Monday, December 26, 2011

A Kindle Fire and Other Gifts



A few weeks ago, my sister, Mrs. Dyson, informed me that she had bought my niece, Noir, a Kindle Fire for her birthday. Amazed and excited, I said, "Oh! I was thinking about buying one for myself! I've heard they are really nice!" After our conversation, Mrs. Dyson called again a few days later.

"Hey! I'm gonna buy you a Kindle Fire and Mom an electric blanket for Christmas. Do you think that will be alright?" asked Mrs. Dyson.
Slightly stunned, I replied, "Now, that you have taken the surprise out of opening presents on Christmas Day; I think it will have to be 'alright'."
"I can get you and Mom something else," offered Mrs. Dyson.
"No! No! No! A Kindle Fire and an electric blanket for Mom would be just perfect."
"I just don't want y'all to go out and buy one before Christmas," said Mrs. Dyson.
I replied, "Okay. So, I'm gonna forget we just had this conversation and will act surprised on Christmas morning."
"That sounds fine," Mrs. Dyson said with a laugh.

So, on Christmas Eve Eve (two days before Christmas Day); I baked my late Aunt Ellen's pound cake from scratch; drank some liquor and wondered if Mrs. Dyson had forgotten about the Kindle Fire. However, I wasn't above going to Wal-Mart to purchase my own electronic gadget. On Christmas Eve, I fried a turkey; drank some Jim Beam bourbon and fixed Daddy's macaroni and cheese.

Now, Christmas Day had finally arrived. I went to church, enjoyed a nice service and returned home to have a margarita or two or three for Jesus' birthday. There's nothing better than a few birthday drinks. Sitting around the tree with Mom, Mrs. Dyson and Noir with Daddy in heaven; we began opening our gifts. I opened the gift from Noir, first. I found a nice long sleeve shirt along with a leather tablet cover.

"Okay. I can use this cover for my notepad when I go to meetings," I said.
"You sure can," Noir said with a giggle.

Opening the gift from my sister, I discovered a Kindle Fire tucked snugly in a box. I was so glad that she remembered that I played with it for the rest of the day. Actually, I was so excited by the gift that I had forgotten to eat my Christmas dinner. I had wondered why I was slightly dizzy upon waking the next morning. It may have been because of low blood sugar from not eating or I had too many margaritas for Jesus' birthday. My Facebook friends believe that it was the latter.

My Kindle Fire was able to download all of my Yahoo contacts. It fits and feels nice in my hands, and it's easy to navigate with plenty of books, newspapers, magazines and apps to choose from. I can even check my email messages and save documents. It certainly is "the gift," and it has a nice price, too.

I know this post sounds like a product endorsement (perhaps, someone important will read this and pay me some money); but, I haven't been this excited about a Christmas present since I was around ten years old. I may share that story next year.

Speaking of gifts, my friend, Kathy, purchased two-hundred dollars worth of gifts from her friend, Marie, for a fundraising project. That's right - two-hundred dollars. After Kathy had carefully selected her items, Marie had a question.

"How would you like to pay for these gifts?" asked Marie.
"What are my options?" Kathy asked in return.
"Cash. Check. Money Order. Credit Card," replied Marie.
"Well, how about you use the two-hundred dollars that you owe me from five months ago to purchase my gifts," Kathy stated.
Marie, somewhat stunned, replied, "Oh, okay," and walked away with her head hung low.

And finally, my other friend, Roger, bought himself a brand new car as an early Christmas present. It is his new pride and joy. No eating and no drinking are allowed in his car. However, his young grandson is free to break the rules. One day, Roger had pressed a few buttons in the car and was unable to start the vehicle for a whole day - much to his wife's, Samantha's, amusement. She isn't allowed to eat or drink in the car, either. And, Samantha cannot understand why the grandson has free reign in her husband's car. After some time had passed, Roger realized that he did not properly hook up the GPS to this car which caused it not to run. Samantha is still laughing at Roger, his new car, and his use of Cialis. He is not amused, though. I'll share that story, later.

Until next week....keep praising His name,
and 
Happy New Year!

Sir Charles


My novels are available on http://www.xlibris.com/ - Charles Carroll Lee. They are now available on ebooks just in time for the holidays!!!

Check out my "What's Happening" blog at http://www.aroundtownhappenings.blogspot.com/. If you or someone you know are a new or local talent in your area, author, band, lecturer, church or organization, and would like to notify the world (or half of the world or the neighborhood) of your event; send me an email with the date, contact information, time, location and a paragraph about your event to cclee_06@yahoo.com. Then, share this and the "What's Happening" blogs with all of your friends. Your event will remain on the blog until the event ends. It's free - for now!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bourbon Balls - A Recipe

Bourbon Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fine vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preparation:

Thoroughly combine 1 crushed vanilla wafer crumbs, chopped pecans, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and the cocoa. In a separate bowl, blend the bourbon and corn syrup. Stir this bourbon mixture into the dry mixture; blend well. Cover and chill for at least a few hours. Sift about 1/2 to 1 cup of confectioners' sugar on a cookie sheet. Shape small bits of the dough into balls and roll them in the confectioners'. Store in refrigerator in tightly covered containers. Make these a few days in advance for best flavor, and roll in confectioners' sugar again before serving, if desired. These can also be frozen for longer storage.
Makes about 3 dozen bourbon balls.

From Southern Food - about.com.

I like to use a little more bourbon. You can substitute rum for bourbon and honey for corn syrup as well.


Sir Charles

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nobody Told Me: A Christmas Story


The famous carol "Christmas Time Is Here" that is sung so wonderfully by Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" choir generally makes me feel somewhat nostalgic. I usually begin thinking about my late Uncle Aubrey and my world famous or infamous bourbon balls. My uncle taught me how to ride my bicycle without training wheels. Actually, he took them off my bicycle against my better judgement.

"My Momma and Daddy are gonna get mad if you take my training wheels off, Uncle Aubrey!" I stated.
"I ain't scared of your Momma or your Daddy," he replied.
"Well, I am!" I said.
"Get up on this bike and pump that bike down the sidewalk," Uncle Aubrey commanded. "Pump that wheel, boy!" he yelled over and over again behind me as I tried to find my balance. After a few moments, I was now riding with ease down the sidewalk. Yahoooo!

Later that afternoon, I decided to tell Mom and Daddy what Uncle Aubrey had done just in case they had noticed that my training wheels had been removed. They both replied, "Oh, that's nice." Well, so much for snitching on my uncle.

Years later during the Christmas season, I stopped by my parents house so they could taste my annual holiday treat enclosed within a container. When I entered their house through the garage door; I found my mother with her brother, Uncle Aubrey, sitting on the couch in the family room engaged in some pretty lively conversations. If you didn't know any better, you would have thought that they were twins. I think Daddy may have been in the bedroom taking a nap or spreading some holiday mischief at one of his friend's house.

After I took a seat at the table and allowed Uncle Aubrey to catch me up on the latest family news and plans for the holidays; I noticed Mom studying the decorative container in front of me.

She finally asked, "What do you have in that container?"
"Bourbon balls. Would you like to try one or two?" I asked her.
"Yeah, let me try one," she replied as I handed her a napkin and the container.
"Uncle Aubrey, would you like to try one, too?" I asked.
"I think I will," he replied, reaching for a napkin and then a bourbon ball.

So, for another hour or so and after more lively conversations, I decided to return home with promises of seeing my Mom and her last living sibling real soon. Now, entering my house after running several errands, the ringing of the landline phone caught my attention. The caller ID indicated that the incoming call was from my parent's home. "I just left their house. Why are they calling so soon?" I thought aloud.

"Hello," I said into the receiver.
"Hi," Mom said in a cheery, upbeat tone.
"Hey. What's going on?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing much. How much liquor did you put in those bourbon balls?" Mom asked all at once.
"I dunno. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup. But, I used about 2/3 cups."
"Why did you use so much?" she asked.
I thought, "I didn't see you turning them away. You had two or three." I then said, "I wanted to be sure that people could taste the liquor."
"Oh, I don't think you should've used that much."
"Why?" I asked.
"Uncle Aubrey just called," she replied.
"And what did he say?"
"Well, he had to go home and put on his oxygen mask because there was too much liquor in those bourbon balls. It made him short of breath," Mom replied with a soft giggle.
Trying not to laugh, I asked, "Is he okay?"
"Yes, you know he doesn't drink anymore."
"Nobody told me. He's been drinking all my life," I offered.
"You know he has an oxygen tank and all," Mom offered.
"Yes, I do. But, I didn't know that he had stopped drinking. All those times he came over to the house asking me where Daddy hides the liquor...." Then, thinking to myself, "Mom, you knew those bourbon balls had a lot of liquor in them. You should've stopped Uncle Aubrey from eating them. And you were sitting right next to him, too."
Interrupting my statement and thoughts, Mom stated, "If he's on oxygen; you should've known that he had stopped drinking."
"Nobody told me," I repeated.
"Well, I guess he will be alright after he take a few deep breaths from his oxygen tank," Mom said with a hearty laugh.

The following Christmas, I whipped up my bourbon balls - once again. Actually, there was so much bourbon in them that they looked like little chocolate drops. Of course, I made a point of asking Uncle Aubrey if he would like to try some. The only response I received was a very harsh, "Hell No!" Normally, my feelings would've been hurt; but, considering what happened the year prior - it was completely understandable. I made Daddy the same offer a few hours later. His response was the same as Uncle Aubrey's. Obviously, Mom must have told him what had happened.

Well, Uncle Aubrey passed away a couple of years later with me crying almost uncontrollably at his cold, rainy day funeral. I probably thought that he had died too soon because of my Christmas bourbon balls. Plus, he taught me how to ride my bicycle without training wheels.

In case you are curious and have never tried bourbon balls before; the recipe is published under the post entitled, "Bourbon Balls - A Recipe." Feel free to add more liquor - if you desire.

Until next week, keep praising His name.

Merry Christmas to Each of You,
Sir Charles


My novels are available on http://www.xlibris.com/ - Charles Carroll Lee. They are now available on ebooks just in time for the holidays!!!

Check out my "What's Happening" blog at http://www.aroundtownhappenings.blogspot.com/. If you or someone you know are a new or local talent in your area, author, band, lecturer, church or organization, and would like to notify the world (or half of the world or the neighborhood) of your event; send me an email with the date, contact information, time, location and a paragraph about your event to cclee_06@yahoo.com. Then, share this and the "What's Happening" blogs with all of your friends. Your event will remain on the blog until the event ends. It's free - for now!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Alberta Royall

My friend, Alberta Royall, had a "thing" for the UPS man who made deliveries to her apartment complex. The UPS man always arrived at the complex at the same time practically every day. And, Alberta made it her business to be highly visible when he knocked on one her neighbor's door. She would smooth the back of her short, stylish hair with her manicured hand and check her lipstick in the mirror by the door. Exiting her apartment, Alberta would pretend that she was searching for something in her handbag and accidentally "bump" into him en route to her car. The UPS man would always display all thirty-two of his teeth to the giggling Alberta.

One day, Alberta had an idea. She decided to order some items from a clothing website and had them shipped via UPS. This would surely give her the opportunity to formally meet the UPS man. Unfortunately, when her shipment arrived at its appointed day and hour - conveniently on her day off from work - Alberta's package was in the hands of a female UPS driver. "Dang it!" she whispered when she looked out of the door's peep hole. "I done fixed my hair and painted my nails for nothing," she said aloud.

Opening her door, Alberta offered, "Hello, is this my delivery?" in her deep, feminine voice with a hint of a southern drawl.
"Yes, it is. Are you Ms. Alberta Royall?" the brunette UPS lady asked.
Alberta replied, "I sure am." She then asked, "Where is the other guy who normally makes deliveries?"
"Oh, he's off today and tomorrow. Have a nice day," the lady replied as she hurried to her brown truck.
"Dang. She could've mentioned his name. Oh, well," Alberta mumbled.

Several days had passed and there was no UPS man sightings. Alberta's heart felt as though it was breaking. She was beginning to miss the man in his brown shirt, matching shorts and toothy smile. After leaving work and noticing that the fuel gauge on her car's dashboard was blinking furiously; Alberta stopped at the nearest gas station. She paid for her purchase inside the small rinky dink store, returned to her vehicle, inserted the hose into the gas tank's opening and began pumping fuel.

Moments later, Alberta noticed a brown UPS truck pulling into the gas station's parking area. The UPS man jumped off the truck with his broad smile and instantly noticed Alberta. He trotted to her car.

"Hey! How are you?" The UPS man asked.
Trying not to faint and stutter, Alberta replied, "I'm fine and you? I haven't seen you in awhile."
"Yeah, they gave me a new route. What's your name?" he asked.
"Alberta Royall. Yours?"
"Michael Worthington. Can I have your number so we can go out over the weekend?"
"Sure," Alberta replied, as she continued to pump gas into her car.

After they had exchanged numbers and Michael had left to make his next delivery; Alberta quickly jumped in her car and drove toward her home. During her drive, Alberta noticed that pedestrians were pointing and yelling at her. She looked in her rear view mirror to check her lipstick and realized that it looked fine. As she approached a traffic light; a female driver in the next lane looked at Alberta and laughed, hysterically. Once again, Alberta inspected her image in the rear view mirror and rubbed the back of her head with her hand. "Why is everyone laughing at me? I wish they would stop it, and I look just fine in the mirror. And why is my car making funny noises? I don't have any money for car repairs!" she said aloud. Driving for three miles with the entire community laughing at her, a stately gentleman in a late model Buick caught Alberta's attention at the traffic light. He tried to contain his laughter.

"Excuse me, miss! You have a gas pump hose stuck in your car!"
"What?!" Alberta exclaimed as she looked in her side mirror and then out of the car window. "Well, I be damned! I drove off with the gas pump hose still in my car! I forgot to take it out after talking to Michael! That's what that noise was!" she said aloud.

So, Alberta exited her car at the traffic light and placed the gas pump hose into the trunk -  much to driver's and pedestrian's amusement. She then returned to the rinky dink gas station with hose in hand. The store attendant immediately informed Alberta that she will have to pay for the broken hose. She replied, "As high as gas is - I think not. You better be glad I brought the hose back. Y'all need to update your old gas pumps, anyway."

Alberta placed the long, black hose on the counter and quickly exited the store while the customers all laughed, aloud. Sitting in her car, Alberta said, "That was so embarrassing. Everyone laughed at me. At least I got a date with Michael. I wonder if I should tell Charles about this?"

Until next week....keep praising His name,
Sir Charles


My novels are available on http://www.xlibris.com/ - Charles Carroll Lee. They are now available on ebooks just in time for the holidays!!!


(Check out my "What's Happening" blog at http://www.aroundtownhappenings.blogspot.com/. If you or someone you know are a new or local talent in your area, author, band, lecturer, church or organization, and would like to notify the world (or half of the world or the neighborhood) of your event; send me an email with the date, contact information, time, location and a paragraph about your event to cclee_06@yahoo.com. Then, share this and the "What's Happening" blogs with all of your friends. Your event will remain on the blog until the event ends. It's free - for now!)







The Perfect Diet


My high school and Facebook friend came across the following story. Upon reading it, she immediately thought that I was the original author of the story. Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for it, and I wish I could. But, it sounds like something I would say and do.  Plus, it brought a smile to my face. Now, I did take some creative liberty to make it just a little more readable. So, here it is:

One cloudy Saturday morning, I was buying a large bag of dog food in Wal-Mart for my dogs. As usual, the superstore was packed with screaming toddlers as persons in hoveround wheelchairs weaved up and down the narrow aisles. Sales associates scurried about the store while others casually calculated their customer's purchases on the cash registers. The faint sounds of Christmas music could be heard over the PA system. While standing in the long check-out line and praying that I didn't forget an important item; a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. I thought to myself, "Why else would I be buying dog food?" After a quick thought, I decided to engage the middle-aged woman in conversation. Besides, the check-out line was at a stand still, and the bag of dog food was getting heavier and more cumbersome by the minute.

 I said to the woman, "No, I don't have a dog. I am starting the Purina Diet again."
"Really?" she asked in reply.
"Yes, and I probably shouldn't. I ended up in the hospital last time, and I had lost fifty pounds before I had awakened in intensive care," I said.
"You did?"
"Yep, and I had tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms,"  I replied as I readjusted the bag of dog food in my arms.
"Oh my!" the woman exclaimed.
Since I had her full attention, I continued, "Purina Dog Chow is essentially a perfect diet. All you have to do is load your pockets with nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. I eat 'Beggin' Strips' for breakfast."
"Ohhhhhh," she replied with a look of hysteria. The woman placed her smooth hand near her neck as though she was clutching a string of pearls.
"The food is nutritionally complete with fiber and vitamins. Therefore, it works well. I can't wait to try it again," I offered.

During this phase, practically everyone in the check-out line was now enthralled with my story. The woman, now horrified, decided to ask another question.

"Did you end up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned you?"
"No, I stepped off a curb to sniff a French Poodle and a car hit me," I replied with a straight face.

I thought the guy behind her in line was going to have a heart attack because he was laughing so hard.  The woman glared at me in disbelief, rolled her soft brown eyes and continued through the check-out line without muttering another word. Go figure.

Until next week....keep praising His name,
Sir Charles

(Check out my "What's Happening" blog at http://www.aroundtownhappenings.blogspot.com/. If you or someone you know are a new or local talent in your area, author, band, lecturer, church or organization, and would like to notify the world (or half of the world or the neighborhood) of your event; send me an email with the date, contact information, time, location and a paragraph about your event to cclee_06@yahoo.com. Then, share this and the "What's Happening" blogs with all of your friends. Your event will remain on the blog until the event ends. It's free - for now!)

(My novels are available on http://www.xlibris.com/ - Charles Carroll Lee)