Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 21, 2014 - Happy Winter

Today is the first day of winter, and it really showed down here. I actually got the light jacket out of the closet and carried it with us tonight (didn't put it on, but I had it just in case). We went out for a nice dinner with another couple tonight, and it was very enjoyable. They took us to a Mexican Sea Food restaurant and the food was excellent. Afterward we went to another place and had dessert, which was also very good. Needless to say, I need to get some exercise in tomorrow to "pay" for all this - I must have gained 5 lbs.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. This morning we got up and decided we really needed to finish all the Christmas cards, and we did. The challenge was that today is Sunday and the Post Office is closed, or at least that was what I thought. It was still early, almost 08:00 and I decided to go for a ride. On my way out I rode over to the local post office and they have a notice on the door that said they were going to be open today, after 10:00 for four hours. I immediately stopped and got on the phone and called Linda to let her know that we could still get the cards to the post office TODAY! I got my 21 miles in and felt pretty good, when I got back home. Jumped in the shower and the two of us were off to mail the letters. The oops I made was that I didn't see that our local office was still closed and we needed to go to another one. We stopped to get some gas at Costco (gas is continuing to go down, and that is a good thing) and then headed out to the next closest office.

We arrived at El Cajon post office and there was just one other person in line. We basically walked up and another clerk came up to the counter and we were served. He was extremely helpful and since we had 90 Christmas cards, that all had to be checked individually, with one of the also being international, we needed the extra attention. As it turned out most of the cards needed an additional $.42 of postage (they were slightly over weight and they all had a special handling because of size), and he came up with the easiest solution for stamps. We got the cards mailed and we felt pretty good, since this was the first time we had sent out cards in almost five years. When we got back home we realized that we had forgotten a few so we'll end up getting those out tomorrow, and they'll probably be a little late in arriving.

Once we were done with that we decided to head back home and get things ready so we could get out tonight (the dinner I talked about, above). We needed to make sure Jason was taken care of and he had a dinner ready for him. I did a dressing change and the wounds are looking better again, and that makes me hopeful for the rest of the year. We went to dinner and had a very enjoyable time and came back home, with some time to spare. The girls were coming over at 20:00 (8pm), or so we thought to stay with us a night early. They showed up about an hour later and we were all happy to be together again. They had been fed, bathed and were ready for bed, and this was excellent. I read them a nice bed time story and Linda and I put them to bed. Jason had fallen asleep by the time they came, so he'll have to wait until morning to see them. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 20, 2014

Well, we didn't finish the Christmas Cards, like we wanted to. Tomorrow is Sunday so we'll just have to wait until Monday to get them in the mail. That means some of them (most of them?) won't make to their destinations before Christmas. May be that's a good thing, as people will still be receiving some mail after Christmas... ;-)

Linda was up early this morning, and that's after staying up late last night, working on the cards. I had pretty well done most of what I needed to get done, and because Linda wants to be sure they all get done the way they should be, she is doing them. Guys, and I'm one of them, have a tendency to want to just get it done, and women, Linda in this case, want to be sure everything is done correctly. The mistake we made was not getting started on them soon enough. Next year should be better.

I did get a short bike ride in today - Linda needed a paper cutter (her's broke) so I rode down on my bike to buy one. I got it back to the house and then decided to ride out to Costco to pick up a couple of things that would simply fit in my back pack, also for Linda. Apparently, when I made the first of the two trips I must have run over a small piece of steel, because I noticed the rear tire being a little low when I was getting ready to take off for the second trip. I didn't think much about it, as the tires tend to loose a little air over time anyway. By the time I had another 8 miles down the tire was flat, so I stopped to put more air into it and then another 1/2 mile and it was flat again. I ended up calling home and Jason came to pick me up in the truck. I did make it to Costco though, and I did pick up the items for Linda.

The rest of the day was spent finishing the cards and basically staying at home. Tomorrow we will be relaxing a bit and Linda and I are being taken out to dinner by a couple of friends of ours. I'd let you know where we're going, except I don't know; just that it is a nice restaurant. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014

Today was really a fun day for Jason, Linda and I (girls are with their mother). We went up to speak with the builders of his future home, and we discussed interior issues, as well as some structural ones. Effectively, the house is designed. It is a matter of getting all the permits done and some of the minor other issues done and lined up. The house is being built to make life easier for Jason, and with the idea that the house is more than just a house, it is his HOME. It is a place where he will be able to do all the things anyone else can do in a house, and he will know he is safe. We are so excited about what is happening, and Linda and I are so very happy to be a part of this. For those of you who are able to find me on Face Book you will see a new video that was recently released by the Gary Sinise Foundation, and it explains the house better than I ever could. Please take a moment and view the video.

The trip up to the meeting took us about an hour, and that was because we (I) got lost (I was driving), so it wasn't too bad. We spent another 2 1/2 hours talking with the team and then we headed back home. Traffic was building up some now, and it still took about an hour to get home. This means that Jason was up in his chair for about 5 hours total, with a couple of those hours being bounced around a bit. That bouncing is what I get concerned about the most. Actually, I found out later from Linda, that the freeway we came back on was now nearly solid bumper-to-bumper and moving very slowly. Linda was out at Target and came right back when she was done. We had lunch and then Jason went to sleep, and that was good.

Linda and I also decided to take care of some of our other important tasks, and that happens to be the need to get the Christmas Cards out. They will be in the mail, in the morning.... Hurray! We ended up sending out nearly 100 cards, and basically stopped at that point. We've compiled as many addresses as we could; Linda had packed our address book and we haven't been able to locate it within the boxes in storage. We sincerely apologize if you were looking for a card from us, and we didn't get to it. We wish you a very Happy and Merry Christmas, as well as a Happy New Year. The rest of this evening is going to be spent just relaxing and getting ready for the weekend. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

December 18, 2014

Getting the post out a little later than I usually do, and actually it is after midnight so it is now the 19th. We just got back from the movies, and I just wanted to be sure to get something out here for the blog.

Jason and I went to Balboa this morning and he had two appointments. His first appointment was with Wound Care and it was an early one - about 08:50 (usually we're going in at almost 11:00). They were very pleased with how both wound areas are looking and so am I. We will continue to minimize the amount of time he spends in his chair, and thus give it more opportunity to heal. After the Wound Care Jason had an appointment with the folks at Physical Therapy. I told Jason that I would be getting a hair cut while he was at that appointment, and I would meet him there.

As it turned out there was no waiting at the barber so I was in and out a little faster than usual, and that was a good thing. That gave me a chance to go over to the ASYMCA (Armed Services YMCA) and go say, "Hi!" to a couple of the folks there, and also wish them a Merry Christmas. I then walked over to where Jason was and he was getting close to being done. Jason also brought along Christmas cards and was handing them out to people, and while we were at Balboa (Linda and I need to finish up our cards tomorrow). Finally we went over to Bldg 26 and Jason had to take care of a couple things with the VA, and then we went back home.

The next thing was that I was needing to get up to Oceanside for a Caregiver meeting. Linda and I drove up and found out that the meeting, again, was cancelled. We weren't the only caregivers to be there and there were a number of the VA people a little embarrassed that we were there. It really wouldn't have bothered me so much except that the drive up was almost an hour, and now we had to turn around and go back home. I guess with all the stuff going on this week we needed a little extra rest so we just laid down to take a nap.

We got up from the nap and decided we wanted to go to a late showing of Exodus. We fixed dinner and cleaned up and then the three of us went to the 21:00 (9:00pm) showing of the movie. It was a pretty good movie, but the movie The Ten Commandments I felt was much better and told a better story. Besides, the newer one left a few things out that I felt were important. I'm not going to say what they were as you might want to go see it, and I don't want to spoil it for you. Bottom line it was a different slant on the story, and basically it was the same. We came back home after midnight and we're now getting ready to go to bed. We have to get up early tomorrow as we have a meeting about the house, and want to be on time, if we can. I'll go over this more tomorrow, or should I say later today. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17, 2014

First a recap of yesterday - since I didn't post yesterday...

Monday ended with everyone getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and I had expectations of sleeping very soundly through the night. At about 01:10 I received a call from Jason, who was up with Stacy. She was having some very tough pains in her lower abdomen and we soon decided that we needed to get her to the ER, at Balboa.

We arrived there at about 01:40, and by 02:00 (I happened to look at a clock) a nurse was working with Stacy, in the ER. They diagnosed that it was severe constipation and after taking some X-rays decided that they were correct. I was worried it was an appendix problem, and I was very glad when I found out I was wrong. They also ran some cultures and found out that she had a urinary infection (UTI). Total time at the ER was just about 3 1/2 hours, and though it was now almost time to be getting up, I felt like it wasn't a long stay. We left with the antibiotics and went straight home.

Fortunately, Linda was able to get back to sleep with Jackie, at least for a couple of hours. I didn't wake either of them until it was time for Jackie to start getting ready for school (we decided Stacy should just stay home and rest). Since Linda also had an early appointment to get to I let her know I could take Jackie to school, and I would let them know what was going on with Stacy. We actually thought that for the most part, everything should settle down now. But it didn't - Stacy had an appointment with her doctor (it had already been scheduled previously), and it is important to know this, for the next issue. She was up a couple hours later and still complaining of stomach/ abdominal issues. Because of the rain, and the time of the appointment, it was decided that I would take Stacy to see her doctor, and let them know about the ER visit earlier in the day. When we arrived the exam led them to believe, again, it might be an appendix issue. In order to have the right tests Stacy was going to have to go to the ER at Rady Hospital, and so began our next ER visit on Tuesday.

This visit proved to be a bit more painful for Stacy, as they had to draw blood this time, and she really does hate needles, and tests were run. The final outcome was, again determined that she was very constipated and backed up, and needed an enema. Of course this took several hours to figure out and, in their defense, there were multiple labs to be done, and all these take time. Their first blood test was some how messed up and they had to come get more blood, which Stacy really didn't want to happen. Finally, everything done, the enema was given and a short while later Stacy was cleared and she felt much better, immediately. Stacy was back in her own bed at about 23:30 (11:30pm). Needless to say, we were both tired, and I was out.

This morning rolled around and at 05:20 I am up again, and I need to help Anthony get to the airport, to catch a flight. Not sure why I wake up like that, but when I know I need to be up at a certain hour I tend to wake up very close to the hour, without using an alarm clock. When I was done with that I was back in bed at about 06:10, and trying to get some rest when Jackie came up and wanted to get in bed with Grandma, where I also happened to be. She was very happy and full of energy so we got up and did our regular routine of getting her ready for school. Before we went to school Stacy came out and also stated she wanted to go to school - the Christmas show was set for tonight and she wanted to be a part of it. Jackie was ready to go so I took her and came back and then took Stacy.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed, and I even got in a short bike ride. This was quite nice considering that it was raining when I took Anthony to the airport. Jason had a couple of appointments, so he took off, with Gracie, and Linda and I stayed at home. We took care of a couple of little chores and things around the house, and then I took a little nap. While napping Linda was able to get out and do a little shopping.

The evening came and we all got ready to head over to the Christmas program, where both girls were going to be singing. It was a nice program and very enjoyable. It didn't take too long and it is always fun to sit back and watch the children stand up, so proud of themselves, and listen to them sign. Even better is watching the parents when their kids are singing as they all get up as close to the front as they can, so they can get that one better picture. For the most part they attempt to be courteous but some of them really don't seem to realize just how silly they look. It was a nice program and we were glad we went. The girls went out with their mother this time, and we came back to the house. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Well, we had a great weekend and made the most of the relaxing time. The weather improved from the rain storm we had - and we really do need the rain, so I am hoping we get some more. We made a little progress with our Christmas Cards, and who knows, we may be able to actually get them out this year, before Christmas (I was hoping to have it done by today, actually). On Saturday I got in a nice 25-mile ride, and then on Sunday to switched to a faster pace and put in 15 miles, so I'd be back home in time to go to church. Now all I have to do is be able to get in 30 miles at the 15 mile pace, and I'll be ready for the longer rides... ;-)

Also on Sunday we went over to our friend's home, Anthony and Angelica, and enjoyed a nice relaxing time with them. We made it back to the house about 19:00 (7pm) and within a pretty short amount of time had the girls bathed and in bed. All quiet at the house by 20:30 (8:30pm) and shortly thereafter we were ready for bed ourselves. Sofia, from Serving Spoons, had left a very nice dinner for us, and it was waiting, hidden, when we got home. We had actually communicated with Sofia the day before so we kind of knew where to look.

Today began a little on the rough side. Both Stacy and Jackie had gotten us up a couple of times, through the night, and as we result we're both kind of worn down tonight. Perhaps we'll be able to get to bed early and be able to get the full 8-hours in. Anyway, we were up at about the same time as we usually do, and we were able to get the girls to school with a few minutes to spare. Afterward, Linda had a couple of errands to run; Jason had a few errands to run; and, I had a couple of things I wanted to get done. I think the extra errands is a direct result of the holidays that are upon us right now. Linda went one way and I went with Jason, to help him out with some of his Christmas shopping. After we returned to the house I went back out, on my own, to take care of the two little errands I wanted to get done.

Tonight we ate the Serving Spoons dinner, and it was excellent, as always, and the funny thing is, is that she is looking for another family or two, in this area, to help in the same way. I need to connect with another family that would appreciate this gift. I also made some Toll House cookies, with the girls. It is the first time that they have made cookies with me, and both of them had a great time. The cookies came out very nice, only I didn't make my usual double batch. I told Jason I was anxious to get into the new kitchen of his new house, so I could make more and possibly get some other baking and other cooking done. The rest of the evening was getting the girls to bed and Jason's dressing changes in, and then that was it. The really good news is that once again, Jason's wounds are looking pretty good, and we might see some significant improvement before the end of the year.  Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014

I felt kind of special today... It actually rained most of the day here, and at times it actually rained kind of hard. Most of the time it wasn't very hard at all, though. Unfortunately it doesn't look like it will rain tomorrow, but that's okay, we have some things to do and the rain would make some of them a little more difficult.

We took the girls to school today, and we still walked, and they got to wear their rubber rain boots. They were pretty excited to do that. What I found out later was that the school administrators truly considered closing the school down today, just because of the rain. "There is a concern for the standing water caused by poor drainage." I just kind of felt numb when I heard that. Now I know the folks in So. Cal have a slanted view of the world and reality, but come on, a little rain and you shut down the school? Fortunately, there are enough people around that over road that line of thinking.

No problems with the van today, as we did take it out for a short spin, and went over to Balboa. There was a Christmas luncheon today, put on by the ASYMCA (Armed Services YMCA), and the kids who registered received some gifts, along with the lunch. Stacy and Jackie both got to pick out a little something and were very happy with what they got (Stacy a very nice Barbie Doll and Jackie wanted a Play Dough set). I'll post a few photos of the event, like Jason with Santa, tomorrow. A little later in the day we took them to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. It was one of the girls in Stacy's Kindergarten class. We got there at about 16:00 (4pm) and left at around 19:30 (7:30pm).

Tomorrow we hope to have a nice relaxed day, and should be able to stay dry. Thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.