I can’t think of a good subject today

We had softball practice this morning and that went really well.  I played catcher again and I took a ball to the leg.  I have a nice bruise on the inside of my left thigh about 5 inches above my knee.  I flinched a little bit when it hit and then I was ready for the next pitch.  Everyone else on the team was just kind of gawking at me.  I’m fine – really.  Can we just get on with practice please?  I was hitting really well when it was my turn.  I’m still mostly hitting in the infield, but at least it’s not always to the short stop.  So it was a fun practice!

I chatted with Ryan for a bit while I was getting ready to face the rest of the day, and then I headed off to breakfast.  After formation, I spent the morning getting the uniform order stuff together for August and totaling things up and stuff so that when August’s funds are available, I can get the order done right away and get Soldiers their uniform stuff earlier.  Lunch was nice.  I ate with SB – haven’t seen him since last Thursday and haven’t talked to him much since then either since he was busy with the Chaplains’ Conference they had here.  He’s glad to have it over with and we had a nice lunch together – I had a tuna sandwich!!!!  I can start using my front teeth again, but I’m still sticking to softer foods for now (at least for biting).  It was pretty busy in the chow hall today, so we didn’t hang out as long as we usually do, and once back to my office, I was able to stitch for 1/2 hour before we had a class on Combat Stress Control.  Well, the class didn’t start until 1400 so I went back to my office and did some e-mails and stuff and then back to the rehearsal hall for the class.  The class was ok.

Then it was back to my office for some end-of-the-day stuff – a short meeting with my supervisor, e-mail, etc.  At 1700 I headed out with KC for our weekly dinner and hang-out time.  He took me to a place called North Side Pizza and we had pizza for dinner.  It wasn’t bad, but the veggie pizza at Pizza Hut is better.  Then we went to a little park and just walked around and watched all the bats in their mosquito-catching dance.  It’s fun watching them swoop all over at their all-you-can-eat buffet of mosquitos.  I enjoy hearing stories about his 3 girls and his wife, and I talk a lot about Ryan and Robbie.  It’s nice to get away from work and just talk and joke and laugh about stuff.  We always end up talking supply a little, but we try not to.

Now I’m going to head to bed before I fall asleep with my computer.

Today’s High:  108
Current:  93 (11:35 p.m.)

Much better today

I started off the morning with an awesome run.  I went 3.66 miles with KC – my usual route but not my usual running buddy.  I ran it over a minute faster than my previous fastest on this route.  My time was 36:27 and it was a 9:58 pace.  I felt really good afterward, and I think maybe I’m finally starting to get it through my head that I *can* run faster.  It also helped that it was only 78 degrees out at 0530 this morning.  It sure was nice out.  And because I got up early, I was ready to go early and I got 15 minutes of crocheting in – I started a dishcloth.  I chatted with Ryan.  I did computer stuff.  I dropped off laundry on my way to breakfast.  The oatmeal was perfect consistency – no oatmeal soup this morning.  They had chocolate milk.  What better way to start a day than with all that!

After formation I did some stuff on my computer for a while and then I went and practiced until lunch.  My low range is really starting to sound good again, and my upper range will get there.  I just need to keep at it.  After lunch (and 1/2 hour of stitching after I ate!) was Salsa Band and I went to rehearsal even though I didn’t play.  I followed along in my music and sang along on my part.  It was nice to be in that rehearsal again, even though I didn’t play.  After that I had a bunch of e-mail to catch up.  I guess everyone needed me while I was in rehearsal.  That took most the afternoon and then at 1700 I left.  I went to the chow hall for dinner.  I went home and showered and changed.  And I was in my room with crochet hook in hand by 1830!!!  That’s a great way to end a day.  I finished the dishcloth I started this morning AND I started on my second prayer shawl.  I chatted with Ryan and 

and a couple of other friends.  I visited with KC for a bit.  I did stuff on my computer.

Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  Here is the mystery picture one last time. . .

Nobody guessed correctly what it is.  Maybe I should take a picture at night when it’s residents are flying around catching mosquitos!  It is a bat house.  Sadam built it and there are hundreds if not thousands of bats that live in there, but there are hardly any mosquitos around camp!  I think it’s a great thing.

Today’s high:  107
Current:  93 (10:45 p.m.)

Stressful day

This morning actually wasn’t too bad and I got a chance to catch up on all my e-mails from the weekend when I wasn’t in my office and our e-mail server was down.  After lunch which I didn’t eat – I sat in my office and stitched because I just wasn’t hungry because of the stress that started shortly before lunch – the real “fun” began.  We worked on an issue and at 3 I took a break and went and practiced for a couple of hours.  It only amounted to about 50-60 minutes of playing with all my little breaks, but I did do 6-7 minutes of playing before a break instead of my usual 5 so that’s a good thing!  And I added partial number 5 today so that’s another good thing.  My lower partials sounded really strong at the beginning, but then as my chops got tired things went down hill.  But I am defitinely making progress and I’m very happy about that.

After I got my horn put away and was planning on heading to dinner, that’s when the major stress hit.  We finally came up with a solution to the problem so at least things are taken care of for now.  I finally left for chow about 1845 and even then I wasn’t really hungry.  But since I have to walk past the chow hall to get home I decided to stop in and get some food.  I had a grilled cheese, peas with mushrooms, and chocolate pudding.  And good company while eating.  Once home, I grabbed a shower and changed into a borrowed pair of PT shorts.  In all the “fun” today, I forgot that I needed to pick up my laundry by 1900 so I could have shorts.  At least I have a friend who wears the same size PTs and she didn’t mind me borrowing shorts.  I stitched some and I chatted with Ryan and other friends and now I’m heading to bed.

Here is a picture of our Band softball team.  Yes, there was a dust storm that day.

Today’s High:  105
Current:  91 (10:05 p.m.)

More Softball and more stitching

We had our next softball game at 0830 this morning so I was up about 0715 to get dressed and over to the field by 0800. We played a great game and actually won, 9-4!! And I broke my batting streak. I have always and forever hit the ball at or near the direction of the short stop. I did it at Ft. Jackson. I did it in Korea. And I’ve done it here. Until this morning. I hit it down the first base line. HUH???? What’s up with that. Of course, I hit it RIGHT TO the first baseman, but I still got cheers from my team since I didn’t hit it in my usual spot.

After the game I headed home and grabbed a quick shower before they closed them for cleaning and then I settled in with my stitching and my computer. I stitched for a while and then took a break and went and got some chow and then home to stitch more. At 1500 we had to be at the MWR (Morale, Recreation, & Welfare) building to see what they have and we have to give lists of things we’d like to see there. While there I did play 2 games of ping-pong. The first was again JN and he’s good. He beat me, but it wasn’t a shut-out. The second was against HH and we were really evenly matched. He finally won 22-20 or 23-21, something like that. Both games were a lot of fun – I don’t think I’ve played ping pong since Shalom House in Korea. I don’t know what I’m going to put on my list of what I’d like to see there since I don’t really go there – I have enough to do without going there. We were only there for about 45 minutes before the softball team was excused to go get ready for our next game.

We played the team that’s been undefeated through several tournaments. I don’t know how they ended up in the losers’ bracket, but there’s some speculation that since they had a bye in the first round the event organizers put a good team in the bottom bracket to ensure a good final game. Kind of not cool, but whatever. I walked the first time I was up to bat and got thrown out the second time. We ended up losing, but only 17-2. I know that sounds awful, but that’s the fewest number of runs they’ve scored against a team in quite some time, by my understanding. We actually played really well other than a few defense errors. And if we can hold them to only 17 runs, there is definitely hope for us! They played just before us this morning and they won 31-2 or 3 or something like that.

After the game I headed home and grabbed another quick shower and got ready to go to chapel service. It’s kind of a good thing that I wasn’t singing this week; because of the game, I didn’t get to the chapel until just after 1800 and they were already done with soundcheck and run-through. I still get to do prayer time with them even though I’m not singing, and during the service I was singing – just not up front. Well, I was up front – in the front row of chairs – just not up front with the band. Confused yet? It was a nice service and the praise team sounded great! Afterwards, we went to eat dinner together and then to Green Beans. I bought the drinks tonight and only ended up buying for 3 people, including myself. No one wanted anything. Oh well. After I bought, I went to the band hall for a little bit to call my guys. Robbie answered the phone today! That sure was a nice surprise to hear “Hi Mommy” first thing! We talked for a while and he told me all kinds of stuff and then I got to talk to Ryan a little bit too. Then it was back to Green Beans for a game of Spoons which ended in a draw between me and DN.

Now I’m home and I’m heading to bed very shortly after I post this. Tomorrow will be the day to find out about the mystery picture, so if you haven’t guessed yet (or you’ve guessed and want to guess again), now’s your last chance!!

Today’s High: 104 – dust storm. And yes, we played softball in the duststorm. And it was WAY worse this afternoon. But it was fun!
Current: 88 (12:30 a.m.)


Softball and stitching

Today started with our first softball game.  We’re taking part in a 1-pitch tournament, double elimination.  Each batter gets one pitch.  If you swing and you miss, you’re out.  If you don’t swing and it’s a strike, you’re out.  If you don’t swing and it’s a ball, you walk.  If you hit a foul ball, you’re out.  Otherwise normal rules apply.  We play 1/2 hour games and play as many innings as time allows.  I’m playing catcher and with 1-pitch I don’t get much “work”, but I did have few throws come in to home plate.  None of them were catchable, but I still go to do a little bit of “work”.  My first at-bat I hit a nice hard ground ball to the right of the pitcher and left of the short stop and made it to first.  My second at-bat I hit it right to the short stop.  He didn’t even have to move to catch the ball.  I need to work on my batting.  We ended up losing 15-8, but we still had a good time and since it’s double elimination, we got to play again.

After the game, we were off until 1300 so I went back to my room and got cleaned up and into clean PTs and I stitched for a while!  Then I headed off to lunch and to work – in PTs!!  The softball team got to go in PTs since we had another game this afternoon.  I got to work after lunch and had time before 1300, so I stitched on my work project.  At 1300 I did some computer stuff and then at 1400 we had a class on the new electronic promotion points worksheet.  You might think it doesn’t apply to me, and it doesn’t directly, but I’ll have Soldiers someday and it’s good for NCO’s to know how to help their Soldiers.  After the class I took care of a few more things and then headed home to change shoes and get my glove for our second game.  I headed over to the field, and the whole team (all 15 of us!!!) was there waiting.  Well, the other team didn’t show up and so they forfeited and we moved on in the tournament.  Our next game is at 0830 tomorrow morning.

Since we didn’t have to play, that gave us a little more time off.  I went back to my room and changed into clean PTs (again) and did some stuff on my computer and chatted with Mom until I went to dinner about 1730.  After I ate, I went back to the band hall to get a box that Ryan had sent me with a movie I decided to watch tonight (among other things).  I got home and settled in with my stitching and watched “Witless Protection” with Larry the Cable Guy in it.  It was really good!

Now I’m going to head to bed in a little while after I finish up my computer stuff.

Today’s High:  118
Current:  106 (10:00 p.m.)

Oh, and I’ll give those of you who haven’t answered yet a chance to guess “What is this?”

As a note. . .  those of you who have guessed already, no one got it right yet.  But one person is on the right track!

A morning run!!

I was up early this morning for a change.  I met up with CK at 0530 and we went for an all-girl run.  We went 3.24 miles in 31:09 – almost a minute per mile faster than my usual pace!  It felt great and the 2 of us just keep pushing each other a little bit.  She and I are the 2 fastest females in the band and she and I are the only 2 females that run all the races.  I felt so good when we got back – I need to run like that more often, and we’ve decided that after her PT test next Tuesday, we’re going to run together on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  I can’t wait!

Once back from my run, and after shower and change, I chatted with Ryan, checked all my online stuff, and STITCHED!!  I stitched for 1/2 hour before I even went to breakfast.  What a great way to start a day!  Then after breakfast and formation, we had stage band rehearsal, but it was deemed that I didn’t need to be there, so I took my horn out to my practice area for about an hour and a half (which gave me about 45 minutes of playing, doing my 5 on, 5 off).  I could definitely hear some progress on my bottom 3 partials – the notes are starting to speak clearly.  My 4th partial is still shaky and weak, but it’ll get there.  I’m thinking I might come out of this with an offset embouchure, but I don’t know for sure.  I am playing off center to the left some though, at least right now.  After practicing and before lunch, I did a few e-mails and stuff.

After lunch, I had about 25 minutes before it was 1300, so I took out some stitching and stitched for another half hour!  I finally remembered to bring a project to work to work on during my lunch times when I get back early.  That sure was relaxing!  Then when it was work time again, I put my stitching away, and picked up the book “Broken Embouchures” – a book about getting your chops back into playing condition after an injury, overuse, etc.  It was lent to me by GY, the very guy who “broke” my face in the first place.  It has a lot of good information in it, but even though it was pretty interesting to read, I was dozing off – I was in the inner part of my office and it’s pretty warm in there, and I was sitting in a nice comfy office chair with my feet propped up on a shelf.  After attempting to get whiplash a few times, I decided to take a 5 minute cat-nap and that sure helped!

Around 1600 I headed to the Battalion mail room to sign for a package that had come yesterday.  It was something I had ordered from drugstore.com.  Since I was in the area, I stopped by to see SSG C to thank him for the help he gave us in getting a piece of equipment exchanged (broken for new).  Then I headed home to drop off my package and change into PTs and head back to the band hall.  I did a final check of my e-mail and then I headed over to the chapel for Joyful Noez rehearsal.  It was a great rehearsal and was actually about 45 minutes short because it went so well.  Then it was off to dinner and then home for the evening.  Since I’m home early (earlier than normal at least), I’m going to head to bed early as well!!

Today’s High:  116
Current:  102 (9:30 p.m.)

Another hot one

I WAY didn’t get up to run this morning.  I didn’t get up until almost 0740.  I did have a little bit of time to chat with Ryan while I was getting ready though, and that’s always a nice way to start my day!  After breakfast I headed to the band hall for formation and a long day of not much.  I had a few little supply things to do but that was it.  I finally got a stapler and tape dispenser and sticky notes for my office.  After lunch was more of the same, and then I got my horn out for an hour and did some playing.  It’s still not pretty, and today was kind of frustrating because I didn’t really hear any improvement.  But I know it will take time and I’ll get it back eventually.  I just need to remember baby steps.

After work I accepted my punishment (given by me) for not getting up and going running this morning.  Thursdays are one of my nights where I go home and shower and have lots of time to stitch.  Well, I came home and changed into PTs and went for a 2.74 mile run (in just over 30 minutes).  At least it had cooled off to 113 (from 116).  After I got back, I changed shirts since you can’t wear sweaty PTs in the chow hall and grabbed my weapon and headed to dinner.  I had lasagne and applesauce and a Gatorade.  Then it was back for a shower and hair-down time and stitching.  I did manage to get an hour and a half in, but I could have had over 2 hours if I had gotten up this morning.  Oh well!  I also had nice chats with Ryan, D, R, and

.  Now I’m finishing up e-mail and message boards and heading to bed.  I will get up in the morning to run as I’m meeting up with a friend (not NJ) at 0530.

Today’s High:  116
Current:  100 (10:10 p.m.)

Supply Day

After formation this morning, I headed to my office to continue working on my project from yesterday.  Some of the Soldiers are done with their parts and now I have to finish up the forms on the computer.  Lunch was with SB and XR today and boy was that fun.  Some Australian Air Force guys ended up sitting next to us, and somehow we got involved in each other’s conversations.  SB was talking to one of them and the Aussie asked SB where he was from, and he replied Georgia.  Then SB proceeded to ask the Aussie, “So what about you?  Where are ya’ll from”.  XR and I were just about dying we were laughing so hard.  Hellloooooo??  They’re from Australia!  LOL  Of course, he did mean what part of Australia, but still it was quite funny.  One of those things you had to be there for.  The rest of the lunch time just went downhill from there.  We kept taking things said the wrong way and we had a great time.  All too soon it was time to head back to work – the 2 of them back to the Chapel office (they’re both Chaplain Assistants) and me back to my office.  I got the rest of my task finished up and took care of a few other supply issues as well, but that took me until just after 1600 so I didn’t get any time on my horn today.  I had an appointment with CH Jones at 1700 to talk about the prayer shawl ministry, and I stopped by the other chapel offices on my way after stopping at Green Beans.  SB and XR both wanted drinks from GB, so I obliged since I work across the street.  I don’t mind doing it, and they always pay me back for getting them stuff.  Then SB gave me a ride to the other end of camp since he was heading out to get mail anyway.  That was nice of him!

My meeting with CH Jones went well and we got all the details worked out for the prayer shawl ministry, the biggest of which was a place to meet.  I let him know that donations were starting to come in.  I’ll be updating the power point slide tomorrow with the location and then the “advertising” will begin.  Chaplain is going to take care of that aspect of it.  The Victory Prayer Shawl Ministry will be starting on 3 August, and I would appreciate prayers for me as the leader of the group and prayers that we get a good response.  Our first 2 prayer shawls will be sent to families of the 10th Mountain Division Soldiers that went missing last year and their remains were finally found a few weeks ago.

After I was done meeting with Chaplain, I headed up to SSG C’s office and we headed out on our weekly “peer time” as I’ve started calling it.  He works with all E4’s (Specialists) and below and he enjoys the time away from his office and spending time with someone the same rank as him.  We talk a lot about our families – he has 3 daughters – and things we like to do with our families and what we do during our off time around here.  We try not to talk supply at all, but that doesn’t happen.  It’s next to impossible to not talk about work around here.

Now I’m heading to bed before I fall asleep with my computer on my lap.

Today’s High:  116
Current:  102 (10:25 p.m.)

Supply Stuff, More Progress, and a Hot Run!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Ryan!!!  I hope you had a great day.  I miss you and I love you very much!

I slept in this morning and felt nice and refreshed when I woke up.  I chatted with Ryan while I was getting ready for the day.  After breakfast at the chow hall, I headed off to formation.  After formation, I handed out the request forms for the uniform ordering stuff – for the month of August.  Then I headed to my office to start on the task that came in yesterday.  Basically it’s just getting some information on some of our equipment for some kind of update.  I didn’t quite finish before lunch, so after I ate and had gone home to get my PTs for later, I came back and finished it up and handed off the partially filled in forms to those Soldiers who actually deal with the equipment to finish filling them out and return them to me.  Once I was done with that, I headed outside to my practice area and made a bit more progress on my trombone.  I added another partial, and I can do lip slurs UP and down now!  Before I could only go down.  So that made me happy!  And I started on my new book as well, during my breaks in between 5 minutes of playing.  After I was done practicing, I headed to my office and got changed into PT uniform.  And I headed out the door for a 3 1/2 mile run (3.55 actually).  It took me 42:37 (12 minute per mile pace), but I didn’t care about pace today – it was 115 degrees outside!  Yes, I’m officially crazy.  It felt so freeing to be outside with shorts and a t-shirt on and no hat.  It was great feeling the sun on my legs and arms and face.  Much thanks to my Garmin GPS watch for beeping every 1/2 mile.  I walked and drank water from the bottle I carried after each half mile.  I was drenched with sweat when I got back to the band hall, but I felt great!

I checked my e-mail and did details for the team and finally cooled off enough that I could change shirts so I had a clean one to go to dinner.  You can’t wear dirty PTs in the chow hall.  Dinner was ok – at least they had chocolate pudding again!!  It’s been a while for that.  Then I went back to the band hall to call Ryan for his birthday, but he didn’t answer so I left him a message.  Then I grabbed my backpack with my uniform in it and headed home.  I had a relaxing eveing chatting with friends and family and crocheting.  I finished the prayer shawl I’ve been working on!  No pictures of that yet, but I do have a few other pictures to share with you.

Who can tell me what this is?  (Other than Ryan who knows)  And, yes, I know what it is – I just want to see how smart all of you are!

Another full moon – this time behind some trees.

And here is the cross I crocheted for my friend SB for his birthday.  It only took me about 45 minutes.  SB loved it and has it up in his office.

Today’s high:  116
Current:  99 (11:10 p.m.)

A little more progress

This morning started off with softball practice.  Yes, you read that right – SOFTBALL practice.  It was a lot of fun, and I’m back in my “happy spot” on the field – behind the plate playing catcher.  I have no trouble seeing the ball there.  I did get a new injury this morning, but nothing major – just a bruise on the inside of my left ankle from where a ball hit me.  No biggie.  LOL  It was a fun practice, and sure good to get back out there!  After showering and changing and chatting with Ryan for a bit, I headed to the chow hall for breakfast, dropping a bag of laundry off on the way.  Then it was off to work.  After formation, I did some supply stuff and e-mails until lunch.  After lunch I started on a supply task I had gotten.  Then at 3 I took a break from supply and went and got my horn out.  It was time for stage band sectionals, but I went to my practice spot for some more long tones and stuff.  My sound is a little better than it was on Saturday, so that’s encouraging.  I just have to keep remembering baby steps.  I played for 5 minutes and read for 5 minutes for about an hour and a half.  I finished the book I was reading, L is for Lawless by Sue Grafton.  Yay!  I get to start a new book tomorrow – M is for Malice by the same author.  After I was done practicing, I finished up the task I started before I went to practice.

Then I went to dinner at the chow hall and then home for a shower and stitching time.  SSG C stopped by so we chatted for a little bit and then it was back to my stitching and chatting with Ryan and

.  It’s been a nice relaxing evening, and I’m about to head to bed.  Probably by 2230 even!

Today’s High:  114
Current:  100 (9:45 p.m.)

Oh, and I’ll leave you with my 2 x-rays of my teeth.  The first one was taken on 3 July and is of the original fracture.  The second is from last Thursday (17 July) and you can kind of see the connective tissues starting to grow over the fracture.