The Ugly Sweater


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor, Mother, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 18-12-2014

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“Mom, that’s a really ugly sweater.”

And then.

“But you look so cute in it.”

Hmmmm. I didn’t realize my sweater was so ugly.

And then.

I must be awfully cute.



Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor | Posted on 17-12-2014

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When I was a child, there was always a giant bowl of walnuts at Christmas–with nut crackers and picks–ready for enjoyment. Getting a snack in those days required hand strength, agility, and patience.

On Christmas morning, my stocking would be filled to the brim with walnuts, an orange, and a candy cane. I wrote about my Great Depression-like treats here.

On a totally unrelated note, I went to The Nutcracker last weekend, one of the highlights of the holiday season. The music! The dancing! The costumes! The…um…men in tights!

We could not help but stare and giggle. And this year, it looked like Channing Tatum was one of the dancers. So yeah, total highlight.

Maybe these two memories are related after all…Christmas stockings, packed with nuts. :-)

Heart of Darkness


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-12-2014

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Half the town lost power the other night. So, we lived in darkness, like pioneers:

First, we lit the hand-dipped beeswax candles. Then, we milked our cow and churned butter for our dinner. We made lye soap out of wood ash and lard. Then, we stitched a quilt and sang songs by candlelight.

When the power flickered back on exactly two hours later, we went back to our electricity, Netflix, Instagram, iPads, and microwave…licking the freshly made butter from the corners of our mouths.

Pippi Droopystocking


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Little Story | Posted on 11-12-2014

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It was time to wear the little big black dress. And tights.

My husband’s holiday work party was here and I needed to make a good impression.

Except my tights were anything but. I had quickly grabbed a pair and of course it was the one with the missing elastic waistband. Loose tights. What an oxymoron.

A delightful impression I made. Every four minutes, I had to grab the slipping waistband and hoist them back into place. Trying to do at strategic intervals–at the bar, then at the buffet, then at the dessert table (thrice)–so as not to draw attention.

The wardrobe malfunction got a little tiresome, so I let the tights slip down near my knees and sorta waddled around.

My droopystockings did not make a good impression that night, but thank goodness my winning personality did! Wink!



Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 07-12-2014

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Last week I stopped by the library to pick up some festive books. Books about how the mouse saved Christmas, three French hens, snowmen coming to life, and gingerbread cookies running from an old couple.

I couldn’t help but feel wistful when I saw mothers with their toddlers on their hips, sippy cups in one hand, piles of picture books under the other arm, leaving story time with their little ones in tow.

We have ended our library-story-time-days years ago.

My library visit was brief, as I had no little ones in tow. I quickly checked out, and grabbed a few fliers about some upcoming activities, including a professor who was planning a talk on meteorites.

I was excited to show my two youngest children the book treasures. Their reactions were lackluster.


My children have outgrown these stories. My youngest, who is nine, is reading the Harry Potter books now. But he let me read him the book about the three French hens. Just to be nice.

He was much more excited to attend the professor’s lecture at the library on meteors, meteorites, and craters. So, we did! It was fascinating!

Then it hit me. Like a meteorite.

Life. Children. It’s not what it isn’t. It’s about what it is.

It isn’t library story time and sippy cups and picture books anymore. It’s space and Harry Potter. Or, it’s Far Cry 4 and wrestling. Tomorrow or next week or next year, it will be something different. My children are learning and growing and changing. I want to enjoy the present moments and to accept and support my children’s changes–at every stage.

Sometimes it takes getting hit on the head with a meteorite…

Wind Pie


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Baking, Memories | Posted on 04-12-2014

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The winds blew in. Crazy winds. The kind of wind that scatters the leaves into crescent formations at the sidewalk’s edge. The kind of wind that makes your cheeks turn pink. The kind of wind that blows the last of the November apples off the trees.

On our way home, we noticed hundreds of unclaimed apples, newly blown onto the grass. So of course, we pulled over to gather them up. My daughter and I made baskets out of our shirts, where we weighted them down with apples.

My nine-year-old ran willy-nilly. Because. The. Wind.

That afternoon, we washed, peeled, chopped, sugared, spiced, and cooked the apples. Then, we mixed, rolled, and flattened a pie crust. After an hour of preparation, into the oven it baked.

We called it: Wind Pie.

And despite the apples being too mushy and the crust too wheaty, the memory-making was delicious!

These Boots Are Made for Walkin’


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Memories, Milestones, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 28-11-2014

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A pair of boots. A pair of magic boots.

It was a girls’ weekend. My mother, me, and my daughter. She was turning one. So of course we went shopping. Shoe shopping.

I was trying on boots. My mother offered to buy me a pair. Actually two pairs. Winning!

My daughter stood up, held onto the chair, and then took a few steps. Then a few more steps. She was walking across the room! She learned to walk. In the shoe department at Nordstrom. It was like the perfect ad.

What a weekend filled with milestones, memories, and magic.

Eleven years later, I still have those boots. And now my daughter wears them. Those same, magic boots.


Is Your Refrigerator Running?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Holidays | Posted on 25-11-2014

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Is your refrigerator running?

We boldly would ask with a straight face, suppressing giggles. When we were kids, we’d dare each other to crank call strangers. We’d randomly pick phone numbers from the phone book.

The stranger would usually answer yes.

Then, you’d better go out and catch it!

Slam down the phone! Giggle! Snort!

Two weeks ago, my refrigerator stopped running. So, we bought a new one, pronto! Because, Thanksgiving!

Thankful, indeed. I am thankful that I can afford to buy a new refrigerator and that I can stock it with yummy things (sometimes gaggy) to eat, to nourish my family. And that we can buy extra to give to those less fortunate.

Strangers Families in our town. With food drives at my children’s schools in full force, the kids lug in bags of non-perishable food items. Last year, enough food was donated to feed 200 families for a year. Maybe this year, collectively, we can help 250 families. Whether it’s donating time, giving money, donating food items, or simply smiling at a stranger and spreading good cheer, everyone may feel a little happier, more connected, and thankful.

My new refrigerator–now stocked with a turkey, Thanksgiving fixings, and ingredients for pies–is a symbol of so many things I am thankful for:

Children. Love. Health. Connections. Happiness. Nourishment. Family.

Maybe at the dinner table, I’ll be asked: Mom, what’s a crank call? What’s a phone book? :-)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Nature, Photography | Posted on 19-11-2014

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I was on a mission to photograph some birds. I was in prime territory: a nature preserve and home of migrating winter birds. The timing was perfect, a fall day with a little sun, a little rain. It was just me and my camera and my parka. Oops, no parka.

Shielding my camera lens from the rain, under my t-shirt, I journeyed and meandered with my eyes peeled.

Beautiful ponds! Beautiful clouds! Beautiful nature all around!

I was looking for birds, yet I found everything but. Sometimes you find things when you’re not looking for them…ah, yes, another life metaphor…

Where were the birds? I looked high. I looked low. I looked near. I looked far. This was beginning to seem like a Dr.-Seuss-Meets-Where’s-Waldo book. WTF? Where’re the fowl? :-)

Then I stumbled upon this sign. Well, whaddya know? It was September 30. I was one day early. Ah, that must be it. The birds had a schedule and they were sticking to it.

As I was heading to the car, I suddenly heard geese in the distance. I looked up and there they were: migrating Canadian Geese!

Their timing was perfect. Arriving one day ahead of schedule (according to the sign), and five minutes before I was about to leave.




Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor, Self | Posted on 17-11-2014

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I live in a smallish town where everybody knows my name. Or at least the pharmacist does. And I usually run into someone I know wherever I go. This is why I can no longer show up to the pharmacy or the grocery store looking like a hag.

Oh and now that I have a teenager, this is especially true. Apparently, there’s a dress code for me. Mom, you can’t go out looking like that.

When I lived in a bigger town, I could leave my house in gray sweat pants (like Rocky), hair in a ponytail, no make-up. No problem.

You mean, I can’t wear sweat pants to Costco?

There’s no time for Hagville when you live in Smalltownville. And there’s certainly no time for Hagville when photos are shared instantly.

Gotta go run some errands. But first, let me take a selfie.


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