Sunshine in Human Form

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Children's Books, Family, Grandmother, Memories | Posted on 27-01-2016

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Sunshine in human form? That was my grandmother. She was pure sunshine.

She created miniature marshmallow happy faces in my Cream of Wheat.

She always reassured me, “Everything will be all right.” Read more here about how my grandmother and Bob Marley were alike.

She hummed while she scrubbed stains from my clothing. Her hands always smelled like Clorox.

She played her favorite hymns with gusto at the piano in the evenings.

She patted my knee when she sat by me on the sofa and always told me how happy she was to see me.

She swung on the teeter totter with me, even when we were both too old for teeter totters.

She made the perfect goose hisssssssss sound when she read Angus and the Ducks.. I always had her read that page over and over. To this day, I giggle when I think back at that hisssssssss.

The other morning when Otis and I were running, I missed my grandmother so much that tears welled in my eyes. I had to stop to cry it out. On that grey, overcast morning, the clouds suddenly parted.

The blue sky and sunshine emerged. I knew at that moment that my grandmother and I connected again. Everything will be all right.

Blues skies ahead. #positive

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A Single Candle

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art | Posted on 19-01-2016

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I volunteer at the elementary school. Not a lot, just a little. Enough to make a little impact.

At first I was like: OK, I can help (sigh, eye roll, something else to add to my schedule). Then, I was like: I love this! I help teach or co-teach a monthly art project to 2nd graders, 4th graders, and 5th graders.

Making mosaics out of tiles. Painting masks. Creating a Van Gogh masterpiece out of individual pieces. It’s about teaching the children a thing or two about art history and art techniques. It’s about encouraging the children that everyone is an artist. It’s about creating something that you can be proud of. These interactions have become one of my monthly highlights (instead of being something on my to do list).

The recent project was to create a rendition of a Van Gogh masterpiece in pastels. Each child was to create one little piece of the whole. One child had part of the vase. One child had part of a flower. Separately, the pieces lacked meaning.

At the end of class, we assembled the Sunflowers pieces–much like a puzzle–into a connected masterpiece.

The children stood back in awe. I made that? No. WE made that. Each child contributed. They smiled.

I smiled.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

— Buddha

Check out what the fifth graders did! Each student created a block to add to the class masterpiece.#vangogh #art

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Shut-Me-Up Candy

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Humor, Memories | Posted on 12-01-2016

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For my grandmother, Life Savers were, well, a life saver.

In church, I loved to sing along with my hymn book. I tried to listen to the sermon…Amen! But the minutes grew into hours it seemed. I soon grew restless.

My grandmother would whisper to me to stop fidgeting. The kind of whisper that could be heard three rows away.

She opened her patent leather clutch with the magnet clasp and handed me a small notepad with pastel-colored paper and a ball point pen. Drawing was fun for 8 minutes.

Time for shut-me-up candy. All hail Life Savers. One at a time, she would dole them out to me.

I knew I had to savor them because I wasn’t sure how many I would be gifted. Each Life Saver would rest on my tongue until the edges would become so sharp, you couldn’t resist crunching. Crunch! Sshhh!

Back then it was red, orange, yellow, green, white. Red was cherry. Orange was orange. Yellow was lemon. Green was lime. White was pineapple. That was my favorite.

I am not sure when they changed to gaggy raspberry and watermelon. I asked my ten-year-old son if he liked Life Savers. You mean the gummies? Um, no, the original ones. He said he had never tried them. What??

The original, shut-me-up candy?

So I bought him a pack. Whaddya know, they still work. 😉

My grandmother used to dole me out one Life Savers at a time to keep me quiet during church.

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8 is Great

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet, Pet, Pets | Posted on 04-01-2016

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How old should a child be to own a pet hamster? The pet store said eight years old.

But my daughter was turning seven. And she wanted a hamster. (Imagine Veruca Salt, “Daddy, I want a squirrel!”)

No, my daughter doesn’t ask for much. So, we gifted her a hamster for her seventh birthday. Along with a hamster cage, a wheel, food, cedar chips, a water bottle, toys, and yogurt snacks.

It was love at first sight. She named him Popcorn.

She snuggled with him. She cooed to him. She fed him grated carrots. She built him obstacles out of cardboard boxes. She let him run free. She cleaned his cage. She let him explore her dollhouse. She gave him clean water. She talked to him in a little hamster voice.

And when she was done playing with him, she always put him back safely in his cage and hooked the latch.

Except not always.

We went out to dinner one night and came home to an empty cage. I feared the worst. Had he fallen through a heater vent? Had he crawled under a door to the great outdoors? I was about to initiate an all-family, whole-house search-and-rescue when my daughter announced that he was probably in the kitchen by the mixer.

Because. That’s where she left him. Ah, perfect seven-year-old logic.

Her 7th birthday…

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Here’s to New!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Celebrations | Posted on 31-12-2015

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New adventures.
New friends.
New experiences.
New worries.
New connections.
New chances.
New fears.
New giggles.
New places.
New surprises.
New life lessons.
New approaches.
New accomplishments.
New fun.
New frustrations.
New happiness.
New heartaches.
New messes.
New delights.
New fails.
New joys.
New faces.
New wonders.
New perspectives.
New milestones.
New opportunities.
New laughs.
New experiences.
New failures.
New moments.
New memories.
New problems.
New challenges.
New arguments.
New horizons.
New options.
New celebrations.
New ways of thinking.
New goals.
New things to learn.
New wishes.
New dreams.
New plans.
New recipes.
New traditions.
New dance moves.
New excursions.
New mistakes.
New attitudes.
New starts.
New stories.
New beginnings.

I’m ready for 2016…are you?

Happy New Year!

XO,
Pippi

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Teach a Girl to Bake Cookies and You Feed Her for a Lifetime

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Baking, Childrearing, Children, Cookies, Cooking, Kitchen, Life, Life Lessons, Mothers and Daughters, Parenting | Posted on 29-12-2015

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“Pippi makes the best cookies on Earth.” Everyone agreed. My soccer team agreed. My son agreed.

After years of baking and measuring and sampling and watching and learning, my daughter has learned the fine art of baking cookies.

Check out her gems!

The cookie-baking gene I acquired from my grandmothers has been passed down. This makes me happy.

"My Mom makes the best cookies on Earth."

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Merry Christmas

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Holidays, Humor | Posted on 24-12-2015

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Or.

Have yourself a merry ginormous Christmas.

XO,
Pippi

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

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Hide and Seek

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Family, Memories | Posted on 20-12-2015

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I had announced on a whim, “Let’s play hide and seek!” We turned off all the lights and played by the glow of the Christmas tree. I remember that special night like it was last week.

Because, it was.

Dark corners, dark bathrooms, dark closets. My heart was pounding with excitement. Just like when I was a child and found the perfect hiding place, hoping to be the last one spotted. Slow your breathing. Be still.

I hid so deep in the coat closet that I touched the snow in Narnia.

When it comes to fun and games, I am like Roger Rabbit when he hears “Shave and a Haircut…” He just can’t help but yell “Two bits!”

Back in my childhood neighborhood, I was the ringleaader of fun. I’d round up all of the kids and squeal, “Let’s play hide and seek!”

We’d play outside in the evening, and into the dark. The hooligans that we were, we would scale the neighbors’ fences, hide in yards, anywhere to seek out the perfect hiding place. I remember that feeling of giddiness in my belly. Hoping I found the perfect hiding place, hoping to be the last one spotted. Slow your breathing. Be still.

If you’re ever up for a game of hide and seek, come on over! I’ll even let you have the prime spot in the coat closet. And you might want to bring your mittens.

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Just As You Are

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Clothes, Love, Uncategorized | Posted on 17-12-2015

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I like to wear anything as long as it’s cotton. I wrote about that here. For me, it’s about being comfortable and being me.

When I don my going-to-work-outfits, I cringe. Slacks, skirts, blouses. I hate them all. The minute I get home (OK, the sixth minute after I get home after greeting Otis and taking him out to pee), I rip off the agitating dresswear, throw it into a pile, and put on a T-shirt and sweatpants or jeans.

Ahhhhh.

My husband likes my comfort wear because he knows it makes me happy. The first time we met in college, I wore a hoodie, jeans, and Nike basketball shoes. Not much has changed!

Like Mark Darcy says to Bridget Jones: “I like you very much just as you are.”

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Farts. Uranus. Butts. Farts.

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Boys, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Humor | Posted on 13-12-2015

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Farts. Uranus. Butts. Farts.

Saying any of these words is enough to provoke laughter and jokes around here.

Everyone Poops and The Gas We Pass were two of our first favorite books. “A one hump camel makes a one hump poop, and a two hump camel makes a two hump poop. Only kidding.”

Hee hee.

Then came fact books about planets. Did you know that Uranus wind speeds can reach up to 900 km per hour? That wind shore is fast!

Or that Uranus has an icy mantle that surrounds its rock and iron core? Giggle.

Or that Uranus is covered with a haze made of methane? Laugh out loud.

Fart books with audio buttons are our new favorites! Farts Around the World and Farts in the Wild make us cackle.

And you already know how many beans are consumed around here.

Whoever smelt it dealt it.

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