Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rain Check!

I am going to have to give y'all a rain check on tonight's blog, because we are under a severe weather warning. It has been raining cats and dogs outside for the past hour and it doesn't look like it is going to let up. Tony and I are fixin' to unplug and then go outside to check on our dogs and then catch up on some reading.

P.S. Thirty minutes ago I called Rick and Leisa on the island, to check on them and they are fine. Rick told me that it is raining in Port Aransas with forty mile an hour wind gusts.

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy Birthday Cindy Pickard! I Miss You!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Balance!

Today has been another quiet day, so there isn't much for me to write about tonight. Early this morning I walked ten miles before breakfast and then I helped Tony clean the dog pens. I spent the rest of my morning returning phone calls and e-mails and then I made lunch.

Early this afternoon we went to J.C. Penneys and I purchased a new pair of New Balance walking shoes, because I have worn out my old pair.

Kinky called me this afternoon from Washington D.C. and he is doing fine and he will be back at the ranch on Thursday and I am really looking forward to seeing him. And that's about it.

P.S. I want to thank everyone for their sweet notes, comments, e-mails and phone calls about Lucky's passing. I know that he is in a better place and your kind remarks has put me in a better place, too.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Nailed Her!

Today has been a great day. This morning I walked ten miles with Leslie Sansone and I am now proud to say that I am now over halfway done. As of today I have walked nine hundred and fourteen miles and only have nine hundred and eleven miles to go before I complete the one thousand eight-hundred and twenty-five miles that I have vowed to walk this year!

Right after I had walked the ten miles and was starting to cook lunch for Tony and me, he, Meghann and her friend came inside the trailer for a short, but fun visit. They had surprised Tony when they came out to help him this morning and they had surprised me, too. Thank y'all!

This afternoon after lunch our dogs started barking outside, so Tony went to check it out. When the dogs quit barking and T. hadn't returned to the trailer I went outside to find our friends and volunteers, Jan and Todd Bauer and their family visiting with T. over by the barn.

I was so glad to see Jan and Todd—they are great people. After hugs and howdys they introduced me to their family and then we caught up with each others news while we showed them our dogs, because their daughter Shannon and her family have recently moved to Kerrville from California and they were looking to adopt a dog.

They fell in love with Gus and after I had told them Gus' story, the new dog that we rescued from the Kerr County pound ten days ago—they told us that they wanted Gus and they asked us to please hold him for two weeks so they could get settled in. T. and I were thrilled for Gus—to say the least.

Late this afternoon we had a thunderstorm, so we unplugged everything like we always do. Since I couldn't work on the computer or return phone calls or e-mail I decided to try to trim Mama's nails with our battery-operated Pedi-Paws, since Toto had let us trim his nails last week for the first time without being muzzled and causing a fuss or biting us. When I told Tony about my pet project—he wished me luck with Mama, our loving, eighty pound, rescued Great Pyrenees that sleeps between us on our bed at night, because she and I are joined at the hip. So I got busy setting the mood for Mama's manicure.

Since everything inside the trailer was unplugged I turned on several of my battery powered "tea candles," that flicker like a real candle for ambiance. Then, because our Bose iDocking system is AC/DC—I selected my "Going To Sleep" play list with calming music and it immediately filled the big room. The mood was set, so I sat down on the floor and called for Mama, who was sleeping like a log on our bed in our bedroom.

The minute that Mama heard my voice I heard her jump off of the bed and she came running to me to make sure that I was okay. "Sit, Mama," I said. Mama sat down on the blanket. I then lifted her front, right paw, turned on the Pedi-Paws and told what was fixin' to happen. Then I started trimming her nails without any problems. In fact, she laid down on the blanket and fell fast to sleep, while I gave her a Cousin Nancy dogicure.

Twelve minutes later I was done and Mama's nails and they looked beautiful, so I woke her up and she ran back into our bedroom and jumped up on the bed and went back to sleep. When T. came into the big room as I was turning off the switches on my fake non-burning candles he asked, "How'd it go with Mama? Did she..."

"I nailed her!" I bragged, as I headed to the bedroom to take a nap with her.

Rick, The Friendly Lighthouse Keeper, and Leisa called me tonight at eight o'clock. "Cousin Nancy, please don't pick up the phone," I heard Rick say, right before I picked up the phone.

"Hey, Rick! It's me. Do you realize how important y'all are to me—that I actually picked up the phone for you?..." Rick started laughing.

"She actually picked up the phone, Leisa!" My good friend said to his better half. Then we visited and then Rick said, "....Nance, we wanted to know if it would be okay for us to come up there if the hurricane hits Port Aransas?" After I told Rick that it was fine and that we would love to see them he put Leisa on the phone.

After Leisa and I visited for a couple of minutes I told her to tease Rick and tell him that I had changed my mind and that there was no way that we wanted them to come see us—Hurricane or not. Leisa started laughing and then she told Rick what I had said and I could hear him laughing in the background.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you what Rick half-hollered back to me, but it was pretty darn funny. I hope the hurricane doesn't come near Port A, but I do hope that Rick and Leisa will use it as an excuse to come see us.

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Today Has Been A Quiet Day!

Today has been a quiet day thank goodness, even though we are under a full moon attack. This morning after feeding the dogs I decided to cook a really nice breakfast for Tony and me, instead of our usual: (his) oatmeal and (my) healthy smoothie.

When he returned from the Old Timer with the Sunday edition of the San Antone newspaper he was happily surprised with what I had cooked him for breakfast. We had "Cousin Nancy's Texas Omelet" which is my version of Randy and Lisa's Save Inn Restaurants' famous, mouth watering—"Sinker Omelet." The omelet was delicious and it had everything in it except the kitchen sink along with a side of bacon, hash browned potatoes and whole wheat toast drizzled in olive oil. To say the least, Tone loved it and he cleaned his plate and that made me feel good.

After I had cleaned up the kitchen and T. had done some important virtual farming on his laptop, he went outside to do his "real" chores, so I walked eight miles with Leslie Sansone. Then I tied a wet, pink bandana around my neck and went outside to help Tony clean pens.

 I really enjoy cleaning the dog's pens, because it gives me an opportunity to spend time visiting with all of our dogs. An hour later, after I had petted and talked the dog's ears off, we were done cleaning up the pens, so we returned to the trailer.

No sooner had we walked inside the trailer the phone rang and it was Kinky, and believe it or not—I picked up the phone on the second ring, so I could talk to him. He told me that he was on a train from Philadelphia which was fixin' to arrive in Washington D.C. where his sweet sister, Marcie was picking him and Little Jewford up. We mainly talked about Lucky and what a great cat that he had been and how much we were all going to miss him. Then I put Kink on the "Speaker Phone" so we could discuss some rescue ranch business, as I started fixin' lunch for Tone and me.

After eating a not so great lunch, because I didn't have all of the needed ingredients—Buttermilk took us to Walmart so Tony could buy a few new shirts and some new socks. Then we came back home and that is about all of the news I have for today.

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sad News

Today has not been a good day, because we had to put Lucky, our beloved fourteen year-old cat to rest this morning. He was an extrodinary cat and one of our best friends, and he will be badly missed by many. Rest In Peace, Lucky. We will always love you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bringing In The Sheets!

This morning after I walked eight miles with Leslie Kinky called from the Austin airport—headed to Philadelphia. We talked about Lucky.

When we were done talking I grabbed my pretty pink bandana, the one with the lavender and turquoise accents, put it in the sink, soaked it in cool tap water—then I tied it around my neck and went outside to help Tony and Ben.

As soon as I stepped outside on the porch I recognized Eileen's red car parked down by the barn and that made me happy. When I reached the barn June, Ellen and Eileen greeted me before I could greet them. Ellen hugged me even though I warned her before hand that I stunk to high heaven from my earlier workout.

After Ellen hugged me, then I noticed that Ellen was wrinkling her nose and sniffling as she quickly took several steps backwards away from me until I was downwind from her. I thought,"Ellen is a very smart woman—she ain't no dummy." Then we had a short, but fun hen party.

Eileen gave us an update on Callie Dean. "Nancy, she is the smartest dog in the world!" Eileen bragged on the Catahoula pup that she adopted from us this past Memorial Day. "She sits on command and is housebroken and she loves her her crate and she's scared of our Chihuahua—which is good. The other day I was on the Internet searching for more Catahoula information and found a French breed dog that looks exactly like her! And I am going to tell everyone that she is a French Beaceron (Sorry, y'all. I think that is how she spelled it.)." We all laughed. Then it was Ellen's turn to catch us up on Jermaine Jackson, the shy, but sweet dog that she adopted from us a few months back.

"Well, what can I say about Jermaine?" Ellen said, as I continued to stand downwind from her. "Jermaine is Jermaine. He is a really sweet dog and he has come a long way, but he is still always on the lookout and ready to run and hide if something out of the ordinary happens. Like the other day when June came over for a visit. He'd let her pet him for a few seconds and then he'd go to the window and peek outside to see if her husband Kevin was outside. Then he'd let June pet him, again and then go check to see if Kevin was out there. It was pretty funny."

"Ellen," June's sister said. "Please tell Nancy about Culvert." Then they started laughing.

"Okay," Ellen said followed by a laugh. "Culvert is my new cat. June found him in a culvert and she named him Culvert. A few weeks ago a friend was staying with me and she brought her two dogs with her. Culvert and the dogs didn't seem to like each other very much and there was a little scuffle between them, but nothing serious. A few days after my friend had left with her dogs I noticed a bare spot on the end of Culvert's tail. It was about two inches long and it looked like a scab. It was no big deal. Probably his tail got bit by one of my friend's dogs. I don't know. Anyway, the other day I saw Culvert on top of the dining room table swatting something around, so I got up to see what he was playing with." Then Ellen took a deep breath and calmly said, "At first I thought it was a little dead mouse, but it wasn't. It was the end of his tail! I couldn't believe it, so I looked at his tail and saw a little pink nub that was nearly healed, where the two inch end of his tail had fallen off." We burst out laughing.

We visited for a few more minutes then they took off to the dog pens with combs, brushes, leashes and treats. As they walked our dogs Tony and Ben sprayed down the dog pens with some nasty chemicals to rid them of fleas and ticks  I grabbed a sack of dog treats and went around to all of the pens handing out treats to our great dogs.

Around noon, after our great volunteers left, Tony told us that he was going inside to cool down, so I volunteered to help Ben treat the pens. My job was to keep the long hose from kinking as Ben moved from one pen to another. It wasn't a difficult job at all. In fact, it reminded me of my sailing days long ago with Jim when I used to crew for him on our Catalina 22 in the many sailboat races that we usually won or took second place in.

At one pen I started laughing as I was bringing in the long yellow hose, so Ben asked me what was so funny. "Ben, if I was wearing sailing gloves and had a winch in my hand right now this would be just like what I used do when I crewed for Jim. I was either letting out the sheets or bringing in the sheets, trimming or changing out the the sails, while trying to not get hit by the Boom. Our boats name was The Bullsheeter." Ben started laughing as he sweated and sprayed down the pen.

With only four pens left to spray, while Ben was working I picked up an empty, green plastic bottle of condensed Malathion that we were using to spray down the pens and began reading it. I discovered that it killed all kinds of bugs and insects in the garden and was safe enough that it could even be sprayed on fruits and vegetable plants, but nowhere did it say "kills fleas and ticks." I told Ben about my discovery and told him that I was going to take a lunch break and check out Malathion on the Internet, so Ben took off to the Lodge to eat lunch with Will.

After checking out the chemical Malathion on the Net, I told Tony that it did not kill ticks or fleas and he got mad. "That clerk told me that it was the best stuff to use, so I took his word and bought it..." A few cuss words later Tone took off in Buttermilk to go get the right stuff while I started cooking lunch for us.

Forty-five minutes later we ate lunch. I was the first to finish eating, so I went outside to see if Ben was here. When I found him at the far end of the rescue ranch Ben happily said, "We're done, Nance. I just finished spraying the last pen."

"I'm sorry, Ben, we're talking do-over," I said. "Malathion does not kill fleas or ticks. Tony went to town and bought the right stuff and we have got to redo all of the pens. To say the least, Ben was not a happy sprayer and the high heat didn't help his mood either. Then Tony showed up to help Ben, so I took off to try to spray down Marlin's and Princess's pen using a handheld spray pump against Tony and Ben's protests.

I wish that I had heeded their advice, because it took me nearly an hour trying to treat that pen. I gave up when I ran out of the mixture with only two-thirds of pen treated, so I took off to find the men.

When I found them down by Ben Stiller's and Gracie's pen with only six more pens to spray down we started laughing about having to redo all of the dog pens. It was nearly four o'clock and I don't know if it was due from the heat or the chemicals, but we couldn't quit laughing. "I'm just glad that we killed off those awful cabbage beetles and the cucumber beetles!" I joked. "Y'all, I don't think it would be a good idea for us to go into the pest control business."

"You're right about that, Nance," Ben said. "After using all of these chemicals today I bet we all die from it on the same day."

"I know!" I said. "Unfortunately Ben, your death will be a little early for you, but just think about it—we could all be buried together! And our tombstone would read: Flea! Don't bug us! We're ticked off!" By four-thirty we had all of the pens sprayed and came inside the trailer to cool off and rest. Then Ben left and I returned a phone call to a woman about her lions, tigers and bears.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Dirty Laundry Thing!

Today has been a quiet day and I have really enjoyed it. This morning at seven forty-five I called the Rose 99.9 radio station in Kerrville and had a fun time talking to Harley Belew live-on-the-air about our rescue ranch and our dogs. Little Girl was Harley's Pet of the Week. "Little Girl is not so little anymore. She is real sweet, Harley. About three years old and she weighs over fifty pounds and..." Ten minutes later I said goodbye to Harley and hung up the phone. Here is a picture I took of Little Girl. She is real camera shy so out of forty pictures that I took of her this one turned out the best.

After breakfast with T. since I didn't have a lot of e-mails or phone calls to return this morning, I walked ten miles with Leslie Sansone, while Ben and Tony worked outside.

While I was walking circles around the big room, with less than two minutes to go to complete the ten miles, Ben and Tone came inside to talk to me. Since I wasn't finished with my workout Ben made some coffee for us. When I was done walking, the coffee was ready, so we sat down and caught up with each other's news.

Ben's news was much better than mine since all I talked about was Lucky. "My good news is we now have Miles of Chocolate in Midland's H.E.B. grocery store and it is flying off of the shelf and..." Twenty minutes or two cups of coffee later, Tony and Ben went back outside to work.

While I was doing a little paperwork Kinky called to check on Lucky. We talked for a few minutes about Lucky and then he had to take another call. "Hang in there, Nance and tell Lucky to do the same. You never know—he might just turn around and surprise us all. I'll call you tomorrow. Bye."

This evening I decided to wash a load of clothes and got teased about it when I asked Tony if he had any dirty laundry that needed washing. After T. quit laughing he finally said, "I love you, Babe, but do you know that you add an r when you pronounce the word wash. You say warsh? It's wash not warsh." Then he started laughing again and I joined him in laughter.

"I know," I said. "I know that there is no r in warsh and it is spelled without an r. My whole family pronounces it like that. You can call Ronnie or Cindy right now and they will pronounce it just like I do. We know there is no r in warsh. It's just the way we were taught to pronounce it," Tone started laughing, again and he gave me a big bear hug.

"I know you can't help that you are from Fort Worth and you have a thick North Texas accent," he teased, "I love your accent, but I have got to tell Ben about this tomorrow, so we can add warsh to our long list of your mispronunciations. He's gonna love it!" We started laughing.

"Tell him anything you want to," I joked. "I don't care, Tony. I'm proud of my accent and to be from Fort..." T. burst out laughing.

"One more thing, Nance, it's thing with an i—not thang with an a! You pronounce that wrong, too.

"I know, Mr. Correct Pronunciation. Call Ronnie or Cindy. They pronounce it the same way I do. We can't help it. It's our thang."

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm So Lucky!

I apologize for not posting a blog last night. The reason I didn't write one last night was because I was pretty depressed. Yesterday afternoon when we brought Lucky home I was sad, because I knew that his time left with us was precious and wasn't long. I love Luck-A-Luck so much and so does Tony, Kinky and our dogs. He's family.

Anyone who has ever been graced by the love of a cat knows what I am talking about. Seeing old Lucky so frail and knowing that he was fighting for everyday of his life was hard for me to take even though you would think I would be used to it by now, since we have been rescuing animals for over twelve years. But to tell the truth it is never easy losing a family member—no matter how many times that you've had to say goodbye to one.

Last night, early in the evening as I was reading Susan Wittig Albert's brilliant mystery novel Chile Death Lucky surprised me when he jumped up in my chair and wanted to snuggle with me. When I looked into his beautiful eyes I decided to stay put in the chair and spend time with my dear, old friend instead of writing a blog and I am glad that I did, because I had a long talk with him and told him how much I loved him and that I did not want him to suffer. And I told him not to stick around for me because he thought he needed to. I promised him that I would be okay, but would miss him.

I think Luck understood my words, because he purred softly for hours as he slept in my lap, as I turned the pages of Albert's entertaining "can't put it down" book. She is a great writer too, like Tom D. Wells.

This morning I overslept. When I woke up I realized that T. was already gone to Medina to drink coffee with his friends, and I was happy to find all of our fur family on the bed sleeping soundly and snuggling close to me. Lucky was right next to my head with his back turned next to me—purring away. I didn't want to get up, so I didn't—I just laid there with my best friends, because I love sleeping with my animals and I decided to enjoy it. Thirty minutes later I reluctantly I climbed out of bed.

After putting all of the dogs outside to take care of their personal business obligations, I decided to feed Lucky first. Instead of serving him his usual cat food I decided to make him a special breakfast. With Luck sitting on the drain board watching me as I began preparing his meal, I pulled some "people" frozen cocktail shrimp out of our freezer and that is when I noticed that he looked much better today than yesterday. "I love you so much, Lucky," I said, as I tossed the eight, frozen, already cooked, small shrimp without-tails into Jaws. Then I added a small amount of tap water and flipped the 'on' switch on my mighty Vita-Mix machine. Seconds later I turned Jaws off and scooped out the icy, shredded shrimp into Luck's dish. "Enjoy!" Lucky could not eat it fast enough. That's a good sign!

This morning after breakfast and doing my chores, I walked eight miles with Leslie Sansone and then I did some important arithmetic. After crunching the numbers I am proud to say that I have walked 878 miles with only 947 miles to go! Then I checked the Farmer's Almanac to find that today is the 174th day of the year. I then multiplied that number by 5 miles per day which equals 870 miles. I am finally caught up with my daily mileage and 8 miles ahead of the game! I love it and plan to walk eight miles tomorrow morning.

As I type this Lucky is sleeping on the kitchen table next to my laptop and peacefully purring away, as Paul McCartney is singing "Hey Jude," one of my favorite songs. In my book it doesn't get much better than that if you ask me. I'm counting my blessings—I'm so Lucky.

Y'all have a great evening.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Today has been full of nice surprises. This morning after I walked eight miles our great volunteers Matt, Meghann, Danika and a friend arrived to help Tony and walk our dogs.

During our visit I asked Matt if his cowboy hat was still working. "Yes, ma'm!" Matt said. "I love my cowboy hat and so do the women. In fact, I've got a girlfriend that I want you to meet. She's really sweet..." After Matt's hat update Meghann told us about her and Lisa's duplex that they have rented and how cool it was. Hearing their good news made me happy for them.

After lunch T. and I took Lucky to Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic because he wasn't feeling good. Lucky is our beloved three-legged cat and he is over fourteen years old. Our ride to Kerrville was not enjoyable because Lucky hates being crated so he screamed and made god awful sounds the entire twenty-two miles.

When we arrived at the clinic they were very busy with clients. After a quick examination by the vet he told us that he wanted to keep Lucky overnight so he could examine him more thoroughly. Our next stop was at the Post Office so I could mail out a copy of Tom D. Wells' book Drop-Ins to my sister Cindy. Then we went to another one of my favorite places in Kerrville—the Wild Birds Unlimited store.

When we got out of Buttermilk to go into the store the first thing I noticed was this beautiful, gigantic wind chime hanging out on the sidewalk. "Tony, I love this wind chime! I wonder how much it is?" Then I looked at the price tag and frowned knowing I couldn't afford it.

"How much is it?" Tone asked.

"Nearly four hundred dollars," I replied. "It is definitely worth that much money, but I ain't paying it. I'll bet you that I can make one like that for a lot less money." Then we walked inside the store and were greeted by the friendly owner. "I love your giant wind chime outside," I said as I walked over to the seed cake treats display. "And I love your store. The vibes in here are fantastic!" I grabbed two packages of Woodpecker Picnic seed cakes that Jon Wolfmueller had highly recommended we use and then we browsed around the store at all of their cool bird products before paying for the seed cakes. Then we headed home.

Before turning off Highway 16 we went to the mailboxes to get our mail and we had a lot of it. As Tony slowly drove the last two and a half miles to the rescue ranch I looked at our mail. Most of it was advertisements asking us to buy things that we didn't need or want. Then I opened up a package from my sister Cindy. She had sent me the cutest card and a mystery book that we had talked about, that she thought I would love to read because it takes place around the Texas Hill Country. The name of the book is Chile Death by Susan Wittig Albert and I can't wait to read it and I plan to start reading it tonight. 

Then I opened up a card sent to me from Will Hoover, my good writer friend who lives in Hawaii. A while back I had sent him a copy of my new book, because he is in one of the stories. The minute I opened up the card I laughed out loud when I saw Hoover's picture. I showed Tony the picture of Will that was taken at the Jimmie Rodgers Museum in Meridian, Mississippi on September 8, 2009 and he laughed, too. Then I read his sweet note out loud.

I spent the rest of the afternoon on the phone and taking care of ranch business. Early this evening I got a call from Dr. Rydberg about Lucky and it was not good news. He told me that we can pick Lucky up tomorrow and bring him home and that we should count every week that he is with us as a blessing. Kinky and Tony were both upset when I told them the news about Lucky.

I am feeling pretty sad about Lucky tonight, but before I end tonight's blog I want to thank my sweet sister Cindy and fellow Libra friend Will Hoover for making me smile and laugh today.

Y'all have a great evening.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Woodpecker Picnic!

Today has been so much fun—thank goodness, since yesterday was NOT. This morning I got up real early after sleeping like a log and I wasn't depressed at all. After feeding Mama, Abbie, Thunder, Little Girl, Hank, Toto and Lucky the cat I walked ten miles, again! Then Tony came home from the Old Timer and we did breakfast. He ate oatmeal with blueberries and I drank a super healthy smoothie.

After Tone went outside to do his morning chores I went over to the Lodge with my favorite ceramic turtle designed mug for some of Kinky's delicious Kona coffee and a visit. As I left the ranch in Buttermilk I saw T. in a pen feeding Mr. Rogers and Miss Dee and told him I would be back in about fifteen minutes or less. Little did I know I was lying.

When I arrived at the Lodge, Kinky was on the phone talking to his little sister Marcie so I waved and then poured myself some coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. When Kinky was done talking to Marce he handed me the phone and she and I had a fun conversation.

When I was done talking to Marcie I handed the phone back to Kinky and they started talking about seeing Dr. Kervorkian on the Larry King show. When they were done talking Kinky hung up the phone and he and I talked about Kervorkian. "I saw him on the Bill Maher show, Kink and he was great. He is a hero of mine. I don't get it? How come it is considered humane and the right thing to do to put our old, suffering pets to sleep, so they will be out of their misery, but it's not okay to do it for people? It makes no sense to me..."

After we talked about Kervorkian we refilled our mugs with coffee and went outside to visit by the Friedman Family Bone Orchard. After Kinky watered all of his plants he sat down in a chair and I leaned on a post near the Hummingbird feeders and we discussed our dreams that we have had lately with our parents being in them. "Nance, the first thing that Tom said to us in the hospital after he had his heart attack was, "What time is my appointment with Dr. Kervorkian?" And we started laughing uncontrollably as The Friedmans, his dogs Brownie and Chumley stared nervously at us.

When I had finally quit laughing about what his father had said I told Kinky about the pot on the drain board that had mysteriously moved across the kitchen counter yesterday. "I'm sure it was either my parents or that poltergeist that hangs around in our trailer. It was really cool." Kinky smiled and then took a sip of his coffee.

"Oh and get this, Kink!" I continued. "This morning before Tony went outside to do his chores he came into the big room and said, "Nance, thank you so much for fixing my clock."

"What? What clock? I didn't fix any clock. What are you talking about?"

"You didn't fix my clock?" Tony said. "That's really weird, Nance. Three or four days ago the battery went dead on the wall clock in my office. I've been meaning to fix it, but I kept forgetting to. Anyway, this morning while I was doing some farming on my computer I looked up at the clock and it was working and it had the correct time.  I mean it was right on time. You swear you didn't fix it?"

"I swear, Tone," I said. "I'll bet it was our poltergeist or Mom or Dad." Kinky nearly choked on his coffee and he tried not to laugh and then he changed the subject to about us dying and having our ashes scattered over the Friedman Family Bone Orchard.

"I hope that I just have a big heartattack and it's over right then and there," I said. "But with my luck a snake will probably kill me." Kinky burst out laughing!

When he finally quit laughing he stood up from his chair, threw what was left of his cold coffee on a beautiful, large plumeria plant that 'Rick the Friendly Lighthouse Keeper' and Leisa had given to him a few years back and then he says, "That's great, Nance. Your obituary will probably read something like this: "Here lies Cousin Nancy. The only woman in Texas to ever die from a Garter snake bite even though they aren't poisonous." We both started laughing.

Two hours later I was back inside the trailer cooking up some shrimp quesadillas for lunch for Tony, Kinky and me and I am proud to say that they were absolutely delicious—just ask T. or Kinky.

Late this afternoon Buttermilk took us to Kerrville to run two errands. Our first stop was at Wolfmueller's Books so we could visit with Sandy and Jon and so I could buy another copy of Tom D. Wells' fantastic book, Drop-Ins so I could mail it out on Monday to my sister Cindy to read. I really love that book and all of y'all need read it!

After I paid for Tom's book we had a fun visit with Sandy and Jon in their bookstore as several customers took turns buying books. Before we left their famous bookstore they invited us to come over for a visit after we did our grocery shopping at H.E.B.

After speed-shopping at H.E.B. Buttermilk took us over to the Wolfmueller's home and we had a blast to say the least! We sat outside on their beautiful, covered patio which they call "The Twilight Zone" listening to Robert Earl Keen sing followed by Alison Kraus on their Bose iDock.

As we admired their beautiful plants and the pretty Woodpeckers busily eating suet nearby from a tree, they told us about the plants history and the birdseed they use. Then Jon suddenly got up from the table and left us. When he returned he handed Tony a small birdseed package. "This is the best stuff, Tony. We get it from Birds Unlimited. It's called "Woodpecker Picnic." Tony looked at the package of suet.

"Jon, we have plenty of Woodpeckers at the rescue ranch," Tony said. " Nance, let's get some of this Woodpicker food at..." Sandy, Jon and I burst out laughing at his mispronounciation! And we teased T. until his face turned a bright red. Then we came home.

Y'all have a great evening! It's late and I've got to go to bed.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gus, A Dog Named Buddy!

Last night I didn't sleep well because I kept having nightmares, so this morning when I woke up I was depressed. I don't like being depressed and am usually not, but this morning I was. Wanting to shake off my depression I walked ten miles before Tony came home from Medina. When he asked me what was wrong I lied and told him nothing was wrong.

When he went outside to do his chores I had a good cry and then I wrote thank you letters to contributors while listening to my music. When I was done with that I cooked lunch while I dumped on my sister Cindy. By the time we ended our conversation Tony walked inside the trailer and we ate lunch and he cleaned his plate, "Thank you, Nancy. That was delicious. I am so glad that you're married to me..."

Tony was being so sweet to me. I could tell that he was trying to cheer me up and it did help. By three o'clock I was feeling much better about the world and I realized that the gray cloud that had been hovering above my head had floated away. Thank goodness.

While I was doing the dishes I was thinking about my parents and how much I missed them. Dad died in 1991 and Mom passed in 2001 and they literally were my best friends. The reason that I was thinking about them was because they had been in last nights dreams and nightmares and as always they were the "good guys" trying to help me.

For some reason I dream about my parents almost every night and it is so fun and comforting to be with them. In my dreams we are always laughing and they are always telling me how proud they are of me and how much they love me.

Several years ago a dear friend told me that when we dream of lost loved ones that is how the dead communicate with us. I like that. Anyway, as I was daydreaming about them I washed a pot, rinsed it and then set it on the drain board next to the sink because the dish drainer was full of clean dishes. Then the weirdest thing happened.

The upside down pot moved about three inches towards me! I stood back and it moved about four more inches towards me—to the edge of the counter. It didn't scare me and it made me smile, because things like this happen fairly often inside the trailer. Who knows? Maybe it was my parents or our poltergeist.

Then the phone rang—it was Kinky. We talked about his upcoming schedule and then he told me that he had just heard a story about a sweet dog named Buddy, who was at an animal shelter in Austin. He was scheduled to be adopted yesterday afternoon and to be picked up by his new owners, but Buddy was mistakenly euthanized before his people arrived to pick him up. Kinky was very upset about it and it really depressed me. I cried for Buddy after I hung up the phone.

When Tone came inside the trailer and saw me crying I told him Buddy's sad story. "Nance, that was Gus' name before we renamed him two days ago. Remember? I asked Charity what his name was at the pound and she told us that they had been calling him Buddy." That made me cry even more.

"You're right, Tone," I said. "Let's go outside and take pictures of Buddy, I mean Gus. I want to post him on my blog tonight and on" T. and I grabbed our cameras and went out the door and then Kermit took us to his and Dusty's digs.

When we walked into their pen the dogs were happy to see us. They greeted us with wagging tails and kisses and then they started kissing each other. "You did a good job pairing these two up, Tony," I said as I focused my camera. "They act like they love each other." Then Tone and I started snapping away. Here are a few pictures that I took of Gus, our sweet lovable black Labrador mix with Tony and Dusty.

Isn't Gus a great looking dog! Tony and I had so much fun playing with him and Dusty. When Tony started throwing a stick for Gus to retrieve I took this short 30 second video of them and then we went and got him some toys to play with.

Please tell everyone that you know about Gus. He is one fine, friendly dog like all of our dogs and he is not hyper—just full of love.

Before I end tonight's blog I want to wish Mark Stevens a Happy Birthday today and say, "Dogspeed Buddy."

Y'all have a great evening.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Birthday To Mark Stevens!

Today is our good friend Mark Stevens Birthday. Yesterday was Denise, his sweet wife's birthday and we want to wish Mark a Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Mark! Happy Birthday to You! We love you, Denise and Tater Catfish Stevens!

This morning I got up really early and walked ten miles again before Tony came home from the Old Timer. After breakfast I push mowed our front yard, backyard and the yard between Tony's garden and our trailer then I did some paperwork and returned phone calls and e-mails.

Late this afternoon Kinky called. He invited us to come over. I went over to the Lodge alone because Tone was behind on his plowing or harvesting. While I was helping Kinky fill his Hummingbird feeders Will showed up and Kinky challenged him to play a game of pool.

Will won the first game, so the Hummingbird Man challenged the Cock, again. The Hummingbird Man won the second game so they played one more game to determine the Champion of Echo Hill. As of tonight Will now holds the Championship title because Kinky accidentally sank the eight ball.

That's about it for tonight because I plan to go to bed fairly soon. Happy Birthday Mark!

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy Birthday To Denise Stevens!

Today is our good friend Denise Stevens Birthday and Tony and I want to wish her the best birthday ever!

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Denise! Happy Birthday to You!

Hugs to you, Mark and Tater Catfish Stevens. We love y'all!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ah, Gus!

Today has been great! This morning I got up really early and walked ten miles with Leslie Sansone before Tony came home from the Old Timer. And instead of just walking during the five boosted two minute intervals—I jogged! Yes, I jogged and am feeling no pain.

After breakfast with Tone he went outside to do his morning chores and I did some paperwork, returned several phone calls and e-mails then I had a nice surprise. Tony walked inside the trailer with Meghann, Annica and Lisa and we had a really nice and fun visit!

When Meghann and Annica were outside in the backyard playing with Mama and Abbie, Lisa caught me up with her news and it was all good, so I want to do a shout out tonight to Mark in Mississippi. "We can't wait to meet you!"

This afternoon after lunch Buttermilk took us to the Pound in Kerrville to rescue a dog who was supposed to be euthanized today because his time had run out. Yesterday afternoon I received an urgent phone call from a woman who volunteers at the Kerr County Animal Control shelter. She told me about this six month old dog. "He's a Labrador Shepherd mix, and he is the sweetest dog and he doesn't deserve to be killed." And she was so right!

The minute that we saw him with his tail wagging wildly—he melted our hearts. After signing off on his paperwork we left with this sweet friendly dog. On our two and half mile trip to Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic we decided to name him Gus as he sat quietly in the back seat looking out the window.

After we left the clinic we came home. Early this evening I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and he was thrilled about us rescuing Gus and looking forward to meeting him. After Kinky beat me in a game of pool we went for a walk with Brownie and Chumley then I came home.

Hopefully tomorrow we can pick up Gus after he has been neutered and given all of his shots. We plan to put him in Dusty's pen. As soon as he arrives I will post a picture of Gus, so y'all can fall in love with him, too.

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy 61st Birthday, Ray Roche!

Today is my brother-in-law's (Cindy's super cool husband) sixty first birthday! Hey, Ray, I wish that we could be up there in Austin to celebrate your birthday today with Cindy, Ron, Nita, Adam and Tom & Nicki. Tony and I love you and we hope that all of your birthday wishes come true!

Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday Dear Ray (Yar! Sorry, it is a private joke.) Happy Birthday To You! We love you and hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Texas Animal Imprints Magazine Rocks!

This morning I got up really early and walked eight miles with Leslie Sansone before Tony returned from the Old Timer in Medina, where he drinks coffee with his friends just about every morning.

When Tone returned and walked inside the trailer he had a big box and a big grin on his face. "This morning when I was leaving I found this box that UPS left inside our gate and you're going to love it, Nance. It is really cool."

"What is it and who sent it?" I asked as T. set it down on the kitchen table.

"Joni from Texas Animal Imprints magazine sent us and Kinky some wine. Come look at it." Tony opened up the box. Inside were two wooden boxes with our names on one box and Kinky's name on the other box. "Check out what's inside." Tony lifted our wooden box out of the cardboard box filled with popcorn  and then he slid open the door at the top of the wooden box. "Read what it says, Nance."

The customized label on the bottle of wine from "the Connoisseur" gifts read:
Thank you for your support 
Best Wishes to you both and all of your beautiful animals!

The Celebration of Animals & Nature

"A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself." - Josh Billings"

After I took those pictures Tony said, "I can't believe that Joni sent this to us. She is so sweet.  Isn't it cool? You want me to put it into the refrigerator so we can drink some of it for Happy Hour tonight in Outer Space?"

"No, Tony. Let's save it for a very special occasion when we have guests over," I said. "I love this. And the packaging is way too cool. Okay?" T. looked a little disappointed, but agreed that we should save it for a special event with friends, so he put it in our "wine cellar"—our closet. Then he went outside to feed the dogs and pigs and clean their pens.

After doing some rescue ranch paperwork and returning a few phone calls I called Kinky. "Kink, I've got the coolest gift for you. Joni Daniel sent us a care package from Texas ANIMAL IMPRINTS. You're going to love it. Can I bring it over?"

When Kinky opened up his gift from our friend Joni he thought the wine and the box were really cool, too. "Nance, please tell Joni when you talk to her that I said thank you for the wine."

When I came home and sent Joni a thank-you e-mail from all of us then I made lunch for Tony and me. It wasn't delicious—just okay. I spent the rest of my day working on the newsletter.

Y'all have a great evening! Especially you, Joni! Thank you and everyone at Texas ANIMAL IMPRINTS! We love y'all!

Monday, June 14, 2010

ohmidog! Rocks!

This morning I got up really early because I wanted to walk eight miles with Leslie Sansone before our special guest arrived at ten o'clock. By seven o'clock I had walked the eight miles and then I sat down at the kitchen table and worked on our newsletter on my laptop.

At nine-thirty Kinky called me from Kerrville. He was having breakfast in town with Frank and he had some good news to tell me about the rescue ranch. After we talked about his news I said, "Kinky, this morning John Woestendiek is coming out to see the rescue ranch. He is a retired writer for the Baltimore Sun and he has an awesome web site for dog lovers. It's called ohmidog! He and his dog Ace, who is a  big mutt, are on a cross-country journey visiting animal shelters, dog parks, etc. and he writes a daily blog about their adventures. I really hope that you can meet him. When are you coming back to the ranch?"

"I do want to meet John. I should be back in an hour or so..."

When our phone conversation ended I went outside to find Tony, but found volunteers walking our dogs! It was a very nice surprise, because I wasn't expecting them. I want to thank Jim, Nina, Leo, Matt, Meghan and Sally for coming out and getting all of our dogs walked today!

At ten o'clock sharp I went outside to greet John when he pulled up to the trailer in his red Jeep. Before we shook hands I knew I liked him. Before going into the trailer for some coffee John told me that he had left his dog Ace in Bandera. "Our friend Judith Pannebaker is baby sitting him for me today at The Bandera County Courier and I know that he is being spoiled rotten as we speak."

As we drank coffee and visited John started interviewing me and taking notes, so I grabbed a pen and paper and took notes too for tonight's blog. At one point during our fun visit I gave John copies of my first and second book and then he told me that he has a new non-fiction book coming out this Fall that is being published by Penguin / Avery Publishing and the title of his book is Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Behind The Scenes Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend. 

After an interesting conversation about his research and writing the book he asked me to give him a tour of the rescue ranch. Before starting the tour John put his notes and my books into his Jeep and then he grabbed his camera and the tour commenced.

As I introduced our dogs to John and told him some of their incredible stories he took pictures of them. Before the tour was over John had met our great dog-walking volunteers and he had asked me several questions about certain dogs. Then Kermit took us over to the Lodge for a fun visit with Kinky. Here is a picture that I took of Kinky and John outside by the Friedman Family Bone Orchard.

John and Kinky had much to talk about, so I mainly stood back and listened and learned something new. Before leaving the Lodge, Kinky signed two of his books and gave them to John. As Kermit took us over the river and through the woods to the rescue ranch John thanked me for a fun visit and seemed amazed that he now had four new books to read.

When we arrived back at the trailer John and I exchanged business cards, phone numbers and e-mail addresses and then he gave me a handful of the cutest refrigerator magnets that had a picture of Ace on it along with information about his web site: ohmydog! Then we said our goodbyes to each other and he took off for Wolfmueller's Books to buy some more Kinky books and to meet Sandy and Jon.

After Tone and I ate lunch I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the newsletter. Around five-thirty Tony told me that he was going to ride around and take pictures so I decided to walk two more miles with Leslie to make it a total of ten miles today.

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Bandera County Courier!

Yesterday was a nice day. I walked an easy-does-it eight miles with Leslie Sansone without hurting my back. The reason that I am doing eight-milers right now is because I've fallen behind in my mileage and I am playing catch up.

(Today is the 164th day of the year which multiplied by five miles per day equals 820 miles. After another easy-does-it ten miles I walked this morning I am now at eight hundred miles and I am still twenty miles behind.)

Saturday afternoon our good friend Carol came over to see us and she brought me a book that she knew I wanted—The Healing Foods Cookbook! Over a year ago Carol had loaned me her copy of the cookbook and I loved reading it and she knew that I wanted one. "Nancy, I bought this for you. I found it a garage sale!" Carol told me. To say the least I was thrilled to have it. Thank you, Carol! I love it!

We had a great visit with Carol in Outer Space. When I told her about Ben giving us two bricks of Miles of Chocolate I told her that I wanted to give her a few vacuumed-sealed chunks before she left, for her and James to enjoy. Then I told her about how much I loved reading Tom D. Well's book, The Drop-Ins. Then I went inside the trailer and got it and loaned it to her.  

The minute after Carol left, when Tony and I walked into the trailer I realized that I had forgotten to give her the delicious chunks of chocolate, so I called her ten minutes later when I knew she would be home. "Carol, Tony and I are fixin' to go to Kerrville and I forgot to give you the chocolate. Can we drop it off on our way to Kerrville?" A few minutes later we dropped it off and then headed to Kerrville to get groceries.

Last night I watched the movie "Dave" and I loved it.

This morning I got up really early and walked the ten miles with Leslie and I am happy to say that my back is nearly back to normal. This afternoon Kinky called and invited us to come over to the Lodge and we had a fun visit with him and Frank.

When we came home Carlton was flashing on the breakfast bar alerting me that I had one new message from Judith Pannebaker at the Bandera County Courier newspaper. Her last words were, "...Nancy, please call me as soon as possible!" So, I called her back and it looks like tomorrow morning we are going to have one very interesting, famous, mystery visitor tomorrow morning and I can't wait to meet him and his dog. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Miles Of Chocolate!

This morning after the thunderstorm, Tony ate his oatmeal and I drank my breakfast smoothie then he went outside to help Ben with the daily chores while I took care of some ranch paperwork and then returned several phone calls. Then I took a break sort of.

Yesterday when Ben was over here, he gave us two more giant bricks of Miles of Chocolate to enjoy! So this morning for 'my break' I decided to cut the delicious chocolate bricks up and vacuum seal them into smaller servings for us and it took me less that thirty minutes to do! Then I decided to walk the walk with Leslie Sansone even though my back was still aching, because I have a lot of miles to catch up on.

After I unwrapped the packaging on the new replacement DVD I shoved it into the DVD player and started walking with Leslie and her crew, in hopes that the walking would help my back feel better. I took it real easy and didn't push myself and I ended up walking eight miles and my back felt much better when I was done.

Late this afternoon Ben, Will and Sam came over to see if Tony wanted to go fishing with them down on the creek. After Tony told them that he would love to I said, "Can I go, too?" The men laughed and teased Tony about him having to be the one to babysit me on their fishing expedition, then we left the trailer and went down to the barn to get the fishing equipment.

While Tony handed out his rods and reels for the guys to use, I looked around for my lavender colored rod and pink reel. As Tone told them about which plastic worms worked best I found my rod and reel. "Tony, will you fix mine up?" They laughed and teased T. and me as he put a big hook and a pretty hot pink plastic worm on it. "Y'all, in this fishing tournament we..."

"It's now turned into a fishing tournament?" Ben teased.

"Yes! It will be fun, Ben! First fish, Second fish, Third fish, Biggest fish and Smallest fish," I said as Ben got into his truck and Sam and Will jumped into the back of it. Tony and I followed them in Kermit to the fishing hole then the tournament began.

At first we all fished pretty close together talking and laughing, then the guys got serious and took off to find a better place to fish or because I was talking too much. Here is a picture that I took of Ben, Tony and Sam fishing off of the dam while Will went further down the creek and I stayed in my same place.

In less than two minutes Tone caught the First Fish and then the Second fish which of course he threw back into the water as soon as I took this picture!

Then we jumped into the vehicles and drove further down the creek and within five minutes I caught the third fish! "OMG!" I half-hollered with excitement. "I've got a big one! Help me! It's gigantic! Tony! Help me!"Tony was pretty faraway and I think he pretended not to hear me so Will came running to my rescue. "Be careful, Will! It's really big!" Will threw his rod and reel down on the ground and then he grabbed my line and reached out to pull the fighing fish out of the water. "Hurry, Will! I think my rod is fixin' to break!"

Seconds later, Will had unhooked my giant fish and he was holding it in his hands, so I dropped my rod and reel and quickly took this picture of it before Will put it back into the water. As we watched it swim away I asked Will what kind of fish it was. "A Bass, Nance," Will said as he picked up his rod and reel. 

"I bet it weighed over five pounds! I bet I win the Biggest fish!" I said as Will shook his head no.

"Sorry, Nance. It might have weighed a pound." Will said with a laugh as he walked off further down the creek beyond Tony so he wouldn't have to rescue me again.

As I continued to side-cast all alone by myself near the bridge and continuously caught nothing, Ben hollered from faraway, "I got one!" So I quickly reeled in my pink worm, leaned my pretty rod and reel against a tree and took off to take a picture of Ben's prize catch before he released it back into the creek. Ben had caught a pretty big Perch which might put him in first place for the Smallest Big Fish award.

 Fifteen minutes later we decided the fish weren't biting that great around there anymore, so we went back over by the dam where we had started the fishing tournament. Will and Sam walked across the dam and started fishing from the dock, while Tony went off to fish below the dam. Ben and I decided to put our fishing gear up and we sat on some big rocks underneath some tall shaded Oak trees and we visited back and forth with Will and Sam across the creek. To say the least, there was a lot of laughing and teasing going on back and forth across that creek. And I was having a blast.

"I got one!" Will hollered as Sam, Ben and I excitedly watched him wrestling at the dock with his big catch of the day! Here is a picture of Will and the Biggest Fish before he released it back into the creek.

Ten minutes later just as all of us were fixing to quit fishing Sam hollered from the dam, "Hey y'all, I've got one!" We all watched as Sam worked to reel it in his big fish which ended up breaking the tip off of Tony's rod. This is a picture that I took of Sam's fish before he returned it back to the creek.

"Tony, I am really sorry for breaking off the tip of your rod," Sam said. "I feel really bad about it, man."

"Don't worry about it, Sam. It's no big deal, really. That rod was my great grandfathers handed down to my grandfather, handed down to my Dad and then to me. I was going to give it to my nephew in a couple of years. Seriously, don't worry about it, Sam," I said jokingly and everyone burst out laughing and then they took turns teasing Sam about it. When the fishing tournament officially ended Kermit took Tone and me back home and the guys went back to the Lodge.

This afternoon has been so much fun for me. I really enjoyed taking the afternoon off. I've needed some time off and to laugh out loud and I want to thank the men for filling that prescription for me. Thank you, Tony, Ben, Will and Sam. I love y'all so much. 

P.S. The mystery of who sent that delicious 'Yahoo Cake' from Sherman, Texas, to us has finally been solved! Even though the Texas-shaped cake has already been entirely and happily devoured, Tony told me this morning that Nancy and David Lemon had sent it to us! And Nancy told Tone on Facebook that she personally removed all of the fat and calories from it. Thank you, Nancy and David! We loved eating it and I am so glad that it was y'all and fat-free. I knew it was from y'all. Nancy and David Lemon Rock! And so do Nicki and Tom!

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Bun Warmer!

Yesterday morning I did not go out of town as planned because my back was worse. I must have twisted or done something to it during the night. My lower right arm was still pretty swollen, too so when I came hobbling into the kitchen Tony took one look at me, screamed and ran out of the trailer! Not really. What he actually said was "Nance, you look like crap." Not really again. Basically he told me that he didn't think I should go out of town so I took his advice, cancelled my appointment, took one baby Aspirin and two Aleve and then I made some coffee.

When I was cancelling my appointment, my friend told me that we probably had a spider nest and she suggested that I get some foggers and bomb the trailer. After I hung up the phone I told T. what Sam had told me and that I didn't want to do it, but we had to because I was sick and tired of the spider bites. As he was going out the front door I asked him to please pick up some foggers from the hardware store before coming home and he did just that.

After breakfast with Tone he went outside to work and I went and laid down on the bed because I was really hurting. Thirty minutes later after I had tried counting how many times the ceiling fan made a full circle I remembered that we had some heat wraps for T.'s back so I went and found them.

After reading the directions carefully I pulled the one-size-fits-all, gauze-like cloth belt out of the box and then opened two packages of "heat" and inserted them into the slots on the belt then I tried to put in on. That was fun.

Every time that I tried to attache the end of the belt to the the velcro end it would scrunch up. Two minutes later it was finally secure around my lower back and I was feeling the heat. An hour later my back began feeling better thank goodness. Then I did a really stupid thing at two twenty-five.

"Tony let's go ahead and set off the bug bombs. It says it takes two hours to euthanize the spiders and then we come inside and open up all of the windows and let the trailer air out for thirty minutes. Then we get to come inside close the windows and turn on the central air. Tony wasn't real keen with my idea, but he did it anyway.

After T. turned off the electricity to the trailer which the directions told him to do because our trailer might explode, he set off the foggers and came outside and looked at the thermometer on the porch. "Nance, we're going to burn up inside your cabin. It says the temperature is ninety-six degrees. We should have done this tomorrow morning."

"Oh, Tony," I said. "Quit projecting," as we carried our books, laptops and my Bose / iPod into my sweltering writing cabin. The first thing we did was turn on the two window air conditioners and then the two ceiling fans. Then Tony says, "Your indoor thermometer says it's one hundred and two degrees inside here. I knew this was going to happen. I'm already sweating..." Then Feliciano starts singing "Light My Fire" and we both started laughing.

After T. sat down on the couch right in front of the air conditioner he opened up his book and started reading. I went into the other room and carefully sat down in a chair and propped up my boots on the blue ottoman. Even though I wasn't real comfortable because of my back, I picked up my book Drop-Ins and started reading as sweat dripped down my forehead and the ceiling fans up above swirled hot air around the cabin.

Thirty minutes later Tony says, "Nance, are you okay in there? The cabin is finally starting to cool off. It's down to a hundred degrees in here. I am going to get some water. Do you want some?" Even though I was soaking wet I said yes. The minute Tone left the cabin to go get us some water I grabbed a roll of paper towels from my desk drawer and wiped the sweat off of my face. I could not believe how hot I was.

After we gulped down our cold waters we went back to reading. I was near the end of Tom D. Wells incredibly great book Drop-Ins and I couldn't put it down. About every twenty minutes or so Tony would interrupt my reading with a time-left and weather report. "We've got fifty minutes to go and it is now down to ninety-eight degrees, Nance. Did you hear me?" I ignored him and continued to read.

When two hours had finally passed Tony told me that he was going inside the trailer to open up the windows and turn on the air conditioner and then he was going to check on the dogs. I was down to seven pages to go before finishing the book and I couldn't wait to find out what happened with Farrow and Nick and Beulah, the dead body that had dropped-in and the greedy land developer from Kerrville—I mean Happton.

When Tony walked inside the cabin to tell me we could finally return to the trailer I was sweating like a pig and laughing my head off! As we grabbed our laptops, the Bose and our books I said, "Tony, I love this book! I can't wait for you to read it. I swear you're going to love it. Seriously, it was a great read..."

As we walked inside the cool trailer Tony told me that he would read it as soon as he finished reading his book. Then he started laughing and says, "Nancy, why is your butt soaking wet? Did you wet your pants?"

"No, Tony. I didn't wet my pants. Good grief!" After I carefully sat my laptop down on the breakfast bar I reached around and felt my butt and it was wet and really hot and then I started laughing. "That one-size-fits-all heat wrap that I've been wearing today has somehow slipped down to my rear end and it is hotter than the cabin was." While T. laughed I went into the bathroom and removed the unwanted bun-warmer.

This morning Ben showed up early to help Tony with his chores and to mow the tall grass which I haven't been able to mow because of my back problem! After they finished feeding the dogs and picking up dog poop they came inside the trailer for a break and as always we had a fun visit. Then Ben went back to work and Tony and I went to Kerrville to run a few errands.

Our first stop was at Walmart because I needed to replace the Leslie Sansone Walk at Home—"Walk Slim: 4 Fast Miles" because I have literally worn out the old DVD. As I was looking for it I discovered that she has a new one out called "Walk: Weightloss Bootcamp" so I bought both of them and I can't wait to start as soon as my back gets better. And yes, I do have a lot of catching up to do with my walking.

This afternoon a package arrived for us in the mail and we don't know who sent it to us. It was sent from the Yahoo Baking Company in Sherman, Texas and it was a Texas shaped cake called the Yahoo Cake. And it was absolutely delicious! 

The packaging was really cool and there was a cute little pamphlet that explained the Yahoo Legend and it was really fun to read. On the front of the shipping box were these words: "For all the great work y'all do and for showing us such a great time."

Last week Tony and I probably had five or six different sets of visitors out here and we can't wait to find out who sent us the delicious cake. Tomorrow I plan to call the bakery and hopefully they can solve the mystery.

Late this afternoon I went back to bed and laid down to rest my back and I ended up falling to sleep. When I woke up Tony was gone and Ben's truck was too, so I got in Buttermilk and went over to the Lodge. When I walked inside the kitchen Ben burped a funny howdy to me from the living room. "Hi, Sam, Ben and Will," I said as I walked in. Will and Tony were in the middle of a pool game and from where I stood it looked like they had the same amount of balls left on the pool table—even steven. "Hi, Nancy! Tony beat me," Sam Abdnour said with a laugh before he gave me a big bear hug. 

Sam, Ben and I visited with each other and we teased The Medina Bulldog and The Cock as their game neared the end. Final score: The Cock -1, The Medina Bulldog -0. We hung around a little longer then Tony and I came home.

This evening Sam and Will came over for a fun visit and they thought that the mysterious Yahoo Cake was one of the best cakes that they had ever eaten. Sam told me that he loves living in Northern California and that he has to leave tomorrow so he can go visit his parents in Austin before heading back to  California. Tony and I had a blast visiting with him and Will and there was much laughter too. They just left about twenty minutes ago and I am looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow.

Now I am caught up with my news and I am pretty sure I know who sent us that delicious cake and hopefully tomorrow the mystery will be solved. I'll let you know.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Visitors In Outer Space!

Today has been so much fun even though this morning wasn't so hot. This morning when I woke up I heard Tony feeding the dogs and Lucky. Remembering that my back was out I carefully jumped out of bed. When I came into the kitchen I thanked Tone for feeding our fur people for me. Then T. grabbed his camera bag telling me that he was going to the Old Timer to drink some coffee with his old friends.

While I was checking my e-mail my right arm started really itching so I pulled up my sleeve and discovered that it was red and swollen twice it's size! I figured it was from a spider bite so I went to the bathroom and patted it down with some white vinegar to help stop the irritating itching.

When Tony got back from the Old Timer I showed him my arm. "A spider got you again, Nance. You had better put some of that miracle healing stuff on it that our friend Terry gave to us." So, I grabbed my aluminum walking pole-cane and hobbled back to the bathroom. After dabbing my red swollen arm with the I wonder if it cures all stuff which mainly consisted of tea tree oil I pulled Hazel out of the closet and let her vacuum up all of the new hair on the floor, because we were going to have company today. Then I lit some Naga Chapa incense and slowly race-walked around the trailer with the help of my trusty walking pole, smudging the trailer for unwanted spiders.

Around ten o'clcok our good friends Garnet and Sandy Sheffield and their precious little dog Chiquita arrived with Garnet's sister Margie who was visiting them from out of town. After hugs and howdies we went into Outer Space for a fun visit while Tony fed the dogs and cleaned their pens.

I had a blast visiting with them even though I talked way too much and laughed so much it made my back ache more. When I told them about my back going out yesterday Margie showed me two exercises to do for my back and it really helped! Then we came inside the trailer for coffee and some Miles of Chocolate After they told me how much they loved the Miles of Chocolate Tone walked inside the trailer to visit.

Somewhere in our conversation I showed them my pink feathered, flashing lights cowboy hat that our friend Eileen Gotke had given to me. After the laughter subsided Garnet put it on her head and then Margie put it on hers. Here are a couple of pictures that I took of them cutting up in front of the camera. The first one is Garnet with Chiquita and the second is Margie.

While Tony and Margie discussed photography Garnet and Sandy told me all about their new travel trailer and then we went outside so Tony and I could give them a Grand Tour. After I showed off the travel trailer we went into my writing cabin and they loved it and the "Von Kinky Family Singers" picture that Dusty Pendleton had painted. 

Then we walked around the rescue ranch as Tony and I introduced them to all of our dogs. When it was time for them to leave Margie told us a her very funny cat story. After we were done laughing I told them about John Kemmerly and Bluefoot Publishing, and suggested that they submit their stories for publication since they are both great writers. Then we bid them farewell even though we didn't want them to leave.

After lunch around one o'clock our friends Bob and Kathi and their daughter Stephanie came out for a visit. Stephanie wanted to walk our dogs so she took off while we went into Outer Space and visited with our friends from North Texas and it was non-stop laughter, too! And when it was time for them to leave Stephanie gave T. and me beautiful friendship bracelets that she had made and we loved them. In fact, mine matched my lavender overalls. Tony and I didn't want them to leave either, but we were glad that they had come out to us, too.

It is nearly seven o'clock and once again I have written this blog standing up because my back is getting better, thank goodness. The swelling in my arm has gone down some which I am happy to report. Tonight I'm looking forward to reading some more of the great book, Drop-Ins because it is so funny and suspenseful at the same time. I highly recommend that you read it because you will love the characters and the plot.

I just got off of the phone with Jon Wolfmueller. He and Sandy wanted to know how my back was doing. After I told him about my back and the spider bite I said, "Jon, I don't understand why this spider likes to bite me and doesn't bite Tony. I guess tonight when I go to bed I am going to wear socks and a sweat suit and spray Off all over me so it will bite Tone." Jon laughed even though I was serious. Before we hung up he asked me to tell all of y'all hello!

As soon as Jon and I hung up the phone the phone rang—it was Kinky. He is back from Los Angeles and is in Austin. We had a fun visit and we caught up with each others news. I told him all about the fun interview I had with Connie Strong and Joni, Mary and Juli and how much Tony and I liked them and he was pleased that we liked them as much as he did. Then I told him about my back going out and the spider bite and he wasn't pleased and he suggested that I go see a doctor, but I told him that there was no need. Then he told me that he was going to do the Kerrville Folk Festival again this weekend and he invited me to join him again. I thanked him for the invite, but told him no because I needed to take a break in my hectic schedule and rest. Before we said goodbye to each other he told me that he will be back at the ranch on Saturday. Yeah!

Tomorrow morning I have to go out of town and I will try to post a blog tomorrow night if I am not too road weary. And don't worry about me getting lost because I will have Garmina telling me every other minute or so where to go.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pain In The Back!

All day today I have thought about what I was going to write about yesterdays super fun interview with Connie Strong. Connie arrived on time at one o'clock sharp with her friends and co-workers: Joni Johnson Daniel, the publisher for Texas Animal Imprints, photographer Mary Chavoustie and Joni's sister Juli.

Tony and I liked these bubbly women the minute that they got out of their vehicles. It was hugs first and introductions second and then we went into Outer Space so Connie could interview me and that is when the real fun began.

After playing a quick round of musical chairs so Mary the photographer could shoot me Connie asked me if was okay for her to record our interview and I told her that I didn't mind one bit even though I know that I sound like Gabby Hays on helium. Connie started her little white tape recorder and then she began asking me questions about our rescue ranch and of course I talked way too much—as I always do—just ask anyone who knows me, or better yet ask Tony.

Ten minutes into the interview I realized Connie was a pro at interviewing people, because she already knew a lot about our rescue ranch and she had come prepared with a list of questions to ask me. I was so relaxed and having such a great time answering her questions, telling rescue ranch stories and laughing with her and her friends I forgot that Mary was busy shooting me while Connie continued to interview me. I felt like I was just sitting around visiting with dear friends. In other words it was the best interview I have ever had! Thank you, Connie, Joni, Mary and Juli for a fun day!

After the interview I invited everyone to come inside the trailer so I could show it off and they loved it, but not as much as they loved the Miles of Chocolate that Ben had given to us. We laughed and talked some more inside the trailer then we outside so I could show them my Space Ship and writing cabin and they loved them, too. Then Tony and I gave a tour of the rescue ranch so they could meet all of our great dogs.

Before "the girls" left we rode around the ranch looking for, Gabby Hays, Roy Rogers and Little Jewford, but unfortunately they were nowhere to be found. When it was time for them to leave they didn't want to leave and we didn't want them to leave so we hugged each other and then they departed.
After they left Tone said, "I really like those women. They were so fun and down to earth..."

"I know, Tone. Me too."

Then we ate lunch and let Buttermilk take us to Kerrville to get some groceries.
When we got to Kerrville we decided to go see Sandy and Jon before doing our grocery shopping at the H.E.B. "Sandy, I love reading Drop-Ins! It is a real hoot! I gave my copy of Tom Wells book Strange Seasons: Summer to Patty in Florida and I need to buy another copy of his book." When we walked out of Wolfmueller's Books Tony was carrying four new books in his arms: three by Elmer Kelton and one by Tom D. Wells.

I wish that I could write ten more pages about how much fun we had with Connie, Joni, Mary and Juli, but I can't because this afternoon at straight-up four o'clock my back went out and it is aching pretty bad.
When it happened I hollered at the top of my lungs for Tony to come help me. When he came running into our bathroom I was hunched over trying to buckle up my pink overalls. "Nance, what's wrong?"

"I threw my back out, T."


"Well, I had to go to the bathroom to tinkle and when I stood up—it went out." Tony started laughing. "It's not funny, Tony! It hurts like you-know-what. Ouch! Could you get me one of my walking poles so I can use it like a walking cane?" Tony fetched the pretty wannabe cane and I limped into the kitchen with T. right behind me. "One last thing, Tone. Could you please unplug my laptop and put it up here on the breakfast bar for me. They say that standing and walking is good for a bad back. And could you find the Aleve in the kitchen cabinet for me?" Tony moved my laptop, but he could not find the Aleve. "It's gotta be over at Kinky's," I said. "In fact, I remember taking it over there several months ago when his back was out." Tony took off for the Lodge and returned ten minutes later with the Aleve—thank goodness! After I took two Aleve I said, "I'm sorry for being such a pain in the back, Tone."

Well, it is now nearly nine o'clock as I stand here typing this at the breakfast bar. My back is already feeling much better even though I haven't sat down in five hours. Tony is in his office planting or plowing on his virtual farm and I'm fixin' to go plant myself in bed. Good night.

P.S I want to thank Matt, Meghann and Casey for coming out this morning and volunteering on their day off. It was great seeing you. I love y'all!

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

And You're Short!

From Yesterday's To Be Continued...

Yesterday at five-thirty I was in the shower when Kinky called and left a message on the machine, "Nance, Frank and I are ready to go to the festival. Let's go. Call me." When Tony heard his message he came and told me that Kinky was ready to go even though we had planned to leave a little after six o'clock. Tone's news caused an adrenaline rush and I was no longer tired. After I quickly dressed in my jeans and navy blue rescue ranch long-sleeved t-shirt and put on my pink boots I took a baby Aspirin and then called Kinky.

"Kink, I need five more minutes then we will meet you out in front by the gate." Three minutes later we left the rescue ranch and closed the gate behind us. Then we saw a maroon pickup parked ahead of us on the road. When we came to a stop an elderly man jumped out of his truck and approached us wearing a badge around his neck, so I rolled down Buttermilk's window. "Can we help you?" I asked.

"I hope so! I am with the Census Bureau."

"Sir, I filled out and mailed the form out on the same day that we received it," I said. Then he scratched his head.

"I'm not looking for you. I am trying to find these addresses..." While we tried to give him directions we saw Mr. Green Jeans with Kinky and Frank inside coming to meet us and then they stopped when they reached the fork in the road. As soon as the man had the directions we told him that we had to leave. He thanked us and then we took off. Buttermilk followed Mr. Green Jeans all of the way to the folk festival and then we parked them side by side. Then we went to check ourselves in and get our V.I.P. wrist bands and then the very nice volunteers took us to our table with four comfortable chairs. After we checked in our books for them to sell for us we sat down and the fun began. Here is a picture of the sign they made for me that they taped to our table.

Suddenly out of nowhere Kinky had hundreds of fans surround us at our table that wanted to shake his hand, get their pictures taken with him or to discuss politics with him. Here is a picture that I took of Tony and Frank people-watching from their chairs in the foreground, as Kinky posed for pictures with fans behind them.

Kinky and I went onstage after the first performance which was great. He read his beautiful story of The Hummingbird Man and the crowd loved it and then he introduced me and I came out on stage. After Kinky lowered the mike for me I said, "Hi, y'all. I promise this is a short story."

Then Kinky quickly quipped, "And you're short!" The crowd roared with laughter and then I began reading even though I was a nervous wreck. Tony took this short eleven-second video clip of me when I started to read the funny story about Kinky and his Willie Nelson t-shirt. Tone told me after we came back to the table that they had nicely told him that they did not allow for anyone to tape the show. Here is a picture that T. took of me and Kink right after he called me short.

I sold a few books and Kinky sold a ton of his books. We all enjoyed the festival and I want to thank Dalis and the Kerrville Folk Festival Volunteers for taking care of us in grand style. Y'all Rock!

Tony and I left the fun festival around nine-thirty because we were so tired and unfortunately I  didn't get to see my friend Finney. When we got home we went straight to bed and we slept like logs.

Today has been great. Kinky, Little Jewford and I had a blast this afternoon at the Chisholm Trail Winery in Fredericksburg and I fell in love with Paula and Mike, the owners. They are the nicest people! I will tell you all about it tomorrow after I do my interview with Connie Strong for the super cool magazine Texas Live. I am really looking forward to meeting her tomorrow!

I am hooked on Tom D. Wells book, Drop-Ins and I can't wait to read a few more chapters tonight before we go to bed. It is absolutely hilarious!

Y'all have a great evening!

To Be Continued Again...