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.

August 29, 2007


It's hard to believe that almost a week has passed since my last entry. Still, not much going on.

This past weekend was my first homily weekend since April. Talk about nervous! I guess it went ok, though. At all three masses, nobody got up and walked out while I was giving it.

Today is the 2nd anniversary of Katrina. It brings with it President and Mrs. Bush. Earlier in the week we had several presidential candidates in town for a mini debate. I wish they'd just stick to TV and Youtube for their politicking. All they accomplish when they come here is to tie up our airwaves with "special reports" that have nothing of any real import to say, and then they tie up our highways and byways coming into and leaving the city, creating havoc with our traffic. I think I'll vote for the candidate who NEVER comes to New Orleans!

While in Ohio, the sisters came up with the idea for a massive family gathering in 2009 to celebrate the fact that in 2009, in the extended family we will have someone who turns 60, another 50, one 40, a 30, and a 20. Any 10's we don't know about? The location most widely agreed upon is Orlando. In order for maximum attendance, the date will have to fall somewhere after school lets out in the spring, and before it starts again in the fall. More to follow on this as I get more info from S1,S2,S3 and S4.

Linda did some gardening on Sunday, and appears to have injured her back in some fashion. She's been home for two days resting. Please pray that it is "only" muscle strain and nothing more serious. Even strains in the back can be incredibly painful. Prayers for her, please.

I'm working from home today. It's nice to sit in my "green room" office and listen to the church bells as they play different hymns. Very calming and peaceful.

H1/DIL1 head to Vegas this weekend. I hope they have a great time. Just remember the old family motto, "What happens in Vegas gets replayed over, and over, and over again at every possible family function."

Take care, and God bless!!

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August 23, 2007


Last weekend was SO MUCH FUN it took several days to recover!! The wedding was, as I said previously, WONDERFUL. Here are some (most) of the pics we took while there. Click on a photo to see it full size, or click on the link to view the entire album.

Herrick - Rossi Wedding And if you haven't already seen the video of Bryan at the reception, here it is.

And of course we took pictures while at the Michigan Renaissance Fair.

Wedding Trip - Renaissance Fair
I hope you enjoy!

Yesterday evening we (Linda, KenEllie and I) went to see Stardust. I expected a fantasy type of movie. It turned out to be a fantasy, swashbuckling, funny, action-packed chick flick that we all enjoyed immensely! Michelle Pfeifer, Robert Deniro and Clare Danes are in it. You've GOT to see the Deniro character! Trust me!

That's it for now. Just a quick update. God bless you!!

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August 20, 2007


Just a quick update... Linda and I left NOLA on Thursday after work and drove to Memphis where we spent the night at the LaQuinta we had stayed at after Katrina. Friday we drove to Toledo, Ohio to attend our niece's wedding. Saturday was the wedding. It was a beautiful drive up, and Saturday was sunny and cool, with temps in the upper 60s for the wedding, which was held outdoors in a park. It was lovely. The bride was beautiful and glowing, the husband handsome and sharp in his tux. The reception following was great. The food was outstanding, the music and DJ were entertaining and everyone had a great time.

It was really good to see my brother, 3 of 4 sisters, and nephews and nieces and spouses and grandnephew/niece at last or again!!

Sunday we drove north about 115 miles into Michigan, past Detroit, to a Renassaince Fair. It, too, was a blast, although the weather had turned chilly and drizzly. We still had a great time. Sunday night we wrapped up with dinner at the famous Tony Packo's restaurant in Toledo (made famous by Corporal Klinger (Jamie Farr) on M*A*S*H)

This morning we will breakfast with the clan, then 15 1/2 hours or so back to NOLA. What a weekend. We'll be tired, sore, but happy to be home!!

God Bless!!

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August 10, 2007


* Rule # 2 - If a Chief is wrong, Rule # 1 applies.

My layout appears to be working a little better with Firefox. Not as well as I'd like, but still better than it was.

I had another visit with the wound care nurse as well as my IDD. Result is the leg looks really good. Another round of silver nitrate sticks to keep it healing properly. IDD gave me a return to work note that allows for 1/2 day, 3 days a week until further notice. She's really concerned about the cellulitis flaring up again. Not that I'm not, mind you, but 3 months is a long time to be away from the office.

As the gubernatorial election gets closer I shudder at the prospect of another season of hateful political adds. So far there are 3 candidates running regular adds on TV. One, Bobby Jindal, the front runner and current U.S. Representative, is keying on honesty and integrity in government. Another, John Georges, is keying on his own leadership abilities and how they will best serve the state. The third, and the first to begin a TV campaign, has done nothing but throw stones at Jindal. Unfortunately, mudslinging seems to have a positive, not negative, effect on Louisiana voters more often than not.

Today we dropped off 3 soccer balls with one of the Ugandan seminarians who is going to New York for a few days. He'll be giving the balls, as well as some clothing and other supplies to another Ugandan to take back with him. It is SO costly to mail packages to Uganda, and often they never arrive at the intended destination!

I'm already beginning to feel the urge for another trip to Tororo! I thought the last time would be the last time, but, who knows? The people are wonderful, the country is beautiful, and the opportunities to help are almost overwhelming! I wish I had a talent for fundraising. There is so much good that can be accomplished with what to we Americans is a modest sum of money. Digging a well for clean, potable water, or building a house, a church, a hospital. One hospital we visited had several wards, but more beds than mattresses! Another would-be hospital was unfinished because funds had run out. Yet the people remain amazingly positive and up-beat.

Congratulations to DIL2's brother who is a Navy Chief Petty Officer (CPO) selectee! Here's wishing you good luck in the weeks leading up to your initiation! Just remember, "Anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

Some of my faithful readers have met S2, my sister who lives in PA. I hope you get a chuckle out of this!

Take care, and

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August 7, 2007


How do you like the new look? I've been tinkering for awhile and trying to learn as I go. Comments? Suggestions?

Update - As you can tell from the comments, the changes don't work well with Firefox. I'm trying to figure out how to fix it.

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August 4, 2007


First, a note to DIL1... Over the years that I've known you, I've watched you, often in wonder and amazement, mind you, grow into a lovely, mature young woman. You complete one of my children (H1) and are without a doubt the best friend to another (H2). You are, indeed, a part of our (quirky, silly, sick, psycho) family, and we love you dearly. Thank you for the kind words in your blog. I started to get a little misty eyed, then I thought, hey, considering how you describe SD, and then compared me to him, I'm not sure just how much of a compliment I got!! (Just kidding! I am truly touched by the sentiment.)

Although large areas of New Orleans are remain starkly desolate, most notably in New Orleans East, and some parts of St. Bernard Parish, still there are signs that life does, indeed, go on in the Big Easy.

Pre-Katrina, I used to go to the city's main vehicle inspection station which is located near the old American Can Company. For years I would drive past the large, vacant buildings with broken windows, peeling paint and crumbling exterior.

Yesterday evening Linda and I went to dinner with Fr. John and Vincent, a seminarian from Uganda. Never having been before, we went to one of the several local Sun Ray Grills. The original Sun Ray Grill is located on the West Bank next to the former Meadowcrest Hospital on Belle Chasse Highway. There is another located in the Cotton Mill Apartments. We, however, went to the new Sun Ray Grill located in the old American Can Company building (see link above). I was amazed, to say the least. You can get an idea of the changes to American Can Company here and

I understand that DIL2 is now into book 3 of the Harry Potter series, and is enjoying them very much. That only leaves Linda and DIL1... I need to come up with some incentives... Hmmm... Ideas, anyone?

It won't be long now until the WhoDats are back. Football season is just around the corner and everyone (at least everyone in NOLA) is hoping the Saints will be back even better than last season! Time to start dusting off your fan regalia, the lines are already long at The Black and Gold Sports Shop in Metairie!

May God be with you today and every day!

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August 1, 2007


Although "Dan, the weather man" gave it a "5" on the "DARN" scale (Dan's Atmospheric Rating Number)due to 50% chance of showers or t'storms today, right now the sun is shining. I'm kicked back in my somewhat cushy chair at my desk in the "green room" (formerly H2's bedroom) trying to get some work done and watching the sunlight flit through the back door curtain. Seemed like a good time for an update.

Friday found Linda and I in Slidell visiting Keith and Chris, who we don't see nearly often enough. It was great to catch up on both our families over a sumptuous dinner that Chris had prepared. We didnt' realize how long it had been since we'd visited until we started taking stock... new kitchen, new front door, not one but TWO new dogs (formerly cats)!! WOW!!

We've started watching a new show on TNT. Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter. It's pretty interesting. She's a cop in Oklahoma, lost family in the OK City bombing, has lost any faith she might have had, lives a life of questionable virtue (opening scene is her having an affair with a married partner) and apparently God has sent an angel (Earl) who chews tobacco and wears biker clothing to let her know she's down to one last chance to turn her life around and come to God. Check it out. It's pretty good!

The Harry Potter hubbub has died down a bit. DIL2 has finished book 1 and started book 2. Linda is thinking about reading the series, and I have no update on DIL1 in this regard. Everyone seems to have liked book 7, although I'm getting mixed reviews about the last chapter.

Big J was on vacation for about 10 days in California. He continues to maintain perfect attendance at church, which is better than we can say for a lot of us!! Way to go J!!
Another gold star!!

H2 returned from his long weekend in Houston. He looks great! We missed him, but I know he needs time with H1/DIL1. When he got home he didn't have to drive through a mudhole to park this time. After a year and a half and several calls to "6 On Your Side" the Orleans Parish Sewer and Water Board sent out workers to repair the hole they had created in our driveway. They paved it on Thursday and Monday it was ready for use, just in time for H2's return!!

We (Linda, H1, DIL1, and me) are going to my niece Rachel's wedding in Toledo, Ohio in two weeks. We're looking forward to hopefully seeing most of the family there. This time we hope to see our nephew Bryan and his new bride and baby, as well! Family gatherings are way too few and far between!!

The leg seems to be once again on the mend as you can see if you've a mind to have a look.

And finally, as we wish for you all of God's blessings, how can you not LOVE this man!?!

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