Sunday, September 30, 2007
I was pleased with the pictures. I know Jeff is pleased with his little girl Abby! And Miss Abby? If that smile on her face is any indication, she's pretty pleased with herself, as well.
And so should she be.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I had a great time in Lubbock – had supper with my friend Suzan Thursday night, then we met Elder Son and a friend and watched them eat supper. We all stayed up way too late, and then got up early this morning and made the grand opening of Lubbock’s new… (wait for it!)
(Well, what did you expect? I shoot, I hunt, I fish, I have a sport dog, and dude, they have the cutest camo stuff for women!! Woohoo!! And Suzan was after the Pink Ladies 20 gauge Remington – it’s so cute…it has “Shoot like a girl – if you can!” carved into the stock.)
MLH calls while I’m checking out. The reason for my trip was a haircut and shopping to augment my portfolio of formal wear for our impending annual Santa Fe business trip/boondoggle. Here’s the drill of the call:
MLH: “Hey, sweetie, whatcha doing?”
Me: “Wow, Suzan and I are in Gander Mountain, I’m about to go to my hair appointment. This store is way cooler than the one in Houston! They have the neatest clothes and I got you a new field jacket and both of us matching Columbia orange fleece jackets for hunting and I got Zack a new leash and some choke tube lube and...and...what? What did you say, honey?”
MLH: “I said, Jane, you’re supposed to be shopping for formal gear, and Gander Mountain has no formal clothing line. Don't forget the purpose of your trip, girly!”
Me: “I know, I’m heading to Dillards and Coldwater Creek, I promise.”
MLH: “You’re 5 days to countdown, get that shopping done, girl, so we can get you packed Sunday. Spend the night, if you need to do so.”
Me: "I can't, we have a training run with Zack at dawn Saturday!"
MLH: "Zack can wait until we get back from Santa Fe, woman. Get. The. Shopping. Done."
Me: “I’m on it, I’m checking out now. I did find some cool stuff to wear at Santa Fe here, you’ll like it!”
MLH: “Jane. (Pregnant pause, in a very sweet, yet exasperated way.) Formal stuff.”
Me: “Okay. I’m all over it…right after I get my hair cut. Wait, wait, ma’am…before you total my ticket, can you snag me that cute pink camo Mossy Oak cap, please? ... Okay, yes, honey, I'm listening! I'll call you when I'm finished, okay? I love you!”
I did get my shopping done. I think I’m good. Had supper tonight with Suzan’s family, and Elder Son joined us. It was good to see everyone.
And MLH is going to be so very happy…at least until he sees his bills.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Today was definitely a “fopp” day – fixing other people’s problems. Oh, well, that’s part of the life of a salesperson…fixing invoices, chasing down unpaid invoices, scheduling jobs, and rescheduling others, all the while working on a tender and trying to order Zack supplies.
I had planned to take off Wed – Friday, but work-related things have intervened. I now have a 9:30 a.m. meeting, an 11:30 a.m. meeting, and a 2:30 p.m. conference call. Woohoo.
Well, maybe I can still get in my errands. I had taken vacation in order to get ready for the trip we will be taking in the near future to Santa Fe, N.M. Before you say, “Oh, wow!”, please figure the work factor. It is a lot of fun, but it is a 100% boondoggle, which is to say we will be entertaining customers the entire time. And in any given day, you go from “golf attire” to “dress casual” to “dressy/formal”, so it does require some wardrobe coordination. We are going to do a winery tour one day, with customers, so that will be fun. (I’ll get to be the designated driver, since I don’t drink.)
Thursday morning, Zack and I have a date with the dog trainer extraordinaire, JP Yousha. Then, everything else permitting, I may make an overnight trip to Lubbock for shopping purposes and rites of beautification, scheduled for Friday.
All that being said, I don’t know how much posting I’ll do the rest of the week, so y’all have a great week and weekend and I’ll catch you later!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Here, Ram is bringing the bird to his master. Notice any similarities to Zack? Ram is Zack’s littermate. Ram’s really a sweetie, but he’s not much on this practice penned birds game. He’s a wild bird man, himself. Ram wants the real thing – he wants quail season to open. Still, he did his job, and did it well. Meet little Miss Tracy. She’s a young pup, but let me tell you – the girl is automatic. Yesterday, there was no wind. She would get past the bird bag, and just lock down – her body would be facing the way she was heading, but her head would be pointing back at the bird, as in this picture below. The orange bag has a live quail in it, which the shooter releases in flight. And Tracy would not move until you let that bird go. She’s so precise, it’s almost comical.
Tracy’s owners moved to West Texas from California, and decided to get into the field trial and shooting sports. We are enjoying getting to know them, and I think they’re settling into Texas life really well! They drove up from San Angelo yesterday to meet us at dawn so they could work their dogs. That's dedication to their dogs and this sport, I'm telling you. I'm proud of them.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Well, I no longer puzzle over the quandary that is SH121.
Today, I received an invoice from the Texas Tollways, Texas Dept. of Transportation. The invoice is complete with my tag number (how do they do that?) and the times of entrances and exits on and off SH121. And for their efforts, a paper invoice was generated for $2.40 worth of exits and entrances, plus a $1.00 invoicing fee.
I’m glad to pay it (and did so, online), but it makes one wonder…about wandering up and down the Metroplex.
So, what happens when you’re in a rental car?
PS – Foo and Turtle, you should have warned me! Half of this stuff happened when we were coming to meet y’all for lunch! (Though the lunch, and the pleasure of meeting y'all, was well worth the tolls!)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Guys, take note:
To any woman, that statement “You look exhausted” means a myriad of things unspoken. “You look old.” “You have bags under your eyes.” “Your butt is really big.” "Have you gained weight?" “Thought about having a facelift?” Yup, that statement means anything but “You look really beautiful today.”
And it came from a friend – so I know it’s the truth. Yuk. Give me a big old honking burlap bag and shut my office door so I will be out of sight – hey, I know how to beautify Texas! And I have been so sleeping at night!
My ol' friend stress is jacking with me again.
We’re all working on a project, different members assigned various portions. My portion is dependent upon the completion of the other portions. This project will affect years to come, is high priority…but difficult to juggle while fielding customers’ more immediate demands. And of course, the project has a short timeline and impending deadline. And we are short-staffed.
On top of that:
My insurance agent called today…seems like Younger Son’s propensity to back into poles (twice, one on each side of his pickup!), and get sideswiped on Loop 250 will cause our insurance to go up, even though only one accident was his fault. His young age isn't helping matters. Lovely.
Around 2 p.m., I get a call from the field. The job was scheduled for 8 a.m. hasn’t even started yet, and my customer is on site. I called him and let him know I’m in the loop, and thank God, he’s good with everything.
Around 8:30 p.m., I get a call from my young shooting buddy Nate. Nate wanted to tell me all about his shooting lessons tonight. I had planned to go out and watch him take his lesson. He had a great time, but I think he was disappointed I didn't show up. I'd probably have been 150% more effective had I gone to his lesson and watched him shoot.
I left the office tonight around 9, and brought my computer home to work.
But I just can’t bring myself to do it – instead, I’m going to hit the hay. That is, right after the mattress protector MLH put in the washing machine dries…and I put fresh sheets on the bed. He called after I got home.
MLH: "What are you doing?" Me: "Laying on top of the comforter, waiting on the dryer."
MLH: “Oh, Honey…I know you asked me to do that this morning, but I forgot to put it in the dryer. I'm so sorry!" (Isn't that sweet?) He left this morning to go out of town for an assignment in the field. Oh well, everything will be fresh when he comes home!
It's time to go to "Napper's House" as Elder Son used to call it. And it's all good. Joy comes in the morning, right? Good night, all. Sleep with angels!
Monday, September 17, 2007
I guess we’re going to be forced to make the change to the newer operating system…which means we also have to get the Microsoft Office Professional Vista version at $499, since our last purchase of such was the Office Professional 2003. And on another computer, we have Office Professional XP. Anybody need any old programs? That still work on pre-Vista era machines? Oh, wait, they’re registered to us. You can’t use them…that would be fraudulent…I think. And then, don’t forget - you need to buy the Best Buy Extended Warranty. At a cool $329. At least this version has an accidental damage warranty…as much as MLH is in the field, going down horribly rough roads, we need something like that. (And we do utilize those extended warranties, I promise.)
Dude, this is like buying vitamins from a multi-level marketer. It’s all about volume. And it must be working, 'cause Best Buy only had about half of their display models actually in stock. All the rest were “sold out” or “out of stock”. Wonder what the difference is?
Sunday, September 16, 2007
In all the hustle and bustle of our days, times like this are precious to me. A breeze blows across my brow – a gentle reminder that the Father, He who created heaven and earth, is here with me.
Give me a chair in a field at dawn, with my Father, any day - and the awareness to recognize it as an appointed time.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8 NIV
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Other than the brush being butt high and super wide, we did pretty well. Zack couldn’t run in it, the brush was so thick, but he looked absolutely beautiful jumping over those pre-tumbleweeds. Finding birds after they were down was very difficult.
I shot my first chukkar, and Zack brought it back to me, almost…for a partial retrieve. The second one, same thing. It was so hot, Zack thought close enough was…close enough. The boy drank 2 bottles of water in the 20 minutes we were out there. I shot my third bird, and Zack went for the retrieve. The bird got up and flew again, and I didn’t know I could take another shot at him. My trainer was walking beside me, but because a judge was with us, he couldn’t advise me. We timed out.
I’ll get all these rules down. Andy (my trainer) called me this evening and told me that if I had bagged three birds, I would have been in the top three finishers. That is a testament to the heat of the day, and again, the thickness of the brush, because there are some stout shooters and dogs out there. One of the guys told MLH that “once that girl gets all the rules down, she’s going to be a contender.”
High praise from a bunch of hairy legs, as MLH calls them.
We had a good time. And we’re leaving at 5:45 a.m. to go pick up a customer and go dove hunting. Woohoo!
Friday, September 14, 2007
I pulled in to the parking lot. People were everywhere, and the local radio stations had their advertising tents out and were broadcasting the fundraiser live from the street. One of my “Bad Boy Blast” OPD officers ran over to me, yanked open my door, pulled me out of the vehicle, and wrapped me in a bear hug. A "Bad Boy Blast" MPD officer comes up, and joins our embrace. Tears flow. My heart breaks for them - their pain and loss is such a huge and gaping wound right now.
This senseless tragedy has affected many in our local community. Though there is much pain and grieving, it is also good to see the golden threads of love and support being woven throughout the tapestry, pulling all the people together as one – not only the law enforcement agencies, but both general communities of Midland and Odessa. And it is right that it be so.
The fundraiser started around 6 a.m. this morning. When I left at 12:15pm, the total raised today had risen over $52,000.00 towards the fund, and the amount was still climbing. That’s just Midland alone, not counting what Odessa has generated(which in itself is a very substantial amount).
And there is a plethora of fundraising going on. For one example, both Odessa and Midland McAlisters’ delis are donating all the proceeds from one entire day to the fallen officers' benevolent fund. That is an amazingly generous action for a business. And if I know our community, there will be a huge amount of benevolence that happens behind the scenes, without any fanfare.
The outpouring is amazing – of resources, prayer, and love. Make no mistake, these brave men will never be replaced, on the force, or at home; however, the show of community support could pave a portion of the road towards the healing everyone needs. And speaking of needs, the grieving families left behind will need not only emotional, but financial support - their wives will be in financial need, and their kiddos will need housing, food and clothing. There will be medical, school, and college expenses - and this community plans to make it happen for them. This community is determined to honor these men who protected and served us - I can feel it in the air, it's that strong.
I am honored to be part of this place we call the Permian Basin.
(Donations can be sent to the OPD Benevolence Fund Acct No. 9002668, c/o Odessa Employees Credit Union, 1006 E. Seventh St., Odessa, Texas 79761. For more information, call 432-333-2510.)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
When a tragedy like this occurs, a sense of shock permeates everything. We, the general public, can only imagine how the fellow officers might feel. This morning, when I arrived at work, an e-mail awaited me. As I read it, my heart broke. This e-mail is from one of the officers who serves with me on the “Bad Boy Blast” committee I spoke of in the prior post, and was written late Tuesday night, in reply to an e-mail I sent to the Bad Boy Blast committee. The author of this e-mail happens to be married to another Odessa police officer, so their entire family has been affected by this loss. With permission of this officer, I am going to share the text of the e-mail with you all so you might get a better perception of what they are experiencing. (Names have been changed to protect the officer's identity.)
I have a few moments to actually read the e-mails that so many well wishers have sent to the OPD family. Janie, this hurts soooo bad, the emotions that I and my fellow brothers and sisters feel are just so overwhelming. We cry, we toughen up, we are angry, confused...it just goes on and on.
I went by to see Cpl. Jones and Cpl. Gardner and it was too much! Hubbard Kelly has done such a wonderful job and they look so good in their uniforms. I told Arlie's sister that he has been promoted. He now works for the Ultimate Supreme Judge of the World! He is under the command of Saint Michael now. My Scott, I always called him "professor" and he got such a kick out of that. Whenever he wore his glasses, he looked so studious and I would say "What's up professor?” He would smile and shake his head.
Scott loved to call my spouse in the middle of night whenever he would recover a stolen vehicle. He would tease me and say "Is your spouse on call? I have to find a stolen vehicle so I can wake him up!" He adored and respected my spouse. He was just a big ole Teddy Bear!
I will miss him.
I will miss them both.
You can't help but feel angry, angry that someone would have the nerve to take their life the way that perp did. He took away someone's husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew and best friend.
I just don't know how I'm going to get through tomorrow. The generosity of this community, both Odessa and Midland has been awesome. The calls, e-mails, donations, people stepping up to the plate to help is just remarkable. I believe that is what is getting us through.
Cpl. Marquez is hanging by life support. It's too much to bear knowing we could lose him as well. Please pray for my chief, I can only imagine as a leader how this is affecting him.
Thank you Janie for listening, I needed to get this off my mind so I can rest. Tomorrow will be tough."
I spoke with this officer earlier tonight, and amazingly, the officers did make it through today. And it was even harder than they thought - at the completion of the second funeral today, they exited the service to the announcement that Cpl. Marquez had passed.
The communities of Odessa and Midland are really pouring out love and support to these wounded warriors. The support is overwhelming, and definitely showing our public servants that this community cares about them.
I ask you to continue praying for all concerned: the families and friends of Cpl. Jones, Cpl. Gardner, and Cpl. Marquez – and all of the OPD, including the brothers of Cpl. Marquez, and of course, Chief Pipes.
It’s one way we can serve those who protect and serve us.
(Please also see Jimmy's tribute.)
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I am part of the Halliburton and ConocoPhillips Bad Boy Blast committee that hosts a yearly shoot to benefit our local Midland and Odessa Law Enforcement entities. We work hand in hand on this shoot with these guys and gals in Midland and Odessa who serve and protect us. We have come to know them all as friends. Both OPD and MPD were called in to help in this standoff. I know that many hearts are broken in our law enforcement community today.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Cpl. Jones and Cpl. Gardner, and to Cpl. Marquez, hospitalized in Lubbock. Our prayers are also with all the coworkers, both Odessa and Midland Police Departments, that worked with these men and know them as family and friends.
I ask that you please keep everyone concerned in your prayers. I also ask you remember the leadership of both OPD and MPD as they navigate through these uncharted waters.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Busy day. MLH got in from the oilpatch late last night, and was exhausted. This morning found us south of town by dawn at the hunting field. Ran Zack on three quail – all went pretty well. I never missed a bird, which means Zack was a very happy camper. He retrieved two to hand, the third was full of stickers, and he brought it within one step and dropped it. In a field trial, we would have rocked. I consider it a win, just because he pretty well obeyed.
I was able to take more hunting pictures of Rowdy, my friend’s dog who has gone blind. I’m pretty happy with the shots, I hope my friend will like them as well. I’ll post some of them when I get them downloaded.
We then ran back in to town for my nail appointment (maintenance is key!), then home for showers, and off to Goldsmith we drove to the Annual Fife-Waters Invitational Shoot. It was a lot of fun, but mucho caliente! Saw lots of friends, and met a lot of people. One lady asked advice about shooting lessons, and I mentioned Dan Carlisle comes to Windwalker Farms. She told me he was booked up this weekend. I looked at her, and the light bulb went on. I’m scheduled for shooting lesson at 8am Sunday morning. I’m so glad she mentioned it, I had totally forgotten…I had made the appointment months ago and didn't write it down.
Then, Elder Son called, and wants us to meet him in Big Spring tonight. It will be around 10pm or so, based on his current location down I-20. He’s hauling horses cross country for some PRCA team topers, and won’t be back in the area for a month or so. Since it’s been that long already since I’ve seen him, we’ll be trekking east in an hour or so – what a day!
We are tired. We really had intended to dig in this weekend, call this one to be a rest weekend, alone, with no distractions. But, um…things happen.
After my shooting lesson in the morning, we’re shutting down for the weekend.
More than ready. Y’all have a good one!
Friday, September 7, 2007
In Midland, Texas - who knew? (Jimmy the P, you might want to meet her, I’m sure she’d be a blast to interview!) As J. P. was talking to me today, I was perusing her website, and I amazed at the number of publications this woman has authored. On the phone, she was very down to earth, and just talked straight to me. She even told me one of Zack’s biggest problems is pure testosterone (he’s not yet been neutered.) Anyway, Zack & I look forward to meeting her next week. (Yes, Zack...remember, he's very social. And at times, he even talks!) Then J.P. will design 6-8 weeks of homework for us to do, a very detailed plan, and will be monitoring our progress by phone calls and e-mails.
In one day, Zack’s behaviour is already turning to the good. He slept in his crate last night (much to his dismay) and will again tonight. Before you feel sorry for this big lug that has totally consumed over our lives, know this – he is one well-loved animal. And he’s going to have to go through some tough love for us to get him back where you might want to come visit us! He’s already looking me in the eye (he had totally stopped doing such.)
I’m going to take him to the field early in the morning and give him another try with birds and see how he responds to me. It may be early yet, but we have a field trial next weekend, and I need to measure his progress.
I know y’all are sitting on the edge of your seats awaiting a Zack the Wonder Dog report.
Don't fall off...in all things, be safe.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I'm going to go home, put the leash on the Wonder Dog, and go for a walk. I’ve got to get this boy back in line and knowing he’s not the patron por la casa. And by the way, I've put in a "help!" call to a local trainer (knowing, of course, that I'm the one needing the training - not Zack). I'm thinking that getting the two of us involved in agility training, etc., stuff to keep Zack busy in the off-season will help get us through the "on" season. Who knows?
At this point, I'm thinking of calling Cesar, but I don't think I have the bucks. And he probably doesn't know where Midland is.
Y’all pray for me.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
On a scale of 1 to 10, here’s my motivation level…
6 – answering phone calls from customers and trying to sound upbeat and help them.
5 – answering phone calls from coworkers and trying to sound upbeat and help them.
7 – answering e-mails (it’s easier, no talking) but my attitude might not be perfect
1 – putting on a load of laundry since it’s sitting there anyway.
2 – answering repeated pleas from Zack (he doesn’t need anything, he’s bored – but it’s better than leaving him in the back and hearing him bark because he knows I’m inside.)
10 – sleeping – it’s all I really want to do.
I’m ready to get better and back to real work. BTW, daytime TV sucks - if I could ever stay awake long enough to watch it.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Well, I was going to post some of the coolest photos of MLH & our friends Steve & Mr. Fussell while they were installing Bob and Cherie’s oven, but, alas, that isn’t happening now. I was inserting the disk, somehow mis-seated it, and when the drawer closed, the cd slotted inbetween the disk tray and the metal housing that holds the DVD/Rewrite.
Lovely - another Janie-disaster for my IT guys. Well, hey, at least, with me, they have great job security.
Here are some cool pix of my shooting buddy Steve and his dog Cash hunting yesterday morning. I had to stay right with the hunter while he was going so I could get these close-ups. They turned out pretty good!
Here, Steve is signaling to Cash - saying "I got ya, buddy, I see you're on point. Hold."
And, Cash up close, on point.
Bird is flushed, shot, and Cash goes after it.
And Cash, retrieving bird.
Cash delivers the bird to hand.Well, folks, that's your Labor Day weekend hunting diary for this year!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Maybe, we’ll go to the movies. (not yet, but it’s early in the weekend)
Maybe, we’ll go out of town. (plan to, short trip, took a nap instead, don’t know if we’re still going)
Maybe, we’ll go practice field trials with Zack. (yep, at dawn this morning, with my hunting buddies).
Zack was a twerp, after he went on point, as soon as I got to the bird, he would reach in and try and grab it with his mouth. Zack absolutely would not hold point. Another hunter was with me, working with us. I’m not sure if that confused Zack, but we definitely have a dominance problem and in his mind, I am not the boss, he is. We have to fix that, and soon.
I did get to take some great pix of my buddies and their dogs on point and bringing back birds. One of the dogs, Rowdy, Zack's grandpa, is going blind. I'm not sure how much longer Rowdy will be able to hunt, so I hope all the pix turn out great for my friend.
All of the hunting crew then met the electrician at Bob & Cherie’s and finished putting in their stove and hooking up to electricity so now, they’re cooking w/ Crisco! Woohoo! We left amidst promises of supper soon. We then came back to town to eat breakfast (yup, 12 noon) at IHOP. Thought we’d make a short run to Hobbs to visit friends, but came home to change out of hunting boots…and that’s as far as we got. We were tired!!
We did take some minutes to take Zack outside in the front yard, put his shock collar on, run him through some exercises, and he immediately started minding commands. Didn’t miss a lick. We are going to be in dog rehab all week, hopefully by this weekend, I’ll have him back on his best behavior. If I can’t control him in the field, we’re in bad shape.
Baby’s gotta behave, don’t ya know.