A Single Candle


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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The Lie


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Boys, Memories, Mothers and Sons, Parenting | Posted on 24-08-2015

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My 10-year-old son loves cars. He researches them. Studies and cites car facts. Spots supercars whenever he can. Watches Top Gear religiously.

One day he spotted a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta! It made his day!

Another day, we came upon Go-Karts. He was thrilled!

Must be 12 and up to ride. Said the sign.

He was devastated.

I went up to the counter to buy tickets for my daughter and my son. Is he 12? Asked the guy behind the counter.

Um, almost. I answered enthusiastically.

Today, he is 12. Said the guy angel behind the counter.

Yes! Today he is 12! I echoed.

My son had the biggest grin as they handed him the golden coin to ride. It was even better than the golden ticket Charlie Bucket found.

My son raced with such glee and confidence, I think we should lie more often.

Spotting a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta made his day!

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You must be 12 and up to drive go-karts. So today he was 12. Wink!

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The Box of Memories


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Grandmother, Growing UP, Happiness, Life, Memories, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 15-07-2015

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When my grandmother and I used to play the game Memory, there was always more talking and laughing than matching. We played every time I would visit. We’d get out the tattered box of Memory cards, flipped them over and start grinning. As each card was flipped, a picture rich in memories would appear.

The tiger with the eyes that resemble peas.

The girl in the blue dress, with the braids flying.

The long white rabbit.

The mother and baby owls perched.

The king with the big belly and short legs.

The triangle “quilt.”

The lion cub peeking from the striped awning.

The lion with the hairy mane and sad face.

And of course, sly fox.

When my grandmother died, I packed up the “box of memories” and took them with me. Decades later, the box itself disintegrated but the cards were intact and full of life…and memories. They cards now reside in a Ziploc bag on the game shelf and have been resurrected! My daughter and I play regularly. And we talk and laugh and have our favorite cards…

The tiger with the eyes that resemble peas.

The girl in the blue dress, with the braids flying.

The long white rabbit.

And so on.

As we play, I am filled with happiness that my grandmother’s hands touched these exact cards and laughed at the same king with the big belly and short legs.

I guess you’d say, the memories are alive and well.

Is Your Refrigerator Running?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Holidays | Posted on 25-11-2014

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Is your refrigerator running?

We boldly would ask with a straight face, suppressing giggles. When we were kids, we’d dare each other to crank call strangers. We’d randomly pick phone numbers from the phone book.

The stranger would usually answer yes.

Then, you’d better go out and catch it!

Slam down the phone! Giggle! Snort!

Two weeks ago, my refrigerator stopped running. So, we bought a new one, pronto! Because, Thanksgiving!

Thankful, indeed. I am thankful that I can afford to buy a new refrigerator and that I can stock it with yummy things (sometimes gaggy) to eat, to nourish my family. And that we can buy extra to give to those less fortunate.

Strangers Families in our town. With food drives at my children’s schools in full force, the kids lug in bags of non-perishable food items. Last year, enough food was donated to feed 200 families for a year. Maybe this year, collectively, we can help 250 families. Whether it’s donating time, giving money, donating food items, or simply smiling at a stranger and spreading good cheer, everyone may feel a little happier, more connected, and thankful.

My new refrigerator–now stocked with a turkey, Thanksgiving fixings, and ingredients for pies–is a symbol of so many things I am thankful for:

Children. Love. Health. Connections. Happiness. Nourishment. Family.

Maybe at the dinner table, I’ll be asked: Mom, what’s a crank call? What’s a phone book? 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Halloween | Posted on 03-11-2014

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Is it time to trick-or-treat? Not yet.





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Threads and Strings


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Halloween | Posted on 30-10-2014

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When you buy your child his Halloween costume three weeks early, chances are he will wear it everyday. And everywhere.

In the car, while shopping, to pick up his sister at soccer practice, around the house, even as jammies.

And when Halloween actually comes, his Spiderman costume may be missing some velcro, or the seams may have torn, or the mask may be missing.

But that’s OK, because his costume made him happy the entire month of October.

Happy Halloween!

Spiderman takes a break.

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My Disco Ball Necklace


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Fun, Happiness | Posted on 13-05-2014

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Some things just make me giddy with excitement. For example, I bought a crystal, heart necklace for $12. When the sun shines on it, a thousand light beams glimmer and sparkle and flicker in every direction.

I didn’t realize I had, in fact, purchased a disco ball necklace. Who knew $12 could buy giddiness?

No necklace? No worries. To get your disco funk on, check out this article, and you’ll be groovin’ in seconds.

Love my new disco ball necklace! Sparkly!

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Not Busy as a Bee


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Happiness, Life, Nature | Posted on 26-07-2013

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“How have you been?”

“I’ve been SO busy.”

I didn’t ask you how busy you’ve been. But thanks for telling me. Yawn.

The other day, I wasn’t busy. Instead, I wandered my backyard with my camera. I took in the Summer colors, smells, and sounds: purple, lavender, buzzing.

I sat down to observe the bees busily humming. Like I was Jane Goodall or something. (But with bees, not gorillas.) It was nice not to be busy as a bee.

So, the next time someone asks me, “how have you been?”

“I’ve been enjoying Summer.”

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The Good Old Days


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life, Life Lessons, Love, Memories, Mother, Mothering, Parenting, Relationships, Time | Posted on 24-06-2013

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“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

-Andy, The Office finale

I always hear about the good old days being so long ago. Like when my Grandpa could buy a bag of lemon drops for a nickel. Are the good old days gone? No way!

Reflecting on my good old days…

  • Was it my childhood? Three Flies Up with neighborhood buddies. Lightning bugs on humid Summer nights. Baking chocolate chip cookies with my Grandma.
  • Was it my teenager years? Hanging with friends. Scouting out cute guys. Touring Europe with my mother.
  • Was it early marriage? Movie nights mid-week. Road trips without destinations. Co-ed softball games and pizza.
  • Is it now? Raising children. Cheering them on soccer, football, and basketball. Family Monopoly games until the wee hours.

Whaddya know. I’ve been living the good old days all along,

How about you?

good old days

American Gothic


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Love, Marriage, Memories, Parenting, Romance | Posted on 05-06-2013

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Today is my 20th wedding anniversary. Whoa!

When we vacationed in Hawaii recently, there was a little wedding chapel on the hotel premises. I chided my husband, “We should totally renew our vows!” He answered with, “I didn’t know our vows needed renewing.”

What a guy!

I thought it would be funny to take a picture of the two of us and morph it into the American Gothic painting. You know the Americana one with the farmer and his wife? They look a little weathered from work, domesticity, and life. I have to admit, sometimes after a long week and what not, we do kinda look like this! Work is draining. And domesticity gets a little much.

However. When we take a step back–like you do when examining an incredible piece of artwork–we are grateful for and blessed with the love, friendship, happiness, fun, and family that we have created in our 7,300 days of marriage. Whoa!