All gone!

 This morning started off with “hurry up and wait” at the Battalion Aid Station – no PT because of it.  We had to get our PPD plant done – for our TB tests.  Once they got organized and figured out which end was up, things went quickly and smoothly.  I was done and back to my supply office shortly after 7:30.  I got changed in to my duty uniform out of PTs (I don’t know why we had to be in PTs – we were the only company there in PT uniform.  But whatever. . .) and I stitched for a while before 0930 formation.  I needed to be available at the band hall from 0730 until. . . so I could be ready to go escort the truck that was coming to pick up my quad cons.  So I went to formation.  Then I went back to my office and didn’t do much.  Finally, minutes before I was going to open my lunchbox and eat my lunch, I got the call.  The truck is here, come and escort it to your area.  *roll eyes*  So I went and met the truck and led him to our parking lot.  He was a really neat guy – 71 years young and has been driving tractor-trailer for 54 years.  We talked all about his family – over 30 when his whole family is together.  His wife cooks 3 or 4 HUGE turkeys for their holiday dinners.  All this while we were waiting for the RTCH to show up – that driver was on lunch break.  How come he gets to eat lunch and I don’t?  LOL  So he showed up and it took all of 5 minutes for him to get my last 4 quad cons up onto the flatbed trailer.  Then the truck driver got them all strapped down, and he was gone.  I go back inside, and there is 5 minutes left to our lunch hour and a half.  But I ate anyway.  There wasn’t anything going on and I didn’t have any work to do, so I ate and surfed the web a little bit.  I didn’t get my stitching project done like I had hoped to.

Once I was done eating, I gathered up necessary paperwork and headed up to the Battlion security office to finish my security check paperwork.  I had been waiting on one bit of information and I got that e-mail on Friday, but too late to take care of it that day.  So I got that submitted after making a few minor changes which I could do right there in the security guy’s office.  Then he fingerprinted me and I was done!  Now I just wait – I’ll get an interim secret and then eventually I’ll have a full Secret Clearance.  After I was done there, I went back to my office to do a quick check of work e-mail – nothing – so I left and came home early.  I picked Robbie up on the way, and Ryan made corndogs for an early supper.  After we ate, we headed back to post for the Pre-Deployment Briefing which was at 6.

Now, they had free childcare for during the briefing.  No one had told us that it wasn’t at the briefing site.  So after we found out where it was, I left with Robbie to bring him to the daycare center where the childcare was being done – finally found the right place on the 3rd try.  So we go in.  Robbie’s not on the list of kids that had been signed up for care for during the briefings.  They let him in anyway, so that was good.  Of course, by now I’m running late and I didn’t really get to do a good-bye like I’d wanted where I stay for a few minutes and help Robbie discover where different toys are and stuff.  But he survived, and I got to the briefing and they started a few minutes late so I was still on time – more or less.  There was lots of great information put out, and the spouses and family members got to meet all of the Battalion Staff and our command team and everything.  It lasted about an hour and a half, and there were also representatives from various agencies on post that help Soldiers and their Families.  Ryan picked up a lot of freebies and lots of other good information.  We finally got back to pick Robbie up about 8:15 and he had had a great time.  He did fingerpaints and a puppet show and played with trucks and all kinds of stuff.

We got home about 9 and got Robbie up to bed, and now I’m heading up as well.  Tomorrow is going to be an early day and go long.

High:  39 (current)
Low:  32

A very nice day!!

Today was a wonderful day – weather and in general!  We were all up about 8:30 and got dressed for church.  We left about 9:30 to go early for coffee and donut fellowship time.  I don’t know where they got the donuts from but they were HUGE and really good.  Robbie had one and Ryan and I each had 2.  They had milk to drink as well as coffee, so those that don’t drink coffee had something to drink.  Then the service started at 10:30 instead of 11 because it was the annual meeting.  Instead of doing the meeting after the service, it was done throughout the service.  A bit different, and made the service a little longer, but if you think about it, we would have been there just as long if they did it after the service.  They didn’t have junior church today, but Robbie did go to the nursery about halfway through.  I gave him a choice – stay and be quiet for a while more or go play with the toys in the nursery.  The Pastor’s wife was in there today, and she even had snacks for the kids.  Robbie enjoyed it and he had sat and colored quietly for the first hour.

After the service, we spent our normal 15-20 minutes chatting with other members.  One lady has several-many kids and she or one or more of the kids will be coming over to take care of the cats while we’re home in MI.  It’s nice having someone local to do that instead of having someone drive from Ft. Drum or Watertown.  She’ll be stopping by some evening this week to get a key and see where the food is and stuff.  Then Jeff and Heather and the three of us went to the Chatterbox Diner for lunch.  Good food and good conversation with good friends – as always!  Then it was home for naptime for Robbie and run time for me.  I headed out on a 9.76 mile run – my last run on the hills around here for a while!  I finished it in 1:54:18 with an average pace of 11:42 per mile.  It was a beautiful day for a run – I was in a long sleeve shirt and long pants.  *Almost* could have gone in shorts, but not quite.  I would have needed about 5 more degrees.  It was about 40, and hardly any breeze today so that was nice as well.

Then it was home for a cold bath and then a nice warm shower and then time with my guys.  I made Robbie and I a corndog each for a light supper; Ryan was still full from his lunch.  Then I stitched for a little while and Robbie snuggled next to me.  Once he was up in bed, I called home and talked to Mom & Dad for a while and stitched more while we finally watched the NASCAR race that we had Tivo’ed.  It was a really good race, and I got 2.5 hours started on a new cross stitch project.  It’s called Trombone and it’s by Stoney Creek.  Here’s what it looks like after tonight.  

And as long as I’m posting pictures. . .  Here are 2 scrunchies I made for my friend A (per her request – I love making stuff for her!).  Yes, A, I know the orange/yellow probably wasn’t the best choice of colors, but you wanted funky so you got funky!

And here’s Robbie talking on the phone with Gramma & Grampa and Uncle Rick on Easter Sunday.  I don’t know what’s up with his shirt – the camera must have done something wierd with his stripes.  It’s not really psychedelic like that – just normal dress shirt stripes.  He’s holding his stuffed Clifford the Big Red Dog in his non-phone hand, in case you were wondering.

Off to bed now – one more week of work before block leave!!

High:  42
Low:  11
Current:  37 with a chance of freezing rain overnight

A fun day with my guys!

 We all slept in this morning.  Robbie didn’t wake up until around 9 and Ryan got up with him.  I slept until around 10.  That’s always nice to do once in a while.  After we had had breakfast and did computer stuff and played for a while, we headed into Watertown.  Our first stop was at The Whimsical Pig to drop off the wedding piece I did for Jeff & Heather – I’m finally getting it framed.  Then it was off to the Fairgrounds YMCA for the Outdoor Expo.  They had all kinds of outdoors stuff – boats, 4-wheelers, fishing stuff, hunting stuff, etc.  It was fun walking around and looking at everything.  Robbie enjoyed all the fish and deer and bears and other animals – all stuffed and mounted or rugs (there were a couple of bear rugs).  Then since we were all hungry and we were really close, we went to Cracker Barrel for an early afternoon lunch/supper.  Then we took a cut-across road and went to Michaels so I could get some floss I need for a new project I’m starting tomorrow.  And then it was off to the White’s Lumber 20th Annual Home Show at the Dulles State Office Building.  There didn’t seem to be as many vendors as there was last year, but it was still fun looking at all the tools and other home building stuff.  Ryan talked to quite a few of the people he used to work with at when he worked at White’s.

From there we headed home to an evening of Shrek and newspapers.  Robbie wanted to watch Shrek, and I sat on the floor with him and watched and read newspapers (I’m caught up to 2 weeks behind now!) and chatted with my friend A.  Robbie snuggled on my lap for part of the movie and he played with his Little People toys for part of it.  He and I made some Easter egg salad for a snack and then he headed off to bed.  After our reading and cuddle times, I stitched and we watched TV.

High:  26
Low:  15
Current:  20  Where did spring go?

Some are gone!

 Remember how we didn’t have PT yesterday?  So I set my alarm accordingly and got  a little extra sleep.  Apparently I forgot to reset my alarms last night and I woke up at 0645 – 15 minutes before I was supposed to be at PT.  So I slept through PT again this week and missed out on a 5 mile run (on the treadmill since it was SNOWING again).  Robbie was up when I was getting my uniform on so I helped get him dressed and then we had breakfast together – cocoa puffs WITH MILK!  LOL  Then we headed off to daycare and work.  There wasn’t really much going on this morning again, but I managed to find stuff to fill my time – like finishing getting my marching band music pouch complete.  I borrowed one of the other trombone player’s pouches and copied what I didn’t have.  Once I was done with that, it was lunchtime so I ate and then I stitched for about 45 minutes.  After lunch was more of the same until about 2:15 when I went to the rehearsal hall to get my horn out and warm up for the rehearsal for the ceremony.  Well, this is a “new” horn – a loaner since mine is in the quad cons to head to Iraq.  We left just enough instruments back so that we can still support ceremonies and rehearse until we leave.  Well, my trigger  (the triangle-shaped thing just to the left of the mouthpiece in the pic) was frozen.  That’s not a good thing, but I managed to fix it.  I took it apart and cleaned it and re-oiled it and then it worked.  So I didn’t get as long of a warm up as I had planned on, but at least I got my horn working.  The rehearsal was very short and then we headed to the monthly retirement ceremony.  That was short as well as there were only 9 retirees this month!  Usually there are 20 or more.

When we got back to the band hall, there was a large flatbed truck in the parking lot with one group of 4 quad cons on the bed!!  I had gotten an e-mail from the Battalion UMO earlier in the day that they were trying to get trucks and start picking up some of the containers today.  The truck driver was finishing chaining the quads to the truck and didn’t need anything from me, so I left him about his business and went and put my trombone away and went back to my office.  I had to wait around until I heard from the BN UMO as to whether or not the other group of 4 would be going today or on Monday.  About 5:20 I got an e-mail from her and they will be going on Monday.  But my 2 quads that got moved back to the motor pool to get coupled to 2 other lone quads are gone as well, so 6 of our 10 quad cons have begun their long journey to Iraq.

I finally was able to head home about 5:30 and Ryan and Robbie (Ryan had picked Robbie up from school shortly after noon as Helen had called to say he was complaining about his throat hurting and that 2 kids (siblings) who had gone home early yesterday had confirmed cases of strep throat) had supper almost ready.  We had macaroni & cheese and pigs in a blanket.  Then we got toys picked up and put away and headed up for bedtime.  Once Robbie was in bed, I got some laundry going and then I sat down with my stitching and we watched M*A*S*H since there was nothing else on TV.

High:  32
Low:  27
Current:  28  Where did spring go?  It’s been snowing most of the day (not sticking much, though) and is snowing now.

More briefings

 We were supposed to have a diagnostic PT test this morning, but due to a late evening most of the unit had last night, the PT test was cancelled – and so was PT.  So I got to sleep and extra 2 hours this morning, and boy was that nice.  I actually had time for breakfast, got my bowl of cocoa puffs poured and open the fridge.  NO MILK!!!  Aaaaacckkk!!  How am I supposed to have cereal with no milk?  So I poured the cereal back into the box and had a couple of granola bars instead.  Ryan got Robbie dressed this morning since he was up to go for a job interview and that was nice.  Then Robbie and I headed out.  I dropped him off at daycare and I headed in for formation at 0930.  After formation everyone brought their MOLLEs (new type of ruck sack), assault packs (top left item in the picture), and camelbaks to supply as we are going to take them to the Sew Shop on post and get nametapes sewn on them.  The rest of the morning I did some paperwork, answered a few e-mails, and surfed the web.  I had a short lunch as we had briefings starting at 1300.

We had briefings on Personnel Recovery Training (very interesting), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (boring – I’ve had the same or similar briefing at least 4 times in the last 2 years), and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (boring – I’ve had the same or similar briefing at least 4 times in the last 2 years).  We were done about 3:40 and I didn’t go back to the supply office – I didn’t have anything to do this morning, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t have anything to do this afternoon.  Ryan picked Robbie up from daycare and we met at the McDonald’s by our chiropractor.  We had dinner before our adjustments and were still early.  But once we were done with adjustments, we could go home and actually enjoy the evening!  Robbie played for a while before bed, and after he was in bed I stitched and we watched TV.

Off to bed now. . .

High:  41
Low:  27
Current:  36 and cloudy.  We’re supposed to get 2-3 inches of SNOW overnight.  I was pretty sure spring was here when I saw robins this afternoon. . .

A long, boring day

Today being Wednesday, was our “in-at-7-with-no-PT” day. Of course, about 2/3 of the band was doing the Combat Live Fire Exercise so there was only about 12 people around. I was one of those 12. After formation, I got on my computer and surfed and checked e-mail and my message boards and did a little bit of work. Finally about 11 I found something I could do to actually be productive. We needed some new folders made for the newest Soldiers in the unit, so I got the labels done up and printed for them and then stuck the labels on the folders and got them in our file drawer. That took me to lunch. Ryan stopped by as I had asked him to bring me my GPS watch and a long sleeved PT shirt. It was such a beautiful day out that I decided to run outside for PT in the afternoon!! Ryan and I went to Charley’s for lunch and then I got a little bit of stitching time after we got back. He was heading to the unemployment office in Watertown.

After lunch was pretty much more of the same – surfing and e-mail. About 2:45 I went and got changed into my PT uniform and SFC J met up with me and we went for a 4.32 mile run. It took us 46:44, but there was times where it felt like we were back on a treadmill the wind was so strong. We were going at a nice 10 or 10:30 pace per mile when there was no wind, and when the wind picked up, it slowed us down to about a 13 minute mile. When the wind was at our backs, we were going about 8:30 or 9 minute mile. Crazy. But it was a nice run overall, and great to be back out running with him – he did a lot of my marathon training long runs with me. After we got back from the run, we stretched inside my supply office and then I headed home. Of course, I got Robbie on the way, and when we got home Ryan had lasagne (frozen type) in the oven for supper. It turned out good and we had a nice supper. Then Robbie played and I went up for a much-needed shower. After he was changed for bed, we played some more – I got to “be” the firetruck (I was pushing a toy firetruck around, but I had to make it talk and stuff). It was fun!

Once he was tucked into bed, I crocheted and watched Tivo. I finished another scrunchie for A, and then I started on a tote bag she asked me to make her. I think it’s going to go fairly quickly – it’s only 20 rows in the round using 2 strands of yarn held together.

Time for bed here. . .

High: 39
Low: 32
Current: 33 and partly cloudy. I *think* spring might be starting to arrive. . .

They are finished!!!!!

So I kind of slept through PT this morning. But no one said anything, probably because today was one of those days where everyone was everywhere doing various things. After formation was done, I checked my e-mail and found out that the meeting I thought I had at 10 was now at 11. Not a big deal. So I headed up to the motorpool to tape the documents on my remaining 2 quad cons and get them sealed. Then I headed to my UMO meeting. We did a final check of everything, talked about rolling stock (vehicles – of which I have none), and then we got our shipping labels and tracking devices. Once back to the band hall, it was just about lunchtime so I ate my lunch and I actually got 45 minutes of stitching in today. After lunch I went out and put the labels and trackig devices on my quad cons and THEY ARE DONE!!! They are ready to be picked up and taken to the port for their boat ride to Iraq. I sent out an e-mail to my commander to let him know I was done, and I cc’ed my supply supervisor and the Battalion UMO as well. Less than a minute of sending the e-mail, I had a reply from Chief – “You ROCK!”. I replied back, “Just doing my job, sir.” But it’s still nice getting recognized for hard work.

I had nothing else to do so I left for home at 4:00. Yes, FOUR – not 6:30 or 7. FOUR!!! I picked Robbie up from daycare and headed home. We made a quick stop by Jeff & Heather’s so Jeff could sign his leave form for block leave coming up. He had his wisdom teeth out today and is home on convalescent leave for a few days. Then it was home to finish up supper. Ryan had gotten chili started in the crockpot and I put the macaroni in and Robbie and I made jalapeno cornbread. It truly was a family dinner! And there was enough chili left for Ryan for lunch tomorrow, and 3 cornbread muffins left so I’ll take one for lunch and leave Ryan two.

Robbie had a bath before bed, and after he was tucked in, I finished the baby blanket I’ve been working on – just had to tuck in the ends tonight (not my favorite thing to do), and then I crocheted a scrunchie for my friend A. She asked me to make a few for her. They only take about 45 minutes each.

Off to bed now.

High: 39
Low: 12
Current: 34 and precipi-yuck (mix of snow/sleet/rain/freezing rain)