Busy Day

I went to breakfast early this morning so I could be at the band hall by 0830.  I had a class over at Camp Liberty – class was so I could be the Pay Agent and handle the money for some of our purchases over here – office supplies, furniture, tools/paint, etc.  It only lasted about an hour, and had a 12 question test at the end.  It was pretty easy.  The instructor was really good – really knew his stuff so that helped make the class interesting.  Once that was done, it was back to the band hall and I just did e-mails and stuff for the rest of the morning.  After lunch we had Brass Quintet rehearsal and then Salsa Band.  Both went well and were fun.  We sight read new music in both groups.  After salsa was done, I headed to dinner and then home as the Dodgeball tournament matches were cancelled tonight due to the dust storm.  Tonight was to be the semi-finals and final match, and we have TWO band teams.  One team is in the top bracket semi and the other team is in the bottom bracket semi.  You see where this could go on Wednesday when the games have been rescheduled for.  It would be way cool to see an all-Band final!

Once home, I showered and got into my Army-issue “PJs” (aka PT uniform) and took my stitching out.  I also chatted with Ryan and a couple of friends.  

is back from her vacation, so it sure was nice to chat with her again!  Now I’m finishing up e-mail and message boards for the evening and then it will be off to bed, hopefully by 2300.

Today’s high:  108 (dust storm pretty bad all day)
Current:  97 (10:25 p.m.)

The end of CQ and 6 hours of Joyful Noez

I got up about 0630 this morning as I had to have the building open by 0700.  So I got into my uniform and got my hair up and started my day.  A couple of Soldiers that I let stay later than 2300 to play HALO (a computer game) got me some Cocoa Puffs and chocolate milk from the chow hall last night (midnight chow) so I didn’t have to go for breakfast and I was able to let my chow relief sleep in some.  Then I did some stuff on the computer and I stitched for a couple of hours.  I got relieved at 1215 and I headed home.  I had to pick up  my laundry so I could have my Joyful Noez shirt for tonight.  By the time I got my laundry, dropped my bag off in my room, and headed back, I only had enough time at the chow hall to grab a to-go box and throw some semblance of a salad and a cookie in it.  I got back to the band hall just in time for formation and then after formation I ate quick and then went and helped with details.  Did you know that a vacuum cleaner sucks better when the dirt & dust from inside is emptied?  And did you know that a vacuum cleaner sucks better when you unclog the end of the hose?  Well, they do work that way.  LOL  So we got our area cleaned up and I got my office cleaned up as well (not much to do in there – my office is smaller than most bathrooms in houses).  Then I did some stuff on my computer, and at 3 we had section time.  The trombone section went out back to an area we found (it used to be my secret practice area, but I guess others have found it, too) and we played quartets.  We rotated parts after every piece, so we all got to play all of the parts at one time or another.  It was a lot of fun even though it was hot out.  We got done about 1630.  I went back to my office to finish out the last half hour and then I changed into my Joyful Noez t-shirt and headed over to the chapel.  Oh – JN t-shirt is tan with the logo and stuff on it, but when you put ACU top on over the t-shirt, it just looks like a normal tan t-shirt.

We got warmed up and ran through our set for the service and had our prayer time.  The service went well, and after we went for a quick dinner at the chow hall and then it was back to practice for a few hours for next week’s “A Night of Worship” – the service next Sunday will be all music with a few testimonies during.  So we’re working up around 15 songs and having a few extra rehearsals to make sure we’ve got our A Game next week.  It was a great rehearsal, but we were all glad when it was done about 22:45.  We were all starting to fade after almost 6 hours of Joyful Noez stuff.  L and N walked me home like usual and now I’m heading to bed.  It’s after midnight and I’m tired.

The view from the trombone practice area:

Today’ High:  115
Current:  99 (12:15 a.m.)


Well, since I’m sitting here as CQ, I thought I’d try and upload a few pictures.

Here I am sitting on the steps to the Band Hall.

Here’s the full moon the other night – looking from the corner of my CHU over the ones across the way.

Here I am on my first Blackhawk flight here in Iraq.

And my latest cross stitch finish.  Trombone by Stoney Creek.  It took me 38.5 hours to stitch.

I guess that’s all the pics for now.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog!  Feel free to leave me comments!

Supply Gatoring and CQ

Saturday is the best day I think.  I get to sleep in and not even have to think about PT.  I brought my backpack to the band hall and then went to breakfast.  After formation, SSG E and I went out on the gator to do some supply stuff.  He showed me where a few places are, including a place that I have a class Monday morning, and then we went and did some “shopping” at SSSC and got some copy paper, trash bags, paper towels, and stuff like that.  That took pretty much the whole morning, so that was nice.  After a quick lunch, I took over as the CQ.  I played on my computer, went to Brass Quintet rehearsal, played on my computer more, went to dinner, and then after dinner I stitched for about 3 hours this evening.  I’m tired now and I think/hope I’ll sleep good tonight.  It was a pretty uneventful evening as CQ and hopefully the morning half will be as uneventful.

Today’s high:  117
Current:  108 (11:45 p.m.)

Long day started and ended at a chapel

This morning SFC J came and knocked on my door about 0615 to see if I knew about the change to the schedule.  Nope, I didn’t know anything about it.  I had to be at Honor Chapel (the one by our Batallion) by 0830 for a class given by our Chaplain.  I did leave early enough so I could go to the chow hall and get breakfast before the class.  That lasted about 1/2 hour and then I stopped by my room on the way to the band hall so I could pick up my backpack with my PTs in it.  The rest of the morning was spent in stage band rehearsal and that was pretty fun.  After lunch we didn’t have BQ rehearsal, so I did some supply stuff until about 1500 or so.  Then I got changed into PTs and went to the gym.  I had planned on running outside since it was a nice clear day with no dust.  But since it was a nice clear day with no dust, it was also 117 degrees outside.  No thanks.  So I went and attempted to use the treadmill.  I say attempted because the power went out twice while I was on it and I had to start over each time.  Well, after the second time I gave up – I figure I got about 2 miles in.  Then it was back to the band hall and I changed into a clean/dry PT shirt.  Just after 5 the CQ left for dinner, and I was chow relief since I have duty tomorrow.  After he got back, I headed to Hope Chapel for Joyful Noez rehearsal.  After we rehearsed our set for this Sunday’s service, we broke for pizza (from Pizza Hut – a couple of the behind-the-scenes guys went and got it for us).  Then it was more rehearsing until about 2200.  We’re getting ready for our “concert” service – a service of all music with a few testimonies throughout.  That will be happening on 6 July, so we don’t have much time to put it together.  Our rehersal tonight went really well and we were actually done an hour earlier than we had planned on!

Now I’m home and I’m going to bed.  Have a great weekend!

Today’s High:  117
Current:  100 (11:00 p.m.)

Desert BBQ and the First Flight

It was an early morning for Desert BBQ.  We had formation at 0630 and got our equipment loaded on the bus for our ride to the airfield.  After about a 45 minute wait (that’s why I keep a book in my pocket!), our Blackhawk arrived and we were off on our hour-long flight to an outlying FOB.  It was an awesome flight, and the left door gunner gave me a headset so I could hear what was going on and the flight crew was talking to me and stuff.  We arrived without incident and got our equipment to the ceremony site.  It was just a short distance away but they had vehicles for us.  We got set up and waited around for a bit before the ceremony.  It was a Transfer of Authority Ceremony, and it went well.  They had a reception afterward and they invited us to partake.  We got our instruments packed up and then waited around for a while.  We wanted to make sure that all the important people got their food first and then we went in.  They had some Iraqi food and it looked rather, um. . . shall we say.  . . interesting.  I did take one thing that was kind of like an egg roll with some kind of meat inside.  I don’t think I’ll have any more.  I did have 2 cookies (one chocolate chip and one peanut butter) and a can of Mountain Dew.  That was lunch.  Our flight back was about the same – same flight crew, I got the headset again, uneventful.  But it was HOT.  It was a fun day, but by the time we got back to the band hall around 1400 or so, we were wiped out.  SFC J gave us the rest of the day off if we didn’t have any shop work to do.  I asked SSG E in supply if he could live without me for the afternoon and he took one look at me and said that he could.  I looked (and felt) like something the dog dragged in.  My hair was all over the place and “bun-bun” (as my bun was affectionately named back in Afghanistan) was all kinds of falling apart from helmet on/helmet off/helmet on/helmet off all day, and then the seat on the chopper pulled at it more.

So I came home and showered and got into PTs and took a nap until dinner.  I did chat with Dad and Rick for a little bit, and I had planned on stitching, but sleep was much more necessary I guess.  I felt lots better when I woke up and I went to dinner and boy did I eat.  Then it was home for a great relaxing evening.  I stitched for a little over 2 hours and I FINISHED the piece I’ve been working on!!  It’s called Trombone and it’s by Stoney Creek.  I’ll get a pic posted in the next day or so.  And while I was stitching, I watched my Canadian Brass DVD that I got for Christmas and boy are they an awesome group.  They really know how to perform, and there were some points I was laughing so hard I was crying – and my roommate didn’t know what to think since I had my headphones on and she could only see what I was both seeing and hearing.  I hope to be able to see them perform live some day.

Off to bed now as it’s getting late again.

Today’s high:  115
Current:  93 (10:25 p.m.)


 After the day I had yesterday, I slept in some this morning.  I got up around 7:20 or so.  I got ready and headed to breakfast and then to work.  After formation I didn’t really have much to do – some work e-mails and a little bit more paperwork.  It was a pretty relaxing morning for a change.  After lunch I went to the Mayor’s Cell (don’t ask – I don’t know how to explain it other than it’s like a Mayor’s office in a city) to get registered for the Peachtree 10K – the Iraq satellite for the Georgia race that is held each 4th of July.  Our race is on 6 July.  I have an official race number and everthing, and we’ll get t-shirts after the race.  Then it was back to the band hall for ammo inventory.  It was just a matter of taking all of my rounds out of my magazines, laying them out by 5’s and our armorer counted them and then I put them all back in my magazines.  It only took about 30 minutes.  Then SGT W and I went up to the Battalion to turn in some more supply documents and have something looked at by SFC C, the BN S-4 NCOIC.  It was a long hot walk there, and after we stopped by the mailroom as we both had packages to sign for from yesterday.  They technically weren’t open yet, but the SPC that works in there knows me and she was nice enough to let us have our packages.  Then it was the long hot walk back to the band hall.  About half way back, I could feel myself just running out of gas and I was walking slower and slower, but I managed to make it back.

We had brass quintet rehearsal to close out the afternoon and that was fun as always.  Other than that it was hot in the deep end rehearsal area – the A/C decided to stop working.  We all had sweat just dripping off us while we were playing.  Then right as we were finishing up rehearsal, they got the A/C working again.  It would figure.  After details, it was off for a quick dinner and then back to the rehearsal hall for an evening Salsa Band rehearsal.  Several of us grabbed cans of non-alcoholic Coors from the chow hall for rehearsal – Salsa rehearsal isn’t salsa rehearsal without beer.  LOL  Rehearsal was really fun this evening, and we almost have one set down.  That’s a good thing because I guess we’re starting to get requests for the salsa band to play places and we’re not quite ready yet.  After salsa was done, I had to do a little bit more supply stuff and I finally left the band hall about 2030.  I came home and got a shower and now I’m about to fall asleep with my computer on my lap so I guess I should go to bed.

Today’s high:  maybe 111 or 112?  It was 108 right after lunch and then I didn’t get to check again until about 8.
Current:  95 (10:35 p.m.)

What a day

Today did not start off well.  At some point during the night my computer decided to turn itself off.  Well, my alarm clock is a program that I downloaded for free.  So if my computer turns off, my alarm clock will not go off.  And that’s what happened.  I woke up just before 0700, so no time to run.  At least I got up and had enough time to get dressed and get breakfast and stuff.  Then it was off to work.  After formation, I had Brass Quintet rehearsal and that went well.  Just before lunch I had to meet with Chief about some supply stuff.  I went home at lunch to pick up some paperwork that’s been in my room and has never made it to the band hall and now we needed it.  While home, I laid down and took a nap.  And again my alarm didn’t go off, although my computer was still on, so I ended up with not enough time to get lunch.  After lunch we had stage band sectionals.  The first hour was for individual practice and then we had sectionals for an hour.  I think our sectional went ok.  Then the rest of the day was spent doing supply stuff – last minute paperwork, trying to figure stuff out – lots of stress.  I left about 1930 to go find a Soldier for something and then to chow finally about 2000.  I finally left work shortly after 2230 and I am exhausted.  I has been one long, stressful day and I’m glad it’s time for bed.

And about yesterday. . .  I don’t know what happened to my post.  I was so tired last night, too, that it probably went to Page Not Found and I didn’t even notice.  At any rate, I have no idea what I did yesterday.

Today’s high:  109
Current:  93 (11:15 p.m.)

My smile is back and then there was Sunday

Yesterday morning when I got to work, I was in a much better mood after having turned in the paperwork, had some downtime, and an evening with Joyful Noez. Someone at work commented that I had found my smile again. And I guess they were right. I’m usually pretty happy and smiling at work but the previous few days not so much. It was nice not being as stressed. After formation we had a class on OPSEC (operational security) and it was actually pretty interesting – and always good information to remember around here. After that SGT W and I got the one document corrected that needed to be corrected. It appeared that we were trying to work a little magic and change a tuba into a microphone. LOL It was an easy fix as we had all the documents saved.

After lunch I did some e-mails and stuff and then we had a ceremony on a neighboring camp. It was HOT out, but I can’t complain since it’s not nearly as hot as it will be in a month or 2. The ceremony was really short – only about 20 minutes long so that was nice. Then it was back to the band hall to details and close out the day. I headed to dinner and then home for a shower. Then I laid down for a few minutes. Well, the few minutes turned into almost 5 hours. I woke up and was completely disoriented and HUNGRY. 5 hours is about the amount of sleep I get on a normal night so I guess my body thought it was time for breakfast. I chatted wtih Ryan and Mom for a while and checked my e-mail and message boards, and finally went back to sleep about 2 a.m.

I slept until almost 10 this morning and that sure felt good. Shortly after I woke up the maintenance guys were here to replace the lock on my door. Everyone is getting new locks. With the old one, you had to use a key to lock/unlock it from the inside as well as the outside, and it’s the policy here to leave you key in the lock when you’re in the room. Well, if there is a key in the lock on the inside, you can’t unlock it with the key from the outside. So say you were taking a nap and had the door locked with the key in it like you’re supposed to, and your roommate comes home, then your roommate couldn’t unlock the door from the outside and would have to wake you up. Now it just a deadbolt type lock – key from the outside, turn the lock from the inside. After that and signing for my new key and turning in the old one, I picked up a bag of laundry and dropped a bag of laundry off (no, not the same one).

I went to lunch and then to work for formation. After formation I sent my roommate an e-mail letting her know to go to the housing office on her way home and get her new key. She appreciated me letting her know. SFC SN, SSG E, Chief, and I went to Green Beans to talk about end-of-the-month supply stuff. We all had smoothies while we discussed – Thanks, Sir! Once we were done with that, I did up a couple more documents for property book stuff, helped with super-details (better cleaning than regular daily stuff – Sunday’s are our maintenance days at the unit), and did some e-mails.

Shortly after 5 I headed to the chapel for Joyful Noez warm-ups/rehearsal. Our microphones were giving us fits – they kept cutting in and out, or just not working at all – and our sound guy was working hard to get them working. At one point, us three ladies prayed over the one mic giving us the most problems. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I will tonight. After warm-ups/rehearsal and before the service starts, we go in the back room and the Chaplain(s) come in with us. We hold hands in a circle (well, long skinny oval because of the shape/size of the room) and the Chaplain prays for us. Then we all lay hands on the Chaplain that is giving the message and one of the JN members will pray for the Chaplain. I think that’s kind of cool! The service was awesome, and our music was great. All the sound equipment worked just fine.

After the service, we went to the chow hall for dinner and then to Green Beans for beverages and the game of the week. Before I went over to GB, I went to the band hall and called Ryan & Robbie and Mom & Dad. It’s always nice hearing their voices, especially Robbie’s. He told me all about going to the fair yesterday and riding the rides and his fish named Jim. It’s just a little fair that the local Catholic church does each year as a fundraiser for the Catholic school in town. They had snowcones at the fair, and Robbie told me “I’ll buy you a snowcone after you come home, Mommy. That’s when you can have one.” He’s so cute. I miss my guys so much. After my phone calls were done, I went to GB and they were playing Spoons. But they didn’t have spoons so they were using wooden coffee stir sticks. Whatever works! It was a lot of fun and I was able to win a couple of hands. A couple of the guys in the group that live in the LSA next to mine walked me home so I didn’t have to walk by myself in the dark. Now I’m ready for bed and I think I need to get since it’s after midnight.

Today’s high: 110
Current: 95 (12:10 a.m.)

The stress should be over

I’m glad I had food in my room because I missed breakfast this morning.  But in a way I wish I hadn’t had food here.  That which I had – some kind of energy bar or something – was really gross.  I was glad to brush my teeth once I got to the band hall and get rid of the taste out of my mouth.  After formation, we had stage band sectionals, only most of the trombone section was at some kind of class.  It was just me and SSG G so we did individual practice.  I stayed outside with my horn for about an hour and then went to my office and started to finish up the paperwork I’ve been working on.  After lunch, I had a short ceremonial band rehearsal for a gig tomorrow, and then it was to my office to do the last bit on the paperwork and then go through and double check that I had done all that I was supposed to and hadn’t transposed any numbers in the serial numbers.  Everything looked good, and I signed all 41 documents.  Well, actually only 39 as there were 2 that Chief had to sign.

Then I headed up to Battalion to turn in the documents to our Property Book Officer, and as we were going through them, I found one that was blatantly wrong but it’ll be a quick redo.  We were trying to change a tuba into microphones instead of just correcting the serial number on the tuba.  LOL  Oops!!  I guess one out of 41 isn’t bad at all, and I’ll do it tomorrow and get it back to the PBO.  Once I was done there, I came home!  SFC J gave me the afternoon off after I was done with the paperwork so I could destress from all the stress of the past few days.  So I came  home and changed into PTs and put on my praise music for tonight’s rehearsal so I could listen to it.  And I stitched!  I’m almost done with a project, and I’m hoping by the end of the weekend or early next week I’ll be able to share a finish with you.  It was a very nice relaxing hour and a half before I headed to Joyful Noez rehearsal.

Rehearsal went well and I could feel all my stress just going away being with this group.  After rehearsal we went to dinner together and ended up getting kicked out of the chow hall at shortly after 2130.  The chow hall closes at 2100 so all the workers were waiting to go home.  They’re always really nice about it, and we were getting ready to leave anyway so it wasn’t a big deal.  Then I went to the chaplain offices and called Ryan and talked for almost 1/2 hour.  That was nice talking to him.  I really need to call him more often, and now that I know I can call from the chaplain’s offices (one of the chaplain’s assistants is in Joyful Noez, and he let me use his phone), I probably will call home more often.  They were having Bluegrass night there and so I stayed to listen.  SGT B (the chaplain assistant) plays bass with them and it’s a fun group.  I really enjoyed listening to them, and I even sang along on a few of the songs.  After they were done, SGT B was going to walk me home, but one of the guys in the group had a vehicle and he offered me and CH C (our Division Chaplain) a ride home.  That sure was nice of him!

Of course, now it’s really late and I need to get to sleep.

Today’s High:  109
Current:  91 (11:45 p.m.)

Just a note about “today’s high”.  It may or may not be the actual high temp for the day.  It’s just the highest I saw when I was checking.