Monthly Archives: February 2018



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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 Jill Lokke!

Jill Lokke (#6707) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Basketry Merit Badge!

“I have been making baskets for many years, and even taught beginning basketry classes, so for this merit badge, I researched plaited, coiled, ribbed, and wicker basket techniques, and discovered that there is a lot of overlap, and my basketry books don’t always agree with the Wikipedia article. The baskets I have made are mostly plaited, with the materials woven over and under each other at right angles. I have also made some that are more of a wicker style, with very flexible weavers over spokes of a more rigid material. For both types, I usually begin by twining the base of the basket with a small diameter round reed. One of my earlier baskets is wicker-style on the bottom and ribbed at the top, with a braided rim, but I didn’t know that until I did the research.

For my ‘first’ basket for this merit badge, I chose to make my first coiled basket. It is sea grass cording wrapped with my hand-spun, hand dyed wool yarn. I dyed it with indigo after spinning. The sea grass is entirely covered by the yarn.

In all, I spent at least four hours on the basket, and a couple of hours researching. I’ve already started looking into Native American basketry for the next level.

It was a lot of work for a tiny basket, but it’s very cute! The diameter is 4 1/2 inches and it’s 2 inches high. It will hold three eggs, which is about all I get in one day right now (6 hens).”

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Today’s Recipe: Coconut-Grapefruit Vinaigrette


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Young Cultivator Merit Badge: Where in the World? Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,504 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,886 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life  

For this week’s Each Other/Where in the World? Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I wrangled me some Piper.

Just call me the Child Wrangler.

(Just don’t call me late for dinner.)

I was itchin’ to do this badge with her because I hadn’t yet attempted the grown up farmgirl version of it: National Geography. I wanted to ease my way in, so to speak. Why? Well, let’s just say geography isn’t my strong suit.

And if you teach someone to fish for a day, you teach yourself … how to fish for a day as well. Or something like that.

Also, expressions aren’t my strong suit, either.

Anyway, Piper was excited about this one because she recently been gifted a huge stack of paper maps. Most were from old back issues of National Geographic magazine and they were mostly in good shape. She’d used some already … to make paper fans, paper dolls, homemade envelopes, line her dresser drawers, and turn into paper airplanes with which she accosted nearby bystanders (like me). In spite of all that … um, geography, she had yet to do anything with her maps along the lines of what the good cartographer had intended them for: hanging them up on her walls for study purposes.

Map of Eastern Europe, 1836, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Armed with thumbtacks, we set about hanging the two most important ones: one of the United States, and one of the whole world. Hung right at eye level near her bed, I figured she would be doing a lot of learning and memorizing by osmosis.

And you know what they say: If you judge a fish a day by its ability to climb osmosis trees, it will spend its whole life believing it’s a stupid tree. Albert Einstein said that. Or something along those lines.

While I was staring intently at the map of America (When did North Dakota move over there? Has it always been there? Weird.), Piper was hanging up her own personal favorite map, one of Neverland.

You know, where Captain Hook reigns and the Lost Boys run amuck.

I was pretty sure this map had not been published by National Geographic, but I had to admit, it was a beautifully drawn map. Complete with crocodiles and flying pirate ships and mermaids! I was a little jealous and used a nearby crayon to add some mermaid doodles to North Dakota. It vastly improved the scenery.

Peter Pan, 1915, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

While Piper is not yet ready for the National Geography Bee, she had memorized quite a lot the next time I saw her. She knew the capitals of most states by their handy-dandy star icon, she knew which ocean was on which side of America, and she had added a sock to the boot-shaped Italy. She also knew the way to Neverland.

“Second star to the right,” she said, gravely, “And straight on till morning.”

We’re currently working on our flying ship to get there.

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Are you a hodophile?

If you get your kicks on Route 66, then you’re likely a hodophile. Are you a lover of road trips? Of wanderings through greenbelts, pathways, casual strolls down a hiking path? Even a good, long meander down a driveway? Yep, you’re definitely a hodophile.

(n.) From the Greek. A lover of roads, one who loves to travel, a series of journeys, to pass from here to there, an account of one’s travels, to dribble the ball illegally, to travel for business or pleasure most often with luggage.

Basketball analogy aside, I get the itch to travel (especially with cute luggage).


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