Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

Good day for Jason and the family. We started the day out with a trip to the zoo, right after breakfast. We didn't spend too many hours there, and were, in fact back to the house by noon. But I'm getting ahead of myself. When we got to the zoo we simply walked in and found a path that we could easily walk down. The girls loved it in the reptile area and then over to the tanks of water, where an alligator lived and right next to it another tank where a couple of pygmy hippos lived, both tanks were also filled with all kinds of fish. The alligator came right up to the glass and looked awesome. The hippos didn't seem to want to move at all and were kind of basking in the sun. From there we walked on over to the gorilla area, and got some very close up views of the different gorillas living there. The zoo guides (they were all over the place) said that this was the bachelor enclosure, and most of the gorilla were younger - and it showed. However, even with all these very interesting places to visit, the most interesting of them all was the Orangutan area. These are truly amazing animals, with strong social skills. The sad thing is that they are endangered in the wild and there isn't much being done to help that situation, other than programs sponsored by private persons and organizations. The governments of the world are doing very little to help - it is truly a sad situation.

We also got a chance to walk through a couple of the aviaries and get up close to a couple of the exotic birds that live at the zoo. Many of them are just absolutely beautiful in their colors, and we attempted to take some pictures, though I don't know how they all came out. We were done with most of our wanderings by 11:30 and Jackie was very much looking like she wanted to take a nap. She came over and climbed up on Grandpa and put her head down on my shoulder, and just rested. When this happened I looked at Linda and said, "I think its time to go." So we did.

We came back home and had a nice lunch, and the girls went to take a nap. Later in the day, after they were back up they went out back to play and ride their scooters, so they still were pretty active, and they stayed away from the TV. Not much else happened, other than the monitor of my computer acting up a bit. For some reason have the screen is looking very poorly. I'm going to have to get some help with this tomorrow, to see if I can get it corrected, or if something else has to be done. Fortunately we have two other computers in the house now, so I can always get on line. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31, 2014

Yesterday and today were pretty much laid back days for Jason, though we did go to Costco for a little shopping, today. Jason is attempting to get more "down" time to allow for more healing of his open wounds, and from the way they looked today I'd have to say that there is some good from this strategy. We're looking for laser treatment in September, and that should help brings back under control, so we are all looking for a positive out look for this treatment.

On another note, and probably why I should have posted yesterday, Jason is now a civilian again. He officially retired as of about noon yesterday. He is now a retired Marine and will be enjoying all the benefits associated with that situation. Fortunately, because he is retired and the situation of his retirement, he is allowed to continue most of his medical needs with the hospital at Balboa. We have begun the process of getting his records being fully tracked by the VA now, and his pay to be coming from the VA, however we understand that it can take months before both are completed. Yes, we have been working some of this for months already, but a large portion of it can not get fully going until after he retires. Let's hope that the "front" work we did helps to get things moving more quickly.

Tomorrow is Labor Day, and we plan on just staying around the house - though there is talk of going to the zoo, and we think the girls will be happy about that. They should be here at the house around 08:00. Other than that we expect a nice relaxed day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay  positive.

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

Not much to write about today, with regard to Jason's healing and wound care activities. He is doing well and he went to physical therapy this morning, he filled, or I should say refilled some of his prescriptions and then we head on back home. Actually, there was a stop at Navy Fed Credit Union for a personal errand, and then another one at the housing office over here by the house. Because it is so close to the house he asked me to just drop him and Gracie off, and he would walk her home when he was finished. On his way back to the house he stopped by our mail box and picked up the mail, and then he was home.

By now is was after 12:00 and all of us were hungry, so I wanted to put something together quickly. I grabbed the bread and peanut butter and started to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when Jason asked, "Have you ever had peanut butter and honey?" I had to admit that I had not, and thought the idea was interesting. I told Jason we did have some honey, and I'd be happy to make him one (I still wanted my PB&J - We have strawberry preserves, my favorite). That was pretty much lunch for the two of us, as Linda is sticking with her diet and doing an outstanding job of not wavering from it.

There were a few more errands that had to be taken care of, like going to the bank and post office, as well as some clean up around the house, but otherwise we didn't do much else. I did go and pick up the girls from school today (about 15:00), and that was sort of last minute, but that was fine by me. Their mom, who would have normally picked them up, was unable to today and asked Jason if we could do it for her. She came by the house a little later (I think about 16:30). Like I said, not much else going on, and we just relaxed and worked on a few things at the house. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28, 2014

Today was one of those days where Jason did not have any appointments and spent most of the day in bed. I wish he would spend more time in bed, to allow the wounds to heal, but he is that kind of guy who wants to get out and take care of things. He recognizes that he needs to let his body heal, yet he also wants to get out and do things, like most of us. Anyway, he took time to clean some of the equipment he has and to just play a little with Gracie. The rest of the day was in bed.

I got up and went for a nice bike ride. It wasn't too long, as I am still trying to build up to that, and Linda wanted to do a few things that required my involvement. I also was able to put some time in on Stand Up and Play, and the Quick Books work that I am doing for them. The fun part is that I am continually learning new things and still finding out QB can be used.

This evening Linda and I went over to see our cats, and they are doing great. Glenn, Anne and their son, Nick are doing a great job of being a foster family for Pumpkin and Candy (the cats), and we feel lucky to have connected with them. They also have a son, Nick, who is also in Scouting. He has reached the rank of Eagle Scout, and is having his Court of Honor, early next week. We have been invited to this event, and Jason is looking forward to going. It will be good to get in to a setting of a bunch of Scouters having a good time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27, 2014

Today was what you would call a RED Letter day for Jason, as there was a bunch to get done and generally a very busy day for all of us. The girls were up early, and actually Stacy came up and made sure we were awake by 06:30. The past couple of days we've had to go down and get her up, closer to 07:00, so today was particularly nice. Both Jackie and Stacy were up and ready to head out to school, by 07:40, and Linda and Jason were ready to get them there. Linda was doing what I would normally be doing because I had my own appointment with the VA, at 08:00. Right after dropping the girls off Jason was off to his first appointment, and this is where it really gets good.

Jason's first appointment was with the DMV, and Linda had to get him over to the Scripts Vehicle Training Center, so that he could take the driving assessment in their vehicle (The DMV wants those who are testing to take the test in their vehicle - and Jason was totally fine with that). Jason took the test and passed with a score of 100%, and then again, what else would you expect from him. The driving test took about 30 minutes or so, and Gracie was so very happy to see him when he got back. Linda was holding on to Gracie during the test and she basically whined the entire time Jason was gone (Gracie did, not Linda).

There were a couple of other appointments for Jason, thought in comparison, not as important. With the passing of this event, Jason can now officially get his truck and drive himself around town. I suspect that it will still be a little while before he does much driving, but I expect him to build up to longer drive times, quickly enough. We all got back to the house at about the same time, this afternoon and we had a nice little lunch together. I had a couple of appointments also, and both of them worked out fine. The only down side is the amount of time I have to extend with the VA, sometimes. The head of the section where I went to did apologize to me and gave me a different number to call, if I need to come back in. This is supposed to help with getting me in sooner, so I'll see how it works.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed, and Linda and I even had our date-night time together. We went to go see the new James Brown movie "Get on Up", and found it to be very enjoyable. There were some things left out about his life, and you did walk away with some questions, but then if it had all the information it would have taken twice as long to watch it. I would recommend that anyone who is interested in that era of music, and especially James Brown fans, go and watch it. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26, 2014

The girls got off to school this morning, and it was actually quite a nice morning. No delays or scrambling around to find lost items or shoes, and breakfast was easy and quick (they had multi-grain Cheerios). Right after getting back to the house I went and double checked with Jason, on his appointments, as well as other things he might want to do, and I was clear until 11:15, when we needed to be over at the Sharps Institute where Jason was to complete his final driver training. This meant that I had about 2 1/2 hours and time to get out on my bike. More specifically it meant a 15 to 16 mile ride, and that is what I did.

I got back from the ride (16 miles) and cooled down and cleaned up, and got ready to go. Jason and I went over to the Sharps and within about 30 minutes he was behind the wheel and ready to head out on his last "training" session, so that tomorrow he can do the DMV version. Once he has that out of the way he will be able to finally get into his OWN truck, and start driving himself whenever he needs to go somewhere. This will be a level of freedom for Jason that he has been looking forward to for almost two years now.

The session went off without a hitch... sort of... When we got to Sharps they had the controls moved over to the right side, so that Jason could get a feel for what that was like. When he gets his truck the controls will be on the right side. As it turned out, the moving of the controls from the left to the right isn't quite as simple a move as one might think. They drove for a few miles and Jason was having to cross over on some of his moves, and that was too big of an issue to continue, so they stopped and Penny (the drive instructor) moved the controls back over to the left, where they were designed to be, just as the ones in the truck will be designed for the right side, and thus the same problems/challenges won't be encountered. Anyway, with the controls where they should be the drive was completed, and Jason did just fine. When they go to the DMV tomorrow, he will be driving that same Sharps van - one of the requirements from the DMV, not sure why.

The rest of the day was again, quiet and the girls were back from school and excited, again, to tell us about all that happened. I am glad they both seem to like school so much, right now, as it will make it easier as the classes get more difficult. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

First day of school for the girls, and it was chaos... Well, maybe not chaos, just very exciting. We got up at a little after 06:00 this morning, and had the girls up a little bit later. Even with the idea that the first day of school was awaiting them, they still didn't want to get up. We finally did get them up and dressed, and both of them looked great, as well as excited to be heading off to a new adventure.

We walked to school, as we do live very close, and the number of vehicles attempting to get on to the grounds was higher than usual. We already are familiar with the class room where Jackie is now going, as well as the teacher; the big challenge was finding Stacy's class room. We had to walk all of about 30 feet to find the door. Then, as you enter the door, her name was on the desk where she will be sitting. We got to meet some of the other parents, and Stacy got to meet some of the other students, briefly, then we were out of the room and socializing outside. The students and teachers all stayed in the class rooms and the adults all gathered around a table that had bagels and coffee. I don't drink coffee and Jason does only rarely, so we didn't really stay too long. Jason did get to meet some of the other parents and that was good, as well as got his name on the contact roster for the parent association. After that, we simply walked home.

The next on the agenda was Jason's appointment back at Balboa. He had an appointment with PT, and then we came back home. Since it was still relatively early I decided to go for a bike ride. I only planned on going for a short ride and told Linda I would be back in an hour. I took off and planned on riding out to Mission Bay, and then saw that the road was being worked on, and the bike lane was closed. I decided to turn around and headed back, and still managed to get in a little over 11 miles.

The rest of the day was spent taking care of errands and doing some clean up. We need to start planning on how we are going to reorganize the garage, and off-site storage. We still have too much stuff, and not enough room, but that's pretty much normal for most houses. The day wore down to the evening and then after dinner (I grilled some steaks for Jason and I and hot dogs for the girls. Linda fixed her own dinner and is being very good about her diet), we just relaxed. Tomorrow Jason will be going to his final driver training, and then I think Wednesday or Thursday he will be testing with the DMV to get his approval for driving a specialized vehicle. I think he is very ready to be out on his own, and I am looking forward to this. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.