Monthly Archives: July 2017



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Today’s Recipe: Garlic & Lime Shredded Chicken Burritos


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Her-Story Merit Badge, Expert Level, Part I

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,428 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,782 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/Her-Story Expert Level Merit Badge, I settled down for a long nap, lovely weekend of my favorite thing (after snack food): reading.

Ah, books, how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways:

  • You are portable. No more boring bubble baths, late dentist appointments, or tedious business meetings. Not when you have a book.
  • You smell delicious. Did you know book smelling is a thing? Yep. It’s not just me with a strange addiction. There’s even a perfume for us novel sniffers: buy it here, or a roll-on oil for bibliophiles: buy it here.
  • You take me away to strange and fantastical places, all from the comfort of my own cozy chair.

Of course, there are more reasons, but time to get to our badge, Madge.

To earn my Expert Level badge, I needed to read two biographies, one featuring someone from the 1800s and one from the 1900s.

My trusty librarian at my side (Some people have replaced their friendly local librarians with an app like Goodreads or Amazon and the like, but I prefer my librarians to be of the flesh-and-blood variety. Call me old-fashioned.), I picked out my first book …

Pioneer Girl, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.


I knew I wanted to read more about ‘Half-Pint,’ my favorite and bestest girlfriend of my childhood. Naturally, we had never actually met, but I feel Laura and I would have gotten along famously, had we only been alive at the same time in history. Of course, there are simply scads of biographies written about my Bestie, but I wanted the info straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

Ah, Bunny! Laura’s trusty steed would have liked me, too. I just know it.

I ate up Pioneer Girl like it was going out of style. Some interesting facts I learned about her:

  • Pa’s nickname for Laura was his “little half-pint of cider, half drunk up.”
  • She was quite small, only 4’ 11”. “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” -Shakespeare.
  • It took 65 years for Laura to become a published author, in 1932 (she was born February 7, 1867).
  • She was told writing fiction for children was a waste of time. Good thing the stubborn farmgirl didn’t listen!
  • She wrote all of her books on both sides of yellow tablet paper, in pencil, in order to save money and conserve paper.
  • The Little House books have never been out of print since the ‘30s.
  • Today, the estimated worth of the Little House fortune is $100 million. The heir to the fortune is Abigail MacBride Allen, the daughter of Roger Lea MacBride. Roger was Rose Wilder Lane’s business agent and lawyer. He was also the 1976 Libertarian candidate for President and a co-producer of the Little House on the Prairie television series.
  • Laura met Almanzo, her “Manly,” in a hay field, after she was cutting through the field on a shortcut. He hollered at her to get her attention. How romantic?!
  • In 1891, Laura accidently burned their house down. Oops. This makes me feel much better about my own cooking skills.
  • Her daughter, Rose, was also an intrepid farmgirl in her own right, known for being independent and strong-willed. During World War II, she flat-out refused the government’s ration cards, and instead grew all her own food. She also quit writing during that time to reduce her taxes. She knew the value of a dollar!
  • When Little House in the Big Woods was finally about to be published, the publishers made Laura change the ages of herself and her sister, Mary. They said no one would ever believe two such little girls had so many chores and responsibilities and adventures!

Still eager for more Half-Pint facts? Read her Little House series, autobiography, diary entries, watch the television series starring Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landen, view documentaries, take a road trip to all the places she lived and traveled to, go to their museums … why, there’s even a full-length musical about Laura and a Japanese anime series!

New life goal: become so important that someone makes a musical and/or a anime series about me.

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That’s a law, you say?

Craving a quiz?

Well, here’s one that’ll cause you to scratch your head in puzzlement before you even begin pondering the answers.

Photo by Asdfasdewdsewd via Wikimedia Commons

The following is a list of incredibly kooky laws from around the globe. Try guessing the locations that passed the laws, then I’ll reveal the answers at the end of the post.

  1. In this city, you must smile at all times (except during funerals or hospital visits). If you frown, you may face a fine.
  2. In this small town in Italy, kissing in a moving vehicle is forbidden.
  3. Down under, in this city, it’s illegal to vacuum your house from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. during weekdays and 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. on weekends.
  4. It is against the law to have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7 p.m. in this U.S. state.
  5. Don’t host a luau after sunset in this city if you plan on singing loudly (i.e., breaking the law).
  6. In this Celtic country, if someone knocks on your door and needs to use your toilet, you are legally required to let them enter.
  7. In this Texas town, it is against the law to make furniture while you are nude.
  8. In this state, which was one of the original 13 colonies, it’s illegal to tie a dollar bill on a string, place it on the ground, and pull it away when someone tries to pick it up.
  9. In this Polynesian country, it’s against the law to forget your wife’s birthday.
  10. Carrying ice cream cones in your pocket is illegal in this southern U.S. state.
  11. Taking a lion to the cinema is illegal—not in Kenya, but in a city on our own country’s east coast.
  12. In this country, it’s illegal to name a pig Napoleon.
  13. In this forested Canadian province, it’s illegal to kill a Sasquatch.
  14. You must not fish while sitting on a giraffe’s neck in this windy city.


  1. Milan, Italy
  2. Eboli, Italy
  3. Melbourne, Australia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Honolulu, Hawaii
  6. Scotland
  7. Devon, Texas
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Samoa
  10. Kentucky
  11. Baltimore, Maryland
  12. France
  13. British Columbia
  14. Chicago

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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 … Sherrilyn Askew!

Sherrilyn Askew (Sherri, #1350) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Intermediate Level Mosaics Merit Badge!

“I made a larger mosaic piece (larger than the last one). I am making a series of stepping stones that are being installed in our hummingbird garden (currently under construction). My daughter is helping me by making a few stones as well. We need them as paths to get to the spigot which is in the garden, and to be able to get at the weeds in the beds. It’s a pretty big garden.


The first one I made, my partner “helped” me with, so I had to take a wire brush to it when it dried to get the concrete off of the tiles. The second one, I lectured him about leaving it alone and letting me do it, so I only had to brush the edges to soften the concrete corners a bit. Since I made it on the 4th of July, that is its theme. My daughter and her friend made stones that day as well. I love the way they all turned out.”

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Today’s Recipe: Apricot & Vanilla-bean Custard Popsicles


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