Pay Agent Class and a Clean Room

I ran with CH this morning. He’s another friend from Joyful Noez. We went my usual 3.65 miles and ran it in 36:46, a 10:04 pace. This was my third fastest time on this route and I felt really good afterwards. Once back and showered and changed, I had a little bit of time for computer stuff and chatting with Ryan but not as much as usual. I was at the band hall about 0815 and did a quick check of my e-mail before I headed out to the neighboring camp to go to the Pay Agent class. I will be handling the cash to buy stuff from various places around here – thingslike office supplies, storage lockers, etc. It was only a 45 minute class – and I went through it back in June. But I couldn’t find my course completion memo anywhere and I need that to draw funds so I retook the class. It was good refresher training, and they have actually changed a few things.

Then it was back to the band hall to my office where I got caught up on ADO stuff (until the mail came this afternoon) and did some other things. I stitched during lunch and then more with ADO because the mail came. I also took a trip to the PX to get some more nyquil so I can sleep tonight. And I brought my second patrol cap to the alterations shop and had them sew rank on it for me. It cost me a whole $2. LOL Around 1515 I headed outside to practice for an hour and fifteen minutes. I was really light headed at the end as I was really trying to push a lot of air through my horn. It felt great! Who needs drugs to get high when you have a trombone?

I ended the day in my office checking e-mails and stuff, and then I headed home. I got my room straightened up and put a bunch of stuff in my tuff box to prepare for our room inspections we have tomorrow morning. I spent the evening crocheting and chatting with friends. I think I’m going to head to bed now. Early for a change!

I’ve changed my running goal slightly – it is now 750 miles while I’m here.

Today’s High:  71
Current:  59

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Today was a really good day.  I started the day off by meeting up with a Joyful Noez friend for coffee and chatting at Green Beans.  That was a lot of fun.  And then I crocheted until prayer shawl time.  During prayer shawl time I finished my #4 prayer shawl and started on #5.  Then I crocheted more until it was time to head to church and I managed to finish another project.  Then I headed to the chapel for Joyful Noez warm-ups and then the service.  The band was small this week – just lead vocal, 3 others, guitar, drums, bass, and keyboard.  One of the vocals played congas since our regular conga player wasn’t there.  But it was really cool with a small group – us vocalists had some good harmonies going on.  And I had a solo.  I sang What a Friend We Have in Jesus.  I was really nervous and during our prayer time before the service, everyone laid their hands on me and prayed for me.  Once I got started I did fine.  DP was singing a little bit with me and I think that really helped.  Maybe someday I’ll be confident enough to do a true solo.  After the service was dinner at the chow hall and then off to Green Beans – of course, after my usual stop at the band hall to call Ryan & Robbie.  I love my weekly phone time!!  And then it was Combat Uno at Green Beans and then I called Mom & Dad after.  It got me home a little later than usual, but they didn’t have to rush home from church and choir practice.  Now I’m heading to bed so I can get up and run in the morning.

Today’s High:  73
Current:  59

Friday. . . and then a new CSM and Scouting

Yesterday was a full day.  We had stage band in the morning – sectionals for an hour and then full band.  Then I ate lunch with one of the girls from Joyful Noez (BD) who was supposed to leave earlier in the week, but her flight got bumped so she was still here.  It was nice seeing her again, other than that we had to say goodbye again.  Actually, see you later.  You never know in the Army.  Then after lunch we had ceremonial band rehearsal and then I went out to my practice spot and got an hour of individual practice in before heading to my office for ADO and supply stuff.  Then it was off to Joyful Noez rehearsal and dinner after.  I was TIRED when I got home so I went right to bed.

This morning we had a Change of Responsibility Ceremony for the Multi-National Force-Iraq Command Sergeant Major.  Our formation was at 0715.  I woke up at 0645.  YIKES!!!  Not much time to get ready, but I made it to formation on time and I even chatted with Ryan for a little bit while I was getting ready.  Of course, I didn’t get breakfast, but I survived.  The ceremony went well and then it was back to my practice spot for my hour.  Then I stitched during lunch.  After lunch I headed up to Battalion to turn in some paperwork, but I hadn’t done it quite right so I’m going to have to redo it and make another trip up to Battalion.  On my way back, I stopped by my room to change into my Scouting t-shirt under my ACU top.  Then it was back to the band hall to sign in from that excursion and sign out to go to Scouting.

There were A LOT of kids there today.  It was a ton of fun.  I helped with softball.  Each position had an adult volunteer and a kid, and then the rest of the kids took turns batting.  Boy was I tired at the end.  Of course, I was in the catcher spot.  🙂  The kids really enjoyed it.  There were other events as well – they rotate every 30 minutes – but since I was helping with the softball, I didn’t get to see the other events.  And then we went to the Iraqi restaurant again (not everyone – there were about a dozen of us that went to "Operation Kebab" – we get kebabs to eat) and we had a good time socializing and hanging out.  I took some pictures of the "kitchen" area and the food prep and everything.  It’s very interesting.  The food was very good like last time, and of course there was chai after and hookah pipes.  I did not partake of the hookah, though they sure tried to talk me into it.

Once we got back from the Scouting area, I crocheted for a little while and finished a project I’ve been working on.  One project closer to being done with Christmas crocheting!

Today’s High:  69
Current:  57

New Watch!!

I actually got up and run this morning.  My friend DP offered to run with me, so it was really nice having a running buddy again.  It was a very nice run – about 54 degrees.  I went 3.65 miles in 37:44, a 10:20 pace.  Not bad for not having run at all since Halloween.  It sure felt good to be outside running again.

Then after breakfast it was off to formation.  I had planned on practicing this morning, but I had some stuff come up in supply.  I put those fires out and then it was lunchtime so I got my stitching out and stitched through lunch.  After lunch was more supply stuff – ADO and Pay Agent stuff.  I have a new hat I’ll be wearing now as the Paying Agent for our local purchases.  Then at 1500 we had a high-up important visitor to hand out some coins to the Jazz Combo.  After that, it was time for salsa band rehearsal to finish out the day.

So now, about my watch.  My old one is dying a slow death.  And of course I just got a new battery in it.  But the band is being held together by super glue as it cracked and was trying to fall apart.  It’s really hard to replace the bands on these kinds of watches because they’re molded.  So my new watch came in the mail today.  It’s another Timex Ironman Triathlon – the same kind of watch I’ve had for 16 years.  Just a different model.  And it’s the men’s version so it’s a little bit for me.  This is a really cool watch – I have 3 different time zones I can set, 3 different alarms, stop watch, countdown timer, and an Occasion function. Do you want to know the best part?  It’s a $50 watch and I got it for $35 including shipping!!  I like deals like that.

Tonight was Country Night and it was a ton of fun like usual.  I’m really starting to get more of the line dances, and I started working on a new one tonight.  It still needs more practice, but eventually I’ll get it.  Two-stepping and waltzes are starting to come a little more naturally to me, but I still have to really concentrate when I’m dancing.

Now I’m home and heading to bed.

Today’s High:  77
Current:  57

Happy Veterans’ Day!!!

Yes, I realize it was yesterday.  But I didn’t write yesterday.

Thank you to ALL Veterans, but especially to Grandpa Bob, my dad Dale, and my wonderful husband Ryan.  Thank you for your service to our great country!

Yesterday my Brass Quintet played at a Veterans’ Day ceremony on one of the neighboring camps around our area.  It was really nice and afterward we ate lunch at the chow hall there.  Then in the afternoon we had a class on Information Assurance at the chapel and then I worked on supply stuff for the rest of the day.  After crocheting for a while after I got home after dinner, I went and watched a movie with some friends.

This morning I had to be at Battalion by 0745 and a group of us (3 from the band, others from Battalion) headed out for some Unit Movement Officer training.  We learned how to build pallets and how to properly chain down containers for air transport.  It was all stuff I’ve done before, but hands-on refresher training is always good.  One of the PAO Soldiers came with us to take pictures and her camera decided it didn’t want to work.  So she asked if anyone had their camera with them – of course, I did.  I always have my camera in my left ankle pocket.  So I let her use mine.  Once we got back to the Battalion area, I went with her to her office so she could get the pictures off my memory card.

I had time to stitch for about 30 minutes once I got back to the band hall and then after lunchtime we had a short class.  After the class I got some supply stuff done (ADO) and then we had a ceremonial band rehearal to get ready for an upcoming gig.  Rehearsal went well other than giving myself a paper cut on my lip.  Yes, you read that right.  I had some music in my mouth to hold it as I was sorting it and I managed to give myself a paper cut.  OUCH!!!  After rehearsal, I finished up some ADO stuff – although sometimes it seems like it’s neverending.  Then I headed out to dinner with DP.  And then it was back to the band hall for salsa band rehearsal.  That went just a little over an hour and then I headed home to crochet for the evening.

Off to bed now.  I actually will get up in the morning to run – I have a running buddy.  🙂

Today’s High:  75
Current:  57

Happy Birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps!

And Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Grandparents as they celebrate 63 years of marriage.  That is sooooooooo awesome and when I grow up, I want to be just like them.

My day started out with another Brass Quintet gig as we played for the Marine Corps Birthday Celebration at the Palace.  It was a really cool ceremony and I got goosebumps at one point when all the Marines there let out a big oo-rah.  They have so much pride in their Corps and their traditions.  It was really neat being able to celebrate with them. 

Once we got back to the band hall, I was finally able to read my e-mails and answer what needed to be answered.  Then at lunch I was going to meet up with CB at the chow hall for his final lunch, but I couldn’t find him in the zoo that they call a chow hall.  So I sat with my friend CR instead – remember my buddy from basic training??  Yup – him!  It was nice seeing him again and catching up on the last month or so – he’s been on leave, and I’ve been to Balad and Kuwait and we just haven’t been able to get a meal together.  Then after lunch it was back to the band hall and I got ahold of the armorer at Battalion and SFC JN and I were able to go up to the arms room to finish off the inventory for the month.  Then it was back to the band hall for a little bit before heading back to Battalion for a Unit Movement Officer (UMO) meeting.  That lasted an hour and then I had some supply stuff to take care of as long as I was over there.  I finally got back to my office about 1700 and I did a final check of e-mail before heading to dinner with BD for her final dinner here (well, with us anyway).  We were meeting at 1730.  We waited and waited and waited and one of the guys went to her tent even and she wasn’t there.  So we had her final dinner without her.

Then it was home to change into PT’s and headed to DG’s for our last night of stitching together.  We watched a movie called The Cutting Edge.  It was a really good movie – D couldn’t believe I’d never seen it before.  It’s one of her favorite movies.  We didn’t get as much stitching done as we usually do, but we were sharing pictures and talking.  Saying goodbye wasn’t too bad – we didn’t say goodbye.  We just said see you later.  Hopefully I’ll see her again someday!

Off to bed now – before midnight for a change!!

Today’s high:  77
Current:  61

Relay for Life

Today was an early morning.  I was up at 0445 and met MD for breakfast at 0520 (chow hall opens at 0530, so by the time we walked there, it was just opening).  We ate with a few others from the band and then I headed to formation at 0615.  But I got to the band hall early so I could get a good warm up in.  After formation, we headed over to the stage here and got set up.  We played pre-music and the National Anthem for the Relay for Life event here.  And then when they recognized the 16 or so cancer survivors we played Eye of the Tiger.  Then they headed off on the 3 mile walk and we had some down time.  Then when they came back, we played some more before the Closing Ceremony.  The Relay for Life group over here raised over $5000 – really cool for a deployed group!

After we were done, I headed home and did stuff on my computer for a little while and one of my Soldiers came over for me to tape her and see where she’s at.  Then I went back to bed for a short nap.  Well, short turned into 4 hours and I turned my alarm off in my sleep and managed to sleep through prayer shawl time.  Oops!  I guess I needed the sleep.  Once I was up, I crocheted until it was time to head to the chapel for pre-service warmups.  The service went really well, but it was sad as well.  It was DG, BD, and CB’s last night with us and there were special presentations during the service.  I cried a little during that, but it was right after the service that really got to me.  We had just finished our last song and BD looked at me and she started crying and then of course I started.  So she and I just hugged each other and cried for a little bit.  We took some group pictures after the service and some other ones.  And finally we headed to the chow hall for dinner.  Then it was off to Green Beans with my usual stop on the way.  I called Ryan & Robbie and enjoyed talking to them for a while.  Robbie was having too much fun playing, so I didn’t get to talk to him as much as usual, but that gave me more time for my sweetie!!  Then off to Green Beans for combat Uno.  I actually won a hand this week so that was nice for a change.  Of course, it’s always fun whether I win or lose.  It’s just the fellowship with my fellow praise band members.

Now it’s bedtime.  Past bedtime actually.  So good night!

Today’s high:  77
Current:  57