As I write my blog, I am drinking a hefty glass of Malbec while munching on peanut butter dog cookies. My husband has noted this gourmet faux pas on Facebook. I am too distracted to even care or comment. Lexi was just happy that I shared a few with her. This Diplomatic wife is feeling the stresses of what life in the foreign service sometimes brings….

We have now been “home” in Baltimore for a week. While I am settling into my new job as the New Business Development person for a wonderful furniture dealership in Baltimore called WorkSpaces, the Diplomat is on “Home Leave”. Home Leave is basically a paid vacation in the good ole’ USA mandated by Congress that my husband is taking full advantage of this month. This is an excerpt from the very lengthy and legalese Foreign Affairs Manual (A.K.A the FAM) –

The purpose of home leave is to ensure that employees who live abroad for an extended period undergo reorientation and re-exposure in the United States on a regular basis. If an employee’s next assignment is in the United States (or a U.S. Commonwealth or possession) and the employee has completed 3 years of continuous service abroad, the employee must take home leave before reporting for duty.

Now for those of you who know a little about US/Mexican geography, you will know that Tijuana and San Diego are sister cities.

Not sure who to credit this image, but it shows a great image of the sister cities

Therefore, while posted in Tijuana, there were days where my husband would drive his daughter to school in San Diego, report to work in Tijuana, head over to the US to shop at Trader Joes, grab some great street tacos on the Mexican side, and then return a 3rd time to do an evening walk on the beach with Lexi on the ever so lovely Coronado Island. So while I am juggling my busy back-to-work schedule and getting my son ready to leave for college, I must amuse myself with the notion that my husband has to get re-aquainted with the home country – ha! This includes a lot of Diplomatic napping on the patio while the Diplo-Dog is obsessively on guard for squirrels that might attack.

Lexi-Squirrel watch

Lexi stared at this tree watching for attack squirrels for over an hour

In the meantime, we are scheduled to drive to Tampa in 3 weeks. Between now and then I have back-to-back work commitments, all the while cramming in visits with family and friends who want to see Steve before he leaves for his next assignment. We have yet to schedule our 2nd “pack out” which needs to happen before we leave, nor have we decided what we are shipping from Baltimore yet. We have temporary housing arranged in Tampa at he lovely Casa Bella, but will quickly need to find a home to lease for 2 years. It is likely to be unfurnished, so we are going to have to divide the contents of our Baltimore home to share with our Florida home (Steve can have the ugly chair). In case you are wondering — I have committed myself to working in Baltimore and commuting to Florida every weekend. Did I say “committed’ – yes I think I should be! We also haven’t planned our route & hotel stays yet for this trip. More searching necessary to find decent accommodations that allow 60 lb lap dogs. Thank the Lord for color coded calendars.

Sigh…..and to think all I thought I would be dealing with this week is the little bit of Tijuana homesickness that I am experiencing, and knowing that my “ama de casa” de Tijuana is longing for me as much as I for her.

Tijuana-WG-Rogelia

Missing the other lady of the house