Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

“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?


Good Friends January 31, 2009

Filed under: Friends,Inspirations,Reflections,Thankful Thursday — everydaywomanusa @ 11:17 am


I really feel blessed to be going through the ups and downs of life with some really good friends. The four of us “clicked” when our kids were in a playgroup together many years ago.   Between the four of us, we have 10 kids, four husbands, 200 birthdays (our own!), an assortment of demanding careers, a menagerie of pets, and LOTS of memories.

We’ve weathered childhood illnesses,  summer day-trips to beaches and parks, overnight camping trips, first dates (of our children), driving license exams, proms, graduations,  4 weddings (again–our children), among other milestones.  Three of us are mother-in-laws, one is a grandmother, and one is a grandmother-to-be.  (I’m looking to acquire that title myself one day!)

The picture above was taken at one of our friend’s son’s wedding, when we realized that we were the last ones standing on the dance floor after the DJ asked all  couples to remain standing who had been married for 5 years, then 10, 20, 25, etc.  At 30 years, we were still there!  We were amazed because  we were quite sure they were others there much “older” than us and we certainly don’t feel old . . . most days!  Maybe we were just lucky in love!

Anyways, that mother-of-the-groom gave each of us a copy of this photo at another one of the friend’s birthday dinners recently.  We all look pretty happy because that’s how we feel when we get together.  Now that our kids are grown (mostly!) and we’re all so busy, we really don’t get much of a chance to get together that much anymore.  We do still try to get together somewhere near each of our birthdays (not that we want to count the years), but it gives us a chance to touch base at least 4 times a year.  We can still laugh, talk (loudly, much to the chagrin of others diners, I’m sure), and reminisce with the best of them.

I am so thankful to have close friends to  share life’s fortunes and sorrows; people who are always willing to listen and to whom you’re not afraid to share your biggest worries and embarassments!

Thank you Pat, Rosanne,  and Roberta!  We’re more like sisters than friends!

I hope everyone has someone special to get through the ups and downs of life with!


3 Generations January 3, 2009


I am often inspired by the generations around me, both older and younger, and this holiday season was no exception.

My  Mom (center) has the most positive attitude of any 86-year-old I know.  Recently, she wanted to show a granddaughter who lives in Texas how much she enjoyed her Christmas gift of a new “cowgirl” hat, so she posed for this picture with horses on her own farm. 


Despite being robbed of her sight by glaucoma over the years, she manages to be extremely agile, upbeat, and pretty darn technologically proficient.  Recently, we finally convinced her that she could use a cell phone (for her safety) after she accidentally locked herself in the chicken coop and had to crawl out the tiny “chicken door.”  Now, she uses her cell for enjoyment as well when she discovered that she has “free” nights and weekends, calling long-time friends who now live further away.

While “Mema” can be pretty hip, my daughter, two generations younger, can also be very fashionably “old-fashioned.”    Abbie, also known as the Farmer’s Daughter, is another person who impresses me to no end, linking family values, social issues, and a purposeful lifestyle.  A teacher and environmentalist at heart, she “walks the talk,” living a green, old-fashioned lifestyle today, embracing family values, good old-fashioned cooking, growing and using local foods, sewing, knitting, and creating wonderful gifts of herself for those around her!


Each day I feel thankful for these incredible women around me.  Thank goodness for the three generations in our family!


What are YOU thankful for? November 14, 2008

Filed under: Reflections,Thankful Thursday — everydaywomanusa @ 6:19 am
Tags: , , , ,


I was inspired by Joyce, over at Tall Grass Worship, to reflect on all the many things we have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season.  What a perfect opportunity to reflect and revisit some of my earlier “Thankful Thursday” posts.

To read about the women in my life that I’m thankful for, click on:

I’m also thankful for some simple things:

To read about being thankful for “going topless,” click here:

This particular Thursday, this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for all these things and more.  Mostly, I’m thankful that as the winds swirl outside, I have a warm fire to warm my close family as we enjoy a meal together and share memories of holidays past and when our grown children act like kids again.  I’m grateful when what all the news shows lately is gloom and doom, we feel safe and warm in our little family circle.  I wish the same for you and your family.  And who knows, maybe I can even convince my family to usher in the Christmas season by enjoying a classic movie like “Christmas Vacation” or “Christmas with the Kranks” over leftovers and dessert tonight.  Wait . . . let me get my Christmas vest!

What are you feeling particularly thankful for today?  Please share it here, or on your own blog by posting a link.  Enjoy the day and thanks for taking a minute to reflect with me!


GOING TOP-LESS!!! August 14, 2008

Filed under: Humor,Reflections,Summer,Thankful Thursday — everydaywomanusa @ 9:04 am
Tags: , , ,

I’ve really enjoyed going top-less this summer . . . in my ride, that is!

OK, I think I mentioned a while back that my crazy, wonderful family gave me a red hot Mustang for Mother’s Day.  While I NEVER knew I NEEDED a convertible, I sure have had a lot of fun with it this summer!  As far as being green, it uses less fuel than my SUV (which is a necessity in the winter to even get up our driveway),  and I’ve gone without airconditioning!!!

On a lighter note, here are the TOP TEN benefits of a convertible:

1. A convertible eliminates blind spots.
Put the top down on your convertible, and the dangerous blind spot created by the c-pillar (the column that supports the roof at the back of a car) disappears, leaving unobstructed 360 degree visibility. What could be safer than that?

2. A convertible facilitates passive multitasking.
In an increasingly busy world, any time you can add a second task to your day without any additional effort, you’d be silly to pass up the opportunity. A convertible allows you to add sun tanning to your commute.

 3. A convertible responds to your moods.
Even on the nicest of days, people occasionally experience sour moods. Driving a convertible doesn’t mean you have to drop the top every time you leave a parking space (although I do!) — you can still choose to huddle beneath the fabric top, preserving that sour face until you are fully ready to face the day. Once you cheer up, you can put the top down and share your shining face with the world.

4. A convertible has unlimited headroom.
How many times has this happened to you: You’re on the road, when you see the perfect, authentic, 10 foot tiki totem pole for your backyard, and it’s only $10! The only problem is that your sedan’s trunk will barely hold a golf bag and the tiki gift stand is going out of business forever. If you were driving a convertible, that beauty would be in your garden right now, and it would have been a magnificent spectacle traveling down the highway all the way home. (Unlimited headroom also helps when three people in my immediate family are 6’4″ or taller!)

5. A convertible gives you entry options. Haven’t we all tried the Dukes of Hazzard entry into our sport coupes, leaping through the open window directly into the driver’s seat? Well, with a convertible you can actually use those vaulting skills that your high school gym teacher insisted that you develop, and you’ll have a chance of getting behind the wheel without sustaining major head trauma. (I haven’t mastered this one yet!)

6. A retracted convertible top eliminates embarrassing phone calls.
Leave your convertible top down all the time and you’ll never have to call the auto club to confess that you’ve locked your keys in the car — again.  (Just don’t get caught talking on the phone while driving, as it’s a lot easier for our friendly policemen to pick you out in a convertible . . . talking from experience here.)

7. A convertible fosters an interest in science.
Take your children for a late night drive in your convertible, and encourage them to look up at the stars in the sky. Before long, you may be chauffeuring a potential NASA astronaut or rocket scientist.

8. A convertible is great for a relationship.
Think about it — when was the last time you saw an unhappy couple driving around with the top down? It’s much harder to argue in a convertible — the combination of wind noise and exposure make a fight much less likely in a Bentley Continental GTC convertible than in a sedan.

9. Convertibles are fun!!!
Driving a convertible is the kind of fun that doesn’t rely on speed or handling. Even a slow convertible is fun to drive. There’s nothing better than being out in the elements while still being in your car — the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, the smell of nature instead of the chill of air conditioning. When you have a convertible, you’ll look for opportunities to drive — a beautiful day can be amplified by a nice drive in your drop top—or by going “topless” as my husband likes to call it! 

10. Chicks dig convertibles.
If you are a girl, you know that this is true; if you are not a girl, you will find that driving a convertible will help you to attract and retain them. This is a proven fact, at least according to my expert industry analysis.

Or so my son, Jonathan, thought when he drove our ’66 Mustang Convertible to UMaine at the end of his last semester.  Turns out it was a “50-year-old man magnet.”  Chicks simply did NOT dig the old ‘stang.  Ummm. . . some truckers also dig convertibles and you might hear their airhorns! 

So there you have it. That should be enough ammunition to go out and rent or buy your next convertible. I would gladly give you more — but I’ve got to get this totem pole out of my back seat and into the garden before the neighbors start to talk.

 So, can you tell what I’m thankful for this Thursday?  Going Top-less!!!


Thankful Thursday: PEDAL POWER!!! August 8, 2008

I’ve been pedaling a lot lately – – on land and on water!  This week I’m thankful for small things, like PEDAL POWER!!!

In a time when “staycations” are popular, I’ve been saving fuel, too, and using pedal power to have a bit of summer fun close to home.  I’ve always enjoying biking, especially in the orchards and down along the river on my mountain bike, but this summer, I’ve added another toy.  I’ve always wanted a pedal-powered boat for our pond and had been talking about it for a while.  When my son said, “Gee, Mom, your dreams are really kinda small and if you really want a pedal boat, you should get one!”  I justified it, thinking it was another way to get in some exercise, and a way to further enjoy summer in our backyard.  Although some of my family members may think I’m a little crazy, I’m enjoying it!

I’ve even convinced my daughter to go for a “spin” with me one day, and, then one evening, my husband humored me by pedaling along with me.  Although they both thought it was more like work than relaxation, you have to admit, there’s something just virtuous about physically pedaling along!  Although my little “yaht” is supposed to carry 5 people, it’s really just about right for two and is even fine for a single!

So, if you’re looking for me this summer, I’m likely pedaling along . . .


Thankful Thursday August 1, 2008

Filed under: Family,Thankful Thursday — everydaywomanusa @ 9:41 am

This week, I’m especially thankful for the women in my life . .

1.  My 86-year-old mother, who’s one of the most positive, spry women I know,  and who still knows how to have fun!

2.  My daughter, Abbie (center), who doesn’t mind hanging out with us!

3.  My good friend, Pat, (left) who always makes EVERYTHING more fun!

4.  My favorite sister, Dot, who put up with me for I won’t say how many years,  and my family. . .  As you can see, she always has love to share!               (She also grows incredible “secret gardens!”)

5.   . . . and ALL THE WOMEN in my “cirle of life” . . .

especially that select group that I spent so much quality time with over the last two years as we worked our butts off to earn our 6th year degrees together!!!  You know who you are!!!