So much for that plan

 I ran 3.5 miles at PT this morning (on the treadmill at the gym) and then headed to Battalion for formation.  It was still below zero so they were smart and held the formation inside the motorpool.  The band and one of the other companies in the Battalion got presented streamers for our guidon for POV Safety during a certain period of time – no vehicle accidents.  It’s kind of nice being recognized when the unit does something good!  After formation it was back to the gym to change (formation was in PT uniform) and then to the chow hall for a really quick breakfast.  At our formation at the band hall, I had a lot of stuff to put out.  Supply things and movement things, the biggest one being “start packing your stuff.”  We got the quad cons emptied out today so we can start packing and loading.  One of the other Staff Sergeants in the unit volunteered to take charge of that so I could get over to the transportation office and start working in TC-AIMS and doing my updates.  Well, the part that I needed to do only took about an hour.  But I ended up being there all day because a lot of our equipment have non-standard item numbers and for this program to work correctly when doing movement stuff, they all have to be standard.  So I had about 30 items I needed to change.  Some of the stuff just is not in the database, but I finally found a generic code for “band stuff” (basically) – so I just use that number and then change the description to whatever the item actually is.  I took a break at lunch so I could go to the chow hall and eat lunch with my Soldier that is attending the leadership course right now (they are allowed to eat with their sponsors or chain of command).  He is doing well at the course and seems to be enjoying it.  I filled him in on what’s going on at the unit and he let me know how his tests and stuff were doing.  They don’t have much time to eat, so it was a short visit, but still nice to see him.  I’ll go back again on Tuesday and eat lunch with him again.

After lunch it was back to the TC-AIMS computer and I worked for about another hour and a half.  I only have 6 or 7 items left to change, but I had to leave for job formation for the monthly retirement ceremony.  This is probably my last gig for several months since we’ll be packing and loading in 2 weeks.  At least I have my personal horn so I can still play some.  We had a short rehearsal before we left for the ceremony site.  The ceremony was short as there were only 12 retirees this month.  Sometimes there are 30 or 40 or more.  At least we’re seated inside.

Once the ceremony was done, I headed home (we all had to drive to the ceremony since the bus wouldn’t start because of the cold).  Ryan had picked Robbie up earlier as he wasn’t feeling well – tummyache and slightly feverish.  Of course, by the time I got home, he was feeling fine.  We went to McDonald’s for supper after playing for a while after I got home.  Once we got home from supper, it was bedtime for sleepyhead Robbie and I stitched for a little bit.  I finished a small project, but I’m too tired tonight to take a picture of it and post it.

To bed early and sleeping in tomorrow!!!

High:  23
Low:  -7

Quad con case closed!!

I kind of overslept this morning and didn’t make it to PT.  But I didn’t get in trouble – my Team Leader is cool and he understands stuff happens.  So I went in for formation, and afterwards I spent an hour in the commander’s office with the First Sergeant.  Nope – not in trouble.  We were just discussing UMO stuff – dates for loading our equipment/instruments, other dates (and no, I can’t discuss them), and just getting caught up after they’ve been out of the loop for the past month.  Of course, after I got done talking with them, I checked my e-mail and changes for dates that we had just talked about.  I let them know the changes.  I worked on a few other things until lunch and then after lunch I spent a couple of hours at the Battalion supply office.  I brought some paperwork, picked up other paperwork, and got my quad con issue taken care of!  It is no longer an issue, and I got a high-5 when I got back to my supply office and passed along the news.  It’s nice having that chapter closed.  Then I went through my property book and notated the changes that have been made since I entered everything into TC-AIMS.  I’ll be going to do a final update tomorrow morning and I wanted to be ready for it.  SFC P and I discussed a few things and then I headed home for the day.

I picked Robbie up from daycare, and when we got home I helped him make supper.  He wanted to cook and we made tacos.  I browned the hamburger, but he put the taco seasoning and water in and stirred it, and when everything was done, he carried the plate with the tortillas and the bowl with the meat to the table.  It was actually kind of fun cooking with him.  After we were done eating, he wanted to take a shower.  Ok – this kid doesn’t like showers.  But we let him and he got mostly under the water.  I told him it was just like being in the rain.  And the first thing he says is “If I’m in the rain, then I need a ‘brella.”  LOL  But he survived and then we headed up to bed.  Once he was read to and hugged and kissed and tucked in, I settled down to my stitching and some Tivo.

Bedtime now after I finish my e-mail and message boards.

High:   8
Low:  -5
Current:  -1 and supposed to get to -15 overnight


 No, not something you wear.  Go back and read the subject again. . .

So I woke up this morning and we had gotten *maybe* 4 or 5 inches of the foot or so of snow we were supposed to get.  Not a single school in the area was delayed or closed, and Ft. Drum certainly wasn’t on a delay.  But I did get to sleep in a wee tiny bit as I didn’t have to be in until 0800 this morning.  I dropped Robbie off on my way to the Battalion motor pool where I spent most of the day.

Today was TSIRT day – Theater Specific Individual Readiness Training.  We had 7 stations where we got hands-on experience with 4 types of weapons, Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear training, communications training, and some medical stuff.  It was a very well-run day and all of the instructors were very knowledgeable about their subjects.  The weapons were especially fun as we each got a chance to disassemble and assemble and learn the basics of a 50 caliber machine gun (50-cal), M-249 squad automatic weapons, M-240B machine gun, and a MK-19 machine gun/grenade launcher.  Those are some heavy firepower weapons, and it was neat actually getting to “play around” with them a little.  The MK-19 was a little tough – it takes a lot of strength to pull the charging handle on it and I’m pretty sure there were some females (and maybe even some males) that weren’t able to do it.  I managed, but not without some struggling and giggling.  Lunch was an MRE today, and eaten in between training stations.  We didn’t have an actual lunch break, but it worked out really nicely and we were done about 1445.

Then I went to the Battalion Security office to get the paperwork started on my security clearance (finally).  I had to fill out 3 forms for now and when the initial local background check and the medical check come back, then I’ll go back for fingerprinting and all kinds of other stuff – basically my life going back for the past 7 years.  That didn’t take very long and then it was back to the supply office to try and figure out which end is up in my life as the new Supply NCOIC and the UMO.  I think I only managed to figure out that I’m too stressed and overtaxed right now and I needed to get something off my plate.  So SFC P talked to 1SG on my behalf and we’ve decided that I will be giving up my UPL hat and no longer conducting the monthly urinalyses.  It’s not a super big piece of the pie, but it’s big enough that it gives me extra headaches.  I feel better knowing that I don’t have to worry about that anymore, other than maybe providing some remedial training for the UPL who was my secondary and will now be the primary.

I left about 4:45 and headed to get Robbie and then meet Ryan at the Golden Unicorn.  We headed to the chiropractor in Sackets Harbor together and had our adjustments.  Boy did I need it after having my body armor and helmet on all day.  Tasha (she did my massage today – and after my marathon) said I was more knotted up and tight muscles today than I was after my marathon.  Yikes!  I told her to not even think about what I’ll be like after I get back from Iraq and wearing that stuff every day.  I felt a lot better after the massage (and she gave me a longer-than-10-minutes one) and adjustment.  Then it was back to the Unicorn for supper and to get Ryan’s truck.  Now Robbie’s in bed, and I’m heading that way myself.  No crocheting tonight – too late and too tired.

High:  27
Low:  8
Current:  9 and clear.  Supposed to get down to -7 tonight

So it’s not a real one, but still fun. . .

Mom, can you beat this?
161 words

Speed test

You reached 657 points, so you achieved position 1404 of 750856 on the ranking list
You type 883 characters per minute
You have 161 correct words and
you have 6 wrong words

I HIGHLY doubt I *actually* type that fast. These were just words in a list that you typed – the most commonly used words in the English language. But it was fun nonetheless!

Ammo Handler Course

 I didn’t have to go to PT this morning.  I had planned on going anyway, but more sleep won out this morning.  I had to be at the Battalion classroom by 0900 for the Ammo Handler Course.  I don’t know why I had to go to this other than that I was told I would.  The whole day was a waste of my time.  I won’t be using anything from today – we don’t draw our own ammo when we go to ranges.  We’re always with someone else from Battalion.  We don’t have any vehicles anymore, so we can’t transport ammo.  There were so many other things I could have been doing today.  I did get a letter started to my friend Ash – during my breaks.  We got 10 minute breaks every hour or so and they always turned into 15 or 20 minutes.  We got an hour and a half for lunch during which time I went back to my supply office to take care of a few things while I ate.  And I stitched some, too.  Oh, the course.  We talked about how to transport ammo, how to store it, how to turn in excess after a range or other training event, and a few basic characteristics of different kinds.  I was glad when it was finally test time.  It was a 20-question open book test, multiple choice.  I missed one.  Some of the Soldiers sitting near me missed 6 and 7 questions.  How do you miss that many on an open-book test?  At any rate, I’m done with it.

After I was done, I headed back to my office to check my e-mail and take care of a few things.  I also did a little bit of paperwork.  I added to my To Do List that I keep on my desk calendar.  I chatted with my MST Leader (Music Support Team – I’m in B Team now, and not in BQ anymore in case I hadn’t mentioned it before.  B Team is the ceremonial band, and we’ll also have a Dixie Band and a Low Brass Ensemble and maybe another BQ.).  I finally got out of there about 5:20 and I headed out in the snow (it’s been snowing all day – we’re under a winter storm warning) to get Robbie and head home.  On my way home I called and ordered pizza for supper so I wouldn’t have to cook.  After a stop at the gas station, it was home to relax.

Once Robbie was in bed I crocheted on a baby blanket.  Now I’m going to bed as well.

High:  32
Low:  27 (current and snowing)

Early morning and a 13 hour day

My alarm went off at 0400 this morning and I was out the door about 0450.  I had a Soldier starting the Warrior Leader Course today and as his first-line supervisor, I’m his sponsor.  I had to make sure all his gear and uniforms got to the training area (the NCO Academy (NCOA) on Ft. Drum – about 8 blocks from the band hall).  After he was dropped off, all the Soldiers went for in-processing and a weigh in.  The sponsors had a short briefing and we were released for a while.  I went to the Shoppette and got a Little Debbie Honey Bun and a cappucino.  Yeah, I know, not the best breakfast in the world but better than nothing.  I stopped by my supply office on my way back to the NCOA and got my cross stitch project out of my desk.  Once back to the NCOA I finished the book I was reading and then stitched for a while – sitting in my car in the parking lot waiting.  I consumed my breakfast as well.  Eventually our soldiers got back and we got them hooked up with their bags and then they went for their shake-down inspections to see if they had everything they were supposed to and us sponsors had a few more briefings.  Eventually the Soldiers came back out from their barracks and the sponsors got to talk to them for a little bit.  My Soldier was missing a few things and he gave me his list and his barracks room (band barracks as opposed to the NCOA barracks which will be his home for the next 2 weeks) key so I could get the stuff.  I wasn’t so much that he forgot it, it’s more like the stuff just didn’t make it into his duffle bags.  I also had to go to the PX and get a few things from there for him.

After I was done at the PX I got the stuff from his room and then off to my supply office.  It was pretty close to lunchtime by now so I just ate my lunch and relaxed a little bit.  But then I started doing something work related and then something else and pretty soon my lunch time was over and I hadn’t stitched at all.  I had been hoping to finish my small project today.  Oh well.  The afternoon was filled with paperwork, computer stuff, e-mails and all kinds of stuff.  And to top it off, I’m the Duty NCO for the week and I ended up relieving the outgoing CQ as a new duty roster hadn’t been posted.  1SG has been at the 1SG Course and he’s the one that does the duty rosters.  The phone only rang once, so it wasn’t too bad.  I couldn’t go bring the stuff to my Soldier until 1755 when they got back from dinner chow, so I hung around the office until about 1730.  Then I went and did a security check of the buildings before heading up to the NCOA.  I had to wait a little bit before they got back from chow, but there were other sponsors waiting as well so we all just chatted about stuff.  I gave him his stuff and headed home.

Ryan had picked Robbie up earlier and taken him to Lowe’s in Watertown – needed a few more things to be able to do 1SG’s windows.  They cooked supper – mac & cheese.  So at least after my long day I didn’t have to cook.  That sure was nice!  Thanks Sweetie!

Robbie’s in bed now, and since I’ve been up since 0400, I’m going to bed as well.

Snow coming tomorrow. . . .

High:  32 (current temp)
Low:  26

Chhhhuuuurrrrccchhh, pot luck, and back outside!!!

I was up shortly after 7 this morning and in the kitchen in my pajamas.  I got my crockpot of chili going and I made 3 dozen mini jalapeno cornbread muffins.  They were for the potluck that was to be after church.  I’m liking this new church since it starts an hour later and we have a 5 minute (if that) drive instead of a 30 minute drive.  Our mornings are so much more leisurely!  But the service this morning – wow.  They’ve been having revival services since Thursday evening, and this morning was one of them as well.  It lasted almost 2 hours after the message – a very energetic and LONG one, and then an altar call.  Heather and I were writing notes back and forth on the bulletin and we think Jeff dozed off during the altar call.  But Robbie was VERY well behaved for a very long time.  After that was finally over, it was time for the potluck and there was a LOT of great food.  My chili and cornbread were a hit and there was just enough chili left for Ryan for lunch tomorrow.  I should make chili for my guys more often.  Of course Ryan had some, but even Robbie ate a whole bowl full!  Yes, mom, I like chili now.  I never disliked chili I guess – I just like chili with some kick.  Sorry Dad, but if I ever make it at home, I’ll make sure it’s mom’s way.

After much food and much conversation with Jeff & Heather and others from the church – everyone is so friendly and always making sure they’ve introduced themselves to us and making sure they know our names – we headed home.  Robbie went up for quiet/nap time and I got ready to go out for a run.  Yes, you read that right.  I went for a run outside this afternoon and boy did it feel great!!  I went 4 miles and got to try out my new “toy” that I put my Christmas money toward.  I used my Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS watch.  It seems big at first when I put it on, but once I started running I didn’t really notice it.  It’s COOL!  It scrolls through several screens and shows current pace, average pace, fastest pace, how long you’ve been going, distance, and calories burned.  And I also have it set so it beeps after every mile!  Then when I got home I hooked it up to my computer with the USB cable and it uploaded my workout into the program that came with it.  I showed my elevation information (how much I ascended and descended), showed me a map of where I ran (it was really boring today – I went out to the main road, ran until I hit 2 miles, and then turned around and came home), and a chart of the elevation.  For someone who’s not super into technology stuff, this sure is a cool running gadget!!  Ok, so I’m just a little excited about running outside again and using my new toy.  LOL

We were still full from the potluck, so we didn’t really have dinner again.  Robbie chose to have some french toast sticks (freezer to toaster kind) and Ryan and I just ate whatever when we got hungry.  I finished my hardanger piece into a bellpull – Ryan made the wood part of the hanger!  Here’s a picture of what it looks like now that it’s all done:

I’ll be getting it out in the mail now to the instructor.  It was a Group Correspondence Course through EGA and it will be evaluated by the instructor.  I’ll get a critique on it and a certificate of completion when I get the piece back.  I really enjoyed stitching it, but I’m sure glad it’s done now.

After Robbie was in bed, I worked more on Cats, Cats, Cats, a piece I started way back in 1996.  I’m in the last “square” now and the end is in sight!  Here’s what the bottom half looks like after this weekend’s progress (the top half is all rolled up on the scroll frame).

That’s it for tonight.  I need to get to bed since I’ll be getting up at 0400 tomorrow morning so I can be at Battalion by 0530.  Not fun.

High:  32 (and sunshine & blue sky!)
Low:  16
Current:  27 and clear skies

Lazy day

My guys let me sleep in this morning.  I got up around 10 after THIRTEEN hours of sleep.  I couldn’t believe it.  But it sure felt good.  We were just kind of lazy all day – playing and computering and reading newspapers (I’m finally all caught up).  Robbie went up for quiet/nap time and that’s when I read the newspapers.   I don’t think he slept at all, but he was reading quietly in his room.  After a while we went up and got him and we all got ready and headed into Watertown.  Ryan bought a pneumatic brad nailer at Lowe’s and some stuff he needs to go with it – he already knows of lots of projects that he’ll need this for, including doing the trim around the windows he’s replacing for my First Sergeant and his wife.  We ate supper at KFC and then found a different car wash since our usual one STILL isn’t working.  My van is much happier now that it’s clean.  Then it was home after a stop at the grocery store.  Once the groceries were put away, it was bedtime for fussy Robbie, and after he was in bed, I stitched.  I finished the cutting on my hardanger piece and now I just need to get it on my bellpull hanger that Ryan helped me make.  Once I was done with that, I worked on my cat project.

Off to bed now. . .

High:  24
Low:  13
Current:  15 and clear

You Make My Day Award

 Thank you Meg for the You Make My Day Award!  I feel honored.

The Rules:  Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland.  Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on.  Beware – you may get the award several times!

Here are my 10 blogs:

 – She is a fellow runner and I enjoy reading about her life and her running.  I can’t wait to meet her in person and run a race together after I get back from Iraq.

Happy Girl Sue – She’s a great friend and I miss her.  She was Robbie’s first babysitter when I went back to work at Ft. Gordon and I enjoy reading about her life and family and watching her boys grow through her pictures.  Background music while reading the blog is an added bonus!

Marathon Moms – Two moms share this blog.  Between the two of them they have 5 kids.  Both are runners and I enjoy reading about how they juggle life & family with their running.

Life’s A Stitch 4 Nancy – I enjoy reading her blog where she shares about her family and her cross stitching and crocheting.

pmstewart – She is a cross stitcher and cross stitch designer, and I enjoy reading about not only her stitching but her family as well.  She tells some great stories!

Running for Two – She is a runner and is pregnant.  I love reading about her trials and tribulations of running while pregnant.  I ran when I was pregnant with Robbie and I can relate to a lot of her posts.

Stitching in Texas – As the blog name suggests, she is a stitcher.  But she also posts about her family and pictures of her beautiful home.

Stitch’s Showcase – She is one of my best friends and does some beautiful stitching.  She just moved and hasn’t posted much lately, but I know once she gets settled in she’ll be back to posting again.

The Country Blossom – You never know what you’re going to see at this blog.  She changes the look often and has wonderful posts about her family, her life, and her Faith in God.  She’s a truly wonderful woman and I’m glad she’s my friend.

From Sheep to Shawls and Socks – This is another one of my best friends.  Even though she lives in Luxembourg, I’ve met her in person several times and I miss her.  She does beautiful knitting of shawls and socks, and she spins her own wool.  Some days she posts a random picture of the day and they’re always great pics of her country.

Long day with lots of stuff

It was snowing again this morning!  We were supposed to get 1-2 inches today, and I think we actually did.  I did 3 miles on the elliptical at the gym this morning during PT.  3 miles on an elliptical is awful.  I almost don’t like the elliptical, but it does give your legs a good workout (as I’m feeling now).  Then it was breakfast at the chow hall and then off to the arms room.  I had to do the monthly sensitive items inventory – weapons and night vision stuff and a few other things.  It took me over an hour to finish as there were several inspections going on in the arms room during the same time.  But it was ok, I knew about the inspections beforehand and I didn’t mind waiting.

Once I was done there, it was back to supply to do some paperwork and eat lunch.  Then off to the motorpool where we doing our turn-in for our “left behind” equipment (LBE) – stuff that we’re not deploying with and that the unit won’t need upon our return.  I had to leave in the middle of that (SSG C and SGT O’B were there as well) to go to a UMO meeting with all the company UMOs from the Battalion and the BN UMO.  That was a very informative meeting and now we have some equipment ship dates that we’re looking at.  It’s nice knowing actual dates so we can start getting stuff done.  Some Soldiers in the band seem to have trouble completing tasks unless they have a suspense date, so now we have one.  They’re going to be hearing from their friendly (unless they don’t listen, then it will be not-so-friendly) UMO a lot more often.  

After I was done with the UMO meeting, I hurried over to Battalion HQ as one of my Soldiers will be starting the Warrior Leader Course on Monday and the BN Command Sergeant Major briefed them and inspected their Class A uniforms.  The sponsors (the Soldiers’ first-line supervisors) had to be there as well, and that’s me.  That took up hour 3 of the afternoon and then it was back to my supply office to do some e-mails, inprocess a couple of soldiers (wearing my government travel card and UPL hats), and brief SFC P on what went on during the UMO meeting.  I finally left at 1715 and got Robbie on my way home.  I made the Hamburger Helper crunchy taco thing for supper.  And just like last night, Robbie’s in bed, and I’m heading up EARLY myself.  I’m looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.  I’m not getting up until my body says it’s time to get up.

High:  25
Low:  11
Current:  21 with a windchill of 11