Honu

0

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Animals, Life Lessons | Posted on 26-04-2017

Tags: , , , , , ,

Exploring coral reefs amidst colorful fish and the ever-so-peaceful honu, the native Hawaiian green sea turtle, was how we began each day on recent Maui vacation.

Snorkeling is not something I do on a typical morning at home. More like drowning. Around here, mornings are stress filled: alarms, children, showers, breakfasts, lunches, out the door and off to school and work, go!

Hawaiians regard the sea turtle as a symbol of wisdom. They are graceful and calm and seem to know about life. They glide through the water. They go with the flow. They hypnotize you with their peaceful ways. We spotted at least two sea turtles each time we snorkeled. Each time was magical, dreamy, and meditative.

The honu is also a symbol of good luck. The sea turtle is a reptilian survivor from the age of dinosaurs and can be traced back 150 million years. Good luck indeed.

I. Want. To. Be. A. Sea. Turtle.

At home, I am not sea turtle-like. I am a worrier. A multitasker. A planner.

Vacation. It’s a wonderful thing. You take a break from real life, then you return. I have returned home with amazing family memories, a quickly-fading tan, a cute pineapple purse, and a bit more calm. More honu.

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

The Towel

0

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Advice, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Connections, Encouragement, Family, Mother, Motherhood, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Parenting | Posted on 30-03-2017

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

There are so many things to learn! As a parent, there are so many things to teach my children!

I’m not talking about: Be kind. Be respectful. Be yourself. Have confidence. Make good choices.

I’m talking about basic bathroom hygiene teachings that begin early on:

When you wash yourself, wash all of your parts and cracks with soap and water.

Did you brush your teeth? Yes. Did you brush your teeth today?

When you spit, don’t leave a glob of toothpaste in the sink. No one wants to see that.

When you wash your hair, use shampoo first. Then conditioner. For awhile, my youngest son was only washing his hair with conditioner. He had the dirtiest-but-softest-hair in town.

When you poop, turn on the fan. No one wants to smell that.

So many things to teach. It’s a good thing we have a bunch of teachers around here.

Dad: Hey Buddy, lift the lid.

Big brother: Dude! Turn on the fan!

And then there’s big sister. Who teaches you how to make the perfect turban.

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

That Brown Vest

0

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Advice, Attitude, Childrearing, Cleaning, Clothes, Communication, Confidence, Connections, Conversations, Daughters, Encouragement, Memories, Mother, Motherhood, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 27-03-2017

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Every few years I get the urge to go through my closet and get rid of stuff. You can read about the last time I made such a purge here. Here is how I decreased the surplus population of my clothes. My goal is always to get rid of:

1. The ugly stuff.
2. The stuff that will never ever fit again.
3. The stuff that makes me feel uncomfortable, unconfident, and ugly.

I have had surprisingly a lot of stuff in each of these categories.

I filled three giant trash bags with jeans that are too tight, ruffled blouses that are hideous, pleated slacks that look shiny, and that sort of thing. All kinds of ugly.

I proudly announced to my daughter my feat: I got rid of all my ugly clothes!

What about that brown vest? She asked.

That. Brown. Vest?

Oh that. I guess I didn’t get rid of ALL my ugly clothes. That brown vest might be ugly, but it makes me happy, warm, and comfortable. In fact, I wore it on my last zoo outing with my youngest.

I think you look pretty in that ugly, brown vest, she said.

Well then, it’s a keeper!

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Hope and Strength

0

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Gardening | Posted on 23-03-2017

Tags: , , , , , ,

Some say that daffodils are delicate and gentle.

Yes. But they are also symbols of hope and strength. Planted as ugly bulbs in the fall by hopeful people, daffodils are able to withstand the harshest of winters, emerging and blooming as cheery ambassadors of spring.

When planted, daffodils bulbs are tucked into the dirt to rest throughout the winter. Rest? No way! The bulb contains all the nutrients needed for flower production. Daffodils are hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit. No coats required! No complaining either!

Above the soil: rain, sleet, snow, ice. Meanwhile, the daffodil develops its root systems and undergoes a chemical change to prevent it from freezing. Daffodils remain dormant underground until the soil starts to warm again. Then, daffodils begin to poke through the soil with their green stems. Bold as you please! The green stalks suddenly open with their cheery attitudes and shades of yellow, after braving the longest of winters.

Welcome!

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Everyone Poops

0

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Books, Childhood, Childrearing, Family, Happiness, Life | Posted on 19-03-2017

Tags: , , , , , ,

One of our favorite family books is Everyone Poops.

In case you don’t know this book, it should be part of every young child’s library. The book tells about how all living creatures, big and small, poop. Even insects. Even snakes.

My children and I have the lines memorized:

“A one hump camel makes a one hump poop. And a two hump camel makes a two hump poop. Just kidding.”

Publishers Weekly gave the book a horrible review, “Okay, so everyone does it–does everyone have to talk about it?”

Yes!

It’s fun to poop! It’s fun to talk about poop! Poop is part of life!

And don’t we, as parents, want to raise our children to be happy and confident pooper?

The review goes on to say, “Call it what you will, by euphemism or by expletive, poop by any name seems an unsuitable picture book subject.”

Unsuitable to whom?

Unsuitable to people who have no sense of humor, obviously.

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Juicy Eyeballs

0

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Aging, Health | Posted on 09-03-2017

Tags: , , ,

Time for my eye exam!

They took a picture of the back of my eye and showed me so I could ooh and aah at my veins and vessels, my macula and fovea, and whatnot. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at.

Why does everything look so shiny? I asked.

Because you eat lots of vegetables. You have healthy eyes!
They told me.

Well, whaddya know.

My vegetable consumption is paying off in health benefits. All those f’ing spinach salads and cauliflower. Read here about the wonder vegetables for healthy eyeballs.

It seems that I have hit the magic age when my face is starting to droop, wrinkles are appearing, and hairs are sprouting in all the wrong places.

So, when I heard that I have juicy eyeballs, it kinda made my day.

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Rocking the $14 Dress

2

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Body Image/Dieting, Clothes, Confidence, Fashion | Posted on 02-03-2017

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Confidence is wearing a $14 dress from Costco…and rocking it.

And accessorizing with $1 shell necklaces. And old tights. (Tights that you snagged when you hoisted them up and you’re hoping that the hole doesn’t show in the meeting. P.S. Why do they make tights so short, forcing you to hoist them up in the first place??)

And adding your go-to cardigan–black, of course–and comfortable square dance shoes. I wrote about those here.

Voila.

I don’t have an amazing wardrobe or sense of style.

I don’t really need either one, what with my personality, confidence, and sense of humor. Ha!

Rock what you’ve got!

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Which Way?

0

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life, Life Lessons | Posted on 27-02-2017

Tags: , , , , ,

I went snowshoeing with my buddies. And for some reason, I didn’t really care where we were going.

Here we were at the base of a mountain, in search of a lake. We snowshoed single file talking all the while, stopping for water, for a Caveman bar snack, for a laugh break. The leader of our pack had the trail map. I was last in line, bobbling along without the need to navigate.

Instead, I focused on the patterns in the snow, the crispness of the air, the snow-laden trees, the crunching of my snowshoes, the sweat building up under my armpits.

We came to a map in the path. There was no “you are here” marked. We had little idea where we were. Where was the lake? Who knows? Onward we went, until we came to a snow globe-like mountain. We were surrounded with snow drifts and trees and magic.

We never did find the lake. But we found beauty and peace and laughter.

In life, we don’t always know what will happen next or which path we should take. Right now, I am at a crossroads in my life. With my children growing up. With my job.

Which way will I go? I’m not sure. For now, I’m doing my best to enjoy the journey.

Which way? #snow #winter #nature #snowshoeing #life #decisions

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

It was like being in a snow globe! #snow #winter #nature #snowshoeing

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Of Mice and Men

2

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Home, Humor | Posted on 20-02-2017

Tags: , , ,

One tiny mouse. Seven big humans. One large dog.

Last month, the freezing temperatures summoned a mouse into the great indoors: our living room. We spotted the mouse making a dash from sofa to television. It was a tiny mouse, the size of a walnut. A walnut with fur. And whiskers. And little pink ears. And a black tail.

My 17-year-old son and his two friends just happened to arrive home just in time. Let’s corner it and shoo it out the front door, we brainstormed on the fly.

It was my husband, me, my daughter, my 17-year-old son and his two 17-year-old friends, my youngest son, and our dog vs. one mouse, the size of a walnut.

Let me tell you, it took the eight of us to lift the sofa to scare the mouse to the wall’s edge, to get down on one’s knees and clap loudly, to scream with excitement, to block the dining room, to prevent Otis from eating it, to dance wildly in the middle of the room, to chase it with an orange Home Depot bucket, to continue to persuade it along the wall’s edge, to open the front door.

We did it! What a team effort!

When the mouse fled through the front door, we all stood there a little stunned, threw our heads back, and laughed.

That sweetie! #yellowlab #winter #yellowlabrador #dogso?nstagram #dog #snowdog

A post shared by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

The King

2

Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Family, Family Pet, Humor | Posted on 02-02-2017

Tags: , , , , , ,

Welcome to my castle.

My dog has three dog beds throughout our home. One in the family room, one in my office, and one in our bedroom. Each is by a heat vent. Well placed for his comfort.

Yet, Otis usually prefers to sleep on human beds. Because he is the king. And he knows it.

My daughter sleeps at the very edge of her bed so that Otis can stretch his limbs and sprawl out next to her. And she covers him with a pink fleece blanket with bunnies on it.

And then sometimes, Otis will sleep on our bed. The king bed. Of course.

Reminds me of Borat, when he visits an American hotel for the first time: “king in the castle.” Whoa whoa woowa!

The king. #yellowlab #labrador #dogsofinstgram #owningit #kingofthecastle

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on