Friday, June 26, 2015

You Can't Always Get What You Want! or The Red Pony!

Today has been great. This afternoon, there was a three hour delay renting the Explorer. She told us that the car would be ready to go at 2:00 instead of 1:00, as earlier planned, so Tony and I ran several errands to give them plenty of time, at the car rental place.

At 3:00, the sweet employee greeted us with a smile, then she basically told me that you can't always get what you want. And I started to joke, "Someone should use that tag line and write a song, because I bet that it would be a hit." But I didn't, because I could tell that she was pretty stressed out about the situation.

Bottom Line: We left the car rental place at 3:45 and I asked Tony to please drive the rental car home, because I was feeling a little nervous about driving it in traffic. When we got back home, I skipped outside and took pictures of "The Red Pony" (I named it after The Red Pony Bar & Grill, that's in the Longmire Netflix series), even though it is actually a maroon color.

After I shot the back of The Red Pony, I noticed that it had a Kansas license plate on it, which made me laugh and think of Dorothy's famous words. Then I came back inside and took this picture of one of my  favorite magnets, on the refrigerator.

Then, with Tony's help, I put three new decals, on my guitar case, that had arrived earlier today!

I added The Red Pony Bar & Grill: Continual Soire bumper sticker, the cute Big Foot Research Team and the hilarious United States Zombie Hunting Permit, with No Daily Bag Limit, that actually looks official enough to scare off any zombies that I might encounter.

After Tony had admired my new decals and scratched his forehead several times while shaking his head sideways, he helped me pack my stuff, inside The Red Pony. And afterwards we had a big laugh about it, because my stuff took up almost half of the room, inside the Dodge Grand Caravan aka The Red Pony. "I hope there is room for Chet's stuff," he teased me, as we got inside, so I could take a test drive around the ranch, before actually driving it, on the highway, tomorrow. Bottom Line: I loved it and I felt comfortable driving it, even though the first time that I braked, Tony nearly went through the front windshield.

Then we came back inside The Cabin, where I proceeded to do some paperwork, return phone calls and check my e-mail. My favorite e-mails today were from Marguerite, because she sent me two adorable pictures of Scout (formerly Sara Lee) playing with her new best bud, Odie, the sweet one-eyed dog that she also adopted from us, a few years ago, when he was just a pup. 

Chet showed up around 8:30 this evening and before we opened up the van, so he could load his stuff into it, Tony joked, "I hope you didn't bring much, because Nancy's stuff has already filled up most of the van." 

Chet started laughing until he saw all of my stuff piled into the van. Then Tony and I started laughing. "I think it will all fit," Chet said optimistically, followed by a chuckle, as Tony helped him cram his stuff, into The Red Pony.

"Chet, I am sorry that I am taking so much stuff, but I need all of it. I'll go crazy if I don't have it."

"No problem," he said. "I am the same way when I pack for a trip. I take everything." After they had stuffed all of Chet's stuff into the van, he told us that he is now hooked on watching Longmire and he has just started watching the first season. "It's a really great show," he said. "I've rented the Longmire entire first season and it is not due back, at Hastings, until Wednesday when we get back. Does this van have a DVD player, so I can watch the episodes?" 

"No," Tony said.

"I can bring my laptop if you want me to so you can watch the first season on it?" I offered. 

"That would be really great, Nance!" Chet said.

"If there is any room left to put it," Tony teased. Then we started laughing about all of our stuff and the van becoming a low rider, because it is so heavy. "In the morning I still have to ice down all of the meals that Nancy has cooked up and frozen.

After we locked up our stuff, inside The Red Pony, we made plans for our early departure tomorrow morning. And it was decided that Chet will come over here, at 5:30, to eat breakfast and drink coffee with us and then we will leave the ranch, at 6:00 sharp. In hopes that we will arrive at Cindy's beautiful ranch by 5:00 her time—6:00 our time.

It is now 11:28 and I must go to bed now even though I am all wound up and excited about going to New Mexico, to see my dear friend Cindy. And that's about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening or what's left of it!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pillow Talk! or Stephen K. Morris!

Today has been another great one. This morning Jim & Daneshu came out to see us and we had a total blast visiting with them, because they are our kind of people. If we weren't talking non-stop we were laughing. So yes, my back is still a little sore, but I am sure that it will be fine sooner than later.

At one point during our visit Kinky called me, "Nance, do y'all have a couple of spare AA batteries?"

Yes, we do. Why?"

"Because my remote control is dead..." After I told him about Daneshu & Jim being here, he invited us to come over for a visit. And his last words, on the phone, were, "And don't forget to bring the batteries."

Minutes later, Kinky and The Friedmans came out, of the Lodge, to greet us as we climbed out of their Suburban. Then we had a fun visit with Kinky, out on his back porch. And before we left he signed a book for them. Then we came back over here and visited some more.

Late this afternoon, I started packing some more stuff for my upcoming road trip, with Chet, to The Land of Enchantment. Then I took a picture of today's last stuff that I took outside, excluding my pillow and guitar, so I can temporarily store everything, inside Buttermilk, until we transfer all of it tomorrow, to the Explorer that I have rented for the trip.

That adorable pillowcase that you see in the picture was recently made and given to us, along with another matching pillowcase, by our our new friend Julia Balinsky. We met Julia and her husband, Andy, when our dear friend Ellen brought them out here, while the Kerrville Folk Festival was going on, because Ellen wanted to show them the rescue ranch and to do a little birdwatching, in The Okay Corral. 

Anyway, I love the pillowcases, because they are just way too cute. The fabrics that Julia chose, have all of these happy dogs wearing different kinds of boots, shoes and slippers, filled with bones, sticks, balls, frisbees, toys, etc. I also love the red and black polka dot ribbon and the colorful paw prints. And I can't wait to show the pillowcase to Cindy, because I know that she'll love it, too.

For several years Andy & his super talented, fiber artist wife, have rented a booth, at the Kerrville Folk Festival, where they sell her one of a kind, handmade, 100% Cotton pillowcases and the name of their store is Sleep On It. 

In fact, that night when I went to see David Crosby and gave away Tony's blue, fishing chair, is where I spotted Ellen and June hanging out at and the Sleep On It booth was swamped with paying customers. So if you want to buy some great, one-of-a-kind pillowcases, you can go to the folk festival next year or visit her website:  

Once again, our dear friend Donna Gable Hatch has written another fabulous article, in todays Kerrville Daily Times, about another one of our great friends, singer-songwriter, musician Stephen K. Morris! And tomorrow, you should be able to Google her great story, in The Kerrville Daily Times to read about Stephen.

And that's about it for tonight, because I plan to play my guitar for a little while, pack some more stuff and then sleep on it, because tomorrow is going to be a very busy day for me.

P.S. If I have time, etc. I will try to post some pictures while I am visiting Cindy, in New Mexico and I will be back, at the ranch, Wednesday evening. And back to blogging on Thursday.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Malcolm Not In The Middle!

Today has been great and last night's post was way too long, but I wanted to catch y'all up. This morning was a busy one and this afternoon was so much fun.

I got up real early this morning and did paperwork, cleaned the trailer, washed a load of clothes, before Big G called me, at 7:20, to do my Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch segment. And Big G's, Jay Pennington's, Kinky's, Tony's and my friend, Malcolm Holt, visiting us from England, was in the studio and he did the show with Big G.

Gordon Ames' Pet Of The Week was Hazel. She's a lovely, four-year-old Shepherd mix patiently waiting for her forever family to show up and adopt her. So please come out here soon, because she is starting to think that I've been lying to her when I tell her everyday, "Hang in there, girlfriend. You're going to get adopted sooner than later. I promise."

After the fun radio segment with the men, I cooked two complete dinners and froze them, while doing paperwork, returning e-mails, etc. And the reason that I cooked two complete meals to serve four people, is because I am fixin' to go on a road trip aka mini-vacation with Chet O'Keefe. And he and I leaving early Saturday morning, to attend An Imagica/Rites Of Passage Film Premier, in Taos, New Mexico, Sunday night.

I was planning to go, so I could help my dear friend, Cindy Pickard, with the event and Tony wanted me to go to it too, but he was a little concerned about me driving out there all by myself. 

Last week, when Chet returned from his trip, I was telling him about going to Cindy's film premier, in New Mexico and then he tells me that he is going to the film premier, too, because Cindy and Andy had used one of his songs, in their awesome documentary, and she had already asked him, when he went to visit her last week, to please come back for it, so she could introduce him and he could play some of his awesome music. So, we immediately decided to drive out there together and that made Tony and me real happy. 

This afternoon around 2:00, our good friends Malcolm Holt and Jay Pennington came out to visit Kinky, Tony and me. Malcolm, Jay, Tony and I had a fun visit, in The Cabin and then all of us went over to see Kinky.

Our fun visit started out, on Kinky's front porch. Then Kinky invited us to come inside, because he wanted us to listen to his new, soon-to-be released CD, in early October. Even though Tony and I have heard it several times, we still enjoyed listening to it, because it is our favorite Kinky CD.

Before we adios-ed Kinky, Kinky autographed Jay's three copies of Sam Kindrick's Action Magazine that was about the magazine's Fabulous, 40th Anniversary Party, at Texas Pride BBQ, because the celebration had raised $10,000 to benefit our rescue ranch. And Jay gave us one of the signed copies, so we can get it framed, too.

Then we went outside to take a few pictures. And I was so glad that I was wearing my Sasquatch 2014 Research Team t-shirt and had brought along my Area 51 license plate to show to Kinky, because Kinky loved my Area 51 sign and he held it when Tony shot us. From left to right: Malcolm Holt, Kinky, me and Jay Pennington.

And after Tony had put away his camera, I joked, "Darn it! We should have put Malcolm in the middle." And that's about it for tonight, because I need to start packing a few things.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, June 22, 2015

His Name Is Rocky!

Today has been great and the past few days have been busy, scary, exciting and great. This past Thursday, I wrote about sweet Marguerite taking little Sara Lee aka Scout home and possibly going to adopt that little, cutie-pie pup.

Kinky, Tony and I were on Cloud 9 about Marguerite taking sweet Sara Lee home and trying her out, until Friday afternoon, at 2:05, when Marguerite sent me this e-mail:

"Little Scout didn't have much of an appetite last night or this morning, so I took her in to Dr. Rydberg to check out. She started having bloody diarrhea while she was there, so they have her on fluids and a couple of drugs. He wanted to keep her overnight to see how she does. I'm worried because she has such a precious personality, and I've already become very attached. I'll let you know tomorrow how things are progressing."

My heart sank with the scary news and I was anxious for the rest of the day and night, worried sick that this adorable, 9-week-old pup might have parvo or distemper, etc.

Saturday morning, still worried about Scout, I called the clinic to check on Scout and I was totally thrilled to find out that she was fine and it all had been caused by a severe case of hook or whip worms. Then a few hours later I received this e-mail and photo from Marguerite:

"She's Home! She tested negative for Parvo, and bounced back over night on the fluids and drugs. She is sooo precious."

All of this good news about Scout being healthy made my day great.

Late Sunday afternoon was exciting. Around 4:00, right after Tony and I had returned home, after running several errands in Kerrville, we were unloading our groceries, from Trigger, when we heard and then saw a huge, black pickup driving into the rescue ranch. It startled us, because we are closed on Sundays and we didn't recognize the truck.

When the pickup pulled up to our trailer and had stopped, Tony and I waved and then started walking towards the truck, to greet whoever it was. Then the mystery was instantly solved when we saw sweet Ellie, one of our favorite, Medina Children's Home, former dog-walking volunteers, jumped out of the truck. "I'm with my family and we're here to adopt Tuesday Weld and take her back home with us!"

While Ellie was busy hugging Tony and me, her nice parents and brother climbed out of the truck and walked up to introduce themselves to us. And twenty minutes later, Ellie and her family had officially adopted Tuesday Weld. I took this picture of Ellie and Tuesday, before they adios-ed us and drove away with precious cargo.

After they left, Tony and I finished unloading our groceries and took them up to The Cabin. And while we put away our groceries we listened to three urgent phone calls, from Karon, from the Arms of Hope Medina Children's Home. 

Basically, Karon wanted us to call her, as soon as possible, because someone, on campus, had found a Great Dane and a Lab roaming around. "I bet it is that Great Dane that we rescued, years ago, that lives nearby. You know that black one that is famous for getting lost and wound up spending the night with that famous astronaut, whom I can't remember and then with Kinky." I said. Then I picked up the phone and told Kinky about the two lost dogs and asked him if he could remember that astronaut's name, so I could back track through my blog and log books to find the owner's name and phone number.

"Nance, that Great Dane was a really great dog, but I can't remember the dog's name. But I do remember that the dog had spent the night with the astronaut Gene Cernan.....Keep me posted. Bye."

A few minutes later, after searching my blog for Gene Cernan's name, I found the Great Dane's story that I had posted on Monday, October 8, 2012. "Tony, the dog's name is Rocky and the owner is that nice woman named Kathy. I know I wrote Rocky's contact info down and it will take me just a few more minutes to locate it. 

Three minutes later, I said, "Tony here is Kathy's phone number! Please call her to let her know where her dogs are." Tony immediately called Kathy to find out that her dogs were not lost. In fact, she told Tony that she was out on the porch, sitting with them and she thanked him for trying to help the lost dogs. 

Now Tony and I are confused, so he grabs his camera and says, "Nance, I'm going over to the children's home to get a picture of these dogs." Then he took off.

Twenty minutes later, Tony returns and tells me that the person who found the dogs, on campus, was wrong about the dog breeds. "Look Nance. One's a beautiful, full-blooded German Shepherd and the other is a Catahoula." Then he calls Karon back to tell her what breed the dogs actually are and that he was going to post the lost dog's pictures, this morning, at The Old Timer.

Early this afternoon, we saw Karon and she told us that those two lost dogs were finally back, at their owner's home, thanks to the many pictures that she and Tony had posted, because Ginger, who works for our Medina veterinarian, Dr. James Lindstrom, had recognized the dogs and called the family.

Today has been great. This afternoon, we went to Hoegemeyers to pick up a refill prescription for my Roy Rogers and while we were there, I told Susan about a woman calling me this morning about a 6 year, male Maltese that needed a home, because his owner had died. And after she told me that she would help me get the word out, she joked, "I know. Just call Marguerite. She'll take him." We were still laughing when I left the clinic.

Then we ran a few more errands and our last stop was at, Wild Birds Unlimited, because on our way to the Post Office sub-station, we saw Marguerite's car parked outside. 

As soon as we walked inside, Marguerite ducked behind the counter and said, "Marguerite's not here." And then she, another friendly employee and the owners, Linda and Kevin Pillow, burst out laughing. Tony and I had a really fun visit with them and before we left one of our favorite stores I purchased a solar-powered drop, which is now hanging outside.

So, today has been a lot of fun. I'm thrilled with my Area 51 license plate that arrived in the mail today and I love the pretty, solar-powered drop, that will soon be shining brightly.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Legends Music Series!

Today has been great. Yesterday our dear friend Donna Gable Hatch wrote a great article, for The Kerrville Daily Times, about the upcoming Legends Music Series that Kinky is hosting, at The Hunt Store. Yesterday I had planned to post her great article, but because of Sara Lee's awesome rescue/pending adoption, I decided to post the newspaper's article today, so my post wouldn't be so long to read.

Because I use different software than Donna, I had to cut and paste the article together. Here is how it looked, in The Kerrville Daily Times, before I pieced it together for my blog.

Legends Music Series
Gary P. Nunn kicks off trilogy of summer concerts
By Donna Gable Hatch
    Features Editor

 Singer-songwriter Gary P. Nunn’s career began in the 1960s with the Fabulous Sparkles before he
settled in with the Lost Gonzo Band. The band dissolved in 1980, and Nunn struck out in his own,
cementing his status as a musician of note in the years that followed.

HUNT — The Hunt Store is the site of a series of concerts that shine a spotlight on some of Texas’ most colorful musicians: Gary P. Nunn, Ray Benson and Billy Joe Shaver.

The Legends Music Series, hosted by the inimitable Kinky Friedman — begins June 26 with Gary P. Nunn, whose six decades-long career includes a hitch with the Lost Gonzo Band, a combo of socio-cosmic cowboy cowjazz with a dab of Psycho-billy.

“I’ve know Kinky for more than 30 years, and over the years, he’s talked about doing this— putting together singer-songwriter type of concerts — with guys like me and him. I’m happy to be part of this, and proud to be the first one in the first series.”

A Texas institution, Nunn will perform with his four-piece band, which includes Rick Ramirez on bass, Russ Patterson behind the drum kit and Lars Albrecht on guitar.

One of Nunn’s most famous songs is “London Homesick Blues,” which had been used as the theme song for the popular television show “Austin City Limits” for two decades.

Seating is limited.

He also wrote “The Last Thing I Needed the First Thing This Morning, Was to Have You Walk Out on Me,” which was recorded by Willie Nelson, and which he will sing on June 26.

“I’ll do all my old songs, the ones people always want me to do,” said Nunn, who recently branched out into Western swing ala Bob Wills. “I’ve got 16 albums out and a lot of material, all of which I like. As time goes by, you kinda focus on a group of songs that seem to work consistently with audiences.”

Born in Oklahoma, Nunn and his family moved to Brownsville when he was in sixth grade, and he considers himself to be a Texan. 

His parents both were schoolteachers, and they instilled in him the importance of education, holding true to good moral character and paying forward kindnesses.

“I guess we’re all a product of our upbringing, and I had good folks who valued education and music, had good values and were all about helping people,” said Nunn, who was an honors student and an athlete all through school. “I’ve always tried to remember that.”

It was his father who encouraged him to pursue music.

“My dad bought me a guitar, a set of drums and a bass when I was in sixth grade. I don’t think his intention was that I would make a life in music, but just so I’d be able to play for the kinfolks and friends when we got together.”

He and some of his friends from school formed a garage band in eighth grade and were mentored by a group of older, established musicians. 

“They taught us a little guitar song called ‘Rebel,’ and we entered a talent show.” 

As soon as he stepped on stage, Nunn knew that’s where he belonged.

“We dressed up in little white sports coats and bow ties. The girls all went crazy, and I was pretty much hooked,” Nunn said. “I thought every night was going to be like that.”

In 1967, he moved to Austin and attended the University of Texas, where he was a pharmacy major. While there, he formed The Lavender Hill Express with the late Rusty Weir. Shortly after, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Michael Murphey landed in Austin, and Nunn began playing with all three.

In 1973, the Texas troubadour helped launch the Outlaw Country movement as a member of the Lost Gonzo Band. The band toured and recorded with many of Texas’ most notable musicians, including Walker, Murphey and Ray Wylie Hubbard.

“From time-to-time, we get together and perform. It’s kind of cool to go back and play those old songs,” he said of the Lost Gonzo Band, which dissolved in 1980. “There’s some pretty good stuff. We all ended up making our own careers independently, which speaks to the amount of talent in the band. The band got Jerry Jeff going, and that’s saying something.” 

In the course of his career, Nunn has earned several gold and platinum records for writing, publishing and performing.

And his awards are many.

He was inducted in the Texas Hall of Fame. He was named as a Lone Star Great by the state department of Commerce and Tourism, got a star on the West Texas Walk of Fame — which also honors Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings and Bob Wills, among others — and was chosen as the official Texas Music Ambassador in 2007 by Gov. Rick Perry.

“All of it is pretty great, but I’m so proud of being included in the West Texas Walk of Fame that I can’t stand it. I grew up in West Texas listening to Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison, and to end up on the same monument as those guys is just awesome,” Nunn said. “I really don’t deserve it, but I’ll take it.”

And it all started with his parents, he said.

“My parents were good folks. They encouraged me and set me on a good path from the beginning, and it helped that they were schoolteachers,” he said.

“I’ve had really, really good teachers and coaches growing up, and we’re losing them one-by-one now; they’re all passing. I was an honor student, and I played ball in school — I played ’em all — and I was a pretty good little athlete for a guy my size.

“Some of my music teachers had a tremendous affect on my life. I had a sixth grade band director, Mac Jones, who I’ve been reunited with. He lives out in the Houston area, and he came to see me at one of my shows. My choir director, A.V. Wall, encouraged me and treated me a little special — I guess he recognized I had a little talent — and they both encouraged me and pointed me in the direction I’ve gone,” Nunn said. “It’s amazing how someone can show just a little bit of attention on you and change your whole life."

About the series
Each of the concerts the Legends Music Series includes a five-course, 5-Star meal from Chef Blas Gonzalez, executive chef at Hunt Store Cafe.

Tickets per concert are $75 plus tax for dinner and show, or $100 for dinner and show with premium seating and a meet-and- greet on the patio.

The menu includes a choice of soup, mixed green salad, mixed plate of hors d’oeuvres, choice of macadamia crusted mahi mahi, grilled airline chicken breast or 6-ounce grilled filet mignon served with cous cous and seasonal vegetable medley, choice of tequila key lime pie, raspberry chocolate cake or Jack Daniels bread pudding.

Dinner is served at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 9 p.m. For info call 830-238-4410

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Everybody Doesn't Like Something, But Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee!

Today has been great. This afternoon while doing some paperwork, returning phone calls and answering e-mails, a very nice young woman called me about a puppy. We talked for several minutes because I really wanted to help her out, even though we are still over capacity out here, with no space available—especially for a young, small pup. 

So I ended up asking Kelly to please send me a picture of the female puppy, in hopes that I could help some how. Minutes later, I checked my e-mail and Kelly wrote:

This is the puppy from the pair my kids found last Saturday. We found the one sister a home, but really need help finding this little cutie a good home. My husband and I have shown her pics to everyone we know at work and all our friends, but no luck. We gave her a 9-in-1 shot from Tractor Supply and some wormer on Saturday. We already have 2 dogs and are renting a place and I am going to have a baby any day now. We just simply cannot keep her, as much a we love her. I would never put her on an online garage sale, as some people have suggested to me. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. My work number is @@@@@ and my cell is @@@@@. She is super sweet. When my kids first brought them home, they were very skittish, flea invested and filthy. Now, that this little one feels comfortable with us, she is so loving and sweet. She will make the right person a very good friend. Thank you so much for your time. Kelly"

Then I checked out the three, adorable photos that she had attached to her note.

When I looked at the first picture, this adorable puppy had already stolen my heart. So I asked Tony to please come read Kelly's e-mail and check out the pup's pictures. And while he was reading Kelly's note, I said, "Tony, we need to rescue that little puppy. If nothing else, I will adopt her myself, but in the meantime if someone wants to adopt her—I'll let her go...." 

A few minutes later I called Kelly back. "Kelly, this is Nancy. We can help. I am going to adopt her, but if someone comes along pretty quick, I will definitely let her go to a great home..."

At 3:00, Kelly called me back to thank us, again and to tell me that she was so happy for the puppy that it made her cry. And that she was leaving work "right now," so she could go home, get the puppy and take it to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic.

After our conversation I called Kathy, at Hoegemeyers, to tell her that we had an incoming and that I was fixin' to head their way, so I could pick up the pup. And before I took off, in Trigger Tony told me that he would set up our portable puppy pen, in our big room, to make it easier for me when I got back home with the precious cargo. And the reason that Tony couldn't go with me was because the sweet kids, at the Medina Children's Home, would be arriving, around 4:00, to walk our dogs for us.

Five minutes after I arrived, at Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic, someone behind me walked into the clinic and in a familiar voice, she said, "Uh oh, she's here. Maybe I should come back later." Then she started laughing, as I turned around to see our dear friend, Marguerite, standing there. 

Then my eyes got big. "Hi, Marguerite! Omg, this is so unbelievable that you've shown up! It's fate!"

After we had quit laughing again, sweet Marguerite says, "I'm afraid to ask, but why is it fate?" The lobby was full of people and pets watching us as I told our good friend the story about this darling, German Shepherd mix puppy. "You already know and I'll have to admit that I'm a big fan of German Shepherds and Odie (the precious, one eyed pup that she adopted from us, in Hoegemeyer's lobby) does need someone younger who will play with him. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm interested and I want to take a look at her."

"She is oh so cute, Marguerite! I've just named her Sara Lee, too."

Then Kathy, Dr. Janssen's beautiful, sweet wife, that has a great sense of humor, started teasing Marguerite about falling in love with puppies and not being able to resist the temptation. And by this time, Kathy had everyone in the lobby laughing with us and they were making funny comments, too. 

A few minutes later, when one of the nice, young, pretty vet-techs walked into the lobby, cradling Sara Lee, in her arms. Marguerite's heart melted, just like mine had earlier. Seconds later, Marguerite was holding this adorable puppy, in her arms, hugging and kissing her. "Nancy, I want to take her home and give her a try with my dogs, but."

"If it doesn't work out," I interrupted. "It's no big deal, because it just wasn't meant to be. Seriously, there is no pressure and thank you for giving her a chance..."

"Nancy," Kathy said. "Kelly left a check for us to give to you and here's a bag of Sara Lee's blanket and stuff."

I took the check and said, "The bag is for Marguerite to take home and..."

"What are you going to name her?" I asked.

"I'm not sure," Marguerite said. "Kathy, did the people who dropped her off have a name for her?"

"Yes, they had named her Scout, after the character, Scout, in To Kill A Mockingbird."

"That's really cool!" I said.

"That's a good name," Marguerite said. "But I need to think about it some more."

When I got back home, I walked inside and saw this.

Twenty minutes later, Tony walked inside The Cabin. "Nance, Karon and the kids want to come inside to see the puppy. Where is she?"

I smiled, and said, "She's at Marguerite's house...." Then the kids and Karon walked inside The Cabin and I told them Sara Lee's story. They were very happy for her, but were disappointed about not getting to meet her. And to cheer them up a bit, I sang off key, of course, "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee." And that's about it for tonight. Life is good. (Knock-on-wood)

Y'all have a great evening!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Today has been great. Our good, famous photographer, friend, Brian Kanof, came over early to drink some coffee with us, before heading back to his home, in El Paso.

After we adios-ed Brian, Tony went outside to do the morning chores, by himself, because I had a mound of paperwork to take care of.

When I had finished demolishing the pile of paperwork and had returned several phone calls, I went to my computer and went Online, to do a little research and I was so thrilled with what I found, I made a small purchase, that in the future is going to give me great pleasure and keep me laughing.

Then I went to the phone to return The Mineral Man's earlier phone call, about his refrigerator pickling peppers recipe, that Tony and Kinky are wild about. I got his machine and left a brief message and as soon as I turned off the phone—he and Kris called me right back and they put me on Speakerphone.

"Hi y'all. Thanks for calling me back."

"Sure," they said.

"After we eat lunch, Tony and I have to go to Kerrville and Jim, I was wondering if you could give me your refrigerator pickling peppers, because we're going to the big H-E-B." And I purposefully left out the part about me stealing his delicious recipe and calling it mine. "I can't wait to make some."

"No problem, Nancy," Jim said. "It is so easy to make and all you need to buy is 5% White Vinegar, you've already got water, some pickling salt, garlic, pickling spice and jars...."

Right after Jim had told me his exact recipe and given me his suggestions on making it and I had thanked him—I said, "Guess where I went this morning?"

"Where?" Kris asked.

"I went Online to The International UFO Museum and Research Center, in Roswell, New Mexico!" Then we all started laughing. "Y'all aren't going to believe what I bought."

"What?" They asked, simultaneously.

"An Area 51 license plate, for the Mother Ship's fenced-in area, and it only cost me $9.00! Can y'all believe that?" Needless to say, we burst out laughing, again.

This afternoon when we got back from Kerrville I gathered up all of the ingredients, took a picture and then made six jars of Cousin Nancy's Refrigerator Pickling Peppers! And it was so easy. And the good part is I already know that Kinky and Tony are going to love them.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

What About Bob!

Today has been great. I decided to take today off, because I was way too busy, with the rescue ranch, last week and I needed to take a break from the rescue ranch, etc. So tonight's post is going to be a short read, filled with pictures, so this evening I can do some serious writing, on my third novella.

As y'all already know, last year I purchased an inexpensive, used, fixer-upper Shasta RV and I named it The Mother Ship, because the last two RVs that I have fixed up, I have named The Space Ship and The Rocket Ship.

A few times over the past year, Chet O'Keefe and Tony have helped me work on The Mother Ship, but it was never a big priority to me. A few months ago, I finally decided to paint it, because it needed a face lift and I needed another distraction. And it took about a month to finally finish painting all of it, because of all of the rain that we thankfully have received. 

Anyway, Friday evening and several hours yesterday, I have been painting the RVs door and I used Bob, that cute, inflatable alien, as my model. I love Bob, because he always makes me smile every time that I look at him, laying in the chair or standing in my office. Kris & The Mineral Man named him Bob before they gave him to me, last year, for my 63rd birthday and it is a perfect name. 

I wish that I had taken before and after pictures from the get-go, but I didn't. So here is the first picture that I took of the door, after I had already painted the sky, stars, moon, mountains and river. And please note that this is an ongoing work in progress, because I am not finished painting it. And I'll scrap off the paint, on the window, when my project is finally completed.

Then I painted the red and white VW micro-bus.

Then I painted the three trees, by the river, the rocks and the road.

Then I outlined everything in black. Then I raced time applying a clear coat of protective poly MinWax to protect the areas that I had painted, because it looked like it might rain. Well, it didn't rain last night and Kinky, Tony and I like how The Mother Ship looks so far. 

Once I finish painting The Mother Ship's door, fence-in the RV and hang an Area 51 sign, on the gate, I will post a picture. And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening and May the Force Be With You!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Donna Gable Hatch, Mike Scovel & The Kerrville Daily Times Rule!

The last few days and today have been great. This morning, when Tony came home, after drinking coffee, at The Old Timer, he had a big grin on his face as he handed me today's copy of The Kerrville Daily Times. "Nance, Donna Hatch has written another great story about another one of our good friends, Mike Scovel. Her article about Mike is so great. It's on the front page of the Living section."


After I had finished reading the super great article about Mike again, because last night sweet Donna Gable Hatch had sent me her awesome story about Mike, so I could blog about it tonight. Unfortunately she and I use different software and my blog doesn't allow certain files, so I am going to try to recreate this great story and that's why I posted pictures of The Kerrville Daily Times newspaper version up above, so you can see how nicely Donna put it together.

Drawn to draw 
Photos by Bill Terry/ Kerrville Daily Times photographer

Award winning Ingram artist Mike Scovel designed and created the Pool of Tears Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Temple.

Ingram artist Mike Scovel does it all
By Donna Gable Hatch
Features Editor

Ingram artist Mike Scovel has been drawing and sketching for as long as he can remember.

“It must be programmed into artists before birth. I really can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to draw or paint,” said Scovel, who is self- taught. “Some of my relatives still drag out drawings and paintings I did as a teenager — stuff I can barely remember doing, and usually art that I would never be proud of.”

He works in a variety of mediums — oils, clay, pencil, mixed media and watercolor —and creates everything from Impressionism to Realism, depending on the project.

“Some of my collectors love the fine art character paintings and could care less about the serious work, while the ones who collect the military or serious paintings aren’t that familiar with the other work,” he said. “I just like to create what my vision is and hope someone else likes it enough to buy it.”

There’s something about creating works of art that speaks to his core — and when inspiration strikes, he can’t tamp it down, regardless of where he is at the time.

While serving in Vietnam, Scovel was the company artist Company A of the 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.

When he returned from Vietnam, he worked as an animator in Savannah, Georgia, but longed to be a serious western artist.

“I started studying Charlie Russell and other classic Western artists, and I also drove to Kerrville to meet with Ace Reid, who was really one of the biggest influences on my career,” said Scovel, who was named 2008 Cartoonist of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. “He spent about half a day with me and then took me into town for barbecue. Over lunch, I asked him what his best advice for me would be. He said, ‘Don’t do it. It’s a hard way to make a living, and unless you’ve really got a passion for it and patience, it’s just too hard,’ which made me plenty angry. I realized when I saw the look on his face that he intended for it make me angry — angry enough to prove to him and the world that I did have that passion.”
He persevered and, in the ’70s, Scovel landed a job as features illustrator at the Houston Chronicle, where he produced special features art and the cover art for the newspaper’s popular Zest magazine, a Sunday insert.

The newspaper did a feature article on their in-house illustrator that created a lot of buzz — and Scovel’s life forever changed.

“That story produced so much demand, I had to quit the Chronicle to keep up,” he said. “At the time, I was drawing for them during the day and painting at night. I’ve been a full-time artist ever since.”

His painting of famed rodeo clown, Kajun Kid, hangs in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“I met him when we were exhibiting at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and we became friends,” Scovel said of Louisiana native Dudley Gaudin, aka Kajun Kid. “I did the painting the year he retired in 1979, after 27 years as a bullfighter.

While he plied his trade as a professional artist — with commission upon commission — he branched out into sculpting, and he turned to nationally known sculptor and 27-year Kerrville resident Jim Reno for guidance.

“He was very gracious and gave me some great tips about tools, clay, etcetera,” Scovel said of Reno. “He told me to always make sure my sculpture had a tornadic motion, so that no matter which direction a viewer looked at it, it had interest. But his best advice was ‘just get the stuff and get busy.’”

That’s just what he did.

The first work he had cast was titled “Texas Ranger,” and it was an instant hit with collectors.
“It was two-thirds sold out before we took it to the foundry. Because of that, we were able donate one to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, which was a real honor for me.” His Christian Sculpture Collection also draws a lot of attention: A 10-inch tall bronze piece titled “The Apostle John” sells for $1,450. A 24-inch tall bronze piece titled “Jesus Wept” is $4,800.

He also creates military tribute sculptures, including a life-size piece titled “Salute to a Hero” that depicts a young boy saluting with a tear running down his cheek. It sells for $18,500.

“My eldest grandson, Kolter,who was nine at the time, was my model for the little boy,” he said.

In 2003, Scovel designed and created the Pool of Tears Veterans Memorial in downtown Temple. Later that year, he beganwork on “Duty, Honor and Country,” a life-size tribute to Medal of Honor recipient Roy P. Benavidez for the Benavidez Memorial Foundation in Cuero, 90 miles southeast of San Antonio.

The bronze statue was dedicated on Veterans Day, 2004.

In 2005 and 2006, Scovel created two wall-size relief sculpture projects to Pro-Logic, Inc., a Virginia based company that provides IT and communication solutions for the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

“I love sculpting and wish I had more time to do it. My favorite sculpture work these days are the ones I do for veteran projects such as public memorials,” he said. “In fact, I’m hoping to get started in the next couple of months on a new desk top sculpture called ‘No More Taps.’ When I did Veterans Memorial Park for the city of Temple, called Pool of Tears, the idea for this desktop piece came to mind.”

The piece depicts a 9-inch soldier who has just finished playing taps and is in a prayerful pose, holding his bugle.

“It could also be used on a headstone,” he said.

But he hasn’t abandoned his painting.

He was commissioned to create a 10-feet by 40-feet mural at The Bosque Redondo National Monument site in Fort Sumner in New Mexico.

“It was by far, one of the most fun projects I’ve ever done. The Bosque Redondo Memorial is a state monument and acknowledges the history of the Long Walk, when the Union Army forced the Navajo and Mescalero Indians to walk hundreds of miles to a concentration camp known as Fort Sumner,” he said. “It’s an amazing story and a wonderful memorial that a lot of folks don’t know about.”

The mural is titled “Last Camp before the Bosque” and features 17 soldiers, three horses and 30 background soldiers.

“The fun part about this painting was that I used a lot of real people in it. Many of the local ranchers and others from De Baca County are among the life-size soldiers along with our son, myself and a couple of close friends,” he said. “When the mural was put up, the soldiers and horses were all life-size so when people walk through that winding hallway, they feel like they’re standing next to the soldiers.”

On the opposite wall is a mural by Navajo artist Shonto Begay, who painted the Navajo and Mescalero making the walk.

“It’s a pretty impressive hallway, and it was a real honor to do.”

The Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art in Boulder, Colorado, lays claim to one of Scovel’s favorite painting: “Commm’nn’Git’It.”

“It shows a chuck wagon cook at the bottom of a very deep canyon, ringing the dinner bell. All kinds of cowboys and cowgirls and cows are falling down the canyon,” Scovel said. “There are hidden gems in the mountain’s side and the characters were fun to do. It’s a tall painting — 24-inch by 48-inch — so it’s easy to stand back and study.”

Scovel’s career spans more than four decades. His work has been featured in many national publications — including the Saturday Evening Post, American Cowboy, Southwest Art and Western Horseman — and can befound in museums throughout the West.

“Over the years since, I’ve had numerous awards from the Cowboy Cartoonists International, a gold medal for sculpture at an invitational event in Paramount, California, and there have been
quite a few blue ribbons and I’m proud of those,” Scovel said. “But my most cherished awards are the three People’s Choice awards because they’re really the ones I want to reach.”

But his artist’s heart and soul is in the military-themed sculptures he creates. “I lost friends over there. We were — are — family,” he said.

“God gave me my talent, and one of the purposes, I feel, is to create art pieces that are reminders of the service and sacrifices our military families have given for our freedom.”

While serving in Vietnam, Sgt. E-5 Mike Scovel was the company artist Company A of the 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.

Mike Scovel was named 2008 Cartoonist of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.

Mike Scovel’s life-size sculpture titled “Jesus Wept” took approximately 16 months to complete.

End of Article

I hope that y'all have enjoyed reading Donna Gable Hatch's fabulous Mike Scovel story, in todays Kerrville Daily Times. And all I want to say is, "Donna Gable Hatch, Mike Scovel and The Kerrville Daily Times Rule!" And that's about it for tonight, except I want to repost the incredibly great caricature that Mike Scovel secretly did of Tony, so he could surprise him with it, because we love it so much.

P.S. Hey Mineral Man! I want you to know that Kinky came over today and he ate lunch with us. Just like Tony, Kinky LOVED eating your "The Mineral Man's Pickled Peppers" that you made and gave to us yesterday morning. And Kinky also took several more of them with him, when he left, so he could enjoy them later!

Y'all have a great night!