Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

It’s a PERFECT Summer Day . . . July 15, 2009

Filed under: Family,Farm,One Green Thing,Summer — everydaywomanusa @ 8:56 pm
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. . .for the beach?

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Well, no, not exactly, and certainly not if you’re a farmer!  It’s a PERFECT summer day for making hay!

It has to be hot—-really HOT—-with dry air, and if you can finagle a breeze in there, that would be great, but that doesn’t always happen.  If the air is too humid and heavy, the hay doesn’t dry well, and well—you don’t want moist hay.  That presents a smoldering, possible fire-hazzard later in the barn, if you put it away with moisture still in it.

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What do I know about haying, anyway?  Well, I grew up on a farm and I remember it was always the HOTTEST days of summer when we were baling hay and carting it to the barn.  As the youngest of five, with three big brothers who were alot stronger, I usually got to drive the tractor while the boys picked up the bales.  Today, I’m watching my own sons, nephews, dear hubby, and brother-in-law do the bullwork, while I man the camera.

It’s a parade of sorts, with equipment today, as my brother-in-law, Bob, heads up the parade with the Ford 9700  . . .

Nate, my youngest son, is in the John Deere 5525.  (AC cab w/ music, I believe.) How does he rate?

After the cutting, the raking, and tedding (to dry out the hay), the tractor. . .

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pulls the baler. . .

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. . . which, in turn, pulls the hay wagon . . .

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There’s a really neat “kicker” on the baler, which “kicks” about 150 bales into the wagon, until it’s full.  We didn’t have this when we were kids; that was a job for my brothers to do by hand.

Of course, there are times when the kicker overshoots the wagon . . .

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Today, it was my nephew, Stephen’s job, to capture those run-away bales.

Then, there was the off-loading to trucks to cart the hay bales to the barn . . .

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My DH was “on top” of that job!

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Jonathan, our older son,  and Steve made quick work of moving the bales, as they tossed them with aplomb! 

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Of course, dear Duke was “riding shotgun,” with Al,  as always!  Duke is always a supervisor of sorts . . .

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Haying is  HOT work and one of my other “jobs” is to provide ice-cold drinks.  Nate (aka Nathaniel, although I’m the only one who calls him that these days)  takes a brief respite between loads while he re-hydrates.  Next, come the most sweltering job of all: moving the hay from the truck to the haymow, up high in the barn.  There’s absolutely no air circulation there!

When my hard-working guys got home, I had a  rib-sticking “cowboy dinner” waiting for them:  BBQ pork, macaroni and cheese, fresh garden salad with ranch dressing, and warm, Rustica rolls. 

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Oh, did I mention that making hay was how they “topped off’ their day after a full-day’s work on their construction site?  I’m in awe of them . . .

Peach pie a la mode for dessert, anyone?

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SPRING GREEN GIVE-AWAY! March 31, 2009

Filed under: Fashion,Give-Away!,Living Green,One Green Thing — everydaywomanusa @ 11:35 pm
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In honor of Spring, and One Green Thing,  Everyday Woman is giving away this great, green, organic cotton T-shirt (size–large).  It reads: “Love the Earth.”

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If you’re interested in making this your own, just leave me a comment!

Happy April 1st!  Random drawing will take place April 30th.  Good luck!

 

“One Green Thing” # 6-10 March 15, 2009

OK, I must admit it’s bit a “helluva” week at school/work with long days and late nights with meetings, presentations, and courses;  plus submitting our students to the second week of standardized testing; etc., etc., which has left me very little time left for blogging!

During that time, I did update my school/educational blog, so if you’re interested in what students I’ve coached in ExploraVision have accomplished;  Roxy the “reading dog;” or what’s new in mathematical theory go there by clicking here.

Which is why my aim to post “One Green Thing” each day has fallen by the wayside.  So, I’ve got some catching up to do.  Here goes . . .

ONE GREEN THING # 6:  RECYCLE SOMETHING!

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I’m now a pretty faithful “curb-side” recycler (as my town has weekly trash & recycling pick-up) with items likes cans, bottles, and newspapers, but I know there’s so much more I can do (like NOT buying these items in the first place!)  Although I regularly enjoy good, old-fashioned tap water from my stainless steel/reusable bottle, my DH has a favorite, cranberry drink that he just loves!  He’s also a bit old-fashioned in that he likes perusing the newspaper in the am or pm or whenever he has a chance, which brings me to green thing # 7.

ONE GREEN THING # 7:  GET THE NEWS ONLINE!

I’m okay with doing a quick review of anything news-worthy online, so I’ve cut down on newspapers somewhat.  I recently learned that our home-town newspaper is joining the effort to “Save the Planet by GOING GREEN” by encouraging academic subscriptions to have students use the E-paper daily instead of the printed version.

Here are the facts:

  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees
  • To produce any Sunday newspaper, each week 500,000 trees must be cut down
  • If all newspapers were recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year
  • Get more facts by clicking here.

ONE GREEN THING # 8:  PAY BILLS  ONLINE!

I’ve been doing this for a while now, paying as many bills as I can online, and setting up others in the format.  I find it’s much easier and quicker to get the job done (with a click of the mouse); to stay current (as some accounts can be set up to pay automatically); and there’s no need to search for envelopes, stamps, etc! 

Lots of paper saved and probably better for your credit score, too!

ONE GREEN THING #9:  PLANT SOMETHING GREEN!

St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally when people in our parts think about getting peas in the ground.  If you can’t plant outside yet, why not bring something green inside?  My all-time favorite way to welcome in spring is with pansies!  They add a splash of color–outside or in–and can even withstand a frost, if there’s still that possibility, as there is here in New England!

Plus, plants give off oxygen!

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ONE GREEN THING #10: GROW SOMETHING ORGANICALLY!

I attended an Organic Gardening Workshop yesterday with my daughter at our local Garden Center and I’m going to try to employ more organic gardening principals this year in my favorite flower gardens!

Although these organic practices were mostly “old hat” to Abbie, here are some good ideas I came away with:

  • Everything starts with the soil and gardening success come from building the soil biology, so I may try some soil testing this year.
  • Choose native plants for best results.
  • Make sure you choose the right plant for the right place or it just takes more work on the gardener’s part.
  • 90% percent of insects are actually beneficial (like bees, flies, ants, etc. for pollination and ladybugs, which attack aphids), so be sure to positively identify “pests” before trying to irradicate them.
  • Organic mulch not only mimics natural soil cover (like holding moisture), it also adds organic material to the soil.
  • Try physical and biological control of pests before using chemicals, i.e., row covers for physical barriers and the afore-mentioned ladybugs, etc.

Here are some great resources for more organic gardening info:

  1. Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) @ www.ctnofa.org
  2. Organic Gardening Magazine @ www.organicgardening.com
  3. People, Places & Plants Magazine (with a New England Focus) @ www.ppplants.com

I’ll keep you posted on  how these  organic gardening endeavors work out!

 

One Green Thing # 3, 4 & 5! March 7, 2009

OK, I’ve been shirking my responsibility again . . . instead of posting, I’ve been working!  So, let me catch up with my plan to post “One Green Thing” each day.

“One Green Thing #3”

Use cloth napkins instead of paper! 

Abbie over at the Farmer’s Daughter got me doing this and, besides saving on trees and keeping waste out of our landfills, it also feels quite elegant!  I now pack a cloth napkin for my lunch at school and it feels just a little bit “ritsy!”

“One Green Thing #4”

Ban store-bought bottled water and bottle your own! 

Click here for more on that!  Take the “Think Outside the Bottle Pledge!”

“One Green Thing # 5”

Plan one waste-free day!

It may take some planning, but plan one day where you accumulate NO waste at all.  I’m working on that; will post more later!

 

One Green Thing #2: Recycle Print Cartridges March 2, 2009

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I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time and, in fact, I’ve been saving used-up print cartridges.   I noticed a while ago that return-addressed envelopes came packed with my new  HP cartridges.  All you do is stick the empty cartridge (or two)  into the envelope, which goes to “HP Planet Partners,” at no cost to the sender (you). The empty inkjet cartridges are then recycled into raw materials for new HP products.

For more info, go to: www.hp.com/recycle or call 1-800-340-2445.

This is one green thing that must become a habit for me!  How ’bout you?