Things in Texas have been quiet as well. I am looking forward to Mom's visit in a few weeks, and have enjoyed the cooling temperatures (average daily temperature is now down to 86!). Maggie recently started obedience school, and although she had a rough start things are beginning to go smoothly and she enjoys her weekly classes with the other dogs. She now can sit, lay down, front, and walk on her lead (this required a harness so that she is no longer able to drag me around - good for me, but she doesn't particularly care for it) , and go to her place (either her crate or mat). We are still working on staying and not running through the gates. She is a work in progress. I am also cat-sitting for a colleague this week, and this has been a learning experience for Alli. She is not used to sharing her space, especially the upstairs which is her domain (Maggie isn't allowed up there). It seems her ability to hiss and be cranky is not limited to her interactions with Maggie. Alli and Bob do seem to have some fun chasing each other around and stealing toys back and forth though.
Other than that, things have been pretty quiet here. I am also looking forward to attending an upcoming conference (International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies) in Chicago this November. The program looks great, but I am most excited to spend time with my best friend Caroline, who calls Chicago home. Our good friend Colleen is looking into making the trip out as well, so it might be a great mini-reunion!
Our thoughts recently have also been with Aunt Karla and her family and with Grandma Murphy as they spend time in the hospital recovering and taking steps to lead stronger, healthier lives. Our love and best wishes are extended to both of you.
Thank you again to all who have been sending Brian packages. They seem to average about 20-30 days to arrive, with arrival to Iraq occurring in about 10 days and then taking an additional 10-20 days to make it out to him at Garry Owen. They are still building up the FOB (hopefully a Dining Facility and fixed latrines and shower will be up before winter) so food, building supplies and ammunition continue to maintain priority over mail and packages. He does truly appreciate all of the food, toiletry items, photos and small gifts that have been sent. It makes life a little bit more enjoyable and comfortable and he is grateful that he has been given enough to share with those who aren't receiving some of the comforts of home.
Happy October to all, and if you happen to be one of our New England friends or family members, enjoy the apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and changing foliage for us!