Sure I’ll pet your dog Butt-kins

After a busy morning of errands and a fun, noisy play date, we met David at the local playground for lunch while we waited for Phoebe and Joshua to return from tennis. We were sitting at the picnic table when two little boys and their dog came over from the playground.

The little red-headed boy walking the dog on the leash was probably about seven and his little blond, shirtless brother tagging behind was about three.
He inquired of us several times if we would like to pet his dog. We said, ” Sure, what’s his name?” He responded and I said, ” Oh that’s a nice name, hi there Butt-kins.” With the most incredulous expression, complete with scrunched up nose, and shocked tone in his voice, he stated rather loudly , back to me, ” His name isn’t Butt-kins. Butt-kins? Seriously?”

” Oh, I’m sorry, I heard you wrong,” I replied amongst the suppressed giggles of my husband and a few of my children.

” Butt-kins? Butt-kins? It’s okay. Well do you want to pet him?”, he still wanted to know.

The rest of our time together my husband good-naturedly teased me with various jabs about Butt-kins. In fairness, I thought the boy said, “Buttons” and David did too. But somewhere in the word association cobwebs of my rattled brain, I started thinking about a local bakery called Buskens, and the combination of Button and Buskens came out ” Butt-kins”.

We learned a lot about the dog in the next few moments. He was a small terrier, he had just been groomed, he has soft fur, he likes humans ( which was a good thing since we are humans), he likes walks and oh, his name is Watson.

Blog Contest

Tootsie Roll Creation Contest

Tootsie Roll Creation Contest

Drum roll please! We are excited to announce a new contest!

The Tootsie Roll Creation Contest

My family first thought of this idea as we sat around indulging in Tootsie Rolls. My daughter Lilly squished together some of the candy and set a miniature Tootsie Roll dog in front of me. We thought it was cute and fun and would make a terrific contest.

So, put on your creative thinking caps, create anything you want out of Tootsie Rolls and snap a photo. Send your photo with name, age and the title of your creation to

We have four age categories:

Ages 7 and under
Ages 8-12
Ages 13-101

There will be a winner in every age category. The prize: a variety of Tootsie Roll candy products in a fun, original container along with some sculpting materials.

The contest will close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16th. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 17th by noon.
Don’t miss the opportunity for some silly, fun family time or to give yourself some stress relief or to let the inner Picasso blossom!
Below are some of my family’s creations.











The rest of the story…

I have received several requests to share the full story of the yellow torpedo camping trip. So here is the rest of the story…

As the sun set on our first night of camping and we were surrounded by darkness, we welcomed a chance to throw on our sweatshirts, roast s’mores by the fire and lay on our backs gazing at the stars. It was peaceful. It was rustic. It was serene. Then, the dog started barking.

Not just the ruff-ruff barking as in I see a bird, a plane or a mailman. A barking as in I-am-a-deranged-and-deeply disturbed-animal kind of bark. Her growls and howls were followed by erratic running, kicking up of sand as she weaved and swerved in circles around the four tents. Her crazed, wide-eyed, tongue-wagging terror run ended when she dove headfirst, mouth open wide, fully prepared to chew through the tent meshing to the inside. Who knows what goes through a dog’s mind? But if it was safety she thought awaited her, after her frightened antics she was right. It was much easier to ponder and accept the awaiting mosquitoes and the gaping hole as we peered through the gashes and saw our beloved dog huddled in the corner, whimpering with her nose tucked under her legs and her big, soulful, sad eyes staring up at us. A little deductive reasoning and we realized the tranquility of the night and the fire that soothed us at the end of a long beach day had terrified her.

Makeshift repairs were made and eventually we were all ready to call it a night. Most did not sleep well. Too hot, too cold, too many mosquitoes, too dark, too scary, too much sand in the beds – the list felt endless. Sometime in the night on one of the many bathroom excursions, Grace’s foot was injured. It really was a simple matter of the shovel landing on her misplaced foot on the dark sand, especially since the flashlight holder was dancing and flickering the light as if looking for Tinkerbell. The next morning, as the large circular, raised-red spot grew we did contemplate if it was really the shovel. Maybe it was a spider bite.

Our next full day in the sun was fun, but in a much slower kind of way. Adults and kids alike were tired and cranky. The sun didn’t shimmer anymore on our surroundings as much as it just made us hot. Only the young in body had the energy to wrestle mounting the yellow torpedo for an exhilarating ride of speed. Sitting under the canopy no longer felt like we were sitting on a fine southern porch, sipping tea, appreciating the gentle breeze and the beauty of what stretched before us. There was no breeze, no tea, sand everywhere and in between our view of the water that stretched to the land-where-showers-awaited were bickering children and a schizoid dog.

As night fell upon us, we were all mentally preparing ourselves for one more night until we left in the morning. Our dog was placed in the tent to alleviate her fears. She spent her time busily chewing another hole in our tent, this time from the inside out. The look on David’s face after several minutes of rubbing her fur was priceless. It was a quiet dawning as he remembered where he had left her and grasped what she must have done to conquer her fears and now bravely lay by her master.

Two final things sealed our unanimous decision to pack up camp in the dark. The first, the inability to feed ourselves. Hot dogs were on the menu for dinner. The fire was lit, but no one could stand next to the flames. I remember standing backwards and forwards, laying on my stomach, skewer outstretched with fork-pronged hot dog awaiting its roasting. We even tied sticks together to make them long enough to keep the scorching, licking arms of the flames from our overly sunburned bodies.

The final reason, the real deal breaker, was Grace’s foot. The red spot now was green and had a pretty red streak moving up from under her foot, wrapping around her ankle and heading straight up for her knee. We knew medical care was in our future.

So really, once camp was packed up, we were committed, working boat lights or not. It was a scary and fretful trip over the water in the dark. I think even scarier was being left on the island to be part of the round two trip back to the mainland. Even though I look back on this trip with the memories of near drownings, IV-producing- ER-antibiotics for blood poisoning, sun-scorched bodies with sun poisoning symptoms and destruction of property, it was by far, still one of the best trips EVER!