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Choose Life

H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

October 3, 2012

NY Trip - Part 2

So, we left Harrisburg on Sunday, June 10th, right after breakfast, and we arrived at Bob and Hellen's in Johnson City, NY, just after lunch time.  After a quick job of unpacking, we all piled back into the truck ( and I'm really lovin' the truck!!!) and headed off to do the tri-cities Carousel Tour.  There are six carousels located in and around Binghamton, Johnson City, Endicott and Endwell.  The objective is to ride all six on the same day, and collect a ticket from each one.  After completing the sixth, you get a certificate and button for the accomplishment.












I think everyone had a good time, and by the end of the day we were all ready for a good night's rest.

Monday morning it was back to Pennsylvania, again.  This time to a coal mine!!

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September 22, 2012

NY Trip - Part One

The trip was SO fantastic that it's taken me three months to recover!!  Or, I've just been too busy (read lazy) to stop and blog.

We gathered the girls, packed the truck, and headed out Friday, the 8th of June.  The plan was to drive about halfway, and spend the night, then drive on Saturday to Harrisburg, PA, where we would spend the night with my biker sister, Sara.

The weather was beautiful, and the girls were absolutely wonderful for the entire trip!  I have to admit a little trepidation about taking a 5 year old on such a long trip, but she and her sister were excellent travelers, as it turned out.

Molly got a bit of a geography lesson as we recited the states we had been in each time we crossed the border into another state.  I was surprised at how many state lines we crossed.  I guess I should have looked on a map before starting the trip.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee.  We stopped for the night at a motel in Tennessee.  The girls wanted to go swimming, so Linda and the girls went to the pool area while I went in search of a quick supper.  Mickey D's, of course!!  All was well, until Linda woke me in the middle of the night and said, "Do you hear that?"  I didn't hear anything because my CPAP machine was in the middle of dying.  Once I turned it off, as she opened the door, we could hear a loud, rhythmic sound going on, and on, and on.  Turns out the fire alarm was going off.  No fire, as it turned out, just an alarm.  Guess we won't be staying there on the way back!!

Saturday night we got to Sara's, unpacked a few things, and headed to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.  It figures that we were all starving, so as soon as we got there all the waiters and waitresses stopped what they were doing and did a line dance! I guess it's a regular thing that the TR in NOLA doesn't do.

When we went back to Sara's after dinner it became clear that Linda's cat allergies were flaring up, so a command decision was made and she and I left to spend the night at a nearby motel.

Sunday morning Sara brought the girls over to the motel and we had a delicious breakfast together before hitting the road once again.  After a pretty uneventful ride, we arrived at Bob and Helen's in NY.

More to come...

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June 6, 2012

TRUCKIN' !!! - YEAH, BAY-BEE!!

In spite of all appearances to the contrary, I have not given up on this blog!!  I just can't seem to get the creative juices flowing as often as I used to.

Linda and I are heading to New York State on Friday and we're taking our granddaughters with us!  Driving!!  Yes, we might be out of our minds!!  One half of the trip will be in the Binghamton area, the other half will be on Long Island.  It will be great to see family and friends again, and an opportunity to show the girls some of the beauty that is NY.

For the Binghamton leg of the journey we plan to do the Binghamton Ride The Carousel Circuit.  And, if all goes as planned, we will also tour a coal mine and go to Niagara Falls.  A whirlwind visit, but a lot of fun packed into a few days, I think.

Then it's on to Long Island.  I had hoped to go to Sagamore Hill, the home of Theodore Roosevelt, but apparently the main house is closed to tours while under renovations.  Still, NY being what it is, there are lots of things to do.  Other possibilities are the Old Bethpage Restoration Village, the Statue of Liberty, and Jones Beach. Once again, whirlwind, but lots of fun!

We planned to drive there and back in our 2006 Ford 500.  After considering the size of the car, the luggage, and the almost 130K miles already on the car we went out tonight and bought a 2012 Ford F150 crewcab pickup truck.  It should make the trip a whole lot more enjoyable!!  We'll pick it up tomorrow (Thursday) morning, in plenty of time to pack up and hit the road on Friday!!

Hoping for a safe and happy trip.  Stay tuned, maybe after the road trip I'll actually have some interesting things to write about! Who knows?!?!

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May 6, 2012

5.06.201.2*

May is shaping up to be a great month!!  On May 3rd H2FGFNW and I went to the Ultimate Marvel Marathon.  We got to the movie theater at 10:45am, and at 11:30am the marathon began with Iron Man.  for the rest of the day and evening we watched The Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor 3D, Captain America 3D, and at 12:01am we started watching The Avengers 3D.  We didn't get out of the theater until 3am!!  It was awesome!

Linda and I are headed to Houston for Mothers' Day weekend and we're taking Ian with us.  It'll be really good to see H1/DIL1 again.  It's been way too long!  Looking forward to lasagna on Friday, spiedies on Saturday, and a surprise dinner for Linda on Sunday.  Then it's back to NOLA on Monday.

Hopefully our Amish Country gazebo will arrive right before the trip to Houston, so it'll be ready to be put together when we get back.  Linda has been wanting one for several years, so this should make her very happy.  Which should make ME very happy, 'cause "a happy wife means a happy life".

Looking forward to June, we have a trip North in the planning stages.  The plan is to drive to Long Island to visit family there, take the grandkids to the statue of liberty, and then go upstate to visit more family and friends before returning home.  Who knows? Maybe a trip to Niagara Falls?  It's a possibility!!  It's shaping up to be about a 10-day trip.

*So... a joke for H1 that I made up myself...  Everyday I go to work, and I drink coffee, and I pee.  And I drink more coffee, and I pee.  I do this the whole day.  Does this mean that where I work is my "I pee" address?


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April 13, 2012

SHORT TERM MEMORY IS A TERRIBLE THING TO LOSE!!!

I apparently wrote this almost two months ago and forgot to post it!!

I can hardly believe that it’s still February and Mardi Gras has been over for a week already!

Speaking of, we had a wonderful visit with Bob, Helen, Cara, Nicholas and Abigail.  Although they couldn’t stay for Lundi Gras or Mardi Gras, we still packed a lot of partying into a short period.  Muses, a swamp tour, a visit to a wild animal park, shopping in the French Quarter during a deluge… and of course, “Bacchus Sunday”!!!  I was pretty amazed that we all made it all the way through to the very end of Bacchus!  And the three king cakes from Manny Randazzo’s bakery were a perfect addition to all the goings on.

Of course, when in New Orleans you must eat like New Orleanians do, so we started off the visit with takeout from Popeye’s.  Delicious!!  Over the course of the four days our guests were here we went to New Orleans Food and Spirits for lunch, Fuji Hana for a hibachi dinner, I made bacon and eggs for breakfast, and Reginelli’s pizza restaurant.  Good food, GREAT company!!

H2 had to work 12 hour shifts throughout the Carnival season, so we missed seeing him as much as we’d have liked, but he was well represented by H2FGFNW.  KenEllie braved the cold, early morning and crowds to secure us a good spot uptown to from where to watch the parades on Bacchus Sunday.  The Green Lantern made a surprise appearance!  It was a pleasant surprise to see Josefina, as well!

Happy Birthday to BB, who turned the big 11 last weekend!!  She’s growing so fast.

On a more personal side, I had the first of three rounds of shots in my knees this week.  A synthetic form of the fluid contained in a rooster comb, believe it or not, was injected into the knee to provide lubrication and cushioning back into the joints.  I hope it works well, and doesn’t have any unwanted side effects, like crowing in the early morning?!?!

Linda is getting ready to have surgery on her knee for a torn meniscus in March.  Please include her in your prayers.

UPDATE:  I had all my knee shots.  They seem to have helped, although not as much as I had hoped. Linda is recovering from her knee surgery quite well.  She's finishing up her physical therapy this week, and will be back to work soon. 

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April 8, 2012

HAPPY EASTER... with a short rant!*

"Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven, exult, let Angel ministers of God exult, let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King's triumph!" - from the Easter Proclamation

Over the past 12 years of jitters, butterflies, and nervousness I had finally become reasonably familiar with the Exsultet, and the prospect of singing it acapella was less of a nightmare. This year, however, with the new translation of the Roman Missal, came a new translation of the Exsultet, and with that, came new jitters, butterflies and, well, you get the picture.

I am, by nature, a shy person. I hate public speaking. I don't like crowds. I like to arrive early to events so as to find an inconspicuous place and to not draw attention to myself. I hate to arrive late, and frequently will skip a meeting if I'm late rather than go in after it has started. I know it's silly and childish and shows a decided lack of self-confidence but... there it is.

So how on earth did I end up a Roman Catholic deacon? At least once a month I have to stand up in front of our church parish congregation at each of three masses and preach a homily that I prepared. Every year at the Easter Vigil Mass I sing the Exsultet (which used to take 7 minutes, and now takes 9-10 minutes). Am I just a glutton for punishment, or does God have a really twisted sense of humor? I can just imagine Him, with a huge grin on His face, watching me squirm as I try to prepare for each homily, or for the Easter Vigil. It has been said that "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." I wish I could feel a little more qualified. (*and no, I don't want any cheese with that whine!) Oh well, as one infinitely greater than I once said, "Father, not my will, but thy will be done."

This is turning into a wonderful and blessed Easter weekend.  The Lord has blessed us with perfect weather, sunny and not too hot.  The family is gathering today for our traditional Easter ham dinner, which H2/H2FGNW are hosting at their home. It is going to be a great get together. We will miss H1/DIL1, but will have them in our thoughts and hearts throughout the day.

Please pray for my sister, who had surgery on her shoulder, for a speedy recovery.  May she soon be "in the wind" back on her motorcycle!

My own prayers go out to all my family and friends spread throughout the country and the world!  May this Easter bring you happiness, draw you closer to family and to our Lord, and give you hope and comfort in His promise of life everlasting.

May the peace of Christ be with you, now and always!  Happy Easter!

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March 29, 2012

OMG! I CAN"T BELIEVE IT"S ALMOST APRIL AND...

I haven't posted since January?!?!?!

That's hard to believe!!  February just flew by way too fast, I guess.  Let's see if I can recall a little bit of what went on in February.

We had the most AWESOME visit with our very good and dear friends, Bob and Helen.  They brought their daughter, Cara, and their two grandchildren, Abby (Cara's daughter) and Nicholas.  They came during the second week of Carnival, and stayed until Lundi Gras.  The visit included a trip to the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, and the Honey Island Swamp Tour, near Slidell.  The kids and adults thoroughly enjoyed both!!

At the end of February I had "rooster comb" injections in both of my knees to replace the lubricating fluid that has apparently been lost over the years.  3 sets of 2oz. shots in each knee, one week apart.  Loads of fun.

At the same time, Linda had her leg checked because it has been causing her much discomfort for awhile now, and ended up having arthrosopic surgery for a torn meniscus in her knee.  The surgery went well, and she's home now recovering.


Linda and I are both on the "Bouari" diet.  It seems to be working, but takes a lot of dedication.  Any diet is difficult here in Southeast Louisiana because of all the wonderful fried seafood and other cuisine that is available.  This diet bans all dairy, grains, yellow vegetables.  It seems to work as advertised until I start cheating!  Then I have to regroup, refocus, and get back on the diet wagon again!  I have a LONG way to go! Wish me luck.

I think we're going to get a gazebo for the back yard.  Linda has been wanting one for a couple of years now, and this year she seems really set on getting one, so maybe I'll have some gazebo assembly antics to write about in the near future... stay tuned!!

 Last weekend we went to City Park for our granddaughter Bridget's birthday party.  Her birthday fell right in the middle of Carnival this year, so the party was postponed until after.  It was a mustache themed party, all girls, and it was actually a lot of fun for them!

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January 26, 2012

ANOTHER DECEMBER TO REMEMBER - Part Deux*

*Sorry it's so late.

As has become the family tradition, Christmas dinner was hosted by Major Dad and DLG.  MD is an amazing cook, and the menu for the day was equally amazing!  In addition to a ham and prime rib, Linda and I added turkey with dressing and gravy.  The table was so heavily laden with food that there was barely room for plates and silverware!  I think everyone had a wonderful time!  It was especially nice that Fr. Deo and Seminarian Mark were able to join us for the dinner.  All in all, Christmas was awesome!

Just two days after Christmas we got to celebrate once again! This time it was H2FGFNW's (hereafter referred to as DIL3) birthday.  Having already done the cupcake routine twice this month, we opted to go back to the Chantilly Berry Cake from Whole Foods.  As always, a delicious hit!

Mid-week MD/DLG and family went to H-town to visit H1/DIL1 for New Years, as is their annual custom.  Rumor has it that much fun was had and copious amounts of fireworks were set off!  Since Notre Dame Seminary was shut down for the holidays we invited Mark to spend a few days with us, which he did.  For New Year's Eve, Linda and I, Mark, H2 and DIL3 strolled up to the levee to watch the New Orleans fireworks.  Although overcast, the fireworks show was still quite a display!  We all had a great time, and welcomed the New Year with no hangovers (mostly).

As with much of the rest of the country we are having a very mild winter, with temperatures running in the upper seventies, then dropping down to near 30, then back to the 70s again.  Great cold/flu weather!!  Wishing everyone the happiest and most prosperous New Year!!!

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January 7, 2012

ANOTHER DECEMBER TO REMEMBER - Part One

Decembers are always a busy time of year for most everyone.  I sometimes think that we take it to a whole new level!!

December started off with a Linda's birthday present, a trip to the Covington Christmas Extravaganza (craft fair) on Friday, December 2.  It's an annual event for us made special this year because not only did H2FGFNW go, but H2 came along, as well!!  It was a beautiful, cool, sunny day and everyone had a good time.


The day after the craft fair Linda and I went to Drago's for her birthday dinner.  It was, as usual, pretty awesome!  We had charbroiled oysters as an appetizer, then jumbo lobsters for dinner.  And to top it off, we were able to park right next to the front door, and were seated immediately, both of which are a rare occurrence on a Saturday night at the Metairie location!!  The only slight glitch was the darkness in the dining room.  Linda ended up forgetting her jacket, so we had to pass by on Monday to pick it up.  That Sunday we tried a little different approach to the traditional birthday cake, an assortment of cupcakes from the Cupcake Factory.  Yummm!!!

H1's birthday was the following weekend.  We spent that weekend wishing he and DIL1 were back in New Orleans.  :-(

The third weekend marked my birthday which we celebrated with dinner at O'Brien's Grill on the Westbank.  It is an "a la carte" style steak restaurant that was an amazing dining experience, made more so by Angelle, who booked our reservation for us, then worked that evening as our server.  She was great! The food was great!  The evening was great!  Once again we did the cupcakes with the rest of the family as the birthday cake.

Thursday before Christmas we finally put up our tree.  Feeling like a change, this year it was an all angels tree, decorated entirely with angel ornaments.  It came out pretty well, I think.  I had no idea we had so many angel ornaments!!

More to come!!!

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December 23, 2011

A PRE-CHRISTMAS EVE FUNNY

Son (to Dad): What is love?

Dad: Don't hurt me.

Son: Don't hurt me?

Dad: No more.

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