Saturday, January 31, 2009

You Gots Male - Buy Now

Do you get spam on your e-mail accounts? We utilize Yahoo, and Lord have mercy. You'd think that Yahoo would have some way of stopping this stuff. By the way, we do not go to porn sites, or visit any sites like are in any way related.  These are some of the subject titles of the spam e-mail we’ve been getting lately. We do not open, just hit delete, but the titles always inspire some smart-alec response (who'da thunk it?) from me. And ThatManILove thinks I'm funny. Who knows? Maybe you will, too.

Have you changed your number? (No. But I’m not giving it to you!)
Posh up and look better!
(What – you don’t think I’m posh enough?)
Answer you phone when I ring!
(Only if I ken larn you some Ang-lish!)
She moaned when I saw how large I was. (When I look at myself in the mirror, I moan, too.)
Lowered prices for prestigious items. (Well, heck. We’re in a recession – prices should be lower.)
We need your presence.
(Dude. Sometimes I need my presence as well.)
Perfectly Crafted Accessories. (Care to elaborate?)
Can’t find you, darling.
(I don’t hang out in my virtual mailbox, stupid!)
Don’t disappear now!
(I wish I could.)
Unwind your massive python.
(We only have rattlesnakes in West Texas. And bull snakes. And I’m not unwinding either of them. You probably shouldn't, either.)
I lost your cell phone number. (That’s probably a good thing.)
Endorsed by men’s magazines. (Seriously? Which ones?)
Give her a mind blowing climax. (Ummmm….I don’t swing that way.)
Small tool is for peeing, big tool is for more serious things.
(What were they thinking? Home Depot?)
Why did you leave me?
(Because you couldn’t keep your mind out of the gutter?)
This mail is refused message. (Then why did you send it to me again?)
So huge I thought it was a python.
(But you were looking in the 7X mirror at the carnival, right?)
We seek for you all the day. (Get some better glasses is all I have to say.)
You probably gave wrong number. (After all this, wouldn’t you?)
Deeper harder thicker. ( Yeah. You are talking about granite countertops, right?)
I need you urgently.
(Gonna have to wait in line, homie.)
Don’t go home now. (I have to go home – ThatManILove wants to take me to dinner!)
Can’t you answer when I call? (Not really. Besides, you told me you lost my cell number, remember?)
Make yourself. (Make me! (Oh, wait. That’s not what I meant.))
Growth is so simple with this.
(Like I need any freakin’ help in the growth department.)

Arrrgh. These people really need to get a life. Or Yahoo needs to get a better spam filter.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thank You - Thank You Very Much (In an Elvis Kind of Voice)

When ThatManILove and I left Pennsylvania to come home, we found some relationships hard to leave.

Over a three month period, the employees at the Holiday Inn Express had become a second family to ThatManILove while he was residing in their hotel. I thank God for them every day. How do you express your gratitude in a situation like that, when you know the people that have served you, but you don’t know them well enough to buy them a personal present? We discussed it, and made our decision. Before we left town, we decided to give them each a card, and inside it, a small monetary blessing.

Today, we got a beautiful thank you card in the mail, which in itself was blessing enough, and one we didn't even expect! In the card, each one of them wrote a message and signed the card. Wow! I teared up a little, and then I laughed until I cried.

Here’s what they said.

Your generosity was beyond belief. We thought you might like to know what some of us did with our gifts.
D wrote: I bought a load of wood, took my husband to dinner, and bought us both a hangover for New Year’s Day! Thanks!
R wrote:
Thanks for the gift. I got a new windshield. See you soon! Thank You!
A1 wrote: Thanks so much for the card! It helped my infant daughter and I a lot! (She’s a single mom.)
A2 wrote: First month’s rent! Thanks so much for the gift! It really was such a blessing! Take care. (She’s a sweet young lady, going to college, moving from the country into town.)

And then, one that cracked me up:
L wrote: Thank you so much! I used the money for a muzzle for my husband, a gag for my son, and a love seat for the dog! Thanks for the peace and quiet!

I think it's the best thank you card we've ever received. I bet ThatManILove will agree when he sees it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Have A FFB!

The ubiquitious and seriously funny Vodka Mom gave me this cool FFB award.  I’m not going to post it, because I found out Little Brother has bookmarked this blog on his PSP.   And I'm going to pretend he's never seen That Word.  But, because it’s Vodka Mom, I’ll play along with the rules and tell you some trivia from my life.  I’ve been doing that all along, however, I’ll try to dig a little deeper.

  1.  I learned to sail as a 13 year old, in a tiny lake that was adjacent to a country club in a small West Texas town that is virtually in the desert.  I excelled at it so much that the instructor let me teach for the next two years.  I loved sailing.  I miss that. (We still live in the desert.)
  2. I met ThatManILove when he walked into a bible study I was hosting.  My first thought when I saw him was “Ooh.  He’d be fun to marry!”.  Seriously.  Who says that kind of stuff?  Later, I figured it had to be divine intervention, because I spent the next two years fighting against that very thing, then finally, said “Yes.”  And you know what? Whomsoever put that original thought in my lame brain was  We’ve had So Much Fun and he makes me laugh!
  3. In high school, I was part of an acapella 4 person ensemble that won 1st in State.  I sang alto. And we rocked.
  4. I started shooting sporting clays almost as a dare.  I was asked to help host yet another event, and I determined I wasn’t going to organize such without participating in the sport.  The first time I shot, I broke 57/100 targets, and I was hooked. It wasn’t long  before my score was exceeding the scores of several of my peers...and most of my peers are males.
  5. I had a female red merle Aussie named Dane when I was pregnant with Elder Son.  She was the light of my life, and had a litter of 2 week old pups when she was unexpectedly killed. My son was due in less than a week, and I was so overwrought my family thought I was going to go into labor early.  Instead, I got a grip and raised 6 puppies to health. After that, I couldn’t give my heart to another dog...until Zack, some 23 years later.
  6. I bought Zack the Wonderdog as a present for ThatManILove, who immediately went on a spiritual retreat.  While ThatManILove was on that retreat, Zack fell seriously ill, and I nearly lost him.  The vet treated him with IVs daily, and I took him to work with me.  I nursed Zack back to health - and we became very close.  ThatManILove still says Zack loves me more.  And I smile, because I know it's true.
  7. My big brother died from cancer at age 39, when I was age 29.  I thought I was going to die with him.  I didn't know the Lord, and had no way to deal with my grief.  Looking back, this unresolved grief contributed hugely to my divorce from Elder Son's father.
  8. As a single Mom, I would make early morning sales calls with my 5 year old son in tow, then take him to his school.  He loved going to work with Mom, and my customers loved him showing up early at their offices.  I really had no choice - the oilpatch opens early.  He was the coolest little kid, and took no crap from any of those men. He went with me until he was about 10 years old.  Looking back, that helped form the excellent reputation I now enjoy - and also helped mold my son into an excellent people person.
  9. ThatManILove and I owned a drop-off EBay store franchise, and were developers for the same franchise for 1/3 of Texas.  I thought it was the greatest idea since sliced pie.  Turned out to be the biggest workhorse I’ve ever seen.  We finally called calfrope, closed the store, booking huge losses.  And ThatManILove loves me.
  10. In that same Ebay business, I learned the internet killed the collectible business. Though once an avid collector, that business put that addiction to rest.  I don’t want my sons to have to divest themselves of my junk.  Except for a few sentimental items, we’re done with collecting a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g that doesn’t have eternal value.
  11. In another life (before ThatManILove) I had acreage, horses and was involved in rodeo.  I don’t miss the rodeo, but I miss the rodeo people,  having horses and owning land.  I miss those things a lot. Especially the horses.  
  12.  In the hard winter, I once put a newborn baby goat in my oven to try to save it, and keep it alive.  It died anyway, in my arms.  I still think about that sometimes.  It makes me sad.
  13.  I was a tomboy growing up.  Not much has changed.  ThatManILove thinks I'm the perfect mix between girly-girl and tomboy, and he likes me just fine.
  14. I didn’t wear makeup until I was 29 years old.  I just didn’t think I needed it.  That probably contributed to the excellent skin I enjoy today.  My husband still doesn’t think I need it.  Me, on the other hand, ...
  15. Except for a company car, I’ve driven trucks or SUV’s for the last 25 years.  I’m just not a car person.  So shoot me.
  16. I was a wild child (though my mom never knew it) when I was younger.  I loved doing stuff for shock value. Brother Scott and I could tell you some tales!
  17. Every year, I would be the first one to water ski in our area.  The first weekend in February.  No wet suit.  Scott always thought I was so cool when I did that.  Looking back, I was an idiot.  But it was fun!
  18. I broke my nose, laid it flat against my cheek, when I was a teenager.  I did it by doing a full gainer on our trampoline.  Had black eyes for weeks. And I was still cute.
  19. First kiss?  7th Grade.  The guy was so short he had to stand on the curb to kiss me. At. The. Bowling. Alley.  I can't believe I just remembered that.  He was and is a really neat guy, though.
  20. My best friend all through school was a guy.  We're still friends.  When our Mom died, he and his parents drove all the way to East Texas and stayed with Scott and I all day long.  That meant more to me than anything anyone else did for us.  I will never forget it!
Y'all feel free to do this if you want...all it did for me was spur more blog ideas!  Enjoy...and if you want to dig deeper, knock yourselves out.  If you want this award, POOF!! It is hereby bestowed upon your bloggy butt.  But you'll have to go snag the "actual" award from Vodka Mom, okay?

And you, Vodka Mom?  You're a heifer.  Have fun this weekend in the NY and get your childrens' books published!  We are praying for you!!

Mark Your Time in Seasons - Football and Hunting, That Is!

Jet and Trap, heading out to their trialing field.

Trap the German Shorthair starting out his hunting. Hunt 'em up, boy! Doesn't he look happy?!

Trap, retrieving his first bird of the trial. He knows what he's doing, and he loves it!

This is Jet and Trap, immediately after their first run. I don't know who's more excited!

This past weekend at the field trial, I met a young couple named Jet and Stephanie. Actually, I met Jet a couple of months ago, at Pet Smart. Zanna the WonderPup and I were at Zanna’s puppy training, and this young man comes up to the window to introduce himself to me. Seems he has a young shorthair named Trap, and he and his wife seemed pretty new to this area. I told him about the field trials, and the Llano Estacado Bird Hunting Association, and he told me he was interested in getting involved and meeting other hunters. Jet is a football coach, so he told me his time would be limited until after football season was over.

This weekend was Jet’s first field trial with Trap. Though I attended, I didn’t hunt - just trying to get 100% well after my bout with the respiratory junk. Another young man ran Zack for me.

Jet comes up to greet me, and I went over to meet his wife, Stephanie. She’s a sweetheart, and is a teacher in our local school system. We visited for a while, and while talking, I asked her how long they had been in town. Her response?

“Two football seasons.”

I cracked up, thinking “Uh-oh. I’ve got to introduce her to shooting. Once Jet gets addicted to hunting/field trials, Stephanie will have two seasons by which to mark her time. she might as well be involved in one of them.” She laughed, as well.

We visited for a while, then I went on to take care of some business. It was almost time for Trap’s run, and Jet comes up to me again. He asks me to take pictures during his run.

I just could not turn him down. How many people get to document their first run?

Jet and Trap did well, and as I predicted, Jet got adrenalined up - he now loves field trialing. And so does Trap the German Shorthair! Here are some of the shots, for your enjoyment. I know you love good hunting pictures. (I’ll convert all of you yet!) Oh, yeah - and now, Stephanie’s ready to start shooting!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Holy Crapola, Wonderdog!

I came home from work today, hauling in tons of clothes from the cleaners.  I opened the door, and out bounded Zack the Wonder Dog.  He was wayyyyy too happy to see me, and I knew it.  He was trying to tell me something.

As I crossed the threshold of my front door, I figured out why.

Zack had accidents.  And yes, I mean accidents, in the plural.  Of the poopy, runny kind.

Have I told y’all that our house is 100% tiled, and there is a reason for it?  Well, it’s the dogs.  Not because of accidents, but because it’s easier to clean up the hair they shed and the mud they track in.  Zack has had one prior accident in this house, and by no means was it accidental.  He was getting back at me for putting a dog kennel in my truck and leaving without him in it.  Zack somehow knew I was going to pick up another puppy, and paid us back in spades. Today, this wasn’t the case - it seems he had an upset stomach.

My dog is a cultured dog, however.  Then, and now, he picked his places to poop.  And, again, yes, I mean places.

We have a huge brown and white sculptured zebra rug under our dining room table.  it is beautiful.  Zack must have had a desire to keep within the color scheme, if you know what I mean.

ThatManILove called me and told me he was heading home.  I started cleaning more furiously, hoping against hope to have it all done within the hour.  As I clean, I find more and more poop.

For the last hour, I have been crawling around with the Oxy-Clean and wet rags and cleaning up poop stains from my rug.  I’ve had to use an old toothbrush to get some of it up.  And to top that, ThatManILove just came in from the field after a 36 hour day with no sleep, and he’s running the FloorMate (Oh, let me count the ways I love him?  He won’t let me do that, he thinks he’s the FloorMate King.)

All the while, Zack...sleeps.  Snoring and snuffling.  On the big sectional couch. You see, all is well in his world. He has his masters attending to his every desire.

A dog’s life is as it should be.  Lord help me quick, where’s the Febreze?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Trouble At The Movies - or, How To Really Get His Goat

I know, I know. I screwed up my template by playing with the free Blogger templates. Bear with me, this one is hard to read. I couldn't go back to the original, it lost format and made me crazy. And yeah, it wasn't a far walk.

On to our regularly scheduled program.

ThatManILove is a movie aficianado. So much so, that while he was exiled on the mountain in Pennyslvania, I went to one movie - the Chihuahua movie - and I took the Little Brother. I was bound and determined to save all my movie dates for ThatManILove.

Last night, we decided to take Little Brother to see Mall Cop, and go for the 7:10 p.m. showing. We bought the tickets online early in the afternoon. I decided to take a long bubbly soak in the jacuzzi tub and read a Dixie Cash novel. ThatManILove comes in and gives me a time check, letting me know I have an hour. I get out and get ready. We leave the house at 6:35 p.m.

Such is the setting for the next conversation.

TMIL: Jane. Are you ready? (Remember, he calls me “Jane” when he’s mad?)

Janie: Yes.

TMIL: It’s Saturday night and it’s going to be crowded.

Janie: No, it’s not.

Little Brother: What’s wrong?

Janie: TMIL’s pissed at me because I took so long to get ready and we’re going to be at the theatre right when the movie starts. (Aside to TMIL) The movie’s been out for a while, it won’t be crowded. We’ll get there and get a seat just in time to watch 20 minutes of dancing boxes.

TMIL: See, that’s your thinking. I guess we’re going to be doomed to have this conflict every time we go to the damn show. You always make us be late because you hate the dancing boxes. I think you do it on purpose.

Little Brother: What are the dancing boxes?

TMIL: That’s what Jane calls the previews and advertisements.

We get to the movie, and fight the traffic to find a place to park. People are standing outside, in a line that lasts And the concessions? Packed to the max. There’s a recession going on, people? What are you doing here? What am I doing here? Oh, Lordy. I am so going to be in trouble. I start to cringe, inside. That man loves his movie popcorn, it's part of the whole experience for him, and it looks like we might have to forgo such. We go straight to the ticket taker, passing up two lines of people that are there for another show. He waves us in, and we go into our theatre.

Said theatre is so freakin’ crowded that we can only find two seats together. And of course, the seats are in the middle of the row, so that means no popcorn for ThatManILove. I mean, two empty seats together in the whole theatre. The advertisements haven’t even started! Little Brother jets us for a single seat down front, saying he likes to sit there. He’s probably just running from our eternal conflict concerning the movies. I’ve told y’all all along he’s a smart kiddo!

We sit down. I glance to my left to check out how ThatManILove is breathing. At the same time, he’s checking me out. I tentatively smile. He doesn’t. And then, he does. He is so jacking with me, and grabs my hand.

We laugh our butts off at the movie. It’s really funny, but to make it even better, the 5 year old little girl sitting to ThatManILove’s right is laughing so hard she’s crying. And ThatManILove got tickled at her laughing, which made me laugh harder.

It’s never boring around here!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Little Brother, Advocate For the Elderly

Little Brother when he first wakes do guys do this?  He's so cute. And yes, that's his sock in the background.  Looks like he slept on the couch last night.

Little Brother (LB) called Friday night and begged to come stay the weekend.  (He always gets his timing just right!)  I picked him up at Whataburger, where he had just finished a double Whopper with bacon and cheese.  It's so good to see him! We then went to meet friends at the new Chinese/Japanese/Thai restaurant, Ginza.  

There, LB ate Sesame Chicken.  While we were there, we also picked up an entree for ThatManILove, who was stuck out in the field and hit the house around 10 p.m.  Whereby, LB sat down at the table with ThatManILove and finished off his take home box of sesame chicken.  The kid is a bottomless pit, I swear.  He cracks me up.  And he's tall and skinny...I don't know where all this food goes??

After the field trial yesterday, we stopped by  my brother Scott’s Auction House in Big Spring to see what he would be selling at his auction on Sunday.  An auction house is full of adventure for a 12 year old, just saying.  LB met all of Scott’s helpers, two of whom are disabled and are on electric scooters due to their ailments.

LB poked around, asked questions, and generally entertained himself for an hour just by snooping.  We were about to leave, and LB discovered a couple of electric scooters.  One wasn’t charged - but one was in full operating order.  LB ran to Scott, and asked permission to ride it, which Scott gave, grinning.  Everybody loves LB.

LB carefully rode around for a while, then  came back to where we were all congregated, and starts talking to Scott’s helpers again.  While doing so, LB backed the scooter professionally into its original parking space.  Everybody’s watching, and enjoying him.

LB turns off the scooter, and stands up, grinning like a cheshire cat, and says loudly, “Wow.  Now I know how elderly people have fun.”

He really means it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Janie and Jilly Do Mansfield - Part 1

I promised, so here it be...the Jill and Janie Chronicles, Chapter 1.

(Who really talks like that? I mean, the “here it be” part?)

I called Jill, she of Jill Jill Bo Bill fame, Wednesday sometime. We had discussed me leaving Midland around 2 p.m., so as to miss the Fort Worth traffic and still get to Mansfield, our designated special meeting place. She told me it was halfway. (I beg to differ. My odometer says I trucked almost 350 miles. I think the Jilly-girl logged 90, up and back. Heifer.) We decided I’d call when I got to Weatherford, then she’d leave her house and head my way.

I really tried to leave Midland at 2 p.m....but it just didn’t work. Sometime right after lunch I found out we have a field trial this coming weekend, so I had to make last minute arrangements to take Zack the Wonder Dog to the trainer so he could rack up some practice before I came back home. I got packed, loaded him up, left the house...and there had been a wreck at the end of my street. I think 400 cars were diverted right in front of my house. I finally pulled out, got about 2 miles out of town, and realized I’d left Zack’s special food, and his medicine. Can’t have my Wonderdog getting sick on me! So, I turned around, going another way to miss the wreck. I missed the wreck, all right, but drove upon two more fender benders that had happened within the diverted traffic.

I swear, this stuff only happens to me. In Midland, no less. In a 30 mph neighborhood.

I finally got back home, loaded everything up, and headed to Big Spring to drop the Zackster off. He was SO excited, pacing up and down the seats in my truck, that dog knew Exactly.Where.He.Was.Going and that it meant “Hunting, Mom! Hunting! Hunting!” He is so funny.

And, I headed down the road. I think I left Big Spring at 3:30 p.m. I am freaking out, thinking I am going to be way late getting to Jill. We’ve had many a late night telephone conversation, but we’ve never met in person. I’m very excited - I know we’re going to have fun, finally!! LaToya the Sequoia and I put the pedal to the medal and drive about 83 all the way...and I beat Jill to our meeting place...’cause that’s how I rock, ya know.

I walk in to Johnny Carino’s, and she’s not yet there. I get a table, and wait. And wait. And wait.

Okay, I’m lying. She got there in like 5 minutes.

I had told Jill I was slobbing out in a t-shirt and sweats. No makeup. Not even any earrings. Hair screaming. Looking my very best for my hot internet date. You know what that heifer said? “Oh, me too! I’m wearing sweats. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Who cares what we look like?”

What a liar.

Jill glides in the door, beautiful, cute vest, all blinged up, hair cute as a button, perfect Texas Big Hair. And yeah, she’s got on sweats...velour ones. She’s probably going to call “What Not To Wear” on me, and y’all are going to get to see all my bad fashion diseases.

Heifer. (Have I told you I love this Jilly girl?)

Jill and I started talking, and it was like we’d known each other forever, and were just meeting for a meal(which I don’t even remember eating. I swear.). We can’t wait for ThoseMenWeLove to meet each other - we just know they’ll get along great! And if these same men ever get sick simultaneously, we’re going to lock them together in the same house so they can figure out how much men whine when they have the Man Cold. And we will go thrift store shopping. That’ll show them!

The managers kicked us out of the restaurant, I went to my hotel, and Jilly drove home - and called me when she got there so I wouldn’t worry about her.

Destiny, bloggers, destiny. It could happen to you! You just have to have the “want to” and the patience to wait on people who are perpetually late, like me.

Jill, thanks for your patience, chica. I’ll be back in town in a couple of weeks - like February the 10th or so. The famous Rebecca is going to cut my hair, and she’ll be serving margaritas and wine. Be there or be square! Now, quit showing your boob, heifer! Here's a better picture of us. Jill's the one on the left. Do you like my extensions?

To be continued sometime in February...

The Jill and Janie Chronicles

I had a huge day yesterday, going from appointment to appointment to appointment (do y’all think I’m repeating myself? Just wait!) to lunch to another appointment, to yet another one (hey David, I’m so glad you didn’t have a pink thong waiting on me when I arrived at your office) to another meeting at the Los Colinas Country Club. Then, when my young whippersnapper salesman Rockstar dropped me off at my hotel at 7:30 p.m., I had yet another date. Yes, another chariot awaited me at the front door of my hotel – Pam and The Bearded One were there to take me for dessert and coffee. I know, I am so spoiled. We had fun!

All that to say…I’ve not yet had time to regale you with the story about my meeting with JillJillBoBill. So, shoot me! Feel free to go visit the heifer…she made me laugh this morning with her version of our fated meeting! Love ya, girlfriend.

I’m heading back to the West of Texas, where the sunsets freakin’ rock, the sand blows, the rattlesnakes are a daily occurrence, and the only trees are pumpjacks. In other words, I’ll be baaaaack! Brace yourselves, me hardies!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oops! I Did It Again!

I’m a weenie. I took down the prior post, you know, the one about…never mind. Yes, that one. I called one of my friend/customers today in Dallas to make an appointment for tomorrow. This is how it went down.

Janie: Hey, David! This is Janie!

David: Hi, Janie, did you get home from the King Ranch? Did you enjoy it?

Janie: Yes, I’m home, and I had a good time. Did you talk to Rocky? No? How did you know?

David: I read your blog. You almost made me blush!

Janie: What? The hog story?

Oh, Lord, help me, no. Please no. Oh, yeah, baby. It hit me. He read the post inbetween the fish and the hog posts. My mind is racing (not a far walk!) and I’m thinking, “How does David know about my blog?” and quietly freaking out, trying to finish the conversation without losing my presence of mind.

I ease out of that conversation, and it hits me. I told his wife Susan about my blog, and gave her the address. She's really neat, and I though she might enjoy it. (So, hello, Susan and David! Thanks for reading my blog! I’ll try to not make you blush more than 1-2 times a week! But let’s keep it between us, huh? (wink, wink.))

Needless to say, the blog post has gone the way all impulsive blog posts should go…back to draft heaven. Say goodbye to that one! (As the rest of you breathe a sigh of relief!)

Next up? I'll give you a report of a fun meeting with JillJillBoBill, and when I get home from the Metroplex, continued stories and pix from the King Ranch Trip.

Happy trails ‘til then, loyal readers. I’ll do my best to not to embarrass you (or me!) anymore...but no promises!

Hog Hunting 101 - Or, Josh, That Hog's Gonna Kill You!

Disclaimer: Hog hunting is big sport. Hog hunting also helps the environment and the rancher. Hogs will flat tear up ranchland. Now, these aren't hogs that have been raised at a farm, though some started out that way. These are feral hogs, wild hogs. Some have Russian influence bred into them, and have tusks 4-5 inches long, and can range in weight from 100-1000 pounds. The feral hog can kill a man in no time. In other words, don't be calling SPCA or PETA on me for this post. Okay? Love ya.

The first afternoon at the King Ranch, the guide took everyone out to blinds to hog hunt. Since I can hunt hogs here at home anytime, I decided to take my camera and just take pictures. Some of my coworkers, it turns out, have never hog hunted. We were dropping people off, some one to a blind, some two to a blind. Ross, the guide, was coaching them all the way.

And two to a blind was the setup for the next scenario.

Josh and Dustin decided to go to the same blind. En route, Ross was giving them directions.

Ross: Shoot a young sow, preferably under 120 lbs. The meat will be better.

Josh and Dustin: Okay, no problem.

Ross: Since you’re both going to be in one blind, you might want to use the OneTwoThree shoot method, shooting at the same time. Once you shoot, those hogs are going to run and probably won't come back to the blind this afternoon.

Josh and Dustin: We can do that.

Around dusk, we start making our way back to the blind. We get to the blind, and see no one. Then, we see the guys walking around - Dustin has one of those headband lights on. They are looking for the second hog they shot - it’s hard to find, in the dark. We give up, and go back to the blind, where Hog #1 is laying.

Ross: Okay, that hog’s the perfect size. Only one thing. Where did y’all take your animal sex classing course? That hog’s a boar. And how many times did y’all shoot it? It is torn flat up!

Dustin and Josh are embarrassed. Ross, giving them grief, takes them through the processing guide, the hog is gutted, and placed in the back of the pickup. We drive around for a bit, looking for Hog #2. Finally, we give up, and head back to camp. The guys are recounting their adventure.

Ross takes a minute to explain where the best place is to shoot a hog (behind the ear) and gives the guys more pointers. We find out that neither of these guys have ever been hog hunting, which explains a lot.

We’ve not gone 2 miles when we run upon another herd of hogs.

Dustin: Can we shoot a hog?

Ross: Step out of the truck slowly, and load your guns quietly.

This takes so long, the hogs go back in the brush.

We drive again. We round the corner, another herd is road feeding. Ross stops the truck and tells the guys to get out, get ready, and shoot. They do so.

First rattle out of the box, Josh shoots that hog clean behind the ears. The hog drops. Ross and I look at each other in amazement. The boy definitely listened during his tutorial. The hog is in death throes, but not really going anywhere. Josh turns around and looks to us for advice.

Janie: Go cut the jugular.

Josh runs halfway to the hog, then yells to Dustin: Shoot it, Dustin!

Dustin shoots the hog.

Janie: Josh, take your knife and just go cut the jugular! Get it out of its misery!

Ross echoes my instructions.

Josh gives Dustin his rifle, and runs up to the hog. The man is adrenalined up!

And then, he takes out his handgun, and shoots the hog in the head. Not once, not twice, but thirteen times. He empties his clip in about two seconds. And then, he runs back to the truck.

Ross and I are bent over, laughing. I have tears rolling down my face, I can’t even breathe. We are both in shock. I look in front of the truck, and Dustin is laughing so hard, he has been forced to put down the rifles.

Josh, still 9-0 on adrenaline: That $%^&&* hog was gonna bite me!

Janie: No, he wasn’t! That was his body shutting down!

Josh: Yes, he was, he was going to bite me, I know it!

Janie, when I could talk: Dude. You should have just cut his throat, seriously.

They load the hog up into the truck, and we laugh all the way back to camp. I tease Josh.

Janie: Josh-man, your form sucked when you whipped that pistol out. No way did you do what you were taught today in the shooting school.

Josh: Oh, man. I didn’t think about that. I was shooting close to my feet, wasn’t I? Do you think my steel toed boots would have deflected one of those bullets?

Ross: Negatory, Night Rider.

Josh: (Silence. Dead silence.)

Lord have mercy, you cannot pay for stuff like this.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What the Heck is This $&%^&%*$(# Fish?

I’m back.

Well, at Houston Intercontinental Airport, anyway. Yup, in Terminal B. Waiting on the last flight to Midland.

I got to the rental car return, and my flight wasn’t posted. I was a scared girl. We’ve been keeping some late nights at the King Ranch, and coupled with the early mornings to go hunting and fishing, I’m TIRED. I had a great time! Y'all would have loved it. But, newsflash, joy of joys, I’m going to quit griping about Crapinental (today, for sure!), my flight is (supposedly) on time and not cancelled.

I decided to hop on the computer and give y’all one bit of trivia about this weekend.

This morning, I caught one of these and it scared the shit out of me, just saying. I thought, what kind of monster is that?

Do you know? I do now, but I’ll let y’all guess a bit. Whoever wins will get a King Ranch cap (brand new!).

More to come tomorrow, once I get home and download the multitude of awesome pictures.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Am Loving Me Some Tom Bodett Tonight

Go figure.

Last night, we were booked into the Country Inn at Humble. By the Executive Assistant of our company, who, by all things that are holy, should know better. Janie, the queen of Hotel Rooms Extraordinaire, was not amused.

The parking lot? DARK. The room was d.i.r.t.y. Mold was growing up the tub, I kid you not. And, the straw that broke the poor camel’s back? The air conditioner did not work. And Houston, people, is FrenchSpanishIrish for freakin’ HUMID. (I’ve bitched about that before on this blog, I know.) I was on the third floor, so I opened my windows. Mistake, mistake, mistake. Two car alarms went off in the night, which only exacerbated my hormonally hot, sleepless, state. Women over a certain age cannot sleep in 75 degree rooms. (Men, if you don’t know that already, you need to seriously get a clue – it might extend your life a couple of years.)

On top of that, my DNA makeup was designed by the God of Straight Hair. Straight Hair, combined with humidity, equals Even Straighter Hair. Add that to a 75 degree room – no amount of Big Hair Hairspray is going to help. No Texas Big Hair for me today…

But tonight?

Tonight, one of my fellow salesmen booked the Days Inn in Robstown. I was secretly scared to death. Every time I’ve stayed at a Days Inn (maybe once in the last 15 years), it’s smelled like…never mind.

I just arrived. Tom Bodett left the light on for me. The desk clerk, Isabel? Smiling, professional, called us by our names, helped us out tremendously. The room? Spotless. The wireless? FREE. The bathroom? Again, spotless. Towels? Smell like DOWNY. No kidding.

Okay. Now, I’m going to sleep. I’m not even going to check your blogs, though I miss you dearly. I’ll catch up with you in a couple of days. For tomorrow, princes and princesses of my heart, I’m heading 30 minutes down the road to the King Ranch. I’m excited.

Y’all have a blessed Friday! Pictures and stories (I’m sure!) to come.

Oh, hell. I just remembered – Tom Bodett is Motel 6. Menopause – just another reason for forgetting stuff. Heh.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just Another Day in the Life of That Janie Girl

It’s 10:36 p.m. Are you awake? I am. But I’m trying to wind down and go to sleep. Have a flight to catch to the big Houston in the morning, have to pack, all that stuff. Yes, off I go to Yet.Another.Meeting.

But this one has a twist. Meetings start at lunch tomorrow and will last until sometime Thursday after lunch. And then…

My fellow coworkers and I are going to the King Ranch. THE King Ranch. Yeah, That One. We’re going to shoot guns, go on a hog hunt, go quail hunting, and bay fishing. All paid for by my employer.

And yeah.

Once again, I’m the ONLY female going. In all my years selling in the Oilpatch, I've watched my male counterparts take customers to the King Ranch. Never have I been asked to go. I am so excited, just to see it. Believe me, it will be Have Camera Will Travel. Some of the World Trophy Bucks live forever on this ranch. And I'll get to see them!

ThatManILove isn't able to go, it's an employee only trip. He's more than a little jealous, but told me he would be mad if I declined the trip. He's such a sweetheart. That's why he's ThatManILove!

Have I told y’all I LOVE MY JOB?

Wide Awake

It’s 3:33 a.m.

I’m awake.

ThatManILove is still out in the field on a job.  I woke up, called him, he called me back.  He’ll be leaving location in the next 10 minutes or so.  Had to tell me all about the job, had questions, and my technical side kicked in.  Next thing I know, I’m trying to figure cement volumes in 4 1/2” pipe.  In my head.  And figure in the expansion properties of a certain type of cement.

Now I can’t sleep.

One of the reasons I left my old job was to get away from the 24 hour aspect of the oilfield.  I needed to get my life back, and that was but one of the factors.  I just forgot to factor in the part where ThatManILove still might get stuck on location from time to time.

I only have to get up in two more hours.  Yummy. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Want A New Blog (Design)

I want to redesign my blog.  New colors.  Some kind of cool design. I like looking at all your cool blogs.  They ROCK.  And though if I did research, and read up on it, and played around, I could probably do it myself, I really don’t have time to do it myself (I know, I should quit my freaking whining, right?  Maybe get a life or something?).  

Yeah, well, follow me, bloggers.  Walk a mile in my shoes.   Or, better yet, just enjoy it’ll sleep better and have a lot less stress in your life, I promise!

So...ideas?  Referrals?  I’ll pay.  Hell, why not?  We pay for everything!  Our lives are so non-stop right now it’s the only way we can function with any sanity. Want to walk my dogs? Train my dogs? Take my dogs hunting while I take customers somewhere else, hunting? (Yeah - this is how crazy it gets sometimes! ) House sit? Do laundry? Run errands? Clean the house? Wash the vehicles? Mow the lawn? Today, I could have paid someone to talk for me, Gone.  History.

I could go on.  Bottom line, I need to clone myself so I can get everything done!  

I’m open to blog design ideas.  My perfect world would be a design was simple, beautiful, that incorporated mi vida loca, oilpatch, hunting and included ThatManILove, our sons and the wonderdogs, but, yeah...someday I’ll walk on the moon.  I said simple, didn’t I?  Oh, yeah.

Show me what ya got. Or tell me where to go.  

I walked right into that one, didn’t I?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Travis Erwin House Fire

I’m about a week behind finding this out, but my friend Travis Erwin (founder of My Town Monday) and his family suffered a huge loss on January 4 when their home in Amarillo, Texas burned to the ground. Travis, his wife and young sons are alive and well, thank God. They lost all of their possessions as well as their home.

Erica Orloff and friends started a Habitat for Travis blog, and you can donate there by buying a brick at a time, if you’ve a mind to do so.

Bloggers are givers – and I know that if you’re able, you will give.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

That Janie Girl

One day, I got a call from a consultant. I’ll call him Lonnie.

Lonnie: Hey, Janie, I want to work for ABC Oil Company through your firm.

Janie: Lonnie! That’s great! (I went through our list of benefits. He was excited.) Okay, who do I need to call?

Lonnie: You need to call James at ABC and tell him I’m going to be working under your banner.

Janie: Consider it done.

I called James and left a message. Not once, not twice, but three times. Two days later, I get another call from Lonnie.

Lonnie: Hey, Janie. I’m going to work for ABC Oil Company, but I have to work through my old firm. James is making me.

Janie: What the HELL?I understand, Lonnie, don’t worry, we’ll get it all fixed sometime.

Lonnie: Thanks for understanding. Another thing – James said for me to “Tell that Janie girl to quit calling me.”

Janie: Gotcha, Lonnie. No problem. (In 23 years, I'm freaking out. He seriously doesn't want me to call him? I can't believe that! I've never met him!).

In my old job, if someone had a problem getting through a door, or establishing a relationship, they would send me in to "pave the way" as it were. And I enjoyed a near-perfect success rate.

Three days later, I’m in the offices of ABC Oil Company, delivering breakfast. I happen to notice James’ office is open, so I step in the door, thinking I’ll leave a business card on his desk. Only one thing’s wrong – he’s there! What do I do now?

Only one thing to do…roooooooollllllllllllll with it!

Janie: Hey, James! I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m "that Janie girl" that was calling you all the time about Lonnie.

James: Hey, Janie! (He cracks up laughing, thank God!) It’s nice to meet you. Actually, I’ve met you before, just didn’t put two and two together. I worked at the last shoot and you were competing.

Janie: Oh, yeah! I knew you looked familiar!

He then explains to me why Lonnie had to stay under his former firm – that he had taken medical leave, and needed to come back to work under that same firm. I totally understood his thinking.

The next morning, I went to breakfast with several of his coworkers, and told them all the “Tell that Janie girl to quit calling me” story. They got a big kick out of that, went back to the office, and harrassed James mightily. Poor guy, he'll probably never live over that.

It's a small oilfield out here. And needless to say, my new name has spread all over the patch - they're all calling me...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Woe Despair and Agony on Me

I feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck.

I had a little relapse, and the wonder doc says I’m knocking on the pneumonia door. Lovely. Absolutely lovely.

So my bohiney has some injection marks in it, and it’s sore. The Hello Kitty bandaids did nothing to help the pain. My chest is sore from all the coughing. I’m taking major antibiotics and super duper prescription cough medicine. Downing vitamin C like there’s no tomorrow. The only good thing is that, when I’m not asleep or in some drug-induced stupor, I’m able to catch up on all your blogs.

I’ll leave you with this picture that one of my consultants sent me from his and his girlfriend’s vacation in Belize. And no, I didn’t even ask. Because this inquiring mind Does. Not. Want. To. Know.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm Baaaaaaaaack!

Sorry I've not been posting, but we've been catching up on sleep in Fort Worth. Met up with Pam and Mike for movies and supper, then packed up to head back to the Midland this morning.

Had a little drama when ThatManILove discovered he'd not had his crackberry on his person (as he remembered it) since we arrived at 2 a.m. a couple of nights prior.

We turned that hotel room upside down. Valet'd up both vehicles, and searched them from here to yon. No phone.

Decided to go check the movie theatre, and the restaurants that we had frequented. Finally, he found it at the Billy Minor Tavern.

Thank God.

Now, we're at Eastland, at the Starbucks, heading back to the West Texas. It's raining and sleeting and 32 degrees. I feel like I'm still in the PA, but it's warmer here! What beautiful weather in which to pick up Zack the Wonder Dog!


I'll be back commenting on all your blogs before you know it!

And, yeah, I know, ThatManILove still owes you a post! But wasn't his virgin post great? Thanks for all your comments!


There goes Janie, humming "Happy Trails to You", taking her last drink of Venti Tazo Chai, no water...braving the cold...getting in LaToya the Sequoia...and heading west, young man.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

We May Need to Call That 1-800 Number

Janie asked me to do a guest post. So, hello, readers, this is ThatManSheLoves typing here!

As many of you know, I have been working up in the Northeast for the past 3 ½ months. Wasn’t sure I was even going to see my Brown Eyed Girl, much less Elder Son and Younger Son or the Wonder Dogs (the ZZ Crew) for Christmas. But, miraculously, after a 6 hr (120 miles @ less than 30 mph av. speed) drive to Pittsburgh, 14 hrs in the Hades of Crapenental Airlines, I arrived - better late than never - in Midland, 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. All of this to turn right around and fly back to Pittsburgh, the Sunday (our 7th Anniversary) following Christmas w/ my darling Brown Eyed Girl.

I finally wrapped up my NE project on Tuesday and the Brown Eyed Girl and I commenced our trek back to Texas on Wednesday (New Years Eve) with great intentions of driving straight through to Nashville, spend a few days Eating, Drinking and being Married.

Well, it’s now Saturday night, and after four days on the road (and yes we did eventually pass (emphasis added) through Nashville), we are a mile or so outside of Hope Arkansas and by the time I finish this intro we will cross into the Lone Star State. I finally got my Brown Eyed Girl out of her Tylenol Sinus Daytime drug induced coma (an Intervention of sorts) and finally have her driving and I am going to read a bit and sleep a bit before I finish this travel log of our adventures and misadventures since Brown Eyed Girl’s last Blog. Brown Eyed Girl’s ready to hit the Blogosphere again and is missing you all. However, it’s her turn to drive, my time to sleep - finally.

So stay tuned for the rest of the story – I will be back.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Crackin' Crab in Kentucky!

Okay. We made it to Louisville, Kentucky. We are now eating at Joe’s Crab Shack on the Ohio River.

And we’re about to head to the Hollywood Casino. Yes, we are. Stupid, huh?

Only if you know (and now, you do) that we’re going to compound our stupidity from last night, when we went to the casino at Wheeling Island, West Virginia. Might I say that Indian Casinos S.U.C.K.??? (Except for that one at Tulsa, where I won some big bucks last year.)

And then, we’re headed to Nashville. From there, Dallas. We’ve extended our trip a couple of days since we’ve not been together in forever and a day, going to take a little mini-vacation. And unfortunately, ThatManILove does love him some blackjack.

But to tell you how good he is about it…last night, when we got in from the smoky casino, he took all of our clothes to the hotel Laundromat and washed and dried them. Is that amazing?
And, as you see in this picture, he’s been busy cracking crab legs for his favorite woman in the whole wide world. Me!!

Oh, yeah. I’m spoiled.

And the world is as it should be.