Monthly Archives: July 2015

Rural TV

Hey, Jane!

Whether you’re out weeding the garden or haying the back 40, gather your gal pals and perk up your ears ’cause I have a nugget of news to share …

The Farmer’s Wife magazine, circa 1920

There’s a presidential election on the horizon.

“You called us in from the fields to announce the election, MJ?” sighs Jane. “Heck, every farmgirl from here to Hays knows THAT news. CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC … we hear the headlines, honey.”

Hold on, sisters.

The election isn’t my news (I knew you knew THAT news).

My news concerns your news—rather, where it comes from.

Come again?

The networks you mentioned (most networks, for that matter) are broadcast by mega media corporations, far and away from cropland, countryside, and rural citizens’ concerns. Urban journalists interview urbane politicians (including potential presidential candidates) who frequently focus on issues of interest to the metropolitan masses.

What say you? “Too true!”

Now that I’ve nabbed your attention, here’s my news for you to use:

RFD-TV, a 24-hour news network dedicated to rural programming via cable and satellite, just announced that it will expand into political coverage this month with a new series called “Rural Town Hall”. This hour-long show, scheduled to air on Monday and Thursday evenings, will feature one-on-one interviews with presidential hopefuls, targeting issues specific to agriculture, rural education, development, health care, and more.

“What’s really important to us is that no one perceives us as having a pony in this race,” Patrick Gottsch, founder and president of Rural Media Group, told Modern Farmer. “We’re not Republican, we’re not Democrat. We’re not liberal, we’re not conservative. We’re rural Americans, and we’re asking the questions that are important to rural America.”

Already thinking of questions you’d like to ask? Send ’em in!

That’s right—the network is gathering questions from viewers as well as organizations like the Future Farmers of America and 4-H. Contact the network here.



Piles of Books

Piles of books. I have them all around. Some are mine, some are my hubby’s, some are for the girls, some I want to pass on to friends and family, and some I keep in my collection because I have plans to get to them soon. They give me a sense of anticipation, all those stories waiting to be told, all those new characters waiting to be met.

Photo Jul 15, 8 01 06 AM

Almost every reader I know has at least one pile of books that stares at them, and it appears that these staring piles of books are a “thing” shared round the world. In fact, the Japanese have a word for it. Tsundoku is a noun that describes a pile of unread books, or refers to a person who buys books and doesn’t read them, and then lets them pile up on the floor and shelves. It is believed that the word entered the Japanese language in the late 1800s as a pun. The story goes that the original word, tsunde oku, meaning to let something pile up, got swapped out for tsunde doku, which literally means reading pile. The two words were eventually combined and shortened to make them easier to pronounce.

While my piles of books have all been boxed up while we get ready to move from one home to the next, I left out the reading pile … Just in case I have a moment with a cup of tea and a new book.



Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Make It Fruity, Beginner Level, Part 1

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,487 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,234 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   

In my pursuit of all things farmgirl, I set about helping my neighbor, Nora, earn herself a Young Cultivator’s Make It Fruity Merit Badge.

“It will be fun,” they said.

“It will be educational,” they said.

They forgot to mention that 12-year-olds have the attention spans of gnats on a sugar high, that the high temperature for this weekend was 104 degrees, and that I’m not as young as I used to be. I’m not saying that taking small children blackberry picking isn’t a delight, I’m just saying wear the right clothes and be prepared.

“Prepared for what?” you ask.

Well, bug sightings and freak-outs, blackberry stains that look alarmingly like blood (causing you to panic and start slapping bandages on your unsuspecting and confused child), ditches that try to eat grown women, and a sunburn that’s the opposite of a farmer’s tan. (Think gloves. Yeah. I now have lily-white hands, which is very ladylike of me. But they’re in stark contrast to my pink, pink arms.)

Let’s just say, I was ill prepared. But little Nora had a blast. And that’s what counts, right?


Nervous breakdowns aside.

Anyway, blackberries are delicious and grow like weeds (in fact, in Oregon, they call ‘em Oregon’s State Weed). They’re also well protected from predators and will stab you if you so much as look at them. Also, they really like growing next to ditches, as I mentioned before, and I have the twisted ankle and dirty knees to prove it. All that being said, I also have enough blackberries for pies and cobblers and to sprinkle on my morning granola, so all is not lost.

Photo by David R. Tribble via Wikimedia Commons

Nora, my sweet-pea neighbor, and I set out first thing in the morning. Well, it was supposed to be first thing, but evidently, preteens need more sleep than hibernating bears, so by the time I could roll her out of bed and get her moving, I had already had brunch, second breakfast, and pre-lunch. She, on the other hand, needed sustenance asap, as proven by her crazy eyes and extremely exciting hairdo. Her mother hastily fed her a stack of pancakes as high as a breadbox, and then also … the entire contents of her breadbox.

I was impressed with this girl already, and we hadn’t even started yet.

After that, Nora needed to “check her social media,” which took approximately 47 and one half years.

Photo by PictureYouth via Wikimedia Commons

What does a 12-year-old need with social media, I thought to myself? She obviously needed me. I too, used to be more interested in Twitter than I was in the tweets of real birds. I was more in love with shopping and the mall than I was with my kitchen and my garden. I used to use words like LOL and ROTGL in casual conversation. I knew Nora. She was my Mini Me, but before I became a farmgirl.

I could see more Merit Badges in my future with my little Jedi. I would be her Yoda! Instruct and nurture her, I would.

Even if it killed me.

It nearly did.

To be continued…



Today’s Recipe: Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Biscuits (GF, too!)


Continue reading

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 Each Other for earning an Intermediate & Expert Level Blogging Merit Badge!

“I started my blog on 11/23/2013, but went slowly at learning things from a book called Blogging For Dummies. I posted on Country Katie and Daisy Mae at that date and have continued to do so with topics about glamping, gardening, knitting, and more. I have added my blog to some time ago.

I have learned a little at a time, and just recently have started adding color and also pictures. I have learned to change profile photos and some other things. This seems to be something that I will enjoy for a long time, including reading others’ blogs. I look at knitting, quilting, gardening, and travel blogs, also.


I learned how to add my profile picture and then how to change pictures. Now I also am able to add pictures at the beginning or end of the blog. I also have published more than 10 blogs, as I have been doing this since the end of 2013, but this is the first time I have applied for the badge, as it just takes a while to get things going with a blog, at least for me. I have visited others’ blogs and they have done the same with mine. I do not have a big following, but I believe that in time, and if I learn to add some more decor and “class” to my simple blog, it will be looked at more.

I believe my blogging is doing fine. I know I could be on more often and respond to others’ blogs, maybe ask questions at the end of my posts so people may respond, and maybe list more topics. I enjoy telling things about gardening, knitting, glamping, and my sweet Daisy Mae Foxhound. As your blogging section states, it takes time to build a following. Actually, I am not so concerned about a large following, as I am enjoying it for the writing experience.”



Present Perfect

I love it when my girls spend time with the elderly nuns who live in a nearby convent. I’ve found myself loving the interaction and wished it happened more often.

sweet hands via

So when I learned of an assisted living facility in Seattle that also houses a preschool within its walls, I had no doubt that it was an excellent idea. The 400+ residents of Providence Mount St. Vincent assisted-living center interact on a daily basis with the children, age birth through 5, who attend The Intergenerational Learning Center. The broad purpose of the ILC is to help children learn about the elderly, specifically naturalizing the aging process, accepting people with disabilities, reducing their fear of older adults, and just relishing the plain old joy of receiving unconditional love and attention.

reading a book via

It’s a total win-win situation, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Check out what filmmaker Evan Briggs has put together at Briggs hopes that her beautiful film will spark more discussion about how to expand the model further. The film’s title, “Present Perfect,” refers to the fact that while these two groups of people have no future or past in common, their relationships emerge and exist entirely in the present and are absolutely beautiful.

doing a puzzle via