Sunday, May 31, 2015

Surf's Up, George!

Yesterday and today have been great. Last night we went up to the Koyote Grill, to eat pizza with sweet Sarah and to meet her super nice friends: Meg and Rita, that had come to visit her for a few days. We love Sarah a lot, because she is always making us laugh and she always makes us feel welcomed. Sarah is the friendliest, funniest, upbeat, assistant manager, at the Medina Highpoint Resort and we had such a wonderful time. And Koyote's pizzas were so delicious Tony and I ended up eating too much.

This morning was a lot of fun too, because Ellen, our dear friend/volunteer, brought out her super cool, Kerrville Folk Festival friends: Julia & Andy and Julia & Brian, so she could show them our rescue ranch and they could do some birdwatching, in The Okay Corral. And Tony and I really enjoyed their visit, too.

This afternoon I received a great e-mail from Eileen, another one of our dear friends/volunteers. She had run into her neighbor that, last year, had come out and adopted George from us. George was/is the water-loving, dock-diving dog, that had stolen Eileen's heart. And her fabulous news about George literally made my day great. Eileen wrote:

"I saw George & his owner's dad walking down the road this morning, so I stopped to talk to them! The man told me they took George to Port Aransas & he went crazy chasing the fish in the surf!  He absolutely loved the Gulf!  He told me he and the kids love to walk George and he is sure a great dog! I thought you would enjoy hearing about George!"

Here is a picture of George, that I took last year, before his new family adopted him and took him to his fabulous, forever home, in Kerrville.

I have one last thing to report. Last Friday we went to Wolfmueller Books to visit with Sandy & Jon, our dear friends and they told us that we had to watch Grace & Frankie, Netflix's newly released comedy series, because it is totally hilarious. So early Friday evening, Tony and I stayed up past midnight, so we could watch all of the 13 episodes of the first season. And we loved it and laughed so hard that our backs ached. So now we are officially hooked on both Longmire and Grace & Frankie and we can't wait for the new Seasons. And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Jay's Done It Again! Please Help Spread This Good News Around!

Our dear friend Jay Pennington has done another great thing for lost pets. He has just launched a new website: to help those lost pets caused by the Texas floods.

Jay sent this exciting note and our rescue ranch wants to help spread the word, because it is a way for all of us to help those lost and found pets. Please help spread this great news and website, so those pets can get back to their loving families. And that's another reason why we love Jay Pennington. Jay wrote:

"Hey friends,

Just wanted to mention that as there are many misplaced pets in the various

Texas towns due to the flooding and more rain coming.  I kept thinking this

is another database application just state wide rather than per community.

There seem to be several dozen Facebook pages right now but Facebook pages

just don't have the features that our system has such as the privacy flyers

and the nightly emails that search for you, and the thumbnails of pets at

the top where Fb might have your pet way down at the bottom of scrolling

forever, and the searching etc.  So I've got a page together and I've got

the website:   www.

Pared down to just Lost and Found ..... Found being general public and

animal shelter Founds.

I'm going to try to alert  the media in different
towns...and the affected shelters...maybe even emergency heads of cities
such as Houston and Wimberley, etc."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Elk and Howlin' Wolf!

Today has been great. Early this morning, before I took off for my 3rd Blues workshop, at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Tony reminded me that if I ever get lost again, I should stay where I am and sit down and wait, because eventually I'll be found. And he asked me to please call him as soon as I arrive at my destination.

I appreciated Tony's concern about me getting lost all of the time, but his advice didn't make sense to me, so I told him, "Tony, I can't just go sit down and wait if I get lost, at the folk festival, because for one thing I won't be able to get myself back up without asking a volunteer to help me, a snake or some fire ants might come along and get me and besides that everyone will think that I am really stoned out of my head. So if I get lost today I will just stop and ask someone for directions to the Threadgill Theater." Tony chuckled, looked down and just shook his head sideways. Then he asked me if he could take a picture of my 3rd poser outfit, before I took off, in Trigger.

When Trigger and I pulled out and turned left, on 16, I hadn't driven fifty feet, when I had to stop, because there was a huge, confused-looking elk crossing the highway, to our side of the road.  When he made to our side, across the street from the Medina Children's Home, I drove slowly past him, so not to spook him. I wanted to help him get back to our neighbor's ranch, that he had escaped from, but I didn't, because I knew that elks can be dangerous and hurt you. So I whispered a little prayer for the big guy instead.

So when I arrived and parked, at the folk festival's parking lot, I immediately called Tony.

"Hello?" Tony said. "Thanks for calling me. Are you lost or did you make it to the theater?"

"I've made it to the parking lot, but that's not why I am calling you, Tony." After I had told him about the poor, lost elk, he told me that he call our neighbors to let them know.

Before we adios-ed each other again, Tony asked me, to please call him if and when I arrived at Threadgill's. And ten minutes later I happily called Tony back to let him know that I had arrived, at the workshop.

Reverend Robert B. Jones' awesome Blues Guitar workshop today was unbelievably great! We started out tuning our guitars to open G and, in no time flat, Reverend Robert had all of us learning how to strum and play super cool riffs just like the Blues legends: Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, etc. 

And everyone was wearing smiles, on their faces, as we practiced and jammed together, because Reverend Jones is such a fabulous musical instructor/musician that he had taken the mystery out of the Blues and made it so easy and simple for us to learn and understand. 

No one wanted his awesome Blues workshop to come to an end today, because we were having so much fun and excited about what all we had learned about playing the Blues, in the past three days. So on my way back home I decided that I am going to save up my money, so I can attend his unbelievably great workshop, next year and hopefully my dear friend Ryan Hatch will be able to attend it with me. "Thank you, Donna and Ryan Hatch for giving me Ryan's ticket to Reverend B. Jones' more than awesome Blues workshop! It was a total blast!"

When I got back home, Tony told me that I needed to call Kinky. So I called Kinky. We talked about the weather, The Friedmans, me getting lost yesterday, him also seeing several lost elk, on the highway today and my Blues workshop. And five minutes ago, Kinky called me again, "Nance, do you want to come over and go on a hike with me and The Friedmans?"

And that is about it for tonight, because I am going over to Kinky's, right now, so we can go hiking.

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It Happened Again!

Today has been great. And it happened twice to me this morning and I am blaming one of them on M.I. R., because Mercury has been in retrograde since May 19th and it doesn't go away until June 11th.

Early this morning before taking a stupid sponge bath, Little Debbie started barking outside, so I let the rest of our dogs go outside to find out what was going on. To my relief, I saw Tony and our great friend and plumber, Bill, working down by the pump house!

So I immediately celebrated "this exciting event" by turning on the faucets, in our 33 year old, plastic garden tub, because our temporary, self-imposed water restrictions were over and I could take another bath before going to my Blues workshop, at the Kerrville Folk Festival! Life was good—so far.

A little before 9:30, I grabbed my guitar and adios-ed Tony, but before I got out the front door, he made me stop so he could take another picture of me, posing in my latest folk festival/hiker/blues musician poser outfit. Then I adios-ed him again and our dogs and then jumped into Trigger and took off.

After parking Trigger, in their parking lot, across the road from the festival grounds, I carefully walked across Highway 16, carrying my guitar and purse. I hiked down the highway with my gear and it reminded me of when I used to hitchhike back in the early 70's. Even though my hiking boots, my poser outfit and the Martin guitar were just like the old days, I didn't have sweet Boomer, my first great Great Pyrenees, on a leash and a heavy backpack resting on my back. 

When I entered the grounds I started down the path that would take me to the Threadgill Theater and I started thinking about who I could borrow a backpack from for tomorrow's final workshop day. And guess what—I got lost and couldn't find it!

I couldn't believe that once again I had gotten lost and I felt so stupid for getting lost, even though everyone, in my family, has no sense of direction and we have spent our entire lifetimes getting lost. All of my life it has been a huge family joke and now the joke includes Kinky, Ben and Tony. And now Chet O'Keefe is in on the joke too, because after Cindy and I got back from Big Bend, in March, Tony told me that he had secretly asked Chet, in advance, to look out for us, because he didn't want Cindy and me getting lost in Big Bend.

Not wanting to be late for the workshop, I stumbled down two paths. One was a dead end and the other led to a bridge that took you to some kind of chapel, so I decided even though I would look stupid, it was time for me to go ask a friendly folk festival volunteer for directions to the theater. 

When I asked a nice volunteer he smiled at me and probably figured that I was a confused old woman, from the 60's, that was simply stoned, even though I wasn't, because I don't do drugs, because they're illegal and they make me dumber than I already am. Anyway, this kind man pointed the way to the theatre, even though we could not see the theater, because of all of the tents and tall, parked RVs.

I was only one minute late and only Reverend Robert B. Jones watched me go sit down, on a bench, on the second to the last row. And I am blaming getting lost on it being M.I.R. time, because traveling problems always happen during the M.I.R. days.

Today's Blues workshop was so much fun. I learned so much about using a slide and playing guitar in open tuning. And our dear sweet friend Donna Hatch, who gave me Ryan's ticket to this awesome workshop, showed up briefly, so she could take several pictures of us.

When I came back home, I told Tony about getting lost and of course, he laughed and teased me about it, while I turned on my amp and plugged in my guitar. 

"Listen to this, Tony. I've got to show you what I learned today." Tony sat down and then I picked up a pick and started playing some great blues rhythms and riffs, using my slide and Tony could not believe what he was hearing.

"Nance, you sound fantastic. Don't stop playing." I played for him for about ten minutes, then I unplugged and put away my guitar, because my fingers were sore from playing for four full hours.

Well, I've given up on borrowing a backpack for tomorrow, but I already know what I am going to wear to my last Blues workshop. Of course, I'll be wearing my hiking boots, Levi's and another pink bandana and I've chosen to wear my green, Appalachian Trail, long-sleeved t-shirt, because it will make people believe that I am one serious hiker. And I like that.

And that is about it for tonight, because I am going to watch Texas Rising, the new History Channel series, that our good artist friend, Steve Pietzsch recommended that we watch it, because a character playing Big Foot Wallace, Tony's famous, Texas Ranger relative, will be making an appearance, in one of the upcoming episodes. Here's the link that Steve sent to me and you can click on Texas Rising to check out this new series about Texas history. 

P.S. I don't think the show airs tonight, because yesterday I recorded the first two episodes, but I bet they will be running reruns and you can watch it on demand.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kerrville Folk Festival's Roots Blues Workshop!

Omg! Today has been more than great! Early this morning, I took a real bath even though Tony had requested that I not take one due to our temporary self-imposed water restrictions. "Nancy, you don't stink, I promise. Just take another sponge bath and..." So I waited and took a real bath when he went outside to feed the dogs and clean their pens.

When Tony had finished doing our morning chores outside and walked back inside The Cabin, I was clean, dressed, nervous and nearly ready to go to the Kerrville Folk Festival's Roots/Blues Workshop, thanks to our dear friends Ryan and Donna Hatch, who had given me Ryan's ticket. "Nance, it is time for you to leave and if you don't mind I want to drive you there."

"Okay. I just need to finish lacing up my hiking boots," I half-hollered from our bedroom. Then I heard Tony chuckling to himself, in the kitchen.

When I walked into the kitchen, he said, "You look great and you don't stink, but why are you wearing your hiking books?"

"So I'll fit in and not stand out," I replied, feeling totally relieved and knowing that I really didn't stink and him never finding out about my earlier bathing activities. When I grabbed my guitar, Tony grabbed his camera and told me that he wanted to take a picture of me and here it is.

Tony dropped me off near the ticket gate and drove away, as I picked up my official, purple folk festival  wristband and got directions to where the Threadgill Theater was located. "Excuse me Ma'am," a very polite, nice man, about my age, said to me. "Why don't you hop into the cart and I'll drive you over to it?" So I thanked him and then climbed into the golf cart's back seat, with my guitar and we took off.

When I arrived almost everyone attending this awesome workshop was there and the three super nice, friendly, extremely talented musician, instructors were sitting up on stage and they were jamming and they sounded fantastic. So, I looked around and decided to sit down, somewhere in the middle, behind a friendly man and his super cool service dog.

Five minutes later, the faculty, Steve James, Roy Book Binder and Reverend Robert B. Jones, stood up and introduced themselves to all of us. Then they asked us to please pick the Gospel, Roots or Blues group that we wanted to participate in. I picked Reverend Robert B. Jones' Blues group.

A few minutes later, every one had moved to their designated workshop areas, inside the theatre. Then the reverend reintroduced himself to our fifteen member group and suggested that we take turns and tell our names and how many years that we've have been playing the guitar.

There were three other women, in our friendly, cozy workshop and yes, I was definitely the oldest one of them all and everyone else for that matter and I was so grateful that I had sneaked a bath and I didn't stink. I sat there nervously listening to the friendly men and women tell their first names and say things like, "I've been playing for one year. I've been playing for ten years. I bought this guitar yesterday..." Since I was next to the last I quickly started calculating how many years that I've been playing guitar, because I knew that I had all of these much younger guitar pickers beat.

Seconds later, everyone turned around to hear me say, "Hi, I'm Nancy and I've been playing guitar for over fifty-three years." 

Then several people gasped, some eyes got really big and you could hear jaws dropping to the floor and then I heard some man say, "Wow! That's incredible!" and then another man say, "Oh my god!" It was totally hilarious and it made me laugh out loud, as I blushed, because I am sure that they must have thought that I was in my late seventies.

Anyway, I totally loved attending Reverend Jones' Blues guitar workshop and I can't believe how much that I have already learned from him, because he is such a great instructor. In fact, his workshop is the best Blues workshop that I've ever been to. And I highly recommend it to anyone interested in improving their guitar playing skills. 

Tonight I've already decided that tomorrow morning when I rise and shine that I will take a stupid sponge bath, to conserve our temporary low water supply and I know exactly what I am going to wear to the workshop. I'll be wearing my hiking boots, a pair of 501 Levi's, that beautiful, blue bandana that Pat Helms gave to me and my super cool, B.B. King, black, long-sleeved t-shirt. And that is about it for tonight. "Thank you, Ryan and Donna, for giving me the ticket to attend this awesome guitar workshop! I absolutely love it and I can't wait to go to it tomorrow and Thursday."

Y'all have a great evening!

Am Writing My Blog Right Now And Will Post It Within The Next Hour!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Don't Take A Bath Blues!

Today has been great. This morning we got another inch of much needed rain and then lightning hit so close to the trailer that it made our trailer shake, which made our dogs wake up, leap off our bed, like they had just been shot out of a cannon!

A few seconds later Tony walked into the big room and said, "@#*^! I think it hit your writing cabin." Then he opened the front door and looked outside. "It didn't hit your cabin. It's fine..."

Around noon the sun came out and it turned my expression from this  : (  to this  : )  Around 3:00, I called Kinky to see if he had made it back to the ranch okay, because earlier he had gone, to Kerrville, to get more groceries. "Yes. The roads were fine, Nance and...."

After we had adios-ed each other I grabbed my camera and then I jumped into Kermit, so I could go check on the creek crossings for Chet O'Keefe, because this morning he left Terlingua and he and his cool dog, Willie, are on their way back to the ranch. Here are the three pictures that I took. And please notice that the water level has dropped down several inches and you can see more of the dock and that the bridge is totally safe to cross. Meaning that we are no longer land-locked.

When Kermit and I pulled up to the trailer, Tony walks out on the porch and says, "The pump, in the creek, is not working again. It probably is full of debris it collected from the flood and it just needs to get cleaned out. I've already called Bill about it and he told me that he will try to get out here, in the next couple of days, after the creek level goes down."

"How much water is left in the tank?"

"The tank is half full. We've got at least 750 gallons to last us and the dogs outside for several days. We should be fine."

"Darn it, I was fixin' to go wash a load of clothes and I need to take a bath."

"Nance, please don't take a bath and our clothes can wait."

"Okay, this is great. What am I going to do about tomorrow? Because I can't go to my first blues guitar workshop, in the morning, wearing muddy clothes and not having bathed?"

"Take a sponge bath," Tony suggested, before he started laughing which made me laugh out loud, too.

After we had quit laughing about our temporary, self-imposed water restrictions, I laughed again and then said, "Great. I've really got the blues about attending the super cool, blues guitar workshop, because I am sure that I will probably be the oldest person there and the only woman there. And now I'll stink to high heaven and be wearing dirty clothes that have muddy paw prints all over them."

"So what? Don't worry about it. Your new Martin will impress them," Tony teased.

"Right!" I replied. "And I bet you that they'll all be asking each other, "How can that old, smelly, frumpy-looking, woman, wearing muddy clothes afford a Martin?"

And before I could finish what I was fixin' to say to Tony, he cut me off and joked, "They will all think that you stole it!" Then we both started laughing, again.

And that is about it for today, because now I have the "don't take a bath" blues and instead of taking a bath or a shower right now I must go take a stupid sponge bath instead. Because Chet should be arriving, at the ranch, within the next hour or so and I can't wait to show him my new Martin guitar—that I purchased on eBay.

7:30 UPDATE: Chet loves my guitar. He gave us a mini acoustic concert and then he plugged it into my amp and blew us out of our saddles. It was unbelievably awesome. Now I love my guitar even more, because Chet knows how to play it like a pro and make it sing.

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Land-Locked Got Water!

Today has been great. Yesterday morning when it started raining it seemed like it was one thunderstorm after another. Because we were unplugged for most of the day and night I took a couple of sleepless naps with our dogs, did some writing, did a little reading and then I played my guitar.

This morning after breakfast Tony and I grabbed our cameras and then jumped into Trigger to go check out the creek situation and it did not take us long to realize that Kinky, Tony and I were temporarily land-locked.

Echo Hill's low water creek bridge

Deer Valley's creek crossing bridge that is totally underwater.

A few minutes later, we returned to the rescue ranch and jumped into Kermit and took off again so we could go check on the dam. And on our way over to the dam we discovered that four, large Spanish Oaks that had fallen down, because of the flood.

When we got to the dam it was fine and overflowing as were both of the creek bridge crossings, that get you to Kinky's Lodge. A big cedar tree had also fallen down and was resting on top of the long, white, swimmers bench, on the dock and the dock itself was nearly underwater, too.

When we returned back home, I downloaded my pictures and videos that I had taken and then I put together a short, YouTube video that I have titled: Land-Locked Got Water, to show the out of bank creeks, uncrossable bridges, some of the downed trees and the rescue ranch, etc. Please Click Here or on Land-Locked_Got Water to view the video.

It is now close to 3:00 and Tony and I are fixin' to jump back into Kermit, so we can go check the creek crossings, etc. And when we get back home I plan to do some writing and then watch a movie, so that is about it for today.

Y'all have a great Sunday!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Rain Check Tonight!

Today has been great. This morning Tony and I went outside to do the morning chores, before the rain arrived promptly, at 10:45. Since then it has been on and off big time thunderstorms and we've been unplugged for nearly most of the day. And we have just found out that in Medina they have received over six inches of rain.

As of ten minutes ago, we have received over four inches of rain today and we're thankful! So far we are not land-locked, but that could still happen and I hope that it doesn't. Our dogs are doing fine and the skies are still gray and rumbling, so that is about it for tonight, because I need to go unplug everything again.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bill Hageman and Jay Pennington Rock!

Today has been great. This morning I received a very exciting e-mail from our dear friend Jay Pennington. He wrote to tell me that our dear friend Bill Hageman, Chicago's favorite columnist, at the Chicago Tribune, had written a fabulous story about his Pet Search and Rescue 501(c)(3) non-profit, because I am one of the Board members of Pet Search and Rescue.

I was more than thrilled that Bill had written a great story about Jay and Pet Search and Rescue, because it will help get the word out that every animal shelter, pound and rescue organization out there should be using his free software, that he designed, that helps save pets and gets them back to their loving families.

I knew that Bill was going to write the story about Jay and Pet Search and Rescue, because Bill had contacted me last week and had asked me to write a few words about Jay's awesome pet rescue project. So I wrote a few words about Jay's great efforts and the good work that he is doing and e-mailed it to Bill.

Jay sent me and the other Board members a link to Bill's story, in today's Chicago Tribune and when I read it I was nicely surprised that Bill had quoted me. Here's the link to Bill Hageman's more than great article about Jay Pennington and his Pet Search and Rescue. Click here.

If anyone reading this tonight is affiliated with a local pound or an animal shelter, etc., you can help save thousands of pets and get them back to their families by spreading the word about Jay's free, easy to use software.

And that is about it for tonight, because I am going to go watch KENS 5 evening news at 5:00 and 6:00, because since Bill helped get the word out, this morning, about Pet Search and Rescue, KENS 5 is also doing a story about Jay and Pet Search and Rescue. So go out there and help spread the word, because every shelter needs this software! If you need more information please contact Jay at:

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Howdy Heidi!

Today has been great and so was Saturday. Early Saturday morning I received an exciting e-mail from our dear friend Dennis Lanning. A while back, on February 7th to be exact, Dennis and his good friend David came out to visit us and they drove their brand new BMW motorcycles, because they were preparing and trying to be in the best of shape for their long distance motorcycle trip they had been planning to go on.

Dennis' e-mail was short. All he wrote was this, "We Made It!" And he sent this picture of him to prove it.

Tony and I were so thrilled for him and David, because they had actually ridden their BMW's from Austin all of the way to Labrador, Newfoundland. After Tony looked at this photo, he jokingly teased me and said, "He's not a poser like you are, Nance. He and David actually did it." And all I could do was laugh, because I knew Tony was right.

Late Saturday morning we had a surprise visit from a very old girl friend and it totally made my day great. In fact, it still warms my heart when I think about it and I've been thinking about it often. Here's the story.

Tony and I were down at the creek trying to figure out how to remove a giant tree next to the dam, when we heard our dogs start barking. "Somebody must have arrived at the rescue ranch," Tony said, as he started Kermit, so we could go greet whoever it was.

When we pulled up, a nice, friendly couple was parked, in front of my pink, writing cabin. As soon as we welcomed these nice people to our rescue ranch, this woman says, "I'm Heidi and this is Dan."

"Howdy Heidi. You must be the woman who called me earlier this week about wanting to know our Saturday Open House hours," I said. After we shook hands with the couple we got to talking about the recent flood, mowing, etc. Then they told us that they had a surprise waiting for us, sitting inside the back seat of their car.

As Tony and I looked into the window of their car, Dan said, "I don't know if you remember me or the dog that I adopted from y'all, because it was in 2002 right after that really big flood y'all had had?" Y'all had named her Suzi-Q."

"Omg!" I said. "I remember that horrible flood. We had just moved the rescue ranch from our place, in Utopia, to here on March 3rd and then it rained and rained the entire month of June. I remember Suzi-Q's name, but I'm sorry that I don't remember her story. We've rescued a lot of dogs since then and she's the only Suzi-Q that we've ever had."

So Dan tells us that if he remembered right we had rescued Suzi-Q from a river. She was about one-year-old and that she had only been with us for a couple of months or so when he came out and adopted her. Then Dan slowly lowered the window, so we could meet Suzi-Q again.

Suzi-Q wagged her tail when we started petting her, as Dan and Heidi told us that she has been the greatest, coolest dog that they have ever had. Then they introduced us to Bella, the sweet, rescued, Rhodesian Ridgeback mix therapy dog. "Bella has been a therapy dog with Divine Canines since May 2006, earning her AKC Distinguished Therapy Dog title in July 2014-an honor reserved for dogs with more than 400 hours of therapy dog service. She and Galena love each other and they get along great together."

"I renamed Suzi-Q, Galena," Dan said. Tony and I had a super fun, long visit with Heidi and Dan and then we went over to the Lodge, so Kinky could meet Suzi-Q/Galena and Heidi & Dan and Bella. To say the least, "Kinky was thrilled to meet Galena and hear her story and he also enjoyed meeting Bella, Heidi & Dan." Here is a picture that Heidi took and sent to me of Dan and Galena along with her note:

"Hi Nancy,
     We had such a wonderful visit! Thank you for spending time with us. We enjoyed the conversation, meeting Tony, and saying hi to Kinky. 
     Galena has had a dream life, and she has been such a good friend. She is friendly to all people and other dogs. We can always trust her to manage other dogs appropriately. 
     We love that she still has spunk at more than 13 years of age.
     Thank you for rescuing her, and thank you for being you (and Tony too). Y'all are angels. We appreciate you and Tony, Heidi"

Yesterday afternoon after mowing, I sat down and played my new guitar for over an hour and a half, because I want my fingers to be ready for the exciting, upcoming, Kerrville Folk Festival's 3-days Roots & Blues workshop that Ryan and Donna Hatch gave to me. 

This afternoon after lunch, we took Lucille, the sweet, Boxer mix, to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic, so she can get her shots, spayed, etc. And that is about it for tonight, because after I take off my hiking boots, I am fixin' to start playing my guitar, so I won't look like a poser with a fancy guitar, at guitar camp.

P.S. After Dan and Heidi left with their precious cargo I checked our adoption records and found out that Dan adopted our Suzi-Q/his Galena, on July 20, 2002.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Kent & Lisa & Lucille & Kinky!

Today has been great. This morning our good friend Kent came over to see us, before getting on the road and heading back home to his sweet wife Ruthie.

When we started to drink a cup of coffee together I told Kent about my new guitar and he asked to see it, because among his many talents—he is also a very talented musician. After Kent had admired my guitar I handed it to him and said, "I'd love for you to play it." Well I was wrong about that, because Tony loved it, too.

Kent strummed it, and said, "Nancy, this is one awesome guitar. I love it." Then he started playing my guitar and singing one great song after another. I took this picture of Kent.

Tony took this picture of Kent

Kent played some famous Simon & Garfunkel, Rolling Stones, John Denver, Bob Dylan, songs, etc., which mesmerized all of us including Little Debbie, who I was cradling in my arms. Tony took this adorable picture of Little Debbie.

After we adios-ed our dear friend Kent, Tony and I jumped into Trigger and took off for the Koyote Grill, at the Medina Highpoint Resort, so we could celebrate Lisa's birthday with her and our great  friends/volunteers.

Lisa's belated birthday party was so much fun and sweet Eileen provided Lisa's beautiful, delicious birthday cake. "Thank you, Eileen!"

During Lisa's super fun birthday celebration we did so much laughing and joking, my back actually began to ache from laughing so hard, but fortunately it is fine now—thank goodness. 

After Lisa's birthday party Tony and I were in the best of moods, but that changed rapidly when we pulled up to the rescue ranch gate, because we saw a happy dog, inside the rescue ranch, come running towards us, as the gate slowly swung open. "*^%#," Tony said, in disgust. "Some #@#@&^% has dumped a dog on us and I bet it was that woman who called you yesterday, that we probably just passed on the bridge, heading for 16...."

It was obvious to us that this sweet, happy, friendly, young female dog had recently had a litter of pups, ran up to Tony wagging her tail rapidly and she let Tone slip a leash around her neck. And she sat, on command when Tony told her to sit. 

Tony ended up temporarily putting her in the alley, between Merlin's and Miranda's pen and then he fed her and filled up a bucket full of water, then we drove up to The Cabin, so we could grab our cameras. Because one of my heroes, B.B. King passed away today, I've named her Lucille, because B.B. always named his black guitars Lucille and we think that Lucy is a Boxer mix. Here are some beautiful pictures of Lucille that Tony took of her.

Because of the weather and it being the weekend, we will take Lucille to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic, this Monday, so we can get her spayed, shots, etc. And that is about it for tonight, because we are going to go meet Kinky for dinner.

Y'all have a great weekend, including the wonderful person who dumped Lucille, at our rescue ranch.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Thai O'cha Restaurant!

Today has been great. This afternoon Kinky called me. He called to invite Tony and me to join him and our dear friend Donna Hatch, the fabulous author and editor, at The Kerrville Daily Times, to eat lunch with them, at Thai O'cha restaurant, because they were celebrating the fabulous article, that appeared in today's newspaper, that our friend, Phil Houseal, had written for Donna about Kerrville's favorite Thai restaurant. I immediately said, "Yes. It sounds like a lot of fun and we love that restaurant. And it's perfect, because we have several errands to run..."  Here's a picture that I took of today's Kerrville Daily Times' story.

Oh my goodness, our lunch with Donna and Kinky was so much fun, as always. As we sat and enjoyed eating our delicious, healthy Thai food, we laughed and joked about all kinds of things. Of course, I did so much talking I was the very last one to finish eating the #4, on the menu, that Tony and I had both ordered. He and I do that all of the time, so I guess that makes Tony and me a cute couple. And I love it, because it always drives Kinky crazy, because we do it so often and he thinks it is" totally ridiculous."

During our super fun lunch I told Donna about my newly purchased guitar and I asked her to please tell her sweet husband, Ryan, about it, because he is one of my jamming-buddies. Donna's eyes lit up and then she told me that Ryan had signed up to take the fabulous, 3-days Kerrville Folk Festival's Root's & Blue's workshop, but unfortunately he wasn't going to get to go to it. "Nancy, I've already bought the tickets for it. Would you like to go to the Roots & Blues Guitar Camp? Ryan would love it if you do! And you've got your new guitar to play!"

Before I could even take a breath, I said, "Yes, I would love to..." Then I inhaled and nearly fell out of my chair, because I was so excited about attending this super cool workshop, even though I know that I will probably be the "old woman and worst player" there.

After eating the delicious Thai food, we looked outside and it was raining cats and dogs outside, so Tony says, "We better get back to the ranch now, before the heavy rains start to flood and lock us out." So we canceled our errands and immediately came back home. Here is the complete story that Phil Houseal wrote for Donna for The Kerrville Daily Times and because I had to cut and paste it together, some of it is not layed out exactly like the newspaper's better version, but here it is anyway. 

Exotic flavors
Jai uses only fresh, organic ingredients in her signature pad ginger stir fried dishes at Thai O'cha, 417 Water St., along the Guadalupe River in downtown Kerrville. 

Thai O’cha serves up a slice of paradise
Story and photos by Phil Houseal
Special to The Times

     After considering opening restaurants in several locations, the owners of Thai O'ocha, 417 Water St., decided it would be best to work on running one restaurant well. To the good fortune of local lovers of Thai cuisine, they decided that would be Kerrville.
     “I wanted to concentrate on only one location,” said Opal, the 29-year-old manager of Thai O’cha. “I cannot split my body. I want to make sure the food when it comes out needs to be perfect — everything needs to be perfect. Maybe we will open another in three to five years.”
     “Opal’s” Thai name is Sarin. She explained it is Thai tradition that everyone goes by a nickname. The owner and chef at Thai O’cha is her mother, Sudjai, known as Jai.
     Ju, Jai’s niece, and Song, Ju’s friend, work as servers.

Jai uses only fresh, organic ingredients in her signature pad ginger stir fried dishes at Thai O'cha, 417 Water St., along the Guadalupe River in downtown Kerrville.

     But all that diners really need to know is that Jai worked as a chef for more than 30 years, first at a hotel chain in Thailand and then in Marble Falls, after the family immigrated in 2009. Opal has a degree from Thailand in international studies, and she wants to eventually earn her master’s degree here. She handles most of the translating for her family.
     Thai O’cha features Eastern décor with lotus blossoms, a figure of the Buddha and statues of elephants, a revered animal among the Thai people. Patio seating overlooks the Guadalupe River. Why did Jai decide to open such a restaurant in Kerrville? Simply because there was no Thai cuisine in this Hill Country community, she said.
     “She wanted to present Thai food to this community,” Opal said. “Thai food is healthy, uses lots of herbs, is all organic and uses fresh ingredients.”
     Their signature dish is pad ginger. “Pad” in Thai cooking refers to a range of stir-fried dishes, complemented with any meat or seafood. The foundational ingredients include green onion, yellow onion, carrots, broccoli, Chinese mushroom, celery, and, of course, ginger, thickened with corn starch.
Being in the heart of Texas requires the staff to make some accommodations to ingredients, but they insist on using fresh, organic vegetables.
     There are other differences they have discovered are expected when cooking Thai food for American appetites.
     “We use authentic Thai recipes, but sometimes we cannot find the same ingredients, so we try to adapt American ingredients,” Opal said. They look to use gluten-free sauces, and make the portions larger.
     While the stir-fried dishes remain most popular, their menu includes more exotic fare such as roast duck, spicy curries, papaya salad, tofu steak, and sticky rice.
     They have also had to adapt to the American need for speed. Jai prepares each entrée separately as it is ordered. The vegetables are seared quickly in a gas-fired commercial wok, cooked within a few minutes. They have learned to prepare in advance double the amount of ingredients they think they will need, so they are able to turn out the orders very quickly.
     Another adaptation is teaching Texan servers the ways of Thailand.
     “Now they know Thai food, and they love Thai food,” Opal said with a laugh. “They had never had it before. Now they have started eating spicy food.”
     American diners will appreciate that dessert and drinks with a Thai meal are more than an afterthought.
Thai iced tea is a flavorful mix of tea, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut milk that is neither tea nor milk yet more than both.
     Desserts include fresh-made fried banana rolls, black sticky rice rudding and a diner favorite, mango ice cream: Fresh frozen in small batches, it is made of fresh mango, coconut milk, fresh cream and sugar and then served with fresh cubed mango, and topped with a cashew. Decadence never tasted so healthy.
     While Thai O’cha’s reputation continues to grow, Kerrville residents need not fear losing this restaurant, as long as Jai has anything to say about it.
     “I love Kerrville,” she said in quiet, careful English. “It is comfortable, a small town, and the people are nice."

At a glance
What: Thai O’cha
Where: 417 Water St.
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. seven days a week
Info: 792-2999

When Tony and I got back home I immediately plugged in my computer and went to look up the information about the upcoming Kerrville Folk Festival's 3-Day, Roots & Blues Guitar Camp. I am now even more excited about attending it that I want to thank our dear friends Donna and Ryan for letting me go to it, because they are two of my favorite people on our planet.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Guard Sheep!

Today has been great and so were Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Last Thursday evening after I wrote my blog, I watched that award winning documentary Finding Joe and I absolutely loved it. In fact, it sort of changed me.

So I spent all day Friday thinking about its powerful message or I guess I should say, Joe Campbell's powerful message about "Following Your Bliss." So, Friday evening I decided to do something about it.

I got on my laptop and went to eBay and it only took me about one hour to do something really nice for myself. After I had made my purchase, I walked down the hallway and told Tony, "I just bought myself an expensive present and I feel great about it."

Tony smiled and said, "Great. What did you get?"

"A *&$# guitar, because I love those guitars so much and I used to have one. In fact, I've owned four of them in my lifetime. I just got a confirmation from the seller, in Conneticut, and he is going to ship it out tomorrow." Then I went back into the kitchen and called Chet, in Terlingua, to tell him my exciting news. And to say the least he was thrilled for me, but not as thrilled as I was. And before he and I adios-ed each other, he recommended that I get a K&K Pure Mini pickup for it, "Because they are the very best for acoustic guitars."

So, then I went back Online and ordered the K&K Pure Mini pickup with free shipping from California. Then I went back down the hallway, having to step over and around Roy, Belle and Beau, and told Tony, "I just bought a pickup for it and I hope I get everything by Wednesday, because I can't wait..."

"I'm glad that you bought the guitar and the pickup, but I'll bet you that it won't sound any better than the one Ronnie made for you."

"You're probably right about that, but I'm a poser and love this particular guitar.

Then I zig-zagged back around our sleeping friends, in the hallway, so I could call my sweet brother. "Ronnie, I just bought myself a *&$# guitar!" Ronnie was thrilled for me, too. "I just got off of the phone with Chet and when I told him that I was going to buy a pickup for it, he suggested that I buy a K&K Pure Mini pickup, because he told me that they were the best."

"They are, Nance," Ronnie said. "In fact, that's the only pickup that I put on my guitars...."

Sunday, David, the man whom I purchased my *&$# guitar from sent me the tracking number, so I could track my guitar. And when I tracked the USPS number for it, I read that the expected delivery would be Monday. What?

This morning, after breakfast I tracked my guitar again and I read that it was already at the Post Office, in Medina! So, I called Julie, at the Post Office and asked her, "Do I have a package there that I need to sign for?"

"You have two packages. One is gigantic and the other one is small and you don't have to sign for it," Julie said. And two minutes later, Tony was driving me to Medina.

When I went into the Post Office, Julie had me sign for the big package and then she went to fetch it for me. When I saw the incredibly huge package I burst out laughing, because it was literally bigger than I was. "It's a guitar, Julie." And we were both laughing as I tried to carry this humongous box out of the Post Office.

When Tony saw them holding the door for me to exit with the box, he immediately jumped out of Trigger and skipped over to me, so he could carry my guitar and put it into the back seat for me. Then I went back inside the Post Office to get our mail and the small package.

As soon as we got back home, Tony helped me open the giant box, while Little Debbie and Alice stood back and growled at it. The bottom line to my "follow your bliss" story is that I am in love with my *&$# guitar and am so thrilled to have it, even though Ronnie's guitar sounds just as good or better.

After lunch today, we had to go to Kerrville to run several errands. Our last stop was at the Home Depot, so Tony could buy some pretty flowers, to help bring in the butterflies and bees, for his organic garden.

As he was putting the last plastic sack of flowers, inside Trigger, we had a drive by and it was friendly. "Hey, Eva and Stephen! How in the world are y'all doing?" Tony said, as they climbed out of their Subaru and I walked back around the truck to greet them.

After hugs, we got to visiting with them. "This is so weird seeing y'all here," Stephen K. Morris said. "Because when we pulled into the parking lot, I told Eva that I bet that we would run in to y'all here..."

We laughed a lot and talked about how much fun we had had listening to him and Chet jam together, in Outer Space, my new guitar and Eva's photography, etc. Then sweet Eva says, "We had to come to Kerrville today to pick up several big boxes of my photographs that have been on display, at the Grape Juice."

"No seriously, " Stephen said, followed by a laugh, as he opened the hatch back door, to show us several big, boxes full of her beautiful photography. Then Eva and Tony started talking about their love of photography. So Stephen reaches inside one of Eva's boxes and then he hands me this beautiful, awesome, matted photograph of some sheep, titled Guard Sheep. "We want to give this to you. It is one of Eva's signature pictures."

Tony and I were speechless, because we really loved her photograph and we were thrilled to get it. "Thank you so much. I know exactly where we are going to hang it, in the big room...." Then we started talking about my blog, Stephen K. Morris' website, Chet O'Keefe's website and Eva's website: "Y'all I am going to blog about this tonight," I said, as I was pulling my cell phone out of my purse. "Tony will you please take a picture of Eva and Stephen with me holding her photograph?"

After Tony shot us we visited a little bit longer, in the parking lot and we laughed and joked about Stephen and me both wearing the same outfits: Wrangler work shirts, white Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch caps, jeans and cowboy boots. Then we hugged and adios-ed each other and took off in opposite directions.

When we got back home I checked out Eva's website and I fell in love with all of her photographs, because she is so talented. One of Eva's photographs really caught my eye and made me laugh out loud, because I knew that if Little Debbie were to see it she would get very jealous of the photograph of the adorable, little dog, on top of a fancier dog bed than she has. Here's Little Debbie's doggie bed.

And that's about it for tonight, because I am fixin' to follow my bliss by playing my new guitar.

Y'all have a great evening!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Earth Station!

Today has been great. We spent most of the day outside and we got a lot of mowing and weed-eating done. After we had called it a day, I moved my Earth station, that was in front of Mandy's and Bandy's pen, to the Okay Corral and I love it, because when Tony goes outside to take pictures of birds, at his feeders, in the cabin's front yard, I can go outside with him and get a little earthing done while visiting with Tony.

And that's about it for tonight, because I am fixin' to go outside and put my feet in some sand.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Bloody Mary Morning!

Today has been great. I haven't posted anything for the past few days because we have had house guests since Monday and I've been more than busy trying to take care of my everyday rescue ranch business, while trying unsuccessfully to be a good hostess to our visiting friends.

Yesterday, Tony and I took off for Kerrville, so he and I could meet our dear friends Kris & Jim and Denise & Les for our monthly lunch together. We arrived in Kerrville ahead of schedule, so we decided to go to the Plant Haus, so Tony could buy a few more tomato plants, because every morning I make Tony and I delicious, healthy tomato juice that tastes just like a Bloody Mary.

It takes eight tomatoes just to make two alcohol-free Blood Mary juices and the rest of the ingredients I use to make it are two celery stalks, one squeezed lemon, two red bell peppers, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco's Chipolte pepper sauce. So that's why Tony was buying us more tomato plants because we like our Bloody Mary mornings. Here's a picture I took of some of the ingredients just before I juiced them this morning.

While Tony was picking out his tomato plants I spotted these candles burning inside the store, so I went over to check them out and to my amazement, I discovered that they were fireless candles that run on 2 D alkaline batteries. And what was so cool about these particular fireless candles is the (plastic) wick is constantly in motion just like a flickering candle. So after we had paid the friendly cashier for our purchases we walked out of The Plant Haus with Tony's tomato plants and my new 3.5"x7" cinnamon scented, fireless wax candle.

We had a great time eating lunch with our friends and while we were finishing eating our desserts, I excused myself from the table and went outside to get my cool candle, so I could show it to them. And like us they were amazed that it was battery powered, because it looked so real. And they all said that they were going to go buy one, too. 

This is a picture of it turned off.

Here is a 28 second video clip that I took of it flickering, while listening to the beginning of Harry Manx's fabulous version of Baby Please Don't Go. So click here to see it flickering to Harry Manx's great song.

As I finish writing this, before I go watch the award winning video, Finding Joe, I want to thank the awesome, ten, super cool teenagers, from the Arms of Hope, at the Medina Children's Home, for coming out today and last Monday, for volunteering to paint our rescue ranch's white, board fence, mowing and weed-eating. "Y'all did a great job and we love you!"

Y'all have a great evening!