Don't Try This At Home

How I Spent My Summer

By Bob on September 2, 2013 3:53 AM

Like most Baby Boomers, every year at this time I'd drag myself back to a school and try to forget summer. It wasn't that hard.

In my little Texas town, summer vacation meant working a job, crusin' the main drag (a verrrry short trip), swimming in the muddy Brazos River and the occasional make out session at the Brazos Drive-In (this was B.C., "Before Charlotte").

I know what you did last summer-503.jpg

On digital paper, it sounds like a cross between Happy Days and Little House on the Prairie but it wasn't nearly that idyllic.  Regardless of how the summer turned out, the first day of school was usually punctuated by a teacher asking me to condense WHAT I DID THIS SUMMER on to a piece of three-hole punch notebook paper.  

This wasn't a tough assignment.

My goal was to turn in an essay that didn't contain too many grammatical errors and changed the names of the guilty to farm animals, as in "then Pig and I stashed the beer we bought with a fake ID in the brush at the Weatherford Boat Ramp." This was sometimes a problem in Granbury, Texas, because some of my classmates actually had animal nicknames, but I used literary license to work my way around any felonies.  

The HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER essay has likely gone the way of schools without air-conditioning and the 8-Track tape. But that hasn't stopped me. I thought our reader millions of readers might like to know how Charlotte and I spent our summer. So buckle up buttercup and let's roll the highlight (and one lowlight) reel... 

How I Spent My Summer   

You can tell by the expression on her face that this show is just gonna suck. It did.Diana Krall-500.jpg

Diana Krall
Our summer started out on a sour note. This sultry songstress has been on my concert bucket list for a loooong time. That's why it was such a HUGE disappointment to see her at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas. The Boomer Babe spent 95% of the show promoting her new (and dismal) album Glad Rag Doll. One word review: Bleh (* out of 5 stars). I actually apologized to Charlotte for taking her.


 Take them to the ranch and give them all loaded weapons.

Many of you will be pleased to know that the retro-look lives...at least for now.Kitchen-600.jpg

Ranch Re-Do

We continued making progress remodeling the ranch house. There's still a lot to do, but this summer we took care of paint, plumbing, drywall, scraped the ceilings of their "popcorn" finish and replaced every single light fixture...holy googly moogly...LOT'S of lights.

...and crystals...lot's and lot's of crystals...Master-500.jpg

"Next time you need to hang one of these lights, you're on your own," said the man who installed this fixture.Bath-500.jpgCrusin'

Charlotte and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary cruising the Mediterranean aboard Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. Portofino, Capri, Corsica, Amalfi, Positano, Monte Carlo...the destinations were one-part Godfather, one-part James Bond and 100 percent amazing.   

Yes, Portofino is as pretty as you've been told.Portofino-600.jpgCharlotte looks great in Monte Carlo. Me? Shaken, not stirred.Monte Carlo-600.jpg

NY Son

Our NYC son, Cole, ditched the Big Apple for an all-too-brief trip to Texas. We nourished his inner Texan by feeding him Tex-Mex, Shiner beer and 100-degree temperatures.

Cole in happier times. Before I told him we'd spent his inheritance on our 35th anniversary cruise.

Cole & Bob-600.jpg

Birthday Blow Out

Charlotte and her sister Pam pulled off the impossible - a surprise 75th birthday party for their mom. It was a terrific party that brought in friends she hadn't seen in years. Tears accompanied by BBQ...Beans...Potato Salad...Un-sweet Tea...and not one trip to the ER. It was a huge success.

Charlotte's sister, Pam (left), her mom Patsy and of course, your lovely and charming hostess, Charlotte

Patsy's Party-600.jpg

House Guests

Charlotte and I are empty-nesters get it? There was a time this summer we were anything BUT empty-nesters. Charlotte's sister and her entire family (minus Batman the dog) bunked with us prior to the Birthday Blow Out.

Every room...bathroom...and semi-comfortable space was occupied with a human being. So, I did what any red-blooded Texan would do when faced with a house full of human flesh: take them to the ranch and give them all loaded weapons for an afternoon of shooting. Again, not one trip to the ER. Am I a good host, or what?!  

Gunnin' for fun: Nephew Jake (left), niece Jacquelin, Jacquelin's hubby Mitch (cowboy hat), brother in law Chip and nephew, Zach.Ranch Group-600.jpgMy niece channels Annie Oakley to take down some clay targets...Jacqui-600.jpg...and gets a work-glove high-five from her Dad.Jacqui & Chip-600.jpg  

That's how I spent my summer.

Class dismissed. 


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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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