You know that pondering tilt of the head a person gives a work of art they’ve just completed? Writing about your life is that exactly. You step back, pick up your paint brush, apply a dab of compassion here, a brush stroke of flair over there. Putting your life on canvas allows you to see what your life looks like through the eyes of others.
Going Granny (actually my grandkids call me Nanny) is my best achievement yet! Here’s a phone message my barely two-year grandgirl left for me on my 58th b-day. I guarantee it; this will make your day.
In the spirit of the season, today’s post is all about cranberries. You know, those tasty, nutrient-dense, little red morsels … you most likely passed them (or passed them by—folks usually love ’em or hate ’em) around your Thanksgiving table last week. And maybe you’ll enjoy them again at a Christmas feast. Their bright-red hues bring a festive touch to any holiday meal.
When I think cranberries, I think New England, where many of the cranberries in the U.S. are grown and harvested. I don’t think my neighboring Washington state … until now. Turns out, Washington state is the fifth largest cranberry-producing state in the U.S. Who knew?
And cranberries are grown in a unique, almost other-worldly setting called a cranberry bog. According to Cranberries.org, “[Cranberries] can grow and survive only under a very special combination of factors. These factors include acid peat soil, an adequate fresh water supply, and a growing season that extends from April to November. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines in beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These beds are commonly known as bogs or marshes and were originally created by glacial deposits. Commercial bogs use a system of wetlands, uplands, ditches, flumes, ponds and other water bodies that provide a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life.”
This gorgeous slideshow of cranberry production in Washington state will make you appreciate these little gems even more. And here are a couple of holiday-inspired recipes to get your creative cranberry juices flowing!
Wait, before I go on, let me throw out this disclaimer:
If you’re allergic to cuteness (or cows), cut your losses and get outta here while you still can.
I knew you’d risk it.
You will be duly rewarded with smiles …
The video below chronicles what happened when Pennsylvania farm mom Billie Jo Decker discovered an unexpected house guest hanging out with her 5-year-old daughter, Breanna. Be sure to keep watching to the halfway point and beyond if you can stand the sweetness:
In a YouTube update a couple of months ago, Billie Jo admitted that Izzy the Cow has secured a pretty solid place in the family. “Izzy has turned into quite the spoiled cow. She is literally like dealing with a 2-year-old child throwing tantrums,” she said. “If she is not in the mood to share my company, well, let’s just say she MOOOOOOVES it out of the way. She is a very jealous cow and doesn’t like to share Mom’s attention.”
Izzy is a bit big for house visits now (she makes an appearance in this video). Hmmm … maybe Breanna needs a mini Jersey?
Flashback Monday! I ran across something from a few years ago and thought you might enjoy reading it again. I know I did. It’s such a magical story about synchronicity …
This just in from Carol Hill, my BFF, lead graphic designer, MaryJanesFarm magazine editor, fashionista, ukelele player, Northwest Best Laugh Contest winner …
Take it away, Carol!!!!
In our Aug/Sept 2010 issue, “Lay of the Land,” we published a story from Aimee Steiner, a MaryJanesFarm reader living—of all places—on a tiny, remote Pacific island named Rota. At the time, we were astounded that our magazine had reached such faraway places. But the story had just begun.
Not only did that article result in our readers sending over 10,000 books to rebuild Rota’s library that was lost in a typhoon (read that incredible story in our Dec/Jan 2012 issue, “Come All Ye”), but it also sparked another reader to call with this fascinating story …
All proceeds (minus shipping and packing) will benefit www.firstbook.org, a non-profit that provides new books to children from low-income families throughout the U.S. and Canada.
MaryJane will post a photo of the prop and its cost here along with a few details as to its condition. The first person to call the farm and talk with Brian, 208-882-6819, becomes the new owner of a little bit of herstory. Shipping will be either USPS or UPS, our choice. No returns.