Monday, April 29, 2013


Today has been great. This morning after Tony and I did our chores outside I came inside and did some paperwork, returned a few phone calls and e-mails. Then I cooked us lunch. Even though it was just homemade beans, cornbread and meatloaf, Tony loved it and Roy really wanted it. So, after we ate lunch I secretly gave Roy some of the meatloaf and cornbread outside, but no beans, because Cousin Nancy's beans make him so gaseous—I always have to burn some incense, inside The Cabin, to mask the foul odor.

Around 2:30, Tony and I went over to see Carol and while we were gone Kinky called me, from Dublin, Ireland. I was sick that I had missed his call, but was thrilled to hear his message. He's winding up his Bi-Polar Tour. He sounded very happy and upbeat. He's still selling out his performances and he is really looking forward to returning to the ranch on Sunday. To say the least, I can't wait to see him. And that is about it for tonight. (I figured that I would write a short one tonight, since my last post was very close to becoming a book.)

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It Turned Out Good!

Today has been really great. This afternoon around 2:30, I was outside visiting with Stacie, Tony's brother's wife. She had come over to take pictures with Tony. While we waited for Tony and Brandon to get here, I told her about Old Blue, my favorite blanket.

When the dogs started barking I looked up and saw Buttermilk coming in real slowly. "Tony's back," I said, as Buttermilk came to a stop, in front of Martha Stewart's pen. Then I saw Brandon get out with a big yellow Labrador. "Ut oh, Wilma Flintstone must have escaped," I explained to Stacie.

When Brandon and Tony drove up to us, Tony said, "We just rescued a dog from the Medina Children's Home campus. He looks exactly like Roy, too."

"I thought it was Wilma? Where'd you put him?"

"In the alley way between Tuesday Weld and Martha Stewart."

"Was he wearing any tags?" I asked.

"An old rabies tag. We tried to call the number at the vet clinic, in Boerne, but got a recording."

"I'm going to get him a big bucket of water," Brandon said, before taking off. Then Tony and Stacie took off to photograph the wildlife. And I headed for The Cabin, to get a pen and pad.

After Brandon gave the super sweet dog, which did look exactly like my Roy Rogers, some water I asked Brandon to remove the dog's collar so I could write down the phone number, etc. When Brandon had read off all the info on the old tag, I said, "I wonder what this dog's name is?"

"I don't know. Why don't we name him Roy, Jr.?"

"Brandon, there really is a Roy Rogers, Jr. and Roy and Dale nicknamed their son Dusty. So we can name him Roy, Jr. or Dusty. Which one do you like?"

"I like Roy, Jr. best," Then we hopped into Kermit and Brandon took me up to the house, so I could try to locate the owners.

First I called the phone number of the clinic in Boerne, got a recording, so I left a message. Then something told me to call the Old Timer, in Medina, to let them know that we had rescued a dog. When I punched in the Old Timer's phone number a pleasant sounding woman answered, "Old Timer."

"Hello, this is Nancy from the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. I was calling to let you know that we just rescued a dog." Then the nice woman cut me off.

"Oh my god! Is it a yellow Lab?"


"Is it a male?"


"Some people were just in here putting up a poster for their lost dog. Here, let me give you their phone number. Oh I hope it is their dog." Then she gave me the owner's phone number. After thanking her and telling her that I would let her know how it all turned out, we adios-ed each other. Then I punched in the Medina phone number.

"Hello? Do y'all have our dog?"

"Yes, ma'am, I think we do."

"They found him!" she said. "When I saw your Utopia Rescue Ranch number show up on our Caller ID, I was praying that you had found him. Thank you, so much. We live near the Medina Children's Home and we will be there in just a few minutes..." Then I left The Cabin to go tell Brandon the great news.

Brandon was thrilled with my good news. Then we walked over to the tell the lucky Lab that everything was fixin' to be just fine. "I'm so happy for Roy, Jr.," Brandon said. "He sure is a fine dog."

"Brandon, this is your first official rescue with us. If you hadn't told Tony about this dog being found on the campus, things could have turned out differently for this dog. You saved this dog." Then the dogs started barking, as a car drove in. And Roy, Jr. started happily barking.

When the owners arrived they could not quit thanking Brandon and me for helping their dog get back to them. Marvin, who used to volunteer for us, before breaking his shoulder somewhere else, thanked me for helping get his son's dog back to him and he gave our rescue ranch a generous donation.

While Brandon and I visited with this nice family I asked, "What's your dog's name?"

"Louie," Marvin's son told us. "Our other one is named Elvis." Then Brandon and I told them about my Roy and how much they looked alike and us temporarily naming their dog Roy, Jr. and they thought it was pretty funny. Then Stacie and Tony walked up.

"Hey, Marvin. It's been a long time," Tony said, as they shook hands. After a few more minutes of visiting they adios-ed us and took off with one very happy dog, riding in their back seat.

Stacie and Tony took off for The Okay Corral to take more pictures of birds and flowers and Brandon and I came inside The Cabin, so I could call the Old Timer to tell the woman the good news about Louie. To say the least, she was more than thrilled. After adios-ing her, Brandon pulled out his harmonica and I grabbed my guitar, because he had finished all of his chores and it was time to make some music.

While we were jamming the phone rang. I recognized the phone number. "I've got to take this call. Rescue Ranch."

"Hello, this is Dr. Bill. The dog's name is Louie and the owner's phone number is..."

"Thank you so much for calling me back, Dr. Bill," I said. "I should have called you back." Then I told him the whole story about finding Louie's family.

"I'm glad it turned out good...," he said.

When I got off of the phone, Tony walked inside The Cabin just as I grabbed my banjo, so I could play it with Brandon. "I'll take that," Tony said, as I happily handed Dale to him.

The three of us, The Fat Fingers, had a lot of fun making music. Brandon was fabulous on his harmonica and Tony played my banjo better than he ever has before. And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

There's Thunder In These Texas Hills!

Today has been great. I am going have to put today into capsule form, because there's thunder in these hills!

First off, last night I watched The Magnificent Seven movie, that Kris & Jim gave to us and I loved watching it.

This morning, our good friends Kris & Jim came out to deliver some cool leashes they bought to tame down our rowdy-walking dogs. Jim also brought his baritone ukelele with him, so Brandon could show him how to tune it.

After I called Stan at his music store, Melody Corner, to ask him what the tuning was for a baritone  uke, Brandon immediately tuned it for him, using Jim's Snark tuner. Then Brandon picked and grinned a little for our friends.

While we were having fun, Old Blue was tossing around inside Airy Queen on a no temperature setting. When Airy beeped to let me know that the drying cycle had ended, I pulled Old Blue out of the dryer and asked everyone if it felt dry to them, as they touched it. "No, Kris said. "Try drying it at a low heat cycle."

"Okay," I said, followed by a laugh, as I threw O.B. into the dryer again. "Kris, I am blaming you if it shrinks to the size of a potholder." Then I started the dryer. While Tony took Jim out to his garden, Brandon played my guitar and his banjo for her and trust me, she was more than impressed with Brandon's talent.

After a super fun visit with The Mineral Man and Kris they adios-ed us and went home. When I came back inside The Cabin, I pulled Old Blue out of the dryer and it was dry. When I put it on our bed I had my fingers crossed that it had not shrunk and was pleased to find that it hadn't shrunk an inch.

Tonight in Outer Space, Brandon and I picked and grinned with Tony playing my banjo and Tone is really getting good on it. And that is about it because lightning just struck close enough for us to unplug everything.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Magnificent Seven!

Today has been great. This morning our great volunteers came out to walk our dogs and June brought Barbara and Baker, from Lincoln, Nebraska, along with Ellen. Baker is June's husband's uncle and he is ninety-two-years-old and his wife Barbara is in her eighties. When I went to greet them, Baker smiled and said, "We were here last year and we came back to walk your dogs, again." Then they went with June and Ellen to leash up four dogs.

When I found Kris and Jim returning to the rescue ranch with Landry and Buffy I walked with them. "Nancy, do you remember last week when I told you about me ordering the movie, The Magnificent Seven, because it's one of my all time favorite movies?"


"The day that it arrived," Jim said, followed by a hearty chuckle. "Kris found our original copy that was packed away in a box. So, when get back to our car, we want to give you the new one, because we don't need two copies of it."

"Thank y'all so much. I love that movie, too and haven't watched it in years." Then we talked about Old Blue, Tony's and my new blanket, that I wrote about yesterday. "I am going to wash it and dry it at a low temperature, gentle cycle tomorrow because it already is covered with Mama's hair and Roy's. (I just took this picture of Roy enjoying the blanket, which may turn out to be his new doggie blanket, if it shrinks.

When we walked over to their car, so they could give me the movie, Jim grabbed the The Magnificent Seven DVD and two new Bobbitt Ranch caps, that they had gotten made. "We want y'all to have these," Kris said.

Then Jim handed Tony a small, leather scabbard and knife. "Tony this is for you. When we were unpacking I found two of these and I don't need two of these either. So, here.

As Tony and Jim admired the sharp knife I said, "Good grief. This is like Christmas in April. Thank y'all so much."

When it was time for all of us to go to lunch I walked up to The Cabin, so I could drive Trigger down to the barn. But before I jumped into Trigger, I went into the trailer and signed a copy of my first novella to give to Barbara and Baker. Then I jumped into Trigger and took off.

Lunch at Koyote's Kafe with our friends was a total blast. We did a lot of laughing and told ghost stories.

When we got home Carlton was flashing, so I pushed his button, "You have one new message."

"Hello, Nancy and Tony this is Pete, down in Port A. Could you please call me, because I have a question to ask you?" So, I punched in Pete & Kelly's phone number.

Pete and I talked a few minutes about the kind of fencing that we used for our rescued dogs and then we caught up with each other's latest news. Before we adios-ed each other Pete said, "Nancy, Smilin' Jack is the smartest dog that I've ever owned. Jack goes everywhere with me and everyone in Port Aransas loves him. But Kelly and I still have to keep a bungie cord on our refrigerator door, at all times, so he won't open the door. The other day Jack and I went to a home on the island, for me to do some work. I left Jack inside my truck, because every time that he goes into a house he opens people's refrigerators. When the people saw him sitting in my pickup they invited him to come inside their home, too, which I tried to talk them out of it. Anyway, when Jack walked into their house he walked right past us. He went through the big room and then into their kitchen and he opened the refrigerator's door..."

Tony and I are still laughing about Smilin' Jack's obsession with refrigerators. He is one of the smartest dogs that we have ever rescued and we are so happy that Pete, Kelly and Jack found each other.

Tonight I plan to watch The Magnificent Seven, after I do a little writing. Tomorrow I am definitely washing and drying Old Blue and will write about it. And that is about it for tonight. 

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

To Be Or Not To Be!

Yesterday started out as a mess, but it turned out to be really great. And today has been restful, yet some what confusing. I'll start with yesterday.

I overslept Wednesday morning and when I woke up, I had a hard time trying to get out of the bed. I was stuck under the covers, because all of our dogs were sleeping on top of the blankets, not allowing me to move an inch.

Together Mama, Roy and Abbie weigh a total of at least two-hundred-fifty pounds and I was sandwiched between them. Belle who only weighs about fifty pounds was sleeping on top of my hair, on Tony's pillow. Little Toto was sleeping, on my pillow, right next to my head and Beau who probably weighs about forty pounds, was curled up on top of my feet. As I pleaded for our dogs to please get off of our bed, while twisting and trying to turn, I realized exactly how sardines must feel, even though they are dead.

My ordeal with the dogs lasted for nearly two full minutes, before I was finally free to move about our trailer. While I was waiting for my Donut Shop Coffee to brew, I pushed Carlton's button, "You have six new messages."

I listened to all six messages, that had started coming in before 6:30 AM. None of them were urgent and a couple of them were annoying and that's all that I have to say about that. Anyway, it is not how I like to start my day. So, let's just say that I was not a happy camper when Tony got back from town. In less than an hour, I was back to normal and fine. And I did return everyone's phone calls. Then things rapidly went uphill for me.

Spike Gillespie, a dear friend of mine, who is also an extremely talented author and Ori, came out for a short visit with Tony and me around 4:00. I had a blast, because she and I are kindred spirits and we had a lot to catch up on and share with each other. Before they left, I gave her a signed copy of, The Cowgirl Sisterhood: The Membership Drive, Part I and she gave me a book of poems, Until You Electrocute Everyone, written by her dear friend, Deva Haney. (I finished reading it this afternoon and I love it and I highly recommend it to everyone.

The reason that I didn't post anything last night is Brandon's fault, because he and I spent over two hours having a blast, jamming with our banjos and guitars. The only reason that we quit playing music wasn't because my fingers were killing me—it was nearly 8:00 and Tony needed to take him home.

Today has been great. After we did our morning chores and did some mowing outside, I cooked us lunch. Then I did a little editing to help pass the time, because I could not wait for my blanket to be delivered.

I purchased the 51% New Wool/ 49% Virgin Acylic blanket to be used as a blanket and bed cover, because our dogs have, through time, destroyed our old bedspread. I also bought it because it said that it was machine washable. 

Please note: We do have a beautiful Pendleton blanket, that our dear friends, Cheryl & Walter, gave to us last Christmas and we love it so much, we are not about to let our dogs ruin it. 

Around 2:33, I looked at one of our clocks on the wall and said, "Tony, I am going to go open our gate, because UPS is coming." Then I left The Cabin, jumped into Kermit and drove down to open the gate, even though UPS usually gets here between 3:30 - 3:45.

As I was slowly driving back, I told everyone of our dogs that I loved them, because I like seeing them wag their tails. When Kermit and I had reached The Cabin, the dogs outside started barking and then I saw Mama, my great Great Pyrenees, open the front door and come charging out and she was barking too. When I turned around I saw the UPS truck driving in and then I saw Tony come out the front door. "Thank goodness, I just opened the gate," I said. "Or we would have had to wait until tomorrow to get our blanket..."

I love the Made In Italy blanket and I immediately put it on our bed and took this picture of it, before it gets dog hair on it, which is no big deal, because it is machine washable and I can wash it often.

Then the confusion set in when I looked for the care instructions for Old Blue and I found these international symbols on the blanket bag insert. 

Unsure what some of these symbols meant, I jumped on the Internet and quickly found out, sort of. The symbols mean:
1.  Water should not exceed 65 - 85F
2.  Do Not Bleach
3.  Do Not Tumble Dry
4.  Iron Low Setting
5.  Dry Clean, Any Solvent

When I went back to the Internet site, where I had purchased this beautiful blanket, the infomation for care read: Dryable at a Low Temperature Gentle Cycle. So the question I have for all is, "To be or not to be put in a dryer or it must only be dry cleaned?" Please let me know, because in a few days when I must wash it, I plan to put it into Airy Queen at a low temperature gentle cycle.

Right now this blanket is supposed to measure 90" x 90" and after I dry it I plan to re-measure it and I will let y'all know if it shrinks down to a doggie sized blanket. And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

P.S. 6:00: After posting this I talked to Carol, for over thirty minutes, about our new blanket and we did a lot of laughing about test drying it to see if it comes out the size of a doggie blanket. After we adio-ed each other I walked into our bedroom, then I came back into the kitchen and grabbed my camera.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dueling Banjos At Last!

Today has been really great. For the past week, since a week ago Tuesday, Brandon and I have been tracking his banjo that Tony and I bought for his graduation present. This morning when  I tracked his banjo it said that it was out for delivery by the end of the day. Even though Brandon and I knew that it was supposed to be delivered today we've been counting the days and the hours.

"Brandon, UPS always gets here between 3:30 to 3:45 and I will call you the minute that it is delivered," I told him yesterday when he came out to work for us. Starting around 3:00 today I started doing some paperwork to help pass the time until its arrival.

At 3:57 Brandon called me to ask if it had arrived. "Not yet, Brandon, but it should be here soon. They must have a lot to deliver today. In fact, one time my package was delivered after 5:30. Don't worry."

Around 5:00 I went outside to find Tony to ask him if he would mind picking Brandon up, so he could be here when it arrived. When Tony and Brandon got here fifteen minutes later, Tony said, "The UPS truck is across the street right now and should be here in just a few minutes." Then we came inside The Cabin to wait.

At 5:36, while Brandon was playing my banjo, the dogs outside started barking. "It's here!" Brandon said, excitedly. Then he and Tony went outside to get his banjo. When he came back inside carrying the box that it was shipped in, I grabbed my camera and took this picture of him when he opened up the cardboard box.

As Brandon removed the protective plastic from his banjo he told us that he loved his banjo and that he was naming his Fat Fingers. As soon as he had tuned it I gave him a Sharpie, because he wanted to write his name, Fat Fingers and date it on the back of his banjo, like I had done with mine. Then we started pickin' and grinnin'.

When Tony came back into big room I was playing Dale, my banjo and Brandon was playing Fat Fingers and we sounded pretty good thanks to Brandon's awesome musical talent. I quit pickin' and handed my banjo to Tony and said, "Come on and play with us." Then I grabbed my guitar. After Brandon and I had shown him the G, C and D chords the three of us started playing songs that only use those three chords, so Tony could play with us. Within just a few minutes Tony was easily moving from one chord to another and believe it or not—the two banjos and guitar sounded great together. 

When Tony's fingers started killing him we stopped playing, because we also needed to take Brandon back home. And the best news is, Tony told us, "I love playing the banjo. Maybe I will buy one for myself."

"You don't have to do that, Tony," I happily said. "You can play mine anytime, because I can only play one instrument at a time..." 

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Lori Graham!

The NoMads and I want to wish Lori Graham the best birthday ever.

Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday Dear Lori. Happy Birthday to YOU. And many more.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Today has been great. This morning while Tony fed the dogs and Brandon did my job, two very nice women showed up to take a look at our dogs. I gave them a tour of our rescue ranch and enjoyed visiting with them. Before they left to check out a few more shelters the woman told me that she was interested in Rio and Chad and that she would think about it.

After lunch today, Tony, Brandon and me went outside and cranked up the riding lawn mower, the weed eater and the push mower. Talk about a dust storm that we created. When Brandon was weed eating and I was pushing the lawn mower, inside a dog pen, Tony would drive by on the riding lawn mower and completely cover us in dust. It was funny and (new word) dis-dusting at the same time.

An hour later, when I came inside to check for messages, I first had to clean my bifocals, so I could see. Then I grabbed Hazel out of our bedroom closet and tried removing the dust from my hair and clothes. My gray hair had turned into a dirty blonde and my pink hoodie was a lighter shade of pale.

Late this afternoon, after Brandon had finished working outside, he and I played the banjo and guitar for about an hour until it was time for Tony to take him home. And that is about it for today.

Have a great evening!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thank Goodness They Got Him!

Today has been great. For the past one and a half hours Brandon, Tony and I have been glued to CNN.  Thank goodness they got him alive, no one else was killed and it is over! We love Boston!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Photographing Big Bend National Park!

Today has been great and so was yesterday. Yesterday morning Tony and I got up real early. We went outside to do our morning chores at 7:00, because his sister Annie was coming out at 10:00, so she and Tony could drive around the Hill Country taking pictures.

Around noon, after doing some paperwork, I jumped into Trigger and we took off for Kerrville to run a few errands. My first stop was to go to Wolfmueller Books to visit with Sandy and Jon. Before we adios-ed each other, Sandy showed me this new photography book, Photographing Big Bend National Park: A Friendly Guide to Great Images by Kathy Adams Clark, that she thought Tony would love. So I bought it for Tony.

When Tony and Annie got back home after shooting up the Hill Country, I gave Tony the book and he was thrilled to get it and his sister took a picture of it, so she could buy herself a copy.

This afternoon, I drove Trigger, for practice, so Tony and I could meet our good friends, Kris & Jim and Fourth, for lunch, at El Sol de Mexico. He took his new book with him, so he could read it while being chauffeured. And every time he turned a page he would tell me about how great this book was. "After lunch, let's go to Wolfmueller's Books, so I can thank Sandy for showing you this book."

When we arrived at our favorite Mexican food restaurant I parked across the street under a shade tree. "You'll have to back up when we leave," Tony teased, as we got out of Trigger.

"No, I won't, because it's your turn to drive us home," I said, as I handed the keys to him.

When we walked inside El Sol de Mexico, Kris & Jim aka "The Mineral Man," were sitting in a booth waving to us. A few minutes later Fourth arrived. As always, I ordered their #26 and Tony ordered their #27, from our favorite smiling waiter. 

Our lunch was delicious and it took a while for us to finish it, because we did so much laughing. 

After our fun lunch, Tony drove us to Wolfmueller's Books. Sandy & Jon's bookstore was filled with customers, so after Tony had thanked Sandy, we adios-ed them and Tony drove us back home. And that is about it for tonight, because I plan to do some more writing.

P.S. My friend Wendi that works at Best Friends, in Utah, has sent me this video of Willie Nelson for Texas Pets HB 2981.  Please check it out.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fat Fingers!

The last few days have been great, but too busy for me to write about. Last Friday, Tony and I started dipping our dogs for fleas and ticks, because we have been at war for some time with those nasty critters.

Saturday, Brandon helped us dip more dogs, because both Tony's and my back were going out from bending over so much.

Sunday, Tony's back was totally out, so Brandon and I finished getting all of our rescued dogs dipped. When we had finished dipping the dogs, our friend Brian Molnar, an incredibly talented singer, songwriter, musician who has been baby sitting The Friedmans for Kinky, while he is across the pond, came over to visit with us.

And in no time flat, Brian and Brandon were playing music for us, in The Okay Corral. Brian played my guitar and Brandon played my banjo, because his hasn't arrived yet. They sounded great together and the songs that Brian sang were totally awesome.

During a break I told Brian about Brandon and me having formed a make-believe band. "Brandon and I had been talking earlier about some string instruments being harder to play than others. When Brandon said, "It's because I have fat fingers," my jaw dropped and I said, "Me, too. Let's call our two members band, "The Fat Fingers! It's a perfect name for us." Brandon loved the name, so Brian, I just want to let you know that you've been jamming with The Fat Fingers. And feel free to brag about it."

Brian started laughing and said, "I will, too." An hour later, after all of us had jammed together, Brian bid us farewell and went back over to the Lodge to hang out with The Friedmans. But before he left he told us, "Tomorrow morning at 8:00, I will be at the station doing an interview with Big G..."

Monday morning, I tuned in Big G's station and I had a fun time listening to Big G and Brian Molnar.

This morning when Big G called me at 7:20, so I could do the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch segment with him, we had a fun time talking about his Pet of the Week, Chuck. We also talked about Kinky doing his European Bi-Polar tour over in Europe. Then we talked about Brian Molnar and how much we all love his music. And before we adios-ed each other I requested that Big G play one of my favorite Brian Molnar songs, Moving Down The Road. And Big G told me that he would within the hour.

This morning while Tony and I were outside doing our morning chores, Kinky called me from London and left a message on Carlton. He sounded great, said he was performing to sellout crowds and he was having a wonderful time over there, etc.

Tomorrow I plan to call Kinky and tell him about me buying a banjo and Brandon's and my new band, The Fat Fingers. And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Not Tonight!

I was all set to write a humorous post for tonight, but am sad about what has happened in Boston. I'll post something tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Nancy!

Tony and I want to wish our dear friend Nancy Doyle a Happy Birthday! Nancy doesn't live in Texas, but if she did I know that she and I would be best friends, because of her hilarious sense of humor. Kinky, Tony and I love her and even though Kink is somewhere in Europe doing his Bi-Polar Tour right now we wish her the happiest birthday ever.

"Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday Dear Nancy. Happy Birthday to YOU! And many more..."

Have a great birthday!

Friday, April 12, 2013

George Goes For A Swim!

Today has been a great day. This morning our great friends/volunteers came out to walk our dogs. Ellen and I talked about the video she shot last Friday of June taking George for a swim, in Wallace Creek, because George loves the water and he enjoys swimming in it.

Early this evening, while checking my e-mail, I received Ellen's short video clip of George swimming and I want to share it with y'all. Thank you, Ellen for sending the video clip to me. And that's about it for tonight, because I plan to write tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Today has been great. This morning when Tony and I went out the front door to go do our daily chores, I said, "Don't forget that we're meeting our friends, at El Sol de Mexico, for lunch at 1:00. I think we should leave no later than 12:30."

When we had finished feeding the dogs and cleaning their pens I said, "Tony, let's leave earlier,  at 11:30, so we can run a couple of errands before we eat lunch with Les & Denise, Deb & Craig and Kris & Jim, The Mineral Man. Because we have to be back here by 3:00, so you can meet John."

We left here at 11:30. Our first stop was at H-E-B to fill up Trigger and that took longer than usual, because the woman in front of us took ten minutes to fill up her gigantic pickup.

Our second stop was at a feed store to buy tick spray and tick dog dip, because we are at war with the ticks. The place we went to was real crowded and when a young woman asked us if she could help us, she sort of went a little overboard, in the help department. And please note that I'm not complaining about anyone taking their job seriously and really wanting to help us.

Every bottle that we looked at for spraying our dog's pens, she would walk off with the bottle and do calculations on the computer to tell us how much we needed to buy to fill our 250 gallon spray tank. It took her about four minutes each time, before she would return with the answer. Anyway, after looking at five different bottles, we had only ten minutes to get to the restaurant.

Because we also needed to stop by the Post Office sub-station, so I could mail a few things we told the young woman that we were running late for a lunch engagement and would come back tomorrow or Saturday. "That sounds good, because when so-in-so gets back from lunch he will know which one for you to use."

Fortunately, the Post Office wasn't packed with customers, so I just walked in and handed the friendly woman my packages and was out of there.

When we arrived at El Sol de Mexico on Water Street we were four minutes late and we recognized our friends cars and truck. When Tony opened the door for me we walked inside and our dear friends and the best waiter in Kerrville, applauded us. "We're glad you made it!"

"I'm sorry that we're late," I said. "We've been running errands for the past hour and sort of got tied up at the feed store."

As soon as we sat down at the table, Beto, the friendly waiter, set down Tony's and my large, iced mugs of tea. "We've already ordered," Jim said. Then Beto walks out of the kitchen and served me the #26, which I always order and Tony's favorite #27. Then he returned to the kitchen to bring out all of our friends plates.

Deb & Craig and Denise & Les had never eater there before and they raved about how delicious their meals were and what a great waiter Beto was. We laughed and joked during our fun lunch and near the end of our meal Denise held up her small glass of tea and asked me, "What are y'all drinking?"

"Tea," I answered, as Beto watched us from the bar. "We get better treatment than y'all, because we eat here so much." Beto started laughing. "In fact, when we ate here for the very first time with our friends Sandy & Jon, we came back four more times that week bringing different friends with us so they could try their delicious Mexican food." Then I held up my heavy mug. "When y'all become regulars here, you'll get the star treatment, too."

"We eat here a lot," The Mineral Man joked and then he looked at Beto for confirmation.

"Yes," Beto agreed, after he had stopped laughing.

"But not as much as we do," I teased. "Soon, y'all will graduate up to frosted mugs like us. Isn't that right, Beto?" He and everyone at our table roared with laughter.

When we got back home, Carlton had a message from Jim. "Where are y'all? Did you get kidnapped?..." He had called at 12:47.

I picked up the phone and called Kris to ask her what time we were supposed to have met them for lunch today. Kris started laughing and said, "Twelve-thirty."

"Oops, I thought we were supposed to meet y'all at 1:00. I forgot that is was 12:30..." And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pickin' On Dale!

Today has been great, because early this evening Brandon came over to check out Dale, my new banjo and he instantly fell in love with Dale, too. He and I sat in the big room, with Tony and our dogs as our audience. I played my guitar with Brandon pickin' on Dale and we played one song after another and we had so much fun. And Tony told us that we really sounded good, too. (Thanks to Brandon's music talent.)

Brandon and I jammed for three hours, before Tony had to take Brandon home. As he was walking out the front door he told me, "I hope that someday I can meet Ronnie and we can have a jam session with him."

"I can make that happen after you graduate in June," I said. "I can't wait for you to meet my brother and for him to meet you, too."

"I love Dale and I can't wait for my banjo to get here. I think I am going to name mine Blue or Haggard. Thank y'all so much for getting me a banjo..." And that is about it for tonight, because my fingers are killing me.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Love Dale!

Today has been really great, because my banjo was delivered and ten minutes after I got it, I was on the phone talking to Ronnie about it, when UPS showed up with my banjo strap and Banjo For Dummies book.

I love my banjo so much! It arrived around 2:30 and after talking to Ronnie on the phone and then tuning it, I have not been able to put it down. I am thrilled with its fabulous sound and I can't believe that it was so easy to learn how to play it.

A few minutes ago, while I was writing this, our dear friend Charlie Cooper (He and his wife Ellen are characters in my novella.) came inside The Cabin with Tony, so he could check out Dale, which is what I named my new banjo. "Charlie you are going to love this instrument and the chords are so easy."

Then I went into our bedroom and grabbed Dale, where she was resting while I wrote this.

When I returned to the kitchen I handed Dale to Charlie and he studied the chords for a couple of minutes in my new, Banjo For Dummies book. Then Charlie started pickin' on Dale. So, I grabbed my guitar out of its case and he and I started pickin' and grinnin' for several minutes. "I need to get me one of these things," Charlie said. "It's a great instrument and fun to play."

After I told Charlie about Ronnie checking it out and then buying their banjo kit and then me buying one already assembled, he said, "I'm definitely going to check this out. By the way, in case y'all want to know, my birthday is coming up real soon and I love this banjo..."

Here's a link if you want to check out my banjo. And that is about it for tonight, because I am going to go pick on Dale some more. 

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Hairy Situation!

Yesterday was a great day. Saturday morning, while Brandon and Tony did the chores outside, I was busily cleaning our trailer. Because Mama, our Great Pyrenees, is shedding her thick winter coat it looked like we didn't own a vacuum cleaner or knew how to use one.

Dog hair was everywhere to be found and it was mixed with Mama's, Toto's, Abbie's, Roy's, Belle's and Beau's hair. As Hazel was sucking it up from the floor and the furniture, I laughed out loud. I thought it would be funny to dump the hair-filled canister into a Priority Mailer and ship it to Fay, as a joke, because in my first novella she supposedly collects, washes, spins and weaves dog hair place mats.

The reason that I was frantically spiffing up The Cabin was because the famous, Kerrville Red Hat Ladies were coming out at 1:00, so we could give them a grand tour of our rescue ranch. I was more than excited to meet these gals and I wanted our trailer to look like we didn't live here.

When the men finished doing the outside work, I had finished doing the inside work, thanks to Hazel. When they came inside The Cabin, Tony told me, "Nance, I need to run to the hardware store in Medina and I will be right back."

When Tony took off, I got the ingredients out that Brandon needed to cook us his recipe that he calls, Brandon's Chinese Spaghetti. After he had put the meat in the skillet and seasoned it, with the spaghetti boiling in a pan right next to it he asked, "Can we play some music and use your amp?"

In no time flat, he had my mandolin plugged in for him to play and my pink cable plugged into my guitar and amp. Then we pulled two of the bar stools out into the middle of the big room, so we could face each other and then we started pickin' and grinnin'. We played all kinds of songs from Blues, Bluegrass, Country and Rock & Roll and Brandon made us sound great, because he is a very talented musician.

When Tone returned home the music stopped, because my fingers were killing me and because lunch was ready. As we ate Cousin Nancy's Chinese  Spaghetti, which was absolutely delicious, Brandon and I could not quit talking about how excited we were about my banjo coming on Tuesday. After he had told me how much he loved playing banjos I looked at Tony and he winked back at me. Then I said, "Tony and I talked earlier and we want to buy you a banjo like mine, for your graduation gift since your banjo is in Arizona. Would you like that or prefer money?"

"Oh my goodness, I would love to have a banjo like yours..." His words and excitement made Tony's and my day great.

After lunch while I quickly cleaned up the kitchen, Brandon played my guitar and mandolin some more. Then it was show time! We put up the instruments, put all of the dogs outside, in the backyard, except for Mama and then we went outside to greet the Kerrville Red Hat Ladies, which turned out to be some of the coolest women in Kerrville.

After I had welcomed and introduced myself, Brandon and Tony to the eleven smiling women wearing red hats we started the grand tour. First we showed them The Okay Corral, Tony's No Whiner Diner and my pink writing cabin. To say the least, "They loved it all, especially The Bunkhouse.

Then another car showed up and it wasn't part of their group, so Tony and Brandon took off to greet the visitors and give them a tour. "Let's go up to The Cabin, which is our thirty-year-old trailer, because I want to show it to y'all and give each of you a copy of my new novella."

Mama greeted each and everyone of them at the gate. They loved our view from the front porch, our cabin and Outer Space. As I signed copies of my book, Mama stole their hearts even though she was shedding. By the time we left The Cabin, to show these charming women our dogs outside, Mama's long white hair had found new homes on all of their outfits.

We spent about thirty minutes outside as I introduced them to everyone of our magnificent rescued dogs, which of course stole their hearts, too. And before they drove away I thanked the Kerrville Red Hat Ladies for coming out and their donation of our rescue ranch. When they took turns hugging me and thanking me for giving them a fun tour I did not want them to leave, so I said, "We would love for y'all to come out and walk our dogs on Fridays..."

Fifteen minutes later, Tony and Brandon walked inside The Cabin and Tony said, "Those two nice women work for a vet in Kerrville and next month when they move into a house, they want to adopt Holly, if we still have her..."

"That's fantastic news, but Tony remember that her new name, that Ellen came up with at lunch on Friday, is Tallulah Bankhead."

Ten minutes later, as planned, the Girl Scouts from Dripping Springs! So Brandon, Tony and I went back outside to greet the lovely girls and some of their parents. After howdies and hugs, one of the cute girls said, "We brought our rakes and we're ready to work!" And work they did.

First, Brandon helped them unloaded several bags of dog food and dog treats, then the girls handed our treats and raked leaves and removed rocks from Martha Stewart's pen, Tuesday Weld's pen and Landry and Buffy's pen.

When that was all said and done, we went around to the pens and they handed out toys to our happy dogs. Before they left to head back to Dripping Springs, I bought three boxes of Girl Scout Cookies for Tony, Brandon and me.

After hugs and thanking them for all that they do for our rescue ranch they drove away and Brandon said, "Those girls really worked hard for over an hour. And I can't believe how many great people that I've met since I started working for y'all. Everyone is so nice and..." That's about it for now, because today has been quiet and restful.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?!

Today has been great. This afternoon we met our good friends Kris & Jim, "The Mineral Man" for lunch at both of ours favorite Mexican food restaurant, El Sol de Mexico. The food was delicious as always and our fun conversation never stopped flowing and it was full of laughter.

After a super fun lunch with our friends, Tony and I went to Home Depot to get some ranch supplies and a few more Perennial plants. Then we went down the street to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic to pick up Holly, a dog that we rescued a few days ago.

Her name is Holly. She is a sweet, one and a half year old Pit Bull, that a man in Kerrville found, standing in the middle of a country road between here and Wimberley, Texas. He figured that she had been dumped, because she was starved down. When his wife opened up the door of their car, Holly jumped inside and laid down on his wife's lap and put her head in the man's lap and slept all of the way back home.

When I spoke to the man about Holly he told me that she was a great dog and he could not bare to take her to the Pound, because she was a great dog and good with other dogs. When I told the man that we could take Holly, I decided to change her name to Bunny, since we rescued her the day after Easter.

When we met Holly, I decided to keep her name Holly, because it seemed to fit her. When we took her outside she immediately jumped into Buttermilk's back seat and sat down. She's great in cars and when we got home I snapped this quick picture of Holly, so y'all could be the first to meet her. Tomorrow when I have the time, I will definitely take a better picture of her.

When we returned to The Cabin, Carlton was flashing on the breakfast bar. When I pushed his button he said, "You have three new messages." The first message was from my sweet brother Ronnie. "Nance, pick up the phone!..." The second message was from Ronnie, too. "Nance, I bought the coolest banjo. Listen." Then he put the speakerphone on and said, "Can you hear me now?" Then he started playing his new banjo and he and it sounded fantastic—it blew me out of my saddle. The third  message was from my brother, too. "Nance, call me. I cannot wait to tell you about my new banjo. I love it!..."

I immediately picked up the phone and punched in my brother's phone number, because I've been wanting to buy a banjo. "Nance, I love this banjo so much and it's made in the USA. It's not as loud as most banjos and it's meant for pickin' and grinnin' around a campfire and they are not expensive. They only cost $149.00!..." After Ronnie had spent five minutes telling me all about it, he put me on speakerphone and played one of his songs that he has written and by the time he had finished pickin' and singin,' I could not wait to get off of the phone, so I could buy one, too. 

Before we adios-ed each other Ronnie told me to Google Backyard Music Banjo, in New Haven, Connecticut and that's exactly what I did when we got off of the phone. Two minutes later, I purchased one just like his and I can't wait until it arrives. 

Then I went outside to kill some more Thistle that keeps trying to live here. An hour and a half later, after killing all of the Thistle on the east side of our dog pens I returned to The Cabin. Carlton was flashing again, "You have two new messages." And both of them were from Ronnie, too. 

When I called him back he told me that there were some really cool YouTube videos to watch about people playing our basic 5 string Fireside Banjos. This one is less than thirty seconds and it is my favorite one. Hopefully, my banjo will arrive by Tuesday. And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lightning Strikes Again!

Yesterday and today have been great and so far we have gotten over two inches of rain. Yesterday, I spent the entire morning catching up with paperwork, returning phone calls and e-mails, while Tony did our chores outside.

By 12:30, I was completely caught up with everything, so after I cooked lunch for Tony and me and had cleaned up the kitchen, I grabbed my laptop and went outside to The Bunkhouse, my pink writing cabin, to write. And I typed non-stop until 7:30, because I was on a roll with the novella.

It started raining right after I returned to The Cabin. Then a few minutes later it started raining harder and harder, with loud bursts of thunder. Lightning was hitting all around us, so I unplugged everything inside The Cabin.

Around 10:00, lightning hit real close to the trailer and it woke us up. Then ten minutes later, the electricity was knocked out. Tony and I could not sleep, so we sat in the big room, surrounded by our dogs, with flashlights in our hands.

The electricity finally came back on at 12:08, so we went back to bed.

This morning when Tony returned home, after drinking coffee with his friends at The Old Timer, he said, "Lightning hit a tree real close to the trailer and it split the tree. You have to come see it."

"Where'd it hit?"

"Right behind Ben Stiller's and La Toya's pen. Near the middle." I grabbed my camera and went outside with Tony, to check out the poor tree. Then I took this picture of it. It is right behind the blue scoop and the bark is stripped off. That's La Toya staring at Tony.

This morning Tony did our chores again while I cleaned our trailer. It has rained off and on all day and I wrote this early, because I might be unplugged tonight. And that is about it for today.

Y'all have a great evening!