Friday, February 26, 2016

The First Date!

Today has been great. This morning our dear friends/volunteers came out to walk our dogs for us and so did sweet Marguerite and Scout.

Marguerite and I first took our pups to meet and play, in the pink cabin's front yard. When we first unleashed our dogs they took off in opposite directions and it must have taken about ten minutes before Scout and Henry started sniffing each other. It was hilarious, because neither of them wanted to play together.

Then Marguerite started tossing Scout's super cool toys, in the yard, for them to chase, in hopes that would get them to playing with each other, but it didn't. So Marguerite and Scout sat down at the picnic table and then she picked up Henry, and Scout and Henry basically ignored each other, except for a couple of kisses they gave each other on their noses.

So we decided to take Scout and Henry for a walk down to the creek and that was a lot of fun, because it was fun watching our pups stop and sniff everything on their path. When we got to the creek Henry walked into the cool water, about up to his ankles and then he just stood there like a furry statue, while Scout cautiously stuck her toe into the water. And the funny thing is both of our dogs liked each other, but neither one of them seemed interested in playing with each other.

A little while later, all of us took off for the Apple Store, in Medina, because everyone wanted to eat their delicious Friday Catfish Special. And while we were eating lunch, a very nice man showed up and he started setting up his musical equipment outside, near our tables and few minutes later, when the musician began to sing a tune it really got Henry's attention—big time. 

And once again, like a furry statue, Henry Standing Bear just stood there, next to our table, watching and listening to the man sing and it truly mesmerized him. And the next thing Henry did was lay down, in front of the friendly musician and just stare up at him. Seriously, a beautiful Poodle could have walked past him and flirted with him and Henry would not have noticed her, because he was so focused on watching the man play his guitar and listening to his music.

Henry caused the nice musician to smile and laugh, after he had finished singing his first tune and it made all of us laugh, too. Then the man took a break and visited with all of us and we mainly talked about our dogs and Henry's fondness for music.

"I have to warn you about Scout," Marguerite said, followed by a chuckle. "For some reason when Scout hears musicians sing—she always starts singing/howling with them. And I am glad that she didn't try to harmonize with you when you were singing."

That made the man laugh, and say, "That's fine with me. I'm used to it. In fact, over the years I've made several dogs howl when I play my music."

When it was time for us to leave, I got up to go pay our bill inside, and Marguerite said, "You don't have to do that. I've already taken care of our lunch...."

So before I finish writing this tonight, I want to say, "Thank you, Marguerite for treating us to a fun, delicious, catfish lunch and for bringing your sweet Scout out to play with Henry, even though they didn't really play together. I think that they must of had the first date jitters and as all of us know—blind dates can be a little bit scary."

Y'all have a great evening! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Scout Is Coming Out!

Yesterday was uneventful even though we are in F.M.T. (Full Moon Time) again. And the reason that I didn't write anything last night was because we spent the entire day mowing and weed-eating. I push-mowed ten dog pens, two alleys and our backyard and Tony mowed our front yard, the pink cabin's front yard and then he spent the rest of his time weed-eating, because our weed-eater is too big and weighs too much for me to handle.

When we finished up yesterday evening both of our backs were aching and I was just too tired to write anything about my day, because in my opinion, mowing and weed-eating isn't all that interesting.

Today has been great, because this morning I only mowed one alley, because we had to take off, for Kerrville, to run a few errands. Our first stop was at Wild Birds Unlimited, so Tony could buy some more birdseed. While we were at this super, good-vibes store we had a fun visit with Marguerite and Kevin.

And before we adios-ed our good friends to go run some more errands, Marguerite and I made an official play-date,  scheduled for tomorrow morning, so she can bring her Scout out to play with our Henry Standing Bear, because both of our puppies are so full of energy.

I know that Henry will have a blast playing with Scout, because Roy, Belle, Beau, Little Debbie and Big Al(ice) don't like to play with Henry very long, because he can be a little too rambunctious with them and he still doesn't realize that it hurts when he bites them with his super-sharp puppy teeth.

Anyway, it will be good for Henry to socialize with someone outside his family and so close to his own age and it will be good for Tony and me to socialize with someone close to our own age, too. And the best part is that Marguerite is so sweet—we know that she doesn't bite anyone.

So tomorrow morning is going to be a lot of fun, because Marguerite and Scout will be here, along with our many dear friends/volunteers. And I am hoping that Marguerite and I will have enough time to get to take Henry and Scout for a stroll, down to the creek, so our pups can play in the cool, clear water. And that's about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Sign! Rest In Peace Bob! or Harry! or Tattered Volunteers!

Today has been great. This morning I had an important meeting, in Outer Space with Lee, a future Eagle Scout.

After the meeting, Tony and I took off in Trigger to go to Billie Gene's Restaurant, in Kerrville, because we had a lunch date with our dear friend Jim, The Mineral Man. We were the first to arrive and when we climbed out of Trigger, I looked up and started laughing. "What's so funny?" Tony asked.

I pointed up towards Billie Gene's latest, hilarious sign and then Tony started laughing, too. "Billie Genes and Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic have the best signs in town!" I said. "I love them because they always make me laugh out loud."


Tony and I had a really fun lunch with Jim. Jim and I ordered the exact same thing, The Special and Tony ordered catfish which were all totally delicious. 

While we were eating, we spotted a couple, dining outside on the deck, with their beautiful Cockatoo. So I grabbed my cell phone and snapped these pictures of the couple sharing their lunch with their feathered friend.

After our fun lunch with Jim, we went to the big H-E-B, to pick up a few groceries. Then we took off to go vote, because we are big fans of early voting. Then we came back home.

When we got back home Carlton was flashing on top of the breakfast bar, but I ignored him, because I wanted to take my new, bigger Bob outside and put him inside my pretty, pink writing cabin, until we use him in our upcoming Longmire—Texas Style video spoof. 

You see the other day after Bob had arrived safely, from the International UFO Museum, in Roswell, New Mexico, Tony blew him up partially for me and then he stopped, because Bob was already nearly standing six feet tall. So I decided to put Bob in my office for safe keeping, but because Bob was already so big and taking up way too much Space I made the decision, the other day, to keep Bob, inside my cabin. Here are a few pictures of my new Bob.

After I put Bob to bed to rest in peace, I came back inside and pushed Carlton's button, and heard an old, familiar voice say, "Hey Cousin Nancy, this is a voice from your past. This is Harry Barnard and I am calling you, because...." Then I immediately picked up the receiver and punched in Harry's phone number.

"Hi Harry! Oh my goodness, it is so great to hear from you! How in the world are you and Wanda doing? And where are y'all?...." I had the best time talking to my dear, eighty-something-year-old friend Harry. We laughed and talked about life and what all we've been up to. And talking to Harry today really did make my day more than great.

Harry is an awesome friend of ours and so is Wanda, his super, sweet wife that has one of the cutest laughs I've ever heard. Kinky, Tony and I have known Harry & Wanda for over twenty some odd years and we love and adore this couple. So you can imagine just how great it was to talk to Harry today.

Harry is an amazing man and one of the kindest and smartest people that I've ever known. He studied history at Florence State College, the University of Alabama and Harvard University. A member of four honorary scholastic societies, he held fellowships at the University of Alabama and Harvard. Before going to Rutgers University, where he served on the faculty of the Graduate School of Education and he also served as Clerk of the Sub-Committee on Special Education of the U.S. Congress and was also a professor at the University of Missouri. And he is also an incredibly talented author.

In 1964, Harry wrote Tattered Volunteers: The Twenty-Seventh Alabama Infantry Regiment, C.S.A. "It is more than an exciting story. It is a detailed and documented record of brave men. Such a mass of records has seldom before been made available in one book."

"The book tells the story of the Twenty-seventh in the words of the men who served in it, from the official records of the Confederate and the Union armies, and from the service records of the men who served in the regiment." And Tony and I have a signed copy of Harry's fabulous book, which is now considered to be a rare book and we cherish it as much as we do our friendship with Harry & Wanda. "We love you, Harry & Wanda! And tell Kathy & Jim that we said, Howdy!"

So once again—Life is Good.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cool Breeze!

Today has been great. Early this morning, James, the super nice owner of Cool Breeze AC and Heating, who our dear friends Kris & Jim highly recommended we try, came out to fix our furnace for us, because for the past two days we've been doing without heat. And thank goodness, this past week it has been so warm that we haven't really needed to heat The Cabin.

Tony and I instantly liked James when he arrived and we're so glad that Jim & Kris recommended him to us. After we had introduced ourselves and Tony had told told James about our furnace not turning on—James immediately went to work. 

Within four minutes James found the problem. The igniter thing had a crack in it and that's why our furnace would not come on to heat our trailer. After James told us about needing to replace the part, he took off to Kerrville to go pick up the igniter part. And one hour later, James had our furnace running like a charm.

When James presented his bill to me I about fell over, because his charges were more than fair and at least half of what I had expected to pay him for the replacement part and his professional/friendly services. So, if any of y'all ever need to get your air conditioner or heater repaired I highly recommend that you call James, at Cool Breeze AC and Heating, because Kris & Jim and us are totally convinced that he is the very best in the Texas Hill Country.

And that's about it for now, because I am fixin' to go over to Kinky's so we can take a hike with The Friedmans. And while we are hiking I plan to tell him all about James, so the next time that Kink has a problem with his air conditioning unit—he'll make sure to call James, at Cool Breeze AC and Heating.

Y'all have a great evening!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Why We Love the Bandera County Courier So Much!

This afternoon when we picked up our mail, I found a great surprise when I started reading the Bandera County Courier. On the front page of the Hill Country Living section, on the bottom left side of the page, under the heading TLC your Pets, was printed Sassy has left the building. And it is a wonderfully, written story by Judith Pannebaker, about Sassy & Big Foot aka Miss Moneypenny & Henry Standing Bear.

And you can read their story by clicking here. Tony and I love the story and I want to thank Judith Pannebaker for writing it and including the pictures, Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic and Julie Griffith of Breeders Select Pet Transport who helped us get Miss Moneypenny to Fay & Ian! "Judith, this is just one more reason why we love the Bandera County Courier so much! And just so you and your faithful readers will know—Tony and I have adopted Big Foot and have officially changed his name to Henry Standing Bear, named in honor of Lou Diamond Phillips' character, in Netflix's Longmire series."

Y'all have a great day and evening!


This morning has been great. Tony's sweet sister Annie came out this morning to see us and we are going to take her to lunch, at the Koyote Grill. Then Tony and Annie are going to go take pictures of wildlife, while I do some paperwork.

My dear friend Mari sent me this quote by Oscar Hammerstein and I absolutely love it, because it is words to live by. In fact, I've already printed it out and put it on our fridge, to remind me everyday to practice this.

I'm not worried about my singing scaring Tony, because he has selective hearing, but sadly my singing out loud might frighten our four-legged fur family. Here's the quote:

A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
 Wasn’t put there to stay -
Love isn’t love
 'Til you give it away.
~ Oscar Hammerstein

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Today has been great. But last night I had a horrible dream that the carrots that we fed to Henry Standing Bear yesterday— turned him orange. And he looked something like this.

But fortunately, it was just a bad dream. Henry's fine. And that's about it for tonight, because Kinky and I are fixin' to go on a hike with The Friedmans. "Come Henry! I've got another carrot to give to you!"

Y'all have a great evening!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Day After! or Henry! or First Carrot!

Today has been great. This afternoon we met our good friend Jim "The Mineral Man" for lunch, at Billy Gene's Restaurant, because we love their Monday Special—Chicken Fried Chicken, Twice Baked Potato, Squash Casserole and Green Beans. And to say the least, "We all ordered the exact same thing, except Tony had sweet tea and we had regular iced tea."

While the three of us were eating our delicious lunch together we invited Jim to go to James Avery with us, because Tony and I wanted to get each other something to celebrate the Day After Valentine's Day, because we didn't celebrate Valentine's Day.

Then we started talking about the old cars that we have owned when we were young. Jim told us an hilarious story about his '55 Chevy and him going out to California in it. And on his trip back to Texas he had to carry quarts of used oil, in the trunk, because he had to keep adding oil. So, because I  too, had carried a case of used oil in the trunk of my first car and was constantly refilling it, I told them about my $50.00, rusted-out Studebaker that had a clutch, that I owned for only one week. Because when I drove it up to Fort Worth the first thing my dad said when he saw the sorry condition that it was in, he said, "Nancy, a person's car says everything about them. Follow me to Jim's Used Cars, because I am going to buy you a nicer used car to drive." And he did—a dark blue, '69 VW Bug with a white interior and eight-track stereo. And I named it Blue.

Then we started talking about our dogs. "Charlie," Jim said. "He is ten years old and...."

"Henry is now three-months old," I said. "Oh my goodness, I've just thought up Henry's full name!"

"What is it?" They both asked.

"I'm naming him after the Henry character in Longmire. Is it Henry Running Bear?"

"No," Jim replied. "I believe it's Henry Standing Bear."

"That's right," Tony said. "It's Henry Standing Bear."

After a fun lunch we followed Jim over to James Avery, on the other side of I-10 and it didn't take us long to pick out our Day After Valentine's Day presents. I gave Tony a beautiful, silver arrowhead necklace and he gave me an stunningly beautiful silver guitar pick necklace.

Our last stop before leaving Kerrville was at the big H-E-B store, on Main Street, so I could pick up a few groceries, but most importantly— to buy Henry Standing Bear some carrots to munch on while he is teething. (Ellen, our dear friend/volunteer, who came out Sunday with her sister, had suggested that we give Henry carrots instead of chew toys.) So, the last thing that I tossed into our grocery cart was a huge sack of carrots that weighed about ten pounds or so I thought.

When we got back home the first thing I did was take a picture of the carrots and that's when I discovered that they only weighed five pounds—not ten pounds.

Then I washed off a big carrot and peeled off the top layer. Then I went outside and gave it to Henry Standing Bear. And he totally loved it!

And this is my picture of Henry Running Bear.

As of 4:45, as I finish writing this, Henry Standing Bear Simons has gone through a total of two carrots. And I am hoping that tomorrow morning we will find that his coat is still white and not orange colored, because I don't want to have to change his name again, to Henry Orange Standing Bear Simons.

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day! or Stuff!

Yesterday and today have been great. My dear friend Cindy, in Northern New Mexico, sent me a present yesterday and I totally love it. In fact, this morning I read the book to Belle, Roy, Alice and Little Debbie. Beau and Henry didn't get to hear it, because they were outside wrestling or should I say Beau was pretending to be wrestling with Henry. And the funny part is Henry thinks that he won.

This great book Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings From Our Dogs And Cats that Cindy sent to me is by Eckart Tolle and the art is by Patrick McDonnell. Here are pictures of the front and the back covers of the book, in case you decide to read it, too.

It is nearly 6:17 and I am fixing' to go into Outer Space and drink a glass of of my fine, boxed wine, Chillable Red, while watching another beautiful Hill Country sunset with Tony and my favorite people: Roy, Belle, Beau, Little Debbie and Big Al(lice), while Henry, not quite three-months-old, dreams about destroying all of our precious stuff.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid!

The last few days have been great. I took Wednesday off and Trigger and I went up to Fredericksburg to meet my sweet sister for lunch. And so I could meet Sophie, her new, precious Boston Terrier.

We first ate lunch, at Hilda's, that several friends of ours have highly recommended we try. I am glad that we ate at Hilda's too, because their Mexican food was absolutely delicious, the staff was super friendly and Cindy and I got to eat lunch, outside on their porch, with Sophie beside us.

After that we went over to a nearby park and went for a walk around the park several times and then we had a fun visit, sitting inside the shaded gazebo, across the street from the jail.

While we were catching up with each others news I told my sister about the book that I'm reading, that I recently purchased at Wolfmueller's Books. "Cindy, this is one of the funniest books that I've ever read. Seriously, all I do is read a paragraph and then I laugh out loud. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" A Memoir by Bill Bryson is an unbelievably great read. Bryson was born in 1951, in Des Moines, Iowa and it is about him growing up in the Fifties. You've got to read it as soon as you can, because it reminds me of us growing up in Fort Worth...."

Today has been a lot of fun, too. This morning I went outside, about 9:00, to greet Kay, Janet, and Paul, three of our super friends/volunteers that showed up first. When I caught up with Janet, who was returning Layla to her and Little Girl's pen, I asked where Paul was. And when I went for a walk, down to the creek, with Janet and Jack Black I found out that Paul and his sweet, old dog, Bessie, had already taken off to Colorado. "Have a safe trip Paul!"

A little later, the rest of our dear friends/volunteers started arriving. When Eileen showed up she was carrying a blue, paper sack. After greetings, Eileen said, "Nancy, I got a little something for you and Tony's Valentines presents. It's not much." Then she handed me the pretty sack.

I looked inside and burst out laughing. "Oh my goodness! I love it, Eileen! Y'all look at Eileen's presents!" Then I held it up for all to see and they all started laughing with us.

"The Valentine candy is for Tony," Eileen said, with a chuckle. "And when I saw this stuff toy I had to buy it, because it looks just like Little Debbie."

"Did it come with the eye-patch?" I asked.

Eileen laughed. "No, I made that."

"Thank you, Eileen. I love it," I said. "I'm going to have Little Debbie wear this eye-patch when we shoot the final scenes of Longmire—Texas Style! And I love that pretty, little, pink bow, too..." 

Then a few minutes later when Tony and Kermit drove up I showed him his candy from Eileen and the adorable, stuffed toy and like us he laughed out loud, too. "Tony, will you please drive up to the house and get Henry, so Kris and I can take him for a walk, down to the creek?" Tony and Kermit took off and a minute later, Kris and I took off with Henry.

Henry did great on his hike with us. When we arrived at Big Foot Wallace Creek, Henry waded into the water and then he came back out and walked over to Kris, who was sitting on a huge rock. "Henry," Kris said. "Sit." Henry immediately sat down for her and as she gave him a doggie treat, she said, "Good sit, Henry. Good sit."

A little while later, I realized that we hadn't seen anyone walking dogs around us. "Maybe we need to head back, because it might be time for lunch," I said. So we took off with Henry and seconds later I heard Kermit. "I bet Tony is coming to pick us up, so we can go to lunch." I was right and I was wrong—it was Tony and June coming to get us. And it ended up that Tony and June took Henry, with his wet feet, back to the rescue ranch and Kris and I walked back.

As always, lunch was delicious, at the Koyote Grill, and we had a total blast with our dear friends. When I told them about reading Bill Bryson's hilarious, laugh out loud, book The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir we all agreed that we love Bill Bryson's books and then we started reminiscing about growing up in the Fifties. We laughed and laughed about all of the black & white television shows back then, when our families got their first color televisions and all of the crazy things that we did and those TV dinners, etc.

When Tony and I got back home I took Eileen's sweet, Valentine's gifts out of the pretty sack and then I placed them on top of our breakfast bar and took this picture.

And that is about it for today.

Y'all have a great evening! And as soon as you can read Bill Bryson's hilarious The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Thank You, Daneshu! We Loved Your Class!

Today has been great and a lot of fun. This afternoon, Tony and I jumped into Trigger and took off for Kerrville, because we wanted to attend our dear friend, Daneshu Clarke's, class on "Texas Hill Country Native Plants Medicinal & Edible Resources," held at the super, great Riverside Nature Center. One of the coolest places to visit in Kerrville.

We arrived about fifteen minutes before the class started, so we got to visit with our dear friends: Lisa, Jim & Kris and Daneshu & Jim for a few minutes. And I am glad that we got there early, because it ended up being standing room only.

Daneshu is a fabulous speaker and she made it fun and interesting to learn about the abundance of the native Hill Country plants all around us that can be to used for medicinal or edible resources. And to say the least, "Tony and I learned a lot and took several pictures of her recommended book list and her interesting exhibit table."

When Daneshu's class ended she got a huge applause and it seemed like everyone wanted to speak to her, either to thank her for teaching the class or to ask her questions or to get her advice. So we hung around and visited some more with Lisa, Kris & Jim and Daneshu & Jim. Then we came back home.

And that's about it for now.

Y'all have a great evening!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Henry's Big Adventure Continues! or That Pink Thing!

Today has been great. Just in case y'all still haven't read Paul's humorous, great story about his dog Bessie I hope that you will, because my dear friend Mari posted this comment about it. And Mari, who I also consider to be a fabulous writer left this comment:

"Mari of the NoMads said...

What a great read this story is! I am sharing the link to your blog with like a gazillion people I know, especially those who own Labs (ok, two of them have Labs.) And I don't do social media or there would be several gazillion people to forward your link to!

Thanks for sharing!"

Henry had so much fun today and he also learned a lot. Henry's big adventure started around 3:00 this afternoon, when the nice kids, from the children's home came out to walk our dogs for us. Two girls asked Tony if they could please take Henry on a walk down to the creek.

About an hour later, I decided to take a break from cleaning up The Cabin and I walked down to the creek to say hi to Karon and to see how Henry was doing.

The girls and Henry met me on the path and Henry looked really happy. "How's Henry doing?" I asked.

"Great! We've already taught Henry how to sit on command by using the dog treats that Tony gave to us. Watch this, Nancy. Henry. Henry look at me! Okay. Sit." Henry looked up at her and sat. Then she immediately gave him a treat, and said, "Good boy, Henry."

"Thank you," I said. "Y'all are great dog trainers." Then they told me that Henry also went into the creek and that he definitely loves to be in the water. Then I asked if it was okay for me to take their picture, before they took off with Henry.

A few minutes later, I was visiting with Karon and Tony, near the creek, when the girls returned with Henry and he who was carrying a small log in his mouth. "We just taught Henry how to fetch! Watch this. Henry. Henry look at me." Henry sat down and looked at her. "Okay. Fetch!"

Karon, Tony and me watched in amazement as Henry took off to go fetch his little log. And this is him carrying his prized log.

Then the girls took Henry to the creek and he immediately went into the water, up to his belly and then he started slapping the water and playing in the "it's too cold for me" creek. And then I took this picture and I love that pink thing. (Yes, I know it is probably caused from the glare of the sun, but I prefer to think it might be friendly Orbs or a pink Being.)

And that's about it for tonight, because I'm getting ready to watch Super Bowl 50's Half Time show.

P.S. I just realized the pink thing is also in the first picture, too!

Y'all have a great evening and don't forget to check out Paul's cool story about Bessie.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

First Light!

Today has been great. Our new friends/volunteers, Paul & Janet, are now hooked on Longmire, as much as all of us are, because recently I had loaned them my first three seasons of Longmire DVDs to watch.

Anyway, Paul sent me a beautiful, humorous story today that he had written about his sweet dog Bessie. And I totally enjoyed reading it. He is definitely a very talented and gifted writer. And he suggested that I might put it up on my blog, so here it is to enjoy, with a picture of him and of Bessie.

 Paul Wuellner wrote:

"First Light

She usually wanted to sleep late so I was surprised when I heard a "woof." As I ignored her, I rolled over and went back to hitting home runs for the Cardinals as my adoring fans gave me standing ovations. But there it was again, "woof." Okay, I guess you really have to go. As I shook the webs from my head, I heard that familiar rat-a-tat-tat on the was raining.  Are you sure, I said. "Woof, woof" was her answer. After putting on raingear and a pair of shoes, I noticed it was four in the morning and was the coldest night so far at 35 degrees! As we moseyed along at a pace that the proverbial tortoise would admire, she finally found an area that interested her. But wait a minute, there was another spot across the street that was even more inviting.  As we meandered across the asphalt, a wild fox appeared in the distance and all bodily functions were put on hold.  She lunged and barked as Mr. Fox just stood there and seemed to be amused. "Another tourist" he appeared to be smirking.  Slowly he walked across an open field and flicked his tail as if to say, catch me if you can. Always up for a challenge, she lunged and pulled and barked until the fox was out of sight.  At that point, I was thoroughly soaked and my bare fingers were turning blue.  Of course, now she had to start the search for the perfect spot all over again.  As she sniffed and looked, the rain intensified.  Finally she espied a grassy area and took dead aim on it.  Once on the deposit-worthy ground, the ritual of smelling and half-fanny-down began.  After several false alarms, she let her fly! Now it was my job to retrieve this "gift" and dutifully place it in a designated receptacle.  And then it occurred to me, I had forgotten to bring the necessary wrap and bow. In other words, I had no bag. What should I do, take a chance that the neighbors were either deaf or blind (or both) and just ignore it or somehow mark its location and return with a bag?  About then the training from St Nell and the nuns kicked in and I knew that I would obey the rules.  As we slowly walked back home, the rain turned to wet snow and the wind picked up.  I finally got home, snagged a couple of bags (it was a particularly generous gift this morning) and started to retrace my steps.  It was then that my flashlight decided to take a rest. But enough light, I thought, to be able to see.  I finally found the big black rock that marked the sacred ground and commenced to scan the area with the precision of a laser.  Ah, found false alarm. Look..., look..., left foot found it!  Did what I could with dim light and wet plastic bags while uttering epithets about ancestors and female dogs!  Finally, I was back home, out of the snow and ready for return to dreamland. But she had another idea. After I do my business, she said, I always eat. NO, not this time, I said firmly.  As she turned on the charm and looked at me with those big brown puppy eyes...I gave in.  Got the kibble, her supper pan, filled the water pan, and placed both in front of her.  She looked up at me and said, but I always get my special food in the morning.  It was a canine conundrum....experience dictated that I get the meat and properly place it on the kibble.  As she watched with breathtaking anticipation, I finally got her food prepared "just right" and she began to eat.  Wide awake and starting to get hungry myself, I decided to make it a party and fix some pancakes.  Being the gourmet cook, I only use Aunt Jemima pancake mix! But, alas, her cupboard was empty, so I decided to make a little omelet.  I took the egg carton from Amana but noticed that I was out of orange juice and what is an omelet without juice? Okay, forget the juice I thought, just brew some coffee.  Got out the omelet pan (or more accurately the only skillet I own), melted the butter and started to break the eggs. Wait, what's the matter with these eggs?  They wouldn't break. After much high-level analysis and critical thinking, concluded they were frozen!  "Oh for crying-out-loud, what else can go wrong?" I said.  Maybe the altitude affects the frig temperature and a setting of low was required or its contents freeze, I thought. And, yes, the carrots and onions were frozen too.  "Yep, that must be it," I said as I turned the frig knob to low. At this point, Bessie was sound asleep on my bed, stretched crossways so that the only unoccupied space were corners which could only comfortably be used by a contortionist.  After more special words and ancestral references, I washed the lonely skillet and took out the cereal.  So three hours after the initial woof, I ate my flakes and prepared for the day.  As I looked to my left, out of the window, I saw the sun low on the horizon.  It was beautiful. A big, orange, glowing ball offering warmth and light for the day.  It was then that I realized she really had given me a gift that morning. Without her I would have missed this little glimpse of god and his wonder.  Thanks, Bess, I said.  Hearing her name, she sleepily lifted her head and then immediately went back to sleep."

Y'all have a great day!