Rule #2: Embrace the local entertainment. Yes, there may be a raging wildfire that attacks the Santa Monica mountains - but don't fret. It's due for a burn. It was 20+ years since it had been cleared to the dirt and, of course, it'll happen during deployment. So that week I took my lunch out to the grass and enjoyed the scenery. It's been over 10 years since that was my occupation, and I have the utmost respect for all involved. It's definitely a 'no sissies, allowed.'
Rule #2.5: Don't live in the California mountains. Der.
Rule #3: Embrace the ebbing and flowing of your family. One day, it may decrease with the sudden passing of your pooch. But then 10 days later, it may (unexpectedly) expand with a homeless little gatita. Then the man of the house may go to live on a boat for months at a time. Then you'll stop showering. And then you have zero water bill. ;)