Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

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?


ALOHA FRIDAY # 14 July 31, 2009

Filed under: Aloha Friday,Summer — everydaywomanusa @ 9:05 am
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 It’s Friday again already, so that means it’s time for . . .

My “Aloha Friday” question this week is: 




Or, perhaps, you’re not even in the “dog days” where you are!

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



Sunday Stroll: “Fruits of Our Labor” July 26, 2009

Filed under: Farm,Gardening,Summer,Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 9:36 am
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Finally, we’re enjoying the fruits of our labor in the garden, especially native sweet corn and tomatoes!




I can remember when, growing up,  my Mom would say she could live off fresh-picked corn and native tomatoes during the summer, and now I know what she means!  A simple summer supper doesn’t get much better than corn-on-the-cob and tomatoes!

Everyday couple of days, we’ve been having rainstorms that bring another couple inches of rain, but the sun has managed to shine in between.  Still, many of our native vegetables have been running late, but are a welcome sight when they arrive!


The pickling cukes are ripe, as well as broccoli. . .


The peaches are soaking up the rain and some early varieties should be ripe by the end of the month . . .


The pears are taking on nice size . . .


The hydrangeas are blooming, in all their glory . . .



At first, the Rose of Sharon buds were just promises on the bushes . . .


. . . and then the very first bloom appeared . . .


. . . and, today, just a few days after that very first blossom, we are graced with numerous purple/pink flowers, which adorn our poolside gardens . . .



What’s growing in your garden?  How has the weather affected you?

To see who else is strolling today, click on:   The Quiet Country House.


Oh, What a Night! July 21, 2009

Filed under: Summer — everydaywomanusa @ 9:57 am
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The summer sunsets lately have been amazing . . .DSCF5338




I’m been so busing LIVING summer, I haven’t been blogging as much lately.  Do promise to return in full swing soon, but in the meantime, how’s summer treating YOU?


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?


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.


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. . .


pulls the baler. . .


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


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 . . .


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 . . .


My DH was “on top” of that job!


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


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


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. 


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?


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?



ALOHA FRIDAY #3 !!! April 17, 2009

Filed under: Aloha Friday,Health,Summer — everydaywomanusa @ 9:11 am
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It’s Friday again already, so that means it’s time for . . .

I just LOVE what Kailani  is doing over at An Island Life with “Aloha Friday.”

In Hawaii, she says, “Aloha Friday is the day when we take it easy and look forward to the weekend.  So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.”

I can’t really say that Friday is any less frantic than any other day of the week here, but I like the idea.  Wouldn’t you love to be on “island time?”

I’m participating in Kailani’s  Aloha Friday and I thought I’d bring a bit of the islands to Everydaywoman.  I’ll be posting a simple question to stir up a little conversation before the weekend.  If you’d like to participate, please respond to the question in a comment, and feel free to post your own question on your blog and leave your link below.  Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

My “Aloha Friday” question this week is: 


I know that this seems like a simple, innocuous question, but coming from a sun-lover, ok, pretty much a sun-worshiper, I’ve recently changed my answer to this one!

I must admit when my kids were growing up, I’d slather the sunscreen on them and then let myself bake poolside while  they played (and I weeded the flower gardens, vacuumed the pool, etc.) to golden perfection.  It always made me feel healthier, happier, browner.  Then, just recently, in the harsh paleness of winter I was forced to undergo some pretty ugly skin treatments for pre-cancer (which involved using a chemotherapy cream to BURN the skin off my forehead, creating UGLY scabs and lesions……ugh!)  According to my doc, I now have a new lease on life and MUST use sunscreen, hats, covering, etc., etc.  I know I’ve been in denial for a long time, but as hard as I know it’ll be, I’ll cover up this summer . . . and YES, use sunscreen.  (I know those wrinkles came from overexposure, too, and fortunately there are now some pretty decent bronzers so I won’t have to feel sickly pale.)