Monday, May 31, 2010

Best Memorial Day Ever!

Today has been the best Memorial Day ever! This morning around nine o'clock our friend Eileen Gotke and one of our great volunteers, showed up with her friend Susan Weeks to officially adopt Callie Dean Gotke (formerly Rita Coolidge)! And we were all excited about it!

While I was having a fun visit with Eileen and Susan at the the barn more of our friends/volunteers showed up to work. It was Lisa, Matt and Meghann! After introducing everyone Team L&M took off to  clean pens. Then Eileen showed us the new stuffed toy she had bought for Callie and then she showed off Callie Dean's new, pretty harness and leash. We're talkin' spoiling.

"You're acting like a proud new mama, Eileen," I teased. "Callie is going to love them and I want you to know that you have just made this the best Memorial Day ever for Tone and me, because you are adopting C.D.! Thank you, so much." Then the three of us went over to Callie's and Princess Leia's puppy pen to find Tony inside it—playing with the little Puppettes.

When Eileen saw Cal-Cal she immediately went into the pup-pen to play with her. When she put Callie's harness on Callie, Tony held the little princess in his arms.

While Eileen  cooed and baby-talked to her beautiful fur-covered daughter, Susan and I had a fun conversation outside of the pen. I knew that I already liked Susan before she even told me that she loved reading my new book that Eileen had given to her. I love it when people tell me that because it reassures me as a writer and it strokes my ego at the same time. It felt good. Thank you, Susan.

After Susan told me that she was an active volunteer for the Medina Library she invited me to be a guest speaker about our rescue ranch to some children this summer for their children's summer program and I was  delighted to be asked, so I told Susan that I would love to do it. Then Tony handed me Callie's crate over the fence so he could put it in Eileen's car while we took Callie for a walk.

During our fun walk around the ranch I talked way too much as always. Hey, what's new? Eileen came in second place for talking a lot, because she couldn't quit bragging about how smart her cute, little girl was and how she planned to raise her. "She's definitely going to obedience school and..." And bless Susan, because she hardly got a word in edgewise and for also not running away from us white haired, crazed, wannabe senior chatty-cathies.

When we returned to the rescue ranch Eileen bragged about how good Callie had been on the leash as she carefully put Callie into her crate and I had to agree with her. Then Lisa walked up holding Princess Leia in her arms. "I think they want to say goodbye to each other," Lisa said. And I almost teared up as the pups said their farewells to each other. It was so sweet.

After Eileen drove away with precious cargo riding in her back seat, Susan and I visited a little longer then she said goodbye to us and left. Then I got to have a short visit with Matt and Meghann at the barn. "Thank y'all so much for coming out today. I have missed y'all so much!' Fortunately, the feelings were mutual and that made me feel good, again. After we caught up with each others news they took off to return Princess Leia to her puppy pen, so I went and found Lisa. She was cleaning Wolf and Cookies pen—the last pen that needed to be cleaned.

After we hugged each other and told each other how much we had missed each other we had a heart-to-heart talk which I can't tell you about. We talked about her family, her job that she loves and Mark in Mississsippi and the rest is private if you get my drift.  : )  All I can say is, "Mark in Mississippi—You Really Rock! And Tony and I cannot wait to meet you!"

After lunch Buttermilk took Tone and me to Kerrville to run a few errands. Our first stop was at Walmart and we ran into Lisa of Randy's and Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant at the checkout line! She had her precious grandchildren with her and we had a nice visit. Then we went to Gibsons and Home Depot and then came home.

Late this afternoon Tony did his sanding magic on our coffee table and I am proud to say that it is back inside the trailer and it looks beautiful. Thank you, Tone. I love you so much! I hope that your Memorial Day Weekend was as great as ours. Happy Birthday, Fay!

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy Birthday To Fay McLachlan in Toronto!

We love Fay McLachlan! She is my favorite Canadian of all and today is her birthday! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Fay! Happy Birthday to You! We love you!

Tony and I hope that your day is filled with joy and happiness and you have the best birthday ever! Please tell Kris Kristofferson to give you a big bear hug from us down in Texas! We love you!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Sandstorm Hit Us!

Today has been nice and quiet if you don't count the sound of a palm sander and my iPod cranked up loud on my Bose so I could hear it.

Yesterday evening I called Nancy Lemon's cell phone and got her machine. Tony and I wanted them to meet us at the Save Inn this morning so we could treat them to a delicious breakfast and visit a little more, but unfortunately Nancy didn't get my message. So early this morning T. and I went to Randy and Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant by ourselves and our breakfast was more than delicious. I ate the whole thing!

After we ate we decided to check out the Kerrville Arts & Crafts Fair at the Court House before coming home and am I glad that we did, because there were some pretty cool crafts and interesting things to see. We saw our friends Scott & Julia Stehling and had a nice visit with them and then Tone bought me the cutest metal pink pig! I haven't named it yet and I am not sure where I am going to put it, but hopefully before I end tonight's blog it will have a name.

When we arrived back at the rescue ranch Tony fed the dogs and I cleaned their dog pens then we came inside to cool off and rest. When I checked my e-mail I had a note from my dear friend John Kemmerly. He told me that Blue Foot Publishing was close to publishing its first collection of wonderful stories and poems and he asked me if I wanted to contribute another story. His request felt good for my ego and I felt honored, so I sent him a a very funny story that was about my first boyfriend, that involved my pet opossum, the circus and the law and I hope he likes it and will decide to include it in the book. Then I returned a few phone calls and wrote some thank you letters.

After I had caught up with the paperwork I got inspired and decided to re-sand our cedar coffee table that Tone built for me over fourteen years ago, because this morning at the Arts & Craft Fair we had stopped and talked to a nice man about his beautiful cedar furniture that looked just like the cedar furniture that Tony and I used to make before we started the rescue ranch with Kinky.

When I had the palm sander, sand paper, extension cord and "my music" outside on the front porch I came inside and half-hollered down the hallway, "Tony! I need for you to help me move the coffee table outside on the porch!"

"Why?" T. softly yelled from his office or should I say 'Man Cave.' "Nance, I'm in the middle of harvesting some crops..." One minute later I was sitting on a bench on the front porch happily sanding away on the coffee table with my music blaring loudly in the background.

About an hour into my project, Tony came outside and told me that he was going fishing on the creek and then he said, "Good grief, Nancy, you're covered in sand dust and the front porch looks like we live in Lubbock or we had a sandstorm hit us!" Then he took off in Kermit.

An hour later Kermit brought T. home and I was sweating, but still sanding and had only gotten a quarter of the coffee table top sanded down. "It looks good," Tony said. "I'll bet that there are over a hundred coats of Minwax on that table."

"No there's not," I said with a laugh. "I only put two coats a year on it, so I didn't have to dust so much. It is more like twenty-eight coats, T." After I told him about the gummy residue being hard to take off near the surface he told me that tomorrow he will sand the rest of it off with his heavy-duty sander. Then he went into the trailer.

At six-thirty after sanding for over three hours and using up an entire pack pack of sandpaper this is how the table looks so far.

The dark area that the sander is on is the last of the gummy part and hopefully that will be gone after Tone does his 'Mr. Sand Man Magic' tomorrow! Please note the sand covered porch in front of Outer Space and my pile of used up sanding paper.

Well, I have not come up with a name for my new pink pig, but here is a picture of our old timers checking her out this evening. Isn't she adorable!

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Gang!

Yesterday morning my nephew Tom, Cindy's son, called me. "Nancy, Nicki and I are at the Kerrville Folk Festival with her parents Nancy and David and Nicki's sister Rachel and several friends. Anyway, we wanted to know if it would be okay for all of us to come out tomorrow. I know that we are a big gang..."

"Tom, that would be fine, but I didn't know that you were in a gang. Do Cindy and Ray know that you are a gangster?" I teased. Before hanging up he told me that they would come out after one o'clock.

I was so excited that Tom and Nicki and her family and their friends were coming out I decided to deep-clean the trailer so it wouldn't look like Tony and I lived here. The first thing I did was go outside with Hazel  and vacuum Outer Space, then I vacuumed all of the cobwebs off of the outside wall of the trailer so it didn't look like The Adams Family lived here.

In between returning phone calls, answering e-mails, and doing paperwork I cleaned up the inside of the trailer. At seven o'clock last night I called it quits and watched a couple of reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond on the television.

This morning I got up early. I fed the dogs and Lucky and walked six miles before T. returned from The Old Timer. After he ate and I drank breakfast I went outside to help him with his chores. "I'll clean the pens while you feed, Tone." Then he grabbed the feed buckets and I grabbed the poop bucket and the pooper-scooper and we went to work.

After I cleaned all of the pens I came inside and cleaned the trailer some more. I cleaned the windows, mopped the floors, etc.  and then I jumped into the bathtub and cleaned myself and then made lunch. We had cornbread and beans.

Right after I had cleaned up the kitchen our neighbor, artist and friend Steve Peach showed up with a couple of his artists friends Kelli & Danny Garrett that were visiting him. They wanted a tour of the rescue ranch so I happily volunteered to give them a tour.

During the tour even though I talked way too much I found out that Danny Garrett was one of the famous Austin poster Artists during the Armadillo World Headquarter days and he was writing a book about it for the TCU Press up in Fort Worth!

As we walked around the rescue ranch we discovered that we had several friends in common. They knew Henry Gonzales and the late Danny Young who passed away last year. When the tour was over our conversation wasn't so we went into the Space Ship and then into Outer Space. They thought the Space Ship was cool and they loved being in Outer Space.

Before they left to go eat lunch Danny and Steve purchased my new book and then I asked Danny if he had a business card so I could check out his artwork. Kelli took off for the truck and returned with three cards that looked like mini dollar bills and the artwork on them was fantastic! When I looked at the back side of the card included in the artwork were these words: "IT's ODD WE TRUST" and it made me laugh out loud. Click here to visit Danny Garrett. He really rocks!

Right after they left our friends Jacky & Brian Kanof arrived, so we went into Outer Space with them and had a really fun visit with them. Brian updated us on Zelda and Bogie, the cats that he adopted from us and then we talked about photography, writing and the Kerrville Folk Festival. Then Jacky showed me the beautiful diamond wedding ring that Brian had made for her and then Brian showed me his matching band without a diamond. Then they asked to buy two copies of my book and for me to sign for them. Jacky laughed out loud when she read what I had written in her book: "Jacky, Can I have your wedding ring?"

Just as they were fixin' to leave Tom and his gang arrived! After introductions Brian and Jacky said goodbye to all of us and then they took off for the folk festival. I invited everyone to go into Outer Space and we had a blast! Nicki's mom, Nancy Lemon had us laughing from the git-go and her husband David, a closet comedian, kept making hilarious wisecracks that only I could hear that caused me to look like an idiot, because no one understood why I kept bursting out loud with laughter.

During our fun visit with "Tom's Gang" Nancy told us about her latest addiction—Miles of Chocolate! "I bought one of their giant bricks and I ate the whole thing!" Tom & Nicki's friends didn't know about the chocolate, so I came inside and pulled a package out of the freezer and then went outside with it. Tony cut it up in slices and then served it to everyone. To say the least, they loved it and were now also addicted to it so they all had seconds with only one piece left so T. offered it to Nancy and she shared it with Nicki. Then we started talking about pigs—Beckham to be exact, because Nicki & Tom's friends knew about them rescuing him and bringing him to us. Then we went inside the trailer because it was getting hot outside.

After giving everyone a tour of the trailer I told everyone about my drum lesson and they asked to see my pad, sticks and digital drum pad. Everyone laughed when they saw my sticks and lavender colored drum pad and then they all took turns banging on the digital drum pad. One of their friends put on my new pink feathered, flashing lights cowboy hat and he started cutting up on the drums and here is a picture of him as we all watched and laughed.

He played the drums the best. After Tom tried out the drums he sat down at the table and took off his cap and I teased him about his hair being messed up, so I shot him! (Sorry, Cindy and Ray.)

After I put the drums away Nancy told me that they needed to leave and I didn't want them to because I was having so much fun, so I invited them to take a tour of the Space Ship. Everyone loved it and thought it was cool. Then Nancy said they really needed to leave, so I asked her if all of us could go over to the Lodge so I could take a picture of her with the Buddha dog that she had given to Kinky two years ago.

When we arrived at the Lodge we went to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard and everyone admired it and thought it was so beautiful and they could not believe all of the Hummingbirds that were hanging out at Kinky's feeders. While Nicki busily snapped her camera at Kinky's Hummingbird Herd I shot Nancy.

When Nancy announced for the third time that they really needed to leave I gave up trying to keep "Tom's Gang" from going, so we returned to the rescue ranch and fondly bid them farewell.

Tonight's shout out is to Nancy & David Lemon and Tom & Nicki's Gang. Thank y'all so much for coming out to see us and for not packin'! We love y'all and please come back soon! Y'all rock!

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Leisa Lea In Port Aransas! You Rock!

Tony and I want to wish our dear friend Leisa Lea the greatest birthday ever! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Leisa! Happy Birthday to You! We love you!

Please tell Rick "The Friendly Lighthouse Keeper" to give you a big hug from us and please tell Squirt "The Fastest Dog In Port Aransas 2010" to give you a kiss from us! You Rock, Girl!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Lifter And The Dipper!

This morning at nine-fifteen I went outside after walking six miles with Leslie. Tony and Ben had already fed the dogs so I helped them clean the pens. Then we started getting things ready so we could dip our dogs for fleas and ticks.

Tony suggested that we move the horse trough under a tree so we would be in the shade so Ben picked up the heavy trough and moved it over by Ruth Buzzi and Chuck's pen. After deciding how high we wanted to fill the trough Ben appointed me to keep count of how many buckets it took to reach the height we had agreed on. Ten minutes later when we reached our mark I said, "We're talking fiftteen buckets, Ben." Then we did the math on how much dip to add to the water.

"Okay," I said. "It says it takes five cc's per gallon. It took fifteen buckets at five gallons per bucket. How much is that?"

"Seventy-five gallons," Tony and Ben said in unison. Then the men calculated how much dip we needed to use. "It says this stuff is pretty toxic and if we get it on our skin we need to wash it off immediately," Ben said and then he started laughing. "You know that we're going to be soaked in this stuff by the time that we are through dipping all of the dogs." Then we discussed wearing the plastic gloves that we had bought, but Ben pointed out that they wouldn't work because he had used them the last time we dipped our dogs and his hands stayed wet inside the gloves so we chose to not wear them and just take our chances.

Then we made a plan. Bless Ben, because he volunteered to be "The Lifter and The Dipper" and Tony and I would be "The Fetchers." Then Tony and I took off to fetch Rocky and Lucy. After Ben lifted and dipped twice Tone and I returned them to their pen and then we fetched Ruth Buzzi and Chuck and so on and so on.

Three hours later all of our dogs had been dipped and we had set a new dog dipping record for the fastest time ever. Our dog-dipping event basically went real smooth with the exceptions of Daisy, Rufus and Roxanne getting loose.

When Daisy got out of her pen Tony had his hands full bringing Ben Stiller and Gracie over to be dipped so I jumped into Kermit and headed towards our trailer where Daisy was running around teasing Mama and Abbie in our backyard. Thankfully she was easy to catch, but when I put her on the floor in Kermit and took off, she tried to kill me twice by trying to steer Kermit while sitting against the accelerator. By the time we reached Ben and T. by the trough they were laughing at me and I told them it wasn't funny. "Y'all, she hi-jacked Kermit and tried to kill me!" Then we started laughing as Ben dipped Daisy and Tony teasingly mocked me.

When Rufus and Roxanne escaped from the front yard of my writing cabin "all heck" broke loose as they happily raced all around the rescue ranch exciting all of our dogs. While Tony chased Rufus down by our trailer I grabbed a leash out of the back of Kermit and took off on foot to catch Roxanne. When I saw her running full-speed-ahead towards Ben who had Dr. John and Maggie on leashes, I skipped as fast as I could towards Ben and the dogs. Fortunately, when Ben told Roxanne to back off from Dr. John and Maggie— she did and that's when I quickly leashed her and returned her back to her pen.

After lunch Ben, Tony and I went to Kerrville to run some errands and I stopped by the Post Office and mailed my friend Lorri in California, a complimentary free book since she had mistakingly bought ten copies of my first book. And I signed the book and included a sweet thank you note to her. When we got back to the ranch T., Ben and I did yard work.

A little after six o'clock tonight the three of us decided to call it a day because we were 'bushed.' After Ben left I came inside and returned numerous phone calls and then answered e-mails while Tony worked outside in his garden. I'm pooped and now I am calling it a night. Good night, y'all.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lorri & Jeff Really Rock In California and Texas!

This afternoon after lunch Tony and I went to Kerrville to run a few errands. Our first stop was at Walmart so we could buy a a small, plastic wading pool. We bought a pretty blue one and fortunately it fit inside Buttermilk.

We didn't buy the wading pool for Tone and me to use. We bought it so we can use it tomorrow when we dip our dogs for fleas and ticks, because the last time we dipped our dogs in the small horse trough it nearly broke Ben's and Tony's backs from lifting up our dogs.

Our next  stop was at Copies Plus to pick up Tony's new postcards. Trisha and Marcie greeted us the minute we walked inside even though they were busy waiting on customers. Once their customers were gone Trish gave T. his postcards and they were absolutely beautiful to say the least! After a fun, but short visit with Trisha and Marcie because they had work to do—we went to Wolfmueller's Books to say hi to Sandy and Jon.

As always we had a fun visit with the Wolfmuellers. At one point in our conversation while I was telling them that Kinky and I were doing two booksignings on June 4th and 5th, Jon went online to kinky's  cigar site and started reading aloud to us about the upcoming booksignings. Then their bookstore was suddenly flooded with customers so we left and came home.

Early this evening we invited our good friends Carol and James to come over for a visit. After howdies and hugs the four of us went into Outer Space and caught up with each others news and of course there was plenty of laughing.

After Carol told us about her dear friend Lorri P., out in California who T. and I also think the world of, buying ten copies of my book for her to read and to give to her friends and then being very disappointed and hurt when they arrived because I had not sent her a note or signed any of my books. "That's when I realized that she had bought your first book! Not your new one!" Carol said followed by a round of laughter. Before Carol and James left I loaned them my movies: "Crazy Heart," "The Blind Side" and "Seabiscuit."

Tonight's Shout-Out is for our friend Lorri. "Lorri, you are so sweet. Thank you so much for buying those books from the University of Texas Press. I hope you enjoy it. My new book was published by (me) Undepressable Press ( UP) not UT and I hope that you will buy a copy of Meanwhile Back At The Rescue Ranch: The Dog Days of Cousin Nancy because you and Jeff are in it and I promise to sign it and include a note. Please come see us when y'all are in Texas and ask Jeff to please his bring his guitar with him. Lorri P. & Jeff S. Really Rock in California and Texas!

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Princess Leia!

This morning after a short storm Tony went outside with me so I could take a picture of Princess Leia, the new, little five month old puppy that we rescued last week. When we went into the puppy pen to play with her and Rita Coolidge aka Callie Dean Gotke we laughed about how much fun we had at Ellen's dinner party last night.

As Callie and Leia happily chased balls and toys around their pen I informed Tone that today we were having Cousin Nancy's Chicken Spaghetti (Ellen's leftovers) for lunch and he was thrilled and said, "That girl can cook." Then he teased me about calling it my recipe.

Here is a picture of Princess Leia and if any of y'all know anyone looking for a sweet, precious little dog please ask them to contact us because she will be alone after Callie goes to her fantastic forever home after Memorial Day. Isn't she adorable!

P.S. I want to thank Eileen for identifying yesterdays snake in her comment she made. She said the snake was common around here and it is a Eastern Black-necked Garter snake. Hmmmmm....maybe it was our accents, but in Fort Worth we called them Garner snakes.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Ellen Jackson!

Today has been fun and exciting. This morning our great volunteers Matt and Meghann showed up early this morning to help Tony with his chores while I was over at the Lodge visiting with Kinky, Marcie and  New York Ratso. Unfortunately when I returned to the rescue ranch they had already left to go back to Kerrville. Thank you, Matt and Meghann!

Then Eileen Gotke showed up, so I went to greet her. She told me that she had brought out a crate for her soon to be adopted puppy, Callie aka Rita Coolidge. "I want to put it in her pen so she can get used to it before I take her home," Eileen explained. We went to the puppy pen and played with Callie and her new roommate Princess Leaha. Twenty minutes later Eileen put Callie's little harness on her and took her for a long walk so I went to help Tony pick up poop.

When we had only two more dog pens to clean I saw T. take out his camera in the alley next to Ben Stiller and Gracie and start shooting pictures of the ground. "What are you doing, Tone?" I asked. He laughed and then he bent down and picked up a big snake! "Yikes!" I half-hollered.

Then Tony told me that it was just a grass snake that was harmless which didn't help calm my nerves at all. Here are a couple of Tone's pictures of our unwanted visitor.

Early this evening as Buttermilk took us to Ellen Jackson's house in Kerrville for dinner and so we could visit with her newly adopted dog Jermaine Jackson, Tony tells me that today is Ellen's birthday. I felt terrible because I hadn't known and I didn't even have a birthday card to give her.

When we arrived Eileen Gotke had already arrived and she let us in the door because Ellen was taking a 'Happy Birthday' phone call so the three of us played with Jermaine and Twinkie. When Ellen got off of the phone we wished her a happy birthday and then the non-stop laughter began. Here is a picture of Eileen helping Ellen prepare a delicious salad which consisted of a leaf of lettuce, topped with cut-up red grapefruit and avocado slices drizzled in French dressing.

When Ellen's Chicken Spaghetti was ready to eat we went outside to Ellen's "Outer Space" (screened-in porch) and ate our dinner by candlelight. After my first bite of Ellen's delicious chicken spaghetti I asked her for the recipe and she told me she would write it down for me. Little did Ellen know that I plan to take her recipe and steal it like all of the others that I've stolen from friends and rename it Cousin Nancy's Chicken Spaghetti. 

Our dinner was so much fun as we ate, laughed, sipped our wine and traded funny stories. After we ate Ellen's delicious Fudge Pie for dessert I also asked her for that recipe too and she told me that she would give it to me before we left. How sad. Here it was her birthday—and Ellen had no clue that by morning I would claim her prize winning recipes and call them mine.

When we were about to leave to go home I took this picture of Eileen sitting with Jermaine and Twinkie while Ellen quickly printed out her chicken spaghetti recipe and wrote down her fudge pie recipe for me.
I felt sort of guilty when Ellen handed me her families secret recipes, along with some plastic containers full of her chicken spaghetti and fudge pie that she had made for us. 

On our way home, right after we had gone over the pass a giant Bob Cat ran out in the road in front of us and we almost hit him. Then less than a mile later a thirty pound raccoon ran out in the road and fortunately we missed him, too.

P.S. Ellen, we had so much fun with you and Eileen tonight! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Ellen! Happy Birthday to You! I want to invite you and Eileen over to dinner soon so y'all can try my Cousin Nancy's Chicken Spaghetti and Fudge Pie! I promise that y'all will love it!

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Obama, Eva Longoria & Kinky!

Tonight's blog is going to be fairly short because Tony and I have basically been outside all day long mowing and edging the rescue ranch and it is now eight-fifteen and we just came inside. To say the least I am pooped and covered in grass and  dead weeds.

First off, I want to wish Karen Cares the Happiest Birthday ever and I hope that it has been a great one today! Secondly, I want to thank our dear friends and volunteers Lisa and Sidney for coming out late yesterday afternoon to visit with us and our dogs. And I want to thank Ellen, June, Eileen and Jim for coming out to walk our dogs and groom them. We loved it, but our dogs loved it more! All of Y'all Really Rock! Thank you so much!

This morning I didn't walk with Leslie inside, but I did walk, push-mowed and edged with Tony outside and my arms and legs are pretty sore. Hopefully I burned off a lot of calories.

Late this afternoon I took a much needed break from the overwhelming yard work and went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky, Marcie and Will before a crew from San Antonio came out to interview and shoot Kinky for a documentary that they were doing on him.

When I arrived at the Lodge I was pleasantly surprised to also see Kinky's friends: Rambam, the famous international private eye, Washington Ratso and Dylan Ferrero! We talked and laughed as the men told us funny stories from their past. Rambam talked about the book that Kinky is writing about Rambams' most famous cases. Ratso and Dylan told us some very interesting and hilarious tales about their friends Bob Dylan, The Band and being at the filming of The Last Waltz and I was in total awe. Then the nice people from San Antone showed up to shoot and interview Kinky.

After introductions were made Marcie, T. and I visited quietly as we watched and listened as the crew interviewed and shot Kinky sitting at the picnic table. "Marcie," I whispered, "Kinky is doing great! He is such a natural when it comes to doing interviews and being in front of a camera..." Marcie nodded her head and totally agreed with me as Kink continued to answer one question after another and then he would say something that would make everyone laugh.

When the interview ended Kinky came over to us and said, "Nance, they want to go over to the rescue ranch to shoot you and me. Is that okay with you and Tone?" Then Kinky laughed and said under his breath, "I really like these people. They just told me that they had tried first to get Obama or Eva Longoria, but they got me." We all chuckled.

Ten minutes later everyone arrived at the rescue ranch to shoot us and our dogs. Talk about nice people! After they interviewed us and shot Kinky and me and our dogs we all went into Outer Space and had a fun visit. Before they left they asked to shoot a group picture so T. took this picture of us in front of my writing cabin. Washington Ratso is standing next to me.

Y'all have a great evening! I am going to bed.

Happy Birthday, Karen Cares! We love You!

I love Karen Cares and today is her birthday! And I want to wish her the best birthday ever! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Karen! Happy Birthday to You!

I send you my love and Tony and Kinky send you their Best!

P.S. I hope 'Erb dances your socks off!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Event!

I apologize for not writing a blog last night, but I have a very good excuse—I went to "The Event!" And Tone and I didn't get home until nine-thirty and I was so tired, because of all of the laughing that I had done earlier in the evening I just went straight to bed.

Earlier in the week I came up with the idea to have a private party at David and Desiree Farrars' Trails End Guest House to celebrate Marcie's return from Vietnam, so after talking to Desiree and David about doing "The Event" on Thursday night I talked to Kinky and Marcie about it and then I called our dear friends to invite them.

Within two hours I had a confirmed guest list and called D&D to make the reservations. Two hours later I had to call D&D back at their B&B to add a few more names to our growing list of good friends. "Hi, David! It's Nancy again. There will be ten of us coming for dinner at six o'clock to Peasants on Thursday and we are going 'Dutch.' Here's the list of our friends names: Sandy & Jon Wolfmueller, Donna Schloss, Barbara & Tom Carpenter, Kinky, Marcie & Will Wallace and Tony and me." Then David told me that we should come hungry because they would be serving us eight entrees and they were looking forward to The Event.

Yesterday morning because of David's 'warning' to come hungry I walked eight miles and then I fixed T. and me a low calorie lunch consisting only of vegetables.

At five-thirty as planned we met Kinky, Marcie & Will and Barbara and Tom in front of Wolfmueller's Books so they could follow us to the Trail's End Guest House, while Sandy and Jon picked up Donna to ride with them.

Our caravan of three arrived first, at five minutes before six to be exact, so the first thing we did was go over to Beckham's pigpen so everyone could see him and say howdy to him. As Kinky petted Beck through the fence I told Barbara and Tom and Marcie about us rescuing Beck over a year and a half ago and about his soccer ball playing skills. "When we rescued David Beckham he was only about three months old and he only weighed about thirty pounds. We had a dog-harness that fit him and we used to take him for walks. Isn't he beautiful, Kink? Can you believe that he weighs over three hundred pounds?"

Kinky nodded his head as he continued to pet and talk to the once orphaned wild Russian Boar. "Desiree and David told us that they have renamed him and are now calling him Wilbur and all of their guests love him! He eats gourmet food and drinks two to three diet orange sodas everyday! How cool is that!" Then Sandy, Donna and Jon arrived so we went to greet them. Then we went over to the outdoor deck so The Event could commence.

Desiree and David greeted us and then David told us about the meal that he had prepared for us and then our super fun party began! As the men drank their beers and we girls sipped their delicious "House Red Wine" it was non-stop laughter as great music played softly in the background. Then we were served the first two entrees that were so delicious, Kinky said, "This seven-pepper bisque is divine!" Everyone agreed including T. even though he had never had cold soup before.

I wish that I could remember the names of all of the delicious entrees we ate, but after we ate round two we were all feeling pretty full and not sure that we could eat round three and four so we took a food break. Tony took off and gave Marcie, Donna, Will and Barbara a tour of the cute, cozy cabins while Kinky, Tom, Jon, Sandy and I remained on the deck trading funny stories back and forth.

When the song started playing "Ferry Cross The Mersey" Kinky asked us who sang it and then he said, "I think it was the Dave Clark Five," but we all disagreed even though none of us could remember who it was. "I bet David will know!" Kink said and then he asked David.

"Gerry & the Pacemakers, Kinky," David answered as he brought out 'Round Three' to serve us and that is when I had to back off and decline to not eat anymore food, because I was so full I thought that I was going to pop and that would have not been a pretty sight.

By the end of the party everyone was full, but still laughing, while we begged David for his delicious secret international recipes which he nicely didn't totally divulge to us as any chef would.

After everyone had paid their due, it was all hugs and handshakes out in the parking lot before everyone took off in different directions to go home. Kinky, Marcie and Will riding inside Mr. Green Jeans followed us all of the way home.

I want to thank D&D at their super cool B&B and restaurant for the best of times and their delicious feast that none of us will ever forget. The Trails End Guest House Really Rocks and I love y'all so much! (David, now will you please give me your steak and mushroom recipe? We all loved it! And I swear that I won't tell anyone, but please note that I will steal your recipe, rename it and call it 'Cousin Nancy's Steak & Mushroom Delight' and I will only post it on my blog! You've got my e-mail address!)

P.S. Today has been great and I promise to write about it tomorrow.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Pentagon!

Today has been great, but I am a little depressed for some reason. Maybe it is because I didn't sleep well last night. When I did sleep, I had really weird dreams to say the least. Who knows?

This morning after walking six miles I talked to my good friend "Sam" up in Johnson City. Bless her heart, she has been involved with a frustrating puppy rescue for months and she had called to see if we were ready to take one of the pups that I had promised months ago to take. I told her yes, so we made a plan to meet at Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic in Kerrville at one-thirty this afternoon.

After I talked with Sam I checked my e-mail and the note with pictures that I had received from my good friend Pete Harje, down in Port Aransas made me laugh out loud, because back in October he and his wife, Kelly adopted Smilin' Jack from us. Jack is an incredibly intelligent dog, extremely well trained, but at times he can be a handful because he is too smart.

For example, months ago Pete sent me an hilarious e-mail telling me that they loved Smilin' Jack. Then he went on to say that Jack knows how to open their refrigerator door and he helps himself to whatever is the fridge, etc. Well, here is the note with pictures that he sent to me today:

"I don't know. It's crazy. It just feels like where ever you go in the house you are being watched. Maybe we are infested by big black dogs.

I have been enjoying your new book. Like everything else these days, I've been doing it real slow.

Hope you and Tony are A Ok! We would love to make it up there.

Hugs and kisses,


Late this morning Kinky called. He had returned to the ranch late last night and he was tired, so we decided to visit later this afternoon after he caught up with all of his business. After lunch Buttermilk took T. and me to Kerrville so we could run a few errands before meeting up with Sam at Hoegemeyers.

Our first stop was at H.E.B to get gas, then we went to Copies Plus, because Tony had some more beautiful post cards for her to print for him. When we walked inside her store she and her employee Marcie were busy with customers so we sat down and waited for our turn to be helped. As soon as the last customer was satisfied and had walked out the door Trisha said, "Nancy, I know that you have a thousand books that you are carrying around inside your car and I want to buy one of them and get you to sign it!" 

After I signed the book, she talked to Tony about his post card order then when 'business' was over we had a short visit filled with laughter. After she and Marcie told us a funny story about a customer I told them a story about when Jim and I owned an embroidery shop in Austin.

"One day back in the early 90's Jim and I were trying to make a deadline and these two uppity, young nouveau-rich women, who were probably in their late twenties, came into our shop and they started being rude to Jim and saying things like, 'Are you sure you know how to do this?' They asked even though it was an easy job and didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out."

"Well, as I sewed logos in the back of the shop I was getting angrier by the minute, as they insulted Jim who was ten times smarter and nicer than they were. Now, before I tell you the ending to this story you need to know that an attorney friend of ours Patrick G. was with the Naval Intelligence Agency and he wanted to have some polo shirts embroidered with the N.I.A.'s logo on it, so he could give them to his friends in Washington D.C.  We told Patrick that before we could sew the logo on the shirts we would need someone from D.C. to authorize it. Patrick understood and told us that he would get his friend in D.C. to call us to confirm that it was okay for us to embroider their logo on his shirts."

"Nance," Tony said wearing a big smile on his face, "you're making a short story really long, again." We all laughed.

"Okay, Tone. I will finish it. So, I'm madder than you-know-what and while smoke is starting to come out of my ears as I'm sewing, the phone rings and I pick it up. "P.D.Q.! How can I help you?"

"Hello, this is General So-In-So at the Pentagon. I am calling about the shirts that Patrick G. wants to get embroidered with our logo..."

"Just a second, sir." I said as I covered the mouthpiece. "Excuse me ladies. Jim, it's General So-In-So at the Pentagon and he needs to talk to you immediately! I'll finish up with the ladies order."

"After I handed the phone to Jim I went up to the counter and finished taking the wannabe ladies order and said nothing as they tried to listen to Jim and figure out why a General from the Pentagon was calling a small embroidery shop in Westlake, Texas! It drove them crazy and I charged them double! We never posted our prices and we charged our customers by attitude!" We laughed and then a customer entered the print shop so we left.

When we arrived at Hoegemeyers Sam was already there waiting for us in the parking lot. After we met the sweet, five month old, little dog we went inside. After we asked Susan, their friendly receptionist to give the pup all of her shots, do a skin scraping and spay her, we left the clinic and went down the road to Randy and Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant for tea and a short visit.

When the friendly waitress served us our drinks she told us about Lisa's homemade desserts, so we all ordered peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream. OMG! Talk about delicious! We had a fun visit with Sam as we gobbled up our cobblers. At two-twenty we said goodbye to each other in the parking lot and then T. and I came home.

After returning several phone calls I did something that I haven't done in over ten years—I made Fannie Farmer's white bread from scratch—thanks to 'Erb's and Karen's Care 'Care Package.' Thank you, Karen and 'Erb! I love that marble pastry board so much and it loves me because the bread is absolutely delicious! Here is a before and after picture.

This evening I went over to the Lodge to visit with Marcie and Kinky so I could 'break-bread' with them and they loved it and told me that it was delicious! Then I came back home and took these two pictures of the beautiful Hummingbirds out on our front porch.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What A Funny Pig He Is!

Today has been great. This morning after I walked eight miles with Sansone, Tone came inside to tell me that he had a surprise for me and that I needed to come outside to see who was here, so I followed him to the dog pens. When I saw our great volunteer, Matt Bradbury in the pen feeding Hank and Nellybelle I said, "OMG, Matt! It is great to see you! And we have really missed you..."

I visited with Matt as he fed Dusty, then Moe Bandy, Randy Travis & Mandy, then I introduced him to Callie aka Rita Coolidge and he fell in love with her. After he fed her we stayed in her pen as he played with her. Then we went into Ruth Buzzi's and Chuck's pen so he could feed them and then I followed him into Rocky's and Lucy's pen so he could feed them. After he fed Annie Oakley and then Jill we crossed the road and went to the pen that Tone was cleaning and that's when I saw Meghann feeding Ashley Judd and Ludy!

"Hi, Meghann! Thank you for coming out! I didn't know that you were here! It is so great to see you..." I half-hollered. A few minutes later after all of the dogs had been fed and their pens had been cleaned we went into Outer Space and had a great visit and caught up with our friends / volunteers news. Before they left after handshakes and hugs T. and I thanked them for coming out we told them not to be strangers and they promised us that they wouldn't.

Late this afternoon I received the nicest e-mail from D&D from their B&B and it really made my day. David and Desiree Farrar are our good friends and kindred spirits who own and operate the coolest bed & breakfast in Texas— the Trail's End Guest House in Kerrville. And they are the wonderful people who adopted Beckham, our soccer playing wild hog. Here is what they wrote:

Finished your book last night. It was a great peak into "a day in the life"; what every reality show should aspire to portray. I hated for it to end, hopefully the next one will be out sooner than later. We read a few sections to Wilber/Beckham and showed him all the pictures. Though excited for you and the Ranch, he was a tad miffed. When we inquired as to why, he told us there was not a single porcine image. Horses, cows, dogs, cats and even (shudder) humans. We explained to him it must have been due to a decision in the edit process. "Even Mercedes McCambridge, a fantastic Academy Award winning actress, had her part in Giant edited down from one hour to less than 15 minutes actual screen time." After two cans of diet orange pop and 4 homemade cookies he got over it. What a funny pig he is.
Our best to you and Tony,

Desiree and David, thank y'all for the kind words about my book. We will see y'all Thursday night when Sandy and Jon Wolfmueller, Kinky and Marcie and Tone and I come out for dinner. I can't wait!

Y'all have a great evening! 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Randy's & Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant Rocks!

Last night before going to bed Tony and I decided to get up real early so we could feed the dogs outside and clean their pens, because we were going to treat ourselves to a delicious breakfast at Randy's & Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant.

While Tony fed our dogs I cleaned their pens. I love helping Tone with his chores because it gives me a chance to spend more time with our wonderful dogs. This morning when I went into Rita Coolidge's puppy pen she ran up to me and wildly wagged her tail. "Good morning, Rita," I said as I picked her up and held her in my arms. "You've got a new name girl and it's Callie Gotke! You are so lucky, Callie..." When I put her back on the ground she followed me around the pen as I did my job and then we played fetch. 

I threw balls, stuffed toys and chew toys for her to fetch. Callie chased after each toy that I tossed, but the only toy that she would return to me was this pink thing that I guess was supposed to be a cute, smiling octopus. When I left her pen she whined for about twenty seconds then she took her pink-thing and went into her dog house and fell to sleep. After our chores were done Buttermilk took us to Kerrville.

When Tony and I arrived at The Save Inn their parking lot was nearly full as it always is, but we luckily found a space in front of the restaurant. After Tony cussed softly and then did The Procedure to get out of Buttermilk I got out of the car and we went inside. Fortunately "our table" near the back close to the counter was vacant so we grabbed it. Then like always a friendly waitress came to our table with coffee for Tone and tea for me. "Let me guess," she said as she pointed at me. "Sinker Omelet, hash browns and whole wheat toast." I smiled and nodded my head. "And you want to eggs over medium, bacon, and a stack of pancakes on the side." Tony laughed and handed her our menus.

Our breakfast was delicious and near the end of our meal Lisa came out of the kitchen and I waved to her. Then she came over to our table and greeted us." Randy and I want to buy your book. Do you have any with you?" 

Before I could answer her, Tony said, "We've got one out in the car. Let me go get you one." Then he left the crowed restaurant. When he returned with a book I signed it to Lisa and Randy and then she paid me for it and went back to the counter. Then in walks Sandy and Jon Wolfmueller and they came over and sat down at a table next to ours! 

After Jon told Lisa that they weren't ordering anything, we had a really fun visit with them! After we paid our bill we went outside to visit a little more with our friends in the parking lot. "How did y'all know that we were at the Save Inn?" I asked. 

Sandy shot me a wink and said, "We recognized Tony's gut in the parking lot!" We all started laughing even though T. doesn't have much of a gut.

"Yeah, and I'm fixin' to get rid of it—starting tomorrow!" Tony quipped back. Then Sandy and Jon took off for Lowe's to buy a new garden hose and we came home and have enjoyed having a quiet and peaceful day.

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tater Catfish Stevens Was Here!

Today has been great even though I woke up at three in the morning because of a nearby lightning strike. I immediately woke up Tony so he could help me unplug everything from the wall sockets so none of our electronics would blow up and accidentally catch our trailer on fire. Within two minutes everything was unplugged, so we went back to bed as the thunderstorm boomed and lit up the night sky.

This morning while Tone did his chores outside I walked six miles with Leslie Sansone and then Hazel, my trusty vacuum cleaner and I gave the trailer a thorough cleaning, because our dear friends Denise and Mark Stevens from Austin were coming to visit us and I didn't want them to think that it looked like we lived here!

We met Denise and Mark through our mutual friend, Brian Alstott years ago. They are the couple who adopted Hank from us and Hank's story is in my new book.

Denise and Mark arrived here around eleven-thirty just as I was about to clean up our lunch dishes, so I happily blew off cleaning up the kitchen. After howdies and hugs outside by their truck they introduced us to their darling dog Tater Catfish Stevens! OMG! Tater was absolutely too cute and he stole T.'s and my hearts instantly. Then Denise gave me some beautiful flowers and then we went into Outer Space with our dogs. T. C. was a perfect guest-dog as he let our old dogs take turns sniffing his butt before they welcomed him and then went and laid down on their pillows.

While we caught up with each others news Tone and I took turns holding "The Tater" as he slept peacefully in our arms. "I love Tater," I said. "He is just like a little baby, but cuter." Denise and Mark, his proud adoptive parents totally agreed with me.

At one point during our fun conversation I looked down at my wrist and quickly realized that I had put on my off-white turtleneck on the wrong side out and started laughing at myself. "Y'all are going to have to excuse me for a minute," I said. "This morning right before y'all got here I took a bath and I have just realized that I put my turtleneck on wrong side out!" Everyone started laughing as I left Outer Space and went inside the trailer to correct my wardrobe malfunction. Then I returned to Outer Space.

"Y'all, I can't believe that I put my t-neck on wrong side out. I've never done that before. I guess that I'm definitely getting old." I said with a laugh as I sat down in my chair.

"I can't wait to tell Kinky and Ben about this!" Tony teased. Then Mark and Denise started telling us about going to the Saxon Pub in Austin and listening to some really cool Jazz musicians when our dogs outside started barking, because a car was driving in, so Tony took off to go see who was here.

A few minutes later when he returned to Outer Space Tone was wearing a big grin on his face. "June, Ellen and Eileen are here and Eileen just told me that she wants to adopt Rita Coolidge in two weeks!" I was so thrilled with Tony's news about Rita! Then we told Denise and Mark about our cute puppies, Rita and her sister Emmylou Harris who found her fantastic forever home last week.

Around four o'clock Mark and Denise told us that it was time for them to head back to Austin and I was sick because I didn't want them to leave because we were having so much fun.

I want to do a shout out to Ellen and June our super volunteers. Our plan worked! Thanks for working on Eileen like you said you would! Y'all Rock and so does Eileen! And Mark, Denise and Tater Catfish Stevens—we love y'all and please come back and visit us sooner than later!

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The War Of The Weeds Or I Knead A Little Help From My Friends!

Yesterday morning after walking six miles with Leslie Sansone, Ben and Tony came inside the trailer after doing their chores outside to discuss what I was going to fix them for lunch. "I've got a jar of Ragu and was thinking of fixing some spaghetti, but with shrimp instead of meatballs," I said. "How does that sound?"

Even though the guys didn't jump up and down with joy in the big room, like I had hoped they would, they told me that my spaghetti would be fine. Before going back outside to mow and edge we decided to eat lunch at noon. Then I showed off to Ben my new William and Sonoma marble rolling pin, pastry scrapper and the marble, made in Spain, pastry board that Karen and 'Erb had sent to me. Ben was real impressed, so I asked him if he would help me make flour tortillas after lunch and he told me that he would and then they went outside to battle the war of the weeds.

After I had returned several phone calls, I changed clothes and I put on my denim work overalls and then went outside to help Ben and Tone mow and weed-eat before the future forecasted rain came. I am proud to say that I push-mowed our backyard, the front yard, the side yard by Tony's garden and the front yard of my writing cabin all by myself! When it was time for us to go inside for lunch Tony and Ben told me that they were really impressed with my hard work. Of course, I know they were just glad that they didn't have to do it.

After I put the spaghetti into the water to boil on the stovetop I had a big surprise. "Ben! I don't have any Ragu! I thought I had some. I need your help. What can we do?" Tony and Ben started laughing.

"Nance, you are always out of Ragu," Ben teased. Then we went over to "my wall pantry" and Ben removed a large can of tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce. "I'll fix lunch." I was thrilled, but not as much as Tony was. Twenty minutes later the three of us were eating Ben's delicious meal. Thank you, Ben!

While I washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen Ben and I talked about my flour tortilla disaster. When the kitchen was close to being sparkling clean I pulled up the flour tortilla recipe on my laptop and we went to work or should I say Ben went to work as I sat at the kitchen table carefully reading aloud to him the ingredient measurements and the instructions on how to prepare chewy flour tortillas.

At one point while Ben was kneading the dough on the 'Made in Spain' pastry board he got to laughing and started teasing me about the way I pronouce tortilla. "Y'all, want a torrrrr—tilla?" Ben said mocking my drawl, while wearing a big smile on his face. He and T. started laughing. "It's a Fort Worth 'thang' and everyone up there in North Texas talks like that. I can just see you calling Cindy and Ronnie and asking them how they pronounce tortilla and they will pronounce it just like you do! Torrrr—tilla." We got to laughing so hard we accidentally let the covered eight balls of dough rest an extra minute. Then the three of us became a torrrr—tilla factory assembly line.

Ben was the roller and on a roll. I was the cooker that cooked, and T. was the official timekeeper. While Ben dusted and rolled out the balls into seven to eight inch circles, I cooked them thirty seconds on each side in a hot skillet while Tony told me when to flip them and they were absolutely delicious! Here is a picture that I took of the torrrr—tillas! Thank you Karen and 'Erb! Your Care's Care Package did the trick and as soon as I have a little extra time I am going to make some and overnight them to y'all!

After I cleaned up the kitchen in the torrrr—tilla factory I went outside and push-mowed and weed-eated until five o'clock with Ben and Tone. And that is why I didn't post a blog last night because I was exhausted and I went to bed before eight-thirty. And I am glad that I did.

This morning I woke up at five o'clock while T. slept like a log. After I had fed our fur buddies it started thundering and lightning up a storm. And I mean a big storm with pea-sized hail. Fortunately, it only hailed for about three minutes then the electricity started going off and on while I was trying to unplug everything from the wall sockets. Thank goodness I had a flashlight!

By seven-thirty it had quit storming and Tony and I were sitting in Outer Space drinking coffee even though we were under a tornado warning that Lisa had alerted us to. Thank you, Lisa!

When Ben arrived Tony and I were already outside feeding the dogs and cleaning their pens. "Morning, Ben!" I half-hollered from Hank's and Nellybelle's pen. "We're under a tornado warning!" Ben started laughing!

"A torrrr—nado alert," Ben teased. "I'm starting to figure this out. Anything that starts with tor is pronounced torrrr—nado!  I'm so torrrr—up."

This afternoon Buttermilk took us over to the Lodge to deliver an urgent message to Marcie from Kinky for her to call him as soon as possible. He is on the road for a few more days and needed for Marce to call him. After asking Marcie to call Kink we went to Kerrville to get some supplies at H.E.B. where we ran into our super volunteer and good friend, Ellen Jackson, by the toilet paper section! Scott Extra Soft tissue to be exact.

 After howdies and hugs Ellen asked us how Rita Coolidge was doing. "Ellen, she's fine, but she really misses her sister, Emmylou Harris. She is so lonesome." Then the three of us made a secret plan about getting Rita adopted, but to protect the innocent and us, I can't reveal it at this time, but please keep your fingers crossed for little Rita.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Now We're Talkin' Tortillas!

Today has been a total  blast since Mercury is finally out of retrograde! Late this morning after walking only four miles I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and Marcie and I brought two homemade veggie burgers that I had made for them.

While Kinky talked on his phone in his office Marcie and I caught up with each other's news in the kitchen. Then Frank and Jerome joined us and that ended our fun hen party even though we enjoyed their company.

When Kinky was done talking on the phone we all went outside to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, then after about ten minutes Kinky abuptly went inside. A few minutes later he came back outside with the veggie burgers that I had made for them.

As everyone gobbled them up and gave me compliments in between bites, I told them about my recent flour tortilla disaster. "Y'all, should have seen them. Some of them looked like thick pancakes while others were so small you couldn't even wrap one around your little finger..." Then I bragged about our good friends, 'Erb and Karen Cares sending me a marble rolling pin and a pastry scrapper to help me make better tortillas. "The marble pastry board should be arriving today and I can't wait. I can't believe it, y'all! They are from Williams & Sonoma, the Cadillac of kitchenware and they were handmade in Spain!" Everyone thought it was very cool.

This afternoon the dogs outside started barking so Tone went outside to check on them. When he returned to the trailer he was carrying a large box and wearing a smile on his face, "UPS was just here. Here's your marble pastry board. It's really heavy." While Tony cut open the box I punched in Kink's phone number and invited him and Marcie to come over to see my Cares' care package.

A few minutes later when they arrived Kinky surprised me. "Nance, we brought some chicken with us and we want to have a picnic with Toto and your old timers. Is that okay?" After our dogs had enjoyed their yummy picnic with Marcie and Kinky we went inside the trailer so I could show off my new kitchen products from Spain.

While admiring my Cares' Package Kinky picked up the marble rolling pin from Spain and said, "You had better look out, Tone, because if you make Nancy mad, this could be considered a lethal weapon in a court of law and the jury would be hard-pressed to find her guilty." Here is a picture of the marble board and the rolling pin. I'm sorry, but I forgot to include the pastry scrapper.

This afternoon Lisa, one of our great volunteers called! She had some time off and she wanted to know if she could come out to visit with us. "I have missed you guys so much..." But not as much as we have missed her and Matt.

Forty five minutes later after multiple hugs outside by my writing cabin the three of us went into Outer Space and we had a blast to say the least! It was non-stop talking and laughing as we caught up with each others' news.

Before Lisa left the rescue ranch she promised us to bring Matt with her the next time that she comes out and we are so looking forward to it because we have missed that Dynamic Duo so much.

Tonight I want to do two shout-outs to some really great people, so here goes: Thank you, Karen & 'Erb! I love y'all! And to Mark in Mississippi—you Rock and we cannot wait to meet you!

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Goodbye, Mercury!

Since last night's blog came close to turning into a book, I am taking tonight off so I can celebrate Mercury no longer being in retrograde until August! Goodbye, Mercury!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Today has been something else. First it was great, then it was really scary thanks to Mercury in retrograde and then it was great again. And all that I can say is thank goodness Mercury goes out of retrograde tomorrow!

This morning I got up really early, did all my chores and then I walked six miles before Tony returned home from the Old Timer in Medina. After he ate breakfast tacos and I drank my delicious, healthy smoothie he went back into his office to do a little farming while I cleaned up the kitchen.

While he was busy plowing and planting pretend plants I went online. After I checked and answered my e-mail I went to Bluefoot Publishing to check for any new information posted. When I was on the home page  I noticed a new topic had been added to the top of the page, so I clicked on the button that read: "Best" and I literally fell out of my kitchen chair when I saw Tony's name and then my name listed on the Best page with several other authors names.

When I got up off of the floor I clicked on Tony's name and up came his story, "Runts Rule!" Then Tone walked into the big room to see what had made the loud noise. "It was me," I said. "I accidentally fell out of my chair when I read that your short story and mine is going to be published!"

"What story?" T. asked.

"Your story!" I said with excitement.

"What are you talking about, Nance?" Then I made my confession.

"Last week after I had submitted a story to John at Bluefoot Publishing, I did something behind your back. I sent John an e-mail with the story you wrote several years ago—"Runts Rule!" I told John that I was secretly sending him your story because I loved it. I told him that you had forgotten about it and if they thought it was good enough to be included in their book that you would be thrilled. But in case they didn't want to use it, your feelings wouldn't get hurt because you wouldn't know anything about it. I am sorry that I did it without telling you. I just didn't want you to be disappointed. Tony, they liked your story and they have put it on their Best page! Come look! You're a writer, too!"

I got out of my chair so T. could sit down to see what I was talking about. Tony clicked on the Best page and then he saw his name and the title of his story. "Click on it and read your story, Tone! It is great!" I said.

After Tony read what he had wrote years ago he said, "Thank you, Nance. I can't believe this! And yes, I had completely forgotten about writing it. I'm going to get on Facebook and tell all of my friends that my story is going to be published!" Then he left the kitchen and went down the hall to his office.

Fifteen minutes later T. came into the kitchen wearing a big smile on his face. "Nance, you're not going to believe this! All of these people are posting congrats on my Facebook page telling me that they loved reading my story and congratulating me for getting published! Did you really like my story?"

"Yes, Tone. I love your story and that is why I saved it on my computer for all of these years. It's really good. Congratulations, T. now you know how exciting it is to get published..." Then things went south.

While Tony was outside doing his chores I started a load of laundry in Queen Bee. Then I went into the bathroom to grab a few towels that needed to be washed and when I looked out the window I about fainted at what I saw! I saw the tail of a rattlesnake about a foot long and about five inches round stuck in the chicken wire about five feet from the trailer. I could not see the rest of the snake because it was hidden under some brush inside Tony's garden.

I quickly ran into the kitchen grabbed my camera, inserted the newly charged battery and ran back into the bathroom so I could take a picture of it, but it was gone! "OMG!" I said as goosebumps went up and down my spine. Then I ran out of the trailer, jumped into Buttermilk and took off to find Tony at the other end of the rescue ranch feeding Mr. Rogers and Miss Dee.

When I put Buttermilk into park and turned her off, I pulled the door latch but the door didn't open so I had to do The Procedure for the very first time in panic mode! I quickly turned the ignition switch on so I could roll down the electric window, then I had to take off my seat belt so I could turn around in the front seat so I could stick my arm outside the window so I could open the door, then I had to turn around in the front seat and turn off Buttermilk before I jumped out of the antique 1998 Ford Explorer!

Tony had watched The Procedure event and he was laughing his head off so to speak when I escaped unharmed. When I quickly told him about the snake he quit laughing. We said goodbye to the dogs from Kansas, jumped into Kermit and headed for the trailer while making a plan. "Nance, get all of the dogs inside and lock the doors and close the windows because I might have to shoot it."

As I gathered up our dogs, closed the windows and began locking the doors I said, "Tony, I am scared of shotgun blasts so I am going to leave and go over to the Lodge to tell Frank what is going on..." as Tony was about to walk out the front door with his shot gun.

"No, Nance. Stay here. Hopefully, I won't have to shoot it." Then he closed the front door behind him and I waited nervously inside with my fur buddies. Ten minutes passed without gunfire and then T. knocked real hard on the front door and it nearly scared me to death! "It's me, Babe. Open the door!"

When Tony came inside he told me that the rattler was long gone and for me to go ahead and put Mama and Abbie back outside, but if they got to barking to bring them inside the house fast and then go outside and honk Buttermilk's horn, because it would take me too long to drive down and get him because of my problems doing The Procedure. Fortunately, I never had to honk Buttermilk's horn.

This afternoon Buttermilk took us to Kerrville to run a few errands. Our first stop was at the famous and fabuous Trail's End Guest House to see our good friends Desiree & David Farrar and Beckham, their gigantic soccer-playing wild hog that we rescued and they adopted for their B&B. Here is a picture that I took of him today.

We had a great visit with D&D at their B&B and of course there was much laughing! They bought two of my books and I signed them as David told us about Beckham's latest escapades. "We're calling him Wilbur now and he is still as sweet as he can be even though he is so enormous. Everyday he gets to eat gourmet leftovers and the other day when I went out to feed him I had just opened up a can of cold diet orange soda and he really wanted it," David said. "He started grunting at me so I poured a little into the side of his mouth and he went crazy. His mouth started foaming and he was trying to stand up on the fence to get more so I gave him the can and he held it between his teeth and drank it all! He's one amazing hog..."

When I told Desiree and David about us wanting to come out for dinner either this week or next week with Sandy and Jon Wolfmueller, Kinky and his sweet sister Marcie they told me which days would be the best for them and I told them I would get back to them real soon. Just as Tony and I were fixin' to leave David left the room and then quickly returned with a beautiful, expensive platter of food for us to take home and enjoy! Thank you, David and Desiree!

After we left our dear friends at the Trails End Guest House we went to Wolfmueller's Books to talk to Sandy and Jon about having dinner with all of us. Sandy told me that this week wasn't good, but next week would work so we left their bookstore because it was full of customers.

Our last stop was at H.E.B. to pick up a few groceries. It was uneventful until a nice elderly woman walked up beside me next to the banana area near the front of the store and said really loud, "I love your lavender overalls! I mean, I really love your lavender overalls, girl!" I blushed and then thanked her as Tony stood over by the strawberries stand laughing at me!

When we returned home I had one new message on the machine. "Hey, Nance, it's Kinky! Marcie and I are at the ranch! Call me!" After I called him back, I made up a small sampler plate of David and Desiree's delicious homemade goat cheese, vegetables and bread and then T. and I went over to the Lodge to see Marcie and Kinky.

After howdies and hugs I set the plate down on the kitchen table and invited everyone to try our friends gourmet food. Kink and Marce thought the food was absolutely delicious and they asked me about it and that is when I made a fool out of myself. After I told them about the cheese I stupidly said if that is a word, "This is partisan bread that David makes everyday. Isn't it delicious!"

"Partisan?" Kinky asked as he put another piece of cheese covered bread into his mouth. Then we all started laughing and a few flakes flew out of his mouth.

"I mean artisan bread, Kink!" I said. "Marce, I haven't changed since you have been gone. I am still stupid!" Before leaving the Lodge we made plans to eat at the Trail's End Guest House next week, because Kinky has to go out of town on Thursday. See y'all soon D&D!

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

This morning when I woke up Tony surprised me. He was home. And he had already fed our fur family and had made the coffee. When I asked him why he didn't go to the Old Timer like he usually does he told me that his back and his hip were killing him and that he didn't sleep much last night. "Why is your hip hurting?" I asked, because I know that he has chronic back pain.

"I forgot to tell you that yesterday when I put Walter into his pen a stump caught my foot and I fell down and my hip landed hard on a big rock." Then he showed me his bruised hip and it made me cringe as I was thinking 'better him than me.'

After breakfast Tone went outside to do his chores while I cleaned up the kitchen. I didn't walk with Leslie like I usually do after breakfast, because I have already walked fifty-four miles this month with her. So I decided to take a day off and go water my new flowers and plants in Outer Space.

When I came back inside I decided to call Kinky on his cell phone, but unfortunately I got his recorded message instead, so I left him this message, "Happy Mother's Day, Kinky! I just wanted to be the first one to wish you a Happy Mother's Day! Bye!" I laughed when I hung up the phone, because I do this every Mother's Day to get a laugh out of him.

After eating an early lunch Buttermilk took us to Kerrville so we could pick up Layla from Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic. When we walked into the lobby it was full of people and their pets waiting to see Dr. Rydberg or to pick up their pets. Kathy Janssen greeted us when we walked into the lobby and said, "Nancy, I loved reading your book! It was fantastic! I need to talk to you about something before you leave with Layla!" Then she called one of the clients names and took them to an examining room as Tony and I sat down on a bench.

A few minutes later one of the vet techs brought Layla into the lobby and Tony took her outside and put her inside her crate and waited for me in the car. After Kathy gave me Layla's shot records she said, "Nancy, I have a best friend who writes romance novels, but she is having a hard time getting published. I was wondering if you could help her?" After a brief discussion and telling Kathy to ask her friend to give me a call and that I would be glad to help her anyway that I could, Kathy said in front of about ten people, "I want to help her because she is the woman who got on my butt to enter the figure skating finals, so I have gotten on her butt for her to get her novels published!"

"And now you are on my butt," I said jokingly as I walked out of the clinic, listening to the people inside the lobby laughing. When we got home we gave Layla a few hot dogs before we returned to her pen with Little Girl and she seemed glad to be home. Then Buttermilk took us up to the trailer.

When T. did "The Procedure" to get out of Buttermilk I laughed, because Tony and I were so used to it by now, we hadn't even noticed that it had become the natural way to get out of Buttermilk. I have not driven Buttermilk in several days so I am looking forward to doing The Procedure to see how well I do it. Maybe I will get Tone to shoot a short video of me doing The Procedure.

When we came inside the trailer Tony and I decided to watch last night's "Saturday Night Live" which I recoreded last night, with Betty White hosting it. OMG! Betty White was totally hilarious and she had us laughing till it hurt! I love Betty White so much! She is one of my heroes for so many reasons besides being an awesome animal lover. And I can't believe that she, a living national treasure to all, is eighty-eight years old. Talk about an inspiration!

Y'all have a great evening! And Happy Mother's Day to all!