Monday, August 31, 2009

The Little Horse Who Wouldn't

This morning, my phone rang. It was Elder Son, though I could barely understand him.

ES: Mom.

Me: Yeah, babe?

ES: Mom, I had to you. (He’s hesitating, sounds like he’s crying.)

Me: What’s up? Is SOMETHING WRONG????

(I can hear all this snuffling, and scuffing around, and some type of weird guttural noise.)

ES: Jason and I are having to load these little...(more snuffling, weird sounds) miniature horses that Jason’s granddad bought for Jason’s kids at the livestock auction, and...and...(mumbles off into nowhere, and I can hear him laughing and trying to catch his breath.)

(I can hear Jason laughing out loud.)

Me: What? What's going on?

ES: Well, Mom, it’s just that.....(fades into laughter again. He finally composes himself)...we got all the horses loaded except for...(and off he goes again) except for this (Jason laughing his butt off in the background)

Me: (I start laughing, too.) Tell me! Finish your sentence!

Now, I ask you, how stupid is that, that I start laughing? I can’t even see them, I don’t even know what’s happening. But I can imagine. Jason isn’t a tall guy, but Elder Son tops out at 6’4” tall lean bean. And a miniature horse, much less 7-8 of them? Just the visuals are funny!

Me: Elder Son! Finish, please?

ES: Mom....I can’’s just that, I’m really trying...okay, give me a second....okay....we’ve been trying...trying to...(and he dissolves into man giggles again.)

I just sit there, grinning like a cheshire cat. I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s going to be good. It’s gonna be one of those worth the wait ones. I wait.

He finally calms down a little bit.

ES: Mom, we’ve got all these teeny horses loaded in this honking huge trailer, ( and they're laughing again, they’re losing their voices)...(they finally catch their breath and ES resumes) except for (bustin’ gut laughs now) the little stallion. (And he cracks up again.)

Me: The what?

ES: The stud miniature horse, Mom. He’s a stubborn little &*O(^)%(&.

Me: Oh, Lordy me (I really started laughing now)!

ES: Oh, Mom, we are so frustrated. We tried to herd him up with the rest of the horses. He’d get halfway up the ramp, which is really short to the ground, then fall off. He’d just tip over. He’s really fat. We’d start again - he’d back down the ramp. He did not want to go. Then, we tried to lead him up. No go. Then, I led and Jase pushed. That didn’t work. So, Jase led, and I pushed. (Laughter. Then escalating laughter.) That didn’t work, either.

And now, Mom, the horse is mad. He’s snorting at us and pawing at us - it is so funny, the little thing! (Uncontrollable laughing from both he and Jase.)

(By now, tears are running down my face and I’m having trouble breathing!)

And then, Mom....(giggles)....I finally got so frustrated I tried to pick the little b*st*rd up and throw him in the trailer. (huge laughter.)

Me: What? You tried to pick him up?

ES: Yessssssssss...(fades into sputters and they’re off again, laughing hard!.)

Me: Did it work?

ES: Hell, no, Mom, it didn’t work (and they crack up into laughter again), he weighs 400 pounds and he was thrashing around and trying to get away!

Me: Oh, Lordy.

ES: I gotta go, Mom, we gotta figure this out, I just had to call you.

And he hangs up laughing.

I talked to him this morning. They finally got the little stud horse loaded into the trailer. Elder Son and Jason physically picked up the horse, together, and stuffed him in the trailer.

Elder Son is still laughing.

Me, too!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Saved By The....Recuperating Advisor (From Her Bed)

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts yesterday - they worked!

Thanks to his advisor, who is home recuperating from surgery but thankfully replied to my e-mail just in the nick of time, Younger Son was able to go in and register his classes through the Music Department advisors, get all his original classes plus some, and came out with a full 18 hours. He was able to totally skip the “registration” hassle. And, because Younger Son got to talk to actual music teachers and advisors, he’s pumped about his classes.

Music is his passion. We’re hoping that these classes will springboard him towards a career. I’m excited for him!

And, by the way, ThatManILove has withdrawn my casket order.

I’m safe. And thankful. I don’t think I could take getting laid off AND buried in the same month.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Arrrrgh! Frustration!!!

Well, just shoot me.

It’s not as if I haven’t had a million things going on. Like getting laid off. Or going on vacation and getting sick WHILE on vacation. Or coming home just in time to help put on a team roping.

Not to mention wading through job prospects and trying to make decisions therein.

Two of the men in my life, ThatManILove and YoungerSon, had made a trip up to Ye Old College, secured an apartment for YoungerSon, etc. While they were there, they signed the Younger Son up for all his classes. I was so proud of them.

Except for...they didn’t pay for the classes. I remember asking the cost, and ThatManILove couldn’t tell me.

TMIL Oh, baby, I dunno. I’ve got those papers around here somewhere.

And then, in the next two weeks, voila! My world fell apart.

So, yada, yada, yada, yada. Here we are, one week before college begins, and I go online to pay for said courses.

The courses aren’t showing up on his transcript.



I sound the alarm. The alarmee turns on me.

TMIL: You said you’d pay those last week!

Me: I did?

TMIL: Yes. You said you were going to get online and pay them.

Me: I did?

TMIL: Did you?

Me: No, I mean, did I say that? I remember getting online and paying his rent.

TMIL: That’s what you said.

Me: What did I say? His rent? Or his tuition?

TMIL: Tuition!

Me: Oh, NNNNNOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Yup. We had to get Blondie up and head him towards the school, 2 hrs away. Now he’s renavigating through registration, and hopefully he’ll be able to get most of the same classes. Thank God today’s registration...y’all pray for him!

I think I’m going to run to Vegas before ThatManILove hits the casa this afternoon. Maybe I can make enough cashola to make up for my freakin’ mistake. Meanwhile, Vodka Mom, will you start designing my casket?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Turning and Burning (A Team Roping Term)

This is Elder Son, after he took his steer down to the catch pen. It's dark, indoor arena lighting is kind of weird, and it was a while before I figured it all out. It forced me to get away from my Canon 40D and to utilize my full-frame Canon 5D Mark II. (Remember, I've had zero professional training.) And now, I love it - the 5D!

Two of the three men in my life - ElderSon and ThatManILove, discussing the price of tea in China - oh, no, that's not right! They're talking about horses. Specifically, high dollar Team Roping horses. (And, yes, ladies, this is one of the things y'all have been oohing and aahing about...cowboy butts in cowboy jeans. Cougars Be Gone!!)
Elder Son heading, Steve Taylor heeling. Making The Turn - and yes, they caught their steer and had a time, which took them into the short-go for this rotation.

This was shot 1 before the prior shot. Somehow, I can't get them in order from my Mac. I think it's something to do with Safari.

I caught this shot of Elder Son, watching the roping from the stands after his first rotation. I like it...a lot. I love catching natural shots.

Anyway, there are more, but I won't bore you with the roping shots. I love watching team ropings, but most people don't. They don't understand a good roping run involves at least 5 athletes...two horses, one steer, and two ropers. It is a finely tuned dance, if executed properly, and is beautiful.

Happy Trails!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Team Ropers a la Familia!! (A post not about dogs!)

It's a good thing I made my 30 day challenge and now it's over! I just realized I haven't posted in three days.

Well...that's okay! Tonight Elder Son will rope in a local benefit roping. Here's hoping my photography skills are still intact on team roping shots. I used to help pay our bills by taking roping action shots when Elder Son and I were on our own. And I want some of my own shots of my kiddo roping!

ThatManILove and I went to a friend's house and watched Elder Son rope this morning. Now, ThatManILove is wanting to learn how to team rope. When will I learn?

So, off ThatManILove and I go to the team roping. Tonight, registration, dinner and dance. Woohoo! Tomorrow, a oilfield sponsored cookoff, along with Cowboy Church, then team roping, all day long. At least it's in an air-conditioned indoor arena. More proof there is a God, and He definitely cares about Ropers and Horses! (And ropers' moms!)

Here's a shot when Elder Son wasn't quite so elderly (maybe 4) - and the horse was extremely well behaved. Ha!

Have a great weekend - and turn 'em and burn 'em, cowboy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pretty Girl

Zanna the Wonderpup has been soaking up some New Mexico rays on the deck this trip. ThatManILove calls this her "Bedroom Eyes" look. I call it her "What Can I Get Into Next?" look. At her feet is a sock - she thinks our socks are her special playtoys.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Morning Ruidoso Time

Above are some pix of the dogs. You think they're having fun, by the way they're staring at that door? The answer is YES!. Zanna has come upon deer several times, and she thinks they’re fun to chase. We think she’s never going to come back when she takes off, but she does. I think she thinks that they’re big dogs. Zack has disappeared once himself, but he came back as well. All your training goes out the window when the dogs are exposed to new circumstances like deer, we've learned the hard way. And the terrain is just too rough to keep them on leashes, hence the e-collars.

We’re winding down on our mountain trip - we’ll leave this beautiful place on Wednesday. We’ve had a beautiful, relaxing time and the weather has been awesome here. I think we’re heading to the golf course today, time will tell!

Thanks for sticking by me during this funky time in my life!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home Away From Home - Check Out The View!

We drove into Ruidoso, and utilizing the directions give to us, promptly got lost. We finally stopped and asked directions, and found the house. It’s a brand new house, beautifully decorated and furnished, in a brand new subdivision. It’s pretty remote, sits on about 10 acres, paved roads with all the amenities. We’re 5 minutes from town, but who wants to go to town? Not me. And I haven’t. We will this afternoon, finally, but ThatManILove has been content to let me lounge around and be a couch potato.

These pictures are what I saw when I woke up yesterday morning. Sweet. And then, I went out on the porch. There are no hummingbird feeders, but I was being swarmed in a cool, friendly way by tiny green hummingbirds. Awesome.

I think we're going to see if we can secure it for Christmas. Ready to spend a Christmas in the mountains, Elder and Younger Sons?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Prey

In the past, we have seen a couple of mice in this house. I’ve not seen any lately, but I’m always looking, because I hate the wee furry creatures!

Last night, ThatManILove left the TV room and went into the bedroom to get his book. We always keep the dogs in the same room with us, so when TMIL left the TV room, he shut the dogs back into the room with me.

I was blogging and watching TV, and realized Zanna was way too still. I looked around the room, and found her...on point.

She was looking at something behind the TV.

I thought, “Great. TMIL is in the other room. Whatever it is, if it’s a mouse, when I move, it’s going to run, and Zanna will probably try to catch it, and we’ll have a wreck in this room!”

I quietly ease off the couch. She doesn’t even flinch, that Zanna-girl is on a hard point. I ease onto the rug, trying to be as quiet as I can. Creeping up to the TV, I take a peek behind the TV, right where Zanna’s nose is pointing.

Thank God it’s not a mouse. Or a snake. Not even a lizard.

It’s a housefly, and i try to kill it. (Yes, I missed.)

A teeny, tiny, common housefly. And I bet with all those eyes the nasty things have, that fly was scared to death. Because you know it’s gotta be seeing about a million spots on a hard-pointing quivering in her footprints out of pure excitement wonder pup ticked German Shorthair.

I had to say “No bird, Zanna! No bird!” three times to get her to break point.

I laughed so hard, I cried. Her trainers will be so proud.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Give Me Trees and Mountains - And Cooler Weather!

Since i’ve whiled away two days by posting entertaining pictures of my dogs and their friends, I thought I’d catch you all up.

Today, a week after my job was eliminated, I finally sent out my last e-mail responding to all the others I’ve received from friends and customers concerning my job situation. Though I wouldn't dream of skipping the process, it is kind of a dying to self process. I'm embracing that. I’ve also been busy taking care of details that happen to you when you leave your place of employ:

  • checking on my flexible spending account and trying to resolve the balance
  • checking on cobra insurance and what to do next
  • checking to see what to do with my 401K

Tonight, I received letters of recommendation from both of my local VP’s. And I cried.

I can’t believe I’m not working with the people in my local office anymore - i miss them. We all got along really well, and respected each other. Surely after all this passes, we’ll be able to get together for lunch, etc. The friendships won’t end, if they're real.

My salesmen and saleslady friends are all checking up on me, and it seems I’m the topic of conversation all over the oilpatch. With that being said, there’s a lot of conjecture going on, and I heard last night that I’ve already taken a new job. This isn’t true. What did Tom Cruise say in that movie? "Show me the money!" Well, if you follow me at all, you’ll know I have a saying for that: “If they’re talking about me, they’re giving someone else a break!”

So...we’re definitely heading to the mountains, and we’ll be gone at least a week. We’re going to escape all the noise, grab the dogs, and drive to the vacation rental ThatManILove secured tonight. It’s beautiful, on a mountaintop, and it was just built in 2008. Granite countertops, deck surrounding the house, I can’t wait!

Upon our return, I’ll definitely start looking for my next new gig. Until then, God bless you all for your constant support. I’ll never forget you, my blogging family!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mountains or Lake? Lake or Mountains??

I’m excited about looking for another job, and will be sending out resumes and talking to people. ThatManILove, I , and our wonderdogs are going to hit the highway and get away from it all for a couple of weeks, and just be quiet. We need a vacation anyway. TMIL wants by the water - I’m wanting the cooler climes of the New Mexico Mountains. Maybe I can find him some fly fishing, and get my wish too. While we’re deciding which way we should go, enjoy some more pics from Saturday.

This is Chuck the English Bulldog. He’s having a good time, and if you can’t tell, he’s running. Yes, a 60 lb 5 month old dog can make some major tracks, even if he can't catch Buckshot the Vizsla pup! Chuck is a sweetheart with an awesomely sweet personality. We look forward to seeing him again soon at the Dog Park!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Zanna and Buckshot, the Vizsla pup

These two bird dog babies wore each other out at the dog park Saturday. Meet Buckshot, the 6 month old Vizsla. I don't know who was more tired, Zanna or Buckshot. But they're fast friends now! And Buckshot, a la The Three Little Bears, found a pool "just her size"!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rattlesnakes Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Zanna learned her lesson after the first time she saw the snake. When she got shocked, she flipped over backwards. In the bottom picture, she sees the second snake, and is readying to run back to the gate, where we are standing. She got there post-haste. She is no dummy.

This yellow lab, Buck, has been through two rattlesnake bites at two different occasions. His body language is screaming: I am not even going near that snake, I smell it. Just let me go back to my owner, please. Now!

Dawn found us at the Llano Estacado Bird Hunting Assn.’s annual De-Snaking Clinic. This is a clinic which exposes dogs to rattlesnakes, training the dogs that rattlesnakes are hazardous to their health.

Basically, the snake’s mouth is sewn shut, and an e-collar is placed on the dog. Another trainer takes your dog out, and if the dog shows any curiosity at all towards the snake, the dog is shocked. This makes the dog associate pain with the rattlesnake.

Zanna was very curious - one time. On her second try, she smelled the snake, and wouldn’t go close. And that, folks, is exactly what you want.

By the way - local vets are suggesting the rattlesnake vaccination shot...and we get our dogs vaccinated bi-annually with the rattlesnake vaccination. Rattlesnakes have, in recent years, been migrating into populated areas in Midland County. Check with your veterinary professional to see if the vaccine is available in your area.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

J. P. Is a Genius Just 'Cause I Say So!

Yesterday, J. P. Hearn of Bleu Chocolate and Big Red Lunchbox came to our house around 3:30 pm to help me transfer all my work contacts into my MacHell (That's Machell to you, Paige). I have an ungodly amount of contacts, because I am known as the “go-to” person in this part of the Oilpatch. I have put on quite a few non-profit fundraisers in my day, also serving on several boards, and over the course of time, I’ve accumulated a ton of contacts in my Outlook to mail out event notices, etc. So, now, when someone new comes in to the patch, their employers and peers tell them to contact me and get on my e-mail list. Thus, the 5000+ contacts. (I really wasn’t trying to be a smart-alec in my prior post!) Y'all really didn't think all those peeps were my posse, did ya???

Anyway, ThatManILove and I have been trying to move those same contacts over to my Mac for the past 2 weeks, to no avail. It has been a huge source of frustration, and many tears and sleepless nights on my part. So, I begged J.P. to help me. And he was sweet enough to do so. I will so owe him for the rest of my life.

I’m sure he thought he’d slam dunk it, but every.single.thing.we.tried.would.crash. I just had too much info to import. Onto my brand new MacBookPro that still had tons and tons of memory, so no, it wasn’t that.

Finally, about 8:30 p.m. (and yeah, J.P. was still hanging in there!) I booted up ThatManILove’s computer, and found a program on Little Machines that is called O2M. (Get it? Outlook to Mac. Duh.) I asked J.P. – want me to buy this program? It’s only $10! It says it’s seamless, then you can throw the contacts onto Mobile Me and it syncs everything up. After about 30 more minutes of trying everything in the book/Mac/J.P.’s brain, I decided to read him the O2M testimonials. You know, the ones that say:

Best $10 I ever spent!

Quick, Easy, Painless!

Even a dummy can do it!

J.P., frustrated with the sheer numbers of my contacts, caved. I mean, he is pretty much a Mac genius, and he couldn’t get it done. He looked at me and said, “Buy it. It won’t hurt!” We cracked up.

In less than 30 minutes, my contacts were transferring to my Mac, and simultaneously syncing to my iPhone. I kid you not.

We were elated, to say the least.

We called J.P.’s wife, Beverly, who had certainly by now given up on us, and told her we were all coming to get her for supper. Yeah, at 9 something p.m. And off we go to Johnny Carino’s, where we had a lovely, though late, evening.

ThatManILove is excited – because he can sleep better knowing that I can sleep better knowing that all my contacts are now on my iPhone and MacHell. I’m off to say that That Mac Prayer now, and a special prayer for J.P. and Beverly, who are now my forever friends for putting up with me. And a double special prayer for ThatManILove, who might buy me a diamond or something because we finally got this done and I'm ecstatically happy. While I’m at it, I'm gonna say a prayer for all of y’all who are supporting me, too! You’re the best.


Do I Really Know This Many People?

We worked from 3 p.m. until the late hours of the night importing my 5000 + contacts into my Mac, so, oops, I may have missed a day of the 30 day challenge.

I’ll make it up to you later, I promise, with entertaining stories and lots of laughs.

Yeah, I've been laughing - a lot! And that, me maties, is a very good thing...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I Cannot Make This Stuff Up

I’m going to be writing this in a delayed fashion, because...

1. I’m still in a little shock

2. I’m still returning voice mails and e-mails and that’s taking up huge portions of my day. People are pouring out love, though, and I thank you for all your sweet and straight up comments. I love you all!

So. It’s Wednesday morning. I woke up at 6 a.m., a little late for me. Zack the Wonderdog was snuggled under the covers next to ThatManILove. I stealthily crept into the TV room, popped open the Mac (another story in itself) and started returning e-mails. I worked on this hard for about an hour.

And then, I lay back down on the couch and crashed.

At 9:30 a.m., ThatManILove came in to the room, concerned that he woke up and I wasn’t by his side. He said, “Babe, your phone’s been ringing off the wall.”

He gave it to me, and, dang. The voice mail was full AGAIN - 14 messages, and 15 e-mails. He started laughing. And then, he said, “Well! I checked my phone, and I have two messages, and three e-mails.” I just looked at him. He said, “Well, okay, yeah...they’re from yesterday.”

He is so funny.

He asked me if I wanted to go eat breakfast somewhere. Did I? No. I wanted to bury my head under the covers, but I knew that I could not do that. I had to get busy.

We compromised. He offered to make me cinnamon toast...a comfort food that hails back to my youth.

So off he went to the kitchen, dogs in hot pursuit. I hear him banging around, and before long, I smell cinnamon and butter. Yummmm. In a second, though, I smell something burning, and I cry out to him. He quickly assures me he’s got it, and in a minute, he comes back into the TV room bearing cinnamon toast. His is burned, but mine is not.

He sits down by me, and grabs a piece of toast, and bites into it. Immediately, his face screws up. Something’s not right. He spits it out.

I say, “What’s wrong?”

He smells of it, then reaches out for my plate.

He says, and I kid you not, “I put salt on it instead of sugar.”

And off he goes to make the real thing. You think we’re turned a little sideways by all this job deal? ThatManILove is a gourmet cook, I swear. The dogs wouldn’t even eat it.

I laughed until I cried. I did. It's never boring around here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Than Just A Statistic

Okay. No more suspense.

My job was “eliminated” yesterday.

I am now a statistic. Female. Executive. Over 50. Unemployed.

I’ve been a statistic before, just not “unemployed”.

I’ve been married. Divorced. Single mom. Single working mom. All those things.

But never, ever, unemployed.

And certainly not in a recession, much less a bust in the oilpatch.

I knew it was coming, my boss let it slip that I was “on the list” two weeks ago. ThatManILove and I cut a traveling trip short, came home to Midland, went straight to my office and cleaned that sucker out. (I didn’t think I could stand the pressure of someone standing over me while I boxed up my office.) My boss told me many things yesterday. Affirming I was their top producer in 2008, affirming how I conducted my business throughout the almost 2 years I’d been there. But here’s the kicker - I need affirmation, and keeping my job, in some weird way, was one of the places I somehow got that affirmation. So, I needed to know “why”. I’ll probably never know the real reasons. My boss did tell me one thing - he said if he’d known the company was ever going to go down this road, he wouldn’t have brought me into the company at all.

I’m a rainmaker. I make rain. And I made a huge amount of rain for this company. The Lord seeds the clouds, and those clouds rain relationships, and I watch over those like a hawk. I nurture them like the best mom. And I win - because a huge part of those relationships become friends, and family friends at that. For those relationships, I am so very thankful.

My employer let me keep my phone, and gave me all day to do what I needed to do. I wanted to get out of there right away, but I took the time to send out bulk mails to all my customers and clients, letting them know I was leaving and giving them my new contact information.

In retrospect, I could have done that from the house. Immediately, my my work e-mail flooded. And I felt like I needed to answer all that I could, though I forwarded some to my home e-mail for later response. The voice mail on my phone filled up 3 times - before I could get it emptied, the messages recorded on paper for later attention, it would fill up again. This morning, when I awoke, the voice mail was once again full. I still have a magnum of phone calls to return.

And in the midst of all the storm, this is where things went right. People were calling to check on me all day long, and today as well. I have never felt so loved.

Now, my bloggy friends, you’re going to get to walk this road with me. My emotions are running the gamut, but I promise to keep the rants down to a certain decibel. Already, some hilarious things have happened. Welcome to Mi Vida Loca.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another Lite Post

I know.

Don't shoot me. I'm just posting this to keep going on the 30 Day Challenge. I no longer am working where I was. I'll fill in all the details tomorrow.

I have to go to sleep now, I'm exhausted. But...all is good!