Monthly Archives: May 2016



GIVEAWAY: Humans of New York Stories

Have you heard of Brandon Stanton? How about Humans of New York, or HONY, as people like to call it in these modern days of BFFs and LOLs? HONY defines the most beautiful aspects of our current social media craze. A year ago, I shared a glimpse of Brandon’s story. Brandon spends most of his time on the streets of New York, photographing and telling the stories of people he meets there, which he then shares on his blog and Facebook.


What began as a photo census in 2010, whose purpose was to chronicle neighborhoods and communities through the faces of people who lived there, has now grown to a well-known presence on the Internet whose posts reach more than 15 million followers each day. Last year, Brandon traveled to 12 different countries in collaboration with the United Nations, was invited to the White House to interview President Obama, spent a month in Europe documenting and sharing the story of Syrian refugees, and was named as one of the 30 most influential people on the Internet by Time magazine.

It seems that people are very interested in hearing compassionate tales about the lives of their fellow people. I know it’s my favorite snippet that passes through my Facebook newsfeed. And even though the posts are often short and sweet, I am usually in tears hearing the personal stories of so many. It is always good to be reminded of different perspectives and what people are surviving and accomplishing each day. So, I’ve been so looking forward to Brandon’s latest compilation of beautiful photos and stories of his subjects in book form! Once I’ve read it front to back and then back again, I plan to adorn my coffee table with it for all others to peruse, should they have a few minutes.

And since I can’t have you all over for tea alongside my coffee table and copy of HONY, I’m giving away a copy. Tell us in the comments section below what touches you most about the HONY story and we’ll randomly choose a winner sometime soon.



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 … Rachel Enlow!!!

Rachel Enlow (#6992) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Gaining Ground Merit Badge!

“Last year, I made my first compost bin from a 50-gallon Rubbermaid tub. I researched what to put in and not put in, drilled holes for air and moisture flow, and got a rake tool for turning it frequently.

This spring, I bought a second tub because I couldn’t use my compost fast enough. I am pulling out of the old tub for this year’s garden and contributing fresh organic matter to the new tub. Next year, I will reverse that. I am already seeing some lovely decomposition in this new tub and really look forward to next year! I am hoping that this two-bin system will serve me well for many years.

In the picture are my two tubs, which I moved to be near my garden.

It worked out so well that this year, I had a lot of compost to use in my garden, nearly 30 gallons. That’s a lot for a small garden like mine!

The only “problem” I’ve had is that I must have thrown a cucumber in with it because this year, I am getting cucumber sprouts everywhere I used the mulch!”


Dyeing for Color Merit Badge, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,962 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,905 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 Stitching and Crafting/Dyeing for Color Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I got myself a three-ring binder.

I heart binders. I long for Trapper Keepers. I live for file folders and I swoon over tabs and color coordinated dividers.

Wilson Jones supplies,

In short, I’m pretty much an Organization Junkie.

This particular binder—after I decorated it with glitter, collages, and stickers—I planned to use for my color swatches. After getting the hang of dyes earlier in my Beginner Level badge, I was ready to move on.

Continue reading



Today’s Recipe: Lavender & Honey Lemonade



Continue reading



Farmgirl Emoji

As the popularity of texting skyrockets, so does the population of emojis that inhabit the techno-sphere.

Not exactly sure what an emoji is?

Don’t worry—it’s a term used most liberally among the teen set. An emoji is, in its most basic form, a smiley face, like this:



Of course, emojis run the gamut of expressions these days and even include limitless other varieties of people, places, and things.

For instance, “I’m in the mood for pizza,” could be summed up like so:


With such a plethora of modern pictorial shorthand out there, it comes as a bit of a surprise that the emojis representing women and girls are, in a word, dated.

“When it comes to emojis, women can be brides or princesses, paint their fingernails, get a haircut, and go dancing in a red dress. If those sound like roles determined by the patriarchy, well, it’s not a new complaint,” writes Karen Workman of the New York Times. “But it may be changing. Google wants to add 13 emojis to represent women, and their male counterparts, in professional roles.”

A recent proposal from a team of Google employees was submitted to the Unicode Consortium, an organization responsible for the approval and subsequent web-wide unleashing of emojis.

According to Workman, “The proposed emojis include women in business and health care roles, at factories and on farms, among other things. Google wants the organization to approve them by year’s end, but the process of getting new emojis onto keyboards is a long one.”

(Who knew the world of silly smiley faces could be so convoluted?)

But, let’s back up a few paces … did you read what I read?

Yup—women on farms.

A farmgirl emoji!

Awww, just look at her:


Rumor has it, she’ll have her own tractor emoji too, and we’ll be on the lookout for both later this year.

In the meantime, watch this video by the folks at Always to glean a dash of enlightenment about the potential power of the humble emoji …