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Showing posts from February, 2015

February 25, 2015

Linda and I are out in Bethesda, MD, visiting with some friends and stopping in at the Walter Reed Hospital just to see some of them. Dr.  Malone made herself available to us, for a good part of the day, and even took us to lunch. We got to eat at the new galley and the food was outstanding. I had a chicken and shrimp salad that was much better than anything I expected to find. We also were able to walk around and talk with a number of the other people who know Jason and/or worked with him while he was recovering there, and they all had very positive things to say about him. We ended up spending just about the entire day there, and we are soooo glad we did.

After the initial visit we went to one of the local restaurants and waited for a few of the EOD friends that knew Jason very well. Dr. Malone drove us to the restaurant, so that we didn't have to pay for a cab, and it was kind of on her way home ... okay, she lives in the opposite direction, and it was just very nice that she d…

February 23, 2015

Today was an interesting day, in that we are flying out tomorrow, late morning, for Virginia, to attend a retreat that Linda and I were invited to, by the EOD Warrior Foundation. The retreat is designed to help specific caregivers deal with the day-to-day stress that can be experienced, in this situation, and when I say, "specific" it is because the target group is parents, as opposed to spouses or significant others. We're both looking forward to going and attending, as it is also providing us an opportunity to go back and visit with some of the first people we encountered after Jason made it back to the States and on to Bethesda Naval Hospital (now it is called Walter Reed). We've been in contact with some of them, and we have a day set up to visit with a bunch of people, then the following day move on to the retreat, and see what that is going to be like. We're both pretty excited about going.

A couple of the first groups of people we met at Bethesda, besides …

February 22, 2015

Apologies to all you regular readers out there, as I was just a bit too tired to post last night - and below is why I was tired, as well as an update for today.

Yesterday began with us getting up and getting ready for Stacy's soccer game. We had plenty of time to do this, and that was good, because I made a wrong turn on the way to the game and spent an extra 10 minutes getting there. As it was, we made it to the game just in time for Stacy to "check-in" with the coach, and then get put on the field. Of course there was a silver lining to arriving late; some of the vehicles from the previous game had left, and that provided closer parking spaces, and we didn't have to walk quite so far.

The game was really quite fun and the kids (on both teams) seemed to have a great time. There was a solid improvement with their skills, and Stacy got in a couple of very good kicks, though there were no shots-on-goal. At the end of the game the score was either 3 - 2 or 4 - 3, and as…

February 20, 2015

Jason got out and spent some time doing one of his favorite activities... Shooting. I've gone with him a couple of times in the past, but not today. Today I had a few other chores I needed to get done, and also I needed to pick up the girls today, after they got out of school. Anyway, Jason had fun and I can just imagine how things went.

Jason is a bit of perfectionist, when it comes to a few things, and one of those is his shooting. While others can be seen, on either side of him shooting and squeezing off shots about one ever two seconds, Jason will spend 10 seconds (even more) with each shot, just so he knows his sights are tuned in correctly. Once he is comfortable with the setting of the sights then he will begin shooting more rapidly, but the first part can take up to a half an hour, and those he shoots with are always standing back just watching him. Its funny too, because none of them are bothered by him taking the extra time, as his shots are very accurate and he is amazi…

February 19, 2015

Just a quick post, as it is getting late and I am honestly kind of tired right now. Linda and I got up before 07:00 and I went down to fix Jason some breakfast. He wanted some cream of wheat, so that's what I fixed, and since I was making it, I made sure I had enough for me, too. Afterward I decided that I needed to get out on the bike and went for 30+ mile ride, up over Mission Gorge. It has a series of hills that are very challenging and I'm glad I went - my legs, on the other hand, would rather I had stayed home and did some reading or something. Anyway, it was a fun ride and I still managed to get back home before noon.

A little while later - after lunch and a shower - Linda and I went to do some errands, and to look at a couple of consignment stores that she found. One in particular has all kinds of neat stuff in it, and I think we will be going back there again, probably a few times. One of the things I mentioned to Linda, while we were driving back to the house is, &quo…

February 18, 2015

Today, Linda and I worked in the garage for a few hours, getting things straightened out and reorganized. The stuff out there can be reduced some, and I'm sure that if we had the time to go through all of it we would find a bunch of it that could be donated or simply tossed out. As it was we were able to get rid of a few boxes, and we didn't through anything away. It was just a matter of consolidating some of the containers/boxes. It also allowed us a change to do some basic cleaning and sweeping of the floor. I did get a chance to speak with an old friend - one of the engineers who worked for me while at Sun Microsystems. I guess we talked for 15 minutes or more, and did some catching up, and then he told me he was possibly changing jobs. I was glad to hear this, as I think he would be happier as a developer more than a technical support person. He basically asked me if I'd be a reference and I said I would. A short time after that call I was speaking with a recruiter abo…

February 17, 2015

Today was an interesting day - though it did start out being a normal Tuesday (okay, it's Fat Tuesday, so it should be a little different, no matter what). The girls got up and lunches made and Linda and I walked them to school. Shortly after getting home I started making preparations for going out on a bike ride, and Jason was making arrangements to take Mr. Jingles to the vet.

I needed to head over to the DMV, and I was sooooo glad I had an appointment already set. With yesterday being a holiday the number of folks wanting to get something done there doubled, and that meant the line was literally wrapped around the building. I started out by riding out to Mission Bay and then on up Washington Street. This was the first time for going up Washington, and for good reason. It is a very steep hill and goes for close to a mile. The cool part was that I was able to get all the way to the top, without stopping, and the top was the 13th mile of the ride. I got to the DMV and saw all the …

February 16, 2015

The morning began with the girls finally showing up at about 10:05 - there was no school today so they were brought straight over to the house. Both of them were excited to be here and Jackie ran up to me and immediately wanted me to pick her up. Of course when Stacy saw this she wanted to do the same thing. . . Linda to the rescue! Linda picked up Stacy and both were happy - and so was I.

Shortly after they arrived Jason and I took them over to the parking lot of the local elementary school and let them ride their bicycles. Both of them are getting pretty good with the riding, though I would sure like to give them more time to practice. There really just isn't too many places around here for kids to learn how to ride. Once we get up to Fallbrook, with Jason's new house, we'll have more space and opportunity for them to ride. While we were there the girls also went over to the grassy area and decided it was great fun to run around and pick up tree leaves. I have to admit I…

February 15, 2015

I then got up and started to get ready to go for a bike ride (I know, what a surprise). Only problem with that was that my front tire was flat again, and it is the same tire that was flat last time. I pumped it back up and let it stand for a little while and it didn't seem to have any pressure loss, so I went out for a ride. Of course it wasn't going to be a long ride, as it is Sunday and Linda and I want to be able to leave for church at about 10:00. Anyway, I rode up this mildly challenging hill, and shortly after getting to the top I stopped and yes the tire was much softer now. I decided to just pump it back up and see if I could make it back home. Hey, it made it all the way up the hill, why not go for a ride back down on the same tube. I did manage to get most of the way back down and had to stop for a light and decided to check the tire and again it was softer than I would like. I pumped it up again and rode the rest of the way it. Total ride was only about 13 miles.

W…

February 14, 2015 - Happy Valentine's Day

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Today started out a little different, as it is Valentine's Day. Linda and I got up before 07:00 and were soon down stairs getting things going for the day. I made some hot cereal for Jason and I (Linda fixed something else for herself) and she was soon off to pick up a few things at the store. We needed to get going early because Stacy had a soccer game today, and we wanted to be there for her. Also, Linda's parents were going to be coming over to go to the game with us. There is an event at the fair grounds, and as a result traffic was horrible on I5 South. I mention this because Joe and Jess (Linda's parents) had to drive through that mess, just to get to the house. We still managed to get to the game, well before it was over, so it all worked out. What was particularly nice about this one was that the venue was very ADA and that made it much easier for Jason to get in and out. Not all of the locations are quite as "friendly."

Linda's dad, Joe, is celebrati…

February 13, 2015

Not a bunch to report on today, or yesterday, other than we're all doing well and Jason is getting some extra rest. We did get a little extra time with the girls, as we were asked to pick them up after school yesterday, but that was only for a few hours, and still fun none-the-less. Today I went for a longer bike ride (27+ miles) and felt pretty good afterward. I was actually surprised at the time, as I thought I had been out longer. It was just about two hours, and pretty much that is why I came back in. If I had "known" it was only two hours I might have stayed out for another few miles. It was a good work out anyway.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I hope you all have a great one. Jason, Linda and I will be enjoying a soccer game (Stacy is playing again) and then we will be going to lunch with Linda's parents, Joe and Jess to celebrate Joe's 80th Birthday. They are the two biggest and best "Valentiners" that I am proud to say I know. Thank you, f…

February 10, 2015

Not much to report today, as it was quiet for the most part, and other than normal day-to-day stuff, not much happened. The girls got up this morning and I made oatmeal and packed their lunches. Linda got them up and dressed and probably had a more difficult time than I did (making oatmeal is really pretty easy ;-)). Linda and I walked them to school, came back to the house and got to looking at the plans for the house, with the idea of picking out lighting fixtures and ceiling fans. This is something we need to get finished, so as to not be a cause for any delay.

When Stacy came home from school we worked with her, on her home work and then Linda took her to her soccer practice. While Stacy and Grandma were at soccer practice Grandpa and Jackie were at the store, picking up a couple of things for Taco Tuesday - tonight! I got home with Jackie before Linda and Stacy got back home, and that was probably a good thing as it gave me a chance to just sit back and check some of my emails.

L…

February 9, 2015

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This morning we got up and the day began rather smoothly. The girls were up, just a few minutes after we came down stairs, so we didn't have to go through the challenges of waking them up (sometimes they just don't want to get up in the morning, then sometimes they don't seem to mind). Linda took on getting them dressed and ready, while I made breakfast and their lunches. We normally leave the house at about 07:50, and today we were out a good 10 minutes earlier. We didn't have to walk to school any faster than normal, and in fact it allowed for some sight seeing, like finding bugs and flowers along the way. After dropping the girls off we headed back to the house, where it was time for me to fix my breakfast.

I had made some Cream of Wheat for Jason, prior to taking the girls to school, and it looked pretty good (the girls didn't want any this morning, so it was all for Jason). I decided that I should have some too, and then I could get ready for my bike ride. Lin…

February 8, 2015

A nice relaxed day, today. I got up at about 07:00, and before Linda, and decided I would go for a short bike ride (12.5 miles). I was out and back in about 50 minutes, and I think I could have been back a little sooner, but had to deal with some traffic lights, and some traffic (not much). I had actually planned on going out for a longer ride, but as I was down stairs the girls got up and then Jason wanted to get some breakfast. I started to work on the breakfast requests and decided I should eat a little before the ride, too. Before I finished, Linda was up and she was hoping to get a few things accomplished before we went to church. As it turned out, my ride ended up shorter and Linda didn't get half the stuff she wanted done, done. We did get to church on time though... ;-)

The funny part on that was that we both forgot about the congregational meeting this morning, so when we arrived the place was packed, and we thought we were late. As we made it in to the church and saw all…

February 7, 2015

Another exciting day for the Ross Family!

We got up this morning, a little on the late side (almost 08:00 when I got out of bed) and somewhat of a slower start for all of us. Of course we were still enjoying all the fun from last night, and now we were going to be headed to Balboa to be a part of the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF) Invincible Spirit Festival (I.S.F.). Robert Irvine was also going to be there, and we were looking forward to seeing him again, as well.

We made it to Balboa, and ended up being escorted in by some of the Navy Security Police, and that was kind of cool. Shortly after arriving we came into contact with a bunch of the GSF folks, some we hadn't seen in almost a year, and that was a great start to the event. There were also several others who work at the Hospital, that we hadn't seen in several weeks, and that was fun, too. At this point we were again escorted to a conference room where Gary Sinise was waiting and we all got a chance to say, "Hi!"…

February 6, 2015

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What an amazing day it was for us. I did manage to get out and went for a run this morning. I haven't been out for a run in years - except for the moments on a treadmill, but this time I was out running on the street. I didn't go very far - just over a half mile - but then I really didn't have that much time either.

This morning we, Jason, Joselyn and myself, all went over to the VA this morning and got the final paper work together so that Joselyn can come back to work for us, on a regular basis, just like she was when Jason was an active duty Marine. There were a number of forms to fill out and some information to be provided, and over all it really wasn't to complicated or difficult to accomplish. When it was done we all felt pretty good about what had happened, and starting next week, a regular schedule will be going again for Joselyn.

The other big thing was simply getting ready for the Gary Sinise Invincible Spirit Festival that is going to be going on at Balboa …

February 5, 2015

Today was a busy day, right from the beginning. We first had a visit from the Caregiver Resource specialist, from the VA. The problem with that is that neither Jason or myself understood that BOTH Jason and I had to be available for that meeting, we both thought it would only require me to be there. Jason had another appointment at the same time. The good thing was that Mr. McMillan (that is his name) arrived early, so Jason only had to delay his departure only slightly. He only needed to speak with Jason for about 10 minutes, and the rest was with me. When we were done I worked on my bike and got the flat tire fixed. I had to get over to the bike shop to purchase a new tube, but that didn't take too long, and I actually purchased a spare to carry.

Right after Jason's appointment he was to meet with the specialists who have been working with his daughter, Jackie, for her I.E.P. (It is a development plan so that Jackie and work through some of her challenges and still not drop …

February 4, 2015

This morning we got up and took the girls to their school, and we managed to do it in a little faster manner than we usually do. This was good, too, as it provided us a bit of a luxury of walking a little slower and spending a little more time with the teachers in the respective class rooms. We don't usually spend much time with them when we drop the girls off, but it is always nice to say a few words. Today, we had the chance to actually have a short conversation with them, before many of the other kids showed up and tied up their time.

Jason and I went to his appointments this morning, right after dropping off the girls. While there he scheduled more appointments, so that he will be going the rest of the month, to PT and Wound Care, etc. It has been about a week since he was last there and I guess some of the folks hadn't seen him  in a couple of weeks (or more) and they were all making comments about his hair. He is getting a bit on the shaggy side, and he intends to let th…

February 3, 2015

Another day of taking care of stuff around the house, and Linda doing some major cleaning of a couple of the rooms. No appointments for Jason, and except for the work being done, it was basically a relaxed kind of day.

I went for a short bike ride, and got another flat tire. I think I need to get some new tape on the inside of the rim. The tubes seem to be getting pinched after going over some rough terrain, small pot holes and such. This has happened twice now, and no apparent reason for tube puncture, other than this. I'll need to get this taken care of in the next few days, if I want to continue getting some riding in.

Jason ran a few errands for himself, another sign of his growing independence, and it makes us feel pretty good when he does this. I guess the next big thing is finding a way to enable him to spend more time up in the chair, though I think that is going to be a bigger challenge, to say the least.

The good news that we got today was that the folks at Ford think th…

February 2, 2015 - Happy Ground Hog Day!

I hope you all had a great Ground Hog Day, and that the rest of the winter will be good. Here in California good would mean that it actually starts to rain, and rains for several days (weeks?). We are really low in the water levels around the state. San Francisco hasn't had a dry January in 165 years, but they did this year. If it doesn't start to precipitate there are going to be some very serious consequences for all of us.

Not much happened to day, other than my 22 mile bike ride. It was nice to get out on the bike and go for a couple of hours. I rode out to the Cabrillo National Monument, and challenged some hills, and it was fun. The real fun was the ride back down, as I was able to simply coast and nearly hit 35 mph, and it was for more than a mile at that speed (gives you an idea how steep it was going up).

The girls are with us for the next couple of days, and it is always good to have them here. Stacy and Jackie are really developing their identities and they have dis…

February 1, 2015

I didn't post last night, mostly because I was just tired - I get that way sometimes. There really wasn't much done yesterday, other than me picking up the final parts for Jason's new chair. We'll be taking the chair in to be fitted for the truck either tomorrow or Tuesday. We did go to see the soccer game that Stacy was supposed to be playing in, but for some reason she wasn't there. The game was fun, and the kids all had fun, AND you can see improvement in their play.

Today started out with the idea that we would be going to church this morning, but Linda inadvertently bumped a large bottle that fell on top of her bare foot. It cause her some significant pain and some swelling. I checked it out and it didn't look like anything was broken, but she did have some trouble walking on it. I did my best to take care of it and help her deal with the pain, and in the process we didn't get to go to church. By this evening the swelling was all but gone and she can w…

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office