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.

October 27, 2007


I forgot something in my last post... I had promised a comment on the movie , 30 Days of Night. It was not good. It was bad. If you really want to see it, PLEASE wait until it comes out on DVD (probably tomorrow or next week, 'cause it's so bad).

And, as long as I'm here, H2 got me a copy of Cat Ballou with (ugh) Jane (aka "Hanoi Jane") Fonda and Lee Marvin. I remember watching it as a kid and really enjoying it.

Linda and I had café au lait and beignets with the daughter of our friend "Meatball" at Café du Monde last Wednesday. We hadn't seen her since she was 3 of 4 years old! She's turned into a very lovely young woman. She was here attending two days of training with Sprint, and was gracious enough to leave her friends on Bourbon to spend a few hours chatting with us.

NOLA is booming this weekend. There's the Voodoo Music Festival, the annual Tattoo Convention, the Laketown Festival, Christ the King Craft Fair, and more! Pre-K it would have been Steel Pony Express weekend, too. We need to get that back!

OK. That's enough for now. I'm back to work! Take care and God Bless!

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October 26, 2007


*Goin' back to Houston... Houston... Houston

Well, it looks like it's finally over. Monday I return to work full time (Heavy sigh). I now have to wear what I call "old people socks" (support hose) every day. It's supposed to help the circulation in my lower extremeties and keep the swelling in check. Basically they are tight, stretchy knee-highs. I have two black pairs and one beige pair. The beige really fit the "old people" picture in my mind. I only wear them with long pants and a pair of regular socks over them. The black ones are actually not too bad.

This weekend is my duty weekend, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I'm struggling. The Gospel reading is short, both in length and depth, if you get my meaning. Basically it says, in a nutshell, that there was this Pharisee and this tax collector in the temple praying. The Pharisee is praying, "God, I'm a great guy. I'm not like that piece of doo tax collector over there, so, Thanks!" The tax collector, on the other hand, is praying, "God, please have mercy on me, for I know I'm a sinner and I want to do better". The tax collector goes away justified, while the Pharisee doesn't. The trick now is to put it into an 8 to 10 minute sermon that is interesting, relevant, and motivational. Especially for the youth group at CTK. I should have it nailed down by Monday, for sure!!

Next weekend we're heading to HOUSTON!!! Finally!!! H2, Big Boy and B4 (aka B+B+B+B, aka Big Boy's Beautiful Bride), Linda and I are trekking to Texas! Y-Y-e-s-s-s-s-s! H1/DIL1 won't know what to do with so much company all at once.

KenEllie are in Jacksonville, FL for Ellie's brother's wedding. In the mean time I'm cat sitting for Tinkle-bot. (I know it's really Tinky-bot, but the whole Kenny peeing on the cat story was just TOO funny!) She's lonely already, but at least she's in familiar surroundings. I've been feeding her twice a day, and while I'm there I sit on the couch and she jumps into my lap and kind of curls up/drapes herself over me while I pet her for a few minutes. If Linda ever leaves me I'm getting cats. Indoor cats. Not the outside quasi-feral cats like we have now.

It seems we have another possum in our back yard. Maynard found a baby possum, so I'm guessing there's a momma possum somewhere, too. Great! Just what we need. More critters. If you've ever seen a live possum up close and pissed, you know that they are in no way the cute little cartoon characters you might see on TV. They are ONE UGLY ANIMAL. Kind of like mosquitoes, they make you look to the heavens and say, "God, what WERE you thinking?".

Wishing everyone a most efficacious All Hallow's Eve! And a happy birthday to Major Dad!!! God's blessings!

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October 21, 2007


* Or, just read my blog. Same effect.

I frequently click on the link to my daughter's blog, or my daughter-in-law's blog (I'd include the blogs of my oldest and youngest sons here and here but they update even less than I do!!) and occasionally I click on the links to blogs that are listed on my daughter's blog, or my daughter-in-law's blog. In either instance I often wonder why I bother. I find their blogs and those that they link to to be really interesting, witty, and often insightful. I enjoy reading them. When I go back and reread what I've posted it seems so dull.

That being said, read on, if you dare.

When I look back on the last 5 months it seems like I just lost a big chunk of what is left of my life to this stupid infection! We had to cancel what would have been a really great vacation in July. I missed out on Ian's and Bridget's school graduation ceremonies as well as the May Festival. I can't believe how far behind I am at work, even with them allowing me to work from home for several months, I'm still swamped. I've missed some deadlines that will surely impact my performance evaluation. Great!

I've "got the duty", as Big J would say, this weekend. It's my homily weekend so I preach at the three masses at Holy Name of Mary Church. In addition, this month I was asked to be the "guest homilist" at the youth mass at Christ the King Church, which will be this weekend, Sunday evening. I could use some prayer support as I struggle to prepare something interesting and relevant to our youth today.

H2 and I are going to see 30 Days of Night this evening. I'll let you know how it goes. From the trailers it looks pretty creepy.

I do need to post a congrats to Ian who made the Alpha Honor Role at Brother Martin High School. Way to go!!

Also, kudos to LSU, who squeaked by Auburn, and to the Saints, who put a MILD whoopin' on the Dirty Birds of Hot-lanta.

The biggest news is that Louisiana has elected the first governor of our state of Indian (NOT Native American) descent, who is also the first person to win an election outright when no incumbent was running. Congratulations to Bobby Jindal!! We have a lot of hopes riding on you, so good luck!

Also congratulations to my friend, Steve Scalise, who won his race for State Senate by a handy margin. Way to go, Steve. Hoping to see you in the U.S. House soon!! Steve, we need to pursue the license plate issue. I'd really like to get #1 for myself!

I guess that's about it for now. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, take care and God bless!!

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October 17, 2007

Getting a "Leg Up"

I've been neglectful in keeping you, my friends and family, updated. Here's what's been going on the past week.

Thursday I went back to see the IDD. After looking at the leg, she thought it was less red (a good sign). She sent me for another IV of daptomycin. This time we left the IV in overnight, as I am an extremely difficult "stick".

Friday was more of the same. Dapto IV and IDD looked at leg. Sent me home with strict instructions to stay off the leg and to come back Tuesday.

Since I was following doctor's orders and trying to stay off the leg as much as possible, the weekend went by pretty uneventfully. Saturday morning I missed an Archdiocesan Morning of Spirituality that I had been looking forward to. Basically I spent the weekend trying to catch up on DVR'd programs from the new season and working on a couple of documents for work that I'm way behind on.

Tuesday I returned to the IDD. She was pretty pleased, all in all, with the leg situation. The color was much better, the swelling never really got out of hand, and the wound site from the biopsy is looking good. I go back in 10 days for blood work and another evaluation.

So, bottom line is, next week I will go to work all day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to see how it goes. If no problems, then I will return to work full time the following Monday.

It has been a long process, and I really appreciate all the kind thoughts and prayers. Take care and God bless!

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October 10, 2007


Let's see what's been going on. Monday, as you know, was Columbus Day. A federal holiday for us civil servants out there. Looking forward to a nice day off? RIGHT!

Don't you know that at around 9:30 AM I realize that, once again, my knuckles are feeling stiff and sore. I knew immediately that it was NOT a good sign. by 10:00 AM I was shaking like a leaf. Couldn't hold a drink without spilling. Couldn't stop shaking. By 10:30 Linda and I are on our way to Ochsner ER.

The ER took me in right away, drew blood, found that I had a temp of 102, gave me Tylenol for the temp, and had me lie down and wait for the doctor. When he came in he decided I had a sinus infection and sent me for a chest xray and a sinus CT scan. Both were done within about 1/2 hour. Amazing how quickly I was being tended to! Right. About 3 hours later another doctor came in to say that I did appear to have a sinus infection, and sent me home with a prescription for an antibiotic (augmentin xl, or something like that).

Went home. Started the meds. A couple of hours later I started to feel achy and shivery again, so I went to bed at 5PM and slept until 10PM. Got up and had a bowl of cereal (small) and took some more medicine.

The next morning (yesterday) I still felt like crap. Linda noticed that my right leg (the infamous right leg) was hot to the touch compared to my left. Now she's upset. She decides I need to be on zyvox which, fortunately, I still have. So I start taking zyvox and quit the augmentin. As the day goes on my leg seems to be getting darker and darker red, but it's still not swollen, so I'm not TOO worried.

Today Linda says I'm going to the doctor, so I get up and go in to work. I can maybe get some work done while she tries to get me in to see my IDD. (An aside... for as little confidence as I could dig up for any of the IDDs that were involved with H2, I have developed complete confidence in my IDD at Ochsner). A-a-a-nyway, IDD says to come in for an IV. So off we go.
After about an hour in the waiting room (not bad for being "squeezed in") I get into an exam room. The IDD comes in, takes one look at my now swollen and bright red leg and immediately utters that hated word, "HOSPITAL". I pleaded with her to not admit me, that my leg was only swollen because I had been at work all morning. That REALLY set her off! "WHAT!?! YOU WENT TO WORK?!?!" She finally agreed to pump me up with an IV antibiotic, and send me home on zyvox again, with the caveat that I was to see her tomorrow and again Friday, when she would decide whether or not I would be back in the hospital again.

So now I feel like a three-time loser of the Triple Crown. And today is just a GORGEOUS day! Tonight will be fabulous at the Pit Stop, crowded, I'm sure. I've got to get this beat before the end of the month. I've got a preaching weekend the last weekend in October, and hopefully a trip to visit H1/DIL1 in Houston the first weekend in November.

Oh, the good news (yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus) is that the hole in my leg is closed. It has been officially declared healed by my IDD! So, that's good.

So now I'm gonna be selfish and ask for continued prayers for me, that this infection gets nipped in the bud quickly and completely.

That's about it... probably much, MUCH more than you needed or wanted to know. If you got this far, thanks, and God bless you!!

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October 7, 2007


*if the Saints ever get a win!!

Has it really been a whole week since my last blog? I can hardly believe it. It's been pretty hectic, but still...

Work has been kind of a drag. We received a bunch of servers from one of our "sister" commands, 7Klbs+, so much of my 1/2 days at work was spent opening shipping crates, unloading and inventorying computer hardware. So much for making sure I "keep my leg elevated", huh?

I can't believe how many good (so far) TV shows are new this year. Couple that with the faves from last season and there just isn't enough time in an evening to see them all. Enter cable's DVR. So instead of watching what is on, now we try to catch up by watching something recorded from a week or two ago. Couch potato heaven!

The low point of the week was coming down with a cold Monday evening and spending the rest of the week trying to fight it off. Thank heavens for Alka-Seltzer Plus cold medicine! Linda won't touch the stuff, but for me it's a life saver.

Today we had a barbecue to meet and greet the new Ugandan seminarians, as well as the rest who are in the middle of their studies. We had five seminarians, KenEllie and the in-laws, and DLG and the girls over for the "cook-in". Because of the shaky nature of the weather I did the cooking out on the back deck, but we ate indoors. I think everyone had a good time. A particular hit was MD's potato salad. Unfortunately he and Ian were at the Saint's latest debacle, so they missed the gathering. Ellie's mom brought some KILLER flan, so I was pretty much in 7th heaven at dessert time. We also had strawberries and ice cream, which is usually a novelty for the Ugandans, as they don't have strawberries at home.

It's so nice to live in a nice, quiet neighborhood. We have two, not one, but two neighbors wearing ankle bracelets because they are under house arrest. Nice.

We're hoping to go to Houston the first weekend in November. We've not yet been to visit H1/DIL1 so we're pretty excited about it. A few prayers that the trip works out would be nice. Thanks, in advance.

Molly started walking Friday!! She started falling Saturday!! Hopefully walking will increase and falling will decrease quickly. Unfortunately she fell while Mom and sis were at a birthday party for sis's friend. Fortunately sis's friend's dad is an EMT and was able to check out a bloody, crying, but otherwise ok little toddler, so Mom could beat a hasty retreat.

DLG and KenEllie participated in a 5K run/1K walk for breast cancer this morning. Kudos to them! They saw our good friends Keith and Chris there, too.

I guess I'll end with GEAUX TIGERS!! and what happened to our Saints? Ah well, maybe next year! No bags on the head for this fan. The team was there for us last season, we need to be there for them this season!

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