Friday, September 10, 2010
So I realize I haven't touched this thing in a couple months now. Sorry about the lack of correspondence. I'm back in El Paso now, back to work at Fort Bliss. The schedule is pretty easy right now, there's not much to do as most of the unit is still on leave. I'm sure it will get more complicated soon. I got back in the states at the end of July, had to rush home on emergency leave. It wasn't quite the welcome home I had wanted. The passing of my grandfather was tough, and being stuck on the other side of the world, unable to do anything about it was very difficult for me. Thankfully I was able to make it back for the funeral, but only due to a stroke of luck. Most cases take days to process and get home. It was good to be home but I wish it had been under better circumstances. I took five days of emergency leave and flew back to El Paso for "reintegration training." Pretty much it consisted of redeployment physicals and medical assessments, followed by the classic "don't shoot your wife, blow all your money, drink yourself into a bottle, get in a fight, or make stupid decisions briefings." I stayed in the Geo-bachelor's quarters while waiting for my household goods to arrive (which took two weeks). Overall that whole experience sucked. I ended up in a musty old building in a dirty cheap-motel type room with no sheets, a poorly serviced evaporative cooler, and a shared bathroom. I got to the point where I decided to move into my house, furniture or not. I bought an air mattress and slept in my sleeping bag. To be honest it was more comfortable anyway. After reintegration, we were released to go on leave. I headed home, and I'm glad I did. It was great to go home, see my family, and just relax. I came home with no plans at all, and just kinda let things fall into place. I got to spend time with mom and dad, went to the Wyndham golf tournament, went to a nascar race with a good friend for his bachelor party, ate a lot of good food and just spent some time recharging my batteries. The drive back to El Paso was a bear. I drove out to Dahlonega first to visit some friends from college and spend a little time in the mountains. The next day I drove out to Valdosta to see my sister. I wish I could have stayed and visited longer, but I had a long way to go, especially with my puppy in the car. I spent the next two days driving as far as I could (or at least as far as Jackson would let me go.) I spent a night in Sulphur, just outside of Lake Charles. The next day I drove the rest of the way into El Paso, after almost running out of gas and driving until 11 at night. I didn't want to spend another night in the hotel if I was going to be less than a hundred miles away from the house. Believe it or not Jackson did very well on the trip. I had gotten a sedative for him, but ended up not having to use it at all. He slept most of the way. It was better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have. Jackson is growing like a weed, and mom and dad took great care of him while I couldn't be there. Jackson is a great puppy, he gets on my nerves sometimes but I still love him. Its like having a toddler, except I can't take him with me everywhere with me. So far he's learned to open drawers, open cabinets with safety locks, unzip my couch cushions and strew the innards all over the house, and "sit". We're still working on "stay", as well as other fun commands such as "don't chew on rocks," "don't chew on cords," "don't chew on chairs," "don't chew on the couch," "don't chew on furniture," "don't chew on the remote," "don't bite," and bringing the toy back after I throw it. He'll chase it all day, but once he bites it, he's not bringing it back. We had a little scare the other day, I bought him a new bone at petsmart. It was one of the nylabone "healthy edibles." Thinking it would take him a few days to consume, I gave it to him and left him alone to work on some things in the house. The whole thing disappeared in seven minutes. It was unbelievable. When I caught him, he had the last bite in his mouth. I freaked out, contemplating a trip to the vet. Everything is ok though, he was sick for a couple days, and made a mess of the house but a steam cleaner and time has made everything better. He's learning though, and thats a good thing. Getting big fast though, he's up to 17 pounds now. I have a feeling he's gonna be big for his breed, even though he was one of the smaller puppies. I'm willing to bet he'll be closer to 50 than 40. I'm finally getting somewhere as far as moving into the new house now. I've got my kitchen stocked up, the furniture is in, I'm starting to hang pictures, and everything is starting to piece itself together. The yard is still in need of some major work, but Ill get to it eventually. It just needs a little TLC. Its great having a garage, lots of storage space and a safe place to park my truck at night. I like my new house, its big enough to be comfortable and still affordable. Lots more to do though, and I'm running out of days where I'll have the free time to do it. Feels good to get back in the kitchen and cook again, Last night was steak tips with a cocoa chile sauce and grilled peppers, plus mashed sweet potatoes. Tonight its smokehouse maple pork tenderloin and pierogies, plus a salad with homemade vinaigrette, chopped pecans and fresh crumbled blue cheese. Its good to be back.