Friday, at last!!

Today started my new morning routine. I dropped Robbie off at daycare on my way to PT as usual. I headed to the gym as we started doing yesterday. I took accountability of my team and we headed off to do cardio for PT. I ran on the treadmill – I had forgotten how much I don’t like running on the treadmill. BORING! After my release “formation” (I have a couple of guys that would probably try and skip out early), I headed to the locker room. I showered and changed there instead of coming home. Then I headed to the chow hall for breakfast. After yesterday morning’s super rushing time home, I did some math and made a decision. It takes me 5-10 minutes longer to get home from the gym than the band hall which makes it too rushed. And now with winter upon us, the roads are going to be bad and drivers stupid, so I’ve decided to stay on post after PT. My math was this: 4 days a week for breakfast in the chow hall will cost me no more than $6.00 (it cost me 90 cents this morning) and 4 days a week driving the 11 miles home and 11 miles back costs about $14.00 in gas. Hmm. . . Save almost 90 miles a week on my van and get a decent breakfast? Not much of a decision to make. Now, I suppose you’re wondering why I haven’t done that sooner. It was because I had no desire whatsoever to shower in the female barracks. Public gym? Ok. Female band barracks? No thanks.

After I was done eating, I got to stitch for about 10 minutes before I had to head over for 0930 formation. During formation, AM was promoted from Private to Private 2nd Class (PV2). It was a good day for him, and he thanked the chain of command for giving him a second chance. He came up positive on a urinalysis back in the spring and could very well have been put out of the Army. He was still reduced in rank from a Specialist (E-4) to a Private (E-1), and now he’s starting to work his way back up.

After formation I went to supply and started doing some computer work. I stitched during lunch. I did more computer work after lunch (finished the project I started in the morning) and then headed to the Battalion motorpool to take a walk around. Two of our quad-cons were “lent” to another company in the BN, and we need them back so we’re trying to find them. I found one of them and have a theory about where the other might be. Monday we’re going to continue on that mission and see if we can’t find the second one. It was WINDY walking around. I definitely was thankful for my “Michelin Man” jacket. I’ll have to get a picture of me in it someday so you can see what it looks like. Once I got back from the motorpool, I hung around for a little while and then headed home.

Robbie and I were home before 4:30 – that sure was nice being home early today! We played for a while, and then I made chicken patties and some frozen mashed potato things for supper. Then we played a little more after supper, and after Robbie was in bed, I stitched and we watched Tivo.

High: 36
Low: 22 (current temp – wind chill is 12)

Is it Friday yet???

This sure has been a long week – my first 5 day work week all month. This morning we started doing PT at the gym, and will continue that all winter. Woohoo! It’s so nice knowing our chain of command doesn’t want us out in the cold for PT. We’re doing accountability by Team Leader and full formation will be at 0930 now. So I made sure all my guys were there, and we headed off to hit the weights. We worked chest, shoulders, and triceps, as well as abs today. Boy am I going to be sore tomorrow – I haven’t lifted weights since February or March. I’ve been doing pushups of course, but lifting weights works your muscles slightly differently.

Then it was a quick trip home (that’s gonna change – stay tuned tomorrow. . .) to change, eat, pack my lunch, get supper going in the crockpot, and then get back for 0930 formation. That’s when I let them know that I was doing my monthly 10% urinalysis. It was only 2 Soldiers this morning, so it shouldn’t have been too bad and I should have been able to get to part of jazz band rehearsal. But one of the two didn’t need to go and finally went just before 1130. Of course, the people I turn the specimens into go to lunch at 1130, so I got to go to a short trombone sectional with my box of pee and then eat lunch with it sitting on my desk next to me. It’s always so much fun when people see “the box” and then me eating my lunch. They ask me how I can do that. Well, the pee is in bottles inside the box and the box is closed. It might as well be ANY cardboard box sitting next to me.

After lunch (and some stitching), I headed out to turn my specimens in. Of course, the mail guy comes in the morning, so I had to take the package to the mail room to get it mailed out to the testing lab. No big deal, but by the time I got back to the supply office, there wasn’t enough time to really get into doing anything. I didn’t really have anything to do anyway. So I read my book for a little while. At 1530 the BQ met up and we headed over to the Chapel to play at the Monthly Remembrance Ceremony. We remembered 5 Soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifce in the past month. We played well despite not having looked at the hymns we played in over a month. After the ceremony I finally got a chance to talk to Brigadier General (BG) Harrison. I’ve been wanting to catch him ever since his promotion in Afghanistan. He didn’t remember me as I figured he wouldn’t, but I remember him. He was my first Brigade Commander when I was stationed at Ft. Jackson. The band there was part of Victory Brigade, and he was the commander. He was a Colonel at the time. So we talked for a little while and that was kind of neat.

Then it was home. The closer to home I got, the lower the temperature on my van indicator was. It started out at 34 at the chapel and was 29 at home. And as I got closer to home, it was snowing harder and harder. Ryan had gotten off work early today and went to the chiropractor early and then picked Robbie up on his way home. It sure was nice coming home and having supper ready to go – I love my crockpot! We ate and then put a fussy & tired little guy to bed. After folding a couple of batches of clothes, I stitched and we watched Tivo.

High: 40
Low: 29 (current temp, and has been for many hours)


It was about 18 degrees this morning when I left for formation. The roads were nice and clear though, after last night’s little bit of snow. We have about an inch, if that. After 0700 formation, I did some stuff in my supply office and then at 0830 we had a rehearsal for the ceremony that was this morning. It was an Activation Ceremony for the Warrior Transition Unit – a unit that wounded and recovering Soldiers will be a part of as they either transition back to their regular units or to civilian life. They have dedicated medical care and all kinds of support stuff for them. The ceremony went really well and I saw a dedicated Soldier. Not all of the wounded warriors were able to stand in the formation, and there was a Soldier in the front row of the bleachers and he had some sort of injury to his right arm where he could not move it much. During the National Anthem (this indoor ceremony was conducted as an outdoor ceremony, so we wore our headgear and saluted during the Anthem), he used his left hand/arm to move his right hand into a salute and hold it there. I just thought that was really neat that he hadn’t given up.

After the ceremony it was back to supply and I did some stuff with the property book. During lunch I got some stitching done, and then after lunch we had a couple of musical skills classes. The first one was an introduction to ceremonial conducting, and we started working on conducting the Anthem (just singing as we conducted). The second one was Jazz Improvisation I. Basically we just got a lesson on some music history and history of improv. It was pretty interesting, and I’m kind of looking forward to the follow-on classes for that as we’ll eventually get some hands-on training. I think my biggest problem with improv is just lack of confidence. We’ll see later on down the road. . .

PT was on our own this afternoon, so SGT G and I went to the gym and did a half hour on the elliptical (2.85 miles for me) and then I did some crunches on the exercise ball. I changed into civies and then headed out to get Robbie from day care and head to my chiropractor. Then it was home where Ryan had mac & cheese waiting for us for supper. It’s nice not having to cook once in a while, and Robbie sure loves his Daddy’s “mac & cheeses” (as Robbie says). Of course, I like it, too.

Then it was bedtime for Robbie and once he was all tucked in, I crocheted and we watched Tivo.

High: 30
Low: 12 (now you know why the subject line. . .)

Thunder, Lightning, and. . . Snow??

We woke up this morning to it trying to snow. It was almost too warm and was more of what I call “precipi-yuck” which is a combination of snow and rain. The drive to post was fun. It was barely cold enough to snow let alone be slippery and everyone was going 40 or 45. Grrr… So I finally got Robbie to daycare and did manage to be on time for formation. I helped grade a PT test this morning, so SGT G ran PT for the team. I had gone in in ACUs knowing that I probably wouldn’t have time after the test to run home to change. I was right. Several of us went to the chow hall for breakfast after the test was done. I actually enjoy eating there once in a while, and boy is it ever cheap!

After 0930 formation, we had a little bit of office time and then we had a couple of classes starting at 1030. I taught the first one – a class about alcohol and responsible drinking. I closed with a slideshow I made from an e-mail that I had forwarded to me some time ago – it was called 20 Reasons to Remain Sober, and it was all kinds of pictures of people that had had too much to drink: trying to throw up out the car window and missing, peeing yourself, being duct-taped to various things, things drawn on various part of your body after you passed out, etc. The band was almost rolling on the floor laughing, but I think (hopefully) I got my point across. Then we had a class about interacting with the media, and that had good information in it as well.

SGT G and I went to Charley’s for lunch and got food to go and we went back to the office to eat it. Then I got a little bit of stitching done before this afternoon’s jazz band rehearsal. We ran through our concert order and it actually went pretty well. There are still some places that need some work, but we’re definitely close! After the run through, we went back and worked on a few places in each of the pieces. After rehearsal, we were pretty much done for the day, but I hung out in supply for a little bit in case something came up. Nothing did and I headed home – in the snow again (it had stopped during most of the day, and rained as well). I got Robbie and we headed home. Once home, we played and I got supper ready to go in the oven. When Ryan called to let me know he was on his way, I started it cooking and it was ready about 10 minutes after he got home. He said it was snowing really hard out where he was working and it was snowing here, too, but not quite as much.

Then as we were eating supper, we saw a flash outside and thought it was maybe a snowplow. Nope. It was lightning – confirmed by the HUGE boom of thunder that followed. That went on for about 1/2 hour. It was strange seeing it snowing and having thunder and lightning. After Robbie went to bed, I crocheted and we watched Tivo. It’s pretty much stopped snowing for now, but it’s really windy out. We’re supposed to get more snow overnight. We only have *maybe* an inch right now.

Off to bed – got a long day tomorrow.

High: 38
Low: 30 (current temp)

The start of a long week

Today began the start of my first 5-day work week all month (between the marathon weekend, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. . .). PT was good. I took my Team on a 3.4 mile run. It took me 34 minutes, a little slower than normal, but we were in winter PT’s so I was running in pants instead of short and had my PT jacket on instead of just a t-shirt. It was still a good run, though.

On my way home from PT I stopped at my car place and they checked the tire pressure for me. I had been noticing that my tires seemed a bit low, and they were. They were all 5 pounds low. So they filled those for me, and the service guy also did a courtesy check of stuff under the hood. I was 1/2 quart low on anti-freeze, so he filled that up for me. The ladies inside just made a note of it, and I’ll pay for that when I go in for an oil change sometime before leave. I love going there. It’s a family run business and they treat me like one of their family.

I spent the morning in my supply office not doing much. We actually had all morning with nothing but time, and not really much to do. I did get Chief’s signature on the monthly inventories, and I got those taken up to Battalion, so at least I can say I did something. After lunch (during which I stitched for an hour after I ate), we had Brass Quintet rehearsal and we started really hitting the Christmas music. We’ve got the Post Tree Lighting coming up, caroling around post, holiday party at the Division HQ building, and the holiday concert, so we’re going to be busy! We do have a few other ceremonies as well, but we’ll be able to play those no problem. After rehearsal I got with Chief and talked about which songs will be used for the sing-along portion of the concert. The BQ will be leading that as well. And I had a couple of Soldiers that needed to talk to the 1SG about stuff, and since I’m their Team Leader, I had to be there with them. That pretty much ended the day and I headed home with Robbie. Once Ryan got home from work, I made spaghetti for supper. Even Robbie had seconds tonight. I guess my guys were hungry! Then we played for a while before bed, and after Robbie was in bed, I stitched and watched Tivo.

High: 41 (and rain/drizzle pretty much all day)
Low: 36

Sunday, Sunday

This morning we got up and dressed and to church. Robbie got the newspaper before we left.
Yes, he was wearing just a shirt, diaper, and his boots. Obviously he wasn’t quite dressed yet. LOL Church was good. Today was the Sunday they recognized those who have died in the past year. I don’t know why they didn’t do it on All Saints Sunday, but whatever. After church we came home for a bit as we wanted to go to the Super Walmart instead of the plain one. The Super one is the opposite direction from church, so we stopped by home for a bit first.

We got the one plug to three that we needed at Walmart, and also a few strands of battery operated lights for our wreath that we’re getting from the church youth group. We should be able to get it next Sunday. I also bought an outfit for Christmas using part of a gift card I had (thanks G’ma & G’pa!). Then we headed to the PX on post. We got Robbie a Christmas outfit and a few Christmas presents. Then we ate at the food court. Wow was it ever SLOW service. It was busy in there, and they had a new guy working and noone was really helping him. It must have been 20 minutes from the time we ordered until I finally sat down with my food (the kids’ meal was quicker so at least Robbie could start eating).

I stitched in the car while we were out. Here is what I was working on:

Now we’re just relaxing and playing until it’s time for Robbie to head to bed. Once he’s in bed, I’ll stitch more and we’ll watch some more Jeopardys.

Lights, decorations, Christmas!!

Ok, now we can talk Christmas. The Thanksgiving turkey leftovers have been put in the ‘fridge and the china plates are back in the cabinet. A Christmas CD has found its way into the CD player in my van, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around my house! We got the tree up yesterday and put some ornaments on it. We’re still missing some, and I intend to find them, but I pretty much finished decorating the tree today. Ryan got all the lights on our HUGE pine tree in our front yard, and I got garland & lights on the porch railing. Pooh is sitting next to the mailbox. We do have some icicles that Ryan might try and get up around the porch, but we’ll see. Robbie had his sled out of the garage and I pulled him around on it – on the 1/2 inch of snow that we had. Ryan got the snowblower out and ready to go for winter. I got snowflakes and stockings up in the house.

It was a very productive day even though it didn’t start until almost 11:30 for Ryan (about 10:45 for me). I made muffins for “breakfast” – it was the first meal of the day. Who cares if it was around noon that we ate. In the middle of our decorating, we took a quick walk up to Kinney Drugs on the corner to see if they had a one plug to three plug converter for outside. I have one strand of lights on the porch that I can’t plug in right now. They didn’t have one, but we’ll go to Walmart after Church tomorrow and hopefully they have one.

After supper and after Robbie was in bed we watched a bunch of Jeopardys from Tivo and now we’re not quite as far behind on those. And I got a couple of hours of stitching done.

High: 30 (current temp)
Low: 8


We slept in until about 9 this morning, when I awoke to the sounds of “Mooooommmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyy, are you awaaaaaaaaaaaakkkkkkkkkkkkkkke?” drifting down the stairs from Robbie’s room. Well, I am now. We had breakfast and played for a while and then we headed out to the PX via a stop at the Post Office. We stopped at the Furniture store first as they have most of the Christmas stuff there. We got our new 6 1/2 foot tall pre-lit Christmas tree and a few other Christmas things and a toy to donate for the “Mountain of Toys” Ft. Drum does each year. Then it was off to the Main PX for cat litter and a couple of ornaments that we get each year. After a stop at Burger King on post for lunch, we headed to the mall in Watertown. Ryan needed to go to the bookstore to get a couple of new books. Robbie talked to Santa but still wouldn’t sit on his lap. Closer than previous years though. . . Our next stop was at Michaels where they had the kind of toy storage that we’ve been looking for for Robbie. I guess I’ll have to take a pic of it since I can’t find it at the Michaels website. Then we stopped at the Proverbial Women so I could bring a few more dishcloths I’ve done and also a baseball hat ear warmer. Maybe I’ll sell something with Christmas coming up.

Then after a short stop at the grocery store, we headed home. Robbie set to work cleaning his toy area out and Ryan got his toy storage thing put together. Then I vaccuumed a little and we got the Christmas tree put together and I got quite a few ornaments on it. We’re missing some still, so tomorrow I’ll be going upstairs to dig through boxes and see if I can find the missing ones. I ended up ordering pizza for supper since we got busy doing the tree and I forgot about making supper. Oops. It sure was nice not having to put lights on the tree! After we ate we played for a bit more and then Robbie took a bath and headed to bed. Once he was all tucked in, Ryan and I watched Tivo and I stitched.

Oh, about the snow! The ground is all white with light fluffy snow now. It pretty much snowed all day. It was pretty light in the morning and got more and more as the day went on. It’s stopped now, but it’s in the forecast for the rest of the weekend.

High: 21
Low: 17

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am thankful for many things, but most importantly that I am with my family this year! I know I’m not with my whole family, but at least I’m not halfway around the world as I was last year and will be next year. Ryan, Robbie, Mom, Dad, Rick, G’ma, G’pa, and all my wonderful aunts, uncles, and cousins, I love you all! I can’t wait til next month when we’re all together again for Christmas.

I had planned on going into Watertown this morning to run a 5K Turkey Trot race. But when I woke up, I had a major migraine due to not drinking enough (any?) water in the past few days. So I took some Excedrin Migraine and went back to sleep. I felt much better when Robbie woke me up about 9:45. Once up, I had some breakfast and then got the turkey and taters and carrots going in the crockpot and the pumpkin pie in the oven. Then we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade – we had Tivo’ed it. Then it was on to the Packers/Lions football game, which I’m happy to report that my Packers won! It was a pretty good game, and Brett Favre was really on it today. I made a beaded ornament for an exchange I’m in on one of my message boards and read newspapers so I’m all caught up.

Shortly after 4:30 I called home and got to talk to Mom & Dad & Rick and G’ma & G’pa. I always try to call home on holidays. Once we were done on the phone, I got the rest of dinner ready – the rolls in the oven, corn cooked, and the table set. We used our good china tonight – the china was my great-grandmother’s. Even Robbie had a good plate and cup. Dinner turned out really good even though I had to put some of the taters in the microwave for a few minutes to finish cooking them. We had turkey, taters, carrots, corn, rolls, and cranberry sauce, and then pumpkin pie and cool whip for dessert later. We have a little bit of turkey left over (I just did a 3 pound turkey breast roast) and enough cranberry sauce for me for one more meal.

We played for a little while after we ate, and then after Robbie was in bed, I stitched and we watched some Tivo.

OH – it snowed today! It was raining when we woke up until sometime after noon. Then it snowed enough that the sidewalks and driveways are white, but the grass is still not. We’re supposed to get more the rest of the weekend.

High: 34
Low: 23 (current temp)

The last work day of the week

I was expecting today to be a long day, but it wasn’t! We had formation at 0700 after which 1SG held a Brass Choir rehearsal. I’m not in that since they only need 3 trombones and I’ve got lots of BQ stuff for the Christmas concert. I got my monthly 10% inventory done in supply – had to do a bit of searching to find a few things, but I found them! Of course, the commander is on leave through Sunday, so we can’t have him sign the inventory until next week, but at least it’s done. After the Brass Choir rehearsal was done, the trombone section got together for a bit to go over some section stuff for the jazz band part of the concert. Then it was back to supply for a little while before Brass Quintet’s job formation at 1045.

We got our instruments and music and some folding music stands and headed out in the 15-passenger van. We headed to the first chow hall on our list. We arrived and went in only to find out they didn’t have room for us to play. The Point of Contact (POC) was rather rude to me and tried to tell me that he’d been trying to call us for 3 weeks to figure today out. When I mentioned to him the name of our Operations guy that headed the chow hall gigs up, the POC insisted that he had never talked to someone by that name. Ok, whatever. We thanked him and wished him a Happy Thanksgiving and headed out of there.

The second chow hall was MUCH better. The POC was very warm and welcoming. They had chairs in an area for us already. They thanked us for taking time out of our busy schedule to come play for them (hello? it’s our job! LOL). So we got set up and started playing through our list of music. Some pieces were the best we’d ever played them. A few sounded like we had never seen them before and were sight reading. But overall it went very well. There was a Navy retiree in there with his daughter, and they both came up and talked to us and thanked us for our service and for being there to play. The guy had been in the Navy band back in WWII. It was neat talking to them. Had they been the only 2 people in the chow hall, the gig would have been worth it. There were others in there though, and a few others thanked us as well. We played for about an hour and then packed up and headed back to the band hall to finish up vehicle inspections. Once those were done, we were done for the day.

I got home a little after 1 and took a nice warm shower to warm up from being outside in the cold rain doing the inspections. I played on my computer for a while. And I even laid down and took a half hour nap. I must have been tired cuz I was OUT when my alarm went off. Then I headed out and got Robbie from daycare and headed to the chiropractor where Ryan met us. After our adjustments, we tried out the new Mexican restaurant in town. It was pretty good food and not bad prices either. We’ll definitely be going back there. Then it was home to get Robbie in bed and then we watched Tivo and I crocheted.

High: 39
Low: 33
Rain so far today: .74″