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.

December 31, 2007


As we look forward to 2008, a quick look back to 2007 shows that it was not without its highs and lows.

Low – H2’s 2nd and 3rd back operations
High- Brother Bill comes to Mardi Gras
High- S2and friends PF1,2,3 visit NOLA and we eat LOTS of oysters!
High- Big Boy marries Beautiful Bride Brittany
High – Linda finally gets to come home from Memphis! (Major High!!)
Low – I end up in the hospital with a strep/staph infection that leads to cellulitis.
High- Two (2) Valedictorians; one at 8th Grade graduation, one at Kndg graduation
High/Low-BB performs beautiful dance recital/ G'pa misses
High- Dinner with Fr. Deo (only in town for a moment!)
High – DLG gets a new job.
Low – Cancelled the family trip to Deal’s Gap in July.
High- DIL2's brother made Chief Petty Officer
High – Rachel and Louis’ wedding in Ohio.
High- Visit from Meatball's little girl—ALL grown up!
High – H2’s health finally gets back to normal.
High – Trip to Houston to visit H1/DIL1.
High – Kenny gets a new job.

Although the year started off Low, the High's sure out weighed them!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

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December 27, 2007


My apologies to any of my children who are or will be afflicted by migraines. Mea Culpa!!

That is all.

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December 25, 2007

Christmas Present...

It was a great Christmas, for the most part. I do fell very badly that I missed all the Christmas Masses because of whatever this is that is ailing me. Linda ended up going to Midnight Mass alone, which made it even worse.

KenEllie, DLG and kids went to the 5PM Mass, which was super crowded. After Mass, KenEllie went to her folks house for dinner and to exchange gifts, then on across the lake to her aunt's house for their family gathering which lasts into the wee hours of the morning.

Major Dad joined DLG and kids for a quick Popeye's supper at our house, after which we exchanged gifts. Ian was handsome, BB and MG were absolutely adorable in their Christmas finery. Both girls had sparkly red shoes.

I couldn't wait any longer, so I gave Linda her surprise gift. Much to my delight she was not only surprised, but seemed genuinely happy with it. After that she decided to give me my surprise early as well. (hmmm... could this be a new family tradition?)
She had new headlights and LED's added to my ride, really "pimping" it out! I am ecstatic!!

Christmas day began quietly as we prepared a ham, some stuffing and other foodstuffs to take over to Major Dad/DLG's house for dinner. Then KenEllie came over and we finished exchanging gifts with them and H2. I think everyone was pleased with their gifts.

This afternoon we all gathered for dinner, after which KenEllie and MD/DLG et al exchanged gifts. Although H1/DIL1 were absent, we were graced by the presence of H2's very lovely friend, Brenda.

I have to tell you about the dinner. Actually dinner isn't the appropriate word here. I think FEAST is more like it. We had a vegetable tray, deviled eggs, ham, roast beef, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, corn, green beans, asparagus, carrots ala Aunt Bev, rolls, key lime and apple pies. Definitely something for everyone! There was so much food that we're all getting together again for dinner tomorrow night! I'm guessing the menu will be pretty similar!

I hope everyone's Christmas was filled with joy and love. And I pray that joy and love are what we extend to others throughout the coming new year!

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For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given... And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas!!

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December 24, 2007


Linda's surprise Christmas present arrived today!! It is now wrapped, and under the Christmas tree. In honor of H1 putting so much effort into helping me with this surprise, I used not one... not two... not three... but FOUR different wrapping papers on the gift. And, in defense of H1, it's not that easy to intentionally use four different types of gift wrap!

Many, many thanks to H1/DIL1 for helping me with this one. I wish you could be here tomorrow when she opens it!!

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December 23, 2007


One thing I've dreaded since ordination is the day I get to Mass only to have the priest tell me I have to preach for whatever reason. Well, yesterday (Saturday) I did just that. I haven't been able to shake whatever it is that I have, so yesterday morning I called Fr. Joseph to say that I was sick and would he be able to preach this weekend. I felt terrible putting him on the spot like that.

If you're interested in what I would have preached about, I posted it on Altar Egeaux. It becomes the first post on my new diaconate-based blog.

I stumbled on this this evening. It's hysterical!
Is it wrong for me to find this so funny on a Sunday morning?

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and 8 days later is 2008. Where did the year go? It seems to have flown by. I hope that 2008 brings us better health than did 2007.

Kudos go out to H1/DIL1 for helping me with L's Christmas gift!

As Santa would say, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

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December 21, 2007


I really should be working on my homily for this weekend, but instead I'm adding an entry in LOT(L). I've been home all day trying to fight off what might be another infection, although I have no official verification. A lot of the symptoms from before showed up, but not in as devestating a fashion as in the past. Painful joints, a very mild case of the chills, and a headache that seems to be untouchable by modern medicines. I've started on Bactrim to try and nip it in the bud.

Linda is out at Applebee's with P&J and kids. I'm home with Maynard.

Looks like some movies with real potential for entertainment are opening today: National Treasure:Book of Secrets, P.S. I Love You, Charlie Wilson's War, and Sweeney Todd:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. They all look like they might be pretty interesting. If I can make it through the first Mass and homily tomorrow evening, maybe a movie night would be a nice treat before the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve and Christmas settles in.

I guess I'd better get back to preparing for tomorrow, but first I want to wish everyone a

Take this Christmas Icon.

This Christmas wish goes out in a special way to Keith and Chris, John and Janet, Richard and June, our many Ugandan friends spread across the globe, and especially my family, both nuclear and extended.

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December 16, 2007


It was a good day after all. I woke up with a migraine that kept me immobilized for most of the day. Linda, being the sweet and loving wife that she is, drove all the way to our workplace to get my prescription meds for me. By 3:30PM I felt a little better and went to KenEllie's where they had prepared a WONDERFUL birthday spaghetti dinner. We were joined by H2, DLG, Major Dad and family, and even Miguel. It was a really nice dinner and afternoon with family. H1/DIL1, sorry you missed it... we certainly missed you!!

Yesterday evening little Molly G fell and hit her mouth against DLG's coffee table. Blood everywhere, of course. After a 3 hour trip to the emergency room the question remained as to whether her two front teeth had been knocked back into her gums, or had the gums just swollen to where they covered the teeth. We should find out Monday when DLG takes her to the dentist for a look-see. MG was SO cute today at dinner. You'd never guess anything had happened.

Yesterday evening was also the wedding that I officiated at. The bride and groom were SO in love. She cried during the ceremony and he gently wiped away her tears. I pray that their life together is long and happy.

Yesterday night we also went to our diaconate class annual Christmas party. It was really great to see our old friends once again, but fewer and fewer show up each year. Two have died since ordination in '99. One moved to Georgia, another to Colorado, and another to Washington state. Still, it was good to see those that did show up.

That's all for now. May the peace of Christ be yours during this Christmas season, and throughout the coming year!! And may God's blessings be on you and yours.

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10-Q, 10-Q, 10-Q

Just a quick note to say

to everyone for their birthday wishes.


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December 13, 2007


The next few days will be pretty busy beginning with a wedding rehearsal tonight. Tomorrow evening I will hopefully be putting the finishing touches on the wedding homily, and then the wedding takes place Saturday evening. Sunday I will probably spend the day trying to NOT feel a year older!

Speaking of Sunday, I was hoping for a birthday trip to The Shed, but it looks like the weather isn’t going to cooperate. I’m open to some suggestions for dinner if the Shed doesn’t pan out. I know we all like Outback, but we DID go there TWICE last week!

I think we’ve got most of Christmas covered, as far as gifts are concerned, which is very good. It leaves time for reflecting on the season and what it means to us as Christians. As the KC motto goes, we need to “Keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas”! And let’s not forget another favorite Christmas catch phrase, “Jesus is the REASON for the SEASON”.

We have only two weeks left of the Advent season. As we look forward to Christmas, we still have two more weeks to look back on the past year and ask ourselves if we’ve done our best as Christian brothers and sisters. Advent is the time to prepare ourselves for the birth of our Lord, much like Lent being a time of preparation for Easter. Some suggested areas of contemplation: Have we been more considerate of others? Have we been more patient with others? More forgiving? Have we put ourselves first, before everything or everyone else?

And while we’re on the subject of Christmas, you know what really chaps my butt? The “12 days of Christmas” begins on Christmas day and goes until January 5th, ending with the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. They are NOT the 12 days BEFORE Christmas, as the merchants who commercialize this most Holy day would have you believe. THOSE 12 days are still part of the Advent season, not the Christmas season.

A-A-A-A-A-A-A-nyway. That’s my two cents worth for today. May you all enjoy a very Merry Christmas, a wonderful Christmas season, and a Happy New Year!!

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December 11, 2007

BB Quote of the Weekend - G'PA Style!

Sunday the family gathered at Chevy's Mexican Restaurant. At some point I was talking to Linda about my deanery meeting later that day. BB asks, "What's a deanery?" So I try to explain how there are lots of Catholic churches in New Orleans, and how they are divided into groups by area, and each group is called a deanery. So when I get done explaining it I asked her if she understood. Her reply??? "Actually, grandpa, I wasn't listening." Well, at least she was honest.

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December 8, 2007

HOW OLD R U, G'MA?... I'M 23, BB

H2 has added a musical element to his vast array of entertainment that is really a lot of fun. He has the XBox 360 and recently bought Guitar Hero III and Rock Band. The game controller for Guitar Hero III is wireless, in the form of a guitar. Rock Band adds controllers that resemble a Fender Stratocaster, an electronic drum set, and a microphone. To play the game, you select a rock persona, and a song. As the song plays, "notes" appear scrolling down the neck of a guitar. You try to play the "notes" as they hit a certain fret by pressing buttons on the neck of the controller or striking the right "drum" of the drum set. It's actually a lot of fun and the songs that come with the games are pretty good, too. Even the "old man" got into the act along with KenEllie!!
Last Monday was L's birthday. She's Glitter Words once again!!! Monday for lunch we went to New Orleans Food and Spirits. We go there fairly frequently, probably once a week, at least, so we know some of the wait staff pretty well. When Marcy, our waitress, took our food order I mentioned that it was L's birthday. We had a nice lunch after Marcy told me that I didn't really want the red beans because they weren't very good that day, so I switched to Hawaiian porkchops which was an excellent choice. A-a-a-nyway... we were waiting for our check when suddenly all the waitresses, and even Mr. Mike (he does the seating) showed up at our table. They sang "Happy Birthday" and gave L a small bread pudding topped with whipped cream and a candle. Now, I've been going to NOFS for probably 5 or 6 years, at least, and I've NEVER seen them sing Happy Birthday before! She's just so SPECIAL!
Monday night the family (sans H1/DIL1 and Major Dad) went to Outback for her birthday dinner.

Now fast forward to Friday. H1/DIL1 are in town for their office Christmas party. Major Dad is back from Baton Rouge. Since Monday is H1's birthday but he'll be back in Houston, we decided to celebrate with dinner at the restaurant of his choosing ('thanks, DIL1') so here we are at Outback! This time we are sans KenEllie, as they were with her parents for the evening at a special annual Hispanic event which I will try to describe after I get the scoop. Or, maybe Kenny will post about it on his blog. Dinner was excellent, as usual.

That's about all the exitement for this week. Oh, yeah. The Navy program I've been working on the past four years was "shelved" yesterday. No money to fund it any longer, probably due to the high cost of the "war on terror", so I'll be moving to a new job (same place, just different work assignment) in the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck.

Hopefully the next post won't be too far into the future. Until then, wishing you all a spiritually fulfilling Advent season. As you prepare for the coming of our Lord, may your hearts be filled with peace, love, and joy. May God bless you always!!

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December 7, 2007


In memory of those who died at Pearl Harbor.

May we always remember, Freedom is NOT Free!

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December 3, 2007

To My Sweetheart On Her Birthday

pimp myspace
myspace layouts
pimp myspace
Happy Birthday!!!

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December 1, 2007


*This is NOT directed at anyone in particular other than myself!

After reading H1's post about inconsiderate people (to which I heartily agree, mind you) it got me to thinking that being inconsiderate really permeates our society today. And one of the root culprits is cellphones.

Now I'm the first to admit that I feel naked without my cell phone, and I'm also guilty to that of which I'm about to complain. The cell phone, boon to mankind, is also bane to man"kind". And bluetooth has made it even worse!!

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with a group of people and had one of them stop and take a phone call? No "Excuse me, I need to answer this", no "I'll get this later"? Or how about the person in the crowded elevator or in a public place like a store or restaurant wearing a headset and talking, loudly, as if they are alone in their own home? Drowning out everyone else? Or worse, airing their dirty laundry as if no one else can hear them? Of course there are always those phones that go off in church, or at the movies! I promise I will try to be more considerate of those I am with from now on.

As I think about it, I think it actually started with "call waiting". You know, the little "beep" in the phone that tells you someone is trying to call in? How did/do we react to that? We say, "Would you hold on a minute, please? Some one's beeping in." OK. So we're kind of polite by asking the other person to hold on, but actually we're saying "You're time is not so important to me that I won't stop and see if this other call is more important, or at least someone I would RATHER talk to." And I do it all the time without a second thought.

I think H1 hit it on the head. Our society today is an "It's all about ME" society. "I" can't be inconvenienced by the extra 30 seconds it takes to get through the toll booth in the lane I'm in, so I'll just force my way into the lane next to me, or I'll get into the toll tag only lane because it's moving faster, then I'll cut over to another toll lane at the last minute. Holding up the lane I'm in, of course, until I can force my way over.

OK. Rant, rant, rant. I just had to get that off my chest. After all, it's all about ME, right?

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