Saturday, September 10, 2005

More Than A Week!

So sorry dear bloggers -- I know it's been more than a week since my last post. I've been working some long hours, and it seems I never get a chance to get to the internet cafe. What a week it's been!!

The detachment we replaced finally was able to get on a plane and head home. They're all back in the U. S. now, and after some outprocessing will be home with family and friends. It was good to work with some of them :) -- but thankful to see some of them end their year-long tour!

I learned a few things this week. #1 During a dust storm, don't engage in conversation while outdoors. It gets tiring attempting to spit the sand out of your mouth. #2 Don't apply fresh chapstick (which is a normal routine in the dry desert heat) just before you walk outside into a dust storm. $%^ sand sticks to your lips, and you have a devil of a time wiping if off! Seriously, we had two days of dust this past week. The sky is a light brown; not that it's ever a bright blue here. The wind blew like crazy and it was difficult to see. I'm thankful for the concrete building that I spend most of my time!!

It's been cooling down some -- high temps are usually around 108 or 109. The mornings are very nice, and almost feel too cool -- usually in the high 80's to low 90's. Today was special -- it got to 114. I kept hoping the temperatures would cool down once we got into September -- wrong!!

Speaking of September -- I've been here for 29 days now!!! Tomorrow we're having our "patch ceremony". To all of you non-militaries, once you've been in a combat zone for a 30 day period, you not only wear your Unit patch on your upper left sleeve -- you wear the patch you served in combat on your upper right sleeve. We have a count-down wheel here, and to date we've served 9% of our time here! It is amazing that the time has really gone so quickly.

I got a new bike -- actually two of them!! The one bike that the Colonel left for me, and another one. Her bike was a racing bike that had the racing handlebars and a skinny little seat. It nearly killed me the first time I rode it -- I ended up walking the last 1/2 block back to the office!!! I donated that bike to my office and we keep the key where anyone can find it; use it, and put it back for the next one. It's certainly not going to go to waste. I found another bike at the PX. It was the last one. It's a real blast from the 60's. Old fashioned handle bars, a wide (and most comfortable) seat, fenders!, wide white-walled tires, and the strangest part -- it's pink. Not just any pink. Most would call it Barbie Pink. I like to refer to it as "litte girl pink". I'm not a pink person, all of you know that -- but it was the only one without the funny handlebars and the skinny little seat!!! I love it -- In Chip's honor (my little dog), I even put a basket on the front of it. I promise pictures!!!

I got my hair cut yesterday, and ended up going to the barber shop. Probably the best haircut I've ever had -- and the best part is -- paid only $5.25. Guys have it made. Same type of hair, mine is cut short, and they pay about 1/3 the price the gals pay. I'd heard that most of the ladies here with short hair were using the barber -- so I did too!!! It's short, but it's just hair, and it will grow back!!!

I'm moving out of the tent tomorrow and moving into a real room! It's not huge, but will be comfortable. My roommate is a Captain from our unit. She lives in Pennsylvania and we get along well. She works nights and I work days. In the past month I've seen her maybe four times, so it will definitely work out well. The best part about the room is that it's right next door to the office building. That will be good.

Ed keeps me updated frequently about the new house. Things are moving along very quickly and he takes pictures real often and emails them to me. The inside brick work is done and it looks sharp. Texture is done. The kitchen cabinets were delivered and should go in this week. Move in time will be sometime in October! I'm thankful the girls are there to help him out.

Tom and Sarah were home in San Antonio over Labor Day weekend, and all of them had a great time together. They sent me pictures of the five of them together and I was able to print one and put it on my desk!!!

I best go to dinner. Missed lunch and my tummy is talking to me.

Til later ~~ Love, Candy

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thoughts on a Friday Night

Wow -- where did August go?! The next time I see the month of August, I'll be preparing for a trip back HOME.

Speaking of home, all of my family (along with a few friends) will be in San Antonio this weekend. I'm jealous, albeit thankful that they get to spend a weekend together! Have fun!!!

Life here is busy. I really thought I would have time to take on-line college courses. Maybe by the Spring Semester, things may slow down a bit! I hope. Actually, the volume of work helps the days (and nights) move by rapidly. BOG = 20 days! To my non-military friends and family, BOG stands for Boots on Ground! The past two nights I never got out of the office until after 10 p.m. But, without a home, and no purpose to hang out in my tent, I'd rather stay at the office. I'm excited about the possibilities of innovation and what I can do to help the transportation units here. It's going to be a good assignment.

We have multiple stores here at the camp, that are brought here by AAFES. AAFES is the Army/Air Force Exchange Service -- which provides the Main PX and little shoppette stores around all Army and Air Force Installations. Their motto is "We go where you go"! And they have, they're here with many, many civilian employees that work in the stores here. A slight problem -- apparently it's difficult to get American coins here. I'm sure it's costly to ship them overseas. So....the AAFES system has created "money". They're heavy-weight little cardboard-like discs (remember the old pogs that kids collected?) and they value anywhere from 5 to 10 to 25 cents each. Forget the pennies! They round up or down, whichever the case is; in the event the cash drawer doesn't have any pennies. We don't always get the pogs for change, just when the cash drawer gets low -- which is quite often. I thought it interesting.

The temperature was a mere 116 today. Yesterday, we had a cool spell -- the high was only 103!

Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I love my popcorn. I'd eat it for every meal of the day if it was deemed REAL healthy -- but it's not THAT healthy; so I limit myself to once or twice a week. The Rec Center has a popcorn popper cart (similar to the one we're going to have in our house! -- hint to Ed) and each evening they make fresh popcorn.

They really are trying to make it as pleasant as possible for everyone who's here.

Wherever this Labor Day Weekend takes you, please be safe. Please keep the friends and families of those suffering from the tragedy in New Orleans in your thoughts and prayers.

Til later ~~ Love, Candy