Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Medina Community Library Book Signing!

Today has been great. After lunch Tony and I took Judy Collins to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic to get her shots and spayed, etc. Then we came straight back home so I could do the first-of-the-month paperwork and clean up The Cabin, because Rick and Leisa were coming to see us for a few days.

Our friends arrived around 4:00 and we had a really fun visit with them before I cooked up my Cousin Nancy's Spinach & Sausage Frittata for our dinner. And like Tony—they loved it, too.

Tomorrow, I plan to get everything ready for my upcoming Medina Community Library book signing, this Saturday, at 10:30. And that is about it for tonight, because I need to go to bed, so I can get up early and be ready to do Harley's Show at 7:45.

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Judy Collins!

Today has been great and so was Friday and Saturday. Because so much has been going on out here I've got a lot of catching up to do, so I'll start with Friday.

When Mama and I woke up, at 6:00, Friday morning, Mama opened the front door and went outside and the first thing that I did was check my e-mail, while waiting for my first delicious cup of Green Mountain Donut Shop Coffee to brew.

Our dear friends, Kris & Jim Bobbitt, had sent me an note to let me know that they had just posted a story about our Concert for Utopia, on their blog—Footloose And Kid-Free In The Hill Country. I checked it out and really enjoyed reading their post. Here's the link to it.

While I was sipping my first cup of coffee, Kinky called me, at 6:15, to tell me that Amy Nelson, Willie's daughter, was coming out later in the day, with a camera crew and she wanted to come over to see our rescue ranch and to also have a meeting with me.

After we adios-ed each other, I took a shower, dressed and started cooking another Cousin Nancy Spinach & Sausage Frittata, because Tony loves it so much.

A little later in the morning, our incredibly great friends/volunteers came out to walk our dogs for us and around 10:30, our dear friend Gerry Olert, our rescue ranch's official videographer, came out to "shoot" all of us, for an upcoming video he's doing about Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. If you were at the Concert for Utopia, he was the tall man walking around with his video camera.

While our volunteers were out here walking our dog and letting them go swimming, down at the creek, Gerry ended up getting to shoot and interview everyone of them, for our upcoming video. After all of the dogs were walked all of us went up to the Medina Highpoint Resort, to eat lunch together. And it was a lot of fun and filled with laughter.

After lunch, Gerry, Tony and I returned to the rescue ranch, so Gerry could shoot me. Here's one shot that he took of Tony and me, as we rode around the ranch, in Kermit, videotaping our dogs.

After Gerry had finished his videoing our dogs, he grabbed his guitar, out of his truck and then we came inside The Cabin, so he and I could pick & grin. Oh my goodness, talk about fun! Gerry is a great guitar player and I had so much fun pickin' with him.

Around 3:45, Gerry packed up his guitar and before he adios-ed us, he gave me an Elvis and a Beatles guitar picks, which is way too cool. Then he handed me two CDs, that he took at our concert. Gerry Olert shot this hilarious video when Ruth Buzzi, Big G, Kinky and I went up on stage, following the Intermission and it is pretty fun to watch.

Ten minutes later, after Gerry had left the building, Kinky and Amy showed up with her friendly camera crewman. When they walked inside The Cabin, her jaw dropped and then she said, "I love your trailer! It is so cool. Would you mind if I videoed it?"

As Amy slowly walked around the kitchen and big room, videoing The Cabin's walls, she and I talked about our love of animals and how very special each and everyone of them are. When I told her about my book that I am currently working on, about how great dogs actually are, she said, "I love it and it just gave me cold chills..."

Amy and I had a great visit and because we have so much in common, it looks like I've got a new friend and I am really looking forward to working with her on her project.

At 5:45, as soon as they had left the building, Tony and I jumped into Buttermilk and took off for Don's ranch, in Medina, because Don had invited us and friends over for Happy Hour and dinner and we were already running forty-five minutes late.

We arrived at Don's beautiful ranch a little before 6:15 and we had a total blast with Wayne & Michelle, Carol, Steve and Don. Tony and I had planned to only stay for about an hour, but because we were having such a great time with our friends, we stayed until 7:45, because Tony needed to put The Golden Girls (Our six, egg producing chickens.) up for the night. 

Saturday was great and we had several visitors out here. Tony and I had planned to leave the rescue ranch at 3:00, so we could go to Kerrville, to take Drew, one of our favorite friends, that we haven't seen in over four years, out to dinner. 

On the road, between the rescue ranch and 16, an old man and woman, about my age, both wearing green colored Kerrville Folk Festival t-shirts, flagged us down. "Hey man, we were down at Freeman Crossing and this dog showed up. We were afraid that it might get hit by a car, so we caught it. We can't take it with us, because we're from Austin...."

Ten minutes later, Tony turned Buttermilk around and we headed back to the rescue ranch, with a sweet, young, female dog, riding comfortably, in the back seat. 

After Tony put Judy Collins inside our small, portable dog pen. He fed her and then filled up a water bowl for her. Then once again, running late, we took off for Kerrville again. Here's Judy!

Tony and I had a wonderful time with Drew and we treated him to dinner at the Rio Ranch restaurant on 27. All three of us ordered the same thing—Chicken Fried Steak and it was delicious.

Today has been great, too. I am writing this early and having it post at 6:55 tonight, because at 2:30, we are going to Dick and Elaine's ranch party, in Medina. Carol, Don, Steve and Kris & Jim are going to it, too and we are all planning to meet them there around 3:00. Tony and I know that it will be a lot of fun, but we plan to only stay for about an hour and a half, because Tony wants to work in his garden and I need to write and rest.

Tomorrow afternoon, after we do our outdoor chores and eat lunch, we plan to take Judy Collins to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic, to get her spayed and shots, etc. And that is about it for today.

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Donna Gable Hatch Book-Signing!

Donna Gable Hatch Book-Signing, Fundraiser!

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Riverside Nature Center's Visitors Center 
150 Francisco Lemos St.

At the spring festival, meet author Donna Gable Hatch, Features Editor at The Kerrville Daily Times, and have a copy of her new novel For Every Goodbye personally autographed.

No charge to attend the signing. Books are $12.95 each. Ms. Hatch is generously donating half of the sales to RNC. Credit cards accepted.

Visit to find out more about her work. 

P.S. Carol and I have already read her fabulous book and we totally love it and so will y'all!

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tony's Treats!

Today has been great. I am writing this early, because I plan to be outside, no later than 5:30, so I can push the lawn mower around, because after receiving the one inch of rain the other night—the grass and weeds are three times higher now than they were before. I am not complaining about having to mow, because I am thankful for the much needed rain.

This morning when we went outside to do our chores, Aggie was glad to see me and she seemed calm. When it was her turn for me to feed her, she stood back and did not try to get through the gate as I entered her pen. She ate all of her food real fast and licked her dog bowl clean. Then she went and took a nap outside her doghouse.

This afternoon Tony and I went outside to go take some pictures of Aggie. When we pulled up, in Kermit, Aggie happily wagged her tail, even though Tony, inside Kermit, was the closest to her. Before I went into her pen, with Tony standing close outside her pen, I gave Tony three dog treats for him to give to Aggie, after he had taken a few pictures of Aggie and me sitting together.

Aggie calmly greeted me when I entered her dog pen and I petted her a few times, before asking her to come sit with me.

Five minutes later, I stood up and Aggie took off for her swimming pool. Please note that the water is a little muddy looking, because of her almost totally grassless pen and because of the serious drought that we are in, we cannot afford to waste water daily, refilling the swimming pools. And I don't think Aggie cares one bit. 

When Aggie got out of her swimming pool, Tony called her, so he could give her a treat and Aggie walked right up to him, without snarling at him and she took a treat and then she walked off to go hide it. Tony then called her again and gave her another treat, which she gently took from his hand and then Aggie went off to go hide that one, too. A few minutes later, after posing for this picture for me, she went and took his third treat and hid it, too.

Tony and I are taking things very slowly with Aggie and we are thrilled that she accepted treats from Tony today, without acting like she would rather eat him instead, but my feelings are a little bit hurt, because it appears that Aggie thought it was necessary for her to go hide Tony's treats from me, because I guess she thought that I was going to steal them away from her. So tomorrow morning, after I have fed and cleaned her pen, I plan to give her a few treats before leaving her pen.

And that is about it for now, because it is 5:40 and I am running ten minutes behind schedule with my mowing.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Aggie's Sugar!

Today has been great. This morning, before we did our chores outside, Ellen and Charlie went with me over to Kinky's to see how Sugar would react to them.

As soon as we got over there, Sugar started barking at them and they ignored her. Then we immediately went on a long hike with Kinky, The Friedmans and Sugar and by the time when we started to hike back to The Lodge, Sugar was friends with Charlie and Ellen and fetching Frisbees for us. All of us were thrilled for Sugar.

When we sat on the front porch with Kinky, within minutes, Sugar was happily sitting in Ellen's lap and letting Charlie and Ellen pet her.

Later this afternoon, Kinky called me to tell me that Sugar had reacted exactly like she did with Tony, when his friend Nelda arrived and it was very scary for both Nelda and Kinky. Then Tony and I put Kinky on Speakerphone to discuss what we needed to do about Sugar's part-time aggressiveness that was out of control at times.

After we had talked for about ten minutes, we came to the conclusion that Sugar's problem was that she had not been properly socialized when she was a puppy and it had nothing to do with hats, cowboy hats, men or women, etc. So we decided that it was best for Sugar to come over here, so Tony and I and our volunteers, etc. can help socialize her.

Fifteen minutes later, while Tony moved Tuesday Weld from her old pen, to my writing cabin's front yard, so we could put Sugar in her old pen, Kinky and Sugar arrived. Sugar happily went with Kinky and me into Tuesday's old pen, that I had already added a soccer ball and some doggy toys, so she could play with them. Sugar investigated her pen and she seemed to like her new pen, so when Kinky got into his pickup and drove away, she was calm and acted like it was no big deal. In fact, she didn't even notice.

As soon as Kinky left, I put a kids, yellow, plastic swimming pool in her pen, because Sugar loves the water and when I started filling it up with water she jumped into the pool and sat down in the shallow water. By the time her swimming pool was full Sugar was happily laying down in her pool.

When Lois Lane, her next door neighbor, saw Sugar enjoying the swimming pool, she started yapping at me, to remind me that she loves water, too and that she wanted a swimming pool inside her pen, too. And ten minutes later, both Lois and Sugar were having a blast, jumping in and out of their swimming pools and then shaking off the water. It was pretty fun to watch.

Tony and I stayed outside for awhile watching Lois and Sugar having fun and before we took off in Kermit, Tony handed Sugar a doggie treat, through the fence and Sugar took it from it and she never barked once at him or acted scared of him. So hopefully, within the next few days or weeks or months, Sugar will be fully socialized and be ready to be adopted or go back over to Kinky's to live.

When Tony and I finally returned to the trailer I called Kinky to tell him the good news about Sugar being very happy, in her new pen and really loving her swimming pool and about Lois being happy with her swimming pool, too. Then I told him, "Kink. I am changing Sugar's name. Her new name is going to be Agatha Christie, because it will always be an unsolved mystery, to us, how she actually got here, even though we did have some clues that we can never prove. And we're going to call her Aggie, for short, too..."

Kinky liked Agatha's new name and tomorrow, if and when I have the time, I will take some pictures of Aggie and post them on my blog and on our website.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Little Secret!

Today has been great. Nothing much has happened and telling you about the errands that Tony and I ran, in Kerrville, later this afternoon, is pretty boring, so I am going to tell you about Kinky's, Tony's and my little secret, that up until now I have not been comfortable to share, because I've needed to give it a lot of thought, because I've been pretty upset about it.

It all started a week ago, after we ate lunch, while I was washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. The phone rang and I let Carlton do his job, because I was busy in the kitchen. As I listened to this person tell my answering machine that So-in-so had told she/he about us and So-in-so had recently adopted a dog from us, she/he then went on to say that she/he had a young, aggressive, female dog that she/he no longer wanted, because it was getting more aggressive. Then this person says that she/he had already come out late morning to drop off the dog, but she/he didn't because our gate was locked. And before hanging up, she/he left her/his name and phone number and asked for us to please call her/him as soon as possible, because she/he was anxious to bring us her/him dog that she/he no longer wanted.

Twenty minutes later, when Tony came back inside The Cabin, I told him about she/he's phone call. Tony and I talked about the woman/man anxious to give up on her/his dog and assuming that she/he could  just come out and drop off her/his dog and just drive away. We felt sorry for this dog, because we knew that we couldn't take it in, because we're at capacity out here.

Then she/he called back and Tony took the call. After Tony had told she/he that we could not help, because we had no space, this person gets sarcastic with Tony. And after giving Tony an ear full, she/he finally says, "Well, I don't know what to do. I guess I'll just have to go dump her...." When Tony finally hung up the phone he was disgusted with she/he.

About an hour later, the phone rang—it was Chet O'Keefe. "Nancy, Kinky just told me to call you, because there is a frightened, black dog running around over here and it acts aggressive when we try to approach it. Right now it is behind the white trailer. He wants to know if y'all are missing a dog..."

Five minutes later, Tony and I were over at the Lodge talking to Kinky and Chet about the mysterious dog, that was nowhere in sight. "I think some @#@### dumped her," Kinky said, disgustedly.

"And we're pretty sure that we know who did it, Kink," I said. After telling Kinky and Chet about she/he, it didn't take a rocket scientist for us to put two-and-two together. "What kind of a horrible person would go out and dump a dog? It says everything about someone's character and..." After I had put my two cents in, Tony and I returned home.

We hadn't been back inside The Cabin, for five minutes when, at 3:45, Caller ID time, the phone rang only once and then disconnected. "I bet that was she/he calling," I said. So we looked at the Caller ID and sure enough it was she/he's phone number. Now comes the good part and I promise to keep it as short as possible.

Later that evening, Kinky called to tell me that the dog was very frightened and had acted aggressive, but after he had cooked a steak for her, she had warmed up to him and Chet. Before we adios-ed each other he told me that he had named her Sugar.

Wednesday morning, before we did our chores outside, Kinky called Tony and asked him to come over  so he could meet Sugar. Ten minutes later, as I heard Kermit approaching and the phone ringing, I picked up the phone and started talking to Kinky. "Nance, Tony just left here. Sugar went into attack mode when she saw Tony and she acted like she was going to attack him. It was horrible. Maybe his cowboy hat scared her...."

Wednesday evening, Kinky called and asked me to come over to meet Sugar, to see if she would act aggressive towards me.

When I arrived at the Lodge, I waved to Kinky and then Sugar started barking and came charging up to me with her teeth showing. I immediately put my hands into my jean pockets and completely ignored her as I walked over to Kinky, like nothing was going on. "Kinky, I'm ignoring her on purpose. Let's go for a walk down to the creek."

As The Friedmans and Sugar followed us down to the creek, Sugar kept coming up to sniff me and I continued to ignore her—it was starting to work. A little while later when Sugar took off running to chase something, I hollered, "Sugar! Come back here! Now!" Sugar stopped in her tracks, looked back at me and then came running up to me with her tail wagging wildly. So, I started petting her and telling her how beautiful she was and what a great dog she was. Sugar was eating up my kind words and then she jumped up on me and kissed me on my cheek—we were best buds!

Forty minutes later, when we arrived back at the Lodge, Sugar and I were best friends. When Kinky and I sat down in the rockers, Winston immediately jumped up on Kinky's lap and seconds later, to both Kinky's and my surprise, Sugar jumped up on lap without me asking her to.

Because Sugar is so big, about fifty-five pounds, she kept slip sliding off of my lap and she was so relaxed that she let me grab her and pull her up, to help her get comfortable, on me. Kink and I were really thrilled about Sugar sitting in my lap, especially without an invitation, and it has been our little secret. And one of the reasons that I have not been blogging very much this week is because at least once or twice a day, since then, I have been spending several hours a day, over at Kinky's, sitting in a rocker, with Sugar laying on my lap and kissing me, while I visit with Kinky. In other words, "I just ran out of time to write."

As I finish writing this tonight, Kinky and I have kept working with Sugar daily and she actually is a great dog, that just got fouled up and needs some extra special tender loving care and work. She still acts aggressive towards Tony, probably because some creepy, guy, wearing a cowboy hat abused her, but I know that all of that will pass sooner than later, because me and all of our dogs love Tony. Sorry, for this long post tonight.

P.S. Early this evening, Sugar let me tie one of Kinky's red bandanas around her neck, because I wanted to see if she trusted me enough to do that, because I want to put a collar on her soon. And while I was writing this tonight Kinky called twice to tell me that Sugar let him put a slip leash around her neck and he took her for a long walk and she did just fine on leash. And a few minutes ago, Kinky called me, again, to tell me that he, The Friedmans and Sugar jumped into his truck, Mr. Green Jeans, to go dump the trash and he told me that she rode great inside his truck. "She's going to be a great dog, Nance!..."

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Steve's Present! or The Dudley Files!

Yesterday was great. Our good friend/volunteer Ellen came out after lunch to show her friends Jan & Bill our rescue ranch. Bill and his sweet wife are from Minnesota. They've spent the winter in Kerrville and they are planning to return to Minnesota in a few weeks and Ellen wanted them to see the rescue ranch before they went home.  

Because Tony and I love Ellen and we really liked her friends, we invited them to go into Outer Space with us, so we could visit, while listening to some of Chet O'Keefe's music, because all three of them had told me that they were blown away with Chet's great performance, at our Concert for Utopia, last Sunday. "Nancy," Ellen said. "Chet O'Keefe's was fabulous. He was my favorite at the concert. I wish it had just been a Chet O'Keefe concert, because I love his music. I am definitely going to buy his CDs..."

After a fun visit with Ellen, Jan and Bill, Tony and I invited them to come inside The Cabin, so we could show it to them before leaving. To say the least, "They loved our trailer and could not believe that it was thirty-years-old."

While we were visiting in the big room, there was a knock on the front door and it was our dear artist friend Steve Pietzsch! After we had introduced Steve to Ellen and her friends from Minnesota, Steve handed Tony a framed picture and said, "Tony, I had a print made of Big Foot Wallace and I framed it. Last week, when Nancy told me that you had made an 8x10 and framed it, I decided to do this, because it is too good of a photo to be an 8x10."

Tony was thrilled with Steve's gift, so Tony told our visitors about him being related to Big Foot, while I silently thought about which wall we should hang it, in our big room, because I loved the picture, too.

As soon as everyone had gone home, I said, "Tony, I know the perfect place where we should hang Big Foot, so everyone can see it when they walk inside our trailer. This space has been waiting for it. Where's your drill?" And three minutes later, I took these pictures of Steve's present to Tony.

Today has been great. This morning after we did our morning chores outside, our good friend Cary Robinson came over for two reasons. To pick up his Baby Taylor guitar, signed by 37 Texas singer, songwriter, musicians, that he won, at our auction, at our concert and for him and me to trade our latest books that we have written.

Cary Robinson loves dogs so much that he has written two, dog comedy, mystery novels, The Dudley Files and today he traded me two signed copies of his The Dudley Files: Burp Gun Bandit, Book II for two signed copies of my Cowgirl Sisterhood: Death In New Mexico, Part II

I love the artwork on the jacket, on his Part II book and I have already started reading it, while laughing out loud. I took this picture of the book and I hope that all of y'all will check out Cary Robinson and his hilarious books @ because at the end of this year, Cary will be dividing up 100% of his books profits and donating all of the money to several rescue organizations, including our Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, that he has supported since 1998.

This afternoon I had a fun visit with Carol and that is about it for tonight. 

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, April 18, 2014

His Huge Herd of Hummingbirds!

Today has been great and so was yesterday, because late Thursday afternoon we took Katie (Kate Middleton) to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic, so she could be adopted to a very nice woman. The good news is that Kate is going to live with a sweet woman, that has a big back yard to play in. We were also told that Katie is going to be a house dog that will be pampered and at night she will get to sleep on the bed, with her new forever friend. To say the least, "We are thrilled about it!"

This morning our great friends/volunteers came out to walk our dogs for us and many of the dogs went swimming in the creek. We were thrilled that this time Suzanne stayed dry, because recently George Carlin pulled her into the cold creek water—totally soaking her.

While we were outside visiting with our great friends, in between dog walks, Jim & Kris gave me pictures, that Donna Gable Hatch had taken, for her super articles, in The Kerrville Daily Times. Donna had e-mailed them to Jim and they had gotten them printed for us and the volunteers to have. Tony and I love them and we are going to get the one taken of Kinky, our volunteers and me framed.

After Jim gave Dawn her picture of all of us, Dawn says, "Nancy, stay here. I made something and I want to give it to you. I'll be right back." Then Dawn took off for her white truck. When she returned to us, she handed me the prettiest wreath covered in beautiful paper flowers that she had made.

"Oh my goodness," I said. "I love it, Dawn. It is beautiful. Thank you so much. I love the colors of the flowers and..."

After the dogs were walked all of us went up to the Medina Highpoint Resort to eat a delicious lunch together and as always it was a lot of fun. At one point during our meal I started telling Jim, "The Mineral Man" about my latest, tastiest frittata recipe ever, that I'd concocted yesterday morning. "Up until a few days ago my frittatas were more like eating scrambled eggs until Carol told me how to cook them properly. Now, that I'm using a whole lot less oil—they're turning out perfect and are totally delicious," I bragged. "Yesterday, when I served Kinky and Tony my new Cousin Nancy's Spinach & Sausage Frittata, they both told me that it was delicious and the best one that I've ever made and they want me to make them more..."

When Tony and I got back to the ranch I decided to do paperwork, while Tony checked our faucets outside, while old Mama slept in our bedroom and dreamed of her younger days. Which by the way has our new quilt on our bed, scissor-cut down to size, because last week, before Fay arrived, I finally threw out that old, torn up, shredded one, that Beau happily, completely destroyed when he was Tony's puppy.

During the four hours that it took me to catch up with my paperwork I took a break and took this picture of Dawn's beautiful, paper flowers wreath, with the group photo that Donna took, that Kris & Jim gave to us.

Early this evening, Kinky called and he invited me to come over for a visit and before we adios-ed each other he asked me to please bring him some more of my delicious sausage and spinach frittata, if we had any leftover. 

A few minutes later, when I arrived, at the Lodge, I gave Kinky another large slice of my delicious sausage with spinach frittata, that he immediately put into his fridge, to save for later. Then we went on a fun hike with The Friedmans, to let his dogs go skinny dipping and after that we sat out on his front porch visiting, with his dogs in our laps, while watching his huge herd (flock) of Hummingbirds drain his many, colorful water and sugar filled feeders. I was over there for over two hours and I didn't get back home until 7:00. And that is about it for today.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No Bull!

Today has been great, but not to brag, not nearly as great as our Concert for Utopia was. A beautiful, saddled, Texas Longhorn steer was outside, at the event, for people to sit on and take pictures and I think everyone at the event sat on him. And that's no bull.

When Tony and I arrived at the Cailloux Theater, our good friends/volunteers. Kris and Jim were already there, willing and ready to help us unload the t-shirt and cap boxes, etc., so they could set up the merchandising table for us.

The performances by Chet O'Keefe, Billy Joe Shaver, Jesse Dayton and Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel were over the top and the crowd loved their music. Big G and Kinky did a wonderful job introducing the performers and they were also very funny.

Before the Intermission, Brian Kanof, with the help of our friends/volunteers:  Lisa, Eileen and Fay, auctioned off three donated items. The Wolfmuellers donated the book, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, signed by both Willie Nelson and Kinky. Rick Reichenbach donated a Baby Taylor guitar autographed by 37 famous Texas singer, songwriter musicians. And Kinky's friend Sean donated a Fender guitar autographed by Willie Nelson.

After the Intermission, Ruth Buzzi, Big G, Kinky and I went up on the stage, so Kinky could introduce Ruthie and thank her and her husband, Kent, for coming to our concert and then I quickly thanked our super volunteers for all they do for us and then I quickly read off all of their names. Then Ruthie started cutting-up with Kinky and before you knew it, Ruthie had the crowd roaring with laughter. And to top that off—Ruthie, famously known, on Laugh In, for bopping famous men (such as Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali...) with her purse, she used her jacket instead (Because Fay was backstage holding on to Ruthie's purse for her.) and Ruth Buzzi smacked Kinky, Big G and me. It was hilarious.

All in all, it was a fantastic concert and once again, I want to thank Donna Gable Hatch for writing those wonderful articles, for The Kerrville Daily Times, to help spread the word about our concert. Here are some pictures that Tony took at the concert. And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy 80th Birthday, Jim McMahon!

Today has been great. This evening Tony and I went to Jim McMahon's surprise 80th birthday and dinner party, held at the Y.O. Hotel, in Kerrville. Jim was totally surprised and his birthday party was a lot of fun and filled with laughter. And the dinner was delicious, too.

We didn't get back home until 9:20 and when I finish drinking this glass of wine that I just poured out of a box—I'm going to bed, so tomorrow I will write more. Happy Birthday to our dear friend Jim and Cheers!

Check Out Chet!

The Concert for Utopia, on Sunday, at the Cailloux Theater was FABULOUS! Tony and I are fixin' to go outside to do our morning chores right now and I will write more this evening. If you didn't make it to our rescue ranch's financial pleasure, fundraising concert, here's Gerry Olert's fantastic video of Chet O'Keefe singing his great song, The Talking Kerrville Blues, about the famous Kerrville Folk Festival, that put Kerrville, Texas on the map. Check out Chet!

Photo by Gerry Olert

Saturday, April 12, 2014

We Did it! Fay's A Redneck!

Today has been great. Here is a picture of Fay posing with my BB gun, after target practice. She and Tony competed—Canada vs. Texas—Texas won. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ruth Buzzi & Kent Perkins Are Coming To The Concert, Too!

Today has been great. We've had a blast with Fay and our great friends/volunteers. This afternoon  Tony and I wanted to impress Fay, so we took her to Home Depot, in Kerrville, to buy a chainsaw. After we purchased the chainsaw, I think Fay was pretty impressed with us Texans, because later on in the evening, when all of us were eating dinner with Kinky, at the Medina Highpoint Resort, she said, in her cute, Canadian accent, "Well, I've never done that before!"

Well, you guessed it—Donna Gable Hatch and The Kerrville Daily Times have done it again for us! Here is a great story about our dear friends Ruth Buzzi and her husband Kent Perkins. We love Ruthie and Kent and we cannot thank Donna Gable Hatch and The Kerrville Daily Times enough for all they have done for us! Enjoy! And we will see y'all at the Concert for Utopia, on Sunday!

Comedienne Ruth Buzzi to pay visit to Kerrville

By Donna Gable Hatch 
Features Editor

She cracked us up as part of the sketch comedy troupe on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” She reduced the legendary Dean Martin and Johnny Carson to tears of laughter with her character, Gladys Ormphby, a hairnet-wearing, handbag-wielding spinster. She can even hold her own alongside the inimitable Miss Piggy.
She’s comedienne-actress Ruth Buzzi, and she’s in Kerrville this weekend to support her longtime friends at Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, in Medina.
“There have been too many highlights in my career to pick just one, so I’ll share a few: winning the 1972 Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a comedy or variety show was huge for me. Getting to know Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, even John Wayne and Muhammad Ali; the fascinating people I met along the way are all career highlights for me. But one thing that really stands out is the day I picked up TV Guide and saw my face on the cover. It wasn’t Rolling Stone, but I did get 10 copies for my mother,” Buzzi quipped.
A homecoming, of sorts
Buzzi and her husband of 36 years, Kent Perkins, will be in the audience at the Concert for Utopia, a benefit for the animal sanctuary founded in 1998 by Kinky Friedman, Nancy Parker-Simons and Tony Simons. The concert begins at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, 910 Main St., in Kerrville. It features nine-time Grammy winner Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, singer-songwriters Billy Joe Shaver, Chet O’Keefe and Jesse Dayton. Friedman and radio host Gordon “Big G” Ames will co-host.
Joining the couple in the balcony are her in-laws, Dee and Elaine Perkins of Southlake, Texas, who have been married 69 years. Perkins’ mother will celebrate her 88th birthday while in Kerrville.
“People are surprised that Ruth Buzzi has living in-laws,” Perkins cracked.
Perkins, who met Friedman in 1974, said he and his wife have been friends with the musical talent “for at least 30 years or more. We’ve spent some quality time with Ray and Billy Joe out at the ranch and other places. The concert will be like a homecoming for us. We love Nancy and Tony; they’re among our best friend. We couldn’t have the ranch without them. Nancy’s rare. Tony’s medium rare,” he joked.
Paws all in
Buzzi’s love affair with four-legged friends began as a child.
“I have always thought of animals as friends, from as early as I can recall in my childhood,” Buzzi said. “I was born in Rhode Island but raised in Wequetequock, a small seaside hamlet in Connecticut. It was country living back then, and I had a fox terrier named Fritzy and a black cat named Blackie.”
She and her husband live on a 600-acre ranch near Stephenville in north Texas, where they have 18 head of cattle, a bull, five horses, two rescue dogs — a great Pyrenees named Buffy and an American bull terrier named J.J. — two swans and 10 ducks.
The couple kicked off Utopia’s Pen Sponsorship program in August 2012, and Buzzi raised nearly $8,500 last year for the ranch through her Twitter and Facebook accounts.
She said she and her husband are ready to serve “whenever and wherever we can to support efforts in saving animals. Utopia Rescue has outdoor pens with a tree, at least one tree, in each pen. The dogs are loved there, fed well, played with and treated great by caretakers, Nancy and Tony, who devote their entire lives to the care and love of animals,” said Buzzi, who was honored in 2012 as one of the “Great Women of Texas” by the Fort Worth Business Press. “None of the money raised is wasted; not a penny of it. All the funds go for food, shelter, medical and support services for rescued animals.”
Parker-Simons said the couple’s support has been an invaluable asset to the ranch, and any time they’re in town is a treat, sometimes literally.
“We love it when they visit, because they're always so much fun,” she said. “A few years ago, they came down for a benefit, and later, Ruthie taught me how to cook beignets Italian style, and they were delicious.”
Buzzi and Perkins have been to the area many times throughout the years, and she said she’s grown quite fond of Kerrville.
“My favorite things about Kerrville are the attitude of the people, the incredible beauty of the area, and the name of your public library (Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library),” Buzzi cracked.
It’s that famous wit and impeccable timing that carried the TV Hall of Famer seamlessly from the Pasadena Playhouse in southern California — where she studied alongside Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman — to Off-Broadway, to Broadway, then on to television, followed by film.
“Dustin Hoffman, by the way, was the most shy of all my classmates. He practically hugged the walls as he went from class to class,” said Buzzi, who began working in theater professionally when she was 19, touring with singer Rudy Vallee in a live musical and comedy act. “I guess he’s come out of his shell, wouldn’t you say?”
Her time working with the “Laugh In” cast, she said, are among her most treasured memories in the business — and was a launch pad for lifelong friendships.
“JoAnn Worley and I are the best of phone buddies. I’ve also kept in touch with Gary Owens, Goldie (Hawn), and Lily (Tomlin), too, but we don’t get together much since I’ve moved to Texas,” she said. “When they need me for something, though, they call and we always support each other in whatever ways we can.”
The famously funny "Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" — which aired as an NBC television special show hosted by entertainer Dean Martin from 1974 to 1984 — left an indelible mark, because she got to know the men behind the laughter.

“Both Dean and Johnny were warm, wonderful guys with big hearts. People automatically knew that about Deano, but lots of folks assumed Johnny was standoffish,” she said. “The truth was that Johnny was simply uncomfortable in most large social gatherings, so he rarely went to big parties. He preferred small dinners with no more than four or five people, and my husband Kent and I were fortunate to be counted among those folks several times.” 

She said one image is seared into her heart. “We saw Johnny at a hospital with a dying mutual friend once. He sat beside her every day on his way home from the studio, held her hand and made her feel loved the last few days of her life,” she said. “It’s hard to forget that image of Johnny Carson. I loved him, and I loved Dean, and I miss them both.”

Buzzi said she’s looking forward to the Concert for Utopia and chatting with residents during intermission and while she’s in town. “People should feel free to stop me and say ‘hello’ when they run into me around Kerrville,” she said. “I love meeting people, and I’m never too busy for that.”

Here are a few pictures, too:

 Actress Ruth Buzzi, center, her husband, Kent Perkins, right, Courtesy photo
 and her in-laws Elaine and Dee Perkins of Southlake, will be in the
audience Sunday for the Concert for Utopia.

                                   Ruth Buzzi as park-bench spinster Gladys Ormphy on 
                                                 “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.”

Ruthie and me.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Donna Gable Hatch & The Kerrville Daily Times Have Done It Again!

Today has been great—thanks to Donna Gable Hatch and The Kerrville Daily Times great article today about the Concert for Utopia, on Sunday. Kinky, Tony and I love Donna and The Kerrville Daily Times for helping out our rescue ranch and we cannot thank them enough. Here's Donna's latest article about the Concert for Utopia.

Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver headline fundraiser

By Donna Gable Hatch 
Features Editor

In 1966, Kinky Friedman and legendary honky tonk hero Billy Joe Shaver became lifelong friends. Over the years, whenever Friedman stepped up to help raise funds for a worthy cause, he turned to his old friend, and Shaver had his back.
“Twenty years ago, we did a benefit for the historic Arcadia Theater on Water Street. The show was a sellout, and it was just great,” said Friedman, a best-selling novelist, humorist and singer-songwriter. “Well, Billy Joe was on stage, and he said, ‘Before I go on with the show, I have to thank the man who is the reason I’m here today.’ Well, I stood up, and I was making my way to the stage, you know, thinking he was going to thank me. I get my foot up on the first step, and he said ‘and that man is Jesus Christ.’ Well, I felt like an idiot, and the audience laughed their heads off. I felt about 2 inches tall and slinked back to my seat.”
The dynamic duo is at it again, this time to raise money for Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, an animal sanctuary co-founded in 1998 by Friedman, Nancy Parker-Simons and Tony Simons.
The Concert for Utopia is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, 910 Main St.
“I’d do anything for Kinky, anytime, anywhere,” Shaver said. “I dearly love Kinky. He’s a good ol’ boy.”
The fundraising concert also features nine-time Grammy winner Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel — dubbed the Kings of Texas Swing — and singer-songwriter Chet O’Keefe, who performed with blues master and rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley. Also on the bill is Austin-based Jesse Dayton, a honky tonk-rockabilly artist who has performed with Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.
Friedman and radio host Gordon “Big G” Ames of radio station KERV-AM 1230’s Big G’s Texas Roadshow will co-host with a little help from Friedman’s longtime friend, Little Jewford. Born Jeff Shelby, he is an accomplished pianist and comedian — as well as the keyboardist in the original country western band, Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. He’s been described as “a Liberace and Victor Borge cocktail, with a twist of the Marx Brothers”
“He’s a Jew, and he drives a Ford,” Friedman quipped of his friend’s moniker.
Friedman said longtime friend and supporter of the ranch, Ruth Buzzi — comedienne and actress of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” fame — also will be in the house. Buzzi and her husband, Kent Perkins, are “pen sponsors at the ranch,” Friedman said.
Concert tickets start at $45, and all proceeds support Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, 966 Echo Hill Road, which is located on the 365-acre Echo Hill Ranch in Medina. The ranch has been in the Friedman family for more than six decades.
“There will be absolutely no politics at the benefit,” said Friedman, who faces cattle farmer Jim Hogan in a May 27 Democratic primary runoff for the position of agriculture commissioner of Texas. “And Big G and I will keep our remarks brief. This night is all about great music and raising money to save animals and support the work we do at the rescue ranch.”
Good friends, great music
Ray Benson, frontman for Asleep at the Wheel since 1969, and Friedman have been friends for 42 years.
“Whenever I see Kinky’s name come up on the caller ID, I hide,” Benson said with a laugh. “But eventually he tracks me down, and this is what happens.”
Benson said he’s always happy to saddle up and ride in to help animals in need.
“I’ve rescued a number of dogs, and I love dogs. We have corgis, and there’s a lady who does a corgi rescue in north Texas, and she calls when she gets one, and we become their forever home,” he said. “As a matter of fact, just before I called you, a new one we rescued just peed in my guitar case, and I had to clean it up. We’re dog lover and cat lovers around here, and we’ll do anything we can to help.”
Benson said he will do his famous hat trick at the concert — he balances his hat on the tip of his nose and flips it back on his head.
“Kinky does love that hat trick,” he said. “I also do a bit of juggling, but that’s another story.”
Benson said he’s excited about sharing Asleep at the Wheel’s new band member, Katie Holmes, with the Kerrville audience.
“Katie is our new fiddler and girl singer, and she just started two months ago. She’s just fabulous,” he said.
The Kerrville audience also will be the first to hear live performances off Benson’s new solo album “A Little Piece,” which was released earlier this year.
“I did a song with Willie Nelson on that one, and I’ll do that song live, and we’re working on a new Asleep at the Wheel-Bob Wills album, and we’ll do a few of the songs we recorded for that,” Benson said.
In addition, “An Asleep at the Wheel-Billy Joe Shaver show is very rare,” he said. “We’ve known the boy for 40 years or more, and we don’t play together a whole lot, so this is quite a show. Billy Joe and I go way back, and we’ll do one of the songs that we cut, ‘Way Down Texas Way.’”
Benson said he hopes the audience enjoys the show as much as he knows the performers will.
"I hope the good folks from the Hill Country will come out and join us for a good time and enjoy the hell out of it,” he said.
Friedman said the music industry has recently lost some great artists — George Jones and Ray Price, to name two — “but we will have on stage some of the finest musicians in country music today. Asleep at the Wheel is the last great swing band of the modern era. Billy Joe, as Willie Nelson says, is Texas’ greatest songwriter. As far as pure songwriter and someone who’s currently writing great stuff — and his recent stuff is brilliant — I’d say Willie’s right. He’s a real poet.”
“Chet comes from the great Northwest, and people are really going to enjoy him,” Friedman said. “I think he’s about the best singer-songwriter I’ve heard this side of Woody Guthrie.”
Dayton is a native of Beaumont, which named a block of a street George Jones Place in homage to Jones, who moved to the city when he was 11.
“Jesse is going to do a salute to George Jones. He sounds so much like George, it will make you cry. They’re both Beaumonsters.”
Shaver, who in 2006 was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, also was honored in 2007 by the Americana Music Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting.
He’s known as the songwriters’ songwriter, and his work has been covered by such musical luminaries as Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
His string of hits include “I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal,” “Live Forever,” “When the Fallen Angels Fly,” “Georgia on a Fast Train,” “Ride Me Down Easy,” “Old Five & Dimers Like Me,” “(Just Because) You Ask Me To” and “Sweet Mama,” among many others.
Shaver wrote 90 percent of Waylon Jennings’ 1973 “Honky Tonk Heroes” album, which was the genesis of the country outlaw movement and changed the face of country music.
“I wrote 10 of the 11 songs on that album, and Chet Atkins was so mad at me, because it was so different,” Shaver said. “It was the first outlaw stuff, and Chet didn’t like me one bit, because he thought it was gonna mess everything up. Well, it turned out OK,” Shaver said. “Of course, it was very helpful to have someone like Waylon do the songs, because the songs are so much bigger than me. He was one of the greatest singers who ever lived.”
Shaver said he’ll perform his old, crowd-pleasing classics, but he also will give the audience a taste of his latest work from his yet-unnamed album.
“I’ve got a new album coming out in June, and I’ll play a few songs off of it,” Shaver said. “A single will be out soon, and it’s called ‘It’s Hard to be An Outlaw Who Ain’t Wanted Anymore.’ I gotta say, it’s a really great song.”
Shaver pulls no punches when it comes to pouring his life into his music.
“I write the truth,” he said. “It’s real easy to do that. I guess I was meant to be a songwriter; all kind of crazy stuff keeps happening to me. All I do is report it.”
Shaver said he hopes he can help put a person in every seat at the Cailloux.
“I have the same kind of heart Kinky has for these dogs,” said Shaver, who shares his life with a shih tzu named Lucy Lou and a pit bull named Honey Bee.
“One time, I found a dog, a pit bull, up by the capitol building, and it had one leg that looked like it was near torn off in a fight. She was a good dog, but she couldn’t be in a pen with another dog,” he said. “Well, I took her out to Utopia, and she was there for a while. It happened that a Vietnam vet, who had his leg knocked off, well, he came to Utopia, and he and that dog just fell in love. It was real heartwarming.”
That particular dog, he said, “never would have stood a chance someplace else. It would have been put down. But not at Utopia. That dog had a fighting chance to have a good life, thanks to the rescue ranch, and it ended up with a war hero.”
That’s what this concert is all about, he said. “It’s about raising money for a place that helps dogs find the people who need them.”

If You Go
➤ What: Concert for Utopia
➤ When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 13
➤ Where: Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, 910 Main St.
➤ Details: The concert features Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, honky tonk hero Billy Joe Shaver, Jesse Dayton and Chet O’Keefe
➤ Tickets: Start at $45
➤ Info: For tickets, call 896-9393 or visit

Before I finish writing this, I want to let you know that today has also been great, because Fay is here!
Y'all have a great day!