Hot and Humid

It’s been miserable the past few days. It’s been in the 80’s and very humid, and most of the buildings around here don’t have air conditioning. Of course, Walmart and other stores and restuarants have it, but not where we live or work.

It’s been a pretty boring week so far. Monday we drove and found a flea market about an hour away. It was ok – not nearly as big as the one we went to in Augusta, but it was still nice to get away. We took a back road back and had a nice little drive.

Yesterday was back to work after the 4-day weekend. I had my annual eye exam in the morning – I’ll be getting new glasses with just a tiny bit stronger prescription. Not much of a change. The rest of the day was pretty much just sitting around not doing much except trying to stay cool in the admin building. In the evening after we picked Robbie up from day care, we went and walked around Walmart for a while and bought another fan for our room (it came with 2, but now we have one in the window as well) and then we went to Burger King for supper.

Today we mowed the grass around the 6 band buildings – it sure looks a lot nicer now, but of course we have rain in the forecast for the rest of the week so it’s going to come right back. We had a unit lunch at a local restaurant – presented an award to one soldier that’s leaving. It was a good time, and the food was good too. After we got back, we sat around for a while and then 3 of us went over to the rehearsal hall and cut some locks off lockers that people were supposed to have emptied before they left for Afghanistan. That was it for the day. I went home and took a nice cool shower before we went to pick up Robbie and then we went to a Chinese buffet for dinner and then to the grocery store on the way home. We played outside on the little playground here for probably half hour or so before coming up for bed.

Overnight low: 63
Today’s high: 86

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Six Flags Darien Lake

Yesterday was a long day – left about 7:45 and stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast and then for gas and we were on our way. It was about a 3 hour drive to Six Flags Darien Lake, but it was good traveling. We all got in for free since it was Military Appreciation Weekend – Active Duty for me, veteran for Ryan, and under 2 for Robbie. Of course, we did have to pay $10 for parking, but that’s ok. We walked around for a while and then went on a wooden roller coaster. They have a thing called Parent Swap where you wait at the exit with your child that’s too small for the rides, and then when one parent is done riding, you swap out with the other parent and both get to ride with only 1 waiting in line. That was kind of nice, other than we remembered we don’t like wooden rollercoasters – you get jostled around too much, and I had a headache when I got off. But I was ok.

Then we headed to the kiddie area and Robbie got to go on a few rides. Ryan went on some with him, and I went on some. Robbie sure enjoyed them, and didn’t want to get off went our turn was done. We all went on the big ferris wheel – Robbie did really good on it. We ate lunch at a little sit-down restaurant. Ryan didn’t care for his food much, but I thought my burger was good. And the water tasted funny and Ryan’s pop was flat. I think I’d recommed the little walk-up and get your food type places – but it was nice having a high chair for Robbie.

After we ate, Ryan went on some rides by himself and Robbie and I walked around (ok, I pushed him in the stroller) and we got to see a little parade of all the characters and some clowns and stuff. It wasn’t a very long parade, but it gave us something to do while waiting for Ryan. Robbie got some Mardi Gras beads from one of the characters. When Ryan was done with his rides, I did go on another roller coaster. The line was really short, so I just waited outside with Robbie and when Ryan got done, I went and waited in line. That was a good rollercoaster and I’m glad I decided to go on it! Then we took Robbie on a few more kiddie rides before we headed for the exit. Of course, we stopped at a gift shop and got a Six Flags magnet for our fridge (when we get it back. . .).

We headed home about 8 and Robbie was asleep almost before we were out of the parking lot. We stopped at McDonald’s about half way back to eat, and once we got back in the car, Robbie was out again. He barely woke up when Ryan changed his diaper to get him ready for bed when we got home.

Duty, Sleeping, and the Dentist

Friday I had 24-hour duty – from 9 a.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday. It wasn’t too bad, and it was actually a pretty quiet shift. I got some stitching done, but about 4 a.m. I started getting really sleepy. I walked around the building outside a couple of times, and that last for about 1/2 hour. But I managed to stay awake the whole time. When I got off, I met Ryan & Robbie and we went to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. Then they went to check the mail and to the zoo and I came home and slept for a while.

Saturday after Robbie’s “nap” (he didn’t really nap) we drove to Syracuse about an hour away. There was a pretty neat mall there – 3 stories and they had an old carousel. After we ate supper at the food court, Ryan took Robbie on the carousel. It was only $1 for Robbie, and Ryan didn’t have to pay since he stood next to Robbie! How cool is that. I was in bed about 10 Saturday night – tired from the duty.

Sunday morning Ryan let me sleep in, but he didn’t realize what time it was when he woke me up so we didn’t make it to church. He woke me up about 9:55 and church starts at 10. I felt much better though after 12 hours of sleep. After Robbie’s pseudo-nap, we drove to Gouveneur (sp?) just for something to do. It’s a little hole-in-the-wall town and not a whole lot there. We did find a little restaurant, but the service stunk and the food was ok at best. But at least it got us out of the “house”.

Yesterday was a pretty boring day – worked on cleaning the barracks more in the morning, and then after lunch I took my van in for it’s 42,000 mile check up (oil change, tire rotation, etc.). I stopped by the band hall on the way back just to see what was up for the next day.

This morning we had unit PT – first time in a while apparently. We ran to the fence and back – 3.4 miles total. I measured it with my van when I came home for lunch. Then after our 9:30 formation (can you have a formation with 4 people??) I got the other 2 soldiers going on the barracks again – they should have finished them this morning no problem. I had my annual dental cleaning at 1020, so I left for that. It wasn’t bad – probably my best experience since I’ve been in the Army. But I’m glad it’s over with for another year.

The dump, grass, an inspection, and showering in the dark

Today was another varied day. First thing this morning three of us went to bring some stuff to the dump on post. That didn’t take very long, and since it was actually sunny this morning (it’s been raining all week), the other newbie and I mowed the grass around all the band buildings. He rode the riding lawn mower and I used the push mower to do around the buildings and trees and stuff. It sure looks nice now.

After lunch (during which I took a 20 minute nap cuz I was so tired), I took my car to a local auto service place for my NY State Inspection. They require an inspection sticker even if your car is registered in another state that doesn’t require them. Of course, I passed (Ryan had his truck done yesterday and it passed, too). Then I went back to the band hall and supervised a cleaning detail I’ve been put in charge of. I got to sit up in the Admin office since I was the only one there other than the soldier completing the detail – someone needs to be in the office in case of phone calls. I made a few phone calls (on my phone) for stuff with our house – got an attorney for closing and got our homeowner’s insurance set up.

Once I got home, I took a shower. No sooner had I gotten shampoo in my hair and the power went out – we had a pretty strong thunderstorm go through. Luckily I still had water, and hot water at that. Ryan brought the flashlight in so I could kind of see to finish up. I think that’s the first time I’ve showered by flashlight before.

Then we went and picked Robbie up from day care and then into Watertown for supper. We ate at a place that one of the guys at work told me about. The food was pretty good (at least my mushroom Swiss burger was), but it was a little pricey and REALLY hard to find. Thanks for the help Rick! After we ate, we stopped for a few groceries and then it was home to play for a little bit before bed.

I’m off to bed now since I have 24 hour duty starting at 9 tomorrow morning.

Today’s low: 50 (current temp.)
Today’s high: 68

I got the stuff. . .

I got all my equipment and clothing stuff today – cold & wet weather clothes, protective gear, equipment, sleeping bag, etc. I have a very full duffle bag, a very full rucksack, my sleeping bag, and a pair of boots that wouldn’t fit in the bag. Going through this Issue Facility was the most efficient I’ve ever done. Once they called our name, we grabbed a shopping cart and went “shopping” – there were several stations, and at each station you got certain items. The person giving out the stuff at each station had it all laid out when you got there and you just checked it off on your inventory sheet and then put it in your cart. I was in and out of there in about an hour and a half – not bad at all for the amount of stuff I got. And I managed to get it all to my car in one trip!!

After lunch I was at the band hall, helping out with stuff around there. For the next couple of days I’ll be helping clean the barracks really good, doing some yardwork, etc. At least I’m doing something again!

Once I was done for the day, we picked Robbie up from day care, ate, did a little bit of shopping, etc. and then came home for the evening.

Overnight low: 48
Today’s high: 63

I’m With The Band!!

Yup! I’m done with my inprocessing after a fairly exciting day. I showed up at 9:30 like I was supposed to, and by 10 the building was being evacuated. I’m guessing either bomb threat or suspicious package (the post office is in that building as well). Nobody told us what was going on other than that we had to get out. We stood at the far side of the parking lot for 15-20 minutes or so and then they finally bussed us to the post theater. We stood around outside there for maybe another hour and finally got to go back. We finished what we were doing, but by that time it was almost time for our dental inprocessing so we just went to that. I’m glad I had breakfast. Dental wasn’t too bad – x-rays and an exam. I have to make an appointment for my annual cleaning. Then I got to do my final inprocessing stop and I was released to the band! I went by the band hall and they took me up to our Batallion to do a little bit of inprocessing there, and to see where I’ll have duty Friday to Saturday (24 hours). I got “home” a little before 5 and got changed and we went and picked Robbie up from day care and then headed into Watertown to get our phone numbers changed to local numbers and to eat. We ate at Bob Evans and Ryan and I had breakfast (I had blueberry pancakes) and Robbie had 2 little bitty cheeseburgers and some fruit.

Once we got home, I did stuff on the computer for a while since I hadn’t been on all day and then I stitched for a while. Off to bed now – gotta get used to going to bed a little earlier and getting up earlier.

Overnight low: 50
Today’s high: 70

Happy Mother’s Day!!

My little guy got up at 6:30 this morning – I guess he wanted to spend extra time with me. We watched some cartoons and ate breakfast together before Ryan got up. We went to church and saw what a “normal” service is like. It follows the liturgy that we’re used to. Communion was kind of a “drive-by” deal, but that’s ok. We just filed past Pastor and the assistant to receive the wafer and wine. Robbie got his blessing from Pastor. After church, we met Aunt Carol & Uncle Wayne for lunch. They’re on their way to MI from FL, and took a little bit of time to come see us. It sure was nice seeing them again – and if they hadn’t stopped, I probably wouldn’t have seen them before my deployment. We ate at Ponderosa and all had the all-you-can-eat buffet. It was really good. Thanks for lunch, C & W!!

During Robbie’s nap I got laundry going and once I got them in the dryer, I laid down for a little while as well. I was tired after getting up an hour or more earlier thatn I had planned on. When Robbie woke up, we went to McDonald’s for supper and to do some grocery shopping and then home to play before bed. Once Robbie was in bed, I called home to wish Mom a Happy Mother’s Day and she opened the package I had sent her. She liked her gift. I got quite a bit of stitching done during the Survivor season finale. I’d say it was a good day!!

Overnight low: 46
Today’s high: 57 (and rain)