Long Beach, California

This morning my guys drove me to work so they could have the van for the next few days.  The Brass Quintet left out for Tucson where we flew out of to go to Los Angeles.  I don’t think I’ll ever come here just to come here.  The traffic – UGH!!  6 lanes going in one direction on the freeway and everyone just GOES.  No thanks.  We are staying at The Westin – Long Beach and OH MY is it a NICE hotel.  Ok, nice isn’t even a good word to describe it.  It’s AMAZING!!!  I’m on the 9th floor and have a king sized bed all to myself.  I’ve taken a few pics so far – now to get them uploaded sometime.  After we had gotten checked in, we went and walked around for a little while and went to get a late lunch at a place that had the best burgers ever.  I had one with mushrooms and swiss on it and YUMMMMMM!!  Then the Operations guys went back to the hotel to drive to the ceremony site so they knew how long it would take and how to get there, etc.  The rest of us walked around for a while and I got to see the Pacific Ocean!  Rainbow Harbor is really cool, and I got a picture of the Queen Mary.  WOW!!!!  Then it was back to the hotel for a while and I finally got caught up on e-mail and stuff.  Then we went for dinner, but I was still full from lunch so I just had a cup of soup and water.  I’m about to head to bed now.

Another (not quite so) long day

I walked Robert to school this morning before heading to work.  After formation, we had a meeting with all the females to talk about stuff pertaining to female Soldiers.  Then we had Brass Quintet rehearsal until it was time to leave for the farewell luncheon.  Rehearsal went really well.  The luncheon was at Golden Corral and was pretty sad.  We said farewell to SH and JR.  S was the BQ group leader and he’s really taught me more about being a great NCO and how to take care of Soldiers.  He’s also a really good friend, and I’ll certainly miss him.  But I know that I’ll see him again someday.  After lunch we had weapons training at the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST).  That went well, and then it was back to the band hall for more BQ rehearsal.  Once rehearsal was done, we got our vehicle inspections done, and then I took care of admin stuff that needed to be done.  I was at work until a little after 5 and then I headed home.

Ryan got home from picking Robert up just after I did, and I got changed and then we headed back to post.  DW had asked if we would babysit their 2 boys and a boy and a girl of a friend of theirs, so we decided to bring Robert and have lots of kids to watch.  We got there and Robert started playing with their older son C right away.  But then their friend called and plans had changed and they would be able to watch all the kids, so we were relieved of our babysitting duties.  Robert was kind of sad he had to leave, but I let him pick where to go eat dinner.  He chose Buffalo Wild Wings, so that’s where we went.  After dinner we headed home and I got packed for my trip to California and after Robert was in bed, I stitched for a little bit.

Today’s high:  91
Current:  80

Busy and LONG day

This morning started off with me dropping Robert off at school on my way to work.  After formation, we had a Personal Assets Inventory (PAI) where we checked Soldiers’ ID cards, dog tags, and admin info.  It went really smoothly, especially thanks to the help of my 2 admin guys, JS and JA.  After the PAI was done, we had a mock promotion board for my Soldier, DW, who will be going to the real promotion board next month.  He did really well, although it wasn’t nearly as long as the real deal will be.  By that time, it was about 10 minutes to lunch time, and I had admin work to do, so I worked through lunch – work and eat.  I got quite a bit accomplished over lunch.  After lunch we had an awesome Brass Quintet rehearsal.  We got a lot accomplished and we had fun!  And then the day got long.  I have some Admin stuff that needs to be done before block leave and a couple of tasks that have to be to 1SG by the end of the day tomorrow.  Well, the BQ is going to California for 3 days, leaving Wednesday, and tomorrow is going to be as busy as today.  So I stayed at work until almost 1815 and got a TON of stuff accomplished!!  I only have one thing left to do tomorrow after BQ afternoon rehearsal.  I was tired when I finally got home, but it sure felt good getting so much accomplished.  We went to McDonald’s for supper so I didn’t have to cook.  And then when we got home, I crocheted for a little bit, but now I’m getting ready for bed and I’ll probably be asleep before 10.

Today’s high:  93
Current:  80

My first ride with the ALR!!

This morning we got up and went to early church at 0800.  Robert was sad because Krista (our intern) wasn’t there – she’s on vacation.  But the service was nice and Pastor was back from his vacation.  Oh, and we walked to and from church, per Robert’s request.  It’s only 1/4 mile, so not a bad walk at all.  We had a little bit of time before Robert and I walked to K’s apartment.  Robert spent the day hanging out with K and B and B’s kids M and C while Ryan and I went on a bike ride with the American Legion Riders.  We had 12 bikes and 16 riders.  We went from the Legion to a bar in Bisbee – went down a REALLY STEEP hill to get there.  By the time we got there, my butt was completely asleep.  I’m not used to riding long distances.  We stayed in Bisbee for maybe a half hour or so and then it was on to Tombstone to a bar/restaurant where we had lunch.  And then to the Legion in Tombstone for a little while, and then back home.  It was an awesome day!!  It was a beautiful day for a ride, and I really enjoyed both the ride and spending time with my Sweetie!!

Once back in Sierra Vista, we went to K’s apartment complex.  Robert had had a great time and they had spent most of the day in the pool at the complex.  Robert had lots of fun playing with M & C even though they are both older than he is.  I gave B & M flip flops that I crocheted for them, and they both loved them!  I’m thankful for a great friend like K is.  Then we headed home and relaxed and I made my weekly phone call home to Mom and Dad, and then after that we went to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream.  Once back home, we got Robert to bed and I stitched for a while.  I’m getting ready to head to bed soon as well – definitely before 10.

Here is a pic of the flip flops I made:
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Today’s high:  96
Current:  83


Today was a long day, but it went by pretty fast.  I dropped Robert off at Child Time on my way to work.  After formation, we had Brass Quintet rehearsal for a little over an hour and then we had an award ceremony and the Colonel came and presented a few awards – a coin to K, an award to a Soldier who was the Honor Graduate of his Advanced Leaders Course, and a PCS award for a Soldier who is leaving the unit.  Then First Sergeant had a meeting with all the shop heads and MPT leaders.  That ended up making some work for me that needed to be ready for first thing Monday morning, so I got that knocked out and then I finally left for lunch around 1315.  I relaxed for a little while at home and had some lunch and then it was back to the band hall for our BQ ceremony we had.  We had our usual focus warm-up time and then walked to where the ceremony was being held – at the gazebo on the end of the parade field.  The ceremony went well, and then we were done for the day.  And the week.  "Hell" week is now over!  I picked Robert up on my way home and after changing, we headed to the Legion where Ryan was working the steak dinner.  We had 2 coupons for free steak dinners, so that was nice eating for free.  It was good.  Robert stayed to help for a while and I went home and got the bike helmet for him and brought it back to the Legion and then went home again.  The guys got home about an hour after I did.  I stitched for a little more than an hour, and now I’m heading to bed.

Today’s high:  93
Current:  82

Two Ceremonies

This morning was a very EARLY morning.  K picked me up at 0530 and we headed to post.  We went early so we could get a parking spot – formation wasn’t until 0630.  The band got warmed up and I got my Drum Major stuff on.  We played for a Relinquishment of Command Ceremony – it’s kind of like a Change of Command, but the incoming officer isn’t there yet.  It was a VERY LONG ceremony.  I think it was the longest Sound Off I’ve ever done, or at least close to it.  We went through the march Bravura almost 3 times during the Sound Off.  And the Pass in Review took almost 15 minutes with all the troops on the field.  At least there were only 2 speeches during the ceremony, so that was good.  After that ceremony was done, BQ had about 10 minutes to get water and then we had our usual pre-gig focus rehearsal.  We didn’t play a whole lot since the guys had already done tons of playing during the first ceremony.  Then we headed off to where our gig was – at least it was indoors after being in the sun and heat for over an hour and a half already that morning.  That gig went well as well, and we all got coins from the new Post Command Sergeant Major.

Then it was back to the band hall and we were done for the day!!  I did a little bit of admin work and checked e-mail and stuff while waiting for Ryan to come pick me up on the Harley.  K had been snagged to play trumpet with the small ceremonial band for their second gig of the day so I was without a ride home.  After Ryan picked me up, we went to Subway for lunch and then it was home.  I took a shower and then a nap.  Then I went and got Robert from Child Time and Ryan headed to Tombstone for his monthly 40 & 8 meeting.  Robert and I had mac & cheese for supper.  After he was in bed, I stitched for a little bit.

Today’s high:  96
Current:  81

Busy Day

Today was a normal morning, so I was able to walk Robert to school before heading to work.  After formation, the BQ headed out to the gazebo and we finished up our Warrior Tasks & Drills training for the year.  That’s a good feeling having that done.  And while we were all together, we decided on a name for the BQ finally – Thunder Mountain Brass.  We are at Ft. Huachuca and the Huachuca Mountains are on post.  Huachuca means "thunder", so Thunder Mountain.  First Sergeant and Chief loved it!  After our training and naming was done, the junior Soldiers went and picked up trash in the area that we have to do that in, and I did some admin work.  I went and talked to 1SG for a while about a few things.  Lunch was spent at the home of D&DW.  We had filet mignon and potatoes for lunch.  WOW!  LOL  D is one of my Soldiers and he’ll be going before the promotion board soon.  One of the things the Sergeant Major always asks the supervisors is about their Soldier’s living conditions.  So D invited me over for lunch so I could see his house.  Lunch was very good and their house is very nice.

After lunch was Drill Band for a little while.  We went through one Sound Off and one Pass in Review and Charge and called it good.  We didn’t want to keep everyone outside in 95 degrees any longer than we had to, especially when we have a ceremony in the morning.  After Drill Band, we had BQ rehearsal until 1500 and then I headed home to get the guys before heading to the rodeo arena on post.  B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (Memorial) put on a Retreat Ceremony and horsemanship demonstration.  It was really cool to watch, and Robert sure enjoyed it!  We even got to go on the field after and Robert got to pet Cochise, one of the horses.  All of the horses in the unit are branded on the left front shoulder with "U.S." as they are U.S. Army property.  Once that was done, we stopped at Burger King on post for dinner and then home so Ryan could get to his Legion meeting.  Robert and I went to the Verizon store to take care of switching phone plans.  Then it was home to watch a little bit of TV and after Robert was in bed, I crocheted on his snake for a bit and then stitched.

Today’s high:  100
Current:  88

Graduation Ceremony

This morning was an early morning for the Brass Quintet again as we had a graduation ceremony to play at, and we had our usual warm-up/group focus time beforehand.  The ceremony went really well and then it was back to the band hall.  I spent the rest of the morning doing e-mails and other admin work.  I left for lunch a bit early as I had to pick Robert up from school at 1145 and Ryan was doing a PGR escort for an Active Duty Soldier.  Robert and I had lunch and then I brought him to Child Time on my way back to work.  I stopped at the post office and checked the Band’s post office box.  Then it was back to the office for the afternoon.  I checked up on some NCOERs, I learned how to submit them to Human Resources Command myself, I picked up all the leave forms for block leave, I answered some e-mails, I sent others.  And, of course, it seemed like everyone needed me for this, that, or the other.  At the end of the day, I headed home and picked Robert up on my way.  Ryan made grilled cheese for dinner and I made some mozzarella sticks.  We also had more fresh tomatoes from our Topsy Turvy planter!  Yum!  Then Ryan headed to a Caving Club meeting, and I was on a 3-way call with Rick and Mom & Dad.  That was fun!  And productive as well, talking about our phone-merging-into-one-family-plan stuff.  After Robert was in bed, I crocheted on his snake for a little bit.

Today’s high:  98
Current:  81

Happy Father’s Day!!

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad and to the wonderful father of my son, my Sweetie Ryan!!

The Legion Auxiliary did a breakfast buffet this morning – Fathers were free, so we went for that before church.  Ryan had a PGR escort mission for an Active Duty Soldier who was killed in Afghanistan, so he went to that and Robert and I went to church.  It was a good service and then we went grocery shopping after.  Once home, we had a nice relaxing afternoon.  I crocheted a couple of pairs of flip flops and played on my computer.  Robert built a huge train track running from his room all the way to the living room.  Ryan played on his computer.  We had an early dinner – Ryan grilled steaks and corn on the cob and we also had potato salad, fresh green beans (by fresh, meaning not cooked), and FRESH tomatoes from our topsy-turvy planter.  They were GOOOOOOD!!!!  Everything was really good.  Ryan called Mom & Dad as it was time to call and I was still eating.  Once I was done, I chatted for a while as well.  Then we went to Dairy Queen for ice cream.  Once we were home, Robert got ready for bed and after he was in bed, I stitched for a while.

Today’s high:  95
Current:  82

Brick Workout and an afternoon at the pool

Today was a much-needed sleep-in day!  I slept until about 0930 and then got ready and headed out for a brick workout.  A brick workout is either a swim followed immediately by a bike ride or a bike ride followed by a run.  I did a bike-run brick.  My bike ride was 15.53 miles in 1:11:37 and then I followed it with a 1.03 mile run in 11:18.  That was the most difficult mile I’ve ever run, I think.  I had to walk like 5 times.  I guess I should practice more of bike followed by run.  Of course, the bike ride was 3.5 miles longer than what I’ll do for my triathlon in 3 weeks.  My total workout for the morning was 16.56 miles in 1:22:56 and I burned 892 calories!!  It was about 85 degrees out when I started, but it was a great ride!

After I got back, I showered and refueled and played on my computer for a while before we headed out to post to go to the pool.  It’s a really nice outdoor pool and we had a great hour or so playing in the water.  Of course, Ryan did have to go remind a group of AIT students that it was a family pool and to watch their language.  But other than that, it was a ton of fun!!  We’ll definitely be going back many times this summer.

Then it was home to get changed and after a little while, we went to Golden Corral for dinner.  We decided to go out tonight for Father’s Day instead of fighting the crowds tomorrow.  We had a good dinner, but the service wasn’t so good.  Ryan had to about beg and plead to get refills on our drinks.  After dinner, we headed home and I got the laundry going and Ryan and I folded the laundry from last time.  Then I stitched for a couple of hours.  Now I’m getting ready to head to bed.

Today’s high:  96
Current:  79