Monthly Archives: April 2014

Music Merit Badge, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,843 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,286 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 Make it Easy/Music Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I had the nifty task of researching one composer and one musician from the last one hundred years. I’ve always liked research (at least when the subject matter is interesting and exciting) and it makes me feel like a scholarly detective.


An intrepid investigator of the studious type.

That’s me!

Call me old-fashioned, but I still like cracking open the ol’ books to do my detective-ing. I know, I know: Jane, you say, the whole world is at your fingertips and your laptop! Google knows everything about everyone and you never have to leave your house or change out of your pajamas.

Normally the thought of staying in my PJs most of the day is intriguing, but with Spring upon us, I love myself a good walk to the library. So off I went, spy glass and Deerstalker hat in hand (I mean, head). No, not for stalking deer, sillies – it’s what Sherlock Holmes wears, don’tcha know?

I already had my musician in mind, but narrowing down my composers was like picking my favorite child (or my favorite ice cream). Nearly impossible and dependent upon on my mood at the moment. But detectives are nothing if not ruthless and able to keep their emotions in check, so I straightened my hat and chose … drum roll, puhleeze …

George Gershwin

Want to learn what I found out about this amazing composer? Wondering who I chose to be my musician? Read on, little chickadees, read on … tomorrow.


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 … Starletta Schipp!!!

Starletta Schipp (star-schipp, #1927) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Green Energy Merit Badge!

“I did a lot of research for this badge and shared my findings in the chatroom on the Farmgirl Connection.

It is so much information to take in and I was quite disappointed to learn that the electricity I use is coal-sourced. However, I did find that my electric co-op has a program to get up to 30% of my energy from renewable resources.

It is obvious to me that wind and solar are the most reasonable sources these days but their output can be inconsistent. Therefore, it is really lifestyle changes that need to occur. The days of not thinking about my power usage are over. I truly love this about the Farmgirl lifestyle that helps me to reach out to learn things I didn’t even know I needed to know … and once I know it, I can’t un-know it so it spurs me to make lasting and sweeping changes. Thank you for that!”



Spring Fever

Feeling a sudden spring in your step?


Photo by Wikkie via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps a dazzling sense of delirium?

It’s called spring fever, my friend—and none of us are immune.

Thankfully, the symptoms are generally … sensational!

“There’s more daylight, so people have more energy, sleep a little less,” Sanford Auerbach, M.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Boston University, told Web MD.

Plus, levels of serotonin, an important mood-regulating hormone, soar in the springtime. The LA Times reports, “This mood-elevating neurotransmitter may be at the root of the giddiness, energy boost, and enthusiasm that characterize spring fever.”

No cure for me, thanks. I’m just fine letting the fever run its course.



Guerilla Gardener

If you weren’t planning on planting a garden this spring, I suspect that hearing Ron Finley’s story will inspire you to not only plant one, but to sneak seeds into every sliver of barren soil you see.

After you watch this video, Ron will be on your list of AMAZING people/super heroes.


Happy Earth Day Earthlings!


Glass Gems

So, you tell me:

Is this jewelry?

glass gem_viral

Photo courtesy of

Or food?

Honestly, I believe it could pass as both, but the gorgeous “gems” you see are, indeed, edible.

This is an heirloom variety of corn, aptly named “glass gem.”

According to Native Seeds, a nonprofit seed conservation organization in Arizona, the roots of the Glass Gem variety can be traced to an Oklahoma farmer with a calling: corn.

“Barnes had an uncanny knack for corn breeding. More specifically, he excelled at selecting and saving seed from those cobs that exhibited vivid, translucent colors. Exactly how long Barnes worked on Glass Gem—how many successive seasons he carefully chose, saved, and replanted these special seeds—is unknown,” reports Stephen Thomas of Native Seeds. “But after many years, his painstaking efforts created a wondrous corn cultivar that has now captivated thousands of people around the world.”


Photo courtesy of

The kernels of Glass Gem are ideal for popping or grinding into cornmeal, and thanks to the efforts of conscientious seed savers, you can buy and grow your own. Seed packets are currently available at the Native Seeds shop.

Native Seeds encourages everyone who grows Glass Gem corn to rejoin the ritual of seed saving by setting aside your favorite selections for replanting the following year. “Share seed with your friends and neighbors, organize a seed swap, or start a seed library in your community, they suggest. “As Carl Barnes has taught us, all it takes is one person to create a more colorful, diverse, and abundant world—one seed at a time.”