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.

December 30, 2006

H2 Round 2

OK prayer warriors, we need more prayers. Starting Christmas night H2 started going downhill. The pain in his back began to worsen until he could no longer get out of bed and couldn’t even roll over without help. He is back in the hospital as of yesterday. He’ll be there for 3 or 4 days, at least. The doctor said his wound has an infection which they are treating with antibiotic IVs. He’s getting Demerol for pain management, and what an effect that has on him. When he first gets it, he become quite the “Chatty Kathy”, although what he says has little, if anything, to do with what’s going on around him. That Demerol must be some pretty good stuff!

H1/DIL1 were going back to Houston December 26th, but have extended their stay to be with H2. They are like Los Tres Amigos, truly. DIL1 spent the night at the hospital, and H1 is on his way to take over and send her home for some rest.

As for H2, the doctors don’t think the infection is so deep that they’ll have to go back in surgically to treat it. We’re praying that they are right, and that the antibiotics will do the trick. He has been so miserable since the operation, I really feel bad. I bounced back so quickly after my surgery that I encouraged him and filled him with expectations that didn’t materialize.

So, please pray for a speedy recovery for H2, and also for several of my friends who are also recovering from surgery or receiving treatments for other illnesses. Please pray that 2007 will be a year of peace, good health, and happiness for all.

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December 27, 2006


H2 suffered a setback. I think he overexerted on Christmas day in order to be with the family. Please pray for him, and for all of us as our nerves are frazzled with worry.

H1 and I banded together and were able to mount the under-the-cabinet iHome radio/iPod player. It was really pretty easy, but I attribute that to H1's skills, not mine for sure!!!

Because of H2's condition, H1/DIL1 have extended their stay for a few days, which we are decidedly happy about. It was either that, or we laid H2 on the floor with BB next to him and together they could holler "STAY!!!!!, STAY!!!!" at the top of their lungs.

H1 bought DIL1 a laptop PC a few months back. They found it so convenient that he decided he wanted one, too. Well, he thought that if he bought himself a laptop before Christmas it would prevent them from participating in the giving spirit as much as they would have liked, so he opted to wait a few more months before he got his own laptop. The look on his face... he was brought almost to tears... when he opened his present from DIL1... a new laptop!!! PRICELESS!!

Of course, he had his revenge with the look on her face when she saw the custom headlights and taillights he got her for her Scion xB. Again, PRICELESS!!

It was certainly a Christmas of surprises. Apparently Linda has been commenting to the kids that she really wanted a rocker for the back deck. Something like what P&J have at their house. She never mentioned it to me. Anyway, H1/DIL1 surprised her with a new white wooden rocker. H1 and FL1 assembled it for her. Linda was really surprised and excited.

Just to bring everyone up to speed, here's what my kids have gotten me in the last few months since my purchse of an iPod.The last one, shown in white, is actually black like the others, as is my iPod. To (mis)quote a famous actress, "They like me! They really like me!"
Those were just a few of the wonderful gifts that were exchanged. It was marvelous to "feel the love" in such abundance. With that in mind, I'd like to ask for prayers for all those people whose Christmas experiences were not as warm or pleasant as ours. I'd like to also ask for prayers for families who are separated this Christmas season, for God's children, our brothers and sisters in Christ, who find themselves without family or friends, or for whom circumstances have left them out on the streets trying to survive as best they can. May our hearts remain open and may we be generous in our love and support through the coming year. Commitments of donations of time, talent, treasure to a local food bank or shelter are suggestions for a New Year's Resolution.

A sad "Goodbye" to former President Gerald Ford, and to the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

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December 26, 2006

'Twas The Day After CHRISTmas and...

CHRISTmas was absolutely wonderful!! Friday was what they call my "RDO" (regular day off), so it was a 4-day holiday. It was my privilege to deliver the homily at the three regular weekend masses, then Linda attended 5PM Christmas Vigil with Patti and the kids, and KenEllie. We both attended Christmas Midnight Mass, which was well attended. The church was beautifully decorated.

H2 is struggling with his recovery from having the disc between L4 and L5 removed. He's in a lot more pain than we expected, based on the experiences of other family members who had undergone similar operations. Still, he's starting to move about the house, and even made it over to P&Js for Christmas dinner.

What a dinner it was!! Ham, turkey and duck, and all the trimmings! H1/DIL1 came in from Houston, and FL1 joined us as well. It was a terrific family gathering. God has truly been good to us this year (and every year)!! I must take a moment to express my thanks for the wonderful family that He has given me. I could not have asked for a better family, better spouses, better friends than I have received, in abundance!

Let me tell you, if you are any kind of a music freak (for me, it's a capital "F" - Freak!!) then iPod is the way to go. Not only can you carry around your favorite tunes, but it opens up seemingly endless gift possibilities. The kids did it again... I got this for Christmas:

It goes under the cabinet in the kitchen. Has a clock, FM and TV band radio and a dock for the iPod. Maybe for Father's Day they'll give me someone to install it?!? Most people who know me know how awesomely handy I am with tools... (NOT!!!!!!!).

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!! May God continue to bless you, and may you recognize those blessings in every facet of your lives. He is GOOD!!!

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December 22, 2006


H2 is home once again! His leg is better, but of course now his back hurts from the surgery. The upside is that we know his back will stop hurting, while his leg would not have.

Hmmmm... I wonder if this was all a clever ruse to get more time away from work so he could practice, practice, practice with his Xbox360 to improve his chances of winning JM Football against his 13yo nephew?!?!?

H1 and DIL1 arrive tomorrow afternoon!! We're all excited. The whole family will be back together again. Better watch out, New Orleans!

In case I don't have an opportunity to blog (or am just too lazy) Linda and I want to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

May the Peace and Joy of the CHRISTmas season be yours throughout the coming year!

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December 20, 2006

Stab Me In The Back, Why Don't You???

H2 went through surgery for a herniated disc. The procedure was supposed to take 45 minutes to shave off a piece of the disc that was pressing against nerves. It actually took two hours. The surgeon said there was a little more damage than originally thought, so he removed the entire disc between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. H2 is doing fine. As the anethesia wears off he continues to improve. He should be released tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who offered prayers for him.

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December 17, 2006


Redskins, dat's who!! SKINS - 16 SAINTS - 10

Saints Fan Reaction

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Err Today, Eragon Tomorrow

We didn't make it to the show yesterday as planned. The service at Outback was SO SLOW!!! We only had to wait 15 minutes for a table for 9 + baby, but after an hour of being seated, all we had were drinks... no famous bread, no appetizers, nada!!! We were seated at 7:40 which should have left plenty of time to eat and make the 10PM show. We left the restaurant at 10! Maybe we can make the show tonight.

Ian owns his uncle (H2) once again! After being humilated by Ian playing John Madden football on Ian's playstation, H2 challenged him to try it out on his (H2's) new xBOX 360, with new, unfamiliar controllers. So, Ian spent the night at our house and took the challenge. Let's just say that it's a poor carpenter who blames his tools, you know what I mean? Two games, two losses for H2!! OWNED!!

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December 16, 2006


Yep. It's my birthday. Hard to believe another year has come and gone. Although I do enjoy the occasional "senior" cup of coffee at Mickey D's, and the senior discount on movie tickets, I'm not nearly as appreciative of the aches and pains that have cropped up in recent years. But, I have to admit that ticking off another birthday is better than not.

It's been a wild week. Tuesday I finally mustered up enough nerve to go to a new dentist to have a tooth looked at. I lost a large molar filling while in Alabama last month. After the visit Tuesday, I went back Thursday to have the tooth extracted. The dentist was going to do it on Friday, but I told him that Saturday (today) was my birthday and we always went out to dinner as family for my birthday. He was nice enough to move my appt to Thursday to allow some time to heal before Saturday night.

Wednesday I assembled our Christmas tree. Then P&J and kids came over. While Major Dad helped me move some furniture, Patti and the kids decorated the tree. I made beef stew for dinner and I think everyone enjoyed it.

Thursday noon our team at work went to Pascale's Manale for lunch as a Christmas
outing. I must say, oysters bienville, barbecued shrimp po-boys, and bread pudding make for a great pre-tooth extraction experience. Everything was outstanding and the company was most pleasant and enjoyable.

Linda came home last night!! It is really wonderful to have her back again. This split household cannot end too soon for me, I tell you! KenEllie fetched Chinese take-out for everyone and we had a nice dinner and watched Talladega Nights on DVD.

Today started with a nice quiet cup of coffee for both Linda and I. Then we met Patti and the kids for breakfast at Common Grounds in Gretna. Very nice. Tonight it looks like Outback for dinner, then a movie, probably Eragon, with Ian.

All in all, it's not a bad start to the Christmas season (well, actually Advent). Next comes the arrival of H1/DIL1 next weekend. DIL1 has to work the week between Christmas and New Years. I hope she mentions to her boss that it would really be nice if she could work out of the New Orleans office for a week. We would love to have them stay over until New Years.

Prayers, please, for H2. He goes in for back surgery to fix a herniated disk (L5 of course!!).

We wish you a very Merry Christmas!! May the joy of God's merciful love, made manifest in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, bring you peace and happiness throughout the coming year.

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December 10, 2006


'Nuff said!!!

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This one's for Chia (H1) Son!!! Happy Birthday!!!!

Also, to remove any confusion as to my previous post... I received a new addition to my growing family of iPOD accessories!! And, it does, indeed, ROCK!!!

KenEllie and I went to dinner and a movie Friday night. We saw "Stranger Than Fiction". Pretty good movie. I continue to marvel at the talent that Will Ferrell continues to display. I guess he's more than just a pretty faced cheerleader!! Other cast members were Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, so Mr. Ferrell was in good Company. And Tom Hulce made an almost cameo-like appearance as a loony psychiatrist. Remember Tom Hulce? Animal House (Pinto)? Amadeus (Wolfgang, himself)?

Tonight is chili and football at P&Js. Looking forward to a fun time. Gonna bring H2 with me. I have to get him out of the house now and then to air him out. Don't want him to get stale. He finally gets to see the neurosurgeon this coming Tuesday, so hopefully we will get to the bottom of his ailments soon!!

Love and best Christmas wishes to all.

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December 9, 2006


*See title.

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December 7, 2006


It’s going to be a long 2 weeks with Linda back in Memphis. H1 and DIL1 are back in Houston, probably until Christmas. H2 is waiting for a doctor appointment next week. I’m waiting for Linda to return, next time for 2 ½ weeks!

Kenny called me to invite me out with him and Ellie tomorrow night. To go to church! On a Thursday! WOW! Knock me over with a feather! Of course I said ‘Yes’.

Molly continues to get bigger and cuter every day. Red hair and blue eyes! What a combination. If you look at pictures of her and of BB at the same age, you can’t tell them apart. It’s like they’re twins, born 5 years apart.

Did I mention that Ian is tops in his class? He was the lone straight “A” student during the last marking period. Way to go, Ian!!! Keep up the good work!

Patti returns to work in two weeks. I’m really going to miss the lunches. I hope we can get a couple more in before she starts.

A reminder from your local Knights of Columbus… “Keep Christ In Christmas!” Words to live by. He is the reason for the season. You get to take Christmas off from work, not “Holiday”. “Oh, goody. Monday is “Holiday” and I don’t have to come to work.” Of course, what the liberal left don’t seem to realize is that “holiday” comes from “holy day” so it’s still a religious observance whether they like it or not!

Here’s an outlandish thought. Since the 12 days of Christmas begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th (the day before Epiphany), why not keep those decorations up for the whole Christmas season. I mean, so many people put them up for Advent, and then on December 26th the curbs are lined with discarded trees. I guess once the gifts are opened, Christmas is over… NOT!!
Well, I’ve rambled long enough to maybe make myself sleepy. Wishing you all a spirit filled Advent, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year

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