Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day -O!

I am sorry for not blogging last night. I wanted to, but some good friends of ours came over.

Yesterday, was a great day, in fact, it was a greater day, than my usual great days, because we had an adoption! Here’s how my day went:

Yesterday morning, I got up earlier than usual, because I knew that a lot of people were coming out to visit our rescue ranch, take tours, walk our dogs and maybe have an adoption!

I always give tours of our trailer, because everyone, who comes out, wants to see it, go into Outer Space with us, go into my Space Ship and to also see my writing cabin. I don’t mind doing it at all, because I enjoy showing it off. So, before sunup, I had fed my furry friends, vacuumed, dusted, and washed a load of clothes!

The reason for my homework, was so I wouldn’t be embarrassed, as I was, a week ago Saturday, when I gave Sasha, Ken, Rebecca and Jack, a tour of our trailer—it was dirty, but not real dirty. It just needed vacuuming and dusting.

Linda T., up in Harker Heights, was going to be the first to arrive, she was driving three hours, to come walk our dogs all day, and I could not wait to meet her! She’s the nice race car driver who had offered to drive me to Houston, this weekend, to do calendar signings with Kinky and Little Jewford, then get me back home safely. How sweet is that!

Around 9:30, she left a message on the machine, telling me that she could not make it, and she was sick about it! She told me that she had to take her brother-in-law to the Emergency Room, around midnight! She had been up most of the night, and was totally exhausted, but he was okay. I was disappointed, but completely understood, and thank goodness he was okay.

Around 10:30, our wonderful neighbor, Heather, showed up with some members of her family! Tony and I gave them a tour, and it was a lot of fun! We finished up the tour at Mr. Ziffle’s pen, and everyone fell in love with him! Mr. Ziffle is such a great dog. He is highly intelligent, and is about two years old.

When it was time for them to return to Heather’s ranch, Tony and I didn’t want them to leave, because we were enjoying their visit, so much! Before driving away, Heather told us that she will see us again, during the holidays! We can’t wait!

As soon as they drove off, a van full of people drove up—they were from Dallas, visiting their mother, Sugar, who lives nearby, and they wanted a tour! So Tony and I gave them a tour, and they fell in love with our dogs, too! Then Clint, who works at Central Market in Dallas, saw Tony’s hat and said, “Miles of Chocolate, I have a cap just like that! We carry their chocolate and pear bread! People love it! Have you tried it?”

“Yes,” Tony said. “Ben Welch, who works out here, a few days a month, is Miles partner.”

“I know Miles,” Clint said. “I’ve not met Ben, yet.” We visited a little while longer and then they drove away.

Tony and I then came inside the trailer, and I made us homemade asparagus soup—it was delicious! Just after I had cleaned up the kitchen, Paul drove up, with his four best friends, that he and his wife had adopted from us—Susie, Gracie, Stella and Yetti! Paul and his crew didn’t stay very long, but we had a great visit! Tony and I love Paul! He and his wife, Marty have done so much to help our ranch!

Around 2:30, Tony left the trailer, while I was returning some phone calls. At three-fifteen, Tony came inside the trailer, to tell me that Emily had just been adopted, and I needed to fill out her adoption papers! “Tony this is great! I’m sorry, I didn’t know that they had arrived. Our dogs didn’t bark.” I quickly filled out our adoption form for Emily! Then we got into Kermit, and he took us out of the rescue ranch, to where there car was parked—outside of the ranch.

The reason they were parked outside of the ranch, was because earlier in the week, Jessica had called me, to tell me, that they were the ones who had adopted Teddy Roosevelt, from us last year. She said that Teddy was the greatest dog, and their family loved him, so much! Jessica told me that their old dog had passed away, and they wanted to adopt another dog from us, so Teddy could have a running buddy! She had asked if it would be okay to bring Teddy along, so they could try him out with whoever they picked. My answer was yes, but I did ask her to please park outside of the rescue ranch, so T.R. would not upset our dogs. She kept her word!

When Tone and I pulled up in Kermit, Teddy Roosevelt and Emily were best friends—with tails high and wagging! I was so happy for Emily, I teared up for a second, when I saw what a beautiful dog Teddy had turned into, and was thrilled that Emily had found her forever home with this great family! Tony and I visited with Jessica and her husband, Hays, as we watched their two beautiful children, Jackson and Summer, playing with Teddy Roo and Emily!

After Jessica filled out Emily’s adoption form, it was time for this lovely family to leave. We hugged and shook hands, and then they loaded up Teddy, and then Emily into their van! Tony took these pictures!

After they drove away, I told Tony, “Emily came back to the rescue ranch, because it wasn’t her forever home. This one is!” Then I teared up, again.

Y’all this is what it is all about! I love my job, and here’s a shout out to Jessica, Hays, Summer and Jackson—Y’all Rock!

P.S. I can’t wait to tell you what Tony and I are fixin’ to do! During breakfast this morning, we have decided to...

To Be Continued...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hello Houston!

I hope that y'all had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was great, but I have a confession to make. Yesterday, after posting my blog, Tony came inside the trailer and said, "Nance, let's go to Kerrville for a Thanksgiving dinner! We'll eat the tamales, later. Okay?"

On our way to Kerrville, we couldn't decide where to eat—Sandy and Jon's, Luby's or The Cracker Barrel. "Maribeth told me that The Cracker Barrel was much better than Luby's," I said.

Tony wanted to eat at Luby's, until we saw their packed parking lot! We decided to check out The Cracker Barrel's parking lot before choosing. As Buttermilk pulled into the turning lane, I said, "Look, Tony—it's a sign! There's a parking space open—by the front door! This is where we are meant to eat! How cool is that!"

Buttermilk turned into the parking lot, and filled the empty parking space! The place was crowded, with people sitting outside, rocking in the rocking chairs. Just before we entered the restaurant, I said, "Wouldn't it be funny if Maribeth was here!"

Tony then opened the door for me, and a familiar voice said, "Nancy! Tony!" It was Maribeth! "After you sign in, come outside and I will sit with you, while you wait for your table." Tony went inside, as Maribeth and I went outside.

"Maribeth, I can't believe this!" I said. "I literally had just said your name, and then there you were!" We had a fun visit with Maribeth, her daughter, Terry, and her granddaughter, Britney. Our turkey dinner—without the turkey, was fine. Then we came home. Tony watched football games and I watched reruns of Newhart.

Tomorrow, at 5:00, Kinky and Little Jewford will be at 'Murder By The Book' store, in Houston, signing our 2009 calendar! And, Sunday, they will be at the Barnes & Noble, Town & Country, at 2:00 to autograph our calendars!
I hope everyone goes to see them, and buys one or more of our calendars!

Tony just brought the mail in, and he is laughing out loud, "This is addressed to us, but it's definitely meant for you!" Then he starts laughing, again! I just opened it. "Tony," I said."It is our first 2008 Christmas card, wishing us Happy Holidays!" Then I opened the card and it said, 'that I was cordially have my hearing tested—for free, on Monday, December 8th! I am laughing, and I just took these pictures of it.

I'm not going to Houston tomorrow with Kinky and Little Jewford, and I'm not going to get my hearing tested either, because I know that I would flunk. Happy Hearing!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Last night, Tony and I made healthy, homemade tamales, for our Thanksgiving dinner, today! It was a lot of fun, and I am proud to say that we made thirty-one tamales! Count them!

This morning, at six o’clock, after we ate breakfast, we started cooking, the Thanksgiving dinner— for our dogs! Aaron called us at seven-fifteen, ‘I need coffee. I forgot that the Old Timer was closed. Can I come over, now?”

Tony picked up the phone. “We’ve got coffee. Come on over, the gate is—open.” Ten minutes later, Aaron was drinking a cup of coffee, in our kitchen. After drinking two cups, he and Tony went outside to get the four feed buckets.

This was Aaron’s first time, to ever cook a Thanksgiving dinner for forty-three homeless dogs, and he was anxious to get started! Since Tony and I have cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, for our dogs, for over ten years—it was still exciting! It always makes me tear up.

“Aaron, these are your two buckets and these are mine,” Tony said. “This is your drill with the paddle mixer and this one is mine.” Tony then picked up a large sack of premium dry dog food, and then poured it equally into the four buckets. “We’ll do the eggs next.” Tony handed Aaron a carton of thirty-six eggs. “Now, put eighteen eggs into your two buckets.”

As they cracked eggs, I stirred the vegetables in the giant pots on my stovetop. “When do we get to use the drills?” Aaron asked.

“Not yet,” Tony said, acting like a drill sergeant. I started laughing, because Neil Young was singing, ‘Comes A Time!’ He was singing, ‘Oh, Oh, This old world keeps spinning round...’ They didn’t get it.

Tony then handed Aaron a giant package of shredded cheddar cheese. Then they added the cheese, two big jars of garlic, and the two large bottles of olive oil. I grabbed the six large bags of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing and gave them—three bags each, to add to their buckets. “We’re ready to mix,” Tony declared.

As they mixed the food, I took a few pictures of them. Then there was a knock on the door! It was Josh! He had come to help us! When the men quit mixing, Aaron and Tony added the fifteen pounds of ground turkey, while Josh added twenty-four cans, of high dollar dog food, into the four buckets. “We’re ready to mix,” Tony said Aaron grabbed Tony’s big drill, and gave Josh the smaller drill—then they went to mixing!

As those two mixed, Tony removed the heavy vegetable pan from inside the oven and began pouring in the twenty pounds of hot, cooked mixed vegetables—corn, peas, green beans, carrots and lima beans!

While they were mixing in the last of the vegetables, I phoned Kinky. “Kinky, we’re fixin’ to serve our dogs their Thanksgiving dinner!”

“I’m on my way!”

Josh and Aaron turned off their drills, and the three of them carried out the four, very heavy, hot buckets of food, and they put them in Kermit.

“Happy Thanksgiving!” I said to the dogs, as Tony, Aaron and Josh began serving our dogs their warm—Thanksgiving dinner! I then started skipping around the pens to take pictures and to wish each dog a Happy Thanksgiving!

When Kinky arrived, he and I watched the awesome tail-wagging event unfold. When all of the dogs had gobbled up their meals, Tony, Aaron and Josh went back and fed everyone seconds!

After Aaron, Josh and Tony had finished washing out their buckets and utensils, Kinky visted with everyone.

I hope that y’all have as good of a Thanksgiving as I have had!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gobble, Gobble—Gobble!

Yesterday afternoon, Jon Wolfmueller called, and he left a message on our machine, “Cousin Nancy, this is Jon. Call me.”

It was nearly five o’clock, when I called Jon back. “Hi John! This is Nancy.”

“I know. Your books came in.”

“We just got back from HEB. It was packed full of people. What are you and Sandy doing for Thanksgiving?”

“We’ve got family coming in. Sandy is going to be cooking for twelve people. What are y’all doing for Thanksgiving?”

“Well, we had plans to go out to eat, but our friend had to cancel on us, which was fine, because I would rather stay home and cook our dinner—after we cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to our dogs.”

“Is Kinky going to help feed the dogs?"

"I think so."

What are you fixing for you and Tony”

“I was thinking about getting one of those turkey-in-a-box deals, so T. could have a holiday dinner, but I just couldn’t do it, after watching Imus this morning. His wife, Deirdre, started talking about all of the poor turkeys, and what they go through, etc. It really depressed me. So, I told Tony about it, and he told me that he didn’t care about eating turkey or ham. So guess what we are having?”


“I’m fixing homemade, mostly organic, meatless tamales!” Jon laughed. “That’s why we had to go to HEB this afternoon, so I could buy a tamale steamer pot, corn husks, tofu and the rest of the ingredients!”

Fast Forward—

Today, around twelve-thirty, Tony and I stopped by Wolfmueller’s Books, so I could pick up my books. “Hi Tony and Cousin Nancy!” Sandy and Jon both said. We said hello to them, and to Mary Jo. “Jon just e-mailed you a funny deal about Thanksgiving—that you have got to watch!” Sandy said. “When we saw it, we thought Nancy has to see this! It is hilarious!”

“I will check it out, as soon as we get back home.”

“No,” Sandy said. “Y’all come on back to my office, and I will show it to you, now. It’s on my computer!” Tony and I followed Sandy back to her office. Sandy pulled it up on her computer. “Nancy, this is about you, so sit in my chair. Ready?” Sandy clicked the play button!

Sandy, Tony and I laughed out loud, as we watched it! I hope that y’all will check it out! It was great!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of y’all! Gobble, Gobble—Gobble!

P.S. Tony is going to help me make our bean and cheese and tofu tamales this evening! If they don’t taste good, we have an emergency backup plan—Luby’s or Jon and Sandy’s house!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Higher Love!

Trust me, I do count my blessings daily and never take them for granted, and I am happy to say that today has been another great day for me! And, I love it! I’m sitting here at my kitchen table right now, smiling about today, while listening to Robert Palmer sing ‘Addicted to Love!’

This morning, before Sasha arrived with the thirty cases of cat food, given to her by her good friend, Larry Tucker—for our neighbor cat lady, I phoned Linda T.

I wanted to thank Linda for her kind letter, and her offer to drive me to Houston this coming weekend. Our telephone conversation was fun, and it lasted about as long as it took for Sasha to drive from Fredericksburg to Kerrville. Before hanging up, Linda told me that she wants to volunteer for us, and that she will be driving down here this Saturday—to walk our dogs! I can’t wait to meet this wonderful woman, who is willing to drive three hours, just to get down here! And, she told me that she will keep coming down to walk our dogs! I can’t wait!

Sasha arrived here around 10:30! After hugs, she met us down at the barn, where Tony, Aaron and Josh unloaded the canned cat food from her car.

Then I invited Sasha to come over to the Lodge, for a visit with Kinky. “Sasha,” I said. “After I told Kinky about y’all coming down here this past weekend, and walking our dogs, and then driving down here today, to help us help our neighbor, he said that he wanted to meet you.”

Being a big fan of Kinky, she couldn’t wait! We jumped into Kermit, and then took off for the Lodge! Kinky greeted us at the gate, and then invited us inside. Kinky thanked her for donating the cat food, and bringing it down from Austin. Sasha, then made it very clear that it was Larry Tucker, who needed to be thanked. “I called Larry and told him that I needed cat food, and he delivered! He is an angel.”

After a short visit in the kitchen, a tour of the Lodge, we went outside to visit by The Friedman Family Bone Orchard, so Kinky could puff away on his cigar, while Sasha threw tennis balls for Gooie to retrieve. It was a great visit! Here is a picture of Sasha with Kinky:

‘Higher Love’ is now playing, by Steve Winwood! Please remind me to tell you about what happened to me, at the Austin 5K in Austin, in the late 80’s! This song was the theme song for that run—skip! I hope that all of y’all have a wonderful evening—like I am having!

P.S. Thank you Larry Tucker and Sasha E.! Cats Rule, As Much As Dogs, As You Do, and Linda T.! We love y’all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shut Up, Nancy!

Guess what? Today has been another great day! It is now 6:24, I just turned on my salt lamp, and my iPod, to set the mood, and ‘Love Will Keep Us Alive’ by the Eagles has started playing—I love that song so much! I have just cranked it up a few more notches.

This morning, while I was over at Kinky’s discussing business, over some coffee—Sasha called the rescue ranch! Sasha, who was out here walking dogs with her three great friends, this past Saturday, has such great vibes, that on a scale of one to ten, ten being the greatest—she’s an eleven! I’m not kidding!

Anyway, Sasha and I played telephone tag today, but when we finally connected, twenty minutes ago—she had some great news! She is personally driving down here, from Austin, tomorrow morning, to deliver over thirty cases of donated, canned cat food, so we can deliver it to our friend, Nancy, down the road from us—to help her feed her many cats! Sasha will be coming around the mountain, about ten o’clock tomorrow morning, and Tony and I can’t wait to see her! Sasha definitely Rocks!

Today, I have been bombarded with hundreds of phone calls, messages and e-mails, begging me to come to Houston, for our calendar signings at Murder By The Book Store this Saturday, and the Barnes and Noble -Town and Country, on Sunday! In fact, today I received the sweetest and kindest handwritten letter, from a woman, Linda T., who I’ve never met. Linda lives in Harker Heights, up near the Belton and Killeen area. She is a former race car driver—and she has offered to drive me to Houston, and bring me back home safely! Linda’s letter touched my heart, as did all of the e’s and phone calls urging me to come to Houston this weekend.

Y’all, I can’t go to Houston this weekend, because I’m truly scared to death of big cities, and the fast-paced traffic. I can’t go because of health reasons. Seriously, big city traffic causes me so much stress, that I am afraid, it truly might cause me to have a heart attack. I didn’t use to be this way, but after living in the Texas Hill Country for over thirteen years, with no traffic anywhere, and now being fifty-seven years old, it is best that I stay home, with Tony, at the rescue ranch. I hope that y’all will understand, and I do appreciate all of the messages.

“Nance,” Kinky said, earlier this evening, while I was over there. “Mr. Magoo is fat! He has got to go on a diet!” Then Kinky reached into a box, and handed his dog, another dog biscuit! Then Kinky opened up a large can of dog food, and filled the paper plates scattered around the ‘big room.’ Gooie then went from plate to plate, as fast as he could, devouring all of the canned dog food! “What am I going to do?” Kinky asked, as Mr. Magoo raced past him—into the kitchen.

“Kinky quit feeding him so much,” I said. “You’re over feeding him, has made him the President of ‘The Friedman Fat Boy Club!’ Gooie just nudged my hand and said, ‘Shut up, Nancy! I’m working him!’” Kinky started laughing, and then he gave Goo-Man another dog treat!

Y’all have a great evening and take care!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

And, You Do The Same!

This afternoon, Tony and I took off for Kerrville, so we could go to HEB, to buy the groceries needed for our Annual Utopia Rescue Ranch Dog's Thanksgiving Dinner! When we arrived at HEB, we both grabbed shopping carts, and then I led the way into the store.

Tony followed me around the store, as we filled up our carts with 'real people food.' It took us over thirty minutes to complete our grocery list! After checking it twice—we went to check out our dog's groceries. As the young woman began checking us out, she said, "Looks like y'all will be cooking for a lot of people on Thanksgiving Day."

Tony and I chuckled. "A lot of dogs," Tony said. "We're cooking this food for our dogs."

The woman said, "What? How many dogs do y'all have?"

Tony and I smiled at each other, because this is always happening to us, when we buy hot dogs, in large quanity, for our dogs. For shock value, Tony said, "Forty-three right now— and that's not counting our six inside dogs." Then he and I started laughing.

"You have forty-nine dogs?"

Enough was enough. "We run the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, in Medina," I explained. " Along with Kinky Friedman. Every year, we cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for our dogs, and we serve them warm."

"How cool!" Carrie said. "Wow! I love it! I have two dogs! Are you Cousin Nancy?"

"Yes, and this is my husband, Tony. He is the ranch manager, and he actually takes care of all of our dogs." I said.

"Wow! I've heard you on Harley's radio show!" Then there was a pause. "That will be one hundred and twenty-eight dollars and twenty-three cents."

Tony pulled out a ranch check and filled in the amount.
We bought:
6 - HEB Mixed Vegetable Bags at 3.19 each = $19.14
6 - Pepperidge Farm Seasoned Stuffing at 2.69 each = $16.14
10 - HEB 85% Ground Turkey at 1.49 each = $14.90
5 - HEB 93% Ground Turkey at 2.49 each = $12.45
2 - Giant HEB Extra Light Olive Oil at 14.47 = $28.94
2 - 32 oz. jars of Minced Garlic at 4.99 = 9.98
2 - Large bags of shredded Cheddar Cheese at 8.99 = $17.98
2 - 36 count of Large Eggs at 4.35 = $8.70
Total Amount: $128.23

"Have a Happy Thanksgiving!"

"We will," Tony and I said. "And, you do the same."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

M & M's!

Today has been a great day and a lot of fun! After taking the photo of Jaws and Nemo—I returned Nemo back to the Lodge. Just as I was fixin’ to leave—Roy and Jo Nell G., from Utopia, arrived with Kinky’s cord of wood! As the four of us unloaded the wood from their trailer, we had a great visit with them. When their trailer was empty—they left, and then I left.

Today, Tony and I met some very nice people. While Paul was out here, a very nice retired couple from Canada, showed up on their bicycles. They are ‘snow birds,’ staying over at Koyote Ranch, for a few weeks, before heading further south. I liked them on the spot, and gave them a tour of the Space Ship, because they were staying in their RV. We had just started visiting, inside the Space Ship, with these nice people, when a van showed up. I ejected myself from the Space Ship, and went over to greet the people in the van. “Hi! I’m Cousin Nancy. Welcome to the rescue ranch!” Then this very nice woman came around the side of the van. “Hi Sasha! I’m glad that y’all made it!”

Sasha, who I had met at the Kinky Ranch Roundup, along with her friend Rebecca, had called me earlier this week, to ask if she and Rebecca could come down with some friends to volunteer today.

After Ken and Jack introduced themselves, I asked everyone to join Tony and Paul, and the two Canadians over by the Space Ship. (I wish that I could remember those two Canadian names, but a lot was going on.) After introductions, Tony and Paul left to go deliver some cat food, that Paul had delivered to us, for our neighbor down the road, who takes care of sixty cats—that were all dumped on her.

I then invited everyone to go into Outer Space for a short visit, and I really enjoyed it, but not as much as Thunder, Little Girl, Hank and Toto did! Sasha and her friends had come from Austin— with dog treats, and they generously handed them out, while all of us petted our old dogs. Conversations were flowing back and forth, and it felt like a family reunion. I loved these people, but not as much as my dogs did.

“Cousin Nancy,” Sasha said. “We came down here to volunteer. What do you want us to do? We will do anything.”

“Visit with our dogs, hand out treats, and take them for walks.”

Sasha was delighted! “We get to walk them and visit with them? We came prepared to work and do anything that you needed to get done. I can’t believe we get to walk your dogs, and get to visit with them!”

I then invited everyone inside for a quick tour of our trailer, and to let them meet Lucky, our famous three-legged cat. Since I hadn’t dusted or vacuumed today, or in other words, the trailer was a mess, no cameras were allowed, which was fine, because no one wanted to take any pictures—thank goodness!

When we went out to the front porch, I realized that my two new Canadian friends were gone! I know that they will come back, because earlier, they had asked if it would be okay for them to come out, to volunteer, and walk our dogs, while staying in the Hill Country.

First, I gave everyyone a tour of the ranch and our dogs, and then Tony showed up, and helped me finish the last half of the meet and greet tour. When we were done, Tony went to the barn and grabbed four leashes. They picked out which dogs they wanted to walk first, and Tony leashed them up, and the dog walking commenced!

Henry, Sparky, Opie, Honey, Blackie, Kahlua, Ashley Judd, Lucy, Nash Bridges, and our two adorable poodles, Muffy and Max, were the lucky dogs that went for walks today!

Jack and Sasha had just returned with Nash, and were visiting with Tony and me, while petting Nash non-stop, when they asked if they could take Muffy and Max for a walk. Tony went to M & M’s pen, put leashes on them, and then he handed off the leashes to Sasha and Jack, and they took off, and so did I.

Buttermilk and I went to get our mail on Hwy. 16. We then went over to the Lodge to drop off Kinky’s mail, and when I returned Muffy and Max were back in their pen, and Tony was sitting in Kermit—visiting with Sasha and Jack.

When I drove up to Kermit, they were all laughing! Jack told me that once they had left the rescue ranch, Max had eaten his leash in half and had run off—straight back into Tony’s arms! We visited for a short while, until Ken and Rebecca returned Lucy and Ashley Judd to their pen. Unfortunately, it was now time for them to leave, so they could get back to Austin.

Before leaving, Rebecca made a donation, and the others bought four calendars! The four promised to come back with more of their friends! I hope that they keep their promise, because our dogs loved them, and Tony and I now count them as friends.

Here is a picture that T. took of us, before they left for Austin. From left to right:
Jack, Ken, Rebecca, Me and Sasha!

I think the Canadians were Don and Susan. I hope y'all have a great evening!

Jaws vs. Nemo!

This morning, I went over to see Kinky and we had a nice visit. Before leaving the Lodge, I asked Kinky if I could borrow Nemo for a photo shoot—he said yes, and then he started laughing! I laughed all of the way back to the rescue ranch! I hope it makes you laugh, too!

P.S. Woody! Happy Birthday, again! We love you, and we really love that Rose threw you a surprise birthday party! You're a very lucky man to have married her!

Happy Birthday—Woody! You Rock!

Kinky, Tony and I, hope you have the best birthday ever! We love you and Rose!

Friday, November 21, 2008

You Get What You Pay For!

Yesterday, Kinky asked me to go online to get him a telephone number, so he could check on his order, of organic health food supplements, because it had been over a week, since he had placed his order. Then last night, Kinky called to tell me that he had just received his order! It was eight o’clock—delivered by FedEx.

This morning, Kinky invited me over for a cup of coffee and a visit. We had a good visit outside by The Friedman Family Bone Orchard, as Kinky threw—tennis balls, for Mr. Magoo to retrieve. After about fifteen minutes of tennis, we all went inside, because Kinky wanted to show me his free, new turbo blender—that came with his order.

When I saw it—I laughed out loud! “I don’t know how to use it, yet. This morning, I mixed the powder and water with a spoon. Nance, take a look at these product pamphlets” Then Kinky’s phone rang, and he went off to his office, to take the call.

I picked up the little box, from his kitchen table, and—pulled the tiny plastic blender out of the box. The box was proud of its blender, and used words like—Turbo, Tornadic Action, etc., and they even provided two free AA batteries! I started laughing, as I examined the itty-bitty plastic blade. It was half the size of a bobbie pin, and may have once been a bobbie pin! I then removed the bottom of the blender, and inserted the two batteries, and then twisted it back on. I pushed the button, and it went into turbonic action! Then I turned it off.

I was impressed with the Organic Certified, Fair Trade Omega-3 Fish Oil, imported all of the way from Norway, and when I read about the Organic Certified, Fair Trade powder, packed with twelve essential fruits and twelve vegetables—I was truly impressed with these products! Then Kinky returned to the kitchen. “What do you think, Nance?”

“Kinky—you done good,” I said. “I’ve read the labels, and you bought the best of the best! In fact, I plan to order some of this stuff, but I will tell them, to please not send me their free, amazing, eight inch tall blender.” Then I started laughing, and switched on Kinky’s high velocity, blending maniac, and then I quickly turned it off—so not to run down the batteries. Kinky started laughing, too!

“Kinky, I have ‘Jaws,’ my four-hundred and fifty dollar, Vita-Mix blender-that can cook or make ice cream, and you have this free, cute, little turbo action, powder mixin’ machine—I just love it! I think you should name it Nemo.”

Kinky picked up his little toy blender, and then switched it on—and we both burst out laughing, again! “Kink, I think we should have a Blend-Off—Jaws VS. Nemo! We could start out mixing water with food coloring, then move it up a notch, to water and powder, and then push it to water and an ice cube, etc.! I have got to bring Jaws over here, and get a picture of them side by side.”

We laughed about it, as Kinky walked me to Trigger, and then I drove home.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sorry, Nothing Much Happened Today!

Slow day. Will write tomorrow. Have a great evening!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Calendars Are Nearly Sold Out!

Today has been great and exciting! This morning, while Tony, Aaron and me were eating breakfast, the phone rang, and I let the machine take the call, while I was talking to old Thunder, telling her how much I loved her. “Nancy! Nancy!” Aaron said. “You’ve got to take this call! It’s your credit card people—something about fraud—idenity theft!”

I got up from the kitchen table, just as the woman hung up. I went to the phone, and listened carefully to her message, and wrote down the 1-800 number. I then glanced at the Caller ID—and it read—Caller Unknown! Hmmm.......

After Tony and Aaron put their dishes into the kitchen sink, they went outside to go to work. I then called the 1-800 number. “Fraud Department. Please give me your credit card number. I need to know your credit card number.”

“What?” I asked, feeling that maybe a scam was going down.

“I need your credit card number, please.”

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I have no idea who you are,” I said. “I will call the phone number that is listed on my Visa bill. Goodbye.” I then opened up my Visa bill, and called the number on it. “This is Visa. How may I assist you?”

“Ma’am, this is Cousin Nancy, and I just received a phone call from y’all, I think. They said it had to do with identity fraud, and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be me. When that woman asked me for my credit card number, I told her that I would call you directly.” The woman then switched me over to V.F.D.— their Visa Fraud Department.

I gave this woman my name and credit card number, then she asked me for my Social Security number, and a few other private things. “Yes, Ms. Simons, I’m sorry to tell you.There was an unauthorized purchase made yesterday on your credit card.”

“Oh my gosh!” I said, as I opened up the kitchen cabinet, and pulled out an aspirin, so not to have a heart attack! “Who is it and how much?” I was praying that they hadn’t maxed out my credit card.

“The charge was made by &^#$*^#, yesterday afternoon. The amount was for one dollar.”

“One dollar?” I asked.

“Yes. Do you want to approve that charge?”


“Okay. We will now cancel your credit card, and reissue you a new card and number...”

After working that stuff out, my sister Cindy then phoned me. I told her all about the credit card deal, and she told me that it is called phishing. “They first make a small charge, to see if you notice, and then they gradually start increasing the amount.

“Cindy,” I said. “Thank goodness it was only for a dollar. Wouldn’t it have been funny, if I had told the woman, after she told me the amount, “Oh my gosh—they’ve maxed out my credit card!” Then she and I laughed and talked about our Thanksgiving plans, and other things.

Well, I hope that y’all have a great evening—Tony and I are planning to!

P.S. Ben has just called, and I have just found out that our Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch 2009 calendar, is now over three quarters sold out—I love it! I’m so proud of it! I hope that you were able to get one! I’m fixing to go to bed right now, because I’m doing Harley, in the morning, at the Rose 99.9 FM, Kerrville, Texas, at 7:45, while Kinky will be talking to Imus at 7:30! Good Night Everyone and Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy 62nd Birthday—Sister Cindy!

Cindy is the greatest sister anyone could ever have! Today is her special day, and I am kicking myself for not getting to see her this past Saturday, but unfortunately—I went south, and didn't get to do the calendar signing with Kinky at Barnes and Noble-Arboretum. I do wish that I could be with Cindy today, to celebrate two things— her birthday, and me being five years younger than she is! I promised to write a funny story about us, so here goes!

Right after my loving husband, Jim, had passed away on March 3,1995, Cindy offered to drive me to the funeral home, to help me make the funeral arrangements. We had set an early appointment with the funeral director, but unfortunately—we had gotten lost. That was no big deal to us, because my entire family is forever getting lost—we can't help that we weren't wired right. We are genetically flawed, and that is why we always keep our gas tanks full. It's really no big deal.

Well, when Cindy and I finally arrived at that funeral home—we were only twenty minutes late! We were thrilled! Usually, when one of us gets lost, we're always at least thirty minutes to an hour late, or a no-show. Cindy and I had set a new family record—twenty minutes! I couldn't wait to tell Ronnie and Mom, and rub it in!

When my sister and I walked inside the depressing, decorated casket filled funeral home, the temperature inside the place—matched my refrigerator's inside temperature setting, and the vibes were not really good either—not my kind of place. It was way too dark. And, the soft playing piped in organ music—would have made a monkey commit suicide—on the spot! I thought, thank goodness they don't allow pets inside!

A tall, fat, bald, somber, soft spoken man greeted Cindy and me, and then he took us to his office. After Cindy and I sat down—he sat down behind his desk, but not real close. He was so overweight that his arms could barely reach his desk. He asked me several questions, as he took notes. I told him that Jim had wanted to be cremated, and he jotted that down, too. Then he pulled out his brand new giant, Texas Instruments' calculator, and went to crunching numbers and jellybeans. He told us how much it would cost to cook Jim, and my sister, Cindy, pulled out her checkbook, and wrote him a check for the full amount. (At the time, my finances were very low, and she had offered to loan me the money. I paid her back, after selling our embroidery business.)

After Cindy handed the man her check, we all stood up and shook hands—it was finally over, thank goodness. "I'm going to throw Jim's ashes in Lake Travis," I said, as we were fixing to leave." Jim was an avid sailor, and that is where he wants his ashes."

The man's face, showed disappointment— because he had forgotten to tell me about the laws about dumping ashes, so he asked Cindy and I to sit down, again. We sat down, and he sat—a little farther away, from his desk, I guess it was those jellybeans. Then he told Cindy and me that it was illegal to dump ashes in any public place or lakes. As he was fumbling through some papers, which I needed to sign, stating that he had told me about the ash scattering laws, I said, "I can see it now, Cindy. I'll be sitting in a Texas prison somewhere, and some old, big, tough mama, will ask me what I was in for. And, I'll have to say, 'For dumping my husband.'"

Cindy burst out laughing, I burst out laughing, and so did the once solemn man! He tried to compose himself, but couldn't, and neither could we! The more we tried to quit laughing—the more we laughed, as the soft piped in organ, grinded out 'Amazing Something!' The kind gentleman, stood up, shook hands with us, again. He then laughed with us, as he escorted us out of the building.

Two weeks later, I received a form letter from that funeral home. 'Dear Mrs. Parker, We are so sorry for the loss of your wife. We hope that you were pleased with the way...'

Their letter made me laugh out loud! I wrote on their letter, at the bottom, 'Dear Funeral Home, You did a fine job, but it was my husband—not my wife. He wore the pants in the family. Y'all have a great day. Sincerely, Cousin Nancy.' Then I mailed it back to them.

I don't know why my family always seems to find humor in funerals, etc., but I love it! I would rather laugh than cry. I wore black sweats for a month or so, and then I realized I wanted to be happy and quit crying. I knew Jim wasn't coming back, and that I needed to get on with my life, so I sold my shop, and moved to Utopia, Texas and the rest is history.

I love my sister Cindy, for helping me make it through those sad, lonely, hard times! Happy Birthday Cindy! And, thank you for being my sister! I love you so much! Tony sends you his Best.

P.S. Warning! I don't recommend eating fish out of Lake Travis—if you know what I mean!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brule and Airo—Live At Mt. Rushmore Arrived Today!

This afternoon, that video that I had ordered from arrived! It is absolutely fantastic and a must see for everyone! Brule's story is incredible, and is filled with love and hope for all of our's future. I hope that you will check it out. In July 2007, PBS taped his performance, with the band Airo at Mt. Rushmore! Tony and I loved it so much! It is one of the greatest concerts—filled with unbelievable hope for all of our futures! It is about bringing all of the four races together at last!

P.S. Thank you for getting it to me so fast! Tony and I loved watching it, and I will thank Cindy Pickard, for you, for showing us parts of it, and giving me your address! Rocks! Brule needs to be added to Mt. Rushmore for all of his good work, that he is doing to promote peace on earth!

Barnes and Noble-San Pedro, San Antone!

The calendar signing at Barnes and Noble was fantastic, and a lot of fun! I wish that all of y'all could have come to it! Kinky was great and Little Jewford was hilarious, as always! Our 2009 calendar celebrating ten years of our rescue—sold like hot cakes! People kept complimenting us on how much they loved Tony's and my pictures, etc.! I loved it! And B, who adopted Betty White was there, with her mother Gloria! Betty White loves her new family and they love her so much!

Tony and I were exhausted when we returned to the rescue ranch, and we went to bed early. I apologize for not blogging last night.

P.S. We've got heat! How cool is that!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

See Y'all at Barnes and Noble, San Pedro, San Antonio at 2:30!

Kinky and I will be signing our calendars at 2:30 today! Thank goodness Tony is driving me there! Barnes and Noble, San Pedro address is 321 NW Loop 410 #104. Our calendar is 12" x 12"—be there or be square!

Happy 55th Birthday—Tom Price! We Love You!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Ronderosa!

This morning, Kinky called at seven o’clock to talk to me about our calendar signing event today. He told me that he was leaving around eight, and I told him that I was hoping to be on the road by nine-thirty or ten. Then I started cooking breakfast for T. and me.

After breakfast, while I was packing for my trip, up to Austin, Tony was outside working. When I had finished packing, Tony walked inside the trailer—wearing a big grin. “I just cleaned all of Buttermilk’s windows, so you can see better.”

“Thank you, Tony. I am just about ready to leave, but I can’t decide which mukluks to wear at the calendar signing. Which ones do you like best?”

“I like the white ones on you.”

“Okay, I will wear the white ones! Does my shawl look okay? It’s going to get cold.”

“It looks great—you're my hippie chick,” Tony teased.

“Chicken, is more like it,” I said, as I put on my white mukluks. “My chick days are long gone Tony—just ask Aaron. I had better get going. Wait! I have to call Ronnie.” I then picked up the phone, and reached out—and touched him. I told him that I should be there by noon. Tony then picked up my duffle bag, and carried it to Buttermilk and put it inside. I then climbed inside and hooked up my iPod and set it to play my ‘Driving Music’ playlist. Then I got out of Buttermilk to give Tony a big hug and a kiss. “I am sick that you can’t go with me, Tony. I am gonna miss you.”

“I wish I could go, but I need to stay here. I’ve got lots to do, before that front blows in. Be careful now, and have fun and tell everyone hello. Please call me as soon as you get to Ron and Nita’s, so I won’t worry. I love you.”

“I love you,” I said. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning. Bye.” I cranked up my iPod, then Buttermilk slowly backed out, and we headed to Dripping Springs! Before I reached the gate, I was wishing Tony was going with me, and I felt a little stressed out about going by myself.

We made it to Kerrville with little traffic. When we crossed under I-10, I was dreading the next twenty-two miles to Fredericksburg, because of the too many narrow single lanes, and the people driving really fast, and tailgating Buttermilk—it scares me.

Fortunately we made it fine to Fredericksburg, with only one big tailgating truck, that should have planned ahead, and left a little earlier—so not to be in such a hurry. Anyway, we turned by the hospital, and when we came to the signal light—we went right. I was now only a little over an hour away from ‘The Ronderosa!’ (Ronnie named their ranch.)

As Buttermilk and I got a little further down the road, I was shocked at all of the new construction. In fact—I couldn’t believe it! Several giant churches had popped up, and new businesses had sprung up. When I looked at the clock, forty-five minutes had passed and we still weren’t to Johnson City! Then I truly got scared! I realized that I hadn’t passed Wild Seeds Farm, and nothing looked familiar to me at all! We were lost and that’s when I started to cry!

I knew that eventually I would see a highway sign or gallop into a small town, but all I saw was signs welcoming me to their church—and that was disappointing. Fifteen minutes later, when we climbed a hill—I saw I-10! Good grief, where in the heck was I? I soon found out!

The sign read, ‘Kerrville 16 Miles’ telling us to turn right! We did the ‘right thing’ and sixteen miles later we were back in Kerrville. And, I do believe, that was first time that I have ever been so happy to be in Kerrville, Texas!

When we reached the light at the intersection of I-10 and Highway 16, We turned right to go to Fredericksburg, again. We went about four miles, and then we pulled off of the road! I was exhausted, Buttermilk had been rode hard, and I did not want to drive those eighteen scary miles, again. I first phoned Nita, to tell her that I had gotten lost, and could not make myself do the Kerrville to Fredericksburg miles, again. I apologized for canceling, and I told her that I was really upset. Then I phoned the rescue ranch, and left the same message on our machine. Then Buttermilk and I broke the law! We made a u-turn—without getting caught! We were going home! My cell phone, which had fallen on the floor of the passenger side, started ringing non-stop, and I couldn’t reach it, so I just let it ring.

When I saw the big ‘Cowboy Steak House’s—Welcome to Kerrville, Texas’ sign, I calmed down, because I knew where I was headed.

I stopped and parked Buttermilk, in Albertson’s parking lot, and phoned Tony, again. He picked up on the first ring! I told him about getting scared and crying, and he told me to get home as fast as I could! I had really scared him.

I was the happiest girl, in the whole U.S.A., when I arrived at the rescue ranch! Tony was outside the trailer, talking to our friend and volunteer, Paul—when we pulled up! The three of us talked about me getting lost, and then we found maps, and tried to figure out how I gotten lost. Tony asked me to tell him once again, about driving into Fredericksburg.

“Tony, I turned at the light by the hospital, and then took a right at the light. Like I always do.”

“I know what you did wrong,” Tony said. “Nance, there are two lights on Highway Road. You turned at the first one—Highway 87. The second light is Highway 290. You went south, near Boerne and Comfort. You need to go inside and call Cindy and Ronnie—they have been calling non-stop—they are really worried about you. And, I am getting you a GPS for Christmas.”

I called Cindy first, and she was so relieved to know that I was okay, and she reminded me that all of our family has no sense of direction, and we are always getting lost. By the end of our conversation we were laughing about me getting lost, and her last words to me were, “Nance, please buy a GPS.”

Then I called Ronnie, and we basically had the same conversation, and like Cindy, his last words were, “Nance, please buy a ‘GPS.”

It was now one-thirty—I phoned Kinky, and left a message about what all had happened, and not being able to make the calendar signing event.

At ten minutes to two, Kinky called! After telling him about my trip, and feeling horrible about not making the signing—he told me everything was fine, and for me not to worry. Then he put Caren C. on the phone. I apologized to her and she was so nice, and said she fully understood. She also told me not to feel bad or to worry. She then told me that she absolutely loved our calendar and everyone who has looked at it thinks the pictures were awesome, too! Caren C. at Barnes and Noble Arboretum—Rocks!

At two-thirty, Tony announced to me, that our central heat had quit working. He then phoned our service man , but got his machine. We had planned to go to HEB to get groceries, but because he hadn’t called back, we decided it was best for me to go to Kerrville, and Tone would stay here, in case he called.

At three o’clock, I told Tony that I was fixing to go to Kerrville. I grabbed my purse, my three, large, cloth grocery tote bags, and I went out the door. As I was opening Buttermilk’s door, Tone ran out to the porch and said, “Nance wait! Let me draw you a map!” I laughed all the way to Kerrville.”

It is now after eight-thirty, and we still don’t have heat. We’ve gotten out all of our blankets, and turned on two space heaters. Good Night Y’all!

P.S. See y’all at Barnes and Noble, San Pedro, in San Antone tomorrow! Tony is driving me!

Tom Price!

Tony and I have known Tom and Susan Price for over twelve years and we love them! They live in Tennessee and have come to visit Tony and me every time that they come to Texas. Tom and his business partner own PM Music. Susan is retired from the State, and she has gone back to school to become a lawyer and Tom is an incredibly talented musician and guitar player! You can throw any song at him and he can play it!

Earlier this year, Tom had brain surgery to remove some cancerous tumors. The surgery went well, but wasn't good enough. Tom and Susan are now at M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas fighting his cancer. Susan is keeping all of their friends updated as often as she can.

I love Tom and Susan Price so much, and they are going through some pretty rough times right now. I am going to ask all of y'all for a favor. Tomorrow, the 16th, is Tom's 55th birthday, and it would mean so much to Tom and Susan if y'all could e-mail Tom— some happy birthday wishes at Susan's e-mail address:

I am leaving for Austin in a couple of hours, and I can't wait to see Ronnie and Nita and Cindy and Ray! I hope that Kinky and I sign a ton of calendars at Barnes and Noble, and I will blog tomorrow—when I return from Austin.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Family Affair!

Today, has been another great day—as usual! It started out with Ben and me going over to visit Kinky at seven-thirty this morning! It was a blast—to say the least!

We had three sets of visitors come out today. Mike and Ben S., from Dallas, and Catherine Berry, who helps us adopt out our dogs, up in Buchanan Dam.

Katherine arrived around 2:15, and we had a short, but fun visit in Outer Space. She loved going into Outer Space with me, and she really loved my Space Ship! I also introduced her to Miles of Chocolate and of course—she loved it! She told me that she could not wait to get home to buy some online! We then went over to the Lodge to visit Kinky and Russ.

We had a fun visit, sitting outside by The Friedman Family Bond Orchard. As Catherine and I were fixing to leave, Russ asked if I he could come over to the rescue ranch, so he could eat some of Tony’s and my Miles of Chocolate. Of course, my answer was yes.

Ten minutes later, Tony, Ben, Catherine, and me were sitting in Outer Space, watching Russ eat a chunk of the best chocolate—on this planet!

Well, tomorrow is the big day—Kinky and I will be at the Barnes & Nobles Arboretum at 2:00 to sign copies of ‘Celebrating Our 10 Years of Rescue’—2009 Calendar, which by the way, is selling faster than a GTO! We are so proud of it! I can’t believe that it has been over ten years since we started the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch—it still seems like it was just yesterday!

I am leaving tomorrow morning, bright and early, and driving up to Ronnie and Nita’s house, in Dripping Springs. Ronnie is the best brother anyone could wish for! I called him earlier this week and asked him if he could drive me to Barnes & Noble, because I am terrified of Austin traffic. He said yes! I then asked him, if I could also spend the night with them, because it will be dark, and I cannot drive at night—again—he said yes! Yes, he is great—I love him!

From our gate to Ronnie and Nita’s gate, it is exactly one hundred miles—it takes me two hours to drive it. My plan is to sneak out of Ronnie’s house, at the break of dawn, and get back down here by eight-thirty—Sunday morning.

My best friend and big sister, Cindy, offered to drive me to the Arboretum, but I had to turn her offer down, because she and Ray live thirty minutes away from Ronnie’s, in south Austin, and that would make my return trip thirty minutes longer. Since time is going to be of the essence on Sunday, I need to get back here as early as possible, because I will be at the Barnes & Noble San Pedro, in San Antonio, with Kinky—to sign our calendars at 2:30. Tony is going to drive me there.

Well, Ronnie has just called me, and told me some really exciting news! “Nance, I just talked to Cindy! She and Ray are going to come over here Saturday night for dinner—so we can have an early celebration of her birthday!”

I was so thrilled that I was going to get to see Cindy and Ray, too! Her birthday is going to be this coming Tuesday, November 18th, and in honor of her—I plan to blog another story about her! She is one super sister!

Y’all, I am tuckered out now. This is going to be one fast paced weekend for me. I will try to blog on Sunday before going to San Antonio. Have a great weekend! Love, Cousin Nancy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kinky Will Be On Imus Friday Morning!

Kinky just called to tell me that he will be on Imus at 6:30 Texas Time! Today has been great! This morning after taking care of a little paperwork, I went outside to visit with Ben, Aaron and Tony down at the barn. After taking care of the dogs, they helped Tony with his building project—a standup shaker-sifting box, to use for his arrowhead hunting! And, it is first class, with a latch, hinges, and a pull up rope! I will take a picture tomorrow and show it to y'all!

Ben, Tony and I then went to Kerrville for some supplies. When we returned to the rescue ranch, Kinky's friends, Don and Bob, came by to checkout the rescue ranch. When they reached our trailer, I invited them to go into Outer Space with Tony, Ben and me for a visit. The conversation flowed out there, it was fun, and filled with laughter!

With Ben there, I bragged about Miles of Chocolate, and then served them some of it. Bob and Don were totally impressed, and loved it and cleaned the plate! I also gave Bob, who is from Louisiana, who adopted Mama, our three-legged Pit Bull, last February—a beautiful picture of Mama—that Tony had taken of her. He loved it! Then, Tony decided to show them—Tony's Flashlight! When Tony came outside with it—everyone laughed! Then Don took a picture of Tony with his gigantic spotlight.

When Bob and Don needed to get back over to the Lodge, I told them about my Space Ship, and then we went inside it. "I had planned on doing all of the work, using my nail gun and chop saw, but I only got to do very little of the work, because Tony, Ben and Aaron wanted to do it. So, they took turns, chopping, nailing etc. And they did a great job. I love it!"

When we left my Space Ship, I walked with Don and Bob, down to the barn, and gave each of them, a loaf of the Miles of Chocolate delicious Pear Bread. As they were thanking me and Ben for their loaves—Cindy drove up! I said goodbye to the men, and then walked back towards the trailer, to greet Cindy.

Cindy had brought a DVD, that she wanted to show to Tony and me, but before we watched it, Tony and I grabbed some Brie cheese, from France, that we had purchased from HEB—and the Monet Entertainer Crackers, that Rick and Leisa had left for us. While the three of us ate the delicious cheese and crackers, Cindy told us about fixing Drew's asparagus soup recipe, using her newly purchased more expensive blender! After the Brie disappeared—we shoved her DVD, 'Brule—Live At Mt. Rushmore' into our player and watched it!

It is an amazing DVD, and it gave me good goosebumps! Tony and I could not believe how great it was! Before Cindy left, she gave me the info on it. "Go to and type in Brule—Live at Mt. Rushmore! As soon as Cindy had driven off into the sunset—I ordered it and we can't wait until it gets here! It is awesome!

I hope that y'all have a great evening and thank you for reading my blog! I love writing!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Betty White!

Early Sunday evening, around five-thirty, just before dark, before Kinky had returned to the ranch, from Washington D.C.—we had an incredibly great dog adoption! I couldn’t believe that...

To Be Continued...

Betty White found the greatest forever home—thanks to Kinky’s Ranch Roundup Event!

The day of the event, on Saturday, October 25th, a woman, who we will call B, took a tour of our rescue ranch with her parents. She told me that when they entered the rescue ranch, Betty White, our black and white Boxer mix, ran up to the gate to greet them and—they instantly connected. B. said that Betty White had walked the entire fence line with them. Then B. and her parents took a tour of our rescue ranch, and she found out Betty White’s name.

Then as they were leaving the rescue ranch, Betty ran up, looked B. in the eyes, again. “I’m going to adopt you, but not today, Betty White,” B. said. “I’ll be back—I promise, you.”

Later that week, Deborah Hanson, who had put on the event—shot me an e-mail that she had received an e-mail from B. B. wanted to know Betty White’s story. So, I called B. and told her, “Betty White came to our rescue ranch on January 6, 2006. She had belonged to a woman, in Utopia, who could no longer keep her. The woman had a white Boxer, who had come into heat, and a mysterious black dog, had gotten her Boxer pregnant. Betty White is a Virgo, born on September 11, 2005, and she is one of the sweetest dogs that we have ever had. Betty White would make a great agility dog for someone, because she is high energy, and highly intelligent! She’s one fantastic dog! I love her!” Here is a picture of her when she arrived at four months.

B. was impressed, and told me that she definitely wanted to adopt B.W. and would try to come out on Monday to adopt her. As soon as our phone conversation ended, I went outside to tell B.W. that she was getting adopted on Monday—and I knew that she knew, exactly what I was telling her!

Well, I lied to B.W., but not on purpose. B. ended up calling me late Sunday afternoon, and asked if she could drive out and adopt B.W. now. Of course, my answer was, “Yes! We’ll have the gate open! Drive carefully.”

After we said our goodbyes, I went outside to tell Betty her goodbye news, but Betty already seemed to know that today was her day! Her stub of a tail, was wagging her whole backend—she was ready to leave Utopia forever, and couldn’t wait to go to her forever home! Then I came back to the trailer, to prepare B.W.’s adoption contract.

Around five fifteen, the dogs cranked up outside—B. was driving in! Tony and I went outside and greeted B. and her friend, who we will call B.-2. B. and B.-2 and us visited for about fifteen minutes, and then B. filled out our adoption form. “Well, let’s go get Betty White!” I said.

“No, not yet,” B. said. “I have a favor to ask. Would you please sign my two 2009 Utopia calendars and your book, for me? I bought them at the Kinky Ranch Roundup event. And I love your book, and your blog is great, too!”

“I was so honored, and said, “Yes, I would love to sign them.” B. pulled out a pen and I signed the two calendars and wrote inside her book—For B., Thank you for adopting Betty White!

After handing B. back her pen, Tony and I jumped into Kermit, and asked the two B.’s to please follow us down to B.W.’s pen.

When T. and I pulled up to the pen, Betty was shaking with happiness, but when B. & B.-2 pulled up, B.W. went ballistic and started jumping up and down with joy! And, that dog can jump—we’re talking five feet up in the air!

The four of us visited for a few more minutes, and I am glad that we did. We found out that B.W. is going to be living in the fanciest neighborhood in San Antonio! We’re not talking new rich, were talking old wealthy! I was so happy for Betty—her new home would make Paris Hilton’s dog green with envy!

Betty White was so excited about leaving our ranch, Tony had a hard time hooking her leash on her collar. And, she literally dragged T. out of her pen to B.! The four of us visited a little longer, and when B. opened up her car door—Betty White jumped into the backseat—like she had been shot out of a cannon! Then B., B-2, and B.W. drove away in their fancy sports car!

Speaking of cannons, you are not going to believe what arrived here today—for Tony! No, it was not a cannon, but an eighteen million power candle spotlight, that uses a twelve volt battery to project its light! It’s huge, and comes with a carrying strap, because it weighs so much—over 30 pounds!

When Rick and Leisa were up here this past weekend, Rick had told Tony about his newly purchased eighteen million power candle spotlight, and how cool it was, so T. went online and bought one, too!

Tone plans to use his giant spotlight for taking wildlife pictures at night, and to check on our dogs outside when it is dark. Today when it arrived, Tony and I started laughing about how big it was! “Tone,” I said. “I’ve got the perfect name for it. Let’s call it—Tony’s Flashlight! I can’t believe how big it is?”

Tonight, as soon as it was dark outside, Tony and I went into Outer Space to try out T’s Flashlight. The light beam was so strong—it reminded me of long ago, when lights in Fort Worth , would cross back and forth in the sky, for a car dealership, or a grand opening somewhere. Good Night. Have a great Thursday, and remember there's a full moon rising.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's So Funny?"

As Leisa, Trigger and I drove around looking for Lexie, we heard Kermit coming into the rescue ranch, and then the dogs started barking again—then a few minutes later, they suddenly quit barking. “Nance, this is Tony,” Tony said. “Are you there? Let me know if you can hear me.”

I started laughing, picked up my walkie talkie and said, “Hi Tone, we can hear you.” Then I started laughing, again.

“What’s so funny?” Tony asked.

“Are you aware, that when you and me use our walkie talkies, we always say who we are, before talking? It’s dumb. We’re the only ones using them, and we ought to know who is calling who!” Then I started laughing again.

Leisa cracked up laughing. As we heard Rick laughing in the background, Tony laughed and then said, “You’re right! I never thought about it before. Y’all need to get back over here—we got Lexie back into her pen and she is soaking wet. She definitely went for a swim, and when she returned to the rescue ranch, she came right up to me. I didn’t have a leash on me, so Rick took off his belt, and used it as a leash to get her back into her pen with Bob Dylan.”

“That’s great, Tony! We’re on our way, now! See you in a minute.” I said. “This is Nancy signing off— over and out.”

When we arrived back at the rescue ranch, Rick and Leisa started walking our dogs, and Tony and I returned to our trailer. Later in the day, around two-thirty, as I was writing Barack Obama my very first e-mail letter, encouraging him to please think about adopting a dog from a shelter, for his two girls—when the man on the Weather Channel, announced that there was a category four hurricane near Cuba, and her name was Paloma! Then my dogs started barking—as Leisa and Rick came into our front yard. I went outside to the front porch.“We’re talking hurricane—y’all! Her name is Paloma, and she’s already a category four! And she’s near Cuba!”

“What?” Rick said. “You’re kidding us!”

“Nope. Y’all come on in here, and I’ll prove it. We’re talking a four with a hundred and seventy-four mile an hour winds— and she’s near the Gulf!”

They came inside. As the weatherman was talking about traveling conditions—we got on the internet, and went to to check out Paloma. Rick was studying the map, the weather conditions, etc. when I said. “Do y’all realize that everytime that y’all have come up here to visit us—there is a hurricane happening?" They laughed and then agreed with me.

Within an hour, we learned that Paloma had moved east—away from the Gulf, while I was introducing Leisa and Rick to samples of Miles of Chocolate! They are chocolate lovers, and they could not believe how great it was—they were hooked on it! After that, Rick and Tony took off in Kermit, to go sightseeing. Leisa and I visited in the kitchen, while I cooked up some okra and a corn casserole for our ‘lunch-dinner’—linner or dunch?

At five-thirty, Rick took over my kitchen, to prepare dinner for all of us—fresher than fresh—Tuna steaks! I asked him to please show me how to cook them, and he did, and we all thought his Tuna steaks were absolutely delicious! After linner or dunch, we had a fun visit in Outer Space. Because we were all pretty tired from a busy day, they went to the cabin around sevenish, and Tony and I were sleeping like babies in bed, by eightish.

The next morning, I was up by five-thirty, so after doing my morning chores, I did some more paperwork. Tone took off for the Old Timer at six-forty-five. Leisa and Rick showed up at the trailer around seven-fifteen! We visited and drank coffee, as I cooked our breakfast. Tony showed up about a quarter to eight—from the Old Timer. Perfect timing!

We decided to eat our breakfast, outside on the porch, so we could watch the many colorful birds and the deer. “Cousin Nancy,” Rick said. “Leisa and I have been here twice, now, and we want y’all to come down there and visit us. It’s your turn to go on a vacation.”

At nine-thirty, after loading up Rick and Leisa, with some of Ben’s and Miles’ delicious pear bread, along with a few baggies of their famous Miles of Chocolate, that Ben had given to me for my birthday, we shook hands and hugged Leisa and Rick, and then we said our goodbyes to one another. Then they took off for Port A. Tony and I just love Leisa and Rick! They are two great people, and T. and me count them as good friends!

Tony and I are already planning to take another one of our famous ‘twenty-four hours or less vacations.’ We plan to go down to Port Aransas pretty soon, so we can visit Leisa and Rick, and see Pete and Kelly. I can’t wait!

Early Sunday evening, around five-thirty, just before dark, before Kinky had returned to the ranch, from Washington D.C.—we had an incredibly great dog adoption! I couldn’t believe that...

To Be Continued, Again...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Port-A Slumber Party!

Friday, Tone and I had to go to Kerrville to run some errands and to get some groceries. On our way back home, when we turned off of Highway 16, with just two and a half miles more to go, we started eating dust, from a tan pickup, when we reached the dirt road. “I’ll bet you five dollars, that is Leisa and Rick in front of us,” Tony remarked.

“Okay, I’ll take your bet, and since you’re driving, we don’t have to shake on this one,” I said. “I’m sure that Leisa’s truck is dark green.” Tony then slowed down Buttermilk, because we could barely see the road in front of us—because of the dust filled air. After we crossed Echo Hill’s cattle guard, we watched the tan truck turn right onto our road, and then stop at our closed gate! Then we made the turn, and then Rick jumped out of Leisa’s tan pickup—waving at us!

Tony clicked the gate opener, Leisa backed up a little, and then we followed them into the rescue ranch. Tony laughed. “You owe me five dollars!”

“No, I don’t,” I teased. “We didn’t shake on it.” And, then I laughed. Before we reached the trailer, I handed T. a personal check for five dollars—and he took it!

“Hello Cousin Nancy and Tony!” Rick said, as we all hugged and shook hands. It took less than ten minutes for them to unpack the truck—and then our weekend slumber party commenced! I wish that Kinky could have been here for it, but he was in D.C.

At four o’clock, we were in the kitchen, laughing and catching up with each other’s news, when Rick declared, “It’s party time!” He then opened the refrigerator door, and pulled out a very expensive bottle of champagne! Tony opened up a cabinet, next to the sink, and pulled out four of our finest, Wal Mart light blue glasses—that only cost a dolllar each! Rick then goes outside, and popped the cork, on our front porch—which instantly caused every dog at the rescue ranch, to start barking!

As the dogs howled outside—we settled down in Outer Space! “Rick,” I said. “I’m wondering, if anybody makes champagne in a box? This is good stuff.”

Rick laughed, as he shook his head no. We then made a toast, but I can’t remember it. We spent the entire evening laughing non-stop, because Rick is so funny, and from Ft. Worth, too! We stayed up way past Tony’s and my bedtime—but it was worth it—I’m sure I lost at least a pound from laughing!

Saturday morning, after we ate breakfast, Tony went to feed the dogs, and to help clean the dog pens with Aaron, and the three of us went back into Outer Space, and visited some more. When T. was done, he and Rick announced that they were fixing to go look for arrowheads.

Not knowing what fate was fixing to do, I said, “Tony let’s get our walkie talkies, and use them—just in case something happens.” After we turned on our walkie talkies to channel sixteen, Tony and Rick drove off in Kermit—in a cloud of caliche dust. Leisa took off to go visit our dogs, and to walk a few. I came inside, and returned a few phone calls and e-mails.

As I was putting our clothes into the dryer, the dogs outside began barking non-stop and then our dogs cranked up, too! I knew something was wrong, so I grabbed my walkie talkie, and carefully descended the front porch steps, to find Lexie running happily, from one pen to another—with Leisa chasing after her! I was skipping, as fast as I could, towards Leisa, as Lexie flew past me, in a state of glee—headed towards my dogs in the front yard! She was having fun!

When I caught up with Leisa, I was out of breath—because, that’s a long way to skip for someone that’s fifty-seven years old. “Nancy, I am so sorry,” Leisa exclaimed, all upset. “I was in her pen, and then I left it to go get a leash. When I returned to her pen, she escaped, as I was trying to put a least on her! I am so sorry. I fell terrible about this.”

“Don’t worry Leisa. I feel really terrible, too,” I said, as I gasped for air. “I’m pretty sure that I just set a new skipping record for myself! Whew! Thank goodness, I took that extra aspirin this morning.” Then I started laughing! “Leisa, please don’t feel bad, this happens, at least once a week, out here. It is no big deal. I promise. Let’s go catch Lexie!” I wheezed.

As Lexie was teasing my dogs, I said, “Leisa, please go close the front gate, it’s at the top, and I will try to go catch Lexie. Leisa jumped into her tan truck and took off for the gate, as I slowly skipped towards Lexie!

By the time I reached our front yard, Lexie had hightailed it down to the creek below us, even though I didn’t see her go there, I knew she had gone there, because all of my dogs had quieted down, because she was now out of sight. I then racewalked over to Trigger, and jumped inside and took off.

When I pulled up to our ranch gate—it was still open, and Leisa was standing on her tiptoes looking at the box, trying to figure out how to close the gate! “Leisa, Lexie has gone down to the creek! Jump in!” Leisa jumped into Trigger and we took off! “Tony, this is Nancy! Lexie got out of her pen, and Leisa and I are headed over to the creek—right now!”

“What?” Tony said. I repeated myself. “Nance, she’s gonna be fine,” Tone said. “She’ll come back. She just wants to go swimming.”

“We’re driving past the dump, right now,” I said. “I think y’all need to come over here, and help us catch her! And guess what? I just set a new skipping record for myself!”

“That’s great, Nance. Rick and I are headed y’all’s way...”

To Be Continued...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Walter Becker Rules!

I have gone two days since I blogged, and I apologize, but I have been really, really busy. I have spent the last two days reducing my overwhelming pile of paperwork, caused by our Kinky event, out here on October 25th, and I have spent the rest of my time, tracking my moccasins and tote bag, that I ordered from the Southwest Indian Foundation, this past Sunday!

I had more fun tracking my moccasins, and tote, than I had sitting behind a computer. The good news is my paperwork is nearly complete, and my tote bag and moccasins arrived today! I am relieved to be so close to finishing up my paperwork, too, which should be hopefully completed by tomorrow, before our good friends, Rick and Leisa, from Port Aransas arrive for a weekend of fun! Those two are great people and we always enjoy their company.

This morning I rose at 5:00. After feeding our dogs and cat, I opened up my laptop, and went to work. At 7:45, I called Harley to talk about our dogs, on their new 99.9 signal and we had a fun time laughing and talking. As soon as I had hung up the phone, Tony walked into the trailer. “I heard you on the Rose 99.9 and you were great and you made me laugh.” Then Kinky called me from the Austin airport.

After breakfast, Tony went outside to tend to the dogs, pigs and chickens, and I went back to work typing one letter after another while listening to my iPod.

Around twelve-thirty, Tony took off with his boat, to go fishing with Aaron, since I was still busy, sitting behind my laptop, getting my thank you letters written to all of the great people who attended our super event. After typing over sixty some odd letters, signing them, sealing the envelopes, and putting the love stamps on them—I took off to Medina, so I could mail them out—to all of the people who came out to help support our rescue ranch.

When Trigger and I took off, we didn’t get very far. When we reached our gate, it wouldn’t open up all of the way, so I had to park Trigg, get out of the truck, to see what was the matter with our electric gate opener. As usual, I had no idea why it would only open up about three feet and then quit, so I removed the bottom bar, drove Trigger through it, stopped and parked, and then got out of the pickup, and manually closed the gate and went to put our lock on it—but it was gone! I ended up tying our gate closed with a dog leash. Then we went to Medina.

When we returned to the rescue ranch, our gate was open, and the leash was gone! It kinda scared me. Since I had passed the UPS truck, on the way back to the ranch, I figured that he would be showing up pretty soon, so I messed with our gate, and somehow fixed it! Then Trigger and I drove into the rescue ranch to find everyone doing fine.

I was in Outer Space reading my new Pendleton Holiday catalog, when the UPS truck showed up at our front yard gate—it was my moccasins and tote bag! I was so excited, but not for long. When I opened up my box, I opened the moccasin box first and found these tiny moccasins! I thought they had made a mistake, and they had sent me a children’s size seven—we’re talking tiny—no way!

Tony then unexpectedly walked inside the trailer. “We didn’t get to go fishing. The lake was so low—we couldn’t put the boat in it.” Just as I was trying on a moccasin. “Nance, those look like children’s shoes?”

“I know,” I said, with disappointment in my voice. Then I slipped my foot into the mocc and it fit like a glove or should I say like a shoe! I was ecstatic! “Tone, they fit perfectly!” I was so happy! I then put on the other one and then laced them up. “I love them!” Then I opened up my tote bag, and was completely delighted—it was beautiful, too!

“Nance, I am starving. Aaron and I didn’t get anything to eat for lunch.”

“Me, too,” I said. “I was going to fix us something for dinner when you got back. I’ll fix some asparagus soup.”

Then the phone rang. “Nancy,” Cindy said. “I am in Kerrville and headed your way!”

“Great!” I said. “I am fixing to make asparagus soup and you’re welcome to join us for an early dinner.”

“Great! I’ll be there in twenty-five minutes! Did you get your moccasins?”

“Yes,” I said. “I thought they were children’s shoes at first, but they fit perfectly!”

Cindy laughed. “I know, they look smaller. I can’t wait to see them!”

After the three of us ate my early delicious green soup dinner, Cindy, Tony and I went into Outer Space and had a great visit—talking mainly about mukaluks! Then Tone took off. Twenty minutes later he came back into Outer Space, and started showing Cindy and me some really cool mukaluks that he had found on the internet.

He showed us a pair, made by Native Americans in Canada, that I fell in love with—they were pink! “T. if you will buy me these, I will blog about you buying them for me!” Cindy laughed! Tony laughed! “I wear a size seven!”

Tonight, Tony, the love of my life—told me later this evening—that he had bought my pink boots for me! Tony Rocks! I love him so much! I hope y’all have a great evening, too!

P.S. I bought the new Walter Becker’s CD off of iTunes— ‘Circus Money’ and I love it—it rocks and has just been released! ‘Deacon Blue’ is playing right now on my iPod by Steely Dan! My favorite songs are ‘Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore’ and ‘ Somebody’s Saturday Night!” Kinky knows him and I wish that Walter would come out here and do a concert for us!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Love Letters!

It is now ten minutes until five o’clock in the evening—time for me to write a blog. To set the mood, this is what I do everytime before sitting down at the kitchen table to blog.

First, I turn on my salt lamp, then I light two sticks of Nag Champa, my second favorite incense,—next to pinion pine, from New Mexico. Then I pour ‘love worded water’ into my drinking glass, which has the word ‘love’ written on it, and then I turn my iPod on.

It is now playing ‘Hey Nineteen’ by Steely Dan—a great song. Here we go!

Today has been a great day for me! After breakfast, I went over to the Lodge and had a nice visit with Kinky. Then I returned home. I had nearly lowered my paperwork pile—about two inches, when Tony and Aaron came inside the trailer. “Nance,” Tony said. “Can you help Aaron buy some concert tickets online? His computer is down.”

“Sure,” I said. “Where do I need to go?” Aaron told me where to go, and in no time at all, he and I had the tickets ordered. To print them out, Aaron followed me into my office, where the printer is located. As the printer began printing out the two pretty tickets, Aaron said, “Is that a picture of you, Nancy?”

“Yes it is, and so is that one—over there.”

“I can’t believe it!” Aaron said. “That really is you?”

I was laughing so hard, that I was shaking like jello. “Thanks Aaron—nice compliment for so early in the morning.”

“I’m sorry Nancy. I mean, I just can’t believe that you looked like that. You were hot! How old were you in this one?” Aaron asked, as he dug his grave a little deeper.

“Twenty-eight,” I answered, as I continued to shake with laughter. “I keep those pictures on the wall, to prove to people, that I, too, once was young and pretty. Everyone is beautiful when they are young—it’s a given. Wait until you are fifty-seven years old, and someone looks at your old pictures, and they cannot believe that you once looked like that. It is part of the joy of becoming a senior citizen.” I handed Aaron his tickets and we left my office.

“Tony your old lady was really hot way back then. Dang!” Aaron said. “I can’t believe it, man!” (Aaron is thirty-two years old and from California!)

I couldn’t believe Aaron! Tony shot me a wink and smiled, shook his head, and then started laughing, too. Then they went outside, I guess, so Aaron could decide where he wanted to dig his grave.

Around noon, Tony came inside with our mail. After sorting through it, I found a card addressed to me from my new found friends, that I met at our event—Jimmie and Nelda, from Arkansas! Their note was so sweet and full of compliments and love—it filled me with love! They wrote that they could not believe that I had blogged about them, and said, ‘I almost fell off the couch when I saw that!’

What sweet people, to take the time to write me a note! I know that Jimmie and Nelda read my blog, so this is for them— ‘I love you two! Y’all Rock! And, thank you so much for the kind words!’

After I shared Nelda and Jimmie’s note with Tony, the dogs started barking outside, so Tony went outside to see what was the matter. Twenty minutes later, he came back inside to tell me that a man wanted to adopt Bobbie Nelson!

As I filled out the adoption form, Tony told me that the man was really nice, lives about six miles from us, has three dogs, and his old dog had died three months ago, and he was ready to adopt another one! Then we went outside to talk to a man about a dog!

The three of us visited for about twenty minutes. Then Don L. filled out our adoption form. Tony found Bobbie a new collar, put her tags on it, and then put her new collar on her. I know Bobbie knew exactly what was going on, because she could not quit wagging her tail, as Tony put her leash on her, and left the pen with her attached to the other end!

Tony handed her leash over to Don, and she couldn’t wait to load up in his van and get out of here! Two minutes later, they drove away. And, Don told us that he might come back and adopt Willie Nelson, after he talked to his wife about it! We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

The countdown has begun. It is now time for me to go into Outer Space with Tony! I am going to talk to Tony about possibly sending Nelda and Jimmie a copy of our mailing list, and asking them if they would consider writing everyone—one of their loving notes! Everyone should be as lucky as me, to receive—a love letter from them! I can't wait to show it to Kinky!