San Diego Presidio Park

The San Diego Presidio was the first European settlement on the west coast of America. The building you see here is not it, but a museum built about 40 feet higher on the hill. The original buildings were built with adobe, and are now just heaps of dirt. The hill was pretty bare when the Presidio was built, but you’d never know that now.

Modern details are below the fold.

Continue reading San Diego Presidio Park

Natan and I are Doing Fine

Natan is thriving. He’s adding weight as he should and is showing lots of interest in the world around him. Kevin and Tali seem to be getting along with less outside help, though they still look pretty tired.

I’m doing well too, walking for a couple of hours every other day and using the gym on alternate days. On the seventh day, I rest. The walking is going very well and I’m moving much faster and adding a lot of uphill and down walking. I’m also doing some upper body weight work, though with fairly light weights.

There’s a great park just across the river that’s within walking distance. I’ll describe in the next post.

Natan’s First Days: More Baby Pictures

Here are some more baby pictures, this time from Rachel’s  collection. Rather than putting them inline I’ve put them in a small gallery that you can see by clicking the thumbnail to the left. This avoids downloading enormous volumes of data when you are looking for something else.

Local Status

Kevin and Natan

I hope you aren’t getting tired of baby pictures. There are going to be more.

Kevin, Tali, and Natan went home last night and spent the last night at home. This morning Kevin called Flo to see if she could come hold the baby for a while so they could get some sleep. She’s over there now.

We were planning to go up to Irvine for a concert that Andy is in, but that’s kind of up in the air right now, depending on local necessities. The baby takes precedence if we are needed here.

I’m personally doing fine and am starting to do a few upper body exercises with light weights, so there’s good news on that front as well.

Welcome Natan Kevin Ball

Natan's Birth - 1

Natan was born at 9:51 AM, Thursday March 7, 2013. He weighed 8 pounds 13 ounces, 21.25 inches long. He’s a big boy. The mother and father are tired, but happy and doing well.

They wanted a name that would sound familiar in both English and Hebrew, so they chose a version of Nathan. That way Tali’s family, some of whom are still in Israel, would be able to say it easily.

Here are a few more pictures: Natan's Birth - 3 Natan's Birth - 2

And now one with Tali’s motherNatan's Birth - 4

Update on Health

For those who want a post…  I’m doing much better. I’m starting to enjoy exercise, and I no longer walk like a zombie. I’d forgotten what it’s like to feel vigorous. I’ve moved up from level territory to hills, and walk up and down stairs in preference to taking the elevator. I can even come up the four floors from the garage to our apartment with only one short pause to puff.

I’ve just started back to doing some upper-body exercise, though with very light weights. I did, however, feel it this morning. My muscles didn’t like all that inactivity, even if it was necessary. I have to build up slowly to make sure I don’t harm the sternum before it fully knits.

All in all, I’m very happy with the fix. It also seems to have helped my diabetes and weight control. I think the lack of circulation may have been one reason I couldn’t loose weight. I had to drop plans for bariatric surgery, but it might not be necessary after all if I can control the diabetes without it. The problems crept up so slowly that I just wasn’t aware of them until they hit a crisis. At least there was no heart damage as there would be in a heart attack, so I can exercise freely without worrying about anything but the incision.

The really interesting news is in the next post.


I promised Mama that I’d write another blog post, but when I tried to come up with something to write I had a deep and important realization. There are very few things duller than getting well. It makes drying paint look fascinating in comparison.

Basic News: We had an appointment with the surgeon’s assistant, who checked over X-rays, EKG output, and the actual body, then removed the sutures. Everything is pretty nominal. My symptoms were all expected. I’d say “I feel…” and he’d say “That’s called….”

On a more subjective basis, I feel pretty good. I’m walking farther, more frequently, and with more stamina each day. All the pretty colors and interesting visual effects have been disappearing as I get farther from 6 hours of anesthetic. The pain pills, which I still use to help me sleep at night, produce no such interesting effects. On the other hand, they DO help me sleep which seems to be the most productive activity I have just now. The body feels better each time I wake up.

I realize that you really need to hear is “Here I am! Here I am!” and what I need in return is “So glad you are!”. See Harmonium for why that’s funny. What I will do is post more travel posts from the past, including the Bahamas and the Eastern Sierras. Your responses are welcome in the comments.

Gone Home

We came home from the hospital on Tuesday night about 9:00.  I went to sleep quickly and had the first restful night since the operation. Since then, I’ve been sleeping  a lot, with some walks around the halls every now and then.

There’s a real tradeoff between comfort and the ability to think. The pain medicine does seem to stop the pain, but it leaves me feeling like I’m fumbling with everything, both physical and mental.

I have a “bovine tissue valve” which is apparently the best over-all choice for my age. Summary: When I’m not doped up I have more energy than I’ve had in a while, though I’m easily tired I know that sounds weird, but think of it as an improved general state with a heavy wound on top.

More Later

Out of intensive care

I just got out of the surgical intensive care unit and into normal room. It wasn’t because I needed to be in intensive care, but because the normal bed wasn’t available. They are remodeling the hospital at the moment.
Anyway they got the drain tubes out and I can move more readily. It’s time to get up for a walk, so that’s it for now

Mike continues to do well

I just called the overnight nurse and he said  Mike had a good night and continues to do well.

I talked to Mike a little bit and he said he did not have a very restful night as they kept stirring him up which waked him up all night.  I know they were getting all the wires arranged for him to sit up in a chair about 11:00 last night when I finally left.

Anyway not much pain this morning and he is currently sitting up in a big chair waiting for breakfast.  Wants to know when I will be back with his kindle and his phone so I need to get moving.  :0)

Thanks for all your positive thoughts and prayers and support.

Love, Flo