Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31, 2014

Yesterday and today were pretty much laid back days for Jason, though we did go to Costco for a little shopping, today. Jason is attempting to get more "down" time to allow for more healing of his open wounds, and from the way they looked today I'd have to say that there is some good from this strategy. We're looking for laser treatment in September, and that should help brings back under control, so we are all looking for a positive out look for this treatment.

On another note, and probably why I should have posted yesterday, Jason is now a civilian again. He officially retired as of about noon yesterday. He is now a retired Marine and will be enjoying all the benefits associated with that situation. Fortunately, because he is retired and the situation of his retirement, he is allowed to continue most of his medical needs with the hospital at Balboa. We have begun the process of getting his records being fully tracked by the VA now, and his pay to be coming from the VA, however we understand that it can take months before both are completed. Yes, we have been working some of this for months already, but a large portion of it can not get fully going until after he retires. Let's hope that the "front" work we did helps to get things moving more quickly.

Tomorrow is Labor Day, and we plan on just staying around the house - though there is talk of going to the zoo, and we think the girls will be happy about that. They should be here at the house around 08:00. Other than that we expect a nice relaxed day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay  positive.

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

Not much to write about today, with regard to Jason's healing and wound care activities. He is doing well and he went to physical therapy this morning, he filled, or I should say refilled some of his prescriptions and then we head on back home. Actually, there was a stop at Navy Fed Credit Union for a personal errand, and then another one at the housing office over here by the house. Because it is so close to the house he asked me to just drop him and Gracie off, and he would walk her home when he was finished. On his way back to the house he stopped by our mail box and picked up the mail, and then he was home.

By now is was after 12:00 and all of us were hungry, so I wanted to put something together quickly. I grabbed the bread and peanut butter and started to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when Jason asked, "Have you ever had peanut butter and honey?" I had to admit that I had not, and thought the idea was interesting. I told Jason we did have some honey, and I'd be happy to make him one (I still wanted my PB&J - We have strawberry preserves, my favorite). That was pretty much lunch for the two of us, as Linda is sticking with her diet and doing an outstanding job of not wavering from it.

There were a few more errands that had to be taken care of, like going to the bank and post office, as well as some clean up around the house, but otherwise we didn't do much else. I did go and pick up the girls from school today (about 15:00), and that was sort of last minute, but that was fine by me. Their mom, who would have normally picked them up, was unable to today and asked Jason if we could do it for her. She came by the house a little later (I think about 16:30). Like I said, not much else going on, and we just relaxed and worked on a few things at the house. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28, 2014

Today was one of those days where Jason did not have any appointments and spent most of the day in bed. I wish he would spend more time in bed, to allow the wounds to heal, but he is that kind of guy who wants to get out and take care of things. He recognizes that he needs to let his body heal, yet he also wants to get out and do things, like most of us. Anyway, he took time to clean some of the equipment he has and to just play a little with Gracie. The rest of the day was in bed.

I got up and went for a nice bike ride. It wasn't too long, as I am still trying to build up to that, and Linda wanted to do a few things that required my involvement. I also was able to put some time in on Stand Up and Play, and the Quick Books work that I am doing for them. The fun part is that I am continually learning new things and still finding out QB can be used.

This evening Linda and I went over to see our cats, and they are doing great. Glenn, Anne and their son, Nick are doing a great job of being a foster family for Pumpkin and Candy (the cats), and we feel lucky to have connected with them. They also have a son, Nick, who is also in Scouting. He has reached the rank of Eagle Scout, and is having his Court of Honor, early next week. We have been invited to this event, and Jason is looking forward to going. It will be good to get in to a setting of a bunch of Scouters having a good time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27, 2014

Today was what you would call a RED Letter day for Jason, as there was a bunch to get done and generally a very busy day for all of us. The girls were up early, and actually Stacy came up and made sure we were awake by 06:30. The past couple of days we've had to go down and get her up, closer to 07:00, so today was particularly nice. Both Jackie and Stacy were up and ready to head out to school, by 07:40, and Linda and Jason were ready to get them there. Linda was doing what I would normally be doing because I had my own appointment with the VA, at 08:00. Right after dropping the girls off Jason was off to his first appointment, and this is where it really gets good.

Jason's first appointment was with the DMV, and Linda had to get him over to the Scripts Vehicle Training Center, so that he could take the driving assessment in their vehicle (The DMV wants those who are testing to take the test in their vehicle - and Jason was totally fine with that). Jason took the test and passed with a score of 100%, and then again, what else would you expect from him. The driving test took about 30 minutes or so, and Gracie was so very happy to see him when he got back. Linda was holding on to Gracie during the test and she basically whined the entire time Jason was gone (Gracie did, not Linda).

There were a couple of other appointments for Jason, thought in comparison, not as important. With the passing of this event, Jason can now officially get his truck and drive himself around town. I suspect that it will still be a little while before he does much driving, but I expect him to build up to longer drive times, quickly enough. We all got back to the house at about the same time, this afternoon and we had a nice little lunch together. I had a couple of appointments also, and both of them worked out fine. The only down side is the amount of time I have to extend with the VA, sometimes. The head of the section where I went to did apologize to me and gave me a different number to call, if I need to come back in. This is supposed to help with getting me in sooner, so I'll see how it works.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed, and Linda and I even had our date-night time together. We went to go see the new James Brown movie "Get on Up", and found it to be very enjoyable. There were some things left out about his life, and you did walk away with some questions, but then if it had all the information it would have taken twice as long to watch it. I would recommend that anyone who is interested in that era of music, and especially James Brown fans, go and watch it. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26, 2014

The girls got off to school this morning, and it was actually quite a nice morning. No delays or scrambling around to find lost items or shoes, and breakfast was easy and quick (they had multi-grain Cheerios). Right after getting back to the house I went and double checked with Jason, on his appointments, as well as other things he might want to do, and I was clear until 11:15, when we needed to be over at the Sharps Institute where Jason was to complete his final driver training. This meant that I had about 2 1/2 hours and time to get out on my bike. More specifically it meant a 15 to 16 mile ride, and that is what I did.

I got back from the ride (16 miles) and cooled down and cleaned up, and got ready to go. Jason and I went over to the Sharps and within about 30 minutes he was behind the wheel and ready to head out on his last "training" session, so that tomorrow he can do the DMV version. Once he has that out of the way he will be able to finally get into his OWN truck, and start driving himself whenever he needs to go somewhere. This will be a level of freedom for Jason that he has been looking forward to for almost two years now.

The session went off without a hitch... sort of... When we got to Sharps they had the controls moved over to the right side, so that Jason could get a feel for what that was like. When he gets his truck the controls will be on the right side. As it turned out, the moving of the controls from the left to the right isn't quite as simple a move as one might think. They drove for a few miles and Jason was having to cross over on some of his moves, and that was too big of an issue to continue, so they stopped and Penny (the drive instructor) moved the controls back over to the left, where they were designed to be, just as the ones in the truck will be designed for the right side, and thus the same problems/challenges won't be encountered. Anyway, with the controls where they should be the drive was completed, and Jason did just fine. When they go to the DMV tomorrow, he will be driving that same Sharps van - one of the requirements from the DMV, not sure why.

The rest of the day was again, quiet and the girls were back from school and excited, again, to tell us about all that happened. I am glad they both seem to like school so much, right now, as it will make it easier as the classes get more difficult. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

First day of school for the girls, and it was chaos... Well, maybe not chaos, just very exciting. We got up at a little after 06:00 this morning, and had the girls up a little bit later. Even with the idea that the first day of school was awaiting them, they still didn't want to get up. We finally did get them up and dressed, and both of them looked great, as well as excited to be heading off to a new adventure.

We walked to school, as we do live very close, and the number of vehicles attempting to get on to the grounds was higher than usual. We already are familiar with the class room where Jackie is now going, as well as the teacher; the big challenge was finding Stacy's class room. We had to walk all of about 30 feet to find the door. Then, as you enter the door, her name was on the desk where she will be sitting. We got to meet some of the other parents, and Stacy got to meet some of the other students, briefly, then we were out of the room and socializing outside. The students and teachers all stayed in the class rooms and the adults all gathered around a table that had bagels and coffee. I don't drink coffee and Jason does only rarely, so we didn't really stay too long. Jason did get to meet some of the other parents and that was good, as well as got his name on the contact roster for the parent association. After that, we simply walked home.

The next on the agenda was Jason's appointment back at Balboa. He had an appointment with PT, and then we came back home. Since it was still relatively early I decided to go for a bike ride. I only planned on going for a short ride and told Linda I would be back in an hour. I took off and planned on riding out to Mission Bay, and then saw that the road was being worked on, and the bike lane was closed. I decided to turn around and headed back, and still managed to get in a little over 11 miles.

The rest of the day was spent taking care of errands and doing some clean up. We need to start planning on how we are going to reorganize the garage, and off-site storage. We still have too much stuff, and not enough room, but that's pretty much normal for most houses. The day wore down to the evening and then after dinner (I grilled some steaks for Jason and I and hot dogs for the girls. Linda fixed her own dinner and is being very good about her diet), we just relaxed. Tomorrow Jason will be going to his final driver training, and then I think Wednesday or Thursday he will be testing with the DMV to get his approval for driving a specialized vehicle. I think he is very ready to be out on his own, and I am looking forward to this. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 24, 2014 - Jackie's 4th Birthday!

Today is Jackie's birthday, and she turned 4 years old! We had the party for her yesterday, and we kept it kind of small, with just family attending. Jason's older brother David, came down with his two boys, Dylan and Ethan, to help with the celebrating. The cousins all get along very well and they played together, both outside and inside. I was able to get some pictures taken this time, so I hope you enjoy them. Nana and Tata also came (that's Linda's parents, so that makes them Jackie's Great Grand Parents). The visitors all stayed for lunch and for a little bit a resting period, before having to take of to get back home. Both Nana and Tata, and David and his sons, live north of here, so they all had to endure some traffic going home. Because it was Saturday, I am hoping it wasn't too bad.

Jackie is like most 4-year olds and was pretty excited to see all the people and all the gifts, especially since they were for her. The funny part is that as she opened one, she was ready to stop to go off and play with that gift, in her hand. We had to keep getting her to focus on the other packages. Stacy did pretty good too, considering that most of the stuff was for Jackie, and she only received a couple of things. David (and Miriam, his wife, who wasn't able to attend) gave both girls rain boots, with Hello Kitty on them. It wasn't all they gave, but it was the best thing, as far as Stacy and Jackie were concerned. They wore the boots most of the rest of the day, yesterday, and then again most of the day, today. From Nana and Tata they received a couple of hula-hoops and those went over big. It was kind of funny watching the girls try to use them while wearing the rubber rain boots.

Today we went to church in the morning and as soon as we got back home they both put their boots on and had a great day. I think Jackie was actually kind of confused with the party yesterday, and then today she was being told it was her birthday. We really didn't do much else today, other than finished with some clean up, and a friend of Jason came over, Gary K., for a short visit, as well as to give gifts to both the girls. Tomorrow is first day of school, for the new year, and they are both going to the same school this year, though Jackie is in Pre-K. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014

Today has been an interesting day, and a busy one. Jason decided that he wanted to get his retirement photo ID done today, so we went over to building 26 to get it done. When we arrived there was a line of folks already there, as well as a few others who had made appointments. My guess is that Jason didn't think it was going to take too long, and so we waited. What happened, as a result, was that his PT appointment was missed, and he really doesn't like to miss appointments. He did end up finally getting his ID created, and this time he had all the correct forms, and they were correctly filled out. Last time he went there his copy of his DD214 was incorrect and we had to get back to Pendleton to get it fixed (that was in a blog a few days ago). After receiving his new ID we headed over to the PT area, so he could apologize to Dawn, and reassure the other appointments would be kept. It was also a good time to stop, because we got to meet up with a few people we hadn't seen in a few weeks, and it nice to catch up.

We left Balboa and decided to head over to the Ability Center, where they are doing both Jason's truck and his van. Both of them are moving along nicely, and the van should be ready by the end of next week, which would put it on the day before his last day as an active duty Marine. He official retirement date is August 30, and that is one week from tomorrow, Saturday. The truck would probably be ready the following week. He still has to do his DMV driving test, and that takes place next week, and then he will be able to get his truck and van. The Van is a gift from  The Gary Sinise Foundation and The Wounded Warrior Family Support organization, and the Truck is a gift from The Nice Guys and The Semper Fi Foundation. Also, both of them were helped with money from the VA, and all of the groups working together made it possible for the vehicles to become reality.

The rest of the day was doing a few things to get ready for Jackie's fourth birthday party. She actually turns four (4) on Sunday, but it seemed to work better to have her party on Saturday. I be sure to post some photos this time, and see how well I do with the camera. We're not expecting too many people, with just a few family members coming, and that should actually be a good thing for her party. She enjoys playing with her cousins, and we hope they all have a great time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 21, 2014

For the past couple of years, now, we have pretty much been using a loaner van, to help with Jason's transportation needs. There was the other van that was recently given to us, that since then has been donated to Father Joe's Home, and we are now waiting on another van that is being "built" to help Jason, and the rest of us be able to get around like a family. Well, the van that we are borrowing, from Semper Fi and Rollx is a relatively new van, and in this particular case, we have put most of the miles on it. Over the coarse of a couple of years it has needed service and today was one of those days. I got up early and packed my bike into the van, and drove to the dealership, where the service was to be performed. The idea being that I was to ride my bike home, and then turn around and ride it back to pick it back up (total ride would be just over 15 miles, with one very challenging hill). Anyway, I took it in to the service, at Hacienda Chrysler/Dodge and everything looked great for being coordinated. I had made the appointment, so they were expecting me. Then, for whatever reason, a different service person took this particular job, and things got a little shaky.

In the past Patricia was the service person who dealt with the Semper Fi vehicles and she was very aware of all the particulars of how it was handled. Joey, the new guy, apparently didn't have any of the required knowledge and it took nearly half a day just to get that corrected, and since new tires were involved (4 of them) it was a larger expense than just an oil change. I did drop off the van, and rode my bike home, then after a number of phone calls, back and forth between the Marines, me and the dealership, and a few hours of elapsed time, I did not ride my bike back. In fact, the van was now not going to be ready until 17:00 (5pm) at the soonest. Originally it was supposed to be no later than 13:00 (1pm). When I did finally get the van back, it was after 17:30 (5:30pm), and I still have to take it back in to finish the alignment. The mechanics there are quite good, and they showed they wanted to get the job done right. It is the front end that had the problems, and they blamed it on being short handed and very busy. If they are short handed then they  shouldn't be promising times to customers that can't be delivered. Setting expectations is the most important thing they can do, and in this case it was badly handled. Anyway, the front end work will be done early next week, when I again have time to get it in.

The rest of the day was quiet and Jason actually spent most of the day in bed. There is an early appointment in the morning (the reason I needed the van back), and we will be getting the girls back tomorrow. We're going into the weekend prior to the beginning of a new school year, so we're expecting a bunch of excitement. The other big thing, this weekend is Jackie's birthday; she will be turning 4 years old. These past four years have been so fast, and so full of events; it just keeps our heads spinning. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20, 2014

Not a great deal going on today. Jason had a couple of appointments and that was pretty much it. We did get a chance meeting with Dr. Shumaker, and that was fortunate. He is the doctor who is able to do some of the laser treatment that has really benefited Jason, each time it happens. While talking with the doctor we were able to tentatively establish the next treatment, and we're hoping that it provides that little "push" that is needed for the wounds to finally heal. We'll be speaking with his scheduler on Friday, and set up the specific date/time for the treatment, and it is very likely to happen in early September.

The other two appointments were with PT, where Dawn was able to work her magic on Jason's shoulders, and he was feeling much better after; and, then we went on to Wound Care, where they showed me something new, that should help as well. All-in-all it was a good day for a visit to the hospital, despite the pharmacy slow down. Something happened to their system and all prescriptions got backed up, thus causing a much longer wait time than we usually experience.

The girls will be gone until Friday, and that's okay, because that provides us with a little time to prepare for the first day of school, on this coming Monday. Jason is pretty excited about being able to take the girls to their first day of school, and this time Stacy will be entering Kindergarten. Both she and Jackie are pretty excited as well, and so are Grandma and Grandpa... ;-) Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19, 2014

Not much to report on today, as we spent most of the day at home. We had our little errands to do, such as taking the girls to different places and going to the grocery store (needed to pick up a couple of lemons), but otherwise it was a quite day. Jason is doing well, as are the rest of us and we're just moving along in a nice easy way. Tomorrow we hope to hear if they (the folks who take care of the housing we're currently in) are going to be fixing the shower soon. Right now, every time Jason takes a shower there is water all over the floor, and it is due to the fact that he has to drive his wheel chair right up to the shower, and the weight of the chair has broken down the flooring adhesive. It is something they are familiar with and have had to fix in a few other houses, and fortunately for us, they have run into a number of issues with those other houses. We should be able to just get the work done and then Jason will have a good shower again.

Tomorrow is another quiet day, and it looks as though Jason only has a couple of appointments, so we should be back to the house by late morning. This works fine for me, as it could still provide me a chance to get out on the bike and get some exercise. I'll just have to wait to see how the day plays out. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Today was very calm and even the weather was pretty nice. Jason only had an appointment with the folks over at Sharps, where they do the driver qualification. His appointment was at 08:30, so we needed to get out of the house early, or at least we thought we did. We got up at 06:30 and were ready to go at about 07:40, and Sharps is about 15 minutes away, on a traffic friendly day. As it turned out, it was a very friendly kind of traffic day, and we got there before 08:00. We actually arrived before his "tester" person showed up, and when she did, she immediately came over to say, "Hello." She was the same tester that Jason worked with last time, so at least there is that level of familiarity.

This time I didn't ride along with them. Gracie and I stayed back at the van and just chilled for about an hour. I am still fighting a cold and the idea of just relaxing was kind of appealing. When they did complete the drive and "test" there was no parking left, and I found that kind of humorous. I guess they're going through an expansion right now, and some of the parking has been taken away, due to the construction. When they're finished there should be adequate parking available. Anyway, the test drive was good and Jason did just as well as he did last time. The form will be sent to the DMV for processing and when that has happened they are to contact Jason again, and then he should be very close to being able to get his own vehicle. Another four to six weeks will have it all done.

The rest of the day was quiet. Linda and Stacy were having a good time around the house. They also went to the library for a visit (a couple of hours), and Stacy was very happy about that. She loves the library and we are totally okay with that. Linda and I went to go pick up Jackie, a little later in the afternoon, and Jackie was happy to see us both come in to her room. She is starting to develop a little faster now and she is at a good place for moving to her new preschool. That actually begins next Monday, along with Stacy's beginning with kindergarten.  Exciting days are ahead for sure.

No appointments for us tomorrow so I am going to attempt to get a bike ride in, as long as I'm feeling up to it. Then, I'll see about getting a few other things out of the way. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17, 2014 - Happy Birthday Linda

Yesterday was a pretty good day for Jason and all the Ross family, here in San Diego. We got up, not too early, but still early enough. We headed out to take Gracie and Jason to their service-dog training, though Linda chose to stay back at the house. I think she was more in the mood to go do some shopping and taking care of a few things on the home front. The training was good - while they trained I stayed back in the van and either read or just relaxed, until Jason came back.

Once back in the van we headed over to Anthony Netto's place, where we were to meet up and then go on to some target practice. Jason bought a new scope set up for his rifle, and he wanted to see if he could get it zeroed in. As it turned out, it was a little more of a challenge than he originally thought. It is one of those higher end scopes and as a result it is a little delicate in the tuning. While he was doing that, Anthony and I were basically having a good time with his rifle, and I even managed to hit the target a few times, near the bull's eye. After about three and a half (3 1/2) hours of shooting we all began to realize that we were hungry, and we hadn't even picked up a pistol. Actually Anthony and Jason did all the pistol shooting and when I was asked if I'd like to shoot I simply said, "No, I'm just hungry right now." At that point we just kind of stopped and said enough for the day and headed off to get some food. Prior to leaving we called Linda and let her know what we were doing and she informed us about a messed up I8, due to a major traffic accident, that involved about 5 vehicles. Fortunately, it hadn't impacted where we were, by too much, so we finally did get something to eat.

The drive home was much easier than we thought was going to be, and by the time we had made it home we were both getting pretty tired. Being out in the sun, as long as we were is very draining on the body, and I am just not as young as I used to be. Actually, both Anthony and Jason were teasing me about wearing so much sun block, but it paid off; I had little sun burn to deal with, and both of them had signs, though not much. And that was pretty much yesterday.

Today is Linda's birthday, and she turned 21! Okay maybe a little older than that, but she can still act like she's 21 sometimes. As I said, Jason and I were feeling the affects of the sun, from yesterday and this morning I didn't wake up until 07:30, and that is a lot later than I usually do. On top of that I'm fighting a bit of a cold, and that also tends to make you want to sleep a bit more. Linda woke a little after that and we talked for a little while and then I guess I just sort of closed my eyes and when I opened them again it was nearly 10:00. Linda told me I had been snoring, so I guess I fell back asleep, and didn't even know it. We finally got up a bit later and I fixed breakfast, which was more like lunch now. Even Jason had been sleeping a bunch more than usual, so he wasn't bothered at all by the schedule shift.

Not much else went down today, and Linda got to enjoy a very nice and relaxed birthday. She wanted me to cook some kab-bobs so I did, and they came out great. We finished the day off with watching a video and just relaxing and enjoying each other's company. There was no birthday cake, we ate an apple pie with ice cream, instead, and we enjoyed it. We're ready for the new week, and look forward to all the challenges it just might bring, and will keep you all posted on what generally happens. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15, 2014

This morning started with me going to the gym at about 06:30, do get a little cardio workout going. The reason for the early start was that I knew I wasn't going to be able to get a ride in, this morning, so the gym was the next best thing. Actually, I could have gone for a ride a little later in the day, but due to the fact that it was over 90 again, I didn't want to get out and bake myself on the bike. Heck, even when walking over to the gym, as early as it was, it was very warm already. Anyway, it was a good work out/run-walk, and when I got back to the house I found that Linda wasn't feeling very good. I told her to stay in bed and I'd take care of things down stairs.

Jason and I did leave the house as about 09:00, and headed over to physical therapy. This was the only appointment that he had, and then while that was going on I went over to pick up his prescription. The nice thing about being here, as long as we have, is that the folks there know both of us so we actually get very fast service. The fact that they weren't too busy helped too, I think.

We headed back home, then Jason said he wanted to go over to the Marine Corp Recruit Depot (MCRD), so he could go to the uniform store to pick up a couple things. He wants to make some changes to Gracie's vest, and it is the closest source of what he needs. We got to their shopping area and walked over to the store entrance. The uniform store is upstairs so we head to the elevator and there is a sign on it - "Out of Service." There is only the one elevator so that means no getting to the store. As you might imagine, this irritates Jason a bit, but not really a bunch he can do, so we leave. He decides he will just have to wait to make the changes.

The rest of the day was laid back and relaxed. It seems I've caught a cold, but it isn't too bad right now. Both of the girls have the sniffles so I am guessing it came from Jackie, who picked it up at the day care. One of those things in life that just seem to follow you around. Tomorrow we will be heading out to the training class for Jason and Gracie, and then seeing whatever else the day might bring. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14, 2014

Yesterday I wrote about having to get up to Pendleton, to take care of some paperwork. The paperwork was actually quite important, and had a significant bearing on how Jason's retirement was going to be, once he was totally retired from the Marines (something that will happen on the 30th of this month). The drive to Camp Pendleton actually took more time than it did to get the issue corrected. Both Jason and I were totally surprised at how seamless and easy it was to get it done... not to mention how happy we were. The effort was so simple and quick that we decided to get over to the Exchange, on base, and Jason did a little shopping for Jackie's birthday, coming up on the 24th. We looked at a number of different things, also, while we were there, and about the only down part of the entire trip was the drive home. Traffic was pretty bad, and I think it was due to traffic breaks. I only say that because I have seen it happen, more than once, while driving on the I5, between Los Angeles and San Diego.

The rest of the day was relatively quiet. Actually, the very first thing I did this morning was to go for a bike ride, though it was only for an hour. Once I had cooled down and I had my shower out of the way, we took off for Camp Pendleton. When we arrived back at the house Linda and Stacy had already taken off. Linda wanted to share some "girl" time with Stacy, and I think Stacy liked the idea. Linda took her to one of the pizza places, close by, and then to do a few other things. They got back to the house by about 15:00 (3pm) and right after that Stacy wanted to just lay down and rest. I think Linda did too, so I let them both relax for a little while, while I did a few other things.

Not much else happened today, though Jason did take some time out to look at an on-line course for how to load your own ammunition. He hopes to get more into target shooting, and loading/making your own ammo is probably one of the best ways to save money doing it. We were talking about possibly doing some shooting this weekend, so I'll just have to wait and see how things play out for him. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13, 2014

Not much of a busy day, just a day for getting some things done. Even when we went into Wound Care it was kind of uneventful, and that's the way we like it. Tomorrow Jason and I will be headed up to Camp Pendleton, to take care of the paperwork mess up, and we hope it really doesn't take too long., otherwise we will end up being up there at commute time and then having to drive home in that traffic. Then that's tomorrow, and I'm not going to worry about that right now.

The rest of the day was just putting up some pictures around the house, and a large framed Drew Brees jersey from when he played in the 2007 All Stars NFL Game. It was mounted by Way Up Art and Frame in Livermore, and they did an excellent job. The backyard was also cleaned up and looks much better now, and should still be in good shape for Jackie's birthday party in about 10 days.

Linda and I did have our date-night, and watched a video of Willow, which we hadn't seen in quite a while. We didn't feel like going to the movies so I just made popcorn and we watched the movie. It was a nice relaxed ending to a relaxed day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 12, 2014

Another day, that began, much like many of the others, with a trip to Balboa, to get some things done, only this time we brought both the girls with us. Linda actually stayed back at the house, because we had some of the maintenance guys coming over, and didn't know when they'd be there. Anyway, the big chore today was to get new ID's made for Stacy and Jackie, and a new ID for Jason, who is soon to be retired. Most of the guys do this on their last, or almost last day, but Jason wanted to get it done, and he had some time to do it.

We walked into the waiting area and Jason signed in. We sat down and waited for our turn, which looked like it was going to be a while (about 10 people there ahead of us). While waiting Jason shifted into Daddy mode and began playing games with the girls. Funny thing is, the one game they seemed to like the best was the one where the person who sat still the longest was the winner. This went on for nearly 30 minutes, and I was totally impressed. With that behind us Jason's name was called and we went up to the desk of the man who was to help out. He looked at the paperwork; he asked a few questions of Jason; and, then asked to see his DD-214 page (This is a discharge document that everybody who is in the military receives when they exit - I have one, my dad had one, and so on). Only thing is, the information on Jason's copy was wrong in one very important area. It indicated that he was being medically released, and the correct thing should say he is being medically retired. There is a BIG difference in those two things, so now it has to be corrected.

What that means is that Jason has to now go back around to some of the same folks he went to, a few months ago, and get things changed so that it reflects the real situation. This could be a lot of work for Jason, though it also might be taken care of in a relatively short manner. The good aspect with Jason going to get his ID, is that he still has a couple of weeks to get things corrected, and he is still active duty. It he had not gotten to this until after getting out, it would have been all kinds of challenges, and might have taken more than a year to correct. Anyway, we are headed up to Pendleton tomorrow to begin working on the correction.

The rest of the day was pretty easy, after that. I did make a run out to Costco, and spent a couple hundred of Jason's dollars. Actually, Jason and I went together, and it was probably one of the few times that we have been to Costco, together, without anyone else coming with us. Dinner was left overs again, and I was happy about that. I don't like building up a bunch of good food in the refrigerator, just to let it go bad. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

Today began with a quick breakfast for all of us - we had cereal of our choosing, and the girls even had a couple of bowls each (I guess they were hungry this morning). That's what happens with growing kids... ;-)
After breakfast, we soon got ready to head off to the hospital campus, where Jason had his first appointment with Physical Therapy (PT). Jackie went with us to the base, as that is where her Child Development Center (CDC) is also. She is always so excited about going there, and that makes us very happy. The funny thing is that when we come to pick her up she is just as excited to see us.

Jason had his first appointment with PT, over at the C5 clinic. On the way over there were a couple of people he knew from Bethesda walking through the halls. Both of them were doing well, and their wounds were completely healed up. They were now out here, where they have retired and occasionally come in to Balboa for specific treatment. As a result of these social encounters, Jason was almost late for his appointment. Well, I guess I should say he thought he was almost late. We arrived at about 10 minutes to 10:00, when he thought his appointment was. Actually, his appointment was for 10:30, so we were very early, and I had to smile at the hurried look on his face. The appointment went well and Jackie, the therapist did an excellent job on Jason's shoulder.

Jason had one other person to see, and that was a very quick meeting. It was simply to get a shot and then we were out of there. We headed back to the house, and got there before noon. We basically just got settled in when Linda and Stacy came walking in. Linda had taken Stacy to the library and she picked up another 10 books. She loves to get new books for us to read to her. She will have the books read to her so many times that she nearly memorizes them and then starts to recognize some of the words for herself. I guess this is one of the ways kids learn to read. This plus what Linda has been doing with her will help her move along quickly after she enters kindergarten in a couple of weeks. Yep, school starts soon, and this year both girls will be going to the same school.

The rest of the day was relaxed, with me going to pick up Jackie and then a little later, after dropping her off at the house, I went to the store. Tomorrow there are no appointments, though we have a number of things we want to accomplish. I was talking with Jason and told him I wanted to get an early bike ride in, and he wants to head over to the gym in the morning. I have a list of about 12 things I would like to get done, and so just maybe I will be able to do it. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10, 2014

Yesterday was a good day for all of us, here in San Diego; my back was feeling much better and the weather was excellent. We didn't have anywhere special to go, and we were able to get most of our chores done, play with the girls and even have time to fix a nice dinner. Grandma (Linda) had gotten home late last night and this morning the girls were both up early, and in the room to wake Grandma and Grandpa. My back was feeling much better and we were all at home again. On top of that, Karen Ryan was visiting, as she helped Linda drive back down from Livermore.

Yesterday evening was a special treat, as Karen wanted to fix dinner for us. She prepared REAL chicken nuggets. Ones she prepared, rather than the ones you can pick up in the frozen isle of any grocery store. The ones she made, along with a great salad and vegetable side dish, were great. Not surprising was the fact that there were none left at the end of the meal... ;-)

We stayed up a little bit, after the girls went to bed and talked about all sorts of stuff, but mostly about what was going on back home. It was good to have Karen with us, even if it was only for this weekend. It felt a little like we were back in Livermore, and she even brought some wine from a couple of the local vintners. As you might guess, both bottles are now gone, and shortly there after, we were in bed.

Today began with us getting up early again, only not as early this time. I went over to the gym to get a little aerobic work in and then back over to the house. Linda was making French Toast for breakfast, and I always like it when she makes French Toast. After breakfast the girls and I went to church and enjoyed the fellowship, along with Sunday School (the girls always talk about how much fun Sunday School is). The only down side was that after church we came home to get ready to take Karen to the airport. She had an early afternoon flight, and from the way it looked, just about everybody else did too.

The evening was very nice and relaxed. After dinner Grandma sat down with the girls (actually Grandpa sat down with them, too) and watched Matilda, the Disney movie from 20 years ago. It was still fun for them and a nice break for us. The girls got to bed at about 20:30 (8:30pm) and my guess is we won't be up too late either. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8, 2014

Not much going on today, as Jason only had the one appointment with PT, so from that perspective it was an easier day. We got up relatively early and had a simple breakfast of cereal. Stacy showed up at a little after 07:30, and about 90 minutes later we left for Jason's appointment. While he was in PT I decided to go take care of a few other issues, and Stacy decided she wanted to go with me this time, and for whatever reason she was full of the boundless energy most 5 year olds have, and I had a tough time keeping up with her. Fortunately, the timing of my errands and Jason's therapy turned out to be about the same, and when we walked back into the treatment area Jason was just about ready to leave.

Once we left the hospital we headed out to take care of a few more simple errands that Jason wanted to get done, and then we headed back to the house. When I got up this morning, my back was feeling much better than it did yesterday; by the time we got back home it was beginning to feel stressed a bit, and I had to sit back down for a little while. Actually I made lunch first, then I got to sit down. I only rested for about 30 minutes and then I felt much better. I guess this is the kind of stuff I should expect - it is just all part of getting a little older I guess.

Linda and Karen will be arriving sometime after I have finished and posted this blog. They left early this morning and stopped at our son David's house, on the way down, and then again at Linda's parents home, for dinner. I would have rather then come straight down, but I also appreciate the need to stop for rests as well as wanting to do some visiting, and the trip was a convenient way to get that accomplished. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 7, 2014

Kind of a regular day for us, though it did have its little surprises for us, along the way. It began with Anthony coming over to the house at about 05:10 this morning - yeah, kinda early. I had told him I would take him to the airport, as he has a business trip to go to. When I got back from the airport I decided to stay up and work on the Quick Books stuff, for Stand UP And Play, and did that until about 08:30. It was almost three hours worth of organizing work, but I am glad I did, as I think it will be a little easier to keep track of what is going on.

 Jason had an appointment at 12:30 today, and then at about 08:30 they called and let him know it had been cancelled. He was going to have to reschedule for next week. The reason for the cancellation was not given, just that the doctor was not available. I am assuming it was sort of a family issue or the doctor, himself, was sick. Anyway, it opened a nice little opportunity for me to go for an unplanned bike ride. I didn't want to be gone too long, so I made it kind of short. Actually, that was kind of a funnier aspect of the ride. I went on Tuesday, for a 16.16 mile ride and today I ended up at 16.16 miles, and I took a different route. Next time I go, probably Saturday, I promise it will be different from 16.16.

I cooled down for awhile and then cleaned up, and then Jason wanted to get out and take care of some errands and business. We made a few stops, and Stacy (she was with us again today) and I stayed in the van while Jason went into the stores and the bank. We got back home at about 13:30 (1:30pm) and had a late lunch. While eating lunch Stacy's tooth, which had been loose for several days, came out. She was very excited about it, as she pulled it out herself. She was talking about leaving it for the Tooth Fairy and wanting to show and share it with everybody. She was so proud to take it in to Daddy, and Jason made a bid deal out of it.

The rest of the evening was a bit more relaxed, and finally dinner was left overs. I had originally planned on cooking salmon but it was still pretty frozen, so I'll do that tomorrow. That's probably better anyway because she and Karen Ryan should be here for dinner tomorrow. Yeah! Linda is coming back home tomorrow and I will be very happy to see her - it has been a long 10 days. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014

Today was another day of appointments and getting a few things done, and then at the end of the day we went to a movie. We were all up at 06:30, and I had my appointment at 08:00, with audiology. As it turned out I have a small infection in my right ear and it needs to be seen by my primary before they can do the hearing test. I should hear back from them tomorrow, as to when I will be going in to see my primary. In the mean time I have a bit of a loss of hearing on the right side, with a constant ringing going on.

Once I got back to the house, I had to get things together so that Jason could get to his first appointment, at 09:30, with PT. Stacy was with us during the day, today, and she was having a great time with us. Most of the people we have to interface with know her pretty well now, so it was very enjoyable for her. The last appointment of the day was totally administrative, and basically just picking up some information about what is going on with the on going treatments and the transitions to being retired. As a reminder, Jason will be retired at the end of this month - actually on the 30th.

When we came back to the house, it was close to 13:00 (1pm) and we had not eaten any lunch yet. To say the least, Stacy was hungry, as were Jason and I. Fortunately we had gone to the store yesterday and picked up all the lunch foods that we need and it was easy to put something together quickly. Stacy ended up eating two sandwiches, just like her daddy. I had one sandwich and some cottage cheese. Before 14:30 (2:30pm) Stacy was asleep on the couch, and remained that way until her mother came to pick her up.

Dinner was very simple, just a bowl of soup for Jason and I, and then we went to go see the movie... Guardians of The Galaxy. Both of us had wanted to see it, and since I had a coupon to see the movie, with a small popcorn and drink, it was a rather inexpensive evening. What we had seen of the advertisements was very close to what we saw in the movie, and both of us enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone who is even slightly familiar with the story line, and even for those who are not. I did have a little trouble trying to decide if it was a Sci-Fi Action movie, or just a comedy, as it seemed to fit both.

Tomorrow I will be up early, as I need to help Anthony Netto to get to the airport, so he can catch his flight. He will be here at about 05:15, and then I'll drive him the rest of the way and park his truck back over here. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

This morning I fully intended to get up early and go out for a bike ride, but then about 10 minutes after I was up, my lower back started to "talk" to me. It was telling me that maybe a bike ride wasn't such a good idea right now, and that perhaps a better choice was to just try to take it easy the rest of the day. I decided that I should listen to my back and didn't go for the ride. However, taking it easy wasn't necessarily in the cards. We have the girls right now and they require a bit of attention, along with the appointments we normally have.

Actually there were only two appointments today, and one of them was a time that wasn't going to let us miss out on all the traffic that happens when most people are getting off work. Sitting in traffic for over an hour is just no fun when your back is bothering you. I know most of you already know that, but it feels good being able to say it. When we finally got pretty close to home Jason remembered that we still needed to go to the grocery store, to pick up a few things. We finally got back home at 17:20, and the girls were ready for us to be home. Of course their moods were vastly improved with the snacks that Daddy decided to buy. Every now and again he will just decide to buy something that he knows they really like, and as long as they don't get it all the time, I'm okay with it. Then again, he is the dad...

I made stroganoff for dinner, for two reasons. First it is a relatively quick and easy meal to put together, and second, everybody likes it. Baths came after dinner, and that is always a good play time for both of them and then shortly after that is bed time. I think Jason like bed time best because he gets to just relax and read stories to Stacy and Jackie, and the girls enjoy it a bunch. Tomorrow is another day of excitement, with my first appointment at 08:00 with the VA. This time I hope it doesn't take as long. I don't have to go to the La Jolla VA Hospital, so it should be a little easier to get seen - just wish me luck. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

Stacy was dropped off at the house this morning, at about 07:20, and then I fixed some breakfast. We had Cream of Wheat, and it was pretty good. We hadn't had any for several weeks, and I was just in the mood for it today (so was Jason). After that we did some catching up of our emails while Stacy played and then we all got ready for Jason's first appointment, over at the hospital. It was with physical therapy (PT) and was supposed to start at 10:30. All was fine, except as we pulled into the base I became aware that I had left my wallet on the coffee table... OOPS! As it turned out the guard recognized me and Jason, and Jason had his ID with him, so he still let us on.

The appointment with PT was pretty normal and Stacy stayed with Jason as I went over to get a hair cut. We had given her the option of going with me or Daddy, and she chose Daddy - this made me feel good, as I like it when they want to spend more time with him. The timing was excellent because when I was done I went back over to PT and Jason was done. Actually, Stacy was having a great time and learning where some of the things were, within the PT area, including the bottled water dispenser. She showed me where to get a drink, if I was thirsty. There were a couple of other little errands we needed to take care of, and by the time we were heading back to the house it was close to 13:00 (1pm).

Soon after arriving at the house I left again, to go to an appointment I had with the VA. It was with the "Hand Clinic" because of the trigger-finger problem I dealing with on both hands. My appointment was at 14:00 (2pm), and I wanted to be sure I was there before then, and I arrived with 10 minutes to spare. I checked in and sat down in the nice waiting room and sat...and sat... and two hours later I was up at the desk asking what was going on (actually I had been up a couple times by now). They were really sorry, but they were backed up and I was going to be next. I told them I was sorry too, because I had to leave now so that I could go pick up Jackie. They have the worst scheduling system around, and were behind with all the other patients as well as mine. Unfortunately I don't have a great deal of choice right now, and that is the medical care that I have to go with. They did make up another appointment for me, towards the end of the month, but at a different clinic that should be better for me - we'll see.

I picked up Jackie and we headed back tot he house. It was kind of fun picking her up today, because as I came into the yard area, where the kids were all playing she came running across the yard yelling, "Grandpa!" and jumped up when she got to me. She was talking a mile a minute about all the excitement of the day, and also to let me know that today was her birthday. I went over to the teacher and asked why Jackie was saying it was her birthday, and the teacher had no idea. Jackie's birthday is on August 24, so it is about 3 weeks from now, so I don't know what happened, but she was excited about it. I did tell her that it wasn't her birthday yet, and she seemed to take it just fine, so we then headed home.

The rest of the evening was good, and Stacy and Jackie were playing hide and seek for a while. Jackie still doesn't have the hide concept down yet, but they still have a fun time of it. When it was bed time I had to braid the girls hair, so it wouldn't be too tangled in the morning and then Jason and I sort of tag-teamed the reading of the stories and getting them to bed. All-in-all it was a fun evening, and to be honest, it kind of wore me down a little... That's okay, I'll sleep well tonight. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2, 2014

Today was a fun and exciting day for Jason and I, as I was able to start the day off with a nice 15 mile ride, sort of a combination of a couple of my regular routes (I have about a half dozen or so). MoThist of the rides begin with my heading up Rosecrans and then depending on where I feel like going I might go left, right or simply straight ahead. Today I went straight ahead, then turned around at about the 2.5 mile mark and rode back to the point of deciding which way to go. This time I went to the left (which would have been right from the other direction) and rode out to the harbor and rode the rest of that ride. It was nice, though it was far more crowded than I usually see, so I had to take a little more time than I typically do in that area. I still made the trip in about an hour, so I was happy about that.

Once I was home I had to cool down and then get dressed, so I could get Jason and Gracie up to their dog training, up in Oceanside. This was also the place where Anthony Netto was going to be meeting us so that Jason and I could get out and go target shooting with the new guns. Jason has a new Beretta 9mm and also a bench rifle, that was custom built. Anthony has been working with the various shooting ranges, both civilian and military (today we were headed to Camp Pendleton shooting range), to get them to expand their programs for helping the wounded warriors. Jason was using his paramobile to do the shooting and the Range Master, and other Safety personnel were all impressed with how it worked and allowed both Jason and Anthony to shoot, in a "standing" position. We spent a few hours there and went through about 150 rounds of ammunition, and I even got to shoot. We all had fun and I even managed to hit the target. The real good thing was that Jason was able to shoot with his right hand, with enough control that his accuracy was high, and then he shoot with his left hand and did well there too.

Once we were done at the range we were all hungry. We hadn't had lunch and it was now getting closer to dinner, so Anthony suggested that we stop at a restaurant that he was familiar with, and it had excellent food. The server thought we had ordered too much food, but we were all hungry, and as it turned out, two others joined us (Angelica and Josh) and in the end there wasn't much food left over. On top of that Jason had himself a tall beer, and I think by the time we were done the affects of the beer was showing on him. You could see in his eyes that he was tired and just wanted to call it a day. We left and finally got back to the house by 17:20 (5:20pm), and once we were all packed/unpacked back in the house I suggested that he take his shower, otherwise he would fall asleep and get no shower. He agreed... The shower was quick and the dressing change was better than I expected. I thought because of how long he was up today there might be additional damage, and there wasn't. Neither of us were hungry, and in a matter of a few minutes he was asleep. Thank you, all for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August 1, 2014

Today was pretty much the normal Friday for us, except that Linda isn't here and this is a Friday that "normally" would have Stacy with her mom - she's with us during most of the day and Jackie is at her day care. Anyway, Jason had a couple of appointments, and on top of that we needed to get Mr. Jingles out of the house, and over to Gunny Parker, who will be taking care of him over the weekend. What happened was that we found some insect invaders in the house, and requested that it get sprayed, and they said ALL animals had to be removed from the house for about four hours. The house was sprayed and we hope that all is well now.

His appointments were with PT and with Urology, as well as picking up some med from the pharmacy, and then I wanted to get down to the ASYMCA. Cherri, of the Y, offered to purchase some needed items for Jason, and I wanted to get the correct information to her. Unfortunately, it took me a few days to get this to her, and when we did finally get there today we found out that she was out on vacation. I left the information for when she returns, so it really wasn't a loss, just a slight delay.

Afterward, Jason wanted to get down to So Cal Gun Shop, where he wanted to pick up a hand gun he had purchased a couple of weeks ago (there is a waiting period before he could be given the gun). Anyway he was pretty excited, and we are going to go try it out tomorrow. We will be heading out with Anthony Netto, and going out to the range. Being able to shot again is very important to Jason. He is concerned that he won't be able to shoot with his right hand, and will have to learn shooting with the left. This is simply something we will have to wait and see what happens. This will also be the first time in years, for me to handle a gun, so I'm interested in how well I do. Heck, I'll be happy to just hit a target... ;-)

We got home and Stacy was kind of tired, so she laid down and went to sleep, until her mom came to pick her up. I carried her out to the car and told her we'll see her again on Monday. The rest of the evening it was just Jason and I, and we simply had soup for dinner. Neither of us were particularly hungry so it was easy. Linda is still in San Francisco, and will be there a couple more days, then move on to Livermore. She is having a great time and I suspect that it will continue to be a good time, so that is a good thing. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.