Eid al-Fitr

No run again this morning.  😦  I’ll get motivated one of these days again – I have to as we have a PT test coming up the end of the month.  So it was up about 0720, get dressed, do computer stuff, and head to breakfast and to the band hall to get my horn out.  We had a ceremony this morning so I got warmed up a little before job formation and then we walked to where the ceremony was.  It was an MP Brigade Transfer of Authority ceremony.  It was fairly short, but we were seated so it didn’t really matter.  The ceremony went well and then it was back to the band hall.  I worked on supply stuff the rest of the morning and through part of lunch.  Then I stitched for the rest of lunch.  After lunch we had salsa band rehearsal to get ready for our  2 upcoming gigs.  Then it was more supply stuff for the rest of the day.

I stopped at the PX on my way home to see if they had any cheap watches for use as a temporary because my watch battery died today, but the cheapest they had was $35.  No thanks.  I guess I’ll just be timeless for a week or so.  I’ll just have to remember to take my iPod with me and use the clock function on that.  I feel naked without my watch on.  Once home, I had a little bit of time and I chatted with Ryan.  Then I headed over to the MWR near where we live for an Iraqi Cultural Event.  Today marks the end of Ramadan and the 3 day festival of Eid al-Fitr and some of our Battalion leadership set it up so that we could learn a little bit about the festival.  There was a guest speaker, an Iraqi woman who was raised here, moved to New Zealand several years ago, and is back now and working with us to help other Iraqi women make better lives for themselves.  It was very interesting, and then there was Iraqi food for us to eat.  It was prepared in the chow hall since there are rules and regulations governing food preparation, but our guest speaker helped prepare it.  Most of it was really good, but there were a few things that were something that I’ll not try again.  I did try some of everything and boy was I full after.  While everyone was eating, they had some videos playing of Iraqi music, both from years ago and more modern stuff.  And the guest speaker was available to talk to and I got a picture with her.

Once that was done, it was home to change into PTs and then crochet.  I finished the baby blanket I’ve been working on, so I’m happy about that!  Now it’s time for bed before I fall asleep with my computer on my lap.

Today’s High:  95
Current:  85  (10:55 p.m.)

Rehearsal, Driving around, and a Long Lost Friend

I slept in this morning instead of running.  I actually felt rested when I did wake up about 0720 though, so that’s a good thing.  I got ready and headed to breakfast and then formation.  After formation, I did a little bit of work on my computer and then we had ceremonial band rehearsal at 1030.  That was pretty short, so after rehearsal I took my horn and my Rochut Etude book and went back to my practice area and played etudes for about 45 more minutes to get in my practice time for the day.  It was into lunchtim when I finished and I went back and answered a few e-mails that needed my attention and then I stitched.

After lunch I handed out the ADO orders to the Jazz Combo as they’re back from their mission to Kuwait.  Then when the truck got back, I signed that out and headed out.  Our truck is a 2008 Ford F-150.  I love driving it!  I headed over to one of the neighboring camps to go to DRMO – the place where we turn stuff in that is no longer serviceable.  I had a guitar, a guitar amp, and a power console (sound system thing) that are all unserviceable and I got those turned in.  Well, talk about an adventure. . .  I had a really good map of how to get to DRMO, except that there was road construction and the road was closed.  I found a place and they were able to draw me a map from where I was to where I needed to be.  I followed that map and still ended up doing a little extra driving around because I had missed one of my turns.  I finally found the place after about an hour of driving and then I was only there about 15 minutes to do the paperwork and turn the stuff in.  I got back to the band hall much quicker.  But at least they’re turned in.  Now I just have to get the turn-in documents to our Property Book Officer at Battalion (I did stop by there on my way back, but she wasn’t in) and they’ll come off our property book. 

Once back to the band hall, I had a "fire" to "put out".  We had some scopes that I remembered from Ft. Drum before we left, but I haven’t seen them since.  I didn’t think they had come with us, but I found them finally in an unmarked tuff box.  I got them inventoried, the tuff box locked, and an e-mail sent to the right places regarding them.  So that situation really isn’t a situation now.  And then I did my monthly counseling on my Soldier – just a how she’s doing, goals for next month kind of counseling.

At 1700 I headed off to D’s room, and then she and I went to get BD from her room.  She’s been having a rough month leading up to today (lost her mom a year ago today) and so she had the day off from work and slept most of the day to be alone, but we got her for dinner and went and about 7 or 8 of us from Joyful Noez got together and we all had pizza and fun.  BD really appreciated it and was glad for all of our friendship.  Shortly after 1900 I headed home and got to my stitching for the evening.  I actually accomplished all my goals for the month – one of my cross stitch message boards we set stitching goals each month, and this is the first month at least since I’ve been here that I accomplished all of them!  While I was stitching, I chatted with my battle buddy from basic training!  I don’t think I’ve talked to her much if at all since we graduated 9 years ago (7 Oct 99 is when we graduated).  It was really cool catching up with her!

Off to bed now. . .

Today’s High:  91
Current:  80 (10:45 p.m.)

Cleaning Day!

I slept in this morning!! I had set my alarm for 1000 just so I didn’t sleep all day, but I woke up about 0930. I did e-mail and message boards on my computer for a while. And then I started cleaning. I took all my race and other t-shirts out of my wall locker and a few other things. I emptied the 5 boxes that I had gotten from various people and put all the food into my 2 snack drawers and sorted other stuff on my bed. Then once the top of my tuff box was cleaned off, I opened that up and rearranged everything and then there was room for all the stuff on my bed that needed to go in there. I threw all the empty boxes out after cutting off my name and senders’ names. And then I changed the sheets on my bed! It sure is going to be nice going to bed tonight with clean sheets and a whole bed to use! You see, the pile of stuff on top of my tuff box had started onto my bed as well and the bottom corner of my bed has been piled up with stuff. Now to keep it neat. . .

Once I was done with my cleaning spree, I stitched for a little while – I started a new project today called My Patriotic Home. The chart is printed on pink cardstock and is kind of hard to read, but it’s going to be a great piece when it’s done! Then about 1240 I headed to the chapel for prayer shawl ministry. I finished my 3rd prayer shawl and started on my 4th one. As a group, we have about 7-8 more done, and 2 baby blankets as well! All too soon the 2 hours had gone by and we got the chapel classroom cleaned up and table and chair put away and I headed home. I stitched on a different project for a little over an hour before heading to the chapel for our worship service. It went well and then off to the chow hall for dinner after. Then I headed to the band hall to call Ryan & Robbie, but I didn’t go to Green Beans after. I was just blah and didn’t want to be around people. So I came home, and once I finish up my computer stuff, I’ll be heading to bed.

I haven’t posted this in a while, so here you go so you can see how I’m doing toward my goal of 1000 miles while in Iraq.

Today’s high:  89 (yes, you read that correctly)
Current:  82


I love Saturday mornings when I can sleep in guilt-free!  I got up about 0730 and got ready and headed to breakfast and formation.  I have no idea what I did this morning.  None.  I was on my computer and I probably did some e-mails and checked property book stuff.  But I really have no clue.  I stitched at lunch.  Then after lunch we had a class on Noncomissioned Officer Evaluation Reports (NCOERs) at the chapel.  Parts of it were interesting, but for the most part I knew everything from before.  Then it was back to the band hall for the rest of the afternoon which was kind of short since there was another Dodgeball tournament and the band had a team in it.  I wasn’t playing this time, but I did go out to cheer them on.  After they won their second match (lost the first one), I headed to dinner and then home to change into PTs.  A group of us got together to watch a movie and hang out to support a mutual friend who is going through some rough times.  That was fun but made for a late night.

Now I’m tired and heading to bed since it’s after midnight.

Today’s high:  96
Current:  84

Hooray for Friday!

Not that it means anything around here, but it’s another Friday closer to being home (although it’s still months away).  I started off the morning with an awesome run.  I ran my usual 3.66 mile route at a 10:01 pace, 36:40 actual time.  It was my second fastest time on that route and I’m happy with that.  I felt good after – and my last push (about the last 200 yards I pick up the pace) there wasn’t much left so that’s a good thing.  I got to chat with Ryan for a little bit before he went to bed and before I went back to bed for a little while.  Then it was off to breakfast and formation.  After formation, I checked my e-mail and then headed up to the chapel by Battalion.  We had a class on Stress Management – part of our Deployment Enrichment series given by our BN Chaplain.  It was pretty interesting – talked about different things about stress.  After the class was done, I stopped by our Property Book Office to pick up some paperwork from our box in there and then I headed back to the band hall.

I met up with my friend DG for lunch and we had a nice chat over our salads.  Then after lunch I got my horn out and practiced for an hour and a half.  There was a nice cool breeze in my practice area, so that was nice.  It also helps that our highs only have 2 digits in them instead of 3 like we’ve had pretty much since we got here.  Then I spent the rest of the afternoon taking care of supply stuff, e-mails, a couple of ADO packages that came in, etc.  Then I headed to dinner and had a nice chat with NJ over shrimp and crab legs and then it was home to change into PTs and head to the chapel for Joyful Noez rehearsal.  Rehearsal went well and now I’m home and ready for bed.

Today’s high:  94
Current:  84 (11:20 p.m.)


It was a usual morning – sleep, get ready, chat/check e-mail & message boards/breakfast/formation.  After formation, we had ceremonial band rehearsal for a couple of gigs that we have coming up.  It was a good hour of going through marches and the US and Iraqi National Anthems.  Then I spent the rest of the morning helping SFC P clean out and organize our office.  We rearranged and cleaned the shelves and I put a few things in the quad cons to make more room, we moved some stuff out to the supply area, we cleaned the desk in the inner "closet" and got cable run (our computer guy did that) so that he can have a computer of his own in the inner part of the office.  Before we knew it, it was almost noon, but it sure looks a lot better in there, and now we eave have our computer and space to work!  I stitched for what was left of lunch.  After lunch I worked on some property book stuff – traded out a piccolo for a Soldier (the one she had been playing on decided it didn’t want to work very well), fixed some number problems, etc.  And then it was time for Salsa rehearsal to end the day.  It was a very good rehearsal even though we didn’t have most of our rhythm section, no vocalists, and no piano.  But we need to rehearse as much as we can with whoever we’ve got available since we have another gig coming up next week.

Then it was home to change into PTs and out for my weekly pizza night with KC.  That’s always a fun time.  It’s nice getting away a little and having a pizza and just talking about family, especially what his 2 daughters and my little guy are up to.  Now I’m home and chatting with Ryan and ppsassygrl  and a few other friends and I’ll be going to bed very soon.

Today’s high:  94
Current:  83 (9:50 p.m.)

More dust

I got up this morning and went for a 2.05 mile run in 20:22 (9:58 pace – a little slow).  It was a beautiful morning for a run and 0530 is before the sun comes up all the way now, so it makes it lots cooler.  It was kind of nice running by myself for a change.  Then it was shower/change/chat with Ryan for a while and then I went back to bed for 45 minutes before finishing getting ready to face the day.  I headed out the door to go to breakfast and the weather had changed.  It was another dust storm day – I’m glad it was nice for my run!  After breakfast was formation and then I spent the day doing supply stuff.  I stitched for a little over an hour at lunch today – no nap – and then at 1330 we were supposed to have a Nutrition class.  Whoever was supposed to teach the class never showed up so the class will be rescheduled.  But at least I got to read my book for about 20 minutes while we waited.  And then it was more supply stuff for the rest of the day.

I headed home and showered and changed and played some games on my computer.  I didn’t feel like stitching, but I was only 15 minutes away from my stitching goal on Lady of the Flag so I decided to take her out and do 15 minutes.  Well an hour and a half later, and here is what she looks like after a total of 169.75 hours of stitching.  Ok, so I can’t get the picture to upload tonight, but I’ll keep trying.  I need to get to bed for now.

Today’s high:  96
Current:  86 (10:55 p.m.)

Nice relaxing day

I slept in this morning – kind of by accident.  I had planned on going for a run, but that didn’t happen.  So I got up and ready for the day and headed to the chow hall for breakfast.  I took a break from my usual and had scrambled eggs this morning.  Usually mass-made eggs aren’t that good and sometimes a bit runny, but the eggs in our chow hall are perfect.  They’re nice and fluffy and very flavorful – I don’t even have to put ketchup or salsa on them to "cover up the taste".  Then after breakfast, it was off to the band hall for formation.  And then it was off to my office.  I finished up some ADO stuff from yesterday and did some other things all morning.  After lunch (during which I stitched and napped) we had a salsa horns rehearsal.  It went really well, and we read through a couple of new songs as well as working on some of our "older" ones.  Once rehearsal was done, I headed up to the Batallion to turn in the rest of the paperwork from yesterday when I couldn’t because I forgot my ID card.  I remembered it today so that was a good thing.  Then I walked back and handed out a few ADO packages that came today and did some more supply work.

I left just after 1700 today and headed to dinner and then home for a shower and crocheting.  I also had a nice chat with Ryan as he was between classes and was online.  I always like when I get to chat with him!!!  As for the crocheting, I got a skein and a half more done on the baby blanket I’m making.  I might be able to finish it next week, but the week after for sure.  I need to get it done so I can start on my Christmas presents.  I’m heading to bed now and it’s only 2200!!

Today’s High:  104
Current:  88 (10:00 p.m.)

Oops, I forgot it

I started off the morning (and the week) with a 3.66 mile run in 37:12.  Not a bad pace, but still slower than I’d like to be.  By the time I leave here, I’d like to be able to run this route in 35 minutes or less.  I know I can do it, I just have to keep at it.  It’s helping that it’s cooler in the mornings as well – it was only 80 this morning when I left out.  Then it was the usual – shower/change/chat with Ryan/do e-mail/etc. before heading to breakfast.  After breakfast it was off to formation.  I spent the morning in my office – I cleaned my desk, found some paperwork that had gotten buried but needed to be taken care of, shredded a bunch of stuff I don’t need and then I finished up some paperwork that I need to turn in, got the required signature on it, and some other stuff.  Pretty soon it was lunchtime!  I stitched for a little over an hour today and I didn’t even require a nap, so that was a good thing.

Then after lunch I headed over to turn in documents at three different places.  The first one was for Theater Provided Equipment (stuff that was left here for us by the previous unit).  I took care of all that, got copies of the stuff I turned in and left to head to the next place.  That’s when I realized my back left pocket was empty.  That’s not a good thing because that’s the pocket I carry my wallet in.  And if my wallet wasn’t in my pocket, that meant I didn’t have my ID card and therefore could not go to the other 2 offices I had planned on going to to turn in documents.  There’s a checkpoint you have to go through and you have to have your ID card to go through said checkpoint.  Darn it.  So I headed back to the band hall where I found my ID card still in my computer and me still logged on.  I usually check before I leave places, and I don’t know what happened today other than OOPS.

Once I got back, I made a list of all the Soldiers that received ADO packages today, and then I headed out back to my practice spot and I spent an hour and a half on my trombone practicing my Brass Quintet music.  Stage Band had been cancelled and there was a note on the board for MST Bravo to IP (Individual Practice).  So I did.  And I’m glad I did!  Shortly before 1600 I put my horn away and went back to my office to start handing out ADO orders.  I had put a note on the board that Soldiers could come check with me between 1600 and 1700 to see if they received a package today.  I managed to take care of all but 1 package that way (other than Soldiers on leave or out on a mission).  It was a very productive afternoon and early evening (I didn’t leave work until 1730, but it’s ok).  When I got to the chow hall and sat down for dinner, boy that felt good.  And then I realized that I had been on my feet since 1300 AND I didn’t get my afternoon snack.

After I ate, I headed home to change into PTs and get my stitching project and then I headed over to my friend D’s room.  We sat and talked and stitched and watched a movie.  I can’t recall the name of it, but it was really good.  I also got to meet D’s roommate M tonight – she wasn’t home last week.  D and I are making this a weekly thing!

Bedtime now.  Morning comes around way too early around here.

Today’s high:  104
Current:  90 (11:00 p.m.)