Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 31, 2014

Today began with both Linda and I doing our best to get the place ready for Jason's birthday party, as he turns 31 today and that kind of makes it a special birthday. It was a simple gathering of some of our friends, and it came off very well. We didn't over decorate (at least I don't think we did), or over prepare food - though on that front it was excellent carne asada and guacamole dip for the chips (thank you, J.B.). It looked to us like Jason was having a good time, and so were his daughters, so it was a very good day. The only thing is that it seems like Linda and I have been running pretty hard for these past few days, and we are now tired. As a result my post is short, and we're going to bed, with the hope that we can sleep in a little tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014 -- Number 1000

Well, it looks like I did it... I have been with Jason for most of time during these past 3+ years. I began this blog as an attempt at documenting his progress of healing and making steps at getting his new "normal" established. He has, from the beginning, done more and succeeded more than anyone (except maybe himself) expected. From early on, during this journey, I have been told that greater things await Jason, and it is only a matter of time before we find out what those greater things are. I think most of us already know that he is a great motivator, and helps others to come to grips with their own new normal, but we still think that he as even more to offer and we look forward to seeing what it is. Because this is the 1000th post; I think I might begin to cut back on posting every day, and go to every-other-day, or to whatever works.

This morning we got up to go to formation, and so the three of us (me, Linda and Jason) jumped into the van and headed off to the hospital. We were told to meet at the Flag Pole, and so we (and several other Marines) did. Shortly after arriving we were told that the Navy was planning their own ceremony there, so we had to move to building 14. The Marine ceremony was a retirement of a corporal who had been injured in Afghanistan. The corporal's ceremony was simple, and from what I was able to determine, it was just how he wanted it. I have been through a few of these now, and have picked up some ideas of how I would like to see Jason's retirement ceremony go, so I hope I get to provide some input, when the time comes.

The rest of the day was spent getting ready for Jason's birthday party, tomorrow, cleaning up/reorganizing the garage, and then getting ready to head over to the Delmar Fair Grounds. We worked pretty hard and got just about all we needed to, ready and then we briefly rested prior to going to pick up the girls. Linda actually did the picking up while I stayed back and took care of another, "final" errand. Anyway, by 17:00 we were ready to head over to the Fair Grounds, and head on over to the media event there. The girls had a good time, they especially liked taking their pictures with a unicorn and elephants. Richard Rovsek, of the Spirit of Liberty Foundation, invited us to the Delmar Fair Grounds, to give us a chance to ring the Liberty Bell, that has been traveling all over the country. It is being rung in remembrance of veterans - and to bring awareness of the challenges that some veterans still face.

Tomorrow is Jason's birthday, his 31st, and we should have a good crowd here. We have put everything together (at least I hope we have), and if everyone shows up that has said they would, then it should be a good sized gathering (maybe 25 people). The biggest challenge is actually going to be parking, since there really isn't a bunch of it available around here. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 29, 2014

For those keeping track... This is the 999th post in the continuing saga of SSgt Jason Ross' recovery.  I think he is the one remaining combat wounded Marine here in Balboa, though I don't know that to be a fact. Most of the others who are here, are a result of being in some sort of accident, ranging from training to motorcycle or automobile accident. There are also some who are being treated for cancer and are very sick and need hospital care and treatment. Also, the number of people who are now a part of the Wounded Warrior Battalion has gone down drastically, to the point where there are only about 72 members now at Balboa.

One of the things that Jason was able to do, after he finished his regular appointment with PT was to go and visit with Dr. Shue, and Van from Mobility Solutions. They are working to come up with a better seat configuration for Jason, so that he can be a little more comfortable. We looked at some alternate materials and ways of layering them, and that was all good, along with a few suggested steps for how to continue with this. Now all of this is good and it was kind of fun trying to "build" a new seat for Jason; however, the big surprise was when we opened his existing seat. Inside that seat were two packets, know as gel packs. These are used because they help to mold to the shape you want/need. Well, both of them had ruptured and Jason (nor the doctor or Van) knew that it had happened, until today. It was actually a bit messy, but it was cleaned up and a new seat cushion was created. We will continue to move forward with this effort until a new and final seat is created.

Tomorrow is formation for Jason, and I believe that is the only thing he has to do, though there may be some training that keeps him busy for another hour or so. Afterward we'll be coming back to the house and taking care of some other issues. One of those issues is working with The Wounded Warrior Family Support, Foundation. They would like to help Jason with the purchase of a new vehicle, specifically a van, to help with family travel (which would include Linda and I). There is to be a teleconference meeting to discuss this, and to help get the project moving forward. Linda and I went out to Ford of Escondido, as they are the local dealership that is working with them. We had a great visit with Peter and George (The GM and the Commercial Fleet Guy). We have a better idea of what kind of vehicle we will be working towards, and we are now a little more prepared for the phone conference call tomorrow. Things continue to get exciting around here, and I don't see it slowing any time soon.

Linda and I went shopping at Costco, after we came back from Escondido. We were looking for things that we needed for this Saturday's get together, as well as a few other things that we need around the house. At the end we didn't even have the cart half full and we were over $200. Everything I read says that inflation is under control, yet it seems we keep spending more and more and getting less and less. I wonder what it is going to be like once I really retire...

Not much else is going on right now, and that is probably a good thing, since I am kind of tired. My dad used to say, "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." I really am beginning to understand that, and now it doesn't seem quite as funny.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 28, 2014

Today started out as a day to get things done or at least into motion. We did get the girls off to their respective schools, with Jackie riding along with Jason and I and Stacy going with Grandma. Jason had to be at his formation at 07:30, and it was on a Wednesday because this past Monday was a holiday and the guys were given Tuesday as a day off. Right after the formation I got a chance to speak with a couple of the people in charge of the battalion and asked them about Jason's retirement ceremony. He will be going on what is known as terminal leave, at the end of June, and this is when he uses up the rest of his leave time. The guys who work in finance know that there is a financial benefit to doing this, and Jason was one of those financial guys, before going EOD. Anyway, things are now in motion and we will be scheduling his official retirement date and ceremony in the next week or so.

Jason and I got back to the house and Linda came out so that we could all go to lunch together. It was just a little after noon, so it worked out well for all of us, and we were all hungry. Shortly after getting Jason back to the house Linda and I took off to run a couple of errands and enjoy our "date night." Actually, one of the bigger errands was to head over to the Zoo to see if we could pick up a family membership, so that we could get over to the Zoo more often without worrying about how much it would cost. As it turned out, the Zoo's box office was closed so we'll have to go back later. We did get over to see an indie film called The Immigrant. Both of us enjoyed the film and would suggest that anyone who is even slightly interested should go see it.

That was pretty much it for the day, though we did do a little bit of work towards Jason's 31st birthday celebration, coming up on Saturday. I think it will turn out good and I hope everyone has a good time. Tomorrow I will be jumping on my bike, early in the morning and then going for a 12 - 15 mile ride (not sure just yet). Afterward, I will be taking Jason to his appointment for the day and then coming back home. I am pleased to say that Jason continues to improve and each day he gets a little better. We are also working with the doctors and equipment folks to determine ways to make him more comfortable -- we should have a meeting on this tomorrow, also. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014

Today was more of a day where we were able to get a few things done (ran some errands) and still had time to relax a little. One of the bigger errands was Jason wanting to get over to the gymnastics school to check out their summer program and to see if it was something that he would be interested in, for his two daughters Stacy and Jackie. There are some logistical issues to be worked out, but it looked like something that he might be taking advantage of. One of the instructors talked about a friend of her's who was also EOD, only he is Navy, instead of Marine. He is also a wounded warrior (bilateral above the knee amputations), and he still comes in to the gym and gets some exercise. He sounds like a great guy.

We also did a few things around the house and made a few other trips, though there really wasn't a great deal accomplished and it felt really great. Jason did get a hair cut, and he looks like a Marine again. After the hair cut we came back to the house and dropped him off and went to go pick up the girls. They were ready to get back home and like always, very excited to see us. Linda then went into the kitchen and prepared an excellent meal of Salmon, rice, and vegetables. The one BIG thing she did different that I usually don't do, she got a chocolate cake for desert; the girls have been asking for a dessert. Of course, I don't eat much chocolate so I don't look for chocolate cake when I go shopping.

The rest of the evening was simply us relaxing around the house. A few phone calls came in, and the girls played in the front room for a little while singing and playing house. Towards the end of the day they were in Jason's room playing like they were a doctor (Stacy) and a nurse (Jackie) and Jason was the patient. I'm not sure who had more fun, but it was great to see, as far as Linda and I were concerned. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26, 2014 - Memorial Day

I hope you all had a memorable Memorial Day, I know we did.

We got up early enough, Linda and I were up at 06:30 (actually it was an oops on my part. I looked at the clock and thought it said 07:20, so I jumped up and Linda was right behind me - after taking a shower I looked at the clock again and said, "Oops, it's only 06:40 right now, we have plenty of time."). Anyway, our breakfast was relatively simple with Linda and I eating yogurt and toast and Jason eating Cheerios (he really doesn't like yogurt, unless its frozen). The girls showed up at 08:00 and in the next half hour we were getting ready to head over to the U.S.S. Midway, for a tour of the ship.

We got to the ship and were given special attention. We got into the parking lot area with very little trouble and guided to a parking space that was right in front of the entry point. Craig Fisher, Director of Partnership Marketing, was our guide, and we had a great time, though we had to get going after only being there for 90 minutes. Both girls were tired and wanted to get back home. By the time we had left the place was getting pretty busy, and we were glad our timing was as it was, since we were able to miss most of the crowd coming in. One of the nice things was that Judy Otter and her Husband Ben were there from the Gary Sinise Foundation, as our host for the tour. It was fun being with them and learning about some of the features of the Midway - Ben and I decided to come back in July to ride the simulators and see if either of us get sick... ;-).

There was also a special visit from the Wounded Warrior Family Support Foundation (more information can be found at: http://www.woundedwarriorsfamilysupport.org) . The Foundation is having a Shelby Mustang driven  all around the west, to raise funds to help with the building of Jason's future home. It was a really nice Mustang, and all of us got to sign it (yep we wrote right on the paint), even the girls. It is a 650HP Mustang GT Cobra and from what the guys were telling us, it rode much nicer than the car they drove last year. Last year they drove the Super-Snake Mustang Shelby and it is effectively a race car. It has 850+HP and very stiff suspension. The two drivers and the car were there specifically to help generate awareness and to honor Jason and all the other injured and fallen warriors.

We got home and immediately began to fix lunch, as the girls were telling us they were not only tired, they were hungry. After eating lunch they were soon in bed and EVERYONE in the house was taking a nap. I got up first with the girls waking up soon afterward. I decided that I wanted to grill some meat for dinner, and so that's what I did... after taking the girls to the store with me, and we bought a few things for dinner. It was turning into a great ending for a very nice day. Then it happened...

As I was getting the water ready for the girls to take their bath, I noticed the water wasn't heating up very much, and in fact warm would have been stretching the description. The girls got in anyway, as it wasn't too cold, and they still had fun, but it was a faster than usual bath. I called the maintenance folks and by 19:45 we had a functional water heater again (he said it would be about and hour before the water was hot again). Anyway, the girls are in bed and the day is ending on a positive note... not as smooth as we like but okay. Thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 25, 2014

This morning we got up slowly and enjoyed the restful beginning of the day, and even had Cream of Wheat for breakfast. We were having a nice relaxed slow morning, as we were headed to the Padres vs. Cubs game a little later in the day. We new it was to be an early afternoon game, so we wanted to get there with plenty of time, and not have to worry about parking or trying to figure out where we were.

We had been invited to sit in the owners box, and it was excellent seating. There was also plenty of food and drink, since it was right at noon, and fit our lunch schedule perfectly. We even got the chance to meet one of the owners of the Padres, as he came in a little while prior to the game beginning. Actually Linda, Jason and I were the first to arrive, and it felt kind of nice walking into an owner's box.

The Padres won, with the final score being 4 to 3, so it all worked out well. We sat at our table with Ben and Judy, from the Gary Sinise Foundation, and had a great time. Even Jason was thoroughly enjoying himself.  It seems that Ben and Jason share a similar like of humor, and the two of them were exchanging jokes for a good part of the game. The best part was that Jason was able to stay for the entire game, despite the fact that we arrived early.

After the game we came back to the house and had a light dinner, since we were still pretty full from all the food at the game. Tomorrow will be another busy day, with us going to the U.S.S. Midway, for a special event taking place there. We have been told that it won't be at long as the game, and to top it off we'll have the girls with us this time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 24, 2014

Today was a bit different, from the days we usually have. I still got up early enough to get out on my bike, before traffic got too bad, and Jason was resting comfortably, and even Linda got up at her early hour. So, you might ask, "So what is different about today?" Well, the difference is that Linda was able to get out with a friend and actually have a good day, or I should say, "girl's" day out.

My ride was one of those that I like to do, to practice on some lower hills and attempt to push my speed just a little. I really don't go far (less than 12 miles today) yet I still get a good work out, and my legs feel like it. Jason and I had the house to ourselves for a good part of the day, and when Linda came home she was feeling recharged and happy. It was a good day for all of us... Heck, I even changed out Mr. Jingles (the rat) cage.

Linda came home mid afternoon and other than making a quick errand run we effectively stayed home the rest of the day. It was just a nice relaxed day and I think we're all ready for these next two days. We'll be going to the San Diego Padres game tomorrow and then the Memorial Day celebration on Monday, on the USS Midway. I like it when things come together like they're supposed to. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23, 2014

Today has been a busy day for us, and it began with a 22 mile bike ride for me. Actually it began with a quick breakfast for Jason, and I had an apple and a glass of water. I don't like to eat much prior to a long bike ride. Last night I was informed, by Jason, that there wasn't going to be a formation and then later told it was going to take place at noon. This kind of changed my plans for the ride, but it all worked out. By the time I returned from the ride I had time to cool down a bit and then take a shower.

Linda had gone to participate in an activity at Jackie's school, and she was also back at the house prior to going to formation. After taking Jason completed formation we headed on back to the house, as it was around 13:00 (1pm) and Joselyn was scheduled to be here at 14:00 (2pm). Joselyn showed up and I asked her when her husband would be arriving (he is a mechanic and was going to take a look at a problem with the van) and she said he would be here at about 16:00 (4pm). Linda had gone up to take a short nap so I decided to join her, I figured a quick nap would do me some good as well. Well, I fell asleep and I guess it took a little doing to wake me up, I guess I was tired from the bike ride, or something.

Working with Robert (Joselyn's husband) was very good, and I also got to meet a couple of their sons. There are a couple of things that I would like to have working on the van, but I guess won't be, at least not for a couple weeks. Robert is acquiring a new radio for the van, and that is one of the big items I wanted to get working again. He is doing all this work, just because he wants to help us, it is truly appreciated.

Tonight we decided to go see a movie. Actually, we had planned on going earlier but the formation rescheduling kind of through our schedule off. Anyway, Jason (and I) wanted to see the new Godzilla movie. Linda went along with us, but didn't think it was going to be her kind of movie. As it turned out, the movie is actually pretty good and we all enjoyed it, the popcorn wasn't too bad either.

Tomorrow will be another fun day, with nothing really planned, other than Linda going out for a "girls day out" and I might get another bike ride in. I think Jason is going to try to spend most of the day in bed, as he has some extra activities coming on Sunday and Monday. Sunday we'll be headed over to the Padres ball game, where they will be honoring the military and then on Monday we will be going to another event on the Midway Carrier, specifically focused on Memorial Day. I'll be updating you on those over the next few days. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 22, 2014

It was a busy day for us, and it began with a nice and quick 12 mile ride, at about 06:45 this morning. I was very happy that I made the ride in just under an hour and there were a number of stops due to traffic, though it wasn't too heavy. I got back to the house by about 07:40 and then had to cool down, so I could take a shower. I did find out that eating an apple a few minutes prior to the ride was exactly what I needed to have the energy to make the "loop."

Jason and I took off for the hospital, where he had an appointment and Linda took off actually a little before we did. As it turned out Jason and I were done before Linda, so she ended up meeting us at Carl's Jr. where there was a small media event going on. It was to bring some attention to the Carl's Jr. Stars for Hero's program, and for Anthony Netto's Stand Up And Play foundation. The folks at Carl's Jr. provided the food and there were a number of decorations and finally channel 10 abc News showed up. I understand it was shown on the news tonight but for whatever reason, I didn't see it. I hope somebody was able to record it so we can see it later.

After that event we rushed back to the house to change clothes a bit, and then headed over to another appointment, where there was a tapping session going on. This time it was for the Gary Sinise Foundation, or as we like to say, GSF. This time the video material won't be used because Jason is still active duty, so they basically wanted to do a little practice filming and will be saving it as an archive type video. By the time all this was done it was starting to get late, and we needed to get back to the house so Jason could shower and lay down.

When Jason showered I changed all his dressings and I am happy to say that he is looking better all the time. I still stick with my prediction of 6 to 8 weeks, but I can be hopeful that it will be sooner. Now that the van has been fixed it is soooo much better to ride in, and actually has a nice smooth ride to it. I think our next step will be to sell, or donate, the Explorer Truck, as we don't need all these vehicles, and besides space is limited where we are right now. I'll let you know what happens.

Tomorrow I plan on going for a longer bike ride, as Jason doesn't have a formation gathering in the morning. There are a couple of things we need to get done, so that we will be ready for the weekend. I am so happy that Jason is getting better and stronger because so many things are happening, so fast, it is hard to keep up with everything, but Linda is doing a great job of keeping us on track. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

The girls were up this morning, after a little encouragement from Grandma and Grandpa. Both of them wanted to take another 15 or 20 minutes, but that wasn't going to happen. Actually Stacy wasn't too bad and Grandma has a special way of coaxing the girls to get moving better than anyone else. We all walked over to Stacy's school this morning, while Jason stayed back at the house. There was a special field trip going on and Stacy was pretty excited to be going - They were going to Sea World. When we finally did drop Stacy off, and then leave, Jackie didn't give us any trouble at all, and I guess she is finally getting used to the fact that Stacy goes to a different school than she does.

Once back at the house Jason was getting ready to head over to his appointments with PT and Wound Care. He worked with Dawn at PT and she was generally pleased with the motion in his arms, and commented that he must have been exercising them well, or Mike, they other PT specialist, is doing a fantastic job of loosening Jason up. The next appointment was even better as all his wounds are healing up very nicely and even Dr. Salt came in to take a look. I said it might be another 6 to 8 weeks before he was all healed up; I now think that it could realistically be sooner. Finally, with Wound Care behind us, Jason had to get over to Building 26 to pick up some important paperwork. It is the paperwork that will allow his truck purchase to move forward. If all goes well, in a matter of a couple of months, Jason will have a new truck of his own, and he will be able to drive himself anywhere he wants to go.

The rest of the day was getting a few things done at the house and then Linda and I getting out on our date night. We actually went to take a look at some new model homes, to see if we could get some ideas that could be incorporated into Jason's soon to be built house. Linda found three different sites, via the web, and when we went to find them we were able to locate one of the three. Still, we did get some good ideas and will be sharing them with Jason over the next few days. We finally gave up on trying to find the other two sites, and that was okay, as we decided to go see a movie.

We went and saw the latest Captain America movie. It really wasn't our first choice of movies to see, but it was the best situated, considering the time. As it turned out, it was actually a fun movie - that is as long as you could remind yourself it was a comic book movie and reality had nothing to do with it. The special affects were good and there was some decent acting going on, so we both enjoyed the movie. After the movie we came back to the house and found Jason up, and in the kitchen (he was getting some water). Apparently he had just woken up prior to us getting there, and it was good to see him up and about. Tomorrow we have some activities with Carl's Jr. where Jason will be meeting with some of the Stars For Heroes folks, and officially thanking them for the paramobile. Carl's Jr. will be providing lunch for the wounded warriors. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I

What a wonderful day...

The day started with the same craziness that we usually have, when the girls are with us, and today it just seemed to be in overdrive. Both Stacy and Jackie were in great spirits and having a great time while Linda and I were getting them dressed. I am soooo glad to have Linda here now, especially since the girl's hair is getting longer and needing just a little more attention (and skill) than I can provide. Anyway, they were both ready to head out, on time and looking very cute.

Jason had his PT appointment and then needed to get some Rx from the pharmacy. We also had a chance to do a little visiting with some folks we don't see as often as we used to, and it was very nice. One in particular, Torn, was in good spirits and witty as ever. He and Jason were exchanging comments on everything from growing crops in Iowa to the Polar Bears at the San Diego Zoo. It was nice to watch the two of them, as it seemed to help both of them, and I know it made me feel better.

Once Jason and I were back at the house he wanted to get a shower in. This means a dressing change and I was happy to help out. He is improving regularly and I told him that in a matter of a couple of months I wouldn't be surprised to see that all wounds and soars were gone. His comment was priceless... "Yeah, I've heard that before." was all he said.

The van we recently were given was having some difficulty, as the suspension seemed to no longer be working - at all. As a result I was taking it back to the people who had made it available to us. I wanted to have them check it out and see if they could fix it. Jason was not able to ride in the van comfortably, and for only short rides at that. Well, Jason was now resting in his bed and so I headed up North to see what could be done. As it turned out, as soon as I got there the mechanic came over and in a matter of less than 3 minutes, figured out what was wrong. A fuse had blown, and the air compressor that feeds the suspension, was not working. Once that was replaced (the fuse) the van drove and felt MUCH better. Once again we seem to have transportation, and Jason can ride in a higher level of comfort.

We later went up to see the cats (Pumpkin and Candy). They are being foster homed about 20 miles away and we are happy to say, being well taken care of. We took the girls with us, but Jason still didn't want to go any where else, and wanted to rest for the remainder of this week is going to be busy, as well as the beginning of next week. After the visit was over (the cats are doing well, and I even got to trim Candy's nails) we headed back to the house, with a stop to have a quick meal with the girls. We finally got home at just a little before 20:00 (8pm) and then shortly they were in bed. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014

Well, this morning got off to a fast start with the girls full of energy and excited about their school day. Stacy is especially excited about doing more and more activities outside and getting into more physical activities. With Jackie, she is just plain happy and loves to run - my opinion is that if she continues to develop the way she is, she will be a future runner, as she already has a natural kick.

Jason had to get to his formation and then on to his class. It was an hour long class, so it provided me with some time to get over and speak with Mr. Cheney. He is the one who was the point-man or primary contact for getting us the van. I explained to him the challenge of using the van and that the suspension just wasn't working correctly. He said it was supposed to have an "air-ride" and that a compressor should be responsible for keeping the vehicle balanced. The compressor isn't working, though I did recall hearing it the first time I drove it down. I looked for a switch or button, that I might have hit or kicked, but couldn't find anything, so I don't know what is going on. Mr. Cheney called the folks at FundayRV, as they were the ones who basically rebuilt it, and they asked that I bring it back in, so they can figure out what was going on. I will be doing this tomorrow, since today was already pretty well booked.

Jason and I got back home and we had some breakfast with Linda. Shortly after that Jason was back down in his bed and rested nicely. Even the short ride this morning made him a bit uncomfortable, and he said he did not want to ride all the way up to Oceanside, to get the van fixed, so I guess it will be just me. Anyway, the rest of the day, at the house was spent working on paperwork, and getting some of our (Linda and me) life back together.

We went and picked up the girls and made a quick run to the bank, then headed back to the house. I had promised to grill some hot dogs, and both of them were pretty excited to have hot dogs for dinner. Actually, I was too... After dinner we did a little bit of horsing around and then I decided I needed to get to bed, as I was still a little tired from getting up so early this morning (and going to bed so late last night). Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Today was National Candle Lighting Day, in remembrance of all fallen warriors from ALL U.S. conflicts. I hope some of you lighted a candle, though I realize that a bunch of you probably didn't even know about it. I found out about it from Mark Bruh, as it is something he got started back in 2007. Today was the greatest success so far. I thought it was a good idea, so that is why Linda and I decided to join in - perhaps more of you will join in next year.

Okay, on with the blog...

Yesterday we pretty much stayed at home, except for a short (17 mile) bike ride, and a visit up with our friend, Anthony Netto. It was good getting with him, to just talk and go over some of the things going on. I've been getting more involved with his Stand-Up-And-Play organization, as I believe it is something that is providing help and hope to many folks who would otherwise not know the joy of being up-right again. Right now he is working to redesign his paramobile, so that it has a smaller "foot print" and be usable in tighter areas. Can you imagine the happiness and pleasure for Jason, if he were able to go into just about any kitchen and be able to reach the top shelf, on his own. Anyway, it was a nice visit and it was our first ride in the new van. I think we need to get the suspension checked out, as the ride was kind of rough and Jason was kind of worn out by the time we got home.

The rest of the day, yesterday, was spent back at the house just relaxing and taking care of some basic chores and such. The girls were having a great time and playing and "reading" their books. Stacy is just starting the basic reading skills and is doing a very good job with it, so we're encouraging her to keep going. Jackie likes to copy her sister, and kind of makes up a story as she turns the pages. In both cases, it is very enjoyable to watch and be a part of.

Today started with another bike ride, though much shorter this time - only about 12 miles. I had to be sure to be back home in time to cool down and still help to get the girls ready for church. The service at church was lead and put together by the youth, and they did an excellent job. It was good to see the folks again, since I hadn't been there for several weeks.

The rest of the day was taking care of chores, doing some cleanup, fixing meals - breakfast and lunch, dinner was provided by Serving Spoons. Serving Spoons brings a meal to us, one Sunday a month, and it is always something special. It is done by this group of young women who practice their cooking skills and go way out of the way to put together special meals. Most of them are students, so they really don't have a great deal of time to do this, but want too, because they enjoy helping.

The girls went to bed, maybe a little later than they usually do, but then Stacy wanted to read to us again. It was fun, and Grandpa has a hard time sitting still while the reading is done (I like to play almost as much as they do). Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.


Friday, May 16, 2014

May 16, 2014

This morning we got up early, so that Jason could get to his formation. Formation was actually kind of fast today, and immediately afterward he had to go find some dental records. Apparently someone dropped the ball or lost his record because he was missing this in his battalion records. He went over to the dentist and got the update and everything was fine again. Otherwise we were done for the day, at Balboa and all we needed to do was to head up and pick up the "new" van.

An organization, North County Warrior Support, had received a wheelchair accessible van, and wanted to get it to a Wounded Warrior, so that transportation was taken care of. Because Jason is working on getting his own truck, eventually, it was decided that I would get the van, and we'd have it for our use, instead of constantly relying on borrowing the Semper Fi Van. The van is a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country with a ramp and kneeling mechanism. The best part is that it looks almost brand new, and the folks at Funday RV did a refurbishing job to effectively make it new again. It only has about 33K miles, so you can see it hasn't been driven a bunch, so we consider ourselves very fortunate.

The rest of the day was just picking up the girls and then going to Costco. About the only down side to today was that Linda still wasn't feeling well and decided to not go to New York. She has been resting for most of the day, so I am hopeful that she will get better soon. I fixed a nice tri tip for dinner, with some rice and vegetables. I guess it was a good meal, since there were no left overs, except for a little bit of rice. Even the girls seemed to enjoy it. Not sure what I'll do tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014

Well, for all those wondering about the fires down here in San Diego, they are just about all under control and soon to be out. Of course there will probably be other fires through the summer, so don't rest on your comfort zone, too much.

Jason had an early appointment with his new recovery care coordinator here at Balboa, and it was nice getting a chance to speak with her. A little later in the day I also received a call from Shane C. our Federal Recovery Care Coordinator, who will be monitoring Jason and his progress for the rest of Jason's military career and then well into his civilian life. As Shane put it, "As long as I (Shane) am still working with the VA I will be Jason's Recovery Care Coordinator. Jason could move to another state and I would still be his Coordinator." This actually made me feel much better, knowing that there is going to be that continuity.

The other appointment that Jason had was with Wound Care, and they were happy with the progress that has been made, yet still concerned with the "newer" areas of concern. Jason's healing is again in the slow stage and it is probably going to take several weeks before everything is taken care of. In the mean time I will be changing his dressings on a regular basis and doing my best to keep up with his schedule.

About the only down thing that happened today was that Linda became a little ill with something like the stomach flu, or something else. She isn't running much of a fever, so we're not too concerned with how it might affect Jason, its just that she was supposed to be heading to New York tomorrow and now that has been cancelled. We talked it over and thought that it would not be a good idea to be traveling when she is feeling so poorly. The trip to New York was through the Wounded Warrior Project, where they were sending her to a writer's camp, that was supposed to help Linda, and the other women, to better express their ideas in the form of the written word. Linda was looking forward to it, but now it will just have to wait, until the next opportunity.

The rest of the day was simply relaxed, and hanging around the house. We were supposed to be going up to pick up our "new" van (it is a 1996 model, so "new" is a matter of perspective). We were going to be going with the Marines, but now it looks like we will be doing it in the morning, tomorrow. Sometimes things happen, so the best plan is to remain flexible. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 14, 2014

Today started with a mad rush to get the girls up, dressed, fed and out the door to their schools. Of course the girls didn't know we were rushing, as they were happily playing and eating their breakfast just like normal. We needed to get things done in a "timely" manner, since we needed to be up to Fallbrook by 09:00 so that we could meet with some of the people who will be directly involved with the building of Jason's new home. As it was, traffic was great except for one accident, going the other way, so it only had a minor impact on our progress.

We got up there at almost exactly 09:00 (maybe 5 minutes late), and we all introduced ourselves to each other, since some of the people we hadn't met yet. Jason then transferred over to the paragolfer and we began to "walk" the property. I think I got a couple of shots that will show how the place is laid out, so I will get some of them on here by tomorrow. The funny thing is that I was wearing an older pair of shoes (New Balance) and they picked up just about every little weed and thorn, and by the time we were done my shoes were totally covered in with them. It was so bad that I just threw them away instead of attempting to clean them. When we left Linda noticed some smoke coming from the other side of a hill and asked if a fire had started. As it turned out a fire had started and we apparently got out of there none too early. When we got back to the house I was watching a local news report and found out that there were six fires, all around the San Diego County.

As a follow up to the meeting at the property we were to meet with all the folks (9 or 10 I think), for dinner and have a nice enjoyable time. What happened was that on 7 people showed up, because the rest of the folks were unable to come down the Interstate, because of the fires. As of right now we understand that there are still several areas where the fires are and the firefighters were slowly getting control of them. I hope no one is injured and no more homes are burned.

The dinner was still nice, but we all were concerned about the fires. The evening was still filled with good conversation, and we got a chance to meet more new people. This is going to be a good project and will allow Jason to live a more normal life, raising his daughters. Thank you, for all the support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 13, 2014

Today was a busy day, and tomorrow is going to be even busier. We got started with Linda taking the girls to their respective schools and then Jason and I headed down to the DMV, where I was able to get the title transfer done on a donated wheelchair accessible van, over to Linda and my name. This is going to be the permanent van for our use, and we won't be "borrowing" a van from the base any more. This is a good thing for all of us, and even though it was a bit of an effort to get all the logistics out of the way, we are very happy and honored to have the van donated to us. It came from a group called North County Warrior Support.

There was another bonus for today and that was a visit from some old friends. Jim and Harriet Boomer came by, to have lunch with us. They are down in San Diego, getting some things ready and in place for their daughter's wedding, coming up next month. You could tell they had been working on this and I think they appreciated the break to have the lunch with us. It was really good for me to get a chance to catch up with Jim, as we hadn't really had much communications (other than a few emails and phone calls) over these past few years. Jim and I go way back, about 30+ years, when we both went to work for National Semiconductor. We had some fond memories of working there so it was enjoyable talking and revisiting those days with him.

The rest of the day was spent playing with the girls and just relaxing through the evening. Tomorrow we will be headed up to Fallbrook, where there is a small celebration on the property, where Jason's house will be built. Not really sure about all that is planned, just that a few of the people involved are going to be meeting there in the morning, and we'll probably get some pictures taken. Then tomorrow evening we will be going to dinner to complete the celebration. We're looking for ward to it. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014

Another early day, with Jason heading off to formation, and then immediately afterward he had a class he was to attend. That class was to be an hour, so I decided to walk around the hospital compound and take care of a few things, where there were conflicts in this weeks schedule. The conflicts were easy fixes, just needed to be taken care of, so that they no longer existed. I figured I had plenty of time, since Jason had told me the class was going to be an hour. As it was, I was done in a little over a half hour and walked back to the van. I opened the door and sat down, thinking I was going to get a little rest and Jason showed up. So much for an hour long class.

We headed on back to the house, where the first thing Jason wanted was to take a shower, and then I did a dressing change. Everything is looking good, though it is going to take some time for the two areas to heal over. All the serious wound areas are basically closed, with those two that resulted from shearing motion are looking better. I think we have found the formula to prevent them from happening again, and when we get a chance to speak with Dermatology (Dr. Shoemaker) I will be making some suggestions that I think will help in the long run, for a more permanent situation for Jason.

The rest of the day was spent at the DMV, where I will be heading again tomorrow. The folks from North County Warrior Support have donated a van for Jason's use and I need to transfer the title over to us, so that we can pick it up. It will then be permanently set for our use, and the loner vans that we have been using will effectively go back into the general population for all to use. We will continued to use this "new" van (it is a refurbished older van), that Jason will actually be able to drive, until his own vehicle (a truck) is ready for him. These are some exciting days right now.

Tomorrow is going to be a special day, as a good friend of ours is coming for a short visit, and we haven't seen them in years. Jim and Harriet Boomer are out here, in San Diego, for another personal reason, and decided to look us up, so we're having lunch together, tomorrow. To give you an idea, Jim and I worked at National Semiconductor, a few decades ago, and though we went different directions we've stayed in touch. It was be good to see them again. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 11, 2014 - Happy Mother's Day

Today was a very nice and relaxed day, though we did get some exercise in, early in the  morning. I rode my bike up Linda Vista Road, again and my legs feel like it. My goal is to be able to ride all the way up without stopping, and I believe even though it will be a challenge, it can be done. Linda spent some time on the elliptical trainer and is getting better at it every day she uses it.

After that, and a shower, I made a breakfast of French Toast and some fresh berries. Well, at least Linda and I had some of the berries, Jason just won't eat those "things," as he will refer to them. This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day, and it was very relaxed. Linda got some laundry and ironing accomplished (she loves to iron the girl's clothes) and I cleaned up the kitchen. The rest of the day was spent taking care of things like email and responding to phone calls from the boys.

Tomorrow Jason has a couple of appointments and then we have a couple of errands to take care of, with the biggest being with the DMV. I would love to have been able to do this on line, but this is something that we need to go in and speak with them, face-to-face. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

May 10, 2014

This morning started out much different than the last few. We were able to sleep in and enjoy each other's company, and we didn't have to get up until nearly 07:30. Well, actually I got up first and let Linda sleep in a little bit longer. When I went down stairs to see how Jason was doing, the first thing he said to me (after the usual, "Good morning.") was that he wanted a shower, and I wasn't a bit surprised. Where I was surprised was when I got all the dressings off and saw how good the wounds were progressing. ALL of them have shrunk some and it looks like in a matter of maybe a couple of weeks, as long as there isn't too much activity, they should all be closed up and we can move forward with the next step.

After the shower and we all had breakfast, Jason wanted to go to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. I was up for that and I had a couple of things I wanted to pick up as well. We got back home and then we all kind of just kicked back and relaxed. There were a few things to do, such as laundry (Linda took care of that), and some housekeeping, but for the most part we just worked on some paperwork  and watched a little TV.

I fixed Orange Chicken with sesame, over rice and vegetables for dinner, and it turned out quite good. The sesame was one of the things I picked up at the grocery store. I figured since we were able to get ahead of so many things today I could get the blog posted early and then perhaps we'll just watch a movie tonight. I will be getting out on my bike tomorrow, as I haven't been riding like I need to. The rest of Mother's Day will be dedicated to Linda (see I didn't forget!). Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, May 9, 2014

May 9, 2014

It has been almost two days since my last post and even though I am tired I figured I'd better get something out there, so you all know what is going on...

Yesterday was a busy day, and we did a few things done, and I even went on a short bike ride. The reason for the business was because we, Lind and I, were planning on heading up to visit one of our other sons, David, and his family, up in Los Angeles. As it turned out we got everything in place and did our best to make sure Jason would be okay, basically on his own, for most of the time. Joselyn was still coming in on Friday (today) to spend some time with him and make sure he was comfortable, and it all seemed to work out just fine.

Jason was able to get around and make himself breakfast and lunch and there were no emergencies to worry about. He knew he could get in touch with us, as we kept our phones charged and with us all the time, and as it turned out, he didn't need to get in touch with us. In fact the only real communications between us was when we were getting ready to head on back home we text'd each other to insure we were both okay.

Jason was happy with the opportunity to be left alone and we were very pleased that we could get away for a little time and know that he would be okay. He is showing that he is doing better all the time and taking some of the first steps towards getting back to a more normal kind of life routine. The fact that the girls were not with us was beneficial, and made it possible. This time next week we would not have been able to get away, without taking them with us.

Tomorrow should be another good day, and we will need to get some things done, so I am anticipating a good productive day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 7, 2014

Today started out with a bunch of fun. I came down at about 06:30, to get the girls going, and I thought it was a little early. To my surprise, Jackie was already up and playing in her room and Stacy was still in bed... she was awake, but still in bed. Jackie was full of energy and ready to play so I had to calm her down a little before trying to get her dressed. I decided that I would work on Jackie before trying to get Stacy up, and I think it was the right thing to do, proceeded. A few moments later I was attacked by Stacy, as she likes to jump on my back, while I was helping Jackie to get dressed. In a few moments, Linda was down helping to rescue me, and then we got the girls dressed. Besides, Grandma does a much better job on their hair than Grandpa.

We had plenty of time so Jackie, Stacy and I walked over to Stacy's school, its just around the corner from us, and then Jackie and I walked back. As it turned out Linda ended up taking Jackie to her school while Jason and I went on to his appointments. It actually gives Linda a little more time to speak with her teachers and to find out what is going on in her class room.

Jason's appointments went well, with Physical Therapy being particularly nice. Jason enjoyed working with Dawn again, and is glad the 3 1/2 months away didn't cause any problems. After that appointment we had to head over to Wound Care and they were very pleased with what they saw. There were a couple of small issues that we need to keep our eyes on, but overall he is healing up nicely. There was another Wounded Warrior there that knew Jason, and I am afraid I don't remember him. Anyway, they were talking about all kinds of things, with Halloween being one of them. He says he plans on putting together a Lt. Dan costume and I think he will do a great job of it. He has the right build, is growing his hair out and his amputations are exactly right, and he described what he wants to do, so I think he is going to do a great job.

The rest of the day has been nice and relaxed as well as productive. I hung a couple of pictures that Linda has been wanting to get up on the walls, and a bunch of paper work was gotten out of the way. On top of that tonight was our date-night. We decided to head over to the Regal (we have some gift cards so we can get into the movies, and still get the senior discount) where we saw "Walking with the Enemy" based on a true story. It is a very good movie and suggest that everybody see it. It is about WWII and some of the challenges the Jews faced in Hungary. If you enjoy history, at all (like me), you will surely enjoy this movie.

The evening was also nice and relaxed, and we ate at home. Jason had already eaten, so it was just the two of us. We got to just sit  and enjoy our meal while also enjoying conversation without anything else going on to interrupt. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014

We all got off to an early start this morning, and a big part of that was me doing the "pushing." I was feeling a little tense and really needed to get out for a bike ride. The girls got up and ready for breakfast and to go to their schools, and we managed to get them all there relatively early. I took Stacy and Linda took Jackie to their respective schools, and I was able to get out on the bike by 08:30. It was already getting a little breezy out so I decided to go for a shorter ride, down by the harbor. The one thing I was happy to see was that I didn't have to deal with too many pedestrians, at least not at this time of day.

When I got back from the 12 mile ride I was sweating pretty good. I had pushed it a bit because I knew Jason had an appointment at 11:00, and it was his first back with PT (Physical Therapy) in several months, so I didn't want him to be late, especially I didn't want him late because of me. Dawn wasn't in today so he worked with Mike, and the main focus was on his shoulders and back. Most of it was trying to get Jason's muscles to loosen up because tomorrow Jason has another follow up PT appointment, and this time it will be with Dawn. Dawn tends to work him a little harder, and will be probably pushing him to work with some resistance training and maybe some weights.

After the PT session, Dr. Sheu and Van, from Mobility Solutions came in and the four of us talked about how Jason's seat could be improved. I was impressed with what Dr. Sheu brought to the meeting, as it was exactly what was needed. He logged on to one of the terminals in the PT Gym, and brought up the latest X-Rays as well as some recent MRI scans of Jason's pelvis. It really did a world of good in attempting to show where the support was needed. He also used a model of a skeleton (one that hangs in the PT Gym) to show how it would be "sitting" on the seat. The meeting lasted for almost an hour, and over the next couple of weeks we will be seeing the out put of the meeting. I am really happy with the focus that Dr. Sheu has with Jason's progress, and it feels good that there is a focus.

Afterward, Jason had one other errand that he wanted to take care of, with his attorney, and though it was supposed to be a quick in-and-out visit, it also turned into an hour long visit. I was just happy that while in the PT Gym, Jason was basically out of his chair and in more of a laying down type position. When we finally did get back to the house we had been gone for over four hours, and Jason was tired.

The rest of the day was relaxed and even dinner was simple, just left overs. I actually kind of like left over nights, because we are able to eat a few different things. The girls had a great time with it as well and ate just about all the food they put on their plates. Tomorrow will be another PT kind of day, so Jason will again be tired when he gets back, but he also has Wound Care, and I am anxious to see how the progress is going with his healing. My feeling is that it should be moving along well, but there is nothing like actually seeing it to let us know for sure. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I guess most people did the bulk of celebrating over the weekend, and not much really happened today. I know we didn't do much here, except that Jason wanted to take Mom and Dad to breakfast and we each had a Mexican style breakfast - but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We all got up at about 06:30, and that was probably a little later than we should have done, but it still did give us time to get the girls ready, as well as the rest of us getting ready to go. Jason had to be at formation by 07:30, and we needed to drop the two girls off to their respective schools. When Jason and I left the house, we brought Jackie with us, as the Child Development Center (CDC) is right there on the grounds, so once Jason was to his formation Jackie and I just walked over to the CDC. I got Jackie checked in and then walked back, and when I got back Jason was done with formation. Probably one of the faster formations that I can remember. Jason and I then walked over to Wound Care to talk to them about some of the developments going on, and to pick up a couple of supplies, then he was off to another appointment. We were done about an hour later and then Jason called Linda and asked if she would like to go to breakfast, and that is how our morning started.

Once we were done with that we went back to the house and shortly after that Linda took off to take care of some errands. I stayed back at the house to hang a couple of pictures as well as catch up on a couple of other things, and then kind of just kicked back and relaxed a bit. Shortly after Joselyn arrived Linda called and asked me if I'd like to head over to the library with Stacy and her, and of course I said yes, so we went to pick her up and we went. Stacy was so excited to get her very own library card and check out some books. When that was done we came back to the house and then I went to pick up Jackie, with Stacy.

I got back to the house and Linda was fixing dinner and it dawned on me that I still needed to get come clothes over to the cleaners. I did that and by the time I got home dinner was ready and we sat down to eat. The rest of the evening was Grandma playing with the girls and Grandpa going through the rest of his email. It is probably one of the earliest evenings for having the blog done, so now Linda and I can go and get the girls to bed and then we can just kick back and watch a video or something on TV. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 4, 2014

Okay, I know some of you are wondering what happened to yesterday's post... well it was not done simply because I was just too tired to get to it. The day started out with a nice bike ride up a very steep hill. It was about 6 miles up (I don't mean elevation, I mean start to turn around point), and some parts of it were pretty steep. When I was returning I was hitting speeds in excess of 35 MPH, and that is pretty fast for me, on skinny tires. The ride itself was just under 15 miles and even today my legs are still a little stiff. I am thinking about doing that same ride again this week, as I think it is one of the best conditioning routes I've come across, around here.

Anyway, after the ride Linda took off to take care of a couple of her errands and I stayed at the house to take care of the girls, and I was also supposed to get some rest. The rest didn't happen much. The girls are getting to that point in their lives where they don't want to take naps anymore and are full of energy and want to play. What we ended up doing was to go out on the patio and I let them ride their scooter and trike around for a short bit, then they got into sidewalk chalk again (they really love that stuff). Finally we went back in to the house where I read a couple of stories to them and they wanted to play dress up, and this kind of went until Linda got back home.

Shortly after Linda returned I had to get ready to go to the USO Gala event, where Jason and I had both been invited, though Jason just wasn't up to going. He is still dealing with some healing issues and didn't want to stress any more areas right now. Richard Rovsek had asked us to go, and invited us to join them at Jim and Vangie Regan's table. This is the same gala that Jason and I had attended last year, and we were impressed with it then, and had a great time. I actually was seated next to Vandie and found out that she was the chair of the event, last year, so I felt kind of fortunate  to be there.  They are great people and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to meet them, along with all the other people I met. I ended up staying for most of the night, and didn't get home until almost 23:00 (11pm), and I was just plain tired. And, that's why I didn't post last night.

Now today was a bit different... The girls got us up early enough to make sure we could get them breakfast and then over to their Sunday School Classes. Linda has been taking them very regularly to the Presbyterian Church, just a short ways from us, and we have begun to build a pretty good relationship with them. I don't get to go as often as I'd like, due to the need to stay with Jason, so I am glad that Linda has been able to get the girls there on a more regular basis. As it turned out, we have had the girls for three Sundays in a row, so that has been particularly helpful for getting a schedule set.

After church we again had some play time and then lunch, and finally the girls were to go down for a nap. I had told them they had to take a nap if I was going to be taking them to Seaport Village, so they could ride on the carousel (It's a carousel that was built back in 1895 and has a great history, with it being moved to its current location back around 2004). While the girls were napping I wanted to get over to Costco to pick up a few things, and unfortunately, I forgot about Cinco de Mayo. For whatever reason people decided that it was important to get out and do something, because there were many, many cars out, and it took a little longer than usual to just get to Costco. Once there it wasn't too bad, though it was a little crowded. I still managed to get in and out in a reasonable amount of time, and then called Linda to let her know I was on my way home. She let me know the girls were already up and anxiously waiting for Grandpa to get home.

I did get home and we made it over to Seaport Village. The mistake I made was not bringing the camera with me, as they both looked great, while also establishing their contrasts. Stacy was dressed up as a princess and Jackie was wearing a jumper. Normally Jackie wants to just copy big sister, but she has been showing signs of wanting to do things on her own and differently from Stacy. Personally I think this is good. After a few rides, ice cream and walking around we finally came back home and Linda had dinner ready for us to eat just a little after 18:00 (6pm). We finished dinner and the girls showed signs of being tired  and we got them ready for bed, then they proceeded to get into their "play" mode. We were up for almost two more hours, and finally got them to bed. Tomorrow is an early day for us, so we need them to get some solid sleep, and we need it too. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, May 2, 2014

May 2, 2014

This morning was Jason's first formation in a couple of months, well, actually a little more than that. He was dressed in his camouflage uniform, and he looked like a Marine! He was happy and proud to be dressed as he was and you could see it in his eyes that he liked how he felt. It actually kind of felt like it used to, about a year ago, and I was glad he was feeling so good.

After formation we headed back to the house, to pick up Linda, so we could go to breakfast, something else we hadn't done in awhile, and since there were a couple of other errands needing to be done we decided to go over to Mimi's Restaurant. There was no wait and the food was pretty good, the only thing that could have made it better was to have somebody buy it for us... and somebody did. This very nice woman, who was sitting a little way away from us bought us the breakfast. When we found out we turned and thanked her and stopped by her table on the way out. She was a very nice person and just wanted to say thank you, to Jason for his sacrifice. Another opportunity to put a little more smile on our faces.

The rest of the day was spent doing a few chores around the house and then Linda going over to Stacy's school's play. Stacy had invited Grandma to come watch it with her, so Linda made sure her time was open and got over there with plenty of time to make sure there was seating. After the play they went and had a quick lunch and then Grandma really made Stacy's day by taking her to the library. Stacy had never been to a public library and was totally amazed by all that she saw. Now she is anxious to get her own library card, and Jason is going to have to be the one to take care of that - they wouldn't let Linda do it.

Finally we went to get Jackie, and then we all headed out to the Picture People store, where we had pictures taken of the girls. The photographer was this young woman who knew how to work with kids, because she had both of them cooperating better than I had expected. Jackie was full of energy and didn't want to sit still any longer than she had to, but it didn't seem to fade the photographer (I didn't even catch her name). She managed to get through the set and without any tears of screaming from the girls.

The rest of the evening was finally back at home where we had chicken pot pies and a little play time. Finally the day was over and it was time for story time and then bed. I let them pick out one of their favorite stories and read it to them. I enjoy it when they start asking me what specific words are, or mean. Stacy does it much more than Jackie, though I expect that to change over these coming months and years.  Tomorrow will be another great day, so stay tuned for the continued adventure. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

May 1, always seems more like the beginning of summer for me, as the weather is beginning to get warmer and people are out starting to crank up their grills or whatever they cook on. Today was a warm day here in San Diego - I think it got very close to 100 with humidity around 20%, or less. I went out for an early morning ride, because I knew I wouldn't be riding in the heat. Actually I had a small chore to take care of and a quick bike ride was a perfect solution for me. I rode pretty hard for most of it, so I was to my destination and back, in less than half an hour (I needed to go pay a bill and didn't want to just do it on line).

Jason had an appointment this morning, so we needed to be out on the road before 10:00, as we were headed up to Poway. (I think I might try a bike ride out there, once the heat breaks.) Jason had made an appointment with the GoldenBoy Mobility company, who specialized in refitting vehicles so that the wounded can still operate the vehicle. In Jason's case, they already know that he wants a truck and there was one they were already working on (for another customer) and it was an excellent opportunity to let him try it out for comfort and fit.

I have to admit, I was impressed with the engineering that went into the lift system they are employing. Effectively the entire driver side of the truck comes open and a "lift panel" comes down that Jason rolls his chair on to. This then locks in place and lifts him back up, placing him behind the wheel of the truck. It was a good test and several things were discovered, as a result of the "test ride" (no, he didn't actually get to drive the truck), and some adjustments will need to be done, when they do Jason's truck, and then he'll be ready to get behind the wheel and drive!

After that adventure we came back to the house, and the temp gauge on the van indicated it was 97 degrees already, and it wasn't even quite noon yet. We went in and took care of lunch and then we just sort of relaxed and I got a chance to respond to some of the email I get. Typically I get around 90 - 100 emails a day, not counting those that go to SPAM. I do my best to at least look at each of them, though I don't respond to each of them, at least not directly. Anyway, I did this for about an hour or so and then decided I needed a nap, a short one. Linda was up for that too, so we were laying down for a little while. It was a nice break.

When we got up, about half an hour later, we headed back over to the hospital, so I could pick up Jason's meds, and then I went to get a hair cut. The hair cut took longer than the pharmacy, but then the barber, a nice lady, really likes Jason, so she wanted to catch up on what he was doing. After that Linda and I did a little more visiting, as we really haven't done much of that in the past several weeks, and it was nice getting a chance to talk with some of the people. Afterward we came back home, as it was getting close to dinner.

The rest of the evening was quite relaxed and we had a nice simple dinner of Chicken Alfredo. Tomorrow Jason will be going to formation, for the first time in about 3 months, so it should be interesting. He doesn't plan to stay too long, as I think today took a lot out of him, so he is pretty tired, we'll have to see how it goes. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.