Today we got a really early start. I decided to go to sick call since I’ve had a cough for over a week and my throat has been sore for the past few days. Sick call is from 6-6:30 at the Battalion Aid Station and daycare doesn’t open until 6. So I dropped Robbie – and his costume and the cookies for the party – off right at 6 and was at the Aid Station by 6:15. It was almost a waste of time. The Private that signed me in took my temp and then just looked at the symptoms I had written down on my sick call slip and went and started getting meds. There was a Specialist that walked by and I asked him if that was it, just sign in and not even be looked at. He asked “didn’t she examine you?” and I said no, all she did was take my temp. So then he looked in my throat and that was it. I’m pretty sure I have a sinus infection, due to the fact I’ve had them before and I pretty much know my body. I did get a Z-pack which is a type of antibiotic, so at least I got something that I know will work for me. Of course, I wasn’t “sick enough” to be put on quarters so I could go home and sleep, despite being told “Drink lots of fluids and get lots of rest.” Whatever. . . .
So I was pretty miserable at work all day, but we didn’t really do anything too strenuous. I got all the serial numbers recorded on the proper forms for the new instruments we’ve gotten in and I learned how to look up some other numbers we need for them. During lunch I made a quick trip into Watertown (well, the outskirts) to the Proverbial Women to switch out some of my dishcloths. I brought a few more Christmas colors ones and took some of the spring/summer color ones and a couple pairs of flipflops. I’m going to donate some or all of them (haven’t decided yet) to the church ladies group for their fall bazaar they have starting on Sunday that goes through November.
After lunch, SSG C and I brought the paperwork from this morning up to Battalion so all the instruments can be added to our property book and then we stopped by the place that receives all the shipments and we were able to pick up 2 new piccolos. Then it was back to the supply office to do the paperwork on those and then to Battalion with that paperwork, too. We got back just in time for the end of the first aid classes we had this afternoon. Before the day ended we had a promotion ceremony to promote JS from SGT to SSG. Then I headed out and picked Robbie up from daycare. They had a Halloween party today and he had a lot of fun. They all really liked the cookies he and I made last night, and they each got a goodie bag with some candy and other stuff in it. Once home, I made a grilled cheese sandwich for Robbie and I had some yogurt. I got Robbie back into his costume and we headed out to go trick-or-treating. Ryan stayed home to hand candy out – we had maybe a dozen or so groups of kids. Robbie had a lot of fun despite the couple of scary costumes we came across. One was a teen (?) boy in a gorilla costume, and he came running right at Robbie and making “gorilla noises”. That was just mean, and it took a little bit for me to get Robbie calmed down. I heard him and his friend laughing after they got past us. I highly dislike people like that. Eventually they were out of sight and Robbie was ready to go on. We went to a couple more houses and then headed home. Robbie rang the door bell and said “Trick or treat Daddy” when Ryan opened the door. We let Robbie have a few pieces of candy before he went up to bed, and once he was in bed, I crocheted and we watched Tivo.
Before you go, here’s a picture of my little Bob the Builder!
Today was range day. I got to sleep in a few minutes extra as I didn’t have to be in until 0730. So I dropped Robbie off at daycare and then headed to the Arms Room where the 7 of us going to the range were meeting. We got our weapons and got loaded into the back of the LMTV (2 1/2 ton truck) for the ride out to the range. It was about a 20-30 minute drive, and I managed to take a nap despite the bumps. We didn’t have to wait long before we got to start firing. We headed to the zero range first to zero (meaning, get the weapon set to fire dead center for the individual firer). It was a little chilly still, but I opted for no gloves. I had to fire 18 rounds (3 at a time) to zero. I was getting tight shot groups, but it took a little bit to get my weapon adjusted properly. So once I was done there, I headed to the qualification range and only shot 19 my first time. It was pretty much my first time shooting from the kneeling position. We shoot 20 rounds from the prone supported (with sandbags, but I don’t use them cuz I can never get them adjusted right so I just do prone unsupported), 10 rounds from the prone unsupported, and 10 rounds from kneeling. You need 23 to qualify, so I had to go back out. They let us go right back out after the first time and that was nice. I got 19 again the second time. At least I didn’t get worse! I missed 2 of the 50-meter targets from the kneeling position. I know one of them was because my elbow slipped on my knee just as I fired. I don’t know how I missed the other one. You can almost throw a rock at the 50’s and hit them. After that try, we got a little bit of a break as they had some more Soldiers coming from the zero range to try and qualify. But we only had to wait about 15-20 minutes, so it wasn’t bad and then I was back out on the range. I hit 25 this time and was very happy to have qualified!! My “new” eyes worked pretty well – I could actually SEE the 300-meter targets. I still couldn’t hit them, but at least I knew they were there. If I were to shoot more than once a year, I’d probably do better.
After I was done, I went to the warm-up building and had some of the soup they had in there and then I just hung out and talked to 5 of the other guys from the band. There was still one band Soldier attempting to qualify. She never did and we eventually had to leave as others had the range scheduled for the afternoon. She’ll probably go out again next time the Battalion has a range. We headed back to the Arms Room where we did a preliminary cleaning of our weapons – more will come in following weeks. Then it was back to supply to do a little bit of work. I got my evaluation report turned in that I’ve been working on, so that’s one major thing I can check off my to-do list. We started unboxing all the new instruments we’ve gotten in, and tomorrow we’ll start doing the paperwork on them to get them on our property book.
I left about 4:30 and went and got Robbie from daycare and then we stopped at the grocery store to get stuff to make cookies with for Robbie’s Halloween party tomorrow. I signed up to make cookies. We got home and I got the dough rolled out and we made almost 3 dozen ghosts and pumpkins. I had planned on Robbie helping frost them, too, but it was getting too late and we needed to get him to bed. Ryan ordered pizza for us for supper since I was in the middle of making cookies and didn’t have time to cook supper. We ate picnic style on the living room floor since cookie production was going on on the table.
Once Robbie was in bed, I got the cookies frosted and then crocheted for a bit and watched some Tivo. I’m heading up to bed now – going to sick call in the morning for my sore throat and cough. I can hardly swallow.
This morning it was 25 degrees outside. We got our first really good frost. Fall is definitely here! I had to leave a little bit earlier than usual this morning as I had to be at the Physicals Section by 0645. I had part 1 of my periodical physical. The Army requires us to get a physical once every 5 years, and it’s been 5 years since my last one. The part this morning was fasting bloodwork (couldn’t eat after 9 last night) and urine specimen, optometry (my eyes tested to 20/15 – both of them!!), a hearing test (my ears are slightly plugged due to my cold, so it wasn’t one of the best tests I’ve done. Plus I think I dozed off for a bit in the testing cubical), and blood pressure check. And a whole bunch of paperwork. I’ll be doing part 2 next week, so stay tuned to find out what that part is about. Once I was done with the physical, I was going to go to the chow hall and grab breakfast and then go to my office to change into ACUs. Well, I realized as I was driving to the chow hall that I didn’t have a tan t-shirt – a rather important part of my uniform. So I headed home to change instead, and I was able to pack a lunch instead of having to go to the chow hall for lunch. I got back just in time for 0930 formation. I spent most of the rest of the day in my supply office. I got the evaluation report done that I’ve been working on. SFC P helped me out a little bit with some of the wording and helped me to make some of my bullets a little stronger. But he said it wasn’t bad for my first one! I stitched for a little bit during lunch – should be able to finish my lunch project tomorrow, and I’ll be sure and share a picture with you.
After lunch was more office work, but some moving stuff as well – our new instruments have started to come in, and we had a bunch today to unload from the truck after they went to pick them up. When a unit returns from deployment, there are certain things that can get replaced and instruments are one of them. We ordered (and the order was approved) $256,000 worth of instruments!! Of course, with the new instruments comes a bunch of paperwork – getting the new ones on the property book, doing individual turnin of the old ones and issue the new ones, and then turn-in of the old ones. I guess I’ll really know how things work after this.
Then a little after 4 I headed out on a 3.4 mile run with SFC J. It was a chilly run, but a good one. I like running with him – we have some good conversations while we run. Once back and cooled down and stretched, I headed off to get Robbie and then home. We played until Ryan got home and then instead of cooking, we went to McDonald’s for supper. My throat has been hurting all day and I’ve had a bit of a headache and stuffy nose and I didn’t really feel like cooking. After we got home, we played for a bit more, and then after Robbie was in bed, I stitched and watched some Tivo.
High: 49 (current temp)
Today was a pretty standard Sunday except we had a potluck after Church. Those are always nice – lots of great food including a huge table full of desserts – and great conversations with other members of our church. Before heading home, we went to Payless Shoes so Ryan could get a new pair of everyday shoes and I got a pair of black dress shoes. My guys also picked out 2 pairs of cute socks with cats on them. Everything was Buy One-Get One half-off, so I got a discount on everything – even Ryan’s new shoes because I could use my military discount on them! Then it was home for Robbie’s naptime and I played on the computer for a little bit before heading to watch the NASCAR race with Ryan and stitch some. I ended up napping on the couch for a while, too. After Robbie got up and he woke me up, I read a couple of newspapers and we played. I made a chicken/biscuit/mashed potato meal from a box and that turned out good. Robbie had a bath before bed and then it was down to stitch and call Mom & Dad and watch TV.
Low: 34 (current temp)
We slept in a little bit this morning, but not too late. We got up and got the house vaccuumed and things straightened up a little bit. My Aunt Carol & Uncle Wayne arrived around 10:30 or so and we had a wonderful visit! I haven’t seen them since Mother’s Day of last year, so it was certainly nice to see them again. We gave them a tour of our house, and we visited and watched/played with Robbie. Then we went to the Golden Unicorn for lunch and had more conversation over our good food. C & W went on their way after we ate and the visit was over all too soon, but we’ll get to see Aunt Carol again at Christmas. Thanks for the visit and lunch! We stopped at the grocery store on our way home, and then it was naptime for Robbie. I played on my computer for a little bit after I got the groceries put away, but then I went up and took about an hour and a half long nap as well. We went to our local Italian place for supper and then home for bedtime. After Robbie was in bed, I took a shower and felt much better and then we watched Tivo and I stitched. I also made chocolate chip cookies to take to our church potluck tomorrow. Off to bed now. . .
Because of the troop return ceremony last night, I didn’t have to go to PT. I slept as late as I could this morning without being late. I got Robbie up and ready once I was ready and we headed out. Our first stop was my car place so they could look at my mirror. I forgot to tell you yesterday that I hit a newpaper box with my mirror while driving to daycare yesterday morning. The paper box was fine and my mirror is mostly fine. My mirrors fold in, so that saved a bunch of damage I’m sure. The outside of the mirror housing is fine, just a little scratched. But the mirror popped out and it’s cracked in several places. It’s still usable, so that’s a good thing. They looked at it, and they said it’ll be an easy fix but they had to order the part – it’s only like a $25 or $30 part, so not bad. A whole new mirror assembly would be close to $200. They’ll call me when it comes in. Then it was off to drop Robbie at daycare on my way to 0930 formation.
After formation, we got on the bus and went to the Division Monument to do a reenlistment ceremony and to take a unit photo. It was a beautiful morning for it. Then it was back to the band hall for office time. I did some stuff on my computer and then I started sorting through more dress blue stuff – shirts, hats, and shoes. I made a pretty good dent in the piles of boxes I’m working through. SGT G and I went to lunch at the chow hall together – I didn’t get a lunch packed this morning. We had a good time chatting and the food’s not bad either. After lunch was more office time, and then at 3 was formation for the monthly retirement ceremony. It was a fairly short ceremony this month – only 17 retirees. Once we got back to the band hall, we were done for the day and I headed off to get Robbie. Then it was a quick stop at Kinney Drugs to see what we could get for Halloween costumes for me and Ryan. I got witch stuff for me and pirate stuff for him. We got home and got changed into our costumes (I used my black Augusta Choral Society dress as a base for my witch costume, and I was pleasantly surprised that it fit me!! and headed back out to post.
My Battalion had a Halloween party and costume contest and the Haunted Motorpool. Each of the offices had decorated their doors and were there handing out candy to the kids. And in the classroom was all the different companies that had tables with activities for the kids – the Band’s was making ghosts out of tootsie pops. There were some where the kids could decorate cookies, and one was making skeleton hands (clear plastic gloves, candy corn in the fingrtips, and then filled up with popcorn. Those were pretty neat. Then they had the costume contest, and our Battalion Chaplain, my First Sergeant, and one other person were judging. They broke it down into different age categories: 0-2, 3-6, 7-11, 12-15, 16+. Robbie didn’t win anything, but there were a lot of great costumes in his age group. OH – he’s Bob the Builder! Ryan and I both were in the judging for the 16+ group, and I won 2nd place! I got a $10 gift certificate to Ruby Tuesday. That was pretty cool! Then we went to the Haunted Motorpool. Ryan stayed with Robbie in the waiting area, and boy did Robbie get scared by the “tour guide” – he was pretty scary looking with a mask and black hooded thing and stuff. I went through with the group, and they did a really good job turning the motorpool into a haunted house (motorpool is the place where all the vehicles are kept to include the garage buildings which is what they used). There were lots of “things” jumping out at you, and we had to climb up and down steps for a little bit (not easy when you’re wearing a floor-length dress and heels). We even got to walk through a “graveyard” and things came out of the graves at us. I screamed a couple of times, along with everyone else.
Once I was done with that, we headed back to the car and then went to the Golden Unicorn for a late supper. It sure was good to get home and relax. And now I’m heading to bed before I fall asleep at my computer.
I took my Soldiers on a 4 1/4 mile run for PT this morning. It was a good run despite being about 35 degrees outside. I still ran in shorts and a long sleeved t-shirt. Then we had a Soldier reenlist at our 0930 formation and then I conducted the monthly 10% urinalysis. Only 2 Soldiers got selected this month, but it still took quite a while and 8 bottles of water before they were able to go. So by the time I went to turn the samples in, the mail guy had already been to the Substance Abuse building so I had to go to the post mailroom on the other side of post to get my samples in the mail to the testing center. By then it was only 20 minutes until lunch and I figured that since I was on that side of post anyway, I’d go to the PX and get my uniform from the cleaners. I almost hit a car when I was backing out of the parking lot there. They are one-way parking rows – angle parking. So as I was just starting to back up, a car comes the wrong way and really close to the cars. I couldn’t see it at all since there was a bigger truck to my right and I was backing to the left. All of a sudden it was there behind me and I hit my brakes. Probably another foot or so and I would have hit him. I don’t know why people don’t get the angle parking thing.
Then I had a quick lunch as I had to go to the rehearsal for the ceremony this afternoon. My bugler rode with me, and we went to the Division Monument where it was supposed to be. No tents, no chairs, no people. Hmm. . . Ok, maybe they decided to move it into the chapel like they did last month. So off we go to the chapel. We go inside. No people, no ceremony stuff. Hmmm. . . I call the Ops office and tell SGT S what was going on. He said “Hmmm. Let me call you back.” So then my phone rings a little bit later and it’s SGT L, the other Ops guy, and he called the people in charge and they told him there was no ceremony today. Ok, so when were you going to let the band know?? As of last Friday at a meeting that SGT L went to, they were still talking about the ceremony. So bugler and I go back to the band hall, did our key inventories with the key control NCO, and then I went to the supply office and got some stuff done. Oh, I did let the rest of the brass quintet know that we didn’t have a gig today afterall.
About 4:30 I left and picked Robbie up and headed home. We played, but I had a headache so I just kind of chilled. We ordered pizza for supper since I didn’t feel like cooking. Then we played some more. After Robbie was in bed, we folded clothes and then I stitched and we watched TV. About 11 I went up and put my hair back up and started getting ready to head to formation. We had formation at midnight for a Troop Return Ceremony. We welcomed home about 120 more Soldiers. I just got home a few minutes ago, and now I’m heading up to bed. At least those of us who were on the job don’t have to go in for PT in the morning! I’ll get to sleep a little bit.
Wednesday. Long day. At least I’m starting to get used to the schedule on Wednesday’s, but I still don’t like it. After formation this morning, I was able to do a little bit of stuff in supply and then shortly before 9 a small group of us headed over to the Electronic Skills Trainer for pre-qualification (M-16) training. Well, we sat around down there for over an hour and a half before we were finally able to go in and use the simulator. I did not do well at all, but there was a number of equipment issues that I’m going to need to get used to since they are required – body armor, helmet, balistic glasses, etc. I’m sure I’ll do better when we get to the range next week, but this morning was just total frustration between the wait and the unsuccess. It was just about lunchtime when we got back so we just kind of hung out in supply cuz there wasn’t really enough time to get into anything. SSG C and SGT G and I went to Jreck Subs for lunch. They both knew how frustrated I was and decided to whisk me away from the area for a short time. It helped. We had a very fun lunch, and good food too. After lunch I had a short brass quintet rehearsal for tomorrow’s ceremony and then back to supply to try and get some paperwork done. Then it was time for PT. We played frisbee football again and that’s always lots of fun. I scored several touchdowns since I just hang out in the end zone and the other team tends to forget about me. So when we get the frisbee anywhere near the end zone, I’m always wide open.
After PT we were done for the day and I headed to get Robbie and then out to the chiropractor. That’s always a nice way to end my long day. I really like Dr. Lundy and her massage therapists (we get a 10 minute massage before our adjustment). Not only do they make me feel good inside, but they make me feel good all over because they’re always encouraging about my running and music and everything. Dr. Lundy really takes the time to get to know her patients.
Then it was home and Robbie made mac & cheese for supper with Ryan’s help. He likes stirring stuff and dumping stuff into the pot. I think he ate more than I did again. Then it was time for bed for him since we got home so late from chiro, and after he was all tucked in, I crocheted and we watched Tivo.
This morning was the unit weigh-in, but since I weighed yesterday afternoon, I didn’t have to go in until 0900 this morning. We met at the gym at 9 for our annual flu shots. But we didn’t get shots – we got the flu mist nose stuff. Yuck! I’d much rather have a shot, thank you very much. We had formation back at the band hall at 0930 and then a little bit of time before concert band but not really enough to get anything done in supply. So I went to concert band at 1030 but it wasn’t concert band because Chief ended up having to go to a meeting at Battalion. We had group rehearsals instead, and I guess the brass group rehearsal was productive. That took us until lunch, and during lunch I ate and stitched. Then after lunch was jazz band for half the time and then sectionals (jazz band type) for the rest of the time. Finally at 3 I was able to get some other stuff done. Don’t get me wrong – I love playing music. But I have a huge list of things that need to get done in supply as well – including learning what I’m supposed to be doing in there – and when rehearsals are scheduled all day, I don’t get anything done. Of course, there are others that are in the same boat. I did manage to get up to the Substance Abuse building and pick up supplies for future urinalyses and some handouts for the class about Alcohol that I’m giving on 14 November. Then it was back to the office, and I actually got a really good start on the evaluation report I have to write. There wasn’t anyone around except the supply supervisor and he was busy taking care of his work. I didn’t get to go run, but it was pouring rain anyway so it was a good day to stay in and work on the computer.
I left about 5:15 and went and got Robbie from daycare and headed home. After relaxing for a little bit, I made spaghetti for supper and Robbie helped a little bit – helped me chop the mushrooms and then helped stir the sauce as it was simmering. He sure loves helping to cook! After supper we played for a bit more and then up to bed for the little guy. I took a shower and then headed down to crochet and watch Tivo. I got a few bills paid a bit ago and now I’ll be heading off to bed after I check my e-mail and message boards.
High: 69 (sometime in the middle of last night – it rained all day today and got up to maybe 58 during the day)
Today was the unit record PT test. I was one of the graders, and I graded four Soldiers. All four of them passed, as well as everyone from E Team! That’s always a good thing. We were back in at 1000, and spent the morning doing work in our shops. I don’t know that I got anything accomplished this morning. I got some good stitching time in during lunch, and then brass quintet rehearsal this afternoon. I started off the rehearsal time with Welcome & Integration counselings – just to give them my expectations of them. Then we rehearsed for Thursday’s gig and read a few other pieces just for fun. After rehearsal it was back to supply to attempt to make copies of the counseling forms. The copier over there didn’t want to do double-sided to double-sided and kept jamming up on me. So I went across the street to the admin building and used the copier there. Of course, halfway through my copies the paper ran out and there wasn’t any more over there. I ended up taking some from the other printer there and using that to finish. Then it was back to the supply building to go talk to First Sergeant (his and Chief’s offices are in the supply building). Then I changed into my PT uniform and headed back to the admin building to the training office to be weighed for our record weigh-in. I was well under my authorized weight, but I expected that. I pretty much don’t have to worry about weigh-ins anymore. I had planned on going for a run after being weighed, but it was already 4:45 and I didn’t have time before I had to get Robbie from daycare. So I headed out to get him and then home to make Monterrey Chicken for supper. But it wasn’t true Monterrey Chicken tonight. I used Colby-Jack cheese and it turned out really good! After we ate, we played for a while (Robbie and Ryan played while I was cooking, too) and then once Robbie was in bed, I chatted with my friend D for a little bit and then went and stitched and got caught up on Jeopardy’s on the Tivo.