Monthly Archives: September 2017



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Today’s Recipe: GF Apple-Buttermilk Muffins w/Maple Glaze


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Young Cultivator Merit Badge: All Buttoned Up, Intermediate Level

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 Stitching and Crafting/All Buttoned Up Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Nora and I picked up right where we left off.

Hands deep in the cookie tin.

No, not that cookie tin. The one with all the buttons in it.

Now that she had her very own collection of super-adorbs buttons, it was time to learn their function (besides the functions Nora had come up with on her own: sorting and piling, gluing to things, and flipping across the room like miniature flying saucers).

Sewing them on fabric.

Now I’m not saying that I took this opportunity to teach this skill at this particular time just because I was in need of a button on my favorite apron … I prefer to call it perfect timing. A complete coincidence. And it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t replace my missing button myself: Nora had pilfered my own collection to bolster hers. I didn’t have a spare button to my name.

So, I got out a needle and thread and proceeded to teach the fine art of button attaching to my little protégé.

There was much wailing and poking and pricking and screeching and losing of the needle and losing of the button and losing of patience and demands for a tea and scone break. Such shenanigans. It was embarrassing really.

“Seriously, Aunty,” said Nora, with a roll of her baby blues, “Are you about done with the dramatic show and shenanigans? I’m ready to learn this if you’re ready to focus.”

“Yes, er, sorry.” I sucked on my sore finger and wondered where I’d stashed my thimble. “I’m better now. All focused. Pass me that apron, would you?”

Next to pockets, buttons are incredibly important to functional style. Plus, buttons can say a lot about you! Square, round, pliable, stiff, shiny, dull, colorful, sparkly, you name it, you can find it in a button. My apron was a cheery blue/green pattern, so I chose a button in a shade of bright green for a nice contrast.

I suppose you could say the purple thread I used to sew it on was also for contrast, but mostly it was because I couldn’t find any green. Or blue.

I really need to organize my thread collection.

Is there a badge for that?

But back to the buttons. I worked on my apron, while snuggled up next to Nora, who was sewing her own yellow button on a scrap of fabric for practice before she attached one to a real item of clothing.

Turns out I was also snuggled up to the missing needle in the couch cushions.

Son of a tailor! My bottom was nearly Swiss cheese by the time I found that sucker. In the meantime, Nora had finished her button and was kindly finishing up mine. She really got the hang of it quickly, partly due to my What Not To Do demonstration.

The things I do for these kids. Turning myself into a sieve and whatnot.

Ah well. I can wear my favorite apron once again, Nora earned a new badge, and we finished off the afternoon with some tea and scones. It was a successful day, indeed.

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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 … Joyce Hein!

Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level BakeOver MakeOver Merit Badge!

“I utilized the recipes found in MaryJane’s Ideabook to cook up some delicious bakeovers. We used what we had in our garden. I hosted the family, and we explored a variety of ways to make the bakeovers, from veggies to dessert!

Everyone loved them, particularly me, as they’re so quick and easy to make.”

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Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge, Beginner Level

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 Make It Easy/Emergency Preparedness Beginner Level Merit Badge, I had to steal myself and dig down deep for the bravery and courage I knew I had in there somewhere. It was usually located beneath the hummus and turkey wrap, below the spleen, and next to the slice of blueberry pie, somewhere deep in my guts. Don’t be jelly at my knowledge of anatomy; we all have our gifts. One of mine is an intrinsic awareness of the inner workings of my body. The other one is a penchant for blueberry pie.

Anyway, the reason I needed to find my bravado was because I had always been a little bit frightened of natural disasters. Okay, more than a little bit frightened. I still crawl under my bed when there’s a thunder and lightning storm (and the cats don’t like to share that space either; it’s dog eat dog eat dust bunny under there, let me tell you). I freak out when the power goes out. I refuse to live anywhere where there is the slightest chance of a hurricane, a tornado, a tsunami, an earthquake, a shark attack, or a meteor shower. I know, I know, I tried applying for a NASA trip, since outer space is the only place you won’t find those, but have you ever given serious thought to black holes and alien abductions?

Seriously. My mind, when left unattended for too long, is a browser history of What Could Possibly Go Wrong, with all the tabs left open. I wouldn’t say I’m a chicken, per se, but my childhood nickname was Henny Penny.

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”

I hate it when the sky does that.

I’ve tried to be better at dispelling the doom and gloom my fancies dream up, but it’s hard. Bear attacks, flash floods, lightning strikes! Dust bowls, plagues of locusts, ice storms! Lions, and tigers, and bears, OH MY!

So you can only imagine how long I’ve been putting off this particular badge, Madge. Just looking at the title alone gave me the heeby-jeebies. Then I read the actual requirements for the Beginner Level and my heart rate went back down to a normal rate (for Henny Penny, anyway).

  • Determine the types of emergencies that you and your family are most likely to face. Be sure to look at emergencies that only affect you, as well as emergencies that can affect your local community.
  • Make a plan with your family on how to respond to likely emergencies such as fire, flood, earthquakes, and severe weather.

Well, whew! A sense of relief flooded my body. Flooded? Bad choice of words, Jane. I was soothed, let’s put it that way. I didn’t need to focus on ALL the natural disasters and emergencies that could possibly arise (plagues, heat wave, zombie apocalypses), just the ones that might affect me. That narrowed my extremely extensive list down to a more bearable number. Wait, bears? Ack, there I go again.

Steeling my nerves with a strong shot of organic espresso and a chunk of chocolate lava cake (lava?!) I made a list.

  • Wildfires. They happen. And where I live? They happen much too frequently for this farmgirl to be able to relax in the summer. My plan? Dowsing my campfires completely, keeping the underbrush around my perimeter mowed, knowing the channels and apps for wildfire updates and storing them in my phone and in my car radio, and having an evacuation plan set up ahead of time.
  • Earthquakes. No, we haven’t had one in my neck of the woods in decades, but you never know when the sneaky little earth will decide to quake a bit. Which makes me quake a bit. Plan: know where to go immediately if Gramma Barbie’s china collection starts falling off the shelf.
  • Power outages. Okay, some of you find them fun, what with your super-nifty flashlights, scented candles, and night-vision goggles. Plan: get me some super-nifty flashlights, scented candles, and night-vision goggles.

Surprisingly, by the end of this Beginner Level badge, I was feeling mighty proud of myself and I hadn’t even thought of sharks for like, 15 minutes, which was some kind of record. I decided to bite the bullet (ack, bullets?!) and move straight along to the Intermediate Level badge …

Right after I checked to make sure the sky was still properly located and not falling.

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