Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

The daily grind is continuing and surprisingly, it is beginning to feel like it is the normal flow of things, and we get to the end of the day and we don't feel totally wiped out. The "we" I'm speaking of is Linda and I, and we are developing a nice team approach to everything we are doing, then again, it is almost necessary, for us to survive. The girls are doing well, and seem very happy to be here with us, and they are getting to spend more and more time with their daddy, and Jason is really enjoying it. I think  moving to this new home has been better than we ever imagined, and it is going to be where Jason finds his new purpose in life, besides being the girl's daddy.

Linda got the girls off to school and I was involved with work for most of the day. I did get out of the "office" a few times and took care of Jason's needs - usually more water. He goes through more water than just about anyone else around. He must drink at least a gallon a day, and probably more. The reason he drinks so much is because of the medicines he takes, and I think he just likes water anyway.
Linda fixed him and the girls lunch, though not at the same time, and I fixed dinner. Breakfast we kind of work together, when I can help.

Tonight we had chicken and rice with some steamed veggies, and then apple pie for dessert, along with ice cream of course. After dinner we relaxed a little and I even received a phone call from my brother Charlie - well, he actually called just prior to dessert. It was good to hear from him, as I had not for the past couple of months. I was hoping that he would get a chance to come down sometime this year, but it is starting to look like next Spring will be as soon as he can get here.

Anyway, as Linda got the girls ready for bed and a story, I was helping Jason with his shower and a dressing change. The wound-vac continues to do its job, and the healing is moving. It is a slow process, and we just have to be patient. This coming Sunday and Monday, Linda and I will be taking a couple of days to ourselves, as we have been invited to an event up at Dana Point. We will be speaking to a crowd of people there and sharing our story about Jason and how it has affected the entire family. This is an annual event, put on by the Carrington Charitable Foundation, as one of their major fund raisers, so they can support the Gary Sinise Foundation, and other support organizations. Hope we can get through it without getting too emotional. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 4, 2015

Today turned out to be a pretty good day. I woke up and found that it was still wet outside from an earlier rain. Linda was still sleeping, and I didn't want to bother her, so I got up and walked out of our bedroom, and saw a bit of a mess. First a little back ground on what happened. Jason had purchased a "Dogie-Door" for the dogs, and I only just recently installed it (about a week ago). Both dogs are very comfortable with it now and go in and out of his bedroom and the backyard very frequently. Well, as you might expect with a fresh rain, there is also some fresh mud, and Kojak found it. Gracie is the type that won't go out in to the rain, unless she absolutely has to, and then come right back when she is done. Kojak, on the other hand, seems to enjoy it very much and when he came back in he left trails all over the place, of where he had been, in the house. So, as a result, one of the first things I did was to start cleaning up the floor. It really didn't take too long, probably no more than 1/2 an hour, and it was quite work.

Jason was awake and I think he was enjoying the rain, as we haven't really had much in the past several months, so this was kind of nice. Along with cleaning up after the dogs I also took down the umbrella, from the patio, and put it in the garage, and then took down the flags, as Jason didn't want to leave them out, in case it began to rain again (which it did a bit later). After getting all that done I ran down to the store to pick up some eggs, so that I could fix the pancake and eggs breakfast I had promised the girls.

The rest of the day was just sitting around having a nice relaxed time, enjoying the weather and each other's company. The girls all got up a little later than usual (they had stayed up late last night) and Linda was needing some extra sleep, as she is dealing with a little bug or something. She was feeling better by this evening, so I think the extra sleep and just kicking back was good for her, too.

The real surprise today, though, was that Jason decided to fix dinner, and then right after, he stayed out and had dinner with us, at the table. Jason sat at the head of the table with Stacy and Jackie on each side. You could tell the girls were very excited and happy to have Daddy sitting with them. AND, he said grace before we ate. We haven't had Jason say grace in a long time. And for those who are wondering - Dinner was Jason's soup. It was excellent, as usual and this time he made enough that we have some left over. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 3, 2015

A very nice day that started with a breakfast of French Toast, and as per usual, we ate nearly the entire loaf of Texas Toast. The surprising part was that Stacy ate more than Jackie, and usually it is the other way around, and on top of that Linda didn't eat anything. She was busy getting things ready for the Picture People, as we were heading that direction right after breakfast - and so we did.

Once we were at the photo place, we didn't have to wait too long, and we were soon in with a photographer who has a great deal more patience than I do, when it comes to that sort of thing. Jackie is still a very active 5-year old, who thought of the session as a great game and she wanted to play. Of course the photographer is used to working with all kinds of kids and so Jackie was actually pretty easy for her, and Stacy was even better. Stacy does pretty much exactly what you ask her to do, and then she'll hold the position as long as you need her to.

Once the session was over Linda wanted to wait, rather than have to drive back down later. This was okay, because the girls had seen a small train on the third level of the mall, and so while Linda waited at the store I took them up to go for a ride on the "train." It was a neat little set of linked cars that pulled around by an engine that I think is gas powered, though I may be mistaken. When the ride was over we went and had a little snack and then back to the photo store where Linda was viewing the pictures, and almost done. We didn't have to wait too long and then we were out the door, headed back to the van (we rode in the van to the mall). We drove home and then made lunch for everybody.

After lunch it was time for a nap (brain rest) and everybody took some time to relax. We were expecting some guests (Glenn and Anne Pickette) were coming for dinner tonight. They are the wonderful people who took care of Candy and Pumpkin while we lived in Pt. Loma. They came over and we had lasagna and it was very good. They had gone to an Italian restaurant that they liked and now we have one that we're going to be checking out more. Dinner was very good and nice to have some one spend the time with Jason too.

We all went out side to take a look at the stars for a short while and hoped to see an iridium flair, but for whatever reason we didn't see it. Perhaps it was still too early in the day, as it wasn't quite dark yet. Anyway, shortly after that we came back in and sat down to watch Scooby-Doo with the girls, because the Pickettes had brought the movie with them, specifically for the girls. It was a silly movie, about chasing monsters and bad guys, and the girls loved it.

Once that was over it was time for the girls to get to bed and then once that was done the Pickettes needed to get back home, and so the day was pretty much done. It has been a good relaxed day, and we actually managed to clean up a few things. Tomorrow I expect to see less activity, though you never really know what to expect. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayer. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2, 2015

I know there are a number of folks out there who like to read this, on a regular basis. There really hasn't been much change, other than a new gate going up, in front of the house. It will probably be completed in a few days, depending on how long it takes the concrete to dry. Otherwise, Jason is doing well, and continuing to heal. The girls are spending lots of time with us, and are doing well in school. Linda is taking them to the Picture People, tomorrow (I'm going along to help where I can) to get some good pictures for our enjoyment. I'm kind of tired right now because we stayed up and watched Casper the Friendly Ghost with the girls, and now I'm ready for bed (I was up later because of catching up on emails, after the movie). Look for more of a post tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 30, 2015

I was up a little after 05:00 this morning and by 05:30 I was on line and working. I made sure to wake Linda at 06:00, or very close to that time, so she could get the girls up and moving. I needed to work on a couple of things, so I wasn't of much assistance to her, though I did wake up the girls. The girls were particularly excited today, because they were going to get to see their mother, after school. This is good because we've had them for just over four weeks now, and kids need their mothers. 

Linda got the girls over to the school and then took on the tasks of working on the house and helping Jason get ready for his appointment. Me, I was pounding on the keyboard and doing my best to get some information together and ready for presentation. 

Jason had his appointment with Wound Care, at Balboa hospital, and I'm glad because I needed him to pick up some specific supplies. Because Jason is using a wound-vac he needs some different items that we normally don't have, and before he went to the appointment we were completely out. Needless to say I was a little anxious to see the resupply, and then I could relax a little. The report back from the folks at Wound Care was positive, in that the wound is looking better and the left side is now closed. I just hope it remains closed this time. I could tell Jason was happy to hear that the left side was closed, as he was thinking that they might never close.

Shortly after Jason got home we received a call from the school, that the girls had not been picked up by their mother. This put us in to a bit of a blitz mode. We needed to finish up what we were doing and get out of the house in a matter of a couple of minutes, so we could go get the girls. Jason was quickly texting her to find out what happened, and found out that it was a matter of her making a couple of poor choices, but she was now on the way. Even so, Linda and I were on our way to pick up the girls, and to say the least, they were not happy to see us. They were expecting their mom and she was a no show. As we pulled into the driveway Jason sent Linda a text and told us that the mother was on her way. This was very good news for the girls, and actually for us as well. They got to see each other, and they will be together for a couple of days.

I was able to get back to work and finish up a few things, and then we all had dinner. I fixed some spaghetti and the three of us enjoyed a nice relaxed meal. While all this was going on, Carolyn, our new health aid worker, was taking care of Jason, and some of the tasks around the house, and as we sat down, she was headed out the door, and her shift was over. I think she is going to work out well, as her personality fits well with Jason's, and she has a son who is about Jason's age. He is also in the Army, so they have an area they can talk about - the military.

The evening ended with Linda and I heading down to Babys R Us, to do a car seat exchange. They were running a special on "booster" seat, that they would provide a sizable discount if you brought in an old car seat. The girls no longer need the car seats, as they've out grown them, and so now we have two new boosters that they like better, and we like them better because they're a little easier to work with. After that we just came home and now I'm finishing the blog. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 29, 2015

Some times, things happen the same way, each day, that it makes it difficult to start the post on this blog. And, today was just another one of those days, except that we got up at 06:00 (I actually got up at 05:50) and started our day. Linda went to bed feeling like she had been drug through a ringer, with aches all over, and in the morning she still felt pretty much the same way. Fortunately, whatever it was giving her all the problems seems to have been beaten by her system and she is feeling more like her regular self again. I was concerned that she had caught a flue bug or something and I am VERY glad to see that she is better.

She still managed to get things going and had the girls off to school on time. I helped a little, but then I had to get to work, as we're working on a bit of a deadline. I think I was able to get a considerable step closer to meeting that deadline, so I feel pretty good about it. I knew going into the job and working again, it was going to be a challenge for us, and now it is really making it clear just how much of a challenge. I still very much want to go to Jason's appointments, so I can talk with the medical folks, though now it is almost impossible to do so. I'm glad that Linda has stepped up and is doing it, so that we still have an extra set of eyes and ears there.

Speaking of extra eyes and ears - I heard from the folks at Cal Poly and they are very excited to be moving forward with the project. I need to reach out to them tomorrow or Thursday, just to be sure they have no questions, or are short on any information. If they can come up with a solution for Jason we are going to be so happy. She has also taken on the task of interviewing potential new health aids, for Jason. Today was Joselynn's last day, so we need to get someone (or multiple someones) in to help out. Joselynn has been a very good support for us, and she will be a tough act to follow, for whom ever we bring in. We've spoken with four candidates so far, and we still have a couple more to talk to. The problem is that when we lived in Pt. Loma it was about a 25 minute drive for Joselynn. Now that we're up in Fallbrook, it is about an hour, and that is just a little more than she can deal with on a regular basis. The good thing is that we'll still see her every now and then, and that, in itself, will be good. Our relationship is more like a family than employer, as we've gotten to know Robert, her husband and all three of her sons, very well.

Jason is continuing to heal back from that tissue breakdown, and I look forward to hearing what they have to say at Wound Care. The wound-vac is off right now, not because it has done its job, but because I needed to change it out and there was one key component, and I didn't have it. I can still pack the wound and that helps, its just the wound-vac is so much better.

Tonight, Linda bathed the girls while I did Jason's dressing change, and afterward she normally brushes out their hair. Today she only did Jackie's hair, and (drum roll please) Stacy brushed out her own hair. This is the first time for her brushing out her own very long hair and doing it completely. Linda has been teaching her how to brush her hair the past several weeks. Stacy was so very proud of herself and, between you and me, I think Linda was pretty proud of Stacy, too. Once everyone was done with showers and baths Jason went in to say good night to them, and that made me feel good. I always like it when he goes in to them and says good night. It is one of those small steps that makes him feel a little more like a normal dad. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27, 2015

Today was a little different, for one of our Sundays, in that Linda was headed off to a Blue Star Mothers luncheon, honoring Gold Star Mothers. For those that don't know - Gold Star Mothers are those that have had a child in the military and also lost a child due to a combat related incident. One of the things we learned today (both Lind and I) is that the last Sunday in September has been designated Gold Star Mothers Day, by Congress, and was done in 1936. The idea of the Gold Star was begun by President Woodrow Wilson, back in 1918, to give them recognition beyond the Blue Star, that was already known. Anyway, Linda was gone for most of the day, with fellow Blue Star Mothers - Loretta,Tina and Lynn, from her chapter. It sounded like she had a good time meeting all these new people, and spending time with friends.

While Linda was off doing this I was home with the girls and Jason. The girls wanted to go to a new park, Live Oak Park, that isn't too far from where we live now. Before leaving, Linda asked me to just relax and try not to do too much, around the house. I did my best to oblige and aside from some dishes and laundry, I didn't do too much. I also put in Jason's pet door, so the dogs can, theoretically, get in and out of the house, on their own; we just need to get them used to using it. I did get to watch a little 49er football, and it was very disappointing. It was like a good college team going up against a professional football team, and the 49ers were not the professionals. I think the next couple of years are going to be dedicated to rebuilding because they have gone through such an upheaval.

Tonight there was a lunar eclipse, and shortly after dinner, and getting the girls to bed, Linda and I were able to sit out on the patio and just relax and enjoy it. I went in and asked Jason if he'd like to come out and see it and he said, "no." A short time later he was out on the patio and took a look, with us. He didn't stay too long, and that is probably a good thing. We still want to have him stay down as much as possible. His wounds are healing up, and a big factor with that is the fact that he has been able to stay down. Also, while I was at the park with the girls, Jason had a visitor. Tim Kirk, the realtor who helped us find the property for Jason's house, came by and visited for about an hour. He was here when we got back from the park, and then stayed a little longer. It was good to see him visit with Jason, as I know Jason would really enjoy having more visitors right now.

One last thing I did today was to install Jason's pet door. It fits into the sliding class door, and is a bit more complicated than I thought it would be, Then again it does seem to work pretty well. So far Gracie is comfortable with it and Kojak is very caution about how it works. We'll see how things go, over the next several days. Thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.