Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Captain Kangaroo!

Hi everyone! Today my blog is 1 year old! It has been one year since our dog, Abbie, our rescued wannabe black Lab, flung all purpose flour—all over my kitchen and the 'big room"—in the wee hours of the morning! I want to thank all of y'all for following my blog and making comments that make me laugh out loud! I love y'all! And, I am pleased to report that all of the flour is finally gone from the floor. No snow drifts here—just dust and cobwebs!

Today, because of Mercury being in retrograde, I have been really busy, paying bills and filling out quarterly reports, etc. I promise to blog tomorrow evening, and catch all of y'all up on the rescue ranch. Have a great evening!

P.S. Kinky called me this morning, to tell me that he has renamed his truck! Our connection was poor, as was my hearing, and I didn't hear him tell me his new name for his hunter green pickup. Not telling him that I didn't hear the new name, I said, "Kinky the name of your new truck should be—Mr. Green Jeans!

Kinky laughed out loud! "I love it, Nance! It's the perfect name—Mr. Green Jeans!" Kinky laughed some more.

"I know Kinky," I said. "Remember, I'm good at naming things. In fact, if you will remember, I named the Cadillac—The Navigator."

"No you didn't!" Kinky argued. "I named it The Navigator."

"Sorry, Kinky you're wrong, again," I said. "I am sorry. You asked me what to name it, in front of Tone, while we were standing out in front of the Lodge, and I said, I think you should call it the Navigator, in honor of Tom, since it had been his car. Tony will back me up on this, too."

"Okay," Kinky said. "You're right. I remember now. You did name it—The Navigator—not me. Well, it's official now, Nance, my truck's new name is going to be Mr. Green Jeans! It's perfect and funny!"

"Good," I said. "Captain Kangaroo would be proud. Did I ever tell you about that man who called me a few years back, from New York City, that had worked for Captain Kangaroo, and the Ft. Worth Zoo, the same time that I did, who wanted us to take in twenty elephants?"

"No Nance, you have got to be kidding me? Twenty elephants?"

"Yes, twenty or thirty of them, that needed rescuing. He told me that he was now a clown, since Captain Kangaroo had passed, and he was working for a circus, and learning how to walk the tight rope or high wire, something like that..."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Nita!

I want to start out my blog, by wishing my favorite sister-in-law, Nita, Ronnie’s wife, a Happy Birthday! I called her earlier this evening, and sang her the Happy Birthday song—off key— and it made her laugh! “So, Nit (Neat),” I asked. “How does fifty-seven feel?”

“Not too good,” Nita replied, followed by a laugh. “I can’t believe that I am three years away from being sixty!”

“I know, me too! Remember when we had that birthday party for us, and I had made up those t-shirts that read, ‘28 How Sad!,’ and we wore them at the party at y’all’s house?”

Nita laughed. “Yes, Nance, I do. We thought we were old back then!” We laughed, again.

“Boy, were we ever wrong! That was twenty-eight years ago, Nita!” I said. “Can you believe it? I’ve doubled in age and size, and you’ve only doubled in age—now that’s truly depressing to me! Did you know that Mercury is in retrograde, too?”

“Figures,” Nita said. “What does that mean?”

“Not good. What are you doing for your birthday?” I asked.

“We did it Sunday, Nance. Callie bought me two tickets to the Dallas Cowboy’s game. Ronnie and I drove up to Dallas yesterday and went to the game!”

“Wow! That’s great! Did we win or lose?”

“We lost and it’s your fault, too—because you didn’t watch the game! Ronnie, Nancy didn’t watch the game!” Nita teased. We then started laughing, again.

“Cheer up, Nita,” I said. “Just think, in a couple of weeks, it will be my turn, to turn fifty-seven! I think we should have a party for us! I will make us some new t-shirts, that will say “I’m only 8 in Dog Years! Bite Me!”

Nita burst out laughing and so did I. Happy Birthday Nita! I love you! You’re the best!

Earlier today, Tony and I had to go to Kerrville. We decided to eat lunch at ‘Lightways,’ a health food restaurant that our friends, Pat G. and Pam M., had told us about and recommended. It is a vegetarian deli and juice bar on Water Street—next door to Franciscos on the corner.

Tony and I ordered their Special—organic salad, organic vegetable soup and organic zucchini quiche—it was delicious! Sylvia, the owner came over to our table, while we were waiting to be served, to show us a tray full of beautiful, fresh vegetables from their garden. She told us that she and her family have an organic garden and we would be eating their homegrown organic vegetables.

Please go there and check them out at: www.lightway.info/lightways.html

After lunch Tony and I went to see Sandy and Mary Jo at Wolfmueller’s Books. As always, there was much laughing. Then we ran a few errands and returned home.

When we got back to the rescue ranch, I had thirty-three new phone calls to return—four were from Kinky!

“Nance,” Kinky said. “I’ve got some great news to tell you about the calendar...”

To be continued...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Bucket List!

This morning I received an e-mail from my good friend, Kristine Banks, from Illinois, who helps us adopt out our dogs. Kristine asked me to fill this questionnaire out, and e it back to her and send it to all of my friends. Here’s my list.

The Bucket List Instructions:
Hit forward and place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from all the ones you have not. Send it to all your friends including me. This is for your entire life!

(X) Gone on a blind date - yes, back in high school and never again
(X) Skipped school - several times, senior year
(X) Watched someone die - my husband, back in '95
( ) Been to Canada - I wish! I would love to meet Fay and her family, and give Kris Kristofferson aka Prince—a hug
(X) Been to Mexico - a few times
(X) Been to Florida - flew to Miami to take a Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas
(X) Been on a plane - too many times
(X) Been lost - at least once a month - it runs in my family - we laugh about getting lost all of the time
(X) Been on the opposite side of the country - Minnesota, California and Maine
( ) Gone to Washington, DC - no thank you
(X) Cried yourself to sleep - and looked like you know what in the morning!
(X ) Played cops and robbers - when I was eight years old. I was the get-a-way car—ouch!
( ) Recently colored with crayons - how did you know?
( ) Sang Karaoke - no way
( ) Sang in front of a large audience (200 or more)
(X) Spoke in front of a large audience (200 or more) yes, with Kinky at the 2006 Texas Book Festival
(X) Paid for a meal with coins only - when tacos were a quarter
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't - yes, many times
(X) Made prank phone calls - yes, as kids, Ronnie and I called our Aunt Mooie, Uncle Ham's mother, and we got caught and were grounded. Does anyone else have family named after food or is it just mine?
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out your nose - yes, Ovaltine chocolate milk, and little pieces of chocolate came out when I sneezed!
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue - when I lived in Crested Butte, Colorado, in the early '70's
(X) Danced in the rain - with Tony
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus - still do, but I send him e-mails nowadays, it saves me money
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe - I'm one of those people that don't kiss and tell, sorry
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about - inside the Space Ship with Tony
(X) Blown bubbles in your milk - still do, but in soy milk- it's healthier
(X) Gone ice-skating - in Ft. Worth when I was a kid, but was not good at it and am now too old to try again
(X) Wished upon a falling star - whenever I see one
( ) Swam with Dolphins or Stingrays- would love to swim with Dolphins, but not Stingrays
( ) Drove as fast as your car would go - never
(X) Laughed until you pee'd your pants..or sneezed, passed gas, puked, or fell down

About you:
1. Any nickname? Yes, Doodle Bug and Cousin Nancy
2. Mother's name? Katie
3. Favorite drink? Water and a box of fine wine
4. Tattoo? None
5. Body piercing? Nope
6. How much do you love your job? This ——————————much!
7. Birthplace? Fort Worth, Texas
8. Favorite vacation spot? Port Aransas and Ruidoso, New Mexico
9. Ever been to Africa? Nope, too far and I have quit flying
10. Ever eaten just cookies for dinner? No, but once I ate Cheetos
11. Ever been on TV? Yes, several times as a kid, and because of Kinky
12. Ever steal any traffic signs? No, but when I was in the 6th grade, my new boyfriend, Rick Morrison gave me one for my Christmas present. A week later, I broke up with him. It was a STOP sign!
13. Ever been in a car accident? Yes, when I backed into Copper’s Miata—'Ruby Tuesday'—last December
14. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? yes, both
15. Favorite hobby? Writing while listening to my iPod, decorating and renovating space ships
16. Favorite pie? My Aunt Pie, who was married to my mother’s brother -John Howard Griffin, author of 'Black Like Me' And, my mother's twin sister, Jackie, was married to Uncle Ham—he was my favorite ham.
17. Favorite number? 8
18. Favorite movie? Starsky & Hutch, Trains, Planes & Automobiles, Something’s Gotta Give, Super-Size Me!
19. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
20. Favorite dessert? Miles of Chocolate
21. Favorite food? Fruits and vegetables
22. Favorite day of the week? Wednesday
23. Favorite brand of body wash? Dr. Broner’s
24. Favorite toothpaste? Crest
25. Favorite smell? Bread baking in the oven
26. How do you relax? I write, listen to music, work on my Space Ship, go for walks, being alone with Tony and our pets in Outer Space, taking naps with my dogs and cat, and being outside with our dogs.
27. How do you see yourself in 10 years? 66? I hope—if I can still see.
28. Furthest place you will send this message? Around the world, since I am blogging it
29. Who will respond the fastest? Kristine Banks

I hope that all of y’all will fill out your Bucket List! It was fun! Thank you, Kristine!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Merc Happens!

Well, I can sure tell that Mercury is in retrograde—which is not good for me—it really affects me. Two days ago, Ben sent me an e-mail, to let me know or should I say warn me, about Mercury being in retrograde until October 20th! That news upset me, because it means my birthday will be under the influence of Mercury in retrograde. Life is not fair.

This morning, around 5:30, I was rudely awakened by Mama and Abbie. They were in the backyard, barking up a storm, which they never do. I climbed out of bed to see what was the matter. I went to the backdoor, flipped on the porch light, and then went outside. Twenty feet away, there stood, right next to our fence— a three hundred pound, black and white—wild hog! I quickly got the girls to come inside, and then I locked the backdoor.

By sunup, the hog had wandered off, so I let Abbie and Mama go back outside, and I fed them on the back porch. I then came back inside and fed the dogs and Lucky. While they were eating, I grabbed the aspirin bottle, opened it, took out a pill and then popped it into my mouth—realizing immediately, that I had forgotten to get a glass of water first—to help wash it down. This has been a habit of mine for over twenty years, and I have never forgotten to do this— water first, aspirin second.

As the aspirin was dissolving in my mouth, I quickly pulled a glass out from the cabinet, and went to fill it at our Ozarka Water Cooler! It was dry—completely out of water! So, I skipped over to the refrigerator, and pulled out a carton of milk, I thought—poured it into my glass and quickly chugged it down! Then I felt like throwing up!

It wasn’t organic milk—it was organic buttermilk —that had gone bad! I returned to the fridge, found the pomegranate juice, poured some into another glass, and then I gulped it down, to help get that nasty taste out of my mouth.

Note: We do not get our water from a well, it comes directly from the clear running creek, below us. I have drank it, and our ice maker uses it, and we have never, knock-on-wood, gotten sick from it. In fact, many people who live in the Texas Hill Country, get their water from creeks and drink it, but I prefer not to. Tony says I’m a sissy.

Once I had that awful taste out of my mouth, I looked down, to see that the dog’s water bowl was empty! I felt horrible. I told my best friends, they would have water as soon as Tony got home and then I apologized to them.

Eleven minutes later, Tony and Aaron drove up. As soon as Tony got out of Buttermilk, I told him the dogs and me were out of water, and we were all real thirsty! “Completely out?” Tony asked.


“I’ll go check the pump house,” Aaron volunteered, as he jumped into Kermit.

“No Aaron, we have water in the house,” I said. “We just need a bottle of Ozarka.”

Tony looked over at Aaron and they burst out laughing! “We’ll go get a bottle and bring it up to the house,” Tony said, before driving off. I went back inside the trailer.

A couple of minutes later, Tony and Aaron came inside the trailer and replaced the empty water bottle with a full one. “Why did y’all laugh at me earlier?” I asked. They started laughing, again. “What was so funny? We were out of water and we were thirsty.”

“Nance, you were out of water and you weren’t,” Tony said, as he and Aaron chuckled some more. Tony then walked over to the empty water bowl, on the floor, picked it up—and then he began filling it with water from the kitchen sink—then I started laughing—I felt like a fool—our dogs always drink creek water—not Ozarka.

“Aaron, this is what I have to put up with,” Tony teased, as he shot me a wink and a smile. “Never a dull moment around here—never.”

“I feel like a complete idiot,” I said. “But I do have an excuse—Mercury is in retrograde!” They started laughing even harder.

We invited Aaron to join us for breakfast, and I was teased non-stop throughout the entire meal.

Later this morning, Tony and I went over to the Lodge, to drink some coffee with Kinky. “Y’all know, how hunting dogs will instinctually point, or tree an animal that’s trapped up in a tree,” Tony said. “Well, we have two dogs, Princess and Emily—who treed a Tarantula this morning!”

“You’re kidding me?” I said.

“Really?” Kinky asked. “A Tarantula?”

“Yes,” Tony said. “I was fixing to go into their pen to clean it, when they started barking fiercely at a tree. I went over to the tree to check it out, and there was this giant Tarantula! I pulled out my camera and shot it, and then I took it from the tree and set it free—far away from the pens. Wait till you see the pictures I took!”

Friday, September 26, 2008


“Who?” we asked.

Kinky paused, puffed on his cigar for a moment, to create more drama—“Ruth Buzzi! Kent called to tell me that he and Ruthie will be attending the event!”

“Oh my gosh!” I said. “I can’t wait to see Kent, again! And at last, Tony and I are going to finally be able to meet his better half—Ruthie! I hope that they will have the time, to come over to the rescue ranch, so I can show them the Space Ship and go into Outer Space with us!”

Last night, during happy hour with Tone, I taped “Survivor.” When happy hour was over, I came inside and watched the entire two hours of the show. And I must say—I loved it, and am now hooked on it! I am so glad that Jon and Sandy told me to watch it.

The only thing that depressed me about ‘Survivor,’ was at the first of the show. When I saw that really old male / contestant, I liked him, but felt really sorry for him, because he was way too old, and I knew that he would most likely be booted off the show early on. Good grief—he had to be in his late sixties! And then, when he introduced himself and said, “I’m fifty-six years old,” I went into total depression!

I’m fifty-six, and not for much longer! As soon as I heard his words, I jumped out of my chair, removed my wire rims, and then skipped down the hall, to go look into the mirror! For over twenty years or more, I have always removed my glasses, before looking into mirrors, because I truly think it takes twenty years off of my age. I love it!

When I looked into the mirror, I was somewhat relieved at what I saw. I didn’t look great or even good, but I didn’t look near as old as that man! I figure, he must have been ‘rode hard and put up wet’ one too many times.

Yesterday, while ‘staying put,’ for Kinky to show up at Wolfmueller’s, Jon asked me to help them, come up with a name for their patio, which I think is the prettiest outdoor patio in all of Kerr county! I think they should call it—’The Launch Pad’ or ‘The Space Capsule’ or ‘The Space Center,’ or ‘The Twilight Zone,’ or even ‘Outer Space,’ because everytime that Tony and I have been over there—we’ve had a blast out there!

Yesterday, my order of five cans of Pinhead Oatmeal arrived—a day early! I called Kinky to tell him the great news, and he was excited, because he had just run out of his this morning! Tony and I drove over to the Lodge to deliver a can to Kinky. He was grateful and said, “Thanks Nance. I thought you told me, that you ordered five can? Where are they?”

“I did Kinky—you get one can—Tony and I are hoarding the rest, and going to make you beg for another can!”

P.S. My good friend, Kathy H., up in Dripping Springs, just called and invited Tony and me to a party at her and Jerry’s ranch, for Saturday night! She told me that my brother Ron, his wife, Nita and my sister, Cindy and her husband, Ray, are coming to it! It is very tempting, but unfortunately, we can’t go. She also asked me, if I could help her find a home for a stray dog, that was either dumped or lost. She told me that he is approximately one year old, not neutered and she did get him his shots. Anyone interested in this dog, please call the rescue ranch and I’ll put you in touch with Kathy. This dog is beautiful! He needs a home!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


When we returned to the ranch, Kinky had left a message, on the answering machine, “Nancy, Tony call Kinky! Y’all need to get over here!”

I immediately called Kinky and got his machine! “Kinky, it’s Nancy. Are you okay? We just got back from...”

“Nance, can you and Tony come over? I want to show y’all my new truck!”

“What? You got a new truck?” I asked.

“Yes. Jon Wolfmueller and I went to a dealership over in Boerne, and I bought a green Chevy four door, Silverado. And, you can’t name it, because I already have. I’ve named it—the Irish Fairy.” Then he laughed and so did I.

“I like it,” I said. “You can call it ‘If’ for short, or if you are with people trying to figure out whose car to take, you can say something like, ‘that sounds a little Iffy to me!” We both laughed. “Tone and I will be over there in about five minutes. I can’t wait to see it, Kink!”

Before leaving, I grabbed my camera. When Tony and I arrived at the Lodge—Kinky was outside, puffing on a cigar /eaning on the Irish Fairy’s tailgate! As Tony and I checked out the Irish Fairy, from headers to tow (bar), Kinky told us all about his truck, and the great deal that he had gotten on it.

As the three of us /eaned on the back of the truck, we told Kinky how much we liked If. We then talked about the calendar, and the upcoming Ranch Roundup on October 25th. “Guess who is going to be at the event?”

“Who?” we asked!

To be continued...

P.S. I have to go now, because today, I promised Jon and Sandy, who are and have been for years, hooked on the popular tv show ‘Survivor,’ that I would watch it—for the very first time, to see if I get hooked on it, too.

P.S.S. Tony just went into Outer Space to set up our Space Station for happy hour, which always requires our portable Bose iDock, my iPod, cold beer and a box of my fine wine! Tony just came back inside to tell me that happy hour has just commenced! I can hear Willie Nelson singing one of my favorite songs, ‘Far Away Places!’

Last P.S. I promise! Jon and Sandy, I have just come up with the perfect name for your beautiful patio—how about calling it...

To be continued...

(Laugh out loud! I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist it! I needed the laughs!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hot Dog!

Monday afternoon, we went to see Trisha, at Copies Plus. I gave her some CDs and then we discussed the 2009 calendar. After we left her business—Tony and I headed back to the rescue ranch.

When we crossed the cattle guard, welcoming you to Echo Hill Ranch, Tony slammed—on the brakes! And, I nearly went through the glovebox—had it been bigger! “Tony?”

“Sorry Nance, I think I just saw a dog back there,” Tony said. He threw Buttermilk into reverse, and we slowly backed up about twenty five feet, where we found a scared looking yellow Lab mix—on a short, three foot leash—tied to a tree—with no food or water!

For goodness sakes, it was ninety degrees outside! I won’t tell you what Tony or I said, about the cowardly jerk, who had done this to that poor dog—we were truly mad! How can people do things like this?

We got out of Buttermilk, tried talking to the frightened dog, who was so scared, he was in a frozen, crouched down position. We didn’t know if he was going to bite us, or what, so we told him that we would be right back, and then we took off. We stopped at the barn, grabbed a bucket, filled it with water, and grabbed a package of hot dogs.

We then returned to the dog! Tony put the bucket of water near him, and the dog didn’t budge. Tony then tried to give him some weiners, but the dog remained in his frozen crouch—no tail wagging, no movement—nothing. Not sure if the dog was going to attack or bite, Tony decided to cut the leash tied to the tree, and try to walk him into the rescue ranch.

Tony went behind the tree, cut the leash and then asked the terrified dog, on the other end of the leash, to walk with him. The dog stood up, and started walking with Tony. Ten steps later, the dog’s tail was up high and wagging—as he pulled Tony towards our entrance gate!

I grabbed the water bucket, emptied the water on some nearby cactus, then I tossed it into the back of Buttermilk, and then slowly followed Tony and the dog into the ranch. Tony put the dog into a big alley, because we had no pen for him to go into, because we are at capacity. I gave Tony the bucket. He filled it with water, as the dog wagged his tail and kissed Tony’s hand.

“Let’s call him, Henry,” I said, as Tony went off to get dog food. While Tony was gone, the poor dog drank half the water from the bucket, and then he put his four paws into the bucket—to cool off.

When Tony returned with dry and canned dog food for him—Henry was wagging his tail wildly! Henry the 8th, cleaned his food dish real fast, and he seemed to be happy! He let us pet him and he kissed us on the face. I was so glad.

Tony told him to sit and he did on command! “Nance, this is one fine dog and he is smart, too.” I agreed.

After talking to him, petting him, and telling Henry he was safe and everything was going to be fine. We returned to the trailer.

I spent Tuesday morning working, non-stop, on the 2009 rescue ranch calendar! Around 12:45, our good friends, Garnet and Sandy S., from Utopia, showed up! They were celebrating the day, because of a very special, important anniversay—Sandy had been cancer free for three years! We were so happy to see our friends, and happy about their great news!

After hugs and handshakes, they told us that they wanted to see my Space Ship, and go into Outer Space with us. And, they were possibly interested, in a small black and brown dog that we had—Hannah Montana #2 to be exact.

Tony and I showed them the Space Ship first, and they like everyone else—loved it, and were blown away with how cool it was! Then we took them into Outer Space! They loved it, too, and could not believe that Ronnie and Tom had built it in a day and a half!

We had a really fun visit in Outer Space with them, and like all of our dear friends—we did a lot of laughing! During our visit, I discovered that Garnet had become a writer, and I was thrilled for her! I asked her to please e-me some of her stories and she said she would.

Then our conversation turned to Hannah Montana. We told them everything that we knew about this precious little dog, and then we went to go see her. Hannah stole their hearts immediately, and they asked if they could adopt her, and try her out with their other dogs, and menagerie of other animals. Of course, we said yes, because we knew our friends would spoil Hannah and give her a super home!

After signing Hannah’s adoption form, we said our goodbyes to Garnet, Sandy and Hannah. That made our day.

Then I went back to the trailer, I finished the calendar within twenty minutes, and then Tony and I took off for Kerrville to go see Trisha at Copies Plus.

When we returned to the ranch, Kinky had left a message, on the answering machine, “Nancy, Tony call Kinky! Y’all need to get over here!...”

To be continued...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hooray! I Completed The Calendar!

Hi everyone, i have much to tell! Yesterday, I spent over twelve hours and seven more hours today—finishing up the very first Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch calendar—for 2009, and I am really proud of it! It was been fun, but extremely time consuming and exhausting for me. I do apologize for not blogging much these last few days—too much was on my plate, or should I say my platter.

Tony is standing here, right now, insisting that I join him, and go into Outer Space with him, to drink a glass of my fine boxed wine, and to watch a beautiful Texas sunset with him. No offense, I am taking him up on his offer, and I will blog tomorrow, about the dog that we almost didn't rescue, the visitors and adoption that we had earlier today, someone's new vehicle, and a few other weird and exciting things—that have been going on out here.

My new credo is, which I have stolen from two great dear friends, the late great Danny Roy Young—"Be Nice" and the great Will Hoover's— "Keep Laughing" is now "Y'all be nice and y'all keep laughing!" I just love it and I mean it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The NoMads Have A Website!

I am so excited to announce that the famous NoMads, of Kerrville—have just launched their new website: www. txnomads.com! I found out earlier this morning, from a comment made by Mari! I checked out the site and it is really great! Lori—you done good! I’ve put up a link to it, on the sidebar.

This morning, after our Super Smoothies breakfast, we went over to Kinky’s, so Tony could help give Perky a cough pill. After Perky successfully swallowed her pill, Kinky said, “Nance, did you tell me that you have ordered five cans of Pinhead, or did I dream it? I can’t remember. I’m not awake, yet.”

“Yes,” I said. “Yesterday, after you had your power nap, I called and left you a message about ordering some from Amazon.com. Hopefully, the five-pack will be here by this Friday.”

“Good,” Kinky said, shaking his can of Pinhead Oatmeal. I had better ration this.”

P.S. Lori called, while I was writing this. After our conversation, I immediately went outside to tell Tony all about it. I have got to go now—Tony and I are waiting on her e-mail that she is sending to us.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pinheads Unite!

This morning I went over to see Kinky. When I arrived at the Lodge, he was cooking his breakfast—Pinhead Oatmeal, from Scotland, that I had given to him, a few weeks ago, to try. Tony and I love Pinhead Oatmeal and now Kinky does, too.

As Kinky stirred the bubbling mush, he told me that he was getting low on his Pinhead Oatmeal, and he asked me where I had bought it. I told him, “HEB, but they were out of it, yesterday, when I went to buy some more. We love that stuff, and it is really good for you, too.” Kinky agreed with me.

“Pinhead,” Kinky said, with a laugh. “I like it’s name. It’s funny.” I agreed with Kinky.

After he ate his delicious porridge, we went outside to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, so Kinky could puff on his cigar and play with the Friedmans. FYI: Five weeks ago, Kinky quit, and has banned smoking inside the Lodge—because of Perky—it makes her cough. As we sat and visited, Mr. Magoo appeared with his newest stuffed toy—a little pink pig that oinks and makes little pig sounds.

Kinky would throw the cute, little stuffed toy for Goo. Gooie would then run and get it, and then he would squeak it non-stop—until Kinky took it from him, for another throw. After a few minutes of non-stop squeaking, Kinky told Goo, “No more Gooie. I am not going to throw it anymore. You need to go rest.”

It was like Gooie understood Kinky. He squeaked his toy twice at him, and then he came over by me and sat down next to me—with his back turned away from Kinky. “I think he is mad at you, Kinky,” I said.

Kinky got out of his chair and walked over to Goo-man, “Goo, we will play fetch later. I’m tired.” Mr. Magoo totally ignored him.

“Gooie says, ‘I’m not speaking to you, Kinky. I am mad at you,’” I joked. Kinky laughed. Gooie didn’t.

When I came home, I went to Amazon.com and typed in Pinhead Oatmeal from Scotland. Not to my surprise—they carried it! To order it, I had to buy a five pack of cans, and it should be arriving here Friday or Saturday!

I then worked on the calendar for several hours and made a lot of progress with it. Then Tony and I went to Kerrville. When we returned, I called Kinky to talk to him about the calendar pictures, that I wanted to show him. He told us to come on over.

After looking at the twenty best pictures, that I had narrowed down—the three of us picked the final thirteen big pictures for the calendar! Then Tony and I came home.

After we came home, I realized that I had forgotten to tell Kinky about ordering the Scottish oatmeal, so I phoned him and got his machine. “This is Pinhead One, calling Pinhead Three—to tell you that I have ordered five cans, and the Pinheads should be here by Friday! Over and out—of Pinhead!”

Lori, one of the famous NoMads of Kerrville, and the Cowboy Steak House, has just called here at 8:44 and left a message, asking me to call her. I just returned her phone call, and got her machine. I hope everything is okay!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Smile! Click! Smile!

I am sorry for not blogging last night, but I am truly covered up with our first rescue ranch calendar. I am somewhat depressed, because over the years, Tony and I have taken some pretty great pictures, but unfortunately, they were from a 2001 digital camera, and the resolution and size are not good enough to enlarge.

We do have many good pictures to use, but I am sick that we can’t use some of ‘our very best.’ So this morning, Tony and I spent over two hours taking more pictures outside—a total of 379 to be exact! After our photo shoot and giving tours, I sat behind my laptop, downloading three different cameras—deleting, viewing and cleaning up ones using Photoshop, etc. Luckily, I am almost there! The pictures look really great! I love them!

I never realized how much went into making calendars, and about to turn fifty-seven years old or eight in dog years hasn't helped. As soon as I select the thirteen big shots, out of the twenty six best, then narrow it down to sixty two small shots, out of eighty nine pictures, come up with twelve quotes, and write twelve short stories for each big picture—I will be ready to turn it in to the printer. And, I’ve set my personal deadline for this Monday! Please wish me luck.

Today, my blog has now received over 30,000 hits, and I am so thrilled! I can’t believe it! Its one year anniversary is September 30th—when Abbie threw flour all over the kitchen and big room! I am thinking about possibly running some advertisements on it, but not sure, yet.

P.S. This morning when I went over to see Kinky—I was so glad to see The Navigator parked out in front of the Lodge! Y’all have a great evening—I’m fixin’ to, in about five minutes—in Outer Space with Tone!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Not Tonight!

I wish that I had time to post a blog tonight—but I don't. It's Happy Hour time in Outer Space. Besides, my dear friend, Cindy Pickard, is heading over here, right now—to join us!

I have spent the entire day today working on a 2009 Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch calendar, and I am covered up with photos and quotes! The 2009 calendar will be our very first calendar that we have ever done—to help raise money for the rescue ranch.

I will try to post a blog tomorrow. I hope y'all have a great evening. And, as Kinky's good friend, Hoover, who lives in Hawaii, always says, before ending a conversation with Kinky—"Keep laughing!"

I love it—y'all keep laughing!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Have Gun Will Travel!

Yesterday was strange, but it turned out to be a great day after all! It started with a wake up call to Kinky at 5:45. I woke up hearing Tony talking on the phone—he was trying to wake up Kinky. When I came into the kitchen, Tony told me that he had phoned Kinky three times, but Kinky never answered his calls. “I am fixin’ to go to town,” Tony said. “Do you mind calling Kinky?”

Five minutes after Tony left to go drink coffee with the old timers, I dialed Kinky’s phone number and he answered the phone. “Nance, I’m up,” Kinky said, groggily. “Tony just came by and woke me up. Thanks for calling. I will see you later this afternoon around three-thirty, when I get back to the ranch.” Little did I know—it would be sooner than later.

Around one o’clock, Tony and I went to Kerrville to eat lunch and to run a few errands. We decided to eat lunch at Luby’s cafeteria. We went through the line and I chose to get their three vegetable combo, and Tony picked fish and two vegetables. After checking out with the ‘meal ringer upper’ and getting our ticket for our meals. Tony followed me to a table with his tray of food. We unloaded our trays, put them away and then sat down to eat.

I had just taken my first sip of water with lemon juice, when Jewford suddenly appears at our table, and says, “Welcome to Luby’s! I hope you enjoy your meal.”

I was startled to say the least. “Well hi, Jewford,” I said. “Did you get a job here?” Then I laughed. “Why are you here?”

“Because of the food,” Jewford shot back. “I drive down everyday from Austin to have lunch here.” Then the three of us burst into laughter! Then Jewford lowers his voice and loudly says, for everyone to here. “Actually, I am here, having lunch with Kinky. He’s sitting over there.”

I turned around in my chair, and Kinky waved at us. “I thought y’all were in San Antonio for a gig.”

“We were. This morning The Navigator broke down on the pass, and Kinky was able to make it to the YO Hotel—and his car died in the parking lot, before sun up. Sitting in the dark, inside the Navigator, Kinky calls Dylan and asks him to come and get him. Dylan drives over to the YO, picks Kinky up, and then they drove to Dylan’s school in Comfort.”

“Jewford, are you kidding me?” I asked.

“No,” Jewford said. “Dylan drove to the school, and lets Kinky borrow his car, so he can get to San Antonio. After the gig, I followed Kinky to Dylan’s school, so he could return Dylan’s car, and then I drove him here.”

“Where is The Navigator?” Tony asked.

“Kinky called some dealership in town to pick it up.”

As I am devouring my vegetables, and Jewford’s story—Kinky appears at our table. “Nance and Tone,” Kinky said. “This morning before sunrise, The Navigator’s dash lights all came on at once, flashing and blinking all kinds of warnings...”

Since I still had the pinto beans to eat, and Tony was halfway finished with his meal, we let Kinky tell us the same story, that Jewford had just told us. By the time Kinky finished his story—our plates and bowls were empty.

Kinky told us that they were headed to Wolfmuellers. And, we told Kinky that we were, too. Kinky and Little Jewford left the building and so did we.

When we arrived at Wolfmuellers Books, Jon, Sandy, Kinky and Jewford greeted us! Then Jon comes up and hands me a box, that Mari, had dropped off last week—for me. “Mari told us that she is always reading, on your blog, about y’all dropping by here, and all of the fun we have, so she decided to drop by—hoping to catch y’all here. She was sick, that she had just missed y’all.”

I opened up the box, to find the cutest stuffed turtle and some pages, copied off of the internet, a fact sheet about Richard Boone, who played Paladin, in the classic television Western series, “Have Gun Will Travel,” which aired from 1957 to 1963. I loved that show! It was in black and white, and thirty minutes long. My entire family was hooked on it—we never missed an episode.

“Mari, wanted you to see this. There is a picture in here, that Mari and her mother—think looks just like Kinky,” Jon said. “Here let me show it to you.” Jon turned the pages and found the picture. “Here it is with Mari’s note written below it.” I read Mari’s note and then looked closely at the picture.

“Oh my gosh,” I said. “It sure does look like Kinky—hat, cigar and all! How cool!” Jon agreed with me, and then we turned around and joined the groups roundtable discussion.

Little Jewford was hilarious, he had us cracking up the entire time, as Jon helped Kinky find the phone number for a car rental place in town. I told Tony’s joke about ‘Thirteen’ and everyone thought it was very funny. After about thirty minutes in the book store, Jewford announced they were leaving, so he could drop Kinky off, on his way out of town, at the car rental place—to pick up a mini-van. We all burst out laughing—including Kinky!

Someone said, “Kinky’s a soccer mom, now! He’s got to go pick up the kids!” Someone else said, “Are you taking the team to Chuckie Cheese after school?” Tony said, “Maybe it will come with a bumper sticker that reads, “Visualize a five pound bass!” We were relentless. Finally, after the last wisecrack—Kinky picked up his guitar, said goodbye to all of us, and then he and Little Jewford left the bookstore to go get his mini-van.

Tony and I left five minutes later, after a few more funny wisecracks.

P.S. Mari, I love the little turtle and plan on hanging it from the tin ceiling, in my Space Ship— right next to Judy’s personalized metal art hanging—a metal short story—of a Flying Gabrielle! Please come out and see us, and I promise the next time we are going over to see Sandy and Jon—we will give you a call! Thank you! We love you, and those famous NoMads!

Cream Of The Crop!

I have been receiving hundreds of e-mails, asking for my corn casserole recipe, that I stole from my dear friend, Renee. It is delicious, and I hope that y'all will try it!
P.S. You're next Mari!
Cousin Nancy’s Corn Casserole

1 can of cream style corn (or organic corn with a Tbs. corn starch and 1 tsp. organic sugar)
1/4 cup of organic olive oil
1/2 tsp. organic garlic
1 organic egg
1/2 cup of corn meal
1/2 tsp. Alessi salt
1 small can of Hatch green chiles
1 cup of grated organic sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions: Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


When we reached the car, we were shocked at what we saw! Cher! It was Cher sitting in the front seat of a fancy black sports car! Tony and I were in shock and speechless, as Cher stared back at us—grinning from ear to ear! “Cher,” I said. “You are still so beautiful. Oh my gosh, it’s been over three years since we saw you last. This is such a great surprise! Rick, Leisa, Cher is here! I want y’all to come over and meet her and her friends!” Rick and Leisa came over to the car, and I then introduced everybody! It was hot outside, so I invited everyone to go into Outer Space.

After everyone sat down, Rick said, “No one in Port A is going to believe that we met Tina Turner and Cher, went into Outer Space several times, slept on a ‘Spirit’ mattress with pink sheets, got to take a tour of Cousin Nancy’s Space Ship, slept in Cousin Nancy’s writing cabin, and had several fun visits with Kinky! I promise, no one is going to believe us.” Everyone laughed.

Cher and her friends visited with us for a couple of hours, and then they had to leave. I asked if I could take a picture of her for my blog and she just smiled. So I ran, I mean skipped, off to get my camera. When I returned, I said, “One, Two, Three.” Here’s Cher’s picture! It’s a little fuzzy because I had it on the wrong setting.

After Cher and her friends left, Tony took Leisa and Rick fishing, down on the creek, while I started preparing dinner—zuchinni casserole and corn casserole. About an hour later, they returned. Then Leisa and Rick told us that they would be right back—they had something for us.

When they returned, Rick walked in with a couple of bottles of champagne! “It’s now time for Happy Hour! Let’s celebrate!” Then Leisa walked in with a gift bag and a card and handed them to me.

I opened the beautiful card. Leisa and Rick wrote a very sweet note to Tony and me—thanking us for inviting them to come stay here, and for all of the fun and excitement. When I opened up the bag, I found a beautiful turquoise journal for me, and The New York Times Bestseller book, “The Darwin Awards—Survival of the Fittest!” Earlier that morning, Rick had been giving rave reviews to us, about it being one of the funniest books he had ever read! The book is about commemorating individuals who improve our gene pool, by removing themselves from it! Tony and I thanked them for their gifts, and then Rick popped the cork!

“Get out your champagne glasses, Cousin Nancy!” Rick said.

“We don’t have any,” I said, as I reached up into the cabinet, and pulled out four, light blue, fifty-cent, drinking glasses—from Wal Mart. “Will these work?”

“They’re perfect!” Rick declared, as he started pouring the bubbly.

Leisa, who is a sweet, beautiful, swanky woman, grabbed her ‘Simply Orange Juice’, from the fridge and said, “Make mine a Mimosa, please.” Rick poured the champagne into her glass, and then chased it with the orange juice! I was shocked!

“What in the world is a Mimosa?” I asked. “I’ve never heard of that drink. Have you Tony?” Tony shook his head sideways.

Rick and Leisa both started laughing. “Kinky’s right. Y’all don’t get out much—do ya?” Rick teased. “It’s half orange juice and half champagne. It slows down the alcohol. Do you want one?”

“Nope,” I said. Then we went outside—and entered Outer Space. “I want to make the first toast!” I said. “To hurricanes that change directions, and bring good friends together!” I took a swallow, and felt a buzz immediately.

Our hurricane party had commenced, with Tony telling his latest joke. “There was this man walking down the sidewalk, next to an insane asylum, which had a boarded up privacy fence, so the crazy patients inside couldn’t see out, and the public couldn’t see in. As he walked, he heard the looney toons inside, saying, ‘thirteen, thirteen, thirteen’ over and over again, and getting louder and louder each time. Wondering why in the world they kept repeating the word ‘thirteen,’ he found a hole in the fence, and put his eye up to it, to see. Immediately, he was— poked in the eye, by a finger from one of the crazy people! Then he hears them saying, ‘fourteen, fourteen, fourteen...!’”

Our “We Like Ike” (because he changed directions) party lasted for about an hour, and was so much fun! When we came inside to eat, I realized that I had forgotten about the casseroles baking in the oven for an extra forty-five minutes! When Tony pulled them out of the oven, they were smoking and not the right colors—yellow (corn) and red (tomato sauce). Instead, their color was—your basic black. We had a good laugh about it, and ate the burnt casseroles anyway. Everyone lied about them tasting just fine, but I knew better. I scrubbed and scrubbed the pans.

Sunday morning, after a breakfast filled with laughter, Leisa and Rick loaded up their truck to go back to Port Aransas. Tony and I hated to see them leave, because their visit had been so much fun! We love those two!

P.S. If anyone in Port A reads this blog, please make a point, to ask Leisa to tell you about her pig-walking adventure!

P.S.S. “The Darwin Awards” book is hilarious!

Last P.S. Mari, of the NoMads—I’m blogging about you tomorrow!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Load Up!

The next morning to our surprise—the dog was still under the cabin, and the food had been eaten! Around seven o’clock, Rick and Leisa came inside the trailer to check on the hurricane. As I cooked breakfast, Rick reported that Ike had made a hook and switched directions. Galveston and Houston were hit hard, and I didn’t need to worry anymore about the wind and rain. I was so relieved.

As we ate breakfast, the subject turned to the dog under my cabin. “I’ve just come up with a name for the dog!” I said. “Her name is—Tina Turner! You know—Ike and Tina.” Everyone loved the dog’s new name and thought it was perfect! I love naming our dogs.

After breakfast, Rick announced that he was going to go outside and try to catch Tina. He grabbed a couple of leftover flour tortillas, and then scooped up the remaining scrambled eggs, and went outside. Rick placed the bowl with the scrambled eggs, about three feet from the cabin, and then he scooted over about three feet and began tossing—small pieces of the tortillas near the bowl. Nothing happened.

Fortuntely, a couple of minutes later, Tina crawled out, and started eating the tortilla bits. Leisa and I were watching from the door and window—holding our breaths and whispering things like, “Come on Tina. Come on girl, you can do it.” Then Tina went back under the building. She couldn’t do it.

Rick then tossed a few more tortilla pieces and Tina came back out, and ate them. Then with her guard up, she cautiously went over to the bowl and quickly devoured ‘Cousin Nancy’s Scrambled Eggs!’ Everyone loves my eggs! Then Rick held out—at arms length, the last half of the tortilla. No one moved, inside or outside of the trailer. I had immediate goosebumps, when Tina walked up to Rick and took the tortilla from his hand! Rick patted her on the head and then she quickly went back to her old hiding place. She was out of sight, but not out of mind. Rick returned to the trailer.

A few minutes later, Tony returned from his ‘Coffee Happy Hour’ in Medina, at the Old Timer. We quickly filled him in on Tina, and then we discussed what we should do next to capture her. Tony came up with a good plan, so after eating his breakfast, he scooped up some dry dog food, grabbed a can of dog food and—went outside.

He filled Tina’s dog dish with the dog food, and then he picked up her bowl and her water bucket, and headed down the fence line to the fenced yard, which is between Outer Space and his garden. He went to the far side of the garden fence, and placed her bowl and water there. Then he went to the opposite side and squatted down. Rick then went to our front gate, let himself out, and just stood there talking to us in Outer Space, hoping to close the gate behind her—if she went into the yard, to eat more food.

In less than a few minutes, Tina timidly walked the fence line, and then she entered that yard, went to the far corner, and began eating, with her back to Rick, as he quietly and quickly, slipped up from behind, and closed the gate! Tina didn’t notice, because she was too busy eating!

When Tina Turner had finished her meal, she turned around and checked out the yard. Tony stood up, and then he began slowly walking towards her, and she stood her ground, with her tail tucked between her back legs. She was shaking and so scared.

Tony then squatted down, about three feet from her, and began talking to her softly, as he held out his hand towards her. After his short conversation with her, still shaking, she walked up to Tony, and let him pet her on the head. Then she slowly began wagging her tail. Goosebumps time again! We all had them!

Tony then sat down beside her, and kept talking to her and petting her, as Rick entered the yard. She let Rick pet her, too. “Tina,” Tony said, wearing a smile. “Is going to be just fine. Aren’t you girl?”

Rick agreed with Tony, “She was just scared. She is going to be one great dog for someone. Hey Tony, you ought to think about taking her. Blue’s gone now, and she would be perfect for you. Border Collies are smart dogs—like Heelers. And, she is definitely a full blooded Border.” Tony didn’t say a word.

I couldn’t wait to meet Tina Turner in person, so I took off for the barn to get her some toys and treats before introducing myself to her. When I returned with tennis balls and treats—I entered the yard. Tina had already relaxed with the guys. She was sitting on command for Tony, and her tail was now where it was supposed to be and doing what it was supposed to do—high up and wagging nonstop!

Tina came to me, and she let me pet her. I gave her the treats and the balls. I was so happy for her! “Have y’all checked to see if she is a Tina or an Eisenhower? ”

“She’s a Tina—a Democrat,” Rick joked. “Not a Republican. Come here Tina. Good girl.” We all played with Tina, and she seemed to enjoy it! By the time we left her yard, Tony had her—fetching tennis balls and running around the yard in delight! We were all on cloud nine, even though it was full moon time, again.

As soon as we were back inside the trailer, I phoned Kinky to tell him the good news about Tina Turner. After that it was time for me to fix our lunch. While I was preparing lunch, Rick grabbed a leash, hanging from the bookcase, and went outside to Tina’s yard, to take her for a short walk.

Rick told us, when he returned after their walk, that Tina walked great on a leash, and he thought Tina must have been someone’s ranch dog, because when they reached Trigger, the tailgate was down, and when he said, “Load up.” Tina knew exactly what to do—she immediately jumped up, into the back of the truck, with her tail wagging wildly. Another clue to help solve Tina’s story.

For lunch, I served Renee’s new recipe, that she gave to me, which is now known as ‘Cousin Nancy’s Corn Casserole,’ along with my delicious ‘trailer-made’ asparagus soup. Everyone loved it! In fact, Leisa asked for both recipes!

Around two o’clock Saturday afternoon, a car showed up at the rescue ranch. Tony and I went to find out who was here. When we reached the car, we were shocked at what we saw...

To be continued, again...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hide And Seek!

Last Thursday morning, after watching a weather report, I e-mailed my good friends, Pete & Kelly, Rick & Leisa and John, in Port Aransas, Texas, telling them, that they were all welcome to come up here and stay, as long as needed— if Ike got icky! I was worried about their safety.

Pete and Kelly wrote back—they were headed to San Antonio. John wrote back, that he would drive up if need be. And, Rick called later that morning, “Cousin Nancy, Leisa and I are getting out of here and heading your way—right now!”

I then took off for the HEB, in Kerrville, to get more supplies. It was a quick trip. After returning to the rescue ranch, I put up the groceries, and then Hazel came out of the closet, and went to work, trying to make the place look like we didn’t live here!

After fifteen minutes—the dust finally settled. Our place looked like someone else lived here, not us, not Ozzie and Harriett, but more like the Adams Family. Cobwebs were hanging from everywhere, filled with a collection of dust, dog and cat hair, and a few dead spiders and moths! Yuk! So, Hazel went back to work, and Lucky went into the closet to hide from my purple colored vacuum cleaner.

Twelve minutes later—Lucky came out of the closet, and Hazel reentered it. Our trailer looked almost clean, as long as no lights were turned on.

Then it hit me! Where are Leisa and Rick going to sleep? The Space Ship was under construction and my writing cabin was full of boxes and sacks, filled with stuff to put into the Space Ship, once the construction was complete. I decided to let Leisa and Rick decide.

They arrived about sixish! After several hugs, we invited them to go into Outer Space with us to drink a beer or a glass of my fine boxed wine—to wind down. They didn’t hesitate. When Happy Hour was over, we took them to the Space Ship and then showed them the cabin. They were impressed with both!

They decided that they wanted to stay in the cabin, because it had air conditioning and electricity—a good choice. We flipped on the two air conditioners immediately, and then Tony and Rick hauled my new pink ‘Spirit’ mattress from the Space Ship and they put it on the floor of my cabin. I brought them my brand new pillows, hot pink sheets, and pillowcases and the new quilt. They were happy, and told us that they would be just fine. And, to my amazement, Rick told me that he had no problem sleeping on the pink ‘Spirit’ mattress, with white clouds on it, or the hot pink sheets.

Later that evening, while we were in Outer Space, Rick said, "I see a dog over there. Who's dog is that?" We looked, but didn't see it. It had disappeared. Tony told him that it was probably a deer that Rick had seen.

Friday morning, I cooked up some scrambled eggs with sharp cheese, along with my version of hash browns—some sautéed organic chopped potatoes, bell pepper, onions, and mushrooms, in organic olive oil. As I cooked breakfast at seven o’clock, that morning, Rick was drinking a cup of Paul Newman’s organic coffee, while tracking Ike’s path, on my laptop, and giving us updates. It was scary and fun at the same time. And yes, there was plenty of laughter that morning, because Rick, like our good friend, Drew— is one of the funniest men on the planet— and would have, should have—been a comedian.

Following breakfast, Aaron came inside the trailer, to tell us that there was a dog, on top of the mountain, behind our trailer barking! Tony grabbed our binoculars, and Rick went to the cabin to get his. We all took turns with the binoculars, to see the dog on top of the mountain. It sounded scared and looked real skinny! “Poor dog,” Tony said. “I bet someone (he used another few descriptive words) dumped that poor dog out.”

We agreed with Tony's assessment. Then we all started whistling, and calling for the dog to come down. It would bark back at us, and then go hide behind a tree or a bush. It was definitely scared of us and had every right to be. Why should it trust any human—after being dumped.

Aaron then took off in Kermit, to get some canned and dry dog food, and when he returned, he went behind our trailer and climbed a little ways up the steep mountain, where he left a dish of dog food—hoping the dog would eventually come down and eat it.

We couldn’t get up to the top of the mountain, because we were too O.L.D., it was too steep, and the road had washed out years ago. We went outside three or four more times during that day to call to the dog. By five o’clock, we spotted the dog near the back of Tony’s garden, but it wouldn’t come to us when we called, instead, it would run off to hide. It was so sad.

Later that evening, Leisa and Rick saw the poor dog go under my cabin to hide. So, Tony put a bucket of water and a pan of dog food near the cabin, and then he walked away.

The next morning, to our surprise...

To be continued tomorrow...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We Are All Fine! No Rain Or Wind!

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that we are fine—thank goodness! I have a story to tell about our latest rescue—Tina Turner! I will blog it later today.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yee Haw! We're Talkin' A Kinky Ranch Roundup!

I have some very exciting news and I hope y’all can come to this event! It is going to be a blast! I can't wait!

Kinky Friedman's Ranch Roundup - Help Kinky Help Utopia

Be one of the lucky few to experience this one-time-only event!

Saturday, October 25, 2008 - Gate opens at 1:00 PM

Kinky Friedman and musical pals, Little Jewford and Washington Ratso will be in Texas for an unprecedented event! The Kinkster's trio will perform the show that blew through Europe and the United States East Coast with rave reviews and sellouts everywhere, for one performance only at Kinky Friedman's private home, Echo Hill Ranch (Medina Texas area) -- the much storied ranch featured in his mystery novels.

The event will feature:

*Dinner with Kinky - Echo Hill Ranch dinner served (included in ticket price)

*Guided tours of Utopia Rescue Ranch during the afternoon

*Self-guided nature walks on Echo Hill Ranch

*A surprise early birthday celebration for Kinky

This will be your last chance to see Kinky, Little Jewford & Washington Ratso together in 2008.

Proceeds from Kinky Friedman's Ranch Round-Up benefit Kinky's favorite cause, the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. Utopia is a nonprofit no kill animal shelter that rescues abandoned and/or abused animals, nurtures them and places them with loving families.

A limited number of tickets are available -- get yours soon, this event is guaranteed to sell out!

For more information and to purchase tickets please go to: kinkyfriedman.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spaced Out!

Well, y’all are not going to believe how delicious Drew’s, I mean my, asparagus soup was yesterday! It was so quick and easy to make, and truly the best soup that I have ever tasted! Tony absolutely loved it and got seconds. I didn’t because I was full, so I put the remaining soup, in a container and froze it. I really hope that everyone tries the recipe—I guarantee, that you will love it!

Today, after watching the latest updates on Hurricane Ike, Tony and I decided to run to Kerrville, to stock up on supplies at WalMart—just in case—Ike gets Icky. After parking Buttermilk, I grabbed a nearby shopping cart which kept veering off to the right, so when I spotted another abandoned cart, I switched to it, which was not a wise decision, because it kept veering off to the left—as I tried to push it. Tony and I were laughing about it, when I found another empty cart, just before the Wal Mart Greeter—greeted us. “Third time’s the charm,” I said, as I switched carts, again. And, I was right, it was in good working condition!

After stocking up on supplies, Tony and I quickly returned to the rescue ranch. I had two new messages on the answering machine, both from Kinky, asking me to please call him as soon as we got home!

“Nance,” Kinky said. “Are y’all back at the ranch?”

“Yes, we just got back. What’s going on?”

“Little Jewford and Debora drove down for a visit, and they really want to come over to see the Space Ship and go into Outer Space with you, Tony and me. Would it be okay for us to come over there?”

“Good grief, Kinky! Of course they can come over—we would love to see them. Come on over.”

“Cousin Nancy, says it is fine for us to come over,” Kinky said. “Great, Nance. Thanks. We’re leaving now.”

A few minutes later, Kinky drove up, with Little Jewford riding shotgun, in the front seat, and Debora sitting in the backseat. After hugs and handshakes, we first went to the Space Ship and climbed aboard. They loved it and could not believe how cool it was! Then we went over to my writing cabin, and they loved it, too! Then we all climbed the steps, and went into Outer Space! They loved it of course, and could not believe that Ronnie and Tom had built it in a day and a half for us. They were really, really impressed.

It was a really fun visit with them, thanks to Little Jewford’s many witty and often funny remarks. He kept all of us laughing! He really is a natural comedian, and definitely one of the best.

Unfortunately, Debora, Little Jewford and Kinky didn’t stay long enough, but Deborah and Little Jewford promised to return to Outer Space soon—maybe the latter part of October! And Kinky promised that he would be back tomorrow afternoon, so he can have a private picnic with Toto and the rest of my gang—in Outer Space! Toto can’t wait! The others don't know.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Purple Passion!

Yesterday, Tony and I went to Kerrville to run some errands. Our first stop was at Wolfmueller’s Books, so we could return the DVD ‘Palo Pinto Gold’ that Sandy and Jon had loaned to us.

When we arrived, Jon and Mary Jo greeted us and then Sandy came out of their office and joined us. As usual, we had a round table discussion, even though the table wasn’t round, about the movie and other topics. After too much laughing—we left the book store—and then headed to Drew and Renee’s house, to see if we could help them with their iPod.

We stayed at their house for about thirty minutes and had a great time. Unfortunately, we couldn’t help them with their iPod, but we drove away with Drew’s recipe for asparagus soup!

We then went to the post office and then stopped at HEB to buy a few groceries, which now included asparagus and heavy cream!

When Tony and I returned to the rescue ranch, I had nine new phone calls to return, so Tony unpacked the groceries, as I reached out and touched someone—over and over, again.

After telling nine different people, that wanted to dump their wonderful dogs on us, because they’re getting a divorce, moving and their new apartment didn’t allow dogs, boyfriends telling their girlfriends to get rid of their dog, etc.—that we were full, with no space available—I was exhausted and became a little depressed about those poor dog's situations and teared up.

Not wanting to cry or be depressed, I turned on my iPod and really cranked up the volume. Then I went to the closet and pulled out— my purple vacuum cleaner, which I named Hazel, and then took her outside for a spin.

Hazel and I went into Outer Space, along with Thunder, Little Girl, Hank and Toto. Lucky, our cat, did not want to go with us, because he hates Hazel—with a purple passion. My best friends jumped up on the rocking chairs, and when they were all seated—Hazel went to work.

Within ten minutes Hazel quit—Outer Space sparkled, once again. Then we all returned to the trailer and I returned Hazel to the closet. I was feeling much better. I love my dogs, cat, iPod, Hazel, and of course Tony, Kinky, family and all of my dear friends. The rest of my day was great! Here’s Drew’s recipe:

Cousin Nancy’s Super Asparagas Soup


1 Lb. of organic asparagas
1 large organic onion
2 Tbs. organic flour
2 Tbs. organic olive oil
4 cups of organic vegetable broth
1 cup of organic heavy cream

Instructions: In a large skillet add chopped onion, flour and olive oil. Cook onions until translucent. In a stock pot add broth and asparagus. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 7 minutes. Then add all ingredients into the Vita-Mix blender and puree. Then pour mixture back into stock pot and add the heavy cream. Warm back up and garnish with black pepper! (Do not let it boil)

For lunch today, I am fixing it along with my famous chicken salad recipe that I also stole—from some innocent friend! Have a great day!

P.S. I’m going to invite Kinky over for lunch.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Going Green!

This morning I made Cousin Nancy’s Mega Smoothie and it was delicious! It consisted of: soy milk, pomegranate juice, blueberries, apple, carrots, ginger, flaxseed, protein powder, real maple syrup—(not Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin, etc., which have no maple syrup in them at all) yogurt, beets, raisins, bell pepper, banana, avocado, pecans, almonds, cinnamon stick, and pear—the normal ingredients. Then for the first time, I added some dark chocolate, peanut butter—and the secret ingredient that Drew and Renee had given to us—during the ‘Tres Amigos’ birthday party—ChlorOxygen!

The morning following the party, I read the brochure about ChloOxygen and found that it helps build red blood cells, increases oxygenation, boosts energy and will permanently stain fabrics, building materials, etc.!

When I put the recommended thirteen drops into a glass of water, it immediately turned the water, the same color of green that is in my hummingbird feeders. Scared that it might permanently stain my teeth green, which is the last thing I need—I used Tony as a unknowing guinea pig, and had him drink a glass of it, first. Yes, I am truly trying to be green, but better Tony’s teeth than mine!

After Tony downed my dark green concoction, he told me that it didn’t have any taste to it at all. So, I then started trying to make conversation with him—hoping to catch a glimpse of his teeth. I then quickly realized that I couldn’t see his teeth at all, because of his thick, handsome mustache. The solution—I had to make Tony laugh.

“Tony, you know how you always tease me about my accent and miss pronouncing things,” I said. “Well, let me tell you this. When I was a kid, about nine years old, I was outside, in the backyard, on the patio, helping, but mainly watching Mom grill her famous, ‘Katie Burgers.’ I accidentally touched the hot charcoal grill, and burned my finger, and I started crying!

Mom immediately came to my rescue! “Nancy, go into the house and bring me out the foille!” I took off running for the house! I truly ran—not skipped, like I do nowadays.

“When I returned with a box of heavy duty aluminum foil, Mom laughed out loud! “No, Doodle Bug, (my nickname back then) not aluminum foil—I meant the tube of Foille—for burns. It’s in the pink bathroom medicine cabinet.”

It worked! Tony laughed out loud, and his teeth were a lighter shade of pale—not green! I was so relieved!

P.S. Kinky is returning to the ranch tonight!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It Was Fantastic!

Yesterday, after we closed, Tony and I took off for Photography 414— in Fredericksburg! It was fabulous! We had a wonderful time!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Garage Sale!

Today has been fun. Tony, Ben and I went to lunch in Medina, because Ben wanted to treat us to lunch. Ben had a bacon cheeseburger, and Tony and I had veggie burgers. After lunch, we went to a garage sale and loaded up! For only $24.00, we drove away—with a table chair, an old milk can, a rusted metal plant stand, that looks like a pig (and will soon be painted pink), two small wooden wall shelves, for the Space Ship, four cobalt blue drinking glasses and a saw! Then we returned to the rescue ranch.

I did some paperwork, while Tony, Ben and Aaron worked on the Space Ship’s new tin ceiling. Once I put some trim boards up—it will then be finished. Then the last thing I will have to do is finish out the restroom! I love my Space Ship!

Around 4:00, Ben and I went over to the Lodge, to visit with Kinky. After Kinky had finished eating an early dinner, we decided to go outside to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, but before we did that, Ben asked Kinky to sign a guitar and some books. Then we exited the Lodge.

When I saw Kinky’s new hibiscus, I grabbed my camera and shot it. Then I shot Kinky’s Buddha dog, that our friend, Nancy L. gave to him. It looked like it was hiding, in the four o’clocks.

Then we sat down and discussed some future plans, as the dogs played in the yard. At one point, Ben’s dog Valerie—jumped up on the bench with Ben and she sat down on his lap and showered him with kisses. Then Ben spun her around, and I shot them, just as his dog Penny had jumped up on the bench to give Ben a kiss or two. During this whole time, Gooie was running around us, serenading us with his stuffed toy, that plays rap music! It was hilarious!

Then it was time for me to get back over to the rescue ranch, and for Ben to pack up, and head back to Austin.

P.S. I am excited about tomorrow! Tony and I will be going to Photography 414, in Fredericksburg! They are having an opening reception, for the famous photographer—Imogen Cunningham! It is called, 'Timeless' You can check it out at: photography414.com

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cool, Clear—Water!

I am so glad that Kinky is back! This morning I went over to the Lodge for a visit with him. The first thing that Kinky did, when I arrived, was to hand me a magazine called, ‘Spirit’ —August 2008 edition. On the cover was a beautiful picture of an orangutan. “Nance, I think you will really enjoy the story about a woman, who has a sanctuary in Florida, for chimpanzee's and orangutans.”

“Thank you, Kinky. I can’t wait to read it,” I said. “I love orangutans so much! Did you know, that I got to bottle feed and change a baby orangutan’s diaper—when I worked at the Fort Worth Zoo, as a kid? It was awesome, holding that adorable baby in my arms—as it tugged on my long brown hair. That is one of my claims to fame, for me.” Kinky and I had a great visit and then I returned to the rescue ranch.

Around 5:00, Tony, Ben and I went over to the Lodge to see Kinky. Brian Kanof, the incredibly great photographer, from El Paso, was there. We had a short, but fun visit, before Ben, The Mountain Man, challenged Tony to a game of pool.

The Medina Bulldog, grabbed his stick, Ben grabbed a stick, racked up the balls and the contest commenced! After two fairly short games— The Medina Bulldog - 2, Ben, The Mountain Man - 0! I loved it!

Then Brian challenged The Medina Bulldog! The Medina Bulldog 1, The Texas Western - 0! I loved it, again!

When Kinky entered the room, Tony asked him if he wanted to shoot a game of pool with him. “No, I have to make some more phone calls,” Kinky said. “Earlier today, I beat Brian in two games. I’m the new reigning champion at Echo Hill ranch.”

“Not anymore,” I teased. “Tony is!” Everyone laughed but Kinky. Then we went outside to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, so Kinky could show us his latest plant addition—a beautiful hot pink hibiscus!

After admiring the beautiful bloom, we all went for a hike, to a beautiful place, on the ranch, known as, Big Foot. It was a lot of fun walking, talking and watching The Friedmans playing with Ben’s two beautiful pit bulls, Valerie and Penny, which Ben adopted from us—many years ago.

When we reached Big Foot, the dogs immediately jumped into the creek—swimming, jumping and laying in the cool, clear water. We stayed there, for over twenty minutes, before returning to the Lodge. It was a great hike!

When we reached the Lodge, Tony and I said our goodbyes and returned home to the rescue ranch. I am so glad that Kinky’s back.

I have just finished reading the magazine article, that Kinky asked me to read. It was a beautiful story, and I hope that y’all can find a way to read it, too. It is titled: ‘Back to Nurture’ by Mike Darling about Patti Ragan.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Driving Miss Daisy!

This morning, after Aaron and Tony did their chores, Tony had to go to San Antone, so I asked Aaron to help me put up the new tin ceiling in the Space Ship. The first, two foot by five foot strips, of tin went up pretty easily. Then we ran into trouble.

This cranking deal on the ceiling, which is used to tune in television, was hanging down about three inches from the ceiling. I knew that I was not going to be using it, so we decided to get rid of it, by grinding off the metal cranking mechanism, so Aaron went to get our grinder.

When he returned to the Space Ship he said, “What? What’s wrong?” I guess he could tell something was wrong, by the expression on my face.

“Aaron, I am scared about starting a fire,” I said. “We are going to have sparks flying off everywhere. I can just see it now. Tony comes home, and I tell him that we burned up the Space Ship, but the ceiling really looks good—just a little smoke damage. I have already put the cushion and cleared out the ‘great room,’ so nothing will catch on fire—knock-on-wood. But I am still not so sure about this.”

“You’re right about a possible fire, but I think the two of us could put it out real fast. Don’t worry—I’ll be careful.” Aaron then picked up the grinder.

“Wait, Aaron!” I said. “Let me go get a bucket of water—just in case.” When I returned with a bucket full of water, Aaron proceeded to start grinding away. Sparks were flying all over, and I was scared to death, as I watched. Within less than a minute, the cranking handle—fell to the floor!

When I went to pick it up—it was really, really hot! I asked Aaron to check inside the hole to see how hot it was—next to the insulation. Aaron checked and confirmed that it was all really hot, up there, but he assured me that there would be no fire.

We then proceeded to cover the ‘great room’s’ ceiling, one panel, after another. Then it was time for Aaron to leave. As soon as he left, I felt the new tin ceiling and it was pretty warm—all over. I then made a plan.

If the Space Ship were to start smoking, I would first call the fire department, then turn out all of my dogs and Lucky, the cat, because our 200 gallon propane tank, behind our trailer, is only about thirty feet from the Space Ship, and it would surely explode.

I kept trying to calm down, and quit thinking about a fire, but I couldn’t. So I decided to water down all of the grass in the backyard and around the Space Ship. After that, I went inside our trailer, checked the phone for messages, and then went outside to sit in the Space Ship—just in case it caught on fire.

Ninety degrees and three hours later, I decided to leave the Space Ship, to check messages and get a glass of water. I stayed inside the trailer for about ten minutes, and then I returned to the Space Ship.

About forty minutes later, Tony showed up! As he admired Aaron’s and my tin work, I told him about the sparks and being scared. He checked the ceiling and told me it was just warm from the sun heating it. I was so relieved.

“Before coming home, I picked up Miss Daisy from Hoegemeyers. Her owner, met me there, and she told me that she was sick about having to return her to us. She was a really nice lady. I just put Daisy into Hannah Montana’s pen,” Tony said. “They seem to be getting along really well.” Tony and I then walked down to Miss Daisy’s pen and she looked adorable and seemed pretty happy. She and Hannah were playing chase. Here’s Miss Daisy:

Kinky called around six-thirty tonight, and he was already in Johnson City—headed our way! I can’t wait to see him!
P.S. I am so grateful that the Space Ship didn't catch on fire!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Diggin' Up Cones!

I have just turned on my salt lamp and my iPod. Steven Stills is singing “Everybody’s Talking At Me.” How Perfect!

This morning, my alarm clock woke me up at 6:30, so I could watch Kinky on Imus and then on Fox and Friends. Kinky was great on Imus, along with Little Jewford and Washington Ratso, but he was a no show on Fox and Friends—sorta.

At 8:15, I called Kinky to find out about him being a no show, and he told me that they had been on Fox and Friends before doing Imus, and it was real early, too. I am sick that I missed the show. I guess there was a miscommunication problem between us.

Today, I called my dear friend, Nancy D. After we had caught up with each other’s news, we started talking about getting old. “Nancy, a friend sent me a funny e-mail the other day,” I said. “It was about A.A.D.D.—aged attention deficit disorder—and I have it!”

“Really?” Nancy said.

“Yes,” I said. “It’s like in the morning, I will start to wash the dishes, but when I see a cobweb, I leave the room to go get the vacuum cleaner, but then when I get to the closet, I forget why I came into the room. Then I realize that I need to make the bed and then make it. I go back into the kitchen, see the dishes in the sink, and start to wash them, again—when the phone rings. (Pretty long sentence?) I grab a dish towel, dry my hands and then take the call. While listening to someone talking at me, I see the same cobweb, and make a mental note to vacuum it away. After finishing the conversation I successfully retrieve the vacuum and return to the cobweb and removed it. Then something grabs my attention! By the end of the day, having taken care of many things—I walk into the kitchen to find the dishes still soaking in the sink!”

Nancy is laughing her head off! “I must have it, too!” We both started laughing. Then she tells me about her older brother. “He was going down the steps of his apartment, and when he got halfway down the stairs—he forgot what he was going to do. Determined to remember, he sat down on a step, and tried to remember. He decided that he would sit there until he remembered. Two hours later, his wife came home. When she saw him sitting there, she asked him why he was sitting there? He said, ‘I don’t know. I can’t remember. And, he got up and followed his wife into the house!” We broke out laughing.

“Oh yeah,” I said. “And another great thing about aging is hearing loss. Nancy, as you know, Kinky and I are both getting hard of hearing—and we have fun with it! Like the time Tony and I went to Las Vegas with Kinky—three years ago. We were in a taxi, headed back to the Flamingo, after seeing Penn & Teller’s show, and then getting to visit with them following their show. Kinky was in the front seat, riding shotgun, I was sitting behind the cab driver and Tony was sitting behind Kinky. I always like to know where people are from, so I asked the driver. What I heard was, ‘Does the Pope *** in the woods?’ I said, ‘What, does the Pope *** in the woods?” Kinky started laughing. And then Tony says, ‘I’m getting you a hearing aid for your birthday.’ And, I still don’t know where the guy was from.” Nancy and I talked a little while longer and then hung up our phones.

An hour ago, a woman called wanting to return a dog to us. She was a very nice woman and told me the reason for returning the dog, was because she is old—65 years old. I told her that I, too was old. And then I told her about Nancy’s and my conversation. She laughed a lot.

Then the conversation returns to the dog. She told me that a month after adopting our dog, she broke her hip, and had to have hip surgery, and she was then unable to take our dog on daily walks, because she was scared she might fall. The lady said our dog was great, house broken, rode in cars great, but she’s a digger and I worry about it. (I could dig that.) She said, “I own a very unusual home in Kerrville. I have owned it for over fifteen years. What makes my home so unique is—it was built over a dump. I bet that I am the only person on the planet, that has a home built over a dump.”

I started laughing! “I’m sorry for laughing,” I apologized. “My trailer sits on the old Friedman dump. When we decided to move the rescue ranch to Echo Hill Ranch, Tom, Kinky’s father, had Tony and me drive over to show us where he wanted our trailer and the rescue ranch to be— he pointed to their families' dump. And, the dump was then filled in, and that is where our trailer sits.”

“Oh, my,” she said, “we’re two of a kind.” Then we both started laughing. “Since my surgery, the dog started digging, since I can’t walk her anymore. The other day, I was outside in the yard filling the many holes, and I discovered another hole with a piece of old barb wired fencing, about six inches below the ground! Six inches! Last week, the dog dug up a tip of an orange colored road cone, and brought it to me, and two days ago, the dog dug up an old Cub Scout belt, for goodness sakes!”

The whole time that she was telling me this, I was biting my lip, trying hard not to burst out laughing! “That’s not good,” I said. “When we get a heavy rain out here, I find all kinds of new things in the yard, the following day—that have washed up. In fact, a couple of years ago, after we had flooded out here, I found half of an old, dented, rusty flashlight, and an old key ring, with ten keys on it. I told Kinky, the other day, while we were sitting in Outer Space, admiring the best view on the whole ranch, ‘One person’s trash—is another person’s treasure.’”

“What? Did you say outer space?”

“Yes. That’s the name I gave to my new screened in porch, that my brother Ronnie and nephew, Tom, built for us, back in April. He’s a homebuilder up in Austin.”

“Oh, I see. I hate to give the dog back to the rescue ranch, but I am worried that the dog might dig up something that could hurt it. I love this dog. It is a perfect dog. I am sick about doing this.”

“Please don’t feel bad about returning the dog to us. We will pick it up tomorrow. And, I promise you, that it will get adopted out really fast, because it is one of the cutest dogs, that we’ve ever had. And, thank you for giving the dog a great home.”

“Thank you, so much. One last thing. I listen to you on the Harley Show, every Thursday morning. I love Harley, and you are too funny.”

“Thank you. I love doing Harley’s show, and I love Harley! Bye.”