When Charlotte and I moved from the mean streets of Grapevine to Colleywood almost 20 years ago, we pulled a major Movin' On Up (cue Weezy Jefferson). Excuse me. The Sherman Hemsley clause in my blogger contract requires that I wait 'till Weezy's finished with her song.
OK, I'm back.
We expected a certain amount of...what's the word...pretentiousness when we moved.
For example, I always carry a jar of Gray Poupon mustard with me in case one of my neighbors needs it. And I gave up Wal-Mart for Target (to be honest, the knife fights in the Wal-Mart parking lot were getting boring, so it was really just a matter of time).
After ALL THAT EFFORT, I'm sad to report that Charlotte and I have just been handed the ultimate insult. Our neighbors, Lord and Lady HubbaBubba (not their real names) have decided NOT to invite us to the wedding of their only daughter.
These folks really are our neighbors. Our backyard fence backs up to THEIR backyard fence. The only difference being that their backyard is approx. 24 ACRES (this is Colleywood and this is not a joke).
Their place is freakin' Cowtown Abbey.
What really burns my biscuits (pardon my French) is that he's erected a PRIVACY WALL to block our commoner eyes from basking in the beauty of the wedding.
I admire my brother David but we're polar opposites. A big DIYer, he's tackled everything from changing tires in the rain to installing hardwood floors to handling our Uncle Buddy's taxes. I didn't get that gene so guess who I call for advice when there's a hiccup around our house.
David also remembers things from our childhood that I swear he's making up. And he's always had the best vision in the family. At least, that was true until recently.
Today, like most Boomers except Bob, we both depend on glasses. Without our trusty cheaters, everything from text messages to laundry labels can be as puzzling as a James Patterson mystery. (I'll never figure out why Banana Republic thinks anyone can read white letters on a cream background but that's another post!)
You could pick up a trendy pair of prescription-quality reading glasses ... FREE. The eyewear experts at Foster Grant have joined us to give away 4 pair of their Boomerlicious, new Crystal Vision readers in your choice of men's or women's styles ($29.99 value each).
Read on for details on how to enter. Contest * ends April 17!
Now that Spring has finally sprung (for most of us...our son Cole is still shivering in the Big Apple), it's time to think vacation. For those of you contemplating your next trip, I've found three apps that'll make your journey easier - and even a lot more fun.
A few years ago, I went searching for a great eggplant recipe after seeing excessive amounts of the purple stuff at my local vegetable grower's stand. I didn't know what to do with eggplant, so I challenged myself to buy a few and make something yummy.
I know I need to drink water. Besides supporting your immune system, water can help you lose weight, smooth your skin (there's no easier anti-aging treatment!) even encourage your hair to grow faster.
It's good to have options.
Bob and I have been hooked on twice baked potatoes since year 1 of our marriage. That was 1978, we lived in Aggie land (otherwise known as College Station, TX), and going out for steak and stuffed potatoes was one of our favorite rituals.
I know that many of you have been fans of singer/songwriter John Hiatt for a long time. I'm a new convert to the certifiable American legend, thanks to "discovering" him through Pandora.
I bet she loves her baby brothel, too.
What if, just one day a week, you cut out the beef, chicken and pork that are usually the centerpiece of your plate? According to the Meatless Monday campaign, run in association with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, reducing your meat intake has a host of health benefits. If you eat less saturated fat (the type found in meat) and more polyunsaturated fat (found in nuts and vegetable oils), you'll reduce your risk of heart disease. Cutting back on meat may also reduce your risk of diabetes, could help you lose weight and help you live longer overall. So, why not give it a try? Here are ways to cut the meat out of all three meals of the day.
Since we started this blog four years ago, Charlotte and I have been invited to some pretty cool events. It's understandable, really. People who make things want us to share them with our reader millions of fans. So, we (sometimes) participate.
I know what you're saying, "Bob...don't you just love the glamor and pageantry of hobnobbing with celebrities?" I have two answers to that question: 1) I've never hobbed a nob, and if I did Charlotte would never let me write about it on this blog; and 2) Where'd you hide the remote?
Seriously, I'll take a TCM movie, box of Triscuit, some Cracker Barrel Vermont Cheddar and a bottle of wine over just about anything I've been invited to in the last 15 years. That includes most weddings, ALL showers (baby/wedding/house/rain) and 9 out of 10 family functions. Relax, I'm not 100% curmudgeon. There have been a couple of funerals I've enjoyed for reasons we'll cover later in the semester.
So, what's it take to blast me outta my bean bag chair?
An offer I can't refuse.
Like the one we received from our friends at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The Coppola folks were in town promoting their wines and invited us to the Lakewood Theater in Dallas to check 'em out. As an added bonus, The Godfather Himself, Francis Ford Coppola, would be talking about his wines and his career.
That offer hit The Boomer Brief Trifecta: Wine, Film & Film Legend. What's not to like? The five-time Academy Award winner told the story of his career from filmmaker to winemaker and back again for almost 90 minutes.
Here are some things he told us that you may not know:
As cancer survivors Charlotte and I try to watch our diet, so we maintain a pretty low-fat plan around our house (except for pizza and the occasional bean dip night). I have to watch my cholesterol, because I have a family history (grandfather) of heart disease.
Many weekends, Bob and I live on Italian food (pizza, pizza!). We're also wild about hot sandwiches and anything quick and easy.
So it was love-at-first-bite with these great grilled subs from Tiffany Collins' 200 Best Panini Recipes (Robert Rose Inc., Oct. 15, 2013, $24.95).
I've been taking photos since I got my first box camera circa 1960. Back then, photography was infinitely more complicated and the results were often less than memorable.
This recipe is inspired by an incredible stuffed cabbage dish that my wife Angie and I had a few years back at Le Florimond in Paris. It is stuffed with seasoned pork forcemeat braised to a rustic turn, and served with a slightly tart broth that melds right into the cabbage. And if someone in the house should complain about the smell when you cook the rolls, send them out for dinner and you'll have more for yourself.
Poor guy just got tired of having to trim off the extra.
One of the things you learn after almost 36 years of marriage is the delicate ballet of who-does-what. The dance has changed with Charlotte and me over the years, but the one thing that's been a constant is that Friday and Sunday night dinners are my territory.
That doesn't mean I channel my inner Bobby Flay (couldn't even if I tried) but it does mean I'm responsible for the meal. Charlotte's OK with me calling our favorite neighborhood pizza guys iFratelli or taking her out to a neighborhood restaurant. But, when I don't choose either of those options, I fall back on the handful of tried-and-true recipes that we love.
We love pizza, so I came up with this recipe during the early days of our marriage. We liked it back then because all you really need to pull it off is English muffins, pizza sauce and provolone cheese.
Over the years I've tweaked it, spiced it up and perfected it into the recipe below. Yes, it is spicy, but it doesn't have to be. If you don't want it "Texas style" then pardner, just omit the jalapenos and green chilies. We'll keep it our little secret, OK?
Going gray is the least of my worries. At 56 (practically 57, yikes!), my once-blonde hair has gotten darker with no trace of silver just yet. It came back brown after a life-saving double mastectomy and 6 rounds of chemotherapy in 2009 ... but that's another story.