Monday, June 22, 2009

Oilfield Follies

ThatManILove is on a workover, out in the field. It’s been a doozie of a job, one little complication after another. At 5:15 p.m., he called me and told me he’d probably be leaving location and heading towards home in an hour. At 7:38 p.m., I sent him the following message:

"Hi. This is your wife.

This is your wife who's a little worried because you're not answering your phone.

This is your wife who remembers you telling her at 5:15pm that you would be heading home in an hour which was more than 2 hrs ago.

This is your wife who ACTUALLY (believe it!) Cooked Supper based on her husband's time table so eloquently described above.





The subsequent text message will be from your dogs. I suggest you communicate prior to that transmission. It could get ugly."

He's usually the best communicator. I knew he was on location, and I was a little worried that something serious had happened. He finally called me en route home from location at 9:02 pm - they had run into some problems. I told him of my concern, and he apologized. The dogs greeted him like a long lost friend, beating me to the back door - they are SUCH traitors and suckups.

ThatManILove loved supper, by the way - and my text message!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Apology and Helping Hands...

It’s been a very stressful month.

First, my employer wanted us to relocate to DFW. All good…I would still handle this area, still keeping my fingers in the Permian Basin pie, still cover the Western US. Then, in the middle of that negotiation, WHILE we’re looking at houses in the Fort Worth area, my employer called and said, “How about moving to Pennsylvania, instead?” After a couple of discussions with ThatManILove, and much prayer and thought, we started investigating Pennsylvania. We'd love to be up there, it's booming, and beautiful - what a way to finish up our careers - how exciting it would be! And I'd get to be close to Vodka Mom and all the great northeast bloggers, which would be a bonus in itself!

In the end, we decided against the move – the houses are some 100% higher, and we’d have to go into debt. And that, we just can’t do. After all the times I've advised people to never turn down a move within a company, I just did it.

All that to tell you why I’ve not been blogging. Hopefully, I’ll get my drive back now and get back to it! Thanks for your patience and not leaving me during this time! And speaking of people, well, here’s yet another way to connect.

Bloggers are amazing people. Bloggers rally together when a friend is in need. Joanie is spending a lot of time out of town at the hospital with John, ThatManSheLoves! John is having chemo treatments, and as you know, hanging out in another town, to be near the hospital and support one you love, well, it’s never cheap.

So we're Paypal-ing to help out Joanie and John. And just this once, if you have $5, $10, $20 or a hundred to spare, you can go to Braja's place and throw some bucks in the Paypal account to help Joanie and John. and make Joanie's days a little easier. Every cent will reach Joanie and be so appreciated. If you’d care to help financially, go it. Please. That's what friends are for...

Have I told you lately that you rock?? Well, you ROCK! And I've missed you all.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Flash of Brilliance

As you know, last Sunday was brother Scott’s birthday. The Big 5-0.

Yup. We had a good time at Scott’s house, eating spaghetti, talking, messing with the beautiful and talented grandkiddo McKenzie Bree, and laughing at her antics.

Scott recently got a new Canon digital camera, and he’s been enjoying it greatly. (Don't even think you'll beat me at photography, Scott...shooting guns or photos, I'm gonna win!) At the past graduations of his sons, he figured out his flash wasn’t quite as far-reaching as he needed. And someone in this house noticed his dilemma. (I am so very astute!)

Big Sister to the rescue! On his birthday, we presented him with a new Canon Speedlight Flash.

Today, he called me at the office.

Scott: Hey, Sister.

Me: Hey, you!

Scott: Thanks so much for coming over, and making the spaghetti sauce, and everything. We had so much fun! I love my flash!

Me: Yeah?

Scott: Yeah. I've been playing with it! This flash can do amazing things! It can turn this way, and that, and flip up, and down.

Me: I’m glad you like it!

Scott: Oh, I do! It’s so smart, it’s going to fix all my problems.

Me: Really?

Scott: Yup. Next, I’m going to point the flash at my house and see if it will rebrick it!

He cracks me up.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What a Blast!

6:15 a.m. Friday morning, Hogan Park, Midland, Texas - it’s time for the Permian Basin API Scholarship Golf Tournament. We’re at Hole 13 on the Quail course, where my firm sponsors the hole-in-one contest, putting up our sponsor tent, setting up for the 7:30 a.m. tee time. This is my 23rd year to serve as one of the organizers of this tournament. A cool 540 golfers play two days, two courses - and there are 12 cookers and several sponsors scattered out over each course. It’s a lot of fun, and the tournament enjoys a stellar reputation and provides scholarships for some 24 college students.

My brother, Scott, calls. He’s in the parking lot, having brought me his brand new Kawasaki Mule for my personal use during the tournament. And yes, I know, I’m spoiled. He unloads it, brings it to me, and I take him back to the pro shop. He hops back into his truck, and hauls butt back to Big Spring, where he has an 8:15 a.m. sales meeting. He’ll be back for his 1:00 p.m. tee time.

The tourney kicks off, and all carts head out for a shotgun start. The golfers are ready for a great weekend. About that time, Robert Walker, The Harley Davidson Shop in Big Spring (the original Texas Harley Davidson dealer!), shows up to deliver the Harley Davidson Screaming Eagle motorcycle we’re displaying at our hole. We get his trailer placed, the bike unloaded, banners hung, and everything’s set to go. His bike is beautiful, and the golfers are already drooling over it!

Robert’s gone out of his way to help us by providing the display bike. I just can’t let him go home empty-handed! I tell Robert about the renown pork chops that the Baker Hughes guys cook, and I can see I’ve flung a craving on him - no matter it’s not yet 8 a.m. We hop on the Mule, grabbing a long-time friend Susie at the parking lot, and head over across the course to the Baker cook wagon to grab some pork chops.

We’re enjoying the ride on the Mule, it’s a beautiful crisp morning, and all the golfers are having lots of fun. I think Robert’s getting a feel for just how big this two day charity tournament is! The beer is already flowing out of the kegs, and delectable aromas waft across the course as different cookers prepare their wares.

It takes about three minutes to get to the Baker tents. There are about 10 salesmen there, working their fingers to the bone, cooking and talking to customers. Once there, I pull up to the cooker and we get off the Mule. We’ve just started to give our orders when I hear a huge blast. I look around and everyone that can has hit the ground, or is ducking down. The blast is LOUD!!

It is huge! Birds are flying everywhere, and I scream, “We’re in the city! Who’s shooting the dang shotgun? That's against the law!”

One of the Baker guys says, “Janie! It’s your cart! Turn it off!”

Boiling antifreeze was going everywhere, and smoke was billowing from the Mule. I reach across and turn it off.

I couldn’t even think, I just hit redial on my phone.

Scott answers: Hey, Little Sister?

And for once in my life, I’m speechless. I cannot say a thing. How can I tell my brother I just killed his $11K Kawasaki Mule?

Scott can hear all the commotion in the background. Everybody’s recovering, and talking about it. We’re all in shock.

Scott: Janie, what happened?

Me: Ummm, ummmm. I, ummm, blew up your Mule.

Scott: What? What happened? Are you okay? is everyone okay?

I hand the phone to Robert. Robert tells Scott that we’re okay, it just scared us all. He thinks the hose has blown up like someone shot something through it. It’s his opinion that the thermostat stuck, causing pressure to build up, thus the explosion.

Scott calls the Kawasaki shop, and they head over immediately to see what’s up. The Mule has been driven less than 3 hours, (I've been on it less than 5 minutes!) is brand new, and that shouldn’t happen!

We are so blessed that we were (1) off the cart, when it happened and (2) not one person was burned. (And did I tell you those Baker guys can Flat. Out. Move. when they need to?)

Within minutes, the entire golf course knew about it, and I caught grief all day long about blowing up my brother’s cart. Scott headed back our way, and met the Kawasaki mechanics, who loaded it up and took it to their shop. To their credit, they had it fixed and back to us prior to day’s end. Saturday morning, I had my ride back, and though everyone teased me, there were no more Mule incidents. And Scott? Well, he is definitely one prince of a guy, even if he is my brother! Love ya, Scott!!

You can always count on one thing - it’s never boring around here!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Answer IS Blowing in the Wind - aka the Real Traveling Pants Story

Going down the dirt road to take Little Brother Camp Eagle last week, we crossed a low water bridge. The river was flowing across the bridge – not enough to be dangerous, but slowly. It was so beautiful.

En route back, Dulce (Little Brother’s real little brother!) was entranced with the beautiful scenery. When we got to the bridge, I asked ThatManILove to stop so that Dulce might dangle his feet in the river, which was very shallow. (Dulce had never seen a river!) I slipped off my shoes, and started out of my truck to go to his door. I had made it almost to the front right corner of my truck when ThatManILove called out.

Jane! (He only calls me that when he’s exasperated…mad…worried…or done!) Jane! That’s moss, and it’s going to be slicker than…noooooooooo! JANE!  JANE!  ARE YOU OKAY???

Oh, yeah, baby. You guessed it. I fell. Face first. My feet slipped out backwards, causing me to do a belly flop onto the bridge. Right into the running water. I wasn’t hurt (a miracle) and I hopped right up (another miracle!) and didn’t fall again (yes, God is with me!), though I should have, I was laughing so hard.

ThatManILove wasn’t so happy – he was concerned, and griping, and worried.

Janie, when I could talk: Oh, TMIL, I’m okay, please don't yell at me. (I am SOAKED.) (And of all days to wear solid white – shirt – capris – the only thing colored I had on was a pink tank top and the CUTEST pink sandals. But I digress.)

TMIL : It’s going to be just as slick on this side! (He's on the driver's side.) Please be careful, I don't think you should do this, just get back in the truck.

Janie: Just throw me my shoes, that will help. Dulce, get out of the truck, and stand right here.

ThatManILove gives me my sandals. I drop them into the water, and start stepping into them. I slip again, and only have one sandal on. I don’t fall, but now…where did that other sandal go? Dang.

Dulce’s Mom: Here it is, I’ll try to get it before it goes completely off the bridge. (She’s on the passenger side of the truck.)

TMIL : Y’all be careful! This is STUPID!!!

Dulce’s Mom snags the sandal, and gives it to TMIL in the truck, who passes it to me for the second time, with a disgusted look on his face.  He is not a happy camper.

Dulce: My book! My book! I dropped my book into the river! (He starts crying.  Yup.  Now I've got a crying 9 year old and a griping husband.)

I finally get both my shoes on, and try to rescue the paperback book. I find it (it’s been swept to the other side of the truck and is hanging by only a cement block), but it is soaked. Thoroughly wet, beyond redemption. I get there just as the current catches it and carries it into the river. I can only pray that it’s biodegradable paper.

TMIL: Jane. JANE! Get. In. The. Truck. You’re going to hurt yourself. And I couldn’t even begin to tell the EMT’s where we are. (He’s so positive.)

I get in the truck, and survey the damage to my body. Thankfully, there is none. My clothes? Another matter altogether.

My white capris are green from the knee down, though it is a cool yukky green brown mossy color. (Cabelas would love to patent this camo pattern, I promise!) My white tunic shirt has an ugly mudstain on it, you know, one of those talking stains you see on the Tide commercials. And everything I’m wearing is now see through. I think my sandals (sweet Birkies!) are history.

TMIL: Ooh, Baby. I’m liking the wet t-shirt look.
Janie: Ssssshhhhh! (I am still laughing, hard.)

I am soaked. Seriously soaked. And then, I have this idea. What if I dry my shirt, while we’re going down the road, by hanging it out the sunroof? We’re going 80, it’s 88 degrees – by my calculations, mud and all will be dry within 2 minutes.

So I strip it off. (Remember, I’m wearing a pink tank top underneath!) I hang it out the sunroof. ThatManILove is shaking his head, but it quickly dries. I’m sure the cars we meet are wondering what the hell, but…what the hell? The terrain gets hilly, so now, as I see a car coming, I’ll pull the shirt back in…and when we pass it, out it goes again. (I was thinking – what if I meet a highway patrol? He’ll stop me out of pure curiousity, and what if I’m missing THE garment?) I pull the tunic shirt back in, and put it on. Then, out goes the tank top. It’s dry in a heartbeat. And then, the big decision.

The turning point? When TMIL asks where we’re going to eat in the next town. No WAY can I go in with see-through capris! The capris come off and out the sunroof they go. I’m only hoping Homeland Security isn’t flying over the Hill Country at the same time…I can hear them now

“Homeland Security 1 to Control: Unidentified humongous flying object – looks, it can't be!  Yup, maybe... a pair of gargantuan white capris flying over a Toyota Sequoia. Object is exhibiting weird symptoms – when the Toyota meets a car, the object retracts back into the vehicle, only to come out a second later. Must be some type of alien morse code. We're going in closer to investigate. Will report findings.”

Oh, yeah, baby. Remember one thing – it’s never boring around here!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

Last weekend found us in the car with Little Brother, his mom and younger brother (let's name him Dulce, since he's so sweet!), heading to Rock Springs to drop Little Brother off at Camp Eagle. (By the way, what an awesome place!)

We’re driving through the country south of Junction, Texas, home of several game ranches. We've seen horses, cows, sheep, goats, buffalo...and then we get to the good stuff. We’re having fun spotting all the wildlife, when a squeal comes out of the back seat. It’s Dulce, and he's jumping up and down in the seat and pointing…

“Look, y’all! It’s a deer – a real one! Not one of those fake heads that you see hanging on the wall!”