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.

March 27, 2007


Has it really been a whole week since my last update? Time flies SO fast when you're having fun. Right. Actually the days are dragging and I just miss the cr_p out of Linda. Good for me, though, she'll be coming home each weekend for the next three weekends!! A lot of travelling for her. Then she'll stay up in Memphis for one more weekend, then HOME FOR GOOD!!! YEAH!!!

MMPH is getting just TOO cute! We were at dinner Friday night at Perino's, a "burled" seafood restaurant having crawfish and "shwimps". During dinner Molly just started singing away, and just being basically a little chatterbox. Really, REALLY cute! Then she proceeded to do it again on Saturday when the whole family (sans Linda) :-( gathered at Corky's for BBQ. She was the cutest! BB was a perfect angel both nights, as well.

Speaking of BB, she lost a front tooth yesterday and has another hanging on by a thread. Looks like ol' Newton J. Snookers (the Tooth Fairy) will be getting a workout at their house.

Ian is really growing up. He's a thoughtful kid, full of questions that he likes to throw at you pretty much non-stop. He's so funny, too, when he tries to keep up with the adults' conversation. Every now and then he'll have to ask, "What is 'such and such'?", or, "What do you mean by 'such and such'?". It generally leads to some good natured ribbing, and everyone eventually ends up laughing until the tears roll down their cheeks, with Ian laughing the hardest. He's such a sweet kid!

KenEllie are getting excited about moving to our neighborhood. They move May 1st. We're really looking forward to them being on the Best Bank.

It's looking like we're about due for a "Shed" run out to Ocean Springs. Anyone interested? Maybe we can get up a convoy... "Pigpen, this here's Rubber Duck, come on!"

As we get closer to Easter, I want to wish everyone the best. If you participate in Holy Week, may you be spiritually inspired and renewed. And may this Easter season bring you blessing upon blessing as we celebrate our Lord's victory over sin and death. His victory has brought salvation to all the world. Praise to our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of endless glory!!

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March 20, 2007


OK. It’s pretty definite. Linda is coming home for good. She’s coming home yesterday… no, make that two weeks from yesterday… no, make that 6 weeks from yesterday. She actually got a call from an admin person here at SSC telling her that her report date is April 30th. So that’s the date I guess I’ll hang my hat on.

Linda and I had a good weekend. We went on a “married couples” retreat at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Benedict, LA. KenEllie came with us. It was a quiet, enjoyable time, with good presentations by three different couples. The retreat master, Fr. Tommy, was great! The theme was “Patience”. Hmmm, I wonder if that was divine intervention? (See first paragraph).

The “Abbey Youth Festival” happened to be held on Saturday on the Abbey grounds. Busload after busload of high school aged kids arrived early Saturday morning. Ultimately an estimated 4000 kids showed up! They had a huge sound stage set up, so often, even inside the retreat house we could hear the activities going on. Saturday evening we went to the Eucharistic Adoration with the youth. It was amazing to see a sea of young faces sitting and holding candles and praying together.

H2 is recovering slowly but steadily. He is getting out of the house now and then, and more and more often his old personality is shining through. It’s been a struggle for him, but he’s done well. Hopefully with PT and the remaining antibiotic regimen we’ve finally crested the hill and are on the downward slope.

H1 is coming in this weekend for a bachelor party for Big Boy. The plan now is for H2 to drive to Houston Wednesday and bring H1 back on Friday. Then H1 will fly back to Houston on Sunday. It’ll be nice to see H1 (however briefly) but we will miss having DIL1 here with him.

There are many members of our diaconate community in need of prayers, so I am asking that you pray for their health and physical wellbeing. Also, please pray for the wonderful couples who attended the retreat with us. We continue to love you and pray for you.

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March 16, 2007


I guess you learn something new every day. Linda and I both thought that when you change jobs in Federal Civil Service your losing command could hold you for up to a month on a lateral, or two weeks for a promotion. Apparently you always have the option of resigning at the losing command, then picking up right away at the gaining command. That’s what we’re looking into now. Of course, that means the bridges will most likely be burned, and there’ll be no looking back. So, there’s a SLIM chance that Linda may come home this weekend and just not go back to Memphis, other than to pick up anything she doesn’t have room for in the car this trip.

H2 is going to physical therapy twice a week. He seems to be ok afterward, not overly sore or worn out. It’s a relief to see him up and around again, and back to some sort of “normal”.

It’s almost time for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, more commonly known as the Jazz Fest.

And with that thought, Linda just called back to say the HR person is going to push for March 31st. She’ll not be at work Monday, which means if Linda resigned today there would be a 3 day gap, which is not allowed. Oh, well. 2 weeks is better than 6, I guess.

Now I don't remember what I was going to write about Jazz Fest, so I guess I'll just go... I'm leaving... Don't push, I'm going... L8R Dewds!!!

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March 15, 2007


Linda got the LONG awaited phone call today. HRO called to offer her a lateral job at SSC NOLA, which is where I work. Lateral means that it is not a promotion or a downgrade, it’s at the same paygrade she’s at now. She accepted!! So as it stands now, she’ll be coming home FOR GOOD the last weekend in April! Thank you, THANK YOU for all your prayers!!

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March 10, 2007

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Wild Hogs was hysterical! It's a really funny movie. If you aren't familiar, it's a movie about 4 middle-aged guys, Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy, friends from college who form a motorcycle "gang" called the "Wild Hogs". Each one is experiencing some sort of mid-life crisis and end up on a bike trip across country to the West Coast, and the movie details their (mis)adventures along the way. Very funny stuff, including the scenes during the credits. H1/DIL1 take notice. You've GOT to go see it!!

LDB's b'day is Monday, but Linda returns to Memphis tomorrow so we'll celebrate today. Looks like dinner at our fav' Asian (Chinese/Japanese) restaurant, then the guys are off to see "300" while the ladies go to see some "chick flick", probably "Music and Lyrics". We'll have reviews later.

Has it really been since, like, September that we've been seeing something about Anna Nicole Smith in the TV news EVERY FREAKIN' DAY???? That's SEVEN months!! Come ON, America!!! Get a LIFE!

I can't believe that as soon as S2 and friends left for PA the weather has warmed up and it's been sunny and beautiful every day! Now they will just all have to come back and experience the city when the weather is nice and warm, the leaves are green, and the flowers are in bloom. Y'all come back now, Ya hear?!?!?

A special congrats to Tim and Kristin, who became engaged yesterday! They are an unbelievably cute couple, and, hopefully another reason to get together with family that we see so infrequently. All our love and hope for a lifetime of happiness goes out to them.

For those of you who are in the habit of giving up something for Lent, how's it going? Hopefully you are letting whatever small sacrifice you've chosen be a way to grow spiritually stonger. The small crosses we carry with us can be our constant reminder of the cross of our Lord, borne out of love for us, a symbol of His triumph over sin and death! Praise and Glory to our Lord Jesus Christ!!

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March 7, 2007


I left out the queen of parade goers in my last post... If S2 comes for Mardi Gras next year she MUST hook up with DLG and BB!! No question about that!

Went to see Ghost Rider last night. Good flick. Not great, but hey, it's based on a comic book! Geez!

Looking forward to Wild Hogs next. It's supposed to be hilarious.

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March 6, 2007

C'est Fini... Sort Of.

H2's PICC line is out! He still has 4 - 6 months of oral meds to look forward to, but at least we no longer have to hook him up and unhook him every day.

After his PICC was removed we ran to Corky's for a quick lunch. HA!!! The ghost of slow service continues to haunt! It must have taken us 1 1/2 hours to eat. I had left work to go to the doctor appointment, and intended to go back for a couple of several more hours. By the time I got back and got logged in, it was time to go home!!

BB got in to St. Andrew the Apostle School. P&J are excited about that. It's a blue ribbon school, and the waiting list is long to get in.

Congrats to Constant, our student in Uganda. He did very well on his exams, and qualifies now for college, but has elected, I think, to go to seminary there. We wish him well!

S2 leave tomorrow to go back to PA. We miss her already, but she's semi-committed to returning for her first Mardi Gras next year!! H1/DIL1, KenEllie, take note... She's going to need some expert help in enjoying Carnival. If OB comes down again it will be a super time!

Deal's Gap - July '07!!! YEAH!!!

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March 5, 2007


It was really great to have S2 back again! It was also great to meet PF1,2 & 3! I hope they enjoy their visit to the Big Sleazy!

Friday H2, Linda and I joined S2 and PF1 for dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. It’s become almost a family tradition to go there on Friday, usually with P&J and family, although they couldn’t make it this time. It was probably for the best, because it was absolutely the WORST visit we’ve ever had. The service was NOT good, although the food was VERY good!

Saturday we (Linda and I, KenEllie, H1/DIL1, H2, P&J and family, and S2 and PF1-3 went to Fire of Brazil. It was a continuation of Friday night… It started off well, as we parked in a parking garage that turned out to be adjacent to the restaurant. We were seated immediately and that’s about the end of convenience!! Once beverages were ordered, the waiter neglected to explain to everyone what the standard protocol was for a Brazilian steakhouse, e.g., first visit the salad bar, then get fresh plates as the meat courses arrive. We had the gauchos arriving with the meat and no one had plates, no one had been to the salad bar! Finally one of the managers overheard us talking and realized that everyone new to this style of dining was confused. He explained the procedure and off we went.

The food was delicious, prepared well, but the 15 – 20 minute wait between meats was a bit much. At Texas de Brazil the food came at you fast and furious and we would find ourselves turning our card to the red (stop) side frequently to catch up. Not the case at Fire of Brazil. All in all we were there for FOUR hours!! Many of the people we were with said they would not return to this restaurant. I will probably give them a few more weeks to get their routine down, then perhaps try again with a small party of 4 or 5 people. We’ll see.

Sunday we had a good old-fashioned crawfish boil. The above mentioned group was there, plus FL1. Major Dad (with the help of PF2) shucked 26 dozen oysters which were coated with a garlic butter sauce and grilled over charcoal. DEEEElicious!!! The crawfish were cooked perfectly, slid out of their shells easily and were a nice size. The only downer was it was pretty darned chilly yesterday, so everyone had to bundle up to stay warm… The house wasn’t much help because the heat went out on Friday.

Sadly, H1/DIL1 are back in Houston, probably for a good while now. Also, Linda may be returning to Memphis at the end of the week. S2 and friends go back home Wednesday. It looks like H2 and I will be on our own for awhile. No joy there!

Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers in answer to my many requests. May God continue to bless you all.

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March 2, 2007


S2 has arrived!! She, along with PFs 1,2 & 3 are in New Orleans! Hopefully it won't be long before she gets over to the house. I hope they enjoy our fair city. They plan to take in a lot, and do a lot of tourist stuff in the few days they are here. I'll be helping them out by once again "burling" some crawfish.

Tomorrow we all are going to Fire of Brazil restaurant, the new Brazilian steakhouse (churruscaria) here in NOLA. It's only been open for a couple of weeks. I hope it's good, because Texas de Brazil has apparently cancelled their plan to open a restaurant in Baton Rouge this summer.

Quick opinion poll. Are all IDDs idiots? I'm just wondering, since it seems as if everything they did for H2 was more of a "shot in the dark" than a real diagnosis/treatment.

A quick "Hello" to BIL-O and SIL-O and FAM-O. (That would be Orlando family.) Ihope everyone is doing well.

H1/DIL1 should be enroute very soon. They'll be arriving late this evening. It'll be really great to have everyone get together, with S2 and friends.

Note: Robbinsville, NC, 22-27 July. O-o-h-h-h-h Y-e-e-a-a-a-h-h! Blue Ridge Parkway here we come!!

Aside: The Lake House. Sandra Bullock. Keanu Reeves. Chick flick. Still, it was pretty good.

H2 and I may take in "Wild Hogs" tonight. Looks to be pretty funny. Will post more about that later if we do, in fact, make it.


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