My Son and Bob


During the summer of 1998, we took the kids, loaded them up in the Astro Van, and headed to  Disney World in Florida.  We didn’t take vacations yearly, so this was going to be a special one for sure.  We stayed off of the resort at our neighbors winter home nearby, and drove to the park daily for 3 days.  We arrived in Florida in the evening and after having a late supper, proceeded to get back on the interstate and go the wrong way.  Now, you would think that someone would have noticed that we were driving a long time when we knew our destination was 15 miles away?  It didn’t help that we had been on the road for 3 days, and that it was 2 in the morning I guess…  So, true to form, we all start arguing.  I am yelling at the driver, he is yelling at me, the kids are yelling with each other….except Katelyn, who was 10 at the time.  She was sitting quietly in the back of the van, taking it all in.  One thing you notice about my child number 3 is her super curly hair.  We are really not sure where it came from, because it was straight until she turned about 7.  When we all took a collective breath, she started her speech:  “We have worked hard all summer mowing yards, and saving up the money to come here.  This is supposed to be the best vacation we will ever have because Stephanie leaves for college next summer.  We need to remember we are a family and act like one.  Why can’t we all get along?”  There was stunned silence in the car… one knew what to say after that speech…until you hear the voice of my son saying…”Are you done yet?”….she replied “Yes”…and he said “Why thank you Martin Luther Curly”.  I knew Rick was familiar with the speech delivered my Martin Luther King Jr….but I didn’t remember his saying “Can’t we all get along.”  Needless to say, we all broke into laughter and we turned around and headed into Orlando.

The second day we went to Epcot to enjoy seeing the various “countries” featured there.  While we were there, my son spent some of his hard-earned money on a puppet that he named “Bob”.  Bob was an orangutan (I think) with fuzzy light brown hair, extra long loose arms and legs and wore a tuxedo shirt and jacket.  You put one hand in the back of his head in order to open is mouth, and you could attach a metal rod to either arm so you could move the arm as if he were waving without getting your own arm in the way.  So we decide to take a break and sit outside “Paris” and Ricky takes “Bob” out and introduced him to us.   My son is such a character that pretty soon he is sitting alone on the bench, with Bob, and is making Bob ogle the cute girls passing by.  If a “hot” girl stopped to look at Bob, Rick would open Bobs mouth, take Bobs hand, pretend to lick it and smooth Bobs hair down.  So we stood nearby and watched Rick interact, through Bob, with almost every teenager girl that walked by.  When a “hottie” would walk towards them, he would aim  Bobs head in their direction in order to follow as the girl approached, Bob would then stare as they walked past, and continued to stare, open-mouthed,  as they walked by.  Bob was a hit!  If you watched long enough, you really believed that silly ape was alive.  I had a feeling that people thought Rick was as hired performer with the park.  It’s too bad I didn’t think to put out a hat that they could throw coins into….we could have had enough extra money to eat a meal in the park, instead of eating the  frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I had packed for our lunches and were waiting for us in a locker at the front gate ♥



When my son was in high school, he seldom ate meat…but would eat Tater Tot Casserole…this is my version…

2 pounds of hamburger, browned and drained

2 cans of cream of chicken soup

(you can use cream of mushroom soup,  I just don’t like mushrooms)

2 cans of peas, drained

1 small can of Durkees Fried Onions

1-2 cups of finely shredded cheddar cheese

1 bag Tater Tots ( I used to use 1 and 1/2 bags because everyone wanted more tots)

Heat oven to 350 degrees

In a 13x 9 pan, begin layering, starting with the cooked hamburger.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic power and onion powder over the hamburger.

Spread the soups over the hamburger.

Slightly crush the fried onions in you hand and sprinkle over the soup

Sprinkle the cheese over the soup

Top off with the peas and end with the tater tots.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the tots are golden brown.

This is also a forgiving casserole…you can change veggies, use more or less cheese, use different soups…etc.

You can also halve the recipe and bake in an 8×8 pan…easy peesey….

Make it your own and enjoy!


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