The (One) Time I Nearly Crapped My Pants


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Mother, Mothering, Nature | Posted on 03-09-2016

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There are several instances in my adulthood when I nearly crapped my pants. The most recent was last month, on a hike near Mount St. Helens. Upon entering the trail, the sign is warning enough to induce that stomach-is-churning-poop-is-coming feeling: Danger! Several fatalities have occurred in and around these waters. Stay on the trail.

Oh, crap!

Um, we’re staying on the trail. We hiked this same trail four years ago and I wrote about the seven lessons learned. Read that here.

The scenery is spectacular. It’s in a forest, at the base of Mount St. Helens. Surrounded by lush, Fir trees, there’s an aqua river that pounds through the lava canyon with such force, it has eroded the lava walls. Jagged cliffs greet you and the drop-offs are enough start crapping, especially if you have a fear of heights. Then, there’s the suspension bridge.

Suspended with cables, high above the crashing waters and lava rocks, the bridge sways. The slats are made of wooden boards with spaces in between, spaces so big that you fear your toes might get stuck like poor Vern crossing the railroad bridge in Stand By Me. Such big spaces, that our dog Otis wasn’t allowed to cross because of his innocent paws. I later read this about the bridge: “The bridge has no stiffening members under the deck at all, so each board is free to move bound only by the two cables it hangs from. Each board sinks a couple of inches with each step, giving the bridge what some have called a ‘trampoline’ feel…People with height phobias should probably turn back…”

I took a deep breath and took one step at a time. Gripping the handrails with white knuckles. My feet moved slowly, but my heart was racing. I reached the other side and my FitBit reported that my heart rate was 135 bpm. Pure adrenaline and fear.

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to take a selfie while on the bridge. Added to my fear of plummeting was my fear of dropping my phone. Proof, I guess. Proof that I did it. I knew I could. I had to. I had to overcome my fears, be brave, and set an example for my children.

But not really. Because I had sent them across first. 🙂

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What Kind of Flower Are You?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Daughters, Life, Nature, Personal Growth | Posted on 05-11-2015

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That’s easy. A sunflower. Because they are cheerful and strong.

I asked my 13-year-old daughter the same question. She answered: A sunflower. Because they are tall and unique.

“Happiness held is the seed. Happiness shared is the flower.”

-John Harrigan

What kind of flower are you? And why?

Sun-kissed. #superb_flowers

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The Secrets of the Saguaro


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Aging, Attitude, Nature | Posted on 08-10-2015

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Sigh. Another year older.

Yeah, that’s not how I view birthdays. I’m more like: I’m happy to be alive! Go me!

This picture was taken on my 46th birthday last week. Not another year older, but another year to embrace life. How lucky is that?!

Here’s a tip. If you’re feeling a little old, stand next to something that’s even older. Like a saguaro cactus. That sucker is 150 years old. Just look at how tall and proud it stands.

The great saguaro whispered a few of its secrets to me, in that magical desert:

Stand tall. Smile big. Be proud. Embrace life. Enjoy the sunshine…and the prickles.

Saguaros are my favorite!

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Demolition Derby


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Memories, Nature, Nostalgia | Posted on 26-08-2015

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I just love a good, old-fashioned Demolition Derby. Where people come to crash cars…the last one running wins.

I love the smashing of metal. The demolition. The destruction.

It’s that time of year–county fair time–when people come to watch and cheer on the wreckage. I am always one of the loudest fans.

Except. When it comes to demolishing beautiful red barns, I am heartbroken.

There’s a place along my run where I often stop to take in the view. Of the barn, the trees, and the clouds in the distance. So peaceful and perfectly bucolic.

But one day, the bulldozers came in to clear the land and demolish that lovely barn. Where the horses once frolicked. Where the hay was piled up to the rafters. Where the runner and her dog would pause to take in the scenery.

After two days of smashing and destruction, nary a barn board or tree was left. Only memories.

Once there was a beautiful red barn surrounded by trees. Now all that is left is rubble, dirt, and memories.

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All Hail the Dandelion


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Magic, Metaphor, Nature | Posted on 29-06-2015

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California poppies grow in cement cracks and flourish amidst rocks alongside of the freeway. Similarly, dandelions can grow through asphalt cracks…or almost anywhere the wind takes them.

Both are examples of flowers that thrive, despite adversity. Both are symbols of strength and life.

One single dandelion can produce up to 172 seeds per head, sending its dandelion babies up to five miles. Oh! And the endless wishes and magic a dandelion brings when you blow its fluffy white head, spreading wishes seeds.

Beauty is everywhere.

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Check out this cool video about the transformation of a dandelion flower:






The Spider Rescuer


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Children, Nature | Posted on 16-04-2015

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If it crawls on the walls or ceilings, hides in the corner, or has made a web at the windowsill, she rescues it.

If it has thick black legs, or long thin legs, or six or eight legs, she rescues it.

If it has wings, a thorax, antennae, or exoskeleton, she rescues it.

Whatever the type of insect or spider, upon discovering it in the house, she promptly gets a glass and gently scoops it up. She places a piece of paper at the top, and scurries outside to release the beast in the wild. Where it was meant to be.

The other day, when she was wiping down the kitchen counter with a washcloth, she accidentally killed a few ants. By her reaction, you would have thought our dog died.

That’s our girl! The compassionate, spider rescuer. (She takes after her father.) 🙂

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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? 🙂

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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.

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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.

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The Enchanted Forest


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Metaphor, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Nature | Posted on 21-10-2014

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Once upon a time, there was an enchanted forest. With giant, moss-covered trees with welcoming branches. With a bubbling brook that sang. With falling leaves that danced in the breeze. With miniature mushroom fairy homes sprinkled across the clover hillside. With a lake so still, the reflections of the trees were mirrored in the waters.

A girl with wings gazed in wonderment. A boy with magical socks ran with glee.

This magical, enchanted forest beckoned us on a sun-kissed fall day. On that day, she didn’t wear wings. She had wings. On that day, he didn’t forget his socks. He wore his mother’s magical socks, gifted with love when his blister appeared, preventing him from taking one more step.

We didn’t go for a hike. We went exploring. Exploring a fairy tale.

All kinds of awesome right there.

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We spotted fairy houses.

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Grass Seeds


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Memories, Nature | Posted on 26-06-2014

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Ah, childhood.

There’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of pulling off grass seeds from a tall blade of grass and spreading them in the wind. The softness of the miniature seeds in your hand. And the power of reseeding. To make future grass grow.

Spreading. Reseeding. Growing.

It’s cyclical. Just like childhood to adulthood and then back to childhood.

The other day, my son and I spent some time pulling grass. It was a simple pleasure. It brought me back to my childhood and made me smile.


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I’m On Top of the World


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Friends, Nature | Posted on 11-06-2014

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Two friends invited me to go on a hike. On a Tuesday. Right in the middle of my work day.

Yeah, I can’t go. I have to work.

But the wildflowers! They are in bloom right now! If we don’t go today, we might miss them.

They’re right. Timing was everything. I was presented with a small window of opportunity. So I seized it.

Yeah, I can’t work. I have to hike.

And so, I did. We did. And it was magical. When we first spotted the yellow wildflowers at the summit, it was that same feeling when Dorothy and her friends first encountered the fields of poppies on their journey to the Emerald City. Ahhhhh!

The nature, the friendships, and the exercise were the perfect excuse not to work that day. Because after all, work will still be there but the blooming flowers may not. And in that fleeting moment on the summit, I was on top of the world.

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I'm on top of the world!

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