tony showed them the ranch, I stayed behind, to fill out the adoption forms on Bridgett, just in case Cindy Lou wanted to adopt her. When I filled out the adoption form, I had my fingers crossed, and that made it very difficult for me to write legibly—but it was worth it and sorta readable!

When I met up with them, Bridgett was licking Cindy Lou’s face! They were best friends and even wearing matching outfits—purple shirt—purple collar! “I want her!” Cindy Lou said.

“That’s fantastic, but remember, if it doesn’t work out—we will gladly take her back,” I said.

“Oh no,” Cindy Lou said. “Adopting Bridgett Bardot is a lifetime commitment. She won’t be coming back.”

Cindy Lou quickly filled out the adoption contract, and then it was time for them to leave. When she loaded up Bridgett Bardot into Sharon’s van—Bridgett quickly sat down on the back seat—and she was ready to go! Goodbye rescue ranch!

We then said our goodbyes, hugged each other, and then they drove away, with one very happy dog in the back seat! Tony and I were thrilled with the adoption! This is a picture I took of Bridgett Bardot a few months ago.

I have just started reading Cindy Lou’s book, Out of the Texas Mist and I am having trouble putting it down! It’s a great mystery and Kinky, her hero, is a character in it, too, which even makes it more fun to read! Cindy Lou is a great writer and I love her voice. I feel like I am right there with her and Kinky.

The ISBN is: 1-60563-916-8 and you can order it from, Barnes & Noble or go to

I must go now, to return a few phone calls, and then I plan to hopefully, finish Out of the Texas Mist tonight!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Every Dog Deserves A Kid!

Today has started out great! At eleven o’clock, Anna E. had an appointment to come out to possibly adopt one of our dogs. She told me about her elderly dog, and she was looking for a dog to be a companion to her, and her children. I took Anna and her kids straight to Ringo’s pen! When we walked up, Ringo’s tail was wagging ninety miles an hour! It was love at first sight for them and him! I loved it!

John helped us get into Ringo’s pen, and it was a match made in heaven! The young children wanted Ringo and so did Anna! “ I have one question to ask you. Ringo, wants to know if y’all have air conditioning?” I said.

“Yes,” Anna said. “And, we have a doggie door, too, and my son just told me twenty minutess ago—that the Beatles are his new favorite band.”

“Then we’ve got us an adoption!” I said. “Congratulations Ringo Starr! Today’s your day!” Ringo knew that he was being adopted! He was smiling and his tail was wagging so fast, I was scared that he might stir up a Texas dust storm! “Let me go to the trailer and get the adoption papers. I’ll be right back.

I drove Kermit up to the trailer. The Beatles were singing 'Give Peace A Chance' on my ipod Bose idock! I wrote up the adoption contract, and by the time I went back outside—John was taking pictures of them with Ringo. I wished that I had thought to bring my camera. Anna loaded up Ringo into a fancy crate in her luxurious SUV and then drove away.

I was so happy for Ringo. He really lucked out—he got three kids! I'm calling Kinky!

P.S. Thank you, Dr. Sam H.—for rescuing Ringo up in Johnson City, last summer! He has finally found his family!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The NoMads Rule, Again!

Today, Tony and I went to the pound to pick up one of our dogs, that the owner no longer wanted. Her name is Kahlua, and she is one super sweet dog! When we picked her up, she remembered us, and wagged~her stubby tail. She climbed right into Buttermilk, and rode like a princess, in the back seat—all of the way to Hoegemeyers, to get her shots.

Before we went to the pound, we decided to go to Randy & Lisa's SAVE INN RESTAURANT for lunch. As usual the place was packed, and we got the last table! Linda F. of the famous NoMads, saw us sitting down, and she came over to say hello to us. I asked her how Mari and the NoMads had done at the dog show, this past weekend, in Houston, and she told me that they all had done great! She was thrilled about it, and I was thrilled for her and the NoMads.

As always, our meals were delicious, and our waitress could not have been any better. I love that place!

Tony and I had planned to stop by Wolfmuellers Books today, so I could drop off "Finding Nemo,' for Mari to pick up, but since Linda was there, a few tables over, I decided on our way out of the restaurant, to ask her if she could return Mari's 'Finding Nemo' DVD to her, and she said sure. So, I went outside to Buttermilk, grabbed the DVD, went back into the restaurant and gave it to her. "Did you like 'Finding Nemo?' Linda asked.

"We loved it! Thank you for doing this. And, please thank Mari for sharing it with us." I then left, and Tony and I went to the pound to fetch Kahlua.

This afternoon, around 3:00, Megan G. called, to ask me if she could come over, to meet Tony and me, and to take a tour of the rescue ranch. I told her it would be fine and to come on over. And, I am glad that I did!

When Megan arrived, I first gave her a tour of the rescue ranch, and by the time the tour was over, I had learned that she, too is a writer, she loves reading my blog and Kinky's books, but more importantly —she loves animals and has rescued several animals, and found them great homes!

So, I invited her into Outer Space. She loved being in Outer Space and we had a fun visit. Then I invited her into the trailer and she loved it, too—especially our dogs and Lucky, the cat! Then I took her to my writing cabin and yes, she loved it, too! Then we came back inside the trailer.

Tony gave Megan some of his postcards, and she asked Tony to please sign one, so she could frame it. We really enjoyed Megan's visit, and we were totally impressed with her. For a twenty-one year old, she is a Super Star, in our opinon! Megan will more than likely, be a famous author, before she turns thirty!

Before leaving, I gave Megan my e-mail address, and we plan to stay in touch! Megan Rocks, too!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Book Signing!

I promise this is the last blog for today. I was just reading the San Antonio Express News— S.A. Life section, and on page two, near the bottom was a notice about my Uncle Howard—John Howard Griffin—my mother’s brother, who wrote the classic book, ‘Black Like Me.’

I can’t wait to read it! I wish that I could go to the book signing on Tuesday. I'm calling Kinky now, to tell him about it!

We Salute Harrison Ford!

My friend, David H., who adopted Jimmy Stewart from us, years ago—has just e-mailed me some pictures of Harrison Ford, aka Reggie, who he later also adopted! We all loved Harrison, especially John—they were buddies! And now, Jimmy Stewart and Harrison Ford are buddies!

We rescued Harrison Ford, along with his three litter mates, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd and Whoopi Goldberg, from a vet clinic in Kerrville, where the puppies had been dumped on January 23, 2007. They were approximately eight weeks old—Aries! And, they all got adopted!

Harrison was adopted by David, on May 8, 2007, and he now lives in Austin. Here is a picture, that I took of Harrison, when he was a puppy, and this is him today. He is one handsome dog! Thank you, David! You just made my day! Please note the difference in color. I had to brighten Harrison's picture and it made him browner.

Finding Mr. Magoo!

Saturday was pretty uneventful, until Tony walked in with the mail. “Nance, guess what Mari sent to us?”

“What?” I asked.

“She sent us a DVD to watch—’Finding Nemo!’”

Tony then handed me her note. It read: “Enjoy! I’ll get it back from you, later. Mari.”

“Why did she send us a cartoon?” Tony asked.

“When we were talking, at Kinky’s book signing, at Wolfmueller’s, we were talking about Cindy’s and our turtle rescue on July 4th, and she asked me if we had ever seen that movie, and I told her no. She told me that it was great and that I would love it—especially the part with the surfin' dude turtles.”

Last night, I didn’t blog, because we watched ‘Finding Nemo.’ We loved the movie! And, the turtle named Crash was hilarious!

This morning, Tony and I went over to Kinky’s Lodge, to check on and feed the Friedmans, and give Perky her pills. First, we gave Perky her pills, and then I opened two cans of Pedigree dog food, and went into the ‘big room’ to feed the dogs. When I tried to empty the food—it wouldn’t come out, so I set the two cans upside down and went back into the kitchen to get a spoon.

When I returned to the ‘big room’ something wasn’t right. There was only one can of dog food on the plate, for me to empty. I then went back into the kitchen, and looked all around. I knew I had taken two cans in there. “Tony, I’m missing a can of dog food. I opened two cans and now one is missing. Where could it have gone?”

Tony walked into the room. “I don’t know? Where’s Gooie?”

We then went outside to the porch, where Mr. Magoo was eating out of the can! “No Goo,” Tony said, as he took the can away from Goo. Come on inside.”

Gooie had already eaten over half of the dog food from the can, and he finished off the rest—on a plate. We then opened two more cans for Perky and Brownie to eat. Then we filled the hummingbird feeders and watered the Friedman Family Bone Orchard—before leaving.

When we returned to the trailer, Tony asked me to go to Kerrville with him. I told him I would, if he would let me take care of two more Publishers Clearing House deals, that I had received last week—and that time was of the essence—to get them mailed off!

Thirty-five minutes later, I had cut out, and pasted all of the required stamps, on these extremely, important documents!

As I finish writing this blog, my trash can is now full (fool) of their unbelievable offers, and Tony and I are fixin’ to go to Kerrville to mail my almost winning documents! Wouldn't it be something if I actually won?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Book Signing!

Ten minutes ago, I went outside to ask John, to please sign Mari's copy of his book, "Velma the Vomiting Vulture!" Tony and I will be going to Kerrville later today to run some errands, and we will drop it off at Wolfmuellers Books.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Come Back!

This afternoon, I truly did the worst video taping that I have ever done in my life, and it was all my fault!

Last week, Richard, a very nice man, called me, about doing a one hour taping, for his media group, because he wanted to help us get more exposure for the rescue ranch, and I agreed to do it, after talking it over with Kinky. I do many interviews about our rescue ranch, and am quite comfortable doing it, but I was not prepared for today’s taping. I assumed that I would be talking about our rescue ranch, but instead I was asked to discuss “how to” adopt, choose the right dog, picking the right shelter, etc. I had misunderstood Richard.

They had great questions to ask me, but I wasn’t comfortable speaking for other rescue groups or shelters—because we all do it differently. I also am bad about trying to memorize lines or anything else, for that matter—and that is one of the reasons, why I am not an actress.

Drew, the nice cameraman, was patient and kind with me and helpful, when I would go blank in the middle of a sentence, or not know what to say, or forget to say, “Hi, I’m Nancy from the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch,” immediately after I said the first sentence—introducing the subject. I kept forgetting to say the ‘Nancy’ part at the beginning and “I’m Nancy, at the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch,” at the closing of the subject on which I was trying to talk about.

I came off as a total moron! I apologized to Drew and I hope that it never airs, but Drew guaranteed me that he could piece it together and that the final cut would be fine.

“If you can do that,” I said. “It will be a miracle! I am going to call Richard and apologize.”

P.S. Mari, if you think having your picture on my blog is bad—how about knowing that millions of people, will be laughing their heads off, as they watch me, an old, gray haired, fat lady, who sounds like Gabby Hayes on hellium—make a total fool out of herself! I think it was ‘Come Back Karma”—for posting your picture! I am so truly sorry!

P.S.S. Not really! LOL!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's Saturday Night!

Today, Tony and I dropped by Wolfmuellers Books, to see Sandy and Jon. David was there, from Austin, working on a Kinky documentary. David is the man, who adopted Jimmy Stewart from us years ago, and then came back later, and adopted Harrison Ford! David showed Tony and me some great photos of Jimmy Stewart and Harrison Ford and told us that the dogs were wonderful, spoiled dogs, and living the good life!

(Jimmy Stewarts’ picture is on the front cover of my book, standing near the left hand corner with Audrey Hepburn.) Here is that picture, that I took of them, years ago!) He's the one standing.

Before leaving Wolfmueller’s, Jon and Sandy asked me to please finish, my story about last Saturday, so here goes.

When we all had arrived at the restaurant, our table was ready and waiting for us. Before sitting down, Mary had come up with a very unique and strategically planned out—seating arrangement for us. So, we took her direction, and we all sat where she asked us to sit. At the time, I didn’t realize how really smart Mary was, or even think about why she had made sure to place us in that particular order.

Our good-looking, twenty-something, waiter was excellent—we definitely weren’t his first rodeo on a Saturday night! After he handed out the menus, Mary suggested that John order some appetizers for all of us—and some fine wine! Mary doesn’t drink, so she ordered a Shirley Temple, Tony and Sam ordered iced tea with lemon. And I, after checking out their fine wine list, ordered iced tea, too—because they didn’t have any boxed wines at all. None.

When the fine wine started flowing, Mary,who was now officially—on the good ship, Lollipop—had us rolling on the floor with her stories! When the appetizers arrived, my back was hurting from laughing so much!

After a couple of glasses of wine, Sandy asked Sam how old he was.

“Fourteen,” Sam replied.

“You look much older than that, Sam,” Sandy said.

“Now Sam, that’s a compliment,” I said. “But, please, don’t go telling me—that I look much older than I am—it would kill me.” Sam laughed. Little did he know—I meant it.

“Dinner is served,” our waiter announced, and we began eating. Everyone at the table remarked about how delicious their meals were, including me. Even though we were busily eating, the laughter from our table never ceased! It was a blast! Everyone was having a great time, except for the people sitting nearby waiting for a table, who were muttering back and forth about when we were going to leave.

“Who wants desserts?” Our friendly waiter asked, as the onlookers frowned, and shook their heads.

“I do,” Sam, Sandy, Mary, and Leslie said, as one hippie looking couple, stood up, and left the restaurant, to probably go eat at McDonalds—They’re much faster there! And, their food is to die for! (Please watch the documentary, "Super Size Me" or read 'Fast Food Nation'!)

When the desserts arrived, there was a lot of—passing back and forth, so everyone could get a taste of them. It was like our table was this one big happy face— : ) and the hungry onlookers were just the opposite— : ( How sad.

I was waiting to hear an applause from the hungry mob, when Mary paid for our dinner, and we stood up to leave, but it didn’t happen. As we left, I did notice the upside down smiles, turning into smiles.

Outside, on the deck of the restaurant, overlooking the Guadalupe River, as the sun was setting, Leslie took pictures of all of us. Then we walked to our cars, and sadly said our goodbyes, to one another.

As Tony drove us home, I said, “This has been a fantastic day! I love Mary, Leslie and Sam—they are great people—just like John!”

Tony burped. “I agree.”

P.S. This is my drawing of the seating arrangement at our table. Please note where Mary strategically placed the Libras. It was a balancing act and it worked!

We love you Mary, Leslie and Sam! Thank you for all of the fun and our gate will always be open to y’all! And, please bring Richard the next time!

Welcome Back, Carol! We Missed You!

Carol V. is back from her vacation! She had a blast—without a blast! Thank goodness! I just checked out the place where she and Lorri stayed, after leaving their ‘smoking volcano hotel.’ Too cool!

Carol wrote:
YES!!!! The lodge is on the first page of that website. The pics don't do justice. It was the best trip I have ever been on. We hiked, river rafted, zip lined, RAPELLED!! I can't believe Lorri talked me into that one! We are returning in January to go to a language school in a little village close to where we stayed!

Check it out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Have Been Too Busy!

Hi everyone! Too much has been going on out here, since last Saturday, and I apologize for not blogging. I miss it and I have a lot to tell. It looks like the next two days—I won't be able to blog, because we are under a full moon. Kinky, John, Ben, Tony and I are all doing fine, and hopefully things will slow down, once the full moon goes away! I hope to post a blog by Friday. Please wish me luck. I miss not writing. Have a great week!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

There's Something About Mary and Mari!

It is now five o’clock, Sunday evening. I just wrote a check, to a very nice tow truck driver, for bringing Buttermilk back to the rescue ranch, for Tony and me, and it feels so good to be home. I was planning on writing a blog last night, about yesterday’s fun events, but last night around ten thirty—I almost died or at least that’s what Maribeth told me this morning. There is much to tell, so here goes. I’ll start from the very beginning, and I pray that this doesn’t turn into another saga.

Saturday morning, I cleaned the trailer, because I was so excited about John’s mom, the great Mary S. from Lake Charles, Louisiana, her daughter, Leslie, and Leslie’s son, Sam—coming out to visit us! John met them out on Highway 16, so they wouldn’t get lost, and they arrived at the rescue ranch around eleven-fifteen!

It was all handshakes and hugs, when they first arrived, and then I invited them for a visit in Outer Space! As soon as Mary S. walked into Outer Space, she said, “I love Outer Space and look, there’s your Buddha Pug! I love it, Nancy!”

I had a blast visiting with all of them! Mary S. is one very entertaining, charming and extremely funny storyteller! I feel like I have known Mary all of my life, and to be in the same room or in Outer Space with her—is a real treat. She told us some of the funniest stories, that kept me shaking with laughter, as did everyone else in Outer Space!

Unfortuntely, Richard, Mary’s husband, was not able to make the trip with them, because he had to stay home to take care of their two children—Yorkies! During our visit, I discovered that Sam is somewhat famous—in the Louisiana fishing world. He caught an eight pound Speckled Trout —and his picture appeared in the ‘Louisiana Sportsman” magazine with his catch of the day! “Sam,” Tony said. “Where did you catch him?”

“Big Lake, Louisiana,” Sam replied proudly.

“I always catch mine in the mouth!” Tony teased. Sam laughed.

Our visit in Outer Space, ended way to soon for me. After we left Outer Space, John and I took his family on a Grand Tour of the rescue ranch. First, we showed them our trailer, then my writing cabin, and then the dogs. About halfway through the tour, Tony drove up in Kermit, “Nance, Rebecca has just been adopted! I will bring Nancy back to y’all, as soon as she fills out the adoption papers.” I climbed inside Kermit and Tony drove me to the trailer.

Ten minutes later, Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm, was officially adopted, to a very nice family, with a young son! John had finished the grand tour, and they were able to meet Rebecca’s new family, and wish them and Rebecca good luck. I was on cloud nine, as Rebecca drove away to her new home! Fingers crossed—it will stick.

After they had left, we left for Kinky’s, for a short visit, and a tour of the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, which I think impressed them.

Then we returned to the rescue ranch. It was now time for Mary S. and her beautiful family to leave, because they had made plans to eat lunch in Fredericksburg and to shop. “We will see you later at Wolfmueller’s for Kinky’s book signing,” Mary said. “Don’t eat too much. Dinner is at six-thirty. See y’all at Wolfmuellers.” Then they drove away.

Tony and I ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, and then I took a short thirty minute nap, with Hank, Little Girl, Toto, Thunder and our cat, Lucky. I love sleeping with them—it’s the best! When I awoke, it was time to get ready to go to Kinky’s book signing. I decided to wear a new shirt that I had bought at a hippie store in Kerrville and my new pink slacks. Little did I know, what an impression it would make later, on my friends, at Wolfmuellers Books.

We arrived around three-thirty, at Sandy and Jon’s store, and it was packed! Kinky was busily signing one book after another, so Tony and I visited with Sandy and Jon and Mary Jo. Then we visited with Dylan and Sage Ferrero, Max Swafford, Copper Love, Beth B. and Sue, and Irene Van Winkle. We were in good company.

Around fourish, John and his family arrived, and it was like a family reunion—all over again! And, as always, many hugs, handshakes and laughter. Kinky took a short break, and joined us in a brief conversation, and then he went back to signing his books for his adoring fans.

While that was going on Mary S. handed me a present, that she had purchased in Fredericksburg—two adorable place mats, with the cutest pictures of dogs on them! I loved them! Then Irene Van Winkle, a fabulous writer for the ‘West Kerr Current’ newspaper, told me about her new book, “Family Chronicles.” I immediately purchased a copy, and she signed it to Tony and me. I can’t wait to read it. It is an historical account of the first families of Kerr County.

Then Mary S. found Tony’s postcards, and she bought several of them! When Irene heard her talking about Tony’s postcards, she went over and bought several, too. Then Irene had Tony sign them! Everyone’s favorite postcards, seemed to be the Cardinal in the metal dish, and the fighting deer, which I named, “Kung Fu 101!”

Oh yes, I almost forgot, during this entire time at Wolfmueller’s, everyone I knew complimented me on my outfit. I knew I didn’t look great, and I was feeling a little like a fish out of water, in my new hippie clothes. I guess, none of them have ever seen me in anything else—because my standard attire up until today, has always been my rescue ranch sweatshirt and pants, with a white Kinky cap on my head, to cover my white hair, along with my monogrammed “N” skipping shoes. In fact, Kinky didn’t even recognize me when he first saw me. “I like your outfit, Nance!” Kinky said. “I really like it.”

Okay, let me get back to the story—enough said about my wardrobe—it’s boring. Around four-forty, “There’s Cousin Nancy!” I looked over, and it was my other great ‘Mary’ friend, but she spells her name with an ‘i.’ “Cousin Nancy,” Mari Bailey, of the famous NoMads said, as she gave me a bear hug. “When I read that you would be here, I couldn’t miss seeing you! I have broken every speed limit, from San Antonio, to get here! I thought Kinky’s book signing was from three to six! The San Antonio Dog Show had our event last on the list, and I got out of there as soon as our competition was done. It is so good to see you and Tony!”

“Hi Mari!” I said. “Well, thank you. I hope that you didn’t get a speeding ticket. I wish you and the NoMads would come out, and spend some time in Outer Space with Tony and me. I’ve really missed you and the gang.”

“I can’t wait, to go into Outer Space with you guys, but I am not a hot-weather person, and I will have to wait until the temperature, is at least, in the seventies.”

“Mari, I finally got my Buddha Pugs!” I said. “I love them, and I want to thank you so much, for letting me know about them.”

“I know you got them, Cousin Nancy,” Mari said. “Because, I read your blog everyday! And, did you know that you are starting to cost me a lot of money, too?”

“What?” I asked. “What are you talking about?”

“I have been reading your blog since day one, when Abbie flung flour all over your kitchen and ‘big room.’ Since then, I have purchased ‘Miles of Chocolate’ which I absolutely love, “Dave’s Smokin’ Jalapenos and Dave’s Smokin’ Garlic” which my whole family and I are now addicted to, and I also bought John Kemmerly’s book, ‘Velma the Vomiting Vulture,” for $35.00 and many more since. John is a great writer. Oh yes, Cousin Nancy, I now own all of N.M. Kelby’s books, too—which I really enjoyed reading. ‘Whale Season’ and ‘Murder at the Bad Girls Bar and Grill,’ are my two favorites. That girl can really write!”

Tony and I were shaking with laughter! “Mari, I cannot believe, that you have bought all of that stuff,” I said. “Good grief, that is fantastic! What a compliment.”

“I promise I did. Where’s John Kemmerly?” Mari asked. “I was the first, after you, to buy his book—off of the internet, and I brought it with me, for him to sign.”

“John and his family left about ten minutes ago,” I said. “I tell you what. Give me your copy of Velma, and I will get John to sign it, and then I will drop it off here, for you to pick up, if that is okay with Sandy and Jon.” Sandy smiled and nodded, yes.

Mari and her NoMad friend, Judy, then took off to get Kinky to sign their books.

She and I visited a little bit longer and then it was closing time and she and Judy left. As Tony and I were about to leave, Sandy said, “Tony, Nancy! Why don’t y’all come over, to our house, for a drink, before meeting John and his family at six-thirty?”

“I don’t know, Sandy,” I said. “We have to go to WalMart for Tony to return an outdoor camera. I am not sure we will have enough time.”

“Y’all have to come over, “ Jon said. “Come on, you guys?”

“Okay,” Tony said. “We will see y’all soon.” Then we left the bookstore, and headed off to WalMart.

After Tony got his refund—we drove over to Sandy and Jon’s house. As soon as we arrived at their beautiful home, we went directly outside, to sit on their beautiful, gigantic patio. John handed Tony and I beer, and then we sat down for a fun visit with them. “Nancy and Tony, this is our version,” Jon said, “of your Outer Space.”

“Sandy and Jon,” I said. “I love your version—it is absolutely beautiful!” We visited for about twenty minutes in their lovely flower covered, filled with awesome plants—veranda. Then it was time to meet John and his family for dinner, at a very fancy Kerrville restaurant...

I am sorry, this story is fast turning into a book. I will finish the rest of the story tomorrow. Tony just came in and announced that it is fixin’ to be ‘Twilight Zone’ time, and he wants me to go into Outer Space with him. He is now pouring me a glass of wine from my wine box. I can’t resist. I promise to finish my story tomorrow. Cheers!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Twilight Zone!

Well, I hate to brag, but today has been another great day for me! Many wonderful things happened and I want to share them with you!

This morning, the Buddha Pugs arrived! When the FedEx man arrived at our front gate—I skipped out of the house to greet him, and I think I sorta scared him—seeing an old fat woman skipping towards him—wearing a great big smile on my face. After giving me my package—he left real fast.

I carried the heavy box up to the trailer, and then I set it down on the kitchen table and opened it! I dug through the popcorn and found Dharma, the small Buddha Pug first! It was adorable! I immediately set it above the kitchen sink!

I then dug into the popcorn filled box, and found Karma, the big Buddha Pug, that weighed a ton! When I unwrapped the bubble wrap, there were two Buddha Pugs—Big Karma, and a tiny two inch one! They were precious, and made me smile. I immediately took Karma into Outer Space, and placed the happy Buddha Pug on a table, next to my wood carved bear—Cubby! Perfect! I loved it!

Then I left Outer Space and came back inside the trailer. I needed to name the miniature Buddha Pug and thought and thought. Ten minutes later, it had a name—Nirvana! I put it in my purse.

I didn’t think my day could get any better, until our dear friends, Drew and Renee W. called. They have just moved back from Wimberley, and they needed help moving one large piece of furniture. I went outside and rounded up Tony, John and Ben and we headed off to Kerrville!

When we arrived at their home, there was nothing but hugs, handshakes and constant laughter! They gave us a tour of there newly purchased home, and then the men went outside, to carry in the large oversized sofa. In a matter of minutes, it was inside their home. Then we visited for about an hour, and it was a total blast!

Before leaving, Renee asked me if I wanted any of the statues outside. We went outside and I nearly croaked, when I saw them! “Oh my gosh,” I said. “I would love to have them, to add to my collection! Are you sure, you don’t want them?”

“No, we don’t want them,” Renee said. “They came with the place. Take them if you want them.”

I tried to pick up the squirrel, but it was a little too heavy, so John grabbed it and put it inside Buttermilk for me. Tony grabbed the adorable turtle, and Ben picked up the really heavy, Pelican, and then they loaded them into Buttermilk. Then we all hugged and shook hands and then we headed back to the rescue ranch.

When we returned to the ranch, the guys unloaded my statues, and then placed them, in the front yard of my writing cabin, where I wanted them. I haven’t named them, yet, but I love them!

This has truly been a special day for me, and I hope that y’alls has been as good as mine! Tonight, when it's ‘twilight zone’ time, out here, I am going into Outer Space, and count my many blessings.

P.S. Thank you Nancy Lemon, for introducing me to the world of Buddha dogs, I never knew they existed! And, Happy Birthday, to my super brother, Ronnie! I wish I could have made your surprise birthday party at Cindy and Ray’s tonight. I love you!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Texas Burro Rescue Rocks!

This morning, Kinky called, to ask me if I could come over to the Lodge for a photo shoot, around ten o’clock. He told me that some people were coming out to talk to him about their burro rescue, and they wanted to also take some pictures of Kinky with our donkeys—Roy, Gabby and Little Jewford.

At nine-thirty, I drove over to the Lodge to discuss some rescue ranch business with Kinky. At ten o’clock sharp, a big white Tundra pickup pulled up at the Lodge—it was them! Kinky and I went to greet them. Mark Meyers, the executive director, and his friends, and fellow burro rescuers, Jan and Charles (I forgot their last name) impressed us on the first handshake.

We visited for a little bit, and then we took off to go find ‘The Boys.’ Charles and Jan rode with me in Buttermilk, and Mark and Kinky followed us, in The Navigator. We found Little Jewford down by the hay barn, and he had no problem posing with Kinky—he loves apples! He must of eaten at least three apples, as Mark and I snapped away.

After that photo session, we walked over to where Roy and Gabby were grazing in a nearby pasture.

We’ve had Roy and Gabby for eight or nine years. They are Libra twins, and they have great personalities. Like Little Jewford, they posed as Mark snapped away. I couldn’t snap away, because my battery ran out of juice. I was sick not to get some pictures, but it was fun to watch Kinky feeding the burros and they ate it up, quite literally!

After Kinky ran out of apples, we all went back to Kinky’s Lodge and visited some more. Then Mark, Charles and Jan followed us over to the rescue ranch for a tour. During the tour, we discussed burro rescue—then we finished up our visit in Outer Space, and took a few more pictures before they left.

Kinky, Tony and I were extremely impressed with these people, the organization, and what great things that they are doing for the burros! After they had left, I called Kinky and we discussed the possibility of getting involved with them—maybe being a satellite for them, and helping find homes for their burros!

I have so much more to say about this great organization, TEXAS BURRO RESCUE, and will write more tomorrow, about them. They are definitely helping make our planet a better place!

Please check them out at:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Alias, Hart & Jones Rocks!

This morning, my good friend, Pete Hartje, sent me an e-mail—announcing the band's newly launched web site! I just checked it out, and it is great! Congrats Pete and band! I have just added their address to "My Favorite Links" on the sidebar! Kinky, Tony, John and I love this band! So, please check them out at their web site or go see them live!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kinky Book Signing at Wolfmuellers! This Saturday From 3 - 5!

Tony and I are definitely going to be there, along with John, and his mom, Mary S. and Richard, from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and hopefully Carol, if that volcano, in Costa Rico didn't erupt, and Ben, if he isn't busy making chocolate! We hope everyone can make it. It will be a blast, and Kinky's new book is great! Here is the flyer Jon and Sandy sent to Tony and me—announcing Kinky's upcoming book signing:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Hour!

This afternoon—it RAINED! So far, we have gotten one inch of rain, and more is expected! I want to thank my good friend, Nancy Doyle and her beautiful cat, Theodora for doing daily rain dances for us, and they live in Chicago!

This morning after feeding the dogs and cleaning their pens with John’s help, Tony took a few pictures of my turtle petroform, with the universal sign of the‘circle of gratitude’ which I made in the middle of the turtle! I can't wait for Kinky to see it! Here are a couple of pictures:

I spent the rest of the morning doing paperwork. Around 3:30, Tony and I went to Wolfmueller’s Books in Kerrville, so I could purchase a copy of my book, so I could send it to N. M. Kelby. We had a great visit with Sandy, Jon and Mary Jo, and then we took off for the post office, so I could mail Nicole my book. I really hope that she will enjoy it as much as I loved reading her books!

Tony just walked in, to tell me that it was raining again, and he wants me to go into Outer Space with him, to celebrate the much needed rain, with a glass of wine. Happy Hour here I come! I’m outta here!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sorry, Not Tonight, I've Got A Headache!

Sundays are officially our days off, and I need another Sunday. This morning, I was inspired to build a turtle petroform in the front yard of my writing cabin. I started about ten o'clock and worked for nearly two hours. Then Tony and I went to Kerrville for lunch and groceries.

When we returned, I did chores around the trailer and then Kinky invited us over for a visit. As soon as we arrived, Kinky challenged Tony to a pool game. Tony took the challenge.

The game between the Hummingbird Man and the Medina Bulldog was exciting, until the Hummingbird Man accidentally, sank the black ball, with an eight on it. The Medina Bulldog rules, once again! Yeah!

This evening, I spent two more hours shoveling dirt, laying more rocks, on top of more rocks===until I finished my twelve foot by eight foot turtle—at 8:36, when Tony placed the fifty pound head, of the turtle, on it! It looks beautiful to me, and tomorrow, I plan to get Tony up on a tall ladder, to take a picture of it, so I can blog it!

I wish I had more to say tonight, but I'm pooped. Sorry, not tonight, I've got a headache and a backache, but I love you.

As I often say nowadays—'Onward, through the dust!' Please pray for rain for us.


Saturday, July 5, 2008


Tony and I had the best Fourth of July ever, and it was all about freedom!

Thursday evening, my good friend, Cindy Pickard, called me, and during our conversation, Cindy told me about going to a pet store in Kerrville, and it had really depressed her. She told me that there were two beautiful turtles, in a small aquarium, and they looked like they were very sad, when she looked into their eyes.

“How much were they?” I asked.

“Forty dollars each,” Cindy said. “I felt so sorry for them.”

“Maybe, we should rescue them? Let’s talk about it in the morning.”

Friday morning, while Tony and I were over at the Lodge, drinking coffee with Kinky—Cindy called, and she left a message on our answering machine. “Nancy, I think you and I should rescue the turtles. I’ll buy one and maybe you could buy one. Call me.”

I called Cindy back. “Cindy, that is a great idea! I’ll be glad to buy one! Tony and I are fixin’ to go to Kerrville, and I will buy them on our way out.”

“Oh, that’s great!” Cindy said. “I can’t wait!”

“I’ll call you from the road, after we get them, and then you can come on over, and we will set them free!”

On the way to Kerrville, I told Tony all about Cindy’s and my ‘Free the Turtles’ project, and he thought it was a great idea. “Nance,” Tony said. “I know the perfect place to release them. It is remote, and they will be safe—no roads to cross, no people.”

Tony and I ran our errands, and then we went to the pet store. “Do y’all have turtles?” I asked.

“Yes, they are back here,” a woman clerk said, “please follow me. Here they are. We have four. The Red Sliders are $19.99 and the other two are $40.00 each.”

“That’s fine. We’ll take all four,” I said.

“You want all of our turtles?” She asked.

“Yes, all of them, please.”

The woman went and found a cardboard box, and then she carefully put the turtles into the box, and then she wrote something, on the top of the box, before handing the box to Tony.

I used my credit card to pay for the four lucky turtles, and then Tony and I left the store. As we headed home, I called Cindy from the road. “Cindy, we’ve got the turtles and we’re heading home!”

“You’ve got them!” Cindy said. “That’s great! Aren’t they beautiful!”

“Yes, they are absolutely beautiful! There were four of them, and I couldn’t leave the other two behind—so I bought all of them!”

“Four! That’s great!” Cindy said. “How much were they?”

“The two big ones were $40.00 each, and the two Red Sliders cost $19.99 each.”

“I am leaving now for the rescue ranch,” Cindy said. “As soon as I get there, I will write you a check for half, and then we can go set them free. This is so exciting!”

When we got home, Tony carried the box of turtles inside the trailer and set them down on the kitchen table—right next to my laptop. I knew that we needed to have a song to celebrate freeing the turtles from captivity, so I opened up my laptop, and went directly to iTunes, and purchased the perfect song for the occassion—’Happy Together’ by The Turtles! I then synced it with my iPod, and had it ready to play on my Bose iDock —so I could play it on Cindy’s arrival. Then I put the box of turtles on a bench, and took a picture of the receipt, box and my beautiful turtle necklace.

The next thing that I did, was to put on my beautiful, hand made by Native Americans, turtle necklace, that my good friend, Fay, up in Toronto, had given to me for my birthday, a couple of years ago. I was set.

When Cindy got here, Tony and I were so excited about freeing the turtles, we ended up going outside to greet her, with the box, of soon to be free, turtles! After showing her the turtles, we jumped into Buttermilk, and then we took off to Tony’s secret destination, on the ranch.

When we arrived at the secret location, we hiked down to Wallace Creek. Before releasing the turtles, Cindy and I took pictures of them.

Then Tony released them, one at a time, into the creek! As soon as the turtles were in the water—they took off fast~~~~swimming joyfully in the clear, cool creek water! We stayed and watched them and tried to take some more pictures, but they were too fast! “I am naming this part of the creek—Turtle Creek,” I declared.

Before we left to go visit Kinky, we said our goodbyes to the turtles, and then hiked back up the hill to Buttermilk.

We had a great visit with Kinky and then we returned to the rescue ranch. When we walked inside Outer Space, I picked up the iDock remote and The Turtles began singing, “Imagine me and you, I do...”

P.S. Before leaving yesterday, I asked Cindy to please write something for me about turtles. Enjoy!

On July 4th [as you probably have already read], Nancy and Tony and I freed 4 turtles from a pet shop and released them into a beautiful, tree-lined creek at Echo Hill. The turtles, released from their cardboard box, wasted no time in diving into the green water and what an amazing feeling to see them set free in their natural environment [as all creatures including humans should be]. A much better way to spend the day we thought, than watching a parade or fire works!

Since childhood, the turtle has been very meaningful to me: I kept several as pets and read and reread the book Minn of the Mississippi, imagining life through the eyes of a turtle. During these past 3 years, the turtle has taken on an even greater meaning, as I now work closely with Native American people, especially with an Anishnabe [Ojibwey] Elder whose healing lodge in Manitoba called the Turtle Lodge is built in the shape of a turtle

It is said by the Aboriginal people that the true name for North America is Turtle Island and there are many legends about the turtle and its significance. In Manitoba, there are turtle petroforms dating back many thousands of years and to the Anishnabe people, the turtle is one of 7 animals that represent the 7 Teachings: Love, Humility, Courage, Respect, Wisdom, Honesty and Truth. The turtle represents Truth.

It is the belief of many of the Native people that if we were to live by these 7 teachings and live close to the land again, peace and harmony would return to the Earth.

I know that we felt that yesterday as we watched the turtles swimming free, knowing that Nature would provide all that they needed to balance and free of charge.
For more information, please visit our website:

-Cindy Pickard

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It Has Been A Great Day!

Today has been fun! This morning, after taking care of paperwork, I passed the window and saw this odd looking bird—eating some birdseed on the porch. I haven’t shown the pictures to Tony yet, but I am thinking it is a baby hawk, because Tony has seen a mama hawk, teaching her babies how to fly, for the past several days. If anyone can identify this bird, please let me know, by posting a comment. I’m hoping that it isn’t a baby buzzard—that’s getting a little too close to home for me—I’m only 56! Here are the pictures:

And then a beautiful hummingbird showed up!

After my photo session, I went over to visit with Kinky and Brian Kanof, the incredibly talented photographer—from El Paso. When I arrived, they were outside, sitting in chairs, near the Friedman Family Bone Orchard. At one point during our visit, Brian excused himself, and went into the Lodge, and then he came right back outside, carrying his gift for Tony, that he had personalized—it was a pool stick, and he had bought one for Kinky and himself, too! I loved it!

Around 12:30, Kinky called and asked Tony and me to come over, to help give Perky some pills. After we had given little Perk, her pills—we went outside for a visit. Then Mr. Magoo showed up looking just like Kinky, he was chomping on his doggie chewgar, that our great friends, Herb and Karen Cares, had given to him, on their visit, back in January. Gooie looked hilarious! Kinky said, “Like father, like son.”

Then our friend, Timothy Abnour showed up and came over to visit. Just minutes after his arrival—it started to sprinkle! “I think I just felt a raindrop,” Timothy said.

“Me, too,” Kinky said.

“It’s not rain,” Tony said. “Its the sap falling from the tree above.”

To prove it was sprinkling, Kinky, Timothy and I got up from our chairs, and walked away from the tree, to make sure it was rain. It was definitely—sprinkling! Here is a picture that I captured of them celebrating the rain, which sadly ended—two minutes later. No more rain.

Timothy needed to get back to work at the camp, so Kinky, Tony and I went into the Lodge. Kinky announced that he was on a winning streak, and that he had won the past five pool games, against five different players. He then challenged Tony to a game.

They both were shooting good shots, and it was fun to watch, even though the Medina Bulldog lost to The Hummingbird Man.

Happy Birthday, Beth Bradley!

Kinky, Tony and I want to wish Beth the best Birthday ever! We love you!