The Patch

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Fall, Family, Life Lessons, Pumpkin, Traditions | Posted on 26-10-2016

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Our family has been going to the pumpkin patch for years. We love it! Pumpkins everywhere! The shades of orange! The shapes and sizes!

Pick any pumpkin you want, guys! Except this year, there weren’t any pumpkins. Um. It’s a pumpkin patch. Where are all the pumpkins?

Usually, there’s a huge spread of pumpkins right when you enter. Orange wherever you look. This time, there was just a sprinkling of pumpkins. Usually, pumpkins line the path to the corn maze. Nary a pumpkin lining the path this year. Usually, there’s a hidden pumpkin patch if you dare to walk through the corn. This time, it was just a muddy field.

“I was robbed!” Just as Sally utters in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

That is why our pumpkin patch picture this year was Children of the Corn.

But we found the bright side. There were corn stalks galore. Ample mud to squish around in. And, my youngest found me a prized heart rock!

When life gives you an empty pumpkin patch, head to the grocery store! We bailed.

Fortunately, Safeway had a wide selection of pumpkins in many shades of orange, in all shapes and sizes! We picked out our six (including one for Otis) and had so much money leftover that we bought three kinds of ice cream.

You could say that we made sundaes out of empty patches.

Happy Halloween, y’all!

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

The Champagne Celebration

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Children, Family, Memories, Ritual, School, Traditions | Posted on 02-09-2013

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We were gifted a fine bottle of champagne. Actually it was a fine bottle of sparkling wine. It was from Germany. Woo, fancy!

We saved it for awhile. For a special occasion. Turns out that the special occasion was this weekend. We knew our children needed a celebration. Celebrating a fun-filled summer and toasting a great school year ahead.

Pop! I think the cork dented our kitchen ceiling.

For us, like many other families, Labor Day weekend marks a transition weekend. From summer to school-sports-activities-and-crazy-family-life. We knew the kids would be sorta bumming. What was ahead? Waking up early. Homework. And algebra.

The sparkling wine was poured in five glasses; a toast was made; and we all partook. My eight-year-old tasted it–grimaced–was like, “Is this alcohol? I don’t like alcohol.”

His big brother, “James Bond drinks alcohol.”

Yeah, so does Mommy, pass it over here! Swig! My husband and I guzzled the rest. We needed a little calm before the storm.

Well, whaddya know. Turns out that the fine bottle of sparkling wine was a fine steal at $4.99 at World Market. Better stock up on a case to handle the school year ahead!

Hiccup.champagne

Singing Cumbaya

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Connections, Family, Summer, Traditions, Travel | Posted on 18-07-2012

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I returned home from a camping trip with my family. To the same old campsite we go every year. The same old trees. The same old lake. The same old dock. The same old hiking trails. The same old s’mores, spray cheese, hot dogs, and bean dip.

That’s what makes this trip so special to me. It’s one of our annual traditions. And it brings us back to connecting as a family. And to nature.

No, we don’t sing Cumbaya around the campfire (yeah…have you HEARD me sing? #frightful).

Besides the pure, natural beauty of camping in the Pacific Northwest, there’s the beauty of simplicity. Face it, we don’t have to make difficult decisions while camping:

  • hike or swim?
  • play Monopoly or Sorry?
  • explore or bike?
  • Oreos or Chips Ahoy?
  • balance on the logs or skip rocks?
  • sit in the sun or sit in the shade?

We met up with a forest ranger named Jennifer at a “campfire talk” on ecosystems. She distributed neon rubber wristbands that say “Smokey’s Friend.” I am still wearing mine. And I probably won’t take it off for awhile.

This simple bracelet is a reminder of the quality time I spent with my family…connecting and enjoying the simpler things in life.

 

Why I Make Pies

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Connections, Family, Food, Recipes, Thanksgiving | Posted on 23-11-2011

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Two pies down, two to go. As in: I have baked two pies so far and have two more to bake. I didn’t EAT two pies already. Silly. That’s for tomorrow!

Pies are so easy to buy. And they are cheap too.

I am no pie snob. I will eat any pie put in front of me.

What compels me to make these suckers from scratch? My Grandmother. She was a good baker and she passed those skills along to me. So, on this Thanksgiving Eve, I am baking pies from scratch because I am thankful that I had my Grandmother in my life for so many years and I carry her love inside of me.

And this is why I cut the cold butter into the flour and add ice cold water to make pie crusts. And this is why I fold the corn syrup with the butter and the pecans to make pecan pie. And this is why I search out new recipes for homemade chocolate fudge pie with Oreo crust. Because I want to.

Because even though I can easily buy pies–and I was a little tempted this year–I NEED to make these myself. And fill the kitchen with wonderful smells. And serve my family and guests a little bit of lovin’ from my Grandmother.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

3 Reasons Why I Love Halloween

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Halloween, Traditions | Posted on 31-10-2011

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Halloween rocks. It’s a wonderful holiday for kids and families. Here are three reasons why I love Halloween:

1. It’s a chance for kids to be creative. Costumes, masks, make-up, capes, hats, swords. It’s a chance to be a little different. Or be Justin Bieber. Whatever the creation, it’s a chance for kids to use their imaginations and maybe push the envelope.

2. It connects kids and families to their community. In our modern day world where we are losing connections and trust, trick-or-treating on Halloween night helps to build back a little faith in our connections, one Snickers at a time.

3. It helps kids embrace their fears. Sure, Halloween exposes the dark side. But death is part of life. And a little scary–bats, tombstones, spiders, witches, ghouls, skeletons, zombies, goblins–is a little fun. By the way, what the heck is a goblin anyways?

If You Like Traditions, Halloween is For You

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Halloween, Traditions | Posted on 31-10-2011

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I’m tired of all the Halloween nay-sayers. They are turning their backs on traditions that began in the Middle Ages. That’s 2,000 years ago! Historians tell us that Halloween goes back to an ancient Celtic festival celebrating the end of the harvest season on October 31. For them, this marked a transition time. Light and darkness. Life and death. Historians believe that the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc. Masks and costumes were worn to appease the evil spirits and scare off ghosts.

The tradition of “trick-or-treating” possibly originated, again, when the Celtic people left food on their doorsteps for the spirits who came around, to prevent them from entering their homes. Others believe that the British handed out “soul cakes” on All Souls’ Day, a holiday observed on November 2 to commemorate the deceased.

In Mexico, El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is celebrated whereby the spirits of the dead visit their families. Instead of fearing the dead, the Mexican culture embraces death, and the dead, by celebrating with joy.

Today, kids across the U.S.–and many other parts of the world–partake in some of the rituals that began in the Middle Ages, albeit a bit differently. Our modern Halloween still celebrates the harvest (pumpkins) and abundance of harvest (candy) and the dark side, or death (scary costumes and decorations).

So many people complain that we have no traditions left in our culture, so why rip on a 2,000-year-old holiday?