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 … Katie Wright!!!

Katie Wright (#5600) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Level Shopping Green Merit Badge!

For my Beginner badge:

“I have used reusable bags for years and enjoy them. I also use two wonderful baskets, one long, with a low handle, and sturdy (pretty blues), and the other made by local Amish people with a wooden bottom and leather straps. When I walk into County Market, they see me coming and some of the younger ones call me the “basket lady,” not bag lady, even if I have bags also.

I have some purchased bags for shopping, one even from Africa, but I enjoy the ones I have sewn and also crocheted and lined. I keep them stacked in my baskets in the trunk of my car. Even my husband has begun using them and says that he just doesn’t like those “plastic” bags anymore. I even take my baskets into auctions with me. So, yes, I have at least six bags and the two baskets I use faithfully.

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For my Intermediate badge:

I make a mixture of Dawn dish soap and vinegar, which I use to clean counters, bathrooms, and cutting boards. I don’t like the smell of many purchased products, plus they are expensive.

It benefits me to use this product instead of purchased products, not just because it is less expensive, but the smell does not affect me like some purchased products. I found some years ago when my asthma got worse that much of the problem was smells from the toxic ingredients in cleaning products as well as health and beauty products. At that time, I started to go green with things and am happy that my asthma is better due to it.

For my Expert badge:

I do not belong to a local farmgirl group, as I have yet to find one in my rural northeast Missouri area. I do, however, glamp and have rural country women who enjoy my love of camping, but who are not yet convinced to join the Sisterhood. With that said, I earned this badge by using reusable bags, making reusable bags, and sharing them with friends, plus giving them out to local shoppers randomly in grocery carts with a note to use reusable instead of plastic.

I was able to receive the joy of giving and also the joy of watching people pick up a cart and take up the bag, read the note with it, and smile. I also saw some customers talking with each other about their free bags and then later at the cashier, telling them about the free bag and that they planned to use it again and again.

My thought is that I having used reusable bags for a long time, even having my husband be a believer in them, and am stunned at how many people still use the plastic bags given at the stores. I am always sad to see so many bags go out in carts, each bag only having a few items in each. What a waste of our resources. I continue to preach and teach by example the using of reusable. I have my daughter-in-love now using reusable bags, and she has also become a recycle person (I believe my grandson helped with those ideas, as he has helped this grandma take recycling into town).”

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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 … Katie Wright!!!

Katie Wright (Sister #5600) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Knitting Merit Badge!

“I designed a purse (made up the pattern); chose the yarn; worked the pieces, making front and back, bottom, and side pieces, which included knitting the strap, measuring and planning as I went. I made a buttonhole in one side piece. The purse measures 9″ x 10 1/2″ and has a long strap for using as a cross-body purse.

I worked at this at my knitting group, which meets on Tuesday afternoons and also evenings in Hannibal, Missouri. I shared the pattern with a family member.

Working on this item took me over 20 hours with the knitting, piecing together, sewing a lining, and placing the lining in the purse.

My cross-body, deep-green knitted purse is very attractive. I knit in seed stitch, which just makes it a little more decorative. I made the bottom, sides, and strap in garter stitch to add some variety to the purse. I lined it with a pretty soft grey with white polka dots, which I had left from making a message bag last year. I used a buttonhole stitch around the buttonhole and into the fabric lining and then sewed on a nice, shiny red button … my favorite color. It turned out great and I have used it and received many compliments already. I am sure I will use it for many years to come. I also plan to make a few in the future as gifts for family and friends.”

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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 … Katie Wright!!!

Katie Wright (#5600) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Knitting Merit Badge!

“Because I have knitted for many years, actually 54 (since being 12 years old), I decided to give patterns to others for charity knitting and help them with the projects if they needed help. There are many charities that you can use your knitting, quilting, and crocheting skills for.

My family worked on hats at different times, on a loom for knitting. It is an old wooden loom that I had made by an elderly man in my hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin, probably 45 years ago. It works like a larger form of the spoon and nails … or like the plastic looms that hobby places now sell. I also had one person make hats for the hospital for the newborns. It is a fun way to teach someone to knit in the round on three or four needles, which will prepare them for knitting socks later. It is a simple project and can be finished in a few hours. I usually make a bag full (30-50) before taking them to the hospital. I also helped a friend start a scarf, casting on and such as she just simply had not knit for years and had forgot it all.

Teaching others to knit and hopefully enjoy the craft makes me so pleased. I like to share my passion for knitting, and it is a passion, as I have knitted for 54 years now. Wow, to think of all the projects and yarns I have used!

My friend continues knitting her scarf. Another friend had me help her untangle her yarn and scarf and start again. Hats are piling up with great joy and it is a wonderful way to use ends of balls and skeins of yarn, which an avid knitter has in plenty. My granddaughter is still practicing casting on and is “the master of casting,” but not knitting yet. My daughter-in-love has learned to knit and made a scarf, then a baby hat for a friend, and now some doll clothing. My hope is that they will all enjoy and knit for many years. However, my daughter-in-love says she likes to crochet better. My grandson learned to knit and made some potholders and a dishcloth while I taught him and others in a 4H volunteer program.”

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BakeOver MakeOver Merit Badge, Expert Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,129 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,751 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 Farm Kitchen/BakeOver MakeOver Expert Level Merit Badge, I was fine-tuning my BakeOver skillz.

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To earn this badge, I needed to come up with my own recipes, using BakeOver mixes, for one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one dessert. (Only one dessert? Crikey!) Turns out, I’ve gotten pretty good at these 20-minute delicacies.

Combine that fact with watching a lot of the Food Network, and you’ve got yourself some delish new recipes to try. Yum!

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P.S. Let’s face it, farmgirls. I enjoy a crunchy salad as much as the next yoga-lovin’, skinny-latte-sipping gal, but once in a while, I need to lay off the rabbit food and channel my inner cavegirl. Meat and potatoes? Hearty comfort food (but still healthy)? Yep. Bring. It. On.

Breakfast: Spanish Skillet

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Prepare MaryJane’s Organic Corn Bread, using the BakeOver instructions on the package.
  • Sauté 1 large bell pepper, half an onion, a handful of mushrooms, 1 diced jalapeño, and 1 can black beans in a 9″ cast-iron skillet. If you have some leftover taco meat, now’s the time to add it in (a small chorizo link, diced, works well, too). Season to taste with salt, pepper, and maybe a pinch of chili powder and cumin. Toss in some grated sharp cheddar and 4 beaten eggs.
  • Place the dough on top of your masterpiece.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Flip upside down. Top with salsa if you so desire (and I do)!

Lunch: Cheater Artisan Flatbread “Pizza”

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Prepare MaryJane’s Organic Focaccia Bread, using the BakeOver instructions on the package.
  • Sauté your favorite pizza toppings in a 9″ cast-iron skillet. I used Italian sausage, red onions, spinach, chopped fresh tomatoes (these will taste like your “sauce”), mushrooms, and asparagus. Oh, and garlic! Lots and lots of garlic!
  • Season with oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar.
  • Top with fresh mozzarella slices, sprinkled with salt.
  • Place your dough over your yummy lunch.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Flip. If you’re feeling really haute couture, top with arugula that has been drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.

Dinner: Jambalaya Skillet

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Prepare MaryJane’s Organic Corn Bread, using the BakeOver instructions on the package.
  • Sauté 2 kielbasa links, a handful of leftover chicken, 1 can diced tomatoes (or use fresh), 1 chopped onion, some minced garlic, 2 stalks chopped celery, and a few cleaned shrimp in a 9″ cast-iron skillet. Add enough chicken broth to moisten.
  • Season with Cajun seasoning and salt and pepper. Taste. Add hot sauce if you like spicy lips.
  • Top with dough (instead of the typical rice).
  • Bake 20 minutes. Flip. Serve!

Dessert: Ginger Peach Shortcake

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Prepare MaryJane’s Organic Buttermilk Biscuits or MaryJane’s Organic Scones w/Walnuts & Orange Peel, using the BakeOver instructions on the package. Add 1 t powdered ginger.
  • Stir together sliced fresh peaches (or any fruit, but peaches go especially well with ginger), brown sugar or honey to sweeten, finely minced fresh ginger, a squeeze of lemon, several pats of butter, and cinnamon in a 9″ cast-iron skillet. (Sprinkle with 2 T flour to thicken if your peaches are especially juicy.)
  • Top with dough.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Flip. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Sigh contentedly.

 

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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 … Nancy Boyd!!!

Nancy Boyd (#2508) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Spinning Merit Badge!

“Ever since I was little and was in a couple 4-H groups growing up and spending time around the animal barns and fairgrounds, I remember seeing ladies spinning on their wheels in the sheep barns. My aunt and uncle had sheep when I was growing up, and that added to my fascination for wanting to learn to spin. Within the last three years, I joined the local Weaver’s Guild in the Columbus, Ohio, area. In the last year, I have purchased around 8 sheep fleeces so I could learn to scour and card the fiber.

Then I used the fiber to work on learning to use both the drop spindle and wheel to spin up some yarn for me to use. I now have these 8 fleeces in plastic containers, and on one of them, I have been practicing doing my carding both by hand and drum. The fleece that I have carded has turned out gorgeous. Even my cousin who raised and showed sheep said it felt soft.

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This past August (2014), I participated in the Sheep to Shawl demonstration at the Ohio State Fair, where I worked on carding fleece while other ladies worked on spinning and weaving items while there was a sheep shearing contest going on at the same time in the same ring. It was a lot of fun. One of the guild members helped me out to fine tune my approach to carding. This past week, I sat down and watched a DVD on Carding Wool that had four different individuals on it and how they carded wool. While watching the DVD, I carded some fiber, trying each of these individual methods to see which way I preferred to card.

The whole process turned out great. I did settle on one way to card some fiber. Watching the DVD and the help from one of our guild members has helped me improve on carding fibers. Now I just need to keep practicing and carding all this fine fiber that I purchased and scoured. I will save and use some for my dyeing badge, and spin some to use for my other spinning badges. I am so excited to finally learn a new craft that has been on my bucket list before it was called a bucket list.”

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