Monday, December 22, 2008


Practicing reloads with Lt. Gordon watching. Notice my slick thinking to use my belt loop for a magazine holder....
Me on my trip to Kennedy County, on the Kennedy ranch. Notice the bay and the cattle all in the same place. Really pretty, plus we caught some fish, but missed the bad guys.

Me, Srba, and Long cooking out.

Home away from home. #5

One of lens birthday present for me, a COWBOYS jersey. At least it was Whitten.

Swimming at Ft. Hood. Lt Brooks is in the foreground.

Heading to Ft. Hood. Massive caravan of future game wardens.

Swift, Ilse, Long and Johnson trying to figure out how to write citations. Not fun....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Times and Trials

Well as Lens said I just got back from a trip to east texas. Quite interesting....

I did everything from ride on a 500 hp airboat to go 75 miles in a 26 boston whaler checking oyster boats. And let me tell you...I don't think checking oyster boats for a living would be very fun. Although I think I could do anything with this job. When we went out in the air boat it was me and Ilse, one of my friends here, and we spent all morning checking duck hunters. Oh yeah, we started at 2:00 am. Let me tell you, I need one of those boats. That airboat will go on any land or water. We jumped several obsticales that were must steeper than I would drive a truck over. Not much else can be said other than it was way cool.

The oyster boats were the equivelant of measuring muddy rocks on a boat that is swaying back and forth. Interesting but not alot of fun. The game wardens that we rode with were way cool. They let us take to lead on all of the contacts and write all of the citations. Quite an experience.

It has been a couple of weeks since I have seen lens. Times are hard. Some days I sit in my dorm and think, "what was I thinking, there is no way this is worth it." I don't know if this is how I really feel or it is just the fact that life is hard and times are tough. I miss my wife terribly and my life with my friends and family. I would have to say that my close friends that I have made here are really helping me. We find a way to encourage everyone to press on and push through. I can't even being to talk about the encouragement that lens has been for me. We still have a long way to go but that girl is sticking by me through everything. We are having to find a way to communicate through this distance. Such a challenge.

I really enjoy knowing there are friends and family out there that care, that want to hear about me and lens. Friends that we care about. Thanks to all for the support and the love. Thanks to those who have stopped in to look after Lens for me. You all are a life saver. To my wife...much love and be strong. I love you deeply.

Here is a picture for everyone. Me and Ilse on the edge of the airboat in front of a beautiful sunrise on the trinity bay.

Monday, December 15, 2008

adoption talk

so we haven't said anything about adoption in a while....mostly, that's due to josh goin to the academy. life has so drastically changed since mid-october, and it's only been in the last couple weeks that we've managed to talk about anything else. really, there's not a lot to be said right now...but i'll say what i can.

we still haven't made any sort of definitive choice b/w an agency adoption and a private adoption. we haven't learned anything more significant about either direction....and for the most part, we still feel the same way (see jr's blog "popsicles and oil changes"). however, i think we have a few more words for why we feel the way we do.... well, at least i do.

i'm a do-er. i like organizing and problem solving and list-making and tangibly, practically working toward an end. all the time. it can be a weakness sometimes, as i can border on some ocd tendancies :) ... these tendancies lean me toward agency adoption. oddly enough, it's not b/c i think we'd have more control...but b/c it's a littler cleaner process...there are more fixed steps in the system: decide which agency, apply (which entails filling out extensive paperwork, signing contracts, etc), attend classes, pay the fees, schedule the home visit, and keep in contact w/the agency....and that's all BEFORE a baby is found for us. we do our part; they do theirs. there are tasks to be completed (some big, some small...varying in depth and complexity...but all clearly defined tasks), and the process is set in motion. can you see why i lean toward an agency? it's full of things for me to DO...even though finding a birth mother is not ultimately up to us, there are things to do. and that would at least help me feel better.

goin the private route is....well....exactly the opposite. we wait. we share our story w/people we know (and at times, some we don't). and we wait. sure, there will be plenty to do legally once an adoptive mother decides she wants josh and me to be her baby's adoptive parents....but those things will have to be done through an agency just the same. i'm talkin about and next week....the private route doesn't come w/a marked map to follow.

and some days, it's almost like there's a moral opposition in us to payin someone thousands of dollars to find a baby who simply needs to be loved and tended to and provided for.

so that's where we sit....for now....

we have realized somethin new -- our decision to pursue adoption hasn't lessened the difficult pain of not bein able to get pregnant....that's been kinda surprising at times....i think we've been a little caught off-guard. but that's okay. josh would say "that's part of it." and i guess it is...and maybe always will be? i don't know.... all i'm certain of is our shared longing to become parents.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

gators, oysters, and insomnia

josh is finishin up his long weekend @ the coast. he headed east early enough on friday mornin that it can't be described as "bright and early" b/c the "bright" would indicate the sun to be shining....but even the sun was still asleep when they hit the road. once their destination was reached, one of the first conversations he had was w/a local man talkin about the alligators on the road.

what?! first of all, i didn't know texas housed alligators. secondly, regardless of residence, alligators definitely do not belong on the road. wowza...

the first mornin, josh and his buddy met up w/a game warden (again, while the sun itself was still snoozin), and they headed out to check duck hunters. apparently, most of the landscape in that part of the state is their mode of transportation was an air boat. they had a great time...which is good...b/c to me, the only redemptive thing about gettin up that early and bein really cold would be if it was a LOT of fun!

today, they met up w/a different warden and checked oysters all day...i don't know if oysters are fished or hunted or gathered or trapped...but whatever man does to obtain them must be done w/in the parameters of wildlife josh, his buddy, and the game warden enforced these laws today.

they have some business-y stuff to take care of in the mornin, then they head back to the academy....hopefully in time to do some laundry!

as for the insomnia...that would be mine. normally, i start gettin sleepy around 9:30 or 10:00 (i'm quite the old fogie [not sure how to spell 'fogie']). last thursday, i was wide awake until i willed myself into bed around midnight. i attributed it to the overabundance of coke i'd been indulding in ALL day. however, as the weekend is drawin to an end...i'm thinkin maybe it wasn't the coke....i didn't have a coke friday nite, and i was up coke today, it's after 10...and i'm up writin this blog.

frankly, i'm not sleepin that well w/o josh here....and i'm gettin to where i don't like goin to bed....the bed's big and cold, the house dark and empty... it's not that i feel unsafe, really...i just can't get used to sleepin alone. there's somethin not right about it...

on a lighter livin room is an absolute disaster...covered in christmas presents, wrappin paper, boxes, and ribbon (which i've never figured out how to tie and make pretty).

think i'll finish watchin the cowboys' game before hittin the sack

Sunday, December 7, 2008

weekend in the city

do you open or close w/the funny story?

let's open.

preface: for those of you who don't know, josh and i LOVE america's funniest home videos. a couple years ago, one of the videos that won was a wife who locked her husband out of the house and made him dance before she'd let him in. naturally, josh and i began employing a similar game...only ours involves our vehicles and very public places.

story: today, josh and i sat in chile's eatin and watchin sunday football. we had a swell time. on the way out to the pickup, we started horsin' around, and i dropped his keys. for fear of him takin them and lockin me out of the pickup until i danced, i half-heartedly tried to give the keys a boot...but to no avail. josh grabbed the keys, and there i was in the all-too-familiar place of havin to do a jig before bein granted access to the pickup. we laughed like we always do. he turned up the music like he always does. i refused to dance like i always do. and then the unexpected - he went too far. he insisted that i stand in the bed of the pickup and do the jig...rather than quietly there b/w our pickup and the one parked next to us. what?!?! no way. for the first time in our game, i begged. i pleaded. (and not for the first time) i laughed hysterically. surely he'd let me off! surely, if i just laughed long enough, looked desperate enough, he'd be filled w/mercy and unlock the door. - no. - insistent. so right off a major highway in austin, in front of a full lunch-rushed restaurant, in the middle of a crowded parkin lot, i'm dancin in the back of a pickup.

he's so proud of himself, as yall can imagine. but the story will not end here. no, my friends, this is only the beginning . . .

needless to say, josh and i had a wonderful time this weekend. an old friend of mine from high school picked me up at the airport, and we had the chance to catch up for a bit while josh made the driven trek into the city. the rest of the weekend, we went to a few stores...ate some good food...went to the texas state history museum on ut's campus...watched a movie...and thoroughly enjoyed simply bein near each other.

i usually have an agenda of some sort. a to-do list...even if it's only of "fun" things. but by saturday mornin, i realized i had no such agenda to stick to or plan to follow or schedule to meet or list to complete....all i wanted to do was to be as close to josh as i could be for as long as i could be.

i'm no expert on most of what josh likes, namely firearms. i'm hardly acquainted w/them really. but this mist of longing fell on me this weekend . . . we spent the better part of saturday mornin at this huge gun store, and it was such peace for me to simply be w/him... the remainder of our time together was much the same. we just piddled around and drank deeply of the time we had together.

he'll get to come home for a few days over christmas...i can hardly wait.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fish out of Water

It Josh again.

So many things are happening here in Hamilton that I don't think that I can explain them all. So much class, running, studing, little sleep and way too many gadgets. Yes, there are so many gadgets that I am getting that my locker here is getting stuffed full of too many way cool items. We got our body armor in yesterday. I have to say that it is a little menacing to put that vest on and have to wear it around on a daily basis knowing that it was designed to stop a bullet. Still pretty dang cool tho.

So we have been studing and learning all sorts of wildlife law, rules, regulations and proclimations. But the latest of these topics that we have learned has been commercial fishing regulations. This applies to all fishermen who want to catch fish in order to sell them as a business. But it also includes people who want to buy them and restraunts who want to sell them. So I am not from the coast (which is where this happens) and I don't know much about the coast. So here I am, this panhandle boy, sitting in a class listening to a guy talk about these 80 pages of rules that strickly apply to saltwater. I am so lost that I can't even see straight. There is one thing that I have learned through all of this. Pray to be placed in the Panhandle!!!!!

They were talking about all the saltwater equipment today and there were several times that I had to actually stand up and ask what something meant. So out of place in the whole salt water senario. But needless to say I should probably try to learn some of this stuff, becuase with the McCrary's luck I will probably get the coast. I can just hear all of the commercial fishermen now, "I hope we get another one of those panhandle boys, they don't know a black drum from a black bass."

So with all of the frustration of trying to learn stuff that I have no clue about, I find the best way to deal with things is to make "funnies." So the oyster regulations come up and all I could think about was, the panhandle doesn't have oysters that look like rocks, but we do have Rocky Mountain Oysters. I guess the salt water rules don't apply to calf fries???? But the class still got a laugh out of it. Laughing has been a great stress releiver for me here. There is so much that it is impossible to be able to learn it all extensivly. So I learn what I can and laugh about the things that I hope I never have to know.

On a much lighter note: lens is coming down to see me this weekend. Actually she is flying into Austin and we are going to go to GT distributers. That is a place that sells to law enforcement agencies and they have the best prices on guns and neat gadgets. So I am taking lens and we are going to go check ou this place and spend the rest of the weekend together. Should prove to be very interesting.

Next week we go over more saltwater rules and regs, and actually get to get some hands on experience with measuring oysters and nets and such. Then on Friday we leave to go to the coast and are scattered out down the coast for 4 days. My group is going to Hankamer Texas. Not only is this place on the coast it is about as close to Louisiana as you can get. So I am not only going to the coast, I am going to east texas AND the coast!!! Well, I guess if I like it there I will be good to go anywhere on the coast, because it can only get better. Hankamer is the other side of Beaumont. We will be checking fishermen and duck hunters. As much as I don't like east texas or the coast, it will beat the heck out of sitting in the classroom.

Thats all for tonight gotta go study.