Winnie’s latest adventures

Farmgirl Sister of the Year, Winnie Nielsen (Sister #3109, aka Red Tractor Girl) recently took fabulous trips to Europe, with stops in Iceland and Norway. She writes,

“Red Tractor Girl seems to get around to the weirdest places, but always finds a red tractor waiting! Here I am in UllKistan (WoolKistan?), where wool is king! You know you are in the right place because one of the few trees in Iceland is sporting a knitted sweater out front! How about Red Tractor Girl becoming a shepherdess? This tractor seems up to the task of a large Icelandic sheep farm. How about that beautiful wooly coat of the Icelandic sheep? No wonder they have shops full of beautiful knitted items and skeins of yarn! I wanted to sit on the tractor, but figured that would be pressing my luck a bit. I mean, how would you explain Red Tractor Girl to people who barely speak English?


The cowl on my neck was knitted from the wool I learned to spin last winter in a drop-spin class for my Expert Level Knitting Badge. It came out all different widths and degrees of tightness, but the ladies in the yarn store encouraged me to make it into something. Voila! A knitted cowl with “artisan” yarn. All wonky, tight, loose, and weird, like trying to knit rubber bands and fuzz. However, it turned out pretty nice in the end, and it was nice and thick and oh so warm.

As you know, the red tractor love started when I was 4 and my dad gave me a little red tractor toy from a consulting job he did for International Harvester in Chicago in 1955. I played with that thing for years and years. When I joined the MJF Sisterhood, I wanted some name that aligned me with some sort of farm identity, and the idea just popped into my head. I have never actually driven a tractor or know anything much about them. It is all a bit of fantasy in my head, but now I identify with red tractors as my farm connection. It has made for some darling MJF swap gifts, which I cherish and love!!”

Below are a few stunning photos from Winnie’s trips. I don’t know where these actual photos are from, but maybe Winnie will tell us in the comments section below …






Glamping in Style

Look who’s gotten into glamping …

Beyoncé’s sister, Solange, and some very fashionable friends went glamping in California’s Joshua Tree National Park for New Year’s Eve.


(Photo via @shionat)

While there, they took an epic group photo that got me to wondering if Solange might be interested in knowing …


(Photo via @saintrecords)

how glamping got its start.

Dearest Solange,

Several years ago, myself and some B&B guests were sitting around a morning campfire (hope you got to enjoy one also, BTW, love your hat) when the husband of one of our couples (housed in tent 3) said, “You know, I have to tell you, when my wife said we were coming over here to spend perfectly good money to use an outhouse, I told her, ‘This MaryJane thing’s got you catnipped,’ but now that I’ve been here and seen it, I’m thinking I’ll go back home, buy a wall tent, put it up the way you’ve done, and the missus and I will finally have our cabin in the woods. So yeah, I get the girly camping thing now. But I’ll have to let her do the glamour part of it.” I said, “Right, how about we call it glamping?” To which we toasted our enamel coffee cups.

Now that someone like yourself gets it too, I’m thinking a star was born that morning (BTW, loved your wedding also, congratulations!).

MaryJane Butters (the woman who ever-so-proudly pioneered the concept)

P.S. Thanks for taking glamping to its highest fruition yet!!!!! Here’s my Airstream.

P.P.S. Next time you go, let me send you some of our s’more kits (w/our homemade marshmallows and organic graham crackers).

We Made the Cows Curious

We finally had a good snow day and spent the day at the farm.

By the second run, the cows came around to see what all the fuss was about.

We had a wonderful day and learned about our echos in the silence of the snow.

Photo Jan 04, 2 05 35 PM

Daddy and Mia found out their weight together made them so much faster! Good thing they wore their trusty helmets.

Photo Jan 04, 2 47 00 PM

New York City Adventures

Just before the holidays, Mom and I snuck off to the big city for a couple of meetings and some Mom/Daughter time. The city was bustling as usual, but the holiday cheer was an experience in its own.

Photo Dec 12, 3 33 25 PM

And somehow the nighttime was even more spectacular than usual. I’d never seen a tree as large as the glistening Rockefeller tree (this year’s tree was an 85-foot Norway spruce from Hemlock Township, Pennsylvania).

Photo Dec 11, 3 05 31 PM

We spent two hours in Macy’s “shopping,” but are such country bumpkins that we didn’t buy a thing.

Photo Dec 11, 2 55 04 PM

The Empire State Building is a marvel at night. And I took one silly selfie during the daytime. Only because I decided we needed a poinsettia for our hotel room, and as I walked back to the room, it began to snow on me and my mini poinsettia. Happiness.

Photo Dec 10, 12 45 56 PM

Traveling Pups

In the midst of what seems like almost-daily bad news, I was recently touched to hear a feel-good story about a dog who rides public transit in Seattle all by herself in order get to the dog park. It appears that the 2-year-old black Labrador mix named Eclipse has become a regular fixture on the D-line. The bus stop is right in front of her house, and if her owner is not quite ready to go, she jumps on board alone and meets him later at the dog park. Regular riders say that she sits quietly in her seat and watches out the window for her stop, and transit authorities say they are happy that Eclipse can appreciate public transit, although she really should be on a leash. This whole idea made me giggle.

Photo Jan 04, 2 06 51 PM

Does the age-old phrase “country pup vs. city pup” still hold true?? Haha. Our golden retriever wouldn’t know what to do with public transit, but he’ll happily hop right up into the bed of a pickup. Hmmm, maybe he could fake it like I do when I make a trip to the city?





LeeRoy Brown, the baddest goat in the whole dang town!

Steve Wescott has been on the road for three years, traveling across the U.S.—on foot—with a goat named LeeRoy Brown. Steve and LeeRoy started the 2,800-mile journey at Seattle’s Space Needle and intend to end up in Times Square in New York City. He calls his project Needle2Square.


Why, you might ask? And why a goat?

Steve is trying to raise awareness and funds for Uzima Outreach and Intervention, a Kenya-based ministry for substance-addicted adults and neglected and orphaned children. When Steve set out, he intended to walk 10 miles a day, which would have put him in NYC in just a year. But Steve and LeeRoy have been on the road now for three years, due to injuries and the myriad of people who stop them to find out the story behind the unusual pair. The extended time has put the duo in the public eye, only helping Steve’s cause. Now, a documentary and reality TV show are in the works. Say hello to LeeRoy Brown, the baddest goat in the whole dang town, and the first-ever reality-TV goat star.

Follow Steve and LeeRoy at