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 30, 2007


Thank GOD it's over! As Big J would say, I had "duty" this weekend. It was my weekend to preach at the three masses at Holy Name of Mary church. Linda says I'm pretty good, but I stress, big time, every month when my turn comes around. I've never been good at standing up in front of people to speak, and when you add to that what I consider to be a HUGE responsibility to take the readings of the day and get some theme or idea from them to try and make relevant to the congregation, it is super stressful! And, I deliver my homilies in front of not just our parishioners, but also my family, who are quite aware of my human faults and failings, yet listen patiently as I exhort them, myself, and others to try to be more perfectly Christian in our lives.

H1/DIL1 came in for the weekend. As always it was a HUGE (hmmm... that's the second time I've used HUGE in this blog...) boost for H2 to see his bro and sis-in-law! Friday evening they drove in and the rest of the family met them at Deanie's in Bucktown. We all got there around 8:15 or so. The place was PACKED. We had an hour wait, with about 33 people ahead of us.

Let me just say that Deanie's is NOT my favorite place to eat. I went there for lunch with a coworker maybe three or four years ago and, after being seated immediately (the place was pretty empty at 11AM), it still took over 1/2 hour to get someone to take our order, and we had been there 1 1/2 hours before we got our food!! I vowed that I would NEVER eat there again, and have kept that vow up to now.

Now, I dont't know, maybe because I was already stressing about my upcoming homily, God took pity on me. Deanie's in Bucktown is just around the corner from one of my FAVORITE eating establishments, New Orleans Food & Spirits. While waiting for our turn at Deanie's we decided to stroll over to NOFS and see what the wait would be there. Although it, too, looked jam packed, the hostess said she could seat us in 15 minutes!! Thank you, JESUS!!!

We ate at NOFS, and my blacklist of Deanie's in Bucktown (not to be confused with De-anie's on Haynes) remains intact.

Bubba, that is, Major Dad, goes to Baton Rouge all week for schooling. Please pray for a safe and successful trip and a safe return to DLG and the kids. Also, please pray for DLG, the mother of a certain 14 year old who's teenage hormones are beginnign to kick in, complicated by the fact that he is an extremely bright young man who's art of reasoning (arguing??) is quite good.

Oh, by the way, I had a visit with the wound care nurse and IDD at Oschner on Friday. She said my "hole" is about the size of a pinhead and should be completely closed within the next two weeks!! Praise God! Thank you ALL for your prayers and support over the past several months.

Linda is calling me so I'd better wrap it up... I'll close with my message to the congregation at HNM this weekend. Everything we have, do, are, is a gift from God. It is our obligation as Christians to share those gifts, whatever they might be, with the rest of God's children... our families, friends, neighbors, but especially those in need, the homeless, the sick, the lonely.

Take care and God bless!!

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September 28, 2007


Linda and I attended a screening of the movie Bella yesterday evening. It was great! If you have a chance, go see it. If you have a chance to help promote its coming to New Orleans, please do!

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September 26, 2007


Linda and I were having dinner with Ian yesterday evening. I don't remember how the subject began, but Ian comments, "For my 16th birthday I want a Viper, and a Las Vegas hooker (ok, she's an EX-Vegas hooker). The only thing missing was him adding DIL1's famous caveat, "Make it happen, people!". I don't know how many more gray hairs I can take!!

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September 23, 2007


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NOLA dodged a very wet bullet. The tropical depression we thought was going to dump inches of rain on us this weekend apparently went North to Mississippi instead of NW to us. All the warnings that we'd been watching all week were cancelled Friday night. Whew!

I didn't get to bed Friday until 12:30AM, and I was up Saturday at 6:15. "Why?", you might ask. Well, I've always heard that you can't smell when you're asleep. I disagree. I use a cpap breathing machine at night, so I have air being forced into my nose constantly. Throughout the night our boxer, Maynard, moves about the house, sleeping here and there. Sometimes, in the morning when he's ready to go out he comes and hunkers down next to my side of the bed. After awhile he farts, and the cpap sucks it in and forces it directly into my nose. The smell just about suffocates me and wakes me up quickly!! PEEEE-eew!!

That's how my Saturday started.

It did get better, though. Gumbo was very friendly and wanted to be held, a lot. He even let Linda give him a shower.

Molly's first birthday party was tonight. She was SO CUTE!!! She had her own little birthday cake which she ate, wore, and played with!! The rest of us had birthday cake, Berry Chantilly cake, and birthday cake ice cream (much like cookies 'n cream). It was a really nice party. We missed H1/DIL1 and KenEllie.

H2 has returned to working out at the gym. We're really excited that he has reached that stage of his recovery. We continue to pray for him.

Looking forward to seeing H1/DIL1 next weekend!!

Congrats to LSU, who is KICKING BUTT this season!!

God bless, and good night.

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September 19, 2007


So Linda and I are sitting in the dining room at KenEllie’s having tea when Kenny mentions that he knows that I have tried marijuana. He knows this because his oldest brother, H1, told him that he (H1) was pretty sure I had tried it because on my last ship the other chiefs would call me “psychedelic chief”.

Just for the record… I like rock-and-roll. Actually I like most types of music, but rock is by far my favorite. When I got to my last ship I was a navy Chief Petty Officer. As such, I lived with all the other chiefs in the chief’s quarters, which had it’s own lounge, dining room and berthing. The lounge was equipped with a tv and a stereo system. Chiefs are traditionally “old salts” that drink beer, chew tobacco, and listen to country music EXCLUSIVELY. So, you can imagine their reaction when I settled in and the first evening I had a shot at the stereo I put on stuff like Pink Floyd, Janice Joplin and Joan Jett. From that moment on I was dubbed “Chief Punk Rock” (sounds kind of Native American, now that I think of it). THAT’s the story. Not “psychedelic chief”. Don’t know where that came from.

Speaking of KenEllie, Linda and I have been over to their place a couple of times now and have taken a liking to their Tazo Chai tea. They are going to Jacksonville, FLA today to attend the pinning ceremony for Ellie’s brother who made CPO. Linda and I were supposed to watch Tinkle-bot for them while they were gone. You know, stop in at night and make sure she has food and water and maybe sit and play with her a bit while having a cup of tea. Well, turns out that Ellie’s aunt is going to cat-sit, instead, and I can only surmise that we’re not to be trusted to not drink all the tea?!? I get the hint. My feelings aren’t hurt…

Love and God’s blessings to everyone!

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September 16, 2007

OH... MY... GAWD!!!

Tampa Bay 31, Saints 14.

Has anyone mentioned to the team that the regular season has started?

That's ok. It's early in the season. We'll get going. I'm pretty almost positive. I mean, at least we scored, right?

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September 15, 2007


Well, it's been a long, miserable week. Today I'm catching up. I know I've been away for awhile... mea culpa! I will try to be more active in the future.

Monday I saw the wound care nurse and my IDD, both of whom said the leg looked great and that it would probably be completely closed up by the next visit in two weeks. Great!

Tuesday afternoon I started with a head cold that kept me in bed half of Wednesday and working from home totally on Thursday (which is normally one of the 1/2 days I go in to work).

Wednesday we heard a loud bang sound outside the house. It turned out that a large moving van had driven up the street, then deciding it would not be possible to continue up the street and turn around, began backing four blocks down our one-way street. Unfortunately he backed into the cable wires for our house and that of our neighbor, completely severing the neighbor's cable and stretching ours, causing it to sag, and to pull our phone connection box and rain gutter downspout away from the side of the house. But, we still had cable! A call to the cable company assured us that they would be out that evening to fix the sagging cable. THAT didn't happen.

Thursday I was working from home on an urgent purchase request (PR). I had submitted it and got a call back from my boss that it needed some mods, which was no big deal except that as I hung up the phone my cable went out. No TV, No internet, no changes to the PR. Looking outside it became instantly clear that someone else had hit our already sagging cable line, pulling it loose from the pole and dragging it up the street where it lay like a dead snake. A call to the cable company assured us that they would be out by 8PM to fix and, of course, THAT didn't happen!

Thursday evening, although still not well, Linda and I went to dinner with Fr. Andrew from Uganda who has been in the U.S. the past four months. He has been doing mission appeals all over the country, but took off three days to come to New Orleans to visit friends. We were thrilled and honored that he wanted to spend a part of his brief stay here with us. He had much news about people and places that we know from our trips to Tororo, Uganda. It was truly a wonderful evening. He also brought us gifts from Fr. Deo's brother Innocent. They were woven baskets that were stacked one inside another, like the Russian stackable eggs. Very clever. We can't wait to show them off at work!

Friday, still feeling a bit like a pile of doggy doo, I cleaned up and went to work to make the necessary changes to the PR and send it on its way. When I get there, my internet connection at work is hosed, and it took me a couple hours before I could get to the website to correct the PR. Meanwhile, the boss comes in with another emergency which ended up with me staying until 5PM. So much for 1/2 days. When I got home my leg looked like I'd borrowed it from an elephant.

And, perhaps worst of all, I didn't have lunch even once with the "lunch bunch" from work! I don't know how Big J and Dr. Bob are surviving.

The cable company did FINALLY show up some time during the day Friday, because it was fixed by the time we got home from work.

All the above was written yesterday (Saturday) but I stopped and never got around to posting it. So it's 7AM on Sunday and I am finishing it up.

Since most of the TV programs Linda and I like to watch are in reruns now we've taken to watching Monk, starting with season 1. We're now into season 2. If you haven't seen it yet, it is really funny and entertaining. Tony Shaloub is perfect in the title role as a disfunctional former police detective who now consults for the police. Occasionally you'll see John Turturo who is equally perfect in the role of Monk's equally disfunctional brother.

After grilling up some ribeyes and weiners, we tried some mulled mead (a heated, spiced, honey wine) courtesy of KenEllie. Good stuff. The spices gave it a "Christmas-y" flavor. We'll have to have some more during the Christmas holidays.

I also watched "Lady In The Water" last night, written by M. Night Shyamalan. Very strange stuff from this guy! Kind of makes you wonder, "If he wasn't a writer, where would he get his outlet for these dark ideas?"

Update on the grandkids... Ian gets more mature every day. He's playing 9th grade football at Brother Martin H.S., making new friends, and seems to be enjoying this new adventure in life. He's easing into the teenage years, and is starting to want to spread his wings a bit and be more independent. Good luck to MD and DLG on that one!

BB is constantly a trip and a half. The things that come out of that girl's mouth are just too funny! She was a little nervous about going to a new school with new kids, but she, too, appears to be very happy. She's doing great and likes her teacher and school.

Molly gets cuter every day. Her bright blue eyes just sparkle. Friday evening we went to MD/DLG's for supper. Even though Molly wasn't feeling too well, you could see how much she wanted to be happy and smiling even through the sickness. And that shock of red... no, blonde... no red... no... redish blonde hair is adorable, especially when DLG puts a cute little bow in it.

The family zoo is fine. Maynard, Gumbo, Craig-er and Evil Greenbird (who Linda calls Precious, if THAT'S not a misnomer I don't know what is!!) are all hanging in there.

The weather has finally become fairly pleasant, as a slight cool front has brought the temps down into the 80's with reasonable humidity. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be "Perfect", according to one of our TV "weather guessers". Here's hoping they're right. Maybe we'll get to do some outdoor activities.

Last weekend we had planted 5 Bradford (Cleveland) pear trees, two in front of our house where the sycamores had been, and three along the side of the 301 Alix/510 Seguin house. Once they grow a little they should be very attractive and provide some much needed shade from the afternoon sun.

That's the end of my keyboard diahhrea for today. Take care, enjoy the weather, and God bless you!!

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September 13, 2007


Happy Birthday!!!

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September 8, 2007

Just Foolin' Around


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September 4, 2007


It was a nice, long, three-day weekend. Saturday was super stressful because Linda and I went out to look at new cars, something she REALLY hates doing. We found something we liked, but I wanted so many bells and whistles that I priced it out of our range for the time being. Oh, well. C'est la vie. We ran into Ricky Todd at the dealership and met him and his GF, Kathy, for dinner at TX Roadkill. After dinner I hooked up with H2, CM (Columbian Mafioso, aka Miguel, our house guest/tenant) and Ian and went to see the new Jet Li movie, "War". Not bad for a show that got 1/2 star out of 5. I actually enjoyed it until the very end. I didn't really care for the "plot twist" that it ended on.

Sunday H2, Major Dad and some friends ("Frank the Tank" for one) and I went for a ride to Oak Alley Plantation, then back to Serrano's to meet up with the rest of the family for dinner. It was a good time, with beautiful weather the whole trip until we arrived back in NOLA. BB was entertaining, as usual, Ian is SO trying to be a part of the grownups, and is just missing the mark. He's a trip. Molly McP was totally cute in a green dress, green bow in her red hair, and little white Mary Janes.

Monday H2, FTT, C&V (Carl and Val) and I headed out to The Shed for some awesome BBQ. Now remember, this place is almost in Alabama. At least two people asked me if I had checked to see if they were open on a holiday. I reasoned that hey, if they are open 7 days a week, they certainly won't close for a holiday with the possible exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving. So we trucked on out, only to find out that they are ALWAYS closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Am I an idiot, or what? Still, it was a nice ride to the place, and we saw a lot of what remains of the aftermath of the Big K along the coast.

I hear the car pulling up in front, which means that Linda is home. Guess I'll wrap this up for now. Take care and God bless!!

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