Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Susie/Doozie's Happy Box!!!

I received this Happy Box in the mail from Susie Badoozie today. She had received one, and showed the contents on her blog, and I whined. Thusly, I received. I'll try and figure out her thinking, but...she often carries a shovel around as a weapon of mass destruction. Or for protection. Or to look cool, I don't know. Something. Anyway, I don't want that silver hammer coming down on me! goes!

Firstly, this note.
Then, these tiny little gloves. My hands ARE NOT gargantuan!! The gloves are tiny.
And then these, Boston Baked Beans. Presumably because I went to Boston last year. But ThatManILove doesn't care why I got them...and promptly scarfed them down.
And these cute Pet Pals pocket tissues. Which reminds me, when my mom would go to the casino, she would stick her tissues into her bra. I kid you not.
And some Sponge Bob drinking cups. I don't have a clue, seriously,
And a check register. A blank one, at that. Just waiting for me to utilize it. Ain'ta gonna happen, I tell you. I check my accounts online, and if the balance is close to what I think it should be, I'm good. (God, I hope our CPA isn't reading this!) (If you are, Kyle, when I think of it, I download my account to Quick Books. Yeah. That's it. Just to make your job easier every year. Because all my thoughts are of you and how well you save us money. That's right.
I guess this sprayer is to wash my dogs. Or ThatManILove. Or something. I'm really trying hard here to think how Susie thinks, but, nah...I'm too tired. I think she's an underappreciated genius, so I'm not gonna even go there.
And, for those of us with constipation problems, here I have a box of Kellogg's Complete Wheat Bran. Gotta love it.
And....these cool glasses. I would seriously kill to have eyelashes like this. I think they make my eyes pop, don't you? And don't laugh at my hair or my lack of makeup, it's freaking 11:11 pm on a work night. I just don't care!
Ah, yeah. Zen tea, baby, Tazo style. The Susie-girl shares a love of Starbucks with me, she does.
I think this is a night light. I'm scared to plug it could be a nuclear bomb. Yeah? No.
Cool pens, a purple post-it pad, and a Shooter Sticker. That girl KNOWS me.
And a skateboard. With wheels. Works. I have no clue what it symbolizes
I already talked about this part of the box, but I can't get the pix to delete, so you get a rerun.
And this Mad Lib book. It's really cool, but the little girl who owned it is going to be pissed off that I have it now. Just sayin'.
I have no idea. Pasties???
Oh! Pilates! I should be able to lose weight now! What do I do next? Read the book? Can't I just put it on my bedside table and it will make me lose weight just by being by my side? Can't I?
Hey, little pinky won't find it this freakin' Cinderella slipper. Don't push me. I have a friend with a shovel.
Ohhhhhh. A Starbucks mug, a pretty one. I think it may be used. Not really! Okay, it might be used, but it's nothing my dishwasher won't sterilize!!

Anyway, isn't all that SWEET? Now, I'm going to send the happy box back, full of surprises. Thanks, Susie! Love ya, girlfriend!

If YOU want a Happy Box, let me know. I'll see how I can surprise you!

My East Texas Relatives...(subtitled, "Oh, Yeah, Baby! We Might Be Kin!)

Tonight, one of my long lost friends from East Texas facebooked me. We’ve talked on FB on and off, utilizing the Chat thingamajiggy. It’s been cool to see his wife and kiddos' photos on Facebook. And now, memories are kind of flooding my brain.

I would spend part of every summer with my grandmother in Sulphur Springs, Texas. And then, towards the end of the summer, I would go to Troup, Texas, and stay with my aunt and uncle, and my cousins. All of my cousins were older than me, married with children, so sometimes I would get to babysit for them. As I grew older, it became a regular gig for me to go to East Texas to babysit.

My cousin Kathy had three kiddos, Keith, Kevin and Kristy. I loved these kids to pieces, and I simply idolized their mom. Kathy was the coolest Mom I’d ever known...and, she let me drive her car before I was 16, without supervision. Oh, no, she didn’t - you say. Oh, yes, she did. And it was certainly without my mom’s permission. Mom would have freaked. Remember, times were different then. I remember, she had this big honkin’ station wagon. I would go to the Dairy Queen, and I thought I was hot stuff. Cruise the drag...(well, it was only a couple of blocks long) and flirt with boys. (Surely not, you say.) Kathy was more like a big sister, so she totally “got” me. (Not that I got myself!)

Anyway, I can’t remember who affected the introduction, but one of my cousins, either Judy or Kathy, introduced me to Joe. Joe was a boy my age, whose dad owned a local business there. Joe was a cool guy. It was awesome - we got along well and had lots of fun. If I remember correctly, he had a Camaro. Sweet one, too.

We hung around all the time, and my grown cousins teased me unmercifully about Joe. As time went by, we drifted apart, each going back to our own lives separated by some 400+ miles. If I remember correctly, we wrote a letter or two, and that was before internet, Blogger, or even Facebook... can you imagine? Still, every time they saw me, my cousins would update me on Joe and his life. I think they harbored some wish that we would stay together, but it was not to be.

Joe’s happily married with children, and has his first grandchild on the way. And, of course, you know my awesome story about ThatManILove and myself!!

But I remember this time of my youth, the time i spent in East Texas, as a happy time in my life. Brother Scott and I have had plenty of heartache in our early lives at home, but our East Texas visits were always a respite of sorts, at least for me. And my cousins, as well as Joe, were a big part of that respite.

So I just want to say thanks to my cousins...and to Joe. (And Joe still thinks I’m somewhat of a tomboy. Whoda thunk it?)

Bless you all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lake Shots from Lake Granbury

This is a short post, but here are some shots from Lake Granbury this past week. Aw, c'mon, you know I wasn't through torturing you with my amateurish photography, right?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back To Work...and then, to Santa Fe!

After much thought and discussion with ThatManILove, I have accepted an offer and will rejoin Life In The Oilpatch Monday morning. I’m going to work for a major service company, and I’m excited about it. Let the madness begin!

I’m sure ThatManILove is excited, as well, to have this crazy drama come to an end. My time off has been relaxing, and to be honest, we sincerely considered the idea of my "retirement", as it were. But really, can you imagine? ThatManILove swears I would drive everyone crazy if I retired...but I was really getting into my photography, and enjoying working with the WonderDogs. It’s almost hunting season, and we were getting busy! That will still happen, but I’ll be back to the “weekend warrior” mode of hunting.

The offers I received were amazing, and I still can’t believe that in this day and time that companies came forth the way they did in order to add me to their team. What a blessing! Making this choice was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a while - but we are excited about it! And...the weekend will find us in Santa Fe, on a work related boondoggle - so we're starting off with a bang!

Have a blessed Monday!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Got A Kick Out Of This Today

I stopped by a friend's garage sale today, and saw this book: "Meditations For Women Who Do Too Much".

Isn't this a wee bit redundant? I may need to meditate on it before I can answer my own question.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Now This Is Lake Living, People!!!

Enjoy the pix of sunset at Lake Granbury! Wednesday morning, we found another lakehouse to rent (that's it in the picture), and headed out to Lake Granbury to settle in. The house was beautiful. Light, airy, open architecture. Beautiful yard, beautiful dock, on a pretty part of the lake.

We rented a boat, and went fishing, it was fun. Midnight fishing with ThatManILove, too much fun! I caught 3 fish...just call me Billie Dancette. And yes, for you PETA peepsl, I let those little fishies live - right back into the water they went. (I'm practicing for my own TV Fishing Show.) The night was redemptive after the prior Tuesday night fiasco!

For those who just have to know..yes, we went back to House #1 for my Maui Jim sunglasses. They are now in my possession.

All is well in my world. And consider this post 2 out of 365. I'm challenging myself again, this time I'm going for a year of posting daily. Don't you know that will rock your worlds? Guaranteed to be "content-free" (a term I copped from my friend Eric Siegmund of the Fire Ant Gazette.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lake House Exorcism

We snuck off this week to spend some alone time at Lake Granbury. Rented a nice lakehouse, boat, the works. I’m so spoiled. I know. So shoot me.

But first, the REAL haircut. We drove into Mansfield about midnight, then had a leisurely breakfast with Mike and Pam. Pam and I then went to VuJen Hair Studio for me to face my fate with Robyn and Rebecca, hair artistes extraordinaire. They’re both regular readers of this blog, so the new do a la drug test wasn’t a surprise. My blog couldn’t prepare the girls for the WAY the drug testers wrecked my hair, though! Rebecca said it’s going to take some doing to work with those layers when they grow out, and I think Robyn just flat gave up on the highlight part.

Later that afternoon, we went to supper, then traveled on to Granbury. Dropped by Kroger’s and picked up about $250 worth of perishables. (This will be important later.) By now, it’s dark. We were so stupid to try and find a lakehouse in the dark! We put the address in the GPS, to no avail. “Address doesn’t exist in this town.” You gotta love it.

Finally, we find the place. Gated property, looks inviting. We drive down the driveway and get out of the truck, flashlight in hand.

We cannot find the front door. By this time, ThatManILove is exhausted, he’s been sick, and he’s more than just a little done. We see a ramp, and go up it. There’s a door there, but no lockbox. We go downstairs, same thing. Finally, we find the lockbox...but by now, we’ve forgotten the lockbox number. I trudge back to the truck, find the paper, read the number by the interior light of the truck, and call it out to ThatManILove...who can’t hear me, because the wind is blowing.

We finally get into the place. We walk into the living room with the beautiful rock fireplace, just like was shown in the pictures....except for the bed in the kitchen, which is also in the living room. ThatManILove looks at me like, “What have you done, girl?” (Thank God he looked at the pictures, too, before we closed the deal.) Whoever took the pictures for the ad is either a cropping expert or one who knows how to work the heck out of Photoshop!

We’re both trying to talk ourselves into making this work when we realize there is no way from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor. We have to go outside to gain access to the 2nd floor. I can’t make this stuff up.

And then, I see a door. I open said door. Inside said door is...(wait for it!) old elevator. Complete with pillows and blanket. I kid you not. We work and we work, and we can’t get the elevator to run. Finally, we walk back up the upstairs ramp (outside the house, remember) and go up to the second floor. We get the second floor unlocked, and try the elevator from the top down. No go. We look around to see if this house is even a doable deal, since by now, it’s 9:30 p.m. There are probably 10 beds on the 2nd floor, complete with a black bathtub/shower. Scary, that.

None of this stuff was ever even mentioned in the ad - and the ad certainly never mentioned an elevator! That had been converted to a very small bedroom.

Needless to say, we immediately tried to call the realtor, to no avail. I sent an e-mail, we locked everything back up, and we get ready to leave. At this point, we realize that the lights on the second floor porch are blinking like they're participating in an exorcism. We go back in, try to find the way to turn them off, to no avail. We give up.

ThatManILove looked at me, and said, “We need to jet this deal and not worry about it tonight. Let’s holler Calf Rope and leave. I’m calling Mike and Pam to see if we can stay with them.”

So, he does, and they graciously say, “C’mon!” Thus begins another 45 minute drive. We’re trucking down the highway towards Mansfield about 20 minutes later, and somehow, I have my first post-elevator/bedroom shock cognizant brain thought.

“Honey, what did you do with that 30 lbs of ice?” (that’s now been melting for an hour plus...)

“Oh, Lordy, Janie, pull over! It’s sitting on top of everything in the back of the truck.”

We contributed to the ground water level of Johnson County, hit Mike and Pam’s house around 10:45 p.m., unloaded all our groceries into their refrigerators, and crashed.

It’s never boring around here!

PS - Did I tell you that the next day, I realized I left my favorite pair of MauiJim sunglasses on the table right next to the bed that was right next to the stove that was right next to the elevator/second bedroom that was in the kitchen/living room in the house we refused to sleep in? Oh, yeah, baby.

Oh, yeah.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Voluntary Involuntary Hair Cut

Though I’ve not yet accepted any offers, one that is very attractive to me comes from a major company. The kind of company where you have to have a background check, fill out all sorts of pre-hire paperwork, and take a drug test within a certain time frame from receiving “the e-mail” from the HR department.

Over the past 2 days, I’ve been taking a minute here and there to fill out said forms. This morning, I went to the designated testing place to take the drug test. Said drug test consisted of a urine analysis, and a hair test. No problema, right?

I be-bopped in there, announced myself, and we got down to business. Sign a bunch of paperwork? Check. Give out all your life history and all your identifying numerals? Check. Urinalysis? Check. Hair test? Well, here’s how it went down.

Tester: Okay, Janie, we need you to sit in this nice fluffy chair here. And since I’m new, my supervisor is going to watch me cut your hair. You’re my first hair test!

Janie: (in a squeakly little voice) Okaaaaaaay.

Tester: Now, I don’t know if you knew this, but we have to take 120 strands of your hair, from the scalp down. It will just be little chunks.

Janie: What? Dude. My hair is so fine, it shows scissor marks. I was in Pennsylvania last week, my bangs were so long, I borrowed scissors and chipped them out. And then, I couldn’t sleep because I just know my hair stylist is going to jump me out because I cut my hair myself. But CHUNKS of my hair, 60 strands thick, at once? I might as well buy my casket!!!

Tester: Well, thank God you have hair. We could take it from your private parts.

Janie: Oh. Yeah. Ummmmm...well, okay. I guess my noggin will do.

Supervisor: Lift up the top layer of her hair.

Janie: Oh, wait, let me do it, please. Can I pick where the bald spots are going to be?

Supervisor: It’s not going to show, that bad. And if we don't get enough hair, they'll call you back in and we'll have to do it all over again.

Janie: (nervous) Oh, right.

Tester: Lift your hair up, Janie, let’s get this deal done.

And Tester begins to twist my hair into chunks. I could hear all 60 cuts of the first batch. Had to be a super dull pair of scissors.

Supervisor: That’s good, Tester. Now let’s grab the other bunch.

Janie: Ummm....could I please see a mirror?

Supervisor: You won’t even be able to tell, I promise.

Janie: I can’t see it, but I can feel the stubby little ends where you cut my hair!

Tester: Okay, let’s do the other side. (And he does.)

I take a picture of the clump, and send it to my potential employer plus a couple of his managers in an e-mail. Here’s how that e-mail traffic went down.

Me: The things I do for you...120 strands. You owe me a haircut, whether or not I take this job.

El Patron: I’ll cut your hair! You may look more like Joe and Bob, though! (Both are balding.)

Joe: I’d be in trouble if they needed 120 strands.

Bob: Janie, if they don’t use all of the strands, can you get the leftovers? Maybe Joe and I can start a hair restoration program.

Me: Sure. I’ll need to draw up a royalty agreement to my benefit.

Bob: Just bill it to El Patron.

They crack me up. Lord only knows what they think of me.

I came home, ran some errands, and later, freshened up my hair to go out. About 50 more strands came out with the comb. I may never comb my hair again, because I don't think I can stand the loss.

Welcome to Mi Vida Loca.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fun in Ohio, Then Back to the PA!

I’m in the Marriott at Easton Village in Columbus, OH. If you get a chance to go to Easton Village, do so! It's a delectfully delightful shopping center, complete with a Trader Joe's and Container Store and...okay, I'll stop. I had a meeting in Pittsburgh on Thursday, then have been hanging with my friends John and Suzan. Yesterday, we did a little bit of shopping (I’m shipping it all home, honey!). Then, we went to Smith and Wollensky for supper, and it was absolutely divine.

In a bit, we’ll be heading to Abuelo’s for mexican food - John and Suzan are displaced Texans, and they’re missing mexican food! And, then, I'll have my virgin venture into Trader Joe's...I've read all your lovely rants about it, so I have to go, right? Then, we’ll head back to the beautiful state of Pennsylvania.

When we return to Pennsylvania, we'll head to Trax Farms in Venetia, PA. I took the above shot there. Wonder if those boots will work for hunting? i WISH!

Hopefully I’ll get to meet Tami today, but I'm not sure of her schedule.

And tomorrow, I head back to Texas. I miss ThatManILove and the wonderdogs...and y’all!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Community of Bloggerly Love

It’s been a week since I posted. The week has blown by.

When I was laid off, though I had some warning of the possibility, I was in shock. And then I guess I went through maybe a period of anger. I’m a producer - a rainmaker; to think that I would ever make anyone’s RIF list was devastating to me.

I don’t yet have a job, but companies have started contacting me and negotiations are beginning. That’s exciting, and I’m so blessed. It seems that in this market, none of the jobs possibilities have come through recruiters...they have come through connections. None are posted on a job board, and it seems that a couple have even been custom fit for me. Is that crazy? Nah. That, my friends, would be God.

By my side remains ThatManILove. And from him, and other people who speak into our lives, came wisdom.

“We need to be quiet,” he said. After consulting with our friends, we decided on a period of two weeks. And then he said, “We need to get out of here for a bit.” And as you know, we did such. And it was the very best thing.

The talk concerning my layoff was rampant within my industry. The fact that I got laid off actually scared some of my peers - if it could happen to me, it could happen to them. I pray that is not the case. Anyway, I kept away from industry events, fundraisers, etc., in order to stay quiet.

While we were gone to Ruidoso, ThatManILove said, “Don’t be surprised if it takes 3-4 weeks for the right opportunity to rise up around us - let’s just wait and see.” He is so wise. Because that is exactly what is happening.

And you all - you have been so supporting. E-mailing and calling me, checking up on me, being faithful to comment, making me laugh and letting me cry. Also, you've reminded me that this is no big deal and that there are certainly worse things that this storm! I'm blessed with and without a "job", and that I am NOT a "job". Thank you so much - you continue to be my friends throughout.

I will not forget.