Chicks, Ducks, and a Bunny…Oh My!


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Growing UP, Happiness, Ideas, Imagination, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mother, Mothering, Pets | Posted on 17-10-2016

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Who buys her daughter baby chicks, baby ducks, and a bunny…in the middle of the city?

My mother…that’s who!

Imagine the squeals of delight one Easter morning! The joy! I was the happiest of happy!

We didn’t live in the country. Nor did we have the proper pens and enclosures yet built. We housed our extended family in our laundry room off the kitchen. Added some heat lamps. Purchased feed. Received a donated rabbit hutch for the backyard.

Our farm was set!

Like Fern from Charlotte’s Web, I fed, watered, nurtured, and talked to my animal friends every day. Their peeps and nibbles and sweetness made me overjoyed. My friends thought I was so lucky…indeed, I was!

One baby duck, Quincy, didn’t make it and died after a week. It was a tough life lesson. The other duck, Abraham, thrived.

When the chicks and duck outgrew their soft downy feathers and grew into their adult feathers, it was time to move them from the laundry room to the backyard, into coops and hutches.

One chick grew into–gasp!–a rooster and became the 5:00 a.m. alarm clock for the neighborhood, with his loud cock-a-doodle-dooing. Abraham was so well mannered, that you could leash him and take him for a walk. The rabbit was simply happy with carrots and came out for snuggles.

Our menagerie of animals represented my childhood: colorful, joyful, interesting, and full of life, love, and experiences. My mother was the ring leader, with her big heart and personality, always unconventionally fun and cool. I am so lucky to be her daughter.

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Sunflower Envy


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Encouragement, Flowers, Gardening | Posted on 28-08-2016

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The sunflower is the idyllic summer flower. Sunflowers are bright and sunshiny. They are bold and stand tall and come in all shades of yellow. And they make thousands of babies each.

I love sunflowers. Except, I can’t grow them. I have sunflower envy.

Believe me, I try every year. I plant hundreds of seeds and tuck them into the soil with love and care. I sprinkle top soil on top for good measure. Then I water the babies.

Every spring, the birds perch on their front-row branches to catch the show. The I-can’t-grow-sunflowers-show. They apparently proceed to have a seed smorgasbord.

The funny thing is, sunflowers can grow anywhere. I have seen them thrive in the driest of abandoned lots.

This year, my daughter and I tried zinnias. We planted hundreds of seeds and tucked them into the soil with love and care. We sprinkled top soil on top for good measure. Then we watered the babies.

We waited. And waited. Watered. And waited.

Their sprouts poked through the soil and they grew all summer! In July, they made their rainbow debut. Crimson. Orange. Magenta. Lavender. Yellow. Peach. Hundreds of zinnias greet us every day and smile. You pick a bouquet, and they continue to thrive.

After witnessing our zinnia bounty, others may have zinnia envy? ūüôā

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A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Make Someone Happy


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Happiness | Posted on 22-06-2016

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One of my favorite memes: “If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.”

One of my favorite songs is Make Someone Happy, sung by Jimmy Durante, made popular in Sleepless in Seattle. Some of the lyrics:

Make someone happy,
Make just one someone happy,
And you will be happy, too.

It was Elf who said “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.” If Elf doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know who will.

Then there’s the woman who put on a Chewbacca mask and laughs hysterically, propelling her to Internet fame–making people happy with just one click.

Then there’s Byrdie Sue, the “crazy bird lady” on America’s Got Talent, who wore a rainbow skirt and a ribboned hat. With a personality equally as chipper (chirper?) and colorful. She whistled bird sounds to Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy.

My daughter was watching highlights. Her eyes got big and she shrieked Mom! She reminds me of you!

At first I was like What?! No way! She’s totally wacky.

She reminds me of you because she’s so happy like you!

Whoa! What a sweet thing to say. Maybe the sweetest thing I’ve heard this month! Maybe I was being overly judgmental.

Byrdie Sue is wacky. But mostly, she’s upbeat and she makes people happy.

The world needs more Jimmy Durantes, Elfs, Chewbacca Mask Ladies, and Byrdie Sues. Don’t you think?

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A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

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.)




Running Late Has Perks


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Happiness, Kindness | Posted on 15-05-2014

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I was running late the other morning. So of course the gas tank was nearly empty. Because gas tanks around here seem to know when I am running late and barely have time to stop to fill them up.

But I did. (Because once I didn’t stop. And I ran out of gas on my way to pick my Grandmother up at the airport. And that sucked because she had to wait for hours while I hoofed it to the nearest gas station and….OK, that’s a story for later.)

So, I stopped at the gas station to fill up and realized I had no water bottles. Well, heading to play soccer that morning, I kinda had to have water. Because otherwise: dehydration. Funny, because in our refrigerator at home there are like nine bottles all freshly filled and cooling. For the kids. No one called after me on my way out the door, “Did you remember your water bottle?!” Because. Otis. And he doesn’t talk much.

So, while the tank was filling, I ran into the convenience store to buy water. Good thing there are no water bottle shortages. Or I’d be parched.

The guy who worked there called out, “Hi Sunshine!”

I did one of those–scanning-the-store-who-me-looks. Because, I like had no make-up on, my hair was in two buns, and I was dressed in my soccer clothes. So, yeah, totally hot.

Oh! He meant ME!

When I went to pay, he asked “How’s your morning going, Sunshine?!” There he goes with the Sunshine again.

So of course I answered, “My morning is going a lot better now, thanks to you!”

Golly, it’s the little things. And it’s kindness. Even between strangers. I am reminded of this every day. And you know what? I felt glowy all over and had the most amazing, sunshiny day, as a result.

A stranger called me "Sunshine" today. Totally made my day!

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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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I Love Booths


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Family, Food, Memories | Posted on 31-03-2014

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Oh, how I love booths. They make me so happy.

Vinyl booths in diners or family-friendly restaurants where you can order breakfast any time of the day. Not because I love breakfast, but because there are no rules.

Booth seats are so slippery and cushiony. And comforting. Because there is usually a plateful of creamers on the table. And you can order giant milkshakes. Or pie. Or tuna melts. And the tuna melts are served with parsley or kale on the side, just for loos. With a thin orange slice and a pickle.

And the waitress refills your water without you even asking.

Best of all, when you go to pay, there are mints for sale: 10 cents each.

Only in a diner.

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Love those mints.

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The Giving Tree


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Beauty, Books, Celebrations, Childhood, Children, Children's Books, Life Lessons, Memories, Nature | Posted on 04-10-2013

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The Giving Tree. One of our favorite books–one of the best characters, that tree–and also one of our most hated characters: that boy who grows up to be a greedy man. It’s all take take take.

We met a friendly, giving tree this summer.

It was a hot day. We had our bag of Subway sandwiches and quilt in tow, driving in search of the perfect picnic spot.

We were too hungry to drive too far. Yep, about four minutes in the car capped off our impatience.

We spotted a tree in a field. That oak tree beckoned and welcomed us. That tree said, “Come, Boy (and Girl and Mother), come…and play in my shade and be happy.”

And we did. And we were.

You would never know by looking, but that old tree stands proudly on a three-acre lot, located smack in the middle of suburbia. Across from a high school and exactly four minutes from Subway. The lot will probably be for sold one of these days. And the tree may be chopped down to a stump. I sure hope not.

But on that magical day, as we gazed up at her twisted branches, that tree gave us shade and solace, with her fluttering leaves.

And now, every time we drive by her (practically daily), we yell out to our new friend “HI TREE!”

“And the tree was happy.”