Monthly Archives: July 2013




Do you remember this lovely little book?


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; Judgesurreal777

Robert McCloskey published Make Way for Ducklings in 1941, inspired by the days he spent feeding ducks at Boston’s Public Garden as an art student in the early 1930s. Later, while illustrating the book, he brought six ducklings home to share his studio apartment in New York’s West Village.


Photo by Alexey Gomankov via Wikimedia Commons

Can you imagine?

In the story of Mrs. Mallard and her brood, a kindly Boston police officer named Michael, who once enjoyed feeding peanuts to the Mallards, stops traffic for the web-footed family to cross a busy street.


Image courtesy of Read Me a Story;

The city of Boston erected a bronze statue of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings in the Public Garden where McCloskey’s tale began, and since 1978, the city has hosted an annual Duckling Day parade each spring, in which children and their parents dress as ducks and ducklings.


Photo courtesy of;

Lest you wonder if the sweet story of “policeman-helps-ducklings” could possibly happen in real life, watch this video and smile:



Glamping Sites to Visit in 2013: Day 9 of 15

Now that you’ve read my book, Glamping with MaryJane, you need to find a fabulous place to get your campin’ glam on.

We’re back for a 9th day of where to glamp in 2013.

Texas is known for its out-of-this-world charm, hospitality, and old-world elegance. Sinya, on Lone Man Creek, near Wimberley, has managed to combine all three, then add a touch of African safari to its repertoire, without the fuss of cross-continental travel.

Sinya — on Lone Man Creek

Each modified safari tent is styled simply, but with immense attention to detail that feels serene and open.


While every coordinated corner invites you to have-a-go and test out each remarkable view spot.


At night, the stars come alive for miles and the warm days turn into still romantic nights that will enchant …

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one of those days

Are you having one of those dog days of summer? I mean MEOW, it’s hot in the Design Studio.

Though not as humid as our southern neighbors. (I commend you all, by the way, for surviving HUMID heat.) We topped 94° last Thursday … and were in a state of lethargy.

Rascal summed it up pretty well … her face says it all.


Too hot to even tuck in the paws … and back to sleep we go.





The Farmery

Could the future of farming reside in …

shipping containers?

A guy named Ben Greene thinks so.

Ben’s brainchild, The Farmery, might revolutionize the relationship between farming and consumers.

“We are creating an urban farm and market out of shipping containers,” Ben explains. “We grow our food and sell it at the same site. We consolidate the distribution system to lower costs and raise the value of the produce by providing the freshest produce possible.”


Photo courtesy of The Farmery

Although they’re housed in humble structures, Farmery shops offer customers a full-fledged garden harvest experience, inside and out. With the exception of windows and doors, every surface is living.

From rooftop tomatoes, flowers, and sweet potatoes to vertical panels of lush produce, this concept gives new meaning to “fresh.” Most of the fruits and veggies are alive and growing right up until the minute they’re sold. The Farmery also sells goods grown by friends, supporting the local gardening community.

“The shoppers’ senses come alive with the sights, smells, and sounds of watching their food grow,” Ben says.

The Farmery has set up shop in North Carolina, recently launching a new Mini Farmery shop at the Burt’s Bees headquarters in downtown Durham.

Let’s hope the concept works and catches fire and Farmeries start cropping up across the country!


Bee Good to Your Mother Earth

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,344 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—7,177 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life  

For this week’s Garden Gate/Bee Good to Your Mother Earth Merit Badge, I tackled the garden. Now, it’s not as though I’ve neglected the ol’ patch out back completely: I have a lovely collection of garden gnomes, stepping stones, and a fairy house made out of pine cones and twigs and moss that one of Midge’s triplets made for me. But as far as veggies and fruits? Well, let’s just say my thumb isn’t naturally green and leave it at that.

It’s more of a brown. Brings to mind a dying plant, actually.

But my agricultural prowess (or lack thereof) aside, my will was strong, and so was my hankering for all things cucumber-like. Pickles had gotten me through the winter, but I was really up for the crunch and snap of the real thing. And all my neighbors assured me that cukes were easy-peasy, lemon-squeasy to grow.

And after all, my herb garden was thriving in my kitchen! My confidence bolstered, I relocated a few gnomes to the porch (I’ve always liked men with beards … kind of an outdoorsy-man-lovin’ gal that I am) and got to work. I had bookmarked some helpful pages in “Montrose: Life in a Garden,” by Nancy Goodwin, and it sat beside me for moral support as I dug a neat little row. Well, it was supposed to be a neat little row, but it turned out I can’t hoe a straight line any better than I can cut one. Ah well. Don’t think the little cukes will mind. They’re a forgiving sort of veg, I hear. My sweet green babies tucked in for the night in no time at all, I thought I’d better rig a bit of fencing around them. Toile, my chicken, especially goes crackers for seeds and green bits poking out of the ground.

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Red Tractor Girl Winnie & Wall Tent Kellie

Finally. I beheld our dear Winnie with my own two eyes. Hugged her with my own two arms. Winnie (redtractorgirl) flew to Idaho from Florida to meet up with Kellie Falconer (accordiontokellie) who she’d met on our chatroom. (Winnie recently retired from a career as a health care professional. Next up? Yellowstone Park and the Tetons.) I dashed from my farm up to our retail store two hours north in Coeur d’Alene to take them out to lunch, a loooooong leisurely lunch. So very much to discuss!!!!! In person. For the first time.


If you’re ever in Coeur d’Alene, make sure you dine at Tito’s. The food is excellent and their sweet potato fries are the best. They come with … get this, huckleberry dip.


Kellie lives in N. Idaho on a homestead with her family, her creativity spilling forth into the world from a wall tent studio. I kid you not. The photos that she and her sisters take are fantastic. Check it out:

And her Etsy shop:

And once you’ve feasted your eyes on all things Kellie, make sure you order a custom farmgirl button from her.


And our dear, sweet Winnie managed to bring a jar of her backyard, homemade marmalade all the way from Florida. Sadly, the jar didn’t last but a day once it arrived back home with me.


Here’s a post from 2011 when Kellie first visited our store. How adorable is this girl???!!!!!

Life is good. Friends are golden.