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.

September 29, 2006


It seems that we can't keep street lights at major intersections from malfunctioning since Katrina. The result of this is that it is not unusual to come to an intersection to find the lights flashing yellow one way and red the other. What really amazes me is that here in New Orleans people have never had any hesitation in running a red light. Now, however, I can't count how many times I almost rear-ended someone who came to a dead stop at an intersection with a flashing yellow light in their direction. Is there something I'm missing? Run the red, stop for yellow?

Molly G is SUCH a cute baby. What, ME prejudiced? Well, maybe a little. KenEllie came by this evening to be formally introduced to the little one. We're praying that perhaps a little cousin will be on the way soon??

H1 and DIL1 are coming in for basically 24 hours so they, too, can ooh and ah at Molly. It'll be nice to see them again. PLUS... they're coming in again next weekend, too!! Yay!! The Shed!!!

Babies bring out the very best in Linda, I think. She is just in her own special place when she's holding a baby. It's beautiful to behold. That's one of the reasons I think I've loved her so much is because she was always such as great mother, and now grandmother. God truly blessed me. I can't figure out what she did wrong to deserve a lifetime with me. But, that's my gain!

I'd like to ask especially for prayers for several friends of mine. Cancer seems to be a big problem with so many of my friends. Please ask God to minimize their suffering and, if it is His will, to restore their health.

May you experience the love of Jesus in your lives, and may you become like Jesus to those around you.

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September 26, 2006


(*hand made sign seen at the Saints' game last night)

Saints 23 Falcons 3
'Nuff said!!!

Yeah, Baby!!

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September 25, 2006


Good news! Patti and Molly G went home today. (Jerrod, too! As much time as he spent at the hospital, they should have wheeled in a bed for him!) Ian and BB spent most of the weekend with us, and slept over each night. It was a lot of fun having them over.

BB is such a character! And when her friend Mya is around it’s like two peas in a pod. They are the best of friends, and it shows.

The Saints play the Falcons tonight in the Superdome. The whole town is going Saints crazy. Workplaces and schools are having “Black and Gold” days to show support for “our Boys”. This should be a really good game. Even when the Saints are really bad, they usually show up for the Falcons. It’s a strong rivalry.

I guess we’ll be going to P&Js to watch the game and enjoy some of Jerrod’s homemade guaca”Molly” and chips. Nobody, and I do mean NOBODY, can make guacamole like Jerrod. Or salads, for that matter. His are definitely the best!!

H2 has been in Houston all weekend, but should be home for the game. I missed him. He’s such a GOOD son. I recently joined the iPod community, and he surprised me with a clock radio that the iPod plugs into. It’s really nice, and I must admit I’m impressed with the quality and technology of the iPod.

And how about a couple more pics of Molly, to boot?

Is that not BB's pouty lip, or what?!?!?

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September 22, 2006


And baby makes THREE!!! The Lord has blessed Patti and Jerrod, and Linda and I, with the arrival of Molly Grace!!! She’s a beautiful bundle of joy weighing 8 lbs 13 oz, is 20.5 inches long, and has curly BLONDE hair!! Oh, my, what a surprise THAT was!!

I only have one picture to show for the moment, but many more will follow soon! This one shows off some of that hair.

OK. Here we go, more pictures:

That's a LOT of HAIR!!

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Patti was supposed to be at the hospital by 5:30 AM to check-in for her C-section today. Last night she got a call from the hospital saying it would be noon before her procedure, that there were too many babies there. They would call her at 4:30 AM to let her know for sure…

Well, 4:30 came and went, and finally Patti called the hospital. They told her that her procedure had been cancelled, there were no beds and she wouldn’t be having the baby today. Keep in mind that this is before 5:00 AM, and she hasn’t had anything to eat since 8PM the night before, and it’s not even 5:00 AM yet, and … get the picture? Showing remarkable restraint, Patti calls Linda to vent a little. So now it’s 5:00 AM and we’re both up feeling bad for Patti.

BB and Ian spent the night at our house, so at 6:45 Ian heads off to Algebra Club after being told that his littlest sister wouldn’t be coming today.

Fast forward to 7:30 AM. Patti calls again. The hospital called back to tell her to be there at 10:00 AM. Apparently her doctor stopped by and “adjusted” their priorities, and now the arrival of Molly Grace is once again on track for today.

So at 7:45 Linda walks BB, sporting a “Big Sister” shirt, to school with pink cupcakes for her classmates. (Ian also took cupcakes for his classmates.) Linda did find Ian and let him know that everything was back on track.

It is 10:45, Patti and Jerrod, aka Major Dad, aka Snake Slayer and G’ma are at the hospital. I’m at work, but work is not the first thing on my mind. Hopefully when I leave at 1:30 and head to the hospital Molly will have arrived, and the stork will have been sent packing.

And that’s the beginning of the (hopefully) first day in the life of Molly Grace.

In any event, I will try to keep you informed, and of course, pictures of the newest grandbaby will follow.

Take care, God bless you.

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September 20, 2006


I’ve got an idea. Let’s play a game. And let’s call the game “Spot The Idiot”. It is, of course, a driving game. It does require some effort on your part, though. First, before you leave home, or work, or where ever you may be, you have to stop and mentally decide that you are not in a hurry, that you will be courteous, and patient, and observe all (or at least most) traffic rules. If you leave out this preparatory step you run the risk of becoming a “spottee” vice a “spotter”. Next, you proceed on your way and observe the driver who:

  • Changes lanes without signaling (1 point)
  • Gets out of his/her exit lane and zooms ahead to force his way back after passing four or five cars in line (2 points)
  • Is reading (2 points), shaving (3 points), putting on makeup (4 points) while driving
  • Is kicked back, relaxed, and obviously into a very long conversation on his/her cell phone (2 points)
  • Jumps from one lane to the next, back and forth, only to find him/herself still behind you five miles later (he/she is experiencing the law of “whichever lane I’m in is the slow lane”) (5 points… 1 point if he/she ends up in front of you)
  • Refuses to let another motorist merge by accelerating to close the gap between him/herself and the vehicle in front (2 points)
  • Stops at streets that don’t have yield signs/flashing yellow lights (2 points) or any indication that requires slowing down (3 points)
  • Puts on turn signal and slows at every intersection trying to figure out if it’s the street he/she wants (1 point)(2 points if no turn signal is used)
  • (my personal favorite, I saw this yesterday) while driving into merging traffic in a yield lane that is ending, speeds up trying to get in front of car driving in the through lane, and hits a HUGE bump in the road, flies into a rage and chases the driver who had the right of way, cursing him/her and flipping him/her off before speeding off in a huff (10 points)

When you reach your destination, tally up your total and email me or post a comment.

Good luck, and safe driving!!

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September 17, 2006

Gosh! It's been over a week since my last update! That's because there wasn't a whole lot going on. The week passed by pretty quietly until Thursday. 'Til then I'd been planning on a nice quiet weekend, starting off by going to the 8th Men's Morning of Spirituality where I was to serve at the Mass with our Archbishop. No problem.

Monday I was blessed with KenEllie coming over to watch a movie. We watched Nanny McPhee with Emma Thompson. It was actually quite good and I think KenEllie enjoyed it. I'm hoping to get them to watch Heaven Can Wait, with Warren Beatty, the next time we get together.

Wednesday I got together with H2 and his friends as usual. After a sojourn to the Pit Stop, we went to Carretta's for some good Mexican food and music. The place was PACKED, and the wait for a table was about 45 minutes. But, it was worth it.

Thursday I get a call from the Diaconate office. They want to know if I am able to prepare a short reflection on each of 3 sets of daily readings for Mass that will be taped for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website (see my links) and oh, by the way, the taping will be Saturday. Being the simple fool that I am, I say "OK, I can do that". So Thursday and Friday evenings are now dedicated to preparing the three reflection pieces.

Friday evening I also got together with Patti and Jerrod and the kids for dinner at Carretta's. This time there's no music and they were already seated when I got there, so no wait. Again the food was great. BB is SO cute in her school uniform, and Ian couldn't wait to find out if I'd seen his picture in the T-P. That's him in the light blue shirt.

Saturday I went to the Men's Spirituality get together, served at the Mass, then headed off to WLAE-TV to do the taping. I had prepared one page for each reflection to read. When I got there, the video people told me that they didn't have a teleprompter and that they wanted me to deliver the reflections in a conversational manner, without notes. Oh, no! I was definitely NOT prepared for that, and told them so. Finally we worked out a process where I would begin the reflection without notes, then occasionally glance at the notes to keep my thoughts going, then deliver the closing without the notes. If you are interested, the dates that I prepared reflections for are September 27th and 30th, and January 30th. They should be posted to the USCCB website. It would probably be helpful to take a look at the readings for those days to understand what I'm talking about.

It was great seeing so many of my deacon brothers at the spirituality session. Many of my diaconate class who I see infrequently were there. The speakers were very good and one gave an especially inspiring talk which I enjoyed thoroughly.

Saturday evening we learned that a friend of H2 who lives just a few blocks from us had been shot, IN HIS HOUSE, by a gunman carrying an automatic weapon. The details are sketchy, but apparently he and a friend were returning from a beer run and were going into the house when the gunman approached them. They ran into the house and he followed, showering them with a hail of bullets. H2's friend is in pretty good condition in the hospital, but his friend suffered damage to his spleen and kidney (I think) and is in pretty bad shape. To top it off, the police identified the shell casings as coming from the same gun that had been used in a murder earlier that day! Our neighborhood had been so quiet before the storm. Lately it's been turned into a war zone!

On the lighter side, Linda learned this week that Reese Witherspoon owns a house in the same neighborhood that she (Linda) is staying. We have no idea, and no interest in where the members of 3 Six Mafia might be living. Just for the record.

H2 and I joined KenEllie for a late evening supper at Serrano's (another Mexican restaurant) in Clearview Mall. After a very nice dinner we went to KenEllie's new apartment for a quick tour and some coffee. It's a very nice apartment, first floor, and the complex is right across the road from one of our major shopping malls, so they have great location. Hopefully while Linda is here we'll have the opportunity to go over and bless the apartment for them.

Molly Grace is only 5 days away, and that means that Linda will be here for an extended stay in only 4 more days! HOOOO-Ray!!! I can hardly wait.

The pictures of little Logan are adorable! He looks like such an angel! We want some more pics of his cousin, Kylee!

Please pray for the young men who were shot today, and for their parents. Please pray for the newest members of the extended Herrick clan, and for a safe and healthy arrival of Molly Grace. We wish you God's blessings in abundance.

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September 9, 2006


*you'll get it at the bottom. Maybe.

Linda got in late last night. She'll be here until Monday, so we have two full days together!

It's looking to be a great weekend. Tomorrow we're gathering at P&J's for a BBQ. It looks like 4 of the 6 Ugandan seminarians will be there, as well as Fr. Deo, who is in the States for a few months. It should be great to get everyone together again. We had planned a get together like this last September, but Big-K (and I don't mean K-Mart) had other plans!

Hopefully Mick and Bev will be at the BBQ also. We haven't seen Bev since they sold their house and she moved to Colorado and Mick began staying with their daughter.

Mick's staying in the area until he finishes some things at Christ the King parish, then he, too, is off to Colorado.

Life in New Orleans never ceases to be interesting! It seems that a local radio personality and former TV sportscaster (for 24 years) has been accused of murdering his wife of two years. They were in the middle of what was gearing up to be a messy divorce. Originally police thought the killing was a robbery gone bad. Video cameras showed a scruffy looking man on a bicycle at the time of the murder. He had arrived about 15 minutes before the murder and paced back and forth in front of a security camera! It seems, now, that witnesses saw a man put a bicycle in the back of a white car only a block away from the scene (the husband owns a white Taurus). A shop keeper reported selling the husband a mustache, and a gun shop owner remembers selling him a unique kind of ammo, which happens to match that used in the shooting. Armed with a search warrant, the police searched the husband's house (destroyed by Katrina), his car and his FEMA trailer. Guess what they found? A "to do" list that corresponded to the murder, with tasks checked off. I think he forgot the last task - "throw away the list". It would be hysterically funny if it weren't so sad.

Yesterday my normal 20 - 30 minute ride home from work took 2 hours. 2 HOURS!! A garbage truck had overturned on the down side of the Crescent City Connection toward the West Bank earlier in the afternoon. By the time I left work at 4:30 not only had traffic backed up for miles heading to the West Bank, but the tie ups, as always happens, had spawned several accidents in both directions on the interstate. As rush-hour commence the CBD (Central Business District) and all arteries into and out of became gridlocked. What a mess. After being in that spaghetti pot for 2 hours, it's hard to believe that we have only 1/2 or less of our original population here.

The upside to the traffic mess was that H2 and I were able to meet Patti on the East Bank at Nacho Mama's for supper to wait out the traffic snarl. It was a really nice dinner and the ride home was ok.

Earlier this week KenEllie came over for "movie night with Dad". With Chinese take-out, and later popcorn, we enjoyed "Ever After", a nice Cinderella story starring Drew Barrymore in the Cinderella character, Danielle, and Anjelica Huston as the wicked stepmother. She is so good!! I really enjoyed her in "Witches". Our movie nights have established a certain theme. Ellie gets to pick, or at least suggest, what we watch, so I guess we could rename it "Chick flick movie night with Dad". That's ok, though. I like chick flicks as much as the next person... Maybe next time we'll watch something like "Silence of the Lambs". That's a chick flick, right?

BB and I-buddy (pronounced "EE"-buddy) come by the house every morning before school. BB is SO cute in her school uniform. Yesterday I asked I-buddy if she was always that cute. With a sigh he answered, "Yes. She is." He's SUCH a sweet young fella. They really love each other, although they do try to hide it on occasion.

The much anticipated arrival of Molly Grace is almost here. September 22nd, for those who are waiting along with the rest of us. We've been calling her Molly Grace for so long now I don't know what we'll do if Mom and Dad decide to name her something else. I guess we'll just keep on calling her Molly Grace.

The extended family is truly exploding! First Kylee Ann, then Logan Louis, next Molly Grace!! Still another one due in December, Paula's first grandbaby! Whew, did we "go forth and multiply" or what?!?!

That reminds me of a joke. When Noah finally let the animals leave the ark, as they left two by two, he told them to "go forth and multiply". Finally the only two left were a pair of snakes, who refused to leave the ark. When Noah asked why, they replied, "You said to go forth and multiply... We're adders."

On that (sour?) note I bid you farewell. God bless you!!!

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September 5, 2006


Get ready for installments 3 and 4 on my series about STUPID drivers!! Going to work this morning, traffic is stop and go, stop and go. Watching to see what is causing the delays I can see that people who are getting off the expressway are cruising in the “fast” lane until they get to their exit, THEN they try to move over 3 lanes of solid rush hour traffic to get off. I guess it being early and all they were just unaware that the exit they take every freakin’ day was coming up and maybe they should try to ease on over sooner. But NO, it’s so much easier to make life miserable for all the drivers behind them.

There’s a Subway that I go to about a mile from where I work. It’s in a little strip mall with a Safeway grocery store and several other smaller shops. Because of the Safeway there is a fairly large parking lot for this little mall. Before I go on, consider that Subway is still one of the few eating establishments that has reopened since, well, you know. Anyway, the line is always pretty long, especially at lunch time. Anyway, as I’m sitting at a table eating my lunch (a subway club on honey oat, with lettuce, extra tomatoes, salt & pepper and oil & vinegar, for those who are interested) and looking out the front window, a car pulls up, makes no attempt at cruising the parking lot for a spot, but rather stops in the lane in front of Subway, turns off the motor, gets out of the car and comes in and gets on line for a sandwich. Parks on the red “do not stop here” lines in the street, I might add!! I just don’t understand where that kind of gall comes from.

Maybe it goes along with feeling like when your kid drops a full box of fries or a drink at Mickey D’s, they owe him a replacement. Like it was the fault of the store that he was a clumsy kid. God forbid you suggest that the Mom or Dad purchase a new one, since it was their kid’s fault in the first place!! Nobody takes responsibility for their own actions anymore!!

Flash!! This just in… The much anticipated and awaited arrival of Molly Grace on September 25th has been changed. Due apparently to some of the storks taking steroids in the off season, the delivery is scheduled for 3 days sooner, on September 22nd. So now everybody crank up that anticipation excitement a notch! BAM!!!

Just a quick note of thanks to DIL1 for mentioning Ken (of KenEllie fame) in her blog. Thanks.

I spent the past weekend in Memphis with Linda. The weather was great, the food was great, the scenery was great… I’m ready to move! A job would be nice, though, and there’s a hiring freeze in Millington right now, so I guess I’m staying put for awhile. The ride to and from was terrific, with excellent weather, no rain, and not too hot. I hope it’s the same for Linda next weekend.

We’re looking forward to a nice get together with the Ugandan seminarians next weekend. A barbeque at P&J’s is planned. Hopefully Mick and Bev and Fr. Deo will be there also. It’s always fun to introduce the newest seminarian to “American” cuisine, and I’m sure this year will be no exception, so please pray for Vincent as we try to stuff him full of kabobs, burgers, cole slaw and strawberries and ice cream!
Well, as they always say somewhere, “TTFN”!! God’s blessings be upon you!

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