I’m on my soap box today.

Lately, in my travels up and down the highway, I have had several scares when another car seemed to be veering into my lane. Every single one of those drivers was texting on a cellphone. I have seen lots and lots of commercials and other advertisements on the danger of texting while driving. I must agree.

I am guilty of talking on my phone while driving, but I don’t do it constantly. I’m just not addicted to my cellphone. I think I am the only one who isn’t, and I also think it is a sign of old age.

I’ve told my students that when I was their age, we only had one phone in the house. I was thrilled when we got a long cord so that I could move around and talk while on the phone. They told me they were sorry that I was poor, and I explained to them that everyone lived that way. I don’t think they ever fully understood.

I recently saw a medical report on the increase of neck problems because people are constantly looking down at their phones. Those who aren’t looking where they are going can run into some real problems and dangers.

I do like the fact that you can quickly text someone and get an immediate response and not spend a lengthy time on the phone. Several of my good friends will send a quick text to see how everybody is doing and to see what is going on. It is so nice to be able to do that. However, I often make a call just because I want to hear a friend’s voice.

Just last week, a friend of mine answered me in a texting code, and I had no idea what she was talking about. It wasn’t the first time that has happened. There was a certain emoji that I thought was a Hershey’s kiss — I was wrong! I realized what it really was.

I ran across this list of texting codes for those who are middle-aged last week. However, I won’t be texting these while driving; I can promise you that.

• ATD: at the doctor

• BFF: best friend fell

• BTW: bring the wheelchair

• BYOT: bring your own teeth

• FWIW: forgot where I was

• GGPBL: gotta go, pacemaker battery low

• GHA: got heartburn again

• IMHO: is my hearing aid on

• LMDO: laughing my dentures out

• OMMR: on my massage recliner

• ROFLACGU: rolling on floor laughing and can’t get up

• TTYL: talk to you louder

Today I have some recipes for some end-of-the-summer salads. Hope you enjoy them, and thanks for reading.


1 (8½-ounce) package corn bread or muffin mix

6 green onions, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 (16-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

½ cup sharp cheddar cheese

Prepare and bake corn bread according to package directions. Cool on wire rack. Crumble corn bread into a glass serving bowl. Layer with onion, green pepper, corn, beans and tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sour cream. Spread over the vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese. Refrigerate until serving.


3 cups peeled, chopped fresh peaches (about 1½ pounds)

1 (8-ounce) tub fresh small mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 cup Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

4 cups seeded and cubed watermelon

4 cups cubed honeydew melon

3 cups fresh sliced strawberries

2 cups green seedless grapes, cut in half

Toss first three ingredients with 1/3 cup salad dressing. Layer watermelon, peach mixture, honeydew, strawberries and grapes in a large glass bowl or trifle dish. Serve immediately or may be refrigerated for up to eight hours. Toss with remaining salad dressing before serving.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing:

2/3 cup vegetable oil

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

1½ tablespoons poppy seeds

2 teaspoons finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Store in refrigerator, and serve at room temperature.


½ stick butter, melted

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 cups cubed rye bread

1 (16-ounce) package ready-to-serve salad greens

2 cups chopped corned beef or pastrami

1 large tomato, diced

½ cup sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained

½ cup thinly sliced green onions

1 (8-ounce) bottle thousand island salad dressing

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

In a small bowl, combine the butter, salt and pepper. Add bread cubes, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Let cool. In a large salad bowl, layer with half the salad greens, meat, tomato, sauerkraut, onion and dressing. Repeat the layers. Sprinkle with croutons and Swiss cheese.

• You can use “store bought” rye bread croutons if you can find them. I have seen them in some of the larger grocery stores in the metro area. I don’t care for sauerkraut, so I omit that, too. Every time I order a Reuben sandwich without the sauerkraut, Steve makes fun of me and says that is just a corned beef sandwich.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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