Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rain Check!

Yesterday afternoon around 3:15 Tony and I took off for the big H-E-B, Kerrville, so I could buy the rest of the ingredients needed to make Jim's Best Labor Day Burger recipe and to buy 200 pounds of Pedigree dog food to feed to our rescued dogs.

We decided that it would be best for us to go Saturday, before the predicted rain started and I am so glad that we did. Even though it never rained one drop yesterday.

Early this afternoon I rounded up all of the ingredients needed to make Jim's recipe and then I took a picture of them, before I started. From left to right is: celery salt, truffle salt, Adams Just Right Burger spice, minced garlic, hamburger, Worcestershire sauce, Hatch green chili and black pepper.

As I was forming the four patties it suddenly started pouring down rain outside along with thunder and lightning, that seemed to be too close for comfort. So we decided it was best to take a rain check on trying to grill them outside. So I decided to dust off my little George Foreman grill and I used it to cook the burgers—one at a time.

While the first burger was cooking/grilling, I had time on my hands, so I decided to compliment the burgers.

 So I washed some of Tony's delicious home grown tomatoes and set them aside. Then I sauteed a few mushrooms, made some fresh guacamole and that I would top off the burgers, after they were cooked, with slices of Jalapeño Jack cheese.

By the time the first burger was cooked, I topped it with a slice of cheese and then put it into the oven to keep warmed. While number two was sizzling away, I warmed up some homemade beans that were leftovers from the other day.

When I put number three burger on the grill, Tony and I served ourselves. And this is what my plate looked like before I sunk my dentures into Jim's Best Labor Day Burgers. 

Omg! Jim's Best Labor Day Burgers were absolutely delicious. In fact, his mouth-watering recipe is now going to be our only burger recipe we ever use. So I want to salute and thank our dear friend, Jim, for coming up with this awesome easy-to-make recipe. And I can't wait to make them again and use our grill outside.

And if you are asking yourself, "But where is the bun?" My answer is awhile back, Tony and I have chosen to eat less bread to help us keep our muffin-tops from getting any bigger.

It is now two o'clock here. Our kitchen is cleaned up and it has finally quit storming here. And that is why I am posting this early today, because I might have to unplug again due to the weather.

Last Friday I posted Jim's delicious, I mean my delicious Cousin Nancy's Best Labor Day Burger recipe and I hope that everyone will try, because this great—bun or no bun recipe is the very best.   

P.S. Please note that the Truffle salt is the most expensive spice that I've ever bought ($12.95), so if you want to make Jim's fantastic recipe you are very welcome to borrow a teaspoon from me. : )

P.S.S. I have already watched six episodes of Longmire with only two more episodes to go. And all I can say is Longmire Season five is totally awesome. Longmire Rules!

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Lunch Today Was A Blast!

Lunch today, at the Koyote Grill, was a blast. And only June, Ellen, Kris & Jim and Tony know what I'm talking about. And I am going to leave it at that.

Remember a while back when I blogged about our good friend, Jim winning H.E.B.'s recipe contest for The Best Labor Day Burger. Posted in the Hill Country Community Journal.

Well, Jim e-mailed me the recipe today, which of course, I've now stolen and plan to cook as soon as I go back, to H.E.B. in Kerrville, to buy a few of the ingredients that I don't have.

Anyway, I want to share his award winning recipe and give Jim the credit for it, before I erase his name and turn it into Cousin Nancy's Award-Winning Best Labor Day Burger. 

Because his recipe above may be a little hard for some of us to read, because we're old, I've taken the time to re-type it, so you can steal it right from here and name it whatever you want. But I strongly suggest that you call it Cousin Nancy's Award-Winning Best Labor Day Burger Recipe.

Jim Bobbitt's 
Best Labor Day Burger Recipe

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

1 lb. ground beef (85% lean)
2 heaping TBSP hatch chili, chopped (can or fresh)
1 tsp. Truffle salt
1 tsp. celery salt
2 TBSP minced garlic 
1 pepper
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tsp Adam's Just Right Burger Spice

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients, but burger spices. Form into four patties. Generously season each side with burger spice. Grill as desired.

This evening I plan to start binge watching Netflix's Longmire 5th Season and I can't wait. But before I go I want to end this post with a laugh, because I think that we all need to laugh as much as we can.

Anyway, early this morning Kay and Sara came out to walk our dogs, before the rest of our friends/dog-walking volunteers had arrived. 

While I was visiting with them I told them about Buttercup aka Butterball coming back to us and Hazel getting adopted. And a few minutes later, Kay innocently remarked, "I am so happy for Hazel. She is such a great dog. I'm going to go give Butterbutt a few extra treats." (Like she really needs more treats.)

I immediately burst out laughing and then she started laughing, too. So, I half-hollered to Tony, "Kay just called Butterball—Butterbutt!"

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


The. last few days have been great and we got totally caught up with our mowing. Because we each spent at least 2 hours, each day, cutting down the tall weeds and grass.

This past Saturday morning, Shelly & Stuart had to return Butterball, because she was getting more and more aggressive towards old Thumper. When Shelly called to tell me that it just wasn't working out with Butterball as they had hoped it would she was crying the entire time, because it had broken her heart to have to return Butterball to us.

When this really nice couple arrived, as I was walking up to greet them they were both wiping away tears, so I tried to comfort them. "Y'all, please don't feel bad about this. It just wasn't meant to be..."

Then when Butterball walked down the truck's doggie ramp she wasn't sad at all about the turn of events. She was wagging her tail excitedly and dragging Tony as fast as she could to get to her best friend Blue, that she has lived with for over three years. (In case you've forgotten both Blue and Butterball had recently been returned to us by the same person and these two fine dogs had lived together for over three years.)

I tried to cheer Stuart and Shelly up, and said, "I think Butterball isn't upset at all. In fact, I don't know which one of these dogs is happier to see each other." Then Tony put Butterball back inside her pen with Blue and their happy reunion almost made me tear up, which I tried to hide by looking up into the sky.

After spending several minutes visiting with this kind-hearted couple, they asked if they could walk the other two dogs that they had also been interested in. And forty minutes later, after we had walked Thumper and Hazel and then with Merlin they chose to adopt sweet Hazel! And everybody was happy about it, including Thumper, Hazel, Butterball and Blue. And before Hazel walked up the doggie ramp with Thumper to get into the back seat of their big truck we told each other that we hoped it would work out this time. 

This morning Shelly called me and she left a message, on Carlton, because I was outside pushing a mower around, again. And the good news so far is, "Hazel and Thumper love each other and they love to play together...." 

Today my good friend Nancy D., up in Chicago, sent me this fabulous Pentonix & Dolly Parton singing Jolene together on YouTube to watch and I totally loved it. In fact, it gave me goose-bumps when they sang Jolene. 

So, I immediately asked Tony to please come and watch it and like me he loved it, too, but he wouldn't admit that it gave him goose-bumps, too. 

Seriously, we think it is one of the best performances ever of Dolly singing one of her most famous songs with these super talented people. So please click here if you would love to watch Pentonix & Dolly Parton—Jolene, because it has already been viewed by over 8,250,000 people since it was released four days ago.

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

Aggies Do Know How To Have Fun!

The past few days have been busy here and we've also had fun. Besides mowing almost every evening until dark and taking care of rescue ranch paperwork, etc.

Yesterday afternoon we found time to hook up for lunch with Marita & Hans, our new Norwegian friends.

Originally, we had decided to meet, in Kerrville, for lunch, but due to their unexpected rental car's trouble, we wound up going to, Fredericksburg, to eat lunch with them, at Hilda's Mexican Restaurant.

Our lunch was so much fun. We traded jokes back and forth and we talked non-stop about music, musicians, artists and Terlingua, because they left early this morning for Terlingua, so they could spend a couple of days out there, before once again returning to Fred-town.

When we were talking about artists, Marita started telling us about their daughter Christina who in my opinion is an extremely talented artist. Seriously, I loved looking at her beautiful art, because some of it reminds me of Salvador Dali, who I am a big fan of.

When it was time for us to head back, to the rescue ranch, we did not want to leave, because we were having such a great time visiting with Marita & Hans. So before we adios-ed each other we made plans for them to come and see us, at the rescue ranch next week, before they fly out to California to join their Canadian friends.

This morning my dear friend Mari sent me the cutest e-mail about a dead cockroach, that was found under a stairwell, in the Texas A&M's Anthology building. And I promise that it will make you laugh out loud. So please click here if you would like a good laugh, because Aggies do know how to have fun.

This morning our great friends/volunteers came out and walked our dogs for us. We all decided to go to the Koyote Grill for lunch, which is now under new management, because we wanted to check out their new menu that so many people having been raving about.

All of us ordered different items from their menu, including Tony and me, which seldom happens.  Anyway, we all loved what we had ordered and we all agreed that the food was delicious and that we love their new menu. Here is a copy of Koyote Grill's new delicious menu and I hope that you'll go there and check them out soon. Because I promise you that you won't be disappointed.

Late this afternoon I took a short, sleepless nap with our dogs and it completely re-energized me. So I went back outside and pushed the mower around for about an hour. And now I am poopedonce again. So that's about it for tonight.

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

Monday, September 12, 2016

B-GOOD! or Viva Terlingua!

This past weekend has been filled with mowing and good times, so it was great to say the least. Saturday morning I went outside and started mowing down the tall grass and weeds, in Hazel's pen, under dark-looking clouds.

After I finished push-mowing Hazel's pen, that took me twice as long as it should have, because of the thick, knee-high grass I started mowing the alley next to her pen.

Halfway done, it started to lightly sprinkle, so I started pushing the mower as fast as I could, which in my case wasn't all that fast. And right when I had finished mowing it—it started pouring down rain.

By the time I reached the feed barn I was soaking wet. I was grateful for the rain, but was a little depressed, because I knew that the too tall grass and weeds would grow at least another inch taller before I would get to do some more push-mowing. The mowing felt like it was a never-ending task.

Around 2:00 in the afternoon our dogs started barking, so Tony went outside to see what was going on and two minutes later, I went outside, because I saw that Tony was talking to a couple I didn't know. And that's when the fun started.

After Tony had introduced me to Hans & Marita Fredriksen, visiting from Bergen, Norway and I felt like I knew these strangers and I already liked them. Hans told us that they had recently met Kinky after a show he did in Norway and Kinky had given them one of our Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch business cards. And he had invited them to come see us when they visited the Texas Hill Country.

Why, but don't ask me why something told me to ask them, "Have y'all ever heard of Chet O'Keefe? He's a fabulous singer/songwriter musician and he is a real good friend of ours?"

"Yes!" They answered. "We know Chet and we are good friends with him, too. We love his music and we love the music scene, so we started a business that helps promote traveling musicians and artists to help make their life, on the road much easier."

"Wow! That's way too cool," I exclaimed. "Where are y'all staying and for how long?" They told us that they were staying, in Fredricksberg and were staying for several weeks. So once again and don't ask me why, I asked, "Have y'all ever heard of Stephen K. Morris?"

"Yes!" They answered, to our surprise. "We love Stephen's music and Eva Robinett's photography. We've know them for a long time and we are trying to talk them into coming over, to Norway, to perform." So I immediately invited them to come, inside The Cabin, so we could cool off and visit some more.

During our super fun visit with Marita & Hans, they told us that they had planned on going out to Terlingua, during their stay, in Texas, because they had never seen it. So we told them that Chet, Stephen & Eva and us all owned places out there and we all love it. Then we found out that Hans & Marita were musicians too, so I pulled out my Martin D-28 and handed it to Hans.

When he started strumming my guitar we asked them to sing something for us, so they did. First they sang one of their favorite Chet O'Keefe songs In San Joaquin Valley and then they sang Luckenbach Texas (Norway-Style) and they were absolutely fantastic.

Tony and I were so excited about meeting Hans & Marita and before they left to drive back to Fred-town, they told us about going to the Auslander, Sunday at 4:00, because Stephen was hosting another one of his super fun "Outsider Songwriter Spotlight" featuring Hollin McKay, who is one of Tony's and my favorite singer/songwriter musician and he lives nearby, in Bandera. Here is where Hollin will be playing his gigs at which includes Austin's famous Threadgill's.

So we put our heads together and decided to play a little joke on our dear friends Eva & Stephen. We decided that it would be fun for us to show up around 4:00 and when we saw each other we would hug each other and sit down, at a table together, hoping that it would surprise Stephen & Eva that we knew each other. Then during a break we would tell our mutual friends that we have been good friends for many years, etc.

After our fun visit with our new Norway friends, Kinky called me from the road, to tell me that Ruth Buzzi and her husband Kent Perkins would be arriving, at the ranch, around 4:00 and that he would be back at the ranch no later than 8:00. "Nance, would you mind going over to the Lodge to welcome them for me?"

And of course I said, "I would love to see them!" A little while later, I jumped into Trigger and drove over to the Lodge and their beautiful, black Bentley was parked, in the driveway.

Kent greeted me and he told me Ruthie was taking a nap, so he and I went inside the Lodge for a fun visit. And an hour later, when I was fixin' to leave, Tony arrived at the Lodge, because he wanted to visit with Kent & Ruthie, too.

Then about an hour later, Kent drove over here to drink some coffee with us and to visit some more. And to say the least about that—Tony and I had a great time visiting with our dear friend.

Sunday morning, Kent & Ruthie came over to see us, before meeting Kinky for brunch, in Kerrville. Omg, Ruthie was so cute and she had all of us laughing the minute that she got out of their car. And it continued when they spent about an hour with us, inside The Cabin.

Later that afternoon around 4:15, we arrived at the Islander's back patio. Stephen and Hollin were already on stage. When Stephen saw us come in he nodded at us and we waved back at him. And a few minutes later, Marita & Hans walked up to our table and we put on a good show for Stephen to watch while Hollin sang a beautiful song.

Eva wasn't there yet, but when she arrived she looked just as shocked as Stephen, to us sitting with Hans & Marita. So I guess that you could say—we pulled it off.

Tony and I had so much fun listening to the great music and getting to visit with Stephen & Eva, Hollin and Marita & Hans. Here is a picture I took, at the Auslander, of Hans & Marita.

Of course Tony and I could not stay for the whole show, because we needed to get back to the rescue ranch, so before we adios-ed our friends, around 6:00, Stephen & Eva, Marita & Hans us talked about us possibly meeting up, in Terlingua, for a few days of Viva Terlingua fun. And who knows—maybe Chet and Jim Keaveny and Anna will be out there, too. Talk about a real good time with great friends with great music.

Here is the top of their business card that Hans gave to us, because we are hoping to hook up with these four great friends of ours for lunch, later on this week.

And at the bottom of their business cards it reads "Make music - B-Good." 

This afternoon we took Roy Rogers back to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic to get his leg checked out, again, because sometime last night, Roy managed to remove a part of his bandage on his leg, that was put there to stop him from licking at it. And Roy was licking it.

Anyway, Dr. Craig Jannsen has just called me to tell me that he looked at Roy's leg and he suggested that he should cut off the growth and then we will wait for a week to see how it looks and then go from there. He also told me that the growth seems to have grown bigger and he can do the surgery this evening, so we will be able to pick up my four-legged soul mate tomorrow. And that's about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Recipes! or Super Dog!

Today and the past few days have been great. But before I write more I want to include a couple of things that I forgot to include in my last post. First off, here is the label, on the jar, I bought showing the Nutritional Yeast Flakes Facts which shows just how healthy the inactive yeast is.

And in case you didn't read Carol's comment at the bottom of my post, She wrote:

"I add fresh garlic to the cauliflower before I steam it. Mash with the yeast, salt and pepper to taste. I hope you like it!"

When I cooked Carol's healthy, delicious recipe Tony and I absolutely loved it, so in the future we plan to start eating more cauliflower with yeast flakes instead of potatoes and cheese.

Speaking of great recipes, Tony and I want to congratulate our dear friend Jim aka The Mineral Man for winning H.E.B.'s "Best Labor Day Burger" recipe contest. (And this doesn't surprise me, because Jim is an awesome cook.)

 Besides Jim winning the H.E.B. recipe contest last week, Jim had his photo taken, with him holding his H.E.B. food basket prize, standing between two smiling H.E.B. chefs and it appeared in the Hill Country Community Journal. 

And to say the least, I cannot wait to try Jim's award winning burger recipe.

This afternoon Tony and I went to Kerrville to eat lunch with our great friends/volunteers: Eileen, Lisa, Jim, Suzanne and Chris and as always we had a blast being with these great people. 

After our fun lunch Tony and I went to the big H-E-B. to pick up a few groceries, before going to Hoegemeyer Animal Clinic to pick up Bubba, a stray that a nice couple had rescued last week, but could not keep.

Bubba, who we had already renamed Gus before we arrived, at Hoegemeyer's, is the sweetest, one-year-old pup. He is friendly, socialized and is great with kids, great with other dogs, not hyper and not a digger. In other words, he is a Super Dog!

When we picked up this cute, red-nosed dog we put him in Trigger's back seat for the ride home. Unlike many dogs that are not crated and act crazy when riding inside a vehicle he acted like it was no big deal at all, so it was obvious to us that he's been used to riding in trucks. 

He slept most of the way home and the few times that Gus woke up and looked at us or where we were going, he was as calm as he could be. So before we arrived at the ranch, I took a couple of pictures of him sitting in the back seat. The first picture came out a little bit blurry, but his expression is so cute I am including it.

When we arrived at the rescue ranch, I took a couple of more pictures of this super cool dog, before Tony took him to his temporary pen. Nine times out of ten when a new rescue arrives here we put the dog in a smaller pen, that is inescapable, because it has a roof, just to make sure that he gets to know that we are the good guys and that we will take good care of him.

Anyway, in a couple of days we will move Gus to one of our big pens, so he can run and play with his new "roommate." Here are two more pictures of this smart, lovable dog who is now waiting to get his loving family and forever home.

So, if you want to meet Gus or have a friend looking to find a great companion, please come out tomorrow and meet Gus and our other super great dogs. And that's about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Love & Peace!!

The last few days have been great. This past Sunday afternoon Tony and I went over to Carol's ranch to visit with her and Debbie and Vickie for a couple of hours and we had a blast.

While we were visiting with them I told them my (David Spade's) hilarious, off color joke and like everyone that I've told it to— they burst out laughing, too.

After we had all quit laughing about my joke we started talking about food and recipes. Debbie and Vickie started bragging about how delicious Carol's cauliflower (mashed potato) recipe that she had cooked for them the other night.

I told Carol that I roasted my cauliflower and then added butter to it before turning it into "mashed potatoes. Then I asked her to please give me her recipe, because I wanted to try (steal) it, too.

I steam my cauliflower and I don't add butter or cheese to it. I just add a little yeast flakes to it and mash it and that's all I use."

"What kind of yeast?" I asked, because I am visualizing Tony and me swelling up to the size like the Pillsbury Dough Boy."

"It is a nutritional inactive yeast and has a lot of protein in it." Then she went and got a jar of it to show to me. "When we get back home I am going to buy some of this, because it sounds so much healthier than butter or cheese."

"It is and you use it like you would use Parmesan cheese and it is great on popcorn, too."

Well, it arrived late today, along with another package from Amazon Prime.

Then the girls started talking about Wasabi Salt and how much they loved it—especially on popcorn. So when I ordered the yeast flakes I also ordered Wasabi Sea Salt. And that is the other package that arrived here late today. Here's a picture of the can.

This afternoon Tony and I went to Kerrville and after we ran our errands you're not going to believe what I bought! It is something that I've always wanted and always loved, because they always make me smile when I see one.

I bought a 1962, red and white classic VW Microbus that is in mint condition!! Tony thought I was crazy for buying it, but I told him that it was such a good deal that I had to buy it. 

My adorable VW Bus came with a beautiful paint job and it looked like it had just come off the showroom floor and they had painted "Love & Peace!!" on it, along with colorful Peace signs, hearts, birds, flowers, etc. Seriously, it looks just like a Hippie Bus and it makes me smile big time. Here are some pictures that I took of it as soon as we got it back home.

I bought it at Hasting's Going Out of Business Sale and I only paid $4.95 for it, because it was Made In China with half off of the price of this adorable, Die-cast Scale 1/32. The wheels spin and as you can see from the pictures above, the doors all open! And here is another picture of my precious VW Van parked in front of the Wasabi Sea Salt and Hoosier Large Yeast Flakes that arrived today.

Little Debbie is fascinated with my VW Bus, so I took a before and after of The World According To Little Debbie. Then I took my Classic VW Bus back inside The Cabin and put it on our bookshelf, in the big room, so every time that I see it—it will make me smile and remember the good Ol' Days that I truly miss so much.

And that's about it for tonight, because I am going to make some pop corn with yeast flakes!

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

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Hill Country's Finest!

Today has been really great. This morning the great Boy Scouts of America Troop 111, came out to do a project for us. Lee, of Troop 111, is working on becoming an Eagle Scout and he was the leader of this awesome project today, because months ago, Lee came out and talked to Tony and me about wanting to earn his Eagle Scout status by helping out our Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, doing anything that we needed. Then we put our heads together and asked Lee to build us some super dog houses, etc.

So this morning, he and many members his of Troop 111 and a few dedicated volunteers came out and did exactly that. Under Lee's excellent, leadership they first erected and then painted a beautiful dog house, for Rufus and Roxanne. And while these hard, working young men and girls worked fast and steady, I stood back, underneath a shade tree, and took some pictures of them.

After the paint had dried on Lee's, first of many beautiful, dog houses to come in the near future, he asked us what else we needed help with today and we told him "fencing." So once again, under Lee's guided leadership, they worked very hard and fast on some back-breaking fencing needs. 

So now, our rescue ranch wants to thank: Lee, Grace, Stephen, Kevin, Colin, Brandon, Hunter, Natalie, J.R., Logan and Darlene and the Boy Scout Masters of Troop 111 for volunteering to come out to help Lee with his Eagle Scout projects and for doing so much hard work for our rescue ranch.     

Late this afternoon I cooked a new recipe that my dear friend Mari had recommended I try and it was totally delicious and easy. Heathy Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls is the recipe and you can click here to view it, because after Mari had told me how much she and David loved this delicious recipe and had given me a few suggestions about cooking it. So I cut the recipe in half and tweaked it some more, like I usually do with most of my recipes that I try or steal from my friends. Here's my newest recipe:

Cousin Nancy's Super Healthy Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Stew

(Please note: the 2 cloves of garlic are missing in this picture, because I'm out now.)

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 sweet Yellow Onion-diced
1 bag of Angel Hair cabbage (to make coleslaw) 
1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic-diced
1 can Hot Hatch Green Chiles-diced

Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Tbs. Crushed Red Pepper
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
2 Tbs. Basil
1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
3-5oz. water

In a large skillet cook: ground beef, onion and garlic.

In a large pot add: fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, green chiles and angel hair cabbage and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat.

Then add to the pot or the skillet: salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, basil, Worcestershire sauce and water.

Then mix everything together in the large pot and cook for 10 minutes. And this is what it looks like.


And that's about it for tonight, because I am going over to Kinky's, because he wants me to be the first to listen to his new song that he has just written.

Y'all have a great evening!

Friday, September 2, 2016

A quick note to Kathleen F.!

Hi Kathleen. I read your three messages and I took care of it today and all should be good in a few days. Thank you for reminding me.