Monthly Archives: February 2014



My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,730 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,037 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 Cleaning Up/My Fair Farmgirl Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I went where none of us like to go.

Under my arms.

Yep, it was the pits under there.

Ha! Get it? The pits?

Hello? Is this thing on?

Well, anyway, I had been hearing lots of claims, stories, rumors, etc., about the dangers of deodorant.

I know, I know, what kind of a world do we live in where we even have to fear anti-perspirant? It’s a travesty.

But in all honesty, my farmgirl peeps, I was plugging my ears and not listening in a distinctly rebellious fashion.

La la la! I can’t hear youuuuuuuuuuu!

Like that. Only with less maturity (if possible).

You see, I’m a fan of smelling nice. I’m a fan of others smelling nice.

I am NOT a fan of body odor run amuck.

And even though the whispers were getting louder, I was still skeptical. Yeah sure, I thought, I’m all for hippy-dippy, granola loving, tree hugging, au naturale type living, but we gotta draw the line somewhere. And that line for me was the one you get from your stick of perfumed chemicals on your black t-shirt (hey, at least you know you remembered to apply it, right?)

But finally, I took my fingers out of my ears and decided to give it a go. What would be the worst that could happen? We were about to find out …

Sweet Orange and Mint Deodorant

1/3 c baking soda
1/3 c cornstarch or arrowroot powder
6 T coconut oil

Essential oil (I used sweet orange oil + tea tree oil, for their yummy smell + natural antifungal/antibacterial properties. You could also try lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, almond … Mix it up!)

Combine your cornstarch and baking soda first. Mix with all your other ingredients and place into a small glass jar to store. Remember with your essential oils that the scent will lessen a bit when your mixture comes to room temperature, so don’t be afraid if it smells a little strong at first.

And now, the customizations:

  • Add more coconut oil (or a bit of shea butter, or the insides of a vitamin E capsule) if you need extra moisture/smoothing from your deodorant.
  • Decrease the ratio of baking soda/tea tree oil if you have sensitive skin.
  • Once you’ve applied your deodorant, pat a little cornstarch on top of your underarm to ‘set’ things—this also helps with long-term lessening of underarm pigmentation (who knew).

Well? The verdict? No one has pinched their nostrils shut with clothespins around me; I don’t have a white mess on my favorite shirt; I’ve lowered my risk of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s; and I think I may be in love. Plus, my underarms are baby soft, smooth, and irritation free.




The Key to Radiating Health

While thumbing through my collection of vintage magazines, I nearly fell off my stool when I spied this ad in an August 1929 issue of Hearth and Home.


The curative powers of radium??!! Isn’t that radioactive? Poisonous? I checked my dictionary to make sure … yep, “a highly radioactive metallic element whose decay yields radon gas and alpha rays.” But it looks like, in 1929, folks weren’t worried about a bit of radioactivity. Hey, it was apparently the cure for whatever ailed you with its “wonderful curative powers.” Ah, self-health radiation treatment. Here’s an excerpt from the text:

“The wonderful curative power of Radium has been known for years. However, the benefits of this precious, health-giving substance have in the past been only within the means of persons of wealth. Since the invention of Degnen’s Radio-Active Solar Pad, any man or woman, poor or rich, can afford this treatment which offers so much relief from suffering and disease.

Degnen’s Radio-Active Solar Pad is worn next to the body day and night. It pours a constant stream of radio-active energy into the system while you work, play or sleep, helping to build up weakened nerves and tissues to a strong, healthy condition. It creates a vigorous circulation of blood, thus removing congestion, which is the real cause of most diseases.”

The ad goes on to say that they’ll send you the “appliance” for free with the understanding that they won’t charge a cent is it “fails to give satisfactory results.” The “appliance” was apparently a belt with “several coats” of “actual radium.” The effects? I can only guess. “Thousands Have Proven the Marvelous Effects Without Risking a Penny {only their health}.”




Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Mary Jo Boyd!!!

Mary Jo Boyd (Quiltsister413, #5559) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Scrapbooking Merit Badge!

“For the beginner level, I needed to make a scrapbook commemorating a special event for a friend. I am NOT a scrapbooker, so this is really a challenge for me. I was really inspired by the article in the Sister Issue that Joy from Farmgirl Inspirations posted. I decided to make a farmgirl scrapbook for me and my daughter for Christmas.

So I not only made the two scrapbooks, I also started a farmgirl chapter (The Faithful Farm Girls) and now have 10 members! Hello! Who would have thought. But I did have a great time making the scrapbooks and Joy’s instructions helped so much! Thank you, Sister!!

Finished binders(1)

I gathered all my supplies and started cutting. I tried to use the fancy scrapbook scissors, but was having trouble keeping my lines straight. As a quilter, I am much more skilled in using a rotary cutter, so I switched out my regular blade for a scalloped blade and using my ruler and rotary cutter, cut all my pieces in record time! Farmgirl savvy!

I glued everything together and gathered all the inserts so I had places for every section. I can store my badge certificates, recipes, ideas, etc. A functional scrapbook … now that’s what I am talking about!

Our first farmgirl meeting was cancelled twice in January due to weather, but when we meet this month, I am going to demonstrate how to make the scrapbooks and even purchased the binders for each of the girls. Another member donated lots of scrapbooking supplies, so we should have a great time, and each of the girls will be on their way to earning their first badge as well!”



2 cents seed fund

As wild as the winter has been across much of the country, you may still feel like you’re in deep-freeze mode, but small beacons of hope are beginning to sprout in mailboxes hither and yon …


That’s right—seed catalogs are arriving again, as faithful as Spring herself.

Who doesn’t fancy these powerful portents of the season to come (if in doubt, read my romantic ramblings on the subject). The glowing cover of a good catalog is something a soil-starved farmgirl can hang her hope on!


Feeling a little warmer already, aren’t you?

Alrighty then, let’s not waste another minute …

If you’re toying with the idea of planting an organic plot this year but are wincing at the thought of seed prices, consider applying NOW for assistance from the new Seed Fund Program sponsored by the Rodale Institute and Amy’s Kitchen.

Time is short, so don’t wait for the snow to melt!

What is it?

The Seed Fund partnership is an expansion of Rodale’s Your 2 Cents program, which unites producers, consumers, researchers, and educators to launch the next generation of organic farmers. The goal of the fund is to help new and transitioning organic farmers buy the certified organic seed they need for the 2014 growing season.

Who qualifies?

First-time and transitioning organic farmers.

How do I apply?

Get the details here.

When is the application deadline?

March 1, 2014.



Mia is Five!

My little sister is getting not so little!

Photo Jan 29, 3 48 52 PMBut she keeps us entertained. Even when she’s baking with Mom.

Photo Feb 15, 11 49 00 AM

Or rocking a pink stache! One thing is for sure, she will always be better than me at being the little sister. Happy birthday, Mia. We love you. Thanks for being my favorite little sister!