Becky’s World

A Day in the Life of Becky

HAPPY TURKEY DAY

Happy Thanksigiving Everyone,
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family and friends. I know I am fortunate to have such a close family and amazing friends. I couldn’t so this without you, and you have been so supportive. Thank you!
Thankgiving in Iraq is very much like….no other. To be honest, it was another day at work. However, they did serve a large Thanksgiving lunch/dinner. I was impressed by the spread including: turkey, ham, stuffing, pie, shrimp and more. I even had egg nog, non-alcoholic of course. I was actually quite happy with it all….they don’t put onions in their stuffing here. Lucky me – they must know.
Sean said Thanksgiving at Steve’s was quite nice; Katie and Karen reported Thanksgiving with the Moody’s was great as usual. I did miss the home-made cherry pie. Oh, not to mention the many days after Thanksgiving when you can live off of leftover turkey and pumpkin pie.
So, a quick note on what else has been going on. My computer’s hard drive crashed last weekend. I am going to try and recover some of the data tonight. Luckily Sean and I went to buy an external hard drive when I was at home and had backed up some of the data not too long ago. I woke up last Sunday and poof, gone. So, lesson learned, back up and back up often. All is fine now. I have a working computer again and people have helped me out reloading and what not.
I am still running. I have run about 150 miles since I came back from leave. I realize this is not even close to what Sean runs, but it’s a start. I at least have to be able to warm up with him when I get home. 🙂
Time has been flying by. I feel it was just Halloween, now Thankgiving has passed and Christmas is just a month away. Yahoo!!
Normally, at home I would not be happy about this quickly passing time, but here – it’s great!! I am going to put the warning out that mail is going to take about 2 to 3 times as long to get here due to the large amount of mail coming through during the holidays.
Oh, and I missed the largest shopping day of the year. I guess that’s fine since I can’t stand going out into the craze anyway. Being over here has helped me appreciate online shopping a lot more. I shop netgrocer.com, target.com and drugstore.com for my basics – the stuff I should be able to get here, but alas can not. Thank goodness for the internet and all of you.
Hope your Thanksgiving was great!

November 25, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | Leave a comment

Change is Good….so they say.

They say change is good, but who are “they” anyway?
By the end of this week I will have a new job. I will be among the day-walkers and will have to leave my life as a vampire. That’s right, I will be seeing the sun and working days for the first time since I have been here.
I won’t lie, this makes me both excited and sad. It’s always so hard to leave what you know, what you have made efficient, and it’s always hard leaving beloved co-workers. There are quite a lot of benefits of working the night shift; public places aren’t busy, you have everything to yourself (telephone, internet, trailer, etc), and you don’t have to be around EVERYONE….
However, I am excited to see some people that I really haven’t seen for many months. I will get to eat lunch and dinner chow (which are the best and have the most options). And, I will get to spend time seeing the sun…during the coldest months here, so it’s won’t be so unbearable.
All in all, I know it will be just fine. There are so many worse things, and it will give me a change of pace that will hopefully make time go by faster. Can you believe that it’s almost Halloween? We joke that we will trick-or-treat as civilians this season – what ever it takes to get by.

October 23, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | Leave a comment

Becky and Billy Blanks

Becky and Billy Blanks, originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

So, who knew that all I had to do was come to Iraq to meet Billy Blanks. Billy Blanks and one of his instructors, Julieann Hartman, were here on base the 3rd and 4th of this month for their Mind and Body Tour. They lead 2 classes, met many people and had a great time.
As many of you know, I lead the Tae Bo classes here on base – have been since April, twice a week. I have been doing Tae Bo since leaving my karate classes to go to college. It keeps me in shape and maintains my muscle memory for kicks and punches.
Anyway, I attended both classes he held. That meant going to class, going to work, then back to class. It was intense. He is so full of energy and full of spirit. The classes were about 1 1/2 hrs long and very fast paced. He started out teaching the basics, then moved into an intense workout, cool down, then he had a question and answer period at the end.
He starts all workouts with a prayer, which I really liked. He is very spiritual and encourages everyone to find their higher power and use that to improve yourself and strengthen your core. He talked about separating yourself from your body, committing yourself to getting your body in shape. He also talked about how easy it is to give into your senses. Your senses will try and get your body to not do things, tell your body that it’s too hard or that you should stop. He wanted us to strengthen ourselves, with that, we can do anything.
So, needless to say I am very sore. Yikes. It’s like I felt after doing the original hour workout for the first time (Madison rommies and Sean know what I am talking about for sure). I feel great inside though. Meeting him was huge for me. I always wanted to go to LA and attend his classes. For me he was the one celebrity that I really wanted to meet in my life and, check and check, done. He even has my address here. He requested it to send some of his new videos. Hee Hee. Billy has my address.
Some have asked if he was wearing his infamous spandex. The answer is no, he has camouflage shorts that he wore with a tank top. That’s the skinny on his wardrobe. And he looks great, as you can see from the photo (a few more posted to my flickr site, click on icon). He is something like 50 years old and is incredible shape; it’s very inspiring.
So, that’s my brush with fame. It was GREAT!

October 5, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

Home…Sweet Home

Night Crew, originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

Overall the time here has been going quickly; I just hope that lasts. I have good people to be with and have learned a lot, but I am excited to come home. When I do come home for my leave, I will get the opportunity to see some of you, but not all. Of course when I get home for good I will see all of you, but this leave is short and I want to ensure to spend time with my husband for sure. So, please don’t feel I don’t love you because I didn’t get the chance to see you. Of course I am most excited to see Sean, family and friends…and Bailey, but it’s there are so many little things at home that I am excited for also. Such as:
o A solitary shower. One where I do not have to see many others or hear their stories (although some are very interesting) – not to mention being able to shower barefoot and not have to carry everthing to the shower with me.
o Choosing to wear what I wish. There are bonuses to not having to figure out what to wear everyday, but I am excited to wear something other than the 2 uniforms I can choose from.
o Green….seeing colors other than gray, tan and black. Sean said the garden was looking great, and I can’t wait to walk on the grass, smell the flowers and look up at trees. I think I am equally excited not to walk on rocks…sand and rocks.
o Sleeping when the sun is down. I think my body won’t quite know what to do, but I am sure it will figure everything out.
o Driving a car….watch out Twin Cities, it’s been a while and I miss driving the Honda.
o Traveling where I wish when I wish. I don’t have to put on body armor or carry my weapon. I can just decide to go and leave. I don’t have to tell anyone or get approval. What will I do?
o Not having to work everyday…..need I say more?

There are a few things though that I am used to and may have to convince Sean I am ‘too used to”, such as turning my laundry in and having it returned the next day all clean and folded, having omlettes made every morning if I wish, and being in control of all electronics, such as TV, music, computer (with the trailer to myself during the day). We’ll see about that one.

August 16, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

ZIGGURAT Tour…..The House of Prophet Abraham

ZIGGURAT
Originally uploaded by beckydanaher.
Being this is the oldest place on earth people have lived, we decided to broaded our horizons. Last week we were able to visit the House of the Prophet Abraham and the Ziggurat. We took a tour and learned a lot. There are many sites very close to each other that we walked around to.

First off, this picture is of the Ziggurat. This was a place of worship; it allowed for the people to become closer to the moon. There is nothing inside only stairs to take to get to the top. We climbed, we saw, we conquired.

After this we saw the oldest arch on earth….ever found. It’s been reinforced, but very cool to see. Near there are the tombs of kings. We were able to even walk into one. It was very dark and dusty. It creeped me out thinking people have died in there. In those times they buried the kings servant in with him….alive. We also saw hieroglypics on the stones by the tombs. I have uploaded pictures of all of this.

Lastly came the best part of all, the house of the Prophet Abraham. It’s actually on the original floor, but the walls had to be rebuild. It’s quite large. You will see pictures of the doorways, shelves and views from on top. You can take the stairs to walk on top of the walls, hence the maze-like views in some of the pictures.

It was an amazing experience. It was unreal to think I was walking on the same ground that Abraham and his wife Sara did. And be assured, we did sing “Father Abraham, had many sons….”

July 22, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

Growth in the Desert – and an Escape out the Window


Growth….in the Desert
Originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

This is my plant. It’s the only green living thing here. So, it makes me so happy. Thanks to the Axners, I have a little green life in my trailer. It’s wonderful. Plus, I have something to nurture and tend to.

A quick story for you: Well, you see….Beachem (my roommate) and I each have a key to our trailer. They look the same. We also have 2 hooks that we hang said keys on by our door. It has happened on occasion that we take each other’s key. Luckily, we have left a key for the other…just not in eyes sight. We eventually find the other’s key – it’s sort of like a treasure hunt.
Well, early this morning my dear roommate visited me at work. She had to get up early to run an errand. She woke up and found herself without key. And, oh, we lock the door at night, so naturally I locked the door behind me when I left last night. I LOCKED MY ROOOMMATE IN OUR TRAILER. How horrible of me. I feel terrible. Thank goodness she was able to get out…..through the window. She took off the screen and climbed out the window…and it’s not really close to the ground. Needless to say I feel awful.
She it so cool and doesn’t seem angry or anything. I guess we need to label our keys or something. My key was in the trailer, just conveniently hidden in my PT pants pocket, probably the only spot she didn’t look.
I am so lucky to have such an understanding cool roommate!

July 10, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | Leave a comment

The Gator that Died

Being that this base is pretty small, the means of communication are limited to: your own sturdy legs, shuttle bus (which takes longer than walking), HMMWV, or Gator. The gator is a 2 person small get-around type vehicle, similar to a golf-cart. Being that I work nights, I don’t end up driving this around too often – or at all. So, the other morning I needed to wake another soldier up quickly, requiring me to take the gator to our living area. Slightly nervous, I ask if there is ANYTHING I should know about driving this. I know it’s a pretty simple task, but felt knowing myself well enough something would happen. So, I was told, no problem, get in, turn the key and drive. Sounds pretty simple to me. So, I put my kevlar on, grab my weapon, key and off I go. I turn out of the parking lot, get onto the main drag, am right in front of the chow hall (busiest place at this morning breakfast hour) and it stalls. First, makes this horrible grinding noise and stalls. Eyes all on SSG Gerboth and her stalled gator as she tries to get it off to the side of the road since buses are going to come up behind her. Sweet I think….but, it starts again, yahoo! We’re off again. How very odd I think. Drive, drive, drive, I get about 1 block further and it stalls again. What is going on? I then proceed to get out and push the gator to the side of the road. People are walking to work on the sidewalk next to me……not imbarrasing at all. I get it to start one more time and finally make it to my living area, stalls again, get out and notice……I am running this gator on fumes. There is no gas……at all! The gauge is bone dry when I pull it out. So, I wake up who I needed to, then went on a hike around, trying to find the fuel point or someone with gas for this gator, which is more difficult than is sounds since most things run on disel here. Needless to say, I walk back to work. My roommate saves the day by driving me to get fuel, then back to my gator (in her gator). We fill it up using a water bottle (cut off) as a funnel….getting a bit on my boot….then, all is good. Whew. What a morning. The whole adventure that should have lasted 20 min was a 3 hour ordeal.Leasons learned:
1. Always check any vehicle for fuel before driving
2. Always know where the nearest fuel point is
3. Never trust anyone who says “it’s simple, just get in and go”

Have a great 4th of July!

July 3, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

SUNRISE IN THE DESERT


SUNRISE IN THE DESERT
Originally uploaded by
beckydanaher.
I received in an email, not that long ago, something that really stuck with me. It was in a forward I actually read instead of letting it pile up with the rest, then deleting it. It was a story about loss and love. It talked of appreciating what we have now, because we really don’t know what we will have tomorrow. And, even if tomorrow is better than today, we should appreciate tomorrow that much more. It stressed saying “I love you” today instead of later, doing that special thing now instead of procrastinating. It really opened my eyes to life and what a great gift it really is.
With recent events here, it’s been hard to cope and justify some actions. Life is such a simple thing we all take for granted. It’s so precious that we don’t even know it’s there sometimes because it’s so quiet. Yet, we abuse it by never being satisfied with its current status and always hoping for tomorrow’s improvement. We wish it to speed up at times then can’t seem to slow it down. It seems like a constant, yet it’s so fragile, that it can be blown away, never to be seen again on this earth.
So, what do we do? I say, tell those loved ones that they are special in your life. Go out of your way and do those things that you always think you should. Life is too short to make a list of good deads we should do. It’s more meaningful to do a couple, than think of many.
Call that person that may need a little extra caring, hug that person that may need it, and spend time with those that you love.
Please pray for the family members and friends of those soldiers that are no longer with us.

June 17, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

Sand, Rocks and Camels


Camels, camels and more camels
Originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

The joke goes: if God sent Abraham out of this place, why would we knowingly return?

There isn’t much to this land. I guess it was nice pre-Sadam, but now it’s just sand sand and more sand. However, in the living and working areas they dump large amount of rock to keep down the sand. When the sand starts-a blowen, it’s pretty nasty. So, the rocks seem like a great idea; however, if I never have to walk on rocks again in my life – I would be OK with that.

I now understand the plagues from the bible. Here, all the insects come in spurts, then get replaced by the next jumping, crawling, creapy thing. There were flies before, locusts, then these huge monster bugs. Ok, not moster bugs like Star Ship Troopers, but too big for my liking. Luckily, they are stupid monster bugs because you mostly see them turtlebacked baking in the sun.

Even with the boring scenery, there is some fun. And what’s more fun than seeing a hurd/pack/pod of camels running past your convoy? They are the silliest looking animal, all clumsy and drunk looking. I think God must have been in a really goofy mood when creating this creature. I find it amuzing, and that’s refreshing. Now, they can’t really compete with the monkey for first place, but definatly a very close second.

What a place…..

June 12, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment

I Love Trailers!


Trailer. Original Set Up – My 1/2
Originally uploaded by beckydanaher.

Greetings from my trailer. That’s right, I am in my trailer and writing to you from the internet hooked up in my trailer. How connected am I? So, this picture pretty much shows you half of the trailer; I share the other half with my wonderful roommate. The only issue is that I don’t ever see her since we work opposite shifts. The crazy thing is, I have been yearning for some time to myself for about 6 months. Now that I have it, I get a little lonely. Who would have thunk such a thing? 🙂

This is my bed, locker, rug I bought at the haji-mart and pictures of all my loving friends and family. This way I can see your smiling faces anytime I wish. We also have a desk, mini frig, microwave and TV – not to mention the AC and the internet. So, yeah, we are set. It’s been over a week and we are already thinking about moving things around. You know me, I really have to have it the most efficient way possible. I realize my flaw and am OK with it.
The cool thing about this trailer is that all the walls are metal, so I magnatize everything. It’s a cool feature I never thought I would like so much. What a nerd huh.

Well, I just worked out, I am heading to the shower trailer, then going to bed. Tonight my shift is going to the only restaraunt on post. It’s Italian and we are going for the first time. We waiting until now, so we didn’t go to everything on post in the first week, then have nothing to look forward to. So, it’s a pretty exciting evening. Tah Tah.

May 29, 2006 Posted by | Iraq Deployment | 1 Comment