Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's!

Wow. I’m finally feeling better. We delayed our trip to FW until the 26th because I had the flu or some type of respiratory stuff, which has continued in some form or the other, until today. I have been ingesting huge quantities of Emergen-C and taking a Wellness Formula herbal defense complex…I just couldn’t stand to go back on antibiotics. (I had just finished a regimen less than 2 weeks ago.)

A lot of it is probably just exhaustion – we have now been enjoying a much needed rest. The day after we arrived, we drove to Shreveport to the casinos, then came back and had lunch with my cousin Kristy at Longview. Last night, we drove to Dallas and had supper with some friends at a new restaurant called Cuba Libre. That was fun, and the food was amazing!

Tonight, we’re schedule to eat supper at the Chophouse Restaurant and then, attend the Robert Earl Keen concert at the Bass Performance Hall with our friends from Lubbock, John and Suzan and their daughter Becky. Tomorrow, we hope to entice our friends Mike and Pam into the mix, and just gad about town, shopping, going to museums, whatever we can stir up. Later in the afternoon, Younger Son should be coming into town, hopefully fresh and rested (snark!) from a Reckless Kelly concert in Gruene, Texas.

Later that night, you will find us all in Arlington, at the house of a friend of Mike and Pam’s, where a bunch of guys will play their bagpipes and pipe in the New Year. That will be a first for me, and I’d bet, for the rest of my crew, as well. New Year’s Day, ten of us will meet at the The Worthington Renaissance, our Fort Worth hangout, for a sumptious New Year’s Day brunch.

And within that schedule, there will be lots of fellowship and napping. What a way to end a holiday season!

If I don’t post again until after the 1st, y’all have a safe Blessed and Happy New Year! God bless you, each and every one!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Name That View

Regionally appropriate prize to the winner. Correct answer must be somewhat specific...have fun!

UPDATE: Lone Chatelaine is the Winner - she guessed Sundance Square, Fort Worth, Texas, with the Dome being the Casa Manana theatre! So, girl, send me your info and I'll get your prize out to ya! (Since I've not yet figured out what the regionally appropriate prize is, do ya have any wishes?)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Past....

Christmas Breakfast recap – it was good, fun, and we had way too much food. Bob and Cherie were here, as well as our friend Bud and Younger Son. I was feeling rough, but made it through. After everyone left, I went straight to bed and stayed there all day. This morning, I’m feeling a wee bit better – enough to run to the chiropractor for an adjustment. That always helps!

We’re getting ready to pack the vehicle and head east to Fort Worth. We delayed our trip because I was feeling bad – but we’re moving on, now. Zack the Wonder Dog wasn’t quite up to par, either, and MLH took he and Zoie the Wonder Pup to the vet. For those of you who wonder what happens when we go out of town, our friend Bud stays at our house with Zack and Zoie. Bob and Cherie are going to come take them for their daily walks, so that will be good. It’s good to have friends who are willing to help out so we can get away for a much-needed vacation.

On our way east, we’ll stop at my brother’s house to see them. I’m looking forward to seeing my brother and sister-in-law and the boys. This is the first Christmas I can remember that we didn’t go to their house or to my Mom’s for the day. I’m pretty sure their boys have never been away from their home on Christmas except for the time we all went on the Christmas cruise, plus, now they now get to enjoy their beautiful little grandgirl on Christmas. I think that’s an admirable way to raise your sons. My brother and sister-in-law definitely understand the concept of family and traditions – they so get it.

Anyway, hope y’all had a Merry Christmas! We’ll soon be eastward bound. If I don’t blog again before the New Year (no promises!), y’all have a blessed 2008!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's Christmas Eve...

Today, we slept in…for once. We went to breakfast with Younger Son, then finished the last minute shopping. We had a great day. And tomorrow will start a new tradition at the Sounding Forth house. We are staying at our house for Christmas! In all our married years, we have never done that - not even once! And sometime after Christmas breakfast with our kiddos and some friends, at our leisure, we will head to the DFW area to chill out for the rest of the year, and celebrate our anniversary. We need some time off - and we're going to take it! We'll spend some much needed time together, and also, visit some friends.

Many of your have asked for new shots of the Zoie-girl. Here’s a pix of Miss Zoie in November…

And today. She’s grown so much! She and Zack are hilarious together.

Some friends of ours, chilling out with Zoie. Aren't they beautiful children?
Merry Christmas, y'all…and may God bless you and yours this season and for the New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

What would Dave say?

I know, ‘tis the season and all, but…I have to sound off about the Wendy’s on Loop 250.


I think Wendy’s makes good burgers. I’m just not sure if they are worth a 23 minute wait in the drive-through line at 9:30 p.m. And it just reinforces how tired I am that I let it happen.

Just sayin’.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I’m on vacation until the end of the year. Therefore, I had lunch with my customers today, and will have breakfast with more customers at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Yesterday, I was in Houston. After all, just what part of this “I’m on vacation” do I not understand? I'm going to have to draw a line here somewhere.

I am waaaaaay too dedicated to my job. Or maybe to my customers, I’m not sure.

MLH makes me laugh.

He’s typing up his daily report to send to his company man. On the report, he recounts what happened today. One thing had to be done over and over due to the incompetency of the contract crew and well problems, and on MLH’s well report he wrote: “Loaded and tested pipe, didn’t hold, came back out of hole, went back in, loaded and tested pipe, no good. Walked off location and had a huge internal hissy fit, complete with imaginary stomping. Being the totally politically correct man I am, I then quietly turned around, went back to location, finished working. Sent crew home and shut down for day.”

He’s a funny man.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Angels for angels...

I called the local Salvation Army yesterday to see where they stood with their angel tree kids. They had just been informed of 10 more that didn’t have sponsors. I took a step of faith and volunteered, and I went and picked them up.

As soon as I got back to work, one of my coworkers grabbed two of the angel cards and headed out to shop.

This morning, I called a customer to confirm a brunch date for Sunday. He asked what our Saturday looked like, and I told him “Shopping for Angels!”. My customer then told me his family usually adopts angels every year … but they recently suffered a death in the family, and his wife is out of the country attending to her family. They’re just out of rhythm right now – a death will do that to you.

He’s going to split the costs with us on these 8 remaining children. He's an angel for our angels! Isn’t that awesome?? These kids won't go without gifts. Now that, ladies and gents, is what this season is all about! Woohoo! And thank you, Lord!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eulogy for a Crepe Myrtle

According to an insurance article I read this morning, 23% of most accidents happen within 1 mile of the house.

After this week, I can attest to that. Maybe within 50’ of the house.

MLH and I went to Outback for supper. He had 2 glasses of wine, I had ice tea. MLH very rarely drinks, but on the rare occasion that he does, I am ALWAYS the designated driver. No question. This is a set agreement we have between us, and we always honor it.

We left the restaurant. We are one block from home.

MLH: I can’t believe you let me drive.
Janie: What do you mean? You didn’t drink anything.
MLH: Yes I did. I had two glasses of wine, and I didn’t even think about getting behind the wheel.
Janie: Man, I must be tired. I’m sorry. That’s not good, at all.
MLH: I didn’t even think about it, Janie. I’m sorry, too.
MLH: We’re turning on to our street now, we just have 5 houses to go.
Janie: Okay.

We pull up to our house.

Janie: Hey, do you mind turning around my truck so it will face the other way, in case it’s icy in the morning? I want to limit walking in the street if it’s slick.
MLH: Sure, hon.

At which point, he whips into the neighbor’s circular drive to better enable him to park the truck right in front of our house.

I look up, and scream “Don’t turn yet!” just as he cuts across the circular drive, right onto the top of the neighbor’s crepe myrtle bush. I swear, between my 4wd Yukon XL and the sounds of an icy tree biting the big one, it felt like we’d run over a cinder block fence.

Yesterday morning, I left at 6:30am, so it was still dark out. I ran home around 11 a.m. to clean out my truck to get ready to pick up customers for lunch. I surveyed, in the daylight, the damage we’d inflicted to the bush during the night.

The tree/shrub/bush…is dead. Waaaaay dead. I don’t even think it would live if we cut it back. And MLH had to confess to our neighbor, a local fireman/EMT. The stuff this poor guy has to put up with to be our neighbor, I swear. He’s really a super nice guy, and a great neighbor. He actually thought it was funny. Neither MLH or I do. We are sufficiently humbled. What were we thinking? It's obvious we weren't.

Anyway, I guess we fell within the parameter of the statistics. We were very lucky that’s all that happened. And a lesson was reinforced. No matter how tired your designated driver is, she’s way better than any driver who’s had a glass of wine. Or just get a freaking taxi. Thank God that’s all that happened.

Anyone know of a sale on crepe myrtles?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A letter from Pepsi

Pepsi the German Shorthair and Sierra the Vizsla at a field trial

Hey, y’all, this is Zack posting here. Well, I can talk, so of course, I can write!Mom got this e-mail for me today from Zoie’s aunt Pepsi (who also happens to be the 2006 Upland Classic High Point Champion – for the whole nation!!) and I thought I should share it with you.

From: T**** & E**** [mailto:************]
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 11:33 PM
To: Janie
Subject: From Pepsi!

My Mom would like your mailing address as she has a Christmas card to send you.
Sierra beat me by only three points at Rex's event last week-I am in shock!
What does Zoie want for Christmas?

And my sincere reply…

Dear Aunt Pepsi, (I know, you’re Zoie’s aunt, but since Zoie is (supposedly) my new sister, everything is relative in dogs and fence jumping, so you’re my aunt now, too.)

Mom’s mailing address is:

MLH & Janie
P O xxxx
Midland, Texas xxxxx

Sierra is a young whippersnapper and I’m sure she’s pretty cocky about her win…however, we know that age and wisdom always prevails…in the end. As to Zoie’s Christmas, I would be most happy if she didn’t live to see it and my life could go back to where it was! You know, I was the king! I ran the house! And all I had to do was look at Mom and Dad and they gave me what ever I wanted. And I slept on the foot of Mom and Dad’s bed EVERY night. Now, I get up there and Zoie has to come join me, bite on me, jump on me…and I just want to take a nap with Mom and Dad. It’s our bed, after all.

Yup, I’m just the freakin’ glorified babysitter now. It’s easy for them… they can say “no bite” and she won’t bite them. I have to growl or bark to get that message across, then Mom and Dad get cross with me and say, “Ooooooh, Zack, be sweet – she’s just a baby.”

Baby, my butt. She is the German Shorthair version of the Tazmanian Devil. Speaking of butts, I’d like to see hers spin off into the sunset. Any sunset would do as long as it's far, far away from the flatlands of West Texas.

That’s not going to happen though, and she will grow up soon. I’ll get over it. Thanks, Pepsi, for letting me get this off my beautiful ticked chest. Have a great weekend, and give Sierra my love.

Love and lickies from Zackamundo The Wonder Dog and the brat child Zoie the Wonder Pup

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bah, Humbug? Naaaaaaaaaah.

It’s a cold, wintry night. I’m kicked back on my bed, watching Lifetime – a rarity (me kicked back on my bed, even getting to watch television). Zack the Wonder Dog is asleep and snoring, laying on MLH’s pillow, with his head on my shoulder. Zoie the Wonder Pup is nestled up against my leg, and is chewing on…a coathanger? What the heck?

MLH is at the kitchen table finalizing his morning reports. Younger Son is working at Best Buy and won’t be off until 11 p.m. – the joys of the Christmas Season. Elder Son is doing his own version of Christmas retail in Las Vegas, modeling for Cinch Jeans at Cowboy Christmas, and having a blast.

As for me? I’ve not even thought about one single Christmas present. That is horrible, I know.

One of my coworkers asked me what MLH was getting me for Christmas – and I must have had this weird look cross my face. He said, “What? Do y’all not exchange presents?” And I said, “Oh, sometimes – it just depends.”

The truth is, we usually don’t exchange Christmas gifts, by mutual agreement. Now, if I see something that I absolutely know will blow MLH’s socks off, I will snag it -like the cool amp I surprised him with on Christmas last year. I love to surprise him, and he does a good job of surprising me, as well. We always get the boys Christmas gifts, and though they’re grown, one of our traditions are filling their Christmas Gift Sacks (their stuff won’t fit in stockings!) with all sorts of music stuff, fun things, gift cards and neat t-shirts, things they’ll use but probably wouldn’t buy for themselves. Zack (and now, Zoie) will get a stocking, as well.

Before December’s end, we’ll go on a short trip, and that will be our Christmas and anniversary celebration with each other. Getaways are always good for renewals - and we've been working so hard, we need some time off - just to breathe.

As to giving within our extended families for Christmas, we don’t. Our families always adopt other families through the Salvation Army and give to them, instead. On MLH’s side of the family, we all get together for family dinner, and go deliver all the presents to the Salvation Army at one time. It’s fun, and we all know we’re helping others – and it is right to do so. On both sides of our families, we do a themed stocking exchange, much like a white elephant party – if someone else likes the stocking you chose better than the one they drew, it’s up for grabs. That is a lot of fun, and can get really crazy.

Mostly, we try to live Christmas throughout the year…with each other, and by giving when we see a need, volunteering, and supporting different causes close to our hearts. It’s where, hopefully, we’re most effective.

The awesome gift the Father gave us - the gift of Jesus Christ - lasts all year, every year. It's the gift that's new every morning! And that's gift enough for us.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Zack is Back!

Zack is back from the trainers, and is in fine fettle.

That only means one thing…life at our house has entered a new season of craziness. Zack is a very calm dog…but now, he has a 3 month old ball of energy attacking him at every second. Zoie the Wonder Pup will absolutely not leave him alone.

If, by chance, we get her in a situation where she calms down, all Zack has to do is shake his collar and the Zoie-monga is up and running full speed again. She is so afraid she’s going to miss something!! At times, we have to crate her to get her to settle.

Zack is handling everything well – he is down to the “every once in a while when she’s crossed a huge boundary” warning growl. Overall, I’d say their relationship is progressing along nicely.

Zack and I have a field trial this weekend, and I’m looking forward to hunting with him. We’ve definitely missed his presence around here!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

An Industry First!!

I am sharing top-breaking news with you. An industry first! In all my years in the energy industry, I've never seen such. So, I figured you, my faithful readers, should be the first to know.

Visiting an office yesterday morning, I asked one of the managers if he'd like to go to lunch. He accepted - then the other manager came to his door, and said, "Let's go to lunch!" I graciously offered to be their lunch sponsor, and they accepted. This was my first foray with this customer, and our first such meeting. We enjoyed some great fellowship, and some great Mexican food at one of our local restaurants.

When it came time to pay, I found my billfold had escaped my purse. Woe. Despair. And agony on me…deep dark depression, excessive misery...

I confessed my dilemma, and they got the biggest kick out of my oversight! We all laughed, me until tears ran down my face – and one of them graciously picked up the ticket. Once we checked out, we went and searched my truck. The billfold was in the back seat, where it had fallen out of my purse.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a first for me. Bet they don't quickly forget me!