2015 has been a year of challenges for most of the world, with violence at home and abroad in the news every day. If it’s not about international military and/or political power struggles, the media is probably telling us about government conflict or sadly, the latest shooting perpetrated by a disturbed individual. I can’t remember the last time when so many people were so angry about so many aspects of the world in which we live.
And yet, if you ask how they are, how the family is, nothing much has changed. Friends and family members may get sick, lose a loved one, have trouble at work or experience a bump in the financial road, but most would say they are happy overall – that they live a life that’s good.
We may not be able to control what happens outside our circle, but we can control our reaction to it. And we can certainly control our reaction to the events inside our personal world.
During this Christmas, and whatever your holiday season, let’s all promise to:
Above all, have a wonderful Christmas/holiday season and a slam dunk great 2016!
The Kerrians will be back in January with Charlie’s New Year’s Resolutions. 🙂
*Photo by Patti Phillips – Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada
Traveling during the holidays? We all try to stuff too much into the carry-ons, but there are special rules for what you can and can’t bring with you on the flight.
Just in case this is the first time you’re flying since 2001, when the regulations changed for everyone, here are two of the biggest no-no rules:
Don’t carry knives
Don’t carry guns
There are signs near every single U.S. security check area for carry-on luggage showing you the general list of what CANNOT be brought onto the plane, and some of the baggage check-in counters have physical examples of the no-nos. Here is a partial list of items that the TSA doesn’t want on the planes:
Why do you suppose people want to bring these items onto the plane? Because they are probably trying to avoid the extra baggage fee. Guess what? Nobody wants to sit next to a passenger that stows dynamite under the seat, no matter how much it is needed it for your business. Check with your airline for other no-fly items.
Click on the TSA link for their list:
The TSA has actually had to confiscate:
Click on the link below for other items that can’t be transported in the passenger section of a plane, and in some cases, not at all:
Suppose all your stuff is legal and you are good to get on the plane. All your shampoos and other liquids are stowed in your checked luggage. But, you still have a lot of carry-on paraphernalia – Laptop, book, coat, food for the plane, presents. Hmmm…
Space on a plane: It’s the time of year when people want to bring back the presents they have been given at their holiday gatherings. Unfortunately, most of them do NOT fit in the space below the seats or in the overhead storage. Those overhead spaces are SHARED space, meaning that you are allowed a space that is about the size of a weekender suitcase on a cross country plane with 100+ passengers.
If you are flying on a regional jet, there is barely enough room for a briefcase or a jacket up there, let alone packages or suitcases. Think kid’s backpack for overhead space size on a regional jet. You may be asked to keep your coat on, rather than stow it and in most cases, you will not be allowed to keep the presents/laptop/iPad in your lap during takeoff or landing. I’ve been on flights that have been delayed while extra items are taken off the passenger part of the plane and checked in with the baggage.
Your solution? Have your friends/family mail the packages to you. It’s cheaper than you think.
Take a look at the photo at the beginning of this article. No matter how much Sheila wanted to bring the Santa, the books and the maracas onto the plane, they did not fit into her carry-on. The bag is the regulation size (12” ruler in front of the bag) that fits under the seat and will fit nicely next to a laptop case in that same space. BUT, it is not big enough for the Santa, etc. We had to ship them back to our house at a cost of about $25.
Connecting flights: Plan ahead for your trip. If you have connections, see if both planes are the same size. Generally, they are not. And the different sized planes have different overhead space and under the seat space. I flew on a plane that had NO overhead space at all. That’s where the life jackets and oxygen masks were kept. Ask ahead, so you won’t be surprised and can pack or ship accordingly.
True story: Back in the 90s, a guy tried to board a plane in the Caribbean with a car door in tow. He needed it as a replacement part. He was given the option to have it placed in the cargo hold. He wouldn’t agree, so he and the door stayed behind. The entire incident defied logic because the door didn’t fit into the seat rows and certainly not in the overhead compartments. Plus, it was heavy! LOL
Have a safe flight and be kind to your fellow passengers and flight attendants! 🙂 That way, the Air Marshals won’t have to get involved. (“What does the TSA really do?)
*photo by Patti Phillips
It’s holiday cooking time and that means special side dishes to go with your great entrees. Here’s one that Sheila and I really like because it goes with all kinds of poultry and beef. We’ve never tried it with ham, but I bet it would be a tasty alternate to the sweet potatoes we usually serve with the pork dishes. We often do Cream Cheese Bakes for our baked potatoes and we add the shrimp at the holidays.
I found a leftover shrimp baked potato in the frig and discovered that the addition of the shrimp makes the dish hearty enough to stand on its own as a lunch – add a salad and you’re good to go. Alone or with dinner, it’s a favorite at our house. This is also a make-ahead dish, so you can refrigerate the finished potatoes for a day until you are ready to reheat them for dinner.
No bodies were found anywhere in the vicinity, except those overstuffed folks taking naps while recovering. 😉
*Photo by Patti Phillips