Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

Wonderful Tradition! January 10, 2010

Filed under: Baby!,Friends,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 12:55 pm
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What do you call a tradition that brings together a group of close friends and family members to lovingly support a new mother-to-be?

A baby shower, of course!  And what a wonderful tradition it is!

Our baby shower yesterday for my daughter, Abbie, also involved a  lot of noise (60 or so women talking simultaneously, re-living memories of their own children/childbirth and offering advice); scrumptious food that only women would enjoy (broccoli/slivered almond quiche, pink lemonade punch, tiny sandwiches); and narrowly escaping cars getting stuck in the snow nor any broken hips from icy, steep driveways.

All in all, it was wonderful.  And it was exactly what showers traditionally bring: wonderful comraderie among friends and family; incredible support for the mom-to-be; a chance to tell stories of days past; and mountains of gifts!

“Chick” food . . .

Abbie sharing a laugh with an aunt. . .

A diaper cake ?!?!

Abbie with high school friends, both now married, and one  a new mother . . .

Mom-to-be with grandmas-to-be . . .

This new baby is incredibly fortunate to be welcomed by THREE great-grandmas, shown here in their fashionable “great-grandma” tiaras!

Party favors . . .

. . . including Sweet Pea seeds that can be planted around the time of the baby’s arrival in March . . .

The incredibly delicious (chocolate!) blue duck cake, complete with bubbles(!), that Abbie’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law created . . .

Abbie trying on a baby-size “moo-cow” outfit . . .

My daughter and me . . .

We can’t wait to welcome this baby into the world!

Have you participated in this social convention, too, known as a Baby Shower?


Update on “Best Friends,” aka the “Grandmas!” October 24, 2009

Filed under: Baby!,Friends,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 9:57 am
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OK, I just feel compelled to post an update about some  Best Friends who have raised our kids together.  My, how time flies!  We got together this week as one of our good friends was back visiting after moving out of town, and we talked about everything from memories of our kids in nursery school through high school to weddings and babies!


Here’s the latest . . . 3 of us are now Grandmas or Grandmas-to-be!!!  How is that even possible?  By March of next year, there will be 4 grandchildren between us, with one of us even a two-time Grandma!


Here we are today, and if I do say so myself, we’re none the “worse for wear!”  Or . . . maybe just a little bit!  I think the lack of sleep is catching up with me (and I’m  not the one with my eyes shut!)

Do you good friends whose lives are forever intertwined through children and life experiences?  It’s the best “glue” there is!


I’ve Got Friends with Tractors! September 27, 2009


What a HOOT we had last night at a dear friend’s annual Pig Roast/Tractor Parade/Hay Ride!  The invitation said to bring a favorite appetizer, dessert, and/or tractor.  So, we arrived in style . . . in our big green tractor!


You see, our friends collects Farmalls, which for anyone who knows tractors are RED, so we figured we needed a little GREEN in the picture.

Our son, Jonathan, brought the old antique Ford, which brought a lot of attention.


Nathaniel arrived in his mile-high pick-up, which he had just “lifted” . . .

 apple bread 003

. . . after he washed it, that is . . .


Our nephew, Stephen, arrived in our new/used Ford orchard tractor, which has a compact shape and size, for going in between trees in the orchard.


Our friend, Bill, has quite a collection of the “red” ones . . .


. . .probably about 20 in all. 

My favorite is this two-seater model . . .


Two seater tractor

People who don’t usually get to drive tractors took them for a spin around the pond, with embankments on each side, which could be a little scary, especially with drinks in hand.  But the worse that happened was . . .

  • one tractor ran out of gas, deep in the dark, while pulling a hayride full of people and then had to call for assistance
  • another caught fire because there was a bird’s nest in the engine (luckily Jonathan was on this one, so he knew what to do!)

There was a huge spread of food, lots of good cheer and comraderie, and a magnificent bonfire to warm up around.






As I was driving one of Farmalls,  following a parade of red tractors around the winding path by the pond out back of our friend’s garden center, one song kept playing over in my mind:  Rodney Atkin’s hit, “Friends with Tractors.”  Take a listen:

It's America

Friends with tractors are such great friends to have!!!



Without missing a beat . . . August 19, 2009

Filed under: Family,Farm,Friends,Summer — everydaywomanusa @ 5:43 am
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Do you have a really good friend who you may not have seen in a while, but when you’re back together, you pick up right where you left off, without missing a beat?

Annie and Me

Meet Annie.  She’s that kind of friend.  She’s actually my second cousin and I hadn’t seen her in years.  We used to spend time together in the summer: a week on my family’s farm (which she says was a real treat for her) and a week at her family’s home, outside of NYC (which was a treat for me!)  We did this for several consecutive summers through our early teens . . . and then, life just got in the way.

Well, yesterday, Annie (who lives clear across the country now) showed up at my Mom’s farm because she was in New York, attending to some family business, and she wanted to share her happy childhood memories on the farm with her own children.  I made sure to arrange some time for a quick visit to my husband’s family farm, where we live, as well.

Even this photo brought back memories.  Annie, the eternal photographer, would delight in taking rolls and rolls (back then!) of photos around the farm.  We did crazy stuff and I was a willing subject.  She had me pose in a prom dress in blistering heat in a hayfield until she got the lighting just right.  We also attempted some photojournalist-type essays with close-ups of our hands as we climbed out of chicken coops or some such nonsense.  Now, 30 (or more) years later, here we are posing in my Mom’s flower garden, while Annie’s son snapped the shot.  She suggested we move around to the other side of the flowers to take advantage of the best light and to kneel down so more of the pinkish-purple cone flowers would show in the picture.  What you don’t see is another one of her sons who jumped through the garden at the very moment the shutter flicked  and landed on the other side (just kind of cropped that out).  Oh, the beauty of digital photography, which we definitely did not have way back then.  But, we did have a darkroom set up in an old house on the farm (i.e., a room that I painted black with shades on the windows) where I mixed chemicals and developed my own black/white pix to my heart’s content.

Anyways, as we relived our summers of decades ago with fond memories of “minding cows” on the farm while we serenaded them with our clarinets (a story for another time) and our trips to Greenwich Village or Annie’s annual carnival in her hometown, we realized that we hadn’t missed a beat.  We could still just about finish each other’s sentences.

Then, to my surprise, Annie gifted me with this wonderful, watercolor painting, created by her mother.


You see, the reason Annie was back in New York, was to clean out her parents’ home, because her Mom had recently passed away.  She was a wonderful artist and I’m sure her home was brimming with lots of her creations.  Annie picked this one out for me, she said, because  the apples in the still-life reminded her of our farm and she knew her mother would want me to have it.  Thank you, Aunt Dotty, for your creative spirit and for all the happy memories spent with you summers long ago.

Have YOU had a chance to reconnect with a good friend or family member this summer?


“Gratitude Sunday” March 29, 2009

Inspired by Green Mamma and Imelda/Greenish Lady, I’ve decided to do a “Gratitude Sunday” post instead of a Sunday Stroll today.  I’ve gotten away from my “Thankful Thursday” posts a bit too long.

On this gray, rainy, Sunday at the end of March, I’m extremely thankful for:

  • My wonderful family who seems seems to understand and support me, even when they question why I would want to start a Doctoral Program at this point in my life!?!
  • GREAT friends, who also support me and push me to think about doing some even crazier things, like doing a mini-marathon (more on that another time!)


  • A job/career that I love!  Working as a Math Specialist/Teacher in elementary schools, I have the opportunity to support children who are struggling; extend students who need enrichment; and provide training and collaboration to fellow teachers.
  • A lifestyle that is continually evolving, as I attempt to live “mindfully” each day, thanks in large part of my daughter Abbie, at Farmer’s Daughter, and all my GREEN blogging friends out there, including you!  You all make me think so much!
  • Electronics that make my life so much easier—and more difficult at the same time!  Now that I’m so dependent on the Internet, my Blackberry, digital camera, etc., I don’t think I could live without them!
  • That the hope of spring is in the air, as the snow melts and warmer temps envelope us, new life emerges, in the green of plants and within animals on the farm.

For big things and small, I am so grateful.  Thanks for allowing me to count my blessings!

What are YOU feeling especially thankful for today?


Sweet Gift February 16, 2009

Filed under: Friends,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 9:23 am
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A good friend of mine from school surprised me with this exquisite “Persian Rug” mouse pad that she brought back from a recent visit to her home country of Iran.

This is so like this very thoughtful person.  “Laleh” and I immediately bonded about 8 years ago when we both started teaching in the same school system.  We come from very different backgrounds, but we immediately “clicked.”  I have never witnessed someone warmer and more caring with her students and the adults around her.  I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be live so far away from immediate family members, but she embraces those around her as family.

Thank you, Laleh, for being the wonderful colleague and friend that you are!


Tag, You’re It! February 1, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Awards,Entertainment,Friends,Humor,Inspirations,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 7:39 am
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OK, I’ve been tagged by the Farmer’s Daughter.

Here are the rules:

–Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
–Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog – some random, some weird.
–Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their    blog.
–Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, here goes, probably way more than you want to know:

7 Facts about myself:

  1. BK (Before Kids), I had a career in publishing as a writer/editor for an international technical magazine.  I traveled to interview mostly old men in wire mills and I usually got questions like “What’s a nice, young girl like doing in a place like this?”  (I secretly hoped I’d get a really exciting writing job for Cosmo or at the very least Good Housekeeping some day!)
  2. I’ve walked with Grizzlies in Alaska . . . yes, I really can’t believe that I did that, too!
  3. I also rafted the Colorado River for 5 days, sleeping in the canyons at night in thunderstorms, with the river or a pail as our only bathroom.  (#2 and #3 were my husband’s ideas, but I’m glad I lived through them because now I can impress people who think I’m a risk-taker, even though I’m really not!)
  4. I learned how to use a computer back in the DOS days.  (“What’s that?” you youngsters are asking.)
  5. I’m probably addicted to three things: coffee, the sun, and my Blackberry.  (I know this because I get a headache if I don’t get my DD in the am and I got a Blackberry so I could check my e-mail on the run.  I am trying to change my habits re: the sun due to the negative effects of too much exposure.)
  6. I started college at age 40, when my husband challenged me to pursue the teaching career that I had always planned.  It was one of the best decisions of my life (second to marrying that dear guy!) and now after my 8th year of teaching (and two more degrees) I’m planning on starting a doctoral program.
  7. My crazy, wonderful family gave me a brand-new, candy-apple red Mustang convertible for Mothers’ Day a couple of years ago, which I enjoy driving “topless” more than I ever imagined!  The ‘Stang’s tucked in the garage for the winter next to their ’66 classic mustang.  (I think they gave me mine because they didn’t want me to drive theirs!)

 OK, that’s probably way more than you wanted to hear, but I’m tagging:

 Margaret  at Periodic Pearls

Aisling at The Quiet Country House

Cloudhands at Uncarved Block

Nan at Letters From a Hill Farm

Ernestine at My Journey to Mindfulness

Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings

Linda at Vulture Peak Muse

Thanks for playing, everyone, and I hope you have a little fun with it!