Stairmaster, shoveling, dentist, & training meeting

I think EVERYONE was at the gym for PT this morning. And the parking lot was a MESS. The lines weren’t very visible, although there were some that were. Everyone was parked dumb, and there were a whole bunch of cars that were triple parked. I bet the MPs had fun with that. I just went to the far end and found a spot and settled nicely within my lines. Once I got in the gym after I had accountability of all my Soldiers, there was exactly one piece of cardio equipment left and it was a stairmaster. That and the bikes are my least favorite pieces of equipment. I did 20 minutes on there and I’m probably going to be sore tomorrow. I ended with some crunches and stretching – even had to do that in the hallway as all the mats were in use.

Then it was off to breakfast at the chow hall – Chaplain Jones joined JG and I for breakfast. I’m glad I’m getting to know my Chaplain (and a cool one he is!) before our deployment. Then it was off to formation and after formation I shoveled the sidewalk and ramp to the front door of the supply building. Then I took care of some work e-mails and got an out-of-bounds pass taken care of for one of my Soldiers who will be going home this weekend for his wife’s grandmother’s memorial service. I went to the dentist to get an exam so I can get a cleaning before the deployment in May, but they only do exams during certain hours. So I went back to the office for about an hour and then back to the dentist at 1230 (no lunch/stitching for me today). I took my book in from the car so I had something to read while I was waiting. I had x-rays done (the Army does them yearly) and then the exam and the dentist said my teeth look really good, and I don’t have any cavities. Last summer I was told I had one and needed it filled and I never got that done, and the dentist today checked the tooth in question and he said it’s fine. After my cleaning on 7 Mar, I’ll get an appointment for some sealant on 3 or 4 teeth but that’s it. Oh, and the dentist is from MI and he went to dental school at U of M. And he’s been to Marquette several times, so he knew right where I was from!

Back to the supply office again to take care of a few more things. OH!! Remember my quad con saga? Well, the story continues. We’re in the process of doing a FLIPL (Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss) and one of the Soldiers involved in the lending out of the quad con in Afghanistan is here this week for the Army Band Audio Training, so he had to do a sworn statement about it. But he also said that paperwork had been done on it – a sub-hand receipt had been signed. So a couple of the guys in the office started going through boxes of old paperwork that’s not exactly filed properly. In the last box (marked Paperwork from Afghanistan – Do Not Throw Out . . . . gee, imagine that) there it was!! So at least we know that they were signed for, and that also puts the responsibility on the company commander that signed for them. SSG C, SFC P, and Chief were all really happy to see that document. So that’s the latest on that.

We ended the day with our weekly training meeting, and I’m going to be starting to have more and more input at these as we start planning to pack and load, and then the actual pack & load of all our equipment and stuff. My work as UMO is going to kick into high gear pretty soon. Once the training meeting was done, I headed out and picked Robbie up. We stopped at Kinney Drugs on our way home for a few things. While we were there I knew there was one more thing we needed, but I couldn’t remember what. Of course, I remember while we were eating dinner (tacos) later on. Oh well. I’ll get it another day.

After Robbie was in bed, I got laundry going and then stitched and watched Tivo. Now I’m sipping on a WONDERFUL cup of peppermint tea – had to try out my new teas from Adagio Teas. I got a little tea pot as well. These teas are loose-leaf and oh soooo good!! I have 10 samples of flavors to try – each sample tin contains about 10 cups of tea. I think I’ll take some to work as well.

High: 23
Low: 10 and cloudy skies with another winter storm warning starting tomorrow morning. We got 6-8 inches of snow last night and we’re supposed to get about that much more tomorrow.

Wierd weather

6:10 a.m. – We left home for daycare/work and it was POURING rain and about 43 degrees on my car outdoor temperature thing. Dropped Robbie off and headed to post.
6:45 a.m. – Parked and headed into formation. Temperature was still 43 degrees and it was raining. And very windy. VERY WINDY. The power blinked during formation.
7:05 a.m. – Open the door to go outside to go to the supply building, and it’s SLEETING. Hard, very frozen sleet, and VERY WINDY. It was not a fun walk across the street. I go into the supply building and get set up for my monthly 10% urinalysis. I have two Soldiers to test today and we’re done fairly quickly. I get everything packed up and put away and I get ready to go turn the specimens in.
8:15 a.m. – Holy cow! I had to clean an inch of SNOW off my van (and the layer of ice underneath) and it’s 20 degrees by my van. The roads are awful and I’m glad I only had to drive about 1/2 mile to where I turn the samples in. Well, the road conditions are RED which means no unnecessary travel and the mailman won’t be coming. So I’m going to have to bring my package to the post mail room all the way across post so it can get mailed out. Then they thought better and decided they’d just lock it up in their safe. I appreciated that and let them know.

So then it was back to the office and one of my Soldiers had to go talk to First Sergeant (1SG’s request) so I had to go in with him. I wasn’t anything bad. Then I did some paperwork and a few other things. The morning dragged on and the drift between the supply building and the rehearsal hall was getting higher. Lunchtime finally rolls around and just as I’m starting to eat, SFC B called to let me know that 1SG had said that we were released due to the weather. So I called all my Soldiers and let them know and then I finished my lunch and then I stitched some. Why didn’t I go home right away? Because I wanted Robbie to get at least some semblance of a nap before I picked him up. I picked him up a little after 2, after cleaning much more snow off my van and scraping through more ice.

Then I went to the chiropractor for my weekly adjustment. It’s only about 4-5 miles from daycare. So we drove. The closer we got the better the roads were and when we pulled into the parking lot, the sun was shining. Wierd. I had a nice massage and adjustment and then Robbie decided he wanted “popcorns” today, too. And he got up on the table all by himself (usually he lays on me) and “assumed the position”. Dr. Lundy started and he said that he didn’t want her hands. He wanted what Mommy had. I asked him if he wanted a massage and he said yes. So Tasha gave him a short massage, and boy did that kid relax and was almost asleep. Yes, this is the kid that can hardly sit still even when reading or doing a puzzle. Then he let Dr. Lundy do popcorns.

So then we finally headed home. The sun was still out and the roads were nice – until I got back by post not even a 3 or 4 mile drive. From there home the roads got worse and worse and worse, and there were whiteout conditions in some spots with the wind blowing off the river. We made it home safely and we spent the rest of the day playing and watching the snow until Ryan got home shortly after 7. He went to chiro after he was done with work, and by then the roads were bad over by chiro as well.

Now, at 9:40 p.m. the wind has died down some, but it is SNOWING. And looking at the radar, it looks like it has settled right over us. The forecast is saying 4-8 inches now. Maybe for once they’ll be right!

No stitching for me tonight – it was almost 8:30 by the time we had eaten and got Robbie to bed. So I guess I’ll play on my computer for a little bit and then head upstairs and read for a while.

High: 43 (first thing this morning)
Low: 16 (current temp)
Wind gusts were up to 50 mph earlier today.

A fairly productive day

I did an upper body workout at the gym this morning – back, chest, shoulders, triceps, and biceps. It felt great but I’ll be sore tomorrow. But it’s a good sore! Then it was breakfast at the chow hall and off to formation at the band hall. Then off to supply. I finished getting my class stuff put together for the UXO class and sent it off to our Training NCO for approval by him and the 1SG. No problems, but 1SG did ask if I could do some kind of handouts on the 9-line report for reporting a UXO. Hmm. . . What else did I do this morning? I answered the phone a bunch since I was the only one in the office. I played on my computer. And I got Robbie’s 13-page packet filled out to get him enrolled in Central Registration on post. This will enable us to use the free child care they provide for things like our upcoming deployment briefing and stuff like that, and I’ll also get on the notification list if they get a Family Child Care home in Carthage/West Carthage.

Then I ate lunch and stitched (not at the same time). After lunch I did some paperwork for some serial number issues, I went and got a few things out of the Brass Quintet room that we needed, I got my Enlisted Record Brief (tells all the awards I’ve gotten, courses I’ve done, weapons qualification, PT test scores, ASVAB scores, and all kinds of other stuff) updated in Admin and now all my awards and courses are on there! I did a few counseling statements (not bad ones – just monthly “how am I doing?” ones). I chatted with 1SG for about 20 minutes or so about one of my Soldiers. Hmm. . . I think that’s all. Oh, I know. I made wallet-sized cards with the 9-line report information on them and SGT O laminated them all for me so they’re ready to hand out when I teach my class on 13 Feb. And just a disclaimer – the stuff mentioned in this paragraph didn’t necessarily happen in the order I wrote about it.

I finally headed home about 4:30 and got Robbie and we came home and played and put his puzzle together. Once Ryan got home we ordered pizza for supper. Once Robbie was in bed I stitched and we watched TV.

Off to bed with me now. . .

High: 38 (current temp – and rain)
Low: 18

PT, a class, dentist, playing & stitching

I had a good workout at the gym this morning for PT – ran a little over 3.5 miles in 40 minutes and it felt good. It was slow, but that’s ok. Then it was breakfast at the chow hall and I ate with Chaplain Jones again, and also JN was sitting with him, so we had good conversation while we ate. Then we had formation at battalion and that was a waste of time like always. And then it was off to my office. There’s not much going on around the band this week as the Army Bands Audio Training (ABAT) is being held here – Chief puts it on every year or so wherever he’s at. But while in my office, I did get my class together that I will be presenting to the band in mid-February. It’s on Unexploded Ordnance Hazards. Most of it is going to be from an online Army sourse and then I just made a power point slide show as a review/hit key points.

I ate lunch and stitched after the short company formation we had – 1SG wasn’t at BN this morning and he had some stuff he needed to put out. Shortly after 1300, I headed off to get Robbie. He had his first dentist appointment today at 1400 and he did really well. He had his teeth counted and checked and even got them cleaned and had flouride treatment done. The dentist and hygienest are both really nice and really good with kids. Ryan is going to the same dentist. Then it was home and we played until Ryan got home from work and then we ate supper. After supper Ryan and Robbie walked up to the Kinney Drugs on the corner (like 2 blocks away) so Ryan could pick up some prescriptions. Then it was time to brush teeth (with his new toothbrush from the dentist!) and head to bed. Once Robbie was in bed, I stitched and we watched TV.

High: 31
Low: 16
Current: 17 and cloudy

Why are the weekends always too short?

Well, it’s Sunday again which means the end of the weekend. We started off the day with church – got there a little late but we made it. Church was pretty uneventful. Then we tried once again to go to the car wash, but it’s still not working. I wish they’d get whatever is broken fixed. My van is just about all white right now. So we went to Walmart and got Kleenex (it always seems that when I get stuffed up and sneezy, we’re down to the last 1/2 box of Kleenex in the house) and some picture hanging hooks and just kind of walked around looking. Then we ate lunch at Ponderosa. Robbie can still eat for free there, so that’s nice. After we ate we headed home via the grocery store for food for the week. It was close to 3 by the time we got home, so Robbie didn’t get a nap today. And boy did he need it by the way he was acting by bedtime. We went to McDonald’s for supper after spending the afternoon playing and reading newspapers and watching Wheel of Fortunes. Robbie got mad because we wouldn’t let him play because he didn’t finish his cheeseburger. I don’t think he even realized that he didn’t get his toy either. And then going to bed just added to the fussiness. Yup – he definitely needs a nap in the afternoon. It’s ok. Tomorrow is another day. Once he was in bed, I played on my computer for a while and then called Mom & Dad and stitched.

Now I’ve taken some drugs for my runny nose so I can sleep tonight, so I’ll be going to bed once they kick in.

High: 28
Low: 21
Current: 22 and cloudy

Saturday fun

Ryan worked today so it was just me and Robbie. We spent the morning playing with his cars and trucks and reading his books. I played on the computer a little bit, too. Then while he was napping this afternoon I got my alumni newsletter sent to our International President for her approval and got caught up on some newspapers and Tivo’ed shows. I’m finally at least into January for all of them! When Robbie woke up we played more and after Ryan got home and had showered and relaxed a bit, we went to our local Italian place for supper. I’ve saved up enough cards from our pizzas that we had a free large cheese pizza coming to us, so we got that and we also had salads before the pizza came. Robbie ate almost as much as I did – part of each of mine and Ryan’s salads and 2 slices of pizza. And they’re no small pieces either. Then it was home to clean up toys and get Robbie to bed and then I stitched and we watched Tivo – only about a week and a half behind on Wheel of Fortunes now!

It’s been snowing lightly off and on all day, so there’s a nice fresh white layer on everything.

High: 25
Low: 20
Current: 21

H.E.A.T. Training

I got to sleep in a little bit this morning – no PT. We had to be at the MP motor pool at 0850 and at 0900 we started going through H.E.A.T. – Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer. I was pretty nervous going in, but once it got started it wasn’t really that bad. We got into the trainer – looked like the body of a humvee on a rotisserie – and got our seat belts on. We had the opportunity to make sure we knew how to operate the combat locks on the doors, and then the “fun” began. Humvees can go up to 30 degrees either direction before they roll, so we were shown the left and right limits and then we were rolled. Several times one way and then several times the other, eventually ending up upside-down. Once we were locked into the upside-down position (a lock on the trainer so it didn’t move), we had 48 seconds to unbuckle and get out. The Army says 48 seconds is what we can handle if we’re upside-down in water. I had no problem getting my seat belt off and out the driver’s door. He was the first with his door open, so everyone goes out that door (whoever has the door open first announces DOOR OPEN and which one it is). One of the guys on our “team” of 4 couldn’t get his seat belt undone and was on his head/neck for about 5 minutes until we finally got him out. In a real situation, we’d cut the seat belts if we couldn’t get them off in a few seconds.

Then it was back to the band hall and my supply office. I got a signature from Chief on my cyclic inventory and then I went up to Battalion to turn in all the monthly inventory paperwork and a few others things. The last thing I did before lunch was a few monthly counseling statements for my Soldiers – just how their doing and what (if anything) I see that they need to improve on. I stitched during lunch and then after lunch I didn’t really do much. I did go to the Battalion motor pool to pick up some paperwork for SFC P and that was about it. I left shortly before 4 and headed home – the roads were starting to get kind of slippery from the snow, both lake effect and drifting. Of course, most of the snow is going south of us again, but we’ve gotten maybe and inch or 2.

After Ryan got home from work, we had a whatever supper. I used whatever was in the freezer. Ryan had a tv dinner and some mashed potatoes (also from the freezer). Robbie had a Kid’s Cuisine meal. I had the rest of the fish sticks and mashed potatoes. I also made some asparagus that I had in the freezer, but YUCK!! Fresh is WAY better. Then we got Robbie’s toys and puzzle put away and he headed up to bed. I took a shower after he was tucked in, and then just browsed through some catalogs that have come in the past week or so. I just didn’t feel like stitching tonight.

High: 25
Low: 9
Current: 24 and light snow

Lots of stuff

I skipped PT this morning so I could go and finish getting my property book into the TC-AIMS computer at the transportation office. I started shortly before 8 and was done by 9:30. And that puts the Band (once again) ahead of the curve as far as Battalion goes. All the UMO’s from the Battalion (each company has at least one) were to START inputting their UELs (Unit Equipment Lists) today. I finished up just as they were arriving to get started. Now I’ll just have minor changes to make as we turn in more stuff (old instruments) and add new ones.

After I finished that, I headed to the supply office for a little while and went through a few e-mails and found out what had been put out at formation. Then it was off to the chapel for a dress rehearsal for the ceremony this afternoon. I hate going to these, especially the first ones as this was, because no one seems to know what is supposed to be going on. The band does ceremonies all the time, and I could probably write out a script for one – who says what when and who does what. After that was over (I didn’t really do much other than announce “Anthem complete” and “Taps complete” at the appropriate places), I headed to The Commons for the MLK Luncheon. They have one of these every month for whatever observance is that month. The Jazz Combo played so it was nice hearing them while we ate after the program. The program/speaker were pretty good. The food was ok. It was southern food – fried chicken wings (I don’t do wings), fried catfish (eeew), homemade mac & cheese (ok, but definitely not Ryan’s), and collard greens (EEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW). The corn bread was really good and I went back for a second piece of that, and then cake for dessert and that was good.

Then it was back to work and I got my inventory finished up, some paperwork that I need to turn in with it to get a serial number changed (it’s easy to invert numbers when doing paperwork, and it’s a pretty easy fix as long as the old and new are relatively close), and answered a couple more work e-mails. Shortly after 3:30 I headed back to the chapel with my horn. The Brass Quintet met there, and we played at the monthly Mountain Remembrance in memory of two 10th Mountain Division Soldiers who died the end of November. The ceremony went well, as they usually do despite the rehearsal this morning. The quintet was a little shaky at the beginning of our pre-music, but we pulled it together and I don’t think anyone noticed except for us.

After that was done, I stopped at the gas station on my way to get Robbie and then home. I made a frozen skillet dinner thing for supper and it was pretty good. It was beef and broccoli and rice with an oriental sauce. I made some extra rice to supplement so there would be enough to eat for all of us. Once Robbie was cleaned up, teeth brushed, and in bed, I got some stitching done while we watched a bit of Tivo.

High: 17
Low: 8
Current: 11 and clear skies. I can see the almost-full moon out my window.

Back to work

It was SNOWING this morning. We had gotten 4-5 inches overnight, if not more, and it was coming down pretty heavy when I got up. ALL the schools in the area were on a 2 hour delay. Ft. Drum? Nothing. Ryan got the snowblower out and cleared to get to his truck and did the sidewalks. I shoveled in front of my garage. It was pretty light and fluffy, so I didn’t figure I’d have too much trouble getting out in my van. So Robbie and I get going – a little early thankfully. Our street hadn’t been plowed at all, and the streets in town had seen a snowplow sometime during the night but not recently. The roads are slippery and visibility is next to nothing. I get on the road to head toward post and we are going 15 mph – there is a 4WD truck in front of me and a little car in front of him. I watched the car drive into the ditch. I think the intent was to turn on the road going to the high school, but he was about 200 or so yard short and just drove off the road, down a steep hill, into the ditch. He didn’t roll, so that’s good. I saw him getting out, so I didn’t stop. Had he rolled, I would have. By this time the truck was GONE so I had no taillights to follow and I could barely see where I was on the road, but I managed. Then when a car would come from the other direction, I was pretty much blind for a little bit until the snow settled. As we got closer to daycare/post, the snow started letting up a little bit and the roads were a little better.

I finally got Robbie to daycare and headed to work. Our parking lot was in the process of being plowed, but then the plow guy disappeared. So I just parked, half in the plowed area and half not. There were quite a few people missing from formation, but all were accounted for as they had called. After formation those of us parked in the snow went and moved our vehicles to an already plowed area and the plow guy was able to finish. The morning was taken up with a pre-training class on Humvee roll-over procedures, mainly on how to exit the vehicle while it’s upside down. We’ll be doing actual training on Friday. Then I went to supply for a little bit and went through my work e-mails since last Friday. At 0930 we had a short brass quintet rehearsal to prepare for our gig tomorrow. Rehearsal went well other than it was obvious that no one had touched a horn since our last rehearsal last week. Then it was back to supply for more computer work before lunch. I stitched during lunch and then we had formation at Battalion at 1300. It was WINDY and COLD and we were outside between the motorpool buildings – right in a wind tunnel. I don’t know why we didn’t have the formation inside like we usually do when it’s cold. After formation, the whole band went to where our LMTV and Humvee are parked to learn how to do a PMCS (Preventative Maintenance Checks & Services) on them. Well, since it was cold and windy, it was hard to hear what was going on, and we were all trying to stay warm. Finally First Sergeant got smart and sent us back to the band hall and said we’d do it when it got warmer and we could bring the vehicles to our band area.

Once back, I got together with one of our sound guys and we finished off my 10% inventory for the month. Well, most of it. . . I did all the microphones with one of my supply supervisors (who also knows sound). I only have 3 more things to find tomorrow and then I can get it signed and turned in. After I was done with that it was time to head to the gym for PT; I did almost 3 miles on the elliptical and then I did about 150 crunches of various kinds. Then it was off to get Robbie and head to the chiropractor. We’re at her other location today and next week as our usual place is being remodeled (Ryan will actually be doing some of the work out there). It was really nice in there, and gave us an idea of what our usual place will be like as well. Everyone gets a private room and you unclothe and put on a hospital gown. They have moist heat and boy was that ever nice and then you get a really good massage – with massage cream and everything. They can work on you better when you don’t have a shirt on. I think my 10 minute massage was more like 20. 🙂 After our adjustments we headed home (Ryan met us there like he usually does) and Ryan made mac & cheese for supper. By the time we were done eating, it was almost 8 so we got Robbie to bed and I’m about to head there myself. No stitching for me this evening – too tired.

High: 23
Low: 16 (current temp)

Another productive day off

My original plan for today was to bring Robbie to daycare and go out to post to try and finish getting my property book into the computer system for UMO that I was working on last week. But I decided against the extra trips (one this morning and then another this afternoon to pick Robbie up) and we both stayed home and had a good day together. After breakfast and some playing, we walked to the post office to mail a couple of packages. When we got home I made chicken noodle soup for lunch. Then more playing before naptime. I got a few cross stitch things finished into pillows:
Image Hosting by The one on the left is one that Ryan stitched a few weeks ago. The one on the right is one I stitched at the Army School of Music in 1999. It’s about time I got it finished!

I spent the rest of Robbie’s naptime getting my fraternity alumni newsletter just about finished. I only have a few things left to do, and once I hear back from our International President on a couple of questions I had, I’ll be able to finish that off. After Ryan got home from work and showered, we played some, and then I made tacos for supper. After supper Robbie got his toys picked up and he took a bath. I folded clothes while he was in the tub. Then once he was in bed, I continued working on my EGA hardanger piece. I’ve started the cutting, and have 2 of the small diamonds (top one and bottom one) filled.
Image Hosting by

It’s been snowing most of the day since around 1100, and we’ve gotten probably 2-3 inches so far. We’re under a lake effect snow warning until 9 tomorrow night. It looks like we’re actually going to get some this time around!!!

High: 32
Low: 15
Current: 28, snow, and 20 mph winds with gusts up to 35 mph. Windchill is 15.