Otis and the Geese


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Children's Books, Grandmother, Growing UP, Memories, Relationships | Posted on 14-12-2016

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My grandmother used to read me the story of Angus and the Ducks. Angus, the curious Scottish Terrier, got into mischief. One day, he was off-leash and ventured on the other side of the hedge, encountering two ducks. They stared him down and proceeded to hissssss at poor Angus. This hissing scared the crap out of Angus and he ran back to the safety of underneath the sofa in his living room. He never ventured to the other side of the hedge again.

The thing was, my grandmother made the most amazing hisssssssing noise when she read that part. During my childhood, I made her read that page over and over. We both would get the giggles.

Fast forward 30 + years.

While on a run, Otis, the curious Yellow Labrador, and I encountered two hundred Canadian Snow Geese. We stopped for a moment to take it all in, with Otis nearly ripping my arm off. He was raring to go get into mischief.

The pause in our run made me reflect upon the wondrous moments reading about Angus with my grandmother. When I visited her–even until I was pushing 16–we would snuggle up to read Angus and the Ducks and we would giggle at the hisssssss. Every time.

I have read that book over and over to my children. But it never had the same effect.

I guess some things are best kept tucked away in the memory vault. Best kept as my own magical moments.

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Mud Girls


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Attitude, Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Confidence, Connections, Encouragement, Exercise, Family, Life, Life Lessons, Metaphor, Motherhood, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Relationships | Posted on 13-09-2016

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I can’t think of a better way to kick off Mother’s Day weekend than to run a 5K Survivor Run with my daughter, navigating obstacles, slipping and sloshing through the mud, having a blast, and learning a thing or two about life lessons.

This race–complete with obstacles, mud, exertion, and fun–is a perfect metaphor for life.

You put yourself out there. You try your best. You face obstacles and overcome them. You find support. You laugh. You get dirty. You find your strength. You fall and you get back up. You learn independence. You are reminded that you can do it. You have fun. You are empowered.

What better lessons for a mother to bestow upon her young teenager?

It was not the medal at the end that made me so happy. It was the journey through the race, together. Through the ups and downs. (Up dirt hills and down into mud puddles!)

That Saturday, we were Mud Girls. In my heart, we are forever Mud Girls. Also known as Survivors.

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The Sheep Connection


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Animals, Attitude, Communication, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships | Posted on 22-08-2016

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One of my favorite things at the county fair is to visit all of the farm animals. I say hello to each and every one of them, without leaving any out. Goats. Cows. Rabbits. Chickens. Horses. Bunnies. Ducks. Geese. Pigs. Llamas. Alpacas. Sheep.

The goats look at me longingly and always get lots of lovin’ from me. They have warm eyes, big hearts, joyful spirits, and like to “kid” around. I talk to the bunnies and poke my fingers into the cages to pet their soft fur. They are often shy. I scratch the pigs’ snouts. We could chat for hours. I talk to the llamas and alpacas and they rudely stare back. Sometimes showing me their yellowed teeth. Llamas are assholes. I compliment the chickens and roosters on their beautiful plumage and they are agitated. Some of the horses are sweet, some are aloof. Their stalls have bars: communication barriers. I am especially kind to the cows, especially the beef cows, because I know their lives will end soon.

And then there are the sheep.

I walk into the sheep barn with eagerness. I walk down the rows greeting them with a friendly Baa Ram Eew (giggle) and I reach out to give their fluffy curls a scrunch. I compliment those who are freshly shorn. You sure make beautiful wool! I exclaim.

Each summer, it’s the same. The sheep snub me. Like the llamas, they are assholes. I pick up clean straw to hand-feed them. Like an olive branch offering.

This time, there was a sheep connection!

I met lovely sheep who smiled at me. I talked to them. And they listened. They looked into my eyes. My heart reopened. They invited me to scrunch their wool, so I did. I gently moved their bangs out of their eyes.

I like to make connections with animals and people. If the connections fail, I keep trying. I’m an optimist (sucker) that way.

Animals have personalities like people (or is it the reverse?). I forever encounter people who are kind, thoughtful, funny, loving, honest, and respectful. I also encounter people who are rude, selfish, aloof, condescending, cold, and mean.

I try to have an open mind and an open heart and be kind and forgiving. But I am often disappointed by people who are condescending, selfish, cold, and mean. Sometimes I wonder:

Is it worth reaching out even if I will be let down? If I do get let down, do I continue to forgive and give another chance?

Next year at the fair, I may skip the llamas. But, I will keep visiting the sheep. As proven this summer, through kindness and forgiveness, I made new friends and they warmed my heart. Renewing my faith in sheepmanity.

Ewe never know when you’ll make a connection.

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Clothes, Family, Fashion, Mothers and Sons, Relationships | Posted on 09-06-2016

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I love socks. Probably because my feet are usually cold.

When my children were little, I bought them the cutest socks. As an infant, my oldest had a pair with rattles built in and he’d bicycle kick his feet, with the biggest grin. I had read that black-and-white patterns make infants’ brains develop better, so of course they had their patterned socks. My daughter had adorable watermelon socks and ladybug socks. My youngest son had tie-dye socks I bought in Berkeley. I probably paid more for that “artisan” pair of socks than a whole pack of running socks for me!

Three years back, I wrote about our abundance of mismatched socks. How they sit lonely, unmatched in a drawer in the laundry room. Waiting, waiting for the perfect match. Then I wrote about how we turned those lonely socks into a happy Sock Puppet family. Check out the video:


I have a pair of yellow, smiley face socks that make me happy when I’m down. My daughter has polka-dot mushroom socks, unicorn-and-rainbow socks, and sloth socks. Sloth socks? I think they are supposed to make you feel relaxed. ūüôā

Then of course there are the very expensive athletic socks the guys wear these days. The socks that hit mid calf. I’m not sure what’s up with that style, but I’ll go with it. I mean, I remember being in middle school when no one wore socks. They were so uncool. You wore your Vans or Keds or Sperry Topsiders with no socks. Puberty + sweaty, unsocked feet = very stinky shoes.

My youngest son, who is now eleven years old, recently asked if he could have a pair of those guy socks. One pair, that’s it. Ah, peer pressure socks. My son is super sweet and doesn’t ask for much. So of course I bought him not one but six pairs of theses guy socks. The hugs and smile? Totally worth it! Hey, and at least they help to cut down on the stinky shoes.

It’s all about the socks.

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Boys and their socks. A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

The Magic Jacket


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Husband, Love, Relationships | Posted on 26-04-2016

For Valentine’s Day this year, my husband gifted me a magic jacket.

It goes with everything and fits me just right. It not only repels rain and wind, but when worn, that jacket magically transports me to cool places where we have enjoyed spending time together: cross-country skiing, mountain hikes, and wintry beaches.

So it’s like a magic jacket and date jacket all in one. The perfect gift!

Unlike chocolates that may last a day (or a few hours) or flowers that may last a week, this jacket will last for many together-adventures ahead.

Except. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I may need a pair of magic sunglasses…

Seas the day! #dayoff

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My Christmas List


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Christmas, Family, Relationships | Posted on 23-12-2014

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All I want for Christmas is you.



Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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Running on Empty


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Relationships | Posted on 12-09-2014

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I’m a believer of glass-half-full thinking. You know, trying to stay positive and framing¬†things in the best light. Because life is full of awesomeness!

I am exhausted. Instead: Wow, I got so much done today!

Ugh, I gained two pounds this weekend. Instead: Dang, those nachos and pie were tasty!

But sometimes, my life gets a little too full for me to handle and I get overwhelmed and overextended. Back-to-school, work deadlines, activities. As I was driving to pick up my son from football practice, I noticed the gas tank was on empty. Yikes! Literally and figuratively, I was running on empty.

You should have filled up earlier. Yeah, duh.

When my husband came home, he didn’t judge. He offered to take my car to fill it up for me. Because he’s nice like that and he knew that I needed help.

Sometimes my life is so full that it runneth over my glass. And sometimes my glass and gas tank get¬†empty. That’s when I know that I need to¬†reach out for help to fill things back up.

Watermelon-peach smoothies? Yes please!

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Black Diamonds


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Little Story, Memories, Relationships, Romance | Posted on 11-12-2013

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Here’s a little story I call “the time I lied about knowing how to ski when I didn’t, just to impress my boyfriend.”

I was in college. I was in love. And I was invited to spend winter break with my boyfriend at his family’s cabin, located at a ski resort.

It was all so perfectly perfect. I was giddy with excitement and anticipation!

Except I¬†didn’t know how to ski.

My boyfriend had asked if I knew how to ski. Yeah, of course, I do, silly! (Hell to the no!) I totally lied. I had only been downhill skiing like twice in my whole life. I was scared shitless.

And I didn’t own any ski wear. Yikes! So, on my Christmas list that year was a parka, ski pants, and ski gloves. Of course.

I had to look the part.

So there we are at the mountain. The setting was idyllic. But, what was I thinking? How would I ski down a blue run, let alone a black diamond run?

I was so nervous, I had that diarrhea feeling. 

I didn’t even know how to get on and off a chair lift.

Yet, onward I went. I rented skis and struggled to click in my boots.

I made my way to the lift and somehow boarded without too much struggle. Dangling and swinging my legs, I didn’t slip. I dismounted without a hitch. This is so easy!

Then we were atop the mountain looking down. Filled with terror and excitement to impress and be a cool girlfriend (and still with the ol’ diarrhea feeling), I zig-zagged my way down the mountain, around moguls even. Parallel skis, turning, and then immediately readying for my next turn.

The adrenalin pumped through me like NoDoz. (Remember those?)

I did it! And I continued to ski all day, only falling twice.

I don’t know how it happened. Maybe it was love. Maybe it was adrenalin. Maybe it was my pure determination to succeed. Maybe all of the above, combined with the high altitude, making me all light headed and all.

Even if I had chickened out, I think my college boyfriend would have still stuck around. But I didn’t chicken out. And neither did he.

He is now my husband. And he now takes our kids downhill skiing.

Our first snow of the season!

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How You Doin’, Sexy Mama?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Love, Parenting, Relationships, Thanksgiving | Posted on 25-11-2013

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I am loved. My family loves me.

My children tell me daily. I never get tired of it!

Regardless, I have “love notes” my youngest son wrote me a few years back pinned to my bulletin board. And Instagrammed. And Facebooked.

To preserve. To remind. And to make me smile.


“I love you so so much”

Says "give flawers to Mom" Good advice!

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“Give flowers to Mom”

Yes! That!

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“How you doing sexy Moma”

Love it!

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“You are the best Mom ever”

The Oskar Schindler to Plants


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Humor, Marriage, Relationships | Posted on 22-11-2013

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My seven-year-old Christmas cactus is now in full bloom. Again. And it’s not because of me. Well it is and it isn’t.

The plant was a thank-you gift to me from one of the parents, for coaching my daughter’s soccer team many years ago. It was in full bloom then–and super tiny. And when the blooms stopped blooming, I was ready to recycle the plant.

Whoa! Yeah, not an option around here.

My husband repotted it. Tended to it. Fertilized it. Watered it. And waited. Golly, he’s so patient!

See, because my husband is Mr. Green Thumb. He is like Oskar Schindler to plants. Remember the movie Schindler’s List? One of the most powerful Holocaust movies I have ever seen. It’s about a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, by employing them in his factories. (And, swoon, Schindler was played by Liam Neeson.)

Me? I love trees. I love flowers. I just don’t like all of the caregiving and patience that plant life requires. I like immediate color and impact. (Just for the record, it’s a good thing I treat the children and animals around here with a lot more love and nurturing than I do plants.)

A 30-foot-tall Douglas fir tree proudly stands tall in the yard at our old home, a tree that was almost stomped to its death when it was a wee sapling…by me…because it looked sorta dead and scraggly.

Yikes! My bad! I’m a plant murderer!

But no worries, my husband saved that tree and nurtured it, until it thrived. And he likes to remind me about the tree that almost wasn’t.

And now, he regularly checks the yard debris bin in case I have tossed out a spindly perennial or skimpy rose bush that can be saved.

My Christmas cactus in bloom.

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