Monthly Archives: March 2016

Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Let’s Go To Town, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,861 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,721 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Each Other/Let’s Go To Town Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I gathered up my large stack of (barely overdue) library books, my biggest and sturdiest reusable tote bag, and my posse of neighbor kids. I had learned something about the little whippersnappers earlier and I was appalled.

They didn’t have library cards.

Photo by Joe Crawford via Wikimedia Commons

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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 … Krista Butters Davis!!!

Krista Butters Davis (MaryJanesNiece, #528) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Crochet Merit Badge!

“I earned my merit badge by first learning how to crochet. I tried teaching myself by reading books. With no success, I asked a friend to come and teach me how to do some basic stitches. Once I got the hang of it, I decided to make a simple scarf for my little boy. After the scarf was done, I decided I wanted to add some easy tassels to the ends. Since the scarf was light blue, I wanted a dark color for the tassels and chose black. Then I decided to create a simple dishcloth for me. I chose to use a bright and fun colored yarn that would help me smile as I did the dishes.

The scarf turned out pretty good for being my first crochet project. I’ve seen the places where my stitches were tight and other places where they were loose. I only restarted a couple of times. My washcloth tuned out really nice. I was very pleased once I put an edge around it.”

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Krista’s Auntie MJ (moi) couldn’t be more proud.

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Today’s Recipe: Hot Cross Bunnies

I meant to run Ashley’s hot cross bunnies recipe this morning so you’d have time to work it into your Easter menu. I’ll leave the chili up just in case someone saw the luscious photos and decided it was perfect for Saturday night’s movie fest.

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Today’s Recipe: Vegetarian Chili

Next Thursday, February 25, is National Chili Day. Celebrate with this quick and easy OMG!-this-is-delicious recipe for smoky vegetarian chili.

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Running Wild

I’m a runner. And it’s taken me a long time to say that out loud. What motivated me to finally say it? Well, running is good for you.

Photo Feb 16, 4 47 34 PM

My first running shoes that I actually ran in.

Running regularly improves your health immensely, from increasing bone mass and helping prevent age-related bone loss to keeping your mind sharp as you age. It can prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Running makes you a happier person by releasing those feel-good chemicals known as endorphins, thus protecting you from anxiety and depression. Although I’m super slow (so slow some can walk alongside me), running has made a huge difference in my life.

Photo Feb 16, 4 47 04 PM

Me and my brother after my first half marathon.

One of the comments I hear most often when I talk about running is this: “I’m so out of shape, I’ll never be able to run.” That is simply not true. In my humble opinion, all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes, a little motivation, and the ability to start slow. I would say the last item on that list is the most important.

Turns out, the team at Couch25K agrees with me. This company designed an app that accompanies you every step of the way in a bid for your very own 5K (that’s 3.1 miles!). The designers made it for folks who want to approach running, but want to be somewhat comfortable and in control while doing it. They say the biggest mistake made by new runners is going at it too fast. Their bodies rebel and they wind up miserable. The Couch25K program conditions you slowly over a period of nine weeks, but you can vary that pace to accommodate your own fitness needs. Each session lasts 20-30 minutes, which is the recommended length of time to gain benefits from moderate exercise. You can choose to measure your progress by time or distance, and you can set up the program in a metric version, a treadmill version, even a Poochto5K option, which is all about improving the health of our canine friends. There’s a running forum where you can connect with like-minded souls online, and lots and lots of resources are available on their website.

If you decide to jump in, please keep me posted. Have fun!

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Where in the world?

Can you name a place where a flock of these …

Photo by HBieser via Pixabay

Might be seen grazing alongside a flock of THESE?

Photo by Ben Tubby via Wikimedia Commons

Kooky, right?

Here’s a hint from Modern Farmer: “Home to around 3,000 people and roughly half-a-million sheep, [this] British territory is a major wool producer. Besides being one of the only places in the world where sheep and penguins routinely share pasture, [this place] bears the distinction as the nation with the highest percentage of certified organic land.”

If you’re thinking New Zealand …

Photo by MartinStr via Pixabay

You’re close—well, hemispherically speaking, anyway—but no cigar, sister.

The location where sheep and cattle share space with penguins (and occasional beached sea lions) is some 5,200 ocean miles east of New Zealand, just around the tip of South America’s Cape Horn:

Image courtesy of Eric Gaba via Wikipedia

The Falkland Islands.

“You’ll see sheep walking right through the middle of the penguin colony, and the penguins don’t even turn a head,” Falkland farmer Mike Rendell told Modern Farmer with a chuckle. “You don’t see a cow going up and licking a penguin or anything like that, they just get on with their own lives. They don’t seem to have any issues at all.”

Plan a farm stay in this unusual destination at FalklandIslands.com.

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