Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Saturday, January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015

Nice day for us today, though it started out a little on the crazy side. Stacy had a soccer game this morning, and we were supposed to have gotten up a little earlier than we actually did. As a result we had to move quickly to make sure we were not only ready, but also got to the game on time... and we did. We actually arrived before most of the rest of the team did, and a few minutes before the coach. Stacy had a great game, and both teams (kindergartners) played their hearts out. As far as both teams are concerned, both teams won - me personally, I believe the score was 2 - 2.

The rest of the day was spent relaxed at home. There were some of the basic chores to be done, and about the most strenuous thing I had to do was clean and change Mr. Jingles' cage. For a rat, he sure is a pretty neat pet. When Jason got him originally my thought was, "What are you thinking?" Now he just seems to be a regular part of the environment and he does help to entertain Jason, so I guess it was the right thing to do.

Tomorrow we'll be going to church in the morning and then coming back to the house. I don't have much else planned for the day, though I might consider trying to get an early bike ride in. I'll see if I can get Jason on to his new chair a little, so that he can get comfortable with it, and that is about the extent of what is happening. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, January 23, 2015

January 23, 2015

One of the nice things about blogspot is that they have plenty of data to show how your blog is doing and what kind of readership you might be collecting. All of this data is great, IF you take the time to look at it, and sometimes I don't. I just noticed that I've past the 1200 posting mark with the blog, and that is a bunch of posts. I thank you all, whoever you are, for continuing to read and follow Jason's development. It started out as a recovery from the injuries, and now has morphed into simply what life has continued to toss his way (and in many aspects, OUR way). Getting this blog started was something that Linda suggested all those years ago, and I'm glad she did, for many reason, this has been very therapeutic for me.

Linda and I got up to a nice little surprise this morning, and that was that they recycle guys had already come by, and they picked up the large cardboard box Jason's new chair came in, and I "knew" that I was going to have to go down this morning and ask them to. I guess that was a wrong guess on my part. We really didn't have much to do this morning, except wait for Brian and Billy to show up, so that the chair could be put together, so I decided that it was time for me to clean up the backyard.

And cleaning it needed. I spent about four hours raking and pulling and moving and just plain taking care of the stuff that needed to be taken care of. I worked up a good sweat, to say the least. On top of all that my phone was busy and I was talking with all kinds of folks, making appointments and either getting or giving information. Bottom line is that it was all very positive. Just about the time I had all the piles of leaves and twigs done in the backyard Brian showed up, with his girl friend, Lindsey and his dog Mia. Also found out that Billy wasn't going to be able to get here, as he had another issue he needed to take care of.

As it turned Brian and I worked on Jason's chair (Brian was providing me with the "training" for what I was able to do). Jason had an appointment he needed to get to, though he was able to sit in the chair to help with Brian getting the correct adjustments made. Shortly after Jason left, Linda and Lindsey came out to watch and in a little while we were able to finish the chair. There are still a couple of adjustments I can do, if they're needed. Then Jason will have himself a new chair all ready for his use. He will need to get it over to the Ability Center, so that they can put the connector latch on the chair, so he can use it to drive his truck, and this way he'll have two chairs.

Brian waited for a little while, to see if Jason would be able to get back before he had to leave, but it wasn't to be. Linda got some pictures of the efforts, and I've shown them below, so you can see what we were working on. We found Brian to be a very knowledgeable and skilled technician, especially considering that he is a triple amputee - amazing to say the least. For those who have seen the movie American Sniper, yes, this is the same guy in that movie - like I said, pretty amazing.

When Jason got home, he was pretty happy with what he saw, and we'll be working to get everything else that needs to be done - done. We want to be able to have the chair for the ground breaking event coming up, as the chair is another gift from the Gary Sinise Foundation. The more we find out about Gary and the Foundation, the more we are humbled by all of this. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.
Getting the controller arm in place

Making one of the many adjustments

Look how high this thing can lift 
Taking the chair for a test ride

Here are the two of them and Mia below

By the way, for those wondering... I had five 33-gallon bags of plant material when I was done with the backyard.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 22, 2015

Today was a pretty nice day, for all of us. I got up at about 07:30, and I understand that Linda got up a couple hours later - but more on that later. Jason and I had a couple of bowls of cereal and then just a few minutes later (maybe as much as 15, I really wasn't tracking) I went out for a bike ride. Before getting our cereal, I finished cleaning the kitchen - something I was supposed to do last night - so that kind of delayed my getting on the bike. I went for a nice 27 mile ride, and probably could have gone much farther but it was getting later than I like and I felt compelled to get back to the house.

When I got back, Linda was out in the garage and Jason was in his room. Linda was doing some laundry and Gracie was, being Gracie, you know laying around and sometimes getting underfoot. As it turned out I could have stayed out a bit longer and there wouldn't have been any problems. I guess I'm just a "worry wart."

A little later in the day Linda and I went to Costco to get some food, and also to get some gas for the car. And that was pretty much our day. I did make some orange-sesame chicken for Jason and I, for lunch (Linda had a bite, too), and it was pretty good. Tonight Linda and I watched a Denzel Washington movie, The Equalizer, and found it to be entertaining, though a bit bloody as his movies sometimes do. The story starts a bit slow, then gains some momentum about 15 minutes into it. After that it is pretty non-stop, and intense. I'm glad we got to see it, and that Jason had it in his collection.

Tomorrow we will be working on Jason's new chair, and I hope to see him ride it. The challenge is that Jason has an appointment in the early afternoon, and I think that's about the time Brian was going to be showing up. I'll be getting on this first thing in the morning, and probably no bike ride tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January 21, 2015

Today started out very relaxed and kind of "normal", whatever that is. We got the girls up and off to school, and they'll be gone for a couple of days, then we'll have them again for the next five. Towards the end of that five day period is the ground breaking for Jason's new house. Actually, the ground breaking ceremony played a big part of today, as Jason and I went to Balboa for his appointments, and while there I checked with as many people I could, to make sure they all were aware of the ground breaking, and all but two of them were. It looks like there is going to be a nice sized crowd and that should make it fun.

Tonight Jason wanted to take us to the movies, so we went and saw American Sniper, and it was not only a very good movie, we actually knew one of the Wounded Warriors in the movie. He is the guy in the wheel chair who is typically dressed in black - for those who saw the movie, he was the "smoker." Funny thing is, we didn't know he was in the movie, until we saw it tonight - and he is going to be here on Friday. I intend to give him a hard time about not telling us. He's coming over to help Jason with his new power chair, so it will be good to see  him for sure.

Tomorrow I intend to get up, a little on the early side, but not too early, and then go for a bike ride. Linda said she is planning to stay in bed for a little while, as this is going to be a nice chance for her to just relax and enjoy it. I don't know what Jason's plans are for the morning, but I'm sure he will be relaxing a bit as well. Thank you, for continuing to support and pray for us. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015

We got the girls up this morning and they were both a bit slow in rising. Neither of them seemed too excited about going to school this morning, but once we got them moving it was much better. Linda and I have basically worked out a team effort in getting them up and moving in the morning. Basically Linda goes in and starts to get the girls moving, and I may go in to help initially. My focus is more on the food side of the equation. I make sure they have a breakfast before going off to school and to insure they have a lunch that is both delicious and nutritious (I learned that phrase from Linda) when she ran her day care. Anyway, the girls were out the door with time to get to the school and ready for their new day.

After we got back to the house Jason needed to get over to the VA, by Mission Valley, and I wanted to be with him at this particular appointment. I also wanted to get a bike ride in, so I decided to ride my bike over, and let him drive. There was also the factor that he would be heading over to La Jolla VA afterward, and I didn't need to go to that appointment, so by taking my bike I could just ride on home and it would work for both of us. The only glitch in that schedule was that Jason's appointments were actually about an hour later than he thought so he just ended up driving back to the house, and by the time I arrived he was getting ready to leave again.

Jason received a new power wheelchair today, and it is now sitting in the garage. I had to move a few things around to make room, and it also allowed me the ability to get rid of some things. Linda was also out in the garage for most of that time, and we worked together pretty well. The chair will be fully assembled this weekend, baring any issues. Brian Anderson will be coming by to put it together on Friday, and Billy Wagasy from Gary Sinise Foundation will also coming by. The chair was arranged through them and they would like to get some pictures of Jason with his chair. Speaking of chairs, and seating solutions ... while Jason was at the La Jolla VA he was able to meet with some of the specialists there and they have a possible new option for Jason, and it sounds rather promising. It may be a while before we see it, but at least they are working towards something to help Jason be more comfortable. My guess is that it will be a couple of months before anything happens, but maybe that is a good thing. Too many things, too fast can be very uncomfortable.

Stacy had a nice soccer practice this evening, and while we were there Jackie kept us entertained with all her running around. I eventually walked with her, Jackie, over to a new playground area that is attached to the park. When Stacy's practice was over she came over to join us and both the girls played on the equipment for a few minutes. We couldn't stay too long as dinner still needed to be cooked, and it was getting later in the evening.

Linda gave the girls a bath tonight, and I helped Jason with his shower. Jason's progress over these past several days has been very good. Effectively, he is down to just a single open wound on his right side, and that is much smaller than it was. It might be Spring before it is closed, but at least it feels like closure is a real possibility, and that hasn't been that way in a long time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015

This morning began with a slow moving me, getting out of bed. It felt good to sleep in our own bed again, and I guess I was kind of tired. I still woke at about 06:30, but didn't get out of bed until after 07:00. I knew the girls were going to be coming and I wanted to be sure we were ready for them. As it turned out they didn't arrive until after 09:00, so I actually had plenty of time to get some of the stuff we had taken with us, put away. When they did arrive Stacy was full of energy and happy to see us and Jackie was feeling a bit cranky, so I am guessing she didn't get enough sleep the night before. Once in the house she came to me and I picked her up for a little while, with her head on my shoulder. And, in a little while longer she was feeling much better.

Linda had been feeling that yo-yo affect of being sick with the flu, when you're right at the end of being sick. First you feel better then you feel like you need to lay back down and over and over a few times. Finally she is feeling much better now (tonight), though this morning she was only up for a short time. While she laid back down I took the girls back over to the school (closed today for MLK day) so they could ride their bikes. They both really had fun scooting around the parking lot, and getting better with how to handle the bikes. We stayed there about an hour then headed back to the house.

Jason had a couple of errands and things to do today, but otherwise he stayed down. He took off on his own, for the errands, and he is becoming much more independent with his truck. This is a very good thing for all of us, as well as for him. Along the lines of getting around, we will be heading over to the VA tomorrow to take care of a couple of those appointments, as well as a meeting on the Ground Breaking that's coming up. The only other item that is happening tomorrow is that the girls are going to be going back to school. They have been out of school for several days, due to illness and today with the holiday it seems like they haven't been there for quite some time.

The rest of the day, today, was pretty much laid back. The great folks at Serving Spoons came by today with a nice dinner for us. It was Spinach Lasagna, salad and bread. They also provided a nice little dessert to make it a complete meal. We'er going to miss them once we move up to Fallbrook. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 18, 2015

We are back home now, as we left Livermore this morning. I had planned on getting out at about 09:00 and we made it - I felt pretty good about that, considering how Linda was still feeling. On a big plus side, she is feeling much better now, than she did yesterday, and even better than she did this morning. I think she is over the worst of the illness, and now it is just a matter of dealing with the lingering aspects, such as the cough.

We did stop to visit with David, and his family, though we really didn't stay too long. As it turns out Miriam is a bit under the weather as well, so we kept the interfacing down to a minimum. Yesterday was Dylan's birthday, and we wanted to be sure to deliver his birthday gifts. We also had some other gifts, from Christmas, and that included Ethan. Ethan was also dealing with a bug, and probably the same thing that Linda and Miriam have. He was sleeping when we arrived so we didn't get a chance to see him, and that is probably a better thing. We'll see him on the next trip.

The drive down to David's was pretty easy and the traffic was relatively light, and then on the drive back down to San Diego, from David's  was also much easier than I anticipated. We were both very happy about this, and we arrived home at about 19:05 (7:05pm) - that's about an hour sooner than I thought we'd get here. As we walked up to the door, it opened and Joselyn was there to great us. She had been taking care of Jason while we were gone, and now she was there to greet us. The house was very clean and everything nice and tidy. Jason was in great spirits and apparently he even cooked the dinner last night, for himself. There were some left overs in the refrigerator.

We didn't stay up too late, and in fact Linda went to bed by 20:00 (8pm), and I stayed up a little longer. Like I said, Linda is feeling better, though she is still pretty tired and just wanted to get some sleep. The girls will be here in the morning (no school because of MLK day), so we want to be as refreshed as possible. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.