Thursday, December 31, 2009

Miami, Medina And Minnesota!

This morning Lisa showed up with her best friend, Sheri, who was visiting her from Midland, to show her the rescue ranch. While Lisa gave Sheri a grand tour outside I ran circles around the big room with Les and her crew for six miles.

While I cleaned up, Tony, Lisa & Sheri went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky. When they returned from their fun visit, Tony brought them inside so I could meet Sheri. I really liked Sheri right off of the bat, and could not believe that she was just as radiant and full of good vibes as Lisa was! They were like two peas in a pod. No wonder they are best friends.

Around noon, our good friend, Maribeth Couch from Utopia, who used to work out here before the economy went south and we had to let her go, showed up and we had a really fun visit! We talked and laughed for hours as we caught up with each other's news. Around three o'clock Maribeth had to take off for Kerrville, and I really hated to see her leave because Tony and I were having so much fun with our dear friend.

There are a couple of sayings that Kinky likes to use and I love both of them. They go something like this: "There are two kinds of people in this world. The ones who enter a room and bring you joy, and then there are the ones who leave a room and bring you joy." The other is: "There are two kinds of people in this world. They are either tedious or charming. I prefer charming." Me, too!

Today I was lucky to be with people who brought joy into the trailer and who were more than charming, even though Mercury is you know where right now, and tonight's another blue moon over Miami, Medina and Minnesota! Thank you, Lisa, Sheri and Maribeth! Y'all really brightened my day!

Around three-thirty Lisa, our angel in disguise, came back out with her friend, John, to walk our dogs! Our dogs loved it and so did we! Our rescue ranch is so lucky to have found Lisa and her many dedicated, volunteer dog-walking friends.

I cannot believe that there are less than four hours left before Tony and I take down our Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch 2009 calendar, celebrating ten years of rescue, from the kitchen wall and replace it with "The Port A. Family Trip 2010" calendar that I made for Cindy & Ray, Ron & Nita, and us. I used pictures that Tone and I took while we were down there visiting Rick and Leisa on the island for two days, back in October, to celebrate my fifty-eighth Halloween. Trust me, turning fifty-eight is mighty scary! It is a trick and not a treat.

I cannot believe that 2009 has come and gone so quickly. And, I can't believe that I have come and gone here and there for over fifty-eight years on this planet. I feel like a wore out energizer bunny that seriously needs to be recharged. Hopefully, it will be this year and solar. I'm old now, and I can't believe how fast time has marched by and how many miles that I have walked with Leslie Sansone this past year.

Y'all have a Happy New Year! And may 2010 be the best year for all of us!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blue Moon Over Kentucky, Texas, Kansas Etc.!

My day started out great today! This morning I walked six miles with Leslie Sansone and Lisa came out with her friends Matt, Blair and John and they walked our dogs all morning and our dogs loved it! I can't believe that we are so lucky to have found these wonderful dedicated people, along with June, Ellen, Eileen and Jim! Kinky, Tony and I cannot thank them enough! They are who make our rescue ranch great!

After lunch, Buttermilk took Tone and me to Kerrville to run a few errands. Our first stop was at Pet Supplies Plus, because we needed to buy some new pooper-scoopers. Susan, the store's friendly manager, helped us find what we needed, and then she donated over two hundred and fifty pounds of premium dog food to us! Thank you, Susan and Pet Supplies Plus, we can really use it since our free supply of dog food dried up months ago, because of the economy!

Our next stop was at Wolfmueller's Books, so we could drop off a paperback copy of Kinky's book, Greenwich Killing Time, so our friend Ridge, who is laid up in the hospital because he broke his leg, could read it. Unfortunately, Sandy and Jon weren't there, but we had a nice visit with Mary Jo Brandon, who was holding down the fort for them.

After getting groceries at H.E.B. Buttermilk took us home. After putting up the groceries, I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky. When I arrived Kinky was in the middle of doing a telephone interview, so I visited with Frank as I waited for Kink to get off of the phone. Then the three of us had a fun visit in the kitchen. Then I came home and started getting a little depressed. It drove Tone crazy, because I couldn't explain why I was feeling blue.

When the weatherman on the six o'clock local news channel said, "FYI: Tonight we are having a Blue Moon, which means that for the second time this month we are having another full moon." I realized why I was feeling down. "Tone!" I half-hollered down the hallway. "I know why I am feeling blue! It's because of the Blue Moon and Mercury in retrograde!"

"Okay," Tone softly yelled back. "Are you going to write a blog tonight?"

"Nope! I am still sort of down!"

"Turn on your salt lamp!" I took T.'s advice and turned it on, then I cranked up the iPod and sat down at the kitchen table and checked my e-mail. Before I got to my e-mail, Yahoo had an astrology advertisement to check out for free, so I checked it out and I am so glad that I did. OMG! It was so right on, and it even gave me goose bumps!

Basically it said in their 2010 overview that now is the time that I should write a book! A time to relax and enjoy life, to express my creativity and exhilarating enthusiasm! Talk about making me feel good! Then when I read their numerology deal I really perked up! This is what it said:

"During 2010, concentrate on opportunities for creativity. This is a good period for self-improvement, not only in terms of your creative talents, but through any intuitive or inspirational ideas you're thinking about. If you have a special dream, 2010 may be the perfect time to develop it. If you have a knack with words, make special use of that talent at this time. (You may even want to try some acting, writing or singing, possibly just for the fun of it.) Some of the projects begun during the last few years may be blossoming now."

I am now back on track, even though the full blue moon has the rescue ranch lit up like an amusement park outside. I can't wait for the new year! Happy New Year! May it be the best year for all of us and every dog and cat!

P.S. Tomorrow I may not blog because every New Year's Eve, Tone and I always watch the movie Lonesome Dove and then go to bed early.

Y'all have a great evening! Good night, I'm going to bed early because I am doing the Harley Show in the morning at 7:45.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Manitou Api ~ Where The Sun Rises!

This morning while Lisa and Matt helped Tony with his chores, I walked six miles, even though I was tired and didn't feel like exercising. I am sure it must have something to do with Mercury in retrograde.

This afternoon Lee, a very nice woman from Houston, drove up to see us. After a short visit inside the trailer, she followed me over to the Lodge to meet Kinky. When we arrived Kinky was in the middle of a pool game with his cousin Steve Samet. After The Hummingbird Man beat him, Steve's son Brett challenged Kinky to a game. Unfortunately, The Hummingbird Man beat him, too. As Kinky did his hilarious victory lap around the pool table we teased Steve and Brett about losing. Then Kinky gave Lee a tour of the Lodge and we had a very nice visit.

After Lee left, I worked on my book for a few hours until Kinky called. He invited us to come over for a visit. Tony was busy farming, so I went alone. We had a fun visit.

Last week, my dear friend Cindy Pickard sent me an e-mail announcing the release of her and her son, Andy's, latest documentary, "Manitou Api ~ Where The Sun Rises!" I am so excited for them and cannot wait to see it, because Cindy let Tony and me get a few sneak peaks of it before she moved to New Mexico! The World Premiere will be at: Globe Theater Winnipeg, MB on February 18, 2010! They have posted a trailer for the documentary and I hope that y'all will check it out. It is so awesome! I'm sure that it will be another award winning documentary for them!

Manitou Api ~ Where The Sun Rises and check out their beautiful web site: The 8th Fire!

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Car Chase!

Today has been a great day and I will tell you all about it after I backtrack to what happened on Christmas Eve.

Last Tuesday I received a call from Nell, U.S. Representative Lamar Smith's daughter. She had rescued a dog roaming the streets of San Antone and she did not want to take it to the pound, because she was scared that the dog would be euthanized because it was a Pitbull. I told her we would take it.

Christmas Eve morning Nell called to tell me that she had gotten the dog spayed and given all of her shots, and she asked if we could take the dog later in the day. I told her we could.

After we got off of the phone, I went over to the Lodge to see Kinky. "Well Kink, guess who is coming out to the ranch late this afternoon?"


"Lamar Smith! His daughter Nell rescued this dog and..." Kinky was delighted that we were taking in a Pitbull, and that he was going to get to see his good friend Lamar.

Lamar and Kinky showed up at the rescue ranch around four-thirty, with precious cargo in the back seat. After handshakes and hugs and admiring the dog I said, "Kinky I've just named her. Her new name is Nellybelle. She sure is one beautiful dog!" Tony, Lamar and Kinky liked Nellybelle's new name and I think that she did, too.

Fast Forward to today.

This morning as I was walking the walk with Leslie inside, Lisa, John, Matt and Melody were outside walking the walk with our dogs! Thank y'all! The dogs loved it! I swear, y'all must be angels.

This afternoon around four-thirty Lisa's friend and dog walking volunteer, Kevin, came out to adopt the dog that he had bonded with—Chase Manhattan! When Tony put a leash on Chase, as Kevin filled out the adoption papers, Chase was even more excited about being adopted than Tony or me! He finally had found his forever home in Houston! I took these pictures of Chase. The first one is of him waiting on Kevin, his best friend, to finish the paperwork. The second picture is of Chase sitting in the backseat ready to leave the rescue ranch. I've titled it "Car Chase!"

After Kevin drove off with his new co-pilot, Chase, Tony and I went to Nellybelle's pen, so I could take a picture of her, so Pat could post it on Utopia's web site. Nellybelle was so happy to see us, I had a heck of a time trying to shoot her though. Every time just before I snapped a picture of her, she would move. It took twenty-eight pictures to finally get a good shot of her. Here's the one that is going up on

Isn't she beautiful! She is approximately three years old and there is not a mean bone in her body. Here's  an action picture that I took of her before I got the one above. I've titled it "Just Another Mick Jagger Impersonator"or "Gimme Shelter." (BTW: that is Scooby Doo and Jill in the background.)

Around five o'clock I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky. As we played a game of pool, I told him the good news about Chase Manhattan's super adoption, and Kinky was thrilled about Chase finally getting a forever home. We've got our fingers crossed for him.

Our pool game didn't take a lot of time. The Hummingbird Man - 1, Cousin Nancy - 0!

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Slap Happy!

Today has been a quiet day. I spent most of it doing paperwork. Around two-thirty I went over to the Lodge to show Kinky the Tennessee Ernie Ford video clip that I posted yesterday. He loved it and laughed nonstop as he watched the little slap happy boy!

I am looking forward to tomorrow even though Mercury is in retrograde, because Lisa, and hopefully Matt and a few of their friends will be out here walking our dogs! And, fingers crossed, we might have an adoption! I will keep you posted!

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Oh My Back!

This morning when I got up my back was aching, but thank goodness it hadn't gone out on me! And, Tony didn't go to Medina this morning because his back was aching, too. Thank goodness today has been a quiet day at the rescue ranch.

My good friends Mark & Denise Stevens, and their precious dog 'Tater Catfish Stevens,' sent me an hilarious youtube video clip to watch of Tennesseee Ernie Ford! Even though my back hurt everytime that I laughed, I watched it four times! The little boy sitting next to Ernie on the left is the kid to watch!
Enjoy! Tennessee Ernie Ford Show It's a short video clip.

I think I enjoyed the kid so much, because it reminded me so much of my older brother Ronnie. Growing up he was one of the biggest hams and clowns. He'd do anything for a laugh.  I'm sure the kid will remind you of someone you knew, too.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Food For Thought!

At seven-thirty this morning, Tony went out to the barn to get the groceries for our dog's Christmas dinner. Then it was my turn. I filled up four large aluminum roasting pans with mixed vegetables and put them into the oven to heat. I used a large pot to heat the rest of the vegetables on the stove top. Then I filled up two big pots with olive oil and started simmering it, so it would be hot when we added it to the mixture in the three buckets.

When Lisa arrived Tony put her to work immediately, while he opened up the ground turkey packages, Lisa added the large bags of cheese as Toto stood by and closely supervised her.

Then Tone added the stuffing, ground turkey, eggs, minced garlic, mixed vegetables and hot olive oil and then he began mixing up the dogs hot Christmas dinner in the buckets! I knew we were almost ready to go outside and feed the dogs, so I called Kinky. "Kink, we're just about ready to feed the dogs," I said, as the high powered electric drill used to mix up the food, whined loudly in the background.

"What? Where are you? I can hardly hear you..." I stepped outside on the porch.

"I'm sorry," I said. "That was the drill. Tony is mixing up the hot dinner right now. We're ready to serve our dogs their Christmas dinner!" Three minutes later Kinky arrived in Mr. Green Jeans and the feast began outside!

Tony, Lisa and Kinky grabbed the heavy buckets of hot food and took off to feed our dogs! Tony and Lisa began feeding the excited dogs on the east side of the rescue ranch, while Kinky started feeding the dogs on the west side. Here is a picture I took of Kinky feeding Pearl, and then taking off to serve her roommate, Laz!

Twenty minutes later, you could have heard a pin drop, because all of the dogs had been fed their delicious holiday meal! Then Lisa, Tony and Kinky retraced their steps and served up seconds to all of our dogs! And, the dogs licked their bowls clean both times!

While Tony and Lisa cleaned the pens, I came inside. First, I cleaned up the kitchen, and then I started preparing our Christmas dinner as my iPod played my favorite tunes from our Bose dock. Here's a picture that I took from the kitchen window of our 'elaborate' table setting.
At two-thirty Tone and I went into Outer Space and enjoyed our holiday dinner with Lisa, Melody, Copper Love and Kinky even though it was a little bit cold outside! Everyone at the table was wearing one to three layers of clothing as the temperature outside slowly inched its way up to fifty-six degrees. Copper and Lisa were really bundled up, too. Their outfits included pretty mufflers wrapped tightly around their necks, and I loved the knitted purple wool, pull-down cap Copper wore!

Fortunately, no one was shaking from the cold, as everyone ate their dinner. Kinky teased me about us eating outside and I told him, "Kinky, our kitchen table is covered up with all of my book stuff, and besides it isn't big enough for six people." Our meal was delicious except for the wheat rolls, because like always I had over baked them. They were so hard and brittle, they made Kinky laugh out loud when he tried to break one open and it shattered into a million tiny pieces on his plate! "Great rolls, Nance," he laughingly remarked, as the wind blew the bread crumbs off of his plate onto Copper's plate and muffler.

"I know," I said. "I fondly call them 'My Food for Thought Rolls,' Kink. You see, the minute you think about eating one of them they vanish into thin air. Think about it." Tony started laughing and bread crumbs flew out of his mouth and found immediate shelter on Lisa's white muffler, which instantly made it look like Lisa had just returned from a blinding sand storm! Fortunately, she didn't notice and I kept my mouth shut.

Following dessert, we went inside the trailer to warm up. As we defrosted in front of my laptop computer, we watched Susan Boyle's incredibly great April '09 debut performance on England's Got Talent and there wasn't a dry eye amongst us.

Y'all have a great evening! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You're Good!

Today has been a lot of fun! Lisa came out this morning with her super friends Nicole, Ty, Stephanie and Melody to walk our dogs! Around eleven-thirty Tony came inside the trailer to tell me, that with the exception of six dogs, all of our dogs got walked today! T. was thrilled, I was thrilled and our dogs were even more thrilled! Thank y'all so much!

After lunch Buttermilk took Tony and me to Kerrville to run two errands. Our first stop was at Wolfmueller's Books to say hi to Sandy, Jon and Mary Jo, and to wish them a Merry Christmas. As always their popular bookstore was full of customers, so we had a short, but fun visit with the three of them. Before leaving Sandy & Jon gave us a Christmas present, a homemade Bundt cake, that Sandy had made for us! (Thank goodness I walked six miles this morning, because it is absolutely delicious!)

Our second and last stop was at Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic to pick up some meds for our dogs, and then we high-tailed it back to the rescue ranch.

We hadn't been home for more than five minutes when the phone rang—it was Carol! "Hi Tony and Nancy," Carol said to Carlton, our answering machine. "Lorri, Brenda and James are over here and we were wondering if we could come over to see y'all..." I picked up the handset.

"Hi Carol! Tony and I would love for y'all to come over! The gate is open..."

Ten minutes later they were at the rescue ranch, and we were outside hugging each other and that's when the laughter began!

Before going into Outer Space, we went into the Space Ship so they could see it. They loved it and thought the breakfast nook that I had built was adorable! Carol, who had seen the breakfast nook last week when she came over, went into tour guide mode and pointed out her favorite pictures on the walls!

Carol wanted them to see my writing cabin, so we took off for my small, cozy cabin that Tony built for me many years ago. I love my little cabin and always enjoy showing it off to people. Brenda, Lorri and James thought it was pretty cool, too!

When we left the cabin, Tony, Brenda and Lorri took off to go visit with our dogs and Carol, James and I went to the trailer, so I could show it off to him. Like everyone else he could not believe it was a trailer when he walked inside. He thought my painted rugs on the floor were cute, but when we went to the bedroom to show him the cedar bed that Tony had built for us when we got married he was awestruck by it! "I love this bed and this trailer!" James said. "Tony is really talented. I've never seen a trailer like this. It doesn't feel like a trailer and the wood floors are fantastic..." After his compliments we went into Outer Space.

When Brenda, Lorri and Tony entered Outer Space we had a blast! The laughter was nonstop until T. told us about a neighboring rancher who had shot himself in the head a few months ago. Everyone was quiet and didn't know what to say, but me. "Well Tone," I teased. "Thank you for bringing all of us down so fast. I was hoping that someone would do it, because we have been having way too much fun. You're good." Everyone burst out laughing including T. thank goodness! Then the dogs cranked up. "I bet it's UPS bringing us our ham that Karen sent to us," I said.

I was halfway right. UPS delivered her ham and Roger and Mary's box of donated bandanas for our dogs to wear! Thank you Karen, Roger & Mary! Carol and her friends told us the ham you sent us is a very expensive gourmet ham, and everyone thought the bandanas from Wichita, Kansas were pretty! My favorites were the pink and lavender ones.

A little while later Carol and her friends: Brenda, Lorri and James left to go back to Carol's ranch. Around five o'clock Kinky called and asked me to come over and go on a walk with him. Our walk was fun. Kinky told me three hilarious jokes that Willie Nelson had just told him, but I can't repeat them because I can't remember them. I think I will blame it on Mercury going into retrograde on the 26th this time, instead of old age.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thank You, Harold! We Love You! And Have A Merry 'Mercury Free' Christmas!

Today has been exhaustingly hilarious! By ten o'clock this morning, I had my Himalayan salt lamp turned on and I was lip singing "Why Me Lord?" with Kris Kristofferson. The reason that I was lip singing is because I am tone deaf thanks to a Emerson, Lake and Palmer 'Tubular Bells' concert that I attended in the early seventies. It seems when I do sing it really upsets our dogs and Lucky because they think that they are being punished. Little do they know that I would never do that to them. I only sing in the car when I am alone.

It all started around nine o'clock this morning. I had just finished posting Pete and Kelly's cute videos up on my blog and on Utopia's Facebook page showing Smilin' Jack and Fiona playing tennis, when Pat our talented and wonderful web master for called and left a message about our site being down! I had planned on making some coffee, but when I heard her words I put the coffee can back into the cabinet, because with news like that my heart was jump started instantly!

After checking out our site to make sure it was down, e-mails started flying out of my computer to Pat, and to Harold, a great guy who hosts our site for us. Then I called Harold and got his machine, so I left an urgent message about our site being down and asking him to please call me as soon as possible.

Knowing that there was nothing else that I could do about the situation, but wait, I paced around the big room with Leslie for about ten minutes, but my heart wasn't into it, so I stopped at the one mile marker and checked my e-mail hoping there might be a note from Harold.

I was so excited when I saw that I had one new e-mail inside my mailbox! I quickly opened up the mailbox to see if the e-mail was from Harold, but unfortunately—it was an advertisement from Domino's Pizza, so I deleted it. Ten minutes later when I checked again, the same thing happened but this time it was from Sundance catalog. Then I got them one at a time from Amazon, Apple, Crate and Barrel, etc.

Frustrated because I am an impatient person, I decided to return some phone calls and do a little paperwork to help pass the time and that's when I turned on my salt lamp and iPod and began singing with Kris. When our duet was over, I decided to call Ron and Susie to see how Clark Kent was doing with Marcus.

Ron told me that Clark Kent was doing great and they were real happy with their sweet, medium sized low rider! He said that Clark only goes outside to play with Marcus or to take care of business, and he has only had one accident inside the house, but it was their fault for feeding him and not giving him enough time to go outside. Ron told me that Clark likes to chew on things, so they bought him a giant rawhide bone. Before hanging up I asked Ron what Marcus had named his new best buddy.

"As you know, he wanted to name him C.C. the name of our old dog that had just passed away. We suggested calling him something else like C. K., for Clark Kent, and Marcus liked it. So, his new name is C.K. He is a great dog and we all love him, especially Marcus."

After we hung up, Tony came inside the trailer. "Mr. Rogers and I are best friends, Nance! I had him sitting in my lap, and he let me scratch his chest and belly and he even gave me a kiss on the lips!"

"That is fantastic news! How about Miss Dee?"

"She is doing great, too. She wanted to sit in my lap, too but Mr. Rogers wouldn't budge. They are cool dogs." After Tone's report, I told him the good news about Clark Kent and then I checked my laptop, again for e-mail. This time I had received an e from J.C. Penneys.

After lunch I spent my time finishing up my paperwork. Around one-fifteen Matt came inside to get a Band-Aid for his finger that he had accidentally stapled. Ten minutes later Lisa showed up and the four of us had a fun visit, and we teased Matt nonstop about stapling his finger.

At two o'clock Tony called our good friend, Maribeth, who is good friends with Harold, to see if she had another phone number for Harold or knew if he was out of town. She told us to call Doug, because he might know something. T. called Doug and Doug told him he would try to get a hold of Harold for us.

Then it dawned on me that we had not paid Harold this fall for hosting our web site. "Tony he always bills us in October or November and he sends it by e-mail. I bet I accidentally deleted it or forgot about it or something!" I then pulled out the checkbook and wrote a check to pay Harold. "Tony!" I half-hollered down the hallway. "We've got to go to Vanderpool and mail this check to Harold, now!" Then I called Harold's machine to tell him that we were heading to Vanderpool with our late payment.

"Can't we just mail it from Medina? Vanderpool is thirty-five miles away."

"No, Tony. Not with the holiday mail and all. It could take days to get there. If we mail it from Vanderpool he will get it tomorrow! Let's go!" At two-thirty before leaving the ranch we found Lisa and Matt walking Paul McCartney and Bluebelle and we asked them to lock things up for us before leaving, then we headed for Vanderpool.

We arrived back at the rescue ranch at three-thirty five. As soon as we came inside, I punched Carlton's button so we could listen to our new incoming messages. "Hello Nancy, this is Harold. I've been out all day repairing computers and I just got home. I am checking on the problem right now and want you to know that I would never cut you or anyone else off for being late with a payment. In fact, you are current and you don't owe anything. Call me." I picked up the phone and punched in Harold's number from memory!

"Hi Harold! It's Nancy. I'm sorry for the many phone messages. We just mailed you a check from the Vanderpool Post Office and we just got back from there. I am so sorry for not paying you. I went through the checkbook from October to December to see if we had paid you and we haven't. I must have deleted your invoice, or forgotten or something! I'm blaming it on getting old and Mercury going into retrograde in four days. You know weird stuff starts happening about a week before Mercury goes ..."

Harold laughed! "Nancy, it is okay," Harold said. "I am working on the problem with the techs right now. Somehow some wires got crossed on their end and Utopia should be up and running online in less than thirty minutes or so. And, you didn't forget to pay me. I normally bill you on the first of December, but I have been so busy, I still haven't gotten around to doing it. In fact, I paid the company two weeks ago for your site. You know that I would never cut y'all off like that even if you were late with your payment. I wouldn't do that to anybody..." Harold was right, I knew that. He is one great guy!

As soon as our conversation ended the phone rang—it was Jon Wolfmueller. "Hi Nancy. I just wanted to let you know that Utopia is up and back online. What happened? Did you forget to pay your bill?" We started laughing.

"No, Jon. I thought I had. In fact, we just got back from Vanderpool so I could pay our bill and mail it from the Vanderpool Post Office so Harold would get it tomorrow. I just got off the phone with Harold, who has hosted our site for over eleven years and it wasn't about money at all. It seems the techs on the other end had crossed up some wires and...You do know that all of this happened because Mercury is going into retrograde in four days! Don't you?" Jon laughed!

"I guess. If y'all come to Kerrville tomorrow come by and see us. If not y'all have a Merry Christmas."

"Thanks Jon. If we do come to Kerrville we will definitely swing by to see y'all. If not try to have the best Mercury Christmas, I mean Merry Christmas!..."

P.S. I want to thank Paul Emerson for driving out from Helotes today to bring us some free dog food for our dogs.

Y'all have a great "Mercury free" evening!

Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch Is Up & Back Online!

Everything Is Going To Be Okay!

This morning our web site: has gone down temporarily, and should be back up real quick. Sorry for any inconvenience it may have caused you. Mercury goes into retrgrade on December 26th, and I'm sure it is part of the cause.

Life Is A Beach!

This morning our good friends Pete Hartje and Kelly Bloomfield sent me two short videos that they took of Smilin' Jack and Fiona playing tennis on the beach!

Fiona is the cute little Bulldog and Smilin' Jack is the gigantic, highly intelligent Newfoundland Lab mix, that our great volunteers, Lisa and Sha, drove down to Port Aransas last month so Pete could adopt him from us!

Thank you Kelly & Pete! Tone and I love the videos and can't wait to show them to Kinky! Enjoy!

Life Is A Beach  

Life Is A Beach Part 2

More later...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pretty In Pink!

This morning I was multi-tasking, which is not easy to do for someone as old as I am. I used to be able to do five or six things at once, but sadly those days are long gone and so are a lot of other things like: my looks, my vision, my teeth, and now my memory has started playing tricks on me. Heck, I'm lucky if I can make it into my office down the hallway without forgetting why I went in there in the first place! Sorry for getting sidetracked, let me tell you what I was doing this morning.

While I was working out with Leslie walking my six fast miles, I started reminiscing about my childhood family vacations. They were so much fun! One summer vacation my parents took all four of us kids, planted tightly in the backseat of their giant Buick and drove us all the way up to Minnesota and back. The best part of that trip was going to the Paul Bunyon Park, somewhere up north. Unbeknownst to Ronnie and me, my parents gave the cashier our names when they purchased the six tickets to let us go inside the theme park. When we entered, Paul Bunyon, a giagantic, cemented version of a man holding a really big fake ax said, "Welcome Ronnie and Nancy from Fort Worth, Texas!" That was a great vacation! Ronnie and I bragged about it for over a year and I guess that I am still bragging about it.

Then Mom and Dad got "The Camping Itch" for the next four years, and I got "the mosquito itch." They bought a light yellow colored 1960 Chevy Impala station wagon for those four fun filled, two-week-long vacations up in Roaring River National Park in Missouri. Those were great vacations. I rode horses, hiked, fished and swam in the cold river with my family, when I wasn't sitting on a stool by the campfire, scratching at the hundreds of mosquito bites that I got on each trip up there in the Ozarks.

 For some reason, no one else in my family had a problem with the menacing mosquitos but me. When I would whine about all of the bites, Ronnie would tease me about it and laugh behind my parents back, as they put some kind of pink lotion on me and took turns telling me, "The reason that the mosquitos love you more than anybody else in our family is because you are so sweet." So, I tried being mean, but it didn't work at all, it just got me into trouble with my parents for being a pill. Minus those mosquito bites and being pink all over, those were four of my favorite family vacations.

Near the end of my six miles, I realized that I was starting to get really depressed. I was missing my parents so much and all of  the fun times that I had with my family. I realized I was spiraling into the "classic holiday depression hole," so when I was done walking with Leslie, I put on my jacket and went outside, in my sweats, to see what was going on and thank goodness I did!

I found Ellen, Eileen and Tony in Ruth Buzzi and Chuck's pen and in no time flat I was smiling and laughing, again! We talked about our dogs, Kinky and Mr. Magoo, Julia Child getting adopted, Eileen's new fancy sports car, Susan Boyle and how much we love her singing. Then they told me about being best horseback riding buddies back in Mississippi over thirty years ago. Then their lives took them elsewhere and they got out of touch with each other until recently. "We were at a meeting in Borne, and I kept thinking that woman over there sure looks like Ellen," Eileen said. After the meeting they reconnected and they are now best friends in Kerrville!

As we were laughing about it and the odds of both of them winding up in Kerrville, Lisa and Matt walked up with Honey and Baxter. The five of us had a fun visit, then Matt and Lisa took off to return the happy dogs back to their pen, so they could walk some more of our lucky dogs!

On my way back to the trailer I realized I no longer had the holiday blues. Thanks to our dogs and our wonderful volunteers I was happy and smiling, again!

This afternoon Tony came into the kitchen with his computer to show me a video of Smilin' Jack chasing tennis balls in the surf with Fiona! Kelly took the video of Pete playing with their dogs and it made me smile and tear up with happiness! Pete & Kelly and I are working on how to get the video to me, because I cannot wait to share it with all of y'all! You're gonna love it even though it will put a happy tear in your eye!

Y'all have a great evening!

P.S. One last thing about getting old, your eyelashes don't actually fall out, they just seem to disappear!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Julia Child!

Thank goodness that Lisa and John picked up Julia Child at Hoegemeryer Animal Clinic this morning for us! Yesterday she was spayed and got all of her shots and she was ready to come home, but Tony and I couldn't take off today to go pick her up, because of our open house!

At six o'clock tonight, Angie, a very nice woman, signed off on Julia's adoption papers and then she put Julia into her car to play with Bitsy, her little one eyed Therapy dog, that makes regular visits to nursing homes!

Julia Child has a new name, Frauline, and she has found her fantastic forever home in Fredericksburg! I hope that she likes German food!

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Talk About Some Karma!

Today has been really awesome! This morning Kinky called me right after I had walked six miles with Leslie Sansone. He invited me to come over to the Lodge and drink a cup of coffee with him. As I was putting on my jacket, Tony came inside the trailer and told me that we had eight dog walkers outside walking our dogs! "Lisa, Matt, John and Meghan, and June, Ellen, Jim and Eileen!" Tony said, smiling ear to ear. To say the least, I was thrilled!

"Hi Kinky," I said, as I walked into his kitchen. "If you want to get yourself inspired, you need to come over to the rescue ranch. We've got eight dog walking volunteers over there walking our dogs!"Kinky's face lit up like a Christmas tree! He was all smiles. "I mean it is totally awesome seeing all of our dogs coming in or going out of the ranch with their tails wagging wildly. You've got to see it to believe it!"

"Nance, that is fantastic!" Kinky said.

"I know! Thank goodness for Lisa, Matt, Meghan and John, and Ellen, Jim, June and Eileen!" Then I had to make a confession to Kinky. "Kinky, I owe you a can of pepper. It's not empty, but close to it."


"Yesterday morning when Ben arrived, he and I were talking about Mr. Magoo dying and his beautiful grave covered with all of his toys. Ben told me that he hoped his dogs wouldn't steal the toys, so when I went over to check on the Friedmans and feed them, I took your can of pepper outside and poured it on Goo's toys, so Valerie and Penny wouldn't mess with them." Kinky smiled, and then I followed him outside to show him the spiced up toys.

"Thanks Nance, but you really didn't have to do that. Gooie liked to share. It's fine if Penny and Valerie want to play with his toys. Gooie would like that and..."

Ten minutes later, I was back over at the rescue ranch visiting with our fantastic volunteers and thanking them for coming out to walk our lucky dogs. It was sort of funny, because every time I thanked one of them, they'd thank me back for letting them come out to walk our dogs. They told me it was a priviledge for them to get to do it! Twenty minutes later, Kinky showed up at the rescue ranch to thank and visit with our great volunteers, and every time that he thanked one of them, they thanked him back, too!

For lunch I starting cooking Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom soup recipe, while Tony teased me nonstop about him 'starving to death' and asking me how much longer it would take until he could eat. Ben didn't help because he would laugh every time Tone teased me, and get me to laughing with his funny wisecracks.

Two minutes before I was ready to serve the soup, there was a knock on the door. Tone went to the door to open it for Eileen. She told Tony that she had let Chase off leash so he could swim and she couldn't catch him because he was happily running up and down the side of the creek! Tony told her not to worry and then he took off in Kermit to catch Chase Manhattan, who is bigger than a bank.

"Well Ben," I said, before I started laughing, "talk about some karma. The soup is finally ready and Tony is not here." Ben started laughing with me. We thought about playing a joke on Tony, but decided it would be in bad taste, so we didn't.

Ten minutes later, I served up the soup to the guys, and it was absolutely delicious! Ben and T. told me it was the best Cream of Mushroom soup that they had ever eaten! I loved their compliments and was glad to know that Tone wasn't going to starve to death as he had earlier predicted.

After lunch, Tony went to get the mail while I cleaned up the kitchen and visited with Ben. When Tony returned with the mail he said, "We got our new AARP membership cards." Ben started laughing!

When I opened up Jimmie and Nelda Dunn's holiday card. I loved the card and their sweet note to us, and the picture they sent to us of their two dogs Miley and Marlow, that they adopted last December!

We also got a cute card from our good friends, Karen and (H)erb Cares and it made us laugh! I love it! They designed it using one of their dogs, and on the inside of the card is a picture of them standing beside Willie Nelson, that reads: "Bona Fide! Happy 2010!"

Around five o'clock Ben and I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky. The three of us took a short hike with the dogs, and then we returned to the Lodge. Tone showed up at six o'clock, and before he could sit down at the kitchen table Kinky challenged my Medina Bulldog to a game of pool.

The Hummingbird Man took the lead early, but soon fell behind. The Medina Bulldog - 1, The Hummingbird Man - O! The Medina Bulldog is now the new reigning pool champion at the Lodge!

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I've Also Got Ben Here For Back Up!

Because of Tony I had the hardest time this morning doing my six mile walk inside the trailer with Leslie Sansone, because I was laughing so hard! Right before I made the two mile mark, Mama and Abbie started barking, which always means something is going on outside and we need to check it out.

I was doing knee lifts when I looked out the window to see Tone run by, the outside of our front yard, like he was chasing something! A minute later Tony came inside the trailer and he was out of breath, "Princess dug out, again and she won't let me catch her like she usually does! She's turned it into a game, now!" Then Mama and Abbie started barking, again. We looked out the front window and watched Princess do a run by. She looked like she was laughing and having a really great time! I loved it!

For the next two miles, as I kicked and stomped with Leslie in the big room and the kitchen, Tony and Princess kept running back and forth in front of the trailer! And, every time that they would run past the window it would cause me to laugh even harder.

By the time I finished my six laughing miles, my back was hurting from laughing so much, and Princess was finally back in her pen thank goodness!

While Lisa and Matt walked our dogs, and Ben placed (h)uge rocks around the outside of Princess and Marlin's pen to hopefully keep them in, I cooked lunch for Tony, Ben and me, and that is when I decided to try to make Julia Child's recipe "Potage Veloute Aux Champignons" (Cream of Mushroom Soup) on page forty in her book, for tomorrow's lunch, because it seems to be one of Julia's less complicated recipes, and I already have most of the ingredients, and I've also got Ben here for back up if I need his help!

This afternoon after lunch Tony and I took Julia Child to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic to get her shots and to get her spayed, because no one in Medina has claimed her. I guess she was dumped. Then we swung by H.E.B. to buy several fifty pound sacks of dog food for our rescued dogs, because our source for free dog food that we used to get has seemed to have dried up, and is no longer available because of the economy.

I went over to the Lodge to see Kinky around four o'clock and I had a fun visit with him and Copper Love, the talented artist who beautifully illustrated Kinky's latest book Heroes of A Texas Childhood!

Y'all have a great evening and please wish me luck with my first and probably last Julia Child recipe! I might get Tony or Ben to make a short video clip of me preparing it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Randy's & Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant!

This morning at eleven o'clock, while Lisa and Matt walked our dogs, Buttermilk took Tone and me to Kerrville, so we could meet our friend, Sheryl Eddins, for lunch at Randy's & Lisa's Save Inn restaurant!

Sheryl, a professional copy editor, is helping me edit my book for no charge, and I'm pretty sure she is already secretly regretting it, because I seem to throw commas down on a page about every two seconds or every other breath. I was never good in English and didn't understand much of it—especially the comma part.

The same teacher I had in Fort Worth, who taught me to make the 'H' silent when pronouncing words like Houston and herb, which sound like Uston, and erb, when I pronounce them, also taught me about commas. Her comma rule went something like this: "Always put a comma down every time that there is a pause in your breath, when you are reading your sentence out loud." I did as I was told and held my breath and passed her English course. All I can say is thank goodness I am not a smoker! Can you imagine how many more commas I'd be using in my sentences!

Looking back now, I am wondering if she used a fake teaching certificate or something, to teach us kids poor English at South Hills Elementary School. She was from Russia. Unfortunately by now, it is too late to find out, because she was pretty old back then, probably about my age now, and I am pretty sure she must be dead by now or comma-tose in Uston, Texas in some nursing home.

Our lunch with Sheryl was a lot of fun and our meals were delicious! Tone didn't talk much, because Sheryl and I discussed my book and her suggested edits. During our meal Lisa walked in and sat down at the table next to us with her and Randy's two precious grand kids. "Hi Lisa!" I said. "Are those Trisha's and Rodney's kids?"

"Yes!" Lisa proudly said, wearing a big smile. "Trish was busy at Copies Plus, so I took them for a few hours."

"They sure are cute," I said, as T. and Sheryl agreed with me.

After our fun lunch at Randy's & Lisa's Save Inn restaurant with Sheryl, we went to Wolfmueller's Books so I could purchase another copy of my book to give to Matt, our great dog walking volunteer. Sandy and Mary Jo were holding down the fort and they were busy helping customers, so we didn't stay long.

Our next stop was at H.E.B. so we could buy our dogs their Christmas dinner. We bought six boxes of cornbread stuffing, four giant bags of shredded Colby Jack cheese, two (h)uge bottles of olive oil, five dozen eggs, three jars of minced garlic, nineteen pounds of ground turkey, ten pounds of mixed vegetables and one hundred and fifty flour tortillas for the daily quesadillas. It cost $131.30.

This afternoon our good friend Carol came over to see us! It's been a while since we have seen her, and we had a fun time catching up with each other's news! And, it looks like I am fixin' to go horseback riding with Carol pretty soon and I can't wait!

Y'all have a great evening!

Mari Sure Knows How To Write The Right Stuff!

My good friend, Mari, of the famous NoMads, sent me this note this morning and I am thrilled for her! Over the years I have told her several times that she is one fantastic writer and now I can prove it! Congrats Mari! Witch Hazel sends you her best!
Mari wrote:
For those that do not know the ‘history’ of how this happened, Sandy Steffan flattered me by telling me I had a talent for bylines (she knew this would butter me up). She sent me several Christmas pix of BRAT dogs and asked me to caption them for use on their website. It wasn’t easy tying these unrelated pix together but I gave it a shot, not knowing if my pithy phrases would go over.

Well, just scroll down to the green letters “Twas Before Christmas. Sandy has put my submission (BTW I don’t recognize all of these dogs) on the BRAT website – adding a couple of pix she must have received after I had developed my ‘story’. She has also added music and some graphics. It came out really nice!

And I got the credit for it, which is nice, but Sandy should give herself some credit too! J


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mr. Rogers!

This morning after walking six miles, I took care of some paperwork and returned phone calls, while my beans simmered in the crock pot. When Tony came inside the trailer, after doing his morning chores, I told him that we were having beans and cornbread for lunch, and his eyes lit up—he was thrilled!

"Those are the best beans that you have ever made!" Tony said, as he served himself seconds. I don't know what I did differently to the beans this time, but I must admit that they really were the best that I have made in a long time.

This afternoon I cooked up some cheese and garlic quesadillas for our dogs outside. Lisa, Matt and Tony helped me pass them out, and as always our dogs loved them! It's definitely their favorite treat! After the dogs had gotten their snack, Lisa, Matt, Tony and I met up at Mr. R. and Miss Dee's pen. As Lisa tried to interact with the dogs from Kansas, I decided to rename Mr. R. because no one could remember it. "His new name is Mr. Rogers! Roger brought him to us, and it is a good name and it will make people smile when they meet him. I loved Mr. Rogers!" Everyone liked his new name, and it did put smiles on their faces.

A few minutes later, John, another great dog walking volunteer, arrived and we had a fun visit, before they grabbed their leashes, and took off to walk some more of our dogs!

Around four-thirty, Lisa, Matt and John came inside the trailer to tell us what a good time the dogs had had on their walks. We talked about our dogs and teased T. about his farming and his new nickname, Mr. Blue Jeans. Then I asked Tone to please get his laptop, and show them his squirrel picture. Like me, they loved it and thought it was great, too!

This evening, around five o'clock, Kinky called and invited us over to the Lodge for a visit. Yes, I went alone, again, because Tony needed to harvest one of his farms. Kinky and I had a fun visit, while we shot a round of pool.

Near the end of the game, after missing way too many shots, I finally caught up to Kinky, and only had one ball left on the table. He called the pocket for the eight ball, and I won by default! He sunk the eight and the cue ball! I couldn't wait to get home and tell Mr. Blue Jeans, so I left the Lodge a few minutes later.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, December 14, 2009

You're Not Going To Believe Who Tony & I Saw In Kerrville Today!

This afternoon, after getting Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch up on Facebook, Tony and I went to Kerrville for groceries, and a late lunch. When we walked into the restaurant, we saw Thomas Hayden Church, sitting in a booth eating his lunch! He was so good in the movie Sideways!

Tony and I met Thomas, nine or ten years ago, when he adopted a dog from us, but we never really knew him, so we just nodded our heads at him, and he nodded back. I can't believe that we have seen two celebrities in the past two days!

After lunch, we swung by H.E.B., grabbed a few groceries, and then we stopped by Wolfmueller's Books, so I could buy a copy of my book, that Tony wanted me to sign, so he could give it as a present, to one of his friends. We had a nice visit with Jon and Mary Jo. Then we came home.

Around four fifteen, I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky. We talked about Susan Boyle's incredibly great CD, and I showed him her performance on England's Got Talent, and he loved it, and I teared up! Then we talked about how nice his friend, Billy Bob Thornton, is!

Yes, it was Billy Bob Thornton who came out to the ranch yesterday to visit Kinky! I told Kinky how much Tone and I really liked Billy Bob, and what a nice guy he is. Then I told him about Billy Bob talking to me about our rescue ranch, and possibly coming back out here to adopt one or two of our dogs! Wouldn't that be cool! Here is a picture of Kinky and Billy Bob in Kinky's office, and Billy Bob's tour bus leaving last night, with Kinky on board!

Y'all have a great evening!

Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch Is On Facebook!

This morning, I spent over three hours getting our rescue ranch up on Facebook! I am not finished working on the site, and I hope that y'all will check it out at:  Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch on Facebook!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yes! He Was Out Here & I Met Him!

At five-twenty the dogs outside started barking! "I bet he's here, Tony!" I half-hollered, excitedly down the hallway! I then went outside to the porch and could here the tour bus. It had passed our turn off to the rescue ranch, and was heading towards the other entrance to the ranch for tour buses! Then I saw it stopped where it was supposed to turn in and its lights were blinking like it had bus trouble! I went back inside the trailer. "Tone, let's go! I think the bus is stuck!" I grabbed my camera, and Tony and I ran outside and jumped into Trigger and took off. 

When we reached the bus in distress, I jumped out of Trigger and ran up to the bus driver's window. "I'm Cousin Nancy with the rescue ranch. This is the correct entrance. We'll pull in front and y'all, so y'all can follow us in."


I then went back to Trigger, jumped inside and told Tone that the bus was going to follow us in. We took off, and the bus slowly followed us in. When we reached the dining hall, I jumped out of Trigger and walked to the Lodge to tell Kinky that he was here, and T. stayed behind so he could tell the bus driver where to park!

"Kink, he's here! Tone is showing them where to park the bus by the dining hall!" I half-hollered, when I came into the kitchen. Kinky was back in his office.

"Great, Nance!" Kinky said. "Let's go meet him at the bus." We left the Lodge and took off walking, with Brownie and Chumley following right behind us. 

When we reached the bus, Kinky introduced us to his famous friend, and we shook hands with him! Here is a picture that Tony took of his tour bus, and them heading towards the Lodge.

To Be Continued...(Sorry, Mari! I'm star stuck and pooped!)

Y'all have a great evening!

Julia Child Just Showed Up!

While I was posting the last blog, two women showed up from Medina. Tony went outside to talk to them. 

At three-thirty, Tone walked inside the trailer and said, "We've got a new little dog. Clare and her friend found her running around Medina. I'm sure she belongs to someone in town."

Let me go take a picture of her, so you can post it on the window at the Old Timer tomorrow morning." I grabbed my camera, and we took off in Kermit. She is real sweet and friendly, definitely someone's best friend. She has a collar, but no tags. Fortunately, when T. held her up, I shot her on the first shot. Please meet—Julia Child! I hope her owners can pick her up tomorrow! 

P.S. Julia was unexpected, and she is not who is coming out to the ranch this evening.

I Have A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore!

Today after lunch, after cleaning up the kitchen, I decided to make friends with Mr. R. and Miss Dee. The three of us are already friends, but I want to be best friends with our dogs from Kansas, so I pulled out a skillet, and cooked up some chicken fajita meat for them.

In Roger's and Mary's five page story about them, I knew that they liked Mexican food, because they were spotted several times eating from trash bins, behind a Mexican food restaurant in Wichita. Since they have now become Texans, I wanted them to try my Tex-Mex cooking, to see if they liked it better.

Well, they didn't like it—they loved it, and Miss Dee nearly took off one of my fingers! As I fed them, I had a long talk with them. I told them who Tony and I were, and that nothing bad was ever going to happen to them, again, and we were going to try to find them a fantastic forever home together. I think they understood, because their tails were wagging wildly!

When I ran out of the chicken fajitas, I knew that they had definitely been street dogs, because they knew how to beg for food—their eyes said it all. So I went back to the trailer and cooked up two cheese and garlic quesadillas for them. While I was cooking, I asked Tone to feed them to Mr. R. and Miss Dee, so I could make a short video of them, for Mary and Roger and y'all.

After I had cut the hot quesadillas into strips, Kermit took T. and me to their pen. While Tony fed them I shot these two videos of them enjoying my cooking!
In the first one, Miss Dee couldn't get enough, but Mr. R. was skeptical about eating my Tex-Mex quesadillas, so he hid them.

In this next short video, after we had left their pen, Mr. R. decided to try them, and he liked them, too!

Tony and I were thrilled about them trusting us more, and taking food from our hands, so we went back into their pen to pet them, and to visit with them some more.

 As Kermit returned us to the trailer, I said, "I bet those dogs were thinking as they were eating, 'I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore!'" Tony laughed. "Tone, I wonder if there is any recipe in Julia Child's French cookbook, that I could fix for our dogs? That would make me an international cook for dogs! I could start cooking them Greek, Italian, French and Tex-Mex food!"

"Sounds good, but I don't think they are going to like your Greek recipes, especially those green wannabe pancakes."

At one-forty, the phone rang—it was Kinky, he is now back at the ranch! He invited us to come over to the Lodge, because he had some exciting news to tell us. I went by myself, because Tony was busy planting strawberries on his virtual farm. "Nance, I can't. Strawberries are the best cash crop! I'll go see Kinky in a few hours."

To Be Continued... (Sorry, Mari. I will post more tonight, you're not going to believe who is coming out to the ranch tonight to see Kinky!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Peach And Plaster!

Today has been a great day! This morning, after a month of planning, Roger and Mary Peach, from Wichita, Kansas, arrived safely with precious cargo—Miss Dee and Mr. R.!

In early November, I received an urgent phone call from Roger, about these two dogs. Near the end of our conversation, I gave him my e-mail address and this is what  he e-mailed to me:

"Please take a minute to read about R & D, [ they lived in a field behind a place named R & D Camperland] these dogs have went from being impossible for animal control to even get near, let alone catch, to living in our garage for the last two months. This has been the longest, most expensive and most time consuming rescue we have ever done, and of course the pain of watching these dogs suffer through all kinds of weather. R is the male Basset mix, unfortunately he was hit by a car just a few weeks before we were able to get him, he needs surgery, but we can't afford to have it done. We have had both of them sterilized and Rabies shots. We have six rescue dogs so we are way over what the law allows. They have been introduced to our dogs and are doing a good job of adjusting. Neither one of them are vicious toward people, they love a good back scratch or belly rub. We can't keep them, but we don't want to see R euthanized, we have put ourselves in a very difficult position, if somebody reports us we will be forced to make that decision about R that nobody wants to make. We are willing to travel at our expense. I am well aware of the strain the economy has put on shelters, but we are looking for that organization that can make room for one or two more dogs. At the bottom of the enclosed attachment is some pictures of them.
Thank you,
Roger and Mary Peach
Wichita, Kansas"

Roger's letter touched my heart, so I showed it to Tony, and then we had a lengthy discussion about these two dogs. Two days later, I sent Roger an e-mail, telling him that we would take their rescued dogs. Since that day, Roger, Mary and I have stayed in touch with each other.

This morning when they arrived in their van, Tony put Mr. R. and Miss Dee in Beckham's old pen. Then they went to the barn with Tone, to help him unload a large sack of dog food, dog treats and vitamins, that they donated to us. When I walked up to greet them, we talked about their six hundred and fifty mile trip, and then they told us more about the dog's history.

Then we took off to Miss Dee's and Mr. R.'s pen, so I could meet them, and give them some hot dogs. I fell in love with the dogs the second that I saw them! As we petted the dogs, Roger and Mary told us that probably the best home for them would be a home without cats. They don't know how they would do with children, and they are house broken. They think Mr. R. is about three to four years old, and Miss Dee is two to three years old. And, the best news was Mr. R.'s leg has healed and he is using it! Mary and Roger are hoping that they can be adopted out together, but they understand if that is not possible. I promised them that I would do my best to keep them together, since all that they have been through.

Tony and I had a fun visit with Mary and Roger inside the trailer, and outside in Outer Space. They left around noon, so they could head back to Wichita, Kansas. During lunch, I told T. that I really liked Mary and Roger, and I could not believe that they had done so much for those two dogs, over the past two years, and then driving them all of the way down here, so we can find them a forever home. That says a lot about them in my book. It's weird Tone, do you know that everyone that we know from Kansas, the Peach and Plaster families, are great people and animal lovers. Those two dogs are great, and I hope that we can find them their forever home, real soon."

After cleaning up the kitchen, I asked Tony to help me get a splinter out of my thumb. "I think I got it yesterday, but I'm not sure. My thumb is throbbing!"

"Nance," Tone said. "I can't see worth a darn. Put a potato on it."

"Put a potato on it?"

"Yes, it will pull the splinter out," Tony said, as he sliced off the top of a red potato. "Here, put this on your splinter." I put the spud slice on my thumb, and kept it there for over an hour. The splinter is gone!

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, December 11, 2009

What Are You Doing?

This morning, Tony and I went to Wolfmueller's Books, so we could meet up with Mari, of the famous NoMads, because she wanted to give me Witch Hazel, her old Dyson 'Animal' vacuum cleaner, that had quit sucking! She knew I loved Hazel, my Dyson 'Animal' vacuum, and she told me I could use hers for parts.

Tone and I arrived at Wolfmueller's a little early, so we visited with Jon and Mary Jo. While Tone was talking to Jon, I went over to their cookbook section and started browsing. When I saw Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I pulled it off of the shelf! "It's on sale, Nancy," Jon said, as he walked past me. One minute later, I was at the counter, writing a check for it! I was thrilled to get it!

After buying the cookbook, Jon took us to see their new bookcase. It was beautiful! As I admired the antique bookcase, Tony was in the background grumbling about me fixing French food to Jon. "Nance is a great cook, and I wish that she would just stay with her own recipes..." Here's a picture I took of the bookcase and Jon's head. His head is on the top shelf on the left hand side.

"Mari is three minutes late," Jon said. "Why don't you tease her, and tell her that you had to buy this book, because she was late, because you felt bad about hanging around the store!" We all laughed. Then Mari arrived!

After handshakes and hugs, we had a fun visit with her! She is one of the nicest people that you could ever meet, and T. and I just love her. When I showed Mari my new Julia Child cookbook, and told her about how much I loved Julie & Julia, I said, "Mari, why don't you and me take turns cooking her recipes, and do a blog about it?" Tone's smile went south. "You could do it one day, and I could do it the next?"

Mari shook her head, "No, I don't think I want to do that." Tone's upside down smile went north! "That's your necklace, the one that you have been blogging about! It is more beautiful in person. I love it!" Before Mari, Tony and I went outside to adopt Witch Hazel, I told Mary Jo, Jon, Mari and Tony that I was going to definitely try to cook at least one meal from Julia's cookbook, and when I did, I wanted all of them to come out for dinner, to try my French cooking. For some reason they all laughed. Then we went outside. Tony took these pictures of Mari and me with Witch Hazel:

After we left Wolfmuellers, we went and grabbed a bite to eat, and then we went to Walmart. As we were checking out, I noticed the Julie & Julia DVD for sale, at the checkout counter, so I picked one up and added it to our cart! When we got home, I took this picture of my two new Christmas presents, while Tone went outside to get Witch Hazel for me!

When she came inside, I immediately went to work on her. The first filter that I removed, several small rocks fell out onto the floor! Then I removed several other parts to check for clogs. When I was done with all I could do, Tony took over. In less than two minutes, he had her running better than my Hazel! I was thrilled! I am now the proud owner of two Dyson 'Animals! And yes, I am bragging! Thank you, Mari! Before putting the twins in the closet, I decided to do a short video clip, to show Witch Hazel in action! "Tony!" I half-hollered, down the hallway. "I'm going to do a short video, and I need for you to help me!"

"Okay!" Tone said, loudly. "I'm nearly done plowing! I'll be there in just a minute!" Three minutes later, when T. came into the kitchen, he saw me pouring a pile of white flour on the painted rug in our kitchen. "What are you doing?"

"The Flour Test!" I said. "I want you to vacuum up the flour, so everyone can see Witch Hazel in action! When I say action, turn her on and let her go to work. Action!" Witch Hazel's Flour Test! After Witch Hazel passed her test, I put the sisters in the closet so they could visit.

At one-thirty, Lisa and her friends showed up to walk our dogs! It was about forty-seven degrees outside and misting, not my kind of weather, but they didn't seem to mind! Before these great people started walking our dogs, Tony and I thanked them and then I shot them! From left to right are: Kevin, Matt, Lisa, Nicole, Ty and Meghan!

Two hours later, Lisa, Matt and Kevin came inside the trailer, and they were wearing smiles, and soaking wet! "Nicole, Ty and Meghan just left," Lisa said. "I wanted to let you to know that we almost got everyone walked and..."

Tony and I were thrilled for our dogs, to say the least, and we thanked them. I love these people, and am pretty sure that they are angels in disguise! They have to be! We had a fun visit with Lisa Matt and Kevin and mainly talked about our dogs. Before they left to go back to Kerrville, Matt told me that he loves Tom Landry, and he might be able to adopt him soon, if everything works out all right! I'll keep you posted.

Y'all have a great evening!