Thursday, December 30, 2010

Too Much Fun!

Tonight's blog is going to be very short even though I have so much to tell, because I've decided to take a mini-vacation from the rescue ranch and my blog, starting tonight through Sunday, so I can rest and relax with our great friends and also try to get a little writing done on my next book.

Last night Tony and I went to Patty's and Peggy's fabulous dinner party, at Peggy's and Carlos' beautiful home in Kerrville, and we had a total blast! The food was absolutely delicious and we really enjoyed meeting P&P's lovely family and their interesting guests.

For dinner, Patty surprised everyone, by earlier, having flown in fifteen pounds of fresh Stone Crabs from Florida and they were mouthwatering to say the least! Since Tone and I had never eaten Stone Crabs before—we over ate, but so did everyone else too—thank goodness!

Unfortunately, we were the first to have to leave P&P's to much fun, festive party, because we had to get back to the rescue ranch. And I want to thank Patty and Peggy for the best dinner we've eaten and the best party we've attended in 2010! We had a total blast and we love y'all!

Because we got home late I didn't blog last night, because we went straight to bed.

This morning I got up real early and did my morning chores, "The Harley Show," walked ten more miles and then cleaned the trailer, while our great friends Rick and Leisa were driving up from Port Aransas to help us bring in the New Year tomorrow night. And it has been non-stop fun since they arrived around two-thirty! And Ben is coming out to the ranch tomorrow and we can't wait to see him!

Y'all have a great New Year's Eve!

P.S. The ranch is officially closed now until January 3rd—unless, of course you want to come out to adopt one of our super dogs. If so, please call ahead to make an appointment, before coming out. Happy New Year to All! I know 2011 is going to be a great year, because Mercury in retrograde ends tomorrow—at midnight! Yeah!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

They Grabbed Me!

Today has been so much fun even though Mercury in retrograde wreaked a little havoc right before sunset.  This morning I got up real early so I could do my morning chores, walk with Leslie and get the trailer cleaned up, because my good friend, Joni Daniel, the Publisher of "Texas Animal Imprints" magazine, the one that I write a bi-monthly column for, was coming out to visit us around one-ish and I couldn't wait to see her!

Around eleven-thirty, while I was cooking our lunch the phone rang—it was Jon Wolfmueller. After we said our howdys to each other he started laughing and said, "Have you gotten your mail today?"

"No. Why?"

"We just got our mail and I wanted to tell you that we got the new Club Ed's 2011 Spring catalog of classes and you're in it!"

"What? Are you serious?" I asked, with excitement.

"Yes. When I picked up the catalog to look at it, I opened it up on page 55 and there was a picture of you and a short article about "Cousin Nancy Loves Club Ed" and I nearly fell out of my chair. It's a good picture of you and a great write-up by Phil Houseal—you're famous, Nancy..." Jon and I talked a few minutes more about how excited I was being featured in Club Ed's catalog and what a nice man Phil Houseal was, and before we hung up I thanked Jon for letting me know.

Then I went back to cooking and then the phone started ringing off of the wall—with friends and well wishers telling me that I was in the 2011 Club Ed catalog! To say the least, I was more than thrilled. Thank you, Phil—you made my day today and I am so honored that you included me in the catalog!

After lunch I walked two more miles with Leslie, to complete my total of eight miles walked today and then I cleaned up. An hour or so later Joni showed up in her cute, baby-blue colored VW Bug convertible, with her sister Julie!

As we drank coffee and nibbled on Ellen Jackson's delicious holiday cookies, inside the trailer, we caught up with each other's news and then we started talking about the magazine and the upcoming "Texas Animal Imprints" January/ February issue. And by the time that conversation ended—it looks like T. will have one of his beautiful pictures appear on the cover of "Texas Animal Imprints" magazine! I don't know who was more excited about it, but I think Tony was. I am so proud and happy for him. "Tony!" I said. "You're a professional photographer and can now brag that your pictures have appeared in magazine articles and on magazine covers, calendars and books, too. I love it!" T. blushed and said nothing, but I could tell that he was more than happy about it.

We had the best visit with Joni and Julie, even though it was too short, but there was so much laughing I had to take an Aspirin. After we went outside and visited with all of our rescued dogs—they told us that they had to leave and we hated to see them go.

After Julie and Joni left the rescue ranch, Tone printed out and showed me two pictures to get my opinion on them and I absolutely loved them—they grabbed me! And, when we went over to the Lodge to give Joni's gift to Kinky, we took the pictures with us for Kinky and Marcie to see and they thought they were beautiful, too! And here they are. The second one is of Little Jewford and Shalom on the ranch and I think these pictures look like paintings.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Today was a good day even though not much happened. This morning after I walked twelve miles, I caught up with my e-mail. My good friend Denise Stevens sent me a video to watch and I loved it, because it was funny and made me laugh out loud. It was done by the BBC and it is animal voice overs and I hope that you will check it out.

Kinky called around ten-thirty. "Hey, Nance. What's going on?"

"Not a lot so far, but it's still early," I said. "I just finished walking twelve miles! Can you believe that?" Then there was a moment of the sound of silence on his end.

"What! Twelve miles. That's crazy, Nance," Kinky said, followed by a laugh. "You definitely are  O.C.D." I started laughing.

"What's C.O.D?" I cluelessly asked. "Cash on delivery?"

"It's not C.O.D., Nance. I said, O.C.D and it means obsessive—compulsive disorder and you need to get a hearing aid." We both started laughing.

"What?" I joked. "No, Kinky. I don't think I have O.C.D.," I said.

"Yes, you do," Kinky teased. "You walked twelve miles today—inside your trailer. And that's called O.C.D. and it is totally crazy." Not wanting to get into a debate with Kinky, because I knew he could win any debate with me or anyone else—hands down, so I laughed and then I tried to defend myself.

"Kink, the reason that I walked twelve miles today is because I have fallen way behind on my 2010 New Year's resolution schedule to walk 1,825 miles before the end of this year and..."

"I'm sorry, Nance. You have O.C.D. period."

As he chuckled I said, "Kinky, I do not have O.C.D. The reason that I walked twelve miles today was to catch up with my walking schedule and now I only have thirty-five more miles to walk in the next four days. And, I promise you that I will walk the remaining thirty-five miles to reach my goal before January first rolls around..." When we said goodbye to each other—we were both laughing about it.

Around twelve-thirty I heated up some homemade, frozen leftover gumbo soup and made a salad for lunch and T. told me that the soup tasted better—the second time around.  At one-fifteen, Tony and I took Maude to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic, in Kerrville, to get her checked out, because last night she gave us a really big scare, when she suddenly fainted from excitement when Tone walked inside the trailer, like I used to do over fifteen years ago, because she loves him so much. Fortunately, she quickly recovered in less than thirty seconds and was back to being her old self again.

After we dropped off Maudie for tests, Buttermilk took us to Wolfmueller's Books, to see our good friends, Sandy and Jon Wolfmueller. Mary Jo cheerfully greeted us from behind the front counter, when we walked inside Kerrville's favorite bookstore and as always it was bustling with customers and tourists. "Sandy's not here right now," Mary Jo said, as she checked out a happy customer's books."But Jon is. He's back in the office." So, T. and me took off to the back of the bookstore to find Jon.

As always, we had a fun visit with Jon, but because he was so busy helping his customers find their books—we adios-ed him and left Wolfmueller's Books and came home.

Right before six o'clock tonight, we found out that our sweet, little Maudie, who has stolen our hearts, but doesn't even know that I exist, because she is so madly in love with T. and is Tony's dog, has heart worms. After talking about her to Dr. Jay Rydberg, he verified that Maude is definitely old, at least twelve years old or older, so he suggested that we treat her with the "slow kill method for heart worms," which will still be hard on our Maudie, but much milder than the standard treatment for heart worms. So tonight, please say a little prayer for our beautiful, little, lovable old lady, because she has stolen our hearts and we love her.

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our 2010 Mixer Party!

Tony and I had the best Christmas day ever—thanks to our great friends: Ellen Jackson, Eileen Gotke, June Hartley & her cute mother-in-law Eileen, Kinky & his sweet sister Marcie and Lisa Free!

A little after ten yesterday morning the dogs outside started barking, to let us know that some of our "Best Volunteers in Texas" had arrived to help us prepare and serve our dog's their annual Christmas dinner, which by the way—they also paid for.

When Eileen and June got out of the car, wearing their red and white Santa caps—Tone and I chuckled, because they had put us in the Christmas spirit, and then we went out to greet everyone. A few minutes later they came inside the trailer to volunteer their services and that's when our fun, 2010 Mixer Party commenced—filled with nonstop laughter. Here is a picture of June and Eileen, with T. in the background getting the electric drill ready and the next picture June took of us in the festive mood.

After T. self-appointed himself as today's chef for our dogs he began sweetly, barking out orders to us like, "Y'all divide up the eggs in the five buckets. Okay, now add the cheese. That's good. Now, add the olive oil. Now let me mix it up." We women stood back and watched in amazement as Tony proudly mixed up the food. And please note: Eileen—who lent him a hand.

Then T. tells me, "It's your turn now, to mix it up with the drill"—and I was scared to death, when I turned on that big drill and June luckily caught that "Kodak Moment" of me looking like a total idiot! I guess that you could say it was another one of those "Jaw Droppin'" experiences for me.

Then we took turns adding the stuffing into the buckets and then the ground turkey, which to me was messy. Then "Chef T." announces that it was Eileen's turn to mix-it-up and Eileen took her job serious. She put her head down and went to mixin'. And she did a good job too, as we watched, joked and giggled.

As the hot dinner rolls baked in the oven for the dogs, Chef T. filled the buckets with the hot mixed vegetables, and then he says, "Okay, June it is your turn." And she moseyed over and Cowboyed Up and did a great job, too, as Tony and our Hank—The Cow Dog stood back and supervised. 

When our dog's dinner was mixed, June turned off the drill and then I pulled the hot dinner rolls from the oven, put them in a bucket and covered them with a dish towel to keep them warm and then we left the trailer to go serve our rescued dogs their feast—fit for a king. Here is another picture that June took, of Lucy and Rocky sweetly enjoying and sharing their holiday dinner and then Eileen took this picture of June "Dishing it out."

Feeding our dogs was a blast for me and thanks to our wonderful volunteers, that we can never thank enough for all that they do—I laughed so much yesterday, that my back began aching, because of their nonstop, witty wisecracks and hilarious humor. Here are a few more pictures that June took of us and this is where I need to thank June's husband Kevin, for taking the time to send them to Ellen and then Ellen taking the time to forward them on to me. Thank y'all so much! I love the pictures!

After June had shot Eileen and me with our empty food buckets, she shot Tony sitting in Mr. Rogers' and Miss Dee's pen, probably contemplating his Bucket List, as he waited for those two to finish eating their delicious holiday dinner. 

After we had fed all of our dogs, Ellen, Eileen, June and her sweet mom-in-law bid us farewell and went home to spend Christmas with their family. And I want to thank Ellen for all of the cookies she baked for us. They are delicious and Kinky and Marcie especially loved the ones on the pretty platter!

Speaking of Kinky and his sister—they came over around one o'clock and they ate our lasagna holiday dinner with us and it was a lot of fun, with more nonstop laughing—and my back was aching so much, I had to take two baby Aspirin for it. And before they headed back over to the Lodge, they told me they loved my dinner, as did Tone.

 I was so happy I didn't think my day could get any better, but I was wrong as usual, because Lisa showed up with a sweet potato pecan pie and some beautiful pink flowers for me. And Tony and I had a really fun visit with her as we caught up with each others news. She told us that she is happy and still madly in love with "Mark From Mississippi" and that life was good, which made T. and me happy to hear. 

Today has been great, too. This morning, before I helped Tony with his chores outside, we went over to the Lodge and had a fun visit with Marce and Kink. And when I gave him his letter that was enclosed in Tony's and my holiday card from Karin Pohlmann, my new friend from Germany, to read—it made his day—in fact he read it out loud to us in the kitchen and then he asked me all about Karin and her husband Jurgen. 

Late this afternoon, Buttermilk took me back over to the Lodge once again, so I could have a fun visit with Sage & Dylan Ferrero, Marcie and Kinky. 

It is now nearly twenty-seven minutes past nine o'clock and I need to hit the hay. I want to thank all of our wonderful friends who have made this holiday season so great for T. & me and our dogs. I love all of you!

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Best Christmas Ever!!!!!

Today has been the best Christmas ever—thanks to our great friends/volunteers—June Hartley, Ellen Jackson, Eileen Gotke, June's cute mother-in-law Eileen and Lisa Free and our Ghandi-like figugre—Kinky Friedman and his awesome sister Marcie Friedman, Tone and the sweetest and the greatest rescued dogs in Texas!  I thank them and love them! And here is a picture that I took of June and Eileen, two of our rescue elves, before we cooked our dogs their annual Christmas dinner—compliments of Eileen, Ellen and June's generosity!

Tomorrow I will tell y'all all about the blast I had today and I hope that your Christmas was as great as mine.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Little 2010 Medina Miracle! or Foiled, Again!

Today has been great. This morning while Tony and I ate breakfast, he told me something that he had just read on the Internet and it was so bizarre sounding—I couldn't believe it. "I just found out that you will never have to buy dryer sheets again, because aluminum foil works just as good and it leaves a smaller carbon footprint," Tony said, as I nearly choked on my smoothie.


After Tony repeated what he had just said, he says,"Nance, I know it sounds really weird, but I think that you should give it a try. It said to pull out about six to eight inches of foil, make it into a ball about the size of a golf ball and then just throw it into the dryer. But, the next time you use it for another load, pull off a strip of foil about an inch or two inches and wrap it around the foil ball. One woman wrote a comment about it and said, "The bigger the ball gets—the fluffier the clothes get."" We started laughing.

After T. went outside to do his chores, I made an aluminum foil ball about the size of a ping-pong ball and tossed it into Airy Queen to dry a load of laundry, while I walked four miles with Leslie. During the forty-eight minute walking-workout I could not stop thinking about the aluminum ball—hoping that it would work, because I would love to quit using laundry sheets, save a little money and leave a smaller carbon footprint.

As soon as Leslie's video ended I race-walked to the dryer and opened the door and pulled out some clothes to see if they had any static electricity—and they didn't have any static electricity! We're talkin' NONE! I was shocked, to say the least. I got so excited about my little silver ball, I decided to wash another load of laundry while I walked another four miles with Leslie Sansone.

As soon as I was done walking, I pulled off a two inch strip of Reynold's "Made In U.S.A." Aluminum Foil and wrapped it around the magical ball and then I tossed it and another load of wet laundry into Airy Queen and started the dryer to test it again. Then I decided to wash our bedding, so I put our sheets and a blanket into Queen Bee and started the washer and then I quickly folded and put up our first load of cleaned, static-free laundry.

Because I was so thrilled about it working I couldn't wait to tell Tony, who was still outside working, or someone about it and then the phone rang—it was Ronnie. After he wished me a merry Christmas I excitedly told him all about the little silver ball. "Ron, it is so unreal! For me, it's the Little 2010 Medina Miracle and it has made my year!" My brother started laughing, which caused me to start laughing.

"How sad, Nance," he teased. "I'll tell Nita about it and get her to give it a whirl in the dryer." Then we started laughing, again and had a fun visit.

Tony was the next to hear about the miracle ball that he told me about and then I called my sister Cindy to tell her about the powerful little aluminum ball. After I had enthusiastically encouraged her to give it a try she says, "Sorry, Nance, we don't use laundry sheets, but I think it is great that you are so happy and..."

Kinky was the next to find out about this magic silver ball, when we met him for lunch in Kerrville and I must say—he didn't seem real impressed with my exciting news and unenthusiastically said, "That's great, Nance. Tony, would you please pass me the tortillas and some..." And that made Tone and I laugh. After lunch we drove off in different directions to run our errands.

Our last stop was at Albertsons to grab a few last minute groceries. When Tony parked Buttermilk and turned her off, he started laughing and rolled down her window. "Hi, Charlie!" T. said, as I looked over and saw our good friend and neighbor Charlie Cooper, sitting in his car, right next to us, with his and Ellen's three cute, little dogs.

After greetings, Charlie held up their little Min Pin pup and introduced us to her. "We named her Poco," Charlie said, and then Tone and him started talking about trucks. When Ellen walked up, I jumped out of Buttermilk to go greet her and to tell her about my latest discovery.

After I had told her everything there was to tell about my aluminum foil ball, Ellen smiled and said, "We use liquid fabric softener, but that's good to know..."

When we got home I washed the rest of our blankets, then foiled the ball, again, tossed it into the dryer with the blankets and dried them. And I must say—there was no static cling, once again.

After I remade our bed I took these before-and-after pictures of my miraculous, little, silver aluminum ball, which by now, has grown to the size of an extra-large egg. And, I have affectionately named my new little helper, "Knock-Knock," and it is not a joke, because he makes these cute, little thumping sounds as he bounces around inside Airy Queen.

Y'all have a great evening and Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blazin' Brittle Really Rocks!

Today has been great. The first thing that I did this morning, after breakfast, was to take care of my paperwork, then instead of walking I cleaned the trailer, because Marie-Clare and Lawrence, from San Angelo, had made an appointment with me earlier in the week, to come out and meet us and take a tour of the rescue ranch, around two-ish—before heading down to Houston!

Around one-ish, the trailer was sparkling clean and it looked like we didn't live here, and I had had a good workout. Around two-ish they arrived and I knew that I liked these two, the minute I saw them. After greetings and introductions, outside the trailer, "We brought you a gift," Marie-Clare said, as she pulled two bags out of her car and handed them to me. "I own a company in San Angelo called, "Blazin' Brittle," and there are two packages each inside the bags, of the three different Artisan made, spicy pecan candies I make." Tony's and my eyes lit up, because we love brittle and pecans. 

After we thanked them for their sweet gift I said, "We have a gift for y'all, too." Then I handed them copies of my first two books. After thanking us and putting the books inside their car—Tony and I gave them a tour of the rescue ranch, so they could meet all of our dogs and then we went inside the trailer for a fun, but short visit and before we went into Outer Space, T. gave them a package of Miles of Chocolate to try, that Ben had given to us a few months back. After they left—we left for Kerrville to get groceries for our first Italian Christmas dinner. We're talkin'—Cousin Nancy's Lasagna, which Tone loves.

When we got back home, after putting up the groceries, Tony and I decided to sample Marie-Clare's brittles. We started with the ginger pecans, "Ginger Sunset Blazin' Brittle," and it was absolutely delicious, so then we opened up the sack of smoky, chipolte pecans, appropriately named, called, "Blazin' Brittle," and we loved it, too! After we drank a glass of water, we ate a piece of the cinnamon pecans, "Cinnamon Girl" and just like the other two, mouth watering brittles—it was totally delicious, too and we couldn't decide which brittle was our favorite.

"Tony, Kinky has got to try these. I'm going to call him right now, to see if it is okay for us to come over."

"Are you going to give him three sacks of the brittles?" Tone said, wearing an upside-down smile on his face.


Five minutes later, we walked into Kinky's kitchen and I handed him his sack of the three varieties of tasty pecan candy to try. As Kink sampled and munched happily on the candy, I told him all about our fun visit with Marie-Clare and Lawrence and her Blazin' Brittle company, where her candy is made in San Angelo, Texas—U.S.A.! And, needless to say—Kinky thought the brittles were delicious, too. "I just read an article," Kinky said, as he grabbed another piece of candy, "that says that pecans are the healthiest nut to eat and that peanuts are the lowest on the totem pole, when it comes to nutritional value..."After a fun visit over at Kinky's Lodge we came home.

This evening before I started to write tonight, I received a comment on yesterday's blog from 'Erb, my dear doctor friend, up in Boston, who before retiring—used to operate and repair people's brains for them.

 'Erb said...


I blew up the wall next to your desk by clicking on 200% on my browser. My next reaction was "aw shucks", our Holiday Card was not on your wall. I'm trying to be a brave little soldier about it.
Happy Holidays, and as Kinky says, may the god of your choice bless you.
'Erb and Karen
December 22, 2010 5:44 PM
Instead of posting a comment back to him, I decided to write it here instead. 
"Hi "Erb and Karen! We received your cute, funny holiday card two days ago, that you designed and we loved it and so did Kinky! Thank you for making us laugh. The reason that y'all's card was not on the wall in my office is because I put it on the refrigerator, because I spend more time in the kitchen and I want everyone who comes inside the trailer to see it. I love the picture of you and Karen ballroom dancing on the front that reads: "On New Year's, Dance With A Purpose Or Dance with a..." and when we opened up the card and it read: "Porpoise! Happy 2011" and there is Karen dancing with a porpoise in the water—we laughed out loud. Thank y'all for sending it to us and Happy Holidays to y'all. We love y'all and miss you. Keep dancing!

Well, it is time for me to hit the hay, because I need to get up early, so I can do The Harley Show at 7:45 in the morning. 
Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

That Beautiful Old Desk!

Even though today was the shortest day of the year, I accomplished much, but I didn't get to walk today, because we had unexpected visitors show up wanting to meet us and visit and take tours, which was fun, but it messed up our plans for our day. And now I am starting to get really concerned about not reaching my goal of walking 1,825 miles before the New Year, because of all of the holiday seasonal traffic.

This morning after breakfast, Tone and I went over to the Lodge to have a short visit with Kinky, before we officially started our day. While we were drinking coffee with him, he said, "I watched some of the eclipse of the moon last night..." When I asked him if the moon was coppery red—he said, "No, because it was real foggy outside and..."

After a fun visit and drinking a cup of coffee with Kinky we came home, which was good, because thirty minutes later we were surprised when three different groups of people showed up, within twenty minutes of each other, without prior notice—because they didn't know that we are only open to the Public on Saturdays or by appointment only during the week.

It was fine. They were all really nice people and I enjoyed visiting with all of them. They told me that they came out, because they just wanted to meet us and visit and take tours, so I entertained them in Outer Space and gave them tours, while T. fed the dogs and cleaned the dog's pens. By noon the visitors were gone and I was feeling a little pooped.

So, after lunch, I spent an hour catching up with the newest paperwork and then, while Tony went to Medina to mail out several more letters for me—I finally went to work on my "Bookshelf Project," for my office, which I can proudly brag was, "Made In America—Medina, Texas—to be exact!" And, it only took me about an hour to build, and of course, it is not perfect, because "It' A Nancy." Here are some pictures that I took of the ten boards of cedar before I cut them up on the front porch, which I only had to use six and a half of, my finished bookshelf, the bookshelf doing it's job in my office inside the trailer and the other picture is of my office. Please note that my handmade, cedar wood bookshelf only cost me ten dollars to build and I am thrilled with it!

Please note: That beautiful old desk, that I truly cherish, that the computer is sitting on, which is oddly, exactly like the old desk in Kinky's office, belonged to my sweet grandfather, then given to my dad and then passed down to Ronnie—that Ron gave to me over twenty-some-odd-years ago, and I can guarantee you that it was Made in America, too, because it is still solid as a rock and was made with American pride.

This evening while we were over at the Lodge, visiting with Kinky, The Friedmans and Frank—FedEx showed up with a delivery for Kinky. A good friend of his had sent him some presents and a big canister of delicious looking Chocolate Peppermint Bark cookies. As the men nibbled on the delicious cookies, I looked under the pretty, decorated canister and said, "Guess where these cookies were made?" After they had swallowed some bark, I said, "Made In Mexico. Can you believe that?"

It is now way past my bedtime and I need to hit the hay—so to speak.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm Not Going Anywhere Tomorrow!

Today has been good, but quiet, which is good, because I am now totally caught up with my paperwork, but this evening it got weird fast.

This morning, while Tony was in Medina drinking coffee with his friends—I was over at the Lodge drinking coffee with Kinky, one of my best friends. As The Friedmans (Brownie, Chumley & Sophie) took turns letting me pet them, Kinky I discussed the weather and the drought that we are now in. Then we talked about our books and future books. When Kinky started talking politics—I purposefully changed the subject to a lighter subject. "Have you ever seen the movie, "Trains, Planes & Automobiles" starring John Candy and Steve Martin? I love them and I literally cried when I found out that John Candy had died."

"I knew John Candy," Kinky said, as I choked on my coffee from his remark. "I liked John, but I never saw that movie..."

"I love that movie so much! It is one of my favorite movies of all times. I'll loan it to you. You've got to watch it, maybe when Marcie is here..." Before leaving the Lodge, Kinky accepted my invitation to eat breakfast with us. Then I came home.

While I was in the midst of cooking breakfast—T. returned from Medina. Fifteen minutes later, we were over at the Lodge eating eggs, bacon and biscuits with Kinky and the men cleaned their plates, which made my day!

This afternoon Buttermilk took us to Kerrville, so I could mail out another ton of letters and for us to go to Home Depot to buy some boards, because I'm fixin' to build another bookcase tomorrow, for my over- crowed office.

This evening when I went to check my e-mail I became a little bit alarmed when I saw the headline on Yahoo about two major celestial events happening back to back tonight and tomorrow, so I clicked the button Who Knew? to learn more about the full moon eclipse tonight and the moon being a coppery red color, instead of black & white, and tomorrow being the Winter Equinox and it being the shortest day and longest night of the year and the beginning of Winter.

After watching the short, but informative video, I read about tonight's meteor shower, so I started worrying about planetary things. When T. came into the kitchen I said, "Tone, you're not going to believe this. I think the sky is falling—sort of, because right now we are under the influence of a Full Moon, Mercury is in retrograde and tonight we are having a full, 72 minute and 22 seconds, eclipse of the moon that is going to be a reddish color, along with a meteor shower and tomorrow is Winter Solstice!" Tony started laughing, as he filled his drinking glass with cold water from the water cooler. "Tonight and tomorrow are going to be really weird. I promise you and..." After T. took a sip of cold Ozarka water, he hugged me, while he shook with laughter.

"Don't worry about it, Nance. Everything is going to be okay. I promise."

"Well, I am worried," I said, as he casually strolled down the hallway to his office. "I'm not going anywhere tomorrow!" I half-hollered, so he would hear me—and I'm not.

P.S. Our great volunteers, Ellen just sent this to Eileen and she just sent it to me. It is short and the cutest, goat video titled, A Giggle With The Goats—Jingle Bells Holiday Performance! I promise it will make you laugh. I love goats!

Y'all have a great evening! (If you can.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Last night before I started writing my blog, I checked my e-mail. I received a note from Carol and it made me chuckle when I checked out this picture, because I've never seen a pretty, pink pair of welding gloves. Carol wrote: "Just had to brag! James got these for me today. He takes good care of his help!"

After showing Carol's pink welding gloves to Tony, I started writing my blog and the weirdest thing happened right after I posted it—thanks to Mercury in retrograde. As soon as I posted it, Tony immediately read it on his computer and he laughed a few times, as I copied and pasted it and filed it away on my desktop. Then I reread it on the computer, like I always do after I post a new blog, so I can try to catch any spelling or grammar errors that I missed. And, I found one—a really big one!

The fourth paragraph up from the bottom was suddenly missing-gone-disappeared, causing the next paragraph and the story to make no sense at all, so I quickly opened up the file, that I had just saved to my desktop, to see if I had somehow deleted that paragraph where Tony asks me to buy some Static Cling, because he keeps getting shocked outside, and it was right there—in black & white—I had not deleted it. So I copied and then pasted the paragraph back into my blog and reposted it. 

After I checked to make sure the paragraph was back on page where it belonged, I clicked my comments folder and I had one new comment from Mari, of the NoMads. Mari wrote:

"Now I'm not complaining, mind you, but I'm going to have to ask you to "bridge the gap" between the paragraph that begins "on our way home" and the paragraph that follows. 

It could be that age has also affected my comprehension, not just my memory, but I really want to find out for sure, so please help me, Obewan Nancy - you are my only hope." After laughing at what Mari had written, I posted her a comment to tell her that it was now fixed and I was blaming Merc. Then I went and told Tony about the paragraph suddenly missing and he told me that it was there when he read it.

Today has been great. This morning after walking eight miles with Sansone and her friends inside the trailer, I checked my e-mail. My new friend, Joni Johnson Daniel, the Publisher for "Texas Animal Imprints" magazine wrote to tell me that Texas Animal Imprints new web site is now up, so I checked it out and it looks fantastic and it has a page that allows you to download older issues of the magazine in PDF, so you can read them. 

A little after three o'clock, T. and I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and his friends, Rambam, Frank and Brian Kanof, the talented, professional photographer from El Paso. And it was a fun visit, especially for Tony, because he beat Brian in two games of pool. The Medina Bulldog Rules!

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Static Cling!

This morning I got up really early so I could do my chores before calling Harley at seven forty-five to do his radio show. After a fun visit with Harley, I started cooking breakfast. Normally I don't cook us breakfast, unless you count boiling water for T.'s oatmeal cooking, but last night I promised Tony that I would fix him Huevos Rancheros this morning, because it is one of his favorite meals that I cook.

For those of you who are not from Texas, Mexico or the Southwest, Huevos Rancheros is basically eggs cooked how you like them, covered in salsa and served on a hot corn tortilla, with a side of refried beans and hash brown potatoes, but I make mine a little different every time, because I like to be creative with what's currently in the refrigerator.

This is how I made Tony's Huevos Rancheros this morning. I cooked some home made hash browns with onion and bell pepper while the corn tortillas and a couple of slices of leftover Thanksgiving ham, warmed inside the oven, while some homemade pinto beans cooked on the stove top. When everything was heated up, I cooked two eggs over medium and then threw it together.

I plopped the hot tortillas on the plate, covered them with some homemade salsa, divided up the hash browns, topped them with the ham with the eggs on top, and the beans on the side, and Tony's eyes lit up when he saw what he was going to eat for breakfast.

As Tone ate my latest version of Huevos Rancheros, he kept telling me how delicious it was and then he says, "Nance, you need to make these for Kinky and Frank..." So, I called Kinky.

Twenty minutes later Kinky and Sophia greeted us at the kitchen door and then T. took off to a bunkhouse to go tell Frank that I had made Huevos Rancheros for him, too. During their breakfast there was a lot of laughing and they told me that they loved my Huevos Rancheros—which made my day and it was still early.

When we returned to the rescue ranch, our great volunteer Jim, was already here walking our dogs. While Tony did his outside chores I walked six miles with Leslie and right after I had finished Mama and Abbie started barking, so I looked out the front door to see who was here—it was Eileen, another one of my favorite dog walking volunteers and her dog, Callie was with her. So, I went outside to greet her and to pet Callie Dean, the super dog that she adopted from us on Memorial Day—that Sharon Griswold trained.

"Nancy, I came out to give you the money for the dog's Christmas dinner, but I can't stay long, because I have to..." After I thanked her for the donation I had a really fun visit with her and C.D.

"Callie Dean sure turned out to be one beautiful dog," I said. "She is so lucky that you adopted her and..." Before Eileen left, I invited her inside the trailer to show her my latest decorating and she told me that she loved it, and that June, Ellen and her were excited about coming out Christmas morning to help us cook and serve our dogs their home cooked Christmas dinner! "Tony and I are thrilled that y'all are coming out to help us—it will make our Christmas great."

Late this afternoon, because of another pile of paperwork that I had to take care of and mail out, Buttermilk took us to Kerrville, so we could buy our dog's holiday dinner at H-E-B. Our first stop was at Wolfmueller's Books so I could drop off the movie that Mari, of the NoMads, had loaned to me, so she could pick it up there and to also say hi to our friends Sandy & Jon. When we arrived at their bookstore it was packed full of happy customers buying tons of their books. After a fun, but short visit with them and their son Kurt, who was in town visiting them—we took off for H-E-B.

Before we walked inside H-E-B I dumped a ton of letters into the mailbox outside and then Tony and I grabbed two shopping carts and went inside. T. followed me up and down the isles as I put our groceries into my cart and he put our dog's holiday dinner in his basket on wheels. In less than thirty minutes we were standing in line to check out our groceries and I went first.

After writing a check for sixty seven dollars and twelve cents I said, "I'll wait for you outside, Tone." Several minutes later Tony walked out of H-E-B. "How much did it cost?" I asked, as Tony handed me the receipt.

"A hundred and nineteen dollars and ninety-two cents."

"That's seven dollars less than what we spent on Fay's Thanksgiving dinner for our dogs," I remarked. "I guess it is because we didn't buy dinner rolls and bought cheaper stuffing this time."

On our way home I said, "I think the next time we go to H-E-B I'm going to buy seven dollars worth of dinner rolls and more stuffing so no one wins the "Friendly Texas vs. Canada Food Fight." T. started laughing. "No, I'm serious. I love Fay, June, Ellen and Eileen for being so nice and covering the cost of our dog's holiday dinners this year and as far as I'm concerned— they are all winners in my book." 

"Nance, the next time we go to H-E-B please buy some Static Cling, because I am tired of being shocked everytime that I open up a gate. Please put it on your shopping list."

"Why don't you just put a little piece of wood in your pants pocket, instead?" Tony starts laughing so hard, he nearly wrecked Buttermilk. "What's so funny? Wood will keep you from getting shocked."

"No, it won't, Babe," Tone says, followed by a laugh, as he taps the steering wheel hard and shakes his head sideways. "I'm sorry, but wood is conductive to electricity and..."

Y'all have a great evening! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mercury Is Back In Retrograde!

Today has been okay—not really great, but not really bad either, thanks to Merc. I have spent most of the last two days with my head buried under paperwork and I have accomplished much, so I feel good about that, but there is still more to do.

I should be used to it by now, because for the past twelve years, the last two weeks of December always seem to be the busiest time of the year for paperwork, but this year having Mercury in retrograde officially starting today and ending on January first, makes it a little more interesting, frustrating and complicated for me.

For example, yesterday when I needed to print out some letters that needed to go out—Hewie, our normally faithful printer, decided to take a thirty-minute time-out, so he could have a nervous breakdown in my office. It seemed that every time that I pushed his button, he would start spitting out one blank page of letterhead after another as fast as he could—with all of his lights lit up, and madly flashing.

After reloading paper, time and time again and witnessing his bizarre behavior, I decided to quit pushing his buttons and do what needed to be done, so I left my office to go get some of that New Mexico sweet grass to be used for smudging, that Cindy had sent to me a while back.

Ten minutes later, after smudging the entire trailer, which was full of smoke, but smelled really good—Hewie was cured and he went back to printing everything that I asked him to print! It was amazing to me, but Tony didn't like it, because he doesn't like for me to smudge and "stink up" our trailer.

This afternoon when I returned from visiting Kinky, over at the Lodge, it was our fax's turn to act up. I was trying to send a fax up to Burleson, Texas, when Felix decided to eat the piece of paper and crumple it up, instead of doing his job. After retyping and trying to resend the fax four more times—I smudged the trailer again, but this time it didn't work, so tomorrow morning, because the people don't have a computer, Tony is going to snail mail it for me, when he goes to the Old Timer in Medina, to see his friends and drink coffee with them.

I wish that I had something more exciting to write about tonight, but that's about it for now.

P.S. Fourth, please don't let T. forget, tomorrow morning, to give you the signed book I put in Buttermilk.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, December 13, 2010

There's Something About Mari!

Tony and I had so much fun yesterday—compliments of our dear friend Mari, of the famous NoMads! Three weeks ago Mari sent me an e-mail to tell me that she had just bought tickets, as a Christmas gift for Tony and me, at the ROCKBOX Theater in Fredericksburg, for Sunday afternoon, December 12th and she and some of her friends would be joining us.

Even though I had never heard about the ROCKBOX, because everybody knows that "Tone and I don't get out much," I was excited and accepted her invite.

I received another e-mail from Mari after she read my blog, that I posted a week ago this past Sunday, about going to the Drumming Circle with Eileen and having to explain to the the nice instructor why T. hadn't come—"Well, let's just say that he's a country boy from Medina and he only listens to country music." And this concerned Mari.

Mari wrote that I might consider buying Tony some earplugs, because our seats that she had bought for us were "Front Row Center!"And then she warned me that all kinds of music is played during the performance including:  Motown, Rock, Bluegrass and Country. Then she joked about the music maybe being too loud for T., but she guaranteed me that it would not bother us since we are both hard of hearing. So, I quickly shot back an e-mail to her, to tell her not to worry and promised her that we would love the concert.

Sunday morning after Tony came back from the Old Timer he surprised me and said, "Nance, why don't we ask Frank to babysit the ranch for us while we are gone?" I started laughing.

"Tony, I can't believe it. I was just thinking the same thing, too."

After we showed Frank how to use the remotes, so he could watch some movies, we left the ranch at two minutes past noon. As we crossed the Echo Hill Ranch cattle guard, I programmed Garmina, the Garmin GPS, that I bought for Tony a couple of Christmas' ago, so I wouldn't get lost.

When we pulled out onto Highway 16 headed north, Garmina said, "You have forty-one miles to your destination. In forty-one miles turn right. Estimated arrival time one o'clock."

I leaned back in my seat and smiled, because I knew we were fixin' to have a lot of fun. "Oh, by the way, Tony, our seats are on the front row, center, so I brought along some earplugs for you, just in case the music is too loud." But, I intentionally left out the part about the rock 'n roll music and the Motown sound, which I could not wait to hear.

We were standing in the lobby at the ROCKBOX holding our tickets, at fifteen minutes past one. The show had been sold out and the place was packed with all kinds of interesting people and tourists. Then Kellye, another NoMad, walks up and greets us. "Yesterday, Mari drove down to Houston to get her mother and she just called to tell me that she is parking her car and her friend Gail will be here in just a few minutes." Then the lights in the lobby dimmed and then came back on. "Let's go find our seats?"

Three minutes later, Gail came up and introduced herself to us and as we visited with her, Mari and her sweet mom arrived one minute till show time! After quick howdys and hugs, we took our seats, the lights dimmed and the curtains opened.

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so FANTASTIC and we were sitting within ten feet from these very talented performers! And, I had goose bumps most of the time, and Tony never once asked me for his earplugs! It was one of the coolest shows that I have ever been too! I've never seen anything like it and I will never be able to thank Mari enough for our great Christmas present, with the "Best Seats In The House!"

When this incredibly great, entertaining show came to an end—the cast received a much deserved standing ovation and I was totally blown away with emotion, because I was now in the Christmas spirit—thanks to our dear friend Mari Bailey.

Wait a second. Bailey? Wasn't Jimmy Stewart a Bailey brother, in the classic movie, "It's A Wonderful Life?" I love that movie so much, and I watch it every year to get me into the Christmas spirit, and I just Googled it and Stewart played the lovable character, George Bailey. Well, I don't know if that is just one of those coincidences, but I know for a fact, because of Mari Bailey—she is the Bailey, who this year has put us in the holiday spirit, along with Cheryl and Walt Ratfliff, and I thank her and them, even though I will still watch "It's A Wonderful Life" because I love Jimmy Stewart and that movie so much.

On our way back to the rescue ranch, Tony and I could not quit talking about the incredibly, great concert and how much fun we had had. We loved the performances by the singer and impersonator who did Bette Midler and sang her songs, the hilarious and way too cool ZZ Top music and dance routine, which had T. and me laughing and tapping our boots, the English Brothers' beautiful country music and comedy act and the Motown does Christmas carols—which was our favorite, especially the Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and the Temptations. And when they finished it off with their version of Mitch Ryder's And The Detroit Wheels, "Devil With A Blue Dress On"—Christmas style, I wanted to stand up and dance, but I didn't because we were Front Row, Center. Thank you, Mari Bailey. We love you and please note that you have made our holiday season.

Y'all have a great evening!  And, if you are ever in the Texas Hill Country, go see the number one entertainment attraction at the ROCKBOX Theater. I promise that you will love it. I'll tell you about today, tomorrow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Roundup!

Today has been great, just like yesterday was and I am not nearly as tired as I was last night.

Yesterday morning after doing my chores, I walked six miles. I wanted to walk eight, but I did not have the time, because I wanted to go over to Kinky's to drink a cup of coffee and visit with him and Bob and Don.

After howdys and hugs I poured myself some coffee and then we got to visiting. After we talked about politics, which I don't care to talk about because it depresses me, Bob cheered me up with his great news about Mama, the sweet, three-legged Pit Bull that he adopted from us, several years ago, that John Kemmerly hand-delivered to him in Louisiana. Then it was my turn to change the topic of conversation.

"I am trying to do my part to help the United States by only buying products Made In America and it is nearly impossible," I said, as I adjusted my soap box. "Do you know these Levi's that I'm wearing were made in Haiti?...." After a lengthy discussion about it with Bob and Don, Kinky walked into the big room to join us and then he handed me an expensive looking sweatshirt.

"Where was this made?" Kinky asked, as he fumbled in his pocket for his reading glasses as I read the label.

"Made In China," I said. "Kinky, I'm serious. I don't think anything is made completely in the U.S.A." Then to prove me wrong he walked back into his office and came out with a U.S. military cap and handed it to me and I looked inside the cap for a label, but it had been cut out, so he went back into his office and returned with another embroidered military cap that someone had given to him. I looked inside and said, "Sorry, Kink. It says, "Made In China" too." Twenty minutes later, after we had exhausted the subject—I returned home and cooked an early lunch for Tone and me.

Two minutes past noon, T., James Dean and I left the rescue ranch in Buttermilk, because we were supposed to meet up with Copper and her friend Lee, who wanted to adopt James Dean, at twelve-thirty in The Inn of the Hills parking lot. And, the reason that we were meeting them there was because Lee and Copper were going to have an eleven-thirty lunch at the Alpine Restaurant—to celebrate Copper's birthday.

When we pulled into the parking lot and parked Buttermilk next to Copper's car we were seven minutes  late, but it didn't seem to matter to them, because Lee was so happy and excited about adopting James Dean. Five minutes later, Copper drove away with James Dean in Lee's arms, to take him to his new fabulous, forever home with her! Thank you, Copper and Marcie for helping us with J.D.'s adoption!

As soon as we got back to the ranch, I punched Carlton's button to see if we had any new phone message, but we had none. Then Tony and I went outside, jumped into Kermit and then took off to the barn to get some apples and horse feed, because we were fixin' to go roundup Little Jewford, our cute, miniature donkey and his horse buddy, Shalom, because they had wandered off to our neighbor's ranch and we needed to get them back to Echo Hill. Instead of writing about this fun adventure, I made a short, two and a half minute video—The Roundup. And, I hope you enjoy it, because it is my first attempt to make a video using iMovie. Here is a picture that I took of Little Jewford and Shalom back at the ranch eating hay.

Around four o'clock, after Tony and I hayed and fed the donkeys and Shalom, at the barn, we jumped in Kermit and took off for the Lodge. When we walked inside the Lodge, Kinky was grinning ear-to-ear. "I'm on a roll, y'all!" Kinky said. "I have just played six games of pool against Frank, Bob and Don and I won them all. Come on and play me, Tone. The Hummingbird Man is the pool champion of Echo Hill!" Tony grabbed a pool stick and the game commenced, as Bob and I sat there and watched. 

For every ball that The Hummingbird Man sank into a pocket, The Medina Bulldog sank one or two more. Near the end of the one game tournament only three balls remained on the green felt covered table: the eight ball, one solid and one stripped ball. Then it happened so fast I couldn't believe my eyes. The Hummingbird Man accidentally sank the eight ball! The game was over and my Medina Bulldog had won! After we teased Kinky about his loss to Tony, I challenged Kinky to shoot a game of pool with me. 

I could tell that The Hummingbird Man didn't really want to shoot a game of pool with me, but he was nice and did anyway and I beat him, too! The same way Tony beat him. Then Kinky suggested that Bob play Tony. Bob won the first game and The Medina Bulldog won the second game, so they decided to play one more round of pool and Bob won, so we came home.

After returning a few phone calls, I decided to tweak my column for "Texas Animal Imprints" magazine, one more time and then I e-mailed my story to Joni Daniel, the Publisher, along with some pictures. Then I said a silent prayer that Joni would like what I wrote.

Ten minutes later my prayer was unexpectedly answered when I received an e-mail from Joni, "I love it!...." Joni had just made my day, so I quickly shot her back an e-mail to thank her and to tell her that she had just made my day and was thrilled that she loved it!

Knowing full well that my day had been a great one and couldn't get any better, I decided to celebrate it and have a little fun. So I sat down at my computer and using Photoshop, I designed and came up with a pretty, funny business card for myself, that I hope will make people laugh when they read it. I can't wait to show it to y'all, but I think it still needs just a little more tweaking.

Right before dark, right after I was done working on my business card and saving it to the desktop, the dogs started barking outside and then a man, dressed in brown, knocked on our front door and stood back, just as T. was going outside to see what was going on. Seconds later, Tony came back inside with a package of pears, but they weren't just any old pears. They were "Harry & David" organic Royal Riviera Pears"—sent to us by Karen and Terry Cauthen, wishing us a Happy Holidays and A Happy New Year! (Karen, is the kind hearted woman who rescued Clark Kent off of the highway last year.)

As T. and I each ate a delicious pear, I looked at the beautiful box once again and about fell over with excitement. "I can't believe this, Tone! Look here. It says right here, that these pears are "America's Rarest And Finest!" We're talking Made In America!"

"I can't believe this!" I said, as Tony looked at the box. "I didn't think today could get any better and it just did. Karen and Terry have also just made my day for the second time today. Isn't this great! I love these pears..." Thank you, Karen and Terry!

This morning while I was walking with Leslie, I decided to invite Kinky, Bob, Frank and Don over to eat lunch with us. After I had walked six miles I picked up the phone and punched in Kinky's phone number. Two minutes later I was in the kitchen cooking lunch for six—to be served at noon.

Kinky arrived ten minutes early, so he could have a picnic in Outer Space with Toto and our dogs and before Bob and Don walked over. Lunch was a lot of fun and the men ate it up and told me they loved my cooking, before Kinky left to go back over to the Lodge, because he was expecting an important phone call. 

While Don and Bob ate some of Ben's delicious "Miles Of Chocolate" for dessert we had a fun visit. But, when Bob tells me that he has known Kinky for over thirty-six years and that he first met him when Kinky, Bob Dylan and Dennis Hopper came down and visited him at his home in Mexico, I nearly fell off my bar stool! "The first night that they were there, we stayed up all night playing Chess for fifty dollars a game. I won all of my money back just before dawn," Bob said, as we all laughed, as the dogs started barking outside to let us know that Kinky's, Tony's and my good friend, Fourth Coates had arrived!

After introducing Fourth to Bob and Don, they took off to go walk around the rescue ranch and visit with our dogs while we visited with Fourth inside the trailer and caught up with each other's news. When we went outside, Fourth says to Tony, "I want you to take a picture of Cousin Nancy and me in Outer Space." We laughed and then T. shot Fourth and me.

While we sat in Outer Space visiting, a car drove up, so T. went to greet them, so Fourth and I could visit and I had a blast. Fourth is a great man with a greater sense of humor and he had me laughing so hard that my back started aching when he told me about his and his lovely, sweeter-than-sweet wife, Lynda's plans for the holidays.

When Tony walked into Outer Space he told me that our super friends and nearby neighbors, Don and Gerri Dickerson were here and wanted to see me, so I went to visit with them and Fourth and T. took off in Kermit, to go visit with Kinky over at the Lodge.

After howdy's and hugs, Don and Gerri introduced me to their friends Ervin and Cindy. After shaking hands with them and welcoming them to the ranch I said, "Why don't we all go into Outer Space to visit?" And they all started laughing. As we walked towards the trailer, I told them about Outer Space, the cool, screened-in-porch that my brother Ronnie and my nephew Tom had built for us in just one and a half days. 

After a fun visit with them in Outer Space we went over to the Lodge, so Gerri and Don, the people who   rescued and gave us Harley, our first baby wild hog, several years ago, could say hi to Kinky and for Cindy and Ervin to meet him. To say the least, since it is nearly forty minutes past nine, as I write this and need to wrap it up—we had a really fun visit.

Late this afternoon I had two phone calls. The first one was from Lee, thanking us for letting her adopt James Dean, who she is convinced is the sweetest dog on Earth and the other call was from Sandy Wolfmueller, to let me know that she had found another Susan Albert Wittig mystery book for me and she would hold it for me.  

It is now time for me to go to bed, because we have an exiting day planned for tomorrow with Mari and The NoMads. This has been a long blog tonight, so I may take tomorrow off, but I promise to write about our fun day tomorrow, on Monday. 

Y'all have a great evening.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Tease!

Today has been one heck of a great day! But, tonight I am going to write a short tease about it and write all about it tomorrow when I have a lot more time to space, because I am really pooped.

This morning I walked some miles. After lunch we had a fabulous forever adoption. Then Tone and I were involved in a ranch roundup that I shot video of, but must put together first before I post it. You're not going to believe the outcome of  today's big pool tournament involving several people over at the Lodge. Who has designed and has some hilarious new business cards. The first response I got from writing my second column. And who sent us fruit and the two people who have made my day.

Today, so to speak, my plate was over-loaded big time, but I have accomplished much and thank goodness I didn't drop the plate, so please understand why I must rest tonight. I promise you that tomorrow's post will be quite interesting. And, there is even more. In this tease, I have purposefully left out a few other happenings to surprise you. Good night.  I'm going to bed.

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy Birthday Copper Love!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Piece Pipe!

This morning Tony woke me up early so I could do the Harley Show at seven forty-five. Doing Harley's radio show was fun, because as always, Harley had me laughing and Pumpkin was his Pet Of The Week. She's the cute little one-year-old dog that we rescued from the pound the day before Thanksgiving. I love her eyes.

This morning I didn't walk with Leslie, because my deadline for writing my column in "Texas Animal Imprints" magazine is due tomorrow, so I spent much of my morning working on it, in between several phone calls. One of the phone calls was from our good friend Carol, inviting us over this afternoon so, she and James could teach me how to weld. "James and I talked earlier and we've decided that I am going to teach you how to use the plasma cutter and James is going to teach you how to weld..." 

"That sounds great, Carol, but I'm not sure if we can do it today, because I am in the middle of writing my column for "Texas Animal Imprints" and we have to go to Kerrville to run a few errands. Let me call you later in the day..." 

At one o'clock I officially came down with a bad case of "writer's block," so T. and I took off for Kerrville in Buttermilk. On our way to Kerrville I told Tone about Carol's earlier phone call. "Carol told me that she and James had just finished reading my blog about them and said it had made their day and..."

"How sad," Tony joked. "The next time that I see them, I'm going to kid them about it and tell them that they need to get out more." 

"Well, that just might be today if we get back home early enough. Maybe welding will help end my "writer's block" like my water coloring did..." An hour and a half later we were back home. 

"Tony, please call Carol and James and see if it is too late for us to come over, while I put on my welding costume. Carol told me to wear the oldest, worn out clothes I have, because I might want to trash them after handling and welding on old dirty, rusty pipe. I wish that we had had the time today to go to Gibson's, so I could have bought a welder's cap..."

While T. talked to Carol on the phone, I shed another pair of 501 Levi's which were made closer to home in Mexico, not Haiti like the other pair was, and then I dressed in my old, oversized paint-stained sweat pants and sweatshirt. Then we left the ranch.

After howdys and hugs we quickly got down to business. "Nancy," Carol said, "you're going to get to wear this painted welding helmet that we bought at a garage sale. When I saw it—we laughed.

"I love it!" I said, as they helped me put it on and showed me how to use it. "I can't wait to get my own helmet and paint it pink! Won't that be cool!" Then we put on our helmets and that is when Tony shot Carol and me. And, please note: that it is not my new teeth shining brightly—it is the protective eye cover.

Before Carol sat down to give me my Plasma Cutter 101 lesson I noticed a pretty piece of pipe laying on the floor. "Carol, this is really cool looking. You should keep it and put candles in it. I really do like it. You should name it The Piece Pipe, because it is made from three pieces of pipe." Carol & James and Tony started laughing.

"No way," Carol said. "It's what I have been practicing on. You can have it. I don't want it."

"Tone, guess what we are getting for Christmas from Carol and James—The Piece Pipe," I joked, and then I shot it.

Then Tony took this picture of Carol and me getting ready for her class. Don't we look feminine!

Here is a short, nineteen second video that T. took of me using the plasma cutter for the very first time after Carol's great lesson. And I especially love Carol and James positive feedback.

After I had learned the basics of how to use the plasma cutter from Carol, which I now want. I put on Carol's heavy, leather welding gloves and then James sat down with me and patiently showed me over and over again how to weld, which is a whole lot harder to do than it looks and it was pretty scary when you have hot sparks flying everywhere around you. 

James was a great instructor, too and his lesson ended after I had used up five of their welding rods and had learned the basics of welding. Before we took off our helmets I asked Tony to shoot us one more time.

As soon as we got home the first thing I did was punch in Kinky's phone number. "Kinky, I have some exciting great news for you! Guess what! I'm a welder and I know how to use a plasma cutter, too! Carol and James taught me today."

"Oh really?" Kinky said, and then he chuckled. "That is some great news for me, Nance." 

"I know," I said. "If you ever need something welded—I can do it for you, but I need to practice some more before I do it and..." After we talked about my new learned skills, we talked about Maude. "Maude is such a great, little dog and I am so glad that Tony and I adopted her. This morning I couldn't find her in the trailer and started looking for her. I finally found her sleeping on a  pillow, under the bench in our bedroom, where Yoda used to sleep..."

Today has been so much fun thanks to Carol and James. And because of them—my writer's block went away and I have finished writing my piece for "Texas Animal Imprints" January/February issue. Thank you, Carol and James. Tony and I love y'all and we feel so honored to be your friends and neighbors! 

Y'all have a great evening!