Monday, March 31, 2008

Still beats Continental all to heck...

I jinxed it. I bragged on Southwest one too many times. I entered the Midland airport today to catch my flight to Denver…to no avail. The flight I was to be on is delayed, and now I’ve missed the last flight to Denver – unless I want to get in there at 2:30 in the morning. I have to be there Tuesday morning and the closest quickest way to get there and still keep my sanity is to go to Dallas tonight, spend the night, and catch the 6:30am to Denver.

So, I’m in Dallas. About to hit the sack, for yet another “way too early “morning. Report from Snowy Denver to come tomorrow. Glad I didn’t put all my winter clothing up!!

It’s never boring around here!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ed Gemmill

Saturday, I attended a funeral of an awesome man, Ed Gemmill. He was many things to many people, but to me, he was one of the fathers that the Lord has provided me. He was 94 years old.

I entered into the Kingdom of God in 1996. I was a mature woman, but I was yet a babe in the Lord. I had gone through a recent divorce, and was going through a time of intense healing by the Lord. Less than a year after my divorce, my friend Debbie and I started a home group, and Sam Soleyn and Leo Free provided oversight. Since neither of them lived in Midland, Sam suggested that one of the elders in the city step in and attend. That elder was Ed Gemmill.

God had a plan for me – and that plan so included Ed. Ed brought such a peace with him, wherever he went. Sometimes, his lovely wife Mrs. Bettye would come to home group, and that was always a joyful time, as well. Those two loved on all of each and every one of us at that home group. As far back as I can remember, Ed never missed one night. And Lord knows we needed Ed. The group started with a small cache of people gleaned from a divorce recovery session – so you can only imagine how twisted we all were! We were from all walks of life, all different churches, and I was the only “unchurched” one of the group. Sometimes, there would be 50-60 people there – and it was a varied, diverse group. I had not grown up in church, so I was particularly and perpetually “the wild child” of the group. I routinely questioned most everything, every authority. I can remember meeting Ed set up a meeting with some elders at Carrow’s one day just to let me talk out something I didn’t understand and certainly didn’t agree with – and Ed so totally got what I was saying. In retrospect, I think Ed recognized the leadership gift in me, and encouraged it, and loved me through all my wildness. He knew the Lord would be faithful to gentle me. As I later heard stories about how Ed himself came to the Lord later in his life, I wondered if our respective relationships with the Lord weren’t somewhat similar at their beginning.

One of the most important things Ed taught me was “touch not my anointed.” Probably the second home group meeting that Ed attended, two or three of us had been doing worship for another service, and Ed was with us, wherever we went. At some point, I said something about one of those services, and laughed. I can’t even remember what it was, at this point, but you can bet I made some smart aleck joke about something. In a heartbeat, Ed was by my side, and quietly asked me to go outside to my atrium to visit. He gently talked to me about how, even in jest, that there is life and death in the tongue. I immediately repented, and it’s a lesson I took to heart. So much so, that someone is talking about or mentioning a fellow believer, I kind of cringe inside. I’m prone to say “Watch out, cowboy!” when someone goes there. And that gut check in me is all about Ed, and the lesson he and the Lord taught me that day. And to this day, though we long ago moved out of that townhouse, all of us from that time lovingly call that atrium the “Come to Jesus Room”, because of that day I was corrected by Ed.

When MLH and I met, Ed was always there to watch over us. He loved it when we played and sang. That man so loved to worship his Lord and Savior. As our relationship progressed from friends to dating, different speakers would come through our group to teach, and many of them tried to prophesy Steve and I into marriage. I was like an unbroken filly – nobody was going to throw a rope around my neck and tell me what was going to happen! No way was I going there! And Ed would always smooth everything over. I think he, like many, knew eventually Steve and I would be together. Though Ed remained quiet, in my spirit, I always felt like he was always our champion. He loved both of us, individually, and loved us together, as well.

When we heard Ed passed, MLH told me, “Ed’s passing will leave a huge vacuum in the Kingdom.” MLH says that Ed was intercession – not some form of it, but the very breath of it. Not by any act, or planned thing - but by his very existence, Ed was intercession.

One of my friends was at a meeting with us, and came into a deeper relationship with the Lord because of an interaction with Ed. I think that was what drew my friend to the Lord – he truly saw the Lord Jesus Christ in Ed Gemmill. We all want that – it’s what we all strive for – but Ed –well, he just simply...was.

I know one thing - my early walk in the Lord was lavished with richness…and Ed Gemmill is a huge part of the extravagant love the Lord has showered down upon me.

It was always all about Jesus for Ed. And now, he’s with Jesus – where he always wanted to be. Ed Gemmill is, and will always be, a beautiful man. MLH and I are blessed to have known him.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Family Writing

Younger Son is posting again. I think he’ll be more writing more regularly now he's more settled in. Check it out!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Through Another's Eyes - Chapter 2

We loaded up the Zoie-monga this morning, along with Little Brother 1, and headed down to Christoval. We arrived at the trainer’s mid-morning. Tina, our trainer, was running around on a four-wheeler. LB1 liked the look of that…while she was working, MLH and LB1 looked for arrowheads, and found some fossils. When Tina finished her errands, LB1 engaged his best plan... "Ask, and ye shall receive!"

LB1: Miss Janie, can I ride on that?

Me: Don’t know…why don’t you ask Miss Tina if she’ll give you a ride? Have you ever been on a four-wheeler?

LB1: No, ma’am. Miss Tina, may I have a ride, please?

Tina: Sure, hop on back here, and I’ll take you to the barn.

LB1 comes back from that ride grinnin’ like a possum. Then, Tina’s daughter shows up, and takes LB1 on another ride. Next thing I know, they’ve progressed to LB1 riding in the front, with Tina’s daughter behind him. And then…he’s driving it by himself (albeit in second gear only)! The child went from never having ridden a four-wheeler to piloting one solo. He was absolutely beside himself.

Leaving Zoie at the trainer’s (very difficult to do!), we go back towards Lake Nasworthy, where we’re meeting friends and their sons for late lunch, after first stopping by their new lakehouse. We find out LB1 has never been to a lake. He plays on the dock and throws rocks into the lake…he’s having too much fun. After touring the house, which is under heavy remodel, we head to the restaurant. The party has now grown to 10 people. While we’re all visiting, I hear that we’re all going on a boat ride. After inquiry, I find our friends have invited us to yet another treat: riding in their wakeboarding boat, watching Blake, the youngest son, wakeboard and ski! LB1 is ecstatic.

We secure LB1 in a lifejacket, and he immediately tries to get his hair wet, his feet wet; finally, we strip him down to his boxers (the water is a cool 65 degrees!), put his lifejacket back on, and let him make the decision to go in, or not. It took a while, but finally, with Blake holding his hand, and on the count of three, LB1 went right in…and came up screaming, sincerely, “Save me! Save me!” (Turns out this is also his first lifejacket - and he didn't know to trust it.) Check out his face in the second picture.

It took a second for him to realize he was alive and okay, and with a little encouragement, soon we were unable to keep him out of the water. When he finally got out for the last time, he told me, “Miss Janie, thanks so much for helping me get my confidence!” He was so cute – and so cold!
He was amazed by Blake's skiing and wakeboarding ability, as were we. (I love my camera, can you tell? I took over 500 shots today, lots of them sequential shots of Blake showing off his skills in the water!) Blake and his dad promised LB1 that if he came back, they'd teach him how to ski and wakeboard - and of course, LB1 is ALL over that!

On the way back, LB1 was treated once more – he got to sit with Blake and drive the boat.
I called his mom and confessed all his firsts (and of course, that he was safe at all times) and she started laughing – she thought it was awesome that her son had been able to experience all he had. I’m glad she trusts us with her boy! He was a blessing to every one who found themselves caught up in this day – and once again, it was great to see everything through his eyes. LB1 made it brand new, for all of us today…

Sometimes totally unplanned days are the best…I know today was great in one little man’s eyes.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Very Good Friday

This morning, I went shooting with Scott and some customers around 11; we had a great time. I think Scott was right behind me in scoring by 3 targets. He’s really shooting well, and I’m excited we’ve found something we can enjoy together!

He came to town with me afterwards, and went with me to the field to exercise Zack and Zoie. MLH supported me in my decision to upgrade my digital camera to a Canon EOS 40D. Scott and I took it to the field to give it a test run, and oh, man, that baby will take 3 ACTION pictures per second. And it was fun playing with it while the dogs ran – we took sequential shots. Too much fun!

Here’s a picture of my brother, Scott, with Zoie.

And here’s some pictures of Zack and Zoie running. If I play through the pictures really fast, it looks like a quick movie. That’s one fast camera! I’m going to have fun in the hunting field with it, I know!

When we got home, Cherie, my angel helper, was here, so she got to finally meet my brother! (Bloggers always enjoy meeting each other.) After she left, my phone rang, and it was Little Brother 1, wanting to come hang out. Well, that worked out well – I had already thought about calling him and seeing if he wanted to come stay with us for the weekend. His whole family came over, and we ordered pizza and the kids played Wii with Younger Son. MLH was still out in the field, but came home about 11pm tonight. Now, Big Brother and Little Brother are playing Wii.

This is a picture of LB1. He's the most awesome kid, and an absolute joy to be around.

Zoie’s going to the T&T Kennels in Christoval tomorrow for her puppy hunter school. She’ll be gone for a while. We’ll miss the little huggy bear. See how red her eyes get when she’s exhausted?
Here, she’s telling LB1’s real little brother what she thinks about Wii. (Zoie thinks they all should be playing with her, instead.)
It’s been an awesomely beautiful day. Lots of fun, laughter, sunshine, and fellowship – how can you go wrong?

Have a blessed, happy Easter - and remember, He's the reason for this season!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shooting for ... fun!!

One of the reasons I changed jobs was to have more personal time; to get my life back, in a sense.

And today, for the first time in like two years, I went shooting with a client – just for the fun of it! Oh, I know, I shoot sporting clays and hunt all the time – but always at tournaments. And usually, those are ones I’m actually helping host – which makes the shooting a little more stressful.

I never go shoot just for the fun of it.

Today, we did, and had a great time. It was an absolutely beautiful day here in Midland. And I kicked proverbial butt. I shot a 74. Really. Okay, yes, I did, but it was a 74/114. So, not quite up to my stellar shotgun sally self.

But, you know, wind willing, I might just go shoot again tomorrow.

Dan Carlisle will be proud of me. I have my third (over a four year span, by the way) lesson scheduled in May. Dan will be so glad I finally did what I've promised for the last two years, practice following a lesson..."I will carve out time to practice, Dan, just for me. I will." I must make good on my word. After all, if I keep taking lessons from him and not applying what he's taught me, I might as well just give him a check for $350 and walk off, right?

No. I MUST practice. I MUST practice.

After all, Somebody I know has been coveting my High Overall Lady trophies - and creeping up on my scores steadily. Can't have that. Sibling rivalry and all, you know?


Saturday, March 15, 2008

What You Foltune?

MLH is out on a job at Fort Stockton, and he’s been gone since Wednesday. It’s easier when he’s on these deep, hot wells if he stays close to the wellhead, so he usually gets a hotel room close by. He’s not getting much rest, this workover has turned into a 24 hour operation, so he’s catnapping in the truck on location when he can, and going to the hotel when he can. I’ve had some early nights and early mornings, myself. Finally, this morning, I felt pretty rested. Got up, played with Zack and Zoie, went for the requisite manicure/pedicure/waxing, then ran errands, and came home.

Cherie met me at the house, and we began to clean out my closets. We accomplished an amazing amount, stacking up clothes and shoes to go to Goodwill, and I feel so much better! My closet was so jacked up I couldn’t find anything, and it’s all due to my crazy schedule. MLH will be so pleased. I hope this is the first of finally getting my house more organized. I’ll feel way better if we can get it done!

Cherie and I will start round two later this week – but I promise, I would not have accomplished it without her. Bob came in to town later, and we all went to Kuo’s for Chinese food and lots of laughter. I taught Bob and Cherie how to read their personal prophecies, I mean, fortune cookies. You know, where you read your fortune out loud, followed by the words “in bed”. It’s hilarious. Here's an example: "The stars will shine brightly on the best part of you" which you add...."in bed." And another, "You will always be surrounded by many friends"..."in bed." Get it?

All of this reminds me of yet another story…

One time, MLH and I were eating at Kuo’s with some friends (actually, the very same friends that taught us how to read the fortunes). After reading everyone’s fortunes, we were laughing so hard we were snorting, crying, that kind of hysterical laughter.

Nora, the hostess, came and asked us what was so funny. We told her, and it was obvious the joke didn’t travel well across the language barrier.

About a month later, I hosted the VP of an oil company, as well as several of his employees, for lunch at Kuo’s. MLH came in and joined us. We were checking out at the counter, and several people were standing in the staging area, waiting on tables. We were ready to walk out the door, with all of my customers, when Nora shouted, “Hey, you and Janie!” We turned around, and Nora shouted “See you later…in BED!” and dissolved in giggles.

Like I always’s never boring around here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh, Rotorooter Man!!!

MLH came home about 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon from a Friday through Sunday 24 hour-a-day job in the field, having only slept in the truck on location. We were both exhausted, but at some point, he decided to make us breakfast for late lunch/supper. We were cleaning up, and I noticed…water on the floor. At first, I thought the ZZ crew had spilled their bowl, but no, that wasn't it, at all! Something was leaking under the sink.

Into repair mode we go…and find that some critter has chewed a hole in the R.O. water line. Lovely. Out comes the wet vac, MLH pulls all the drawers out of the sink cabinets, pulls out the dishwasher and the refrigerator – because all are encased in custom cabinets built personally by MLH. An hour later, all is well, the fan is blowing, and we are glad we didn’t call the plumber on a Sunday – it really was such a small job. We then go to bed, and sleep well, knowing all is good in our house.

I wake up at 2:30 a.m. this morning, with indigestion. I’m looking everywhere for antacids. I walk into the kitchen as a last resort, and realize Zack and Zoie are quietly padding behind me. I turn around to quietly greet them, and turn back to my task, and before I know it, I’m standing in water.

Deep water. Flowing water. And, it’s cold.

I turn on the light, grab some towels out of the laundry room, throw them on the floor and go wake MLH.

You have to know - He. Was. So. Excited.

Rerun of last night, except for one thing – we find we caused this leak by nicking a line sometime during last night’s repair job. And in the morning, as soon as we wake up, we’re calling the plumber. Translate that to Janie’s calling the plumber, because MLH has to be in the field early.


First, I have to get to sleep.

It's never boring around here!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Janie's Version of Field Trialing

I thought I would take the time to explain a field trial to you.

Preparation: (this week, without MLH).
1) Load collapsible cage into Yukon.
2) Load guns, shooting bag, vest, collars, leashes, dog bowls, water, shells into Yukon.
3) Corral dogs, who by now are visiting every house in the neighborhood.
4) Load them into said cage. Zack self loads. Zoie acts like a girl and needs a little help...she is almost as big as Zack. (She's plenty able to self load.)

Then, I drive to the field trial site, which is about 30 miles away, in the country. Way in the country. And. It. Is. Still. Very. Cold. The wind is blowing about 30 mph. Gonna be fun.

I get lost. Have to call my partner. Then I get lost, again. Have to call back one more time for clarification. Ten minutes later, I find the field. I get there, and find the field is filled with stickers. I have no dog boots. So, I have to borrow duct tape, and make boots for Zack. Zack is so excited, I have to get help to control him while I put the boots on. (Zoie is howling loudly, “Please, let me out of this cage. I can too hunt! I’m big enough now!”)

It’s time to go. We have to get into the “blind” so we can’t see where the birds are being planted. Birds are ready, they release us. I have to loop the leash around Zack’s belly to control him, he is so excited and ready to go. We go to the edge of the field, and I take Zack’s leash off. I load my gun, and signal my partner. We’re running doubles, double dogs, and both shooting. And, we’re off.

Zack and I go left, my partner and his dog, Ram, who happens to be Zack’s litter mate, go right. The hunt is on. It's a timed, judges walking with you observing your every move, twenty-five minutes of hard hunting in major tough terrain, complete with mega-stickers, making sure your dog doesn’t get overheated, trying to find 6 birds, shoot them, and bag them, and go again. In huge wind, and very dry conditions. It was a hard day. The terrain was very rough, very sandy, and hard to traverse, especially in a fast walk. I was exhausted, and Zack was, as well.

Zack worked like a dream…he is such an amazing dog. We didn’t place, but Zack and I both got a good workout and he is a happy, tired dog. It was fun hunting with Zack and Ram. And we’ll get better at this. I’m improving at simultaneously handling my gun, my dog, my whistle, and my commands, all the while staying within the field boundaries. If I did it every day, I’d be a skinny minnie! It’s hard, hard work.

And now, you know a little more about field trials! I’m heading over to the Ugly Dog Hunting website and order the ZZ crew some boots. We’ll be better tricked out for the next round!

Field Trials with Zack and Zoie

I’m leaving to go to a field trial with the ZZ clan. For those of you that are having Zack and Zoie withdrawals, I’ll try to post some new pix later this weekend. Wish us luck!!

Friday, March 7, 2008


Well, the Continental gods were busy blessing someone else, I guess. We finally got home last night at midnight. Ate cereal for supper, then got up at 5:30 a.m. this morning to go work on the AADE Texas Tech shoot. And…it was a whopping 23 degrees when I boarded my shooting cart with my team to go shoot. Fifteen hours later, I’m still cold.

But…we had fun, and raised money for a great cause – the furthering of education! And, Scott joined our team at the last minute. Though he may whine, he finished right behind me on scoring. And that’s after he missed shooting at two stations, due to his late arrival. In other words, peeps, Scott would have BEATEN my score, had he started when we did. Well, anyway, as bad as my shooting was, I won the award he will never win….High Overall Lady. He just can’t do it like his sister!

It was fun to have him shoot with us…and thank God, he brought gloves for me, because my hands were freezing. And he loaned me a cap, because the wind was howling, and my hair was screaming! Hard to shoot effectively when your hair’s whipping in front of your eyes.

As I headed into town, I called Bob and Cherie and we met for supper. That was fun. MLH just left town to work on a well, and will be up all night on location – so, he wasn’t able to join us.

Tomorrow, Zack the Wonder Dog has a field trial, and I’m shooting over him. I don’t think it’s going to be any warmer by then. Zoie will go along to watch. Well, I can’t leave her by herself – she starts howling, and as pretty and girly as she is, she has this deep, deep, loud voice – it absolutely sounds eerie when she starts to howl. If I can tear her away from MLH, she will probably be heading to the trainer on Sunday. Maybe I should write a new book, “Zoie Goes To Hunting Kindergarten.”

I’m just hoping she doesn’t get kicked out!
Later days!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Oops I Did It Again....

We’ve had a good time in Orlando. No roller coasters, though, (don’t be mad, EGE!) or any other type of sightseeing. We’ve been hammered up with customers, vendors, and all that stuff. Great meals every night, though, and excellent company.

And, we’re flying home on good ol’ Continental…yup, one more time.

May the good flight time/no cancellation force be with us…and also, with you.

Monday, March 3, 2008


I’m supposed to be packing. For the Florida trip. The Florida work trip. That I could have turned into a pleasure trip for my honey, and myself, by taking just one day of vacation and tagging on to the end of this trip – but, nooooooooooooooo. I had to schedule, a month ago, to shoot in the Texas Tech shoot on Friday. I am such a dork.

Two days ago, I thought I had this packing thing faded. I’ll dress just like I do here, at work. I mean, who’s going to dress up? It’s a drilling conference, for Pete’s sake! They’re usually just business casual.

Then, I heard “suits w/ ties”, for my men coworkers. So, tonight, while MLH is still out at the well, I ran and got him a couple of ties and some more dress socks (‘cause, you know, we have lots of single socks. I’m blaming Zack and Zoie – because I don’t have a freakin’ clue where they are.) And then, I thought – don’t I need to go to Dillard’s and check out shoes? And don't I need a new shirt? And then, to the cleaners? And then, to Super Suppers, and get something for supper for Younger Son and myself? And then, bake it? And watch TV with Younger Son for a bit before he goes to Invictous? And then, forage through my closet, picking out which suit jackets I'm going to take?

Meet the real me... I h.a.t.e packing. I will procrastinate until the last minute. But I thought I was pretty organized. I’m getting good at this packing stuff, all the traveling I'm doing.

So, yeah, I thought I had it all down, ready to go, just grab my stuff and pack it. MLH will pack his. I’ll pack mine. We’re all good. So, let me spend just a little more time with Younger Son. And, then,he leaves for Invictous - which gave me zero excuse to procrastinate any further.

Back to the packing , which, I’m not, yet. Heck no. I’m reading your blogs.

When MLH gets home, and it’s already 8:30pm, and I’m not packed, I’m going to be in T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Maybe if I go get it all organized, MLH will pack it for me. Yup. That’s what I’m going to do. He’s a lot better “packer” than I.

I’ve about an hour before he crosses the threshold. I’m going to go get busy.

Did I tell you MLH and I met Rice and the EGE at Office Depot Sunday? It was great to meet them, hopefully, we’re going to get together soon. And they even met Zack and Zoie, since MLH and I were just coming in from hunting. (And don't ya know I looked sweet, after hunting in 40 mph winds in West Texas??) Rice loved how velvety Z&Z's ears felt, and I could tell she was thinking about creating something just that yummy-feeling...don't worry, she and the EGE be's animal lovers deluxe, so nothing bad's happening to the Z&Z. (Rice, I'm sorry, you're gonna have to teach me how to make those little dots over your name.) Readers, her name sounds like Reesa.

Anyway, happy trails, y’all. We’re Florida bound…just as soon as I get my bags packed, get some sleep, and hopefully get to the airport, this time, on time – for our 5:10 AM FLIGHT. What was I thinking?? Sometimes I think I have met the enemy and he is me!

Have a great week, I'll try and update down the road. MLH got here, we're nearly finished packing. It's now...11:08 pm. Almost time to catch some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.