Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Friday, April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016

Yesterday, Linda and I took off, in the morning, to go up to her folks place, just a little north of here (and south of Los Angeles). They needed some help with a couple of items, at their home, and it also gave us an opportunity to just spend some time with them; something we don't get to do as often as we'd like. And, as a result of us taking off, Jason was on his own. We were able to stay for a very nice dinner and then we got to watch the new Gary Sinise show, Criminal Minds - Beyond Borders, with them. They had recorded it specifically so we could watch it together.

Actually, Jason was only on his own for about an hour, but it still felt kind of good to know that he was getting healed up enough that there really wasn't much that could happen in that time frame, that would put him in jeopardy of any kind. Joselyn, whom I've mentioned in this blog several times, was able to come to the house and spend the day with Jason, and as it turned out, her son Bobby was able to come up with her. Bobby and Jason have become pretty good buddies and share many of the same likes and dislikes, and Bobby is awesome when it comes to cleaning guns. Jason had both of them helping him do a few things he has been wanting to do, and was reluctant to ask us to do extra work for him. The Wounded Warrior Family Support organization is providing the funds that allow Joselyn to come to the house and this way she is compensated, yet it provides a very flexible schedule, and that is something we very much need.

We returned from our visit with Linda's parents a little after 21:00 (traffic really wasn't too bad for the most part, and the drive home only took about 80 minutes) and apparently Joselyn and Bobby had left just a short while ahead of us. We came in to the house and did our best to not make too much noise, and it was a good thing - - - Jason was asleep. We took care of a few things and then we were also in bed, about an hour or so later. We talked with Jason this morning and he was full of all kinds of energy, telling us about all the different things he was able to get accomplished and it made us feel pretty good. We are always concerned about taking off, and knowing that he not only had a good time, he was also safe.

This weekend we have the girls with us, and we plan on making this a fun weekend for all of us. Not sure of everything we'll do, but I do know that they want to go to Linda Vista Park, which is close by and is now one of their favorite places. Linda is already gearing up for Summer, and looking for activities for them, and my guess is that she'll be keeping them pretty busy. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

It has been a week, and there really isn't a great deal of an update to post. Jason's wounds are improving on a steady basis, and I am hopeful that they will be closed soon. I know this has been said before, but with the new prosthetic it looks like it might actually happen this time. Once that is done, then we can move on to the next step, whatever that happens to be.

I been busting my tail working on the property. We have about 2 1/2 acres of land, and much of that is simply covered in weeds and small woody type plants. They don't look particularly good, and they are a fire hazard, going into the summer. I want to eliminate as much as I can, before it gets too hot. I have managed to knock down about half the open land, and will continue on the other land, beginning tomorrow - I hope. It rained pretty good tonight, so the land may not be to friendly to walk on with the mower I'm using. The land can be steep in some areas, so I have to be careful. Worst case, the rain will put me back a day or two.

Linda has been working pretty hard too, keeping up with the house and making sure Jason's area (mainly his bedroom) stays clean. With his two dogs it can be quite the challenge. Just as she finishes cleaning the two dogs run outside and get all dirty again and bring a bunch of it back in with them. They both are loving and great dogs, however, they are completely and totally - - - dogs.

The girls are growing so fast that we can almost see it from day to day. They are doing well in school, Jackie is receiving resources; classroom support, Speech, and Occupational Therapy, and she has made some significant strides this past year. Stacy is keeping up with her lessons, she enjoys her teacher and  reading is her favorite subject. We have been faced with challenges, in that when the girls have been with us this year, they have missed one (1) day. That day happened to be the house dedication, and it was important for them to be there, and it was an excused absence. When they have not been with us, they have missed MANY days (a total of more than 3-weeks), with most of them being unexcused. However, I think the school year will end on a positive note, so I'm hopeful for next year. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016

We made it back from our five day "vacation" to Livermore, and we had a wonderful time. We were able to take care of the personal business (getting our taxes filed and getting our house ready to sell - it is on the market); we saw many of our friends, though not all of them (only so many hours in a day); and we were able to take advantage of the great weather and went on a nice group hike lead by our very knowledgeable friend, Carol E. at Sycamore Grove (saw a Great Horned Owl in one of the trees). We were even able to attend church on Sunday, the day we had to head back home, and saw many of our old church family, though not all of them.

What has made this break so much better is that Jason and the girls did all right, while we were gone, and our friends  (Joselyn B. and Joyce O.) did an excellent job. Jason's wounds even improved, a little, while we were gone, and I think they are going to continue to improve to the point of finally healing up. Speaking of healing up, Jason and I had a great conversation with one of the doctors over at Balboa Hospital, today, and he thinks that by late Fall, Jason could possibly be in the water again, and that is something Jason has wanted for these past five plus years. I will be adding more information on this as we continue in that positive direction, but for right now that's all I'm going to say.

When we saw the girls this morning they were very excited to have Grandma and Grandpa back home. They were both already asleep by the time we walked in the door last night. Linda and I checked in on Jason and the girls and told Joyce O. thank you, for all the help she provided, and within an hour later we were in bed ourselves. It truly was great getting to be back up in Livermore, but it was also, so very nice to be back in our own bed. We even got to stop and see David and his family on the way home and had dinner with them. Shortly after getting his boys to bed, we had to be on our way, and then we got home about two hours later. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 16, 2016

Well, it has been a few days since my last post, and I figured it was time to get an update out, so that everyone can "know" what is going on.

First, Jason is doing well, and from what we have been told, he is doing quiet well right now, and his wounds are continuing to heal. The reason I word it that way, is because we (Linda and I) are up in Livermore right now. We asked Joselynn B. and Joyce O. to come in and help out, while we were gone, and from what we have heard they have both done an outstanding job of assisting Jason, and the girls. Linda and I came up to Livermore to take care of some personal business, such as getting our taxes done and selling our house. Yes, our Livermore house is now on the market and we just have to hope that the market will continue to be active. We have a good Realtor, John C. and he has assured us that it really shouldn't take too long to get the house to sell.

While here we also met with some friends that we haven't seen in quite a while, and we all went on a nature hike through Sycamore Grove - one of the local parks. Carol E. led the hike and pointed out a number of things for us, and even got us close enough to do some bird watching. We saw a Great Horned Owl, as well as several other birds. The wild turkeys were all out and the males were strutting their stuff, and showing off their tail feathers - it looked very cool. After the hike, Carol and her husband Rick took us to lunch. Huge and Julie also took us to lunch yesterday, and they were a part of the same group. We didn't get to see all the friends we wanted to see, but we only had so much time, and we're going to have to leave tomorrow.

Last night we were over and Mike and Karen's for dinner and saw other friends, like Judy and Joe there and tonight we had dinner with Frank and Kris. We probably should have allocated a few more days to this trip, but we need to get back down, so after church tomorrow we're heading back down to Southern California and we plan to stop at our son David's home, to see his family. It will be a good resting point for us anyway, and then we'll head back to our home with Jason. It has been a good trip for us, to give us a chance to say good-bye to Livermore and our house, and it feels more like we have some closure on this, this time.

Next time we come up we hope to get some time to visit with our son Sean, and more time to spend with our other son George. We did get to visit with George and helped him get a new phone, and he seemed to have a good time with us, as we did some running around and finally we took him to go see the new Superman vs. Batman movie. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Jason is doing very well, right now, and there is no reason to expect anything to change. He is getting very close to having all his wounds finally closed, and that would be such a blessing for all of us. He is staying up a little longer in his chair and even joining us for dinner more often. He loves playing with the girls and having fun all over the house, and you can tell the girls love it too, when Daddy is having fun with them.

In a couple of days Linda and I will be heading up to Livermore for a couple reasons, but mostly to get a chance to visit with our sons George and Sean. Sometimes it is difficult to coordinate a workable schedule, since both of them have jobs and both of them are in retail. That means neither of them are working the typical 9 to 5, Monday through Friday routine. You have to work to get the days off synced up with days we're available, and again, Linda has done an outstanding job of getting all the scheduling together.

While we're up in Livermore we have people coming here to help Jason and the girls, and we have some fantastic friends who are willing to step in and handle the needs around the house. The girls and Jason will be fed; the house is going to be taken care of; and, the girls will still get to school on time. Fortunately we're only going to be gone for a few days, so it shouldn't be too disruptive for any of us. We'll be back home on Sunday, evening, so we might be able to get the girls to bed, or at least be able to get enough sleep that we are able to get them to school on Monday. We'll continue to roll with the flow, and let God help guide us along. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 7, 2016

A couple days ago Jason's Uncle Charles "Charlie", was injured in a motorcycle accident. I spoke with my brother today, via the phone and found out that he is in pain, but otherwise doing well. He broke his collar bone and ended up with a few scrapes and cuts (another bunch of stitches for his collection) and in positive spirits. The doctors have not decided if there is going to be a surgery and won't know for a couple days, so we know he will be in the hospital for a few days, anyway. I was just glad to hear him in a positive mood, and I'll be checking in on him regularly. He lives about 800 miles north of here, so it makes it a little difficult to go see him.

The rest of the past few days have been kind of busy, for various reasons. Linda is still up with her parents, for a few more days, and Jason and I have been running around taking care of other family matters. Today we finished a bunch of them, which meant we had to put about a hundred miles on his truck, but that's okay, we're done. In our travels I did see an over-turned car, on the main road going in to Fallbrook, and was thankful that it wasn't something we were involved with. It is raining today and will be again tomorrow and maybe even a couple more. It isn't a great deal of rain, but enough to make things wet, and bothersome.

I'll be glad to have Linda back home so we can have a couple of days of "normal." Then after that we will be heading back up to Livermore to take care of some business. Linda has been moving at about 100 miles an hour these last several days, and I know it is starting to wear on her. I need to get her away to relax, with both of us being together. I have something in mind, so don't be surprised if I should note that we're taking a few days off. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 5, 2016

Linda went out to Tennessee to take advantage of a retreat for Mother's of Wounded Warriors, through the Wounded Warrior Family Support.org (a great organization run by retired Marine Col. John Folsom), and it was a very nice R&R opportunity for her. She met some great people and made new friends and came back pretty refreshed. The travel to and from, via Delta Air Lines, was poor, and in fact Linda almost didn't make it home due to a cancelled flight (no explanation from Delta). She did, however fly into San Diego at about 23:00 (11pm) and because of delays in getting luggage and construction on Highway 76 we managed to get home a little after midnight. We had to be up at 06:00, to make sure everything was ready to get the girls to school, and then a bunch of other errands and chores needed to be done. To put it mildly, we're both kind of tired and will be heading to bed SOON.

I was pleased with the recent dressing change for Jason, as the wounds are showing some very positive signs of progress, and then tomorrow morning we're headed over to Balboa for Wound Care. Of course that will be after we take the girls to school, but still it is great to have morning care with them, as that gives me time to take care of other things. Speaking of other things. Linda has been home for one full day and tomorrow she is headed up to spend a couple of days with her folks.

Jess, Linda's mom, recently had valve replacement surgery on her heart, and as you can imagine, is still recovering. Linda's sister Lisa has been staying with them and has to go back to her home (Utah) so Linda is now going to be going up to spend some time with them, to help out. Linda just keeps going and going, and that is part of the reason I was happy she got to get away to Tenn. for a few days.

We have put our house up for sale, in Livermore, a friend of ours, John Carter, is listing the house and helping us. We also had help from another friend, here in San Diego, Tim Kirk, who provided us some guidance and answered many questions we've asked, getting up to the point of selling. Fortunately, both Tim and John are experienced realtors and Linda and I felt very good about the decision. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

April 2, 2016

Well, today was a full day of Linda not being here and we managed to get through the day without making any big mess of the place. Well, actually, Joyce Orrell came over for a couple of hours to give me a chance to take care of a couple of tasks, and even get some rest. As it was I just ran down to the store to pick up a few things that Jason had wanted and then came back. It was nice, getting a chance to just sit down and talk with Joyce for a little while, and then she had to take off for a friend's wedding.

Actually, a little later, about 1/2 hour after Joyce left, I did lay down on the couch so that the girls could play and I could get a little rest. I guess I started to drift off to sleep because the next thing I know is Stacy is crawling up on me and she wants to take a nap with Grandpa. Jackie goes into Jason's room and they watch a cartoon/movie about dinosaurs and Stacy and I fall asleep on the couch. Stacy is sound asleep when I wake, about an hour later and my arm has fallen asleep. I manage to get her up and then I get up and shake off my arm-sleep.  I tell Stacy I need to get up anyway, so I can fix dinner, so she joins Jackie with Jason.

I fix chicken and rice with vegetables for dinner, and pretty close to our regular time, dinner is ready. The vegetables are a little different from what I normally prepare and Jackie will have nothing to do with the squash. Oh, well - she'll learn to enjoy the different foods as she grows. She does eat the rest of her dinner and she and Stacy both enjoy their desserts and I get to clean the kitchen. The evening went very well and Jason pretty much stayed down most of the day.

Linda did call and it sounds like she is having a good time, and maybe even getting a little rest and relaxation in. They have gone to an amusement area as well as a "stampede" for dinner. They also had a chance for a massage and make over, that I know she has been wanting. Tonight she is having some wine with her new friends and just enjoying the time. It will be good to get her back home, though, as I always enjoy her being here.

Jason's wounds are continuing to improve so that is all good, and perhaps, over the next couple of weeks they will be nearly closed, if not completely closed. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.