December 23, 2009

An Airstream Christmas

We arrived today in the Rio Grande Valley. We are spending Christmas with our son and his family. When we arrived it was 82 degrees and the sun was beaming down. Having lived here for 25 years and raising our family here I had forgotten that they very rarely get a white Christmas. We hung the wreath on the Airstream and are ready for an enjoyable visit with our children and grandchildren.

December 22, 2009

A little boys letter to Santa and Jesus...

The story is told of a little boy who wanted a big red bike for Christmas, so he wrote Santa a letter:

Dear Santa: I have been a good boy. I have done my chores and homework. I have obeyed my mom and dad. Please leave me a big red bike. Well, he got to thinking about it and decided that wasn’t enough, so he wrote a letter to Jesus:

Dear Jesus: I really want a big red bike for Christmas. I have attended church, learned my lessons, and obeyed the commandments. Then he got to thinking that might not be enough. So he crept downstairs, went over to the family manger scene and very carefully lifted the Mary out of the scene, and crept back up the stairs. He wrapped the figure of Mary in Kleenex and tucked her away in the back of the closet. Then he continued his letter to Jesus. “And if you ever want to see your mother again….”

December 16, 2009

Wonderful Christmas Memories...

Several years ago a university professor from Salt Lake City conducted an experiment at Christmas time. He randomly selected six hundred names from telephone directories from several major cities and sent Christmas cards to each of them. His return address was included on the card, and he received an amazing one hundred and seventeen responses from the 600 cards sent to perfect strangers.

One replied, “I just got out of the hospital, and how good it was to hear from a longtime wonderful friend!” (Must have had amnesia!)

Another said, “We had difficulty at first remembering who you were, but after some thought, we remembered. Please give our love to your father. He is a wonderful man.” (What creative memories!)

One reply was unexpected, “It was really great to hear from you again. We will be in Salt Lake City this summer, and if you have a spare room, we would like to stay with you two or three days!” (Hey, that’s what friends are for!)

December 15, 2009

Corzine's Movie Reviews...

I was just commenting to Preacher's Wife last week that I hadn't seen any real good movies in quite some time. So I decided on two new movies that looked real interesting to me. Whatever you do don't turn a blind eye to "The Blind Side" as it's one of the best films I have seen in quite a while. I loved the fact that it was very positive, upbeat and also because it's about good deeds and their ability to change people's lives. So if you're in the mood for a feel-good flick, this is an excellent choice. My girlfriend Sandra Bullock stars in the movie.

Rotten Tomatoes reviews gives INVICTUS 77%. I whole-heartedly agree and might even give it more. This film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team, to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match. I was challenged, motivated and inspired, and found myself in tears from time to time. Whatever you do don't miss this film.

December 12, 2009

The Corzine Coffee Bar

For those who follow me on Twitter or maybe have become a facebook friend, you know by now that I love BLACK COFFEE. It is no secret as to this vice. Some of my friends have become worried that I drink to much coffee, but the truth is, I just enjoy a couple of cups a day. BUT when I drink coffee/expresso I want it to be GOOD. I want it to be freshly ground and have a nice layer or cap of Crèma.

This is the kind of stuff that real coffee snobs care about: It is all about the Crèma. Some of you at this moment are turning your noise up while others like myself are moving toward the kitchen or a good coffee bar.

Since you ask, I will tell you. Crèma is the lovely, golden foam of coffee oils that covers a straight shot of espresso. Thick with aroma and flavor, it is the sign of proper coffee extraction.

The crèma forms a "layer" or a "cap" which helps the cup retain the aroma and flavor of the espresso. A good crèma will last a couple of minutes before settling. In most espresso-making courses, students learn to test the extraction by placing a sugar-cube (or teaspoon of sugar) on top of the crèma. The sugar should rest for a good few seconds before sinking through the crèma into the espresso. Extraction is poor when the sugar sinks to quickly.

The freshness and quality of the coffee grind has a direct result on the extraction and crèma. It should be noted that freshly ground whole-beans produce the best crèma. Cheers, here's to you!

December 10, 2009

Thanks for the blessings....

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the decorations, the lights, the smells and the sounds. It's 35 degrees in San Antonio and I'm sitting by the fireplace this morning drinking a nice hot cup of coffee listening to my favorite Christmas albums. Preacher's Wife is in the kitchen cooking sausage and biscuits. I know! I know! Life is good! So if you like good harmony and a little country sound you just might enjoy hearing Alabama sing: The Blessings

As I sit here, I realize that others in the world around me are at different places in their lives and for those who may be hurting or struggling today, my prayer for them is that they will experience God's grace, God's love, God's forgiveness and acceptance. These are the real gifts that show us how blessed we really are.

Alabama: The Blessings

December 8, 2009

Home For Christmas

I arrived home last night from my London trip and was so pleased to be home. Preacher's Wife had decorated the house while I was gone, so it was nice and cozy when I arrived. The stockings were hung, the fireplace was burning, the candles were lite and she served me butter beans with ham hock and crispy brown cornbread muffins. I watched Monday night football and then slowly made my way to bed. Life is good! I am blessed and rejoicing.