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.

April 25, 2007


Finally!! Linda has been bounced back and forth on whether or not she would get, at the new job, the pay increase she would have received next month while in her old job. It had boiled down to “maybe you should wait one more month until you get your raise and then start work in NOLA”. Since she had already given notice to both her employer and her hosts, the only option was to come home and take vacation for a month. All this transpired since Monday. Just a few minutes ago she got the job salary offer and it included the pay raise, so everything is back on track. She will return to NOLA on Friday and start her new job on Monday. Whew!! Looks like we’re on with Serrano’s to celebrate both Patti’s new job and Linda’s homecoming!

PLUS… I got my COMPLETE Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy! They are as funny as I had remembered them! Sweet!

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April 21, 2007


The clock keeps ticking as the end draws nearer... a light looms at the end of the tunnel... Linda's arrival is only days (as opposed to weeks or months) away! Are we getting a little anxious?!?!? Oh, yeah!!

Tonight (Sunday) I'm making dinner over at P&Js. It's what we call "Sahara bread supper". I like to keep things simple. This is just ground beef and italian sausage with green peppers and onions in 1/2 a pita, covered with a sauce made with tomato sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice.
Yummmm! It'll be especially good because Major Dad is making salad to go with it. I think I've mentioned before that his salads are, as they say, "to die for".

Hopefully in the next week or so H2 will be done with his antibiotics. They seem to rob him of any energy. Although he's been released from physical therapy he really is challenged to do much of anything. This whole ordeal seems to have taken a huge toll on him.

We're hoping to hear some good words about our friend Chris's last session of chemo. She has really been an inspiration to us and our kids in the way she has remained so upbeat and positive throughout. Please continue, as we do, to hold her and her family in your prayers.

I saw my friend, Mr. Brain, in church last weekend. He recently finished his last session of chemo and is gradually recovering from its effects. He looks well, and with his new growth of hair (still very short) he looks remarkably "happening". He fits right in with the close cropped hair styles that are popular today. Please keep him, too, in your prayers, along with his family.

Linda and I started watching a replacement show called "Raines". Stars Jeff Goldblum as a police detective who "sees" the murdered victims of the crimes he investigates. Not as ghosts, but as figments of his own imagination. He sees and talks to the victims during the investigation and they continue to evolve as he learns more and more about them. It's really pretty interesting and entertaining, but apparently only six episodes were made, so next week is the last. Seems like that's always the way.

For those who don't live hear, the state of New Orleans as I see it. It's been 19 1/2 months. New Orleans East is still very slow in returning, as is Lakeview, although I think Lakeview is coming back a bit quicker. Since I drive through a portion of Lakeview to get to work, I continue to see more and more homes being demolished, but also new homes are starting to rise up out of the ashes (waters??).

It appears that most people, like me, not directly involved with the rebuilding of New Orleans, have resumed a semblance of normal that is mainly frequenting areas that are pretty much up and running again. It's funny. It's possible to pretty much avoid almost all areas that are still in various stages of devastation, destruction and rebuilding. If you do this, it's almost as if everything is really ok again. If you don't mind the lack of trees, rush hour traffic that starts hours sooner and lasts hours longer, still L-O-N-N-N-G-G lines at the most popular restaurants, traffic lights that work only sporadically or not at all, and out of state plates that outnumber the LA plates, of course. Oh, I almost forgot... trucks and trucks and trucks and trucks with trailers and more trucks and more trucks with trailers!!

Well, gotta go do some cooking. Take care and God bless you!!

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April 18, 2007


You guessed it! Herr Deacon Dean von Klutzmeister is the WINNER!! I fell flat on my *SS at work today. Totally. Really klutzed out. I was wearing headphones so my cubicle neighbors didn't have to listen to my tunes. I stood up, which caused my chair (on rollers) to move backward. When I reached the end of the headphones cord I tried to quickly sit back down so as not to pull off the headphones or yank the cord from the computer. Did I mention that the chair had moved backward? Did I mention the chair has rollers? So when I sat down, on the front edge of the chair, it kept going backward and I kept going down... quickly... not too terribly gracefully... banging the chair into the cube wall and banging my back into the chair and my *ss into the carpet. Nice.

How's THAT for a mental image?

I'm now home, have taken a double dose of muscle relaxer meds from a previous injury and am hoping that I can still walk tomorrow!!

BB has been moved to a desk by herself because her deskmates have been cheating off her. This is kindergarten, for heaven's sake!!

That's it. I'm done.

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April 15, 2007


*Something That We Do - Clint Black

It's a done deal! BBB is officially Mrs. Big Boy!!! Congrats to the lovely couple! The wedding was beautiful and the reception was a blast. It was made especially nice in that the whole Southern Herrick clan was present.
It was a great time for some Kodak moments, so enjoy!!

The ride to the reception was pretty interesting. Only in Algiers (NOLA West Bank) can you participate in a multi-sheriff's unit (all with lights flashing) led 20 - 30 car parade leaving the church and passing through a 22 police car (all with lights flashing) crime scene where the New Orleans Police Dept (NOPD) is searching for the 2nd of two murder suspects!! High excitement, let me tell you!

While we were all at the wedding and reception, I-buddy and BB were being "babysat" by a nice young girl, the niece of a friend and co-worker of DLG's. It seems that the young lady is "hot" in I-b's words. And, apparently he really enjoyed the wrestling match that they had in the living room. What can I say? Way to go, L'il Bubba!!!

H1/HH left for Houston this PM, and the rest of the gang sans H2 (he's down with a cold) went to Byblos for dinner. Good stuff! MMP was cute as always. Her siblings were entertaining throughout the evening. Byblos, as many restaurants do now, uses heavy paper for the table cloth, so we gave the kids pens to doodle with. BB drew many cute pictures, including one that I-b identified as "helmet head". KenEllie will understand! When I looked over at I-buddy, he was doing math problems! When asked, he said, "I'm not much of an artist."

Let me close with (hopefully) a couple more pics from the reception. God bless you all during this Easter season.

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April 13, 2007


What ever happened to Ben Casey? I’ll bet if HE had operated on H2 there would have been no infection issues. Or, if there had, Dr. Zorba would certainly have nipped them in the bud in short order. We miss you, Ben, along with your colleague, Dr. Kildare!

Please pray for the repose of the soul of two of my friends, one who died on Wednesday and the other on Thursday. I believe both were struggling with cancer. I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of people I know who have, who had, or who succumbed to cancer. I can’t help wondering where our incidence rate falls on the national scale. To me, it seems that we have an awfully high incidence rate, but I have no data to back it up, just a feeling.

Prayer is requested also for a friend who had a kidney transplant 11 years ago, and appears now to be in the early stages of having that kidney fail.

Yesterday evening was Big Boy’s and B3’s (Big Boy’s Britney, soon to be Big Boy’s Bride) wedding rehearsal and dinner. They are two really good people and it’s really a pleasure knowing them. The rehearsal came off without a hitch and I’m sure the wedding will, as well! The rehearsal dinner was a private, catered dinner at Boomtown Casino. The food was great, and the DJ found his rhythm once he realized that line and slow dances would get people onto the dance floor. H2 even got up once to cut the rug on a slow dance!

Linda is visiting this weekend. And she’s bringing a house guest of sorts. It seems that her hosts in Memphis will both be out of town this weekend, and their family members will also be “out of pocket” leaving their dog, Lady, in the lurch. Enter Linda, who offers to bring Lady to NOLA for the French Quarter festival. Maynard has NO idea. He will be thrilled!! I can already visualize his body twisted into a pretzel as his tail spins at record speed! Oh, yes.

It still really amazes me to think about all the things that have been affected by Katrina. As I drive in various areas of East Bank NOLA I see things that I never noticed before. It’s the result of HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of trees being cut down after dying from being partially submerged in the flood waters. Along Elysian Fields Avenue alone the city has replanted something on the order of 220 + oaks, magnolias and other types of trees.

In the Lakeview area it seems that every day I realize a lot has appeared where a house once stood. They are going down faster than they are going up. I think, at least I hope, that the lots will soon be new homes. One resident mentioned that while the population of Lakeview has been decimated, the Easter Sunday morning service at St. Dominic’s was standing room only. People who intend to return are keeping in touch with their community. That’s encouraging in itself.

This weekend is the French Quarter festival. It used to be a small, pre-Jazzfest affair, intended for the local populace. Good food and good music spread throughout the French Quarter. Over the years it has grown into a mini-Jazzfest and is fast becoming a major tourist attraction. It has much of what Jazzfest has to offer, but without the high cost of admission and fewer headaches getting to it.

Jazzfest, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, follows close on the heels of the FQF. It takes place the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May (Fridays – Sundays). It boasts a great line-up of musicians this year. So much so that I, who in 23 years has been to Jazzfest only twice, am tempted to go. I’d really like to see Norah Jones and Bonnie Raitt.

Well, as DIL1 (or H3 aka H1’s Houston Hottie) says, “That’s all I got.” So, until next time… May God’s blessings be yours. We love you!

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April 8, 2007

Jesus Christ is Risen Today!!


It's been a great Easter! Saturday night KenEllie, Linda and I paricipated in the Easter Vigil Mass at HNM church. It was a beautiful and moving service.

Today we gathered at P&J's for Easter dinner, sans H1/DIL1 and H2. We had the traditional Easter ham with all the trimmings. DELICIOUS!! Major Dad is a great cook and host.

MMP, cute as ever, but she's got a cold and flips back and forth between being asleep, happy, and miserable. Poor baby! She's running a temp of 101.

Today was an especially good day. I managed to hook up Major Dad's laptop and I-buddy's desktop to their network WITHOUT calling H1 to help me out!! I'll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back.

I know many of you out there have managed to stick with me from the beginning, and I truly appreciate it. I hope you've all had a wonderful, spirit-filled Easter. Jesus is Risen!! He has won for us hope of our own eternal salvation!

May God's blessings be on all of you, your families, friends and loved ones. PEACE!!

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April 4, 2007


Time seems to fly when you’re having fun, or when you are waiting for something you aren’t necessarily looking forward to. While I love Easter, the holy day, I am always nervous about the Easter Vigil, and singing the Exultet. Consequently, Easter seems to be flying toward me like an out of control freight train.

Conversely, like the watched pot that never boils, time seems to crawl when you wait for something you are looking forward to. So April 27th seems SO far away as I wait for Linda’s return.

It’s interesting (at least to me) how I can be caught up in both experiences at the same time.

MMP has a cold. Poor thing! She is normally so cute and cuddly. The worst part of infant colds that I remember from my own kids growing up is having to suck the snot out of their little noses so they could breathe. Yuk!!

I agree with H1. He and DIL1 would look cute with matching vehicles.

While it was nice having DIL1 here last weekend, it will be super when both she and H1 are here for Big Boy’s wedding. Speaking of which, what’s the deal with a tuxedo rental that charges the groom $60 for a “free” complimentary tux? The groomsmen are shelling out ~$170 each, and they’re charging Big Boy another $60?!?!?! For a “free” tux?!?!

I forgot to mention that BB got straight A’s this marking period!! Way to go, BB!! We are SO proud of you!!

Little Bubba (aka I-buddy) is doing a super job, as well. He got all A’s and one B. I’m sure he’ll have straight A’s before the year is out.

Speaking of LB, you gotta love teenagers! H2 and LB met me for dinner at Cuco’s after I attended the CYO Living Stations of the Cross at Christ the King parish. LB was spending the night at our house. During dinner LB made the comment “My curfew is 3am.” When we got home at 9:30PM he made a beeline to the guest room, kicked off his sneakers, grabbed a comforter and flopped down onto the futon. I asked him what he was doing. He answered, “Going to sleep.” I made him get up, helped him put sheets on the futon and had him get undressed before he went to bed. So much for 3AM!!!

It looks like H2 is getting a promotion. He’s leaving loss prevention at the Navy Exchange and is going to be the supervisor of the electronics department there. It’s a perfect match!! He’s such a gadget weenie (like I’m not!!!)!!

I guess I’d better get back to work. Peace and love of Christ to you all!

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April 1, 2007

Counting the days until Linda gets home!

Free Countdown Clocks at WishAFriend.com

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