June 2011 Archives

Dust Jacket

Growing Up Laughing

By Bob on June 30, 2011 5:51 AM | Read More

Any Baby Boomer who grew up watching a black and white television should pick up Marlo Thomas' terrific memoir, Growing Up Laughing. It's a great read, full of humor and heart that's written with such clarity and spark you'll feel as if she's sitting beside you telling story after wonderful story from her rich and interesting life.

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Here's the Dish

Boy Meets Grill

By Bob on June 29, 2011 4:01 AM | Read More

When Charlotte and I built our Collywood home a few years ago we knew we wanted a large outdoor kitchen. Truth is, we love to eat outside and grill when the weather's nice. Sausages are a summertime favorite because 1) they're easy 2) they're quick and 3) Charlotte loves ketchup. The only problem we have is the high fat content (we're trying to keep it low-fat as much as possible) so we don't chow down on them as often as maybe we'd like.

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Daily Distraction

I said I'd pick you up in a limo. What's the problem?

By Bob on June 28, 2011 5:46 AM | Read More

We had a limo to our high school prom, too. What makes YOU so special?

Granbury Prom Limo-400.jpg

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In the Mirror

Maximum Heat Protect Spray

By Charlotte on June 27, 2011 5:25 PM | Read More

2009 was one of those P-L-E-A-S-E don't-send-me-back-there years. In June, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In July, I had a double mastectomy (with reconstruction, of course). In August, I started chemotherapy and, two short weeks later, lost every last bit of my hair.

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The Company Men

By Bob on June 23, 2011 6:06 AM | Read More

The Company Men is a work of fiction, but its story is as real as this morning's headlines. It's a tale of corporate greed, company downsizing and the seemingly endless despair of finding a job. If you think that sounds depressing, you're right. But, if you think it's all this movie has going for it, you're terribly wrong. This is a wonderful film with a hopeful message and a very big heart.

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Guest Room

S E X After 50

By Bob on June 22, 2011 6:48 AM | Read More

Now that I have your attention...It's no secret that Boomers are having sex well into their golden years. We've kind of been on the cutting edge of that revolution since the 1960s. Remember the Summer of Love? That was OUR idea. You're welcome America!

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Daily Distraction

Things are Tough All over

By Bob on June 21, 2011 5:09 AM | Read More

You know the economy is bad when toddlers turn into bill collectors...
When Harry Met Sally 2 with Billy Crystal & Helen Mirren from Billy Crystal

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Don't Try This At Home

No You Idiot, I Said Kill the Gophers...

By Bob on June 20, 2011 7:26 AM | Read More

I've had a love/hate relationship with golf for most of my lifTop Golf - Tony Romo - 435.jpge. 


I love playing when the weather is nice, but I've also dodged hail the size of...you guessed it...GOLF BALLS, tornadoes and even the occasional alligator just for a round.


Tony Romo tees it up at the new Top Golf in Allen


Jeez, you'd think I'd learn. But then, you'd be wrong internets.


So, when the folks at Top Golf invited me to the grand opening of their new three-story, 65,000-square-foot golf entertainment complex in The Village at Allen (TX) a couple of weeks ago I said. "Please accept my RSVP".


Nah...I really said, "You mean I don't have to dodge alligators in a tornado-driven hail storm to play golf? Put me down for a YES." Oh, and they've got Mushi, too. So, make that a definite YES.


Top Golf is a great way to get my golf on without dodging the occasional hail stone the size of a canned ham. It's a terrific concept that protects you from the elements while delivering a first rate golf experience.


No, this isn't some cheesy hit-the-imaginary-ball-into-the-video-screen set up. You play with real golf balls and real golf clubs at one of the 94 hitting bays (open-ended booths stacked three stories high, facing the driving range) where you can order drinks and food and even watch sports on TV. Is that COOL or what?

No night putting...but plenty of everything else Top Golf - Night Shot - 500.jpg

Score card? Nah...this is the digital age.


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Let's Get Cookin'

By Charlotte on June 17, 2011 6:48 AM | Read More

Bon Appetite Desserts 300.jpgI'm seriously obsessed with recipes. I clip them from magazines, copy them from the world wide web and seek out local dishes when on vacation to remind Bob and me of our travels.


I also love collecting cookbooks. They spill from our kitchen island to the pantry to my desk in the laundry room. Bob says we have so many that I could use one each night and not repeat myself for years. (You know how he can exaggerate!)


But when I get serious about cooking, I find myself preferring proven favorites like these new, go-to compilations from the pros at Fine Cooking, Bon Appétit and Better Homes and Gardens:


Fine Cooking Appetizers

Desserts 4 Today

How to Squeeze a Lemon

Bon Appétit Desserts


We're giving away:

  • Three Fine Cooking-inspired kitchen companions
  • A collection of more than 600, luscious Bon Appétit dessert recipes
  • Five, one-year subscriptions to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine 



Click "Read More" for a taste of the delectable recipes in store for winners and details on how to enter. Contest ends June 30!

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Dust Jacket

The Year We Left Home

By Bob on June 16, 2011 5:00 AM | Read More

The Year We Left Home, a new novel by Jean Thompson, captures time and place in a way that's reminiscent of one of those "ships in a bottle". Like the artists who build the tiny vessels, she crafts a story so rich in detail that you'll marvel at how she makes everything fit so well.

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Fridge Finds

Low-Cal Coolers

By Charlotte on June 15, 2011 6:49 AM | Read More

Bob and I practically live in our backyard this time of year. We enjoy "gardening" (he digs holes for my perennials, runs drip lines from the sprinkler heads and kills weeds; I supervise), lunching on the patio and relaxing in the pool.   

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Daily Distraction

The Difference Between Men & Women Finally Explained

By Bob on June 14, 2011 5:20 AM | Read More

Ok, NOW I get it...

The Difference Between Men & Women Finally Explained - 500.jpg

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In the Mirror

Rapido Nail Lacquer

By Charlotte on June 13, 2011 6:07 AM | Read More

It's sandal season in Texas so you won't catch me without a splash of color on my toenails.


My poor fingernails, however, are another story. I usually ignore them, pretending to prefer an au natural look. But the truth is I hate holding my hands still long enough for polish to dry and it just never seems to last on my hard-working fingers (I guess that's the price of all this blogging!).

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Catching Up With..

Catching Up With...K.T. McLeaish

By Bob on June 10, 2011 3:41 AM | Read More

K.T. is retired from a long-time, non-paying career of political activism (she was once an elected member of the Democratic National Committee). She's been married to a prominent West Texas criminal lawyer (Michael McLeaish) for 32 years and they've lived in Odessa, TX for the past 34. She has one son and daughter-in-law, a step-daughter and two "bonus grandchildren." K.T. loves to travel (she once sailed the South Pacific and has actually been to Pitcairn and Easter Islands). Both of these trips were taken, she says "years ago - before tort reform!"

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Passion Play

By Bob on June 9, 2011 5:07 AM | Read More

Passion Play, the gritty, new-age film noir from director Mitch Glazer, is an existential romp through time and space with Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray as your co-pilots. It's a mesmerizing movie that handles the heaviness of the human condition with a gossamer touch.

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Guest Room

Living Life Your Way

By Charlotte on June 8, 2011 8:44 AM | Read More

Remember when self-help tips were limited to books like I'm Okay, You're Okay and The Power of Positive Thinking? Life really was simpler then.

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Daily Distraction

Working Hard, or Hardly Working?

By Bob on June 7, 2011 3:20 AM | Read More

I think we know the answer to that one...

9 Days a Week.jpg

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Don't Try This At Home

Street Seens

By Bob on June 6, 2011 4:00 AM | Read More

Balthazar Wine-400.jpg

Miss Charlotte and I just celebrated our 33rd anniversary in New York City.


I know what you're asking yourself internets, HOW COULD SHE STAY MARRIED TO HIM FOR 33 YEARS?


It's one of those questions kinda like if Elvis, Jim Morrison and Roy Orbison were in a Heavenly Band, who'd sing lead vocals? Some things, we'll just never know.


It'd been a while since we'd been to the Big Apple, so we had a good time getting reacquainted with Manhattan and some of its better known boroughs. In short order, we checked Brooklyn, the Bronx, SoHo, The Village, the Upper East and West Sides, Museum District, Theater District, Times Square and Central Park off our list.


And that was the FIRST DAY...I'm kidding.


We'd been to the BIG CITY before and gotten all the LOOK. AT. ALL. THE. TALL. BUILDINGS. out of our system, so there wasn't any burning desire to do hardcore touristy stuff. That doesn't mean we hung out in our room and watched mixed martial arts cage matches all day on pay-per-view (I vetoed Charlotte's request)...we got out and mingled with the fine folks of the largest city in America. Boy, did we mingle. Here are the highlights from our street seens...let's go to the videotape:


Grooming Trend You Never Thought You'd See Again

If you answered, "What is the Hitler moustache" you're correct! I had a mid-town Manhattan WTF moment when I saw a red headed guy at the corner of Broadway and 47th Street sporting one of these. I wasn't sure if he'd been one of those Boys-From-Brazil experiments gone horribly wrong, or he was just trying to get a reaction. Either way: CREEPED. ME. OUT. Sadly, no photos. I've seen Marathon Man and didn't want him to go all Laurence Olivier on me.



There's no line at the Gauguin nudes exhibit, let's go over there.



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Summer Shoes to Keep You Feeling Fine

By Charlotte on June 3, 2011 8:00 AM | Read More

My favorite Cinderella is the 1965 Rodgers & Hammerstein classic starring Lesley Anne Warren, Stuart Damon and some simple glass slippers with the power to change a girl's life. I watched it year-after-year growing up, and blame it for my unfailing fixation on heels, wedges, flats ... make that shoes of any sort so long as they have some style.



So when the folks at Crocs suggested I check out a pair from their comfort collection, I was torn. Try some shoes? I LOVED that idea. But Crocs? Hum... Weren't they those huge, brightly colored clogs that looked nothing like Cinderella's dainty glass slippers?


Then, I remembered that my sister-in-law Cyndi, a Nicu (that's neonatal intensive care unit) nurse often on her feet for 12 hours a stretch, swears by Crocs. She and all her nursing Carlie Flat Animal Wave 150.jpgbuddies say they're like walking on clouds. So I took a peek at the brand's new summer line, which includes hot, new styles like the Leigh Wedge and Carlie Flat that warmed me up to the idea of trying Crocs in no time.



Crocs Carlie Flat Animal Wave


vera 150.jpg


You could win a foot-pampering pair of stylish Crocs flats or Oka B. heels ... FREE.


Click "Read More" to choose your favorite styles and colors. Contest ends June 16!




Oka b. Vera Heels


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Summer Wines & Wine Reading

By Bob on June 2, 2011 2:03 AM | Read More

Even though summer hasn't "officially" started (that's June 21st) we've already uncorked some lighter wines to get us in the mood for the longer days to come. Our friends at St. Francis and the Naked Grape wineries gave us some nice varietals to try, so we gave 'em a taste as we shift to the softer shades of summer.

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Here's the Dish

Brio's New Menu

By Bob on June 1, 2011 1:57 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I love Italian food and we often fall into a rut when it comes to choosing restaurants and menu options. Me? My Italian default setting is somewhere between pizza (my go-to choice since college) and eggplant parmesan. Charlotte? Salads (mostly) or something she can share with me or one of her girlfriends.

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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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