Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Bobs Update

And now for some updates from Bob - The Farmer, The Cook, The Writer, The Grandpa, The Traveler and The One Who Wants to be Healthy...

The chicken coop is complete and the chickens have been transferred to the new enclosure. Of course, they weren't too happy with the idea of being moved but now, with the chicken run available, I think they're getting acclimated to the new home.

Yes, the younger ones are still terrified and intimated by the larger hens but when the 8 brown hens go out into the yard, the little brown and white ones run wild in the coop, eating and drinking.

Sure, go ahead and think I'm crazy. Every time the little ones attempt or think of coming out of the coop, one of the crazy (what my sons call her) hens goes flying up in their face, pushing them back into the coop.  At least it has been that way for the last two day.

Tonight! Tonight was a day of liberation for the little ones. One of them (I think it is the one my granddaughter named "Snow") strolled out onto the ramp. The crazy hen came fluttering up and it just jumped down into the yard. Shortly thereafter, two more joined the first one.  So, in the end, there was five little ones out in the yard with the eight bigger hens.  That means that there were still five more little hens inside plus two very BIG meat chickens.  Those two are so huge they can barely walk and - sorry, folks, but they will be butchered this week.

The remaining eighteen hens will be allowed to mature to lay eggs... which should start maybe in late June or mid-July.  When all eighteen start laying, the possibility of eighteen eggs a day is a fact, BUT, more than likely, it will be more like about twelve to fifteen eggs a day.  Still, seven to ten dozen eggs per week is more than I can use.  Notice I didn't say eat.  Plain eggs or heavy egg items and I don't get along. Fried eggs, hard/soft boiled eggs, eggnog, even eggs in potato salad - I become sulfuric - and trust me, you don't want to be around.

So, as my neighbor stated, get that sign-up and out there when eggs are available and he'll be over to get farm-fresh eggs.  He said I'll have a thriving egg business in no time.  He was checking out my coop and said I may want to enlarge the chicken area and cut back my shed share of the building.  He thinks I should up the ante to about thirty hens. Hm? Maybe he likes eggs?

Also, as Farmer Bob, my plants I started inside are coming along fantastically. My tomato plants are growing even larger and I will probably need to transplant them to five-inch pots this coming week. The geraniums are getting big, as are the petunias and impatiens... but I think I may be able to keep the last two in the current pots, the geraniums might need bigger pots.

Yesterday I planted two rows of peas out in the garden. Hopefully, they will do better this year than they did last year, but still, last year was really nice.  I mean, a full gallon of peas to freeze. I don't know how many of you are familiar with "Tater Tot Casserole" but those fresh frozen peas tasted absolutely wonderful in the casseroles during the winter. Here's a quick recipe from Cooking Bob:

1 lb ground beef, 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or celery or chicken), 2 cups frozen peas, cheese slices (cheddar or Colby) and a bag of frozen tater tots.  We do NOT cook the beef prior.

Set oven to temperature for tater tots - usually about 400.
1) Spread the beef thinly on bottom of 9x12 pan.
2) Spread soup across the beef (do NOT add water)
3) Spread frozen peas on top of soup
4) Put slices of cheese to cover entire pan
5) Place tater tots in a layer. (my sons line them up for easy cutting, but...)
6) Bake as directed for tater tots, about 30-35 mins.
7) Cut and serve.
NOTE: Use a clear glass dish the first time so you can see if the meat has cooked properly. Some people prefer to crumble and fry the beef with diced onions prior to layering - your option.

Now, as Writer Bob, it has been very good the last couple of weeks. My latest book, "At Death's Doors" has done well on Amazon. Sales skyrocketed at its initial release sending my book into Amazon's top 100.  Writer Bob has really been busy this past week working on an old novel, rewriting "The Treasure Within" which is more of a literary work than my usual fantasy or horror genre. I've been making myself accountable to another author friend for word counts. LOL. And she has been making herself accountable to me for her word counts.  Great incentive, eh?

And Grandpa Bob had a fabulous time last weekend celebrating three birthdays: one granddaughter, Keeley, turned 6 while her sibling twins, Jaxson and Mikayla, turned one. It was a fun party because, as Grandpa, I got to see ALL my grandkids and a lot of their friends. Party! Party! Party!

Now, for Health Bob - not so good. I can't seem to lose any weight. And my sugar has been all over the place.  I'm trying to get it all under control.  Maybe I just need to toss out what the doctor and dietitian want me to eat and go back to my diet I was on back in December which dropped my A1C from 10.3 to 7.2 and my weight from 268 to 240.  The diet they have me on, I now weight 251  HUH?  What part of losing weight and blood sugar control don't they understand?

Trying something new - I was told to be interactive with my audience. So, now I will ask you a simple question.  Not everyone is a writer, nor a farmer, nor grandparent, or a health expert. So exactly what kind of question can I ask that everyone can participate with?

You're going on a simple trip, call it a day trip. Where would you go? What would you see? Why would it be fun? And how much would it cost?

Does that sound like a silly question?  Not really.  My wife and I like to travel and sometimes we miss those little "secret" places that only the locals know about.  We've stumbled onto a few of them, especially one in Iowa, one in New York on Long Island, a few up in Michigan, a couple over in Indiana, and some in Ohio. Well, actually I wish I could remember the one in California and the other in -- I think -- Arizona? It can be a campground, a scenic view, a landmark, whatever.

So, tell Bob The Traveler about your favorite hideaway.

Until next I ramble on...


  1. Finally a recipe that doesn't tell me to brown the ground beef! I dislike that step. I have serious doubts about the medical world being all knowing when it comes to diabetes. I say go with what works. My day trip would depend on where we are at the moment. Here in Florida I have been trying to make regular trips to Playalinda Beach to go surf fishing, Haven't made it yet. In North Carolina, I want to go on a picnic at a waterfall on Betty's Creek Rd, One of the locals told me about it.

    1. These are the secret places I like to discover. It was a dark and stormy night (LOL) so we stopped to have dinner at a restaurant somewhere in Alabama? We asked if there was anything around that might be interesting to see. The waitress told us about a little park, falls, etc just a few miles out of town. We stopped to see it - spent almost 2 hours there. It was really nice. I might have to check out the NC waterfall on Betty's Creek Rd when/if we get down that way. I surf fished on Mustang Island, just outside Corpus Christi. Loved it!

    2. Also, if you want to give it a little flair - try chopped broccoli and/or cauliflower as a layer. When the boys don't join us, we add a layer of diced onion. AND, I've been known to sprinkle a little crumbled crispy bacon on top during the last couple of minutes baking. Also, I find the raw beef makes a solid patty while pre-cooked crumbled beef seems to fall apart as you attempt to scoop it out.

  2. Your posts always make me seem like an underachiever! OMG - I have to get my garden going. I haven't even turned the soil yet. You amaze me.

    1. LOL. You keep calling me a go-getter and I always think I'm running out of time and not getting anything accomplished. It is all perspective. I think your daily routine is so robust.

  3. A good day trip right now would be to a nice relaxing inn somewhere in Quebec. I know just the place. I would do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for a whole day but drink coffee until dinnertime, at which point I would switch to beer, watch the sun set as the leave struggle to bud.

    1. Ah-ha! I bring my room with me - an RV. Altho I have stayed at an inn from time to time. I refuse to set up in a storm - a light shower, no problem, but pelting rain - no way! And the beer only comes out AFTER I am parked, relaxing - NOT behind the steering wheel. LOL.

  4. Sounds like you have mult-personality disorder! We RVd for 5 years and everywhere we stopped someone told us about a fantastic place we missed as we were packing up to go! My very favorite place was Bear Country near Mount Rushmore. You drive through and see the adult animals, then you walk around enclosures with the baby animals playing. It was so much fun we went back twice! My tip for travelers going to South Dakota!

    1. We were to Mt Rushmore back in 1987 and stayed at a obscure campsite called "Teepee Campground." The host was fantastic and gave us directions to some reasonable things to see. My boys wanted to do some "snake pit" thing - he said it was still too new and had issues. They also thought Bear Country would be nice but he explained that all the bears were in tiny cages and they'd probably not enjoy it. It did appear a bit 'gamey' at the time. My BIL and family went out there in mid-90s and the bears were roaming free and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Even my son took his family back and said it was a great experience. We all loved Dinosaur Park (?) overlooking Rapid City. The owner also directed us to Custer State Park and told us of a place to enjoy a few hours of relaxation and enjoy a picnic. We did.

    2. If you get to the east side of South Dakota - Mitchell, SD is a great little town with a fabulous corn palace. Years ago when I was very young I became blood-brothers during one of the various pow-wows held there. Yes, I lived in Mitchell for a short length of time as a child. I was born in Sioux City, IA.