Friday, June 29, 2012

Buckle Up - It's Going to Be a Bumpy Ride...

Last year when I flew to NYC, I flew Delta.
After the experience of STILL sitting on the ground
at my home airport,
a couple of hours after
I should have been on the ground at New York,
I opted for a different airline this year.
Lesson learned...flying is not what is used to be.

We started out great.
The first leg of my trip was to Charlotte.

Up in the air and on time!
I caught my connecting flight to La Guardia.
It looked like I would be there, on time at 3 PM.
Kate's company has summer hours,
so she would meet me at the airport.

About a hour into the flight
the captain announces major storms in the New York area
and that we had actually been circling for a while.
Since we were over Richmond and
we were almost out of fuel,
we would land, refuel, and hopefully
the storms would be cleared by the time
we landed in New York.

I have no problem with Richmond,
unless, I'm sitting there all afternoon and into the evening.
We had numerous updates:
**major storms,
**all three New York airports closed,
**AND some sort of major communication outage
in the northeast.
At 8 PM (remember, I should have been in NY at 3 PM),
we were told our flight was cancelled.
Our choices were:
1.  Fly back to Charlotte, where there were no more flights
to NY that evening, BUT there were hotel rooms.
2.  Fly to Pittsburgh, where there were no more flights
to NY that evening, BUT there were hotel rooms,
AND the airline was working on adding another flight
in the morning into La Guardia,
OR putting us on a bus into the city that night.
(By the way, because of a convention in Richmond,
there were no hotel rooms available,
so staying there was not an option.)
What to do?

I opted to fly on to Pittsburgh.
My logic was to keep moving north,
not to back tract.

Back in the air to Pittsburgh.
There were forty of us and
upon landing we were met by
an airline representative.
He had NO knowledge of
the possible extra morning flight,
or the possible bus into NY.
Instead we were given small cards
with an 800 number for rebooking our flight
and a slip of paper with an 800 number
for getting a hotel room.
(I'm going to date myself,
but I remember a time when
airlines did both these things for you.)

Around midnight I had finally booked a seat for myself
the next morning on a arriving flight into JFK at 10:30 AM.
Not too happy about that because I knew
it would take me much longer to get  into the city,
and I was watching my weekend tick away.
But, I was very happy to have the seat.

Then I tried finding a room for the night.
It seems by that time, there no more rooms
at "trip interruption discounted rates", but I could
"try calling individual hotels" for a full price room.
Since it now well past midnight
and I had a 9:30 flight out in the morning,
and I was totally flustrated and disgusted,
I opted to stay at the airport,
 with most of the other 40 passengers from the flight.
We WERE given pillows and blankets,
and bottled water.
(By that time nothing was open at the airport.
Many of us had not had a real meal since breakfast.)
Yea US Airways!

Next moring at 5 AM I discover my flight has been
"pushed back" a couple of hours.
Back to my 800 number and
in my nicest, most desperate and pleading voice,
explained to the rep my saga/situation.
She was able to rebook me onto a 8:30 flight into...


with connections...

into LaGuardia !!!
Arrival time: 10:30 AM!!!
ONLY 19 and a half hours late
and a night on the Pittsburgh airport floor!!!

I understand weather happens,
communication failures happen,
planes have mechanical problems,
and a whole host of other things
can occur when you travel.
Therefore it seems, the airlines would be models for
handling unhappy customers.
(A tray of sandwiches at the Pittsburgh airport
would have gone a long way.)
No, not the case.

At any rate, NYC was fun,
and I had a great visit with Kate.

The icing on the cake was getting a recorded
phone message 15 minutes before heading to
the airport Monday morning for my return trip
that my flight had been cancelled...

If you're traveling this weekend,
have fun, travel safe, and don't forget to
pack your patience! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weekend in NYC

Last weekend I flew to NYC to spend the weekend
with my daughter Kate.
It was a whirlwind trip,
and I'm still playing catch-up.

I arrived around lunch time on Saturday.
We headed to So Ho and "Prune,"
a resturant I had recently read about,
but there was an hour and half wait,
so we wandered around and found
the So Ho Park and had lunch there instead.

We shared the onion rings, which caught both our eyes
because of the curry mayonnaise served with them.
First rate!

Kate and I have always been big movie fans,
so we caught Tom Cruise's new movie,
Rock of Ages.
Kate, who  had just seen the Broadway play
the weekend before decided she
liked the movie better.
It was fun to see Tom Cruise
in a totally different role and finally,
not taking himself too seriously.

On Sunday morning Kate took me to
Ess a Bagel
to try her favorite NY bagel.
We had a great brunch and the bagels are wonderful!

Afterwards, we took a long walk through Central Park.
It was the perfect day for it--pleasantly warm
and there were lots of street performers.

That evening we saw a Broadway show,
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
It was the show's final night,
so I can't urge you to see it!
It was a big, flashy, campy, over the top,
show and we both had fun!

Did I mention it was a whirlwind trip?
The next morning Kate put me in a taxi
for the airport as she headed off to work.
Short, sweet and non stop,
a perfect weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Occasional Cook

Someone asked me yesterday if I cooked everyday.
My answer was that I cooked maybe once or twice a week.
When I do cook full meals these days,
they are shared with my sister, who lives upstairs,
and an elderly neighbor next door.
After years of getting meals on the table everyday,
while my daughter was growing up,
being an "occasional" cook is quite nice.

You might want to make this weekend an occasion
 with these tasty tidbits.

Cheese Cracklins

1 c. Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2T. butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix cheese, flour and butter in a large bowl
with your fingertips.

Add just enough water to make a stiff dough.
Don't over mix.

Roll dough into small (3/4-inch) balls.
Place on a greased cookie sheet
and bake about 15 minutes,
until lightly browned.

Makes about 20.
These are great as an appetizer,
or served with a salad or soup.

Back to the occasional cook...
I won't be doing any cooking this weekend.
I'm off tomorrow to visit my
darling daughter in NYC.
Although I won't be cooking,
I'm sure we'll be eating quite well!

Happy weekend!

Monday, June 18, 2012


If I were an eloquent writer,
whose thoughts were focused, clear and sharp,
this is the book I would like to have written.

Pulitzer Prize winner, Anna Quindlen's,
is a memoir written from her perspective
as a sixty year old woman.
(Perhaps that's one of the reasons it
resonates so well for me.)
In it she covers most of the big topics
in her/our lives:
relationships, family, career, balancing it all,
spirituality, faith and religion,
culture and

This book should be required reading for any woman,
midlife or older,
any young woman about to embark upon
career and/or her own family,
and finally all men,
to give them a real woman's perspective.

I "read" it as I often do using my
Walkman and the audio version,
read by Quindlen herself,
and it was excellent.
However, I was so touched by this book
I believe I'm going to have to buy it
in hardback, just to have a copy to dip
back into from time to time for its wisdom.


Other books you might like by Anna Quindlen:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer's Bounty

I've recently returned from a visit with my parents.
My Dad's garden is already producing squash
and he loaded me up for my trip home!

This recipe appeared a few years ago in

Summer Squash Casserole
(Serves 8)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut 1 1/2 lbs. yellow squash and 1 lb. zucchini into
1/4-inch thick slices.

Place in a Dutch oven with 1 small sweet onion, chopped,
2t. salt, and water to cover.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat,
and cook 5 minutes;
drain well.

Stir together
1c. grated carrots
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2t. salt

Fold in squash mixture.
In another bowl mix
1 (8 oz.) pkg. herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1/2c. butter, melted.
Layer half of this in the bottom of a
lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Spoon squash mixture over stuffing mixture,
top with remaining stuffing mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes,
or until bubbly and golden brown,
shielding with aluminum foil after 20 to 25 minutes
to prevent excessive browning, if necessary.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I served it with grilled chicken and

Bon appetit! and happy weekend!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Happy Birthday.....To Me!

Google Image

Is it possible a whole year has already passed since my
Yep...afraid so.
Some time ago one of my knitting buddies
was complaining about being called "sweetie"
by suddenly lots of people.
She was hearing it from sales clerks,
the people at the bank,
nurses at the doctor's office,
even the "child" behind the counter at McDonald's.
At the time I didn't really "get" what she was
complaining about, thinking,
"it's just a Southern thing."
I find it happening to me now...
...and I get it.
As I hear people addressing me as "sweetie,"
I'm hearing a tone of condescension in it.
I'm getting a feeling of being sized up
because of my age,
being put in my place.
("Oh, it's that older lady....
let's move her along and on her way...)
Am I being overly sensitive?
just remember the years I have behind me mean
I've been to a lot of places,
met a lot of people,
done a lot of different things.
I've seen a lot of trends come and go,
made a boatload of mistakes and
learned a lot of lessons.
So, you can call me
Miss, Ms, Madam or even Susan.
Just don't call me sweetie.

A while ago a friend sent me a humorous email
I tucked away thinking it would be the
perfect thing to share on my birthday.
Think of it as "my" birthday card  to you!

Where does the time go?

Remember yesterday,
and dream about tomorrow.
But live for today because...

the years pass quickly!

Have a special day!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...