Sunday, October 31, 2010

Time Goes By!

Well, first off, I feel like a complete idiot about the time change that happened, but never really happened. Last night or should I say in the wee hours of the morning I got up and reset all of our clocks back one hour and then I went back to bed and had some really weird dreams.

At six o'clock this morning (which was really only 5:00) when the alarm went off I was having this funny dream that I didn't want to end, because I was enjoying my dream and felt really tired. In my dream I was with Jim (my late husband) standing inside our monogramming shop, holding Yoda, my beloved Boston Terrier, in my arms and we were laughing with all of these people that I didn't know. Then I was rudely awakened when Hank and Toto used my stomach as their launching pad to get down to the floor.

After I fed the dogs I started a load of laundry in Queen Bee, drank my smoothie and then walked eight miles before Tony got home. Then I fixed him his breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen dishes and threw our cleaned, wet clothes into Airy Queen to dry.

When T. went outside to do his morning chores I took care of a little paperwork and then I went outside and reset the clocks in Trigger and Buttermilk, so Tone wouldn't have to do it later. Then I set down and read a few pages of the book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, that Eileen had loaned to me. I love the book and it is another one of those books that you can't put down.

Around eleven-thirty (fake time) Tony returned to the trailer and I told him that I was tired of eating soup and suggested we go out to eat for lunch, because I was officially taking the day off. "After lunch can we go to the storage unit in Medina, because I want to see if there is anything I have that I can sell on eBay. I'm hooked and I don't have anything to sell."

"That sounds fine to me, but on our way to Medina can we go by and see the buffalos on 2828, so I can take some pictures of them?" I nodded my head up and down and smiled.

Since I am still on a liquid diet we decided to speed things up, so we went to the Sonic Drive Inn for lunch, which we haven't been to in over four years. Tony ate Tater Tots, drank a Coke while he munched on a # 1 Cheeseburger without onions, with mustard, mayonaise and ketchup, as I spooned what was left of a cold, chocolate milkshake into my mouth.

Twenty minutes later T. was outside standing next to Buttermilk shooting a herd of Buffalo with his Canon, as I finished off my healthy lunch. Eighteen minutes later we were standing inside the storage unit staring at "our stuff" that we had forgotten about and obviously didn't need. After we loaded a few possible eBay items to sell into Buttermilk's back seat we headed home.

When we walked inside the trailer—Carlton was flashing to let us know that someone had called, so I pressed the play button and listened. The first call was from Kinky, "Nancy, Tony. Nancy, Tony. Call me. It is not urgent. I just walk to talk to you." The second or the last message was from our friend Jon Wolfmueller.

"Hello, Nancy. This is Jon. It is 12:43 not 11:43. The time change happens next Saturday. I hope you've got the right time now. It is 12:44 now. Bye." I was speechless, but only for a second.

"Tony!" I half-hollered down the hallway. "The time change is for next Saturday. You were wrong, but it is no big deal. We've just gained an hour!" Then I happily went about resetting all of our clocks, again, including Buttermilk's and Trigger's.

Nineteen minutes later I started cleaning the items I was going to put up for auction on eBay and then I shot them and started uploading them on eBay. After putting a framed 1981 Larry Dyke limited edition print, an old wooden wall display for miniatures, a Hermon (the spelling is correct) Adam's collectible porcelain plate titled "Spirit of the Night" by the Western Heritage Museum I was done, so I took a break and folded and hung up our laundry and that is when I discovered another item to auction off on eBay!

As I was wrestling with a coat hanger that refused to come off of the rod in the closet I spotted a shiny thing that was nearly covered up by an old quilt, so I reached up and grabbed it. The moment that I saw it—it made me smile and warmed my heart as fond memories filled my head of the good old days of long, long ago.

Thirty minutes later after shedding a few tears about Jim and our past, I wrote this and uploaded it to eBay to be auctioned off, because I don't need it anymore and it is only taking up space which I have so little of. I hope that it will make you laugh and smile as it did me as I wrote it.

"In 1984 my late husband, Jim Parker and I won 1st place in our sailing division, at the annual Austin Yacht Club Turnback Canyon Regatta, a two day event every Memorial Day. He got the honors and this handsome 10-1/2" pewter trophy plate and I only received a keychain for crewing for him and doing all of the hard work: like changing out the sails, winching in the sheets, while hoping not to get knocked in the head by the Boom and sunburned, etc. When I think about it now, it makes me laugh about our fun-filled sailboat racing days way back when. And, not to brag, but Jim and I won 1st place at the Turnback Canyon Regatta—three years in a row and I think we still hold the record for it.

I lost my two-dollar keychain somewhere down the road of life and when I found this trophy that he prized, tucked away in my closet, I decided to put it on eBay, because it is just taking up space. If you buy this prestigious trophy you can put it out for display and impress your friends with telling wild stories about how you won this trophy on a Catalina 22 named the "Bull Sheeter" in the non-spinnaker division. And I promise not to ever tell. Happily, my sailing days are over, but I will always have those fond memories—unless I get Alzeihmers. Happy Bidding and the shipping is free—no pun intended!  : )

P.S. If I can find my leather sailing gloves I will throw them in for free if I can find them and my dogs didn't eat them...

Y'all have a great evening! It is now 8:30. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chicken Fried!

Today has been great, but tonight's post is going to be short, because I want to play my guitar for a little while before I have to go to bed early, so I can get up at 1:00 to reset all of our clocks.

This afternoon around two o'clock the dogs outside started barking to let us know that someone was here. "I hope that it is Robert and Traci's friend, David, coming to adopt Nellybelle," I said, as Tony and I walked out the front door to go greet the stranger getting out of his black Jeep Cherokee.

In a matter of minutes David was no longer a stranger to us—we liked him, as Traci and Robert had promised. When we reached Nell-Bell's and Hank's pen it was love at first sight for David and his new-found forever friend. But, Hank was a little bit jealous though, as he watched David and Nellybelle fall in love.

"Betty Boop is a great dog," David said, as he petted his newest best friend. "Last night I was over at Robert and Traci's house and Betty and Jake just slept peaceably near our feet as we visited. "They are so happy about adopting Betty Boop and so is Jake. You should see the pile of toys that they have already bought for her!"

Thirty minutes later after we had visited with David, he anxiously signed Nelly's adoption papers and told us that he could not wait to take her home. Before they drove away I took this picture of Nellybelle and David.

After I filed away Nelly's adoption papers, I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and tell him the great news about Betty Boop's and Nellybelle's super adoptions. To say the least—he was thrilled. Then we went outside. "Nance, I still can't believe how beautiful your new teeth are," Kinky said, while he carried in one heavy plant after another inside, so the soon-to-be freeze wouldn't kill them.

"I know, Kinky. Wednesday afternoon, when we went to Kerrville for supplies, we stopped by Wolfmueller's Books and Sandy and Jon thought my teeth looked great, too and they told me that you had told them that I should have done it years ago." We were laughing about it when Frank walked up and greeted us. Then we went inside, so Kinky and Frank could watch the UT / Georgia football game.

As I pushed balls around the pool table, trying to sink them into the pockets, we visited, as they watched the game with the sound muted. An hour later Buttermilk took me home.

Tonight T. and I had an enjoyable dinner with Lisa & Mark-In-Mississippi—in Kerrville. Tone and I love Lisa and Mark and they love each other. The four of us did a lot of laughing as usual, as we ate dinner. During one part of our conversation Mark told T. and me that he was born in DeQueen, Arkansas and had lived there for the first eight years of his life, but he didn't know our friends Nelda and Jimmie Dunn. He couldn't believe that we had friends from his small hometown.

"Mark, I had never heard of DeQueen, Arkansas until I met Nelda and Jimmie," I said. "It is a small world isn't it?" Then Mark told us that his father had been a doctor up there and I cannot wait to find out from Jimmie and Nelda if they remember his father.

Well, that is about it for today. I'm going to go get my guitar out of my office and try to figure out how to play one of my favorite Zac Brown Band's songs—"Chicken Fried."

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Running Buddy!

Today has been a great day! This morning after I walked eight miles I cleaned up and then went outside to greet our great friends / volunteers: June Hartley, Ellen Jackson and Eileen Gotke. When I saw the three of them returning with our super dogs: Marlin, Princess and Honey & Baxter I walked down to greet them.

After we said our howdys to each other they complimented me on my new teeth and I smiled without being embarrassed. As we walked the dogs back to their pens Eileen told me about the eight foot banner that she had designed and ordered for our 1st Annual Dog Adoption and Training Seminar on November 6th from 10a.m. to noon and I could not wait to see it. "OMG!" I said, as Ellen and Eileen unrolled the  banner. "I love it! It is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much, Eileen. I love the paw prints, too."

As the two of them rolled up the banner we discussed the upcoming event that Eileen volunteered to do for us with the much needed help of Ellen and June and Sharon Griswold, the incredible Kerrville dog whisperer, who owns Rover Mishaving. After hearing everything that they have done so far for the event and what they are planning to do before the event I was speechless. All that I can say is these women are super women and the greatest volunteers in the state of Texas. Thank you, Eileen, Ellen, June and Sharon—Y'all Rock Big Time!

After a fun visit and thanking them for all that they do for our ranch and our dogs I said, "I have some more good news—Betty Boop is getting adopted today." And they were as happy about it as I was, but not as happy as Betty was.

At three o'clock, after Robert had played with B.B. in her pen and had her fetch her white boat bumper, he and his sweet wife Traci signed Betty's adoption form and Betty couldn't wait to get out of here and it was sort of embarrassing, because when Robert told her to load up—she jumped so fast into the back seat of their big, fancy pickup with her big, boat bumper in her mouth and her tail wagging high and non-stop, which made all of us laugh. "By tomorrow morning or sooner Betty Boop is going to think our rescue ranch stinks compared to her new life with y'all. I hope Jake likes her."

"Jake is going to love her," Traci told me. "He is the sweetest yellow Labrador that we have ever had. He is going to be so happy to have a running buddy. It is going to be so much fun when we take them with us on our trips to Ruidoso and the Coast. Honey, is Betty going to sleep on your side of the bed with you and Jake with me?"

"We'll let her and Jake decide that tonight," Robert said, as they climbed into their truck.

Before driving Betty to her new home Traci said, "Robin told me that he will be coming out tomorrow to adopt Nellybelle and he can't wait to meet her and take her home. He fell in love with her the minute that he saw her picture and read her story." That made T. and me smile and once again I wasn't embarrassed to smile. We have our fingers crossed that Nell-Bell finds her forever home tomorrow.

This evening when Tone and I came inside, we listened to Traci's message, "I just wanted to let you know that Jake and Betty are in love with each other and they won't quit playing with each other. She is an awesome dog! Thank y'all so much for what you do and for letting us adopt Betty Boop. We love her so much. She and Jake are a perfect match! I will call y'all soon with another update. Robert and I are fixin' to take them for another walk in the park. Bye."

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Soup For The Teeth!

Today has been a great day even though I was a nervous wreck this morning and now somewhat exhausted, but relieved by today's events, so I plan to go to bed early tonight, so I can do the Harley Show at 7:45 in the morning. I have been keeping a secret from you and now I plan to reveal it.

It all started twenty days ago when Tony drove me up to Johnson City for my appointment to see my friend Dr. Mary "Sam" Hagemeier—the best dentist in Texas. As everyone knows I have needed some serious dental work for a long time and I have been embarrassed to smile, so when I got to her office Sam and I made a plan—then she pulled two upper jaw teeth on each side and then sent me home to recover nicely.

I spent the next two weeks drinking smoothies and sipping soups and that is why my friends Sandy and Jon Wolfmueller gave me a super soup cookbook for my birthday, because they were two of the insiders who knew about my secret dental work. Thank you, Sandy and Jon! I love the cookbook and the recipes are so easy and delicious.

Last night I didn't post a blog, because I was nervous about seeing Sam today and I didn't sleep well either. When Tony woke me up this morning at five-thirty, because I had asked him to—I was tired and feeling anxious about seeing Sam today, so I walked eight miles with Leslie to help relieve my stress.

While I was finishing up the last mile I decided to call my friend Maribeth Couch in Utopia, to see if she would come over and babysit the rescue ranch while Tone and I were gone and she said, "Yes. I would love to." But that didn't happen.

At nine-thirty, ten minutes before Maribeth arrived, I called Kinky to tell him that Maribeth was going to babysit the ranch for us and he said, "That's great, Nance. Hang in there and don't be afraid..." While I'm thinking, "Yeah, right, Kinky. Easier said than done, my friend. You want to walk in my moccasins today?"

After Kinky's kind words of encouragement Maribeth and Tony walked inside the trailer wearing big smiles on their faces. While T. showed her his latest, beautiful photos I went into Outer Space and watered my thirsty plants that I had forgotten to water yesterday. Then there was a change in plans.

At ten o'clock Maribeth and I climbed into Buttermilk and then T. bid us farewell, because he had a lot of work to do and it would give me a chance to catch up with Maribeth's latest news. She and I talked non-stop all the way to Johnson City and that helped to calm me down.

Sam and her sister Sandy were standing outside in her parking lot waiting for us when we arrived, because we were going to go eat lunch with them before Sam got down to business in my mouth. After Sam introduced us to Sandy, I introduced them to Maribeth and then we followed the sisters to El Charro, a Mexican food restaurant on Highway 281.

We laughed a lot and the conversation flowed as we ate our delicious lunch. Sam and Sandy told us some fascinating and hair-raising stories about their travel adventures to Israel and Rome to name a few and Maribeth told us a hilarious story about her daughter's goat and missing dog, while I cleaned my plate, since I knew that I was about to go on another soup diet in a few hours.

A few hours later after a fun lunch—I turned into Gumby in Sam's dental office after she had pulled all of the rest of my upper teeth, but leaving two. Yes! I finally did it and I love it! Before Sam put the partial into my mouth I half-hollered for Maribeth to come into the room so she could see the final results. "OMG, Nancy!" Maribeth exclaimed, as I smiled into the hand held mirror. "Your teeth look beautiful! I can't believe it!" And neither could I. I was smiling ear to ear as I admired my new smile that Sam had created for me. I finally, after all of these years, had a pretty smile and I thanked Sam over and over again for giving me a new smile. Thank you, Sam!

When we arrived back at the rescue ranch I saw Lisa's car parked by the barn. Before going up to the trailer, Maribeth and I went into the Space Ship, so I could show her my latest improvements and she loved it! "Let's see them, Nance," Tony said, as we exited my new and improved Space Ship. I looked at him and grinned. "They look beautiful, Nance. I am so proud of you." Then he gave me a big bear hug.

As we walked up to the trailer I couldn't quit smiling, as he and Maribeth talked and agreed that my new teeth looked like natural teeth and not like dentures. When we walked inside Nellybelle Lisa and Mark from Mississippi hugged me and complimented me on my new teeth and then we started visiting. "Nance, you need to give Kinky a call," Tony said. "He has been calling all day and can't wait to talk to you and sixteen people have called wanting us to take their dogs. And..."

After a fun visit with Lisa & Mark, Maribeth and Tony inside the trailer, I thanked them for their beautiful flower arrangement that they had brought to me and the glazed donuts, which were soft and I knew that I could eat. Then they told us that they needed to get back to Kerrville and left and I was sorry they had to leave. Then I called Kinky.

"Hi, Kinky!" I said. "I did it and I love my new teeth!" I bragged. Kinky laughed.

"That's great, Nance! I am so proud of you for..."

"You want to see them?" I asked. Five minutes later Maribeth parked her red truck and Tone parked Buttermilk in front of the Lodge and Kinky walked outside the kitchen door as we climbed out of our vehicles. "What do you think?" I said, as I walked up to Kink, wearing a big, pretty grin on my face. Kinky smiled, as he looked at my new teeth.

"Nance, your teeth look beautiful!" He said. "It's..."

"A miracle, Kinky." I said, interrupting him. "Can you believe it? I love my new teeth." Then Maribeth and Kinky hugged each other and the four of us had a fun visit outside the Lodge, as we talked about our teeth, while we petted The Friedmans—Brownie, Chumley and Miss Sophie.

"Please tell Sam that it is a miracle and that she did an incredible job with your teeth," Kinky said. "I can't believe how pretty your smile is, Nance. They look like real teeth and..." Then Frank walked up. "Frank, come take a look at Nancy's new teeth. You're not going to believe this." Frank walked up and hugged me and complimented me on my teeth and then I introduced him to Maribeth and we had a really fun visit.

Tonight I want to thank Sam Hagemeier for her generosity and giving me a smile that I am so proud of and would have never believed could be mine. And to my dear friend Maribeth for being my dear friend. I love you both!

Y'all have a great evening!  : )

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Waiting Game!

It is nine-twenty in the morning and I am playing the waiting game for FedEx to deliver a replacement DVD-R player from Direct TV. Last Friday afternoon ours decided to quit working in the big room, so I have been without television since then.

Actually, it is no big deal, because I basically listen to my music all of the time and I hardly watch any television anyway, because it is either boring, stupid, violent or depressing. But it would be nice to keep up with the weather and watch reruns of The Wonder Years, The Golden Girls and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Speaking of waiting (Laugh Out Loud! This is a plug for my latest watercolor fasterpiece.) in case you didn't know, there is only one day and ten hours left before my 6th fasterpiece "The Waiting Game" auction ends on eBay. (Was that subtle enough? I'm grinning.) Actually if it doesn't sell I want to frame it and hang it inside the Space Ship.
It is now nine thirty-three and Tone just walked into the trailer with our new DVD-R! We're talking TV!

It is now ten o'clock and the setup has been completed by T. and The Weather Channel is on, but it is muted, because I am listening to my favorite music. The phone just rang and it was Tim Sampson, the super nice reporter from the Kerrville Daily Times. He is sending out a photographer within the next couple of hours to shoot Tony, the dogs and me and he told me that he thinks his article about our exciting upcoming November 6th event—1st Annual Dog Adoption and Training Seminar—will be in tomorrow's newspaper! Thank you, Tim and the Kerrville Daily Times! I can't wait!

Today has started out great and I guess that you could say that I am still playing "The Waiting Game." Thank goodness that I am a patient person and have so much to do that the time will fly by fast. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Ronderosa Was Rocking!

This morning Buttermilk and I pulled into the ranch at ten after ten and I was glad to be home even though our family reunion was a total blast from the past.

Yesterday at ten minutes past noon, Buttermilk and I arrived at The Ronderosa ranch in Dripping Springs. Ronnie was tending to his smoker, but when he saw me pull up he came to greet me along with Nita. After a powerful bear hug from Ron, I was thrilled when Nita wrapped her slender arms around me and gently hugged me. "Hey, Nance!" Ronnie said. "You're the first one here. I am glad that you didn't get lost."

I loved being the first to get there, because it gave us an opportunity to visit before our thirty-two other relatives arrived. Within an hour everyone had arrived, but two—my younger cousin Greggie and his twenty-one year old son Parker, because they had some car trouble after leaving Fort Worth.

I love my family so much. When we get together it is like we are best friends and we pick up right where we last left off, but I must admit my arms were aching from being hugged so many times. In no time flat The Ronderosa was rocking and all you could hear was laughter and chatter, as Ronnie continued to stand outside visiting with our cousins—smoking his delicious sausage, briskets, chicken and pork ribs, in his gigantic, homemade pit.

My brother Ronnie is famous for his barbecue and the pits he has built—everyone wants one, but most can't afford one. In fact, a few years back Ronnie sold one of his giant homemade pits to a restaurant / bar up in Boulder, Colorado and he was paid to fly up there and spend a week teaching the new owners his secrets and giving them his secret recipes on how to cook the Best Texas Style BBQ.

While Ron was outside smokin' I was inside visiting in the kitchen with my sister Cindy, my older Cousin George and his younger brother Cousin Tony. "George," I said. "Do you remember the time when we were kids and you went camping with our family up in Roaring River, Missouri?" George started laughed.

"Yes, I do and I will never forget it," George said. "It traumatized me." We all started laughing and then asked him why. "Well, I had just turned thirteen—I was just a boy and I wasn't really into girls, yet. I was down at the river fishing by myself and catching nothing when this girl shows up and starts talking to me. I guess that she was flirting with me, but I didn't know it and I just kept on fishing. Anyway, when I got back home in Houston She calls me a few weeks later and tells me she is in love with me and it scared me to death!"

"Where'd she live?" I asked. George starts laughing again.

"Somewhere in West Texas. I think it was Lubbock. Then her older brother who was probably three or four years older, probably about sixteen, starts calling me and telling me his sister loves me and I should marry her!" We all started laughing. "I was scared every time the phone rang, because Mom and Dad had taught me to answer the phone, "Hello, this is so-in-so's residence. This is George..."

"Wait a minute, George," I said. "How'd she get your phone number?" Then there was another round of laughter and teasing. Before George could answer me I said, "Well, George, we've got a surprise for you today. This is your life! Come on out,  Miss Becky!" George turned around and then he burst out laughing. And, that is how I spent my afternoon visiting and laughing with my family.

After a delicious dinner I asked Ronnie to show me the drum-box seats that he had built. A minute later he and I were sitting on top of these cool homemade drums, in his music room, beating out some cool rhythms and it quickly drew a crowd of cousins and everyone wanted to sit on them and take a turn at playing them. While everyone played the drums Cindy and I asked Ronnie to please build us drum-seats and we told him that we would gladly pay him for them. And then my Cousin Tony, Cindy and I tried to talk Ron into building them and selling them down on the Drag by UT, because we knew they would sell like hot cakes. Then the real music commenced and I loved it!

Everyone grabbed their guitars, dulcimers and mandolins and started playing and singing and the music was incredibly great and that went on for a couple of hours. Then Mandy's son, Michael, my twenty-eight year old second cousin, pulled out his electric guitar, plugged it into his amp and blew all of us away with his awesome lead guitar talent and skills when he accompanied a rock 'n roll CD. He was like Jimi, Jerry Garcia, Led Zepelin, Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn—rolled up into one! No one could believe what they were hearing as we watched in awe of his magnificent guitar performance. His lead guitar playing gave me goose bumps, because he reminded me so much of my first love Steve, who could play like that and who had actually played with Jimi Hendrix in the late Sixties.

When the music stopped we were treated by Cousin Susie, Uncle Howard's oldest daughter, to watch the latest documentary "Uncommon Vision: The Life And Times Of John Howard Griffin" about her father and our famous uncle, that is having its premier showing in Fort Worth at the Modern Art Museum this coming Thursday.

Everyone enjoyed watching it and thought it was a fantastic documentary about his life and times and it was very well done and Susie told us that it is already scheduled to air on PBS and already getting rave reviews!

I could write all night about how much fun I had with my family, but I can't because I must go to bed.

P.S. It looks like Betty Boop has found her forever home and is going to be adopted out this Friday. Keep your fingers crossed for her!

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hi, Robert and Cathie Schloss!

Today has been a lot of fun. This morning at seven forty-five after I drank my smoothie and Tony had eaten his breakfast we jumped in Buttermilk and headed to Kerrville, so Ellen Jackson and her dog Jermaine Jackson, that she adopted from us back in April and Sharon Griswold of Rover Misbehaving and I could do the Hill Country Today show on KVHC with host Andy Magee to talk about our upcoming Adoption and Dog Training Seminar at the rescue ranch on November 6th.

When we arrived at the television station we were two minutes late, because Tony had to stop and get a cup of coffee at the Mini Mart. Our great friends / volunteers Ellen and Jermaine, Sharon, June Harley and Eileen Gotke were inside the station waving to us outside. And Jermaine looked so handsome in his orange bandana. Here is a great picture of Jermaine that Tony took of him after the show.
The thirty minute show was a lot of fun, because Andy Magee made us feel so comfortable and at ease. In other words—she was good. Ellen and Sharon did a great job talking about Jermaine, our rescue ranch, the upcoming dog adoption and training seminar and dog training and I was okay. Jermaine was so cool, calm and collected—he amazed all of us and everyone was so proud of him. He has really come a long way conquering his fears one by one.

Halfway through the taping, during a commercial break Bryant had to adjust a microphone on a table right next to me because the the sound engineer was hearing strange sounds. Luckily, five seconds before we went back on the air the problem was fixed and we finished the show. Here is a short video clip of us doing the Hill Country Today show with Andy. And here is a picture that Tone took of us during the show.

When the show ended we stood up and thanked Andy, Bryant and Roland, the fine folks at KVHC for having us on, then we went outside to visit. 
From left to right: June, Sharon, me, Jermaine with Ellen and Jermaine and Eileen's back.

In no time at all we got to laughing, because these women have the best sense of humor. We laughed and teased Sharon about her black slacks that were covered in Jermaine's dog hair that Tony took a picture of. Then the topic changed to the microphone problem.

"My stomach started growling when the show started. I guess I should have ate something, instead of drinking a smoothie for breakfast," I said. Then everyone started laughing. 

Then one of them says, "It was your stomach causing the sound problem! Not the microphone!" As they continued to laugh I thought about it and realized they were right. Ten minutes later T. and I said goodbye to everyone and then we took off to run a few errands before meeting back up with them at the Kerrville Daily Times at ten o'clock to be interviewed about our event by their nice and friendly reporter Tim Sampson.

Our first stop was at Hoegemeyer's Animal Clinic to pick up some medicine. Then we went and early voted for the upcoming election. And our last stop was at H-E-B to fill up Buttermilk. When we pulled up to the newspaper building so did Sharon, June, Ellen and Eileen. 

Tim was running ten minutes late, so we sat in the waiting area and traded funny stories about our pasts until Tim arrived. Then he took us back to a conference room and closed the door and interviewed us and that was fun. Thirty minutes later we left the building and went our separate ways.

On our way to Walmart to get the oil changed Tony started teasing me about my stomach growling during the TV show, so I joked back in self-defense, "Tony, I couldn't help it. They should have done a sound check on me." Then my stomach growled back in agreement.

This afternoon around three o'clock, we had a nice surprise—Marcie and Donna Schloss came over for a short, but fun visit! First, we went into the Space Ship and then we went into Outer Space and did a lot of laughing, because Donna and Marcie are very witty people. When it was time for them to leave I said to Donna, "I got an e-mail from your brother Robert today. I love his photography."

"He's an incredibly talented photographer," Donna said, as we descended the front porch steps. "Tell him and Cathie I said, "Hi."" And I did after they left.

Tomorrow morning I am going to Ronnie's and Nita's house in Dripping Springs for his "2nd Annual Family Reunion of Cousins" and I am really looking forward to it, but I won't be posting a blog tomorrow night. Because tomorrow is our Open House, Tony can't go and I am sick about it. Please wish me luck in driving up there by myself without getting lost. 

I want to thank the great folks at KVHC in Kerrville and Tim Sampson at the Kerrville Daily Times for helping our rescue ranch. You're the best and we love you!

Y'all have a great evening! And please come to our 1st Annual Dog Adoption and Training Seminar event on November 6th. It will be a blast!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today has been fantastic! Last night I stayed up late reading the book that my new, nice friend Cheryl Ratliff gave to me: Canyon of Remembering because I could not put it down, but I went to bed disappointed because I still had thirty-two pages to go—to finish one of the best books that I have ever read.

This morning I got up early and did my chores and then at seven forty-five I picked up the phone and called Harley Belew at the Rose 99.9 FM radio station to do the Utopia segment of his show and I really enjoyed it. We talked about our upcoming 1st Annual Adoption and Dog Training Seminar event on November 6th at the rescue ranch and Harley's Pet of the Week was Honey, a beautiful yellow Lab mix about four years old that I wish one of y'all would consider adopting, because she is one great dog!

Because this book has touched my heartstrings, I decided not to walk with Leslie this morning, so I could finish reading the book and I have no regrets with my decision, except that I must now walk some "eight-milers" to catch up with my New Year's walking resolution of walking 1,825 miles.

After the breakfast dishes were washed and the kitchen was cleaned up I sat down at the kitchen table with my favorite ceramic, turtle coffee mug and sipped coffee while I finished reading the book, which made me tear up, then laugh out loud and finally rejoice.

Fourteen minutes later, Kinky arrived at the rescue ranch. Right after I had poured him some coffee in my second favorite coffee mug, the one that my best friend Cindy, in Northern New Mexico, had given to me, the navy blue one with the message: "the universe knows" on one side of it and the words, "shift your awareness" on the other side—Alan Warren, the great outdoors man who has the most popular sportsman TV show "Alan Warren Outdoors" showed up with his camera crew to videotape and shoot Kinky, our dogs, Tony and me, so they took off for the Lodge to set things up and the rest is history and it was a lot of fun.

This afternoon Buttermilk took T. and me to Kerrville to run some errands. First, we stopped at Wolfmueller's Books to visit with Jon and Sandy and their bookstore was "buzzing" with book-buying customers and Kathleen Keen was there, too, so we had a quick visit with the three of them.

Before leaving the most popular bookstore in the Texas Hill Country our good friend Donna Schloss walked inside the store with a couple of her friends, so we chatted with her and then Tony and I took off for Hoegemeyers to pick up some medicine and then we went to H-E-B to buy our rescued dogs some hot dogs. Then Buttermilk took us home.

Tomorrow morning I have to get up real early at five-thirty, so I can do my chores and then drive to the television station KVHC in Kerrville to be on Kim's popular morning TV show from 8:30 to 9:00 with our good friends Ellen Jackson and her "wonder dog" Jermaine Jackson that she adopted from us, and Sharon Griswold, the amazing dog trainer, to talk about our upcoming event on November 6th. And, I just found out that our friends June Hartley and Eileen and her dog," the smartest dog on the planet," Callie Dean Gotke will be at the TV station too, standing behind the cameras to cheer us on!

Then we are going over to the Kerrville Daily Times building to be interviewed by Tim Sampson about our fun, upcoming event. Then I am heading home, so I can take care of rescue ranch business. Here is our official Press Release for the November 6th event and I hope that all of you can come to it!

Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch presents their 1st Annual Dog Adoption and Dog Training Seminar on Saturday, November 6th at the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch! Located at 966 Echo Hill Road, Medina, Texas— just two miles west of the Medina Children's Home, off Highway 16 South.

Open to the public. Especially for those who are thinking of adopting a dog, first timers or those who would like tips on training and caring for their dogs. Presentation by Cousin Nancy (Parker-Simons), co-founder and executive director of the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch with training demonstrations by Sharon Griswold, professional dog obedience instructor and trainer of seeing-eye dogs for over thirty-five years. Just bring your lawn chair and have fun, but please no pets, because they upset our rescued dogs. No fees or registration required. Call Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch: 830-589-7544, if inclement weather. For driving directions go their website:

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Pooped!

Today has been a great day for me even though we are under the influence of the full moon, which explains plenty. I am pooped and am going to relax tonight and read a little of Canyon Of Remembering before going to bed early, so I can get up early and do my chores, walk six miles, do the Harley Show at 7:45 and be ready for Kinky and the camera crew that are arriving around ten in the morning.

P.S. I want to thank Sandy and Jon Wolfmueller for the books, Mostly Bob by Tom Corwin and Easy Soup Recipes that they gave to me for my birthday. Thank y'all, I can't wait to read them!

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Waiting Game!

Today has been fun. This morning I got up early, did my chores and walked six miles before Tony returned home from the Old Timer. After breakfast I spent most of my morning taking care of business and am nearly caught up.

Tone's sweet sister Annie and her son Mason and his friend Boo came to see us from New Braunfels and we had a fun time visiting with them. While I made lunch, Tony took them fishing and arrowhead hunting and Annie found a pretty cool arrowhead and she was thrilled about it. They left around three o'clock.

After returning several phone calls I decided to paint another picture and here it is! I titled it "The Waiting Game" and it is #6 of my fasterpieces and I have already put it up on eBay for a seven day auction that starts tonight at 7:00 Pacific time. I hope you like it.
Early this evening I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and Marcie and they loved my latest painting, which made me feel good. I had a fun visit with Kinky and his sweet sister, in the kitchen, while Kinky cooked up some steaks for The Friedmans—Brownie, Chumley and Sophie. And that is about it for today.

Tonight I plan to relax and treat myself to reading some more of the great book Canyon of Remembering by Lesley Poling-Kempes that my new friend Cheryl Ratliff gave to me. It is one of those books that you can't put down and I highly recommend it to everyone. It is awesome!

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Drumming Disliker!

My birthday has been great! And I want to thank everyone for their sweet cards, e-mails and phone calls. I really enjoyed hearing from y'all.

This morning before the sun came up I rolled over in bed and found a box tucked under the blanket next to my pillow and then I half-hollered, "Tony!" A few seconds later T. walked into the bedroom and flipped on the light.

"Happy Birthday, Nance. I love you," he said, softly as I pulled the heavy box out from under the covers. "I hope you like it." My eyes got big!

"I love it! Oh, Tony you shouldn't have. Thank you so much for the grinder. How'd you know I wanted one?" I asked, as I climbed out of bed and pulled it out of the box. He told me a little birdie had told him. Thank you, little birdie! I've been wanting my own grinder for a long time for my many woodworking projects. "I'm going to paint it pink!"

When T. returned from the Old Timer he told me that he had posted the flyers all over town for Jane Dog and he told everyone at the store about her while they drank coffee. After breakfast Tony went outside to do his chores, so I walked six miles with Leslie and her friends.

After Tony treated me to a fun lunch in Kerrtown we went to the The Yoga Space, so we could attend the Drumming Circle with our good friend June Hartley.

We were the first to arrive and then June arrived one minutes later, so we visited with her and the friendly staff and instructor as we picked out which drums we wanted to use. T. and I chose pretty twin drums and June's was a pretty, but not as big as ours. Before the three of us sat down beside each other Tony took this picture of me hamming it up before the drumming session started.

After ten other nice, friendly people arrived, there were five men and eight women sitting in the drumming circle and then we went to drumming and I thought that it was so incredible that thirteen strangers could get together for the first time and make such great music—using drums! Seriously, it was way too awesome and the good vibes that were flowing inside The Yoga Space can't be described! I cannot wait to do it again—I'm hooked and so are June and T. and the rest of the ten people! We sounded really great and I wish that I could have recorded some of it to share.

The hour and a half passed so quickly, because I was having so much fun and I like everyone else didn't want it to end. And I am thrilled to say that Tony known as, "The Drumming Disliker" really got into drumming—and he's now a changed man! Rump-A-Pump-Pum! I love it.

On our way home, with my spirit soaring high, because of my drumming circle experience I said, "I want a drum for Christmas, Tone." 

He chuckled and said, "Me, too." 

Once again, I want to thank everyone for making my 59th birthday so great! I love y'all! And June, thank you so much for telling us about the drumming circle at The Yoga Space.

Y'all have a great evening! (Followed by a drum roll.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hug A Viking!

Today has been great, again. This morning our good friends, Ellen and Charlie Cooper came over for a visit and to give me two new cacti! "This one is called Resurrection Plant," Charlie said, as Tony and I admired it. "It is an amazing desert plant. It looks brown and dead, but it isn't. When it rains or you water it—it will change colors and turn green within forty-five minutes and stay that way until it uses up the water and then it turns brown and dead looking until it gets water."

"This one is called a Hairy Cactus," Charlie continued.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because it looks like hair and feels like hair. Touch it."  

I touched it and sure enough it felt like human hair. "It feels like and looks like my hair," I said, "but, there's more of it." As we visited in Outer Space we talked about our love and mutual respect for cactus, the airplane that they just sold, Northern New Mexico, etc., but when Charlie and Ellen started telling us some of their hilarious stories about their long ago adventures in Mexico, in the early eighties, we couldn't quit laughing and we hated to see them leave. 

Around eleven o'clock the phone rang—it was Rick, "The Friendly Lighthouse Keeper." He called to tell me that some dear friends of his had called him to tell him that they were staying in Bandera for the weekend and they really wanted to come out to see our rescue ranch and he wanted to know if that was okay. "Yes, Rick, tell them to come on out. We're open and I would love to meet them." Then I went outside and helped Tony clean pens.

When I had just finished cleaning all of the dog pens on the east side and was leaving Wolf's and Cookie's pen Rick's friends arrived. "Hi, I'm Nancy. Welcome to the rescue ranch."

"Are you Cousin Nancy?" 


I'm Anne-Lise and this is my husband Fin. Rick has told us so much about the rescue ranch."

"Is that with one or two "N"s?" I asked.

"It is Finn with two "N"s," Finn answered. Then we went into Outer Space for a visit. 

After we talked about our great friend Rick, I said, "I love y'all's accents. Where are y'all from?"

"We are from Norway," Anne-Lise said, "but we have lived in Texas for over thirty-four years."

"I'm Scotch, Irish and Norwegian," I said. "Small world." As we were talking about our love for music a car pulled up to the trailer and a woman, that I thought I recognized, got out. "Hi!" I half-hollered. "Come on up. We're in here." When she came into Outer Space I said, "Hi, I'm Nancy and this is Anne-Lise and her husband Finn. They are from Norway."

"Remember me?" She said. "I was at your book signing in Medina the other day." Then I remembered and shook my head up and down, because I did remember and then she started speaking to Finn and Anne-Lise in Norwegian and I didn't have a clue as to what they were saying to each other! Come to find out Barbara's mother was from Norway, so we talked about their love of Norway. Then we talked about their RV's and their travels across the U.S., etc. and then before you knew it—we were good friends with much in common when Tony walked into Outer Space and joined the fun. 

"Nancy," Barbara said. "I came out today to meet Jill. After you had told us her sad story at the library I told my husband that I might be coming home with a dog and he was fine with it. Can I see her?" 

Three minutes later all of us left Outer Space and were walking down the front porch steps to the gate when I said, "I want to show y'all my RV before we go see Jill. I named it the Space Ship because..." As I told them the story they walked around inside it in amazement. In other words—they loved it and could not believe what we had done to it. Then Barbara and I walked down to Jill's pen as T. and the former Vikings lingered.

When we went into Jill's pen Jill went and hid inside her doghouse, but she let Barbara pet her and pull her out of it and she calmly sat on Barbara's lap for twenty minutes as Barbara talked softly to her and stroked her. By the time Finn, Anne-Lise and Tone arrived at Jill's pen to watch. Barbara told me that she wants to work with Jill and take her home and give her a try, but she couldn't do it today because she and her husband were going out of town for a few days. She said that when she gets back, she will call us and come out and get Jill. We were all thrilled for little Jill once again.

Ten minutes later as Tony and I walked everyone to their cars I said, "I am going to blog about today officially being Norway Day at the rescue ranch, but I don't know what the title should be."

"Call it, The Vikings Are Coming!" Barbara suggested. Everyone laughed.

"Or, Vikings Reunite or Hug A Viking!" I joked. Then the Vikings hugged me and left.

This evening at six-thirty the dogs started barking outside to let us know that something or someone was here, so Tony went outside to check it out. Two minutes later I went outside to check on Tone.

A nice neighbor or ours was standing outside our front yard by the gate, talking to T., as she held a precious little, female Chihuahua in her arms that she had rescued off of the highway between Bandera and Medina and wanted to know if we could help her and we said yes, but not until Jill was picked up. Thirty minutes later after discussing what to do, Tony put some Advantage drops on the dog to rid her of any fleas or ticks, then the woman told us that she could take her home and keep her there until Jill goes to Barbara's home and I told her that I would take a picture of the lost little dog and make posters for Tony to post around town when he goes to the Old Timer in the morning. "Maybe her owners have already posted a "Lost" poster in town," I said, trying to be positive. Then I went and got my camera and took these sad pictures of her wishing she was home with her family. Please call me if anyone knows who this little lady belongs to and please say prayers for her that she finds her home.

I have got to go make some "Found" posters for Tony to post tomorrow morning for Jane Dog. And my new birthday wish is to get this sweet, little dog back home on my birthday.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Summa Come-Doggie!

Today has been a lot of fun and so was yesterday. I had a blast at my book signing at the Medina Community Library! My friend, Eileen Gotke surprised me and was of the first to arrive with her friend, so we got to visit with them and librarian volunteer, Susan Weeks, who set up the book signing. "At Callie Dean's dog obedience graduation on Sunday, she was awarded the Summa Come-Doggie award for being the best in her class, taught by Sharon Griswold—Kerrville's favorite Dog Whisperer. I am so proud of Callie Dean!" Eileen declared, like a proud mama.

When everyone arrived, I sat down behind a table and began talking to the audience about our rescue ranch, my book and telling them stories about the animals that we have rescued, which was easy for me to do, since I seem to have a knack—for running off at the mouth.

An hour later, after I had signed several copies of my books, the book signing was done, so I visited with several people and I want to thank everyone for coming and buying my book. And, I especially want to thank Susan Weeks and the staff and volunteers at the Medina Community Library for promoting my book signing and doing such a great job. Y'all Rock!

This morning after I walked six miles I went outside to greet and thank Ellen Jackson and Eileen Gotke for coming out to walk our dogs. Then we started talking about our first upcoming dog adoption and dog training seminar from 10a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 6th, that they have single-handily volunteered for and taken on with June's and Jim's help, leaving me with not much to do since I am so busy and OLD. Bless their hearts. They have already contacted the media and put out flyers! Thank you, Eileen, Ellen, June and Jim—I love y'all!

The free event is open to the public and is especially for those who are thinking of adopting a dog, first timers or those who would like tips on training and caring for their dogs. I am going to give a presentation and Sharon Griswold, a 35 year professional dog trainer and trainer for seeing-eye dogs will put on demonstrations and answer questions and help people choose the right kind of dog that suits their lifestyle. Besides being informative it will be a lot of fun and hopefully we will adopt out some dogs. I am really excited about it and looking forward to it.

"When Sharon gets here, come on up to the trailer so we can brainstorm about the event," I said, as they led Princess and Marlin our of their pen to take them for a walk and I walked almost all of the way to the gate entrance with them when Sharon Griswold showed up in her truck with a big, cute sign on the back window that read: "Rover Misbehavin? Private Instruction in Your Home - Basic Obedience - Behavioral Problems - Puppy Training -"

The minute I met Sharon I was very impressed with her too, just like Ellen and Eileen, who Sharon had helped train their dogs: Jermaine Jackson and Callie Dean Gotke—"The Smartest Dog On The Planet!"
While Eileen and Ellen were walking Princess and Marlin, Sharon and I visited while she and Tony worked with Mr. Rogers' fear-of-leashes problem. And before she left Mr. Rogers' and Miss Dee's pen she had given Tony some really great tips on how to work with Mr. Rogers.

By one o'clock we quit brainstorming and we all felt excited about our upcoming event. Then everyone left the rescue ranch including Tony and me, because we had to get supplies, dog food and go to the Post Office so I could mail out two of my fasterpiece watercolor paintings that I have sold on eBay. Thank you, Kirsten and Christy!

When all of our errands were run and we were ready to come home—Tony surprised me. As I climbed out of Buttermilk, in Billy's Western Wear parking lot I asked, "T., what's going on?" A few minutes later I found out and walked out of the store wearing a new pair of pink Justin Gypsy cowboy boots, just like my old ones, that Tony had secretly ordered a few days ago for my birthday present! I was thrilled, because my old ones are nearly two years old now and pretty well worn.

As we drove home Tony asked me what I was going to do with my old, pink boots. "I think I am going to make lamps out of them and put one in the Space Ship and the other in my writing cabin," I said, "or maybe I should sell the lamps on eBay?" Tony laughed.

When we got home I took off my new pink boots and took this picture of them beside my old boots, which I have named, "Pink Boots Rule—You Can Never Have Enough!"

P.S. I told Tone about going to the "Drumming" at The Yoga Place on Sunday, my birthday, that June told me about and he told me that he will go with us! (He's coming around!) This is going to be the best birthday ever! Thank you, T., I love you and my new pink boots!

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

33 Miners Rescued!

Since yesterday was one crazy day for me, today has been a great day—thanks to Marcie and a nice man named Ronnie Eckert.

Yesterday, I had planned to catch up with all kinds of things, but early in the morning right after I had walked six miles I got a phone call from a sweet seventy-year-old woman who wanted to adopt one of our older dogs, because her fifteen year old dog had passed away and she had just received her dogs ashes.

She wanted to adopt our ten year old dog, because she had seen her on the website and she told me that our dog looked just like her dog that she loved and had cremated. An hour later before our telephone conversation ended we made a plan.

After lunch Tony and I took our dog to Hoegemeyer's Animal Clinic to get her groomed. Two hours later we met this sweet lady at the clinic and forty-five minutes later (She likes to talk.) the woman adopted our dog and took her home. Tone and I were thrilled for our old dog, but not for long.

This morning at six-thirty while I was feeding the dogs, this woman called to tell me that she was sad, but wanted to return our dog to us, because she felt our dog was not happy and it took her forty-two minutes to explain why, without me hardly ever saying a word—bless her heart. I really liked this sweet, little old lady and I wish that it had worked out for both of them, but I understood. When she returned our old dog, she, not the old woman, raced to her pen to join her buddy, Chuck and she was wild with happiness to be reunited with him. I guess you could say it was a happy ending after all.

I spent the early afternoon returning as many phone calls and e-mails as I could, before I went over to the Lodge at three-thirty for my one hour massage appointment—compliments of Marcie, for an early birthday present from her and that is when I met Ronnie, the terrific massage therapist.

"Hi Ronnie, I'm Nancy," I said, as he was finishing up with Marcie, outside on the front porch of her trailer. "You're a brave man to come out here, Ronnie, because I'm fixin' to be fifty-nine and probably the oldest woman that you have ever massaged and I want to apologize in advance, because my body ain't what it used to be." Ronnie, Marcie and her friends Paz and Deborah laughed.

"The oldest woman that I have ever massaged was in her nineties," Ronnie said, as Marcie got off of his massage table. "You're next," he said to me, as he handed me a robe to go put on.

"But I am probably the oldest woman that you have ever massaged outdoors," I said, as I walked inside the trailer to take off my clothes. Before undressing I leaned out the door and asked Marce if the plumbing was working, because nature was calling. When she told me no, I went outside behind the trailer and watered some weeds. Then I went back inside the trailer, because I am modest and removed my clothes and put on the robe. Even though I was naked, I felt really naked when I pulled off my cap.

(It is now 8:06 and I just saw the 33rd Miner in Chile rescued and I love it and obviously so does the rest of world!)

As Ronnie massaged my tired, worn out, old body I started laughing and told him about a show that I had seen on Oprah a while back about famous hairstylists telling their horror stories. "This one uppity woman from New York told Oprah about finding a tick on a woman's head after she washed her hair and she was horrified and so was Oprah and the other hairstylists. People who don't live in the country don't get it. Heck, if you walk under a tree in the country they fall on you and this morning I found a tick crawling up my arm." Everyone started laughing. "Before I came over, Ronnie, I had T. check me for ticks." Ronnie started laughing.

"Ronnie, in my blog tonight I am going to say, that you said, "Well, I only found two ticks on you and the oil must have killed all of those fleas,"" I joked, as I relaxed and enjoyed his incredibly great massage for twenty minutes and then the "show" started or should I say, "All H*$# broke out!

OMG! A UPS truck drove past us, with me laying naked under a black sheet on Marcie's front porch! Then a few minutes later Kinky walks down from the Lodge with Sophie to visit and I was more than mortified. A few minutes later after he and his shadow (Sophie) left, a black car pulls up about twenty-five feet from where I was laying-in-state for the world to pay its respect to or to laugh at. "Who is that?" Marcie asked.

I looked up and waved at the vehicle, "Oh, that's Lisa, one of our great volunteers," I explained, as I waved again.

"Is Lisa a man?" Marcie asked, as Ronnie's fingers worked their magic on me. I looked up and realized that it wasn't Lisa—instead it was a young man and a young lady, so Marcie got up and went to find out who they were. A few minutes later Marcie returned. "They are a young couple from New York City that just got married and they wanted to meet Kinky..."

As the young couple climbed up the hill to the Lodge—Floyd Potter, a friend of the Friedman family that was visiting for a few days, walks up! "I've been in the woods right over there..." Floyd says, as he sits down to visit, as every muscle in my body stiffens—thinking "I bet he saw me pee behind the trailer!" So, I start laughing. Then Tony shows up with his camera!

"Just shoot me, Tony," I said, followed by a laugh, "with a gun. I've been on display for over an hour and..."

I want to thank Marcie Friedman for my free birthday massage and I want to thank Ronnie for the best massage that I have ever had. If you want a fantastic massage in Kerrville please call of go to the "Head To Toe Day Spa" and ask for Ronnie Eckert. They are located four doors down from Trisha's & Rodney's—Copies Plus!

I have got to go to bed now, because I am doing The Harley Show in the morning at 7:45 and then a book signing at 2:00 at the Medina Community Library. Wish me luck.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Cowboy Came Out Of The Woods!

Today has been so much fun, because I took the day off. This morning I got up bright and early so Hazel and I could feed the dogs, wash a load of laundry in Queen Bee, clean the trailer and then pre-cook breakfast for Tony and Dennis Lanning.

At eight-thirty sharp the dogs started barking outside, because Dennis and Boomer had arrived, so Tony and I went outside to greet them. After howdys, hugs and handshakes we went into the trailer and they ate scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and biscuits and we drank smoothies for breakfast, while we took turns catching up with each other's news.

Since it has been two Octobers ago since we last saw them—we had a lot to talk about. When Dennis started talking about the Grateful Dead I started playing "Sitting Here In Limbo" by the Grateful Dawg, on my iPod and he loved it so much I loaned him my Grateful Dawg DVD to watch and then I gave him a copy of my new book and signed it to him, Boomer and Marilyn and he was delighted, since both he and Marilyn are prolific writers and incredibly talented people. Here are a couple of pictures that I took of Dennis giving Boomer a biscuit for being such a nice house (trailer) guest.


I love Boomer so much. His story "Every Dog Has A Story" is in my first book, The Road To Utopia: How Kinky, Tony & I Saved More Animals Than Noah. We rescued Boomer the day after my birthday on October 18, 2003 from an angry, old country woman that I didn't care too much for, who told us that if we didn't take him she was going to take him home and shoot him in the head and the rest is history—great history—the kind of history that I love.

At ten-thirty, when it was time for Tone and me to go to Kerrville, so we could meet and have lunch with Starla, her mother Betty and Starla's daughter Jennifer, I invited Dennis to join us, because I was having so much fun visiting with him and Boomer. Unfortunately, Dennis declined, because they needed to get back to Austin—so two minutes after they drove away—we drove away.

I figured that we would follow them to Kerrville, but I was wrong, because we got behind a small, white car traveling at the speed of molasses that had a TCU bumper sticker stuck on their plastic bumper. Let's just say that T. was not real happy about having to stare for twenty minutes at a proud, purple horned frog or the proud parents behind the wheel, who wanted the world to know that their kid was earning their college degree in Fort Worth. "They drive like you do, Nance," Tony snapped. "Why can't they at least go the speed limit?" I ignored him, as I remembered the fun-filled days I spent being a football secretary for Coach F.A. Dry and his staff at the TCU Football office. Talk about fun. "Go Frogies!" Tony growled. And I started laughing, because they were doing forty miles an hour in a fifty-five mile an hour stretch. "We're going to be late, because of them. I don't understand why this is happening."

"Tony it's Karma," I said. "You must have done this to some people who were in a hurry and now it is payback time for you." I said, as T. shot me one of his weird looks, because I wasn't being sympathetic with him. "They say that Instant Karma is happening a whole lot faster nowadays and..." Tony started laughing when Highway 16 turned into two lanes and we whizzed past the parents with purple pride.

"I say it's Medina Bulldog—one. Horned Frog—zero!" Tony declared, happily as Buttermilk raced past them at fifty-five miles per hour. Before we reached the restaurant I had told T. my story about meeting the famous Houston Oiler— Earl Campbell in the TCU weight and workout room downstairs, when he came out of a sauna wrapped only in a towel and getting him to autograph two retired, used TCU footballs for me.

When we walked inside the restaurant we spotted Starla, Betty and Jennifer sitting at a table and we joined them. After apologizing to them for being ten minutes late, Tony explained why, but he left out the Karma stuff that I had explained to him.

Our lunch was so much fun and filled with non-stop laughter, and once again I felt like these lovely women were family and that I had known them forever, too—just like with Jimmie and Nelda Dunn and Cheryl and Walter Ratliff to name just a few.

I ate Tortilla soup and after removing a string of runny cheese from my face I asked everyone what signs they were and found out that Starla was an Aries, Jennifer was a Taurus and Betty was a Pisces. "You're a leader, Starla. Jennifer, I love Taurus people, but you're stubborn. And Betty, you like to talk as much as me. Tony is a Leo and I'm a Libra. This is good, because we're all compatible..."

Everyone laughed at my weak Linda Goodman imitation and then out of nowhere Betty looks at me and says in a serious tone, "Nancy, after my husband passed away a cowboy came out of the woods and I fell in love with him and neutered him." I stared at her and was speechless for the very first time this month and then Betty's daughter and granddaughter burst out laughing.

"Maw-Maw!" Starla half-hollered, followed by a hearty laugh. "I can't believe that you said "a cowboy came out of the woods!" T. shot me a wink and then we chuckled even though we didn't know why. "Cowboy is a cat that Mama rescued years ago," Starla explained, before wiping a piece of stringy cheese from her chin—she was eating a bowl of delicious Tortilla soup, too.

To say the least, Tony and I loved meeting and having lunch with Starla, Jennifer and Betty, our new found friends and we hope to see them again—real soon. We love you, Starla, Jennifer and Betty! Thank y'all for a fun lunch—never to be forgotten.

Y'all have a great evening and keep laughing!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Posted 10-10-10 @10:10PM!

Today has been a nice quiet day and nothing exciting happened. This morning at the crack of dawn Tony hugged me and kissed me goodbye and walked out of the trailer. This morning he wasn't going to the Old Timer, as usual, to drink coffee with his friends, instead he and his brother Sam and his cute wife, Stacie and their son Zachary were driving down to Port A. for the day to see Rick "The Friendly Lighthouse Keeper" and do some fishing on the private island.

As soon as he was gone I fed the dogs, started a load of laundry in Queen Bee and then I sat down at the kitchen table to check my e-mail. I had forty-seven new ones and only two were spam. As I was answering e-mail the dogs started barking outside to let me know that Aaron had arrived to do Tone's chores for him today, so T. could take a day off and go fishing.

I spent the rest of my day catching up on paperwork and cleaning the trailer while listening to my favorite music and I accomplished a lot.

This evening our dear friend Dennis Lanning, the nice man who adopted Boomer from us years ago, called from Kerrville where he was spending the night in a motel, before returning home to Austin. He and Boomer have been on a two month cross country bicycling and camping adventure, so I invited him to come out in the morning and eat breakfast with us, so we could visit and catch up with each other's news before he heads back to Austin.

T. got in a little before eight o'clock tonight and he told me that he had a wonderful trip, but he was tired and glad to be back home. Thank you, Rick for showing them a good time!

I am really looking forward to seeing Dennis and Boomer in the morning. And, I am also looking forward to meeting Starla and her mother, Maw Maw (Betty) and having lunch with them tomorrow in Kerrville, because Tony has told me so many nice things about these ladies and I hope that I don't gain a pound.

P.S. Thank you, Cheryl and Walt—I just found out! I love y'all.  : )

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The East Kerr 4-H Club Really Rocks!

Today has been so much fun, but before I tell you about it I am proud to announce that my very first watercolor painting, "Canyon of Forgetting" was auctioned off last night to the highest bidder with 50% of the proceeds going directly to help our Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch and the other half going to help Tony's and my retirement fund, which has so much money in it—we should be able to retire when we are eighty years young.  : ) Actually, I am just kidding—we're looking at seventy-two if we don't die first. (Laugh out loud)

Kinky loves "Canyon of Forgetting" and he told me two days ago, that it had reached out and touched him, so last night I kept him posted every time that I checked on the bidding and it was pretty exciting. A little past ten o'clock I punched in his number, "Kink, the auction just ended and you're not going to believe this!"

"How much?"

"Fifty-seven dollars and seventy-seven cents. I can't believe it! I don't understand the seventy-seven cents part, but..."

"Nance, that is absolutely amazing for your very first painting to sell for that much! I'm serious. You must keep painting..." After Kinky's pep talk we said goodnight to each other and then I went to bed.

This morning the members of the East Kerr 4-H Club arrived at nine o'clock sharp to volunteer to walk our dogs for us and I hope the club had as much fun as we did. First off, I gave a tour of the rescue ranch and introduced them to every dog and then told them each dog's story and then Lisa showed up just in time, to volunteer for the dog walking. Thank you, Lisa! We could not have done it without you.

Two hours later all of our dogs had been walked and were back in their pens with their tails wagging. Before the greatest 4-H club in Texas left, we thanked them for doing such a great job and asked them to please come back, then I gave everyone a signed copy of my new book, a copy of our 2010 newsletter and our "In Dogs We Trust" bumper sticker and then Tony took these pictures of us. Thank you, Tony.

Tony and I really hope that the East Kerr 4-H'ers come back, because we were so impressed with them. Thank you, East Kerr 4-H Club! Please come back, because y'all rock big time! Here is a short video clip of the East Kerr 4-H Club that Tone took.

For lunch today because T. was starving I made "Bear Creek Tortilla" soup for the very first time. Tone loves my trailer-made tortilla soup, but the other day when we were in H-E-B I decided to buy a packet and give it a try and am I glad that I did because, it was delicious and Tony, Ben, Kinky and I loved it. I highly recommend it, because all you have to do is add 8 cups of water and cook for fifteen minutes and it makes a half gallon of delicious soup!

Late this afternoon before Ben took off to go back to Austin he came inside the trailer and announced, "I want you to know that I just left y'all another brick of Miles of Chocolate in the freezer outside..." What a perfect way to end a day. We love you, Ben!

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy 59th Birthday To Nelda Dunn!

Today is our dear friend, Nelda Dunn's 59th Birthday and Tony and I want to wish her the happiest birthday ever! And I am so thrilled to know that Nelda is nine days older than me, so she can tell me what new ailment to expect. : )

Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday dear Nelda. Happy Birthday to You. We love you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Number 3!

Today has been fun, because Ben is here! This morning Tony woke me up at five o'clock as I had asked him to, because I had to take care of my morning chores early, because I had to be in Johnson City at nine-thirty for an appointment.

Because Ben was coming in to work at the rescue ranch, Tony phoned him in Austin at six-thirty to invite him to join us for breakfast at Randy & Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant, but Ben declined because he had not left Austin yet.

At 7:44 I called The Rose 99.9 radio station. "Good morning, Harley!" I said. "You're not going to believe where I am calling you from."

"You're not at the ranch?"

"Nope. I'm at the Save Inn and am standing outside the front door to do the show with you and it's chilly..." Harley then told me that three members of the East Kerr County 4-H Club were in his studio and they were coming out this Saturday morning to volunteer their services, like walk our dogs, etc.

I had fun talking to the 4-H'ers and told them how much Tony and I were looking forward to Saturday and then I told Harley about Moe Bandy being his Pet of the Week. "He's about eight years old, sweet, good with other dogs, loves to swim—excuse me sir, but you left your headlights on." Harley burst out laughing and started teasing me about being asking Randy and Lisa if I could be their official greeter for the Save Inn.

A few minutes later I looked inside the restaurant and T. was waving for me to come eat my breakfast that the waitress had just served, so I talked a few minutes more and then went and ate a delicious breakfast with Tone.

As we left Kerrville on Highway 16 heading for Johnson City I said, "Tony, I will bet you that we see Ben before we reach Fredericksburg. Tony took the bet. He bet me that we would pass Ben between Johnson City and Fredericksburg. Ten minutes later I won the bet—as Ben flew past us while we waved to each other.

This afternoon when we got back to the ranch I caught up on some business and then Tony and I went outside and found Ben, so we could visit and catch up with each others news. In no time flat we were inside the trailer and laughing about our crazy lifes. Then out of nowhere Ben tells me that when he saw Kinky this morning he told Ben about my paintings and he said that Kinky loved my artwork and couldn't quit talking about how good they were. Then the phone rang and it was Kinky.

Five minutes later I was over at the Lodge talking to Kinky about my watercolor fasterpieces. Thirty minutes later I was back at the trailer visiting with Ben and Tone. After I showed Ben my artwork I decided to paint another one in the kitchen and it took a little over an hour, because Ben kept making me laugh. I named this one "Barn Free" and then I went over to the Lodge to show it to Kinky.

Kinky didn't like the name Barn Free, so I told him that I could change it, but I wanted him to name it for me and it only took him a second. "Live A Little," Kinky said.

So, when I came home I had to turn the light brown colored dirt road into a blacktop to cover up the words Barn Free and I like the new name better. I have put it on eBay and it will post tonight at 9:00 PM Pacific Standard Time and I hope that you like it. This is the auction item number: 130441456742  

This afternoon Lisa showed up with some friends that she wanted to show the rescue ranch to and for us  to meet. Even though Lisa could not stay long it was great seeing her and meeting her friends. Before they drove away Lisa told me that she is still madly in love with Mark in Mississsippi and that he is coming to Kerrville to see her real soon and I hope that we get to see him too. I am so happy for them.

Y'all have a great evening!