Briefly…

**These comments do not represent the views of my husband, his employer or those aliens that we keep catching on NASA film.**

Buy some Columbian coffee today. Tomorrow. And next week. Support the guy giving Chavez the finger.

“”…Uribe had invited Chavez in August to help broker a deal with the FARC guerrillas, who are sympathetic to the Venezuelan leader’s socialist ideals.

The rebels are holding 46 high-profile hostages, including three American defense contractors and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt. It is offering to release the prisoners in exchange for the freeing of all imprisoned rebels.””

Recap of the Carnage

Appropriately, I can hear Ranger chowing down on his pig ear in the other room, laying on his bed and taking it easy – finally. He is like a small horse and he gallops through the house. Thus far, the cats have made rather brave appearances and Ranger took one good swipe to the nose which taught him that cats may look nice and softy but they pack a whallop.
The sound he is making is not far off from those of yesterday when we hosted my sister, my father and Trooper’s cohort and his wife. She brought the most fantastic corn pudding – amazing stuff. My sister kindly brought chips for snacking and the paper goods – no dishes to wash as there were a generous plenty from the meal itself. I made my life simple with the use of the Williams-Sonoma Turkey Base for the gravy. It worked WONDERFULLY. Their Turkey Herbs were also very nice. Glad we made the trek to the mall for that!
We’re casual types so it was a haphazard buffet line sort of affair. I’d prepared much of it the night before in order to avoid the “I need three ovens all at different temperatures!” situation. Pies, done. Sweet tater souffle, done. Scalloped taters, done. No, not alot of vegetables made an appearance, to be honest. It is a holiday meal intended for horrid starch filled bellies.
I was surprised to see the line at the Honey Baked Hams shop – it was my first time getting the ham so I had no idea. I thought I was being smart for pre-ordering and such. Well, they were so proficient that the long line hardly took 20 minutes to get through. My heirloom turkey – just beautiful! – was a bit expensive but so tasty!! I tried the old “start it on its breast” cookery but I suspect the delicate beasty would have done better on its back. My dressing/stuffing (yes, I offer both) was very close to mom’s but…not quite right. I should have paid more attention…
My father was kind enough to get a Goode’s BBQ pecan pie for us – those things are FANTASTIC. He said they had a gauntlet for pie acquisition in the parking lot. And a birthday cake for Dad. Yay! Another year this side of the sod! He was hilarious! A natural entertainer, he went to town. Of course, he indulged which is why we had Trooper drive to Houston and back with him – I wanted Dad to be able to enjoy his birthday without the worry of his driving back.
Anyway, we ate like kings, and then we all had to leave – our friends for their respective jobs (Troopers and Nurses tend to the same holiday sacrifices) and hied ourselves with Dad to Houston to meet our friends from up north. Ah…and I’d nearly forgotten…
As we were leaving, we happened to take another circular route out of the subdivision. It was fortuitous – Trooper immediately saw the little girl, walking in the street and then back on the sidewalk as we drove near. Then the mass of tears flowing could be seen and he halted the car and leapt out. Seems the little thing had gotten lost. She had no idea of her address, had nothing like the proper clothes for the weather on, and was half frozen. She knew she was 4 years old. We called the local officers who arrived quickly and they took charge of her. We understand her father was located and she was delivered to him but not much more than that. Still, I suppose he has something to be thankful for. It was a sad accent on the day…
We dropped Dad off and then headed out with our friends to a local IHOP for a lot of coffee and a wee bit of breakfast. Talked long and long and made plans to visit them in the post-Xmas timeframe. We do so love their small town…just across the water from Martha’s Vineyard, it is insanely quaint. And we are able to squat in his parents’ house across the street. LOL They spend the winter in FLA so we just have to schedule our visits accordingly and have free reign. It’s hilarious. What I like best is they are friends that you can visit once a year and feel as though no time has passed. You don’t have to call all the time or even email each other. It’s just a comfortable “you know we love you” feeling that – well, I don’t really know how to express it. It is a sense of timelessness.
So that was it. Now, Ranger is sleeping off his early morning romp with me (Trooper had to sleep in a little before shift) and his frenetic play time. Soon, it’ll be time to walk again and maybe some play in the backyard. I can’t wait to have him well enough in hand to visit the dog parks. Right now, he’s trying to feel me out for dominance. I’ve had to pin his head down twice when he has gotten too rough. It gets the point across immediately and he turns the attitude around completely. We’ll have that dance a few times, I know, before he stops trying. I don’t mind. He’s worth the trouble.
I hope your own holiday was just as enjoyable and without familial drama…as I took that pre-meal calming shower, I had a chat with mommer – how much I missed her and could have used her for the stuffing affirmation…the tulips I bought in her honor are blooming magnificently. Sure wish she could have been here…
As for the post-holiday shopping? You won’t catch me anywhere near it. LOL MAYBE the PetSmart later for a 2nd bed and more pig ears…but that’s it. I leave the battle to the rest of you. Now, I think a nice nap is in order.

Welcome Home, Ranger

There they are – a boy and his dog. LOL Well, a Trooper and his dog, anyway. It was hard to get the shot since they were both just so excited to be together again.

This dog is so smart – amazingly so. He has already learned about 5 different commands (in German). He kennels without concern or fear and hardly makes a sound at bedtime.

He is also very clear about when he needs to go out – just the shortest whimpery sound. Tonight was the real test as we had to take my father back to Houston and meet out of town friends there for a few hours. He kenneled all that time and didn’t make a mess! We were just CERTAIN he’d have to relieve himself before we could get home.

As for the cats…they have learned when he is kenneled they have the run of the house again. Maximus is actually staying in the same room with the dog but on-high – just in case, I suppose. Jonesy has been in the same room but in hiding, taking it slow but thus far the bravest and first to venture out. Poor wee Doodlebug is taking the longest to reveal herself. Still, for hardly 24 hours? They are all doing so well that I have great hopes.

Ranger is a fantastic beasty. I just wish I could run – he needs that. Trooper says in time – doesn’t want to have him taking a bad twist on the leash and tumbling them over each other. A bit more training at heeling – “Foose” – and they can be running buddies.

Tomorrow…the holiday rundown. What a day…this chef is tuckered…

Addition To The Family

It’s been a rough few weeks – and I’ve had that deathly crud for over 5 days – so I’ve been preoccupied. But over the last weekend we tried to celebrate my birthday just a bit. I offered up a visit to a pet supply shop that is so darling…there, a German Shepherd Rescue group had several dogs available for a meet and greet.

If you could have seen Trooper’s face….

So, that evening he hit the net and looked at one shelter after another. And that’s when he saw Ranger. The very next day we went to see the fellow and he fell in love with him. The photo doesn’t do him justice at all.

Ranger is at least a Belgian Malinois with perhaps a bit of something else tucked in there. Hard to know for certain, of course. And he’s young enough to learn to leave the cats alone – I hope. I worry most about that but he seems quite smart so we’re hoping we can work it out.

I haven’t seen Trooper so happy. He has wanted a dog for a very long time and was kindly deferring it due to the cats. But if you’d seen the shelter…sigh…not a single run, no play, just a concrete cell…even if I’d had any qualms I could not have fielded them after seeing that place. One knows a county does what it can with what it is given but…surely someone could donate some fencing to allow them a bit more room…

Alright – so there’s that. And now the general house cleaning to remove all dog temptations and the holiday dinner hostessing. Ranger is going to be spoiled rotten, I’m afraid…let’s hope the application is approved and we can fetch him soon. When we left the shelter, Ranger was trying to come with us and I saw Trooper swipe away a tear – “He wants to come with us now…”

Sigh…what a softy.

Veteran’s Day, 2007

“The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his”. – Gen. George S. Patton

There are a lot of reasons this day means a great deal to me but – there is no need for balloons and ribbons – just quiet acceptance that there are those who did what had to be done.

I love this photo of Trooper’s grandpa – V-Day timeframe near the Danube. He did what had to be done with a sort of “fine, next?” alacrity that the country boys had. They’d been hungry and poor. This wasn’t so bad, in the grand scheme of things.

I am so sorry I did not know him when he was in fine form. But you could see it in his eyes – that young man with the devilish smile.

And the flowers…

Bless you, Grandpa – for going, for coming home, and for raising the boy into the man I love.

Mr. Fix-it

That is what I shall call my massage therapist from now on. I’ve had a very painful and gimpy shoulder for months – it comes and goes but is always in the background, a stabbing pain near the socket of my shoulder. Well, today Mr. Tom fixed it. Perhaps only for a time but I care not at all. I can use my arm without wincing.

So, allow me to drop a plug for the man and the very nice studio – if you are ever in Austin and need to get that edge removed, please see Tom @ Austin BodyWorks. He is a slight thing and you would not think he had the strength to manage someone like the Trooper (who had to see him to get through academy’s physical torment). But that man has muscles like the Hulk hiding beneath that easy exterior.

Like magic…he senses those sticking points, can feel the blockages in the fibers, and addresses them with no nonsense. Worth EVERY CENT. If you’ve a hitch in your giddyup, I hope you’ll consider a visit.

Green

So Trooper has a fresh recruit, now…he seems a nice enough sort though about as green as they come. Like he says – in re: the old joke about the bulls – the kid wants to run down the hill and fuck one of them instead of walking down and fucking all of them.

It’s a heavy burden, I’d think, to take someone without decades of skills and try in a few short months make them capable of staying alive on their own. He says the kid is like a robot – he may not be great at paperwork but you show him one time how to do something and he has it pegged. Unfortunately, ours is a very tough paperwork location – a lot of it and a boss who demands it be done right the first time.

How can you distill that knowledge into a handful of days and instill it in someone who hasn’t known…well, things that a soldier knows, intimately? It takes a great deal of patience, thought, and a desire to never attend their funeral.

We were laughing with another couple over Halloween farewells – he’s now SWAT and was once another acronym. Sharp, that one, and quiet. She laughed and said that he was always testing her, play fighting…as does my own. Pressure points and house clearing and backing with cover. Games but games that have meaning. Because you do not know…

With another couple the other night, Trooper was declaring that his recruit had no idea how easy they had it – the constant mantra amongst the force. With pure deadpan, his friend says, “Hard? Hard?! We couldn’t even use acronyms! One guy ordered tea with lunch and got smacked!” Still, it is true that they appear to have been more than kind with the last bunch. I figure they needed warm bodies for the border and anything was better than nothing.

Still, this one is his. And the fellow will know his shit or he will not be cleared. That’s it. Because there is no way in hell we want his photo on the wall at Academy. Not if what he does now can prevent it. He may be green and pliable now. We’ll see what April brings.