Friday, November 30, 2007
Well, Zoie the Wonder Pup hit the big bucks this morning. Thus, it begins…
This morning, I called MLH at 5:30 a.m. (He was out of town on a consulting job.) He didn’t answer. A minute later, he called me back. Conversation went much like this…
Me: Hey, babe…did you not hear your phone?
MLH: Oh, I heard it all right. I just couldn’t find it. I was looking for my glasses – I’ve been looking for them for an hour. I can’t see.
Me: Your glasses? You can’t see? (a lump of dread forming in my stomach) Did you find them?
MLH: Yes. (clipped voice.) YOUR wonder pup woke up about 3:30am and I took her out to do her business. When I brought her back in, I put her get in bed with me. And I guess while I was asleep, the little @#$*% crawled up and stole my glasses from the bedside table and demolished them.
Me: Oh, no.
MLH: Oh, yes. Jane (he only calls me that when he’s very, very upset!), I am wondering about the wisdom of getting another pup right now. (And he goes off into a short tirade.)
Me: (Very quiet – listening hard, and thinking harder.)
This presents a problem. Zoie the Wonder Pup has not only chewed MLH’s Oakley glasses with non glare lenses, they are prescription glasses. Progressive bifocals. Expensive progressive bifocals. Need I mention, they are MLH’s only pair? And that he is in Orla, Texas – 2 hrs from his optometrist? Who is probably booked to the max, anyway, and that MLH’s glasses are definitely special order?
MLH: And I’ve got to perform this very detailed, specific procedure out here today, and I can’t see. (And off he goes again, second-thinking our thinking about getting a new pup. I let him roll for a minute or two.)
Janie: Hey. Hey.
Janie: Zack and Zoie are definitely “our land”, right, part of that the Lord’s given us? And we thoroughly explored every facet of getting a new pup, right? We knew stuff would happen – they’re shorthairs! So…you’ve got a very important job to do out there today. You cannot go out angry – you have to be clear and straight thinking. So let’s look at it this way. Had it been Elder or Younger Son, and they were babies, and one of them messed up your glasses, you wouldn’t even be mad because you’d realize you had some culpability, right? And Zoie is just a pup, right? So, babe, you’d best look in the mirror and realize your portion in this, and walk on over that bridge. (MLH starts laughing, and I breathe easier.) Is there any way you can modify the glasses to get through the day, or are they totally trashed?
MLH: I’m working on it. She chewed every piece of rubber, I can’t find the pin, the lenses are scratched all to hell, I’ve got to go get some tape – and remember, these glasses are made entirely of molded plastic. I’m going to try to fix them, if I can. Can you go by the doctor’s and see what miracles you can work? Don’t even call me for a decision, just do whatever you can do to get me going again. We’ve got tons of your clients’ parties to attend, starting this weekend, and I’m going to look like a doofus with black tape on my Oakley designer glasses, that’s if I can even see through the scratched lenses.
Me: Sure. No problem. I love you, be careful out there.
MLH: I love you, too, babe.
So, I get ready for work. Take breakfast to a customer’s office. And when the eye clinic opens, I’m there…for 1 ½ hours. MLH has an eye disease, and he’s about to have his 6th corneal transplant. He’s probably close to being legally blind, which translates to a very stout prescription – I’m pretty sure there’s nothing they can turn around in a day, or even 2 days.
In the eye clinic, I explain the situation.
Technician: He’s in a town, right? He can go to a clinic there and they can fix him up (this is before she even looks up his file.)
Me: The glasses are beyond repair. He’s going to try to nurse them through. Is there anyway you can help me get started on this today? I promise you, the town he is in doesn’t even have a convenience store –much less a Walmart. It’s smaller than 1/4 of Stanton, with no commercial vendors whatsoever.
Technician: Every town has something, even the oilfield is there, I’m sure someone could solder the glasses. I’m sure they…
Me: Okay. Please. Please stop. I AM the oilfield. 23 years worth. I know about soldering. Can you solder plastic glasses? The Oakleys? No? I didn’t think so. Not without special stuff. Will you look at his file? Let’s play like I came in here, and you absolutely positively have to help me find a solution, and the word “no” cannot be a part of the equasion. Can you do that?
Me: Please. ma'am. Please. Look at his file. Then, we can talk. I’m not trying to be rude, but we have an extenuating circumstance with his glasses, much less his prescription.
At that point, everything started turning around for the better…I think.
The technician and I ended up settling on emergency budget glasses, with another pair for readers. (If you consider budget to be $448.) Those will be in on Monday.
And, I reordered the Oakley frames, just to save time. MLH will see the doctor on Monday, get a new prescription, as well as a new referral to the surgeon in Dallas, and we’ll start this process again. They will overnight the Oakley frames, then send them off to fit the lenses. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for those glasses with the progressive lenses and non-glare tint to come in.
MLH came in tonight, and we went to supper. He’s laughing about it now…thank God.
And the Zoie-monga?
She’s bouncing around like she’s the baddest spotted shorthair ever. She may well be.
But at least the little heifer’s made it one more day.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Friendships were rekindled, hands shaken, hugs given and received. Stories were told, and I laughed a lot, throughout the evening. It’s always good to laugh. Though I was one of but a handful of women present, this meeting always feels as good as putting on a favorite coat.
I walked up to a trio of men, one of whom happens to be my boss. After visiting for a minute, my boss took off to work the crowd. One of my customers started laughing. He'd never met my boss, and when he did meet him, he asked, "So - do you work for Janie?" Too funny.
I saw one of my colleagues from my early sales days. I think the guy has retired three times. As of late, he has been mentoring younger sales people. He said, “My company wants them to follow me around.” I looked at him, smiled, and said, “Well, you’ve been in this place before, haven’t you?” He looked back at me, puzzled, and then, he got it. I trailed after him many a day myself when I was starting out in sales, over 20 years ago. And I learned a lot from him. He’s a great guy – we all need more mentors!
I ran into this guy's better half, and as always, it’s a pleasure to visit with this one.
Our industry is organic, constantly changing, and as such, I was able to reconnect with some former co-workers. It’s always good to see them. Even though they’re gone, there’s still such a sense of family.
I met a man who happens to own a brother to Zack, The Wonder Dog. We were talking about hunting, and I mentioned the fact that we owned littermates. He was unaware, curious, and started asking about Zack. Can he hunt? Does he do well? Y’all know the answers to those questions. So I asked him about his dog. He unloaded on me! He said, “My dog is so stupid in the field! We were hunting the other day, and a friend of mine was working his dog. His dog retrieved a bird, and my dog went and stole the retrieved bird from my friend’s dog, ran away with it, and hid the bird.” He was laughing, though, and told me the dog is well loved, and shares common traits with Zack…such as sleeping on the bed with his owners. I just laughed. There, but for the grace of God and Zack’s trainers, go us!
It was an awesome night – it’s never boring around here! Functions will happen almost every night this week, and will kick off the Christmas party season next week. It will be hectic – but fun.
Monday, November 26, 2007
1. Are we striving - or stilled? Are we vibrantly (think tuning fork vibrant) in sync with the Holy Spirit? Are we at rest?
2. Are we fulfilling the purposes of God for our lives? Do we know what that purpose is? (And this isn’t a questionnaire for “A Purpose-Filled Life” – matter of fact, it’s not a questionnaire at all – just a list of some of the things we talked about.)
3. What if there really is no spoon? (Think “The Matrix”). What if all we see and wish for is vain imagination?
4. Fellowship with other believers…what is that? Are the life-line relationships in our life just that? Life-giving? Sustaining? Equal in measure? Would these people chase sleep for us? Better yet, do we chase sleep for them, since it’s not about us?
5. I always say, “I’m just here to serve.” Am I? Serving? Or delusional? And if I am serving, am I serving Him, or man, or both?
6. Another Janie-ism: “I was born to die.” Do I? Die to everything, for Him? How can I measure that? And is my measure, His measure?
7. All this stuff is being published. All these speakers are speaking. People are always saying to us, “You need to read this book, right now! It’s what God is saying!” You know how some people talk just to fill the void? Well, what if God is corporately silent right now – like in the time after Malachi? Those 400 years? And those people are just talking and writing to fill the void?
8. We know we are to have no roots in this world – but what does that mean in relationship to our lives?
Now, if all those questions don’t jack you up, I don’t know what will. (Y’all should do supper with us sometime – it’s not boring!) My mind is going 110 mph right now – so I had to write it down. We’re going to be doing some praying and seeking, some thinking – and listening. Once (if) we figure all this out, maybe I’ll share the answers. But…don’t hold your breath, because I don’t know the timing. God does. (And, anyway…if you hold your breath too long, it might give you a whole new meaning to dying…and I don’t think that’s what He means when He says we must die to self. )
PS – Question 9. Man…how can God love a irreverent woman like me?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I guess we conveniently had amnesia on what life with a puppy is like. Zoie is hilarious, always making us laugh, which somewhat lessens the pain of short nights and sharp teeth. She has a huge personality, and I’ve not seen more expressive eyes in a dog. She and MLH are really bonding, since she goes to work with him. Zoie is doing well with the crate training, but man, do we have to keep our eyes on her 24/7 when we’re at home!
This weekend, due to changed plans and funky weather, we’ve pretty much stayed at home the whole time. That has equated to some good nap time…but we’ve had a hard time getting Zoie on the same schedule. We are so spoiled by Zack – he lovingly hops on the bed when we do, and snuggles up to us. He loves a snuggle and nothing makes him happier than getting to sleep with us at night. At times, we’ve had to resort to crating Zoie when we need a rest; she automatically settles when crated.
We pull Zoie up on the bed with us, and she thinks, “Allright, chew time!” We’re her most favorite teething toys. We correct her, she comes right at us with those sharp little thingies. Tonight, we ran to Petsmart to pick up some things, and ran into a mother and her son – also GSP owners. They fell in love with Zoie – and the mom said, “Isn’t the first year with a GSP hell?” Oh, yeah - I forgot. At times, I swear, we’ve wondered if Zoie might need exorcism (okay, just teasing!).
Zoie’s doing well on tricks thus far - today, she mastered “sit” and is working on “down”. I have to wait until she’s pretty focused to work with her on it – she’s a little ADD at this point in her young life. She is starting to go to the back door when she needs to go out, or she whines at us and heads that way, so that’s good.
One day, Zack was about 6 months old. I had let him in the back door, just as MLH was coming through the front door. In a snap, Zack was in a full run from the back door to the front, to greet MLH. We had just purchased a new couch, have tile floors, and once Zack got going on that tile, no way could he stop. The new couch covered Zack's old route to the front door, Zack could see no way to get to MLH other than jumping over the couch - and though he tried, he couldn't stop on the tile. So, up and over he went. In mid-hurdle, Zack’s foot caught the edge of a Italian blown glass ribbon bowl, (MLH’s favorite - value had been estimated at around $4000), and it fell to the tile and shattered.
MLH grabbed Zack’s collar and said, through gritted teeth, “Jane, when are we going to reach our economic limit on this dog?”
I said, “Looks like a dry hole to me, baby!”
MLH cracked up, and that was that.
Yup, the memories of raising a young pup are coming back to me, one nibble, one accident, one whine at a time. I know, we entered into this willingly – but y’all pray for us, okay? Please?
"Oowwwwwwww , Zoie, no bite!"
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Joe has farmed since he was 11 years of age. He lost his dad when he was 14 years old, and took over the family farms. He finished school, and went to college. I introduced Joe and Rhonda some 30 years ago, and they subsequently married. They had three beautiful children. Read about Rhonda and myself when we were neighborhood friends here.
Rhonda and Joe are woven into the very fabric of my life. I like to tease them that I introduced them, and they still love each other – and me! I introduced them to each other - and they introduced me to the Lord.
Last night, Rhonda said, “Where would we be without you?”
I said, “Where would I be, without you?”
Though Rhonda and I grew up together, I was 38 years old when the Lord apprehended me. That’s another story, for another time. Suffice it to say that the Lord knows the timing, and none can come before He calls. He called, I came. And Rhonda was a huge part of that.
Three years ago, on New Year’s Day, I received a call that literally brought me to my knees. John, Joe and Rhonda’s eldest son, had been killed in a vehicular accident at the young age of 22. John had taken off a semester from college, and chose to help his dad in the field the entire semester. He was going back to school in January. New Year’s Day, John and some friends had been out coyote hunting, and he was coming home, and rolled his truck. MLH and I ran out the door and drove the 75 miles to Joe and Rhonda’s house. What do you say to your best friend when she’s lost her boy – her firstborn? What could we say to Joe? To Sarah and Clay, John’s siblings?
There is nothing to say. You just have to be there, and breathe with them. So we did. And we've continued to do so.
It’s been hard, on the entire family. I have no way to measure. They miss John tremendously…words cannot possibly describe. They have gone on, in their very best way. They serve their community and the body of believers in the area. They work with other grieving families. Sarah is here, in college, and we see her frequently. Clay has grown up, and is high school, is driving now, playing basketball, and helping his dad in the field when possible.
When we visited Joe yesterday, he told us what happened. Joe, Rhonda, Clay, and Joe’s helper were in the 24 hour/ 7 days a week stage of harvesting cotton. Everybody works in a farming family. Clay was running the module builder, having just relieved Rhonda. Rhonda had gone for refreshments for everyone. Joe was cleaning out some clogged up cotton in the cotton stripper, and failed to turn the vehicle off prior to getting in it. His glove caught in the auger, then his shirt, and the auger took him, bodily, down into the machine workings. Joe remembers he was being slowly choked to death. He remembers forcing his tongue back into his mouth, and deliberately taking taking two deep breaths, and then he passed out. One of Joe’s helpers drove the boll buggy up to Joe’s stripper, and noticed the stripper was running, but couldn't find Joe. He got out, looked around for Joe, and saw Joe’s boot sticking out of the stripper basket. The helper turned off the stripper, and when he did so, the auger reversed itself.
The next thing Joe remembers was being able to breathe, and thinking, “Oh, my Lord! I can’t believe I’m alive!!” I know he had to be in intense pain, but he remembers…joy!
Joe had to physically extract himself from the auger, his clothing ripped to shreds, and climb down out of the stripper basket. The helper drove Joe to where Clay was working on the module builder, and then called 911, while Clay took his daddy to the house. The ambulance met them there.
The Lord knows our strength, and our capabilities. He knows all. And me? I know nothing…except that Joe is a walking, talking miracle. And he knows it.
I am thankful. Ecstatic. Humbled.
And now, you know the rest of the story.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Please pray for Joe’s complete healing, and for this family. Thanks so much.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Why I'm Thankful....
1) I love my Father, and my Father loves me!
2) MLH! He loves me, too!
3) Elder and Younger Son are awesome men and they make me laugh so much
4) My brother, his family, and all my cousins - I love you all!
6) My husband's family - they're awesome, as well
5) Zack the Wonder Dog and Zoie the Wonder Pup - they rock!
6) Health and happiness
8) Numerous friends and acquaintances mean the world to me - and yes, you are one of them!!
9) Music, hunting
10) I could go on for hours, but I'll spare you...
Why are you thankful??
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Saturday, I was in and out of one such trailer. Visiting, playing with one of Andy’s new pups, helping tally scores, whatever was needed. I met some people I’d not seen before. After lunch, Andy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, showed up. (If you read this blog regularly (God bless you!), you know that Andy is Zack the Wonder Dog’s trainer.) Andy’s parents are sweet, precious people. The Andersons are the ones that instilled the love of dogs and hunting in their boys, Andy and Sammy. And Andy and Sammy have passed that same passion for training dogs and hunting to their own children and relatives, as well as to many people in West Texas.
One of the people I met was a young man named Chris. He lives in Wyoming, and works for an oil well service company. He is an avid hunter, and loves dogs, as well. I enjoyed talking to him throughout the day.
At some point, I’m sitting at the table in the trailer, working on scores. I glance over towards the couch. Andy is sitting on the couch with his arm around his dad. It’s all I can do to keep from crying. That man loves his daddy, and his daddy, at age 81, has been diagnosed with cancer. The doctors aren't giving the family much hope. Today, that's hard for me to reconcile. Mr. Anderson tells me about his life – after he served in the war, he went to work for Conoco, and served them 40 years before retiring. He talked about raising dogs, and hunting, and asked me questions, as well. Sharp as a tack, he was. Then Chris comes in, and sits on the opposite side of Mr. Anderson, and puts his arm around him. Sammy steps up into the trailer, and sits at the table beside me. I ask him a question about Chris, and I’m quietly told that Chris is their nephew – he is Mr. Anderson’s grandson.
It all comes together for me, then. And somehow, I realized…my camera is right in front of me. I grabbed a couple of shots of Mr. Anderson and Andy, then asked and was granted permission to take pictures of this family. We got some wonderful shots. I developed the shots that night, and delivered pictures and disks the next morning. Everyone seemed very pleased.
My favorite shot of Andy and his father - natural lighting. Gotta love it!
My brother and I would give anything for pictures of my Mom late in her life, or better yet, with all of our family. Days like Saturday bring it on home for me - how I miss her.
I encourage you - grab your camera – set up some shots with your family. This weekend, I was reminded of the brilliance of a life. Capture it while you may. Today is only one day – and the length of this day may be but a heartbeat.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Many of you have prayed for him since the loss of his friend Rachel, earlier this year. (And we so appreciate and are thankful for your prayers.) Since that accident, Elder Son (ES) has had a hard time gaining traction – he’s not returned to college, and has been doing different day work jobs and playing some gigs. Yes, as his mom, I’ve been concerned – but I trust the Lord for Elder Son. I know the plans He has for ES are good.
At one point this summer, ES called me and told me he was going to start hauling horses for some PRCA team ropers. He’s a roper, himself. Some of the pro cowboys have professional drivers that take their horses to the next show, and they fly in to the rodeo to participate. ES thought he needed to just “spend some time on the road” until he figured out which direction was right. So, off ES went, driving horses to rodeos all over the nation. These guys are professionals, so usually, ES was driving a Western Hauler, dragging trailers with super nice living quarters. He loves meeting new people and seeing new places, as well as roping, so this gig was right up his alley. September found him at the Pendleton Roundup in Pendleton, Oregon. There, ES met some new people. These people liked his music, his look, and they liked the fact that he could “sling him some twine.”
Draw a dotted line from those people at Pendleton to Vegas. December will find ES at National Finals Rodeo/Original Cowboy Christmas. What will he be doing there, you ask? Well, ES will haul horses out to Vegas. Once there, he will also be modeling (and getting paid good money!) for Cinch Jeans, Resistol Hat and Southern Thread and will be playing his guitar and singing at Cowboy Christmas. He will be working at the Double J booth with his friends. And he will be roping at some of the local ropings. All the things he loves. Is that crazy?
I tell you, people pay agents good money and never get that kind of exposure. It may lead to other things, or it may be a one time thing.
Only God knows.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Zack the Wonder Dog...
Friday, November 9, 2007
I am in Houston. Yesterday, I attended our quarterly National Association of Drilling Engineers Board Meeting at the Humble Civic Center. Immediately afterwards, we were shuttled via golf carts to the Civic Center Barn for the AADE 5F.
What is the AADE 5F? It is the AADE National Fin Fur Feather Food Fest. All of the oil companies and service companies had their cooking teams out working and serving the public. The fare was highly varied and simply amazing.
I had my first crab beignet – awesome. I had lobster on noodles. I had catfish/shrimp gumbo. Gumbo abounded – elk gumbo, deer gumbo, you name it. If you were an etouffee lover, you could get it here - etouffee of all flavors – crawfish, shrimp, the works. Duck burger (I just couldn't.) There were alligator legs – frog legs – squirrel legs. Clam and shrimp chowders. One of the oil companies cooked a “Tsunami Roll”, which was full of sushi and all sorts of good things.
Liquor was flowing freely, fine wines abounded, and I even saw my first jello shot (saw, didn’t imbibe!). I had to work hard to find water, my preferred beverage.
All of the booths were beautifully decorated. One of the vendors did a salute to the troops, with girls dressed in USO uniforms. When the booth judges came around, the USO girls did a “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” dance – it was so cute! Another vendor had an old-time saloon theme, with cowboys dressed in old-time western garb, complete with saloon girls.
Several Houston chefs of note actually judged the food, and a good time was had by all.
Ah, the perks of my job. Gotta love it!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Morning news sources said that oil reached a record high this morning at $98.62/bbl, and further predicted that oil could go as high as $128/bbl. That is craziness. I'd better call my oil purchasers and tell them to go pick up a load...oh, wait...I don't have an oil well.
It's funny - prices in the oil service sector seem to be softening, and yet, the price of oil rises. I've been in the oil industry for 23 years now...and I still haven't figured it all out. It's a new day, every day, out here in the patch .
Guess that's what keeps it exciting!
Here, I’m screaming to MLH, “Oh, my God, Honey! Catch her! It’s a dead squirrel!”…as she beelines for our open front door. MLH caught her right before she got through the threshold.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
My life is currently consumed by MLH. Work. Zack. Zoie. Zoie. Zoie. And not necessarily in that order.
This morning, Zack and Zoie were playing (really! Yeaaahhh!) and Zack pounced a little hard on the pup. She immediately scrambled under the couch. Zack got down on his side and using his paw, tried to get her out of there. He would stick his nose under the couch, and Zoie would try to take a nip of him. This went on for some time. We were so proud of her – she had already figured out how to make Zack bow to her every demand. She would come out only so far that he could see her head and front paws, and then she would retreat.
And then, we figured it out.
She was stuck. Her little belly was too fat to get out.
(Shhhhh…Zack just thinks she’s Mensa material. Don’t tell him.)
Friday, November 2, 2007
The Wellheads' thread has now passed 300 comments. Amazing.