Catchin up – Part 1: 12-18 Dec

Yikes! I've gotten a bit behind on this. I'll try and get you caught up week by week.

Monday, 12 Dec began a busy last week of work before block leave. Monday morning we had our final rehearsal for our caroling group. Monday afternoon we attended the mandatory Holiday Safety Briefing. It was pretty much the same as last year. And the year before that.  But at least we got it out of the way early in the week.  We spent all day Tuesday and Wednesday going out caroling around post. We went to 8 different places on Tuesday and at least that many on Wednesday. It was a pretty tiring 2 days, but it was a lot of fun and totally worth it. Many of the places we went to, there was at least one person that commented that we made their day. We went to places like the food courts (shoppette and PX), clothing sales, Central Issue Facility, the commissary, and various offices and other buildings.  Thursday we had a lunch gig for caroling at one of the large buildings on post – they had potlucks by each section and we went through the whole building, playing by pretty much every table of food. We got a few munchies to eat along the way as well. 

Thursday evening was our unit holiday party.  It was a lot of fun – lots of great food (I cooked one of the turkeys). The band "family" has A LOT of kids, with many of the families having 2-4 kids. I got to meet some of the wives that I've not met before, and of course Thomas was a hit in his Santa suit pj's!! It was a great way to end the year before block leave, although we did have formation Friday morning, but that was just for Chief's safety briefing, handing out of leave forms, and finishing up vehicle inspections. 

Saturday morning was Robert's final rehearsal for the Sunday School Christmas program and the program was Sunday morning. The kids did a really great job, and Robert said his lines very nice and clear. If you want to watch the program, you can do so here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sierra-evangelical-lutheran-church

Stay tuned for Part 2: 19-25 Dec. . . .

Go to http://pages.teamintraining.org/dm/pfchangs12/laniyearicks to help move my dollar sign down the road!!

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Rest in Peace, Sweet Shadow

Not long after I had posted my last blog, Ryan called from the vet. Shadow had gotten a blood clot that went in her lungs and heart. She wasn't getting any blood flow to her back legs at all and barely any to her front legs. She probably wouldn't have made it to morning, and since she was already under anesthesia so they could do x-rays and other tests (they anesthetized her because she was freaking out and they needed to calm her down), we decided to do the humane thing and have her put to sleep. At least she didn't spend her last hours suffering, and Ryan was right by her side. Shadow crossed the Rainbow Bridge early Monday morning last week.

I didn't go to work on Monday because Ryan had the van, and the van had my ID card and wallet in it. Thomas and I had a nice day of snuggling at home.  When Ryan got home later that afternoon, that's when we told Robert. He took it pretty hard at first, but then he came up with a really good idea while we were discussing looking for a place to bury Shadow. He asked why we didn't cremate her. What a great idea! That way she'll always be with us. I think it helped with closure for Robert that he got to pet her and say goodbye – Ryan had brought Shadow home in a little cardboard kitty "coffin" from the vet. Luckily it was pretty chilly all week, so having her body in the garage wasn't too bad while we worked out the cremation details with the vet and Ryan had time to bring her back up to Tucson on Thursday.

Wednesday was our band Holiday Concert, so the morning was spent setting up and decorating the performing arts center and then I went for a run in the afternoon. The concert went really well Wednesday evening. I was Mrs. Claus and Robert was an elf. I sat in a rocking chair before the concert greeting the audience as they entered and then during the concert, Little Elf and I helped Santa hand out candy canes. It was a lot of fun.

Thursday morning I went for a run since we didn't have to be in to work until after lunch. After lunch we had caroling group rehearsal. I'm part of a small brass choir that will be going around. It was a fun rehearsal and should be fun going caroling around post next week.  Friday morning was a Garrison awards ceremony and that's pretty much all we did for the day.  Friday afternoon I did my long run for the week. I had 2 1/4 hours on my schedule, but I was completely out of gas after 1 3/4 hours. I hadn't eaten enough – all I'd had was a bowl of oatmeal, a piece of peanut butter toast, and 2 string cheese sticks for breakfast, and that was like 5 hours before I ran. And I think I may have started out too fast. Lessons learned. . .

Saturday was a busy day. I had Choir Cantata rehearsal in the morning and I took Thomas to that since Ryan was helping with breakfast at the Legion. Robert went with him. Then we had a Holiday Party on post for the boys that was put on by the Vietnam Veterans of America. It was a lot of fun and the boys got to see Santa and got really cool presents. Thomas got a light up train from Thomas the Train (he got Percy) and Robert got a small Lego kit and a guitar. Yes, a real guitar, but small sized. Hopefully he'll learn to play it. Once we got home from the party, we were all tired, so we just relaxed the rest of the day.

This morning was church twice for me since we did our Cantata at both services. In between, I got Robert to Sunday School for Christmas Pageant rehearsal. After church was lunch and a little bit of grocery shopping before coming home to watch football and relax.

Time for bed now. Tomorrow begins my last week of work before Christmas leave, and it'll probably be a busy week with safety briefings and going around caroling.

Go to http://pages.teamintraining.org/dm/pfchangs12/laniyearicks to help move my dollar sign down the road!!

Getting back into a routine

Yes, I'm writing and posting this in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping. In fact, I was almost asleep when Ryan came in the room and told me that something was wrong with my kitty Shadow. I go in the other room where she is and, yes, something is definitely wrong. It looked like she had eaten part of a magazine and she was breathing really fast and wheezing and meowing like something awful. In the process of getting her away from the magazines, she bit my hand several times, but I'll be fine. I called our vet cuz I thought they had 24 hour emergency services. Well, they have an answering service (kind of like a pet 911) and the nearest 24-hour vet is in Tucson. It's almost $700 for a animal ambulance transport from Sierra Vista to Tucson, so Ryan took Shadow in the van. As I write this, he should be about 20 minutes out from the vet, and I'm not going to be able to sleep until I know my kitty is going to be taken care of and hopefully ok. So I figured I might as well write a blog post while I'm waiting.

My second week back to work went pretty well. I'm starting to get into the swing of things of getting Thomas and myself ready for daycare and work, getting him to daycare and then me to work on time. Work has been pretty laid back since the band is getting ready for our Holiday Concert and I'm not playing. I'll be Mrs. Claus, and there really isn't any rehearsal necessary for that. So I've been taking care of supply stuff and the few purchases that need to be made and practicing my trombone a little bit. Of course, it didn't help that I ended up with a sinus something-or-other and I was stuffed up and miserable for a couple of days – that made it REALLY hard to play. When your head already feels like it's going to explode and then you try and play a trombone, that's not a good combination. But at least I still remember how to play (it's been since the middle of July)!

Sierra Vista's Holiday Parade was Saturday evening and I was one of the 3 drivers for that. After we dropped the band off at the parade start point, we headed to the finish area and after I parked, I walked to where Ryan was with the boys (they walked about 1/2 mile since I had the van) and hung out with them until the band got to us. The Grand Marshal for the parade was all the Fire Departments in the area that helped with the big fire in the mountains back in June. That was really cool with all the fire trucks with them honking their horns and doing their sirens and stuff. A few tears escaped from my eyes.  Thomas did really well with the fire trucks and the noise. He did wake up but he didn't cry at all.  Once the band got to us, I headed back to the parking lot and once everyone was loaded up, we headed back to post. After I got the vehicle turned in, I headed home and saw that the guys weren't home yet so I went and parked at our church and walked back to where they were. I got back there just in time to see Santa Claus at the end of the parade. Ryan was thankful that I was there as he didn't have to walk all the way back home with his bad knees.

This morning was church and we were planning on going to the early service as that's when the choir was singing. But when my alarm went off, I realized that wasn't happening. You see, I had my alarm set for 0730 for Saturday and I kind of forgot to change the time. So when my alarm went off at 0730 this morning, there definitely wasn't enough time for me to get ready and to church by 0730 for choir warm ups. Oops!  But I did get Robert to Sunday School for 0930 – they're rehearsing for their Christmas program – and then we went to the 1100 service. After church we went to our local Mexican place for lunch and then out to the commissary for some grocery shopping for the week.  The rest of the afternoon was spent watching football (YAY for my Packers being 12-0!!!) and I even cross stitched for a little while during one of Thomas' naps. I made my weekly phone call home to Mom & Dad and then we had chef salads for dinner. It was a good day, until Ryan came and woke me up for Shadow.

Go to http://pages.teamintraining.org/dm/pfchangs12/laniyearicks to help move my dollar sign down the road!!