Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

“Pond Skimming” at Burke Mountain April 2, 2011

Filed under: 365 Project,Adventures,Spring — everydaywomanusa @ 9:32 pm
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Each spring, Burke Mountain hosts a most incredible ski event, called “Pond Skimming.”

Basically, this crazy competition involves an array of risk-takers, clad in colorful and sometimes “racy” costumes, who ski down a steep slope, attempting to pick up enough speed to “skim” across a man-made pond at the foot of the moutain–on skis or snowboards.  Sometimes, they’re successful and sometimes, they end up in the “drink.”  The winners are crowned “King” and “Queen” of the mountain, and besides bragging rights, they’re each awarded a free season’s pass for the upcoming ski season.

The 21st Annual Pond Skimming 2011, held on a balmy spring day on April 2, did not disappoint.  The theme was heroes and villians.  Here are some of the colorful sights . . .

“Captain Underpants” (left) was a crowd favorite (brrr!)  . . . as was Braveheart. . .

James Bond and his side-kick made an appearance on the slopes . . .

. . . as well as “Cruella DeVille” and friends . . .

The “villian” banker, who made off with everyone’s money, sped across the water . . .

. . . as did the “Prez” . . .

For the first time ever, there was a team of two contestants on original “skis built for two.”

The Joker waited for his turn . . .

. . . and “Tony the Tiger” was victorious for the first few runs across the deep.

Cat Woman tucked in for a quick ride down the slope . . .

. . . but didn’t quite make the stretch . . .

Some who belly-flopped in the pond needed the assistance of the ever-friendly and ever-ready rescue diver . . .

The Joker continued to smile, even when he was soaking wet, as did the clown . . .

As the starting line moved lower down the mountain after each round, racers found it tough to keep their speed up to make it safely across the pond.

The judges gave the thumbs up/thumbs down on each skier.

The “King of the Pond” was the last man standing, NOT in the water.  It happened to be someone dubbed, “Charlie Sheen,” and he said “You decide if I’m a hero or a villian!”

All in all, a fun day at the best ski mountain around!!!


Spring Skiing at Burke Moutain – – – Simply the Best!!! March 26, 2011

Filed under: 365 Project,Adventures,Family — everydaywomanusa @ 9:39 pm
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Last Sunday, my DH and I had a chance to get some spring skiing in at Burke Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom.  When our kids were little, they’d say, “We know why it’s called ‘Burke,’ because it’s always ‘BRRRRRR’ there!”   That’s true, especially in January and February, but we were very fortunate to catch a balmy spring day in March where you didn’t need to fear frostbite for any uncovered skin.

Burke is a wonderfully challenging mountain; in fact it’s a favorite spot for olympic skiers to train.  We hadn’t skied in a couple of years and it was great to see we hadn’t forgotten how!  In other words, we’ve still got it!  (Actually, my objective now is mostly just to get down the moutain in one piece!)

The view from the lift was incredible, too . . .

especially from the top of the mountain  . . .

Another fun sight this time of year is the “Mardi Gras” tree near the top of the mountain, which features a colorful array of beads and undergarments that have been tossed from the lift by skiiers . . .

A beautiful day of Spring Skiing is just about better than anything else . . .

. . . except of course we raced home that evening to spend time with our one-year-old grandson, Joshua!


Please Vote! February 15, 2010

Alright, the competition is very tough in this photo contest for “Girls Who Drive Tractors” over on Facebook at

Unbeknownst to me, my dear, crazy daughter Abbie entered this photo of me driving our old antique Ford tractor in the competition.  (Please note that I’m calling the tractor an antique, NOT the driver!)

Anyways, I’m up against girls on tractors who are probably half my age, so please help me at least give a good showing!  So far, I’m leading in the competition and the voting goes on until Tuesday, so if you haven’t had a chance to visit this site on Facebook, PLEASE, I beseech you, please do!

You can visit:   If you become a fan of “Girls Who Drive Tractors” (a simple click!) you can vote in this contest.  Go to “Round 1” and you’ll see 4 photos of the finalists; please vote for me by clicking on my photo and writing “VOTE” in the comment box.  Everyone can vote twice until Tuesday!

THANKS IN ADVANCE!  I’ll let you know how it works out . . . and if one of your crazy children enters you in a silly contest, please know that you can count on ME to support YOU!


Meeting my Super-Hero Blogger—Pioneer Woman–in Person! December 13, 2009

Yesterday, I had the time of my life when I traveled to NYC and had a chance to meet my all-time favorite blogger, Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, in person! 

She’s even nicer, more down-to-earth, sweeter—and even taller—than I expected!

My daughter, Abbie, aka The Farmer’s Daughter, and I went by train, and then taxi to Chelsea Market to meet up with Ree.  Anyone who knows Ree, knows how much she LOVES babies, and she was all over the fact that Abbie’s pregnant and was quite chatty.  She wanted to know when the baby is due, if it’s a first, etc., etc.  (March and yes!)

Abbie wore a top that left no doubt as to whether she was indeed expecting, or not.  Here’s a closeup:

P-dub was all over that!

She was quite gracious, too.  When someone asked for her expertise with a camera . . .

. . . of course, she obliged . . .

When we first arrived at Chelsea Market, we found it to be a magical place.  It’s a huge building, which was orginally a Nabisco Factory, but which is now filled with shops, stores, eateries, and tons of Christmas Decorations.  We saw. . .

Upside-down Christmas trees. . .

and lots of decorations from recycled products . . .

A CD-tree, for instance . . .

. . . and fabulous creations from old plastic cups . . .

As we joined the queue to meet Ree, we had no idea how long the wait would be, as the first people in line had arrived at 8 am for the 11:00 book signing!

We chatted it up with those around us.  There was a couple behind us who traveled from Massachusetts, a little bit further than us, coming in from Connecticut.  The woman, a food blogger known as This Week’s Menu, gave me a great idea, which you’ll see at the end of the post.

With all the visiting and comparing notes about blogs and other interests, the line moved quickly, but it continued to grow and grow and grow . . . behind us!

When it was our turn to meet Ree, I felt I had to ‘fess up to something . . . remember when my hubbie and son were in Oklahoma and they wanted to surprise me with Ree’s just-released cookbook?  Well, they arrived home with a bright, shiny, colorful Pioneer Woman Cooks book, all full of wonderful “cowboy food,” as Ree calls it, but with a suspicious signature . . .

Ree laughed and quickly added her own, authentic signature!

Like I said, Ree is incredibly gracious!

Thanks for an fabulously fun day, Ree!

So . . . in the spirit of this giving season, I’m giving away an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Ree’s famous cookbook, which is currently on the New York Times Bestseller List, as a gift to one of my readers.  (Andrea~thanks so much for the idea!)

This book is oh-so-much-more than a cookbook!  It is a storybook of Ree’s family and adventures on her Oklahoma ranch, bursting with wonderful pictures and stories of her family, both the human kind and the animal kind!  You will surely adore it! 

It also has wonderful recipes, too.  Our daughter, Abbie, recently made us Ree’s Sticky Buns and they are to die for!

So . . . if you’re interested in entering a random drawing for this fabulous book, just leave a comment telling why you’d like it, why you like Ree, or both!






Sunday Stroll~Join me on a trip to the North Pole! December 6, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Christmas,Entertainment,Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 11:18 am
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Snow began to fall softly as the North Pole Express pulled into the station, as if right on cue.

Children, bundled up in pajamas and hoods, clamored around the station, waiting to board Santa’s train.

Destination:  North Pole!


As we traveled, our conductor told us Christmas stories and shared the story of the “Polar Express.”

The Baker served up the biggest and most delicious gingerbread cookies I’ve ever seen and tasted, along with creamy, rich hot chocolate. . .

A hobo even managed to sneak onto the train . . .

In the spirit of Christmas, we invited him to join us . . .

And, then, the main attraction. . . we reached the North Pole and Santa boarded the train!

Mrs. Claus even joined him . . .

. . . and some of the elves came along, too!

Santa offered the first gifts of Christmas to passengers on the train, as he held up a shiny silver bell from his sleigh . . .

The bell that Santa handed me makes the most glorious jingling sound . . .

As we headed toward home, Santa’s Christmas wish continued to ring in my ears, Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

To see who else is strolling on this December Sunday, head on over to The Quiet Country House.


ALOHA FRIDAY #22: Are you doing the “Black Friday” thing? November 27, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Aloha Friday,Holidays — everydaywomanusa @ 9:49 am
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Just wondering, how many people ventured out, after “stuffing yourself” with turkey and trimmings for midnight shopping, etc.?  Some friends I know start at midnight or even at 4 am, in search of good deals. 

So, my “Aloha Friday” question this Friday after Thanksgiving is . . .

Are you doing the “Black Friday” thing?  If so, did you find any great deals?

 If you’d like to participate in more Aloha Friday questions, click on over to  An Island Life for Kailani’s  “Aloha Friday

As for me, I think I’ll do some online shopping today; try to get some of my “mountain” of coursework done; perhaps start some Christmas decorating; and yes, I do have to go do some usual errands later in the day.  I’ll see what the crowds are like.

Whatever you’re doing on this day after Thanksgiving, ENJOY!


Funniest Description of All!!! November 19, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Humor — everydaywomanusa @ 9:49 pm
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I just had to chuckle out loud when a good friend and former colleague (who recently moved to the UK) left this description of me on Facebook:

“A rag-top driving, doctorate-holding grandma!  I love it!  That’s going to be one lucky grandbaby!!!”
OK, just to clarify this:  the doctorate and grandbaby are both in progress;  but the rag-top is currently in place and I’m driving “topless” every day I can!
Thanks, Yvonne, I’ll try to live up to your description!

Spent Last Night With Dr. Henry Lee!!! UPDATED!!! November 13, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 6:10 am
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Spent last night with Dr. Henry Lee!  Who knew that this world-famous forensic scientist could be so FUNNY? Details to come . . .

So sorry I’ve been MIA. . . or should I say at school?  Here are the details. . .

Well, this week we found ourselves at a Chamber of Commerce Meeting where our family farm was being recognized for a “Beautification Award” for the town, which was very nice!  But, before I even knew about the award, I saw that Dr. Henry Lee was the keynote speaker and I was intriqued!

Well, this guy talked for more than an hour and had people at the edge of their seats.  I knew he was smart, that he sees details that others miss, and he’s been involved in the forensic work on some of the most notable cases around, including the Kennedy assasination, the O.J. case, and most recently, the murder of a Yale grad student, which is close to home for us.

What I didn’t know is this guy is FUNNY!  As he rattled off jokes and funny anecdotes—in between sharing slides of grizzly murder scenes (not sure how you do that!)—people were laughing out loud.

A few interesting facts about Dr. Lee:

  • He’s 71, looks MUCH younger, and says he has the physical body of a 20-year-old.
  • He and his wife came to the U.S. in 1965 with $50 between them and neither spoke English.
  • His father died when he was 4 years old and his mother raised 14 kids alone.
  • He sleeps 4 hrs. a night (a man after my own heart!)
  • He speaks all over the world and has 22 honorary Doctorates, so how did our little, local Chamber of Commerce attract him?

What I like about him:

Dr. Lee, who was born in China,  raised in Taiwan, and has traveled the world,  says that the U.S.A. is “the best country in the world.”

“It’s the only place where, even if you can’t speak English, but are willing to work hard, you can be successful!”

He left the Taipei Police Dept. where he said “you just forced suspects into confessions.”  He decided to go the route of forensic scientist where you had to be objective, not subjective.

What made me laugh:

“CSI is the greatest show.  It has done a lot for crime scene investigations.  But, if we don’t have  clue by the second commercial and if  case not solved by end of  episode, we have failed!”

“CSI—every investigator has  beautiful lady riding with him.  No beautiful lady riding with me; my wife, Margaret, would beat on me!”

Person he’s most afraid of:  his mother!

As he tossed tiny badges around the room to members of the audience who named the correct case, i.e., “Woodchipper!” “O.J!”, etc. . . Dr. Lee also told about the signs of aging:

1st thing to go:  Memory

2nd:  Sight

3rd:  (I really don’t remember!  Oh, oh! Is that the first sign?)

4th: Men forget to “zip up” after leaving restroom

5th: Men forget to “zip down” when going in restroom

6th: (Can’t say; not appropriate for this here blog!)

Anyways, it was a fun night and I was happy to see that someone so smart, so hard-working, and so successful, could also be so funny and down-to-earth!


Dr. Henry Lee with his wife, Margaret




MY DREAM HAS COME TRUE!!! August 27, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Baby!,Family — everydaywomanusa @ 6:13 am
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Phew!  Finally, I can tell a secret that I’ve been asked to keep for far too long . . . like all summer!

I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER!!!!  (Did you hear me screaming this, because I was?!?!)  Screaming with delight and happiness.

All of this is due to two very special people: our daughter, Abbie, (aka Farmer’s Daughter) and her loving husband (and our wonderful son-in-law) Ed . . .

Here, Ed and Abbie are showing off ultrasound pictures of their future, little bundle of joy!

Here, Ed and Abbie are showing off ultrasound pictures of their future, little bundle of joy!

As you can see Abbie is absolutely beaming, glowing, whatever it is pregnant women do (when they’re not throwing up, etc.!)  Actually, she’s been feeling GREAT, thank goodness!


And, well, yes of course, the two grandmothers-to-be have been acting just a little bit crazy.  You see, we were asked to keep quiet about this until a reasonable time was decided on by Abbie and Ed for the official announcement.  These kids are much more reasonable than the “grannies-to-be!”


The three lucky great-grandmothers are pretty excited too.  I hear they’re calling everyone they know. . . and probably telling the guy at the gas station and people at the grocery story, too,  . . . oh, no, wait, that’s the crazy grandmothers, Mom Marie (Mimi) and me (grandmother name still to be decided)!

Well, as I’m basking in this wonderful news, if you want to find out all the technical details—and read Abbie’s cliffhanger “Love Story” — click on over to Farmer’s Daughter and her new blog, “Country Baby.”  She’s just opened that blog up to the public, but we crazy grandmothers have been commenting right along on that, so you may just want to skip all our crazy comments.

Oh . . . just wondering . . . do you think I’m crazy because I told the lovely woman at the drive-up window at Dunkin’ Donuts this morning?  When she asked how I was doing today, I asked if she’d like to hear some really great news and I think I pretty much screamed, “I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER!”  Um, they already knew I was a little bit nuts, anyway.



Happy 4th!!! July 4, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Holidays,Summer,Workhorses — everydaywomanusa @ 10:04 am
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Hope it’s a fun day for you, whatever you might be doing!

Last night, we watched some great fireworks (which were shot off from a barge on the Sound) with friends, which was wonderful.

It’s amazing that the show went on, after a severe summer thunder-and-lightning storm, which threw torrents of rain just hours before.  The sky looked like ominous, as we raced to get the horses, including Annabelle and her new baby, Isabelle,  into the barn.  We—and them—got soaked to the bone, then we listened to the thunder and watched the lightning spark all around us, from the safety of the horses’ stalls.

The horizon right after the storm.

The horizon right after the storm.


Oh. . . I found this pretty mermaid in our pool . . . might you know her?