4 hours of rehearsal

Today flew by. I started off the morning with a 2.72 mile run in 25:41 – a 9:27 pace!! I ran by myself as my running buddy CJ didn’t hear his alarm go off again (as he told me later when I talked to him). It was pretty nice running by myself again, but it sure was dark with no moon (ok, so a little teeny tiny sliver). It was a great pace – especially with no one with me to push me. Once home, I chatted with Ryan for a little bit and then I headed back to bed. I got up about 0815 and got ready and headed to work. It was a crazy morning with people turning in their NBC gear, and inventorying instruments going back to Ft. Drum, and all kinds of stuff. I had no problem delegating stuff this morning. Then I stitched for a little during lunch, and then the 4 hour marathon began.

I had salsa horn line rehearsal from 1300-1500 and that went good. Then from 1500-1700 was Brass Quintet rehearsal. That went ok, but my chops were starting to get really tired, especially near the end. Once rehearsals were done, I went and did some paperwork in my office and then I went and met my friend TD for dinner. Then it was home to change into PT’s and I chatted with Ryan and got my laundry from a couple of days ago put away. Then I headed to the MWR for line dancing lessons. I’m enjoying helping teach them, and once in a while I have to take one of the newbies off to the side for some remedial lessons. It’s always a lot of fun, and a good PT session as well.

At 2200 when the lessons were done, the other teachers and I hung out for a while – so late that we ended up going to midnight chow. I had breakfast. LOL Morning oatmeal is much better than midnight oatmeal. Now I’m home and heading to bed as it’s after 0100.

Today’s high: 64
Current: 52

ppsassygrl  and I are doing a challenge together in 2009 – 36,500 crunches/situps during the year. Here’s my ticker I’ll be using to keep track of them.

A Long Day

I actually woke up at "go run time" but after only 4 hours of sleep, I didn’t feel like running.  I left a message on my running buddy’s IM, but it worked out good because he ended up oversleeping again.  I went back to sleep until 0800 and then I got up and ready for work.  After formation we were supposed to have a class, and we sat around waiting and then the class was going to be at 1100.  So I went to my office and did some e-mails and stuff and then went back to the rehearsal room for the class.  It finally got under way about 1125.  I’m glad I always keep a book in my cargo pocket, and I got some reading done while I was waiting.  Then I stitched through what was left of lunch.  After lunch I took care of some paperwork and some filing until it was time for brass quintet rehearsal.  Rehearsal went well – some more new tunes for me.  I’ve got some practicing to do before the gigs this week.

After rehearsal was done, I headed to the chow hall for a quick dinner and then back for salsa band rehearsal from 1800-2000.  That went good, and we read through a few new tunes.  Then I headed home finally, and did a little bit of stitching.  Now I’m heading to bed as I’m TIRED.

Crunches today:  225

Today’s high:  60
Current:  50

Happy Anniversary Ryan!!!

Today was a very good day!  I had the day off.  Completely off except for church.  I didn’t both setting my alarm clock last night and I got up about 1000.  The only time I left my room was to visit the latrine a couple of times today.  I chatted with friends.  I did stuff on my computer.  I stitched for 4 hours!!!!!  And at 1700 when it was time to get ready for church, I was still in my "pajamas" with my hair down!!!!  I was scheduled to have CQ starting at 1215, but one of my friends offered to take my shift for me so I didn’t have to find someone to sit for me for 3+ hours for church.  Thank you JF – you rock!!  And today is mine and Ryan’s 6th anniversary.  Happy Anniversary to us!!!!  Here’s to many more years together – and actually TOGETHER for a change.  LOL

So at 1700 I got dressed and got my hair up and headed to the chapel for sound check and warm ups before the service.  We had an awesome set of songs again this week and it was a great service.  Once again DP got the songs in such an order that the one after the sermon tied right into the sermon.  It’s really cool how that works out.

After the service, instead of dinner with Joyful Noez, I headed over to my friend TD’s room.  He had a BBQ outside his room, and there were about 15 or so people from Country Night there hanging out and having a good time.  There was chicken, ribs, and little steaks on the grill as well as baked beans and corn.  It was a lot of fun, especially after his neighbor brought out his Rock Band video game and everyone was taking turns playing drums, guitar, and singing.  I just watched – I wasn’t about to try.  I left shortly before 2300 and headed to the call center to call home.  I talked to Ryan and wished him a Happy Anniversary, and we chatted for a while.  Then I got to talk to Mom and Dad and Rick, and then I finished the call with Ryan again.  Robbie didn’t want to talk, but he had just woken up from quiet time which I think turned into naptime.  I can’t wait to see everyone in a few weeks!

Today’s high:  59
Current:  45

Some finished crochet projects

Now that Christmas is over and the presents have all been opened, I can share pictures of what I was crocheting on in October and November. I managed to mail the gifts off without taking pictures of what I made for Mom and Dad, but if one of them can take pics and send them to me, I’ll post those later.

Here is a scarf I made for Ryan:
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A teddy bear for Robbie:
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Dishcloths and coasters for my Aunt Pattie – I had her name for the family exchange for my mom’s side of the family:
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And a doily I crocheted for a swap in one of my crochet groups:
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Mountain Echoes Brass Quintet

I slept until 0800 this morning and felt a lot better when I woke up.  I didn’t get breakfast again, but the 8 1/2 hours of sleep was nice.  Then it was off to formation, and then I had my first rehearsal with the Mountain Echoes Brass Quintet – our primary (and right now only) brass quintet!    It sure was nice playing in quintet again – definitely my favorite group to play in.  Most of the songs were ones that I’ve played before, but there were a few that were sight reading for me.  We’re getting ready for I think 4 gigs next week.  After rehearsal, it was lunch time, and I spent my whole lunch time getting stuff together for when I headed to Battalion for my 1300 records update appointment.  This was to make sure all my records and everything were correct for the upcoming Sergeant First Class board in February.  I don’t actually go before the promotion board anymore – just my photo and records and evaluation reports.  It’s only my first look at SFC, but we’ll see what happens.  That took a good two hours and then it was back to chaos at the band hall.  I walked in the building and it seemed like everyone had questions for me.  The reason I’m in brass quintet and all the chaos?  Part of the band is redeploying early to support missions at Ft. Drum.  I’m not in that group, but since I’m supply and I work with movement (cargo type, not people type), everyone had questions for me, and was turning in stuff that they can’t take back with them and all kinds of stuff.  That last hour of the day just FLEW by and it was actually about 1730 before I could even think about going to dinner.  It finally calmed down and I headed to the chow hall for dinner and then home for a relaxing evening stitching.  It’s only 2145 right now, but I’m heading to bed.  I’m tired.

Today’s high:  62
Current:  52

More Web Cam, and back to work

I stayed up last night to watch one last gift opening session.  They started at 1900 their time which was 0300 my time.  So I watched and listened from 0300 to 0500 and I’m really glad I decided to stay up despite how tired I was.  It was so worth it to see the looks on everyone’s faces when they opened their gifts, and Robbie especially.  I think he really like the teddy bear I crocheted for him.  And everyone liked their gifts from me. 

I finally went to be at 0500 – just after my roommate got up and headed to the shower to start her day.  I slept until about 0815 and then got up and ready.  After 0900 formation, I headed to my office to get caught up on e-mails and stuff from the last couple of days when I wasn’t there.  I did some other paperwork as well, and before you knew it, it was lunchtime.  I headed home and took a 45 minute nap and then back to work for the afternoon.  I typed up some forms and did some other stuff, and then about 1515, I headed out.  I had received 2 boxes in the mail today, so I brought those to my room.  I traded them for one of the two boxes I’m mailing to myself at Mom & Dad’s for leave and I took that to the Post Office and mailed it.  Then it was off to the mail room to sign for an insured package from Ryan & Robbie.  I like insured packages as the mail room is closer to "home" than the band hall is.  And this box was pretty heavy with mail and magazines and a few other things in it.  I brought that box home and sorted through the mail and stuff.  Then it was back to the band hall to close out the day with some ADO stuff.

Once work was done, I headed to the chapel for Joyful Noez rehearsal.  We had a really good rehearsal this week and it’s a great set for Sunday.  Then it was off to dinner and now I’m home.  I’m going to finish up my e-mail and stuff and read for a little bit and then it will be lights out, hopefully by 2230.  I need some sleep.

Today’s High:  64
Current:  54

Merry CHRISTmas from Iraq!

Merry Christmas to family and friends, both far and near.  I was up at 0500 this morning to watch the Christmas Eve gift opening at my grandparents’ house.  Ryan brought his computer over there, and he had his Yahoo IM webcam going and we did voice chat as well.  It was really neat being able to "be there" with them and see and hear what was going on.  After that was done, I went back to bed until almost 1000.  Then I got up and dressed and opened my packages from Mom & Dad and Rick.  Rick got me a really nice tote bag for my crochet projects, 6 skeins of yarn (3 pinkish and 3 purple), a pre-paid Visa gift card, and 2 really cute magnets.  He had also drawn my name for the family (mom’s side) Christmas name draw, and for that he got me UNO Flash.  It looks like a really fun game.  Mom and Dad got me a really neat little mirror magnet that they made at the intergenerational Sunday School class, some snacks that I like, some drink mix packets, and then for me to share some Yooper Bars (I’m going to share them with Joyful Noez tomorrow night) and some candy canes (I brought those to Country Night).  Thank you all for everything!!

After I had finished opening my gifts, I got out my stitching, and stitched for a while before heading to meet TD at the Chaplain’s office, and when he got off work, we headed to the chow hall for Christmas Dinner (at lunch time).  It was pretty good.  The ham didn’t look good, so I had turkey instead.  And I had sweet potatoes and corn on the cob (way overcooked) and cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce.  Then I had applie pie and pralines & cream ice cream for dessert.  And a glass of sparkling grape juice and a glass of egg nog to drink.  I actually didn’t overstuff myself like I did at Thanksgiving so that was a good thing.

Then it was back to my room for more stitching and about 1730 I was back on the web cam/voice chat and I got to watch the opening of the stockings and stuff from Santa.  Robbie was so cute handing out the gifts.  And he knew the order – we do one gift at a time, youngest to oldest.  My son is definitely a NASCAR fan, and Santa brought him some Jimmie Johnson (#48) stuff.  Jimmie Johnson is Robbie’s favorite driver – teammate to me and Ryan’s favorite driver #24 Jeff Gordon.  Ryan got some Jeff Gordon stuff.  It was fun watching them, and once again, I’m glad I was able to "be there" with them.

I stitched until it was time to leave for Country Night – I got 5 hours in today on Lady of the Flag!!  I actually got to the MWR for the beginning of Country Night, so I had over 4 hours of dancing tonight.  I’m not sitting out many of the line dances anymore and I dance cha-chas and some two-steps with TD, waltzes with CJ, and then other two-steps with whoever asks me to dance.  There aren’t many females there usually so those of us that are there get traded around.  It looks really funny with 2 guys dancing together, so they don’t do that.  🙂

It is now 0145 and I’ll be staying up for a while waiting for the last gift opening of the day.  But I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

Today’s high:  66
Current:  54

Christmas Eve!!

I got up to go running this morning.  I waited out in our meeting spot for 15 minutes and my running buddy CJ didn’t show up.  So I went back to bed.  I chatted with him later in the day and it turned out he had way overslept.  LOL  It’s ok.  It happens to the best of us.  The extra sleep was nice, but then I didn’t want to get out of my nice warm comfy bed.  So I finally get up and chat with Ryan while I got ready and I headed to the band hall – too late for breakfast.  I got to the band hall and it was awfully quiet and hardly anyone around.  Hmmm. . . .  I find out that we have the day off, except for gigs of which I have none.  Cool – an extra day off!!  I did do some work in my office before taking my boxes from Mom & Dad and Rick back to my room.  I dropped them off and headed to Battalion to bring some paperwork over there, and then it was home to clean.  I emptied out my tuff box, rearranged and repacked it, packed 2 boxes of stuff to send to myself at Mom & Dad’s for leave, and remade my bed.  I actually have a bed again – not just 3/4 of one.  Now to try and keep it this way. . .

Then I crocheted on a baby blanket for a while and when I finished the skein of yarn I was working from, it was about time to head to the Palace for Candle Light Service rehearsal.  I walked up there and the first run through, I got to "be" one of the Chaplains as he wasn’t there yet.  Then he showed up and got to go back and be myself.  I was one of the candle lighters.  The rehearsal was nice and short – about 20 minutes and then we were done for a while.  One of the other candle lighters had a vehicle and offered me a ride home so I took it.  Once home, I was able to stitch for about 45 minutes before heading to chow.  I met up with TD and we ate together and an Air Force Chaplain joined us.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had my family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner.  Nothing on the main line looked good, so I had pizza.  My family always has pizza on Christmas Eve!!  It’s funny how things work out sometimes.  Once we were done eating, TD and I headed to the Palace for the service.  He’s a Chaplain’s Assistant and they were the ushers for the service.  I got the candles for the 6 candle lighters and placed them on our chairs.  I got some pictures taken in front of the big Christmas tree.  I took lots of pictures for others.  

And then the service started.  Music was provided by the 10th Mountain Division Band Brass Quintet "Mountain Echoes".  It was pretty much a service of lessons and carols.   There were 5 readings and a responsive reading, with hymns after each.  The Gospel Choir provided special music.  The Chaplain that gave the message gave a really good one, and it made me cry a little bit, but not much.  And then we ended with the candles and Silent Night.  Us candle lighters received the light from the Chaplain, and we passed it to all in attendance.  It was absolutely beautiful in the Rotunda of the Palace with the lights out and close to 500 candles and everyone singing Silent Night.  I must have gotten my Silent Night tears out on Monday because I didn’t cry tonight.  But wow!!!  500+ voices accompanied by a brass quintet.  500+ people away from their families, but at least for tonight we were one big family.  500+ Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, civilians, and members of coalition forces all joined as one in song.  After the service was done, there was a sing-along for those who wanted to stay.  There were probably 50 that gathered around the quintet and sang some more Christmas songs.  It was an awesome evening.  What a way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!

Once I got home, I got some more stitching in and chatting with Ryan and Rick and Dad and some other friends.  Now I’m heading to bed.

Today’s High:  66
Current:  55

Some pictures

Here are some pictures of me with Soldiers from other countries.  This first one was taken at the Bulgarian End of Mission Ceremony, and shows me with Soldiers from Albania, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.

And here is me with some Soldiers from Estonia while waiting for our flights.

And for my Secret Santa at work, this is what I crocheted for her:


Rainy Tuesday

I woke up to the sounds of rain on my roof this morning.  I had a nice chat with Ryan while I was getting ready, and I actually left in enough time to get breakfast this morning!!  The guards outside the chow hall told me they had missed me – when you’ve been deployed for 7 1/2 months, the guards get to know you.  One of them remembers my name and as I’m walking up I’ll hear "Hi Yearicks".  Another just calls me Staff Sergeant and I’ll get "Good morning Staff Sergeant."  

After breakfast, it was off to formation and then to my office for the morning.  I did an e-mail interview about collecting can tabs so that should be in the Mountain View soon.  Remember my friend DG?  Her daughter’s school is collecting can tabs and each gallon of can tabs pays for a cancer treatment for a child at a local (in El Paso, TX) hospital.  I finally got cans to collect the can tabs up in the 10th Mountain chow hall to keep collecting them for DG.  That actually took a good part of the morning e-mailing back and forth – the initial questions, and then some follow-up questions, and then some follow-ups to those.  Then I stitched through lunch.  After lunch I went and put a little over an hour in on my trombone – couldn’t do much more as I still had a bit of my headache from last night.  Then it was to my office for a bit to check e-mails and stuff, and then I went to Green Beans and got a quadruple white hot chocolate (2 actually) and I headed to the Chaplain’s office to bring TD one and chat with him for a little while.  Then it was back to work and we had an informational formation and I finished up some paperwork and then the day was done.

I headed to dinner and was home and in the shower before 1800!!  I got some crocheting done on the baby blanket I’m working on, and then I headed up to the MWR to help teach the line dancing.  We only did a few dances this week, but we did them more to help people learn them better.  We show the steps slowly, breaking it down into smaller groups of steps.  Then the whole thing.  Then to the music 2 or 3 times.  We did 3 or 4 line dances, and then we also taught waltz and cha-cha.  It’s a lot of fun, but boy was I tired by the end.  It ‘s a good tired though!  It did try to rain a little, but it wasn’t too bad.

Now I’m home and heading to bed so I can get up and run in the morning.

Today’s high:  66
Current:  59