Monday, February 28, 2011

Hey Dude!

Today has been a great day. This morning we took Little Ann and her cute little five-week-old puppy, Belle Starr, to Hoegemeyers to get their checkups.

Then we went to H-E-B to get groceries and we ran into our friends, Gerri and Don and had a fun visit with them over by the egg section. Then we came home.

After we put up our groceries and I returned some phone calls, I went into Outer Space and took pictures of my flowers and plants, so I would remember where to place them, when we returned them back outside after tonight's predicted light freeze.

Late this afternoon we went over to see Carol & James and to meet Carol's new super, cutting horse, Dude. When we arrived James, Carol and Dude walked up to greet us. "Carol! Dude is absolutely beautiful," I said. "I love his size and markings." And Tony agreed with me.

"I know," Carol said. "I love this horse. He is so well-mannered and fun to ride and..." After Carol and James took turns telling us all about Dude—we were so impressed, because Dude has won many cutting horse competitions and is from good stock, too. "You're going to love riding him," Carol said, "but first he needs to settle in here with our other horses and..." Tony took these two pictures of Carol and Dude and Dude neighing at their horses, before we went inside and had a fun visit and caught up with each others news.

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Should Have Shot You, Again!

Yesterday was a great day. Friday morning, our great volunteers: Eileen, Jim and Lisa, came out to walk our dogs and so did Sharon Griswold, the incredible dog whisperer of "Rover Misbehaving?" who volunteers her time here, so she could work some more of her magic on Annie Oakley and Mr. Rogers. And now it is time for me to do a big shout out to them—"The Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch Salutes:  Eileen, Jim, Lisa and Sharon for caring and helping our dogs! Thank You! We love y'all!"

Like yesterday, today was great, too. This morning around eleven o'clock Karlen & Drake and Zach came out to officially hang Karlen's sign, that we had made—for sponsoring a dog pen for a $1,000.00 donation. And, we thank you, Karlen!

When they arrived we invited them inside the trailer for some coffee and to show Karlen her sign. The second Karlen saw the sign she teared up, then she said, "I love it! And you put Chula's picture on it, too!" Then Karlen gave us some cute pictures of Chula Bean with Al Gore, the handsome, black Lab that they had also adopted from us years ago.

When our coffee mugs were emptied, we went outside, in the misting rain, to hang Karlen's sign on the pen that Chula was in, when they adopted her and it was pretty emotional, especially for Karlen. Here are two pictures that I took of Karlen and Drake, and I need to apologize to them now. Drake, I am blind as a bat, so please forgive me for shooting you with a branch in front of your face. And Karlen, when I shot you, I forgot that you were posing for Zach at the time and I should have shot you again.

After my lousy photo-shoot, we went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and all that I am at liberty to say is, "We had a fun and a very, very interesting conversation with him in his kitchen.

This evening I did some work on the Space Ship. I took off the four cabinet doors in "The Red Room" and painted them, on our front porch, like the other cabinet doors in "The Blue Room" and I am so glad that I am finally done with them, because it took me over two hours to accomplish.

It is just a little past eight o'clock and I am so tired I'm fixin' to go to bed.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Plus 2 Minus 2 = Love!

Today has been more than great. When I did the Harley Show this morning I had so much fun. Before I told Harley who his Pet Of The Week was I said, "Harley, can I wish David Villanueva a Happy Birthday today?"

"No," Harley said, and then we both started laughing.


"I'm teasing you, Cousin Nancy. Of course you can wish him a happy birthday. Who is David Villanueva?"

"He's the lucky husband, of my good friend, Mari."

"Well then let's do it right," Harley said, and then in the background, Elvis started singing Happy Birthday. It was hilarious and it took me a little while to quit laughing. Then I told Harley that Daisy was his Pet Of The Week.

"Daisy's about three years old and is as sweet as she can be. She's great with other dogs, not hyper, not a digger or a climber..."

After breakfast, when Tony went outside to do his chores, I started cleaning the trailer, because my good friend Gerri, an extremely talented photographer, was coming over between ten-thirty and eleven—to "pick my brain." Which made me laugh, because like I told her, "We're talkin' slim pickings." 

As I pushed Hazel aka Purple Haze around the big room—the phone rang. Instead of letting Carlton take a message I answered the phone. "Rescue Ranch. Can I help you?"

"Ma'am, I am desperate and I hope that you can help me," A man said, sounding like he was starting to cry. "I live in San Antonio and on my way to work this morning I found a mama dog and her puppy on the corner of a busy intersection. I rescued them and put them inside my truck and I don't know what to do. I can't keep them and I have called every shelter in San Antonio and none of them will take these dogs..." And it broke my heart.

Knowing full well that we were at capacity out here and had no space available, I went ahead and told the kind-hearted man, that we could take the dogs, because today Boyd, from Fort Worth, who wanted to possibly adopt two of our dogs, had made an appointment to come out today. After the man thanked me, I gave him directions to our rescue ranch and then I went outside to tell T. about the mama dog and her pup coming in, in a few hours. 

As soon as I got back to the trailer—Gerri arrived with her friend and good neighbor, Cindy—to pick my brain. After howdies and hugs the pickin' and the grinnin' commenced and I had the best time with them. I'm not real sure if I really helped Gerri any, like she said I did, but I had a blast visiting with her and Cindy.

Mama Dog and Pup arrived, as Gerri and Cindy were driving off, as I was walking down to the puppy pen to greet the sweet couple, that had rescued the dogs. When I arrived, Gerri was holding Pup in her arms and kissing her, while visiting with the man's sweet wife, while Tone and the gentleman were putting Mama Dog into the puppy pen. 

After introductions to the caring wife, Cindy, Gerri and I took turns cuddling the cute, little fat puppy in our arms, as we visited with the nice woman. After Gerri and Cindy drove away, Tony put the puppy into the puppy pen to be with her mother and she immediately started nursing on her mama, as Mama Dog, whose ribs were showing, ate all of the dog food that Tone had put into her pan. "She's starved down now, but don't worry, I will get the weight back on her quickly," Tony promised the kind couple. After the couple thanked us and gave us a donation to help with the vet bills they drove away.

Forty minutes later, right after we finished lunch, Boyd, from Fort Worth, arrived and we really liked him from the get-go. After giving Boyd a tour and introducing him to all of our dogs and telling him all about them, he started narrowing it down. And by four o'clock he signed off on Lucy and her roommate, Ashley Judd's adoption forms! Tony and I were so thrilled for them for finally finding their forever home together. They are going to live in Cowtown with Boyd, his Aunt Alice and his 101 year old grandmother! Here are a few pictures of Boyd with Lucy, Ashley and Lucy sitting in the front seat of his car waiting to go home.

Early this evening Tony and I went outside to take pictures of Mama Dog and Pup. We plan to name them tomorrow before we take them to Hoegemeyer's to get their shots and examinations. I can't wait for Kinky to meet them. They are so beautiful and little do they know that their lives are fixin' to become the best. 

Y'all have a great evening! And may the dog of your choice bless you! Happy Birthday, David

Happy Birthday David Villanueva!

As y'all know Mari is a dear friend of mine and I want to be one of the the first to wish her lucky-to-have-her husband a happy birthday!

"Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear David! Happy Birthday to You! And Many More!"

And as Kinky, Tony and I like to say about getting older, "It only gets worse."  : )

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why Bee?

Today has been pretty quiet and I have enjoyed it. This morning I walked six miles with Sansone, and I talked to my sister Cindy, on the speaker phone, and we had a nice visit, as I walked the sixth mile.

For lunch today I made soup from a package, because it only takes twelve minutes to make. I fixed Bear Creek's—Santa Fe Chipolte soup and Tony loved it and so did I. Since there was quite a bit of soup left over, I called Kinky and asked him if he wanted some of my homemade soup.

An hour later, Kinky called to thank me for the soup and to tell me that he liked it, too. After he asked me what was in it, I lied and told him, "Oh, a little bit of this and that," because he thought it was homemade. And then I told him the truth about it being a Bear Creek Soup.

Around one-thirty the dogs started barking outside. Since T. was gone to run an errand, I went outside and met two very nice women. "Are you Cousin Nancy?"

"Yes, I am and welcome to the rescue ranch."

"My name is Laura and I am one of the NoMads. I know you know Mari." Then Laura introduced me to her friend.

"Yes, I know Mari very well and I think the world of her," I said. "If you're a friend of Mari's your a friend of mine. Why don't y'all let me give you a tour of the rescue ranch?" Before we went on a tour I showed them the new NoMad, pen sponsored, sign and they loved it.

Yesterday, we went to Hoegemeyers, because Harry Reasoner, a little dog that we rescued last week, was ready to come home to the rescue ranch. Harry has already stolen our hearts and I know that he will be adopted quickly, because he is so sweet and adorable.

Around three o'clock today Tony and I went outside, so I could take pictures of the three dogs that we've recently rescued, so Pat can post them on our web site. Lily is a beautiful three to four year Catahoula mix and she is sweet, well-trained and to say the least—a great dog. Here's....... Lily!

I am in love with Walter Cronkite and took this picture of him today. Walter is approximately one year old and is part German Shepherd and Basset Hound. He has the sweetest personality and I wish that we could adopt him, but we are living with assisted-living, old dogs and it wouldn't be fair to them. Here's.......Walter!

And now folks, here's.... Harry Reasoner! He is the cutest little dog that loves to cuddle and give away kisses. He is not hyper and he gets along great with other dogs and he is one to two years old. Harry has stolen my heart, too and I know that he will get his forever home sooner than later.

Early this evening I asked Tony to give me two of his pictures that he took of the honey bees eating our bird seed. Yes, eating our birdseed—why bee? We've never seen anything like it and for some reason since it has warmed up, we have so many honey bees in our bird feeders that the birds can't eat. If any of y'all can explain this, I sure would appreciate it. We have not changed birdseed brands and don't know how to get the bees to leave the feeders. Here are Tone's pictures that he took a few days ago.

This evening before coming inside I went into Outer Space and took this picture of my new flowers and laughed when I saw Smokey the Bear. 

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Here's Your Sign!

This morning after I walked six miles with Leslie, I checked my e-mail. Sandy Wolfmueller sent me a note thanking us for the roses that we gave to her, on her birthday, last Friday, along with this beautiful picture of them. Thank you, Sandy—you made my day!

This afternoon Tone and I took off for Kerrville to run a few errands—get groceries, and to pick up the two new dog pen sponsor signs, that we had made in loving memory of Chula Bean McLean and the one for the incredibly, great NoMads.

Our first destination was to get groceries at the H-E-B store where I made a fool out of myself, again and I am blaming T. for it, because he didn't shop with me, because he could have prevented it, but it really wasn't his fault, because he had his own cart and was off shopping for supplies for the rescue ranch.

After I had unloaded all of my groceries to be checked out, I went to the counter, so I could start writing my check and this sweet, young lady smiles at me and says, "Ma'am, do you know that this is for ten items or less?" My face immediately turned ten shades of red and I looked up and saw the sign and started apologizing, as I looked to my left to see how many angry people were standing in the fast check-out lane. 

Fortunately, there was just one woman in line behind me and she smiled at me and said, "It's not a problem. Don't worry about it." Then she looked over at the cashier, who was rapidly scanning my twenty-three items, so I wouldn't get busted by the "Ten Or Less Items Police" and she said to her, "I have thirteen items in my basket. Is that okay?" 

The nice cashier smiled at her and told her it would be fine, too. Then she handed me my receipt and smiled and said, "Thank you for shopping at H-E-B. You saved six dollars and seventy-cents today."

"And you just saved my life. Thank you. I really am so sorry..." As soon as my groceries were loaded into my shopping cart I raced out of H-E-B, because I was so embarrassed for being old and stupid, again. When I arrived where Trigger was parked, I confessed my sins to Tony, as he laughed at me and teased me, as he unloaded our groceries. Then we went to pick up the pen sponsored signs and I hope that Karlen, and Mari and the NoMads like them. Here's Your Sign!


Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Real Pain In The Back!

Saturday was a great day. I didn't post a blog last night because my back was killing me and trying to go out on me, because I laughed too much. This morning when I got out of bed my back was still hurting me, but after I walked six miles with Leslie this morning, it seems to be fine—thank goodness.

Yesterday, around eleven-thirty, Tony came inside and said, "Pumpkin just got adopted to a real nice lady and her name is Nancy."

"That's great! I'll take care of Pumpkin's paperwork right now." A few minutes later, T. and I were outside visiting with Nancy and talking about Pumpkin and telling her everything that we knew about her. After Nancy signed Pumpkin's adoption papers we jumped in Kermit and drove down to Pumpkin's and Pilgrim's pen, so Tony could put a collar and leash on her, which he had a hard time doing, because Pumpkin was so excited. Before Nancy took Pumpkin to her forever home, I took this picture of her with Pumpkin.

As soon as they drove away I called Kinky to tell him the great news about Pumpkin and he was happy to hear  it. Then I pulled our hot lunch, that I had prepared earlier, out of the oven. Then we sat down at the kitchen table and ate roasted chicken with mixed vegetables and cheese grits (made again, from the recipe that Sandy gave to me) and needless to say—Tony cleaned his plate and loved Cousin Nancy's Cheese Grits. (Sorry, Sandy—it's mine now!)

A few minutes past one o'clock, our friends, Jackie and her husband Billy Ray, from Kenner, Louisiana, who we had never met in person, arrived and we were so excited to finally meet them in person, because they have been Facebook friends with Tony for over three years and we have talked back and forth on the phone to them several times.

After howdies and hugs outside, we invited them to come inside the trailer, so we could visit. And please make a note, that my back was fine at this time, but not for long thanks to Jackie. Before the never-ending laughter commenced, they gave us some cool-looking t-shirts from Louisiana and we love them. Then Jackie pulled a gigantic, black and gold Mardi Gras necklace, out of their sack, and gave it to Tony and he loved it. Here's a picture of my t-shirt. Thank you, Jackie and Billy Ray, y'all are too sweet!

After we thanked Billy Ray and his better half for their gifts, we invited them to go into Outer Space with us, because the weather outside was perfect. In minutes, Jackie had all of us laughing so hard, my back began to ache a little, but I didn't complain, because I could not quit laughing at Jackie's hilarious stories. After laughing for four straight hours at Jackie's funny stories, I said, "Jackie, you are one of the funniest people that I have ever met. You ought to think about being a standup comedian. I'm serious." And, Billy Ray and Tony agreed with me.  Then I said, "You're a natural comedian and so funny that my back is really hurting from laughing so much. Please go to a comedy club in New Orleans and give it a try. You really do have a gift and because my back aches so much, I am officially declaring you, 'Jackie—A real pain in the back!' You are too funny."

Tony and I had a wonderful time visiting with Jackie and Billy Ray and we feel so flattered that they drove all of the way from Kenner, Lousiana, just to meet us! Before leaving we gave them a tour of the rescue ranch and then we went into my writing cabin for another round of laughter. Tony and I love these people and here is a picture that I took of Tony with them, before they headed back to Cajun Country.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pig Tales!

Today was great even though this morning I tried to do the dance / workout video and I couldn't quit laughing at myself for being so uncoordinated. When Ben and Tony came inside the trailer, after doing their outside chores, I told them about trying to dance with the stars and they couldn't quit laughing, as I showed them some of my new moves that I could not do.

An hour later, when Ben was teaching me some stuff on my computer, our great volunteer aka dog whisperer, came out to work with Annie Oakley and I am proud to report that Sharon Griswold of "Rover Misbehaving?" is a miracle worker. Annie is turning into a social butterfly, with the best of manners. Thank you, Sharon!

Around one o'clock Dr. Leifeste came out to trim the hooves on our six pigs and Ben and Tony helped him. When they only had two more pigs to go I went outside and took these two pictures of them and then I went into the pigpen to help Ben round up Little Ricky for his manicure.

Fortunately for me, Ben didn't need my help getting Little Ricky into the chute, but he did when it was  Laverne's turn, because we couldn't catch her, as she wildly ran all around the pigpen. Then I had a brilliant idea on how we could catch her and I took off for the trailer to get a blanket.

When I returned, I told Ben, as I rolled up the blanket, "I think if we can get this blanket under her belly, we can use it like a sling and can carry her over to the chute..." And the minute I tried to put the blanket under her—she took off running and that is when, totally by accident, I turned into the" First Woman Pig Matador!"

Because we were chasing Laverne and trying to steer her towards the catch pen, the rolled up blanket that I was holding in my arms—unrolled and magically turned itself into a heavy cape, sort of like the kind matadors use and I started controlling her with it, as Ben helped push her behind towards the gate. "Look Ben! It's working! I bet that I am the first woman pig matador in the universe! Come take this cape and I'll stay behind her and push her." Ben started laughing.

"No, Nance," Ben said. "Keep moving her—we're almost there." I did as Ben said, but I didn't want to be the pig matador anymore, because I was scared that I might slip on a rock and fall and then be squished to death, by a sweet, big, fat pig named, Laverne. 

As we slowly guided her towards the gate, I started laughing, because I started visualizing my funeral. "We're so sorry, Tony. How did Cousin Nancy die?" And T., Kinky and Ben, would try not to laugh, and then take turns saying something like this: "A pig-in-a-blanket sat on her and it flattened her like a pancake. She was paper thin, like she's always wanted to be. It's going to be closed-casket, of course, and..."

"We got her, Nance," Ben said, as I suddenly came back to reality and he closed the gate behind Laverne. "Thanks, Nance, I can take it from here." I was so proud of myself for helping Ben, I strutted all of the way back to the trailer.

This afternoon we went to Kerrville to get supplies at H-E-B. and to pick up some flowers that we wanted to give to Sandy Wolfmueller for her birthday today. 

After we parked Trigger I took this picture of Tony and me standing in front of Wolfmuellers Bookstore, before we went inside, to give Sandy her bouquet of roses and wish her a happy birthday.

Sandy told us that she loved the flowers and this is a picture I took of her with her roses.

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy Birthday Sandy Wolfmueller!

Tony and I love Sandy Wolfmueller and we want to be the first to wish her a Happy Birthday.
"Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Sandy! Happy Birthday to You! And Many More!" We love you!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today has been fun. This morning Ben Welch came out to work for a few days and it is always fun when Ben is around, and Jim, another one of our great dog-walking volunteers, showed up to walk our dogs for us. Thank you, Jim for walking our dogs—they loved it!

This morning while Ben and Tony were outside working I walked another six miles, inside the trailer, with Leslie Sansone again and it felt good, because I got a lot of thinking done while I was walking off those miles with her and her gang on the TV set. By the time I had walked the six miles, I had decided to stop eating gluten food for a while, because of a TV show, that I had seen earlier this morning, that basically said that it makes you fat and is not good for you.

Around noon, after I had cleaned up I went outside to visit with Tony and Ben. After I showed Ben my new, used Space Ship #2, which he loved, we talked about my decision to quit eating food with gluten in it and he thought it was a good idea. So, I am fixin' to be gluten-free and looking forward to it.

While Ben and Tone worked outside on the water pipes, I finished writing my third column for the magazine, "Texas Animal Imprints" March /April publication and I just finished writing it about an hour ago and I hope that Joni likes it. I titled it, "Promises."

It is now nearly nine o'clock and I need to go to bed, because I'm already tired from being gluten-free all day. Tomorrow I plan to get up real early to exercise again, but to a different drummer this time. I am going to try to do that dancing video "Dancing With The Stars: Fat-Burning Cardio Dance" for an hour, so please wish me luck and hope that I don't break a leg. So, good night and sweet dreams to all from Utopia.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Front Door!

Last night I had one of the weirdest dreams that I have ever had in my life, so, of course, I am blaming the full moon for it, because the dream made no sense to me at all.

When Tony came home from the Old Timer, in Medina, I told him about my weirdest dream, which wasn't scary to me, even though it did include my dear, dead dad and Lucky, our recently dead, three-legged cat, who were both alive in it and happy. "And, Tony," I said. "There were these three soldiers, too, who showed up and came inside the trailer and they told me that they wanted to live in my trailer with me, so they could protect me. And one of them was a General in the Army! Can you believe that? I remember I didn't want them to live there, because Dad was visiting me, so I tried to be real nice and told them that I didn't think that was such a good idea, and then the woman and male soldier, who were young and good-looking and real nice people, too, went and took off the front door of the trailer and..." And that is when Tony smiled and gave me one of those looks like—you're crazy.

After we had quit laughing I continued with my story, "After they took off the front door, they threw it in the front yard, which made me pretty mad, and then they went outside and carried in a portable bar with barstools and sat it right down in the middle of the big room and then they started drinking beer."

Tony started laughing, again. "What kind of beers were they drinking?"

"I don't remember, but Dad and I drank a beer with them and the General. Then the friendly, young male soldier asked me to walk to town with him to get some groceries and I did and it wasn't far—maybe a mile or so and that is when these two young girls came up to us and said, "Is this your cat?" I told them yes, so they gave him to me. I was so happy to see Lucky—then we got lost somehow and were in some pretty park. And the dream ended when we finally found our way back home. I can't quit thinking about it and I can still visualize it. It was so real. What do you think it means?" Tony shook his head sideways.

"I don't know, Nance. It was just a weird dream and I wouldn't give it a second thought. I need to go outside and help Ellen and Charlie with the chores. They are so nice. I can't believe they came over to help me."

After Tone left the trailer I returned a few phone calls and e-mails and then I did something that I haven't done since last year—I finally walked six miles with Leslie Sansone and I loved it! So, I guess you could say that I am finally "back in the saddle, again," because I can't wait to walk with her tomorrow.

I spent the rest of my day taking care of business and doing paperwork. Around five o'clock, this evening, I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and The Friedmans and it was fun. Sophie was so cute, as she ran around the Lodge showing off her new haircut and "The Boys" (Brownie and Chumley) seemed to be as happy to see me as I was to see them. And, that is about all that happened today.

Y'all have a great evening! And, sweet dreams.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sporting Group!

Today has been a good day, but not much to write about. This morning Kinky, Tony and I went to Kerrville for our monthly "Breakfast With Beth" and her friends and it was fun.

After lunch Kinky came over with sliced turkey and ham, so he could have a picnic with our dogs and our dogs loved it and ate it up.

Late this afternoon I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky. We sat outside in the beautiful warm weather and it was a nice visit, as his dog Sophie, the love of his life, sat happily in his lap. And that is when I saw the full moon rising above the mountain. "We're talkin' Full Moon Time, Kinky," I said. "Now, it all makes sense to me..."

When I returned home Paul, Charlie and Ellen, our great friends and volunteers, were here and I had a fun visit with them. And that is about it for tonight. As I finish typing this, the beautiful Black Cocker just won the Sporting Group.

Y'all have a great evening.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Westminster Kennel Dog Show Tonight!

Happy Valentine's Day! Today has been another great day for me, but before I start I want to say that I watched the Grammy Awards last night and I absolutely loved it and I think it was one of the best Grammy shows that I have ever seen. I loved the Aretha Franklin tribute, Bob Dylan singing Maggie's Farm and I especially enjoyed Mick Jagger's performance.

Today we went to Wolfmueller's Books to see Sandy and Jon about a book that Tony wants, and to also meet Patty there, so we could go to lunch with her, because she is flying back to Florida tomorrow morning. When we walked inside the bookstore Mary Jo greeted us from behind the counter, and then we saw Patty visiting with Sandy and Jon near the back of the store.

Unfortunately, Jon couldn't join us for lunch because he was busy, but fortunately Sandy did and it was really fun and filled with laughter.

This afternoon after taking care of business I went outside and worked on the Space Ship for a couple of hours and accomplished much.

As I type this The Westminster Kennel Dog Show is on, so I am going to end tonight's blog, so I can watch it.

Y'all have a great evening!

Happy Birthday Carol Vail!

Tony and I love Carol so much and we want to be the first to wish her a happy birthday and sing happy birthday to her.

"Hmmmmmm......Happy Birthday To You. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday Dear Carol. Happy Birthday To YOU! And Many More With James!"

We miss you and can't wait to see y'all.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kinky Loved It, Too!

Friday was a great day, because Eileen, Lisa and Sharon, our great friends / volunteers, came out! Our dogs and us were so happy to seen them, because it has been over two weeks since we have seen them, because of the cold weather.

When I came outside to greet them, Eileen and Lisa had taken off walking some dogs, so I went down to Annie Oakley's pen where Sharon was busy working her magic on our Annie. After watching Sharon do some miracle work on Annie, she gave Annie a dog treat and told her to rest, and then we had a really fun visit. We love Sharon Griswold of "Rover Misbehaving?"for volunteering her dog training expertise to help make our dogs more adoptable and I truly do believe that she is one of the best dog whispers in Texas.

When we saw Lisa and Eileen returning with Pilgrim and Pumpkin, Sharon and Annie went back to work and I took off to go greet them. After howdies and hugs the laughter commenced as we caught up with each other's news. I was glad to learn that Ellen is doing okay after her hip surgery, but I laughed when they told me that she was no longer a happy camper, since they had taken her off of the morphine and she also doesn't care for the food they are serving her. "She said, "It tastes like cardboard!"" Eileen said, before we started laughing again.

Before leaving the rescue ranch to go eat lunch in Medina, I showed Eileen and Lisa my latest work in the Space Ship and they loved it and could not believe how much work I have done to it and that made my day, because I am so proud of it.

When Sharon and Annie were finished with their dog training session—Sharon hugged us and wished us a Happy Valentines Day and then she gave us a basket full of delicious, heart-shaped chocolates.

So now I want to do a couple of shout-outs—"Thank You, Sharon, Lisa and Eileen! We love you as much as our dogs do and we cannot thank y'all enough for all of the good work that you do!" And this shout-out is for our sweet friend Ellen Jackson—"Just Say No To Drugs!" We love the picture that Eileen e-mailed to us, of you in the hospital bed, but I am not going to post it because you look a little too happy, if you know what I mean!

After lunch I spent most of my day checking and rechecking my e-mail, as I worked non-stop on "My Secret Project," in hopes that Sandy Wolfmueller would send me her cheese grits recipe, because I could not wait to fix it.

At five-thirty the phone rang and I decided to keep working on my top secret project, and let Carlton take the call. "Hi, Nancy, this is Sandy. I'm calling to find out if you cooked the cheese grits recipe and if you liked it. Call me. Bye."

"What? Sandy hasn't sent me the recipe," I thought, as I got up and grabbed the phone and called her right back. "Hi Sandy, it's Nance. I was working on my secret project when you called and I haven't received your recipe. I've been checking my e-mail all day for it..."

"What?" Sandy said, sounding a little disappointed. "Nancy, I sent it to you at five-thirty this morning..." A few minutes later the "missing recipe mystery" was solved—Sandy had sent it to an old address of mine that I rarely check.

Today has been great, because I cooked Sandy's cheese grits recipe for lunch, and I had to lie to Tone about it not being Sandy's recipe, because he hates grits with a capital "H." When he took a big, second serving of what I told him was, "Cousin Nancy's Bacon & Cheese Souffle" he started laughing. "Nance, this is really delicious and I like it, but I know that it is Sandy's recipe, because I can taste the grits..."

Later this afternoon I went over to the Lodge with a big slice of Sandy's cheese grits to get Kinky's opinion on them. "Nance, this is absolutely delicious!" He said, as he fed little pieces of it to Sophie, Brownie and Chumley. "You made this? What's in it?"

"Yes Kinky, I made it. Sandy sent me her recipe for it and I love it, too and it is real easy to make. It's got grits, cheese and....." Then I told him about my idea of doing a "Cousin Nancy Stolen Recipes" cookbook and he thought it was a great idea.

When I came home Tony asked me if Kinky liked the cheese grits. "Yes!" I said. "Kinky loved it, too!"

P.S. Thank you, Sandy Wolfmueller for sending me your secret, super delicious recipe that I have now stolen and renamed, "Cousin Nancy's True Grits"recipe.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Today Was Great!

Today was great, but I am pooped, so tomorrow I will tell y'all all about it.

Have a great evening!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"A Weird Food Person!" or "True Grits!" or "A Chocolate Miracle!"

Today has been great! This morning I cooked blueberry pancakes for Charlie Cooper, who came out to help Tony with his morning chores, and for Kinky, Frank and Tony and they all told me they were delicious, which at that time I thought had made "my day," but I was wrong, again.

After I cleaned up the kitchen, I sat down and checked my e-mail and when I read my dear friend Mari's, of NoMad fame, who I so admire for so many reasons—it made me tear up, because it was so sweet and kind. So, I want to thank Mari for truly making my day great! In fact, I am still on Cloud Nine!

This afternoon we went to Kerrville to have lunch with Patty Kearns, another one of our great friends from Florida, because she was back in town visiting her father and his sweet wife Peggy. Needless to say, our lunch was filled with non-stop laughter as we caught up with each other's news and then when we started talking about Miles of Chocolate, that Ben & Miles make, Tone finally got a chance to talk and he said, "I forgot to tell you, Nance, that Miles of Chocolate have released a new video and it is great. It starts out with Ben and Miles, his business partner, sitting in lawn chairs, on a patio, sipping wine and there's even a monkey in a tree and it...." When T. was done talking, Patty and I vowed to watch it as soon as we got home.

After an enjoyable lunch with Patty, the three of us decided to go see our friends Sandy and Jon at Wolfmueller's Books and I'm so glad that we did, because it was fun and filled with laughter, too. At one point when Sandy and Jon were busy checking out some customers Patty whispered, "I love this bookstore so much. It is my favorite bookstore in the whole world. It is a Texas treasure and Texans should declare it a historical..."

"I know. I love this bookstore, too," I said. "And, I love the vibes in here." Then after the paying customers left the bookstore Sandy came over and took off with Patty to show her some books that she thought that she might be interested in. When they returned we started talking about food and that is when I discovered that Patty is a W.F.P.—"a weird food person," because she confessed it to us and then after a hilarious discussion about it, I announced, "Y'all, this is a secret, but I might as well tell y'all. In a few months from now, when my "Secret Project" is finished, I am going to write a cookbook. I'm going to call it Cousin Nancy's Stolen Recipes and I am going to ask everyone that reads my blog to send me their favorite recipes and I will give everyone credit for their recipes and then write a little something about them and then I'll rename each recipe as "Cousin Nancy's Stolen....!" I think it will be a lot of fun. What do y'all think?"

After everyone said, "Yes! Do it!" Sandy says, "I've got the best Cheese Grits recipe that I will give to you. It is the best and is to die for..."

"We're talkin' True Grits here," I joked. "Sandy, we're fixin' to go to H-E-B right now to get some groceries. Please tell me what to buy, because I want to make that recipe. I've never eaten grits and..."

"I hate grits," Tony moaned, as he shook his head sideways. "I ain't eating them, Nance. I'm sorry, but..." After Sandy, Patty, Jon and I quit laughing about T.'s remark, Sandy told me what I needed to buy and I bought them.

When Trigger got us home safely, Frank came over for a visit and we had a nice one in Outer Space. When I told Frank about Sandy's delicious cheese grits recipe that she is going to e to me tomorrow, Franks says, "Nance, I love grits. My mama used to make them for us when we were growing up in Georgia. Cheese grits are the best and if you add a little bacon to them—they're delicious!"

This evening before writing this blog, I went to YouTube and checked out the new Miles of Chocolate commercial and I loved it. And, yes, there is a monkey in it and Ben and Miles were great in it and I loved what a fan had written to them, declaring it—"A Chocolate Miracle!" because I totally agree with her.

P.S. Charlie, thank you so much for coming out today to help Tony. I hope that you and Ellen enjoyed the Miles of Chocolate that we gave to you this morning!  

Y'all have a great evening! And I want to thank all of y'all for keeping me laughing and for being my friends. I'm so lucky!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It Looks So Real!

Today has been great! This morning Aaron came out for a few hours to help me work on the Space Ship, because he knows how to frame things better than me and I cannot wait for y'all to see the improvements. Before he left to go home our dear friends Geraldine and Don came over for a visit and they surprised me with this beautiful framed poster that Gerri made using her new "super printer!" I hope this doesn't make me sound conceited, but I love it! Isn't it beautiful! And please ignore the bright orb under my arm—the flash on my camera caused the effect when I took this picture of it.  I don't know if to hang it in the trailer or the Space Ship. Hmmm....Thank you, Gerri and Don!
This afternoon we took off to Walmart in Kerrville to get my eyes examined and new bifocals. Then we stopped by Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic to pick up Tony's Maudie and to meet Buddy, the little Chihuahua mix dog we rescued yesterday from a lady who had found him. OMG! He is so adorable and one of the sweet vet techs might adopt him, so we have our fingers crossed for him and I hope that you'll cross yours for him, too.

When we came home Ellen Cooper called me. "Nancy, I have something funny to tell you. Today I moved that giant Aloe Vera pot plant that you gave to me and when I sat it down I screamed, "Charlie, come quick! There's something live in this Aloe Vera plant!"" Then Ellen started laughing and then I started laughing, because I knew exactly what she had seen.

"A little Horned Toad?"

"Yes! It really startled me and it looks so real. I will bring it the next time we come over."

"No, keep it. It belongs with that thriving plant. I bought it at the Plant Haus in Kerrville and will get another one. I can't believe how real it looks, too and..."

This evening I worked a little bit more on the Space Ship and then I lassoed T. into helping me finish screwing down the top of the breakfast nook seats, because the weather is going to be rough for the next couple of days and I won't be able to work on it, before Friday, when hopefully if the weather is good, Eileen, Lisa and June come out, so I can show it off to them. Unfortunately, Ellen won't be coming out with them, because she is having hip surgery tomorrow. So, let me be the first to wish Ellen a fast mend.

Around six o'clock tonight, I went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and The Friedmans, and we ended up going with Frank for a fun hike on the ranch. And the good news is—I didn't trip or fall once!

Tomorrow my good friend Patty, of the famed P&P team, is flying in from Florida to visit her father and Peggy and I am so looking forward to seeing her. Have a safe trip, Patty and Thanks for helping me today, Tone! I love you1

Because of the predicted cold weather for the next two days I am fixing to take a shower and wash my hair, wash our clothes and fill the bathtub with water.

P.S. Mari, thank you for sending me the latest forecast for our area.

Y'all have a great evening!

P.S.S. Our neighbor Ellen just called. "We just went outside and it looks like there is a fire over there..." I just looked outside on the porch and didn't see anything, but Tony and I fixing to go outside and check things out.

As we were going out the front door Ellen called. It's a false alarm...." Thank goodness!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Northern Exposure!

Yesterday was great and today has been great too. Yesterday afternoon Tony and I jumped into Trigger and took off for Kerrville to get supplies. First, we went to Home Depot and bought some lumber and then we went to H-E-B to get groceries, because our cupboards were nearly bare, because it had been over a week since our last trip to Kerrville, because of the harsh weather.

On our way home I talked non-stop to T. about being so happy that the weather had warmed up to sixty-five degees and so thankful that the sun was shining brightly and everything getting back to normal. My happiness came to an abrupt hault, right after we walked inside the trailer with our groceries.

As we started to put up the groceries we listened to the new messages that Carlton had collected while we were gone on our shopping spree. "You have four new messages," Carlton blandly stated, before playing back the messages. "Nancy, Tony, Nancy, Tony call me!" The second message was forty minutes later, "Tone, Nance call Kinky!" The third message was made an hour later, "Nancy, Tony! Where are y'all? Please call me as soon as you get this message." By the time the fourth message played we had put up the milk, dog food and canned goods. "Nancy, Tony please call me as soon as you get this message or just come over," Kinky said. "I need to shut off the water to the Lodge, so Ray can finish fixinf the plumbing and I don't know where it is, and I did something wrong and now my televison isn't working..."

"Tony, leave the groceries—they'll keep. We need to get over to the Lodge," I said, as I turned on the kitchen faucet to wash my hands. "Tony! We have no water, again! No hot or cold!" And that is officially when my meltdown began.

As Tone drove Buttermilk over the river and through the woods I said, "I can't believe we don't have water again. This is starting to get really old and I can't believe it." Then I  realized that I was starting to whine like a baby, so trying to be more positive and upbeat I said, "Well, at least we have some clean clothes, clean hair and it's not cold outside."

When we pulled up to the Lodge, Kinky and Sophie came out to greet us. "Are you okay, Kinky?" I asked, as Sophie jumped up on me. Kinky laughed.

"I am now," he said, as we entered the Lodge, "I now have hot and cold water! Thank goodness. Y'all aren't going to believe my day..." As I walked into the big room to see if we could fix his television. "The TV is fixed, too. I had to talk to three different people at *&^%^&# to fix the problem..."

"That's great, Kink, but we need to take off, because we are out of water," Tony said. "Let's go, Nance."

When we returned to the rescue ranch Tony and I walked from pen to pen to look for a busted pipe and then we checked under our trailer and found nothing—then Tony found the problem in the outside bathroom and quickly fixed it and an hour later we had hot and cold running water inside and outside!

When Super Bowl 45 started I went outside and worked on the Space Ship until dark and then I came inside and watched it with Tony.

Today has been warm, windy and sunny at the same time and I spent most of my day catching up on my paperwork and returning phone calls and e-mails. Around two o'clock I was so tired of sitting behind the computer I decided to take a break and went over to the Lodge to visit with Kinky and pet The Friedmans and it was exactly what I needed, because we went on a hike with The Friedmans and it was fun for all.

Tonight I plan to work on my "Secret Project" for a while and then watch some of Season Five of "Northern Exposure" that I ordered from Netflix and I can't wait to watch it, because "Northern Exposure" is one of my all time favorite televison shows, because of the quirky characters and plots, but more importantly, because it makes me laugh.

Y'all have a great evening and stay warm!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday James Nash!

Tony and I wanted to be the first to wish James a Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday Dear James. Happy Birthday to YOU! Please ask Carol to give you a hug from us!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blast From The Past!

Compared to yesterday—today has been incredibly great—thank goodness! And I am proud to announce, after all of the water pipes that broke yesterday, that we now have hot and cold water running inside our trailer and our "his and hers toilets" are no longer frozen and working properly! Thanks to our great friends Charlie, Ellen and Aaron, who came out and helped fix them for us.

Yesterday morning my last dream before waking up was being so happy because the sun had finally come out and then I woke up and discovered that I had over slept and the sun was shining outside and the outside temperature was quicky rising and I could not have been happier.

After feeding our dogs I called Kinky to see if he wanted some Cousin Nancy breakfast tacos and then I started cooking them, as I sipped some Dunkin' Donut French Vanilla coffee and watched the morning news to find out how many people had wrecked their cars in the Alamo City and the school closings due to the ice, while Tony, who didn't go to the Old Timer because of the icy roads, was outside checking on the dogs and hand-watering them, using the water that Ellen & Charlie had brought over the day before, because our water pump was frozen and we were nearly out of water.

Breakfast over at the Lodge with Kinky was fun and we tried to laugh about the troubles we had, because of the uninvited Artic Blast that had been wreaking havoc on all of us for the past four days.

When T. & I came home the outside temperature was thirty-five degrees and rising, so Tone told me he would feed the dogs and clean their pens, so I could stay inside and make sure when our pipes thawed out I could quickly turn off the water to the trailer, in case they started bursting.

I spent the next hour getting happier by the minute, as the temperature outside rose to forty-seven degrees as the sun shined brightly.  I was literally on Cloud Nine when our toilets and bathtubs finally thawed out and once again became useful. Then twenty minutes later when the hot water started flowing—I was the happiest girl in the whole USA and could not wait to take a shower, instead of a sponge bath, and wash my hair! And then twenty minutes later when Tony came inside the trailer to eat lunch—everything went south and it wasn't T.'s fault that the hot water pipes burst under our trailer, so he ran outside to the pump-house and cut off our water supply.

To say the least—I was not a happy camper and I didn't complain much when Joni Daniels, the publisher of "Texas Animal Imprints" magazine arrived. After howdies and hugs, Tone took off for Medina to get plumbing supplies, as Joni and I drank coffee and caught up with each others news. We had a short, but fun visit and Joni was gone before T. arrived back at the ranch.

Around four-thirty Ellen & Charlie showed up to see if they could help us with our busted hot water pipes, as the sun disappeared behind the back of the trailer and the outside temperature began quickly dropping. Forty minutes later, they drove away, because there was nothing he could do, because we needed a special plumbing fitting and we couldn't get it until this morning. Then Aaron showed up to see if he could help us.

An hour later, near dark-thirty, after Aaron had crawled around under our trailer, he confirmed what Charlie had told us about needing the special fitting to fix things. So after thanking Aaron for trying to help us, too—he drove away and then we jumped in Kermit to go water the dogs and it was a little past seven o'clock when we returned to the trailer. And because we were both so tired—that is why I did not post a blog last night.

Today has been beautiful was the weather. By ten-thirty this morning—The Nellybelle was no longer a dysfunctional trailer, because we had hot and cold running water, as the sun shined brightly outside and our dogs basked in the warm, seventy degree weather.

Before I end tonight's post I am happy to say that we now have plenty of water inside and out, Tony and I have finally gotten to bath properly, washed our hair and thankfully, we no longer stink to high heaven, and thanks to Queen Bee & Airy Queen, we now have several loads of clean clothes and laundry and all of our dogs are doing great outside and looking forward to another warm day of seventy degrees. And as far as I am concerned, that Arctic blast is a blast from the past that I will never forget and hope to never see again.

P.S. Tomorrow is James Nash's birthday and I want to be the first to wish him a happy Birthday. even though I know it will be great because Carol loves him so much.

Y'all have a great evening and stay warm!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What A Day!

Today has been great even though the sun never came out and the outside temperature never got above twenty-three degrees.

After having a fun time doing the Harley Show with Harley I decided to cook something for breakfast instead of drinking a cold smoothie, so I started cooking homemade blueberry pancakes on the stovetop. While I was in the middle of this I called Kinky. "Hello," Kinky said.

"We're talkin' 16.1 degrees," I said. And Kinky chuckled.

"I've got 17.3 here. What's up, Nance?"

"I'm fixing blueberry pancakes and wanted to know if you and Frank would like some..." After T. and I ate the delicious pancakes, we took two, large pancakes over to the Lodge and Kinky and Frank devoured them and told me they were delicious and a perfect breakfast for a day like today.

At ten o'clock this morning our Angel Neighbors, Ellen and Charlie Cooper, showed up to help us feed and water the dogs and clean their pens, but before we started, we invited them inside the trailer for some coffee and a short visit.

Before going outside to work I looked at the big atomic clock on the wall, that Carol & James gave to us and said, "It's now 17.2 degrees outside. Let's make a bet about what the temperature will be when we finish our chores. I bet it will be 18 degrees outside."

"18.6 degrees," Ellen said.

"No, it will be 19.8 degrees," Charlie said. "I'm good at this."

"I'm betting on 24 degees," Tony said, and then we went outside to work—all wishing that T. would win the bet.

When the chores were done we came back inside the trailer after spending over an hour outside and the first thing we did was look at the atomic clock to see the outside temperature and it was 19.8 degrees. "I won!" Charlie said, with excitement. "I hit it right on the nail..."

At three o'clock the dogs started barking outside to let us know that Zeus' real owner had arrived to pick him up and take him home! Now let me backtrack a little and tell you about yesterday's strange phone call.

A young woman, who we'll call Karen, called me and told me that she had just found out that we had her Pit Bull, Duke and she wanted to come and get him. "We don't have a Pit Bull named Duke," I said. "We have Annie, Rockett, Landry and Rocky, but no Duke. I'm sorry, but we don't have your dog."

"Yes you do," Karen insisted. "My friends are friends of Kinky and they told me that they took him to the rescue ranch." And that is when something clicked in my brain.

"Are you talking about "Blank & Blank"?" I asked.

"Yes! Her mom, is "Another Blank" and she drove him down there. You see I have been out of the country and "the Blanks" told me they would take care of him until I got back and then they got busy and needed to travel and that is why they brought Duke to you..."

"Yes, we do have your dog, but they told me his name was Zeus and he has been heartbroken since he came here and we would love for you to come and get him, because he is breaking our hearts. Three weeks ago I called "Another Blank" and left a message about him being so unhappy, but she never called me back, but now it all makes sense as to why she asked me to promise to call her if someone wanted to adopt him and told me, "I'll drive back down here and pick him up." Hmmmmm...Is his name Zeus or Duke?"

"Both. He has two names," she answered. "I am so happy! When can I pick him up?"

"Right now," I said, but due to the weather she drove out today to pick him up and I don't know who was the happiest: Zeus aka Duke, Karen or Tony and me. Before we took Karen down to Zeus' pen I told her that I wanted to make a short video of their reunion and this is it and I have titled it, "Reunited!"
And I hope you like it and here are a couple of pictures of them happy to see each other and Zeus happily sitting in the front seat as they departed our ranch .

An hour later, while Tone was in Kerrville to get supplies, Darrel and Jennifer, a really nice couple, and their three delightful children, took Ben Stiller home to try him out with their other dog! And Ben was more than happy to leave, too. So, please keep your fingers crossed that it will work out and become Ben's forever home in Medina! And, I'm betting that it will be.

After T. and I watered the dogs we went over to the Lodge and told Kinky about Zeus and Ben and to say the least—he was more than thrilled to hear the great news.

Tomorrow the sun is officially supposed to come out—thank goodness and hopefully, we will be in the low forties and finally get to thaw out.

Y'all have a great evening and stay warm!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Y'all, I have been trying to write a blog tonight, but with the many interruptions on the Internet tonight and the rolling power outrages, due to the coldest weather that we have ever seen—I've given up.

Today has been a great day thanks to the kind comments made by Mari and 'Erb and for Charlie and Ellen Cooper, our Angel Neighbors, showing up this morning, to help us this morning,  to feed the dogs, clean their pens and watering the dogs, and for the caring phone calls from Jon Wolfmueller, Rick, the friendly lighthouse keeper, down in Port Aransas and Joni, the publisher and my editor for the new, great magazine "Texas Animal Imprints."

As of this morning, Kinky's pipes are frozen and he has no water over at the Lodge, but fortunately, we have cold water, but no hot water. It has been a rough and hectic day today and it ain't over, yet. The temp right now is 19 degrees and dropping to 15 degrees by morning, but tomorrow it is supposed to warm up finally—thank goodness.

I have some super great news about Zeus being adopted out tomorrow, but I will tell you all about it tomorrow, when the sun comes out tomorrow, because I'm fixin' to go to bed now, because I'm doing Harley in the morning at 7:45.

Y'all have a great evening! And stay warm. Burr......I can't believe that people chose to live in this kind of weather, because I need the sun and it's warmth,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Secret!

Today has been great. This morning our good friend and neighbor, Charlie Cooper came out and helped Tony with his chores, because it was so cold and we are not used to having weather like this and we cannot thank Charlie enough.

After tending to rescue ranch business this morning, I started working on "my secret" project, which I am very, very excited about! And, hopefully I will be able to announce it by next week. As a "teaser" I will tell you that last night this idea popped into my brain and I could not quit thinking about it. And this morning when my brother Ronnie called me to visit he tells me that he thinks that I should do this project—without me saying a word about it, which blew me out of the saddle, because it came out of nowhere, so I took it as a sign! And, I am doing it! Okay, enough teasing. I'm done talking about this for now.

Late this afternoon our "Angel-Neighbors" showed up, again to help Tony drain pipes, etc. and it was colder than cold. After Charlie and Ellen Cooper helped Tony, I told them that I was fixin' to cook cheese & garlic quesadillas for our dogs and they wanted to help, so we came inside the trailer  and started cooking Mexican food for our dogs outside. And in no time flat—we were outside handing out delicious, warm treats to our dogs—who could not wait to eat them! So, I want to do a big shout-out to Ellen and Charlie Cooper. "We Love Ellen & Charlie!"

About an hour ago I sat down and caught up with my e-mail and I have some exciting news. My dear friend Mari, of The NoMads, sent me a note about her and one of her "super" agility dogs being in the Abilene newspaper and I want to share it with you. It is a great article and "Mari, Tony and I think you look good without shoes."  : )

Well, that is about it for today. I am now fixin' to get back to work on "My Secret" project.

Y'all have a great evening!