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

Busy Day

I slept until 0815 this morning and that sure was nice!!  I had to be at Battalion at 0900 for supply training and it only takes about 5 minutes to walk over there.  And I didn’t go to breakfast – just ate in my room.  The training class this week covered Financial Liability Investigation for Property Loss (FLIPL – pronounced flipple).  We talked about how to fill out the form properly and the various steps it goes through before resolution.  It was pretty interesting.  Then it was back to the band hall for brass quintet rehearsal for our ceremony on Monday.  Then it was lunch time and I headed to the chow hall to eat with DG.  She’s leaving this week and this will be one of my last times to eat lunch with her.  We had a nice chat over our salads and ice cream.  Then it was back to my office to get ready for part of the sensitive items inventory – get everything laid out and in order.  Then we did the inventory (each month a different Sergeant First Class does the inventory – I just read serial numbers).  Then I did a few more things on my computer before we headed to the arms room at Battalion to inventory our weapons that are in there.  Well, the armorer didn’t show up as planned so we are going to have to go back on Monday.  That was a wasted 40 minutes while we waited. 

We headed back to the band hall and headed to ceremonial band rehearsal.  That went well – fun songs for our gig!  And then I finally was able to attempt to do some work in my office.  I say attempt because the web site I needed to go to for ADO stuff was down and I couldn’t get in.  That always seems to happen.  But I did a few other things that needed to be done and then headed home via the chow hall and dinner with DP.  We always have good conversations when we eat together.  I finally remembered to stop and pick up my laundry that’s been ready for about 3 days.  Once in my room, I got my laundry put away and then I went and took a shower in my own shower – they’ve had our showers closed because they were replacing the flooring and I’ve had to walk quite a way to get to a shower.  Then I spent the evening crocheting and chatting with Ryan and other friends.  I finished one project and started another one, and I might be able to finish that tomorrow.  We can always hope anyways.

Off to bed now.

Today’s high:  77
Current:  63

A Day of Rehearsals

After formation this morning we had Stage Band rehearsal for the first time in quite some time.  We started working on Christmas music so it was a lot of fun.  Then I stitched at lunch like usual, and after lunch we had ceremonial band rehearsal for our gig on Sunday.  That went well, and then when that was done, I headed to my office to do my final ADO paperwork, type up some memos, get inventories scheduled, and do a document to correct serial numbers for a couple of items on the property book.  It was a really productive afternoon.  Of course, there were the usual e-mails and stuff to take care of as well.  We had a Logistics & Resource Management Division (aka supply shop) meeting after details were done, and then it was off to the chapel for Joyful Noez rehearsal.  Rehearsal went really well, but it was kind of sad as well as it’s CB, DG, and BD’s last rehearsal.  Sunday will be even worse, and I’m going to make sure there’s a box of kleenex near the band at the service on Sunday.  After the rehearsal was done, we opted for pizza instead of the chow hall, and we hung out for quite a while even after we were done eating the pizza.  Now I’m home and after I finish catching my checkbook up, I’ll be off to bed.

Today’s high:  77
Current:  64

Headache yesterday and a good day today

Yesterday morning and early afternoon I spent in my office working on the ADO order for the month.  I stitched during lunch.  Midway through the afternoon I had a headache come on all of a sudden.  WHAM!  I don’t know what brought it on, but it wasn’t a migraine for a change.  It was an all out tension one.  And I still had a rehearsal/recording session to go to.  OW.  It hurt to play and just kept getting worse, but I made it through.  After the duty day was done, I made it to the chow hall and managed to eat 3/4 of a grilled cheese and about 2 sips of chocolate milk.  My head hurt so bad it was making me nauseous.  It hurt walking so I walked home really slow.  Got in my room and turned on the outside light but didn’t touch the inside one.  I got my hair down and changed into PTs, took some Tylenol, set my alarm for 0710 just in case, and laid down.  This was about 1800.  I was OUT.  I slept until 0720 this morning – 13 hours of sleep.  I sure felt better when I woke up though.

I turned in laundry this morning on my way to the chow hall for breakfast.  After formation we had brass quintet rehearsal and that went well.  Then I stitched at lunch.  After lunch I finished up the ADO ordering (I still have some final paperwork to do tomorrow) and then we had salsa band rehearsal to close out the day.  That was a lot of fun as always.  Then I headed to dinner and then home to change and crochet for a while before heading to Country Night.  That’s when the fun began.  MD, JM, and I went early as they wanted to play ping-pong, so we all played ping-pong for a little bit.  Well, there was an alert and when that happens I have to go in for accountability.  Except it was after 2100 and accountability is by where we live.  I was at the MWR on the other side of camp – like between 3/4 mile and a mile away.  So I RAN back to where we live while carrying my weapon.  And then I had to go round up the other females since I was first female there.  And then since I wanted to get back to country night, I ran back.  So I did PT before I even started dancing.  I’m really starting to catch on to most of the line dances, although there are still some that I manage to trip all over myself doing them.  And I learned how to do country waltz tonight, and of course two-stepping.  It was DG and BD’s last night there, so it was kind of sad.  I’m going to miss my "sisters".

Now I’m home and I think I’m going to sleep really good tonight with all the PT I did.  But before I go, I’ll leave you with some pictures.

Here is our first real rainy day.

Here’s me with Ruth.  She’s from Uganda and one of the security guards around post.  She’s usually outside the chapel, but sometimes she’s at the PX – like the day I took this picture.

And here’s my latest cross stitch finish.  Seven Days of Creation.  I started it 2 years ago in Afghanistan and after 145.25 hours of stitching, I finished it here in Iraq.

Today’s High:  75
Current:  59

Welcome to the Newest US Citizens!

This morning started off with the Brass Quintet I’m in (Desert BBQ) playing at a Naturalization Ceremony at the Al Faw Palace.  There were 186 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines from 60 countries that became US citizens.  It was a really neat ceremony, and there was a TON of media there, including a guy from the CBS Evening News.  Our BQ played well.  It was quite a lengthy ceremony as they read each name individually and they were presented their Certificate of Naturalization, a coin from GEN Odierno, and a US flag (which was donated by AAFES).    We left for the ceremony at 0830 and got back to the band hall around 1100.  I spent the rest of the morning doing a few e-mails and other things in my office.  I went home at lunch for a change, and then back at 1300 for another 20 minutes in my office.

We had salsa rehearsal and that went well.  I really enjoy playing in that group and I can’t wait til our next gig, whenever that may be.  Then it was back to my office for another about 20 minutes before I headed over to the call center to use the phones to call Ryan & Robbie before they went to school for the day.  It’s always nice talking to them.  Robbie is so cute on the phone.  Then I did a bit of Christmas shopping at some of the little gift shops in the area and then back to my office for the last half hour of the day.  I didn’t really get a lot of supply stuff done today, but it was still a really good day.

I went to dinner with my friend JM from Joyful Noez.  We went to Popeye’s.  It was nice not going to the chow hall for a change and just sitting and talking.  Then it was home and shower and change into PTs and I crocheted the evening away.  I finished one project and started another.  Hopefully I’ll be able to finish that one tomorrow night.

Today’s high:  75
Current:  64

Monday

I slept late this morning again.  Got up and chatted online a bit.  Got ready.  Dropped off laundry on my way to the chow hall on my way to work.  After formation we had brass quintet rehearsal as we have a gig tomorrow.  After rehearsal was done, I spent the rest of the morning in my office doing e-mails.  Then I stitched at lunch.  After lunch I handed out ADO to Soldiers that have come back from leave.  Then I met a friend at Green Beans for coffee for a little bit and then I headed to CIF to exchange a couple of uniforms for a Soldier.  Once I got back from CIF, I sat CQ for CT so she could go to the gym.  I stitched while I sat at the CQ desk.  Then when she got back, I had some new ADO in from the mail today so I took care of that, and then I headed to dinner.  After dinner it was home to change and then over to my friend D’s room for our weekly stitching night.  We had a lot of fun looking at (and sharing – I brought my thumb drive) pictures, stitching, and watching the movie Deja Vu.  I had to leave before it was over, but I’m definitely going to need to find it and watch the whole thing.  I’m really going to miss our evenings stitching when she leaves to go back to the states in a few weeks.

Off to bed now. . .

Sleep and Crochet

I slept until nearly 1100 this morning and boy did that feel good!  Once up, I did computer stuff until it was time to head to Prayer Shawl Ministry.  Prayer Shawl Ministry was another media day – this time on video.  It’s kind of nice getting all this publicity, but now if we could get more people to come – and more yarn donations.  The media guy stayed almost the whole 2 hours just filming us working, etc.  He did interview me at the beginning.  I’m almost done with my 4th prayer shawl – next week I’ll finish it up and start on #5.  After we were done, I stopped by the Post Office on my way home to mail a few things.  Of course, once I got there, I realized I didn’t have an address for one of the items, so that will have to wait until next trip.  Oops!  Then I stopped and picked up my laundry before heading home.  I crocheted on a Christmas present and chatted with Mom for a bit before it was time to head to the chapel for the evening worship service.  Our set was awesome and the service was really good, and since it is first Sunday, it was Communion Sunday as well.  I always look forward to the first Sunday of each month because of Communion.  Then after the service, it was off to the chow hall for dinner, and then to the band hall for phone calls – Ryan & Robbie (except I only got to talk to Ryan for a little bit because they were at the Golden Unicorn for lunch and he was standing outside freezing and their food came), Rick, and Mom & Dad.  Then to Green Beans for a few hands of Combat Uno.  Once I got home, I crocheted a bit more as I was just about done with a project and I wanted to finish it before bed.  I still have to tuck the ends in, but I’ll do that on Tuesday.

Today’s high:  75
Current:  63