Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015

A most interesting day, to be sure. I got up this morning and as I do now, I got ready to go to work, and with that, I fixed breakfast for Jason and I. Today was already getting busy, and I just barely had gotten out of bed. The rest of the household goods were coming from Durham Ridge, and we only knew they were to be here in the morning. To me, that meant they would be here before noon - and they were. They showed up at about 08:30, and Linda was ready for them. She had gone down to pick up some donuts, and because there is no Starbucks near by (I know that must be a bit of a shock to all you folks in California - there seems to be a Starbucks on every other corner) Linda was not able to provide coffee (at first).

While I was working, Linda was coordinating the influx of materials and when it was all said and done, the garage was almost completely full, and there were several boxes in the house. The crew was an excellent crew, and they were very efficient. They finished at just a little after noon, and that meant I was able to have a nice little lunch with Linda. Of course we had to review a few pieces of official paperwork, and sign several documents, but then it was over and we could get busy with the work of putting some things away, in the house.

Shortly after the truck was gone, one of Jason's Marine buddies, from 29 Palms, came over for a visit - Austin Gagner. He and Jason went through the O.J.T. for E.O.D. training together, and then on to the E.O.D. school together. They had a great deal of catching up to do and it was a refreshing change for Jason, to visit with somebody he knew from the earliest days of his E.O.D. history. Actually, there were other visitors, that stopped by, like Anthony Netto, and a couple of other Marines, and they were here visiting for a little while. However, Austin didn't leave until evening, and though we did invite him to stay for dinner, he felt he had stayed too long already and wanted to get back to his wife and family. He will be coming back in September, and promised to stay more in touch, especially now that we've moved closer to where he and his family live.

Serving Spoons, the group that provides meals for some of the military families, and has been doing so for us, for a few years now. They come, on average, once a month, and always have great meals put together, for the families. Today, though, was kind of different. We have moved out of their regular boundary and today was their last visit - at least on a regular basis. When they came they also wanted to visit a little and see the new house. It was a very nice and relaxed visit, and we enjoyed the conversation as much as the food. We will miss seeing them on a regular basis.

Another positive is that the girls are back to stay with us for about 19 days. Apparently their mother is finishing up her move and needs the extra time to get things together and finalized. The girls were very happy to be with us and Jackie, especially, made a bee-line for her room. Stacy was slowed down a bit, because it seems she twisted her ankle, and it was still bothering her some. They will be going to school in the morning, when Grandma takes them, and our hope is that it will provide them with a more regular routine, at least for when they are with us.

Jason and I will be headed to Balboa, tomorrow afternoon, to find out what the doctor has to say about what is going on with his wounds. We wanted to get in today, but there wasn't any openings and the soonest they could see Jason was tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise, I really don't have much of an update, and I know I said I would try to have something today. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers, especially for Jason's recovery. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30, 2015

Today was a busy day for us, and began with us in the state of being happy, that we're out of the Durham Ridge property now, and the day ended with us concerned that Jason has developed something that we don't like on his right wound. First Linda and I (Jason stayed home and simply stayed in bed) went to church this morning, back at the Pt. Loma Presbyterian Church. It was nice seeing the people there and many of them expressed sadness that we would be now going to a different church. There was a visiting Pakistani Presbyterian Pastor, visiting from Pakistan, and he gave a wonderful sermon. After church we headed right over to the old house, so we could finish up with everything there.      

So now I'll go over the Durham Ridge completion - Linda and I spent most of the day at that address, taking care of the final clean up and making sure it is ready for inspection on Monday - There is a scheduled walk through for Monday. Because there were still a couple pieces of furniture there, that we are not going to be keeping, we had to be sure they were out of the house. We had already arranged for Joselyn and her family to come by and pick up the biggest item, a bed. The other item is a couch that is pretty much done, and by that I mean it has been attacked by both cats and dogs and unfortunately no one is going to be wanting to put it in their home. Too bad, as it was a nice leather couch and when it was all together, was really comfortable.

Now for the update on Jason- I did my regular dressing change with Jason and I told him that I didn't like what I was seeing, on his right side. We discussed it and he is going to be headed into Wound Care, Balboa, on Monday, and he hopes to be able to see his doctor, while there. I apologize, that I am not going to share what I saw, as I am hoping that it really isn't anything to worry about, and I don't want to get everyone wound up, needlessly - any more than I already have. Tomorrow is set to be a very busy day, for all of us, and now we have something else to add to the list of things. If I can coordinate my time to go with Jason, I will, and Linda will take care of the Durham Ridge walk through (we hope it can be taken care of via a phone call). That way we can all focus on getting the best things for Jason, and we can simply continue on with our lives. Please keep Jason and all of us in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 29, 2015

Last night the three of us slept at the new house up in Fallbrook, and it was quite nice. Only thing better would have been to have had the girls here with us. Linda finished up at the house down in Pt. Loma, and according to the folks who did the hauling of the items from Pt. Loma, they should be here on Monday, and we hope they are accurate.

I was up, around 07:00, maybe a little later, so I kind of felt like we slept in, at least a little. Linda was actually up before me, but then only by a few minutes (maybe 10). When I was up and moving she asked me to make some oatmeal for breakfast, and since all three of us like oatmeal, it was a no-brainer. It was the first time for me cooking on the new stove, and it was kind of fun. The only thing is that when ever you cook on a new stove (or oven, for that matter), you don't know how the equipment is going to act. I was also not really paying attention, as I should have and ended up cooking more oatmeal than I needed to. Not to let those kinds of things bother me, I cooked too much. That was okay, though, it still tasted pretty good.

Linda and I decided that we start to work through some of the boxes and we targeted at emptying five boxes each, today. I am happy to say that I succeeded, and Linda missed that mark. Linda emptied six boxes - what can I say, she has a better idea of where things should go, and I'm kind of the brute force kind of guy - if you need a box or piece of furniture moved, I can do that for you. Don't ask me where I need to put a stack of towels or office supplies. I go for the closest empty shelf, and then I'm happy. I think Linda would have gotten more done, if she hadn't been coming behind me fixing all my goofs.

Afterward we took a little break and then we got ready for an end of summer event, with the folks at the local club house. We were invited to attend, as we are in an area, right next to them, and they wanted to make us feel welcome, to the neighborhood. It didn't start until 16:00 (4pm), so we weren't rushed, and it was only about half a mile a way (at most). Bruce Jenkin, one of the longer term residents there, was the one who made it a point of coming over to invite us, and his wife Kelli were wonderful hosts, and everyone there made us feel welcome. There were so many people there I won't be able to name them all, so I apologize for having a poor memory on that... I only met about 60 new people. I think the event was good, and fun, for Jason, as he was able to interact with so many new people and it gives him a chance to get out and be himself, without Dad or Mom, always hovering around.

Jason let me know that he was ready to come back to the house, and so we said our good byes, and we were back to the house in less than 10 minutes. Jason needed his shower and dressing change, and then I took the dogs out for a bio-break. We all had a busy day and we're all just winding down for a nice relaxed evening. Thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28, 2015

Linda spent the night down in Pt. Loma, again - only this was the last time she would have to do that. She worked with the movers and everything is effectively out of that house. I say effectively because there are still a couple of items that are going to be picked up today, that are NOT going to be coming to this house, up in Fallbrook. It feels pretty good to be able to say that we're out of that place, and now we're going to have to deal with figuring out where everything is going to go in this new house. I, for one, am looking forward to the challenge.

Jason had an appointment with the VA today, and that kept him out for a couple of hours. I don't think they made much progress, towards finding a solution for his challenges, but at least there is a dialog going on. He got back to the house at close to 14:00 (2pm) and he was kind of tired. In fact a short while after he was back in his bed, he was asleep. Then, just a little while later, Linda and Joselyn arrived, from Pt. Loma. Yeah, she was helping out down in Pt. Loma and drove Linda back up to Fallbrook. Saved me the trouble of having to drive back down there, to pick up Linda.

We are settling in, and tomorrow we get a chance to meet some of the other folks around here. There are two different events going on, and we've been invited to both. The moving van won't be here until Monday (we found that out this evening), so that means we actually have a little free time. Both of the events are designed to allow the local folks to get together, and to do a little socializing... it should be fun. Otherwise, we're not working too hard, and taking the weekend to get a little recharged. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 27, 2015

We've run into an interesting conundrum, in that our wi-fi doesn't seem to function as it is supposed to. Jason's laptop and my desk side computer don't seem to connect to the network for more than a few seconds, at a time. Whereas my work laptop (which I am using right now) connects just fine. All three systems are running the same version of Windows, and they all seem to be about the same age. I am very glad that my work system, works, as that would be bad if it didn't. I am just puzzled as to why the other two do not. We even had the tech guy back out to check it out, and he couldn't find anything wrong, and he worked on it for a couple of hours. He will be coming back out again, so I am hopeful that he'll figure it out. In the mean time, Jason has loaded 10 on to his laptop... I told him I am waiting and will be watching to see how well he does.

Linda is back down in Pt. Loma, and the household items are just about all packed up and ready to be shipped up here, so that we'll be 100% out of the house down there. Linda is down there because they are coming early and she doesn't want to have to deal with the drive down, in the morning. We were both down there today, as I was helping to get stuff ready and working with the movers and packers. I had to be on my laptop also, as that's where I work, so my involvement was limited, but at least I was there and helped some. When we were all done I came back up here, so that I could focus more on my job, rather than on the move.

Jason and I had dinner tonight, and went to a Chinese restaurant, and actually kept the ordering down to a minimum. Other than that, there isn't much to tell about, today. Tomorrow Jason will be headed over to Wound Care, and so he'll be leaving in the morning, to head to the VA, and then I'll be here, all by myself, for a little while. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

An interesting day, to say the least, as it started out with me getting up early, so that I could join in on a conference call, with my new job. It lasted for almost 30 minutes and then my focus turned to documents and other information I need to become familiar with. Linda was up, almost as early as me, and she began getting the girls ready for school. Since today is Jackie's birthday, the girls will be headed over to their mother's place, as it is an odd year (Next year they spend their birthdays with Jason). Linda was able to get the girls up; make sure they were dressed and had their hair done; feed them a good breakfast; and, make their lunches. All this before taking them to school, and she managed to get that done with time to spare. The girls really enjoy their new school and were very excited about going this morning, as it is the start of their second week.

Linda was back at the house and cleaning things up and putting things away, while I was "at work" and getting some things done, that had very little to do with the house. Actually, all the activity by Linda was not only to start putting some of the items away, it was also a means to use up some of the day, until I was off work, and we could both go down to Pt. Loma, and do a few things around that house. We still have to get all the rest of our belonging out and then cleaned, and we want to do this by the end of this week. There is quite a bit to still do, so we have to make that drive a couple more times, and then we'll finally be settled in Fallbrook.

While in Pt Loma, we packed up a few more things, and cleaned up a few more things, and then loaded some of those items in to the car. Since we were in the car we couldn't carry as much as when we're in the van, but then the car uses a lot less fuel. I think the biggest challenge is going to be getting the house in Pt. Loma cleaned up and ready for sign-off. By the end of the day we were ready to get back to Fallbrook and time to relax. I did still have to help Jason with his shower, and dressing change, but that seemed relatively easy compared to much of what else I was doing. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23, 2015

First, just a quick thank you, to all of you who read the posts on a regular basis. It really does make me happy to know that some folks enjoy reading the things that I write, and that it makes others happy knowing that Jason and his family are doing okay.

We all got up this morning and decided to relax a little, before the next steps were taken towards getting us all settled in to the new house and home. I made a pancake breakfast for George, Jason, Stacy and Jackie, as well as for Linda and I, pretty much like I would normally make the breakfast. The difference today was that we had some extra guests, with Steve and Yolanda, and Rob and Karen, joining us. That just meant that I had to cook a bunch more pancakes and attempt to get all the eggs and bacon cooked as well. In truth, I think I could have cooked a few more pancakes and we would have been just fine, and probably still no left overs. Everything turned out better than I could have hoped for, and all of this while using brand new griddles.

After breakfast I took the rental truck back to the location where I originally rented it from, and while on the way there it dawned on me that I wasn't supposed to be taking it there, and that I had arranged to drop it off in Fallbrook. Rob was following me, so that he could give me a ride back home, so he was probably wondering what was going on, when made a U-Turn, only a couple of miles down the road. It all worked out well, and despite all the extra driving we had done, yesterday, there wasn't as much of a charge for mileage, and we were able to get on our way much faster than anticipated. As a result of all this we got back to the house much sooner than originally planned, and I think some of them were kind of surprised to see us, though no one said anything.

We all talked for a little while, then Rob and Karen had to get going. Almost immediately after they left Steve and Yolanda said they needed to get going and then Mike and Karen (they had come over right after we had finished breakfast) and George. Once all of them were gone we walked back into the house and it felt kind of strange. We were the only ones here now (That's Jason, Stacy, Jackie, Linda and me - and the dogs Gracie and Kojak) and it felt kind of like we should just sit down and soak up being in a brand new house and home ... and we did for a little while.

Linda fixed a simple lunch for the girls, and wanted to get them down for their "brain rest" (nap). While doing this she was also creating a list of things she wanted me to pick up from the house in Pt. Loma. I drove back down to the house while she put the girls down and then she was to attempt to lay down for a little while, too. She wasn't able to sleep any, though with too many things still going through her head. When I got to the Durham Ridge house I started to gather things to bring back up and then decided I needed to get a little more rest, if I was to drive back up. I sat down on the couch and was able to just relax for about 30 minutes  - it felt pretty good.

I loaded up the van and then went to fill the gas tank. From that point I just drove back up to the house in Fallbrook and by now it was getting a little later in the day. Linda was getting dinner ready for the girls, who had just taken a bath, and while all that was going on I started to unload the van. It took me a little while to unload, mostly because I was also attempting to put things away as I pulled them out of the van. One big thing (for me) was that I brought my bike up, and know it is sitting in the garage, waiting for me to start riding it again.

The rest of the evening was us taking care of some little things and doing some general clean up. We were both kind of tired and ready to go to bed. The last thing I wanted to do (besides brush my teeth) was to get this blog in. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22, 2015

Well, we've had a full day in the new house and we think it is wonderful. We have all the room we have always wanted, and we can move around with all the ease in the world. On top of that we have friends who have been visiting, and we can relax and just have some conversation, just like we were back in Livermore. However, despite all those positive aspects, today was challenging.

We have to get things moved from the former residence, to the new one, and that means moving a bunch of stuff from storage to the new house, as well as moving stuff from the former residence to the new house. All this is well and good, and was coordinated with the Marines, and their TMO folks (the people who take care of military moves). If Jason is able to move some of the household items then he saves the government money, and they in-turn give him some of that money back. It can happen if he moves all his possessions and it can happen if he moves a portion. Jason wants to move a portion, and that means getting the weight of the truck before loading and then again after it has been filled. That way they know how much was moved, by weight. The challenge is finding a place to weigh the truck, before and after. Rob and Steve,, a couple of friends of ours, said they would help me with the picking up of the truck and then loading. I also had help from a number of folks from the Point Loma Presbyterian church, all coordinated through our friend Cynthia, and of course Cynthia was there to help, along with two of the best kids, and a few  other adults.

Well, it began right after breakfast, that Jason's Godmother, Yolanda prepared, and we all got to eat all we wanted. Then I had to go down and pick up the truck, that was going to be used to "empty" the storage unit. Sounds simple enough, except that we headed out to the wrong address, and then once we recognized that we were going the wrong way the GPS decided it was going to make our trip even more exciting. It took us to the wrong city, wrong address, and in a couple of attempts, it was simply wrong altogether. We should have been able to get the truck in about 30 minutes - - it took us about 90. Then we had to find a scale to weigh the truck, and though that wasn't difficult, the scale was to close at noon, so our time was short. We headed on down to the storage unit, and traffic was getting heavy, so the trip ended up being much longer than I thought it would be.

We finally got to the storage and we were able to connect up with all the helpers that had committed to lending a hand... we were only about 3 hours late at this point. The way the move works with the military is that the truck has to be weighed when it is empty and then again after it is full. Simple enough, except that public weigh stations are sometimes difficult to find, and knowing where one is listed, doesn't mean there is going to be one there, once you arrive. I drove to a couple empty fields and also to building that had no scales. We needed to get it done, if Jason was to get credit from the military for moving his own things. We finally found a place that would weigh the full truck, only it was almost an hour away, and they closed in 30 minutes. Thanks, to the efforts of Cynthia the place stayed open and we managed to get the job done. As you might guess, our stress level was shooting up and we were ready to just "eat" the costs.

We then drove back to the house where Jason had arranged to have 12 Marines there, to help unload. When I laid out the basic instructions and they got started, it only took them 15 minutes to get everything unloaded and sitting in the garage. Now we have to do our best to integrate all the stuff in to the house. One of the Marines also has connections with a company that provides those bounce houses, that kids like, and set one up on Jason's grass, so the kids would have something to do, while the Marines worked. A  couple of the Marines also brought the own children.

We all got to relax and Yolanda, and the other ladies (Karen, Karen and Linda) all worked together to get dinner ready. We all had dinner around the dinning table and we, all 11 of us, sat together. Jason wanted to remain in his bed, to get some extra rest. We got a chance to just sit and talk and relax, then the evening was over. Everyone chipped in and the clean up was quick. A short while later everyone was heading home, and promising to come back tomorrow, where I will cook a nice breakfast. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21, 2015 - Move In Day!

We moved in to our new home today, and we're all very tired. It has been an absolutely wonderful day, and despite the wind kicking up a bit, everything went off very well. It is such a comfort knowing that the house we are now in, is going to be Jason's home for as long as he needs it to be, and the girls have the home that Jason has wanted to provide them.

I'm getting ahead of myself, just a bit here. We got up early and packed up those things we knew we needed, or would need at the new house. I think we did a pretty good job of packing all the right stuff, and getting all of us here, safely. We took all three vehicles, with the van being packed up with most of the things we were bringing up with us. We met up at the Park and Ride, right there by I-15 and Cal Hwy 76. Jason was the first to leave, then Linda a few minutes later, and then me. Jason had the dogs with him; Linda had the girls with her; and, I had our son George with me.  We all made it to the Park and Ride and connected up with the Patriot Riders, who were to escort us the rest of the way, to the property, which they did in a very professional manner.

We all got into the van, and left the other two vehicles at the Park and Ride, to come back and pick them up later. As we rolled up, over the hill, just prior to the Ramona Dr. you could see this large gathering of people with flags and a bunch of folks in uniforms and all kinds of activity going on. A stage was set up and a couple of large tent structures, with what looked to be a couple hundred chairs (I was told later there were 190 chairs), and finally a sizable crowd, standing. It was an impressive sight, and I really do wish I could post some pictures right now, but it looks like those are going to have to wait..

The dedication of the house could finally get started, as we were now there, and Jason was on site and everyone was anxious to get it going. We had the Reverand, Dr. John Powell, from the Pt. Loma Presbyterian Church give a blessing and prayers, and then there were a number of dignitaries to give a speech, including a speech from Stacy, Jason's daughter. I thought Stacy did an excellent job, and felt that maybe I was feeling that way because I am her grandfather. Although, a short while later I was told by several people in the audience that they all thought she had done a very good job and some of them were actually requesting copies of her speech - which she wrote (I just typed it up for her).

There was this giant U.S. flag, sort of blocking the house, and as i mentioned earlier, the wind picked up, and it started to cause problems with the flag. The decision was made to "Move the flag!" to avoid any more problems, and everyone got to see the house, and shortly there after we all got to go in. What happened was that the Ross family got to go in first, and then all the guests were invited to have a walk through. All while a number of interviews were being done and pictures being taken and all sorts of things like that going on. For the next couple of hours it was pretty crazy and very high on the fun scale. Stacy and Jackie were having the most fun, I think, and maybe Jason was right behind them. Linda and I were doing out best to be hosts, while also looking around. We had not been to the house in several days, so we wanted to see what final touches had been made. It was wonderful.

By the time most of the people had left we had been able to visit with many friends and even some new neighbors. We saw friends from all over the place, and it was refreshing to be able to visit again, and to do a little catching up. I really don't know how to say thank you, to all the people that were there, as I think it would probably have taken a couple of days to do that, and obviously we didn't have that much time.

We ended up staying up a little later than we probably should have, then again, we needed to get some things moved in, and we also had to have dinner. Jason's Gad Parents, Steve and Yolanda (Jason's Nino and Nina) are being our first overnight guests, and so is George, our son. We managed to all sit down together and enjoy a quick dinner and then go to bed. Actually, Jason managed to get his shower in, first one in the new shower, and then his dressing change. Now everyone is in bed (except me) and the day is done. We are here for our first night at the new Ross home. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 18, 2015

I haven't made a post in a couple of days, and almost didn't make one again tonight. I was sitting down stairs, relaxing a little, after a busy day, and fell asleep. I guess I was kind of tired. Then I hear Jason, in his bedroom, with that little snore he makes, and knew he was asleep as well. He had a long day, just like the rest of us. But, I'm getting ahead of myself, just a bit.

The day started out with me being up in Fallbrook, with Linda, as we stayed at one of the local motels, so she could get the girls to school. The girls are also staying at the motel with us, and it is a major excitement for them. They get to stay somewhere new, and get to share a room with Grandma and Grandpa - what could be better than that??? Anyway, we got up early, with me getting up right after Linda, and both of us being up much earlier than we needed. Because I can work from just about anywhere and I had an early morning conference call. By the time the call was going the girls were getting up, and fortunately they weren't making much noise. I have a headset so I can concentrate on the call, and be less distracted.

The call ended and I was able to help get the girls ready for school, and off they went. Linda and I even had breakfast this morning and then went over to the house. There were a couple of things we needed to get done, and then Linda went back to the motel and off to the store and I took off to go back down to Pt. Loma, and get back on line. As it was, when I got home, Jason wasn't there, and was at a medical appointment. Because of his recent infection they always want to see him, to make sure everything is alright, and it is. The day kind of went on for a little while from there, with Jason being home and me getting some things done for work, and then the both of us going back up to Fallbrook. I had inadvertently grabbed Linda's charger for her phone, and didn't want her battery to go out (okay, the phone's battery, Linda's "battery" is doing just fine).

Jason had to go back up because they wanted to ask him some questions about placement of pictures, in the house. Over the past few years we have collected several wall hangings, and despite the amount of wall space in the new house, Jason was able to cover a LARGE portion of the walls. It was actually kind of fun watching him tell where all the pictures should go, and in the end, it looks pretty good - you'll have to wait until Friday to see it.

It was getting later in the day now, and Jason has been up for several hours - more than usual. He was getting tired, and I was getting tired, and so was Linda. While we were at the house she went back and picked up the girls, and she was now heading over to Anthony Netto's place, as he and Angelica had invited her over to celebrate her birthday. Jason and I headed back to the house in Pt. Loma and it was coming to the end of the day for all of us. I fixed dinner for Jason and soon he was sleeping, and as it turned out, I fell asleep, too - but then I already covered that. Linda had an enjoyable evening and the girls did too. Now we're all needing to get to sleep. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 15, 2015

We all got up early this morning and Linda headed off to a Blue Star Mothers (BSM) meeting. Apparently it was an important meeting, as they were having some elections, as well as other business to be taken care of. Linda was elected a position of 1st Vice President, and I think it is a position she wanted. It has to do with membership and I know she has some ideas already, about what to do. I can tell she is excited about working with the BSM and it wouldn't surprise me if she were to come and tell me that she is taking an even higher position, a year or two down the road.

Jason and I, on the other hand, stayed at home for a good portion of the morning, and then we had some errands to attend to, with the most important being picking up some dog food. We also had a few other things to do, and we had a pretty good time of spending this morning and early afternoon together. We got a chance to just talk and discuss politics as well as other world issues. That is one of the things I really enjoy doing with all my sons, and getting to know some of their opinions about what is going on in the world, and I usually learn a few things.

This afternoon, and evening was spent with Linda and Jason shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond, buying things for the new house, that they know is going to be needed. We will be doing a great deal of packing, over these next few days, and then on Friday we'll have the dedication. Moving is such a trying time, and I will be glad when it is over. There wasn't much else done, and now we're getting ready to go to bed. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 14, 2015

August 14, 2015

Today started early for Linda and I, as I had a conference call at 06:00 (09:00 EST), and Linda needed to get off early for a number of issues she wanted to get done. I was on the phone for over three hours, with different calls being one right after the other, and when it was done I got another phone call from a security group. When working at the VA, one has to go through a security screen, and there is always lots of paperwork to be filled out. One of the forms I filled out was missing a check mark, on a minor issue, so they called to get clarification. The good news is that it showed that they were processing my paperwork; the not so good news is that my paperwork isn't done yet.

It was a busy day for me, at work, and when I was done Jason and I had some running around to take care of. We went over to MCRD, where Jason purchased a couple of patches for the dogs, and then we came back to the house, to grab something to eat. Funny how we still need food, just like everyone else. We headed over to the Ability Center, to have his truck looked at, and I don't think we could have gone at a worst time. Traffic builds up in the afternoon, around here, and on a Friday afternoon, it can be particularly tough. The good news was that the truck needs some adjustments and a couple of new parts, and for now it can still be in service.

A short while after that visit, we headed back to the house, and about half an hour later Linda came home. She looked like she had been VERY busy, and needed a break. One of the stops that Linda made was at her parents place, where her mom received a pin, indicating that she was also a Blue Star Mother. Her son, Linda's brother, Tom, is a retired veteran from the Air Force, and so she is a Blue Star Mother. It was a very nice stop for Linda and Loretta (She was with Linda, and she is the sitting president of the local chapter).

We relaxed a bit and then the two of us went to run a couple of last errands for the day. We headed over to Target, Ralphs and Home Depot, where we picked up a few things. It was nice to walk around a bit, and not be in a hurry. We're back home now and getting ready to end the day. Jason is resting in his bed, and soon I will be in mine. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 13, 2015

I had a busy day at work today, and it felt pretty good to get to feel like I was really doing something again. The best part though was after work, when we all took off, to head up to Fallbrook. It was still early enough to get some things done, and then head on over to the house to see what was happening there - but I'm getting ahead of myself, I'll come back to the house in a moment.

Jason, Linda and I, along with Joselyn all went up to Fallbrook. Initially it was because Jason needed to make the final enrollment requirements to get the girls in the schools up there. As it turned out, it was a good thing we went, because we found out that Jackie was not being allowed to enroll in the school where we thought she was going to be going. The reason was that there was simply no space, and that the school was already over loaded. Now, it would have been nice if someone at the school, or within their district office had called Jason, rather than him finding out because he went up there. But that didn't happen. On the bright side, there was still time for him to enroll both girls - Jason didn't want them going to different schools, and frankly neither did we. The new school is a little farther away, so they'll simply have to leave the house a little sooner, but it is still in Fallbrook, and the school has a good rating.

While doing all this running around and getting into and out of the van multiple times, the dogs seemed to hold up pretty good. We did do our best to keep them hydrated, and despite the warm temperatures (felt like it was about 90+), they stayed pretty cool. They, the dogs, probably were wondering what was going on, because of the many short trips, though it only lasted for a short while.

Once that was done, we went over to the house and it is looking great! I really don't feel comfortable telling much about it, right now, as I don't want to spoil the dedication day. I can tell you that the house is set up for solid WiFi networking, and it has some other cool "gadgets," and Jason is going to be able to have a wonderful time, getting around in the house. I apologize if I haven't invited you personally, but if you are able to attend Jason's home dedication on August 21st, especially those who have been following my blog, your presence would be appreciated.  Once the dedication is done, and I have a bunch of new pictures, I'll put them up, and we can all share in what the place looks like.

The drive home was kind of tough, as there must have been an accident, or something, on the freeway, as traffic was really heavy and somewhat slow. It made for a long day for Joselyn and also for Jason, but it was worth it. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12, 2015

Another day closer to moving up to Fallbrook, and getting into our new home. We've been in communications with the Gary Sinise Foundation team that is doing the final set up, that is, getting all the furniture in place and making sure things are ready for the up coming dedication. There are a couple of things that we need to get clarification on, and I'm not going to enter any of it here, as I don't want to spoil the dedication, when it happens, so you're just going to have to wait to see. I'll take some pictures and post on the blog, AFTER the dedication, for all you folks who are not able to make it out here. Linda and Jason have done more packing which sometimes seems endless.

Jason had a good meeting with the VA, today, and got to talk with the Plastics group. Linda went with him, as I was not able to due to working. I am so happy that Linda is able to pick up this part of the support for Jason, as it was one of the areas I was concerned about. She asked questions and even took notes, to share with me, afterward. Jason is pretty lucky to have a mom that can just step in and take over that effort.

The only real other thing we did today was to actually get out and have a "Date Night" - with just the two of us. When we originally decided that we would have a date night, we thought we'd get out once a week. Reality is that we sometimes can get out once a month, and then even then we have to reduce the amount of time we're gone, because we need to get back to the house for one reason or another. Tonight, we went and saw Southpaw, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker. The story line was good, though not great. The acting was very good and the overall movie was enjoyable. In my opinion I would suggest that you wait for it to come out on DVD or other release (NetFlix or something). Though, I do suggest going to see it. We didn't go to dinner, and it was a relatively short evening, that we both enjoyed. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August 11, 2015

Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday, but I fell asleep at about the time I would normally be blogging, and when I woke I just simply got up and went to bed. Yesterday was a relatively calm day, as was today, and there really wasn't much to report. Today, however, there are a few updates, and I hope everyone enjoys them.

I'm still working to figure out when I can get my bike rides in, and I'm beginning to think that it might have to wait until after the move to the new house. Trying to get out on the bike in the afternoon is much more "friendly" up in the Fallbrook area, than it is here in Pt. Loma. It seems like after 10:30 it is constant commute level traffic and I just don't feel comfortable around all that traffic. Where as in Fallbrook, the early afternoon is still pretty lite, and I should be able to get around some and do a little exploring.

Yesterday Jason was out with the dogs and took them for a pretty good walk. The dogs were worn down pretty good, and I guess Jason got a little work out as well, as today he fell asleep and slept for a couple hours, which is a little more normal. While he was asleep today, we (Grandma, Grandpa, Stacy and Jackie, along with Joselyn) all walked down to Starbucks. Not that we all needed Starbucks, its just that it happens to be at a good turn-around point, and is close to half a mile away. Jason woke up at about the same time we got back.

Tonight is Tuesday night, and that means Taco-Tuesday! We all sat down and had a nice taco dinner, and right after Jason comes out and decides to cook up some buffalo meat for the dogs. He has done this a couple of times in the past and Kojak really likes it. Gracie, is much less enthusiastic about it. I think she has gotten used to her dog food and would rather just stick to what is familiar. Kojak is still puppy and eats just about anything, if it remotely smells good to him.

Before all this, though, I took the girls up to their pediatrician for an appointment Jason had made for their immunizations.  As it turned out Jackie needed a couple of boosters, and initially she wasn't too happy about it, then we hit the prize by getting a nurse who is really good at giving kids shots. She had both of them done before Jackie even realized she'd gotten two shots. She was a little tender, but NO TEARS! I was very happy about this, since I was going to be having to drive home with them. Shortly after getting home is when we went for the Starbucks walk.

The rest of the night was relaxed and the girls had their bath. Grandma (Linda) told them that it was the last bath they would be taking here, because when they come back they will be starting school, up in the Fallbrook area, and they will be taking their baths up there. We're all getting excited about the move, and packing continues. We've donated some of our furniture and household goods to our Church Rummage sale, and that was picked up today. It really wasn't that much, but the symbolic aspect was wonderful. In another 11 days I will be getting a large truck and, with some help, loading up what we have in storage to be taken up to the new home. These next few weeks are going to be very busy and exciting, to say the least. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 9, 2015

Another outstanding day in the Ross household. It was wonderful waking up to having Linda back again. I would have liked to have gotten up to go make a pancake breakfast, but we're really low on pancake mix, so I decided against it. Besides, it was a little later than I would have liked it to have been, so we decided on just a simple breakfast of cold cereal, so that we could get to church on time... and we did.

After church we came home for a short break and then a lunch - then we all headed up to Fallbrook. Anthony Netto, a friend of ours, was meeting us up at the house and he wanted to discuss a couple of ideas, and we wanted to get up that way anyway. We hadn't been up to the house is almost two weeks, so it was kind of fun going up there, anyway. When we arrived, the first thing I did was to set off the alarm - yes, the house is now alarmed - and it kind of surprised everyone, especially Jackie. I had it under control, and off within about 90 seconds, so nothing happened, other than to surprise us. The ladies all toured the house and the girls were having a great time going into and back out of their future bedrooms, and then we had some neighbors come over.

First it was Dan and Lynnda (that's how its spelled), new neighbors from next door. They came over for a very nice visit, and a chance to catch up with them. We haven't seen them for several weeks. Then another new neighbor came over and introduced himself to us. He is also a wounded veteran, only he is from the Viet Nam war, and he is Navy. We all talked for a little while and we invited them all to come back for the dedication, so maybe we'll have a bunch of neighbors there, as well as everyone else.

We ended up staying at the house for a few hours and then we needed to get back down to Pt. Loma, as Jason had been up for almost four hours at that point. He was beginning to feel the affects of too much time in the saddle, and we all recognized we needed to get back home.

Tonight's dinner was quite simple, yet one of the girls favorites - hot dogs and backed beans, with water melon. The evening rolled into night and then it was time for bed, for the girls. Linda got the girls ready for bed and I worked with Jason on getting his shower. I love this team work stuff, it feels so much better. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8, 2015

Another nice day with the girls, as we had a slow and relaxed start to the morning, and then we all went with Jason, to his dog training session. Actually, the girls know of the park, where the training takes place, and they like going there. It is park called, Buddy Todd, and it has all the play structures and swings the girls like, so while Jason and the dogs are training, I'm pushing the girls on the swings or they are climbing on the structures.

We were there for about 2-hours, and right after the training there was a picnic lunch, so that made it pretty nice, at least for me. I was concerned about getting home a little later than I had planned and then trying to feed the girls lunch. This took care of that for me, and when we got home they were ready for their nap. While they napped Jason took his shower and did a dressing change, and on a very positive note, the wounds are looking good and getting smaller, with the left side coming close to closing.

When the girls went down, and Jason was done with his shower and dressing change, we ALL settled back for a little rest. I guess I must have fallen asleep, because suddenly it was almost 2-hours later. I got up and began fixing dinner, and then shortly after that it was time for dinner. The girls were full of energy and fun, after their nap, so to balance out the evening there was some play time with Daddy and Grandpa. All of it was capped off with a bath and then they, Stacy and Jackie, got ready for bed. Jason read them a story and I relaxed.

Linda came home today, from her Blue Star Mothers trip. They had a good time in Cleveland, and other than some challenges from the air travel, it was a good trip. I have to say I was a little disappointed with Southwest, as I attempted to track the travel, and their web site had out dated information, and when I attempted to call for help on the phone, got hung up on twice. The good news is that Linda did come home safely, and I'm glad she's home again. It was a great end to a wonderful day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 7, 2015

A very nice day for us, as it started out very comfortably with the girls coming over and Jason having a great time with them. He was actually the one to meet and greet them at the door, as I was up stairs, working. They played down stairs with Daddy, for a few hours and watched My Little Pony and read some books. A little while later I came down and told them I would be taking them to  the park, a little later in the afternoon, and so I did.

We went over to Balboa Park, and I took the girls on the carousel and then on the little train, that runs around part of the park. Stacy brought along her "stomp rocket" (small Styrofoam "rockets" that go shooting up in the air when she stomps on the air bag launcher). Even Jackie got into it and the both of them were having a great time. Then it happened ... both of them had to use the bathroom! Fortunately we were close to the Natural History Museum, and they have a public restroom. It also gave us a few minutes to look around there, and I told them I would bring them back to see more.

We grabbed a lunch and then headed back to the house, and both of them were exhausted. They rested for a little while, and I made dinner. We had one of their favorites, Dino Nuggets with rice and vegetables. After dinner they brought me a couple of books to read to them, so I did, and now they are fast asleep, after a very busy day. It was a good day, and we all enjoyed the time. The more of these, the better. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5, 2015

Nice easy day, for Jason and I. I had to work and Jason had a couple of appointments. First things, first, we took the girls back to their mom's house, and then came back to ours. I dealt with the things I needed to deal with, and Jason got ready to head over to Balboa, and then later over to MCRD.

At Balboa, he went for a short visit and took care of a couple of minor items, with one of them being a visit to PT. He wants to begin doing more PT visits and getting as much care for his shoulders as he can, and when he was done he simply came back to the house. He left about an hour later, to go over to MCRD, to take care of some paperwork, related to his, and the girls insurance (so you might have a feeling where this is going). He wanted to make sure all the right things were in place and all the correct information was as it should be, and then he found out that it wasn't. In fact, they had managed to loose most of his paperwork and he had to work with them to recreate as much as he could. Fortunately, he is one of those guys who keeps a great deal of the papers that the Marines, and their associated insurance folks provide, so he will be able to get it back to where it should be. He shouldn't have to do this, but it is one of those things he just knows he will continue to have to deal with. Actually, that is a big part of why he wanted to get it done now, since moving to Fallbrook will make it a little more difficult. Right now MCRD is literally across the street. When we move to Fallbrook, Camp Pendelton will be about 20 miles away.

Linda is still in Cleveland, and from the sounds of her phone calls, she is enjoying herself. I think this is a good trip for her, as it allows her to get out and get away for a few days, and sometimes, we all need a bit of a break. I will be glad when she comes home on Saturday, though.

About the only other activity we did today was to go to Costco, and pick up a few things, as well as a new bed for the dogs. The rest of the evening was relaxed and Jason and I had a pizza delivered. Jason was asleep a short while after his shower, and now I'm about ready to go to sleep myself. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 4, 2015

Another exciting day for the Ross household. Linda got me up at a little before 04:00, so that I could take her and some of her friends to the Air Port. Linda and those friends are all part of the Blue Star Mothers  organization, and they were headed for Cleveland, OH. They are going to be participating in a national convention, and this will be Linda's first one, with them. She was pretty excited about going, and I'm sure she will have fun, as well as learn a great deal - - none-the-less, I'm going to miss her.

Today, with her gone, I definitely felt the affect of not having her around, since we had the girls with us, and that meant I needed to figure out how to balance my time (I'm working at 06:00 in the morning) with their needs, along with Jason's needs. Fortunately, Jason is able to help with this and they did spend a great deal of time with him... more than they normally would. I was also able to help Jason with his VA appointment, today, and the girls came along with us, at the same time.

Tonight was Taco Tuesday, as is normal for the family. and the girls were very much expecting tacos for dinner. Fortunately, Joselyn has been with us long enough that she knows what to do, and really helped out a bunch in this area. As we all sat down for our dinner, which was getting close to 18:00 (6pm), Joselyn was getting ready to head home, to her family. After dinner I took the girls to the new park I found, and they got to play on the swings, as well as the other climbing equipment and playground. We'd been there a couple of times, in the past, so it wasn't that much of a surprise for them, to be there. The big surprise was that there was some sort of soccer clinic going on, and there were more cars and people than I'd ever seen there previously. We still had full access to the swings though, so it was all good.

We stayed at the park for about 45 minutes, and then headed back home. It was getting a little late and I still needed to get the girls their bath. Bath time is one of their favorite things to do, so I let them play for a little while, then make sure they're actually clean, and then get them out of the tub. I'm not sure how well this is going to work at the new house, since Stacy announced that she is learning how to take a shower now, and will be switching over to showers after we move. Jackie has no interest in taking showers, and in fact is a little afraid of showering, just as Stacy was. She'll come around eventually, so I'm not worried about it.

Bed time was good, as I started to read them a story, and made it most of the way through the book, when Stacy said she wanted to read the last few pages. This was kind of fun, and I did have to help her in a couple places, but she is really getting to be a good reader. They wanted what they call "rock-a-baby", where I swing them a little and then drop them on to their respective beds. They think this is the best thing and lots of fun. Problem is, I promised Linda I wouldn't be swinging them for another several days, so they were a little disappointed.  I'll start it up again, next week. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive. -

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2, 2015

Another nice day for the Ross household, here in Pt. Loma - San Diego, CA - We got up and I felt pretty good, considering I've not felt 100% for the past several days. Not sure what was bothering me so much, but it seems like whatever it was, is behind me now, and I can once again move forward. I have to hand it to Linda, she allowed me to rest and sleep and kept right on taking care of things. Anyway, we got up and Linda and I went to church and had a great time. Jason chose not to come as he as feeling like he needed to stay down for as much as he could today.

I'm looking forward to these next couple of weeks, as I attempt to get some traction with a couple of different groups that should provide some real help in determining a seating solution for Jason. There is a team of engineers working on this, out of Cal Poly, and I have also been made aware of some potential help from another group, who I won't mention just yet, as I don't want to say something until I know it is accurate. I've said other things in the past, and was wrong, and all that did was get me embarrassed.

I'm also looking forward to my new week, week-3, at work. I suspect that there are going to be some solid steps towards putting some solid definition around the work, and make it easy for the team to get moving with the project. I think I have most of the basic stuff under control now, so I just keep moving forward.

Linda is getting ready to head out, Tuesday, for a Blue Star Mothers National Convention, in Ohio, so she'll be gone for a few days. I don't think it will be too disruptive, to have her gone, but it is another opportunity for Jason and I to spend some time with the girls, and see what kind of trouble we can get into. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 1, 2015

I didn't update the blog yesterday, mostly because we, Linda and I, went to a fund raising event for multiple 501(c) groups, GSF being one of them. As it was, Semper Fi was there too, and I had a great conversation with a GySgt named Jon Coffey and it was nice just getting a chance to see all the folks from the Gary Sinise Foundation. Two of them, Charlie and Cristin, we hadn't seen or heard from in a little while, so it was good to catch up. The only down side was that it was over an hour drive to get there and get back, and we didn't get back until after midnight.

Otherwise yesterday and today were pretty much the same. Linda did a more packing and took care of some chores, and I just had a nice relaxing time. Jason's wounds are coming along nicely and I am hopeful that by dedication time only the right side will remain, and it will be much smaller than it is right now.

My new job has not been too challenging yet, though I expect it to start getting a bit more ramped up over the next couple of weeks. The team I'm working with are all pretty good people, and I look forward to actually meeting them, face-to-face some time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.