Ceremony and Tucson

I didn’t get to walk Robert to school this morning, but I did get to pack his lunch and make breakfast. I left about the same time that the guys did, but I headed to post. I had to be at the ceremony site at 0815. The Brass Quintet played at another graduation ceremony this morning. It was very short and then I was done for the day. I had put in for a pass for today, but since the other BQ trombone player is also on pass, I said I’d do the gig. Then I headed home and grabbed a shower and changed. Then Ryan and I headed to Tucson. He had a VA appointment with one of his doctors and she wanted to talk to me about him. Hence the pass and why I went to Tucson with Ryan. The appointment went well and after we left the VA, we went to the cross stitch we’ve found in Tucson. They were having a sale, so we got 6 charts and a nice pair of scissors for $14!! The scissors alone were $12 scissors. I also checked about stitching models for them, but the lady I need to talk to wasn’t there again. Once we left there, we stopped at an In-N-Out Burger for a late lunch. Then it was home just in time to get Robert from Kids World. It was Taco Night at the Legion, and for $15 we all ate way too many tacos but they were really good. And then it was home to relax and play and read before Robert went to bed and then I stitched more (I did almost 3 hours in the car today). Off to bed for me now. . .

Today’s high: 69
Current: 55

Add another to the list of long days

This morning started off as usual – pack lunches, make breakfast, walk Robert to school, finish getting ready for work. After formation, I headed to the Admin office and SH showed me more things. Then we went up to Garrison so I could meet one of the people (a civilian) that we deal with up there, and we also had some stuff to take care of. Then when we got back to the office, we went over the NCOER rating scheme (NCOER = Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report; rating scheme is a list of who evaluates (rates) who) and found a few changes to make. NCOERs have now completely been turned over to me and over the next few weeks, more and more will be mine as my training continues. Then I ate lunch and checked my e-mail and stuff before heading over to the chapel for the graduation ceremony that the Brass Quintet played at. The ceremony was nice and short despite there being 160 graduates. Then it was back to the band hall to get ready for the mock board. The first Soldier was in there for about an hour and finally it was my Soldier’s turn. He did a lot better than last time, but still has work to do before he goes to the promotion board. We were finally done about 1700 and I headed to my office to do a final check of work e-mail and then head home. Once home, I got out of uniform and into comfy clothes, and when Ryan got home from picking Robert up from school, we headed to KFC for dinner. We like their buffet there. Then it was home to play for a bit and for Robert to read his books and then once he was in bed, I stitched for a little while and chatted with my Iraq-friend LH. That was nice as we haven’t chatted in a while.

Off to bed now. . .

Today’s high: 66
Current: 51

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering. I’m feeling a little better today.

Grading a PT test, the doctor, and rehearsals

This morning started off super early again as I had to be at the band hall by 0600 to grade the PT test for the graders from yesterday. There were only 4 testing, so it went fairly quickly. I got home in time to walk Robert to school and then ate breakfast and did some computer stuff. Then it was back to work for formation. After formation I headed to the medical clinic for my appointment with Dr. P. Have you ever seen a practicing doctor in a wheelchair? I have now. Dr. P is in a wheelchair. It didn’t bother me at all, though. She was really nice and diagnosed me as having a sinus infection. I got some meds for it and also finally got my referral to see an allergist. I’m wondering if they were supposed to call me or what, but I didn’t know that I needed to pick the referral up at the clinic and it expires in two days. But once back to the office, I did manage to get an appointment made at the allergy clinic and even though the appointment isn’t until the beginning of January, it’s still ok. Whew. But hello?? Can we possibly have some communication here? What if I hadn’t gone to the doctor today and thought to ask about the referral? But it’s all good now.

That pretty much took all morning, so I didn’t really get any work – or Admin training done. By the time I got back to the office, SH was leaving to go to his appointment. Ryan stopped by at lunchtime and we went to a Chinese buffet place for lunch – on the bike. We had planned this ahead of time and I had all the "stuff" I needed – helmet, reflective vest, gloves, and eye protection. It was nice having a little date for lunch. Then after lunch was concert band rehearsal for a few hours. And then we had a short Brass Quintet rehearsal with our sub tuba player as we have ceremonies tomorrow and Friday. After rehearsals, I had to send a couple of e-mails for Admin stuff and then I finally headed home. I’m glad I had put dinner in the crockpot this morning so I didn’t have to cook. And I called the choir director to let her know that I wouldn’t be at practice tonight – all this coughing has done quite a number on my voice (or lack thereof), and I didn’t want to get anyone else sick. So I stayed home. Ryan went to the Legion meeting and Robert read his books to me and I got him tucked him into bed. Then I watched the CMU football game (they killed Ball State 35-3!!) and crocheted and finished the baby blanket I was working on.

Time for bed now to try and get better. . .

Today’s high: 73
Current: 58

PT Test and Let the Training Begin!

This morning I still felt miserable when I got up and I was debating seeing if I could get out of the PT test and go to sick call. But once I got to the band hall, I decided to give the PT test a go. I’m glad I did! I did 43 push ups for 97%, 77 sit ups for 100% (plus one extra), and ran my 2 miles in 17:09 for 91%!!!!!!!!!!!!! My total score was 288. With that, I maintain my exemption from PT until our next PT test, usually about 6 months. Our Commander’s Incentive Program is if you score 260 with at least 80 in each event, you are exempt from unit PT for 3 months and if you score 270 with at least 90 in each event, you are exempt from unit PT until the next PT test! I’m super excited about my run especially since I was hacking up my lungs during the run. I took 40 seconds off my run time since the diagnostic 3 or so weeks ago.

After a quick trip home, during which I got Robert up (0741), dressed, shoes on, granola bar in hand and out the door, walked to school and in the school yard at 0752, then got changed into uniform ate breakfast and did computer stuff, it was back to work. We had a class on Effective Army Writing to start the day off. Then it was off to my Ops office for a quick e-mail check before heading to my new office. I am now in charge of Admin and will be in an E-7 position! I started my training from SH who is leaving in January and I’m taking over for him. Today was an overview of what goes on in Admin, some computer stuff, and forms. Not too bad – and I have a really good mentor to train me in there. I ate lunch in my Ops office and stitched and played on the computer as well. After lunch was spent in Admin again for most of the afternoon. I did go back to Ops to back brief the other SH so he knows what all I was working on and stuff. And then I was done for the day and headed home. I relaxed for a while and played on my computer. Ryan went and got Robert from school on the bike and then we made dinner together. Ryan made grilled cheese and I made jalapeno poppers to go with it. After we ate, we headed to Walmart for a few things and then home to read books and get ready for bed. After Robert was in bed, I crocheted on a baby blanket for a while. Off to bed now and hopefully I can get good sleep tonight and start getting better.

Today’s high: 68
Current: 52

An unproductive and sick day off

I got up this morning and got Robert’s lunch packed and his breakfast made and walked him to school. Then I went back home and did computer stuff for a little bit before heading back to bed. It was about 0830 or so when I went back to bed and I slept until a little after 1100. My throat was hurting a little last night when I went to bed and it was a lot worse this morning. And I keep having to blow my nose. And it feels like my head is going to explode. Talk about this coming out of nowhere. I felt a little better after I woke up the second time, but not much. I played on my computer until it was time to get Robert from school. After I had picked him up from school, we came home and got the laundry started and then went and did grocery shopping for the week. I had to go to a place here in town as the commissary is closed on Mondays. I don’t like shopping here in town – more expensive and I have no idea where things are in the store. We only had about 10 or so things on the list, but we had to go up and down just about every aisle to find everything. And it was like a zoo in there. I think everyone in Sierra Vista decided to go grocery shopping the same time I did. We finally made it out the door in not quite an hour. Ugh. At least Robert was well-behaved, unlike lots of the other kids in the store. And I thanked him for his good behavior once we got back to the car. Ryan was home when we got home (he had been helping with inventory at the Legion) and I got the groceries put away and the guys went and got the mail. Then we just relaxed and played for a while before heading to Golden Corral for free dinner. Today was their Veterans Appreciation Day, and all veterans got free dinner. Our total came to $4.01!! And we only had to wait maybe a half hour from arriving to sitting down at a table. Then it was home again and I got another load of laundry going while Robert cleaned up his toys and stuff. Then we read his books and he got ready for bed. After he was tucked in, I stitched for a while, and now I’m heading to bed as well. I have a PT test in the morning so I sure hope I’m feeling better.

Today’s high: 64
Current: 48

NASCAR Sprint Cup Race

This morning we got a better breakfast as we went to Denny’s after we checked out of the hotel. It was right next door to the hotel, so we didn’t even have to move the car. After we ate, we headed off to the racetrack again. We got parked and into the track and found our seats – we were only a few rows away from where we were yesterday. There were some not-so-fun fans near us, but some of them left before the race even started so it wasn’t too bad. The race was really good with only one sort of big crash (10 cars) and #48 Jimmie Johnson led the most laps AND won the race. Robert sure was excited that his driver won! #24 Jeff Gordon finished in 9th place. After the race, we got back to the van and out of the parking lot less than 30-45 minutes after the race ended. They’re parking/unparking system sure is good!! I think Michigan International Speedway needs to take a lesson from Phoenix. When we went to the Michigan race a few years ago, it took us over an hour to even get out of the parking lot. We got back on Hwy. 10 and headed home. We stopped for dinner at Cracker Barrel in Casa Grande and then continued on our way. We passed some of the race haulers on our way and we honked at each of them. We even got to pass Jimmie Johnson’s, Jeff Gordon’s, and Mark Martin’s!! We honked and waved out the windows at them. That was pretty neat getting to see them! Robert slept about the last hour and a half on the way home and barely woke up when we got home. I got him into bed and Ryan got the van unloaded and walked to get yesterday’s mail. Now I’ll be heading to bed as well so I can make sure I’m up in the morning to get Robert off to school.

Today’s high: 69 (Phoenix)
Current: 35 (Sierra Vista)

NASCAR Nationwide Race

This morning after we got up, we went to breakfast in the hotel lobby. I don’t even know if you can consider what little they did have even breakfast. We all managed to get enough to eat, but we’ve already decided that tomorrow morning we’ll be going to Denny’s to get a real breakfast. Then we headed off to the racetrack about 30 minutes away. We got there and got parked and headed toward the track. We walked around and looked at all the souvenir trailers and bought a few things. It tried to rain for about 10-15 minutes, but not really much. Then we went into the track and found our seats. I stitched for a while during final practice for the Sprint Cup race which is tomorrow. I was kind of disappointed – stitching at a NASCAR track and I didn’t hear any comments or see any funny looks. We had rented scanners, so we were able to hear what was going on – we can tune in to drivers’ teams and hear what they’re saying or tune to the TV announcers and hear them. So for the race today, we were tuned to the TV announcers. We rented 3 headsets with the scanner so we can all hear – they just get daisy-chained together. The race was good – only one crash that caused a red flag (total stoppage of the race) while they cleaned up the mess. I was happy that Carl Edwards won, but we didn’t get to see his "signature" back flip from his car as he broke his foot a few weeks ago. Getting out of the track parking lot was actually quite easy. They have a very good system down – it involves hundreds of traffic cones as well as people. We were back to the hotel probably less than an hour after the race was done. Then we walked next door to McDonald’s for dinner. And then once we were settled in our hotel room for the evening, we watched the last about 45 minutes of the Wizard of Oz and I stitched. Now I’ll be heading to bed soon as well.

Today’s high: 69
Current: 57

Short Day and Long Drive

Today was a typical Friday – at least for me. I got Robert’s lunch packed and breakfast made and walked him to school. Then it was home for some computer time before heading to work. After formation, which wasn’t really formation since all the Seniors were in a mock board, I headed to my Ops office where I spent the morning mostly playing on my computer. I did do a little bit of actual work, though. I was able to get the afternoon off – the band had marching band practice for the football game on Sunday, but I’m not on that gig. I headed home after stopping at the shoppette to top off the gas tank. I got laundry folded and suitcases packed and when Ryan got home from the Legion (he was helping them with inventory of stuff), he went and picked Robert up from school on the Harley and then dropped him off at home and went to the store for cat food. Once he was home again, we got the van loaded and we headed north to Phoenix. We stopped for dinner at Waffle House in Tucson – yay for my first time eating at WH since we left Georgia in April 2006!! Yummy! Then we continued on our way and got checked in and settled into our hotel in Phoenix. We made a trip to a CVS Pharmacy for a few things and then settled in for the evening. Robert played with his cars and trucks and Ryan and I played on our computers. I was too tired to stitch, but I stitched for an hour and a half and then when it got too dark, I knitted on a dishcloth using a reading light. I’m heading to bed now – 11 mile run in the morning.

Today’s high: 64 (Sierra Vista); 75 (Phoenix)
Current: 62 (Phoenix)

A (almost) nice day off

This morning I was up to get Robert’s lunch packed and breakfast made and walk him to school. Ryan was already long gone by the time Robert and I got up as he had a VA appointment in Tucson at 0800. After I walked Robert to school, I came home and got changed into running clothes and headed out for 7.05 miles in 1:22:59, an 11:46 pace. My second half of the run was almost 2 minutes faster than the first half. Yay for a negative split!! It was a little windy but not too bad – other than I was running into the wind both ways on the out and back portion of my route. Hmm. . . But it was a really good run – and I ran the whole way! Once home, I spent the rest of the morning relaxing. I had a lady from freecycle coming to pick up a box of stuff and she was originally coming around 1100. But then about 1230 I got an e-mail from her and she would be here between 1345 and 1400. Ok, fine. When the time came, I picked Robert up from school and we came to wait for the lady who finally showed up at 1430. Ugh. Why can’t people be on time? Once she left, we got ready and headed out to my nail place so I could get a manicure and pedicure. Robert was very well behaved and patient while I was getting my nails done. Boy was that nice having a little bit of pampering. After I was done, Robert and I went next door to Little Caeser’s to get a pizza and some crazy bread for dinner. Then it was home to eat. After we ate, I videoed Robert reading his books, but I’m having trouble uploading them to Facebook right now. Be patient and I will have them soon, hopefully. After Robert was in bed, I crocheted for a while.

Today’s high: 75
Current: 66

Happy Veterans Day!

If you didn’t take the time to thank a Veteran today, there’s always tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that.  In fact, any day is a good day to thank a Veteran.  But today was Veterans Day.  Our morning started rather early.  My ride was here about 7 – one of my friends from work picked me up and gave me a ride in as Ryan needed the van.  After formation at the band hall, we all got on the bus and headed to town to get ready for the Veterans Day Parade here in Sierra Vista.  We had some time and I was able to go see Ryan and Robert with the American Legion Riders for a bit.  They were only about 1/2 block from us in the staging area.  Robert was excited to wear his new Army uniform that I bought him (he outgrew his old one back at Ft. Drum).  Eventually the parade started and parade elements went by and more went by and still more went by.  Then it was finally our turn – Color Guard, the Band, and the other marching elements from post.  We were at the END of the parade.  HUH??????????  We should have been at the beginning of the parade.  We have no idea what the parade organizers were thinking – or even if they were thinking.  It is going to be looked into, though.  So we marched the parade.  From where we were staged to the actual start point was almost 1/2 mile.  Then the parade was about a mile and a half long.  And we played A LOT.  And it was about 70 out.  The park was a very welcome site and then we were told there was water for us behind our chairs!!  YAY!!  There was a short ceremony in the park and then we were done for the day.

Ryan had already been home to switch out the bike for the loaded van and was back at the park getting his Vietnam display set up for the Vietnam Veterans of America picnic.  They had asked him to do that!  I got the keys and took the van home and changed from my uniform into the Vietnamese black "pajamas" and then I headed back to the park to "be" part of Ryan’s display.  He was a little leery about me being in the VC "uniform", but it went over well, and I got compliments from lots of the Vietnam vets.  They all enjoyed Ryan’s display, and we got free food.  Ryan even won one of the door prizes.  Robert had fun playing with some of the other kids that were there.  We were there maybe 2-3 hours and boy were we tired when we got home.  While Ryan got the van unloaded and brought the borrowed tables back to the Legion, Robert worked on his chalk city in our driveway.  I helped a little bit.  It’s really cool!  Then we all came in and relaxed for a while before heading out to dinner.  We were going to go to Applebees for their free Veterans meal, but besides there being an hour and a half wait the selection for the free dinners was kind of small.  So we went to Schlotzky’s Deli instead.  Then it was home to play for a while, read books, and have bathtime.  After Robert was in bed, I crocheted for a while and finished the project I was working on.

Pictures of Ryan’s Vietnam Display

Robert’s chalk city

Today’s high:  79
Current:  61