Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

A good day, and for the most part not much happened that was out of the normal. We got up, the girls went over to their mothers house (Linda took them), and we took care of things around here. There were a couple of things that were a little different, and one of them was me going to the follow up Dr. visit, from when I was in the hospital recently.

I walked in to see the doctor and she said, "So, it looks like you had a little heart attack." My reply was, "No, I did not. It was a false positive on the test, and that is what the doctors at the VA told me." She apologized and said she hadn't looked closely enough at my records and said, "Oh, my I guess your heart is in pretty good shape. They didn't find ANY blockages. Keep up the exercise and keep eating right." Then we went over the other regular meds I take and discussed the need for me to drop a few pounds (I'd like to loose about 15). The visit was pretty much over at that point and then I went back home, well, actually to go pick up Linda, who was shopping during this time... and that is the other item that happened today.

Linda, as a member of the Blue Star Mothers, took on the task of putting together some "gift" baskets for some female veterans who are living in a shelter. The Blue Star Mothers are doing something to help them get back on their feet again, and Linda is helping in this way. I think it is a great thing and hope it does provide some positive lift for these women. Linda was shopping while I was at the doctor's office, and when I was done I picked her up.

Otherwise, the day was very relaxed and we all had a laid back kind of day. Jason did have a regular appointment and once he was back home we all kind of took the rest of the day off. We, Linda and I, thought about going to the movies, but decided it was better to just relax at home and watch a video - costs less that way, too. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015

Today, has been a pretty normal, that's the new normal, day for us. I was up pretty early today, as I was at the computer for work at 04:20 this morning. Other than that, it was much like any of these recent days, and I am still getting to know what it is I'm going to be doing. Linda got up a little on the early side as well, and by the end of the day she was feeling like she had been up for most of the day, and in fact, she was.

Linda took the girls to the library this morning, and that is probably one of the most fun things they all like to do. I say, "all" because Linda likes going to the library almost as much as the girls do. We have already figured out that we will need to locate the local library as soon as we can, so the girls will be able to get going there, just like here.

We've been hearing back from a bunch of our friends and they're letting us know they intend to be at the dedication of the house. Pastor John Powell, from the church we've been attending, will take part in Jason's home dedication. We've already met the new pastor, up in Fallbrook, and have attended his church a couple of times. We are wanting to make the transition as smooth and easy as possible, for all of us.

Jason had a couple of appointments today, and one of those was with urology. They determined that he has yet another bladder infection, and he is, again on antibiotics for the next 10 days. Fortunately Jason is becoming quite good at catching these infections before they become too much of an issue, and they can be dealt with pretty quickly. I still get nervous when they happen, so I continue to look for ways to mitigate them as quickly as possible.

Tomorrow is going to be another early day, so I'll be needing to get to bed, myself here, pretty quick. Jason has a couple of appointments tomorrow, and I even have an appointment (a follow up from my recent hospital stay). Otherwise it should be a relatively calm Wednesday. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015

I got up a little early, as I have gotten back in to that work-a-day world, and had a bunch of stuff going through my head. I did my best to not disturb Linda and simply got up and started getting ready for my day at work. At a little after 06:00 I came back into the bedroom and woke her, since she wanted to get up a little early, and I have a regular conference call each morning at 07:00. There is so much to read and learn about this new environment, and on top of that I am enjoying it.

Linda did get up and was moving before 07:00, even though she didn't get to bed, herself, until about 02:00 this morning. She was taking the girls to a movie showing of some kids movie, and that meant she needed to be up and ready and then also have the girls up and ready to go by about 09:00, or something like that. They managed to get out and made it to the movie, because they didn't come back for about 2 hours.

Jason had a couple of appointments at Balboa, so he was out the door a little on the early side as well. I helped him get Gracie ready and then he was off. He is getting the handling of the two dogs down pretty well, and they both seem to be learning what it is they're supposed to do. He had his appointments and he didn't get back until almost noon - a little after the ladies came back. I had the house totally to myself for a couple of hours.

I must have read through four large documents (20 or more pages each), and by the time I was done my eyes were feeling pretty tired. My head was about as full as it was going to get today, so I was kind of glad when I was finished. The great part is that we, the team, are all building a whole new organization support group, and if feels like we're making progress.

The rest of the day was kind of relaxed. We managed to get a few more things packed up, and we'll continue to do this for as long as we can. The more we get packed now the better off we'll be. The girls were asking why we had all these boxes, and I think they are beginning to figure it out. Tomorrow is going to be another day, with the end of the day being TACO TUESDAY! This has become a pretty good tradition for us, so we'll continue as long as we all enjoy it. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Jason with Stacy and Jackie, in front of the fire place, and Gracie and Kojak

This is what the front of the house looked like in early June

Linda is very proud of her Purple Heart Roses - they will be at the new house

Jackie with her teacher at St. Charles Pre-school

Stacy with her Kindergarten teacher at St. Charles

Jason (yeah that's him under all that hair) scoping out the property around the house

George taking a break in Jason's new kitchen

Grandpa with Stacy and Jackie on the 4th of July

Riding the train at Balboa Park

Face painting at Balboa Park

Jason was first to park in his garage, of the new house

Citrus trees in the backyard 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 27, 2015

A nice quiet and relaxing Sunday, with the whole family together - that is me, Linda, Jason, Stacy and Jackie; Gracie and Kojak are here too, Linda started out the day at Barona Casino, with her Aunt and cousin. She got up early enough to drive back to the house and get here before we left for church, and she did make it, by a couple of minutes. The girls were particularly excited to go to church this morning, Today was the first Sunday since Vacation Bible School, and they knew there would be some sort of recognition for last week, and they weren't disappointed.

We got a few things done around the house and then a little later in the afternoon, after the girls went down for their nap, Sophia, from Serving Spoons came by. She was with her mom, and bringing us the last meal they will be delivering to us, since we're headed to Fallbrook. They did promise to come up for a visit, but said they would not be able to make deliveries any more, since it is kind of a distance north of here. They have, for the past couple of years, been bringing one meal a month, just to give us a break from having to fix a dinner, and the food has always been very good. On top of that they like to do gourmet cooking, and it is always a nice change.

Tomorrow I begin week 2 of my new job, and so far it has been interesting, and it feel very good to just get back to work. Linda has some fun things planned with the girls so for a good part of the day Jason and I will have the house to ourselves, and that's probably a good thing, since I do most of my work on the phone and on the computer.

We're starting to make plans for the move to the new house, and I am hopeful that we can get everything together and packed neatly, so that the move will go smoothly. I'll do my best to keep you up-to-date on our progress, and tomorrow I'll post some new pictures - I've heard from a few that I need to do that. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 25, 2015

Okay, first things first -- Do you realize that there are only 5 more months until Christmas? I just wanted to through that out there, to give you something to think about.

A most interesting day, to be sure. I first got up and out for a bike ride, and though it was only a short one, of about 13 miles, it felt good to ride a little farther, and begin to start building on it. The reason for an early start was that Linda was heading off to visit her Aunt Nini and her Cousin Debbi, and she wanted to be on the road before 09:00. Then on top of that Jason wanted to get going so that he could get the dogs to their service dog training, and that is also why I needed to get back home in a reasonable amount of time. The added complexity is that we have the girls, and it would be better for me to be here, if Linda wants to get going.

As it turned out, I was back home, prior to Linda leaving, and Jason also had time to get the dogs ready. As I was getting ready to take my shower, Joselyn showed up, and she was able to engage the girls, while I got ready. The reason she came over was so that we (me, the girls and Joselyn) could all head up to Fallbrook so that Joselyn could get a template made for Jason's shower. The existing bench in Jason's shower has no padding, and she is getting something made, so that Jason can have a little more comfort, while taking a shower. It turned out to be a bit of a fun trip, as the girls always enjoy seeing their future rooms, and I was able to do a little exploring of the landscape work that has been done. Afterword, we stopped for a little pizza, and then headed back to San Diego.

Linda was able to get out, at about the time she wanted, and was also able to meet up with her Aunt and Cousin. She has stayed in touch, and sent me a couple of texts, as well as a couple phone calls. It sounds like they're having a good time, so that is a good thing - She deserves a break. She will be back home tomorrow, and perhaps even early enough to go to church with me and the girls.

Jason's trip with the dogs went well, and he told me that Kojak is doing better. Kojak is already able to get along with the other dogs and the biggest challenge is still being around people. He is getting more comfortable with the immediate family, and right now his biggest fear is being around me. I guess I just look scary to him. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015

Today was a pretty good day, for everything. The girls came back to stay with us for another five days; Jason was able to take care of his appointments, on his own; Linda and the girls had their last day with Vacation Bible School; and, I had my first Work-Friday, in a long time.

The work week ended on a pretty good note, with me capturing a bunch of the information, and doing my best to get it organized. If nothing else, the VA does generate a very large quantity of data and they have some enormous data bases. I guess that's why they contract out some of the work to folks like me and our team, to help them figure it all out. Anyway, we're all starting to get to know each other and that is the first step in getting better coordinated in our efforts.

The Vacation Bible School, that Linda and the girls have been attending is now over, and I think the girls are going to miss it. Both of them were singing songs they had learned and they seemed a little sad that it was over. I think Linda had a good time, too, and that she is going to miss it a little. Not sure what we're going to be doing next year, as we will be living up in Fallbrook, so that means we will be getting to know the Fallbrook Presbyterian Church family.

Jason took Gracie to be cleaned and groomed at the dog groomers, and she looks great! Jason is thinking that he may make this a regular monthly task, as he likes the way she looks after. Kojak isn't quite ready for the groomers yet, as he is just now starting to get comfortable being around us. He still looks for ways of getting in trouble, like any new puppy, but he is starting to show his personality more, and he is a friendly kind of dog.

Tomorrow I will be heading up to Fallbrook, to take Linda's Purple Heart Rose bush, up, so the landscaper can find a place to plant it. I think they already have a location scoped out, and just want to be sure it will work there. To do that they need the real plant. Linda will be going off to visit with her aunt and cousin, whom she hasn't seen in a few years. She will be gone for a full day and night, and then back home. That means I'll be taking the girls with me, up to the house. While I'm doing that Jason will be taking the dogs to their training session. It is good to see Jason getting both of them more into training. Anyway, that is pretty much it for the weekend, for us. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22, 2015

Going back to work is not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Then again, I really haven't gotten moving into much of the "work" yet. Right now it pretty much seems that I'm just mostly doing paperwork and getting information together, so that I can do my job. I hope that I am done with that as of today, and that starting tomorrow I can maybe take a step or two towards doing some research and data gathering for the job.

Jason is doing well and continuing to improve, and the dogs are about the same. Kojak has been chewing on various items in the house, and it is driving us all nuts. This is the famous "puppy" stage all dogs go through, though  Kojak seems really good at it. I guess it is better that he get some (all?) of it out of his system, before we get to the new house, as that's where most of the stuff is going to be newer, as opposed to the used stuff we have now.

Linda is feeling much better and I happy (so is she) about that. She is helping out at the Vacation Bible School, all this week, and she stays pretty busy there. I know it is no fun trying to keep up with a bunch of youngsters when you're not feeling anywhere near your best. We've only been at this church for a couple of years now, but it seems like we're starting to get to know the people.

Not much else going on right now, so I'll be signing off. I do look forward to getting back on the bike, so I need to start working on finding some time to do that again. First things first, I plan to go on line to research a reliable heart monitor and purchase one so I can get out on my bike again next week.  Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 - First Day of Work

Today was a pretty good day, for me - I got up relatively early, to get ready for my first day at work. I started with a 07:00 conference call, of new hire orientation. There were several people on the call, and it sounds like they are going to be growing even more, over the next several weeks (months?). I like all that they had to say, and their benefits are perfect for Linda and I. I do believe this is going to be a good way to get back into the working world.

Linda, got up with me, and took care of a few other things, as well as got ready for the girls coming back, this morning. She was still feeling a little under the weather, and her tummy was a little out of sorts. She was needing to get ready for Vacation Bible School, and the girls were very much looking forward to it. By the end of the day she was noticeably better, and I think the continued moving around had something to do with, though I don't think she would have rather been able to just sit and relax a little more.

Jason had his appointments at the hospital (Balboa), so he took the dogs with him, and I was at the house, for a few hours, totally on my own. I managed to get most of the paper work completed, and will have it back to them, via pdf, tomorrow. Then package it all and mail it to them, so they have the originals.

Linda and the girls got back home, from VBS, a little after noon, and I came down to fix myself some lunch. Linda was also working on lunch for the girls, so I decided to get Jason's lunch for him. Linda was looking pretty tired, so I wanted to give her a little break - I think it helped. After lunch I headed out to get a "witness" signature, for one of the documents, and it ended up taking me longer to find parking, than it did to get the signature. Once I was done I headed back to the house, and went back up to my "office" to do some reading. That was pretty much how the day went, until dinner, and Linda did spaghetti, with the turkey meat. It came out really good, but then again, she used fresh mushrooms, and I love fresh mushrooms.

Not much more happened tonight, other than Jason's wound dressing change and the girls bed time story. I took care of the dressings and Linda took care of getting the girls to bed. Once that was done we got a chance to just relax a little, and finally call it a day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19, 2015

Another rainy day, down here in San Diego. It rained most of the day, and again the roads were very wet. The good part about today is that we spent virtually all day inside and didn't go out, other than to take a look at the rain, for a little while.

Linda was feeling a little ill this morning and it drug on well into the day and then the evening. She thinks she might have eaten something that didn't sit well with her tummy, so for the most part just stayed down. She did get up a few time to take care of some chores, and then I'd have to ask her to sit back down. I think she was feeling better by the end of the day, and I hope tomorrow is a good day for her.

Speaking of tomorrow - I start my new job tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to getting things going again. I will have to get going bright and early, and then get into the tasks at hand. I look forward to all of this, and to be honest, I am very excited to be working again. Right now I need to get to bed, so that I manage to get up in time for the orientation. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

July 18, 2015

Today was an amazingly wet day. We had thunderstorms and a bunch of lightening, with probably close to 2 inches of rain - cause some flooding, but not too much. The down side was that the power was knocked off for probably 10 hours. No loss of food, as we kept the refrigerator and freezer closed for the majority of the day. The rain was so good to see, just wish it had been high up in the hills, where it could have flowed into the reservoirs.

The day started with listening to thunder and watching lightening. Shortly after getting up, about 06:00, this morning, the power went out. We still managed to get a nice breakfast together, Cheerios, and then about 08:00, Linda and I went to meet Loretta and Ivona , from Blue Star Mothers. We were all going to the San Diego Stand Down. This event is for helping vets who have fallen out of society, due to various challenges, to get back on their feet and start feeling better about themselves.  This was a wonderful experience for me, and I think Linda too, as we learned about some of the things being made available to these people, and just seeing so many of them there.

The only part that was a little difficult was the weather. The rain started again, at about noon and really got going. We went and had lunch with Loretta and Ivona, and then headed on back home. Jason was still home and we wanted to be sure he was dong alright. When we got home we found out that the power had actually come back on for a couple hours and as Jason was attempting to fix himself some lunch when it went out again. We helped him fix his lunch and then started looking at some of the other things around the house. I had received a package from LongView, where I will be startin work on Monday. It was my new laptop and some other things, so to say the least, I'm pretty happy about how this is playing out.

This was Kojak's first experience with rain, so he was having a wonderful time playing in the backyard, when he decided to come back in to the house. He was a muddy mess and proceeded to get mud everywhere. I had laid down to take a nap, so I missed most of it, and Linda did all the work cleaning things up and helping Jason get Kojak cleaned up.

This evening, Linda, Jason and I went up to see Huge and Julie Keener, friends from Livermore; who came down to take care of some personal issues and to visit. We met up with them and went over to see the Jason's new house, and then go have some dinner. It was a wonderful visit and we were able to go through the entire house. As it was, Mike, from MLA Construction, showed up a few minutes after we got there, and so it was an even better visit. Mike, and his wife (she was there also) walked around and were right there to answer questions. The house really looks great, and about the only things left to do are some of the electronics that help to make this a Smart Home.

We went to dinner after the house visit, and Jason requested that we go to Chinese, and so we did. I think it was the second or third time for us to have eaten at this restaurant near Jason's new home, and we were all very pleased. The drive home was uneventful, just the way I like them. It was good seeing Huge and Julie, and visiting about some of the things going on back up in Livermore. We dropped them off at their hotel and then drove on back to the house here. The power has been restored and so Linda is getting some of the things done, that need power, and I got to work on my email and this blog. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 18, 2015

Kind of a nice day to help get back in to the swing of things. One of the first things Linda and I had to do, besides some clean up around the house, was to go to Costco. We really didn't need to buy too much, just that what we needed, we really needed.

This morning, after breakfast, we took the dogs to the vet, for some shots and medical needs. Mr. Jingles was also taken in, as he has gotten very sick. It was decided that he would be put down, so we all said our good-byes and Mr. Jingles is no longer with us. Jason knew this was coming, and recognized the quality of life had really deteriorated, so it had to be done. He was with us for about four years, so we think he was about four and a half and we were told most rats don't make it beyond five years.

Linda did most of the heavy lifting around here as I have been told not to exert any thing greater than 5 lbs. on my right hand and wrist for a few days. It is where they went in and did the angiogram and they don't want me to do too much until it has some time to heal. One of the reasons we went to Costco was so we could buy some of the items needed for Jason's soup. He gave us a list and we did our best to get all he asked for. When we got home Linda volunteered to make the soup, under Jason's supervision and it came out great.

Jason had his regular shower and I did the dressing change, and I'm happy to say that the healing continues. As long as this trend continues he should be in pretty good shape by the time we get to the new house. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 16, 2015

We had an exciting past few days, and I'm going to do my best to let everyone know what happened -

First, we had decided to take the girls (Stacy and Jackie) to go see the movie RIO-2 - as it was part of the theater's summer program for kids, and because it was only a dollar per person. Before going though, we (Linda and I) decided we wanted to get some exercise in first, so she jumped on to her elliptical, and I went over to the gym (there wasn't enough time to go for a good bike ride). As a result of the short time window, I kind of pushed myself a little harder and apparently that caused a bit of a chain reaction.

After exercising, I felt like my chest was really congested and tight, so I just sat down for a little while (15 min?) and then went up to take a shower. By the time I was done with the shower and had gotten dressed I was feeling a little better, so we loaded the girls up in the car and we went to the movie. We got to our seats, and I was still feeling like a had had a good workout. We sat through the movie and by the end of the movie I was feeling much better... then we walked back to the car.

By the time we got back to the car (my guess is that it was about 50 meters of walking distance) I was totally out of breath and again my chest was tight. I told Linda that I needed to call the help nurse at the VA and see what she recommended. After describing all this to her she said I needed to get myself down to the ER and not to wait around. Linda took me down to the VA Hospital, ER, and dropped me off. She still needed to take care of the girls, and I didn't feel comfortable with them just sitting around the hospital. Linda took the girls back home, as as it turned out, they went over to their mother's house.

After a couple of tests and exams, it was decided that I had experienced a heart attack, and I should be admitted to the hospital for observation, and more tests. I ended up in the ICU, as no other beds were available (it worked out good for me). I had more blood tests done and more exams, and then they decided the next best coarse of action was to perform an angiogram, so that they could potentially fix whatever issues found. This was to be done on the next day (yesterday, the 15th).

The next day I was wheeled over to the procedure room and had the angiogram done, and when they were finished I went back to my room. A few hours later two of the cardiologists came and spoke with me, and told me that they found no damage, and in fact, my heart was in amazing shape and that the arteries were in great shape. I had not had a heart attack! This was great news, and it made Linda and I feel much better, as well as David and Miriam, who had come down to be with us. It was very nice to have them there for multiple reasons, and I am very happy they came. Jason also came by, for a short visit, and he brought the dogs with him. They allowed the dogs in, because they're service dogs.

Anyway, I was now cleared, though I still had to spend another night in the hospital, before they could release me. Fortunately, David and Miriam went home last night, otherwise I would have felt very guilty, especially since nothing was wrong. This morning, I had a couple more visits from doctors, and even some students and staff, and we all talked about the non-heart attack. Linda came at about 08:30, and we just stayed and visited until all the paperwork was done, and then we went home. While waiting though, we both got on the phone and called a few friends and family, to start letting folks know that I was alright.

On the way home I received a call from Long View, the company where I am going to be going to work. To let me know that everything is in place and that I will be able to begin working there on Monday, July 20. It has turned into a really good day. One of the really cool things to happen was that Gary Sinise took the time to give me a call, just to check and see how I was doing. His call came within the minute of us walking through the door, and back into the house. People know Gary Sinise, the actor; and, many people know him as a person who supports and cares for the military and first responders.  Linda and I (and our family) know him on a more personal level and I can tell you he is the real deal. I have never seen another person/individual who gives so much and really asks for nothing in return. It is an honor to know him and call him friend.

Bottom line - I wanted to say, "thank you!" to everyone, for all the kindness and support, it is much appreciated. I also want to apologize for causing excessive worry for anyone who was following this little period of my life. Take care and stay positive. I am in good - - - no, great shape, and intent to continue with exercise. Its just going to be monitored more closely now. Thank you, to all for your concerns and also thank you for your continued support and all the prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

We continue to get closer to moving in to the new house and we continue to get more and more anxious to get it done. We are all really looking forward to the move up to Fallbrook, for multiple reasons, and the biggest reason is to allow a greater amount of independence for Jason. We are coming down to the wire here, and for those that are interested in the Buy-A-Brick, you can find the form on my FaceBook account, if you get it to the Gary Sinise Foundation by the 15th of July the brick will be placed prior to the dedication. Of course if you do make a purchase after the 15th it will still be placed around the flagpole, just after the dedication.

We had a fun day with the girls and right after an appointment for Jackie, this morning we all decided to go to lunch together. Actually, it was kind of a surprise lunch from Jason, and it was kind of fun. We all hadn't really been out to enjoy a lunch in several weeks, so this was special, and it being Jason's idea made it even more special.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed, and we managed to get some exercise in. The Gateway Military Housing folks (where we currently live) decided that they wanted to paint all the fences in the neighborhood, and today was our turn. We had to keep the dogs inside while the workers were out in the backyard. It wasn't too bad, and with Kojak finally starting to warm up to me it was a little like a family life that we normally experience. The big difference right now is that we have a bunch of extra furniture in our living room, waiting on the move (used to be storage).

I helped Jason with his shower and dressing change while Linda worked on dinner. His wounds are making some positive progress right now, and I'm very pleased with the progress. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 12, 2015

Another late day for getting the posting out, and on the good side it has been a very good day - for all of us.

I got up early and by 07:30 I was out the door, going for a bike ride. I had not been out on my bike for any long ride in several weeks - I really needed to get out and have some head clearing time. I told Linda, before leaving (actually, last night) that I would probably not be going to church today and that I needed to go for a ride. She is very supportive of me and said she would take the girls to church, and that I didn't need to worry about them getting there. Anyway, It was a very nice ride, and I managed to avoid most of the Comic-con traffic and people, as well there apparently was another activity going on, on Fiesta Island. There must have been a couple thousand people and vehicles there, with a major activity behind some fences. Despite all the additional traffic and people I still managed to have a good ride and rode almost 32 miles. I suppose I could have gone a little farther, but decided my tail bone was beginning to get a little tender and I needed to get back to the house.

Linda and the girls got back to the house a little while after I did, probably about an hour and a half. I guess it would have been a fun day to go to church as well, since both Stacy and Jackie were involved with reading and performing for the congregation. Linda said everything went very well and that she was very happy with how the girls behaved. Once at home it was time to get some lunch put together and then a chance for them to take a little rest. While resting Jason and I went to the store, to pick up dinner, as well as a few other things we were low on, at the house.

Jason said he needed to get out, and that is why he wanted to go to the store with me, and it also gave him a chance to get a little more socialization time for Kojak. He is getting better, and it seems he is starting to pick up on some of the ques from Gracie. Jason has identified someone who is going to be helping him do more training with the dog, and it should also help Kojak.

We ended up getting the girls to bed a little later than normal, but then we're still getting used to the extra day light. It will be like this for another couple of weeks, and then we can get back to our normal routine and time schedule. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

July 11, 2015

This was a nice day for the Ross Family, in San Diego. Jason decided that it was time to take Kojak up to Buddy Todd Park, where the service dog training takes place. Since the girls enjoy going to the park they went along, too. I drove the van, and the four of us and the two dogs fit comfortably. Linda had a meeting with the Blue Star Mothers, and so she did not come with us.

The girls were all over the place, and did their best to make sure Grandpa got some exercise. The number one thing for them is the swings, and we spent probably a half an hour on them, before they wanted to go somewhere else. They were up in the trees, as well as on the climbing structures, and slides. There were at least four birthday parties going on at this same time, so there were other kids there, and Jackie made friends with another little girl. This other little girl was there with her big sister and their grandpa. We ended up staying together as a group and I got to talk with the grandpa. I guess the most interesting thing was that his name is also George, and we got along well. It was nice seeing the girls play with other kids, and the good thing was that they were all in the same general age group.

We ended up staying there for almost two hours, before it was time to come home, and as it turned out there was very little training going on, and more activities focused on what they had been learning over the past several months. Jason wasn't aware of this until we arrived, and though he really didn't have a great deal to do, it was a good opportunity for him, Jason, to do some socializing and for the dogs to do the same.  The drive home was a little slow, as Comic-con is still going on for another day, and I'm glad it is over tomorrow.

We got home and after lunch we all took a little nap. I didn't get a long nap as I had things to do, and when Linda got home a short while later, she found me up at the computer, working on getting the printers to clear and start functioning again. Not sure what happened, but both (we have two printers) printers just didn't seem to want to talk with the system. It cleared almost as strangely as it started.

This evening we had salmon, rice and vegetables, and then the girls had some chocolate ice cream for their dessert. Jason woke from his nap, just a little while before dinner, and though he had dinner, he didn't have dessert. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 10, 2015

One of those days where there is way too much to do, and way to little time. The good part is that of the things I had to get done, I was able to get most of them accomplished. As a result I was pretty tired by the end of the day, and ended up falling asleep on the couch, just before dinner. I only slept for about 15 minutes, so it wasn't too bad, and I was able to have dinner with the rest of the family.

The girls and I spent most of the day together, and we had a fun time. Linda had some appointments she had to take care of  and Jason had his appointments. When the girls first arrived this morning I was working on some paperwork, upstairs. The paperwork is for the on-boarding process for the new job, and getting things going at the VA for my clearance. As it was, I knew both Linda and Jason were taking off at about the same time, and I needed to get over to the VA to get fingerprinted. I took the girls with me, and we had a fun time. It was the first time for both of them to be there, so it was new and exciting. We went to the fingerprint area and they were experiencing some technical issues, that were soon taken care of. Stacy learned about fingerprints and was kind of amazed at how everyone is unique.

We got back to the house, after the fingerprinting was done and I discovered I had grabbed the wrong set of keys - I didn't have a house key. We walked over to the military housing office and they had a key we could "borrow" and we were able to get back in to the house. The extra walking outside was good for all of us, and it gave the girls a chance to run a little. As it was, Linda and Jason were still gone, so we played for a little while and then I fixed them lunch. As I finished that, with the girls Jason came home and then in a little while I had the girls down for their nap. This gave me a chance to continue on the paperwork, and then Linda came home.

The paperwork was finished and I felt pretty good afterward. Linda started to get some things done around the house when the girls woke up. A short time later we headed over to Target to pick up some shoes for the girls and then back to the house, and get dinner going. This is about when I sat down on the couch and drifted off to sleep. I guess I was a little tired. I woke up with Linda telling me dinner was ready, so I got up and ate dinner with the family. The rest of the day was relaxed, and about the only other exciting thing to say is that Jason's wounds are continuing to improve, again. I just hope that continues. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

July 9, 2015

Thank you, to all the well wishers out there, I had a very nice and enjoyable 63rd birthday. Linda and I were able to get out and enjoy a few hours of just the two of us and went to lunch and saw the movie, MAX. We both were very happy we chose to see that movie, as opposed to the others being offered. It is one of those very good movies that you really don't need to go to the theater to see, as the special effects are pretty tame, compared to today's movies. Still, I would recommend getting a copy of the movie or rent it from Netflix or whomever you might use.

The house is moving along nicely, and we enjoyed seeing Jason get to be the very first person to drive up the new driveway, AND he was even able to pull into the garage. This was really cool, and we could see where the yard is coming together now. On top of all this, Jason's wounds continue to move in the right direction, for healing.

The girls come back tomorrow, for another five day visit, so we have that to look forward to as well. And it brings me another day closer to getting back to work. We are so looking forward to that day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 7, 2015

Today was a busy day for all of us - though the "busy" for the girls was a matter of deciding which toy to play with and what they might want for lunch. We are getting closer to the move date so Linda and I are working to make sure what we move is what we want, and that it is at least somewhat organized.

I worked with Bobby Bryan, and we moved the "old" office desk and file cabinet (Linda's desk and cabinet) from our current house up to Linda's parents' home, up in Lake Forest. I am so glad that Bobby was able to help with the move, as some of the furniture is heavy. I rented a U-haul truck, as it was the best way to insure the furniture wasn't damaged during the drive. Once we delivered the office we stayed to have "breakfast" with Linda's parents, Joe and Jess. It was actually kind of late in the morning, and it almost felt like lunch, but we all still had a typical breakfast meal, since none of us had eaten yet. We enjoyed a nice chance to have a good conversation and then we needed to get going again, as Bobby and I were now headed to the  A1 storage that Linda and I have. We had two of them, and wanted to reduce it down to one.

In order to get this accomplished we needed to load some things up in the truck and bring them back to the house, and put them where Linda's desk was. As it turned out, we were able to get everything in the truck, except for what we moved into the other storage unit. That unit is pretty full, though not completely. Linda and I have been working on getting that reduced down, and we have done a good job of it, in my opinion. Once Bobby and I were done, we were both pretty tired, and he went home, while I returned the truck. Linda and Joselyn (Bobby's mother), were at the house, making sure we had room to empty the truck, and they did an excellent job. Linda is getting to be a pretty good organizer around here, and it kind of makes me wonder what we would have done, if she hadn't been here.

While all this was going on, Jason was out taking care of a couple of errands he had wanted to get done. He went to the bank, to take care of some items and then to the pet store to pick up some needed supplies. He was out for a couple of hours and was still up and about when Bobby and I got home.

The rest of the day, evening really, was simply having dinner and then going to bed. We're all tired and feel like it has been a full day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Throughout the summer the Sea World park has a fireworks show, at the end of each day. As  result we have a great 4th of July like show, so when we missed it on the real 4th, it was only a minor let down. The challenge is making sure the girls get to sleep, since the display goes on after they typically go to bed.

I am experiencing a rather irritating network problem, with the signal coming in and out frequently and it is making it difficult to get any work accomplished, on a consistent basis. If it doesn't improve over the next few days we're going to have to look for another provider or source for network supply. Because of this, this post is going to be short -

Jason is doing well, and we went in to the Wound Care at the VA. The woman who is in charge of that area expressed some concern about the on going challenges of Jason's wounds and wants to get some other departments focused on him. I'm actually glad to see this, as it could help in getting the right attention he needs.

We had a visit from Jon Monet, and we briefly talked about some of the work going on with the Cal Poly team. I guess I should provide a little more background on Jon - He worked with the CIA, and was always coming up with new items for the agents, to make there jobs a little easier. He took this and turned it into a company that he sold after 18 years. With the money he made from that he wanted to help people and started the program at Cal Poly and has been doing it ever since. I like Jon, and hope he can continue to help drive towards a solution. He talked about some of the other solutions they have done, and it all sounded very good. We will keep working at getting things lined up for Jason, and hope that a real solution can be found.

Finally, Stacy went on an outing with a friend from her school - They went bowling. She was very excited to go, and then when she got back home she was just as excited to tell us all about it. This is the first "play day" that she has had, with her being gone for a specific activity, and not have Jackie along with her. She really felt like a "big" girl today. Needles to say, Jackie wasn't happy. Grandma did manage to get her to smile and kept her on a positive, after a little encouragement. I'm sure Jackie will have her days as well.

Not much else to go on about - Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 5, 2015

We got home late last night, and therefore I didn't get a post done, besides by the time I would have been able to post it would have been "today" anyway. What happened was that yesterday the girls came over, a little later than we had hoped, but it didn't mess plans up too much. I had managed to get out on the bike early in the morning, and was back home before they came, and that was after a 22 mile ride. I rode out to Mission Beach and then around Liberty Island, and then back to the house. I chose that route because I thought the traffic was going to be lite and the ride easy. The traffic was no where near as heavy as it would be on a work day, and the weather was really nice, that's the positive aspect of the ride. Aside from the first mile, though, there wasn't any parking places left on the road, all the way to the beach, and then around the island. I was absolutely amazed at the sight. I was also very happy that traffic was very low, as I would have had very little escape routes open to me, should there be a need. Anyway, like I said, I got back to the house and then a few minutes later the girls showed up.

We had an enjoyable day and then after the girls got up from their nap (they refer to it as "brain-rest") We went over to Joselyn's house, where we had been invited for a BBQ, swimming, and then a chance to watch the fireworks. What was really cool about this was that Jason was going to be going with us, and this would actually be his first social outing since his surgery, and I think he really wanted to get out. The BBQ was excellent, along with all the other great food that was there, including the desserts. The girls and I had fun playing in the pool. It was so nice seeing Jason interacting with people, several of them folks he had not previously met, and all went very smoothly. The one down thing was that the city (not San Diego) had sent out a notice that their display was going to be on, and then later sent out a second notice that it wasn't. Unfortunately that second notice had not reached anyone at the BBQ. We all were sitting there waiting and we could actually hear and see some activity off in the distance, but none where it was supposed to be, for us. Apparently it had been stopped by a group, and we only found out after an extensive search on the net.

We all loaded up back in the van and said our good-bye's and then drove on home. It was late in the evening and by the time we had the girls in bed and the van unloaded it was late and I was very tired. I wouldn't have changed a thing, though, as we had a great time and I think everyone else did, too. The fireworks would simply have been entertainment, and not really added a bunch to the evening except for the children.

Today, we went to church with the girls and had a good time visiting with all the folks there. Jason was pretty well worn down from yesterdays visit, so he didn't make it to church. Several of the people there were asking about him and I think we may have gotten a few more bricks sold for Jason's flagpole. It is with sincere gratitude the response we are receiving of love and support to help be apart of the needs for Jason and his family.

After coming back from church we had lunch and then we told the girls that we would take them over to a carousel and a train, to get a ride on both. They didn't know where either of them were located so it was kind of a surprise for both of them. We got them up, after the nap and headed over to the San Diego Zoo, and right in Balboa Park, there is a carousel and a miniature train, that you can ride on. Jason stayed home, as he was sleeping again, and as far as I was concerned that was okay. When I did his dressing change this afternoon, both sides were looking better, and I was very pleased with the continued progress. After riding the train we decided to walk around, as we had not been to that part of Balboa Park before, and found that it was quite interesting. We stopped at a vendor and both girls got a small face painting done and then they both found another vendor and got to play some music with him. It was just a simple-fun day for all of us.

Tonight I fixed some spaghetti for dinner and it came out quite nice. I typically, in the past, use ground beef, and today I used ground turkey. It came out very nice and I was happy with how it came out. We are getting away from red meat, as it seems to be a healthier way to go. After dinner Linda gave the girls a bath and I worked on the blog, and that was pretty much the end of the day.  It has been a very busy weekend. Tomorrow, I am thinking about getting out early for a short ride, and then get busy with the day. Jason has an appointment with Wound Care, at the VA and then later we are expecting a visit from Gen (ret.) Jon Monet. He has made it possible for the team at Cal Poly to get things going for development of a better seating solution for Jason. Obviously we're interested in having this happen. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 3, 2015

Today has been one of those very nice days, that you kind of wish all days could be like, not necessarily the same, just like. We got up a little after 07:00 (yes, we actually slept in) and Linda and I took Gracie for a 3.5 mile walk, around the larger block. When we came home Kojak was very concerned about where we had gone and actually greeted us at the door. Afterward we had breakfast and since Jason wanted oatmeal, that's what I prepared.

Once breakfast was over we, Linda and I, headed over to the storage units to get to working on them. We need to be completely out of the second unit by July 11, and based on the work we accomplished today, I think we will make that date easily. Actually, by just rearranging some things and doing some better stacking we were able to "find" room in the original unit, and won't need the second unit any more. With the new house coming together so well it doesn't look like it will be too long before we can completely get out of the storage units, and only have to deal with stuff around the house. Also, while we were working on the units, Jason took the dogs for a walk, so Gracie got a second walk today, and this evening it is kind of showing, as she seems to just want to sleep now.

Once we were done with the storage units we went to the grocery store to pick up some things, and we decided that going to Costco, today, was not a good idea, so we'll wait until next week. There is just too much traffic out there, right now, and I simply don't want to have to deal with it. For whatever reason, people seem to shut down that part of the brain that shows any courteousness and in some cases intelligence, during a holiday period. Tomorrow we will be heading over to Joselyn's house, for the 4th, and enjoy a BBQ with her family. They have guaranteed a great fireworks show from the city, so we're looking forward to it, and hope the girls will enjoy it, as they will be with us also.

I do plan on getting out early tomorrow morning, and go for a bike ride, to see if I can get more than 25 miles in. My last couple of rides have been over 20 miles each, and it was very easy to do, so I see no reason to go less than 25, for the special day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015

Apologies for no post yesterday, but we ended up staying up late yesterday and I was just too darn tuckered out. Yesterday, I received an offer of employment, and accepted. It has been a LONG road to this happening, and both Linda and I are very happy about it finally coming to fruition. I know Jason is also happy about it, as I think he has always carried a little guilt about Dad having to give up his career to come and take care of him. Funny thing is, the last "full time" position I had was with a company who was doing some work for the V.A.; with this new position I will be working with a new company, who also is doing some work for the V.A. A big difference is that this new company has a three year contract, so I don't think it is going to fall apart.

As a result of this news, Linda and I did a little celebrating, and it carried us well into the night, it's been several weeks since we have had a "Date Night," and then I was too tired to post. Heck, even tonight we were still having some fun but at least I'm getting this post together.

Jason, Linda and I are very excited about the "Buy-A-Brick" opportunity that is going on right now. For those that don't  know what it is - - Jason's house is almost done, and one of the last things that needs to be done is the concrete work, landscaping and flag pole. The Buy-A-Brick is where you can purchase a brick with your personal message, through the Gary Sinise Foundation and it will be set in the concrete, by the Flag Pole, in the front of the house. The money donated for the brick will go directly to completing Jason's home. For those interested, please go over to my Facebook page and you can find the order form and more information.

I managed to get in a nice bike ride today, though it wasn't a long ride. I still managed to get in 20 miles, and I guess I pushed myself a little, the ride was just over 20 miles and the duration wasn't too bad either. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.