Meet me in Moscow! (Idaho, that is)

It’s a hometown book signing! I will be signing copies of my new book, Glamping with MaryJane, at Verde, a gardening/home decor store located in the Palouse Mall, this Saturday from 1-2 p.m. Don’t miss out, as there will be chocolate and goodies galore! There will also be live music by Garrett Clevenger. The Palouse Mall is located at 1850 W. Pullman Road.

If you can’t make it this weekend, I will also be at a signing next Wednesday, 7:30 – 8:30 pm, at BookPeople, located at 521 South Main Street, Moscow, Idaho. Get yer’ Glamping books signed in time for Christmas.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I bought a copy of the book on Amazon and it is really fun and full of lots of inspiring ideas. A signed copy for a Christmas gift is an awesome gift!

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Why was the chicken on T.V.?

I was channel surfing (rare) looking for some quality programming the other day when I glimpsed a lady holding a chicken (even rarer!). My curiosity was piqued, so I lingered for a second or two to discover that there is a show called Redneck Island … (funnier still) and this lady, Catherine, brought her chicken, Pearl, with her.

My pet chicken, Ginger, and I cooed as we …

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  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    O.K. then…does she sit in your arms all day, or freely walk around? Just curious!

    • MaryJane says:

      She’s with the other girls but still keyed in to people and especially me. She’s a kid cuddler and waddles right up to anyone begging for some love.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I remember this issue and it had me wanting chickens so badly!! My husband keeps saying that chickens were not supposed to be cutesie pets! Wy not?? It is an argument we still keep having. I want to have a glammed up chicken coop and the allowable 2 girls for my urban tiny farm!! Maybe this year!!

  3. Raquel says:

    Thank you for sharing this – much appreciated! 😊

  4. Dianne Hallman says:

    Awesome!! And simple too!

  5. Ciska says:

    Could you please post instructions for sewing the diaper?

  6. marion says:

    Do you have instructions on how to make the diaper ❓

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Ladies Night Out

Oh yes, it’s ladies night
And the feeling’s right
Oh yes, it’s ladies night

… at Moscow Building Supply. Yes!

Picture this, ladies …

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  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Wow! This is something that I’d look forward to each time!!! Winning a woman’s heart at a hardware store; when will they do this here, I wonder? Thanks for sharing. Now I’m ready to visit our hardware store & look around.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Now this is the most creative idea I have seen in a long time! I would certainly be signing up for the opportunity to learn and mingle with other women doing projects. Looks like so much fun!!

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“Farm It Maybe?”

Another funny ‘farmin’ spoof. This one is a mimic of Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit, “Call me Maybe?” This kid is super cute!

  1. jean says:

    Oh my gosh. When he danced the sprinkler, I just smiled and laughed. Thanks for posting this. Too darn cute!!!!

  2. Laurie Dimino says:

    OMG- that is just the cutest lil video I have ever seen. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing. I like his version MUCH better!

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Remembering Helen

Helen Butters, 1920–2006

“When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open, and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.”
— Michael Bridge

To gather my thoughts for composing what I would say at my mother’s memorial, I needed to create a space where I could work from my heart. Unbelievably blessed at birth—Helen Butters for a mother—I learned by her example how to find that place long before I was old enough to know what she was teaching me.

Before yoga and meditation and …

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  1. karen says:

    I used to say that as a family, we were lucky, a good friend insisted on correcting me everytime, “You’re blessed, not lucky.” Now that she’s gone I’ve switched over to her way of thinking.
    Sounds like you’ve been ‘blessed’ too!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This is a beautiful tribute to your mom, MaryJane. Before I even opened your site up this morning, I knew you’d write something special & moving. And once again I see that you & I may be feeling/thinking in a similar fashion, today? I believe there is a reason why I was guided to your site not so long ago, hard to explain really. But your mom did pass-on something very special to you & I’m grateful that you are sharing some of your inner gifts, talents & true blessings with us.

    May you & your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Thank you for sharing your mother with all of us. How blessed your family was to have such a remarkable woman as a role model!

  4. Kim Anderson says:

    What a beautiful story. It makes me want to strive to be more like her

  5. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Your Mom sounded like the person we all wanted to know. Your spirit seems to follow right in her footsteps too. This was a beautiful and heartfelt tribute. Thank-you for sharing her many talents and her remarkable life with all of us!

  6. Debbie says:

    My goodness Mary Jane… You and your momma are twin spirits! I couldn’t help but think of YOU as you described the many incredible Helen’s. Her spirit, talent, openness, creativity, generosity, encouragement and love shine’s brightly through you blessing us all! I wish I could put into words what if feels like to be under your wings…!

    What a beautiful tribute from the heart. Thank you!
    Much love M.J.
    Deb ( your BEACH farmgirl blogger )

  7. Peggy Dudley says:

    Best Picnic…an old, really old, quilt, my daughter and granddaughter and myself, on a grassy hillside beside a softball field in Georgia. Granddaughter took a break from ball practice and her mom served us simple sandwiches, chips and pickles, with fresh fruit for dessert. The sun was warm, the breeze was refreshing, and the love and laughter and food felt envigorating!!

  8. Rene Varozza says:

    Thank you for sharing! Beautiful memories!
    My favorite picnic memories are of being newly married, over 45 years ago, packing a picnic basket with fried chicken and potato salad! For dessert, a must, tapioca pudding. I know that’s crazy but my husband loved it so and so pudding it was. We’d find a place on the back roads of Amador County, California to share a blanket and our feast!

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Remembering Allen

Allen J. Butters, 1918-2003

With permission from Judy, Scott, Kent and Rex, my sister and brothers, I was honored to represent them at my father’s funeral and sketch the life of Allen Butters, our dear, sweet, playful, amazing father. I’d like to enlarge my father’s circle of friends and share his life map with you — my readers.

Thirty-four years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter Megan and living on a remote ranch in Idaho, Dad and Mom came up to help out. During the first two days of their five-day stay, Dad got busy and oiled my sewing machine, my bike, really anything that had moving metal parts, mended garden hoses, dug potatoes AND carved his name in several discreet places for me to discover later on. Mom sewed baby clothes, mopped floors, did some canning, and helped me make cheese and butter with the milk from my cow. Underneath all my busyness, I was troubled and uncertain.

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  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    What a remarkable story of a special man. Thanks for sharing him with all of us!

  2. There should be more Allens in the world today. What a lovely tribute to your dad – thank you so much for sharing.

  3. KK says:

    What a lovely story! Stumbled across it while searching for your Dad’s cutting board to replace the one I left behind at my old house. What a great little invention from a great guy. Thank you for sharing and reminding me there are good people in this world.

  4. Linda Dart says:

    In our busy society today, it’s hard to find someone like Allen – or really to imagine someone as dedicated to humanity as he was. You were a truly blessed family.

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Little House Thanksgiving

If I say

Laura Ingalls Wilder

and your heart skips a beat,

we’re on the same page.

Now, I have a question for you:

Do you remember Laura mentioning Thanksgiving in any of the Little House books?

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  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    The Little House collection of books is one of my favorites. I read them each year. And now I have my grandgirls reading & listening to them. When MY girls were little, we made meals from Laura’s time period often. I’ve been to every Little House place as of this summer. As I walked through Laura’s “Rocky Ridge” home, I could almost see her & Almanzo reading in their parlor; Laura cooking on her stove; Laura writing her books. Each holiday, though, I remember what she writes about her life & try to make ours as special as she & Ma did.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I never read these books but my youngest daughter loved them and read them all. What amazes me most was the creativity of cooks who had unusual ingredients available with which to make a delicious and healthy meal. Parched corn? Really? Now that is true Farmgirl genius when you can take something like that and make it special!!

  3. drMolly says:

    We made green pumpkin (aka apple) pie! And it actually tasted good. My children loved the books, my grandchildren, too. And now I shall soon have a great-grand daughter to share them with.

  4. Shari Doty says:

    I have The Little House Cookbook! It has some tasty ideas. I really want to make the wheat sheaf bread in the Little House craft book. Love the whole series.

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Wolf attack!

If I had a hammer …

or …

an axe?


I just heard a news brief from the far reaches of Russia that rivals any fairytale those Grimm guys ever concocted …

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  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    I’ve seen what wolves can do, but have never had that close of an encounter with them. I’m thankful that the lady from Russia is okay. And the lady from Montana, too.

  2. Shery says:

    I like to think that there is room for everything, but there comes a time when keeping it that way is neccessary. In Wyoming, we have to live with all kinds of predators and sometimes the ‘live & let live’ mindset requires adjustment. When you see too many predators, they need to be thinned. SEEing them is the first indicator that they are too many. Overpopultion isn’t got for *them*, nor for us either. In this state, balance is on ongoing process. I’m a rancher and an environmentalist and that isn’t the struggle that some might believe it to be…not it is a conflict of interest. We are stewards of the land and *everything* on it. I’ve lost dogs to lions and almost a foal, chickens to bobcats, foxes and hawks. Wolves are in this area, but not here specifically [yet]. They used to be, however.

    My great uncle once told me a story from his very early childhood. His parents were homesteaders near Cheyenne. His father had been out with the sheep for almost 2 weeks. His mother took him and 2 younger siblings out to gather kindling [hard to come by in that grassy country]. She became disoriented and they were lost for 3 nights. His momma had a wheelbarrow and at night she huddled all three children under it and moved it around during the night so that she could keep a supply of small stones coming to throw at a pack of wolves. Father found them on the morning of the 4th day. True story. It is absolutely FALSE that wolves do not attack people. All one has to do is look up accounts in northern Europe. Such stories seem to have been scrubbed from historical literature in this country.

  3. jean says:

    What a scary experience. Sometimes fortunate endings aren’t possible. I agree that there are reasons for everything. I know that homesteaders don’t take killing predators lightly.

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Hair of the Dog

My big, bad, keeps-wolves-away, soft-hearted Tulip. I now have four skeins of spun yarn from her fur and Saphira’s, a Siberian Husky. I’m thinking perhaps a vest or a hat? No, silly, not for Tulip, but for me.

  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    What a beautiful dog!

  2. Judy Moore says:

    I have a little of the fur from my precious Sassy, a rescue Sheltie who adopted me for the last 2 years of her life. A spinner friend spun it and I have one ball of her soft fur. It will be enough to make a scarf to forever wrap me in her love.

  3. Shery says:

    When I lived in CO years back, a neighbor owned/bred Shelties and she was also an avid spinner and knitter. She had a sweater made of sheltie hair. It was beautiful and sooo soft.

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