Monthly Archives: August 2017

Happiness is …

Here’s what Carol had on her computer screen this week … just had to share!

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Winners!!! Giveaways: On the Sunny Side

In the Aug/Sept issue of MaryJanesFarm, “On the Sunny Side,” I led you here to my daily journal for a chance to win some special giveaways. Following, you’ll find the winners of all four giveaways. Thank you to all who participated by leaving comments, and stay tuned for more giveaways in each issue of MaryJanesFarm. If you’re not yet a subscriber to MaryJanesFarm, subscribe here for $19.95/year.


The winner of my “Liquid Sunshine, On the Sunny Side” giveaway is Cecile Clausen, who left this comment in response to “Tell me your favorite cleaning tip.” (302 comments!)

“Often! Always stay on top of it. I would love to try your Liquid Sunshine Vermont Soap! I love MaryJanesFarm magazine!”


The winner of my “Coola, On the Sunny Side” giveaway is Libby Blaha, who left this comment in response to “Tell me about your summer-in-the-sun plans.” (242 comments!)

“My summer-in-the-sun plan is spending time in my yard and garden, trying to keep up with the mowing and weeding, along with getting ready for fall gardening. Actually, very relaxing!!”


The winner of my “Milk Cow Kitchen, On the Sunny Side” giveaway is Cheryl Wolfgang, who left this comment in response to “Tell me how MaryJanesFarm has helped you realize your farm dreams.” (285 comments!)

“Thank you for a great magazine. I enjoy it so much! I grew up near Moscow Mountain on a farm, and love the area. We had a jersey cow back then; loved the milk and we made our own butter. I have lived in Pennsylvania now for many years. I’d like to have a jersey cow again. Right now, I have dairy goats, and I’d like to make cheeses.”


The winner of my “Chocolate, On the Sunny Side” giveaway is Eileen M Stone, who left this comment in response to “Tell me how you feel when you eat chocolate.” (334 comments!)

“When I eat chocolate, I feel happy and loved. It’s like a hug from the inside out!”


Thank you to the over 1,100 women who responded with such thoughtful comments! If you’re one of our winners, keep an eye out for an e-mail from the farm.

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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 … Teresa Roberson!

Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Community Action Merit Badge!

“I am disgusted with the litter strewn on the highways in my neighborhood and in my yard. So, I researched the “litter” issue in my community.

Litter remains a problem in rural South Carolina. The South Carolina Dept. of Health and Environmental Control heads both Palmetto Pride and Keep SC Beautiful, affiliates of the national Keep America Beautiful and the Adopt-a-Highway program. In my county, The Walterboro Chamber of Commerce organizes the Keep Colleton Beautiful. DHEC controls the Adopt-a-Highway program.

In partnership with a variety of local organizations and agencies, the objectives of Keep Colleton Beautiful are to:

• Conduct continuing education programs regarding litter, recycling, and the proper handling of solid waste in Colleton County.

• Develop and enhance programs that will result in the sustained reduction of litter and graffiti and increase the use of recycling in Colleton County.

• Encourage stricter code enforcement regarding litter and dumping, and review and recommend, where appropriate, legislative change regarding environmental ordinances in Colleton County.

• Encourage the placing, planting, and preservation of trees, flowers, shrubs, and objects of ornamentation in Colleton County.

• Maintain certification with the national Keep America Beautiful organization.

• Solicit and accept donations and appropriations of money, services, products, property and facilities for expenditures and use by KCB for accomplishment of objectives.

• Make an annual report to the Colleton County Council.

• Cooperate and work with other County departments, agencies, and groups to carry out the general purposes of the Commission.

Keep Colleton Beautiful organizes and promotes the Great American Cleanup, annually in April.

Until the day of the Great American Cleanup in April, I will keep my roadside clean and document the amount of litter I retrieve from my area and the time I volunteer. I will recycle the items from the litter I collect. After speaking with the Chamber’s office, I plan to ask to become a member of their Keep Colleton Beautiful board next year.”

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Today’s Recipe: Homemade Taco Seasoning


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checking the mail

While it’s sadly disappearing nowadays, checking the mail used to be a pretty titillating experience. After all, you had pen-pals, letters from relatives, brown paper packages tied up with string, maybe even a letter from Ed McMahon himself, letting you know you finally won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. Whether you had a mailbox with a flag at the end of a dirt driveway, or a drop slot in the door to your city apartment, or a key to a copper-colored box in the office itself, checking the mail was just plain fun.

In the ’80s, little girls sent SLAMs with their bubble-gum-scented Lisa Frank stationery letters. Remember those? Handmade questionnaires you filled out, then passed along. Once full, they were mailed back to the original maker, and voila! You had a dozen new friends from all over the world.

There are plenty of fun things you can still mail, without even bothering with the packaging. Believe it or not, the post office allows you to affix postage to:

  • coconuts (they’re considered a “self-contained unit”)
  • a potato (because, well, it’s Idaho!)
  • a flip-flop (but you should probably send two)
  • a box of candy that is less than 13 oz.
  • a sombrero
  • a lime (to go with the above sombrero)
  • a rock or brick (though we don’t know why you’d want to)
  • an inflated beach ball
  • a piñata (Fill it with candy first. Best. Birthday. Invite. Ever.)
  • plastic water bottles filled with treats
  • a Frisbee
  • plastic Easter eggs
  • basketballs

But did you know back in the day, as they say, you could even mail your children?? Don’t get too excited, Mommies, it was a short-lived period in history. I guess (we grudgingly admit) it’s not the safest way for little Junior to travel, even if you find yourself tempted after he shaves the dog, smears peanut butter all over his bedspread, and/or pours your salon-brand shampoo down the tub.

According to the Smithsonian Institute, ‘Just a few weeks after Parcel Post began, an Ohio couple named Jesse and Mathilda Beagle “mailed” their 8-month-old son, James, to his grandmother, who lived just a few miles away in Batavia. According to Lynch, Baby James was just shy of the 11-pound weight limit for packages sent via Parcel Post, and his “delivery” cost his parents only 15 cents in postage (although they did insure him for $50). The quirky story soon made newspapers, and for the next several years, similar stories would occasionally surface as other parents followed suit.’

There’s even a famous story of a girl named Charlotte May, in 1914. She was 4 years old, living near our neck of the woods, in Grangeville, Idaho, and her parents mailed her to Gramma, who lived about 73 miles away. With a 53-cent stamp attached to the back of her coat, the good-natured postal clerk wrote her down as “poultry post,” and joked that she was the biggest chick on record. When asked why the odd mode of transportation, the mother replied, “It was cheaper than a train ticket.”

Someone even wrote a book about Charlotte’s trip (she made it safely), and you can find it here. Perfect for the grandchildren in your life, the whole book is made to look like a suitcase that you unfold to read, with the title being framed in postage stamps. Just make sure your little chickadees don’t get any ideas to mail themselves to you!

Maybe we just like our mail in Idaho, because here’s another nostalgic photo, taken this time in Fruitland. Are these little ones checking the mailbox for a letter, a package, or perhaps a returning sibling?

Photo by Dorothea Lange via the Library of Congress.

And let’s not forget how our humble mail service began here in the States. The Pony Express is an intriguing bit of history we can’t set aside, no matter how much we love our e-mail and smart phones. A difficult and dangerous job, the original advertisement looking for Pony Express Riders read like this: “St. Joseph, Missouri, to California in 10 days or less! WANTED: Young, skinny, wiry fellows. NOT over 18. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. ORPHANS PREFERRED.”

Gulp. They were not messin’ around. Here’s a photo of four fearless early Pony Express riders. Either these guys didn’t see the “under 18” request or this was a job that aged you fast!

Photo by Earnest and Elaine Hartnagle via Wikimedia Commons.

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