Monthly Archives: March 2017



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What’s That Sillage?

What’s that smell? No, not the stuff in the silo (silage)—that distinct odor of fermenting corn or hay—but that lovely, faint, lingering scent …



(n.) the scent that lingers in air, the trail left in water, the impression made in space after something or someone has been and gone; the trace of someone’s perfume.

French, literally, wake/trail

A poetical word, to be sure, when romancing over a love long-gone.

But perhaps you find sillage in other places and spaces …

… like when you pull up in your car to pick up your children from school and they sense the lingering aroma of the cheeseburger you wolfed down a moment earlier. Suspicion arises.

That kind of sillage … not so poetical.

Or when you move into a new house and smell the persistent bouquet of a woman’s perfume. But only at midnight. On Halloween.

Thanks to that type of sillage, you now know to pack up and move once again.

How about the sillage of your grandmother’s hand lotion, your dad’s motor oil, or the scent of a new baby’s scalp?

Only the nose knows.

Photo by Angela Andriot 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 … Arlene Woods!!!

Arlene Woods (Whirlwindwoman, #7241) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Backyard Farmer Merit Badge!

“I have 15 laying hens. (Started out with 18, but a hawk was killing them.) I finally learned how to butcher a chicken! One of my friends showed me how to do it without the boiling water—just butcher them like we do the rabbits! So much easier.

I feed my girls organic grain and they free range for insects and have pasture.

We have enjoyed the large brown eggs and good meat that we know is healthy. My son wants to add Russian meat rabbits this year and we are doubling our flock to include a heritage breed. (Right now we have a hybrid – Golden Comets.)”

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Today’s Recipe: Gluten-free Carrot Muffins w/Cream Cheese Filling


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(n.) an excessive desire to stay in bed

Pronunciation: klin-oh-MAYN-nee-uh


If you aren’t one now, you probably were one, back in your teenage days. A clinomaniac, I mean. I’d wager there’s one in every house … if you don’t know who it is, crack open those peepers and move the covers off your face; it’s probably you.

Is clinomania a thing due to the actual sleeping part of being in bed, or is it the comfort of a nice mattress, the softness of your favorite quilt, the easy access to your nightstand TBR pile of novels, or because it’s where you get some high quality snuggling?

Who knows?

Best sleep on it.

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Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Weaving In and Out, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,328 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,420 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/Weaving In and Out Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Piper, Andy, and I stepped up the ante. Now that we were pretty proficient at how to braid and make our own friendship bracelets,

photo by Nina Helmer via

we had to branch out and …

make another using a different material this time and give one away.

Seemed simple enough. Aww, naiveté, thy name is Jane …

We already had enough friendship bracelets to adorn most of the neighborhood (and in Andy’s case, the local football team), but we were fresh outta yarn. We pondered and pondered: what else could be braided?

Well, that was a loaded question for Lil’ Miss Pipes.

“What can’t be braided?” she rephrased, in delight.

Umm, turns out that became a list.

Things That Cannot Be Braided:
• Rocks
• Granola bars
• Chicken feathers
• Beef jerky
• Sticks of gum
• All the electrical cords behind the entertainment cabinet (but only cuz Dad says no)
• Toothbrushes
• Dog’s ears (but only because they won’t sit still long enough)
• Kitten’s tails (see above)
• Forks
• Spoons
• Knives

And how do we know these items aren’t braidable, you might ask? Because we didn’t attempt them, naturally … sigh.

The next list seemed more fun (not to mention, more applicable).

Things That CAN Be Braided:
• Yarn
• Ribbons
• Shoelaces (not while people are wearing them, though. Not nice, Andy)
• Some flower stalks or long grasses
• Strips of cloth or lace
• Rickrack
• Your mom’s purse straps
• Your dad’s belts
• Curly ribbon on packages/gifts
• Headbands and hair ties
• Curtain tie-backs
• Fringe
• Shirt sleeves (Don’t ask. I think they were making homemade strait jackets or something.)
• Fruit leather (sticky, but worth the flavor combination)
• Licorice sticks
• Dental floss
• Bungee cords
• Bread dough
• Embroidery floss
• Men’s dress socks or girl’s knee-highs

I think the list would have gone on all day and night, but we needed to get crackin’ on actually accomplishing a few completed bracelets and then gifting them. This likely would have led to another list, but I snagged the pencil from Piper. Sheesh, if there’s a badge for List Making that kiddo would be Chapter Leader in no time.

photo by Bunches and Bits {Karina} via

There are approximately 7.4 billion people in the world right now.

We have nearly enough friendship bracelets for everyone.

I’m. Not. Even. Kidding.

photo by Diane Industrialart Purdie via

Piper and Andy picked out the very best, the most beautiful, the one that took the most work and time, the one they treasured out of them all, and they gave it to …


Don’t be jelly of my fruit leather, hollyhock stalk, dental floss, and ribbon bracelet, my farmgirls. It is one of a kind, yes, but you too can have a priceless symbol of your neighbor kids’ affection. Just teach them this badge!

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