Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Cindy Pickard!

Today is my best friends birthday! And unfortunately, it will be her last birthday in Texas. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Cindy—Happy Birthday to you! We love you!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Do Unto Others!

Today has been fun! Before breakfast, Tony returned from his garden—carrying his yellow, five gallon, vegetable bucket! "You're not going to believe this, Nance!" Tony proudly said. I looked his way, he was grinning, and holding up the biggest zucchini, that I have ever seen!

"Oh my gosh, Tony!" I exclaimed, as I reluctantly looked into the bucket, fearing that it might be full of more fresh veggies. "That's the biggest one, so far! Congratulations!" Tony went back outside to water his garden, while I washed every vegetable in the nearly full bucket. I am happy that we have an over abundance of organic vegetables to eat, but I didn't know where I was I going to put his latest load, so I returned them to the plastic bucket, and fixed our healthy smoothies for breakfast.

After breakfast I walked five fast miles, again! Then I took care of some paperwork, and following that, Tony and I went to Hondo, to pick up Buttermilk—she was ready to come home, again! It seems that she is spending more and more time at the auto repair shop, but you would too—if you were a 1996 Ford Explorer. In other words—she's been rode hard, but we still love her.

When we arrived back at the rescue ranch—we stopped to meet our three latest rescued dogs, that Aaron had picked up at Hoegemeyer's for us, while we were gone! They are adorable! One is a wannabe female Min Pin, and the other two are male and female Fox Terriers. I haven't named them yet, but will tomorrow, when I take pictures of them—to post on our web site:

Kinky is back at the ranch! He called me this afternoon, to invite me over for a visit. I accepted his invitation, and decided to do one of those—pay it forward acts of kindness, or a 'do unto others—as others have done to you,' deals! So, I grabbed my camera, and Tony's yellow bucket—full of fresh, clean produce. The bucket was so heavy—I could barily lift it into the back end of the truck.

When Trigger and I arrived at the Lodge, I pulled a muscle in my shoulder, when I lifted the bucket out of the bed. "Hi Kinky! It's me!" I half-hollered, as I entered the kitchen. I heard Kinky hang up his phone, and then I heard footsteps headed in my direction.

"Hey, Nance! How are you? What's in the bucket?"

"I'm fine, Kink. I brought you some of Tony's vegetable crop. I wanted to share them with you," I half-lied. Then I happily started unloading the pile of vegetables onto Kinky's kitchen table, as I was thinking—better here than there. When I pulled out the giant zucchini—Kinky started laughing, in amazement! When the bucket was half full, I took a break, and shot Kinky, and half of the load of veggies!

Y'all have a great evening!

Hooray For Wild Hogs!

As promised, here is the first Beckham installment from the Trails End Guest House! Thank you, Desiree and David—I love it, and am looking forward to the next one!

The History and Heritage of a Feral Hog
Some stories are told from the writers view point and some from the participants view point. This is told from history’s view point as observed by a long line of Feral Hogs. How the Hogs came to be the keepers of this story is due to the price they paid with their lives. They were in fact something of secret agents living covertly among the Uprights. They lived from dense rich forests to arid gritty grass lands. They still live in all these places, they still are observing; they understand the requirement of faith that they will always be assisting in the survival of the Uprights.

If you read or were read to from the tales of Narnia then hopefully you took away the gift of those books, that being the gift of faith. Faith is like a pint of oil on a smooth level body of water, it will spread out forever and cover the surface of that water. It will leave a colorful sheen, always changing and amazing those who observe it. Faith, like any divine gift can be misplaced and put to poor use but it isn’t the faith that causes the problems, it is the misuse of it. Animals have faith, the pure faith. Uprights, being animals, have faith and sometimes they misuse that faith, but this story is about one certain family of animal that still lives in the pure faith. The stories of the Uprights have been told many times in many books and they are a major part of this story but this story is about the Feral Hog.

This tale was told to two Uprights who were fortunate enough to have had pen and notebook handy on a series of warm summer nights while visiting with a certain Feral Hog named Beckham. It can’t be said that they really conversed openly with the Hog, it was more that they listened to the Hog and through certain gestures and simple disassociated word groupings they might have asked a question or two. If you don’t believe that’s possible just think about this - who of you hasn’t been somewhere in public and you hear Spanish being spoken. Now you don’t speak Spanish but by listening closely and observing you clearly understand what is trying to be communicated. Yet you could no more form a reply sentence in Spanish than spin straw into gold. In that same way Uprights can, if they are willing to observe and listen, learn the stories and observe the lives of animals lived in the pure faith.

Hot, humid and dense rainforest was the life lived by the traveling ancestors of Beckham the Feral Hog. That was quite a change from the rolling oak covered area in Spain from whence they came. Rounded up gently by the enticement of crunchy acorns then pack lead into a wooden pen for many sun and star trips. Finally lead out into the overcast sticky air that was Dominica, the West Indies. The leaders of the Hog band had heard the famous Senior Columbus himself was the master of the ship that brought them to this new land, but they never spoke of it to other tribes of Hogs. Hogs, while proud are not prone to pretension. They prefer to quietly walk in this life under the guise of self confidence. Oh sure they squeal loudly when touched but that is because they are ticklish and they don’t know how to laugh. For years Uprights thought the squeals were due to pain, but pain lingers and if you’ve ever had to poke a Hog with a stick to make it move, give it a shot to keep it healthy or pick it up to move it then you know their squeals can be deafening yet they stop as soon as you walk away from them. If they were in pain they would still squeal, but they were just being tickled and as everyone knows you stop laughing as soon as you stop being tickled.

For many years the clan of Beckham lived and were a large part of the life in the Dominicans. They were allowed to run free in the forests but always the Uprights came with treats and most who followed the trail of treats never returned. The few that did return told tales of things not understood by most Hogs. Every generation an old boar or sow would live past their prime and the young Hogs would bring them choice nuts, grubs and roots. These Wise Ones, as they were called, kept track of the stories and passed them down to the next generation. They told their stores late at night when the deep forest noises kept the Uprights away. Nights were always the peaceful time for animals. Uprights feared the unseen creatures that made the soul piercing noises across the dark sky but not the Hogs. Each and every animal that had kept the purest of the faith would speak the melodic noises of the Uprights among themselves. While all the other Hogs slept peacefully in the soft cool moist leaves that carpeted the forest’s floor the Wise Ones would squeal with delight recalling the stories they knew and the stories that were passed on to them to share with the Hogs forever.

On nights after days or weeks when many Hogs had been lured away, never to return, certain young Hogs would mock the Wise Ones. They would cry out that the Uprights were evil and must be destroyed. The Wise Ones would hold their consul until the anger died away then quietly speak of the plan of the Deeper. The Deeper was the source of the purest faith. The Deeper was like an outcropping of clear water after days of thirst.The Deeper, the Wise Ones would say, has the plan for Uprights and Hogs to live and die together the way they do. They would explain that while the Uprights may do things unthinkable among Hogs, they never tortured the Hogs. The Uprights would torture themselves and their kind with unspeakable horrors but their final treatment of Hogs was swift and merciful. Uprights would cast out any of their own kind that treated Hogs with the treatments they often bestowed upon themselves. The Uprights were a puzzle even to the Wise Ones. The Uprights with the smooth brown skins treated the Hogs differently than the pale Uprights that had hairy faces but in the end it was all the same. The Wise Ones taught that this was the way of The Deep and if it was somehow forced to change it might bring worse upon the Hogs. The Wise Ones knew they were necessary for the Uprights to live and so the Uprights would always try to care for the Hogs even though again, the end would be the same.

One night the Wise Ones noticed bright streaks across the sky. Even in the sun time it would seem as if the lights of the night were creeping and trying to crowd out the bright light. As if a sign many of the Hogs, including some Wise Ones were lured away from the forest by treats far too good to resist. They were then put into the large wooden rooms with giant tan squares that hung off smooth trees and before they were prepared they were again sailing across the waters this time with an Upright called Frenchman - La Salle. They found a new land but they returned to the Dominicans. The next few years were strange ones. A few dozen of the Hogs were kept in pens away from the forest by the unusual Upright and then they were off again after several seasons of storms. This time they touched solid ground in a new place. It was swampy yet arid. Upright Frenchman - La Salle was angry as he was hoping to return to the first place he took the Hogs but could never find it. The Wise Ones kept they and the other Hogs silent during these years. They watched and listened for everything. Nothing was to be taken as trifle. There was danger, even more than before since they were always kept inside an area of crossed sticks surrounded by wooded walls where escape was not possible. No more roaming a cool moist forest. At times it was so cold. The sun would be warm on their back, then suddenly the sky would roar on its back legs, turn deep purple and sheets of rain like ice would plummet them for periods that seemed to never end. The Hogs would creep silently to the Wise Ones in the time of the moon and ask how and when they could find the warm moist forest again. Wait, the Wise Ones would always tell them. Since the Hogs were of the faith, they waited. One day Upright Frenchman - La Salle left; there was much anger with the other Uprights. There was anger if he said he would stay there was anger if he said he would leave. The Wise Ones drew the Hogs near. Then, after Upright Frenchman - La Salle left the wooden area, the sickness started. Hogs and Uprights alike died. They died because they grew hot like fire and lost all their strength to run away, if they had been able to find a way out of the crossed sticks and wooded walls. As the hairy faced Uprights died, moaning and crying some smooth dark Uprights would try to come into the wooden area and do unspeakable things to the hairy Uprights. The Hogs were in their greatest peril now they thought, but these smooth dark Uprights pushed down the wooded walls and opened the crossed sticks that kept the hogs from escaping. They then with much shouting and screaming chased the Hogs away. The Hogs were sad to leave their fellow Hogs who had died and lay dying in the same way as the hairy faced Uprights. As they ran out of the wooden place being poked and kicked by the smooth Uprights several of the Wise Ones looked back in sadness not understanding at all what had happened but they knew it was critical they always pass on this story, no matter what happened. To forget this story would be to breech the pure Faith.
They ran into they knew not where. They saw giant grasses and smooth round clumps of green pads like the stories told of in the country they came from so many star turnings ago. They ran and they ran. They ran till they could run no more yet they did run more. They ran for days only stopping to try and eat something. The green pads were quite a shock. The pads could not be eaten without much pain so the Hogs looked for other grubs and roots. When they had ran for ten turnings of the bright sky light the Wise Ones called everyone to a halt. Here they would stay. No one, not even the youngest of the Hogs asked where they were or if they were lost. Where they were was safe and to return to where they had been was to be lost. They began their new chapter, what the story would be or how this new story might end no one knew.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

If It's Free—It's For Me!

I am proud to say, that I walked five fast miles this morning, while Tony and Aaron did their chores outside! Then Trigger took T. and me to Kerrville—we had to go to Wal*Mart to get supplies.

Just before we reached our destination, I saw a sign, in front of a popular restaurant, that made me laugh out loud! I wished that I had brought my camera with me, but I didn't. In large black letters it said:

'1969—ACID ROCK!

I loved it, and it reminded me to pick up some Extra Strength Rolaids—for Tone. Before going into the super family center, we decided to stick together to speed shop, so we turned off our cell phones, and put them away.

While Tony visited the men's room, I found the Rolaids, and put a jar into our shopping cart. Then Tony found me, and we traveled at a fast pace around the store. As my shopping list grew smaller—our wobbly cart grew in contents, and my checkbook took the hit.

When we got home, after putting up our supplies, I decided to check out the Guinness World Record web site. In no time at all, I found myself filling out their application, in hopes that placing two wild hogs, in forever bed and breakfasts—could be a world record!

The application was pretty long to fill out. Near the end of it, I had two options—I could use their standard method, which could take up to three months to hear back from them, or do their fast track method, which guaranteed me that they would get back to me within three working days, to let me know if we were world record setters, but unfortunately, none of that is ever going to happen.

Just as I was about to submit the application, claiming that Kinky, Tony, Ben and I, at the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, had set a world record—it took me to their last page, to pay the application fee. I figured that it wouldn't be very much money, but I was wrong! We're talking over six-hundred and fifty dollars—I was prepared to spend twenty-five. I can understand it being expensive, because everyone and their mother would be applying—I just can't afford it. So, after all of that work, carefully filling out the application—I clicked on the 'Cancel' icon, and left their site. I was pretty disappointed, but not for long.

I decided to make my own award certificate, and it wouldn't cost me a thing, except for my time! And, as Harley Belew likes to say on the radio, "If it's free—it's for me!" I plan on framing the certificate, for the award ceremony video, that hopefully Kinky will participate in, when he gets back. You will need to click on the certificate, to enlarge it, so you can read it, and the trophy I picked is the little pig, sitting next to the Guinness! Cheers!

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Pig Report!

Today has been a great day, even though I only walked four fast miles 'Sansone Style!' I think the summer heat is sorta zapping my walk-abouts. I was talking to Ben about it, and he agreed with me. He told me that since it got so hot, he hasn't been working out as much either. Since, Mercury is not in retrograde, and it's not full moon time, I am blaming the sun, for not doing eight fast miles everyday.

This morning, Linda T. came out to walk our dogs, and so did Todd and Jan, while Aaron and Ben started dipping our dogs for fleas and ticks! It is a huge task, so Linda helped with the dipping, while Todd continuously fetched, and returned the dogs to their pens. Thank y'all so much!

Around eleven o'clock—Kinky called me from Philadelphia. "Hi Nance! Have we gotten anymore rain?"

"Nope, and yesterday was a hundred and two degrees. I've never seen a summer this hot, so early..." We also talked about Beckham's and Mr. Ziffle's two great adoptions, and Kinky laughed out loud, when I told him about 'The Pig Report' e-mail, that I had received from David and Desiree! Here's an excerpt from their note from the Trails End Guest House:

"The guests have just begun to notice Beckham. He makes himself known in a series of grunts and squeals then runs up to the fence to greet everyone or at least that is what the guests think. He is really hoping they have some chilled watermelon rind in their back pocket. His pen is going through an overhaul already. His house has been unassembled and rethought due to unforeseen design modifications ( i.e. he is going to get really big) and he is currently basking in the mists on his veranda under the trees. That translates into we strung a water mister between two cedar trees for him to keep cool and he drug a plastic tarp off the lumber pile, positioned it where it would pond water and has proceeded to make his pen look like a drunken frat boys dorm room. He's all about the comfort. 
Any road, what I was e-mailing about was this - the story of Beckham is going to be a long one. There is quite the tale to tell. Amazing what stories animals can tell. Since you said you were interested in his tale would you prefer I e-mail it to you in installments every day or so, or do you want to wait till we hear it all and completely write all of it down? An amazing fellow he is.
Our best to you both,

Tony and I laughed out loud, as we read their hilarious e-mail! It sounds like Beckham Rules, and he has found his forever Bed and Breakfast! I love it—it is too cool! I replied to their e-mail, and requested the 'installment plan.' I think it will be fun to receive every day or so updates! I can't wait to read their first installment! And, I will definitely post them, so y'all can enjoy them, too.

I just hope that precious, little wild hog, realizes just how lucky he is. There are not many wild hogs, that can brag about living at a fancy B&B!

I guess our rescue ranch can now brag, that we have rescued two wild hogs, Harley and David Beckham, that now live happily at bed and breakfasts! Harley lives in Vanderpool and Beck now resides in Kerrville. I wonder if we could set a Guinness World Record for that?

If not, I could make up a fake Guinness World Record certificate, frame it, and then make a video of Kinky and Tony, standing out by the pig pen, holding Guinness beers in their hands— accepting the 'Placing Two Wild Hogs At B&B's' award, and then giving their acceptance speeches! I'm sure Tony's will be short.

Y'all have a great evening!

P.S. I forgot to thank Jim, our loyal dog walking volunteer, for coming out yesterday to walk our dogs! Thank you, Jim!
P.S.S. I've just added Guinness beer to my grocery list, and will start working on the award certificate—tomorrow morning!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Living Off The Grid!

Today I only walked four fast miles with Leslie. Kinky called me about eleven o'clock, from the Austin airport, to see if we had gotten anymore rain. My answer was—"Nope." Kinky was at the airport, waiting for a plane—to take him to Philadelphia, so he and Little Jewford could do some Cigar events. He should be back at the ranch on Monday.

I spent most of the day, doing paperwork and returning phone calls. This afternoon Ben came inside the trailer to visit with Tony and me. We first talked about rescue ranch business, and then we caught up with each other's news. Ben told me that his, and his business partner, Miles—'Miles of Chocolate' business, is steadily growing, and their business is booming! Then Ben tells us that he is now a farmer on Facebook! Tone and I didn't understand, so Ben got on T.'s laptop, and went to his Facebook page, to show us this new farming game, that he has added to his wall. It was really cool! Then we started talking about my friend, Cindy P.'s new place in New Mexico.

I started telling Ben about it being off of the grid, all solar, etc., and how I couldn't wait to go out there to see it! We started talking about cob houses, solar panels, and living green, and that's when I remembered reading the interesting article in this month's Texas Monthly—about John Wells!

"There's this really cool, fifty year old man, living outside of Terlingua, who runs the Southwest Texas Alernative Enegy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory! Ben, you have got to read the article about this guy!" I said, as I left the kitchen to go get the magazine from my office. "He is blogging daily, about his personal experiment in living green! I'm going to check out his blog this evening. Here read this." Tony and Ben read it. They thought it was as cool as I did.

After Ben left, I sat down at the kitchen table, and typed in John's blog address: thefieldlab.blogspot.com. I love his site, he uses the same layout that Tony uses! As I scrolled down the page, I quickly read a few of his blogs, and I really enjoyed the pictures. When I have the time, I plan to read his entire blog, from beginning to end, and I can't wait! I hope that y'all will check it out, too.

Before leaving his blog, I decided to post a comment. Here is what I wrote:

"Hello John! I read the article about you in Texas Monthly, and loved it! I admire what you are doing in Terlingua.

I am the executive director of the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, in Medina, Texas, that Kinky Friedman, Tony, my husband, and I started nearly eleven years ago.

Last April, our friends Curt and Sue, the donkey people from Terlingua came out to visit us. They are great people and I bet that you know them. If you do—please tell them howdy for me.

Keep living the good life!
Cousin Nancy

P.S. I think that you are on the right track! I am going to blog about you tonight."

I've got to go call Cindy P. now, who is in her new home in New Mexico, as I type, to tell her about John Wells. I hope John knows our friends, Curt and Sue!

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Love These People!

This morning, while doing the Harley Show, I told Harley that Mr. Ziffle had gotten adopted! "That's great, Cousin Nancy!" Harley remarked. "Now, is Mr. Ziffle that cute little wild hog that y'all rescued?"

"No Harley," I said. "David Beckham is our wild hog. Mr. Ziffle is our gigantic black dog—that we all loved—and he's now living in Houston."

"That's right," Harley said. "So how is David Beckham doing? Isn't he going to live at a bed and breakfast?"

"He's doing great, and yes, he's fixin' to get adopted, and go live at the Trails End Guest House." Little did I know—how soon.

"That place is really great," Harley stated. "Becky and I went out there last week, to eat, and to see David and Desiree's place. Their food was delicious, and we loved the cabins." Harley and I visited a little longer, and then my rescue ranch segment was over.

Following breakfast, while I was washing the dishes, the phone rang—I let Carlton take the call. "Hi Nancy and Tony. This is David and Desiree calling. We wanted to know if we could come out this morning and pick up Beckham? Call me at..." I turned off the faucet, and did as I was told!

Desiree and I talked for about five minutes, and we did a lot of laughing. As soon as we hung up on each other, I went outside and told Tony the good news. "Desiree said that they would be here between ten-thirty and eleven o'clock." Tony was thrilled. He then took off to go tell Ben and Aaron the good news.

I then returned to the trailer and called Kinky. After telling him about Beck getting adopted, he told me to please call him, when they got here, so he could come over, to meet D&D, and to say goodbye to Beck. I told him I would. I lied, again, but not intentionally.

I then walked four fast miles with Leslie, cleaned up—and was ready to greet Desiree and David, as soon as they arrived. I passed the time returning phone calls. Around ten-forty-five, I went out to the porch, and saw D&D's big, white truck parked out by the barn! I then called Kinky to tell him that they were here, I grabbed my camera, and then I went outside to greet them—but that never happened.

As I closed the front yard gate, behind me, I saw them driving away! "Was that David and Desiree?" I asked, Aaron and Ben, by the barn.

"Yeah," Aaron said. "They just left with Beck. They were here for about thirty minutes walking around. They had their daughter with them, too, and she might come back and adopt Martha Stewart or L.T."

I was sick that I had missed them, and didn't get to say goodbye to Beck. I went back to the trailer, and punched in D&D's cell phone number. I wanted to apologize to them, for not being there for Beck's adoption. Desiree and David were great about it, and told me not to apologize, and then they invited Tony and me to come visit Beck anytime. I love these people!

When that phone call ended—my dogs started barking—Kinky was here for the adoption, and to have a picnic with Toto and the rest of my gang of furry best friends. He, too, was disappointed about not getting to say goodbye to Beck, and meeting D&D. "They've invited us to come over, anytime, to visit with Beck," I said.

"Good," Kinky said. "Let's do it soon. I already miss that little pig." Kinky had his picnic with my dogs, on the front porch, and then Mr. Green Jeans took him back over to the Lodge.

Around four o'clock, Tony, Ben and I were visiting inside the trailer—talking about the horrible heat wave, and the serious drought that we were going through. So, I went outside to the porch, and then came back inside the trailer. "We're talkin' one hundred and four degrees on the porch." Tony and Ben didn't seem surprised with my weather bulletin.

Ten seconds later, Ben says, "Hey, guys—It's raining outside."

"You're kidding me?" I said, as I looked out the window, and saw that it was pouring! "Come on, let's go outside! This is fantastic! Come on rain!" We all went outside, including the dogs—to watch it rain. We only got about a quarter of an inch of rain, but we were thankful.

Ten minutes later, Ben took off to go check on his girls—Valerie and Penny. I then went inside and called Kinky's cell phone. "Hi Kinky—it's Nancy. I have some great news for you! It just rained, and we got..."

"That's great, Nance," Kinky said. "Do you know that Michael Jackson has just died?" My heart sank.

"Oh, no! I loved Michael Jackson. He was a musical genius, and his life story was so tragic and surreal." Kinky and I talked for a few more minutes. Then I went outside to tell Tony about Michael Jackson dying.

"Michael Jackson is dead?" Tony asked. "And, so is Farrah Fawcett." I was shocked with T.'s news. I knew that Farrah had been fighting a losing battle with cancer, but I could not believe that one of Charlie's Angels was now an angel.

Godspeed—Michael and Farrah. Y'all will always be remembered, and loved for your beauty, and your talents.

It's nearly nine o'clock, and I am fixin' to watch the Michael Jackson special on CBS.

Y'all have a great evening!

P.S. Tone is now on the well side.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Y'all Have A Great Evening!

Today has been fairly quiet—not much happened. After walking eight fast miles, this morning, I spent most of my day doing paperwork, and returning numerous phone calls.

Around noon, Tone came inside the traile. He told me that he wasn't feeling well. He had a headache, a stomach ache, and was feeling achy all over. I sure hope that he isn't coming down with something.

Late this afternoon, I went over to visit with Kinky. We sat outside, by the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, and talked about our up coming books, and Mr. Ziffle's great adoption! Forty-five minutes later, Trigger took me home.

I'm fixing to watch a movie, and then go to bed early.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fast And Furious!

This morning, after walking eight fast miles, with Les, I needed to write two letters—one was sad, and the other one was in Pig Latin. I wrote the sad one first. After returning a few phone calls, I decided to do something about the never ending, growing pile, of Tony's organic vegetables—now covering one entire drain board, because Tone, had not heeded my advice, about taking his harvested crop to the Old Timer this morning, and giving his veggies away.

My plan was simple. I would cook for two hours. After cranking up my iPod, I put two big skillets, and a large pot, on the stovetop, turned on the oven, and began cooking like a short-order cook—with two newly parked Greyhound buses outside!

I started with the zucchini, squash, onions and yams! Within an hour, I had put ten big containers of cooked veggies—into the freezer! Next came the potatoes. Within another hour, I had cooked up several servings of hashbrowns, potato salad, and mashed potatoes—also now residing in the freezer.

My two hours of cooking time were well spent! I was thrilled that I had accomplished so much! I had now regained two-thirds of my countertop space back, but the sight of those dozens of ripe tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and onions, just sitting there—taking up space—really irritated me, so I did what I had to do—I made salsa and picante sauce!

Before putting it into containers to freeze, I had Tone taste it, and he said it was perfect!

This evening, about six-fifteen, Trigger took me over to the Lodge. Kinky and I had a short business meeting, then we went outside to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard—for a fun visit. Before leaving, Kinky challenged me to a game of pool.

The game was fast and furious! The Hummingbird Man was fast, and I was furious, not really—I always lose! By the time that he had won, I had only sank two solids, and they were lucky shots—not meant to be.

As Kinky walked me to Trigger, I told him about Tony's overwhelming vegetable crop, and having to cook up a storm, earlier today. Kinky thought it was pretty funny. Before Trigger and I left the Lodge, Kinky asked me to please bring over as many unwanted vegetables as we wanted, because he would love to eat them!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Godspeed, Tom Price!

This afternoon, I received this very sad e-mail, from Stephanie:
"Hello to All,
As many of you have already heard, Tom passed away just before noon today. He went to sleep peacefully in his bed with Susan, as always, by his side. It’s never easy to lose someone you love, but I think we all know how fortunate we are to have had someone like Tom in our lives.

I want to thank all of you, as do Susan and Ben, for all of your love, support, visits, emails, and meals that have helped ease the burden that these fine folks have had to carry. At the request of Susan and Ben, we are going to stop the meal service after tonight. Thank you to those who have signed up for this week, but let’s cancel those meals so that Susan may begin the therapeutic process of cooking again.

I won’t quote this correctly, but as Tom’s good friend Bob Raines said recently, if life is a game, and the point of the game is to make the most friends, and touch the most lives for the better... well, we all know Tom won.
Love to you all,

Tony and I loved Tom Price, and we will miss our dear friend so much. Tom definitely won the game. Kinky, Tony and I send our love and sympathies to Susan, and their son, Ben, over their loss. I can't quit crying, and I am at a loss for words. Godspeed, Tom—we love you, and thank you for letting us be your friend.

Tom Price

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Act Of Kindness!

Today has been nice and quiet—summer solstice, the first day of summer—the longest day of the year and Father's Day. Right now, my sister, Cindy, and her husband, Ray, are celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary— onboard a Princess cruise ship, headed to Alaska. And, I want to give them a shout out—"Happy Anniversary Cindy and Ray! I love y'all, and enjoy your seven-day cruise!

This morning, right after I had walked eight miles with Leslie, my brother, Ronnie, called me—all excited, "Nance, Guess what I got for Father's Day?"


"Nita bought me an iPod Touch! And, I love it! It is really cool, but I need to ask you a few questions about it. How do I..."

I was thrilled that Ron had gotten an iPod Touch, and I tried to answer all of his technical questions. In a few months, I will probably be calling him for technical support on my iPod Touch, because he is a lot more computer savvy than I am.

Around two o'clock, I took an hour nap with my furry friends, and I had a very strange dream—it didn't make any sense to me or to Tony, when I told him about it. I wish that I could tell y'all all about it, but I can't. But, I can tell you about one part of it.

In my dream, I was inside the trailer, and a friend walks inside the trailer, with my palomino horse, named Trigger. (Please remember that this is a dream, and the only horse, that I ever named Trigger, was my twenty-two year old, chestnut mare, and that was over thirteen years ago!) Anyway, Trigger comes up to me, and starts kissing and nuzzling me in the kitchen!

I was scared that the kitchen floor would give way, from the weight of Trigger, and I would end up with a big hole, in the middle of my kitchen floor, where the painted rug is located. So, I asked my friend to please take Trigger outside. He tried to take Trigger outside, but Trigger wanted to stay with me, so I grabbed an apple, and then walked outside, and Trigger follows me... Sorry, that is about all that I can tell you.

Tone has been outside working in his garden. He just walked inside, carrying that big yellow bucket, again. He is now laughing, as he is unloading more vegetables! My countertop is now completely covered up in vegetables! It now appears that I will be cooking more vegetables tomorrow, and freezing them, before he hauls in another load—in a couple of days.

Wait! I just had a light bulb moment! Our freezer is getting really full of cooked veggies, and I might just ask Tony to take his latest harvested crop, to the Old Timer, tomorrow morning—to give away to strangers! That would be an act of kindness, right?

Before I go, I want y'all to see a picture that T. took yesterday morning. He took it in our garden, and it is the inside of a sunflower, with a bee visitor. It is awesome, and I love it!

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mr. Ziffle, Roy Rogers & U.F.O.'s!

Today has been great, fantastic and really weird! I'll start with great. This morning, around eleven-thirty, our friend, Joe, from Houston, showed up with his beautiful family, and friends—to adopt Mr. Ziffle! Earlier this week, Joe had called me about coming up on Saturday, to adopt Mr. Ziffle—so we we're expecting him. Even Mr. Z. knew that Joe was coming, because I had told him yesterday evening.

After handshakes, hugs and howdy doodies, I came inside the trailer. I called Kinky, to let him know that Joe had arrived, and then I grabbed my clipboard, with Mr. Ziff's adoption papers—ready to be signed. As I was walking out the door, the phone rang, and I did something that I never do—I answered the phone!

Fortunately, it was Kent, one of the best mailmen in Texas, "Nancy, I've got a really large package for you and Tony. It's a big box." Kent said. "I'll leave it on top of the mailboxes. I just wanted to let you know—in case it rains."

"Thank you, Kent. I'll tell Tony," I lied, but not intentionally. I then went outside, and simply forgot to tell Tone about our mystery package, because I was in the middle of a great adoption.

Joe quickly filled out the adoption form, and then we took off to Ziffer's pen, to tell him that he now had a new last name. I guess that he will hyphenate his last names— like I do.

As soon as we reached Ziffle's pen, Joe—went inside to talk to his newest family member. Mr. Z. knew exactly what was going on, too. His tail wouldn't stop wagging! Joe sat down on the ground, and then Mr. Ziffle gave him a gentle kiss on his cheek, and then another one! I was so happy for Mr. Ziffle, a tear came to my eye, but I quickly wiped it away, because I didn't want Tony or Kinky teasing me about it later.

Joe put a leash on his new furry friend, and walked out of the pen with him. He wanted to take his new dog for a walk, while his three daughters, and friends toured the rescue ranch with Tone. Before they were halfway to the the rescue ranch's gate, Kinky and Mr. Green Jeans arrived, and so did Todd B.!

Todd, is one of our wonderful, volunteer dog walkers. He had arrived earlier this morning, to walk our dogs, and he was returning with Henry, our big, sweet, beautiful yellow Lab, that he had just taken for a long walk. After Todd had taken Henry back to his pen, he came over to tell Mr. Ziffle goodbye. Here's a picture of Todd with Kinky.

By now, Joe's girls and friends, had taken the tour, and they joined us, too. After intros, we visited for about fifteen minutes, and then we shot each other. Here is Kinky, with Mr. Ziffle and his new family!

We visited a little bit longer, then it was time for Joe and Mr. Ziffle, and their gang of girls to take off. As they drove away, Kinky, Tony and I talked about how happy we were for Mr. Ziffle. "Third time's the charm, Kinky," I said. "He has finally found his forever home—in Houston!"

After Mr. Green Jeans had left our ranch—to return Kinky back to the Lodge, T. and I visited with Paul E., another one of our great volunteers, and a couple of very nice women, who had come out to see the rescue ranch and to take a tour. After they left, T. and I came inside to eat lunch. We had beans with cornbread, and it was delicious! Tony loves my beans!

Following lunch, Tony took off to get our mail, while I cleaned up the kitchen. Tone and Trigger, had been gone two minutes, when I remembered, that I had forgotten to tell Tony about the big package. Oh well, I thought—he will be surprised, but unfortunately—that didn't happen.

The phone rang. Carlton told me it was Kinky, so I picked up the receiver. "Nance, I've got a big package over here for you and Tony," Kinky said. "I can bring it over there, if you want me to?"

"Thanks, Kinky," I said. "I'll come over there to pick it up, in a few minutes." When Tony returned with our mail, I told him I was going over to Kinky's to pick up a big package for us—then Trigger and I took off.

Kinky and I visited for about thirty minutes—we mainly talked about Mr. Ziffle's great adoption and The Friedmans. When it was time for me to leave, Kinky pulled the big box out of Mr. Green Jeans and dropped it gently into Trigger's bed. Trigger and I then went over the river and through the woods—to the rescue ranch.

I tried to lift the box out of the bed, but couldn't because I am too short, so I went inside, and asked Tony to help me. He did as he was told.

Tone set the big box on the kitchen table, and pulled out his pocketknife. "It's from The Ranch House, in Stephenville?" Tony said, as he cut open the box. Tony and I had no clue who The Ranch House was. When he opened up the box, we found a very pretty gift wrapped large box. Tony then removed the pretty paper.

"Oh my gosh, Tony!" I half-hollered, with excitement, when I saw the box! Tony quickly opened up the box, and pulled out a 'Limited Edition Roy Rogers Chuckwagon Cookie Jar!' I thought that I was going to faint! The cookie jar was absolutely beautiful!

"It's from Ruthie and Kent," Tony said, as he handed me the piece of paper. "They wrote us a note in Pig Latin! They are the two nicest people."

I read their note to us, out loud, and translated it to Tony. "Ancynay & Onytay...Entkay & Uthieray." By the time that I had finished reading it, T. and I were laughing so hard—Lucky left the kitchen, and our dogs started barking at us! When our laughter subsided, I put the beautiful cookie jar on the counter, and took these pictures of it!

Isn't it beautiful?! I love it so much! After taking the pictures of it, I called Kent and Ruthie. Unfortunatley, I got their machine, and I left them a long message—thanking them over and over, again for the cookie jar. Tomorrow I will write them a note, and write it in Pig Latin, too!

At three o'clock, Tony and I took off for Kerrville, to buy dog food for our rescued dogs, because we had run out of the free donated dog food—that Paul finds, and delivers to us. We were nearly in the city limits when Tony points his finger, and says, "Nance, look! What is that up there in the sky?" I looked up.

We both saw this big, white shiny thing, way up in the northeast sky, that looked like a giant hot dog—and it wasn't moving! "I bet it's a U.F.O!" I stated. I then looked at Trigger's clock. "It's three-twenty-six," I said. "If we report it, we will have to know the time that we saw it." About ten seconds passed, and then it completely disappeared! "Let's go tell Sandy and Jon about it, before we go to H.E.B.!"

"Nance, that's our first U.F.O. sighting!" Tony said.

"It's our first sighting together," I said, "but not the first one that I've seen. Remember me telling you about that one, that I saw, a few summers back, that hovered in one place, for about four minutes, that had all of these beautiful flashing red and blue lights, above Robert and Sherry's ranch?" Tony said nothing.

When we arrived at Wolfmueller's Books, their place was packed with people—as usual, so we went back to their office, for privacy—to report our space ship sighting. I think they thought we were crazy, because they both started chuckling. In our defense, I said, "What else could it have been? We're talkin' now you see it—now you don't! We both saw it and watched it. And, it wasn't moving." They changed the subject, and we did a lot of laughing.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, June 19, 2009

We're Having A Garden Party!

This morning I received a sweet note from my friend, Carl N., up in Denton, Texas. He and his wife, Debbie, are two of the nicest people in North Texas! At the end of Carl's e-mail, he wrote: 'Idea for veggies.... make gift baskets and give to strangers ....' I burst out laughing, when I read it! It's a great idea, and, I plan on doing it—starting today!

As soon as I am done walking, I am going to make up a pretty, garden gift basket, with pastel pink ribbons, and then sneak over to the Lodge, and drop it off at Kinky's back door—and then high tail it back to the rescue ranch. He'll never figure out who it was!

I am also thinking about having a 'Garden Party' real soon. The invitations would be pink, and say something like, 'You're invited to Tony's and Cousin Nancy's Pickin' and Grinnin'—Garden Party! And it would, of course, be—B.Y.O.B.—which is short for: Bring Your Own Basket or Box.

For decorations, I could string the beans, around the Christmas lights, above the windows—in Outer Space, and use the giant pumpkins for extra seating or for ottomans. For games, we could have roping contests using the pumpkins, too. We could also play marbles, in the dirt—using either the onions or the radishes. And, the children could take our potatoes, and play 'Mr. Potato Head,' while my iPod blasts my favorite tunes.

If Carol's and my grape vineyard is producing, we could serve homemade wine. How cool would that be! And for party favors, I could give everyone, a copy of my new upcoming book! I am starting to really get excited about our upcoming garden party! I think that we should have it in August, and all of y'all are invited!

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You Reap What You Sow!

This morning, after drinking our smoothies, Tony went outside to go check on his garden, so I decided to walk the walk, in front of my television. On cue, when I shoved the workout DVD into the DVD player, my dogs knew what was fixin' to happen, so they ran for cover! They quickly scrambled around 'the big room,' and jumped up, into their favorite old chairs, so I wouldn't accidentally do a hit-and-walk—because they know me, too well. To them, I am the female version of Mr. Magoo—the cartoon character, from way back when.

While the DVD's silent, long running, warning message appeared on the blue colored screen, warning me about going to the nearest, privately owned penitentiary, if I copied their DVD, I put a load of wet, clean clothes, into Steve McQueen, to tumble dry!

FYI: Last month, I forgot to tell y'all, that I changed Airy Queen's name to Steve McQueen, after watching 'Junior Bonner.' Anyway, the message on the screen, goes on to state, that they strongly suggest that I consult my physician, which I don't have, before doing their workout. And, lastly, to protect themselves—it says that if I should possibly drop dead, in my tracks—Tony and Kinky would not be able to sue them. We're talkin'—walk at your own risk here.

Well, I sorta like taking risks, it's a Libra deal, I can't help it, so I pushed the play button on the remote and took my chances—wondering if I would survive another workout. I had my fingers crossed.

I was forty minutes into my personal walk-about, with only five minutes left to go, when Steve loudly beeped, to let me know his work was done drying, and then Tone comes inside the trailer—carrying a large, yellow, five gallon bucket—with his organic, heirloom vegetables inside it!

While I did my final stretches, T. quietly washed the vegetables in the kitchen sink, and then he neatly piled them on the drain board. When my workout was done—I gasped for air, and nearly had a heart attack, when I saw Tony's morning crop! Here's a picture of it!

Tone's healthy vegetables were beautiful! We're talkin' beans, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, and zucchini! And, he was so proud of them!

I didn't know what to do with his vegetable crop, that could easily feed a family of four, for several days, because I don't know how to can, or even know the procedure for freezing fresh vegetables properly. I also knew that there was no way, that we could eat all of his veggies in a day. So, not wanting to hurt Tony's feelings, I said, "They're beautiful, Tone! Congratulations on today's bumper crop!" While I secretly hoped that I would come up with a solution, as to what to do with his vegetables, sometime during the day.

While showering—I nearly had a full blown panic attack, and got soap in my eyes, when I wondered, and then worried if Tony would be harvesting that many vegetables everyday! I knew he had over-planted some, and that you reap what you sow—and the thought of that—truly had me scared!

While I was drying myself off, I started quickly counting, in my mind, the number of local friends that we have—that we could dump his vegetables on, excuse me, I mean share his vegetables with. By the time I was fully dressed—I sadly realized, that my jeans were a little too tight, because I had eaten too much of Ray's birthday cake, but more importantly—I realized that T. and I needed to get a lot more new friends—P.D.Q.!

Fortunately, I had a lot of paperwork to do today, so I put my worries on hold. Around four o'clock, my dear friend, Cindy P. called—she was coming over for a visit! That cheered me up, because I couldn't wait to see her! She's moving to New Mexico, in August, and she had just returned from there.

Before Cindy arrived—I came up with a solution for today's over abundance of vegetables—I'd cook them, and then freeze them! When Cindy arrived, I had cooked nearly half of the squash, onions, zucchini with some tomatoes, and had already put them into the freezer!

When Cindy saw what was left of today's crop, sitting on our drain board, I offered to 'share' them with her, and she was delighted, but not as much as me! I quickly filled a sack up, with Tony's vegetables! I now, only had to cook one more round of vegetables, to clear off the drain board—for tomorrow's crop!

As Cindy and I sipped wine, and talked about the 'Enchanted Land,' which we both love—I put the last containers of cooked veggies into our freezer!

Y'all have a great evening!

P.S. I want to do a shout out to Marcus, the great waiter at Bella Vita! You Rock!

Two Glasses of Wine!

My friend, Grace A., sent me this e-mail this morning, and I loved it! If I had written it, I would of used two glasses of boxed wine, with ice cubes, instead of two beers! I will write more this evening.

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers...    

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2  Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.  

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.   

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly.  

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  

He asked once more if the jar was full.  

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The  students laughed...

'Now,' said the  professor as the laughter subsided,'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your  life.  

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.  

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.  

The same goes for life.  

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.  

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse or significant other out to dinner. Play another 18.  

There  will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.  

Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.  

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.  

The  professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Happy Birthday To Mark Stevens!

Happy Birthday, Mark! We love you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Justin Gypsy Boots—Pink!

Sunday morning, I woke up, and didn't want to get out of bed, because my dogs and cat were snuggled up close to me—sleeping. I stayed in bed for a few minutes, just enjoying their company. When I sat up in bed, my furry friends woke up, shook their heads, yawned, and then they pounced on me, and showered me with wet kisses! Then they joyously jumped off of the bed, and started yapping at me in delight, with their tails wagging wildly—stirring up the latest cat and dog shed hair! Their happiness made me laugh out loud, as their old hair swirled around the bedroom.

After feeding my happy, hairy herd, I started Perky, the percolator, and then showered and dressed. At seven-thirty, I was in the kitchen, using my pink magnifying glass, to read the instructions, on how to make Cafe Du Monde's beignets.

Years ago, or should I say fifty pounds ago, I used to make beignets all of the time for Tony, Kinky and me, but I had forgotten the procedure.

Rick knocked on the door—and startled me, and my sleeping pet pals! "Come in, Rick," I hollered, over the sound of my barking babes.

"Good morning, Cousin Nancy!" Rick said, as he poured himself some delicious organic coffee. "How are you doing this morning?"

"I'm fine and fixin' to make beignets for breakfast, if I can read this small, fine print directions..." Rick laughed.

"I like your little pink magnifier—it's cute. Did Tony get that for you?"

"Did I get what?" Tony said, smiling, as he closed the screened-glass door behind him. "Morning Nancy and Rick."

"That pink magnifying glass," Rick said. Tony nodded yes, and we laughed.

"Yes," T. replied. "I use it, too. It lights up when you squeeze it." Tony walked over to the drain board to pick it up.

"Which one lights up—Cousin Nancy, or the magnifying glass?" Rick quipped, and then he started laughing.

"Both," Tone answered. We all started laughing, as I spooned in the beignet batter, into the skillet, full of hot olive oil.

Six minutes later, I grabbed my favorite serving platter, that reads— 'Everything Tastes Better With Dog Hair In It,' that Mary S., John Kemmerly's super sweet mom, had given to me a few years back. I love it! And, here's a picture of it:

A couple of minutes later, Rick, Tony and I were eating delicious, powder-sugar covered, beignets from it, and fortunately, no one found a single dog or cat hair! Why? Because the newly shed hairs were all floating around, in our bedroom—thanks to our ceiling fan.

When the platter was empty—our stomachs were full, Rick poured a cup of coffee for Leisa, and then he took it outside to my writing cabin—to give to her. When he returned to the trailer, I cranked up my iPod, opened up the front porch window, and then suggested that we go outside—into Outer Space, for a visit, while we waited for our friends: Ruthie, Kent, Kinky, Ben and Will to arrive. We didn't wait long.

A few minutes after going into Outer Space—we left it, because our 'party of five' had arrived! After howdy doodies, handshakes and hugs—we all went inside the trailer, so everyone could get a cup of coffee! Then we left the trailer and went back into Outer Space.

I stayed for about a minute, then I excused myself, because I needed to make beignets for everyone. I nearly had the hot skillet filled with beignet batter, when Ruth Buzzi came inside the trailer to help me! "The guys started talking," Ruth Buzzi said. "So I told them—I'm going inside to visit with Cousin Nancy."

Oh my gosh! I was thrilled, and once again—star-struck! I'm thinking, 'I can't believe this! Ruth Buzzi is actually standing inside my trailer—talking to me, like we're best friends! It can't get any better than this!' But, I was wrong.

I really wanted to pinch myself, to make sure this wasn't a dream, but I didn't, because I have a low threshold for pain. And, my last 'Ruth Buzzi pinch'—is now an unattractive bluish-yellow bruise. Sorry, no pictures.

As Ruthie and I are visiting, she comes over to the stove, where I'm nervously frying beignets, and she starts telling me about her wonderful Italian grandmother's cooking. And, the next thing you know—Ruthie is standing over my stove, and cooking the beignets, and giving me some really helpful tips! Then she gives me her grandmother's secret 'pizza friatta' (spell check there) recipe! I love this woman! She is one incredible lady!

After Ruthie and I patted the grease off of the beignets, we made one more batch of beignets beauties. While the beignets sizzled, she and I talked about my exercise routine, her and Kent's ranch, ducks, chickens, and my Justin Gypsy pink cowgirl boots, etc. I was having a blast, even though I was still star-struck! Good grief—I couldn't help it! You would've be, too! We're talkin'—Ruth Buzzi!

Then the guys, and Leisa came inside the trailer for their breakfast. Ruthie's new, and muchly improved, Italian-style version of New Orlean's famous pastry disappeared—faster than fast! Her's were so much better than mine. And, fortunately, no one reported any sightings of dog or cat hair! Thank goodness!

Following breakfast—laughter filled the trailer! Everyone was taking turns telling funny stories, and I was having so much fun! At one point, during a hilarious Kinky tale, Ruthie asked me for a piece of paper and a pencil. I grabbed my clipboard, tucked a piece of paper on it, plucked a pen from the breakfast bar—and then handed it to her, and she went to drawing!

As the conversation flowed, Ruthie came over to me, to show me pictures of how her grandmother worked the dough, the size that the pieces should be, etc.! I was so excited with her drawing—I forgot to ask her to sign it, because I do plan on framing it!

Rick and Leisa were the first to leave—because they needed to get back to Port Aransas. After hugs and handshakes, they took off, and I wish that they hadn't left so quickly, because they missed being in our Sunday morning group picture that T. took of us! Thank you, Tony! From left to right: Cousin Nancy, Ruthie, Kent, Kink, Will and Ben:

Before everyone else left, to go home, Ruthie grabbed one of my hot pink scratch pads, and wrote down these words and tucked it into her jean pocket: Justin Gypsy Boots—pink!

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy Birthday To Denise Stevens!

Happy Birthday, Denise—we love you! Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time Out!

Today is Ray's birthday. I was planning on going to go up to Austin, to celebrate it with my family. Tony said that he would stay here, to look after the dogs.

Well, Tony just walked inside the trailer, and told me that he is going to Austin with me, because he worries too much, when I am on the road alone. Yeah! He told me that he had already talked to Aaron, earlier this morning, and Aaron said that he would be glad to baby sit the rescue ranch for us. Yeah, again!

So, it's official now—Tony and I are fixin' to go on another one of our eighteen hour vacations! And, we're leaving pretty quick! I can't wait to tell y'all about our Sunday morning breakfast with Kinky, Ruthie, Kent, Rick, Leisa, Ben and Will! I will blog about it tomorrow!

Y'all have a great Tuesday! I'm packing!

Happy 60th Birthday To Ray Roche!

I want to wish a Happy Birthday to my favorite brother-in-law—Ray! I love you and will be at your 60th Birthday Party—tonight!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Road Not Taken!

Saturday morning, around seven o'clock, Rick came inside the trailer. "Good morning, Cousin Nancy!"

"Morning, Rick," I said. "How are you doing this morning?"

"Not good. I didn't get much sleep last night, because I was worried all night about Leisa. She finally arrived at the rescue ranch a little after four o'clock this morning. She's still sleeping." As I fed my dogs, and cat, Rick poured himself some coffee and sat down at the breakfast bar, and told me all about it. When I started making our breakfast—he was finished. Bottom line, Leisa couldn't get away from Port A. until eleven o'clock, then her cell phone went dead, etc. Leisa was fine—just wore out.

Tony showed up, around seven-thirty, and the three of us ate and drank breakfast. At eight-thirty, my dogs started barking—Ruthie and Kent were here! What a wonderful surprise! I was so excited!

They had come over to drink some coffee with us! Oh my gosh, I was so embarrassed, because I was still in my sweats, the bed wasn't made, and Hazel hadn't made her rounds, yet, etc.! Fortunately, Ruthie and Kent didn't seem to care about any of that.

We went into Outer Space to drink our coffees, and to visit. During the stories and laughter, I kept secretly pinching myself, because I couldn't believe that Ruth Buzzi, the world famous Ruth Buzzi, one of my heroes— was sitting in Outer Space—in my chair, visiting with us, like we'd known each other forever! I was thrilled and must admit truly star struck! I was also glad to see Kent, too. I've known Kent for over seven years, and I count him as family. He's one great man.

After forty minutes of fun, it was time for them to leave. "We're going to Medina to eat breakfast," Kent said. "And, we want Cousin Nancy to join us." I pinched myself really hard—and it really hurt. We're talking a bruise later on. I could not believe that they had just invited me to breakfast!

"I can't believe this!" I said. "Here y'all are, asking me to go eat breakfast with y'all, and I've got to turn you down. I would love to, but I have so much to do this morning—I just can't." Fortunately, they understood. After hugs and handshakes—they took off for Medina.

While Hazel was doing her magic floor trick, I silently cussed to myself for not going to breakfast with Ruthie and Kent. I couldn't believe that I had turned down a once in a lifetime opportunity like that! I was full of regret for not going. I should have gone, but it was too late—that window was closed and nailed down tight. We're talkin'—the road not taken, here, and I was absolutely sick about it.

After Hazel's magic act was over, she went backstage, to the closet—to rest, and I went into action! I called Wolfmueller's Books, first. "Hi Sandy, this is Nancy."

"I know."

"I'm sorry, but I need to ask one more favor from y'all."


"Could y'all swing by H.E.B., and pick up a box of Cafe Du Monde's beignets mix for me, and a jar of Fain's honey? I want to fix Kent and Ruthie beignets for breakfast tomorrow morning, because Kent told me that Ruthie loves them. And, I would love for you and Jon to join us, for breakfast tomorrow morning." After giving Sandy a detailed description as to where to find that New Orleans famous beignet mix, we said goodbye to each other and then hung up.

After taking a shower, and getting dressed, I went into the kitchen—it was nearly twelve o'clock—time to make my peach cobbler recipe, that my grandfather had given to me—it's delicious, and T. and Kinky love it!

By twelve-fifteen, I had filled three large, foil pans with peach cobbler batter and peaches. Then there was a knock at the door, my dogs didn't bark, because it was my dear friend, Carol. "Come in," I half-hollered, as I shoved the heavy pans into the oven. Carol and I visited, as my dessert for our volunteer's lunch—baked—while Ben was outside, starting to cook the chicken, the sausage, and the beans. Then there was another knock on the door. It was Jon and Sandy, and their friend, Steve Price—ready to volunteer and come to my rescue! "Come in," I half-hollered, again.

"Here's your potato salad, and the beignets mix, and the honey," Sandy said.

"Thank y'all so much," I said, as I put the big pan of potato salad into the refrigerator. "Y'all are lifesavers! Seriously, I can't thank y'all enough for doing this for me." Then there was another knock on the door—it was Mr. Cooper, Charlie and Ellen Cooper, and Charlie's sister, Margaret—reporting for volunteer duty.

After howdys, hugs and handshakes, I gave them all rescue ranch t-shirts to wear. A few minutes later, at one o'clock, the cobblers were done, and the gates outside, by the cattle guard, were opened to our ticket paying guests! Let the show begin!

I then went outside to greet and welcome, and to visit with our other super loyal rescue ranch volunteers: Aaron, Ben, Rick and Leisa, Linda T., Todd and Jan, June, Ellen, J.R. and Jim! They were ready, set—go! And, that is exactly what they did! They happily greeted every visitor, and gave them tours of the rescue ranch.

Ben served lunch to our volunteers around two o'clock. The chicken, sausage, beans and potato salad were delicious! And everyone loved my peach cobbler, served with vanilla ice cream! Then Ben surprised us, when he brought out a brick of Miles of Chocolate, and began serving it to everyone! They loved it, and ate it up, and asked Ben where they could buy it! Here are a couple of pictures of them—following lunch.

I met several really nice people that afternoon, and really enjoyed meeting and visiting with them, and giving them tours of the rescue ranch, including U.S. Representative Lamar Smith, who was unable to attend our event, but who sent his two children, to represent him. Thank you, Lamar! I wish that you could have been here!

At three o'clock, we shut down the rescue ranch, and everyone went over the river, and through the woods—to enjoy the event!

At six o'clock—the concert started, and it was more than fantastic! Kinky and Little Jewford performed first, and they were the best that I have ever seen them! Then Kinky invited Ruth Buzzi on stage, and she was hilarious and had the crowd in her hands! Then Ramblin' Jack Elliott took the stage, and he was totally awesome! And when he sang, 'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'—I got goose bumps, and my eyes teared up—it was so beautiful! Jerry Jeff Walker was the last to perform, and he was the icing on the cake! He was so great! My favorite songs that he sung, were Navaho Rug and Mr. Bo Jangles, which also made me tear up! His performance was so great—I don't know the words to describe it. Then, at the very end of the concert, Jerry Jeff surprised everyone in the crowd—including Kinky! He invited Ramblin' Jack Elliott, to join him on stage, and sing one last song. Together, they sang, 'Old Shep' and wrapped up the concert, and tied the knot! There was not a dry eye in the crowd.

Following the concert, I went over to the gazebo with Tony, where the silent auction was ending. Here are a few pictures that Tony and I took.

This is my favorite picture that I took, of Kinky signing my 'Governor Kinky Friedman's Command Center,' sign, that I had made for him, years ago, which hung above his kitchen door—until the day before this event. I guess that I will just have to make him another one—real soon.

Around eight o'clock, as everyone was leaving, Tony and I invited Becky and Harley Belew to come over to the rescue ranch, for a visit. We took them into the Space Ship, and then we went into Outer Space and had a really fun visit! They left around nine-thirty. By ten o'clock, Tony and I were sound asleep, and snoring loudly.

It's now past my bedtime. I will tell y'all about Sunday's breakfast tomorrow. But before I go to bed, I want to thank, the event volunteers, who helped make Kinky's 2nd Ranch Roundup, a howling success! They are: Will Wallace, Dylan and Sage, Copper, A.J., Constable Richard McCain, from Austin, and his friendly deputy, Stacey, and Steve Samet's supurb team of Echo Hill Camp counselors! Thank you—y'all are the best, and we could not have done it without you!

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Thursday morning, I only walked five miles, because I had much to do for the upcoming event. Around noon, I went over to the Lodge, to talk to Kinky about the event. When I returned to the rescue ranch, at one-thirty, Rick had just arrived! I quickly finished up some business, and then the fun began. Tony, Rick and I caught up with each other's news, while my iPod serenaded us in the background. Carol came over around six for a visit in Outer Space, but it was too hot outside, so we went inside the trailer and had a good time!

Thursday night, I went to bed, after posting my mini-blog, but I could not fall to sleep! I guess that I had too much on my mind. I got up around eleven o'clock, and came into the kitchen, turned on the light, and sat down at the kitchen table—and opened up my laptop.

At three minutes past three, I closed my laptop, got up from the table, turned off the kitchen light, and climbed into bed, because we have a high bed, or do you call it a tall bed—or pedestal?

Anyway, I must have slept like a log, because I didn't remember any of my dreams—and I always remember them. When I woke up, it was ten after seven! I had overslept and under slept—at the same time! I had only slept four hours! I do not recommend doing this to anyone, because it causes people to become 'Rather Irritable People,' I call it R.I.P., for short, and I had a bad case of it!

I felt like I was in a fog, as I fed my always happy dogs, and sometimes happy cat. I then started fixin' breakfast for Tony and Rick. I was nearly half-done preparing it, when—in walks Tony and Rick—and they were real happy. As we ate and drank breakfast—I found out that Rick had gone with Tony to the Old Timer, and he had really enjoyed meeting Tony's friends.

Since coming down with R.I.P. this morning, I discovered that being around happy people, places and things—can actually worsen your condition! I was glad that my dogs, cat, Tony and Rick were happy, but as Kinky likes to say, 'I was not a happy camper.' My R.I.P. syndrome had taken its toll on me. I was now borderline crazed and confused. There's a name for that, and it starts with a 'B.'

Following breakfast, Tony and Rick happily took off for Hondo, to bring Buttermilk home, so I semi-consciously—walked four fast miles, with Leslie and her really happy friends. Even though I was so tired, I realized that the four miles, had helped my R.I.P.—sorta go into remission! Thank goodness! I was now almost feeling lighthearted, even though I was still lightheaded, so I went to the closet, and brought Hazel out and put her to work.

After vacuuming the outside wall of my front porch, Hazel came inside, and sucked all of the dirt and hair out of the trailer. Then she went back into her closet to rest, and I was jealous, and I had every right to be!

Right before I was fixin' to take a bath, in my beautiful, plastic, made for trailers only—garden tub, there was a knock on the front door, and my dogs went to barking. Fortunately, I was still dressed, because I hate scaring people—especially in the morning. I quickly turned off the bath water, and then went to see who was here.

It was Ellen, one of our great dog walkers, with her friend, J.R., who had to come all of the way from Mississippi—to volunteer! Ellen wanted me to meet J.R. and she told me that J.R. couldn't wait—to meet us.

J.R. is the wonderful woman, who adopted Louie, from us nearly two years ago, for her daughter, Shannon—who has seizures. Louie, a lovable, gigantic black Lab/ Great Dane mix, is a certified seizure dog, and it was a perfect match! But, because Louie is an extra-large dog, John Kemmerly drove Louie out to Baton Rouge, to meet J.R.—at the half-way point, between us, and Louie's new home in Mississippi!

I had a nice visit with J.R. and Ellen, then I called Kinky, and asked if I could bring them over to the Lodge.

Kinky enjoyed seeing Ellen, and meeting J.R., and so did I. When we looked at the pictures, of Louie with Shannon, that J.R. gave to us—our hearts melted with joy. When the visit was over, Trigger brought me back to the rescue ranch, and they took off for Kerrville. I was still tired, running on empty, and realized that my mood had changed for the better.

When I arrived at the rescue ranch, Carol and Lyle, from Ingram, were here to possibly adopt one of our dogs! They had made an appointment earlier in the week, to be here at eleven. They were on time, but I was five minutes late for it. I gave them a tour of the ranch, and before leaving, they told me that liked Daisy and Paul McCartney, and would call me on Monday, to tell me who they wanted to adopt!

After they drove away, Tony and Rick showed up with Buttermilk! I was so glad to have her back home! I visited with Rick and Tony for a few minutes, then Rick told us that he was going to Kerrville, to run some errands. As soon as Rick had left the building— Jon Wolfmueller called me. He and I talked about the event, and my sleepless night, and all of the things that I still needed to do. Before hanging up, Jon told me to call them if there was anything that they could do to help.

After we hung up, I reran my bath water, cleaned up, and then I walked into the kitchen where Tony was, "Tony, I am making an executive decision. I am not going to make potato salad, as planned, for our volunteers. I'm going to call Sandy and Jon and ask them to pick some up for me, instead." Tony smiled.

"Hi, Jon it's Nancy."

"I know," Jon said. "What's up?"

"I need a big favor," I said. "I've decided to not make the potato salad as planned. Could y'all pick some up for me, and bring it out tomorrow?"

"I'm sure we can. Listen, a customer just walked in. Call me back in ten minutes, and let me know how much you need. Bye." I felt so relieved to cross off making potato salad, from my 'to do list.' Then I had a light bulb moment.

Tony was starving, and it was nearly one o'clock, and I didn't feel like making lunch, so I picked up the phone. "Rick, this is Nancy."

"I know," Rick said. "What can I do for you little darlin'?"

"Where are you?" I asked.

"I'm on 16, on the bridge, fixin' to head your way."

"Great! If I call Dominos Pizza, and order a couple of pizzas—could you pick them up for me?"

"Sure, not a problem. Where is Dominos?" I answered his question, thanked him for helping me, and then I hung up, and dialed Domino's phone number and placed my order. Once again—I felt relieved. My load was starting to shrink, by the minute, and I loved it. It made me smile and that felt good.

"Tony, I need to go tell Ben and Aaron, that Rick is bringing us pizza for lunch. Could you do me a favor, and call Jon back, and tell him we need about twenty to twenty-five pounds of potato salad." I walked out the door, as Tony grabbed the phone.

Ben and Aaron were busy mowing, and they looked tired and hot. It was over a hundred degrees outside. When I told them about Rick bringing us lunch—they smiled, and then went back to work. Thirty minutes later, the pizza delivery boy, arrived at the rescue ranch.

The pizzas were good, and the conversation was even better. Rick had us laughing the whole time, with his funny tales. After lunch—Rick decided to go out to my writing cabin to take a nap. Five minutes later, Tone suggested that I take a nap, too. I did as I was told.

My dogs raced to the bedroom, jumped up on the bed and we slept for over two hours! When I woke up—I was a different person—the old Nancy was back! I was refreshed, and was really happy about it! And, so were T. and Rick. Then Jon called.

"Nancy, Sandy thinks that is way too much potato salad to buy. Tony told me twenty to twenty-five pounds. Sandy wants to know how many people, you will be feeding."

"About twenty to twenty-five people."

Jon laughed, and then he repeated my words back to Sandy. "Nancy, that is one pound of potato salad per person!" We both started laughing!"

Around six o'clock, Kinky called, and invited us over to the Lodge, so we could visit with Kent Perkins, and his wife, Ruth Buzzi! We did as we were told. And we had a blast! It was non-stop laughing! We stayed for a couple of hours, and then returned home.

There were four new phone calls from Jon and Sandy, asking us to please call them! Since I was still suffering from R.I.P. syndrome, I delicately, delegated Tony for the task. Tone picked up the phone and punched in their home phone number. "Hello Jon. This is Tony."

"I know. How is Nancy doing?" Jon asked. "She sounded really exhausted today, and we were worried about her."

"Well, I took her to the mental ward," T. said, faking a serious sounding voice, "to drop her off, but they wouldn't take her. They said she was too crazy, so I brought her back home." Rick, Tony and I burst laughing, as did Sandy and Jon! "Bye."

Before calling it a night, Rick called Leisa, his better half, who was driving up to help volunteer for us. "Leisa is running late."Rick said. "She said that she should be getting here around midnight," Rick said.

Boy, was he ever wrong! Too Be Continued... (Sorry, Mari!)

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Event Was A Howling Success!

I just want to let you know, that the event was a howling success! I plan to blog about the event tomorrow. I am pooped and fixin' to go to bed. Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and Jerry Jeff Walker were great, and so were Little Jewford and Kinky, but Ruth Buzzi was fantastic! I have much to tell and I can't wait. Good night to all.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm In Event Mode Now!

The countdown for Kinky's Ranch Roundup has begun. Our dear friend, Rick, from Port A. showed up this afternoon to volunteer his help with the event! I still have a list a mile long to take care of tomorrow, so I apologize for not finishing yesterday's blog tonight. Today has been a busy one.

I will try to blog when I find the time, during the next couple of days to keep y'all posted, on what's going on at the rescue ranch, and hopefully by Sunday, things will have settled down, and I will be back in the saddle again— blogging my life away!

I'm going to bed late, and rising early.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

—In Bed!

Tuesday was a lot of fun! After I had walked eight fast miles and cleaned up—Bob and Kathi H., from Rockwall or Rowlett, I can't remember, came out to take a tour of the rescue ranch! They had called on Monday, and had made an appointment to come out around eleven o'clock—they were on time. Tony and I liked them instantly, so we gave them one of our famous Grand Tours, which included going into the Space Ship, then into Outer Space where we had a great visit!

During our visit, Bob and Kathi told us about being big fans of Kinky, and how much they loved dogs, and how much they loved what we were doing at the rescue ranch.

After a fun visit in Outer Space, Tony and I invited them inside our trailer. They were amazed, when they walked inside—they loved it, and could not believe it was an old 1983 trailer! They loved my painted rugs on the floor, Tone's beautiful, handcrafted, cedar furniture, and their jaws dropped, when they saw our bed that T. had made for us, when we got married—ten years ago! I was thrilled, because I love my trailer so much, and am so proud of it! I bought it for only six or seven thousand dollars, I can't remember, back in 1995, after my husband had died. And, I wouldn't take a million dollars for it—it's mine—it's home! On second thought, I might consider taking anything over a million, but that's never going to happen. Laugh out loud!

After leaving the trailer, we took Kathi and Bob into the Space Ship—what can I say—they loved it, too! Then we went inside my writing cabin—and yes, they loved it, more, and took pictures of the insidel! I loved it! Now it was time to show them the rescue ranch, but that didn't happen. "Where does Kinky live?" Bob asked. "Does he come down here much?"

"Kinky lives here," I said. "In fact, he is home right now. Would y'all like to go visit with him?" Their eyes got big, they covered their mouths with their hands, and nodded yes! "Y'all wait right here," I said, as we stood by the pig pen. "Let me go inside, and give him a call to see if we can come over there for a visit." I took off for the trailer.

Two minutes later, I walked out onto the porch and hollered, "We're going over to Kinky's! He is leaving pretty soon, to go to Kerrville, but he said for us to come on over—now!" I thought Bob was going to faint, from excitement! They jumped into their car, Tony and I jumped into Kermit, and we took off! They followed us over the river and through the woods to Kinky's Lodge.

Kinky was great! He gave them his Grand Tour, and we ended up outside, by the Friedman Family Bone Orchard. "Nance," Kinky said. "I've added another relic to the garden. See if you can find it." As Kinky and Bob sipped their coffees, the conversation flowed between the three of them, as I snooped around the garden! Then I laughed out loud!

"I've found it, Kinky!" I declared. "I love it! It's perfect!" This is a picture of Kinky's newest addition to his Bone Orchard!

"What are you going to tell John Mankieiwicz? Did you send him his cardigan, yet?"

"No, and I'm not going to," Kinky stated, matter of factly. "The Medina Bulldog and I are still in a snit about losing the pool tournament." Then Kinky started laughing, I started laughing, then Tony walks over to examine the garden—and he burst out laughing, too—when he spotted John's pool tournament award!

Kinky needed to get on the road, so before we left the Lodge—I shot all three of them! Then they shot all of us—several times!

When we returned to the rescue ranch, we gave Kathi and Bob a tour of the rescue ranch and they fell in love with all of our dogs. After handshakes and hugs, they said goodbye, and took off for Medina, to go eat lunch. They were starving, and so was Tony. So, we took off in Trigger, to eat lunch in Kerrville, and then to run some important event errands.

When we walked inside the Chinese restaurant, as we were following the waitress to our table, Lori, one of the famous NoMads, spotted us and waved. I didn't see her wave and kept walking, but Tone didn't—thank goodness, because we ended up sitting at her table, with her thirteen year old nephew, Will! "Mari is joining us," Lori said. "She's on her way, now." Then the waiter showed up, took our orders, and then disappeared. A few minutes later, he quickly reappeared at our table, with our soups! As we sipped our soups, we caught up with each other's news, and then Lori proudly showed us photos of her big Mach agility win, with her dog, a few weeks, ago!

Mari then walks into the restaurant, and comes right over to our table, and sits down with us. After our howdy doodies, Mari says, "I hope that y'all are aware, that y'all are sitting directly across the street from that orange restaurant." We all smiled and nodded, yes. Our lunch was delicious, and filled with laughter! I loved it!

When the waiter, came to deliver our checks with our fortune cookies, Will excused himself from the table, and went to the men's room. "What do y'all's fortunes say?" I asked.

"Mine says, "The whole world is a narrow bridge, the important thing is not to be afraid," Lori said.

"I've always heard that, when you're reading a fortune cookie, you should always add the words, 'in bed,' at the end of it," Mari remarked. "It makes them much more interesting."

Lori then reread hers, and we all said, 'in bed' at the end of it, and started laughing! Mari then reads hers. "Open up your mind. Let your fantasies unwind." Then we all finished it off with—'in bed.'

I was next. "Mental activity keeps you busy at this time." Followed by 'in bed.' Then it was T.'s turn to read his.

"Mine says, 'Nothing in the world is accomplished without passion.'" "In bed," we said in unison—then we burst out laughing.

Then Will returns to our table. "Tell us what your fortune says," Mari said. Will read his fortune to us, and no one said a word, but we were all quietly laughing. When it was time for everyone to leave, Mari says, "I've got forty-five minutes to kill. I don't know what to do."

"We're headed over to Wolfmueller's," I said. "Why don't you follow us over there?"

Tony and I arrived first! "Hello, Tony and Cousin Nancy!" Sandy and Jon said, as we entered their bookstore. After howdy doodies, we started visiting. A couple of minutes later, Mari walked into the store, and was greeted by all of us—and that's when the fun began!

To Be Continued...I've got to go to bed! I'm doing Harley in the morning!

Y'all have a great evening!