Girl Scout Camp rocks!

I had an incredible time at Girl Scout Camp — so much so, that I’ve told Tootie she can go to a week-long resident camp next summer if she’ll also attend the weekend Mom & Me session so that I get to go again!

Last week, half of my troop attended the Troop Core Camp, along with me — aka as Fearless Troop Leader — and three moms.

I loved it all — the songs, camp names and traditions. Oh, and the chore wheel — not because I enjoy KP duty but because watching the girls’ expressions upon learning that they would have to scrub dinner trays and silverware by hand was priceless.

The girls went canoeing, horseback riding, swimming and rock climbing.

The latter was my favorite.

Our first morning there, we headed to President’s Rock, where three rock climbers were on hand to give us a lesson. One by one, the girls harnessed up and followed a rope up the rock. Another troop was there with us, and, like me, the leaders had decided they would attempt the climb as well. One leader, who was desperately afraid of heights, cried beforehand, but she did it!

It was so gratifying to see each of those girls — so tiny up on that big rock — trying something scary and new.

One of my girls, Bridgette, zipped right up there, stunning us with her determination and speed. Turns out she had overhead another troop leader promising ice cream for those who reached the top.

After descending, Bridgette walked up to her mother, Kristen, and asked, “When do I get my ice cream?”

Here’s a photo of Bridge:

Note the concentration, even as we cheered her on.

And here’s Tootie:


Starting out …


And here I am, waiting my turn. I have a photo of me at the top, but my cellulite is too noticeable. You’ll just have to take my word for it!


I am a vision of loveliness, no? *snort*

We stayed in screened-in cabins, which had ceiling fans. Heaven. Actually, it got pretty cool both nights, so much so that I was wishing I’d brought a sleeping bag instead of linens.


The campfire actually felt pretty good! We're making s'mores in this shot.



Moody Mom and me. Three days of no makeup — yay!



And here's Amy & Kristen! Kristen broke the no-makeup rule, but we decided to let her infraction slide.

Exiting my cabin. Moody Mom caught me off-guard.

She also got a nice shot of my rear as I descended President’s Rock. You’ll have to go here to see that one. (And then you’ll know why my camp name was “Cheeky.”)




Of babes and pups

Last night, I babysat wee Josie for my friends Amy and Walt. And oh the sweet nostalgia! There’s nothing more peaceful than holding a sleeping baby. (Confession: I held her long after she conked out, remembering the days when my own two little ones would actually sleep in my arms.)

Of course, then I spent last night dreaming that I was one of those women who didn’t know she was pregnant until awakening in the hospital with a new baby in a bassinet next to her. Not sure why I was unconscious during the delivery, but oh well. Anyway, in this dream, my little baby slept for hours, waking only to nurse. Let me state for the record that neither of my very real children were quite this, er, cooperative!


Bandit, or Big Red, as I like to call him, continues to settle in. We put a big Rubbermaid tub on the deck and I swear — all this dog needs is a Speedo and a Cuban cigar to complete the picture. He loves the tub and will sit in it for long periods of time. Daisy is quite perplexed by this, as she firmly believes that water is for drinking. I think she’s also skeptical of  his frequent attempts to “swim” in their water bowls. (He places both front paws in the bowls and then pedals them, which, of course, means that we are constantly refilling water bowls, hence the big Rubbermaid tub!


I’m off to Girl Scout camp tomorrow, so will be incommunicado  for a few days. We’re attending a troop camp, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for my girls!


Lastly, make sure you wander by Will They Eat It?, where you’ll find a recipe for this yummy dish:

Baked Shrimp Scampi with Asparagus. Heaven.


Floppy-eared pups!

We are now in the introduction phase here at the homestead.

There is nothing more adorable than two Aussies interacting.

A few photos …

"Why does that silly man keep throwing balls? Doesn't he realize that the other human has puppy treats? We're not budging."

"She gives us bacon. We love her."

"Meh. She ran out of treats. Let's go see if the man is still throwing balls. Or maybe a Frisbee."

I’m baaaaaack! With a tan and a new dog.

For this year’s family vacation, we headed to Florida.

After four nights at Daytona Beach, we headed to my cousin Andy’s house, which is about 30 minutes or so from Orlando. The house, which is out in the country, was gorgeous. Andy’s husband, Greg, not only knows how to find antiques, but also how to display them. We felt as though we were staying at a four-star hotel.

Tootie and the E-man spent most of their time outdoors, however. Andy and Greg have chickens, goats, sheep and a donkey named Diego. The kids loved collecting the eggs and feeding the animals every day.

While at Andy and Greg’s, we got an email from an editor who was trying to figure out what to do with a wandering Aussie.

Let me introduce you to Bandit:

Note the adorably crossed paws.

This handsome boy is settling in nicely. He’s afraid of loud noises, but is sweet and friendly. He and Daisy (our other Aussie) wore each other last night. If you’re familiar with Aussies, you know what a feat that is.

And now a few photos from our trip:

Fun with boogie boards!

Fun with chickens!

Greg, Andy and Diego