Monday, April 28, 2008

Stranger Things...

How wild is this? I get into Grand Junction, walk into the hotel lobby – and run right by a fellow board member from another organization, who lives in Houston. He was surrounded by a group of guys (he’s in a powerful position). I really don’t know him that well, and he had on a ball cap, so…

I hesitated. Got on the elevator. Decided to e-mail him and see if my eyes were deceiving me.

Nope, it’s a small world. He’s in the bar with a bunch of guys. Think I’ll pass. Even though he’s like The Top Dog of His Very Major Freakin’ Oil Company. So, I asked him to meet me for breakfast, but he’s going out to their rig at 5 a.m.

I don’t really want to go into the bar. It’s probably smoky, and I’m. Alone.

Well, not really, but my Young Whippersnapper Salesman has already gone to his room – he was up all night working with consultants, and had to be on a rig at 5:30 a.m. this morning. He would get up and go with me, if I made him, but I’m not going to do so.

So, I think I’ll pass. The trials of being a woman in the oilpatch…gotta keep that reputation pristine!

On another note entirely, my Lord, the scenery driving up from Denver was absolutely breathtaking. I had a hard time driving, I was so admiring the view. And then, I met my young whippersnapper salesman in a small town enroute. We had an appointment to meet a manager for an oil company. We go into the office, for our 3pm appointment. We wait, and wait, and wait. An hour and fifteen minutes. And finally, he comes out of another meeting, and gives us the finger. (Not that finger! The index finger, that means “just one more moment.”)

And ten minutes later, he comes out, and we meet. He was Australian. We’re both Texan. Now, I can communicate with a freakin’ wall. But this guy? No way. I mean, we handled it, but I know I didn’t understand everything, nor did my salesman. Still, we tarried on. It was hilarious, well, after we got back in the vehicle, anyway. My salesman looked at me with this look of shock on his face.

Salesman: What did he say?

Janie: I think he said “I lost two consultants to your firm, are you working for ABC Oil Company?” (By the way, this is not beginning said meeting on a positive note.)

Salesman: Are you serious??? That’s what he said?

Janie: Yup. The very thing you were worried about, he said.

Salesman: Well, how did I do? All I understood was “ABC Oil Company.”

Janie: You handled it well. You didn’t react, you just said, “We are doing lots of work as well as project management for ABC Oil Company.” It was the perfect thing to say.

Salesman: What now?

Janie: You and I will both write him a personal note, and you will come by to see him when you’re in the area. Just by those very acts, you’ll be differentiating yourself. He’s not even met the proprietor of the company he’s currently using. At some point, he may give you a call, who knows?

(Man. I hope we can understand him better if he does!)

I love my job.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Colorado Bound, Again...

It’s one of those days…you know, when you know you have to, but you just don’t want to go.

MLH has a summer cold, or something. He’s feeling like crap, and I have to go catch a plane to Denver. On Sunday. That's just not right! Upon my arrival at Denver, I get in a rental car and head to Rifle, Colorado, where we’ll be making rig visits. Time for the girl to suit up in jeans, steeltoe boots, safety glasses, and hardhat. The weather should be beautiful, and the mountains, lovely.

I hate to leave MLH when he’s sick. He’s one of those healthy male specimen, never quits, nothing gets him down. He works all the time, and never stops, except to do fun stuff with me, and/or my customers, like last night's Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquet. To see him down, makes my heart hurt. I’ve got him all dosed up on vitamin C, cold meds, antibiotic, and Emergen-C. He assures me he’ll be fine, to go on, do my job.


Prayers, please, for MLH?

Thursday, April 24, 2008


The morning came around and I realized…IT’S CLEANING DAY!!! Gotta make sure Younger Son has picked up his room. (Our house wasn’t too bad, heck, nobody’s ever home!)

I go into wake him up (the little sweetie had remembered what day it was, and left me a note asking me to wake him.) and he hopped out of bed and finished his room. Then, we decided to do breakfast, together, alone. (Between our schedules, unfortunately, Younger Son and I don’t get to spend a lot of time alone together.)

It was fun. Refreshing. (Even though he was having trouble keeping his eyes open – I’m such an entertaining person!) I found out he has plans to move into an apartment with one of his friends, and yes, his dad already knows, he assures me.

Of course, that starts a barrage of questions. How much is your rent? How much was your deposit? Can you handle the electricity? What are you planning do to about furniture? Does it have washer and dryer hookups? No? Hmmmm. How long is your lease? Is Jack leaving Taylor in a bind, moving out with him and moving in with you? Oh…Taylor’s engaged? WHAT? You guys are too young for that! Oh, well. And we go on to other things, like school, flying, grades, other friends. And as usual, we have a good time.

Sounds like he’s done his homework concerning this upcoming move, and he’s even arranging for more hours at work. He's going to continue and finish his his college. Of course, his truck is paid for, and we only give him a nominal amount every month – he’s not a big spender.

I guess it’s time to let him fly. Which kind of sucks, seeing how he just moved in – I’ve really liked having him at our house. But he’s been craving this for a while, he’s 19 years old, almost twenty…and we can’t hold him back.

Fly free, Younger Son. Explore the world. Conquer. Do great things. Above all, keep your sense of self - and stay true to the One who has called you.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Homeward Bound!

Oklahoma was good, seeing friends and making new ones was even better. The day was beautiful, though hot.

I am so sore from falling during my hunting escapade on Friday. Said “ouchiness” is affecting everything I do. I’ll be going in to see Kevin, my chiropractor friend, on Wednesday morning, thank God!

Life should be getting back to normal (whatever that is!) soon and I’ll be regularly blogging again.

'Til then, happy trails!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Grace - That's Me! and...more hunting pictures!

Friday found me hunting with customers at Moss Creek Ranch, east of Big Spring. They drove in from Oklahoma City to meet me at the ranch (now, that’s wanting to hunt!) A great time was had by all.

The beautiful terrain of Moss Creek Ranch - that flat top mountain is Signal Peak. Hoss is the dog on point!

We are trekking through the bushes, dogs pointing quail and chukkar, and I’m taking pictures of my hunters shooting. The terrain is beautiful, the dogs are beautiful…and.then.I.fall. It was one of those long falls, you know, the kind… that…takes…forever? And thank God, I had my brand new Canon 40D camera in my hand, and not just hanging from the strap around my neck. It was fitted with the 300 zoom lens on, and that would have been the first thing to hit the ground. But no…I have it in my hand, so I start trying to roll, to protect the camera.

And I land somehow on my right hip.

The guys run over to me, as I’m getting up. Don’t you know that was a graceful sight? I’m full of little cactus thorns and stickers, and I’ I’m glad no one else had cameras with them! I finish hunting, though I know I’ve done something to my hip. It’s not painful, it just feels weird, like it’s out of joint Saturday morning, I wake up, and amazingly, I’m not sore! We leave town at 6:15 a.m. to head out to the ConocoPhillips Halliburton Bad Boy Blast, where we shoot and have a great time. One of my customers shot a 90! My customers then drove back to Oklahoma City. I called them at 9 p.m. to check on them, they were about two hours out. They are tough!!

This is what you call a double flush - a bird has already flown to the shooter's left, and one is currently flushing on his right. The hunters got both birds - and I got a great picture!

I’ll see these same guys on Monday, when I go to OKC to shoot in the CASA shoot with more customers. We had such a good time Friday and Saturday!

Last point of the day - Zack the Wonder Dog, Prissy, and Ann - a beautiful sight indeed!

Last night, around 10 p.m., my chiropractor friend, Kevin Willhite, who owns Soft Touch Chiropractic in Midland, met MLH and I at his office, and performed an adjustment. He said I was in a bind – and by then, I knew I was. I feel better this morning, but I’m still going to take it easy.

That is, until I have to pack and get myself to the airport.

It’s never boring around here!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I Couldn't Resist...

MLH and I laughed until we cried over this e-mail, so I thought I'd share it...

Summer Classes for Men


Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays--Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll--Does It Change Itself? Round Table Discussion.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?--Group Practice.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.

Class 5
Dinner Dishes--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink? Examples on Video.

Class 6
Loss Of Identity--Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other. Help Line Support and Support Groups.

Class 7
Learning How To Find Things--Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming. Open Forum

Class 8
Health Watch--Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health. Graphics and Audio Tapes.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost--Real Life Testimonials.

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks? Driving Simulations.

Class 11
Learning to Live--Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife. Online Classes and role-playing

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.

Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy--Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven--What It Is and How It Is Used. Live Demonstration.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Coffee Test!

The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou

Well, heck yeah, it's 4:21 freakin' a.m. I'm so tired I can't sleep. I only wish Starbucks were open, then I'd have a reason for getting up, blogging, and doing laundry.

I'm probably stressing. have a busy 5 days ahead. I have appointments at 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 9:15 a.m. respectively. I have to get scholarship payments out. I have to meet some Oklahoman customers in Big Spring to go hunting with Zack the Wonder Dog, then take same said customers to supper tonight, then shoot in the Bad Boy Blast tourney with them at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Sunday, I leave for Oklahoma City to be there for another CASA shoot, and to see customers. And I can't get home until Tuesday.

Instead, I read your blogs, catch up, and do silly games like this one. If you play, let me know in the comments. Thanks, Bee Repartee, for the blog tip! (I would link her, but she's gone underground, ya know...)

Happy trails this weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More Than A Little Hot

I left Dallas Tuesday morning for OKC around 6 a.m. to attend our company’s Grand Opening there. I arrived back in DFW around 5pm, and headed to get my hair colored and cut with my favorite stylist, Rebecca at Toni & Guy in the Vista Ridge Mall, Lewisville, Texas.

The colorist, Debbie, is about 75% finished, we’re visiting and having a good time.

And then, I smell something burning. (And it's not my hair.)

I say something to Debbie: Do you smell that? Something’s burning.

Debbie: I can’t smell, I’ve had a cold, I’m stopped up.

Janie: You must be really stopped up, the smell is bad – like plastic burning.

We carry on.

About 10 minutes later, the manager stops all activity in the salon, saying she’s going to turn off all the power, and see if whatever’s burning will subside. No flames are visible, no smoke is visible, but the smell is worsening.

All power is turned off. Still, the smell pervades the room.

Manager has called the mall authorities, who, in turn, called the fire department.

Meanwhile, I have foil and color processing in my hair. I’ve not even yet seen my favorite haircut girl, Rebecca. I’m getting more than a little concerned.

Manager: Okay, I need everyone to grab all their things, and go outside the door, into the mall.

Janie (thinking to myself) Man. I’m glad I don’t know anybody here.

We all congregate outside the door of the Toni and Guy Salon.

After about ten minutes, the Manager comes back out. She wants a client count. There are nine of us in various stages of “processes”. I see my stylist, Rebecca. She has her purse, and looks like she’s about to jet. I walk up to her, and remind her who I am (I’ve not seen her in 2 years) and ask her not to leave me hanging, since I live 6 hours away. She hugs me, and says she didn’t know I was here, so I’m glad I went up to her and identified myself!

Manager makes us all grab our belongings, and we traipse. And traipse. And traipse.

Through. The. Entire. Mall. To. The. Opposite. Side. Of. The. Mall.

To. The. Employee. Lounge. In. The. Mall.

Don’t you know we looked a motley crew, all in our little smocks with varying colors in our hair, foil spiked all to heck, and trying to act like it wasn’t. really. happening?

We arrive at the Mall Employee Lounge. My color finished processing. Debbie the colorist grabs shampoo, and we utilize the sink (and a cup) in the bathroom of the employee lounge to wash and rinse my hair.

Rebecca grabs her scissors, and begins cutting. Around 8:30pm, we are starting to finish up. Everyone is exhausted.

We get out of the mall at 9:30 p.m. What a crazy night!

The things a girl will do to look good.

It’s never boring around here!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Car Rentals - easy as 1,2,3!

Have you ever had multiple car rentals simultaneously? Me, either…but today, I’ve got it faded.

Steve’s truck is muy malo and must go to the Powerstroke Doctor. He needs Janie’s 4wd Yukon to go to the field. Janie goes and rents a car for two weeks. Rental #1.

Janie’s leaving for Dallas tomorrow afternoon. She needs a rental to trek around the Metroplex. Rental #2.

While in the Metroplex, Janie must fly to Oklahoma City on Tuesday morning, and go to her company’s Grand Opening celebratory luncheon. She needs a car to get there and back to the airport so she can make it to her AADE National Board Meeting in Dallas that night. Rental #3. I’m a Hertz Gold kinda girl, normally. But OKC is out of cars. Wonder what is going on up there, besides our grand opening?

I have to be back in Midland on Wednesday night in order to take customers on a hunt on Thursday, then shoot at the ConocoPhillips – Halliburton Bad Boy Blast on Friday.

And on Saturday, we’ll be taking customers to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquet.

To wit, the Permian Basin event season has begun…yeehah.
It’s never boring around here!

Monday, April 7, 2008

MLH and Foo Were Right!!

Okay. Here’s the update. I found the housecleaner. And...MLH was right – she just decided it was too crazy for her to clean.

Another blogger that was right is Foo. He said, and I quote, “Okay, maybe it's little funny. I can just see your housekeeper showing up, walking in the front door with feather duster and Electrolux in hand, and stopping dead in her tracks. She takes one look at the challenge ahead, mutters under her breath, "Aw, hell no...", and walks herself back down the driveway.”

Yeah, well, Foo, I’ve not yet made that donation to MS150 on your behalf (readers, Foo’s riding from Frisco to Fort Worth, and you can sponsor him here - and please do!), so that was a brave freakin’ thing to say to your friend and (potential*) donor…even if it was true!

Anyway, back to the housecleaner extraordinaire…she told me, “Well, I couldn’t tell where I had cleaned – you’re supposed to pick up before I come!” I told her I did, but sometimes 4 days passed inbetween my pre-cleaning and the actual housecleaning day – and I would be out of town that entire time.

I said, “Girlfriend, a call would have been the right thing to do, it was wrong to leave me hanging. If we can talk, we can work through anything.” I explained that Younger Son had moved in, and between his schedule, my new job travel, and MLH being stuck out in the field, we’d not really had time to settle him in. I told her we were well pleased with what she was doing, even though I knew it was hard work to clean around the stuff.

She caved, and she’s coming back. (What a salesman I am!)

I went and bought the coolest dresser and table – here’s pix – and we got Younger Son’s room way more organized. The design is called “Black Bear”, and it’s all wood – not the laminate crap the furniture stores are selling these days. The table is probably a sofa table, but the bottom holds the records well and upright, and the stereo and turntable on top, with room for Younger Son’s loop box and cord basket on the bottom shelf, as well. Cherie was a godsend, helping me get all this done before Younger Son got off work at midnight.

(Note that Younger Son already has stuff resting on the surfaces. How is she going to dust around that?)

I know this is yeehah, but Younger Son even picked out the antler handles to put on the furniture. (Zack thought those were cool, too – he went crazy sniffing and licking them, so they must be real.) Before you PETA people get all up in the air, deer shed their antlers annually, so these are castoffs, as it were. As to storage, we were able to stack all the guitars into one corner, and 2 of the 4 amps into another. We’ve ordered guitar hangars, so the guitars will actually be part of the wall display in the music room (not Younger Son's bedroom); on another note entirely, MLH is going to design amp racks, getting them off the floor, as well. All of the instruments will eventually be in the music room. Things are shaping up nicely. Here are the guitars stacked in the corner - albeit temporarily! (I know, y'all are probably saying, "If this is straight, how did it look before?" Well, imagine suitcases, clothes racks, etc., and clothes strewn everywhere. But again, I wasn't really worried about it - it's his room!)

See the little writing desk? Younger Son absolutely, positively, would not give that up. That's where he writes his songs. He likes it. I like that he writes, period. Good enough for me.

Okay, remember, this is a musical family - thus the posters. Some instruments are in cases, under the bed - like another violin, a mandolin...and I can't remember what else.
Zack is guarding the antler handles. He likes them! Nah, he's just being a snooze muffin.

Cherie came over today, and helped me pick up more, and will get the floors washed tomorrow (Thank God for the Hoover Floormate, and Cherie!), so everything will be in better order for my company tomorrow night, and Thursday when the housecleaners come.
I had to show you the Bob Marley poster. I bought this (and all his posters) on e-Bay, when Younger Son was 11. Imagine my surprise, when I unrolled it the first time and ol' Bob was rolling a doobie. Yup, MLH and I decided to hide it until such time as Younger Son wasn't quite so impressionable. We finally hung it last night. It will probably offend many, but after a short family conference, we decided to put it up, just for the shock factor. Well, actually, I thought the chaise lounge was tall enough to cover certain parts. (Disclaimer - We by no means condone the use of illegal drugs.)

As to the housecleaners, I am definitely conflicted about their return – what if they leave me in the lurch again? If they don’t perform, well, then Snooty has offered an alternative solution - to introduce me to her cleaning people. Thanks, Snooty, I might just take you up on it.

*Donation has been made on behalf of Foo. Ride 'em, cowboy, in your girlie-girl shorts!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Missing Persons Report

Thursday is my favorite day to come home to the house. That’s because my housecleaner extraordinaire shows up. She and her team are in and out of here in record time, and they even change our sheets…normally.

I landed at the airport yesterday, and called MLH. He said, “Have you heard from our housecleaner? Younger Son said her check was still on the hutch, and no one’s been there today.”

And then, he says, “Of course, if I were her, I might have a problem cleaning our house right now since Younger Son’s moved in.” I’m of the opinion that’s not the case – I mean, if the youngun’s in bed, and his door’s closed, that’s one less room she has to work on…and she’s not had to work on that room in four weeks, because I usually leave the house at 6:30 a.m. or 7 and I can’t make sure he’s going to be up and out by 8 a.m., though we faithfully discuss it every Wednesday night. And with his schedule of college and work, who knows what time would be better for her to come?

Oh, no! I wonder if something’s happened to her? I try to call her, and there’s no answer. I get home, sure enough, she’s not been here. I am devastated.

And I look around. There are an extra 4 or 5 cased guitars stacked up against various walls that weren’t here a month ago. The drawers are still out on the floor, from under the sink – from the last time we had the kitchen flood. MLH wanted to fix the runners on the drawers, he didn’t think they were working just right. And the fan he used to dry out the floor hasn’t been moved.

And the living room has been totally rearranged…to accommodate all the college kids coming over to play Wii, Xbox 360, and watch movies on a daily basis. Which also translates to about a million controllers, wired and wireless, stuffed on top of the entertainment center. No way could a cleaning crew dust that thing – they could pull one wire and the whole thing would come tumbling down. We have to do something about that. And there was nothing in our agreement about them having to move big furniture to clean…

Our house is very small, and any change can have big results. You add to that the fact that lately, MLH and I have been travel monsters (I saw him last night for the first time in 11 days.) I have flown 20 roundtrip Southwest flights since January 1, 2008. And 6 Crapinental - I mean Continental. Craziness.

Back to looking around. So, our dining room table currently has two shotguns in cases laying on it, as well as MLH's fluid level machine. It's a big table, they could just dust around them!! I just haven’t had time to put them up. Well, actually, MLH always puts up my guns for me...but he's not been home.

Younger Son and I met at 2:30 a.m. this morning (yup, I woke up thinking about it, and he was up.) We measured walls in his room, and talked about storage options for his 100+ albums, no telling how many CDs, and movies. I think we have a plan. Today, I’m going to buy him two new pieces of furniture, which should eliminate 100% (I know, I’m dreaming) of the clutter in his room. Maybe he’ll even put up his supersized suitcase. Who knows? I really don't care about the clutter, it's so cool having him here in the same house with his dad. And, after all, it's his room - he's the one that has to live in it!

Yup, I’m thinking since my house has been in a little disarray (not that it wasn't already in some disarray) for around a month, she just jetted me. A call would have been nice.

Anyone know a good housecleaner that might understand mi vida loca, and won't get their danged panties in a wad about it?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Miles and Miles

Oh, my Lord. I’m exhausted. We went to 8 different offices today to call on customers. All of the visits were good, and that’s somewhat normal for my day, seeing that many customers…


We’re in Denver! Downtown Denver. The Mile High City. Which translates to tons and tons and miles of walking. And I’m old…and decrepit. Funny, I never thought of myself as that way, until today.

We had a 7 a.m. breakfast date with one customer, then an 8:15 appointment with another…about 7 blocks away, all up a steep hill.

Young Salesman: We have a trek ahead of us. This hill is killer.

Janie: I can (huff, puff) see that.

Young Salesman: When I first moved here last year from Houston, I would make this hill, and I thought I was going to die.

Janie: (Not speaking, because. I. Can’t.) (I think I am dying!) (But I’m still trying to look contained and in control, breathing regularly – when he’s not looking – because, you know, image is freakin’ everything.)

Young Salesman: (not even breathing hard) But I got over it quickly, ‘cause around here, you walk everywhere. It’s crazy when it’s icy and snowy, trying to navigate this hill.

Janie: (Still not speaking, trying to breathe and keep up with young whippersnapper: God, I think I might just fire him. Navigate the hill, hell, it’s a beautiful day and I can’t even navigate it!)

Young Salesman: The altitude and cold combined can wreak havoc on your body. One day this year, it was so cold, when I got to my office, I think my sinuses were frozen. They hurt so bad.

Janie: (What? Did he say his sinuses were frozen? I’m freakin’ burning up here! I tried to get you to let me leave my coat in the office, young fellow!)

Young Salesman: Sorry (as he leaves me behind), I'm a pretty fast walker.

Janie: (Not speaking, but wondering, “Do you think it would violate the sexual harrassment laws if you just carried me the rest of the way? I’ll give you a raise!”)

We make it to the 8:15 with minutes to spare, and have a great visit.

Then we leave for our 9 a.m. appointment.

Janie: Where to now, senor?

Young Salesman: Oh, we have to go to John’s office – it’s only about a mile and a half away.

Janie: Let’s get to it! Places to be, people to see! (Oh, yeah, I’m such a motivator!)(Do they have a recliner? I need a nap!)

He was a perfect gentleman, but he’s probably laughing his ass off tonight regaling his wife with stories of his out of shape lady boss. And tomorrow’s another day!

I have to go, I’m about to submit my online application to AARP...if I can find the strength to do so.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Denver Trippin'

We landed this morning at 6:30 am, and it was a perky 23 degrees outside. I had a great day running (fast walking) around downtown Denver with another one of my stellar salesmen. We saw old friends and met (hopefully) new ones. I ran to Cherry Creek Mall after work, and did my annual “ship it home” shopping. Tomorrow morning, we have a 7 a.m. breakfast meeting, and meetings back to back after that with clients. It will be a busy day, but hopefully, fun! Now I have to close to go write “nice to meet you!” notes.

I was born to sell. Seriously. I love it, love it, love it. Well...most of the time, anyway.

Happy trails!