Monday, November 29, 2010

Peggy Has A Poop Problem!

Last night after I posted my blog I sat down and watched Hallmark's new holiday movie, "Christmas In November" and I loved it. Sam Elliott starred in it, who I think is one of the sexiest men on the planet, and his performance was outstanding. Even though I teared up several times while watching it—the surprise ending blew me out of my saddle. And, I plan to go to the Hallmark store in Kerrville tomorrow and buy a copy of it.

After the movie ended I channel surfed and found myself getting a little depressed, because there are so few television shows on anymore that are happy or are about love, so I am now seriously considering turning in my Direct TV receiver and just watch my collection of upbeat, romantic movies or comedies. Why should I pay for two hundred channels that I would never watch, because they are either depressing or filled with violence. This morning I talked to Tony about it during our breakfast.

"Tony, it is fine with me to keep your receiver, so you can watch your sports shows, but I am going to return my receiver, because..."

"Before you do that, why don't you try turning the television off for a few days, to make sure you can do without it?" Tone suggested. "Your favorite show "Men Of A Certain Age" new season starts next Monday night and you love watching the Weather Channel and The Wonder Years,  The Golden Girls and..." When he was done talking, I decided to rethink my decision some more.

This morning when I went outside to help T. clean the dog pens I was nicely surprised to see Marvin here. "Howdy, Marvin!" I half-hollered, because he was busy cleaning Hank's and Lois Lane's pen. "Thank you, for coming out!..." Then I grabbed a yellow colored bucket and the pooper-scooper from the back end of Kermit and then I started cleaning up dog pens as Tony fed the dogs.

Around two o'clock as planned, June, one of our great volunteers, showed up with her nice friends Ron and Mary, from Mason, who were thinking about adopting a dog from us. So, after introductions June, Tony and I gave them a tour of the rescue ranch and introduced them to all of our dogs.

When the tour was over Ron and Mary, who I really liked, had narrowed down their choices to Hank, Lucy and Gracie—all three super, great dogs. And, guess who got adopted—Hank! June, Tony and I were thrilled for him and we couldn't quit telling Mary and Ron what a great dog Hank was and how much we loved him! After Ron signed Hank's adoption papers, we shook hands with June's super friends and then I kissed Hank goodbye and wished him luck with his new forever home and then our good friends P&P showed up!

Because I was starting to tear up, because I loved Hank so much and knew that I would miss him terribly, but at the same time feeling happy for him to have found such a great home, I starting walking off towards the trailer to greet Peggy and Patty and half-hollered back, "Thank you, June! It was nice meeting you, Mary and Ron, and thank y'all so much for adopting Hank!"

By the time I reached the trailer I was okay. "Howdy, Patty and Peggy! Thank y'all so much for coming out. I am so glad to see y'all. How in the world have y'all been?" Then we went into Outer Space, so we could have a hen party before Tony joined us.

At one point during our fun conversation Peggy tells me about her old, gray cat dying and then a few days later, a little, young stray, gray colored cat appearing on her and her husband's doorstep. "I named him Smokey, but I should have named him Smelly Cat, because after my husband, Patty's Dad, went back into the hospital, he started pooping all over our house. In the hallway, the bedrooms—everywhere. I don't know what to do with him. It's horrible and it stinks really bad. We've never had a cat do this and he is neutered. We can't figure out what is wrong with him." We all started laughing about Peggy and her husband's stinky predicament.

"Peggy, I bet it is because he is upset and stressed out, because y'all's routine changed. I bet when your husband comes home and things return to normal he will stop pooping everywhere," I said, as Tone walked in Outer Space. After he greeted them, I said, "Tony, Peggy's got a poop problem." We all laughed and then Peggy told T. about her cat with the poop problem.

Then Patty, who I think is the funniest woman to live in Florida, told us about her fun trip to Cleveland to see the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Museum. "It was totally awesome and I love Cleveland. It is a great city...." Then she reaches into a gift sack and hands me a baby blue embroidered cap that she bought for me at the cool museum which I plan to wear only on very special occasions. Then Patty pulls out another present for me—a Bota Box of vintage fine wine 2009—Pinot Grigio, so I suggested we drink some to celebrate being together and then I went inside the trailer to grab some glasses.

"Girls, these are my new Pier One, four dollar a piece glasses. I bought four," I jokingly bragged, as Tone popped open a cold beer. After half-filling our drinking glasses with sparkling wine we toasted: "To life! To Us!"

Then we talked about chickens and the chicken coop that I am fixin' to build, Patty's new iPad, Doug Fine's book Farewell, My Subaru and the books that Patty had found and bought at Sandy and Jon's Wolfmueller's Books store, her dear friend Brenda, who I can't wait to meet, George Strait and the 90's movie, "Pure Country," and lastly—we talked about my new teeth.

Around five fifteen, after Peggy had tried on my new Justin Gypsy boots and declared that she loved them and was going to go buy herself a pair, they told me that they needed to leave, so they could get back home before it got dark. I totally understood, but hated to see them leave, because they are two great women. In fact, today I told Peggy, "Peggy, you are such an inspiration to me. Seriously, I hope that when I or if I get to be your age that I am at least as half as cool as you are."

After hugging and saying goodbye to P&P, I came inside the trailer and called Kinky. "Kinky! Hank got adopted to a great home this afternoon. June brought her friends out and ..." Kinky was thrilled to hear my great news about Hank finally finding his fantastic forever home with June's friends. I hope that it works out for Hank and Ron and Mary's dog. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Y'all have a great evening! (And, Patty, I hope that you have a safe flight tomorrow. See y'all after Christmas and please tell Brenda that I said, "Howdy!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Old, Fat And Bald!

Well, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving as we did. Now I am going to play catch up and try to fill you in since my last post on turkey day.

First off, I forgot and left out one very important part of the story when Tony, Trigger and I were stranded at Heath's ranch. About ten minutes before Robert, Tito and Gregory showed up to rescue us in Robert's giant, white Chevy pickup, I needed to tinkle really bad, but there was no "little girl's room for me to go powder my nose." So, I looked around the ranch and saw no one in sight, so I opened Trigger's door for privacy and then quickly watered some dead grass and dirt.

As I was buttoning up my 501 Levi's I looked up and said, "OMG, Tony! I didn't see that house up there on the hill. I bet they saw everything! Why didn't you tell me?" Tony started laughing and teasing me.

Fast forward to Friday morning when Aaron came out to try to fix Buttermilk for us. While he was outside putting the fan belt back on her, I was on the phone talking to Kinky about our old vehicles. After our conversation was over, I started cooking lunch for Tony, Aaron and me.

While we ate lunch Aaron asked us what we were going to do with Buttermilk and Trigger, who was still dead over at Heath's ranch. "Stuff them!" I joked. "Like Roy did." Tony and Aaron burst out laughing. "Not really," I said. "After talking with Kinky, it looks like we are hopefully fixin' to trade them in along with Van Morrison and The Blue Marlin for a 2002 Ford Expedition with only 92,000 miles which is only eight years old. Keep your fingers crossed, Aaron."

Friday evening I got a fantastic phone call from Diane, the sweet woman who adopted Jill a week ago Saturday. "Nancy, I want to tell you that Jill is one very happy dog. I built her a little indoor igloo and right now she is asleep inside it laying on her back! She enjoys sitting on my lap and she has not gone off to hide once, because before getting her I made sure that there was no place that she can go hide. I love Jill and she loves me, too. She still hasn't barked yet and I can't wait for her to speak. Thank you, so much..." Diane's phone call made my day and I am so happy for little Jill.

Saturday morning at ten o'clock Maribeth and I took off for our dental appointments with Sam in Johnson City and we had a blast. By the time we got to Lyndon's old home town, we had caught up with each others news. Then we had a really fun lunch with Sam at her favorite Mexican food restaurant on Hwy. 281. And then Sam took us to meet her sweet mother.

After a nice visit with Sam, her mother and their dogs and admiring their beautiful artwork, we went to Sam's office, so she could work her magic on our teeth. At five o'clock we thanked Sam and hugged her and then we headed home in Maribeth's little, red Ford pickup.

An hour and a half later as Maribeth turned off of 16 to our road, I said, "I sure hope that Trigger is back at the ranch. Aaron was going to try to come out today and fix it for us." As we drove into the rescue ranch we saw Trigger parked beside Buttermilk, in front of our trailer. Yeah!

After Maribeth drove away I told T. about our fun dental day and then he told me about his. Then Tony says in a serious tone, "Nance, you got a really strange phone call from some man this afternoon. You need to listen to it." He hit Carlton's play button and we listened.

"Hello, Cousin Nancy. This is that old fat and bald @#$%#$  %$&^$%." Click—dial tone.

"OMG, T.! I have no idea who that is. Do you?" Tony shrugged his shoulders. "He didn't sound mad or drunk, Tone. I wonder who in the world it is. I think I will Google his telephone number. What's his number?"

"It's 813...." After I wrote it down, Tony went outside to see why the dogs were barking and I sat down at the kitchen table and opened up my laptop. Then I changed my mind. I got up from the table, picked up the telephone receiver and punched in the man's phone number and a woman answered on the second ring. And I knew that there was no turning back now.

"Hello, this is Nancy at the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch and I am returning your phone..."

"Cousin Nancy! I am so sorry about my husband's phone call. I made him hang up when I heard what he said!" Then she started laughing.

"Who are y'all?" I politely asked and then I joined the woman in laughter, even though my back was killing me when I laughed. Even though I didn't know who she was I knew that I already liked her, because of her contagious laugh.

"We're friends with your friends Mark & Denise, in Austin and we live in Florida and they were just down here visiting us. And they gave us your book, Meanwhile Back At The Rescue Ranch: The Dog Days Of Cousin Nancy and we love it. I read it every night to my mom who has dementia. You signed it to us and then jokingly wrote to my husband, "Are you really an old fat and bald @#$%#$  %$&^$%?" Then I burst out laughing and she did, too!

"Yes, I remember now. I was just kidding. We love Denise and Mark and Tater Catfish Stevens!...."

"We can't wait to meet you and Tony! We made Denise and Mark promise to take us to the rescue ranch the next time we visit them and I am going to buy your first book and get you to sign it for us..." After our phone conversation ended I told T. about it and he laughed, too.

This morning T. and I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and then Frank joined us. While we were in the kitchen, Kinky sat down at the kitchen table and pulled off one of his boots. "I need to buy another pair of these boots today. Where should I go?"

"They're Justin Ropers, Kinky," I said.

"How do you know?"

"Because, I have a pair of Justin Ropers, too and they all look alike," I answered, and then Tony turned his boot over and quickly pointed to the red Justin logo, engraved next to the heel, to prove me right. "You can get them at Tractor Supply or Gibson's or Billy's Western Store."

"Mine are Justin Ropers, too," Frank added, and then we all looked at Frank's boots. "They're great boots. Justin Ropers are the best boots on the planet."

I love my ropers, too, but I love my pink, Justin Gypsy boots more," I said, as I lifted up my jeans to show off the pink boot top.

Later this afternoon T. and I went back over to the Lodge to see Kinky. "Did you get your Ropers?" I asked, as I petted Sophia, Brownie and Chumley, while Tony entertained himself by practicing some cool, but difficult pool shots.

"Yes, I'm wearing them," Kinky said. "I bought them at Gibsons and..."

Thirty minutes later, back at the rescue ranch, I decided to add some paint to my newly painted kitchen rug. As the yellow paint, which I decided I didn't like and was definitely going to paint back over, was drying the dogs started barking outside, so T. went outside to see what was going on.

"Hi, Lisa & Mark!" I said, as I walked out to greet them. After howdys and hugs we came inside the trailer to visit and then we went into Outer Space, because it was so nice outside. After we caught up with each other's news I said, "Lisa, next Sunday at two o'clock there is going to be a another drumming circle at The Yoga Space in Kerrville and you ought to think about going to it—it's free and they are so much fun and I think that June and Eileen and Ellen, our great volunteers, are going to come too, and..." After telling Lisa all about it, I think that she is going to try to come to it, too. Then we talked about chickens and the chicken coop that I am fixin' to build.

A little before dark-thirty Tony and I hugged our good friends Lisa and Mark and then bid them farewell, even though we hated to see them leave, because we love them.

I am so looking forward to tomorrow afternoon, because my dear friend Patty Kearns, from Florida, is coming out to visit and I cannot wait to see her, because she is one hilarious woman and she keeps me laughing with her latest tales of high adventure. And, hopefully, she will bring sweet Peggy along with her, too.

P.S. Buttermilk seems to be running fine now, thanks to Aaron, but she now makes a new strange sound that sounds like we're at a cricket convention. Hmmm.........

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sorry, Not Tonight—My Back Is Out!

I have much to tell, but my back went out. I will write more tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Thanksgiving Pigs!

Happy Thanksgiving! Today has been great and I have so much to be thankful for. My morning started out great and then it went South real quick.

This morning at twelve minutes past four o'clock I was on the phone with Kinky wishing him a happy Thanksgiving. Yesterday at lunch, he had asked us to please give him a four o'clock wake up call and I overslept by twelve minutes, but he didn't seem to mind. I bet that I was the first person to wish him a happy turkey day today.

After making some coffee, I started a load of laundry, fed the dogs and then I did a little paperwork as the caffeine began to kick-in. "Tony, today is going to be fun and I can't wait to cook dinner for our dogs. I'm fixin' to cook breakfast in just a minute."

"Good, because I'm starving." This morning was fun, because Tony stayed home, instead of going to the Old Timer in Medina to drink coffee with his friends, because the Old Timer was closed today. By six-fifteen we had eaten breakfast and I was finishing up washing the dishes. "Nance, we need to leave here by seven-fifteen to go feed the pigs at Heath's."

"Okay." The reason we had to go feed pigs at Heath's ranch was because Tony's brother Sam and his family and Heath and his family were out-of-town and they had asked T. if he would mind going over to Heath's ranch and feed their pigs for them. "Where is Heath's ranch?"

"About fifteen miles away." At seven-fifteen Tony and I jumped into Buttermilk to go feed the pigs. T. cranked the engine and then Buttermilk died, again. "What's wrong?" I asked. Tony shook his head sideways and then he got out and popped her hood, looked inside and then slammed the hood down.

"Her fan belt flew off. Let's go in Trigger." I sighed and then got out of Buttermilk and climbed up into Trigger and we took off in silence. Five miles down the road I said, "Can she be fixed?"


"Good. I'm so glad that Marvin is coming out to help us feed the dogs their dinner. It will be fun. What time is he coming?"

"He told me that he will be at the rescue ranch at ten o'clock." As we drove through Medina there was not one car on the road. Every business was closed and the town looked deserted. Fifteen minutes later we pulled up to the pig barn on Heath's ranch. "Come on in, I need for you to help me call out each pig's special diet recipe."

After I greeted the pretty pigs T. showed me the individual recipes for the pigs posted on each pigpen. "We'll do one pig at a time. Just call out the recipe to me while I mix it up over on the table. Start here."

"One cup of "P" cup of "M" cup of "O"...and one cup of "G."" My job was not hard, but I was curious what the initials stood for, so I asked Tone, as he fed the first hungry pig.

"Protein, milk, oats and grain." Fifteen minutes later we were done and the pigs were enjoying their breakfasts. Then we left the pig barn and went into the goat and sheep barn, so Tony could feed them, too. They were so cute. And I laughed out loud when a couple of goats butted Tone as they excitedly followed him outside to fill their feed troughs.

"What time is it?" I asked, as we walked towards Trigger.

"Nearly eight-thirty," Tony said, as he turned Trigger's ignition key and I fastened my seat belt. Then nothing happened. I looked over at T. and then he turned the ignition key, again and nothing happened, again. Then Tony mumbled a few cuss words and then he got out of Trigger and the next thing you know he was underneathe the truck banging on something. "Try starting it," he half-hollered.

I scooted over, turned the key and nothing happened. Tony banged some more and then hollered, "Do it again!" Twenty minutes later after banging on the battery cables and the starter thing and doing it again we gave up—Trigger was dead, too!

Trying to stay cool and not get mad, because that was not going to help our situation, I suggested that we make some funeral arrangements and then call Robert and Sherry Selement, our good friends and next door neighbors. Tony pulled out his cell phone to discover there was no cell service on Heath's ranch, so we decided to start walking.

About a quarter-of-a-mile later Tony checked his cell phone and got service. He quickly punched in Robert and Sherry's phone number. "Hello, Sherry. We're over at Heath's ranch and our truck broke down." There was silence a moment of silence. "Okay, thanks. Bye. Sherry said she will come and get us." We turned around and started marching back up the road to Heath's ranch as a neighbor watched us suspiciously from his barn.

When we got back to Trigger, Tony banged on him some more and I did it again and again, but to no avail. "I think it is the starter and not the battery. We decided to lock Trigger up and leave him parked at Heath's ranch until tomorrow. Forty minutes later we heard a car headed in our direction, then we saw Robert's white truck! We waved!

When Robert drove up he had two smiling passengers with him: his son Gregory and Tito. After greetings and thanking them for coming to our rescue, we climbed up into the back seat of Robert's mega-sized, white truck and took off for home. "I like your truck, Robert. What kind is it?"

"A Chevy," Robert said. "I'm a Chevy Man. I only drive Chevys."

Well, I guess that you could say that this is our country version of "Trains, Planes & Automobiles," but ours should be called "Ford, Ford & Chevy!" We had a fun visit with Tito, Gregory and Robert and we cannot thank them enough for interrupting their Thanksgiving Day plans and rescuing us.

When we walked inside the trailer it was ten minutes to ten—we were running late, so T. jumped in Kermit to get the dog's holiday dinner groceries from the barn, while I pulled pans out and turned on the oven to help speed things up. By the time Marvin arrived the vegetables were cooking in the oven and in Connie Strong's stock pot on top of the oven.

In no time flat or by ten thirty-eight, the three of us went outside to treat our dogs to their warm Thanksgiving Dinner and our dogs loved it and they all got second servings. After we cleaned our buckets and wooden spoons we had a fun visit with Marvin. And before he left to go home I loaned him my book by Doug Fine—Farewell, My Subaru. Here is a picture that Tony took of me feeding second servings.

Two hours later as T. and I ate our Thanksgiving dinner I said, "I've just come up for a title for tonight's blog. You know Kinky wrote the book The Christmas Pig, well, I am going to title tonight's blog, "The Thanksgiving Pigs! I can't wait to tell him about today's escapades."

This evening a little after five o'clock I heated up the dinner rolls that we had bought for our dogs holiday dinner and after they were heated, we went outside and gave one warm roll to every dog and they loved them and ate them up.

As Tony fed Pumpkin and Pilgrim their dinner rolls I said, "I feel so sorry for Pumpkin and Pilgrim."

"Why? They're fine."

"Because, they are going to think that we are going to cook for them everyday. Tomorrow morning when they get served their dry dog food they are going to be very disappointed..."

I hope that all of y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, because we sure did. I am so grateful and thankful and want to thank Connie Strong for buying us the stock pot, wooden spoons, dish towel and pot holders, to use for our dog's holiday dinners, Marvin for volunteering and helping us out today and Robert & Sherry and Gregory and Tito for going beyond the call of duty as good neighbors and rescuing us and our holiday! And lastly, I want to thank Fay MacLachlan, up in Canada, for underwriting our dog's annual Thanksgiving Dinner. And, Rick and Leisa, I am sorry that y'all couldn't make it. We love y'all!

P.S. Tonight I am going to watch "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" which is one of my favorite movies of all times. I love the story and I love Steve Martin and John Candy. I am going to be thankful as I watch the icy pickup truck scene, that Robert didn't make us ride outside in the the back of his big, white Chevy pickup. Maybe, I should have titled tonight's blog, "The Chevy Man Cometh!

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No Way!

Today has turned out great, even though this morning when I woke up I was feeling a little depressed, so I didn't walk.

This morning as I tried to do some paperwork, I kept thinking about two, sweet, little terrier dogs that a volunteer at the Kerrville pound, had called me about a few days ago. Brooke had told me that their time was up and they were going to be euthanized today and that is enough to depress anybody. 

Even though I knew that we are at capacity out here, I couldn't quit thinking about those two little dogs. Around ten o'clock while Tony was outside doing his chores, I picked up the phone and called the Kerr County Animal Control and Nicole answered the phone. After talking to her for five minutes about the terriers I went outside.

"Good morning, Marvin," I said, as our good friend / volunteer was cleaning Hank's and Lois Lane's big pen, near our trailer. "Thank you, for coming out to help Tony. Guess what I'm fixin' to do?"


"Go to Kerrville and rescue two little terrier mixes from the pound. They were scheduled to be euthanized today," I said, wearing a big grin on my face, which caused Marvin to grin, too. "I need to go tell Tony and get him to help me put a crate into Buttermilk, so I can take off for Kerrville."

Forty-five minutes later, Nicole greeted me as I walked into the office. "Nancy, thank you so much for taking the terriers. I'll be right with you after I take care of these two people." As I stood in the office with two lavender colored leashes in my hand, I watched a nice man, in his late thirties, write a check to get his dog out of jail—for getting out of their fenced yard. Then a volunteer appeared with his big chocolate Lab that was more-than-happy-to-see her owner and high-tail it out of there.

After they left the pound, a woman wrote another check, so she could adopt a cute Lab-mix puppy. And then there was a prison break, so to speak. A big, black Lab probably about one year old came flying into the office off leash and he was headed for the front door to escape. Then the volunteer came running into the office area and she and Nicole tried to catch the happy dog and that is when I came to their rescue.

"Here, let me get a leash on him," I said. In seconds the beautiful, gigantic, sweet dog was wearing a pretty Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, lavender colored leash around his neck and he didn't seem to mind as he kissed the volunteer and happily went back to his cell. 

After the woman left with her sweet puppy, I handed the volunteer the other leash and she disappeared. Seconds later the two terriers were in the office and my jaw dropped when I saw them, but I didn't say anything. As the two happy dogs danced around the office I signed off on their paperwork. "Y'all, have a great Thanksgiving," I said, as I walked out of the office with a volunteer, to help me load the two beautiful looking dogs.

The two young dogs yapped with excitement as we drove away—headed for Hoegemeyer's Animal Clinic, so I could pick up some more pills for Thunder. Because of timing and it being a holiday weekend Hoegemeyer's was full with boarders, so I told Dr. Craig's sweet wife aka receptionist that we would bring the dogs in on Monday for shots, spaying and neutering. "What did you name the cute terriers?" Kathy asked, as she handed me a plastic bottle with another one week supply of Previcox for Thunder. I laughed.

"Pumpkin and Pilgrim," I said. "They are precious, but not terriers. They look more like miniature coon hounds with Dachshund heads." Kathy burst out laughing and she was still laughing as I exited the veterinary clinic.

When we arrived at the ranch the first thing Tone said when he saw them was, "Nance, these aren't terriers. They're cute, but no way terriers." After we put the two happy, playful pups in the front yard of my writing cabin we played with them and then T. fed them. Then they saw the pigs next door! It was hilarious. Pumpkin's hair went up on her back, while Pilgrim barked at them. The pigs did nothing.

When we came inside the trailer the phone rang—it was Kinky. After I told him about rescuing Pumpkin and Pilgrim he asked us to join him and his sister for lunch in town. "No way, Kinky. I just got back from Kerrville and am too tired. Two minutes later, I changed my mind, because I didn't feel like fixin' lunch.

Thirty minutes later we walked into the restaurant and placed our order and then Marcie and Kinky arrived. We had a fun lunch.

When we came home Tony and I went outside to play with Pumpkin and Pilgrim and to let me take pictures of them. Then I took a short video clip of Pumpkin & Pilgrim playing in the yard. Pumpkin is the red and white dog and Pilgrim is the one with tan and black hair.



Pumpkin #2

Aren't they adorable! Before leaving their pen I took this picture of some birds nearby hanging out.

Well, tomorrow is the big day, so I need to go to bed early. I can't wait to get up and cook our dog's Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow morning with T. and Marvin is going to help us! I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Not A Problem!

Today has been a quiet day, which was good, because I walked six miles and then spent most of my day doing paperwork and returning phone calls and e-mails.

After lunch Buttermilk took us to Kerrville to get dog food and gas at H-E-B. Then we swung by Copies Plus so Tony could pick up some postcards that they printed for him. Marcie greeted us when we walked inside and then she handed T. his large pack of beautiful postcards and they looked beautiful, as usual. Unfortunately, Trisha was out running errands, so we wished Marcie a happy turkey day and then we took off for home.

"Tony, you have got to read Doug Fine's book. I finished reading it last night and I loved it." T. nodded his head up and down, as he slowed down and carefully steered Buttermilk through some never-ending road construction on 16. "In one chapter of his book, Doug talked about raising his chickens and eating their healthy organic eggs and about a coyote who loved his chickens more than their eggs. I want to buy some chickens."

"Nance," Tone said. "I want chickens too. I miss them. But remember last year when a coon found ours and killed everyone of them within a week. I don't think it is a good..."

"Tony, I want chickens, so we can eat healthy eggs, again. I was thinking that maybe next week after everything settles down here, I'd build us a new chicken coop and I know I can do it all by myself and it would be a fun project for me, healthier for us and help us leave a smaller carbon footprint. I've been checking out chicken coop designs on the Internet this morning while doing paperwork and..."

"T. shook his head sideways. "Okay, but you are going to have to build it by yourself, because of my back." I smiled and thought, "Not a problem."

"Great! We can go to Home Depot on Monday or Tuesday and I will charge it all to my account. I can't wait! I bet I can build it in a couple of days and then we will go get us some chickens! Hello, healthy eggs! And, I could paint it pink!"

This evening I took some pictures of our newly decorated trailer. Thunder is in the first picture and Toto is the "old man" on the newly upholstered navy blue chair. I love the transformation and I hope that you like the new curtains, painted kitchen and painted rugs that I made.

I just took this of Mama. I am fixin' to surf the Net for chicken coop designs!

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Brian aka Woody!

I want to wish my dear friend Woody, in California, the best birthday ever! Happy Birthday To You. Happy Birthday To You. Happy Birthday Dear Woody. Happy Birthday To You! We love you! Please come see us when you come to Texas. We want to hug you and Rose and your pretty little girl!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Early-Bird Shoppers!

Today has been good. At six o'clock this morning I woke up to the sound of Tony talking and laughing in the kitchen, so I climbed out of bed and went to the bathroom and put my teeth in and then I went to the kitchen to find out who he was talking to. "Morning, Nance," T. said, as he put the phone back into it's cradle. "I just called Kinky to give him his wake up call, so he can head out by seven..."

After drinking a cup of coffee with Tone, he took off for the Old Timer in Medina to visit with his friends, so I started doing my morning chores. First, I fed our six dogs, then I started a load of laundry in Queen Bee and then I cooked up some breakfast tacos for Tony and stuck them in the oven to keep them warm until he got home.

After drinking a healthy smoothie for breakfast, I put the laundry into Airy Queen and then I walked six miles with Leslie, while our clothes dried. Then I finished up my decorating and I am proud to say that the kitchen and the big room look a whole lot better and I am pleased with my work.

I made cheese enchiladas, beans and rice for lunch and Tony cleaned his plate, which to me means he liked it or was just starving. After I cleaned up the kitchen, I grabbed my purse and went with Tony to the H-E-B in Kerrville to buy groceries for our dog's annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which this year was underwritten by our dear friend Fay MacLachlan, up in Canada, and to also buy what we needed for our turkey day meal paid by us.

As T. drove Buttermilk to town, I made out the two grocery lists. When we arrived at H-E-B, the store was filled with early-bird shoppers, so to speak. We grabbed two shopping carts, so T. could put the dog's food in his basket-on-wheels and our food in mine. Then we took off.

Because Tony had forgotten to take his cell phone with him, we decided it was best to shop together, so we wouldn't get lost in the bustling crowd of bird hunters. After thirty-five minutes of walking up and down almost every isle in the store and filling our red colored push carts to the brim, we checked out our groceries at different check out stations.

On our way home I asked Tone how much the dog's Thanksgiving Dinner had cost, because Fay had sent us a check for $125.00 to cover the expense. Tony started laughing.

"It cost $127.01," he said, followed by a laugh. "I'm going to tease Fay and tell her that she owes the rescue ranch two more dollars and one cent..."

"If we hadn't bought the forty-eight brown 'n serve dinner rolls for the dogs dessert, we wouldn't have gone over budget," I said. "Please make sure that Fay knows that you are kidding her..."

When we arrived back at the rescue ranch we unloaded and filled the refrigerator in the barn with our dogs groceries and then we came home and filled our refrigerator with our food.

Here's a list of what we bought for our dogs 2010 Thanksgiving Dinner:

54 eggs

2 - 32 oz. jars of minced garlic

15 lbs. of ground turkey

3 - 51 oz. bottles of olive oil

6 - 14 oz. bags of Pepperidge Farms stuffing

12 lbs. of frozen mixed vegetables bags (which consist of: corn, green beans, lima beans, peas and

2 large bags of shredded Colby Jack cheese

48 brown 'n serve dinner rolls (which every dog will get for dessert after cleaning their bowls)

Thank you, Fay! Our dogs will love your Thanksgiving Dinner. We love you!

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Good Night, Mama!

Today has been great. Because of the full moon we had a ton of visitors come out today, so we spent much of the day meeting nice people and giving tours of the rescue ranch.

A little after noon a super nice woman came out with her son and her friend to look at our dogs. Thirty minutes later after the friend had met all of our dogs, she fell in love with Rockett! Twenty minutes later after the sweet woman had played with Rockette in her pen she said, "I love this dog and I definitely want to adopt her, but it will take me a few days before I can take her home, because I need to repair my backyard fence..." T. and I were thrilled and I am sure that Rockette knew that she was going to get adopted soon, because her tail would not quit wagging.

After they drove away, Diane and her family arrived to adopt Jill. As her grown son gently held Jill in his arms as we walked to their car, Diane said, "I know that I can help Jill get over her fears and I really think it is going to work. I am a Special Ed teacher in San Antonio and I have a lot of patience..."

Tony and I really like Diane and her family. They were soft-spoken and gentle with Jill. After they drove away I told Tone, "I really think it is going to work this time." And T. agreed with me, as we walked to the trailer to eat our lunch.

This evening I am going to finish up my decorating at last. I enjoy decorating, but I am glad that I am nearly done with it and so are Tony and our dogs. Right now, Mama is sleeping soundly on the newly painted rug in the big room as I type this. When I got my camera out to take a picture of her sleeping, she woke up when she heard my Sony's startup noise. Then Mama stood up, stretched and then walked slowly past me, into our bedroom and just jumped up on our bed. Good night, Mama.

Y'all have a great evening! (I've got some things to do.  : )

Happy Birthday Patty Kearns!

I want to wish my dear friend Patty Kearns the best birthday ever. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday Dear Patty. Happy Birthday to You! And many more...............

Tony and I can't wait to see you during the holidays and please bring Peggy with you, because you and Peggy aka P&P Rocks Big Time! We love you!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fingers Crossed!

Today has been great. This morning June, Eileen and Jim came out to walk our dogs, and then Marvin, our good friend and neighbor showed up to volunteer! Thank y'all so much for all that you do!

Since I painted "the wall" a few days ago I have been busy reupholstering the chairs, making new curtains and painting new rugs—in between running the rescue ranch and returning phone calls and e-mails. It seems that every time that I paint a wall or change something inside, I end up redecorating and it drives me crazy until everything is done and looks right. Thank goodness, I figure that I only have about four more hours left to finish my new work-in-progress and can then rest.

A little after twelve-thirty, Tony and I went to Medina for two reasons. One, to eat lunch with Eileen and June and then go to the Medina Ace Hardware, so I could buy some paint. Lunch was a lot more fun and entertaining than picking paint colors for the rugs and cabinets—just ask Tone. And, thank you June for treating us to lunch—you're too sweet and our lunch was delicious.

This evening I discovered that our web site: is temporarily down due to some technical problems and it should be fixed and back up by tomorrow.

For today's good news—it looks like Jill is finally going to find her forever home tomorrow, with a very nice woman, who lives in San Antonio, who knows Jill's story and she can't wait to adopt her. Tony and I have our fingers crossed for that sweet little dog. This will be her fourth time to get adopted and hopefully this time it will stick. And, please keep your fingers crossed for her, too.

It is nearly eight o'clock and I am tired. After I post this blog, I plan to read some more of Doug Fine's fine and funny book, for an hour or so, and then I am hitting the hay.

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy Birthday Brenda Pagliaro Emery!

Happy Birthday Brenda! A little birdie in Florida told me about your birthday and I want to be one of the first to wish you the best birthday ever! Have fun celebrating in Palm Beach! I wish that I could be there with you and the little birdie to celebrate both of your birthdays. Much Love From Texas!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Sister Cindy!

Today is my sweet, sister Cindy's birthday! Happy Birthday To You. Happy Birthday To You. Happy Birthday Dear Cindy. Happy Birthday To You! I hope it is your best birthday ever and I wish that I could be there to celebrate it. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Fine Book!

Today has been fun. This morning instead of walking with Leslie I decided to get another form of exercise, so I decided to paint the drab green colored wall in the big room that I have never really liked. Little did I know that "my little project" would take me over four hours to accomplish, but I am glad that I did it.

After painting the first coat on the wall I decided to paint the kitchen while the paint dried. An hour later I was covered in off-white paint and so were the cabinets, the countertops and the wood floor and it didn't help that my dogs helped me by walking in the wet paint and decorated the wooden floors throughout the trailer with their paw prints.

Since the paint was drying slowly on the wall, Hazel and I then vacuumed up the dog hair and cob webs and dusted and cleaned the pictures that would be soon returning to their wall. After I put the second coat of paint on the wall I got out Sandy, my electric sander and started sanding the paint off of the floor and by now my back was starting to ache from so much bending up and down. And my dogs seemed to be really amused as they tracked me from room to room and watched me remove their tracks.

A little after one-thirty, as I was hanging up the last picture up on the wall, Tony walked into the big room and said, "Nance, we need to go to Kerrville to get dog food and toilet paper. Are you nearly done?"

"Yes. Give me fifteen minutes to get cleaned up." Twenty-two minutes later I took this picture and then Buttermilk took us to Kerrville to get supplies.

As we were leaving the H-E-B in Kerrville we ran into our friend Karen in the parking lot. She's the owner of The Plant Haus, Kerrville's favorite nursery and we had a fun visit with her and then we headed home.

Before turning off of Highway 16 we stopped at the mailbox to get our mail. "What's in the package?" Tony asked, as he turned Buttermilk around and steered us home.

"It's the book I ordered from Amazon. Cindy told me to get it. Her friend's friend, Doug Fine wrote this book about leaving New York and trying to go green and leaving a smaller carbon footprint in New Mexico. She told me I would love it."

By the time we drove the two and a half miles to the rescue ranch I had already read six pages of Doug's book and I was already hooked and could not wait to read it. "Tony, this is a fine book and I love his writing style and you're going to love reading it. The name of it is Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure In Local Living and it has gotten rave reviews by The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Portland Tribune and NPR to name a few.

A little before dark I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and to show him the article that Phil Houseal had written about me and my bucket list for Club Ed in the Hill Country Community Journal. 

As Kink read the article I saw the most amazing thing happen while sitting at the kitchen table with him. Sophie was outside playing. She was getting up and down on her front paws and jumping around like she was playing with someone, so I started laughing. "What?" Kinky asked.

"It's Sophie and I guess she is playing with Frank even though I can't see him. Look." 

Kinky looked through the window and said, "She's not playing! She's found another Tarantula!" And then he jumped up out of his chair and went outside and I followed. "Good, Sophie," Kinky said, as we stared at a big hairy spider. "Get back. You're a good ranch dog, Sophie. Nance, get her to follow you around the side of the Lodge, so I can transplant the Tarantula to safer grounds." Sophie and I took off and by the time we had returned Kinky had removed the spider and he was smiling, so we went back inside the Lodge.

"Kinky, I have never seen a dog do that with Tarantulas," I said. "She is amazing and she really has turned into a great ranch dog. You, know that Thunder does that with Scorpions? When she finds one she will follow it around until she gets our attention and then T. removes it for me..."

When I came home Tony greeted me at the front door and he was laughing. "Nance, Ellen just called to give us an update on Buddy, the goat. You're not going to believe what he did." I shrugged hoping that it wasn't bad news. "Today when Mr. Cooper took off to go to the Medina dump, Charlie and Ellen couldn't find Buddy anywhere and they started looking everywhere for him. Guess where they finally found him?" I shrugged again. "Inside Mr. Cooper's cabin! Buddy had come in through the doggie door with the dogs!" We started laughing. "Ellen said when they went inside the cabin and saw Buddy standing in the middle of the room, he quickly left going back out through the doggie door and nothing had been eaten or destroyed. Isn't that amazing?"

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have four good reasons why today has been a great day—thanks to my good friends e-mails from Cindy Pickard, Joni Daniel, Patty Kearns and Phil Houseal. I am so lucky to have so many great friends.

I will start with Cindy's exciting news first. Last September 23rd & 24th Cindy and her son Andy's must see "Manitou API—Where The Sun Rises" documentary premiered at the Taos Center for the Arts and it was a huge happening to say the very least.

Well, today, Cindy sent me an e-mail asking me to check out the comments made after their premiere showings in Taos, so I did and it blew me away, even though I knew they would be great, because I love their latest documentary and you can check the comments out at: I am so proud and happy for her and Andy!

Joni Daniel, my good friend and publisher of the great Texas Animal Imprints magazine sent me some great news, too. The November / December issue is now out on the stands for sale and she is sending me some free copies of the awesome magazine, so I can send out some copies to my friends—with my very first magazine column in it! I can't wait to see my words in print in her magazine. I am so excited! Thank you so much, Joni! Tony and I are thrilled that you are coming to see us between Christmas and New Year's Day!

My dear friend Patty Kearns sent me an e-mail telling me that she will be in Kerrville over the Thanksgiving holidays to visit her dad and Peggy and family and I am so looking forward to seeing my funny, Floridian friend. Patty is one of my favorite people on the planet, because she is so interesting and has a fantastic sense of humor. She makes me laugh so much that my back always aches after every time she and Peggy visits. I know that she could be a standup comic if she wanted to do it—she's that good.

Now, to top off my happy day, my good friend Phil Housel over at K.I.S.D.'s Club Ed sent me an e-mail that literally blew me out of my saddle and made Tony and me laugh out loud! Phil wrote to tell me that the column he wrote about me for Club Ed will appear in tomorrow's Kerrville Texas Community Journal and Boerne Texas Hill Country Weekly newspapers and he sent me a link to it, so I could read it and when I read it that's when I fell off of the horse so to speak. Phil is so sweet and his upbeat and kind words about me nearly made me tear up. What a nice guy.

After T. had read Phil's article, we clicked the link to watch the short, but funny video that Phil took at my watercolor class last week, taught by my new-found incredibly, talented artist friend Joan Sullivan. I love Joan and after talking to her for over an hour on the phone last week, after her fun watercolor class, we discovered that our lives have somewhat paralleled each other and we have so much in common that it is weird-in-a-nice-kind-of-way. And, now I can say, "Joan is my newest soul sister to add to my list!"

I know that I hammed it up in Phil's fun video, because I am a ham-at-heart, but I was having such a good time with the ladies and also because I was no longer embarrassed to smile—new teeth will do that for you—trust me.  : )  My favorite part  in the video was when Phil asked Joan, the cute, perky redhead, what she thought about my portrait. And all that I can say is, "Joan is one fabuous artist, but she's a really bad fibber."  : )   And, if you watch the video you will have to agree with me. I think her nickname should be "A3P"—Always Paints Pretty Picture. Here is Phil's video on Club Ed's Facebook. Be prepared to laugh.

As I end tonight's blog I am thinking about throwing a party and inviting all of my friends, because I would love for everyone to meet each other. But, because my friends live all over the globe, maybe I can figure out how we could do it by using the internet. I'll ask some friends how we can do it and get back to y'all. I think it would be really cool and Tone and I could do it live from Outer Space or the Space Ship and maybe I could get Kinky to join us! Talk about a blast!

P.S. Cindy, as I write this, I am wearing The 8th Fire hoodie sweatshirt, the "Turtle" which represents truth in the Seven Teachings and designed by the talented Taos Pueblo artist Jonathan Warm Day, but of course, you know that! Next time you see him please tell him that I loved reading his book, Taos Pueblo: Painted Stories and that his designs for the Seven Teachings are so beautiful that I wear one of them almost everyday.

P.S.S. Joni, I have already started writing my column for your next publication of Texas Animal Imprints January/February magazine and I cannot wait to see my very first column appear in the November / December issue! See you after Christmas and please drive careful!

P.S.S.S. Patty, I mailed the signed books out today and I cannot wait to see you and Peggy next week, over the Thanksgiving holidays. I can't wait to talk to you and laugh until it hurts.

P.S.S.S.S. Phil, thank you so much for your kind words about me and literally making my day. Like Harley and I often say, "You're one of the good guys." And I know that Club Ed wouldn't be the success it is without you. So, please don't ever quit—you're Club Ed and me and Kerrville and the surrounding Hill Country folks love you! And, please tell"A3P" that I am going to sign up for her watercolor class in February. I wouldn't miss it for the world!

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First, Second And Third Quarters!

Today has been a quiet day. This morning I only walked six miles and then Hazel came out of the closet  and we deep cleaned the trailer, the front porch and then we went into Outer Space. When she went into the closet I took a short, but sleepless nap with Mama, because she either kept trying to pet my face with her heavy front paws or hugging me too tight while making happy sounds.

I spent the first, second and third quarters of the Dallas Cowboys football game catching up with my e-mail and I am thrilled that the Cowboys are back. I am sick about Coach Wade Phillips being fired, because I met him while working for the TCU Football Office back in the late 70's when his father Bum was down in Houston, in his coaching heyday with Earl Campbell, who I also got to meet when he stepped out of a sauna in the TCU workout room, but I have already told you about that. Anyway, I hope the Cowboys win today.

Even though I had over sixty e-mails to respond to I especially enjoyed reading Cheryl & Walt's funny note, because it made me laugh out loud—I love these people. And Mari of the Nomads e-mails always make me laugh and smile, too. Thank y'all!

Mari is probably right now on her way to Kerrville with her friends to see the Flash Cadillac concert that I wish that I could have gone to, but couldn't, because I am night blind and will not drive in the dark, because it is too dangerous.

There are eight minutes left in the football game and New York almost made a touchdown! So, I am going to stop writing and watch the finish of this exciting game. Go Cowboys!

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

He Didn't Eat Much!

Today has been great. This morning after I walked eight miles with Leslie, my dear friend Cindy called. "Hi Cindy! How is Northern New Mexico treating you?" After she told me how amazingly great it was and how much she loved living there, we visited for nearly an hour catching up with each others news.

First, we talked about my new teeth and she was thrilled for me. Then she told me a little about the next documentary that she and her son, Andy are planning to do, but it is a secret right now, so my lips are sealed. All I can say right now is, "It is going to be totally awesome and I can't wait to see it!"

Before saying goodbye to each other I remembered something else I wanted to tell her. "Cindy, I love those hoodie sweatshirts that you sent to me of the Seven Teachings! I wear one of them every day." Cindy chuckled.

"I'm glad. Which ones did I send to you?"

"The Bear, the Turtle, the Wolf and the Buffalo. Every time I wear one of them, some one always comments and compliments me about them." Then Cindy told me about their new store online.

"We've got beautiful handmade jewelry of the Seven Teachings, hoodies and posters by Jonathan Warm Day and our DVD's."Then she gave me the address so I could look it up online and because I wanted to mention it tonight on my post, so y'all can check it out.

After we hung up, as I was looking at the beautiful items for sale on the 8th the phone rang—it was Kinky. It was no big deal. He just had a question to ask me.

Near noon, while I was down on the floor "doing Thunder's nails" with the battery operated Pedi-Paws, Ellen called, so I let Carlton take the call. "Hi, Nancy. It's Ellen. Call me." Click. As Thunder's nails grew shorter I worried that maybe Buddy, the giant goat wasn't working out.

A little while later when Tony walked inside the trailer I was still doing Thunder's nails, so I asked him to call Ellen for me. As I grinded, T. punched in Charlie and Ellen Cooper's phone number. Within seconds he started laughing, as he talked to Ellen. Four minutes later when he hung up the phone he said, "Buddy is doing great. They love him and Buddy follows Mr. Cooper everywhere he goes and he is never over five feet away from him at any time. She told me that this morning Mr. Cooper let Buddy go inside their huge greenhouse with him and a little while later when they came out, they asked how Buddy did. Mr. Cooper said, "He didn't eat that much!"" T. and I started laughing.

After lunch I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky for a few minutes. When I arrived, he and Frank were in the kitchen eating their lunch, which Kinky had cooked and it looked scrumptious and smelled delicious. Kinky told me that it was shrimp and sausage in a tomato sauce with garlic, onions and a few other spices, over pasta.

As they ate, I told them the latest news on Buddy and they were thrilled with it and they laughed. "He is one very lucky goat," Kinky said, and Frank agreed by nodding his head up and down, because he had food in his mouth.

A little after four o'clock I went back over to the Lodge and watched some college football with him. We watched Penn State vs. Ohio State. When I sat down Penn State was ahead in the middle of the third quarter and we were glad, so after a few minutes of watching the game we decided to take a football break and go outside and sit on the porch with The Friedmans for a few minutes.

When we came back inside the Lodge, Kinky said, "OMG." Ohio State had made a touchdown and they were now ahead, so we sat back down and stared at the television in silence. When the fourth quarter started I came back home and listened to the game as I did some housework and that is about it for today.

Tonight I am going to fix some popcorn and watch a movie, but I don't know which one, yet.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Every Portrait Has A Story!

This morning after doing all of my morning chores I called Harley at seven forty-five to do his show. After telling him that James Dean was his Pet of The Week, and how great the cute  little one-year-old Chihuahua was Harley asks, "Cousin Nancy, are you watching us on the computer, because I have something to show you. Go get it and bring it in here." Here's a picture of James Dean.

"No, Harley, I'm not. Our internet just went down. What is it?"

"We rescued, well Sarah rescued a newborn, little goat whose mother died. Do y'all rescue goats?"

"Yes, we do, Harley," I said. "We rescued Buddy, a gigantic Nubian goat on Monday and yesterday we found a forever home for him...." As I told Harley about Buddy, Tony walks into the big room with his laptop in hand and shows me the cute little goat that Harley has in his studio. "Oh, Harley, she is adorable. Tony showed her to me on his computer."

"You want her? You want to bottle feed her?" Harley asked, then there was a little too long—moment of silence. Then he laughed. "What if we bottle feed her and you take her after she is weaned?"

"That sounds great! Maybe Charlie and Ellen would want her, so she could be Buddy's companion..." After we talked about that I changed the subject on Harley. "Guess what I am fixin' to do?"


"I'm leaving here in thirty minutes for Club Ed's portrait class taught by the award winning artist, Joan Sullivan! I can't wait!"

"That's great Cousin Nancy, but why are you doing this?" Harley asked.

"It's another bucket-list deal," Then we started laughing. "It is something that I've always wanted to do."

"Now, I'm starting to worry about you," Harley said, which made me laugh. "What else is on your bucket-list?"

"I guess motorcycles," I answered. "And Club Ed has a class for that, too."

"You want to ride a motorcycle? Have you ever driven a motorcycle?" Then we started laughing, again.

"Yes, I have," I said. "When I was eighteen years old, I kept flunking my driver's license test, because I couldn't back up, so my sister Cindy loaned me her Honda 50 Automatic, that she had won in a radio contest. I had to get a license for it and I passed it, because I didn't have to back up. In fact, I still have my motorcycle license and am legal to drive a Harley, but that's never going to happen, because they are too big for me."

"So, what would you drive?" Harley asked. I started laughing, again.

"I guess a Mo-Ped or something like that..." Then Harley changed the subject on me. It was his turn.

"We're your ears burning yesterday?"

"No. Why?"

"Club Ed's Phil Houseal and I were talking about you. He's a great guy."

"I know. I really like Phil, too and I love Club Ed..." After the show ended I looked up at the Atomic Clock above the water cooler and realized that I had talked way too much, because I still had to find a portrait to use for Joan's class and print it out in color and in black & white. Ten minutes later I came out of my office with black and whites and color pictures, one of Tony and the one of me, that Phil Houseal took of me with new teeth. Ten minutes later, Buttermilk and I were on 16 heading for Kerrville, as I listened to The Harley Show.

Three minutes before our class began I met Joan Sullivan and she and I had a fun visit with two of her other students: Virginia aka Dina and Billie. Then we got out our watercolors, water, brushes and pictures that we brought to paint and the fun class began. After Joan suggested that I paint my portrait first and do Tone's later, she explained some basics about washes and techniques for portrait painting and then she passed out some supplies and instructed us what to do.

As our class began seriously working on their first portraits, I started laughing a lot at my portrait as it quickly progressed, because let's say, "I sort of over did mine to say the least." I even got Joan, Billie and Dina to laughing as I joked about my faster-piece artwork. 

As I admired and praised everyone's artwork but mine, my stomach started growling loudly, but  everyone pretended not to hear it. Finally, I burst out laughing and said, "Y'all, my stomach is growling and I am not hungry. I had a smoothie for breakfast and I guess that I should have also eaten a piece of toast with it."

An hour and a half later, as my artwork started to digress rapidly and literally take a nose-dive, my nervous stomach started to make even stranger, louder gurgling sounds, that would cause me to uncontrollably burst into loud laughter, which would then startle the artists and then make them start laughing. I was pretty embarrassed about it all, but I counted my blessings, that I didn't also have gas. 

When it was time for us to break for lunch I jokingly told Joan, "My self-portrait looks like I am a visitor from another planet and it is starting to scare me." Joan started laughing. "I mean, look at my teeth, nose, eyes, neck and..." Joan, a fellow Libra, who I really liked, laughed and then she looked at my picture and burst our laughing and so did I. "What can I do to fix it? I had promised to post it tonight if it wasn't goofy looking and it is goofier than h#@*. I could burn it?" After Joan studied it, without trying to laugh, she gave me a few suggestions on how to fix it. Then Buttermilk and I took off for Randy's & Lisa's Save Inn Restaurant.

On our way to the coolest restaurant in town I decided that I needed to over eat, because of my whining stomach. After I sat down at a table in the crowded place, Lisa came over and greeted me and a few minutes later I enjoyed another delicious meal at our friend's fine eatery and it made my stomach quit rumbling—thank goodness.

When I returned to my class I took Joan's suggestions to heart, but it didn't help, because I am not skilled or talented enough and I quickly realized that I am not meant to be a portrait artist—I'm supposed to paint mountains to remember and canyons to forget—not me.

Around two o'clock we had a nice surprise. Phil Houseal showed up at our class with his camera and then he started shooting us. "Cousin Nancy, your story that I wrote for Club Ed is going to be in next weeks "Community Journal" on Wednesday..." After talking to all of us he went outside and came back with a video camera and shot us again. Before Phil had left the building he had all of us laughing. Like Harley Belew at the Rose 99.9 likes to say, "Phil is one great guy." And I totally agree with him.

An hour later, after a very fun day, I packed up my art supplies and my pitiful, goofy looking self-portrait and then I sincerely thanked Joan Sullivan, who is an incredibly talented artist and instructor, who has now become a new friend and kindred spirit of mine, for a wonderful time and then I bid her and my friendly classmates adios and then Buttermilk took me home.

As Buttermilk drove me home I thought about Joan Sullivan, a woman who I so much admire for many reasons, my friendly classmates and Phil Houseal and what a wonderful time that I had today. I want to thank Phil and Joan for another great experience with Club Ed. I love y'all and thank you for enriching my life and I highly recommend Joan's art classes and Club Ed to everyone! They're the Best!

After telling T. how much fun I had had today in Joan's art class today and how much I had learned, but really needed to practice some more—I showed him my first attempt at a self-portrait which I have jokingly titled, "Ears, Eyes & Nose Need Doctoring Not To Mention The Hat..." 

When Tony looked at my first attempted self-portrait he bit his lower lip, as I had expected and he tried not to laugh, so green tea came flowing out of his nose which made me laugh out loud as he coughed,  choked and tears filled his eyes! After wiping the light green tea off of his face with a paper towel he nervously asked, "What does mine look like?"

"I'm doing yours tomorrow if I have time. And I can't wait! I promise that it will be much better than this one. I over did it on this one and..."

P.S. Billie's portrait of Abraham Lincoln turned out to be totally awesome and looked like an old photograph, as did Dina's portrait of her handsome grandson and Joan's forty-something son. 

Y'all have a great evening and keep laughing!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Goofy Looking!

Today has been GREAT! You know when sometimes you wake up to a new day and just know it is going to be a good one—well, that is how I felt when I jumped out of bed at six o'clock this morning. After doing my morning chores I sat down at the kitchen table and checked my e-mail. 

Our good friends Charlie and Ellen had sent me a note about possibly wanting to adopt Buddy the goat! I was thrilled and could not wait to tell Tony when he got home from the Old Timer.

After I had walked six miles with Leslie and running the bath water the phone rang, but I couldn't hear who was calling, so I shut off the faucet and came into the big room to check the Caller ID—Ellen had called, so I picked up the phone and punched in their number. After greetings Ellen said, "Charlie and Mr. Cooper want to come over to meet Buddy. Is that okay?" You can guess what I told her.

Around ten o'clock I went outside to greet Shannon, because she was returning Gus, a sweet, two-year-old Black Lab to us, because of his bad eating habits. "He ate our couch the other day, most of our son's toys and yesterday he ate our brand new TV..." Shannon felt bad about returning him to us, but I totally understood. 

When Shannon took Gus out of the car he remembered us and his tail started wagging wildly, Shannon may have been upset, but Gus wasn't—he was home. We tried to put Gus with Annie Oakley in one of our big pens, but unfortunately it did not work out. She tried to bite Gus, so T. went to put Gus in an ally as Shannon talked to me about adopting Kirby, a smaller, older, sweet calmer dog. Twenty minutes later Shannon and her cute son drove away with Kirby sitting in the front seat! And then Charlie and his father Mr. Cooper arrived!

After greeting Charlie and Mr. Cooper (who is ninety-one years old and I have a secret crush on, but don't tell Tony.) "Mr. Buddy is one mighty big goat!" Charlie said, as he stared at Buddy and as T. drove up in Kermit. Charlie and his father went to meet our new buddy and Mr. Cooper could not quit petting him and feeding him carrots. "Well, Dad, what do you think? Do you want him?" 

"Yes! Yes, I do," Mr. Cooper said, wearing a big grin on his face. We looked at Charlie, as Buddy stood up on the fence looking over it, so he could hear the verdict, too.

"We'll take him," Charlie said, "but I need to go get a horse trailer. We'll be back in a few minutes." Before they drove away, I got some coffee for Mr. Cooper to take with him and he repaid me with some beautiful, organic bell peppers from his garden. I got the better deal.

While they were gone to get the trailer I helped Tony move Gus from the alley to Kirby's old pen and he and Lulu instantly fell in love. It was a good match. Then to help T. I picked up dog poop in over half of the pens before Charlie and Mr. Cooper arrived with their horse trailer. Tony took this picture of me and Buddy and then we had a fun visit with The Cooper men, before they easily loaded him up into the trailer and took him to his new home.

This evening I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and to tell him about my day and he was thrilled that Buddy and Kirby got adopted. As we were talking about Sophie's diet and her new plus-sized figure, Tony and Frank drove up in Kermit. We had a fun visit while we sat outside near the Friedman Family Bone Orchard and watched Brownie and Chumley chew on some bones, while Sophie slept in Kinky's lap dreaming about her next home cooked meal by Chef Kinky. Before leaving I learned that The Medina Bulldog had beaten The Hummingbird Man in an earlier game of pool. Yeah, Toner!

When we got home I checked my e-mail as I listened to Steve Martin's Grammy award winning bluegrass CD "Crow" with the Steep Canyon Rangers. It is so fantastic and if you love bluegrass—it is a must have. I found out about it when I watched him and the Steep Canyon Rangers perform on Austin City Limits.

I had four new e-mails, but the one from Charlie made me laugh out loud when I read what he wrote and saw his pictures of Ellen with Buddy. Thank you, Ellen, Charlie and Mr. Cooper! I love y'all! Charlie wrote:

"Buddy as you can see likes corn tortillas and does not like to be left without human companionship. Tried to go in Dad's cabin several times as he sees the dogs do it.
Think Buddy will do fine.
Thank you for a wonderful animal!

Ronnie just called. He wanted to know if I was still thrilled about my new teeth. "Ron, I love them! I'm a Polident Girl! And I love it!"

I'm going to bed early tonight, because tomorrow is going to be a busy, but fun day for me. I have to get up real early, so I can do my morning chores, walk six miles and do the Harley Show at seven forty-five. Then I have to leave the ranch by eight twenty, so I can get to my portrait class in Kerrville, which promises "requires no skills" which starts at nine o'clock and ends at three-thirty. I am excited about taking a day off and learning something new. Tomorrow night I will post my first portrait, if it isn't too goofy looking.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, November 8, 2010

When Goats Cry And Dogs Fly!

Even though I am a little tired from today's events, today has been great for several reasons. My day was already made for me by seven minutes past eight this morning, when I successfully reset our awesome Atomic clock! When Tony returned from the Old Timer he asked why I was grinning from ear to ear, just as I was finishing walking my sixth mile with Leslie. "You figure it out," I teased. "Look around."

As I prepared "Cousin Nancy's Porridge" for his breakfast, which is just oatmeal topped with blueberries, raisins, a banana and a spoonful of Leisa's and Rick's honey from their bees, T. looked around and around and around, but couldn't figure it out, so I told him to look at our Atomic clock and then I bragged about figuring out how to reset it. "Good,"was all he said, because he doesn't talk much or get as excited about things like I do. Anyway, I was thrilled.

Last Thursday my blog was about three dogs and a goat named Buddy, who were in desperate need of a home and I have got some good news. The next day a woman named Elena called me at the rescue ranch wanting to adopt a Poodle. Since we didn't have any Poodles here, I told her about Angel, Grayson's and Carla's sweet, little eight year old Poodle and then I gave her their phone number. Then I called Grayson and told him about Elena possibly wanting Angel and then I said, "Grayson, I know that y'all have run out of time to find your pets a home. I've talked with Tony about them and I want you to know that we can take Angel, if Elena doesn't want her and Mabel and Buddy, the goat." Grayson could not stop thanking us.

Saturday afternoon after our great event, Grayson called to tell me that Elena had fallen in love with Angel and Elena's young granddaughter had fallen in love with Angel, too and they were so happy for Angel to have found a great forever home and then he thanked me again for helping Angel. Then we made plans for them to bring them out today.

A little before one o'clock today the dogs started barking outside to let us know that Grayson and Carla were driving in. When we went outside we saw a big, black Ford F-150 pickup followed by a mid-sized car pull up by the pig pen and park. After howdys and handshakes we went to meet Buddy in a cage, in the back of Jimmy's truck. "I love him," I said. "Hi, Buddy." Then Grayson carefully took him out of his crate and then Buddy jumped off of the tailgate and Grayson walked him into my writing cabin's front yard.

As we petted Buddy, who seemed a little bit scared and nervous, our friend and great neighbor, Heather arrived with Lo, who had to come down to visit Heather. "We heard from Sherry and Brittany about Buddy coming to the rescue ranch and we just had to come over to meet him. He's absolutely beautiful. Hi, Buddy..."

Five minutes later while we were visiting, our neighbor and good friend Sherry and her daughter Brittany, showed up to meet Buddy, so I shot them. From left to right: Carla, Sherry, Brittany and Buddy. Isn't he handsome!

Here is Carla feeding Buddy some alfalfa.

Then Tony shot Buddy and me.

Then Brian Kanof, El Paso's finest photographer pulled up. "Kinky told me about Buddy and I just had to come over to meet him. He's one big, beautiful goat." Then Kinky arrived.

"That's Buddy?" Kinky asked, in amazement, as he walked over to meet the most handsome goat in the whole state of Texas. "Hi, Buddy." Then I introduced him to Carla, Grayson and their pretty daughter and Jimmy and they visited for a few minutes and then Kinky went over to greet his friend Heather and her guest and that is when he met Mabel, the sweet, little ten to twelve-year-old dog, who was nearly blind. Mabel stole his heart as she had ours. "Nance, let's talk later about Mabel. Maybe I can take her if Sophie will let me or maybe y'all can take her. Isn't she sweet."

"Buddy loves carrots," Carla said, as tears filled her eyes, as she petted Buddy. "I'm so sorry. This is so hard for me to be saying goodbye to our beloved pets. I love them so much..." T. overheard Carla's words and went up to the trailer. When he returned he had carrots in his hand and then he fed them to Buddy.

While we continued to visit, Tony, Grayson and his daughter jumped into Kermit with Mabel and drove off to put her in her dog pen that T. had prepared especially for her. 

Then Heather and Lo left. Then Brian drove off. Then Kinky said goodbye. Then Sherry and Brittany went back home. After we said goodbye to Jimmy, and Grayson and his family they slowly drove away, as I was standing next to Buddy and it was obvious that he was upset. Then he started crying and it nearly broke my heart, so I started crying, too.

When Tony walked up I said, "Tony, Buddy is crying. Listen." Then Buddy, as he stared down the drive, lowered his bottom lip and made this loud huffing sound like, "Huff, Huff" and then he did it again. "I didn't know goats cried," I cried. "It's okay, Buddy. We love you. Please don't cry." Tony came over and hugged me and then he petted Buddy, as Buddy continued to make sad, weeping sounds.

I was so upset and felt so sorry for Buddy and the family that he loved, who had been forced to give him up, I went to the trailer to get him a couple of carrots, while T. went to the barn to get him some feed. 

Tony and I spent most of the day visiting with Buddy and trying to let him know that we loved him and that we would take good care of him until we could find him a wonderful home. I don't know if Buddy understood, but he finally did quit crying and seems to be okay.

This evening Kinky called to talk to me about Mabel and Buddy and we have come up with a few ideas and we have already put in a few phone calls to friends. When I told him about Buddy crying he said, "Thank goodness I wasn't there..." Please keep your fingers crossed and say prayers for Mabel and Buddy.

When I post a blog I never like it to be sad or end it on a sad note, so please check out these cute pictures that Mari found on the Internet and sent to me about Flying Dogs. I promise it will make you smile and laugh. Mari, thank you so much for sending this to me. The photos are incredibly great.

Y'all have a great evening!