Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

The Maple Syruping Tradition Continues . . . February 26, 2011

Filed under: 365 Project,Baby!,Winter — everydaywomanusa @ 10:28 pm
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February is the time of the year in New England, as the temperatures rise above freezing during the day and dip  below freezing at night, that we trudge through the snow to tap those maple trees, beginning the long, labor of love that turns fresh maple sap into sweet, sticky maple syrup.

I know I’ve written about this  maple syruping adventure before . . . but this year is different, because we have this little guy on board to experience it all . . .

Joshua was in the “thick” of things, so to speak, taking it all in, as he watched his grandpa, great-grandpa, great-uncle, uncles, and second-cousins scurry around the woods, drilling holes, tapping in quills, hanging buckets, and installing pipelines.

Uncle Nate even took time for a game of “Peek-a-Boo” with Joshua, between the maple trees.

“Josh, do you want to help?”

Grandpa splices tubing for the pipeline . . .

Cousin Steve works from the crook of a tree . . .

Uncle Jon taps in quills and adds covers . . .

Joshua has Mommy lift the lid to check to see if the sap is dripping . . .

He even took a “Gator” ride with Mommy and Grandpa.

Even Grandpa takes a break for Joshua’s favorite game of the moment: “Peek-a-Boo!”  It’s amazing what babies will encourage even the most serious adults to do to make them laugh!

Josh takes a break from all the hard work with a rest on the quad with Uncle Jon, Uncle Nate, and Mommy.

Of course, Duke was supervising the whole process . . .

. . . as was Jake . . .

And this is the little guy that made it so much more fun!

I’m thinking there’s some pancakes and sweet maple syrup in his future . . .


Deer, Deer, Everywhere! February 25, 2011

Filed under: 365 Project,Winter — everydaywomanusa @ 7:44 am
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An interesting phenomenon is happening in our town, following a good, old-fashioned winter that dumped several feet of glistening, white stuff on us.  As the snow begins to melt from from a southern hillside in town, which houses a rock quarry, hundreds of deer are flocking to this spot in search of buds to eat, after a very meager winter with very little available food.

When our son reported that he had seen 50 deer at a time on this mountainside, I found it incredulous, but when I drove by after another fresh snowfall the other day, I couldn’t help but gasp  . . . and then pull over, as I stopped my counting at 100 . . . and took some pix of this unusual sight.

The entire hillside was spotted with deer, which stood out boldly against the fresh snow.  Literally, every square centimeter of my viewfinder was filled with deer.  I was mesmerized by the sight and stopped counting to take pictures to document this most unusual scene.

With my mouth agape, I continued to snap photographs, alternately looking through the lens and then with my naked eyes, as I blinked away more snowflakes that were falling.  Even though I had grown up on a farm, and currently live on another farm with orchards that welcome deer to its fruits, never before had I seen such droves of deer!

I zoomed in and out, as I continued to marvel at what was in front of me.  Another woman stopped to get a closer look,  and a man, who had lived in town all his life, stopped with binoculars to inspect the scene.  He handed the binoculars to me and said, “Do you see this?”  Even though I was witnessing the same sight through my lens, I graciously accepted his offer for yet another inspection.

This had been occuring for several days . . . day in and day out . . . alongside a very busy state road.  The hoards of deer are unfazed by traffic, and this day several huge snowplows and even tractor trailers roared by, without so much as a flinch from the animals.

Here’s the sad part:  although local police have set up signs and barriers in an attempt to keep the deer from crossing this busy interstate, there have been lots of deer/auto accidents.  One night alone, twelve deer were reported as being hit, as they jumped into oncoming traffic.  In speaking with someone who experienced this first-hand, he said he felt terribly for days afterwards, but never saw it coming.

When I drive through this area,  I slow down to a crawl, and probably perturb those behind me.  As the warmer temperatures continue to melt snow in the area, the deer are relocating to other portions of the hillside, seeking fresh buds as this area must, by now, be mostly grazed off.

When driving to our daughter’s house just one street up from this section, I routinely see a group of seven or more deer, usually standing right in the middle of the road.  So, I’m always on guard for these lovely creatures . . . and also always have my camera ready . . .

These deer lanquidly crossed the road in front of me and then looked back, seemingly to pose for this picture.

These deer are safe in the confines of a local reservoir and quarry hillside where they reside . . . until they venture into traffic.  As this harsh winter brings the creatures out of the woods in search of food wherever they may find a few tasty nibblings, I hope we can coexist and that we humans, for a change, can just slow down!


Day 4: “30 Days of Beauty” Photography Challenge February 19, 2010

Filed under: 30 Days of Beauty Photography Challenge,snow,Winter — everydaywomanusa @ 11:39 am
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Here’s another pretty snow pic, from the inside looking out, as we tick off the days until spring, in the “30 Days of Winter Beauty” Photography Challenge.

What’s winter looking like from YOUR window?


Day 3: “30 Days of Beauty” Photography Challenge February 18, 2010

Here’s another pretty snow pic, as we tick off the days until spring, in the “30 Days of Winter Beauty” Photography Challenge.

Nature’s tree ornament.

Enjoy this wintry day!!!


“30 Days of Beauty” Photography Challenge!!! February 16, 2010

Filed under: Winter — everydaywomanusa @ 12:10 pm
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I’m joining  Blue Bird Baby’s 30 Days of Beauty Photography Challenge, starting today. The idea of this challenge is to stop wishing for spring and to appreciate the winter beauty that’s all around us.  As someone who LOVES and appreciates snow already, and who also LOVES photography, it’s a natural for me.  The hard part may be posting 30 consecutive days of photos, but I’m going to try to, even if it’s just a pretty pic without a lot of narrative!

Here’s today’s shot (which I’m doubling up on) that I took took early this am, after about 6 inches of fresh snowfall over night . . .

I just LOVE snow, especially when it results in a stay-at-home, snowbound day!

Wouldn’t you like to join in this challenge, too?  If so, click on over to Blue Bird Baby’s 30 Days of Beauty Photography Challenge!


Cookie Swap: What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie? December 20, 2009

Filed under: Christmas,Recipes,Winter — everydaywomanusa @ 12:10 pm
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I’m joining in on the Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap that Farmer’s Daughter is hosting at her blog.  Why not join in by sharing the recipe of your very favorite Christmas cookie?

Believe me, a virtual recipe swap is way easier than the traditional cookie swap!

My very favorite Christmas Cookie has to be my own Mom’s Snowball recipe.  I made these last night as we were awaiting the first big snowfall of the season.  It just seemed like the right thing to do!

They’re easy, yummy, and they disappear quickly!

Mema’s Snowball Cookies

1 cup margarine

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans, chopped or ground)

1/4 teaspoon salt (I usually leave this out)

(Extra confectioner’s sugar for coating cookies)

Cream together margarine, sugar, vanilla.  Mix in flour and nuts.  Hand form into balls and bake in 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes.  As soon as they come out of the oven, roll in a bowl of confectioner’s sugar to coat.

Yum, yum!  Enjoy warm or cold (if they last that long!)


Winter Wonderland: Sunday Stroll December 20, 2009

Although it took forever to arrive, the Blizzard of 2009 finally arrived last night and transformed our area into a Winter Wonderland . . .

Nature’s tree ornaments . . .

The Mermaid by the pool is a bit chilly . . .

With the temps predicted to stay as cold as they are, we’re guaranteed to have a White Christmas!

Hope you’re having fun wherever you are and perhaps you’re playing in the snow, too!

To see who else is strolling this Sunday, stroll on over to the Quiet Country House.