Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015

It has been a few days since my last update, and I wanted to get something out there, so that no one is wondering what Jason, and the rest of the family, are up to.

Jason is doing well, and continues on his healing journey.  Because of the Christmas Holiday, there has been a bit of a disruption to all our schedules, though nothing that can't be dealt with. Not too long ago, we had to go to the hospital at Camp Pendleton because of a catheter problem. There only solution to this is to have a complete change out of the catheter. The catheter goes in through the wall of his abdomen and right into his bladder, and sometimes there are problems with it that cause him a great deal of discomfort. Because we were going about once a month they agreed to instruct me in how to do the change, so that we don't have to deal with driving all the way in, and now I can say that I have changed out the catheter, a couple of times. The things I am doing, and have done are mind boggling for me, as I never thought I'd be doing this level of care. At one time, in my youth, I wanted to be involved with the medical profession - now I am. Me being able to do this really takes a load off of Jason as well, as he doesn't want to go in, anymore than he has to, and I can address it much more quickly... I just need to be sure we have all the supplies needed.

As for our Christmas - it was very quiet. The girls are in Boston, and we won't be seeing them again until after January 6th. Linda wasn't feeling good on Christmas day, so she spent most of the day laying down, and I was basically taking care of her, too. We didn't exchange presents until the next day. It was nice and relaxed, but without the girls being here, it just wasn't the same. Christmas is for kids, and when none are around, it just feels like a big piece is missing. Next year the girls will be with us, and it will be much different.

I've been able to get in a couple of short bike rides, and it really did feel pretty good. Being back out on my bike felt great, even if I did find out just how out of shape I have gotten. I figure if I can find the time to ride just a little each week, I'll be able to start rebuilding again, and by Spring I should be able to go for longer rides and really start to get back into it.

Tomorrow is another day, and I'll be taking Jason in for his appointments, in the afternoon. These are just regular appointments, and shouldn't take too long. The roughest aspect is that they are later in the day, than we are used to. Typically we would go in the morning but because I'm working now we have to go a little later, and since Jason's truck isn't working, he can't drive himself and has to depend on me. Hopefully this will be corrected soon. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 23, 2015

What a wild and crazy week, so far. Because of a generous gift from the Gary Sinise Foundation, we were able to have a little family vacation.We drove up to the Los Angeles area and stopped in to see Mickey and friends (funny thing is, we didn't see Mickey or Donald, except on the parade floats), and hoped to get some serious R&R time in. We went in to this knowing that the rides were limited (only two, and for those still not sure, I'm talking about DisneyLand) that Jason could take advantage of, and those were with the Jungle Cruise and Its A Small World. Jason is not a big fan of Its a Small World, so that left the Jungle Cruise. We were even escorted over to the ride and found out that they have one boat and it was dry-docked for repairs, so he was out of luck. The next was that we could go see a show, and we wanted to check out the Aladdin show, over at California Adventure. Well, as it turned out, there were plenty of other people there that wanted to see the show and Kojak just wasn't tolerating the huge crowd. Jason decided to pull out and get the dogs to a place where they didn't feel so much stress. Bottom line is that we spent some time there, with the girls, but not much time with Jason. Fortunately the hotel was close by so Jason was able to get back to his room and at least he was able to rest comfortably there. He was very pleased with the bed, and said he was able to rest nicely, and the dogs were resting there as well.

Linda and I spend quite a bit of time with the girls and saw as many things as time permitted. We didn't have to wait in too many lines, as the Gary Sinise Foundation made it possible for us to be shown (escorted) around and that was very nice. The girls got to meet some story book princesses and Stacy even gave them each a souvenir  pin. It was a simple little pin, but you could tell that the "princesses" typically didn't receive gifts, and they were all touched by it. They gave both Stacy and Jackie a little extra attention, and of course both girls loved it. Funny thing though, we managed to get on to a dozen or so rides, and I think the one of the rides they liked the best was the DisneyLand Express, the steam train that circles the park. Both of the girls held up very well, and had energy until about 20:00, when we finally headed back in. I personally was surprised at how well they did. To be totally honest, Linda and I were pretty well worn out by then, too.

From DisneyLand, heading home, this morning, it took us less than 1 1/2 hours of driving. I was expecting a 2 to 3 -hour drive, and I don't think we slowed down to more than 60 mph at any point in the entire journey, until after we got off the freeway. This was a major plus for us, and especially for Jason, as we still want to keep him down as much as possible. We also had to get the girls ready for their next trip, with their mother, to Boston. They will be flying back to see their other grandmother, and we hope they have a good time, and I'm sure they will.

We have the Christmas Holiday this week, and then next week there is the New Year. In between I will be working, and then after the New Year, we will be getting ready for another trip to Colorado. Jason is being sent out there to work with a special team of engineers to develop an alternate seating solution. We're not sure if it will work, but we don't turn down any thing that shows promise. He continues to heal, and even though we have been busy for these past several days, he continues to improve. Tomorrow we will have some guests from Balboa Hospital over for dinner, and socializing with Jason. They will be from the Wounded Warrior Battalion. Then on Christmas Day we expect the same from Camp Pendleton, from the other contingent of the Wounded Warrior Battalion, though we really don't know how many to expect, from either place. We're hoping to provide a little "home" time for the guys, especially those that have no place else to go. On top of that Jason will enjoy spending some time with other Marines.

Anyway, in the event that I don't have time to make another post to the blog - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17, 2015

Just wanted to get a quick update out there, so that it isn't another week before any information comes out. Jason is doing well, and continues his healing, and being very dedicated to getting those pesky wounds to heal. He has been up, on occasion, when he has had a chance to socialize a little, friends have come over for short visits and such. He also has been up a couple of times when there was a business need, such as when both Gracie and Kojak got bathed (Jason had a dog service come to the house to bath the dogs). Jason had to go out and basically stay while Kojak was washed, and though I really wasn't happy with Jason being out in the cooler temps, Jason was happy, even if Kojak wasn't.

I went with Jason, on his most recent trip to Balboa Hospital and it was worth the extra effort, on my part, as I was instructed on how to take care of the issue that has caused Jason trouble these past couple of months. Now, if it should happen again he won't have to go in to the ER to get it taken care of, and I will be doing it. As I have said, it isn't life threatening, it is something that just causes Jason a great deal of discomfort, so I don't mind taking care of it.

The girls will be back with us this weekend, specifically Saturday evening, when we will be heading up to the Los Angeles area, and taking the girls to Disneyland. This is a surprise for them, so I haven't even wanted to put it in the blog. Now that it is getting close, I am comfortable that they won't find out from anything I write here. We'll be going up for four days, though only two of those will be at the park, and the other two are basically slated for travel. This is something that Jason has wanted to do for the girls, and with the help of the Gary Sinise Foundation, it has finally come true. Because of their connections and partnership with Disneyland, we will be receiving a special gift once we arrive, and we will be staying at the Grand California Hotel. The special gift is a VIP package and tour guide of the park, though Jason's time at the park is limited and he will still need to be down most of the time. The guide will be taking us around, with the girls, and Jason will do his best to meet up with us, as he can. The Gary Sinise Foundation continues to do things for Jason and us that is both wonderful and helpful. They really do go the extra mile when it comes to helping. If you are looking for an organization to donate to, please, PLEASE keep them in mind.

I think I should be able to get another post out, before Christmas, and we will be back home. The week after Christmas is going to be spent taking care of some errands, and maybe doing a little catching up of some things around here. Linda has been doing an amazing job of staying on top of the different chores around here, but with it being a "holiday" week, I should be able to put some time into helping her, at least some (I will be working that week, also). Thanks, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11, 2015

This has been a busy week with continued preparations for Christmas, and some shopping that got accomplished. We also had a dental visit (both Linda and I - I need to go back one more time this year) that we both needed - the good thing here is that with me working again, we have insurance. The cool thing, though, is that Dr. Salgado and his wife Stephanie said that they would help with our dental needs even if we didn't have insurance, and they have in the past. I'm happy that we can pay them for the work, as it is their livelihood.

On Tuesday this week we had an important conference call, with the VA, with regard to a planned trip out to Colorado, for Jason and I. We will be going out there to get some help with a special seating solution that should help him ride in his chair more comfortably. This is not in conjunction with the work that is going on at Cal Poly, and it looks like Cal Poly is making some progress with their efforts as well. We will be visiting a company called Ride Designs, and this is all being done through the VA, and their Physical Therapy efforts. We will be in Colorado for a eight days, which is one day longer than I first thought was going to happen. They are flying us out in an air ambulance, and returning the same way.

On Wednesday Jason had PT, Wound Care and a truck that decided to stop functioning - well, the lift system stopped working properly. The medical visits were good and uneventful (the way we like them), and the drive home was without incident. The problem showed up after he pulled into the garage and attempted to get out of the truck. The lift system just didn't want to operate the way it is designed to operate. Unfortunately I was not at home, as I had taken the car to the service garage to get an oil change and basic service. When Jason and Linda left for Balboa I was working and they didn't return until several hours later, and I was off work by then. Our car needed service and I was home alone, so I thought it was a good time to take care of it. Fortunately Rondra (Jason's health aid, and yes, that's how you spell her name) is big and strong enough that she could help, and she needed to lift him (Jason weighs roughly 175 pounds) out of his power chair which was about 3 feet off the ground while Linda secured the manual wheel chair and they safely transferred him. We were grateful that he wasn't alone. Funny thing is, though, I got home a short while later and I was able to get the lift system to work and got his chair out.

Jason called the Ability Center and they sent out a tech. He checked out the system and said there were some serious issues with it and Jason should not use the truck again until it is repaired. For the time being, I am his driver again, and Linda has said she is going to learn how to operate the van. It really shouldn't be too difficult for her, as it is actually smaller than the van we had prior to her coming down from Livermore. The hands-operations is the part that she will need to learn, and just get used to it being there.

To end the day, Wednesday, we (Linda and I) went to a special Toys For Tots dinner, as guests of the Blue Star Mothers while Rondra stayed with Jason. It was a very nice event and we were able to connect up with a couple of people we hadn't seen in a little while, and then I also connected with the XO of the Wounded Warrior Battalion West, Lt. Col. Mark Campaigne. The meeting has proved valuable already and we are making our house available to Marines who are going to be there, who have no where to go for Christmas. As it turned out, Jason and I had to go to Camp Pendleton today, and we ended up over at the Wounded Warrior Battalion, and stopped in and saw Mark. We got a full tour of the facilities and just maybe, Jason is going to take advantage of some of the things they have to offer, as well as make some time to help with keeping the other injured Marines up and positive. Jason is very good at bringing a positive attitude to any situation, and everybody involved with the tour today was very impressed with Jason and his attitude.

Thursday was much more laid back and though there were a few things that we needed to get done, like Christmas shopping and general cleaning of the house. We decided to just take the time and stay up a little later than normal and watched Unbroken again. The story about Louis Zamborini, and how he survived a plane crash and being a prisoner of War during WWII.  It was a good movie the first time we saw it at the theater and we still enjoyed it. It really isn't your typical Christmas movie, but we like it.

Today was another exciting day. I was up at 06:20 this morning, and was late for work. I typically can be on line and working by 06:00, but because we were up late last night with Louis, I was slow to get moving this morning. As it turned out I really didn't stop until after noon (actually 12:33) when I had to take Jason to Camp Pendleton Hospital. He was dealing with another catheter issue and this time it looks like they figured out what was causing the problem. For whatever reason, Jason is developing stones in his bladder, and they block the flow. Now we have to figure out why he is now creating stones. He will be going in to the Urology doctors to see what they can determine. We ended up being there for more than a couple of hours, mostly because of our "short" visit with the Wounded Warrior Battalion, mentioned above. We had to drive home in commute traffic, and I really don't like driving in traffic... even more than when we lived up in Livermore.

I know this is a long post, and I could have made shorter ones during the week, but what the heck. It is all here now and everyone is just about caught up. The only thing left is that Jason's wounds are doing better, and continuing to heal. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 6, 2015

Well, we've got the house decorated for Christmas and the tree is up. The girls even helped with putting on some of the ornaments. We have enjoyed these past few days, and having the girls here is just an extra bonus for us. Their mom went to a football game and asked us to take the girls today, so we did, and it give us more time to be with them. Jason was with them for a couple of hours, today, reading and watching some cartoons. They were having fun and Jason was enjoying it most of all.

Jason continues to heal up on his right side, and we are still hopeful that the progress will continue. We have some traveling to do over these next couple of months, with one of those trips all the way out to Colorado. Actually, that one is one of the very bright spots for the VA, in that they are working with a specialist company that is supposed to help him with his seating solution. If they can come up with an answer to how to make him more comfortable we are all going to be sooooo happy.

Good Friends from Livermore, Karen and Mike, came down for a visit, and we got to spend some time with them. Yesterday they took us wine tasting, to a local winery, Callaway Winery, and we had a very nice time. The wineries up in the Bay Area are really nice, so it was particularly nice to find a good one down here. This afternoon they came by and we had lunch with them and were able to just sit and relax, and have a good old fashioned visit. Actually, Mike has a new job that is going to require him to come down to the San Diego area occasionally, so we should be able to see them more often. Mike is a rep for a generator company and we have one of their generators as a back up power source for the house, should we have a power loss. We did experience a power loss due to a construction crew hitting a power line, not too long ago, and the generator kicked in without a problem. It was good as it allowed us to see just what was and was not connected to the generator.

These next couple of weeks are going to be busy for us, with the holidays now upon us (another reason it is good for the house to already be decorated). We need to get our Christmas cards mailed out soon, and that means I need to finish the Holiday Letter. This past year has been eventful, so there is plenty to write about. Perhaps I'll take care of the letter at the same time I do a blog, next week, and take care of both. Thanks, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December 2, 2015

Well, here it is, the last month of the year, and you have to wonder to yourself, "where has all the time gone?" Jason is doing much better, he went to Wound Care today, with Linda and everything seems to be doing better with each visit. In fact, I'd go so far as to say we're all doing better.

The girls are growing so fast now, and you can almost see them get taller with each day. I helped Jackie get dressed, this morning and she picked out a shirt to wear. I helped her get it on then told her that it was going to be the last time she wore it. It was skin tight and I was surprised she was still comfortable wearing it. Stacy isn't slowing down any either, as her clothes seem to be shrinking a little every day - - - I know, she's growing, but I'd rather say the clothes are shrinking.

The weather is still very much what you would expect to find in the San Diego area, and I have to admit, I can't complain about it. I think I'd really like to see a little more in the way of seasons, but I guess I'll just have to put up with the sun shine.

I'm going to do my best to continue with at least every other day for posting, and sometimes even that will find there really isn't much new to write about. Maybe that's a good thing, and "routine" is really a good way to go. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 29, 2015

These past few days have been kind of crazy busy, with guests coming in and visiting. Some staying over night. Some were relatives and others family, yet all were great to have around. On Thursday - you remember, Thanksgiving Day, we had 9 dinner guests. I cooked a 25+ lbs bird, so there was enough to go around, just not much left in the way of left overs. Jason was able to come  out and join us, and that was a very good thing. He was only able to stay out for a couple of hours (longer than I thought he would), then had to get back to the bed. The girls were totally enjoying all the new people and getting to show them around the house. Let's see if I can remember everybody - Linda's parents, Joe and Jessie, Loretta, Steve and Tina, Jason and the the girls, Stacy and Jackie, and then Linda and I... I think that's everybody.

The rest of the days consisted of family and friends coming over. Our nephew Jeff (Major Jeff Lascurain, USAF) came by with his wife and daughters. Actually, Joyce, Jeff's mom brought them all over. We hadn't seen Jeff and Kitty (his wife) in a couple of years, as he is living on the other side of the country. We had a great talk, and he was able to spend some time with Jason. They are only about a year apart in age, and growing up they spent a good amount of time together. Funny how their lives took such radically different directions, yet they both ended up with military careers.

Yesterday, our son David and his wife Miriam came over with their two boys, Dylan and Ethan, so we were able to spend some time with all four of our grand children. What was particularly nice was that they were able to spend several hours with us, and David was able to help me with some of the "chores" around the house. Actually, at one point, all the grand kids were involved with helping us... and we still managed to get somethings done. Dylan, Stacy and Jackie picked a bunch of avocados from the two trees that are still producing. The quality of the fruit is pretty low, but it was still fun for them to work together.

Even today turned in to a special day as another couple, long time friends, came by and visited. We have been hoping they would be able to come down for a visit, and now it has happened. They were one of the first families we got to know, after we moved in to Livermore, all those years ago. Our youngest, Sean, wasn't even a year old yet. There youngest son, and our son David became friends and we've all stayed close over the years. They are now retired and get to do some of the things we all would like to do, like take day trips and weekend trips, and even week trips, whenever they want to. We are hoping to be able to do that soon - okay, maybe another year or two.

Next week begins December, the last month of the year. Hard to believe this year is coming to a close. So much has happened, and no doubt will just simply continue. Jason continues to gain a little more mobility, every day, so we're all optimistic with his progress. I think we've possibly found a new church home, though it is a little different from what we've typically attended. We have been going to Presbyterian churches these past few decades, and now we're looking at an Evangelical church. The interesting thing is that they aren't that far apart. The girls seem to be happy there as well, so we'll give it a little time and see how it works out. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 22, 2015

For those that haven't noticed, I have been a little irregular in my blog posts, and I would like to take this time to let everyone know, that the present pattern will be continuing. Jason has been able to heal up a little more and he is now off the wound-vac, and unless something drastic happens, he will remain off the wound-vac. Over the coarse of time I will be making fewer and fewer entries, until I get down to the point of maybe one a week, though honestly I don't see that happening for quite some time.

Linda has been working to get things ready for Thanksgiving, and even getting some things ready for the Christmas Holiday. Speaking of the Christmas Holiday, we were contacted by the "Fire Club," from the Palomar Community College and they asked if they could come and put up the Christmas decorations, on the house. They also want to present Jason with a nice REAL tree. Heck, we have the room in the house for a large tree, so we're going to be getting one. Like many of the other things that are a part of Jason's life, the decorating is going to be covered by some local news stations. If I can get the information out on the blog, about which station will be covering, I will.

We managed to get some things done this weekend, and eliminated a few more containers (boxes), so we're very happy about that. Jason is showing some patience in all this, as we both know that he would like to see the garage emptied of most of the storage things... To be honest, I would like to see them out of the garage, also, it is just going to take some time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20, 2015

I haven't posted much in the past couple of days, mostly because there wasn't much to post. I wasn't sure if that is a good thing or not, or just a natural development of Jason's overall progress. Then I got to thinking (I try to do this once in a while) and it occurred to me that I hadn't mentioned much about Jason getting away from the Wound-Vac. He hasn't had to use the wound-vac for a few days now, and both he and I are much happier about that. He is much more comfortable and I don't have to deal with the complexity of dressing changes. When he can just use the Hydraphera-Blue and basic pads I can get the dressing change done in a matter of just a few minutes. The wound-vac, when it has to be changed, is much more complicated. Anyway, it is also a reflection of the fact that they wound is doing much better.

Today, we had a special visitor, two actually - Joe Mantegna and Dan Ramm stopped by for a visit, on their way to the Wounded Warrior Marine Corps Ball. Joe was their MC, and it took place (actually still happening at the time of me writing this) in San Diego. For those that don't know, Joe is the main guy with Criminal Minds, and Dan is his personal assistant. Joe first met Jason and I back in 2011, when Jason was still at Bethesda. Come to think of it, that is where he met Linda, too, only that time was his second visit to Jason. Anyway, since he is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation, and we've gotten to know him a bit, it seemed appropriate to have him come by and see the new house and visit with Jason. One of the more interesting bits of information we learned with his visit, is that he and his wife also just celebrated their 40th anniversary, only their's was three weeks earlier than ours.

This weekend is a general clean up weekend, as we attempt to get ready for the Thanksgiving Holiday, next week. It really is going to be the only opportunity for us to get some of the heavier things moved, since I am working during the day. I feel like Linda and I are getting more settled in to a new routine, and that life is starting to come back to a more regular (normal?) pace... I just hope it continues that way. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 17, 2015

I struggle to write a post that is interesting and tells you, the reader, something new. Jason has been in his bed, for the better part of 3 months, and is still in a very strong and positive mood. His hair and beard are getting pretty long, and he has no intention of cutting either of them - at least not at this time. I have been spending more and more time working, as the job is getting busier and busier, so that means Linda is doing more and more to take care of the girls and take care of Jason's needs, as they come along. The good part is that she has that "Mother" gear already from when she raised all our sons, so this is kind of an extension of those years... the house is just a lot bigger.

I did get a chance to walk my garden today, and most of it is doing well. The winter squash seems to be struggling a little right now, so I need to keep an eye on it. Everything else is alive and there is even a bell pepper on the vine - a little one. I would like to get some cages around the tomatoes, so that they have something to grow on, so I'll see about taking care of that this weekend, and the lettuce is doing great. The garden is to allow the girls to watch the plants grow, and see the cycle of nature at a level they can understand, and next year we'll take a look at growing other things, with the girls doing the planting.

Tomorrow, Jason will be going in to Wound Care, and Linda will be going with him. I suspect they will tell him that the wounds are doing better and continue to heal, slowly, and that the wound vac will still need to be on for another couple of weeks. I'll be sitting at my desk, working on the computer and staying home. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

We came home a little earlier than originally planned, due to a message we received from Jason. Apparently he was experiencing some difficulties with the catheter, again, and this time he was ahead of the discomfort. He wanted to go into Camp Pendleton Hospital and get it corrected. I think he would really rather have gone into Balboa, where they are much more familiar with him, and would have been able to address anything else that might have come up. As it was, nothing else did come up so he just had to deal with the ER staff again.

He was at Camp Pendleton when Linda and I pulled into the driveway, and back at the house about an hour, or so, later. He was wanting a shower and dressing change, so we got that knocked out, right away, and then he was much more comfortable, all the way around. As it was, Linda and I were very grateful for the help Jon and his wife Katie provided. The report back from Stacy and Jackie was good, and we were very happy and pleased about that. Loretta came in and took over for Jon and Katie, on Sunday, and took the girls to school this morning. She also helped with a couple other things around the house, and patio, so we felt that we were very fortunate for all the coverage we were able to secure.

Today, Linda and I picked up the girls, from the bus stop, once they were dropped off. They were very happy to see us, and both of them talked steadily for the next several minutes. The great part was that in the process of them doing the complete update, we got to find out about things going on at the school, as well as how the weekend went. We were very pleased to hear that they liked Jon and Katie, and their son Travis.

The rest of the day, today, went rather smoothly, and we were able to get caught up on some of the things going on, and some of the things we're getting more and more involved with. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 12, 2015

These last few days have been particularly busy at the Ross household. First there was the visit from Team Depot, and they built a new play area and garden area, and it literally took 12 hours to accomplish. They all stayed and got it all done, including the leveling of the play area with rubber material, so that if the kids were to fall, it wouldn't feel too bad. They brought new patio furniture and even an nice gas grill, that I might start using before this year is out.

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, and it was an amazingly relaxed day for us. We all (Jason, too) went downtown Fallbrook, and watched their Veteran's Day Parade, and it reminded us of some of the parades we used to see in Livermore. Very simple and a lot of support from the city residence. Linda and I were able to just totally relax and enjoy each other's company, and Jason was able to enjoy his new video game. I also planted my winter garden, though "winter" may be a bit misleading. I understand that there are some days here, where it does get down in the 40's, and that is getting cool. It just doesn't seem to ever get really cold around here.

Today the guys were back at the house to finish the watering system on the garden, and it looked pretty good when they were done. There was also the two teams of vendors working on the communication/intercom system for the house. With the new gate, that Jason recently had installed, we can now see who wants access through the gate. There are a few other minor steps to be set, and they should have that completed tomorrow. Then there was the challenge of the network and security that had to be "fixed." I work from the house, and depend greatly on the network being as stable as it can be. Today it was bouncing all over the place, and I was dropped from calls a couple of times. I was just happy these were team calls, and not customer calls. It looks like they got to be about 98% finished with that, and will also be coming back to finish that.

Tomorrow, Linda and I will be taking off for Julian, to spend a few days together to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The Gary Sinise Foundation has made it possible for us to take a few days off, and just plain relax. Linda has been working pretty hard around here, and can use the rest, just as I can too. I have to admit I haven't been working physically as hard as she has, but I need to rest time as well.

I helped Jason with his shower today, and then did a dressing change. Happy to report that his right side is looking much better, and that he continues to make progress. I know it is getting tougher on him, having to stay down and in bed, most of the day. The good part is that because he is doing so much better, he can stay up a little longer each day, and by the time we take our "family" vacation in December, he should be able to stay up in his chair for 2 or more hours, each day. I've included some pictures, as I haven't posted any in a while. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Mike Schlitz, Stephanie Lanier, Jason and that other guy 



Team Depot taking a lunch break

Team Depot and Mike Amos with Jason Ross getting a group picture

Jackie was very happy and excited about everything


Jackie and Stacy couldn't wait to try out the swings 
Grandpa still has to help Jackie on the swings

Team Depot working to get it all done while there is still day light

Stacy trying out the "trapeze" 

Stacy seeing the world from a different perspective

Everything just about ready for testing

Some of the Team Depot are still kids at heart

Stacy testing out the slide

The girls really getting into the play area

Stacy on the other slide

Jackie sliding down for more fun

A couple of group shots of Team Depot, at it is finally done!

Another group shot of Team Depot

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

Jason's wounds are continuing to improve and because of Veteran's Day, on Wednesday, he will be going in to Wound Care, at Balboa, tomorrow. I suspect that they won't be making many changes, and that the wound-vac will continue, at least for another couple of weeks, and then possibly get back to the previous wound care, and not have to deal with the vac anymore.

On Thursday we will be having a conference call (Skype) with the team at Cal Poly, and be discussing some of their ideas, and seeing just what they think they can accomplish. My concern is the technology side of the call, as the network and signal strengths around here are sometimes pretty poor (thanks, AT&T). We really don't have any other options, at this point, so we're effectively stuck with them as a provider.

We've been busy with a number of things, and look forward to a little bit of a rest this coming weekend. We will be heading up to Julian for our 40th anniversary, and doing our best to get some good old fashion R&R. While we're gone, we'll have a couple staying with Jason, and helping him however the needs arise. Jon and Katie, are a couple we met, through our travels with the Navy health system, and they are anxious to help out. As a bonus, Jon is a corpsman, so he has total comfort in working with wound dressings, and Jason is comfortable working with Jon... and that makes us comfortable.

Jason has been staying down, as much as he can, though somethings that come up will get him up and moving. Like today he went to a parent-teacher discussion, and it was great seeing him wanting to be the lead on this. He was gone for a bit more than an hour, and so it wasn't too difficult for him. As soon as he got back home he was back down. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6, 2015

Just a quick update on Jason and the family, so that you'll all  know that he is doing well and that we're all continuing to have faith that things are going in the right direction. Jason is doing well, and even getting out of bed every now and again. He usually isn't up for more than a few minutes; its just nice to see him moving around, and he doesn't have an appointment to go to.

I think that I might get out on the bike tomorrow morning, early, and see if I can get in a few miles of easier riding. The main highway, that is close to the house has been under construction for expansion, since we have been here, and about a year or more, before we arrived. They made a major "lane change" yesterday, and effectively closed off the old road. I saw this today and said, I need to get out on my bike and ride that road; especially since I shouldn't encounter any traffic, other than maybe another bicycle. The road work is to help straighten the highway, and to widen it. They are supposed to be completed with it in another year and a half. I'll be glad to see it complete.

We have some general clean up tomorrow, and I'll be doing some work around the house, and Linda will be doing some work inside the house, but before that happens we will be taking Linda's parents to the Lawrence Welk Resort for a tour in celebration of her mom's 80th birthday. Her parents were big fans of Mr. Welk, so this is something that is very exciting for them. Linda and I went there today and it looks very nice, though I hope Linda's parents aren't disappointed. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 4, 2015

Yesterday was a busy day, and ended up being a bit of a stressful day. Yesterday actually ended early this morning, but like I often do, I'm getting ahead of myself.

For the most part, yesterday was a nice comfortable day that saw rain and me scrambling to make sure nothing left outside would be damaged by the rain. We had pulled a bunch of stuff out of the  garage, to reorganize and identify exactly what it was (Holiday items, donation items, things we would like to keep, etc.). We had the help of a couple of Marines, in getting it out of the garage, but now it was looking like rain, so I wanted to get it back into the garage, and still leave room for Jason's truck. I managed to do it, though I had to leave some things out side. Those things were primarily plastic boxes, that sealed up, so the contents should remain dry. Jason's truck in in the garage, and he can easily and safely get into his truck, and that was the goal. Even though the things were in plastic containers, I still wanted to make sure they were covered, so I used a tarp and covered them, and it seems to have done the job.

This got us to the end of the day, and it was raining pretty good for a short while. I was happy to see the rain, since we really need it - I just wish it had been timed a little better for us. Since all of us were tired, and the girls were already in bed, we decided to got to bed. I was just about to that point of deep sleep when my phone began to ring. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on, and then I saw it was Jason calling. I answered and he told me he needed to get to the ER. I got up and in a matter of a few moments, I was ready to go. Jason had Linda take care of the dogs, and so she did, while laying on his bed, in his room. Kojak makes noise, howling and crying, whenever Jason isn't around. With Linda being there he was much quieter.

I got Jason to the ER and he explained to them that the catheter he has was apparently clogged. This was causing his bladder to continue to fill, and no way to release pressure. As you can imagine, after a few hours this can begin to get uncomfortable, and it was very. After working with the staff at the Pendleton  Hospital (it is actually the closest hospital), they were able to replace the catheter and Jason was feeling much better. I was doing my best to explain to them what was going on, and the nurse seemed very receptive. The doctor, however seemed bother that I was trying to tell him how to do his job. As it turned out, everything Jason and I had said was correct, and the doctor basically just walked away, and we didn't see or hear from him again. The nurse is the one who discharged us. The problem is, that this all took place late in the day and it was well past midnight before we got back home and I was tired.

I still got up at 06:00 this morning, and just decided to go to work. Linda had to get up also, so she could get the girls to school, and the day was on. Linda managed to get through the day, and finally went to bed early tonight. I'm going to bed right after this blog entry. Sorry for any mistakes, but my editor is asleep, so no proof reading tonight.... ;-) Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Oh, and Jason is doing well, and much happier with the new catheter...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 1, 2015

Wow! Where do I begin? - - We have been busy with personal, family things keeping us busy, and on top of that we decided to attack the garage, and see if we could get some room cleared. We even had three Marines come over to help with some of the heavy lifting, on Saturday, and Linda did her best to keep them busy. It actually all began on Friday, while I was working, so I came to the party late, on Friday. I think that coming late was okay, though, because there was plenty to do. Jason was even out on Saturday to look over some of the stuff that was pulled from containers and boxes, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Friday, we had a few visitors over, to discuss some things around the house, such as a patio cover that Jason is having installed. There was also a new health aid starting, and so Linda was busy with getting her "trained" and familiar with what she will be needing to do. There was also the challenge of trying to balance all the other activities, and being able to go pick up the girls from school, so it was the start of a busy weekend. Saturday is when the work on the garage got started, and Sunday Linda had a Blue Star Mothers luncheon to attend to, on top of everything else.

We found some of the items that Jason had with him, when he was injured, and it was impressive how well he dealt with it. One of the reasons Jason had asked the Marines to come over (yeah, he was the one who coordinated the extra help for us) was because he knew he had some "left over" equipment that they, the Marines, had never picked up, and it was in very good condition. He gave the guys some of the stuff that was found, and kept some as well. They all had a great time, as they basically want to help, and being able to help a wounded warrior is that much better for them. On top of that the socializing with Jason was almost as good for them, as it was for Jason.

The garage was emptied on the one side, and the other side had some things moved out. Today I focused on the rest of what was in the garage, and also targeted at reorganizing so that we would be able to get the truck back in the garage, like it is supposed to be. The van is going to have to wait a bit longer, though I am hopeful it won't be too much longer. By this evening I was able to pull the truck in to the garage and re-stack all the remaining stuff so that the organizational aspect is much better off, and the space is used more effectively. I was pretty bushed when I was done tonight, and I have to admit that it felt good getting it done.

The other thing I did was to walk most of the property, doing my best to get ride of weeds and tumble weed, before it gets to maturity. I was walking up and down hills and carrying a shovel. I think I covered about 2/3 of the property, though that remaining 1/3 is probably going to take as much effort and have about as many weeds. The joys of having a little more land are simply that taking care of it requires more time to do so. There is a big plus to this, and that is that working as hard as we have been also means that we'll sleep really well.

Halloween was quite, since we have the gate installed, and we don't have side walks for the kids to use. I wanted to buy a couple bags of candy, but Linda didn't think it was a god ideas, and it turns out that she was right - - - again. Next year Jason is looking forward to going out with the girls, and being more involved with the Fallbrook neighbors. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 27, 2015

Jason has spent almost two full days, without the wound-vac, and I think he has been quite happy about it. The reason I removed the vac is because we are out of a specific piece, that is important for the wound-vac to work properly, without damaging any of the good tissue. We'll have that material again tomorrow, and he'll probably have to wear the vac again. He has an appointment tomorrow, and they'll take a look. Personally I think it is looking pretty good, though it has a ways to go to be able to be considered healed.

The girls came home from school yesterday, and Jackie was so very tired. Stacy wasn't anywhere near as tired, though she wasn't full of energy either. We were just glad to have them back home, and Linda had them go to bed a little earlier than usual, and I didn't get them up this morning, until I had to. Tonight, they are doing much better and I think they feel better. The challenge is that we won't see them again, after they go to school in the morning, until Friday afternoon.

My job has been keeping me VERY busy, and that has been a little extra strain on me. I think we'll get used to it in a couple of months, we just have to work our way through this. I feel kind of bad, in that when I'm tired I really am not putting forth the best effort, and producing the best product. Seems funny, thinking about the 1990's as the "Good Old Days," but that has passed through my mind, a few times. We were much younger then and we were doing great, and in general, the world was doing much better than it is today. If I recall, back in the 19th century (before my time), they had the "Gay 90's" and in the 20th century we had our "Gay 90's"... I wonder, does that mean the world will have to wait until the 2090's to have good times again... I hope not.

Things are going well right now, and we're making progress around the house. The garage is getting put into better shape; Jason's truck was just serviced and is operating quiet well. The van is now in for its service maintenance so all we have left to do is get our little Fusion in and all vehicles will be ready for another run around town. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October 24, 2015

An excellent day for getting some things done, and clearing out a portion of the garage. We were up very early and right after breakfast Linda and I were working on the garage. We want to be able to have at least the one side open for Jason to be able to park his truck inside the garage. There is just so much stuff that it is proving to be a bit of a challenge. Thanks, to the efforts put forth today, we made some excellent progress, and I'd say that maybe in another week or so we'll have that goal accomplished.

Jason also had some friends over, Joselynn and her son Bobby, and they helped Jason work on a few things he wanted to get done. Actually, the big thing he wanted done was to get his guns cleaned and right now I think Bobby is the only one he feels comfortable doing this. It was good to see them any way. We were all done by about 17:30, and felt very tired. Tomorrow I don't plan on working too much on the garage, but I'm sure I'll get some time in. Linda does plan on doing a little more, so I know she'll try to get it finished.

The rest of the day, the evening was relaxed and we just sat back and watched a movie, we also had dinner, as I fixed some pork chops and baked potatoes. We are still anxiously wait for Jason to be able to do more, so we'll just have to be patient. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, October 23, 2015

October 23, 2015

Did a dressing change on Jason today, and the wound is looking better. I felt compelled to say that right up front, because the rest of the story looked a little rough. It was a busy day for us, and we were moving about as fast as we could, to deal with all the different issues and things coming at us. I had made a couple of appointments for Linda and I to go see the optometrist and found out that my eyes are still in pretty good shape, though I do need to wear reading glasses. I passed 60, more than a couple of years ago, so I'm happy that my eyes are as good as they are. My distance vision is still pretty good, so I am still listed as 20/20. Linda, on the other hand still has her need for glasses, and so he wrote up a prescription for her, and she is getting some cool looking glasses - sun glasses, actually, as she can use them for driving, and she almost always wears sunglasses when she drives.

We're trying to put together a small get away for the two of us, for our 40th anniversary. I've been able to secure a place we both like, and I think I've found somebody who will be able to come in and help support Jason while we are out. If we can't find somebody, then we don't go. I spoke with Jon (that's all I'll call him for now) today, and he has a medical background and training, so it could be a perfect fit. He would come over with his wife and either stay here while we're out, or drive back and forth from his home in Oceanside, to here.

Like I said, I did a dressing change for Jason and he is looking much better. The concern I had was the amount of blood that came from the wound. He normally doesn't bleed that much, and there was some definite irritation on his skin from the bandages that have been used. The trouble is that because of the wound-vac we have to treat his wound care this way. He did feel a great deal better after  his shower, though, and that is a very good thing.

Not much more happening, so I'll close for now. Tomorrow we might be going over to a neighbor's house - one of the new people we've met, since moving in. If we do, we won't be staying long, but we want to cultivate new friendships so that we can get to feeling more like we are really at home. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015

The day started out without much difference, as Linda got the girls off to school, while I stayed at the house with Jason, and worked. I work from home and that makes it a little easier to balance our work-life situations. Linda came back from the school and shortly thereafter she was getting ready to go out with Jason, to his medical appointments.

The medical appointments were good, and they did find out that Jason is healing, but there was also a concern expressed, by his doctor that more needed to be accomplished with getting adequate seating for Jason. We are working with the team at Cal Poly, and we feel they are doing their best to provide a solid solution for Jason, but we also don't want that to be an excuse or distraction for the VA and keep them from doing what they can to provide a good seat for Jason. Bottom line is that he, Dr. Sheu called the VA and he is continuing a dialog with them, so that they don't "sit back." Linda and I need to step up our vigilance to keep the folks at the VA focused, as well.

Today, since the girls are not with us for the next several days (5 days), Linda and I decided to go out to dinner. Loretta had come over, and she came along with us, and it was nice being able to just sit back and relax and talk, and not have to worry about the meal. Jason did not come, as he had been up way too long, with the medical appointments, so he wanted to remain down, and quite frankly, I was in total agreement with him. We came back from dinner, and we got to come in the new gated entrance, and it was pretty cool. Everything worked just like it was supposed to, so we felt pretty good about the entire evening.

One of the reasons that Loretta had come over was so that she and Linda could work on going through more of the boxes in the garage. We have way too much to go through, and it will probably be another year (maybe more) before we have the garage completely free of "move" stuff. In the mean time, the two of them will continue to work on the boxes - tonight they went through five more boxes. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 20, 2015

Another interesting day, and one that ended with a very nice visit from some friends of ours. It started out, very much like many other days and progressed upward from there. The girls were at school on time, and Linda was taking care of the house. George was at work and Jason was playing one of his favorite video games and bouncing around on Face Book. This is how many of our days begin, and I guess we can expect to see many more of them.

An early arrival at the house was the two guys who were to finish working on the entry gate to Jason's property. The gates are looking very good and both the fence and the gates compliment each other. The two installers were here for the better part of today, and when they left the gate was working. It wasn't doing everything they had basically promised, but it was close, and like I said, the gate is now functional. The big issue missing is the connection to our phone system. It is supposed to be that when someone comes up, that doesn't know Jason's code, they can simply call in from the intercom box, by the gate, and we can open the gate from the phone. Because we're stuck with DSL the communications is a little more tricky so we have to have our communications guys here also, so that they can work together. I really do wish we had something better than DSL. They will come back once I have both parties coordinated to show up, here, at about the same time.

We also had a visit from TJ, of MLA (the contractor who built the house) and Kurt, the project coordinator/manager from Carrington, who was helping to insure the project was on time. Anyway, they came over to let us know that Home Depot had awarded a grant (the Gary Sinise Foundation had applied for the grant) for some outdoor items and we need to pick out what we would like. The only challenge is that what we can order has to be done quickly, so that it can be here by November 10, and we hadn't even had a chance to look at the choices, at that point. Fortunately, they came prior to the girls coming, so both Linda and I could focus on the discussion, and there was plenty of that. Working with Jason, Linda and I were able to come up with some suggestions, and it looks like we're going to be receiving a few more things for the house. If I understand it correctly, it looks like the  Home Depot grant is available for only a few of the houses, and we feel fortunate to be one of the recipients.

Finally, this evening we had two more visitors, Stephanie Lanier and Mike Shlitz (a Wounded Warrior) whom we got to meet some time back, and they wanted to come by and visit with Jason. Stephanie works for the Gary Sinise Foundation, and does a lot of the event coordination and planning. Mike tours the country, speaking as a motivational speaker, and is also a GSF Ambassador, and helps the foundation out where he can. It was really great to have them come by and spend some time with Jason, and they were able to even stay for dinner. We all sat around the main table with Jason sitting at the head of the table. Seeing as how today is Tuesday, that means we know already what dinner is going to be ... It's Taco Tuesday! Stephanie and Mike were able to stay for a few hours and we felt blessed to have them visit. As it was, Stephanie was our first guest to drive through the new gates. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

Today was one of those days where you kind of sit back and say to yourself, "What happened with the day today?" It was a very busy day for all of us, and before we realized it, it was over, and I wasn't really sure what was accomplished. How can a day be so busy and it felt like not much happened?

The day started with us getting up at a little after 06:00 and then getting the girls moving. I can usually get out of the bedroom faster than Linda, so I went down and woke the two sleeping beauties, and within a few minutes, probably no more than three, Linda was making sure they were still getting out of bed, and starting to get ready for school. While she did that I got Jason something to eat. Right after that I went to work.

Work was spent on the same tasks and challenges we've had for the past several weeks, and that is to get a program moving and off the ground, for the client - in this case, the VA. The great thing about doing this with the team, is that we support each other and help each other with all the different things we need to work on.

Tonight Jason was going to be making dinner, then decided that he wasn't ready to be up that much, and gave the instructions to Linda, on what he wanted to do. He calls it his Tater-tot casserole, and I have to admit, it does taste pretty good. My personal taste is that I like to put some Cholula on it to give it a little more punch - but that's me. After dinner, we put the girls to bed and then Linda and I did something we often don't get a chance to do, and that is simply relax and talk. No one asking us for anything, and Jason had fallen asleep already. It was very nice. Not too much happened after that and we are just about ready to hit the sack ourselves. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October 18, 2015

I nice relaxed day. So relaxed, in fact that we didn't get up until quite late. I am typically up by 07:15, even on the weekend, and today that stretched out to 09:15. I guess we just needed to get some sleep and it felt pretty good. Of course it threw our schedule completely off, and we didn't get to church, as we were already late. Linda did make it to her Blue Star Mothers meeting, but all-in-all, I think it was okay. Obviously we needed to rest, and we finally did.

The girls and I walked the entire property today, just looking at plants and different things. I picked up a few things that the fence people left behind, and that was a little disappointing, though at least now I know it has been picked up. The girls were very excited to walk it with me, and to get a better idea of just how big Daddy's yard is, and to have a better understanding of how it is all laid out. The property on our left is occupied and looking nice, and the lot on our right is still totally open.

The one bit of unexpected excitement was when my phone stopped working. I went down to Sprint and upgraded, and it went smoother than expected. The new phone is a droid or Samsun S6, and it is supposed to be a better phone, and camera. I need to get all the data transferred from the old phone to the new one, and that might prove to be a challenge. The guys at Sprint gave me some ideas, so I'll work on that tomorrow.

The evening was spent with us doing some cleaning and just enjoying each other's company. Linda fixed a  very nice chicken dinner, and then the girls got their dessert. Jason took his shower, and I did a dressing adjustment - I can't say change, because most of it remained the same. I just needed to adjust some parts so that the wound-vac could continue to function. The good news is that it is looking better, and we will continue to work to get it to improve even more. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October 17, 2015

A nice relaxed day here at the Ross household. I got up a little earlier than the rest of the house, though it was still after 07:30. Yes, I actually slept in a little. I probably would have slept/rested a little longer, but I wanted to get out for a bike ride. Something I haven't done in a few months or so. I needed to find all my stuff, though I basically knew where it was, and do a little minor adjustments on the bike and make sure the tires were full. I did walk the house and woke up the girls. Jason was already awake, and Linda had gotten up a little while after I did. Then I was out the door and on my ride.

The ride was short - about 5 miles, and all of it hills. Fallbrook has lots of hills and some of them are actually pretty steep. I met one of the folks along the way, who doesn't live too far from us. He has been living here for about 50 years, and is also a bike rider. He told me of a few trails and said that the hills could be tough, but that was part of the benefit of riding here. We talked for about 5 minutes and then I was off, headed up the rest of the way, up the hill I was on at the time.

The only other thing we did was to take the girls to go get some shoes at Stride Rite, and was I surprised. Both of them are growing fast. Stacy has gotten out of children's sizes and now wears a 1-1/2 and Jackie is right at 13 in children's size. It was a bit of a family adventure, though Jason wasn't able to come with us. We were gone for about an hour or so, and then the rest of the day we were at home.

One of the interesting things we saw, when we returned was a hole, very close to the house, that looks like it might have been made by a ground squirrel or some other rodent. I'm going to be attempting to catch it tomorrow, and then see if I can encourage it to live somewhere else. I really don't want to have to deal with a bunch of holes in the yard, and have to concern myself with people spraining their ankles or worse. I have to admit though, we were aware of the rodent populations around here, they even have a "Gopher Canyon" not too far from here (about 6 miles).

Tomorrow should be another good day to relax - though Linda has to take care of some Blue Star Mothers responsibilities. The rest of us will be staying home, and taking care of things around here, after we get home from Church. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, October 16, 2015

October 16, 2015

Okay, we have two weeks until Halloween. I guess we're going to need to see what we can do about putting some decorations up, though I honestly don't expect to see any kids come to the house. Jason has a gate on the entrance now, so coming up would be a bit of a challenge, to say the least. I don't think he is attempting to isolate the property, just establishing some security for the family, and especially his girls. Also, on the plus side is the gate and fence that will soon be in place, really does look nice.

We didn't do much today, other than the normal stuff around the house, and I went to work, at my bedroom desk. Linda got her plantation shutters installed today, and they look very nice. Actually the installer did it while I was "at work," and he didn't bother the conference call that I was on, at all. He was in and out in a matter of just a few minutes. I got to see him do a little of the work, and it was obvious he had done this before.

Another thing that we did was to go to Joe's Hardware, a locally owned, and independent, hardware store, to pick up some parts for the sprinklers. While there Linda and the girls looked at Fall decorations and before we left she took our picture, by one of the Fall displays - the three of us have our heads in the "pumpkin" cut outs. The girls enjoyed it and I did too.

Jason had a shower today, and I did a complete change out of the wound-vac dressing. The wound continues to improve, though it has a ways to go. I'm going to stand by my two to three weeks of the wound-vac, though I'm concerned it might go a little longer. I'm hoping that Jason can get a few more visitors to drop by, as that helps. He has been getting a few each week, and that helps, I just want to see it continue. The other thing we're continuing with is finding another health aid for Jason. The one we thought we had, suddenly had to stop, so we're back at square one, and interviewing. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 14, 2015

Today was like so many other days, with Linda getting the girls up and ready for school (I helped a little), while I was working. I actually got up at about 04:30 and was on the phone with my team lead before 05:00. He is on the East Coast, so it wasn't particularly early for him, it just happened to be the best time for us to get together to discuss the project we are working on. I'm enjoying being involved with working again, but I am also starting to recognize that I don't bounce back like I did when I was in my 20's and 30's (I wonder what happened??? :-))

Anyway, Linda got the girls off to school and they will be gone for a couple of days now, and then we'll have them for another 5-day period. It seems very strange not having them around now, we've gotten so used to them being here. Even Jason's dogs seem to be looking for them, when they walk around the house.

Jason had his regular appointment with Wound Care, at Balboa Hospital, and the news was just as I expected, that he would be wearing the Wound-Vac for another week, and probably next week as well. The good news is that things continue to heal, and the left side has remained closed up. Getting out is a big plus for Jason, as he spends all that time in bed. I'm just glad that the internet provides so much diversion for him. He can only watch so much TV and play video games. It is a long slow process, but it is at least making progress. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 13, 2015

Because I haven't posted in a couple of days, I figured I better get something out there. It will be short, as I have to get up early, but at least it is a minimum update.

Linda and I were at the Carrington Golf Classic, in Newport Coast at the Pelican Resort. We went for a couple of days - well, almost two full days, and had a nice relaxed time. We were asked to come, so that I could speak to the folks there, and give them a brief glimpse of Jason's story, and it was well received. While there I did relax a little and Linda got a full Spa day.

While there Jason was being attended to by Joselynn, who stayed at the house with him, for the two days. He relaxed and really didn't do too much, other than what he would normally do, right now, and that is play video games and watch some TV. We're hoping that the continued resting and staying down is going to be the key to his healing, and so far it seems to be working. Not much more to report on right now, so thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 10, 2015

A quick catch up for yesterday, is that the installers, building the rest of the fence around the property, and installing the gate have made some progress. The entry gate is going to look really cool, and as friendly as a gate can be, I guess. The rest of the fence is pretty much the same as the other fence that Jason had installed, just not as tall, only six feet, around the property. One other thing about the gate is the sign that Jason wanted set on one of the pillars. Jason received the sign from our friend, and fellow Marine, Tim Kirk. I need to take a picture of it, so I can show you how it looks.

He did have a couple of visitors last night, from the group that helps with the training of the service dogs. They brought dinner by and stayed to visit with Jason for a while. It was a nice change of pace for him, and the best part was that the husband was a former EOD tech, and is still a Marine, so he and Jason had more to talk about. I think it was as good for Byron (the husband) as it was for Jason. Otherwise we worked around the house and Linda was able to get some shopping done.

Today was a little different, as Linda took off early this morning to go to a Blue Star Mothers meeting, and was gone until about 14:30 (2:30pm). This meant that it was Jason and I, all to ourselves, which means not too much was done around the house, until Linda got back home. As it was I had a number of tasks to get done, and focused on those and Jason was also able to focus on taking care of a couple of things, and also play a video game or two.

One of the other things we did yesterday was watch Lethal Weapon 2, since we watched the original movie, Lethal Weapon, Thursday night. Tonight we watched Lethal Weapon 3, and it was as crazy as the other two were, and very typical of the exploding cars and car chases, and don't forget the shoot outs as well as explosions. The real fun though, has been to watch the development of technology,as the theme gets a little older. The first one, was made in the early 1980's and it even had a "cell-phone", that they carried around, sometimes. It was huge! This last one, Lethal Weapon 3, the cell phones were of the 1990's versions. A bit smaller, but still kind of bulky in comparison to today's cell phones. I guess I'm still a geek at heart and I just enjoy looking at that kind of stuff.

Jason and I watched some programs together, while Linda was gone, and it was good to be able to just relax and talk about the different stuff that was being shown. It ranged from geological tectonics to astronomical ideas about how the planets are moving at very high speeds away from each other, or towards each other, depending on the scenario. It is almost falling back into that comfortable feeling of just being together, and forgetting about the injuries for a little while.

Dinner tonight was a bit of a catchall, leftovers kind of night. Jason ended up having some burritos, from the turkey and beans we had cooked up and then I had the rest of Jason's soup. I also had one burrito, and Linda had two burritos, and we were able to eliminate most of the leftovers. All-in-all it has been a nice evening. Thank you, for your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 9, 2015

Got up this morning and was already to be on a call within a few minutes, okay, several minutes - it was about 06:20, and then I remembered there was a call scheduled for 06:00 - I was already late for the call and I hadn't yet booted my system. By the time I was able to join the call it was in full swing and I managed to "sneak" in quietly. We, the team, completed the call and the client was happy. I was able to engage in part of the conversation, and actually be a part of the call. Once the call was over, the client got off the and the team remained on, and we stayed on for almost another 90 minutes. I was very happy that Linda was there to help get Jason his breakfast before having to take off for her appointments and errands.

Jason was up a couple of times today, and even has a good conversation with a couple of the contractors, still working around the property. He is having an entry gate put in, along with fencing the rest of the property. The progress is very good, and they should be done in less than a week, and we'll have it so the dogs can move around a little more. I'm sure Jason won't want them out front still, but its nice to know that with the fence we'll have a little more security.

When I helped Jason with his shower and did the dressing change, it was one of the easiest I've had the opportunity to do. Typically I set aside an hour to do everything, from start of the shower, changing of the sheets on his bed, to addressing the needs of the wound care; and, it usually takes close to that amount of time, plus or minus a few minutes. Today, it was like it took maybe closer to 40 minutes, and everything worked very smoothly.

Jason has a meeting set up with the teachers and the administration from the girls school and they are coming to the house to talk with him. The cool part about this is because of Linda's efforts, this is happening. She went and let then know that they had an obligation to speak with a dad who is interested in his kids education, and the fact that he could not come to them, they needed to come to him. The principle agreed and now it is happening... Way to go Linda! Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 7, 2015

Yesterday was a busy day for us, as I had to work a few extra hours to get some things done that we needed for a presentation today. I think I got to bed at about 23:30 (11:30), and then back up at 06:15 this morning. Linda has been taking care of the house and the girls and also working crazy hours, and we both need a break. I'm looking at next year, after the first of the year, before things are going to slow down a little.

We also had a nice visit from a couple we've gotten to know, over the past couple of years. Dan and Kelly came by, and stayed for a nice little visit. They actually came while we were out, with the girls getting them jackets, and spent some time with Jason. I thought that was very good, as it gave Jason something else to do, rather than just play video games, and it allowed him a chance to visit with some friends that we only get to see a few times a year. Well, actually, we'll be seeing them more often now, as they told us they were moving to Fallbrook. They've already secured a place to stay, and they should be moved in, in a matter of a few weeks.

I was just thinking that what I just wrote might have sounded a little harsh on Jason, but the reality is that he is putting forth a great deal of effort to get himself healed up. In fact Linda and I were talking about what he goes through, by just staying in bed. He could be up and moving around, but he knows that it would not be good for the wounds, so he stays down. I don't think I could do what he does, and not get grouchy or go crazy. He is an amazing young man.

Today, like I said, we were up a little after 6:00, and I went to get the girls up and moving, while Linda took a little time to get herself ready. Its kind of the pattern we've developed, since Linda has to be ready to go out with the girls and take them to school and I only have to sit in front of a computer - it doesn't matter what I look like. The sad part about this morning was that the girls will be gone for the next 5-days, and it is really going to be strange around here without them.

Tonight Linda went with our friend, Loretta, to go shopping and to spend a little "girl time" together. For fun they went to Costco and spent some time just wandering around the store. Okay, maybe not "wandering", but they did buy a few things. They were back home at about 20:00 (8pm) and then I got to help unload the car. That was pretty much the day.

Well, tomorrow is going to be another exciting day, and I am hoping that I get a chance to maybe get out side and do a few things around the house. The yard has a bunch of new plant growth in some areas, and I want to get rid of it, before it gets too big. It looks like tumble-weed, and that stuff is really bad to have to deal with, once it starts growing. The weather looks to be nice for the next couple of days, then it might start to rain again. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

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

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

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

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


Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 4, 2015

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 3, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2, 2015

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 30, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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