Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 14, 2016

I was actually planning on writing something upbeat and happy with this blog, and then the incident in France happened. I don't feel like doing anything like that now and only feel saddened and send my heartfelt condolence to the families of those impacted by this horrible happening. Just know that Jason is doing well and that we are working with the VA almost as much as we are working with the Naval Hospital at Balboa. In both arenas things are going positive.

Along with that we have been enjoying a good stretch of weather, and it looks to continue into this weekend. I will be getting out and doing my best to get some exercise; and trying to catch up to Linda, as she continues to loose weight and is getting back into better shape. Thanks, for all the continued support and prayers - - and please pray for the people in France. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016

Wow! I haven't posted in several days now, and I apologize for making those dedicated readers wait. We have been enjoying life and the summer, which is now very much upon us, and doing what we can to continue to march forward. Our 4th of July was relatively quiet, though we did go over to one of Jason's friends home and spend some time with them. It was nice to just get away from the house for a little while, and also, even better, was the chance for Jason to get to talk with some of his buddies from the Marines, in a non-military setting. Linda and I did our best to stay in the background, allowing Jason to have his private conversations. I finally did have to step in though, as Jason forgot his meds, back at the house, and I didn't want him to go too long without them. We left, late afternoon and made the 75 minute drive back to the house.

Otherwise, Jason is continuing to heal, and making general progress with the closing of the wounds. A new one has opened up and we are going to have to get an adjustment to the wearable, I think. I am reaching out to the VA contact person, and seeing what can be done. The new wound, or soar, is a result of pressure being on a new area of his skin. On the positive side, it hasn't grown any, over these past five days.

Linda and I are doing well, and the girls are continuing to grow. They are both with their mother, and on a little vacation. We will be without them for about two weeks, and it really feels kind of strange around here, without them. Jason has been able to speak with them on a somewhat regular basis, so that makes it a little easier on us. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 22, 2016

Today, Jason and I took his truck in to the Ability Center, so that it could get its regular servicing. He drove the truck and I drove the van (Linda was out on her own errands in the Mustang). The folks at the Ability Center did an excellent job of fixing all the little things that Jason told them about, and the one thing I told them about. The truck not only works like new, it also looks better - of course it only looks better to Jason and me, but then we know what to look for.

While the truck was being worked on we headed over to Balboa, where Jason had a visit with Wound Care and Rod did his usual great work and things are looking better again. A little over a week ago, Rod suggested we make a small change in the treatment of the one wound that is so slow to heal, and it looks like there is some benefit showing. I am hopeful that we can get to the point of closing up soon and then it is on to the next step, and a surgical procedure - but that won't happen until late September or October.

Also, while at Balboa, we got the chance to speak with Dr. Sheu, Jason's primary doctor, and said our "good-bye's", as he is heading out to a new duty station. Dr. Sheu has been a great support and advocate for Jason, in many of the areas and ways that Linda and I just don't have the background for. A big example of that is the wearable, or prosthesis, that Jason is using now. We will definitely miss seeing him and having our talks, then again, his new duty station is Camp Pendleton, and if Jason ultimately changes to that hospital (possibly in the next couple of years) we'll already have someone there who is VERY familiar with Jason's case.

We ended up taking most of the day for this trip, and as such, we drove the two vehicles back to Fallbrook during the commute period (I used to say rush hour, but it last longer than an hour). When we finally got home, Linda was working on the garden and she was doing a great job of making it look clean, as well as taking great care of the plants (we have lots of tomatoes). Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers - and for just taking the time to continue to read this blog. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

It has been nine days since I last posted an update, and so I felt it was time to put something out here, so that you all can see what is going on. We went on a "vacation" with the girls, that is Linda and I took the girls up to Livermore. When asked where they would like to go Stacy said Livermore and Jackie was quick to agree with her, so that's where we initially went. We did go a little farther north and ended up at the JellyBelly factory, and that was as far north as we went.

We spent a few days  in Livermore, staying at a friends home, Hugh and Julie K., and that became our home base. We did several things in Livermore, and the girls had a great time while there, and we also happened to be there at the same time our house in Livermore closed, and we are now without a house in Livermore. It was both good to sell the house yet very sad to say good-bye to our home of 28 years. Perhaps I'll write more about it later. As it was, we signed the papers on Tuesday and left Livermore on Friday.

Our trip back down was with a stop in Monterey, where we stayed with our long time friend Larry and his wife Arlinda. Larry's son John was also there, and we visited with him for a little while, but he was studying for the bar exam, so he was pretty busy most of the time. We spent one night there and the next morning we went to the Aquarium and the girls were totally amazed. The Aquarium is an amazing place, and I wish we had more time to spend there, but we needed to get going. Our next stop was simply a sleep over in Ventura, and then on to David and Miriam's place, for Ethan's birthday celebration.

We stayed for several hours and had a great time at the party (they always have great parties, with the best food and lots to drink - though no alcohol - and that's a good thing). We'd been away from Fallbrook, and Jason for about eight days now, and we needed to get home. The drive the rest of the way down wasn't too bad, though there was some typical LA traffic, and we managed to get here in the late afternoon, and our vacation was over. There were some pictures taken, and I still need to load them on to the computer, so instead I'll post a few other pictures I was supposed to post earlier. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Stacy took this picture - It's me with my replacement Mustang

The girls wanted their picture with the car, too.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

June 4, 2016

Some catching up - -

Jason is doing well, and having a good time with his new interest - - - the fish aquarium. He now has several fish in it (I think 17), and he says he isn't going to put anymore in, at least not for a while. And just in case I haven't mentioned it in the past, the tank is 75gal. Like everything else he gets into, he has been doing a bunch of reading on it and now knows more about fish and their care than most people, and will probably gain even more knowledge as he moves along with this. He has also told me that we should expect to soon see some smaller fish swimming around, as the Mollies will be having babies. I really don't know what that really mean, as far as expectations go, but I'm anxious to see how many (he said three of them females are pregnant and they have "live" births).

I have included a picture of my (our) new mustang, so you all can see what we bought. It was just one of those amazing deals you hear about, only this time it happened with us. Linda and I really enjoy getting out and doing some of our running around in it, and look forward to maybe a day trip or two, when we get some free time. The down side is that Jason can't ride in it, at least not in its current configuration. I'm going to be talking with some engineering students to see what they can come up with, so that he can at least go for a ride.

The girls will be going with Linda and I, up to Livermore this week, and doing some touristy kind of things. One of the big ones is going to the Jelly Belly Factory, and later down to Monterey (that's down from Livermore) and visit the Aquarium. We'll also be stopping in and seeing a very good friend of ours, Larry, and his wife Arlinda. Larry was the best-man at our wedding, and actually the reason Linda and I met... a story for another day. While in Livermore we'll be staying with our good friends,  Huge and Julie K. as they have opened up their home to us, and will be allow us to come and go while there.

The end of the "vacation" will be a stop at our son David's place, where we'll partake in the 4th birthday celebration of our grandson Ethan. Hard to believe that he is already going to be four years old. We always have a lot of fun whenever we go visit them, and having it be a birthday party makes it that much better, with an added bonus of having Stacy and Jackie with us, so all the grand kids will be in the same place. They all get along well, and it is good giving them a chance to get to know each other better.

While we're gone we will have friends stopping in and checking on Jason. We have solicited the help of a Navy Corpsmen to help with his nightly dressing changes, and Joselyn will also be coming in to assist. There will be some time where Jason is on his own, and I think that is going to be a little extra fun for Jason, or at least I hope it is. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

May 28, 2016

These past couple of days have been a little rough on me, and I am glad to say that I am feeling much better. I apparently got hit with something, and it left me with little to no energy and my sinuses were very congested (still are some). Linda had to put up with me, especially at night, when I was making all kinds of noise sleeping, like coughing and snoring. The overall congestion was pretty bad, and woke me up several times as well. She did manage to get some sleep, but it was disturbed and really not very restful. Of course you wouldn't know, watching her; she just kept on going, like the Energizer Bunny.

Jason is continuing to heal up and is becoming more active around the house. He recently purchased a fish aquarium and now has seven fish in it. It is a 75gal. tank and has room for a few more, and he intends to get more, just taking his time so that the environment settles and it is good for the fish. He has been reading up on this activity and now knows more than most on how to set up a tank and why the different things are needed. It is definitely something that he is interested in, and it is going to be fun to see how this develops. Another side benefit of the tank is that the girls are pretty excited about it and interested in all the new things that Daddy is doing.

The girls all both VERY excited about the end of the school year, and keep talking about it constantly. Next Friday is the last day for the year, and then the following week we'll be taking off for a short "vacation" with them. We are looking forward to introducing them to more of California, and perhaps set an ongoing plan to show them a little more of the United States each year. Not totally sure what we'll do next year, but it will be something both fun and educational. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016

Lots of updates, and I truly apologize, but I don't have any new pictures to post. I will do my best to get a couple for tomorrow - and make another post.

First of all, Jason is doing very well. His one remaining wound is continuing to heal and close, and we are all very anxious for it to finish up. Everything else has completely closed and if it wasn't for the fact that I know where they were, I would be hard pressed to point them out, specifically. Jason is also experimenting with different hobbies. He has been interested in guns, and has collected a few, over these past couple of years. Fortunately, one of the first things he did was to purchase a large gun safe, and it IS very large (weighs in at over 1/2 a ton, and also bolted down to the floor). He likes to get out and target practice, and he is getting pretty good, even with his pistols. Considering the damage that was done to his hands and nerves, this is a big deal. He is also very particular on how his guns are stored, and keeps them clean). He also has gotten into making mead, or honey-wine. He has been able to make a couple of batches, and they have an interesting flavor. One of them in particular, is very smooth, and their alcohol content is apparently right there where it is supposed to be. Finally, the newest interest is tropical fish and a fresh water aquarium. Right now he only has six small fish in the tank (75 gal.), and the water is amazingly clear. It is kind of fun watching the fish, and Linda and I (and the girls, too) are wondering what the next fish are going to be. Actually, I'm just glad to see him get out and do other things, as it shows he is feeling better all the time.

There have been a couple of changes on our side (mine and Linda's), too. The Fusion engine quit on me, a couple of weeks ago, while I was on the freeway. I was headed to a VA appointment, for me, and I knew the car was getting close to breaking down. I had hoped that it would get me to the appointment, and it almost did, though I did have to walk the last couple of blocks. The car died on the exit ramp, and I just coasted to the end of the ramp, and then pulled completely to the side (I was able to get totally out of the way of traffic). Because there is a need for us to have a vehicle we had been looking at other cars, and this kind of just forced the issue. Anyway, we went to the dealer (Linda met me there) and were able to drive off with a new Mustang GT. It was a bit more care than we expected to get, but the price was too good to pass up (actually got it for under invoice), and it was sort of a dream car for both of us anyway.

The girls will be ending their school year in Fallbrook, in a little over a week, and they are both kind of excited to have another summer to look forward to. They are both getting bigger and growing so fast, and it is very challenging, especially for Linda, to make sure they have clothes to wear, that fit. It seems like Linda is going shopping for them about every other week. Of course the girls don't mind, they like getting new clothes. Jackie used to be able to just get Stacy's old clothes, but that doesn't work so well anymore, as Jackie and Stacy are becoming two distinct sizes and shapes.

Finally, we hoping to actually take a vacation this year. We're renting a motor home and heading up to northern California and making a few stops along the way. Jason will not be coming with us, as he is more interested in getting the wounds to finally heal, and he wants to put the time in on his new hobbies. We're actually only going to be gone for about a week, and the girls are going to be very excited when we get to The Jelly Belly Factory, as well as the Monterrey Aquarium. Funny thing though, the one place they have been talking about most is Livermore. They have some very good memories about our house and the times in Livermore, and so they want to be sure to get a chance to see the old homestead again. We will be selling soon, so this is probably going to be their last chance to see the house. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.