Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Man and His Toilet

Not too long ago, a man and his wife were in Academy Sports. She was looking for mucker boots, and somehow got separated from her husband.

Around the corner he comes, looking very pleased with himself. In his hand? A folding shovel, and a portable toilet seat that is supported by four legs.

Amused, yet more than a little mortified, the wife accompanies him to the checkout, places her items on the counter…and quickly exits stage left to loiter at the entrance, leaving him to pay.

Later, they are talking with one of his fishing buddies, and the wife updates the fishing buddy on her husband’s embarrassing purchase. She thought that her husband had purchased the toilet for the camping and river trips the two men take upon occasion. She is quickly corrected by her husband. He informs his wife and his friend that he bought both toilet and shovel to assist him in taking care of "business" during his long work days out in the oilfield. The fishing buddy laughs, and more ribbing ensues.

(Her husband’s good ol’ boy fishing buddies have given him no end of grief concerning his love for the environment, taking care of business, not trashing the camping surroundings, etc. Matter of fact, she says they now call him “Dudley”, the character played by William H. Macy in the movie “Wild Hogs.” She is of the opinion that her husband mistakenly believes he is helping his buddies become a little more citified out there at the fishing camp.)

I know why the husband wants to take this little jewel of a toilet to work. The oilfield is one of those places that has virtually seen no changes after all these years, at least in the area of personal comforts. There is a distinct lack of amenities out there. One can be two hours from the nearest town and no facilities in sight. Guys have it easier than women, yet none differ when that certain need comes upon us.

A month or so later, the husband, staying out of town, calls his wife. They go over the happenings of their respective days. He begins to tell her a story.

Husband: “Remember my little camping toilet I purchased at Academy?"

Wife: "Yes."

Husband: "Well, I was putting it to use today. I dug a little hole, situated the toilet, grabbed my book.”

Wife: “Grabbed your book? You are out in the middle of nowhere. Why do guys have to read when this particular body function is going on? Oh, my Lord. Okay, honey, continue…I’m sorry I interrupted you. It’s just that anybody could drive by, at anytime.”

Husband: “As I was saying, I dug my little hole, and settled in. I finished my business, and shifted to put my book on the top of my truck. I thought “Wow, this thing is really sturdy!” and, just to test it, I wiggled on it a bit…"

Wife: “Yeah?”

Husband: “I felt it start to give. The legs collapsed on my toilet seat…and I fell. Right into my business.”

Wife: “What? What did you say?”

Husband repeats himself, adding “I had it everywhere. I’m running around with my coat on, my pants around my boots, trying to get everything cleaned up. I had to almost totally undress.”

Wife, tears of laughter running down her face, buries her head in the pillow.

Wife: "Where were the little receptacle sacks?"

Husband: "I guess they blew out of my truck, I can't find them. And, anyway, as I was cleaning up, I realized – the pulling unit was only a football field away – and Joe's up in the derrick. I look up, and Joe is staring down at me. He’s seen everything. He waved at me.”

The wife is laughing hysterically, as is the husband.

Wife sputters: “Do you think he’ll still respect you in the morning?”

Story disclaimer: Any content submitted to Sounding Forth via method of voice, written or otherwise may or may not be posted. The acceptance of any particular content is not related to its value or merit. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Any resemblance between Janie, MLH or the persons herein and real persons living or otherwise is purely incidental. And that’s the twuth…

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Missing the Boy

**Update: Elder Son has been at a relative's house for the past 10 days and is doing well. Neither his father or I have spoken with him, but are relieved he is okay. He told the relative he just needed to get away. We appreciate your prayers.**

I’m missing Elder Son. He’s dropped out of sight, no calls, e-mails, won’t return messages for the last three weeks. I’ve spoken with a couple of Elder Son’s close friends, who believe that his behavior is all related to the accident where his friend lost her life. He will not talk to them concerning such.

I write this only to ask for your prayers concerning Elder Son.

I know the Lord has His hand upon him, and receive great comfort from that knowledge.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Bad Boy Blast Blasts Past Expectations!

Sunday evening, getting ready for Monday…I cannot believe it is almost May! This year seems to be zooming by.

The Bad Boy Blast shoot went well. My new scoring system was virtually seamless, and I think we left the facility around 6:30 p.m. That is a new record! Another new record - 750 shooters! A large time was had by all and we greatly appreciate our community’s support. A HUGE part of our success were all the volunteers that showed up to help with the event, such as our fellow blogger, George, who was so busy he forgot to look me up (we’ve yet to meet.) Or maybe it was I was so busy he couldn’t find me. Or maybe I was so covered in dirt that he couldn’t see me. Or maybe it was that I shot 83/100 and he was scared I was on an emotional high…but, no, that didn’t happen until I won a plaque for High Overall Lady and this!!! My husband was talking to me via cellphone, and then all he heard was screaming and laughter, and he didn’t know what happened. I had to call him back. He got a kick out of that. I also won (purchased?) a $200 value gift certificate for a car alarm system and a travel golf bag at the silent auction. MLH was happy about that, for sure!

(Hmmm. Wonder what he’ll think about all the $$$ I donated to gun raffles?)

George, thanks for volunteering, and also, for noting our event improvements over at Sleepless in Midland. We knew we had to find some method of improving the flow of people and the awards. We were very excited about how everything progressed. I look forward to meeting you soon. By the way, did you catch your hat?

Speaking of losing things in the wind, somehow, my Maui Jim ™ rose colored Sandy Beach sunglasses pulled a Dorothy and spun off into the sunset…and the way that wind was blowing, I doubt they slowed down at Kansas.

It was an excellent day for an excellent cause.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Come on out to the Bad Boy Blast!

Well, it's 10:30 pm, and I just got home from the office. We're getting ready for the start of this weekend's ConocoPhillips Halliburton Bad Boy Blast! Our committee is spread hither and yon taking care of their individual assignments for this one. Everyone has to be on point for it to go off seamlessly. This shoot benefits the law enforcement community, both police officers and sheriff's offices, of Midland and Odessa.

We will be hosting 750 shooters, and had to open up another round for Friday night just to accommodate everyone. Shooters are coming in from Denver, Houston, Oklahoma, Louisiana to participate in this shoot. It's really grown to be a huge event, with over 50 Platinum sponsors (Thanks, West Texas and New Mexico!) There's an unconfirmed rumor circulating that this is one of the biggest charity shoots in Texas. I don't know how we could check that out, but someday when I have the time, I might do some research.

Chief John Urby is heading up the cookin' team tomorrow night for the Friday night round – and we're mighty grateful! He retires in what, 10 days? He could be kicking back, but instead, chooses to go out with his usual excellence, spending time with his fellow Permian Basin officers and the community that we love. We will sure miss him around here.

The Saturday shoot starts with an 8am rotation, another at 11am, and another at 2pm.

West Texans, come on out and enjoy the great cooking and atmosphere, I'll be pretty busy with all the shoot administration, but would love to see and meet y'all! The directions are here and here. It's about a 20 minute drive from Midland, and a 10 minute drive from Stanton.

Annie Oakley rides again!! Yeehah!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


As a nation, our hearts are all melded together once more with the news of the Virginia Tech shootings.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of Virginia Tech.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Can y'all handle two of us?

Another wild woman enters the blogosphere...

A very good friend of mine, Pam, has dipped her little toe into the waters of the blogosphere this week.

Drop by and visit her at Mamma O. She’s a sweetie and I know you’ll love her!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Where you been, Leo?

Leo's posting again. Go. See.

Some are city people, some are not...

Speaking of awards, Karen and Bret need one for living in Houston.

Holy crapola.

As you may remember, I’m in Houston this week. And today, one of my customers called and reminded me we were supposed to partake of dinner together tonight in the big H town. They called when they arrived at Houston Hobby, and said they were going to go check in, and would call me when they were ready to go eat.

They are staying at the Houstonian. I’m 20 miles away, at the Wyndham Gunspoint. I mean, Greenspoint.

They are in a lot safer location than I.

We made arrangements to meet at Jimmy G's , a great seafood restaurant, which happened to be closer to my hotel. But hey, they have guys with them, while I’m just a poor traveling alone account representative with an expense account. I offered to e-mail them a map with directions, but they said they’d just consult with the concierge.

We’re scheduled to meet at 6:15. I’m going to go get a table.

I walk into the restaurant, and they call. They have a table. Jimmy G’s is famous for its seafood and ambiance…but it’s not that big. I can’t find them.

I call them back.

They. Are. At. Willie G's. (another great seafood restaurant.)There are four of them. One of me.

20 miles from me, and 5 miles from their hotel. So, off I go. Plug the address into my Hertz Neverlost. Take off, in high traffic.

And. Immediately. Get. Lost. (MLH calls these juicy little GPS' the Hertz “alwayslost”.)

10 minutes later (I screwed up at the Beltway 8 / Hwy 45 interchange and that was so much fun to fix) I’m finally on the right road, heading towards the Galleria area, and there is an accident on 610. It must have been a bad one, judging from the way the traffic was backed up.

At this point, I could care less about seeing my customers, much less eating. I just want to go back to the hotel. I am less than 6 miles from the restaurant, and it takes me over an hour to get to them from this juncture.

Cars start taking the exit to the frontage road, and I’m just goofy enough to follow them. Maybe, I’m thinking, I can get there quicker and bypass the accident. (See why I laughed when I got the Thinking Blogger award?) Stupid girl. The accident ended up being on the frontage road. I have absolutely no place to go. I don’t know why the traffic got so backed up, probably people just rubber-necking, or the accident was on both 610 and the exit ramp, I’m not sure. I never saw it. I pray everyone is okay.

I got to the restaurant at 7:15 p.m. We ate. I drove back to the hotel (safely) in 18 minutes. The food and fellowship was good.

God bless you, Karen and Bret and all you Houstonian drivers. I think I would self-destruct.

I am so spoiled by the lack of traffic in Midland.

I think - and therefore, I am...tagged.


I am honored. Some sweetheart named Karen over at the Pondering Penguin nominated me for a Thinking Blogger award. Since she’s very concise and to the point concerning everything political and all else, an awesome gourmet cook and an excellent blogger herself, I’m wondering if someone may have spiked Karen’s hot tea this morning…for her to choose me as a thinker. Some readers might beg to differ.

For those of you that I have chosen, here are the participation rules.

If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
Optional: proudly display the “Thinking Blogger Award” with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative Silver Thinking Blogger logo if Gold Thinking Blogger logo doesn’t fit your blog design.
Please remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e., relative content, and above all – blogs that really get you thinking!

So here are some of my favorite blogs that really make me think.

The guy who got me started blogging, Eric over at the Fire Ant Gazette. Though Eric promises a content-free blog, rarely is it so. He is funny, entertaining, and very patient with baby bloggers such as myself. He is known as an encourager, and his deep seated river of faith shines through in all he does. His dog, Abbye, will provide new entertainment for you each time you hit refresh!!

One of my new favorites is Pepe Guzman over at Mi Tabula Rasa. Pepe and his wife enjoy two beautiful little boys and a love for the Lord. Pepe writes clearly, loudly, quietly, succinctly - and he truly has an awesome sense of humor. I have laughed until I cried at his stories of his boys. He is as real as real can be. Through it all, the underlying grounding of the Kingdom shines through.

Winston at Nobody Asked is an excellent writer with just a tad of attitude. He is refreshing, and lives in that beautiful town of Nashville. You’ll love his stories and take on life.

Cowtown Pattie over at Texas Trifles is a great Fort Worth gal with a hankering to move south to the oasis of Big Bend. And I’m a-bettin’ she’s going to get it done, and soon. She’s a romantic, a lover of anything Texan, and is a prolific writer and, well, hie thee on over there and check her out!

Waiter Rant, from the first, has been one of my favorite blogs. Waiter is real, true, loves his work (most of the time) and writes about it well. Waiter recently signed a publishing deal, and as such, doesn’t post as often, but his postings are well worth the wait. He cares for others, and lets us look through his work window, so that we might do the same. This blog will give you a whole new appreciation for your wait staff.

It is hard to pick only 5 blogs of all the blogs I frequent. Some of the ones I chose had already been selected, and the original blog asks that if the blog has already been nominated, to look elsewhere. All of the blogs I’ve picked have probably been nominated, but I just can’t remember – so if you have, just accept it again with your normal good grace and carry on!

Thanks again, Karen, for your kind words.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Random acts of travel...

Well, it’s just another manic Monday…except I’m in Houston.

MLH helped me pack last night, and finished up this morning. I probably overpacked, but it’s going to be a wild week and it’s hard to know what to wear. Guys have it SOOOOO easy.

(Did I tell you I hate to travel without MLH? Well, I meant to say that. )

Itinerary is Monday through Thursday, Houston. Friday through Sunday, Dallas. Sunday evening through Tuesday morning, OKC. At least MLH will get to join me for the weekend, if all goes well.

Hertz agent: “Yes, ma’am, are you ready for your confirmation number, and thanks for booking with Hertz!?”

Me: “Don’t get too excited there honey, I’ve got two more reservations to go, I’m trying to go for the record racking up those Gold points.”

The Hertz agent got so tickled we had a hard time resuming our conversation. She must be easily amused.

Yesterday, probably due to the holiday, I missed my Mom and big brother. Sometimes missing them just washes over me like a wave. And I can be doing the weirdest things – nothing that would remind me of them. I miss them. Sometimes it’s no big deal, and sometimes I wouldn’t be surprised if either of them walked through the door, their presence is that tangible.

Have a dinner date tonight with some of my AADE peers from New Orleans – I know I can count on them to hustle us up some good grub. Tomorrow morning, we start the conference registration at 6am. The college students’ breakfast social is at 7a.m., then the conference kick-off, then we’re off to a bit plant tour at 11:30 or so.

Have a blessed night!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Zack and Gloria Steinem

Me: “Guys, don’t forget, tomorrow morning, I’m Houston bound.”

Zack hops onto the bed.

Me: “Who changed the channel from the Today Show to Babar?”

MLH: “Must have been Zack. Zack, did you change the channel?”

Zack: “Daaaaaaaaad! I was reading the other day and learned that I was going to have to start exerting my choice. I like Babar. So you can kiss my liver-colored bo-hiney!”

MLH: “Zack, watch your language.”

Zack: “You guys have forgotten what ERA is all about.”

Pregnant pause.

MLH: “Zack, ERA is about women’s rights.”

MLH gives Zack his “what do you think about that?” look.

Another pause.

Zack: “And the problem?”

Moments pass as the standoff continues.

From the fringe edge of my bed, I'm it Monday yet?

These Thousand Hills by Third Day

"These Thousand Hills"

These thousand hills roll ever on
In footprints of a Mighty God
They bring me to my knees in praise
Amazing love, amazing grace

Was on a hill my Savior died
A broken heart, a bleeding side
Hill of the skull, Mount Calvary
The blood He shed, He shed for me

When heaven's hills at last I roam
Forever settle in my home
I'll join the saints around Your throne
Your kingdom, Lord, rolls ever on

These thousand hills roll ever on
Ripples of a coming storm
The morning star precedes the dawn
These thousand hills roll ever on

Friday, April 6, 2007

On The Fringe??

At supper tonight, MLH and I talked about our respective events of the day. As we readied to settle in for the night, the conversation continued.

It seems that this afternoon, MLH and Zack the Wonder Dog were watching an Easter special on CNN on the Glenn Beck Show. The guests on today’s show were Max Lucado, Anne Graham Lotz, and Anthony Padovano, Ph.D., a Catholic theologian. Padovano made a comment that one of the real miracles concerning Jesus as God in man was that He was compassionate, in that when the people hurt, Jesus felt their pain. Padovano also spoke of Jesus’ inclusivity – that Jesus appealed to those who were marginalized and on the fringes of society. Neat stuff, that.

As they were listening to the show, Zack started to speak. (I've warned you before that Zack is quite vocal.)

“Yeah, Dad, that’s the problem around here. I had a problem and didn’t even know it. I’ve been marginalized! I been pushed to the fringe edge of things around here and it just ain’t right.”

MLH argued, “Zack, if anyone’s been marginalized and pushed to the fringe edge in this house, it’s your Momma when you’re sleeping in our bed!”

Zack responded, “Bullcorn, Dad! You need to consider what Jesus would do because you’re sure not being compassionate and from the fringe lookin' in, there ain’t nothing appealing about you right now, either. And if you keep cowering to Mom’s will, you’re going to end up marginalized and on the fringe edge yourself. And another thing - I’m getting tired of y’all using me for blog fodder. It’s jest not right. No royalties or nothing – not even a stinkin’ pig ear do I get for providing all this ! Is there a dog union ‘round here?”


Wonder what Glenn Beck…and Jesus…would think about that?

I think my boys are missing the point.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ever Mindful

On Tuesday, Eric referred us to this article by Deb Thompson over at Write Lighting.

I went.

I read. Sometimes you read, and your heart simply resounds, "Yes."

I am convicted.

I am alone…a lot. I am with people…too much. Deb is right. I am sometimes with people so much I am unable to collect my thoughts to tell stories about people at all. But when I do have time to collect my thoughts, I smile. When I am around people, every day, it is fun for me. And these people, I love. I may have just met them, or I’ve known them for years. People are delightful – in their happiness, in their stress, in their sorrow, in their anger.

If I told you the ins and outs of my life just yesterday in Tulsa, you might not believe it. And this is a normal day for me.

My day ran the gamut from fun to intensity:

Meeting co-workers at the airport…to

Maneuvering through a hundred people going through only one line in security…to

An Avis moment when my co-worker couldn’t rent a SUV because he wasn’t 25…to

Facing huge seemingly insurmountable anger in a friend and client with whom I share the bond of Christ…to

Sharing thoughts with two men I greatly admire…to

Seeing a slightly inebriated friend at the airport and grieving with her…to

Running into my first babysitter from another town, who also had a crush on my big brother…to

Meeting a beautiful couple from New Orleans and sharing the love of Christ…

Do you see what I mean? Stories happen to me every day…I can write about them, but I don’t. Most of them are probably worthy. All of them would be entertaining. But I’m new at this and I’m not yet sure where the line is on telling the tales.

So. I. Wait.

Deb wrote about the importance of reading to a writer – and I know she’s right. I mean, I’m faithful to read all your blogs. And I try to stay up, somewhat, on the news. And I read a funny article on Second Life in the Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine yesterday on the plane en route to Tulsa…and I laughed until I cried. In my heart, I thought, “Dude, this guy can write. And he is funny!” I want to write like that. As to reading meaningful content, stuff that goes deep and grows, I am sorely lacking. I will be more cognizant of that.

But I digress. Back to the matter at hand.

The most important thing Deb said was, “We have to constantly keep in mind that what we do is really important, but it's not more important than who we are. If we forget that, we cheat ourselves, our readers and even our Creator, who first called us to be who we are.”


I want to be ever mindful of who He has called me to be.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do??

Another year of the Bad Boy Blast, another year of our shoot committee simply being blown away (no pun intended) by the generosity of the Permian Basin and our West Texas Oilfield.

Yup, that bustin’ those clays season is here again. The annual ConocoPhillips Halliburton Bad Boy Blast will take place on Saturday, April 21 out at Windwalker Farms. Check out the website for entry and sponsorship forms. (You can also check out some aerial shots taken by Wallace over at Streams during last year’s event!*) We have shooters coming all the way from New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Colorado...and Ackerly, Texas!

The Bad Boy Blast benefits the Midland and Odessa Police Departments, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ector County Sheriff’s Office. This shoot is about serving those who protect and serve us!

We have a lot of fun hosting the event, and we’re surrounded by somewhere around 800 great people for a day, having lots of fun, and of course, lots of good oilfield cooking is served.

So come on out, eat a bean, bust a clay, and help raise funds for great projects for our local law enforcement folks!

What? Oh, it’s my turn again? Okay…Pull!

(*the aerial shots are blurry on the website - Sorry, Wallace! I don't know what happened - Wallace took excellent shots, I promise! But you can still get a sense of how big this event can be!)