Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Can Bat My Big Brown Eyes And Get Anything I Want...NOT.

Well, glory be and hallelujah, my new driver’s license showed up in the mail today.  It’s an every 5 year or so occurrence...Well, unless your physical address is not the same address where you receive your mail.

I renewed my license timely.  I didn’t receive it timely, though.

And, as you know, I travel.  A lot.  Which translates to the use of rental cars.  A lot of rental cars.   And though I rented cars for a two-week period on an almost daily basis with an expired license, truth is, I knew that any day, I was going to get caught.  And I did.

Unfortunately for me,  it was at midnight, at the National rental car location in Houston, at Intercontinental Airport.

At the exit.  Driving OUT the exit.  At the little booth where they say, “Prepay your fuel this time, Ms. Janie?”  I was THAT close, people.

Yup.  They wouldn’t let me leave.  I had to back up, unpack the car, and go inside.

So, I went into the counter (oh, my gosh, I love NOT having to do that, which is only one  of the reasons National is going to get a bye on this one.  I’m Executive Level with them, so I get to bypass the counter AND pick out whatever I want to drive), explain my situation, go through the Texas DPS drill on the iPad.  I put in my license number, my birthday, and show them where the license has been mailed, while showing them my expired license that I have in hand.

Guess what?  

The manager said no way, Jose.  Even though I had rented two cars in the two prior days from National with an expired license,and their computer history proved it, they wouldn’t let me rent.  I kept talking, and reasoning that even if I got stopped by the police, they’d let me go once they ran my license through the system.  And I showed them my CHL.  (They weren’t impressed.)  I showed them my passport.  (They weren’t impressed with that, either.)  I showed them my insurance card.  (Same, same.) Then, the manager said, okay, she’d let me rent.  Then, she thought about it, and she said she couldn’t let me rent.  Then, she gave in again, and said she would, just this once.  (Okay, I did let my eyes water a little sometime during this harrowing experience.)  

And talk about sucky perfect  timing?  About this time, the gate guard called to check to see if they were going to let me rent, or did they need to repark the car?

The manager?  Was now busted by her underling.

(I should have known better than to weaken to almost tears.  Dang it.  Manipulation is not my strong suit. My face cracks.)  (Don’t even ask me to play poker.) I freaking jinxed myself.

She said, “Mizzzzzz (she drawled it out) Janie, I’m sorry, the gate guard called someone higher than me and I’m unable to let you take the car.”

And this is what I said, and I was super nice about it:

 “Really?  No, honey, here’s what happened. Here’s the real drill.  In our earlier conversations, you told me there was no one higher than you that you could call.  So your employee called you to check on what to do with the car, and basically caught you bending the rules a little, so you decided to walk it out according to your policy. Right?  And I totally understand that.  Now what?  Any suggestions?”

And I do understand.  But dang, people, it was midnight. I'm at the remote rental car location.  No taxi anywhere.  I wanted to go to my hotel.  I’d been traveling almost 24 hours.  I had been to Virginia and back in one day.  And I would have been so much more amenable had she just told me the freaking truth.

ThatManILove says I have a BS monitor that’s tuned to a WAY high frequency.  That puppy was vibrating, let me tell ya.  I KNEW she was lying.

She looked at me, and hung her head.  I said, “Seriously.  I really understand.  Y’all have procedures, and you must adhere to them. I get that.  I’m just tired, I need to get to sleep, and I have customers to see tomorrow in downtown Houston.”

Her counter help chimed in about this time, and said, “Hey, Janie.  I have an idea.  I used to work at Avis.  Email me that page with your license renewal, I’m going to print it off for you.  Go to the counter, tell them your story, show them that paper, and I bet they’ll let you rent. If they don’t, I’ll personally call a taxi for you.”

I profusely thanked them both, walked over to Avis, armed with a copy of the page from the DPS with my license # on it and the page that said it had been renewed and in the mail, and told the counter clerk the entire story.  He turned around, found his manager, and they let me rent.  No problem.

When I got to the hotel, I emailed the TX DPS and asked them where my license was. Two days later, I received a reply (which I appreciated) saying that they had mistakenly mailed it to my house address (it’s a Texas law that your residential address be printed on your license) and that it had been returned to them and they had to print another and were going to mail it as soon as it was out of production.

I tell you all that to tell you this:

When it’s getting close to your birthday, check to see if it’s time to renew your license, because you’re not always going to receive a reminder (I didn’t.)

When you do renew your license, do it in a timely manner (I did...just not timely enough for all my traveling.)

And when you haven’t received it within 10 days of them mailing it to you?  Check on it again.  Something’s wrong.  The Texas DPS License division is like a machine.  They spit that stuff out muy pronto.

And be nice to the counter help.  ALWAYS.  They have rules.  And sometimes they can bend those rules.  Sometimes, they can’t.

And hey, another good thing happened out of it all - it did provide a little bit of blog fodder, right?  Kinda gives ThatManILove a break.


It’s never boring around here!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All You Need Is Love - Dallas Love Field, That Is. - Love Beats Hate (Part 5)

Another art work piece from Dallas Love Field Airport.  I love this one, totally believe in it.

"Hate Cannot Drive Out Hate...Only Love Can Drive Out Hate."

It's a quote from Martin Luther King.

I love this young artist's interpretation...this really speaks to me.  

Hopefully, to you, as well.

If so, go love on someone today!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cheeeeeeese - Grilled, That Is!

A week ago found me in Houston, dining with a customer for lunch.

It was kind of a drizzly day, and we went to Morton's via the underground downtown tunnel.

(That is a cool thing, by the way - that tunnel that runs through downtown Houston!)

We arrived at the restaurant, saw this Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Soup on the menu, and ordered it.

I about fell out of the chair when this arrived.

Freaking huge.

And this is what it looked like from the side.

So much for a simple snack-y lunch.  This was enough to feed an army.

And this is what it looked like from the other side.

Okay, I'm lying about that.

Needless to say, I was in a carb coma the entire flight home.

Friday, October 25, 2013

All You Need Is Love - Dallas Love Field, That Is. (A Favorite) (Part 4)

More of the cool art work from Dallas Love Field.  I have always loved this song, always will.

This is a mantra in which I totally believe...Love can cure a myriad of ills.

(Plus, I love that this young artist put a dog in the picture.  Right?)

So, on someone today!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Commuter Transportation Styling and Profiling

Sorry I've not posted.  I've been traveling, and left my computer at the office.

To make it up to you, I thought I'd show you my mode of transportation this week.

The last two days, I have flown to work in this:

While my boss followed our every move in this:

And so looked like this, out my window:  Twin Beech 18 and 

Mustang Formation flight... little bomber with fighter escort.

And better shot, in full sun.

Best couple of days I've had at work, EVER.  Just saying.

It's never boring around here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

All You Need Is Love - Dallas Love Field, That Is. (Part 3) AKA What Do You Really Want?

"If you want a message heard, it must be sent." Mother Teresa

How powerful is this?  Since my Pathways training, I have so learned to ASK for WHAT I WANT.  I have to send the message - whether it be love, or a need, or whatever...all, in Christ.

Be the Message.  And LOVE somebody.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weapons of Mass Construction

If you’re a faithful reader, you’ll know that I’ve been traveling like crazy lately.

Which translates to lots of rental cars, airlines, hotels, and TSA Peeps checking you out through the “I Can See Every Organ In Your Body” Scanner.

Friday night, I’m heading to the Houston airport.  Running a little late, due to intense traffic.

But I make it.  I arrive a little under an hour prior to my flight.

I check my luggage, get my passes, and head to security.

Where they inform me that my license is expired.  I knew that already, it’s in the mail, and that’s another story entirely.  Besides, I have my passport, which is in good working order.  Then they go through the statement, which I’ve heard now about 10 times, “Well, it’s okay, your expired license is good for an ID for 1 year.”


I trip over to the A-List security check point, which is pretty dang fast.

And I head to the scanner, drop my shoes, take out my laptop, and start the scanning process.

“Ma’am, step right here, and place your feet on the yellow marked areas, and face that way.  Hold your arms above your head as per the picture.”

Right.  I could seriously do this part in my sleep, people.

The TSA agent says, “Okay, ma’am, step out, and right over here.”

The TSA lady smiles, and says, “Let me see your bracelets.”  (Bracelets usually bling the scanner x-ray, especially if they have any metal in them.) 

I do.

Then she smiles, and says, “What is this?”  and points at the scanner.  “Did your necklace come loose?”

I feel my necklace, it’s still on.  

I’m confused.  I turn back, look at the scanner, and I see what she sees.  What the eternal heck is THAT?

She says, “Honey, I’m going to have to pat you down, follow me.”


She begins to pat me down in the offending area, and I now FEEL the object.  I can’t see it, I have on a high neckline shirt today.

I just looked at her, and we both had this puzzled look on our faces.

I said, “Well, can I look down my shirt? I’ll keep both my hands in view at all times.”

She says, with some reservation, “Yes.”

I looked.

I cracked up, and looked at her.  Without touching anything, I begin to explain what I think it is.  Which is hard because I'm already starting to get really tickled.  And people, this is NOT the time to get hysterical.

She’s super reserved, but smiling.  She doesn’t know whether to call in the troops, tell me to throw my hands up in the air, or let me carry on.  I look so dangerous, right?  With my conservative shirt, jean leggings and Kenneth Cole flats?

I finally sputter out what I think the object is, and she starts really smiling and even snickering.  I am SOOOO embarrassed, people.

I said, “Do YOU need to look down my shirt to verify that it is what I say it is?  It’s okay.”   She barely peeks in, and smiles a little bigger.  I think I heard her even snort!  The NERVE! 

I tell her, “I think I can get it all the way out, if you’ll allow me.”

She nods, now really trying hard not to laugh.  After all, she has a job to do, right?

I reach inside the neck of my shirt, and pull this out.

It’s the underwire to my bra.  It had worked almost completely out of my bra and was almost sticking out of my shirt.  It looked like the curved end of a scythe on the xRay scanner.  

It COULD have been a weapon of mass destruction, people.  COULD have been!

There’s no telling what all they’ve seen, but I have a feeling this was a first!  I’ll probably end up in the TSA Chronicles...

As I think about it again, it’s a wonder I wasn’t detained, or at the very least, subjected to a strip search.

But you know the drill - it’s never boring around here. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It's Never Boring Around Here (Travel Teaser)

Get ready for a hilarious travel story on Monday.  I would post it today, but that would require energy, of which I have none.

So, I'm declaring this beautiful Saturday a maintenance day.  Waxing, nails, and, hopefully, hair, if I can persuade someone to work me in. After a humid, sprinkling day in Houston, I might go down to the Sinead O'Connor look.

Yeah, well, minus the tattoos.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

All You Need Is Love - Dallas Love Field, That Is. (Part 1)

I love Dallas Love Field Airport's new design and remodel!  Amazing!

I took one second Sunday night to take some pictures of children's art work that is featured as part of the new design.

Over the next few weeks, I'll post some pictures of posters that really hit me in my heart.

I'm all about heart these days, you know?

The sign, introducing the Dallas LOVE Project.  

Remember, these are photos, taken from afar, of the project.  Closeups to come in a later post.

So, enjoy.  And...Love on somebody today, will ya?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

And....More Ducks.

Didn't I tell y'all I had to go to Houston tonight?

Yesterday afternoon, while delayed at the airport in Dallas, trying to get home in time for the concert and I'm gonna stop this sentence in a second, I realized I had forgotten to book my Midland to Houston flight.

Yup.  and it was kinda eery how my brother knew exactly what I was missing.

Or, he thought he did, anyway...because he sent me this.

I resemble this remark.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Little Duckies (This might become a recurrent theme.) (Oh, shoot me.)

My last post was about getting all my ducks quacking simultaneously.

Yesterday, I found myself herding my internal ducks.

You know, the ones that look an awful lot like dots and slots on my schedule.

Yesterday morning, at 7 am, I checked in for today’s flight.
I got ready, and went to my chiropractor’s appointment, then to the office.
There, I began preparations for the following events:
Tuesday:  AADE Meeting, Midland (I’ll be in Dallas) (Thank God for my friends who help me when I'm gone)
Tuesday lunch:  Customer technology presentation, Dallas
Tuesday night: ZZ Top Concert - Midland (Hope my flight’s on time)
Wednesday: Regular work/getting ready for AADE Tournament
Wednesday afternoon: Fly to Houston
Thursday:  Fly to Abington, Va. for presentation
Thursday:  AADE Golf Tournament - Midland (Obviously, I won’t be there - again thank God for my friends who are working it)
Thursday night: Fly back to Houston
Thursday night:  Miss the Midland Charlie Daniels Band Concert (for which I had to find people to take my tickets...just today!)
Thursday night:  Miss the YPE Event, which our company is sponsoring.
Friday:  Houston and then sometime, come home

I have all sorts of stuff to do this morning to get ready for next week’s travel.

I really, truly need another me.    But I’ve whined that before, right?  And it got me NOWHERE.  So, I'm gonna take the high road.  

Well, in review (ahem), here are the good things about what I’ve written:
  1. I now have a tentative schedule, typed.
  2. I’ll get to see a bunch of cool people
  3. Frequent flyer miles?  Oh, yes.
  4. Virginia?  I can’t wait to see it!  I’ve heard it’s beautiful.
  5. Glass, half full! 
  6. Ducks, Line Up!  Time to get going! 

It’s never boring around here!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Quack Quack Ducks Ducks SeCURRRRity!

Friday night, a bunch of us planned to go to the Anjelah Johnson comedy show at the Wagner Noel.

We were to meet at Clear Springs Cafe at 5:45 pm. 

First, I had to get all my ducks in a row*.  I had 10.  My brother had 6.  Between us, we had bought 16 tickets to the show, in order to take customers. Eight, and eight.  Due to last minute changes, we were scrambling to fill the tickets, and so I ended up with more ducks!

I called Clear Springs earlier in the day to make a reservation for 16 people. 

Guess what?  Clear Springs? They don’t take reservations.

I utilized my wheedling, crying, snot-slinging skills and voila!  Okay, Janie, SHUT UP!  "We’ll save you a table, it shouldn't be a problem at all."

Heading out, I decided to call the restaurant to tell them I was running late.  You know, being a good planner, and all.  I know plans sometimes run amok, and didn't want them to suffer.

“Ma’am?  Are you telling me you have a take out order?"

Me:  "Pardon me?"

I go through it all again.

"Well, ma'am, I hate to inform you, but we don’t take reservations.”

Mild Janie freak out.

I talk them back into reserving me the table, tell them I’ll be there in minutes, and hang up the phone.

Then I realize...I’ve miscounted.  I call back, take the number to 12, because two couples are meeting us at the venue. I call Clear Springs and move it to 12. Then I count again, and somehow get back to 16.  I have another brain wave.  I call back.  Clear Springs?  Well, now, they’re saints.  They readjust the table.

ThatManILove is sitting in the passenger seat of my truck, slowly shaking his head and rolling his eyes...yeah.  I see you, TMIL.

And then, about three minutes later, I get this text.   From my brother, Scott, who has beat me to the restaurant, and is waiting on all his ducks...and obviously, mine, too.

Just so you know, this is how that picture really looked.  And there were, seriously, 50+ people standing in the foyer looking at this table like freaking vultures and throwing bad heebiejeebievoodoocrap at Scott.  I swear, I could hear the theme from Jason as I walked through that mumbling mass of humanity.

So, we go sit down.  And then I start counting again.  My brain calms and kicks back into gear. And I truly remember, 4 of the ducks are meeting us at the venue.  Scott tells me 2 more ducks are meeting us at the venue.  And while we're counting our little webbed feet, another duck calls and cancels.

Thank God the waitress is standing right there.

And voila!  We make her the queen of the hour by taking our table down to ~10. 

She's smiling.

And the hostess is smiling.

The crowd of ~50 starts breathing again.

And about that time, our ducks start walking in.

The karma flow turns to a happy pink and orange and blue and green.  And that really really cool color of indigo-y violet.  You know.

Okay, I just made that up.  I have no freakin' idea what I'm talking about.  Does karma even have a color?

But the place got happy.  All us ducks were in a row and snaggin' down some onion rings and quacking away.

I wrote all this to say...I love my brother's sense of humor.  

I think God put us together as bro and sis for a purpose...and as soon as I figure that out, I'll let ya know.  Anyway, I love you, Scott!  Hope we get to hang out like this for years to come!

And Anjelah?  She made us laugh so hard, I cried.  She is one funny chica.


*Euphemism for getting your proverbial stuff together

Friday, October 11, 2013

You Are Awesome!!

When I came into a relationship with Jesus, I was 38 years old.

When I came to know the Love the Father has for me, I was, simply, renewed.  Refreshed.  Everything, washed clean. 

I had daddy issues, me issues, all sorts of issues.  And Jesus?  Well, over time, He healed me.  And I came to really, really know God as my Father.  And I will never, never be the same.

When ThatManILove met me, he would often say to people, “I’ve never met anyone who so fully walks knowing that she is the Daughter of the King of Kings. Janie knows that she knows that she belongs to the Lord...that He is her Father.”

I did know.  And I do know.  I am a Daughter of The King of Kings.  And I am loved.

I’m SO thankful.

This video?  Reminds me, again, that I am wonderfully made and designed.  And I thank God for this powerful reminder, today.

Share this video today with any female you love.  Remind are loved. 

Credit:  The Anima Series

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stack This


Last funky food presentation this week.  I promise.

It's just that the foodies think so out of the box in Santa Fe, I have to show you!

I mean, who thinks of this presentation stuff?

Obviously, not me.  But it's pretty awesome looking, I think.

ThatManILove thought it was awesome tasting.  What is it, you ask?  Ahi Tuna.  With garnish.  And Flatbread.

Hello, Yum.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jalapeño Poppers Dressed Up and Smokin'

We ordered jalapeño poppers for an appetizer this weekend in Santa Fe.

This is how they were delivered to the table.

Is this not an awesome idea?


They're resting in a horseradish sauce.  

Yum...Santa Fe Style.  A La Coyote Cafe.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hotel Travel Trip - Valet Parking

I started doing this last year some time.

I travel...a lot.  Frequently, I drive.  And stay in hotels.

I get lots of valet tickets.  Which leads me to the gist of this post.  But I digress.

I get lots of valet tickets.

And...I lose them.

So, I've started taking a picture of the ticket with my phone.

I always know the number.  I can show it at the valet stand when I need to pick up my truck.  It kind of freaks the valet out, they're not quite hip to the electronic versions, but usually you can talk your way through it.

And that, my friends, is your travel trip of the day.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oh, Where, Oh, Where, Has My...

ThatManILove has been in the field Monday-Friday, and staying nights in the hotel.  He's been coming home on the weekends, and it's a mad scramble to catch up, get our chores done, and have a second to chill.  My newly awakened travel schedule has only complicated matters.

 ThatManILove is currently working for Mark.  I was in a restaurant with customers, and Mark walked in with a salesman, and sat down at the table beside us.  He didn't see us.  So, I texted him, just, you know, to mess with him.

Because I LOVE to mess with people.

Make sure you look at the time between initial text and response.

He told me he couldn't hear the text notification.

I think he saw it, and was scared to answer...until he saw me, at the next table, grinning like a cheshire cat.

I love my life in the oilfield!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hormonal and Hot Natured

Now, if that title didn't scare you away, you're freakin' bulletproof.

I pulled the weather report for this weekend.

Oh, yeah, it's time for our annual jaunt to Santa Fe for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association boondoggle and conference.  Beautiful town.  Displaced oilfield people.  Reason to go to the mountains for the weekend...and see everyone you see every day in every oilfield town.  But everyone is smiling, taking time to loiter in art galleries, buying cool clothing and presents for home...

And it's fun, too!  Love the smell of pinon burning in the fireplaces.  The food, amazing!

But here, people?  HERE is what makes me so happy. Like, dancing in the street happy!   And I MIGHT get to wear a sweater!  WOOOOOT!

Menopause can go jump off a cliff, eyes wide open.

Don't be hatin'.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cleaning Up and Cleaning Out....Part 2 - Custom Fit Hearing Protection, V.3 (or 4. Or 5. Or Heck, Who Knows?)

So, y’all know, by now, I spent part of last weekend cleaning, ditching, packing, giving away and mailing unwanted goods.

I last shot my shotgun at the AADE DFW Sporting Clay Shoot at the Dallas Gun Club in August.    I love going there, it’s a good shoot, and the custom fit hearing protection people are always there, ready and willing to take your hard-earned $$$ and fill your ears full of funky colored wax (you get to choose your colors) and create, just for you, your own special version of custom-fit hearing protection.

Best thing since Blue Bell Cookies N Cream Ice Cream, I’m telling you.

I think I might have ordered my 6th pair, overall, this year.

Pair 1 & 2, probably 10 years ago.  Pair 1, with baffles, for shooting/hunting.  Pair 2, no baffles, for high noise frac jobs.

The only problem with  having multiple pairs is when your son can wear the EXACT same pair of custom fit hearing protection.  They tend to disappear if y'all are on a mom/son shooting date/excursion.  (Oh, Mom.  I wore them by mistake to the team roping that night.)  (What?)

So, back down to Pair 1, muy pronto.

Next year, at a shoot, I ordered another set.  Then, later that year, one side fell off the keeper string while hunting.  Or, heck, you make up the story. I'll believe it, I promise.

Anyway, somehow I again ended up with ONE pair.  And at the AADE DFW shoot this year, post shooting our rotation, we were running around.  Went to Bass Pro.  Because, you know, we don't have one of them thair fancy stores here in the West of Texas.  Got back out to the range.  All of a sudden, I’d lost 1/2 my hearing protection.  I felt like a bad fishing know, like when you pull that beautiful taut line out of the water and...there's nothing on that hook?  Yeah.   Me.

So, I trucked over to the trailer, and did the “Please, please, pack my ears full of that cute purple and pink wax, and I’d like a purple string, please sir.  I’ll pay you to do that.”

Followed by 7 minutes of looking stupid, sitting in a chair, trying to figure out if everyone around you is talking TO you, or ABOUT you, or really doesn’t even give a flip that you’re sitting there looking super goofy.

All this story to preface another.  Lordy.

So.  Back to the closet, this weekend,  the one closet where years of purses are stacked to the max.  One of my helpers says, “You gonna attack those purses?  Because I won’t go buy one if you have one I like that you no longer want.”  Or some wheedling whining hopeful remark like that.

So, I give her a look, and dove in.

I go through each purse.  I dig out money, dental floss (unused), combs, Jane Iredale lip gloss (now that, people saved me some bucks!), and of all things, a set of custom fit hearing protection.  Just rolled up, not in its special little case, just sitting in a purse.  In the zipper part.  You know, for protection.


So excited!

They look relatively new, too!

So, now, in this fall of 2013, I’m ahead 3.5 pairs.

Don’t even ask.

I’m HAPPY, people.  Happy! Happy! Happy!


What did you say?