Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Corn

I know everyone is anticipating an elaborate
corn casserole recipe.
You may be disappointed.

My corn is more about the container than the recipe.
(Well, my family may disagree.)
But, it all started with this Shawnee corn dish, 
given to us as a wedding shower gift in 1956.
I had chosen china and pottery, but a
member of Jack's church
branched out and gave us this unusual gift.

I began taking corn to our family gatherings, of course!
I loved this dish from the beginning.

I don't know where, but I saw a simple recipe
for corn casserole which turned out to be delicious.
It was 1 box of frozen cream style corn and
 1 box of frozen whole kernel corn
mixed and baked together (with butter, of course!)
You'd be amazed at how good it was.

After many years of taking this traditional dish to every
 family celebration, the cream style
was changed--not for the good.
It was more of a whole kernel with sauce.
I felt my casserole was not as good.
But then...  
Disaster befell in the first degree!
The cream style was discontinued!  Completely!
I drove to every store in creation.
I called the company (Green Giant, I think.)

I finally found frozen cream style corn at the
Super I on Forest Hill Drive.
It was not a well known brand, but it was cream style!
So for many years I have made at least a semi-annual
(Easter and Thanksgiving) trip to--Forest Hill,
ironically where the story began! important change to my "recipe."
Now I use only the cream style corn.
It contains plenty of whole kernels.

Do you think you can handle this?
1. Frozen cream style  corn
2. Butter (about a small hunk per box!)
3. Salt and pepper
4. Flour to thicken (T. or so per box)

Microwave the corn--about 4 minutes per box
Mix it all together.  Bake a spell.

I bought 8 boxes for Thanksgiving.
We were having 16 guests.
I have two corn dishes now.
There was not a lot left. The first dish is usually
emptied before all the first servings are completed!

How legendery is this corn in our family?
Well, the first of our younger generation just married.
Miss Emily Marie Oliver (Madeline and Susannah's
 beloved cousin) and Mr. John Deaso
are now the proud owners of their very own corn dish.

P.S.  Isn't it funny to think of all the changes since
we got that corn dish?
Who ever would have believed it would
have its own blog on something called
the internet.

Friday, November 11, 2016

TSA Pre Check Report

As you dear readers may remember,
this, my bargain cruise, was my first trip
as a qualified TSA pre check enrollee.
As you may also remember, I was not my usual
exclamation point self about this benefit.

I flew before the crack of dawn from DFW to Miami.
The flight left on Saturday morning at 6:10 A.M.
When I got to the security area, my suspicions
began to play out.
The pre check line was not even open yet!
There were a few people waiting for it to open,
and I was directed to join them.
But I, Miss Smarty Pants, was too smart for that!
I said I was not going to wait and marched
myself into the fairly short regular line.
I hope it made me feel good, because it was
probably a mistake.
The pre check line opened almost immediately.
In this particular situation, it didn't make
much difference time wise.
But remember--it was the middle of the night!

I flew home from Miami at 11 something A.M.
They are in the pre check business 
big time there.
There is a serpentine line that looks like the
one for Space Mountain at Disney World.
However, there was no one in it!
I breezed right through.

So I'd have to say the outbound trip was a
simply because the line wasn't open.
The inbound trip was a
I continue to lean in the pessimistic direction, however,
cause what if all that line had been full of people
in Miami?
I'm still not ready to turn in my membership!
In a generous spirit, I am giving them another chance.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Bargain of all Bargains Cruise!

I'm back from a short cruise on Royal Caribbean's
oldest, smallest ship--
Empress of the Seas.
Why would I choose to do that, you ask?
Well...there was a very good reason.
It was FREE!
And I will say, I sure got my money's worth!

Here we are parked, ironically, beside the world's
largest ship, Royal Caribbean's
Allure of the Seas.
(This picture was taken on the third day of the
cruise, in Cozumel.)
Kinda pitiful, isn't it?

But did I care?  NO!  The Allure would not be FREE!

So, off we go from Miami!
Waiting to board!

My luggage tag says, "Life's a ride.
You've gotta buy a ticket, hang on tight
and keep going aroud 'til they kick ya off."
Not theologically very sound,
but amusing at my advanced youthful age.

Here I am waiting for my room to be ready!

My room was very adequate (but itsy bitsy.)
As you can see, it had an ocean view.
(Well, it's a land view right now.)
Not many balconies on this grand old dame.

The next thing I photographed...
Yippee!  Room service wakeup call!
There was one of these hanging on my door
every night before I turned in!

And the next...
Yikes!  But it's FREE!

First Stop!

My "wildlife" shot--a prerequisite for every trip!
I heard one of the shopowners say "Hello, Mama"
as she walked by!
This mama and her babes must be quite a fixture at the
port--maybe its most photographed!

A stranger took this for me.
It doesn't look so small when not next to a giant!

So, I did some shopping in Key West and decided
to go deposit my purchases in my room,
have lunch, and return.

But...this is what it looked like out my window
when I was ready to venture out again.

So after a delightful Cuban sandwich room service lunch,
(with Dr. Pepper I bought in Key West)

this is what I did instead!
I'm reading John Grisham's latest.

The Empress had recently been refurbished,
so it was very beautiful
(and decked out for Halloween!)

This area on the back is lovely for relaxing.
(Taken in Cozumel, so that's the Allure 
in the background.)

Our next and only other stop.

where I got: drum roll, please...
Mexican vanilla!

Before I knew it--time to disembark!
It was a fast, fun five days.

I hate to end with a sad story, but...
I had a window seat on the flight home.
The plane was fab--a 777 200.  I took some pics:

It was just like being in business class.
Miles of leg room--elaborately reclining seats!
Then I put my phone in my purse which
was on the floor.

It had occurred to me, and I had overheard
some conversations,
that the President might be in
Florida campaigning before the election.
All of a sudden...I saw Air Force One out my window
as we taxied out for takeoff.
Oh, yes...I could clearly read United States of America
on the side!!!
But remember?  My phone was stowed away!
By the time I dug it out, put in the wrong code 
SEVERAL times, and focused,
this is all I got.

But that's it!
You'll just have to take my word for it...again!
No do overs.

Thanks, Royal Caribbean!
This cruisin' fanatic had a great time!
I'll always be willing to help you fill up your ships!

Monday, October 10, 2016

What Was My Favorite Cruise?

That is not only very difficult for me to answer,
it is downright impossible.
But today I am reminiscing about one of my 
favorite-of-all-times-ever cruise moments!

Only people who really love cruising and the ship
itself love trans-Atlantic crossings.
That would be me.
So things fell into place for me to be able to be
on board when the Anthem of the Seas
moved from sailing out of London (Harwich)
to sailing out of the United States (New York).
That meant several days at (a very rough) sea
with no port stops, but that was fine with me!

All for this--just click on--

and this!

Passing Lady Liberty

I wish I could have do-overs on this experience,
but it was truly once in a lifetime.
This was all taking place at 5:00 A.M.
on November 4, 2015.
I had no idea that so many passengers would 
get up that early.
If I had, I would have been up at 4:30 so I
could snag a place by the rail, although
I love my picture of the flag waving on the
movie screen
and of the couple waving flags,
both obviously taken from my position in
the ship's crowded middle!

I will have more confidence next time in my
videotaping ability with my little iPhone.
I have searched YouTube today for videos
of this event, and mine are the best I found!

Be sure to see the helicopter circling over us
(first video).
There was also a ship or ships spraying 
streams of water for our arrival.
And the beautiful is for the Northstar
which rises 330' above the ship!
I got to ride it up, but the seas were too
rocky for it to swing out over them
as it is able to do!

I have gotten so excited today remembering
this experience that I have spent hours
figuring out how to share it!

"So, what have you been doing today, Linda?"
"Wrestling my computer into submission!"
(Or it wrestled me.)

Monday, October 3, 2016

TSA Pre Enrollment: Deal or Dud?

I have been fingerprinted, submitted my passport,  
and have forked over my 85 bucks.
And now...I have a Known Traveler Number.
Will that make my travel less arduous?

Pardon me if I'm pessimistic.
It was standing room only at the TSA Pre Check
sign-up desk.
And I had an appointment!
They were collecting $85 from everybody
 and his/her dog.

It just so happened that Susan flew to New York
very early the same morning I signed up.
Even though she qualified for the TSA pre-check line,
it was so long that she got in the shorter regular line!

So, you may call me "Debbie Downer," 
but my prediction is this:  the TSA will collect
tons of fees from all of us,
then fail to put enough personnel in the
pre-check lines to truly expedite our travel.

There are some other advantages,
like being able to keep on shoes and light jackets.
My age qualified me for that anyway.
And you can leave your computer in your bag.
I never carry my computer.
And you don't have to put your 3 ounce bottles
in a separate plastic bag.
That one is okay!

I'll be happy to eat my words if I find myself wrong.
This is one time I hope to be.

I'm smilin' at the airport cause I
had survived the security line!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Michael Bublé Almost Live in Concert!

All except five of you missed something really good
last night!
While this concert lacked the thrill and excitement
of seeing Michael Bublé in person, it
gained the comfort of peaceful, air-conditioned,
uncrowded surroundings
at AMC Theatre, The Parks.

It was actually more than a concert, although
we got to hear some of his best performances.
***  G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.  ***
It also presented a fascinating behind-the-scenes
look at what (and whom) it takes to put on
these spectacular shows.
The glamour and excitement of being a part of
the orchestra and crew is certainly
tempered by the hardships of the travel required.

I would love to go to one of his concerts now.
I feel like I know many of his crew rather personally!
I would be almost as interested in seeing 
Michael's bodyguard in person as M. himself!

Seeing what it takes to pack these productions
up and move to the next location was 
so fascinating!  
It seems like it took 15 trucks, and at one time
we saw all loaded on a ferry!

Michael Bublé himself is shown as
unassuming, humble, and genuinely interested
in and concerned for his staff.
Somehow that's how I had him pictured,
and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

I was spellbound from start to finish!
While this was advertised as a "one night only"
event, surely it will eventually be shown again!
It will be a shame if only 
Brandy and Tyler Burkey, 
Donna and Dave Dupree,
Becky Leffler and I,
and not too many more, are the only ones
who get to enjoy this fabulous production!

I think they need to hire Brandy and me to
be their publicists!
Not nearly enough people knew about this!

Friday, September 16, 2016

An Epiphany to Share With You

Friends...I had this epiphany (a Judge Judy word)
today that I feel I must share with you.
Just an insightful vision.

Say your car needs some gas, so you decide to stop
at the QT to fill up.
And say you devise a great plan to
1. Start the gas to pumping, and whilst it is doing so,
2. Run in to the convenience store to get
some Fritos and a Dr. Pepper, 
so that
3. You can then stop at Sonic for a corn dog.
Great, huh?

But I'm hearing a warning buzzer in my brain.
What if your car's gas tank is on the passenger
And you get back in with your Fritos and DP
on the driver's side?
What might you forget???

Well...just in case that might happen to one of you,
the hoses are detachable now, lessening the
liklihood that you will be responsible for
burning the whole place down.
The embarrassment level, unfortunately,
would still be about the same, I would guess.

You're welcome for my epiphany.
It is most helpful for me, too, since some days
I fear I am on a slippery slope and might,
just possibly,
do something like that.