Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

Our Little Prince Has Arrived! March 28, 2010

Filed under: Baby!,Family — everydaywomanusa @ 9:52 am
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Words just seem inadequate to convey the incredible miracle of birth and wonderful life changes that have taken place in our family during the last two weeks.  So, I’ve been indeed wordless on this blog, rather basking in the glory, wonder, and beauty that is:

Joshua Daniel

Born March 12

9 pounds 8 ounces

22-1/4 inches long

As you can see, he is anything but little.  He has brought so much joy to our family and I am SO enjoying witnessing his family unit grow and adjust as their worlds are forever changed for the better.

I am so intensely proud of our daughter and our son-in-law on the new life and wonderful bonds they have created.

It is such a marvelous feeling to see your child become a parent herself. . .

. . . and to see our son-in-law grow so naturally into becoming a dad.

I am so blessed to be a part of this.  I’m loving every minute of it, but I’m just the grandmother . . .

. . . and I keep wondering . . . is it wrong to feel like I already love this new baby, our grandchild, even MORE than our own children?


Day 5: “30 Days of Beauty” Photography Challenge February 21, 2010

Here’s my photo for Day 5 for the “30 Days of Winter Beauty” Photography Challenge.

Our pregnant daughter, Abbie, aka Farmer’s Daughter:

In my eyes, it doesn’t get any more beautiful than this!  Thanks, Ab (and Ed!) for doing your part in making our lives a lot more meaningful!  We love you both—and baby, already!

Due date:  March 9th!  Woohoo!


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!


I love . . . February 14, 2010

Filed under: Family,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 12:49 pm
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Happy Valentines Day

In honor of Valentines Day and The Pioneer Woman, I’m posting a few of the things I love today.


  • . . . my husband of 32 years.
  • . . . the fact that I’m going to be a grandmother very soon!
  • . . . that our children are all nearby and that we are SO proud of ALL of them!  (more later on each. . .)
  • . . . teaching elementary school children.
  • . . . summer vacation (do those two go hand-in-hand?)
  • . . . that we live on a farm (although, sometimes I think I might hate that, too!)
  • . . . that I grew up on a farm.
  • . . . my mother, who’s in her late 80’s, but acts like, perhaps, 50!
  • . . . chocolate-covered macadmia nuts (oh, honestly, chocolate-covered anything!)
  • . . . Dunkin’ Donuts (the coffee part—and that they know my order when I drive up at 5 am!)
  • . . . late nights.
  • . . . early mornings.
  • . . . our backyard in the summer.
  • . . . snow in winter!
  • . . . first daffodils of spring.
  • . . . that I can drive a tractor, a quad, or a convertible!
  • . . . February vacation!
  • . . . rollerblading with my daughter and friends.
  • . . . walking on the beach.
  • . . . movies that are good enough to make me cry.
  • . . . my favorite children’s book, “Charlotte’s Web.”
  • . . . our family’s classics: “Princess Bride,” “Christmas Vacation,” “Great Outdoors.”
  • . . . Bob Marley’s music.
  • . . . just about ALL country music.
  • . . . blogging, and Facebook, and IM-ing, and anything that keeps me in touch with my kids and other interesting people!
  • . . . the Pioneer Woman.
  • . . . Crunchy Chicken (a green, bloggy friend).
  • . . . the Farmer’s Daughter (not necessarily in THAT order!)
  • . . . the accessibility of the Internet in general.
  • . . . Christmas!
  • . . . Friday nights!
  • . . . that our youngest son is independent, hardworking, and excited that he just  bought his THIRD truck!
  • . . . that our daughter is happily married; happily employed at something she loves (teaching); is more domestic than I am; and did I say–pregnant?
  • . . . that our oldest son just moved into his very first home; is quite capable on his own; is appreciative; and has a wonderful dry sense of humor!
  • . . . that we have a very close family on both sides.
  • . . . that I had a chance to go to college as an adult.
  • . . . that my DH is supporting my outlandish wish to earn my Doctorate.
  • . . . our Golden Retriever, Duke, even though he knows how to open the outside door in the dead of winter, but doesn’t know how to shut it (thanks, Jonathan!)
  • . . . our spunky foal, Isabelle, and her mother, Annabelle.
  • . . . our old Percheron Workhorse, Vinny, who we now appreciate for his docileness.
  • . . . thoughtful people.
  • . . . kind people.
  • . . . other people’s birthdays!
  • . . . cheese (especially very sharp, “smelly” cheeses!)
  • . . . that at barely 5 ft., I can have a monster of a son who stands 6’5″ tall!”
  • . . . my sister and brothers and the memories we share.
  • . . . pumpkins in fall and hayrides on the farm.
  • . . . the first day of school  after a long summer.
  • . . . the last day of school after a quick school year.
  • . . . SNOW DAYS, when you’re homebound for the whole day!
  • . . . chicken soup cooking on the stove.
  • . . . chocolate chip cookies in the oven.
  • . . . wood in the furnace.
  • . . . cool dips in the pool in the summer.
  • . . . heck, pretty much, LIVING in your bathingsuit in the summer.
  • . . . paddling my boat around the pond.
  • . . . cruisin’ topless . . .
  • . . . friends who can read your mind, even when you don’t want them to!
  • . . . kids who reach out to you at just the right time.
  • . . . in-laws and out-laws.
  • . . . coffee and chocolate (I think I already covered that!)
  • . . . my true love to spend this Valentines Day with!


What do YOU love?


Sunday Stroll: Down Memory Lane January 17, 2010

Filed under: Baby!,Family,Reflections,Sunday Stroll,Uncategorized — everydaywomanusa @ 11:14 am
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This is a different kind of  “Sunday Stroll” today, because, as many of you know, we’re eagerly awaiting and preparing for the arrival of our daughter’s first baby, due in March.   With the preparations for the baby shower for Abbie last weekend, I found myself  becoming even more reflective of our daughter’s own birth, one very special March day almost 29 years ago.

I wanted to share some of those memories with Abbie, as she becomes a mother herself.  It’s been somewhat of a tradition in our family, on each child’s birthday, to haul out his/her babybook and to relive the story of  the birth and early years for that individual child.  Actually on the morning of the shower (as I was finished cooking and wrapping presents), I found myself looking through Abbie’s babybook once again.  I knew I had to give it to her, along with a new, blank babybook I had purchased for her own new baby.

I wanted to help Abbie preserve those same kind of memories for her own child.

Through watery eyes, I remembered the tiny anklet Abbie wore in the hospital, and I remembered how I studied every feature on her, making sure they were forever inscribed in my memory.  As a nervous, new Mom, I wanted to be sure I knew her every detail and I kept her with me in the hospital room all the time, so that I could nurse her on demand.  Upon the rare occasion that the nurses took her to weigh her, or whatever, I again checked every detail, including this tiny anklet, to be sure my own precious child was returned to me. (Probably, already a little neurotic, huh?)

I thumbed through pages of memories of birthday parties, which always followed a theme showing Abbie’s love at the moment . . . and the cake reflected the same . . . “Miss Piggy” of Sesame Street for her second birthday, a “Barbie” doll cake for her third birthday.  (Actually, I can remember making THREE Barbie doll cakes that year: one for the family party, one for her playgroup, and I’m not quite sure what the last one was for!)

Writing has always been very important to me and I’m sure I spent hours, recording every detail.  In her babybook, I included the usual: clippings from the first hair cut and an ultrasound picture, as well as notes from the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.

As guests at the shower passed Abbie’s babybook around to share in these memories, several remarked about the detail, saying they couldn’t believe how much I had written. I must admit that our third child’s babybook may lack some of the intense written detail (sorry, Nathaniel!), but the dear memories remain.

I can remember the hours I spent, just holding each baby in the early weeks and months after birth, marveling at every, perfect little detail:  the tiny fingers and toes, the wispy hair, the delicate rolls near the wrists, and the perfect, new baby scent!  I took the time to just breathe in all of this newness, having no idea of how our lives would be irrevocably and wonderfully changed!  I wish the same for our dear daughter, Abbie, as she begins the wonderful journey of motherhood—the gift of time with your new baby.

I hope that she finds her new baby book a helpful and wonderful way to record these precious memories.  If you know her, you know that she loves to write as well, as is evident in both of her blogs, Farmer’s Daughter and Our Country Baby.  She is a quite talented writer and I learn something new from her every day.

This morning, I started recording in my own new babybook, called “Grandmother and Me.”  I hope to start making new memories with our new grandson soon and I look forward to recording some of these in this special book, which is one that grandmothers and grandchildren can write together!

Thanks for stopping by today.  If you have any advice you’d like to offer an aspiring “grandmother-to-be,” I’m all ears!

And, if you’d like to continue strolling on this Sunday, please click on over to the Quiet Country House.


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!






It’s beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!!! December 4, 2009

Filed under: Christmas,Family — everydaywomanusa @ 11:45 pm
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Give my son a “manlift,” a fancy stapling gun, and loads of lights, and look what he can do!

The Waterwheel Barn is complete with chaser lights on the waterwheel, which makes it look like it’s spinning, and the icycle lights are the water running down the trough onto the wheel.

If only I could get him to do this for me at home.  It’s usually me—by myself—dangling from a ladder as I attempt to hang white icycle lights around our house.

Are YOU in the mood for holiday decorating?