Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

Sunday Stroll: Too Much Rain!!! June 14, 2009

Filed under: Gardening,Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 11:49 am
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It’s been raining pretty much straight for a week now.  Although we have lush, green surroundings, I’m wondering if it’s ever going to stop!


My “Rose of Sharon” bushes have grown by leaps and bounds with all of the rain.


My New Guinea Impatiens are enjoying the shade provided by the Rose of Sharons.


My Begonias have been absolutely crushed by the torrents of rain . . .


Green tomatoes are set and I’m hoping they won’t rot due to all the wetness.


Geraniums (never my favorite due to their “fragrance”) do provide a pretty pink contrast to all the green foliage around . . .


All in all, it’s great weather for ducks, but I could use some sun soon!


To see who else is strolling this Sunday, visit the Quiet Country House.


Sunday Stroll May 31: At the Beach! May 31, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Living Green,Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 11:02 am
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I had the pleasure of strolling the beach on Saturday to help my daughter plan for an upcoming field trip for her Environmental Science and Botany classes.  We scouted the floral and fauna along the shoreline, and as  always, I learned so much for her!

The Beach Roses (Rosa rugosa) were magnificent!



Beach Rose was introduced to North America from Eurasia in 1872.  It has since escaped from gardens to the wild and has colonized beach habitat throughout New England.  The large fruits of this plant, called Rose Hips, mature late in the season and resemble cherry tomatoes.   They’re edible and high in vitamins A and C.  My late father used to swear by the benefits of Rose Hips!



Beach Plum (Prunus maritima) was also in bloom (above).  Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata), below,  another invasive species, which resembles honeysuckle, added to the flora along the walkway.


Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens), an invasive plant we see almost everywhere, is choking off an Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), below.


Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans) was introduced by park personnel in the late 1960s as a deterrent to keep people from walking through the dunes, which causes extensive erosion.



Abbie identifies plant life as we walk along the trail by the beach.  I was delighted to breathe in the salt air, soak in the sunshine, and enjoy the view!


To see who else is strolling this weekend, skip on over to the Quiet Country Home.


Sunday Stroll: Apple Blossom Time! May 3, 2009

Filed under: Farm,Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 2:02 pm
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I was delighted after experiencing the beautiful blooms in Washington, D.C., last week, to come home to find that our own blossoms weren’t far behind.

The first blossoms to burst in our family’s orchard are always the early varities of peach.  In my humble opinion, there isn’t anything much prettier than pink peach blossoms against a blue sky.




Next, come the pear blossoms . . .


And, finally, the earliest varities of apples blossom next . . .



As the trees are in full bloom, we also opened up our family’s Farm Market this weekend.  To get a glimpse of all the goings-on there (including an update on our Shire, Annabelle) skip on over to our Rose Orchards Farm Market blog.

And. . . to see who else is strolling this Sunday, stop on over at the Quiet Country House.  Happy Strolling!


Sunday Stroll Around D.C. April 26, 2009

Filed under: Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 9:32 am
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I just got back from four days in Washington, D.C., for a national educators’ conference that drew about 15,000 educators to the city.  We had jam-packed days with some really worthwhile workshops, presentations, time in the exhibit halls, and I’ve brought back all kinds of great ideas for my students, colleagues, and myself.

We also had to take advantage of such a vibrant, historic city.  I soon ditched my heels for sneakers as we logged 12-15 miles on foot each day, back and forth to the convention center, exhibits, hotels . . . but also to the wonderful historic and cultural sights around the city.  I even got a glimpse of the first pooch at the White House.  If you missed my earlier post on Bo Obama,  click here.

As far as flora goes, the cherry blossoms were over, but the dogwood was in full bloom, as well as azaleas and a plethora of other wonderful flowers.




The Botanical Garden was also incredible. . .







This is short and sweet and I promise more later . . .  it’s just that I’ve got unpacking to do and a family to take care of who’s feeling a bit neglected . . .

To see who else is strolling on this gorgeous weekend, visit the Quiet Country House.



How am I doing? Update on “My At-home Vacation To-Do List” April 19, 2009

Filed under: Family,Reflections,Spring,Sunday Stroll — everydaywomanusa @ 11:05 am
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OK, I’m going to be brutally honest with the progress I made with the list I posted at the beginning of this at-home vacation week!  Here goes…

* Finish and mail taxes before the April 15th deadline (always seems to coincide with April vacation for me!)  YES!  For the first time ever, I was early!!!  Mailed ’em on April 13th, with 2 days to spare!

* Complete some school projects, working from home and school a bit, and to get a jump-start on what comes next.  YES, I actually completed 3/4 of the school projects I’d planned . . . and I still have this weekend to finish up!

  * Rollerblading and lunch out with my daughter (remembering what it was like to be home when our children were young—-I SO loved that!)  YEP!  Did that on Friday in the glorious sun, with the wind blowing . . . and I have pix to prove it!


  (OK, we weren’t actually rollerblading ON the beach, but we were close enough to the ocean that I felt the need to get a shot there!)

* Long walks around the farm; walks in the sand at the beach  YES on the first, 4 nights in a row with DH and counting . . . NOPE on the second as my daughter said she didn’t want to get sand in her rollerblades, so we stuck to the non-sandy areas!

* Planting painsies in outside planters (a rite of spring for me!)  Does placing 2 baskets of painsies outside count?  It’s still too cold at night (below freezing) and this way I can bring them in at night.

* Making Easter baskets for our kids and other family members  DONE and already mostly eaten and history . . .

* Baking special treats for Easter (Check!)

* Making more home-cooked meals!  YUP, Lasagna, spaghetti, even surprised the guys with a standing rib roast!

* Shuttling my Mom to doctor appointments, etc., and probably out to lunch  YES and YES

* Riding around topless–or should I say top-down? (in my little red ride, that is!)  OH YES!  With the heat on as my daughter complained she was cold! 

* Biking  Just once, but I still have today!

* Catching up with my list of “to do” things  Okay, I’m chipping away at it!

* Shopping trip with my daughter to get a few items for an upcoming business trip to D.C. and another special event  OH yeah, got new sandals, birthday presents for DH and youngest son, and a way fancy summer dress that I couldn’t resist, but now I need someplace to wear it!  (I decided I had enough already for DC trip.)

* More school work  (There’s still this weekend.)

* Blogging and reading blogs  (Yes and yes, but I’m not done yet!)

* Is the week over yet? (I’m sure I’ll be out of week before I’m out of things on my list!)

Here are a few things I did that weren’t even on my list, but were necessities:

  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Grocery shopping
  • laundry
  • dishes
  • grocery shopping
  • etc.
  • etc.
  • etc.

see the pattern?

Most of all, I’m going to relish the time home, because I’m away from home too much these days. I hope for some warm spring days to spend time outside, doing all the things I love to do!  (Yes, yes, and yes!)

I did even make a trip into two of my schools to TCB (Take care of business!)

Still have to accomplish today/Sunday:

  • Review two new teachers’ portfolios before tomorrow!
  • Plan for lessons and meetings at school tomorow
  • More laundry
  • Catch up w/ school e-mail, which I’ve been doing on a daily basis…
  • Get things in order for an upcoming business trip
  • Cook, more laundry
  • Probably go to the grocery store . . . ugh!
  • Complete the items I’ve procrastinated on all week
  • Help my DH celebrate his birthday . . . and since I told him he was #1 on my list today, I’m not so sure about the other items!

So, if I’m “strolling” today, it’ll be with him and I’m not planning on posting a “Sunday Stroll,” as I need to get everything else done.  I’ll probably be up all night, but it was a DELICIOUS WEEK at home!



Easter Sunday Stroll April 12, 2009


Finally . . . forsythia!!!


After a delectable Easter Sunday Brunch, cooked up by the Farmer’s Daughter, we took a Sunday Stroll . . .


The “Farmer” and the “Farmer’s Daughter” discuss how to best prune her new apple trees.


Ed and Duke assist in the process.


A beautiful gift of my favorite pansies from our daughter, aka “The Farmer’s Daughter.”

Our stroll was cut short by the raw temperatures and blustery winds today.  A very cold Easter Sunday!


Back on our farm, peach blossoms are just beginning to swell.

Sightings of the Easter Bunny . . .



Oh, this must be where the real Easter Bunny hides out after all his deliveries!

To see who else is strolling on Easter Sunday, visit the Quiet Country House.


Sunday Stroll to the River: Searching for Spring… April 5, 2009

It’s still brisk and windy around these parts, but the sun is beginning to shine through today.  Not as warm as most of us would like spring to be yet!


Our Old English Sheepdog, Eddie, and our Golden Retriever, Duke, are always willing companions on a walk through the orchards and farm down to the river.  No matter the temp, they always jump in for a quick swim . . . and a huge drink!


On the way, we spied emerald ferns pushing through the leaves on the forest floor.


Springtime is also pruning time in the apple orchard.  Here, dwarf Red Delicious trees are getting ready to bear fruit, after a healthy pruning.


Purple flowers–probably weeds–dot the ground under the peach trees.


A pair of mallards swim in the pond.


Duke can’t resist a swim in the pond, too, which is greening up with algae and the banks around it show more green than gray, too.


Buds on the magnolia tree are swelling, giving hope for the pearly/pink flowers to come.


Tulips crop up, here and there.


After one final dip, Eddie and Duke drag themselves out of the river and up the bank for a run home!

As we’re still searching for color outside, I just couldn’t resist sharing these vibrant colors from a friend’s greenhouse earlier this week . . .


Piercing pink and purple hydrangeas, my all-time favorite . . . and. . .

darling, little petunias, planted in egg shells.  How cute is that?


To see who else is strolling for signs of spring, please visit the Quiet Country House.