Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014

An interesting day, and and interesting evening - I enjoyed both...

Started out with taking Stacy to her class and realizing that I had forgotten her bathing suit. Today is a water day (a very warm and dry day here in San Diego), and Stacy really wants to participate. I headed back to the house and knew that shortly we would be heading over to the Naval Hospital at Balboa, for Jason's appointments, as well as over to the Child Development Center (CDC) to get Jackie to her class. That's okay, we'll see them again on Friday.

While at the Hospital Jason had his wounds checked at Wound Care and things are really looking good. Dr. Shoemaker took some photos and was very pleased with how his treatments were looking. Everything is closing up nicely and though there are a couple of spots that need to be watched closely, overall Jason is getting better. The biggest question seemed to be about his chair seat cushion and how it was going to be redone. The next stop was with Ophthalmology where they were very happy with the progress of his eye. We ran into Dr. Shue while there (he tried to make it to Wound Care but Jason was gone by the time he arrived) and he wanted to get a better feel for how Jason was feeling and doing. It was a little longer visit than I had hoped for, but that's okay we still got out soon enough (before noon).

We ended up making a quick stop at the pharmacy, to order more meds and then we headed on home. At home Linda was working on some paperwork and doing her best to get the place just a little more organized and effectively, livable. She's doing a great job so I think I might need to get her a surprise gift or something. Anyway, we were home for about 30 minutes when she asked if Stacy had her bathing suit (remember, from above) and I said, it still needed to be taken over there. So what did Linda do, she got up and took it to Stacy, and I was kind of happy about that as it gave me a short break. Stacy was happy about it too, as she thought, "Grandpa had forgotten about it." Right after that we had a couple of visitors, Tom Lightner and Fred Thomson. It is always good to see these two gentlemen, as they continue to work to help the guys in their recovery. Just as they were getting ready to leave Joselyn showed up and she was ready to take over the care of Jason for the evening.

After that, Linda and I were off to run a few errands and then take off for our dinner with Robb Frank and his wife Pauline. It was great just being able to sit down with two folks who understand some of what we're going through (their son lost a leg, and other injuries). They prepared a great dinner and even better was the conversation. We stayed a little later than we originally planned, but that's okay, Joselyn didn't mind being with Jason, and it wasn't too much later. Soon we were headed home, and thus the end of the day. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014

Not much to report on today, as we pretty much stayed at home. The girls were off to their respective schools and the rest of us spent most of the day, simply at home. There are a couple of things that I guess are "news worthy," and that is that Jason had a parent-teacher conference phone call, for Jackie. The call was very informative for Jason, and they touched on all the things that were expected. There is some concern that Jackie is a little delayed in her development, and Jason is doing his best to stay on top of it (of course Grandma and Grandpa are helping out here also). The other item is that Jason took his shower today, and that means a dressing change. The "newsy" aspect of that is that the wounds are just about all healed up and tomorrow we go in to Wound Care, and I believe we'll have the docs there to take a look. Things are looking good all around, so we're all positive about moving forward. Jason is becoming a little more comfortable in his chair and in a matter of a few weeks I would guess that he'll be close to what he was able to do, prior to the surgery; and, in a matter of a couple of months he'll be doing even more. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

Today began with a feeling that I really needed to get out and go for a ride. I knew there were other things we needed to get done, first, so I got Linda to get up with me, and it wasn't even close to 07:00 yet, and we went down stairs. I checked on Jason and he wasn't  going to formation this morning, as he said he needed to be sure his uniform was ready, and honestly, it wasn't. I think maybe he wants to get a haircut first and then he'll feel more comfortable with the rest of the battalion. He has expressed in the past that he likes to set the example for the others to follow and if he can't show the way a Marine should look, then he doesn't feel comfortable going. Besides, I don't know that he would be able to stay up in his chair that long. He hasn't been in his chair for more than 90 minutes so far, and he has told me that the pain is very similar to what it was, prior to the ablating of the nerve, that was done. Anyway, Linda wanted to get going with her exercise routine, and I wanted to be sure she was done, before I left for my bike ride.

By the time I was ready to go (I got on my email and had to respond to some of them - terrible time sync) it was after 09:15. I decided that I was headed for Cabrillo National Monument, and I knew it was going to be a good tough ride. I also wanted to put a little extra distance in so I took off and went in the wrong direction initially and circled around to get going in the right direction. It added another 2 miles, so I was happy with that. I got going up the hill and about half a mile up there was some road construction going on. I was kind of happy for the delay, as it gave me a chance to catch my breath. The rest of the ride up was uneventful, and the happy part was that the park was open today. I purchased my week pass ($3) and went on in. This is where I did something a little different. Typically I would ride with a banana to give me a little more energy, but today I road with an apple and the difference was pretty amazing. I felt better with the ride home, as a big portion of it is down hill, but there is still another hill to climb and when I hit that hill I pretty much went up and over faster than I had done in the past. I think I'm going to ride with an apple all the time.

The rest of the day was relaxed and we took care of some chores and other things, and then Jason kind of surprised us. He wanted to go to lunch so we all ended up at lunch (Red Lobster) and each of us had one of their lunch specials. It felt really good to be doing this, as Jason hadn't been out of the house in months, to do anything other than go to appointments. Going to lunch was a major step in the right direction.

We got back to the house and we all wanted to take a little nap, so we did. I was up a short time later and went to go pick up the girls. I looked at the clock and saw that their nap times were over so it would be a good time to get them. When we all got back home Stacy and Jackie immediately went to their play area and each picked up something to do, and it was a very pleasant surprise for me. Usually Jackie tags along and likes to copy just about everything Stacy does. She will then later break away and go do something else. Today was the first time I remember seeing her come in and not even care what Stacy was doing and went to her puzzles right away. They played that way for more than an hour.

After that the girls and I went out back where they played and I got the grill going. Tonight was hamburger night and so I did the cooking. Dinner was good and the girls both ate a full hamburger. I was kind of surprised at that, but I guess I shouldn't be since they're both growing like weeds - maybe I should say bamboo. The rest of the evening was relaxed and the girls had their bath and then to bed, that is after a story time with Daddy. Jason read to them and then they went to bed. It has been a good day and even better evening. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay strong.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27, 2014

A nice day, with an easy beginning. Linda took the girls to church and I stayed back with Jason. When they got back from church we walked the girls over to their mom's place and said our good-bye's, until tomorrow afternoon. They have gotten pretty synced up with the schedule and are understanding that there are two homes, two bedrooms, and two different environments. What I particularly like is that they are so excited every time they see us, even if it is only for a couple of hours.

Otherwise we have had a relaxed day. Jason got up and took a shower, and shaved off his impressive beard, though he left his hair alone - for now. After the shower I did a dressing change and I am very pleased with the progress of healing. I think the docs are all going to be very happy with what they see when we go back in for our next visit. Later this evening Jason got up again and wanted to test out what it was like riding in the car, so we ended up heading over to the grocery store. He did okay, though he was feeling some extra pain by the time we were returning home. Not sure he will be going to formation tomorrow, as he had originally planned. I was pleased that he was able to get up and finally get out of the house, just wished it was a longer stay in his chair. He is getting stronger, and I guess I'm feeling a little anxious to get to that next level of the "new" normal.

The rest of the evening was spent kicking back and watching the Hallmark Channel. Actually Linda likes to watch it while she sorts through paperwork and works on things that take time to organize. I only watched for a little while, and then worked on a few things I need to work on. Tomorrow is going to be a good day and I expect to get a few more things accomplished. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April 26, 2014

Today was another good day, and we all had a great time, just enjoying each other's company. For a little while Linda was gone, where she went to visit the cats (Candy and Pumpkin) at the home where they are being cared for; and,  while we wait on the house being built for Jason. The girls had a fun time, especially when we went out to the backyard and they got to ride their scooters. Funny part was that apparently it rained last night, and there were some residual clouds hanging around, so even though it was pretty bright outside, it did start to sprinkle a little. It lasted only for about five minutes, but we all felt it.

After Linda got back home I went to Costco, to restock some of our food supplies. Fortunately it wasn't too much so it didn't take too long to get it done. Actually felt kind of strange as it was the first time I've been to Costco, in a long time, by myself... and they were crowded.

We had a nice chicken dinner, that I picked up at Costco (didn't really feel like cooking anything, and I didn't think Linda wanted to cook either). Jason had a good appetite and made sure there were no left overs this time. Actually we all did a pretty good job of consuming the chicken, so I figured it must have been a good choice on my part.

After the girls went to bed Linda and I sat back and decided to watch an older movie, Forest Gump. It was kind of nice being able to enjoy the movie and discuss many of the different time jumps throughout the movie. From start to finish it actually runs more than three decades, starting with Forest growing up in the 1950's and 60's, to when Jenny dies towards the middle of the 1980's. I guess I paid a little closer attention to some of the shots of Viet Nam, because I realized that I was actually in the movie. The Bob Hope Christmas Show of 1971 is shown and they pan the audience. I am in that audience, therefore I'm in the movie. Pretty cool stuff, and I even still have some photos to prove I was there.

Tomorrow Linda will be taking the girls to church, and they will be going to Sunday School. They really enjoy going and being in the mix with the other kids. They will be headed back to their Mom's place afterward, then back to us on Monday, after school. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

Today was a special day for the Ross family, here in San Diego. It started out with Linda and I getting up and putting together a nice healthy breakfast of yogurt and apples, and it was really good. Linda actually got out on the elliptical prior to breakfast and she continues to increase her time. I'm doing my best to monitor her, as I don't want her to do too much, too quickly. Bottom line is that she worked up a pretty good sweat (I know, women glow, men sweat) and I was very happy and proud with her progress.  Once she was done with that, it was my turn to get out and do something, and so I went for 21+ mile bike ride. I worked up a good sweat, too. Actually, the ride took me past a Togos (I think there are only four of them in San Diego), so I stopped and picked up sandwiches for lunch, since it was now getting close.

Jason wanted a roast beef, large and Linda and I had our small sandwiches (I had a #9 and Linda had #5). The real interesting thing was that as I got back to the house I took the sandwiches in and delivered Jason's to him, in his bed and Linda and I sat down and had ours. So far it was beginning to look like a pretty normal Friday for us. Then... Jason came out of his room, in his chair and said he wanted to take a shower, just like it was before the surgery. Linda and I stood there for a few moments and then started to get all excited and took a couple of pictures. Actually we had asked Jason if we could take pictures and he said he would rather not, so for right now I am not going to post them, until he says its okay. It was really great to see him up and moving again, and he said the discomfort was manageable, at least for a few minutes and he wanted to take a shower.

After the shower he was feeling MUCH better and he even looked better. I changed the dressings on his wounds and they all looked great. I would guess that it won't be too long until he has no more areas to worry about, at least for right now. As he regains the ability to stay in his chair we will be getting out of the house and actually doing more. The Marines even brought over another van for our use, so we have the means to get more mobility. My guess is that in another week or two we'll attempt taking Gracie to her and Jason's training sessions, but then again I may be getting a little over anxious.

A little while later we received another little surprise. The girls were brought over, to spend the night and all Saturday with us. This means we can take them to church on Sunday, before they head back home. We will then get them again on Monday. I fixed Salmon with rice and vegetables, and the girls loved it. Linda also had some peaches sliced up for them, as sort of a little dessert. I was actually surprised with Stacy eating more than Jackie tonight, as usually it is the other way around.

Finally we all watched a little of the movie "Frozen" (we've only seen it about a dozen times now) then the girls got board and took off to do other things. This was okay with us, as we prefer they use their minds and imagination with creative play. Jackie loves puzzles and Stacy likes to do all kinds of stuff, especially showing her creative side. It is always great to have the girls here, so it has been a great day.  Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 23, 2014

Today was a good day, with the Ross family in San Diego. About the only down side is that we won't be seeing the girls for the next five days. On the big plus side is Jason is healing up well and the medical team is very pleased with how things are coming along. I was a bit surprised by Dr. Salt when he suggested that Jason consider doing another tissue expander on the other side (left side) to see if they can get more coverage. Jason sort of listened and didn't commit one way or another. I just happen to know that he is not interested in any more surgeries, right now, and would rather just focus on getting himself back in to an operable condition. He did sit up a little today, though it was only for about 20 seconds, and from the look on his face I would have to say it was painful still. The fact that he could go for 20 seconds is good, as it does show that he is getting better. The wounds and bandages are getting smaller all the time, so Linda and I are very happy about that, as is Jason.

Tonight was also Linda's and my "date-night." We decided to go check out some new model homes, to get some ideas for his new house that is being built soon. We got some pictures taken and it did give us some ideas about what is available, so that we discuss ideas with the designers. After that we went to the Landmark theater in Hillcrest, and saw the movie "The Railway Man," and felt that it was well worth the effort to go see it. The performances were excellent and Collin Firth (he was the main character)  and Nicole Kidman  were very believable in their roles. I would suggest going to see it, if you enjoy  WWII movies, with this one being how survivors cope. A great deal can be gleaned for how to help some of those with more current injuries and PTSD.

After dinner we went to a Mexican restaurant and had a nice meal. We were able to have the time together and still get home before 20:00 (8pm). Probably one of the more enjoyable times that we have had, in a long time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014

Nothing new to report about today. It has been a good day for everyone and I think particularly enjoyable by Linda, as she had time to do things with Stacy that she hasn't been able to do otherwise. I got in a 19+ mile bike ride, and that was good for me. And, then Jason had his dressings changed out and the wounds looked better today than ever in the past. I am confident that tomorrow's doctor/wound care visit is going to be a good one. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

What an interesting, and challenging day for me. I sure am glad that Linda is here because I really needed her help, with all that happened.

Have you ever had one of those days where it just seems like everything is orchestrated to make the first few hours seem like things are against you? I got up with plenty of time and figured I'd do a little "housekeeping" on my system. It was time to change/update my security software. Well, when I tend to get working on a computer, almost any computer, I tend to loose track of the time, and it happened again this morning, and I didn't even get the software loaded. I finally realized I needed to check on the time for my morning appointment, with the VA, I found out that it was in 15 minutes, and over at the Mission office. Oh, crap! I ran up to do a quick clean up and get dressed, the only thing I had done was brush my teeth. Fortunately I hadn't eaten anything, and once I was dressed I jumped in the truck and took off.

I ended up behind slow drivers, each traffic light was red, and then there was a couple of cars who both wanted the same spot on the road, and of course in front of me. I finally made it over to the VA Mission office, and then found out it was the "other" Mission office, that I typically don't go to (went there three times with Jason, so I knew where it was). I hurried over (safely) and finally got a break. Normally if you miss one of those appointments you have to reschedule and you don't get in for another two months or so. This time, however, I was able to see the doctor, and then found out that I ultimately needed to get over to La Jolla, VA Medical Center. Once I got past all that the day did seem to go a little more smoothly. I got all the tests completed and they were able to draw the blood with only a few sticks.

The rest of the day was much more relaxed and things kind of fell in to place, like a normal day, and it ended on a very nice evening. We had dinner and Linda gave the girls a bath. I asked them if they wanted me to tell them a story or read to them, and they chose tell a story. They wanted to hear a story about Tinkerbell  and her battles with the Pirate Fairy. I just put a few ideas together and made up the story and I think Stacy really enjoyed the way it ended up with the Pirate Fairy becoming a friend. Jackie just likes hearing the stories and will sometimes ask for me to through in a few characters she likes to make up. It can be a challenge but at least it shows she listens, some.

The story was over and the girls were in bed. I finally got back to the computer and finished the software install and went through my email. Tomorrow should be a little easier day, though I always know things can turn quickly. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

We started the morning with two very excited little girls, who were anxious to see what was going to be happening today. We had a great breakfast, courtesy of Linda, and then we had to rush to get ready for church. We'd lost track of the time and neither of us had even started to get dressed, let alone getting the girls ready. Anyway, we got the girls to their Sunday school classes and then went and enjoyed the rest of the time, until service was over. Then we had to get over to pick up the girls and get back to the house, as Sean (or I should say, Uncle Sean) was setting up for the egg hunt.

We got back to the house and the girls immediately ran to the backyard and looked through the window. First thing Stacy said was, "I can see the eggs!" We still had to get them prepared for the egg gathering fun and once that was done they were out the door. Stacy did collect more than Jackie, though I think she held her own pretty well. Both of their "baskets" (actually two buckets) were full and they were very excited to have been able to have that much fun.

Shortly after the egg hunt, and examining all the eggs (they were plastic eggs, with each one of them containing a surprise), we made lunch. After this the girls went down for their nap and I did Jason's dressing change. The opportunity was good, in that his wounds are looking really good, with the biggest challenge right now being his ability to sit up. He attempted to do so, before we came back from church, and it was still too painful, so we're just going to have to wait a bit longer. We'll be speaking with the doctors next week to see what they can come up with, as a possible solution.

Sean had to leave at about 18:00 (6pm), to catch his flight, and we'll miss having him around. He continues to amaze us with his point of view, and of all the boys, he is the one who has demonstrated the greatest generational difference from us. What he enjoys doing and has his focus is very typical of his generation, and of those who are single. He does have a great discipline of keeping his finances in better order now, and is working very hard at getting all his bills taken care of, including his student loan - and that we're grateful for. Anyway, he might be able to get back down in another month or so, and that will be good.

As a side note - I decided to post a picture of me, at my laptop, showing what it typically looks like when I update my blog... and some of the Easter pictures. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.







Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19, 2014

This morning started off with our cats both joining us in bed. It was the first time for that to happen in a long time. I enjoyed having them up, with us, though I think it might have made it a little more difficult for Linda to say, "good-bye" to them. After all, she has been their primary care taker for the past three years, and they were her regular companions. The good thing though, is that we can go see them, whenever we want, and have the time... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We got up and I made some oatmeal for breakfast, and it was good, but I forgot to pick up some raisins, so to me, it seemed like something was missing. Anyway, shortly after breakfast we took off to take the cats to their new "foster" home, where they will be staying for the next 6+ months. Glenn and Ann (and their son Nick) will taking care of them until Jason's new house is built. When that's completed we will be bringing them to the new house, where they will remain with us. Ann and Glenn have been wonderful about accepting them, and when we first introduced them to the house Pumpkin quickly made herself at home. Candy will take a little more time. Glenn and Ann have two cats of their own, along with a terrier, so there will be other animals for them to play with. Pumpkin and Einstein (the terrier) were getting along fine by the time we left, so we are pretty comfortable that it will work. We even took the girls with us to drop the cats off, and both of them were pretty excited to see where Candy and Pumpkin will be living, and knowing that we can go see them at any time.

After we got back home it was time for lunch, so we all sat down and had a nice lunch together. Sean had remained with Jason when we took the cats, so it was good to find the two of them just talking in Jason's room, when we returned. I think sometimes Jason misses his brothers a little more than he will admit, but that's okay, because it just makes it that much better when they do finally get together. When lunch was over, the girls were going down for their nap, and Sean and I decided to get out to the property where Jason's house is going to be built. It was a nice drive out (and back), and the weather has been great, so it was a good trip and worth the time to get out to see it.

Tonight, Grandma was working with the girls to color some eggs. Yeah, she did it the old fashioned way with vinegar-die and hard boiled eggs. The girls were amazed at what she could do with the different designs, and especially with a wax pencil. Actually, there were only a few eggs to color, as we don't want to "loose" any with the egg hunt tomorrow. The egg hunt will be happening after we get home from church service tomorrow, and I am hoping that Jason might be able to get up long enough to see the activity tomorrow. It is a bit of a long shot, but I can still hope.

Dinner tonight was simple, spaghetti and salad, and it went very well. Sean had plenty to eat, as did the rest of us. Not sure what we will be doing for breakfast tomorrow, but I'm sure it will be something good. Thank you for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.


Friday, April 18, 2014

April 18, 2014

We had a great morning start for today, with the girls coming up stairs and telling us it was time to get up. Actually, we had been up for about 30 minutes, just laying in bed and enjoying the quiet time together. Anyway, we all got up and soon were having breakfast, raisin bran, and it started with Stacy saying that she didn't like it. By the time we were done she had requested a couple of bowls, and ate all of it.

Later this morning the girls and I went to Costco, and they both were wearing their Easter Bunny ears, and I have determined that Stacy has a future in dealing with the public. She was going up to just about anyone that even slightly looked at her and she would tell them that she was a "bunny princes." Everyone thought they were both very cute (and they are), and it consistently brought smiles to the people's faces.

Then later in the day, late afternoon, we headed over to the airport and picked up Sean, or youngest son, as he is down for an Easter visit. The girls were very excited to have Uncle Sean here, and they spent a good part of the evening talking with him, and sharing anything anything and everything they could think of. It is good to have Sean here, as we just simply have not had enough time with him, over these past few years, and frankly we miss having him around.

Dinner tonight was simply grilling some burgers outside and having some catch up time. Sean and Jason spent the evening chatting and sharing different things, as brothers often do. We get to have Sean with us until later Easter, then he has to fly back home, up in San Francisco. It is a short visit, but we'll take all we can get. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014

I got up this morning, a little on the early side, as I had a trip planned to head up to Los Angeles, to pick up our cats. The two cats have been kept, for the past couple of weeks with my son, in Los Angeles and now we need to get them down here, and to their "new" home. They will be in foster care until Jason's house is built, and we've moved in, and that might not be until the end of this year. Anyway, I was up early and went in to check on Jason, as I usually do, after I get up. He was awake and just before I went into his room he called me, on my phone. He wanted me to let Gracie (his dog) out, so she could do her normal morning routine. I did this and then went in to see him. I wondered if he had attempted to get into his chair before calling me, and he had. It wasn't a good out come.

When he attempted to get into the chair he said it caused him some significant discomfort and pain and felt that he should not be sitting just yet. We discussed it for a few minutes and then I went to finish getting ready to leave. I wanted to get going so that I could get up to David's place and turn around and back down here to be a part of the meeting that was scheduled today. I figured we'd talk more about it, after that meeting, and Jason didn't seem horribly bothered, just sort of irritated and maybe disappointed that he wasn't going to be able to be up in his chair.

Aside from the traffic, the trip up was uneventful, and the visit was short but very nice. I got to visit with David, Miriam and Ethan; Dylan was already at school when I arrived. I loaded up the cats and their supplies and we headed back down to San Diego. The meeting was to begin at about 13:30 and I had more than three hours to get back, so it should be relatively easy. I called Linda and let her know that I was on my way, and then took off.

Again, the trip down was affected by traffic, a little more than I had hoped, but still it wasn't that bad. At about 12:55 I received a call from Linda, to let me know that just about everyone was there, and she wanted to know how much longer I'd be. I was south of Ocean Side and thought that I should be able to make it the rest of the way in about half an hour, though I only told her that I'd be there as soon as I could be and continued on with the drive. I arrived at 13:25 (1:25pm), and actually one other person arrived just a few minutes after me - she thought it was at 13:30 also. As it turned out, the later arrival was okay because Jason was still asleep, and so we had a few minutes to talk among ourselves. Jason woke a short while after that and then we effectively moved the meeting to his room.

The meeting went very well, as we had representatives from the medical side (from the Navy Hospital); representatives from the recovery side (like recovery care coordinators); representatives from Carrington (the folks actually building his new house, and Michael Barrett, who now works for them; and, from The University of Texas, Arlington, who are going to be doing the robotics and other things to make his life a much more normalized way of being. We talked about all kinds of stuff, and the meeting went on for about three hours, or more. I can't list all of the stuff we talked about, but believe me, it was good stuff.

The next surprise was that the girls were back over with us, a day early. Jason was asked to take them and he was happy to do so. It will actually make getting ready for our Easter celebration, though small, a little bit better. The girls were very happy to see the cats, as they have met them prior, and it gave them something new to talk about. We did that, and talked for a little while. Jason and the girls watched a My Little Pony show, and then it was time for bed. It had been a busy day and they were all very ready for bed. Tomorrow Sean, our youngest son, will be coming in, and staying for a visit, through Easter. We are all looking forward to seeing him, and spending some time with him. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16, 2014

I started the morning off with taking Jackie to her doctor appointment, to have a follow up exam on her ears. As it turned out the ears seem to be working fine, though they could not tell 100% right now, since she just got over an infection. They want to see her back again in about four weeks, to give her body some time to get totally clear of the infection she had last week. On a real positive note, Jackie was feeling great and full of energy this morning and just as happy as could be.

While I was taking Jackie to her appointment, Linda was getting Stacy ready for her school. Again, Stacy was happy and  full of energy, so the morning start for us was good from all accounts. After getting the girls to their respective classes it was on to focusing on Jason, and his appointments for this morning.

Jason's appointment went well, and the healing is progressing, just not as fast as we would have liked it too. The doctor was there and said that Jason was able to get up on his chair, as soon as he wanted to, and he was no longer restricted to staying on his left side. The best part of that is that Jason can now take a shower anytime he wants, without concern for damage to the wound areas. Everything settled back down, once we got back to the house, and Linda and I could plan for our Date Night, tonight.

We decided to use a couple of gift cards we still have, and a Regal gift card that Bill and Ruth gave us. As it turned out, "Heaven is For Real" is playing and we both wanted to see it. I found it to be a very interesting and moving, and think that it is worth the time and effort to go see. Linda liked it too. We went to a nice dinner afterward (nice means we had a sit down meal with cloth napkins, thank you mom and dad for the gift cards). We enjoyed ourselves and are now back at the house.

Tomorrow I will be headed up to our son David's place, to pick up our cats. I will be bringing them back down with me, and in another couple of days get them over to Ann and Greg's place, where they will be staying until Jason's house is ready. We are both kind of excited about this, though Linda is more so, as she considers them her special companions. Anyway, it will be another item we don't have to worry about and another step closer to being completely moved down here. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15, 2014

Happy Tax Day! Okay, maybe not such a happy day for everyone... ;-)

Today was certainly a good day here. Jason was in pretty good spirits and is looking forward to tomorrow's medical appointment. We are all hoping that the doctor is happy with how the wounds have progressed and will okay his getting back into his chair. Getting back into his chair means so much for him (and for the rest of us, too), as it allows him to move about the house and be with his kids more; it means he can get back into a routine of going to his physical therapy, where he has a better chance of doing exercise with a trainer; it means he will be another step closer to getting his own vehicle and getting that extra step of independence; and, it will be a chance for him to finally get out of his room, when he wants too.

Jason received a call to coordinate a meeting, tomorrow, with the folks who do robotics work, for helping the wounded warriors, allowing them to gain some independence. Apparently they will be coming over around 13:30, so we will be able to see just what it is they offer. The possibilities are very high and exciting for all of us, so we continue to be positive about the future.Jason also received a letter from the Gary Sinise Foundation and The Carrington Corporation. They are working jointly to insure that Jason's house is built, and built to his specifications. It was a great letter and what made it particularly exciting is that it was signed by Michael Barrett, Jason's former First Sergeant when he was at Bethesda. We got to know Michael pretty good, and found him to be a great guy to get things done. (Note: This is not the same Micheal Barrett who is the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. - They know each other very well, but are two different people).

When the girls came home from school today they were full of energy and wanted to still get out and play. I took them to the park, and let them play there for about 1/2 an hour and Stacy said she wanted to go back to the house. Jackie wasn't ready to go back inside, so we then all went out in the backyard and they played with the scooter and tricycle, while snacking on some Quinoa and Black Bean Tortilla Chips and humus (Linda introduced this snack and the girls love it). This gave Linda time to fix dinner and when it was ready, the girls were ready to head back in. We had a great dinner and relaxed evening, with me telling the girls stories with characters using their names, and it made them laugh, and finally it was bed time. I hope tomorrow is as good a day as today has been. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

Today was a good day for a nice bike ride, and I decided to take advantage of it. I hadn't ridden out to Mission beach in several weeks, and as it turned out, I took a few new turns and found a couple new paths and had a nice 17 mile ride. Maybe not as nice as Monterey's 17 Mile Drive, but still a nice ride for me. 

We got up this morning and Linda made some French toast for breakfast, and it was really good. Jason and I finished off the bread, so we'll have to get more. We continue to get ready for Easter while at the same time still reorganizing the house, as well as can be done. We're thinking about picking up a couple of those metal, adjustable racks that Costco sells, and we think that it will help with getting things more organized, as well as being better stacked. You can only stack boxes so high, and the racks allow for much higher stacking.

Linda went to go pick up Stacy from her pre-school, and I went to pick up Jackie, and when I got there Jackie came running over to great me and immediately wanted me to pick her up. I'm guessing that there was a similar occurrence at Stacy's school, for Linda. It is always so much fun to have the girls with us, and they are always so happy and full of energy. 

The rest of the evening was spent with the girls going to the backyard with Grandma, and they all practiced their art work with sidewalk chalk, drawing pictures of anything and everything. The best thing is when the girls lay down and ask Grandma to draw lines around them, so they can see themselves on the ground. Tomorrow is another quiet day, and I can tell that Jason is getting anxious to get back to the doctor. He is eager to find out how the wounds are healing, and so are Linda and I. Wednesday will be the big day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 13, 2014

Today was a pretty good day, as Jason is doing well and though we really didn't go anywhere, we had a good time. We did have a visitor, two actually, Richard Rovsek and his wife came by to talk with Jason, Linda and I about a relatively new foundation, The Spirit of Liberty Foundation, and something new they're putting together. It sounds very interesting and has a high potential to do some good for all the wounded warriors, both those with visible injuries, as well as those with things like PTSD and other "hidden" wounds. Right now Jason can not do much, for multiple reasons, other than to possibly advise and being a "sounding board" for when they might have some ideas. Down the road, though, he could possibly help in other ways, that I won't be talking about just yet. I will be learning more about them, over the next few weeks, and getting a chance to speak with them more. Perhaps Linda and I will be able to help them in some small way, as they get started.

Other than that we spent most of the day just being together and enjoying our selves. Linda has been busy preparing for Easter, and I think the girls are going to be very pleased with what they see. Jason rested very well, and Linda and I even took a short nap. This afternoon, Serving Spoons, Annie, came by and dropped off a very nice dinner for us. She comes once a month to basically give us a nice Sunday dinner, and it was. I hope you all had a great weekend, and that the weather is great throughout the week. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 12, 2014

Not a great deal to write about today, other than it was a good day and we managed to get some things done. I started the day with a nice bike ride up to Cabrillo National Park, and found that it was closed. It was kind of a bummer, because it is actually a lot of work to ride up to the park, and then generally it is much more casual around in the park - as you rest a bit. Of course the ride back to the house was mostly down hill, so I did get to rest, but it wasn't the same thing. And I did manage to get back to the house at a relatively early hour, about 08:45, and it was still quiet.

I guess the big news for the day was that we now have a place to take the cats, while we wait for the house to be built. This is a very big relief, as we effectively have run out of time. The folks who will be "fostering" the cats are very nice people, and they are actually only about 20 minutes away. All we have to do now is to make sure there is food for them, and we take them to the vet when there is a need (and any other cat expense that might come up). We connected with these folks through Dogs on Deployment (DoD), a non-profit group who are there to help military families who find they need to have a place for their pets to go, while they have to be somewhere else. So far we're very happy with them, and see no reason for this to change.

Tonight was pizza night, and we sat back and watched a DVD. We saw, "Unstoppable," the movie about that runaway train in Pennsylvania, back a few years, maybe 10. We hadn't seen it in awhile and it was kind of fun to watch. Tomorrow should be another good relaxed day, though there is still plenty of work to be done around here, after church. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11, 2014

Today is one of those days where you just have to take situations, one thing at a time. I had gotten up and was actually planning on getting out and going for a bike ride. About 20 minutes prior to getting ready Jason received a phone call from his primary doctor, who had heard about the situation with Jason's eyes (from his Wound Care visit yesterday). Well, this ended up turning into an eye appointment with Ophthalmology and we needed to get Jason in to the hospital sometime this morning. Okay, so now I need to call the ambulance to get them over to pick up Jason (and me), and that was end of  my ride. On a Friday you don't want to be out on the street, on a bicycle, if you don't have to, after about 14:00 (2pm). People are more interested in getting home and getting the weekend started, and really become rude, discourteous drivers, which translates to dangerous drivers, especially for those on bikes... so I didn't go.

Jason's appointment was actually kind of fast. They were interested in working with him, and the doctor he had, had a great bedside manner. She was both efficient as well as effective. She did an exam of his eyes; made a couple quick tests; consulted with two other specialists and we were out of there in less than an hour, along with the meds Jason is now taking. Well, most of the meds, I had to go back later to pick up one more in the afternoon, and that was simply walk in and it was handed to me and I walked out, maybe 30 seconds. The cool thing about the appointment being short was that we were able to get back to the house before Linda had to leave for Stacy's school play. Stacy had asked both of us to attend, but understood that I had to stay with Daddy, so Grandma (Linda) had to go without Grandpa (me). Linda said it was a fun play, especially for all the kids watching, and at the end there were a bunch of jelly beans given out to the kids (Here comes the sugar highs).

 The rest of the day was primarily spent at the house, with the exception of a couple of errands that I had to take care of, for Jason and for Linda and I. We did get out to Costco and purchased a few things, and that was pretty much the typical Friday-Costco trip. Lots of people moving as fast as they could to get ready for the weekend, and even some getting ready for Easter. Bottom line is that we were in and out of Costco in about an hour, and then came back to the house.

Tomorrow I am going to once again, attempt to go for a bike ride, and if I can get out of the house early enough I can ride the roads much more safely, with far fewer vehicles on the road. I guess I'll have to wait and see how it goes, but then I'm getting used to that. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support you all have been sending. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 11, 2014

This morning, Linda and I woke up a little before 07:00 and as many couples do, we simply laid there and talked. Not for very long, but still long enough to just enjoy the time together, and figure out what we were going to do for breakfast (ended up Linda made French Toast). It was a nice relaxed time and very much needed by both of us, I think.

Linda made the breakfast, and both Jason and I enjoyed the benefit of her culinary efforts. We had to be ready to go to Jason's appointment, at 09:30 this morning, so there really wasn't a great deal of time to just wander around, and the ambulance did arrive a little early. The ride to the hospital was without incident, as we generally hope is the case; completed with the long walk to Wound Care. Wound Care is down a long haul way, and simply from the architectural vantage point, it looks to be WAY down the other end of the hall, once you get started.

The visit itself was pretty much as expected, with all the wounds looking better, with a little more healing to be done; and the surprise issue was Jason's eye. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for his eye, last week, and it is still a bit red and irritated. He will be going in to see an ophthalmologist, probably on Monday, as long as the eye doesn't become a problem. Because the main doctor (the one who did the surgery) won't be back until Wednesday, next week, it was decided that Jason won't need to come back in until then, and it is hoped that will be the last ambulance trip, at least for a long time.

This afternoon, after we got back to the house, we focused on getting a few things cleaned up and put away, and to make sure we had all those little things out of the way, so we could have our "date night." We ended up going to a late lunch and then to a movie. The lunch was much better than expected, and it was at a restaurant we had never been to, though we will go again, I think. The movie, however was the new one with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sabotage. It isn't a movie that I can recommend. The acting was okay, though the story line was a bit of a stretch. It was, however a nice time for the two of us to get away and have our alone time, just like the old times.

Not sure what is going to be happening over these next few days, so we're going to have to be working on getting some visitors to come over and spend some time with Jason. Linda and I want to continue working on the garage, to make better use of the available space, and maybe just get some things done. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 10, 2014

Busy day for us today, and also a very good day for getting things done.

Jackie's ear seems to be better, though she has only had a few of the antibiotic doses so far. She was in a much better frame of spirit this morning and that was a good thing. The girls got to their pre-schools on time and then we had a bunch of stuff to be done around the house.

Linda has been going through boxes of stuff (papers, pictures, etc.) to get them all organized and possibly even reduced, so that there isn't so much here at the house. I took care of some of the running around and picked up some new "bedding" for Jason's pet rat, Mr. Jingles, in the hope that the soars on his feet will go away (he's also on antibiotics). One of the good things is that Gracie is doing well, and we aren't having any issues with her. As for Linda's and my cats... we have a few people who have stepped up, down here, who will be happy to take them for the remainder of the year, and that is exactly what we need.

Tomorrow is Jason's appointment, and we'll be talking to them about his mobility, in the hopes that he can get up and move. Right now it looks like it will be happening around the 15th, so we don't have our expectations set too high, at this point. Anyway, the end of today means that we're just that much closer to the beginning of tomorrow, and we have learned to take it one day at a time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 8, 2014

Today sure didn't turn out like I had thought it was going to. The girls were up and ready to go, and breakfast was pretty much "normal." Stacy and I had time to walk to her pre-school, and though Jackie was a little cranky, she stayed back at the house with Grandma. I guess about that time is when I noticed a little change in Jackie's attitude and demeanor (more on that in a little bit).  I had planned on going for a bike ride this morning, just as soon as the girls were off, and I had taken care of a couple of errands. The biggest errand was finding a place for the cats to stay, while we continue to be with Jason, and we wait for his new house to be built. From what we have been told it is probably going to take the rest of the year to get this accomplished, so we remain optimistic that it is going to happen.

The "finding" of a place is being done through another support organization, that we have recently learned about, and they are known as DoD, or Dogs on Deployment. They help military families deal with finding temporary homes for their pets, while the owner is in a position that prevents them from keeping the animals with them (website: www.dogsondeployment.org to learn more). Anyway, everything was finally put together on their website, and today we have received about a half dozen emails asking about helping us out. We have to go through these to find out where the best place is, for the cats, and we would like to be able to get this accomplished in less than a week.

While going through this activity we received a call from the CDC (Child Development Center) that Jackie was complaining about her ear. Linda went to go pick her up from the CDC and I stayed back to fix lunch for Jason and I. When they returned to the house, Jackie seemed to be okay, and since she had lunch at the CDC we said to her that she needed to still lay down for her nap. As it turned out, all she did was sit in her bed and played for a while, then she started to cry and again, complain about her right ear. This time Jason didn't wait, he just called the doctor and made an appointment. Since Linda had been there previously, she said she would take Jackie to the doctor, and about the same time I had to head over to pick up Anthony Netto, at the airport, because I told him I'd do it, and he had left his vehicle with me. The problem was that I had Wednesday in my head, and thought he wasn't going to be coming in until tomorrow. Fortunately the airport is only a couple of minutes away, so it was a quick turn around.

Actually, when Anthony and I got back to the house he came in to visit with Jason for a little while, and it was good for Jason. By the time Linda had returned from the doctor appointment for Jackie I was off picking up Stacy from her school, and also from going to pick up Jackie's meds. Jackie has an ear infection and she is very uncomfortable - probably why she was a little "different" this morning. Well, we made it through the rest of the day, Stacy was dancing about the house and singing her favorite songs from the movie "Frozen"; Jackie was feeling much better, though she will be taking antibiotics for a week; and, oh, yes, I almost forgot... I had to take Mr. Jingles, Jason's pet rat, to the vet for a visit because he has developed a couple of small soars on his feet. Now Mr. Jingles is on antibiotics, also. Well, that sort of explains why I didn't get my bike ride in... perhaps I can find some time tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

Good day, all around. We had a great morning and got the girls off to their respective pre-schools, and then a short while later Jason and I were on our way to Balboa, and the hospital for the Wound Care appointment. The folks at Wound Care were very pleased with how well Jason was doing, and how the wounds were looking. As always, I was able to sit through the visit and also saw how well they were healing up. The only "down" side was that though the two folks working today were very competent, they were not the doctor. Only the doctor can give the official approval for Jason to be able to again sit up and the doctor won't be back in  until the 15th. That is just a week away (okay, a week and a day), but it does mean that Jason has to wait until the good doctor returns. Jason's incisions are looking really good and closing up very well. He took it all in stride and shortly we were on our way back to the house.

Once we were at the house, Linda and I had a few things to take care of, and then we had visitors from the Wounded Warrior Battalion. They wanted to see Jason and talk with him, and that was very good, as far as we were concerned. They stayed for about an hour or so and then had to get back to the base, so it wasn't a long visit, but a good one.

The rest of the day was relaxing and we did get a few things accomplished. Not sure what we will be doing tomorrow, but I'm sure it will be all good. Thank you, for all the continued positive support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 6, 2014

Today was another relaxed Sunday, where Linda took the girls to church (the girls love Sunday School), and I stayed back with Jason. I think one of the biggest things that Jason is looking forward to, once he can get up and out, is a good shower, with the next big step being able to join in a social gathering, such as going to a church service. Just getting the chance to be around other people tends to give him energy, and from my experience, being a part of a congregation you get a great deal of energy and a boost.

Linda's parents came over for a nice visit today, and the girls loved it. They always enjoy seeing family and to be able to see Nana and Tata (Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa are a bit much for them to say) is especially nice. It is the first time they have been able to come down for a visit, since moving down from Yuba City, and now they are about an hour drive away (much better than 10 hours).

The rest of the day was a continued relaxed day and simply making sure we have all our schedules set for next week. Tomorrow Jason has an appointment and the girls get on back to school. Tomorrow is an important day for Jason's appointment, and I'll be sure to update everyone, just as soon as I can with what we find out. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April 5, 2014

Nice easy day for everyone. We did a little more clean up and straightened out the house a bit more. It isn't so cluttered and If Jason were to get into his chair he would be able to move around with ease, though he would still have to dodge two little girls and a dog.

The weather has been very nice, for the past couple of days, and from what I can tell it is going to be nice for another couple of days. Hey, its San Diego and that's just the way it is down here. Linda's parents are to be coming over tomorrow, either late morning or early afternoon. Linda will be taking the girls to church while I stay with Jason. I'm thinking about throwing some things on the grill tomorrow, and do a little out door cooking, just to mix it up a little.

Other than that, it will probably be another low key day and we should be able to enjoy a nice fun day with the family. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, April 4, 2014

April 3, 2014

Today was a pretty good day in that we were able to get a few things accomplished and Jason was able to visit with a few Marines when he went to his appointments. The morning started out with me getting up early to completely empty the truck that we have been using, and then turn it in to U-Haul. The previous truck was the same size, and looked to be about the same year, with the biggest difference being the gas mileage. The previous truck had much better fuel economy and rode much more comfortably. Anyway, we are done with the truck and moving... at least for now.

As I turned in the truck this morning, I was concerned about the time so Linda had to hurry over to come pick me up. It was about 08:30 and the ambulance was going to be at the house around 09:00. When we were coming home we were right behind the ambulance - yeah, they were a bit early. The first appointment was with Dr. Sheu, Jason's new primary and it was a very good visit. It was the first time we had all met and the doctor is the kind of doctor I was hoping Jason was going to get. Focused and asked a bunch of questions. Once we were done with that appointment we needed to head over to Wound Care and Dr. Sheu came along with us. He wanted to see exactly what he was dealing with, and Jason like that idea.

Once we arrived at the Wound Care Clinic we were greeted by a small gathering of Marines. Apparently Major General Nicholson was there to see/visit with another Marine, and that Marine hadn't shown up yet. It was very good to see the General again, and he immediately engaged us with conversation, and Jason really enjoyed it. That other Marine (another Wounded Warrior - new to Balboa) did show up, about 15 minutes later, and so it was nice having the time to visit with the General and Sergeant Major and not be concerned about any issue with time. Jason actually had a couple of issues he wanted followed up on and the Sergeant Major said he would do just that. Also found out what was going on with the van we're supposed to be getting and it should be here in a matter of a couple of weeks.

The actually exam and update at Wound Care was positive and Jason's healing is looking better all the time. Dr. Sheu was impressed with the clinic and the way that they were working with Jason - and with how Jason was working with them. They said that it would probably be another 2 to 4 weeks before Jason could sit up, so we'll just have to wait and see how he does these next several days. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

April 4, 2014

Yesterday was a good day, though at times kind of busy. As a result of that I got side tracked and forgot about a dental appointment I was supposed to go to. I'll get hold of the dentist and get it rescheduled for the next available time slot - it was for a cleaning, so it wasn't too urgent.

Today was a bit more laid back with the main focus being getting things organized and put away, and taking care of a few personal issues. Jason is doing well and looking forward to being able to sit up and get out of bed, for a change. We received a call today, inviting us to the Padres baseball game on April 12; where there will be on field activities that they want Jason and another Wounded Warrior to be a part of. The other guy, Nick K., lives down the street from us and we've been on other events with him, so it would be good to be able to do this. The challenge will be simply related to Jason's ability to sit up in a chair, and be able to sit up for a couple of hours. I told them we would let them know by the first of next week.

We are making some progress with getting things put away, and Linda has been doing most of the reorganizing around here. I'm pretty good with the heavy lifting, but my organizational skills are not near as good as her's. The fact that the girls are here with us again isn't going to slow things down much, and quite frankly we're happy to have them here. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2, 2014

A good day and one where a few things were accomplished.

The truck that I drove down from Livermore on Monday was off loaded, and will be heading back to U-Haul tomorrow. Actually there are a few more things still in the truck and I'll get those out tomorrow, then it will head back. Other than that, there really isn't much to talk about for today. Jason had a couple of visitors drop by, and that was a good thing. Tomorrow he will be heading to the hospital and Wound Care, along with an Neurological appointment. This means we will be at the hospital for about 2 hours, rather than the usual one. That's okay, as it gives Linda some time to work on emptying a couple more boxes while we're gone, and she won't have to work around me... ;-)

More updates tomorrow, and so now I'll just sign off. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1, 2014

Today was another good day here in San Diego. The girls both got up and got ready for school and even though it was a bit drizzly, they wanted to walk to Stacy's school (about 3 blocks), and fortunately it didn't begin to rain. Linda took Jackie to her day care and then shortly after she got home, Jason and I went to Jason's doctor appointment.

The appointment went well, and the incision wound is looking better. The real strong positive out of this is that the wound vac has been removed and Jason can be a little more comfortable and even sleep on his back (a first, after several weeks). There is one area where there is still a little concern, though they think they know why there was splitting, and addressed the issue. My guess is that Jason is still going to be able to get up in his chair in another two or three weeks.

The rest of the day was spent taking care of things around the house, and with the melding of the two homes there is plenty of work to be done. We probably won't be done with the joining of the households for several weeks (months?) so it may just simply turn into a regular activity for the rest of the time we are in this house. We are hoping to be able to tell people that we're moving into a new home by the end of the year, we just have to wait to be given the word that, that is the case...Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.