EOLC Day 3

It was another day of not being able to get up and go run.  Must. get. the. laziness. out. of. my. system.  So I got up finally and got lunches packed and breakfast made for Robert and I.  We walked him to school and then it was home for me to finish reading my assignment for my quiz in class.  Then it was off to school for me.  I only got 90% on the quiz this morning – bringing my average to 95%.  The rest of the day we spent talking about stereotypes and cultural differences and stuff.  Once again I stitched at lunch and got more compliments.  It was a pretty good day.  Then it was home to get Robert from school.  Thankfully Ryan cooked again, so I had a little bit of time to relax.  He made mac & cheese and pigs in a blanket.  Then by the time we had the table cleaned off, it was time to leave for choir practice so I went in uniform.  Rehearsal went good and it was nice being back.

Today’s high:  89
Current:  75

Robert reciting the Pledge of Allegiance!!

 Hmmm. . .  If it doesn’t show up, maybe LJ is having trouble with videos right now.
Here’s a link if your prefer:  The Pledge of Allegiance


EOLC Day 2 & The Pledge of Allegiance

This morning I totally and completely slept through my get-up-and-go-run alarm.  Luckily Ryan always sets his alarm for 0630 and that’s what woke me up.  Aack!  Not a good way to start the day, but at least I got up in time.  So I got ready and got lunches packed and breakfast made and walked Robert to school.  We let Ryan sleep a little  since he’s not been feeling well.  He was up when I got back from the school.  Then I did my computer stuff before heading off to post.  Today during class we talked about effective communication and listening.  Lots of good discussions about everything, and it was actually a pretty good day.  I stitched during lunch, and got a few compliments and comments on my stitching.  And we even got done for the day about 15 minutes early, so that was nice!  I got home and changed and we went and got Robert from school.  Once home, Ryan fired up the grill and he cooked dinner tonight – steak and corn on the cob on the grill, and fake mashed taters.  It was really good.  During dinner, we always talk about what we did during the day.  Well, we get to Robert, and he was telling us about school.  He plays on the playground until the bell rings and then they line up and go in their classroom.  They put their stuff away and then they have carpet time where they do the calendar and "that thing where you put your hand over your heart."  We weren’t quite sure what he was talking about, and he said "this."  And then he proceeded to recite perfectly the Pledge of Allegiance!!!!!!!!!!  It made me cry I was so proud of him.  Even Ryan was a little teary-eyed.  Of course, we were both kind of surprised that they did the Pledge in class since so many schools don’t anymore.  We’re very happy that they do it!  I’m going to try and get him to recite it on video someday soon.

After Robert had had a bath and had read his books to us and I got him tucked in, I crocheted on and finished the baby blanket I’ve been working on.  I’ll just need to tuck the ends in tomorrow evening.

Today’s high:  93 (new record high.  Old record was 91 set in 2000)
Current:  76

Equal Opportunity Leader Course (EOLC) – Day 1

This morning I was up and got Robert’s and my lunches packed and breakfast made (or poured since we had cereal) for us.  Then I headed off to post.  I had to be at the EO Office by 0800 for my 2 week course.  Class didn’t start off very well.  The projector connected to the computer wouldn’t work.  They finally got it working – actually another one in the room – about 0900.  So we had an hour of wasted time to start off with.  Yay.  We worked on an exercise to learn our Army Learning Style, and I completely agreed with my results of IPSF.  "IPSF’s are quiet, friendly, sensitive, and normally kind.  They enjoy the present moment, what’s going on around them.  They like to have their own space and to work within their own time frame.  They are normally loyal and  committed to their values and to people who are important to them.  They dislike disagreements and conflicts, and do not force their opinions or values on others."  Then we started  our introductions.  We had to say our rank and name, thing most important to you, marital status, kids, years in the Army, current job in the Army, organization memberships and hobbies, our learning style and if we agreed with it or not, and our symbol.  Our symbol was something that shows who you are.  I didn’t go until after lunch.  During lunch, I went home since I had forgotten my cross stitch project.  During your time of introducing yourself, lots of questions were asked about the things you talked about.  The thing most important to me – my family.  My symbol was a heart with a cross, music notes, and a stick figure in it – because I’m passionate about my music, my faith, and my family & friends.  After all the introductions were done, we started talking about what an Equal Opportunity Leader is and the roles he/she plays in the unit.  I think this will be an interesting class, and we have a very diverse group of 19 of us – white males & females, black males & females, Asian female, Pacific Islander male & female, Hispanic males & females, etc.  But the class goes until 1700, and my brain went into overload about 1600.  I don’t remember much about what was discussed between 1600 and 1700, but at least I have my blanks filled in in the study guide.

Once class was done, it was home and then we walked and got Robert from school.  Then we got the mail.  Then I got changed out of uniform finally and we headed to the Legion for hamburgers/cheeseburgers since I was too tired to even think about cooking.  Then it was home to play for a bit and Robert read his books to us – he got another new one today!  After he was in bed, I read my 40 pages for tomorrow’s quiz – which I sure hope is open book because that was a lot of stuff to absorb.  Then I crocheted on a baby blanket.

Off to bed now – late again.

Today’s high:  93 (almost a record high – the record is 95)
Current:  76

TDY Travel Day HOME

This morning I got up and headed down to the lobby for breakfast. I ate with 2 of the other guys from the BQ since they were there the same time as me. Then it was back up to my room to do final packing and then I played on my computer until it was time to go check out. We got checked out and got the van and car loaded and we headed south. We stopped at Yogurtland in Scottsdale for lunch (can you tell that we like Yogurtland??) and then at a gas station for gas for the vehicles and snacks and beverages for us. I stitched the whole way home – just under 5 hours. We got back to the band hall and got everything unloaded and I went to my office to check my e-mail and make sure I have my stuff for my class that’s starting tomorrow – Equal Opportunity Leaders Course. Ryan and Robert arrived to pick me up, and Robert had painted me a picture that I put up in my office. We got my stuff to the car – Robert pulling my suitcase for me. Then we went to the commissary for some groceries and then home. I got my suitcase emptied after I put the groceries away. Then it was time for my weekly phone call to Mom & Dad, and I folded laundry (thank you Sweetie for doing all the laundry!!!) while I talked to them. Ryan got the grill going, and after I was done on the phone, he got dinner going – hamburgers and brats, and baked beans and tater salad to go with. After we ate, Robert helped clean the table off and then we had reading time. He read his books to us, and then got cleaned up for bed, and I read to him. Then I stitched for a while. Off to bed now. . .

Today’s high: 90 (Sierra Vista)
Current: 71

Sleep, a run, and a gig

This morning was nice.  The Brass Quintet was able to sleep in.  Four of the five of us met in the lobby at 0900 and we drove about 10 minutes to a really nice trail.  We thought it was a loop, but it must not be done or something because the ends didn’t connect.  We went one way ( 2 walkers, 2 runners) and no trail after a little bit, so we went the other way.  It was a beautiful trail for a run, and quite hilly so it made for a really good workout.  Well, me and the other guy who was running got to the end and there was no where to go so we turned around and had no choice, but to go back.  I had taken my cell phone with me just in case, so I texted the other two and told them they might want to turn around since the trail ended.  Running back to the start was more difficult – hills, tired, no water.  But we made it.  And I did pass the walkers before we finished.  All told, I ran 7.34 miles in 1:34:36, a 12:53 pace.  I can’t complain at all since it was my longest run in Arizona, it was hot (almost 85 by the time we finished), it ranged between 5130 and 5220 feet above elevation with 4 major hills (that we hit twice since we did out and back), and we hadn’t thought to bring any water with us.  Total ascent was 1078 feet and total descent was 1079 feet.  After we were done with Team PT, we stopped at a gas station we had discovered and got chocolate milk (one of the best post-run recovery drinks!!!), gatorade, water, etc.  Then we headed back to the hotel to shower and change, and then we met up (all 5 of us this time) to walk across the street to Panda Express.  We got TONS of food, and I don’t think anyone finished everything.  I know I sure didn’t.

Then I had the afternoon and I got some stitching done before I had to get into uniform for our evening concert.  We played in the Courthouse Plaza, along with the Brass Band.  The Brass Quintet started things off and we played for about 45 minutes – a mixture of marches/patriotic and jazz tunes.  We ended with William Tell, which seems to be our typical ending piece.  Then the Brass Band took over for another 45 minutes.  There were probably about 250 people as people wandered in and out.  We had a couple of recruiters there with us, since this whole TDY was a recruiting mission.  One of them was telling us that had this not been a last minute change/addition to Prescott’s schedule, the Plaza would have been PACKED, and people would have been showing up starting about 1 or 2 for the 5:00 concert.  They’re going to try and get us back up here some more in the future.  It was a really fun concert!

After the concert we talked to people that came by for a while, and then we got packed up and our instruments back into the van.  We went to the Prescott Brewing Company for dinner.  REALLY good food despite the sort of slow service.  I had chicken pot pie, and WOW was it delicious!  And the best part about our dinner, other than the good food and good company, was it ended up being free.  The group at the table next to us paid for our entire meals (all 4 of us!!) to thank us for our service to our country.  How cool is that!  I guess we’re glad we decided not to go back to the hotel to change before we ate like the Brass Band guys did.  After dinner, it was back to the hotel to relax for the evening.  I called home and I stitched for a little bit, and now I’m heading to Zzzzzzzz-land.

Today’s high:  89
Current:  61

Two High Schools and more traveling.

This morning we were up early and got checked out of the hotel and had breakfast – really good free breakfast at the hotel!  A recruiter met up with us and led us to the High School we were playing at first.  We had had a change of plans because of some issues and their pep assembly got cancelled, but we adjusted fire.  We got to watch the marching band rehearse their show and then at the end of first period, they did Storm the Halls where they march through the school playing the fight song over and over.  Well, we got to march and play with them.  Hmm. . .  Interesting.  It actually was a lot of fun despite no flip folder so I was holding my music on my bell with my hand.  Then we got set up in their band room and played a few pieces in different styles.  Between each piece one of us introduced ourself and told our story of how we joined the Army, places we’ve been, etc.  Then we opened it up to questions from the kids.  They had a few questions.  Then we packed up and headed to the recruiting station with the recruiter.  You know how long it’s been since I’ve been in a recruiting station?  Over 10 years.  Then after a little bit, we left with a different recruiter to go to another high school in town and we played in the auditorium for one of the band classes and a few students from other classes came as well.  Again we played, introduced ourselves, and answered questions.  These kids and their band director had a lot of good questions for us, not so much about the Army or being in the Army Band, but instrument/practicing/getting better questions.  Those work too.  Both gigs were fun, and if so much as one kid even thinks about joining the Army because of it, then it definitely was worth it (and it was worth it even without that).

After we were packed up from the second school, we went to lunch at Red Robin, and then hit the road to Prescott.  It was about an hour and a half drive, and some beautiful scenery driving up into the mountains.  We got checked into our hotel and settled into our rooms.  I took a super long hot shower and then just relaxed until we met up to go to dinner.  We walked downtown and saw where we’ll be playing tomorrow evening and then went to eat at a Japanese restaurant.  It was really good food – we all had teryaki, 3 chicken and 1 beef (one guy in the BQ didn’t go with us).  I got to try sake as one of the guys ordered that, and I had a Japanese beer.  It was pretty good.  The food was awesome!  After we had all eaten too much, we started the walk back to the hotel.  Well, there was a TCBY there, so we had to stop.  LOL  Then it was back to the hotel.  I got online and was able to do web cam & voice chat through Yahoo with Ryan and Robert.  Robert read me his books, and I read him his bedtime story tonight.  That was a nice way to end the day.  I’m heading to bed now, and I’ll read for a little bit before I go to sleep.

Today’s high:  100 (Glendale); 84 (Prescott)
Current:  62

BQ Gig, Range Day, and BQ TDY

This morning I was up early, but at least I got to say goodbye to my guys who were barely up before I had to leave.  I headed to post, to the Thunder Mountain Activity Center where the Brass Quintet played for the kick-off breakfast for the Combine Federal Campaign.  We played for about 20 minutes as everyone was arriving, the National Anthem, and then about another 20 minutes while everyone was getting their food.  Then we put our instruments away and we were able to eat as well.  They had potatoes, eggs, bacon, and biscuits (and gravy, but YUCK).  The guest speaker spoke while everyone was eating, and then when he was done, it was over.

We headed out to the rifle range to join up with the rest of the unit already out there.  They got started late, but finally started firing about 45 minutes after I got there.  I was in the second firing order so I still had to wait around more.  At least I keep a book in my van, so I was able to read for a while.  Finally it was my turn to go out on the range.  My zeroing wasn’t so good – I was all around the center of the target, but couldn’t hit the center of the target until my last 3 zeroing rounds – got those pretty much dead center.  I was given the option to re-zero or to qualify.  I chose qualify just because I wanted to get it over with.  Qualification went awesome, other than during my 20 rounds from the prone supported position.  The rounds didn’t load right, and I had to drop the magazine and reload a few rounds into the magazine and then get going again.  Prone unsupported and kneeling I had no problems with.  Then it was time to go downrange and get our targets.  I did a quick unofficial count of my hits, and I counted 33 out of 40!!!  That’s enough for Sharpshooter instead of my usual Marksman!  Woohoo!!!  This was one of the best times I’ve qualified in my career.  Once I was done on the range, I headed home for a quick change and finish packing.

Ryan drove me back to the band hall so he and Robert could have the van over the weekend.  I walked next door to Burger King to get some lunch and then went back to my office to eat and check me e-mail and stuff before heading out.  Once everyone in the BQ was back from the range and had changed, we headed out.  We were in 2 vehicles and it sure was a lot more comfortable than the truck earlier in the week.  We have a rented minivan and a car.  We stopped for gas and snacks (gatorade and water for me) at the Circle K on the way out of town, and then we were off.  We stopped in Casa Grande at Subway for dinner and then in Tempe (by Arizona State University) at Yogurtland again.  That place sure is good!  Then it was on to our hotel in Glendale.  We got checked in and up to our rooms – we each have our own room!  (Of course, I get my own anyway since I’m the only female in BQ.)  What a nice room – it’s actually got a sitting area when you walk in, and then the beds.  My bed is really soft and comfy, and I’m about to try it out in a horizontal position, one involving sleep.

Today’s high:  84 (Sierra Vista)
Current:  82 (Glendale)

Back to work

This morning was a typical morning – wake up, pack lunches, make breakfast, walk Robert to school, have computer time, head to work.  After formation, I headed home again as I needed my receipt from the hotel the other night so I could do my travel settlement.  So I got that and went back to work and did my travel settlement.  Then I spent the rest of the morning at my desk.  I stitched during lunch, and then we had formation at 1300 to talk about tomorrow’s rifle qualification range.  Then I got my horn out and got a good warm up in before BQ rehearsal.  Rehearsal went until almost 1600, but that’s ok.  Then it was home and I got started packing for tomorrow before we went to get Robert from school.  We went to Taco Bell for dinner and Ryan left to meet up with his motorcycle friends.  Several of the guys from the American Legion Riders were supposed to go to Douglas to help them start a chapter of ALR there.  Robert and I headed home and we went and got the mail and then we played Chutes and Ladders.  Ryan got home shortly after that – none of the other guys showed up and he wasn’t going to Douglas by himself because he didn’t know where he was going (not to mention that it’s right near the border with Mexico).  Robert got a bath, and then he did some homework we had almost forgotten about – it was just a coloring project, nothing serious.  Then he read his little books to us (I’ll get a video of him reading next week) and then I got him tucked into bed for the night.  I was too tired and stuffed up and miserable to crochet, so I just did computer stuff instead.  Now I’m going to bed to try and get some sleep.

Today’s high:  80
Current:  67

My first Ft. Huachuca TDY

Yesterday morning I got Robert’s lunch packed and breakfast made and then we walked him to school.  Then it was home to finish packing the last few things and Ryan drove me to work so he could have the van.  The members of the Brass Quintet got the truck loaded with our instruments and bags, and we headed out.  After a few stops along the way, including lunch at In and Out Burgers and afternoon snack at Yogurtland (an AWESOME place that has lots of flavors of frozen yogurt and all kinds of toppings to add on), we got to the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort.  WOW!!!  What a beautiful place.  The reception staff was awesome.  We got checked in and found our rooms and got settled.  We had some down time before we had to get ready for our gig.  We found where we would be playing later, a few of us checked out the on-site fitness center (and definitely NOT your typical hotel fitness center), and then I just relaxed in my room until it was time to get ready.  We played for the ice breaker event for the 9th Signal Command Retention Training conference.  We played for about an hour and everyone really enjoyed the music.  And there was free food, too, so we didn’t even have to go eat dinner when we were done playing.  After we put our horns back in our rooms, we all walked the little bit more than a half mile to Walgreens to get stuff for breakfast so we didn’t have to eat the $12.95 breakfast buffet.  I was in bed about 2130, and drugged up on Benydryl.  I chatted with my friend A using yahoo messenger on my phone and I read for a bit before a fell asleep.

This morning I got up and met up with SSG H and we went to the fitness center together.  He walked on a treadmill and I did intervals.  I did 2.76 miles of 60-120’s – 60 seconds fast at between 7 and 7.5 mph (I went up every other time) and then 120 seconds at 5 mph.  It was a good workout for 30 minutes.  Then it was back to the room to get showered and into uniform for the official portion of the conference.  We played about 15 minutes of pre-music, and then the National Anthem and the Army Song.  We got coins from the Command Sergeant Major, and they’re pretty big ones.  Then we were able to go look at all the vendors that they brought in for the conference and we got a ton of free stuff – a duffle bag, glasses, coffee mug, flashlights, knives, pens, shirts, a blanket, a pair of noise cancelling headphones, etc.  We had some time to change and pack and relax since we weren’t really on a schedule.  After I had my bags packed, I went to the lobby where I could get free wireless ($12.95 a day in the room) and I did computer stuff for a little while.  We left about 1100 and headed back home.  We stopped for lunch at a little fast food Mexican place – WAY better than Taco Bell.  Good food and not bad prices either.  We got back to the band hall about 1500 and got the truck unloaded.  I checked my work e-mail and took care of the couple that needed answering, and then SSG H gave me a ride home (since Ryan had dropped me off).  I got up to the door and realized that I didn’t have a house key.  I had grabbed my work keys off my key ring, but didn’t think about a house key.  Oops!  So I got my computer out and sat outside the door using our wireless.  I was only out there about 20 minutes and then Ryan got home from class so I was able to get in the house.

We went to the store and got some corn on the cob and tater salad for dinner.  Then Ryan dropped me off at the school and he went home to get the grill going.  Robert was sure happy to see me!  We walked home and then I went to get the mail by myself since Robert decided to be fussy and not listen so he got sent to his room.  Ryan grilled steak for dinner and grilled the corn on the cob as well.  Dinner was really good and it was nice having him cook.  Then we got the kitchen cleaned up and Robert’s toys and stuff put away.  I read to him and got him tucked in and then I crocheted and we watched CSI: Miami and NCIS, season premiers of both!  Now it’s off to bed.  0500 is going to roll around early.

Today’s high:  98 in Phoenix, 87 in Sierra Vista
Current:  67


I was up about 0700 this morning when F called to let me know she was on her way with Robert. She dropped him off on her way to church to play for the early service. Robert and I watched cartoons and lounged around until it was time to leave for Sunday School. F’s daughter J sat with us during the opening songs and prayer time. Then they headed off to Sunday School and I headed home for a little bit – and to get Ryan up. Then it was time to head to church and for me to get robed and ready for choir warm ups. The service was really good and after Communion, Robert came and sat with me in the choir area. After church, we headed out to post for lunch at Jeannie’s Diner and then after we ate, I headed to the commissary for grocery shopping while the guys got their hair cut. Then it was to the PX for a few things and then home. After I got the groceries put away, I went and got a manicure and pedicure. It was nice being pampered for a little bit. When I got back home, I was already on the phone with Mom & Dad, and I watched some of the race. Ryan and Robert had already started it, but that’s ok. After a while, we headed to Walmart for ink for our printer and then to Dairy Queen. We stopped for gas and a car wash on our way home, and then it was bedtime for Robert. After I had him tucked in, I got packed for tomorrow and then stitched for a little bit. Time for bed now.

Today’s high: 86
Current: 66