Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sweet Thanksgiving

Monday, November 29, 2010 1
We haven't celebrated Thanksgiving in Alabama with Carol's family since Carol was pregnant with Jake.  And even then, I was out at sea so it was only Carol and CJ enjoying a southern feast while I was haze gray and underway fighting for turkey and stuffing with 5,000 of my best navy shipmates onboard the aircraft carrier, USS JOHN F. KENNEDY.

So one of the best things about this current tour in Memphis is our proximity to family.  It's about a four hour drive to Birmingham.  We've already made the trip a couple of times.  This is the closest we've ever been to either of our families throughout my entire career.  Driving to Greenbow, Alabama for Thanksgiving was a no-brainer.

Along with the traditional Thanksgiving grub that was so delicious it would make Paula Dean smack her momma, there was also plenty of mind blowing sweets to help accelerate the tryptophan-induced food comas we would soon succumb to.  Allow me to share two sweet delicacies that stood out during this nice break with family.

Jake discovered strawberry milk.  Since his first try just wasn't pink enough, he of course had to pour in another dose of that sugary goodness.  I believe the spoon was able to stand up on its own in that glass.

If all the Halloween candy wasn't enough to send your kid to the dentist, how about this bad boy to ensure the presence of holes in the mouths of the little ones?  Wrapped around the Kit Kat candy bar walls and the M&M roof is an actual chocolate cake.  Amy, you outdid yourself.

I'm embarrassed to say that I did not partake in either treat, even though they were both fat free.  Yeah, right.  Milk and I haven't seen eye to eye for years.  As far as the cake, sometimes it's better to just soak in the Picasso with your eyes rather than take it home.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tennessee Living

Monday, November 22, 2010 0
Some random shots of Tennessee living:

There seems to be a Cracker Barrel every quarter mile in Tennessee.  In addition to getting a heck of a breakfast at the CB, you'll also get smacked in the face with the loud orange and white.  Honky tonk baby!  

It's a barbecue bonanza out here in Tennessee.  There's the Germantown Commissary, Corky's, Top's, the Rendezvous, Barbarosa and many others.  I have to say that I still have Bob Syke's BBQ on the top of my list.  That's blasphemy in these parts since Bob Syke's is an Alabama establishment.  Hey, I like what I like.

There are some serious bugs here in Tennessee.  It's tough to keep your car clean with so many insects smashing themselves against your vehicle on a daily basis.  During the summer, you gotta keep your mouth closed while jogging unless you want to digest some impromptu bug protein.

The home of Federal Express, Memphis is a world-renowned distribution center.  When you absolutely, positively have to eat good barbecue dressed in loud orange and white, come to Tennessee.

There's some good fishing in these Tennessee lakes.  Just ask famous bass fisherman, Bill Dance.  He's got a weekly fishing show where he proudly wears his Tennessee Volunteers ballcap.  I caught this guy with a lipless crankbait.  Don't worry.  I'm a catch and release guy.  

So while you're fishing in Tennessee, you might want to keep an eye out for water moccasins or his other legless cousins.  Don't worry.  I'm a see a snake and run guy.

Driveway socializing is how we roll in our fun Tennessee neighborhood.  Folks just pull up their portable chairs, pop open a beer or soda and let the kids play their hearts out up and down the street.  You'll get the occasional yell of "CAR!!!" from the parents when someone pulls onto our street.  It's just friendly neighborhood USA here in our neck of the woods.  Hope you enjoyed the quick stroll with me.  Until next time.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tennessee Politics

Sunday, November 21, 2010 0
Some of the Alabama kin-folk came up to visit us not too long ago.  Dang, that sounded southern, didn't it?  While on the road to visit Graceland, Carol took a picture of this car:

Here's a closer look at the sign on top of the car:

Yeah, I would say Tennessee leans just a little towards the right.  I wonder if this guy voted in the November election?  For the record, I do not have this same sign planted in my front yard. I'm just a humble sailor that will support and follow the orders of the President of the United States, no matter what political party he belongs to.  If I have any pet peeves at all, it's when my military buddies get on Facebook and bad mouth certain politicians, including the President.  That's a big no-no in my book.  As officers, we take an oath to support the big man, not just the guy we voted for.  Okay, off my soap box now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Saturday, November 20, 2010 1
Losing Fred, our dog for 16 years, was a big blow for the Cruz family.  We'll never forget him.  We had plenty of conversation on whether we were ready for another addition to the family.  It almost felt like we were cheating on Fred just by having those talks.  But after a while, we felt it was the right thing to do.  CJ's strong opinion on the topic had a lot to do with the decision.  He was going dog crazy.

So we started visiting the various animal shelters in the area.  Flannigan immediately caught Carol's eye.  I think he gave her a funny look and head tilt.  He was very cautious and shy in his cage and we never heard a single peep out of him - not a single whimper or bark.  The Humane Society folks said he came to them in rough shape.  He was either abused or involved in a serious accident.  They think he was burned or drug by a car.  He had no fur on the left side of his body and he was extremely skinny.  The good folks at the Humane Society did a great job of getting him well though.

Some of you have heard my pitch before on rescuing animals from shelters and humane societies.  There are some really good animals there that need homes.  The alternative for these creatures is not good.  Don't plunk down hundreds of dollars for purebred pets from pet stores or breeders.  Save a doggie life instead!

So here's good old Flannigan.  He's a little over a year old now.  We're picking Labor Day as his birthday.  Close enough for government work.  Best guess is he's part boxer, part border collie.  We don't care.  He's all Cruz now.

What an awesome dog he is.  We should've known by those first couple of looks he gave Carol that he was really smart.  With just a little bit of training, he's already picked up several tricks.  He knows sit, shake hands, down, stay, roll over and will fetch the ball all day long.  He's also housebroken.  Unfortunately, he doesn't know how to grab me a beer yet but we're working on it.

That dog loves his momma.

His best doggie friend is Daisy, a beautiful lab who lives next door.  They roll around like there's no tomorrow.  It won't be long before Daisy will be bigger than Flannigan.

So here's a quick video that shows some of Flannigan's quirkiness.  I don't know what he was doing with that tennis ball.  Pretty glad to have a yard for Flannigan to romp around in.  Have a great weekend.

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