Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Childrearing, Connections, Crafts, Decor, Family, Home, Life, Memories, Parenting | Posted on 08-05-2017

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When I think about our family, I think how different we are as individuals. And how our family is evolving.

We are especially different in how we choose to spend an evening. Not always as one family together. But as one family together, but separate. One wants to go out with friends, one wants to watch YouTube videos, one wants to do anything but watch a movie with Mom and Dad. Then there’s Otis, who is up for anything, including movie night.

But isn’t this supposed to happen? While I am sad to see my children slowly branch away, I am also learning to appreciate their separation as a healthy part of life: thriving as individuals. I appreciate each one. With their own personalities. Their own thoughts. Their own emotions. Their own interests.

But isn’t it also my job as mother to keep our family connected? I try. Family taco night is always a success. Movie night? Not so much anymore. Awhile back, I covered our kitchen table with butcher paper so we could create art together. It started with a white square tile. Add drops of ink. Swirl, mix, design. The blobs of ink expanded. The ink morphed.

Each tile transformed into a unique work of art. No two were alike. Hmmmm…kinda like children…

This art project lasted several weeks. That’s a lot of together-time!

We framed this “family mirror” with the tiles we created. It’s an excellent metaphor of our family: colorful, with individual pieces, unified as one.

It’s a mirror that represents togetherness and separation. It’s hung, appropriately, right above the kitchen table, where many tacos have been consumed together.

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Of Mice and Men


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

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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

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The Giving Sofa


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Home, Life, Memories | Posted on 28-10-2015

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Once there was a sofa…and she loved a little family.

We bought a burgundy-and-green sofa and love seat–our first matching set as a married couple–at Costco. It was Navajo-ish in pattern. It was a happy sofa set. That sofa quickly became part of the family.

We lounged on it. We watched movies on it. We snuggled on it. We dined on it. And the sofa was happy.

When our first son was born, the three of us did more lounging and eating and snuggling and sleeping. You could pull out the hide-away bed for late night movies. The sofa smiled.

My baby boy grew into a toddler and we read books together on the sofa–such as The Giving Tree. He played with his toys on it. My son sipped and spilled his apple juice on it. The sofa didn’t seem to mind.

The sofa became a trampoline (when I wasn’t looking) and a dock for jumping off of (when I wasn’t looking). And the sofa was happy.

When my daughter was born, the four of us did more lounging, snuggling, sleeping, reading, eating. More sippy cups were spilled. A few pee accidents. The sofa didn’t mind.

But time went by.

We would scrub the stains. Fill the flattening cushions with fiberfill to fluff them up. We kept her looking spiffy. And the sofa was happy.

Over the years, the sofa became sorta droopy and stain soaked.

We spruced her up, I put an ad in the paper, and this guy bought the set just like that. For $500.

What a fair price for a sofa with so many memories!

When my big guy was a little guy…

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(Now when I write this, I feel like a traitor. Betraying my sofa friend. Just like the guy who cut down the giving tree until it was a mere stump, after so many years of take take take. I wrote about that here.)




Stone Soup


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Cooking, Family, Home, Life | Posted on 22-05-2014

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You know the classic story Stone Soup? Where the stranger enters the village to make this amazing soup out of simply a stone and a pot and hot water? He uses his great negotiation skills and slyness to score donations of carrots, potatoes, onions, and other vegetables…to make…voila.

Soup out of a stone, wowing villagers. How could this be?

Well. My soup was the opposite. My intentions at the beginning of the week were to make soup. A rich, vegetable soup with roasted chicken and beans. Packed with nutrients. And lots of other stuff.

I purchased all of the ingredients and stocked the refrigerator. I got too busy. The soup waited another day to be made.

Turns out, the kids ate the two roasted chickens.

The next day, I purchased two more roasted chickens. Meanwhile, the kids had eaten the vegetables with dip. And the soup waited another day to be made.

I repurchased vegetables. Meanwhile, the beans were turned into nachos. And the soup waited another day to be made. No soup was made that week.

All that was left–from the bounty of food purchased on Monday–was a stone.

Oh just making stone soup.

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Sex Offenders Live


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Family, Home | Posted on 20-11-2013

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Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue 

And the dreams that you dare to dream, 

Really do come true. 

What if you dream about owning a new home tucked away in a quiet neighborhood. With good schools. With a fenced back yard. Bedrooms for all of your children.

Chances are, you don’t dream about pedophiles and sex offenders. And how they will be your neighbors. Living in the house directly behind your dream home, where they will have a perfect view of your children running through the sprinklers in their undies, on a hot summer day, or swinging in the swing set that your husband plans to install.

It nearly happened.

We had a deposit on our dream home. All we had to do was sell our existing home…and the dream home would be ours!

I was so excited. We visited as often as we could, to see where we would place our furniture. Visualize where our Christmas tree would go. That sort of thing.

I told my friends about our new-almost home. One of my friends urged me to check online to see if any registered sex offenders lived close. She swore she remembered there was a sex offender rehabilitation house nearby.

Yikes! I did a search and sure enough, she was right. A whole house full of sex offenders lived directly behind our dream home. I immediately drove by to check it out. My rose-colored glasses had not seen that dilapidated house before, with its chipping paint, the broken-down cars, the junk and blue tarps. I imagined the pedophiles peeping through their windows with binoculars. Shiver.

It’s great they are getting rehabilitated and all. And I realize they have to live somewhere. But I don’t want them somewhere over MY rainbow.

We talked to our realtor and the developer and immediately got out of our deposit. You know, the clause about full disclosure?

A few months later, we sold our home and found an even better home. One in a quiet neighborhood. With good schools. A fenced back yard. A perfect spot for our Christmas tree. And best of all? Not a registered sex offender for miles!


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Does that Sofa Come in “Labrador Yellow?”


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Decor, Home, Pet, Pets | Posted on 07-10-2013

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Our family room is definitely a family room. It’s accessible, comfortable, and used–by all family members.

And when I say used, I mean the furniture looks like it’s used.

Plus we have a giant yellow Labrador who loves to rub up against the back of the chair, like a lion scratching against a tree. Yeah that.

Our slip-covered sofa and chair were dark grey and our dog is yellow, so you can imagine the hairiness. And the color contrast.

Thankfully, we don’t invest too much money in furniture. But I still like things looking nice. So, we ditched the old slip covers and trekked to Ikea to re-slip in “Teno light gray.”

Yeah, that’s what they call the color. I call it Labrador yellow. A perfect match.