Working Farmer Style (Gangnam Style Parody)

The brothers who made the parody video, I’m Farming and I Grow it, are back for yet another clean-humored video. Gangnam style.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What a great way to start my day!! This is GREAT!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jenny Williams says:

    This is a blast to watch! I agree this was a great way to start the day. I loved it!! It not only made me laugh and think about how true it is, but I’m still smiling. Thank you.

  3. Debbie Fischer says:

    That was so cute, I loved it. Such talented young farmers, thanks so much for sharing the clip with us Mary Jane.

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Get Your Tail Feathers On

Local organic farmer and soap maker Kate Jaeckel/Orchard Farm, who we featured in a past issue of my magazine, left a little surprise package on Carol’s front porch. Both Carol and I received ADORABLE, super-lightweight glamper earrings. Check out the Etsy shop of the woman who makes them, Tina Halvorson.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Don’t you love it when somebody does something creative and awesome and surprises you? Those earrings are the cat’s meow!

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Are you a Downton Abbey fan?

“The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park. So secure does it appear, that it seems as if the way of life it represents will last for another thousand years. It won’t.”

So begins the saga you may be enjoying as much as I do:

Downton Abbey.

If you’re not familiar, this PBS series is set in the fictional Downton Abbey, a breathtaking Yorkshire country house (read: castle), and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants during the reign of King George V.

This show is well worth a cozy vicarious hour on Sunday evenings (9 p.m. my time PST).
Fellow fans will get a kick out of this little factoid I stumbled across the other day:

“As far away in miles and lifestyle as Downton Abbey may seem, there’s a close connection between northern Wyoming and the stately castle where the smash hit PBS series is shot,” revealed the Billings Gazette.

It sounds a lot like a made-for-TV movie plot, but the real Highclere Castle, which “stars” as Downton Abbey itself, is owned by the Earl of Carnarvon, who happens to be the first cousin of Wyoming rancher Paul Wallop.

As it turns out, Wallop’s great-grandfather Oliver was the son of the Earl of Portsmouth, but he was one of the period’s “remittance men,” younger sons of British families who didn’t stand to inherit a title or land. Many of these young swashbucklers, out to claim their own chunk of destiny, headed over the pond, landing in Montana and Wyoming in the 1800s, where they were subsidized by payments from home.

“Oliver first bought land near Birney, Montana, before buying the Canyon Ranch at Big Horn in 1889,” recounts the Gazette. “He also served in the Wyoming State Legislature … [but] when Oliver’s older brothers died without heirs, Oliver inherited the title of earl and returned to Great Britain.”

This walloping behind-the-scenes “real-life” tale has as many twists as its fictional Downton Abbey counter-part, involving senators, horse racing, castles, Queen Elizabeth, and even King Tut’s tomb.

Get all of the delicious details here, and then bide your time until the next episode by delving into the traditional tummy-tempting dishes of the post Edwardian period with Downton Abbey Cooks.

The Crawley Sisters: Lady Edith, Lady Sybil, Lady Mary

“I want a good man for you, a brave man. Find a cowboy in the Middle West and bring him back to shake us up a bit.” Christmas at Downton Abbey, Robert Crawley to daughter Mary.


  1. Elizabeth says:

    “Are you a Downton Abbey fan?”

    Yes! We enjoy most British productions, especially the long standing~old fashioned series put on by, PBS. One of the first English sweeping period pieces to capture my attention was the Collin Firth version of, ‘Pride & Prejudice’. I remember being so upset that the fate of the girls in the family depended solely on a loving Father or husband of means. Soon after watching ‘Pride & Prejudice’ (for the first time:-) back in 1995, I decided to research, Feudal Laws in England.

    Then I became intrigued with British foods & bought a “Breads from Around the World” recipe book. Decided I wanted to make the fluffy looking ‘Sally Lunn’ bread & try some clotted cream. Believe I tried scones that year too & loved them. Have always loved tea, so that part wasn’t hard to sell me on at all. But my real English inspired passion started when I researched old garden roses for the first time, and that’s all she wrote on that subject:-)

    It often surprises me too when I become so interested in knowing more about a story, period or people connected to a good book or well acted production I’ve just read or watched. Often those links lead to places & people closer to home, like the Earl of Carnarvon & the Wyoming rancher, Paul Wallop you write about.

    Not long ago I read a book of true accounts on a remarkable, educated, wealthy young lady who (along with her family) fled a troubled Europe just before the Napoleonic Wars. This European family ends up living in a young United States of America not more than a few miles from where I grew up. The young lady ends up marrying an important man of the state but her entire family moves back to Europe shortly thereafter. It was amazing to walk through their home/mansion which the young lady literally helped design, furnish, pay for & raise her many children in; something unheard of at that time.

    Sometimes following the links are just as interesting, if not more educational than the original story. Also enjoy reading about the real cowboy after I’ve watched an engaging movie or learning more about the origin of a phrase, like, “The absent minded professor”. It’s fun stuff.

    • MaryJane says:

      I MUST watch Pride & Prejudice. It’s been on my list forever. You are one more nudge. Maybe even some Sally Lunn bread!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I am a committed Downton Abby fan! I love this show and all of the characters. In addition to the stories of the family and staff, I found it interesting to learn more about the effects of World War I soldiers and then the ravages of the 1918 Flu epidemic in season 2. Having those issues intimately touch Lord Grantham’s home allowed us to see how difficult life was before we had antibiotics and ways to preserve life and limb. Season 3 is off to a great start and I for one am glued to PBS each week to see what happens next!

  3. Jean says:

    LOVE me some DA… It’s like stepping back in time.

  4. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Yeah for Downton Abbey! A series that is worth watching–and if I miss it one night, it is played on the next afternoon here!!!

  5. What a wonderful story about the connection between the Highclere and the great Wild west. We have a couple of Canadian connections. Julian Fellowes’ wife, Emma Kitchener is the same family who live in and gave Kitchener, ON it’s name. Alexander Galt, one of the Canadian Father’s of Confederation, was the founder of Lethbridge, Alberta, where I grew up. Small world.
    Thanks so much for linking to my blog. I hope you enjoy my modern healthier take on Downton dishes. I can’t believe I had to stop adding recipes (I cried uncle at 220) for my new ecookbook, Abbey Cooks Entertain which is available on Amazon, although you can order a signed version from my website.

    Stay warm and make lots of Irish stew.

  6. Pingback: Downton Abbey | Raising Jane Journal

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Good Morning Sunshine



  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Oh, how beautiful! I love to see the sun rise! Your vantage point is great! Thanks for sharing.

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start your day off pleasantly a-moo-zed

This short video gave me a little cow-poke chuckle.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Now, those are some happy girls! With all that thick green grass, no wonder they were kicking up their heels with delight. Cows seem so reserved most of the time that it is fun to see them frolic!

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Absolutely loved that! Cows are so much fun to watch. Sometimes I think they know when we are watching, too, and add to their antics! Thanks for putting another smile on my face this C-O-L-D morning!

  3. ha – cows aren’t the most graceful animals around – but this video would suggest otherwise. fun!

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Do you Neti?

Flu season is upon us! If you’ve started the sniffling, sore throat, save-me-from-the-cold-sweats this winter, you’ll have to tough it out, but a neti pot can be your saving grace. It helps prevent colds by flushing out the cilia in the nostrils that hold onto the bad nasties you might inhale.

Most colds are acquired through the nostrils. Touching one’s nose and face transfers the bacteria, where it finds the perfect place to breed and wage war in your mucus membranes. I can’t begin to count the times my little friend, Neti, has saved me on my travels. From breathing shared airplane air to community taxi cabs and subways, there are plenty of places to acquire nasty germs.

So, when you’re feeling a little under the weather, get over it with a neti pot. (Please note: always use distilled water.) You can sing this little ditty while you do. Oh, and I should mention, neti pots are best used in the privacy of your own bathroom. Though it’s called muc-US, keep it a me, myself, and I activity.

I’m a little neti pot, short and stout.
Here is my handle, here is my spout.
When you get all stopped up in the snout
Tip me over to get the gunk out!

Click here to buy yours on Amazon.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This little routine has been a saving practice for so many years. Simple to do and so effective. Your neti-pot is adorable! Healthy living farmgirl style!

  2. drMolly says:

    Yes! a wonderful tool. For people with allergies it is a must, let me tell you.

  3. MaryJane, I neglected to tell you this and I meant to months ago. I read this post back in January and promptly went to my local Health food store and found this exact pot (and also a matching salt cellar…) and I started neti-ing. All because of you. I had never heard of such a thing before but I was drawn to doing this because the idea of warm water inside my sinuses sounded like just the thing to help alleviate my serious migraine headaches without resorting to more medications. I always get in the shower when I have a whopper to soak my head with the hottest water that I can, to try to help ease the pain and this neti pot thing seemed like a way to get some of the warm water inside my pounding head to soothe it. Today I used it again for a headache, as I have done countless times since I got it, and it is such a help to me in times of cranial crisis. Today I did not need my needless pain medication injector to beat the ‘dern’ ache and I think it is because of the neti pot. Thank you for posting this. It really changed my life.

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dreamin’ in color

Color me silly! Karina reached up, on our tip-toppiest of shelves, to grab a new box of printer ink, and almost grabbed our multi-colored calico cat.

That Rascal, she’s at it again …

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I read once that cats have the rods in their retina to see the color red, so I am thinking that box that says Magenta, might just do the trick for Kitty! I wonder if seeing red is true. Have you ever heard or read that?

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Ahh, the relaxation & hiding! Rascal is one lucky cat.

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Happy National Hat Day!!

In honor of National Hat Day, we wish you a wonderful one!

Lots of love from a few of the ladies at MaryJanesFarm … Megan, Ace (Multimedia Producer), Karina (Design Assistant), and Louise (Photographer and Digital Imaging Specialist).

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Winter hats are so fun!!! My favorite here is the long blue/white elf style hat. Too cool!!

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You’ve Got Mail!

Dear Mary Jane Farmer,

(LOVE how Anne Marie addressed her letter to me.)

“Please find the enclosed Paper Petal ornament that was made and designed from the pages of your magazine especially for you. I hand make each one designed specifically for someone from their old cards, books, magazines, etc. They have made great personal gifts over the years and I thought you might enjoy one of your own! I am including another one so you can see how much they vary, making each one special in it own way. I really enjoy your magazine and wish you all the best this holiday season.”

Anne Marie, NC

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, these are amazing and beautiful!! What an incredible work of art. Anne Marie, your handcrafted gifts are truly treasures and gifts from the heart. Thanks for sharing, Mary Jane.

  2. Laurie Scott says:

    Just love how you made the ornaments. Very talented. A great treasure to have.

  3. Eileen Stone says:

    Where can I find instructions for making these wonderful,whimsical objects?

    • MaryJane says:

      She didn’t include instructions or a website (indicating that she sells them). They were just a thoughtful gift and a talent probably unique to her.

  4. Mychelle Davis says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Mary Jane.

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Earth Meets Sky

From my office window, sky and land come together on equal terms.

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Mary Jane, these photos of your snowy landscape are so lovely. As I have mentioned before, when you never see such incredible beauty or have the opportunity to walk out a door and be in the middle of it, there exists an almost mystical, magical quality to it. It has been 80+ degrees here since last Thursday with a touch of humidity. So, in place of a blanket of snow, we are starting to see Redbud trees, Wild Plum, Winter rye grass, Southern Red Maples, Japanese Magnolias and other early spring bloomers starting to show early signs of full bloom. It is early even for Florida standards, and always beautiful. BUT, how lovely it would be to have a winter season with a blanket of snow and the quiet that accompanies the earth while it slumbers! Oh, and I love that last photo of the red fence , red berries, and Sandbakkel cookie molds ( yours look like my husband’s norwegian Nana’s that I now own) on the snow laden conifer. Magical!

  2. ace says:

    Those (vintage?) bears are adorable!!

    • MaryJane says:

      They were tattered and worn when I found them, spilling out their sawdust stuffing. But a patch or two, needle and thread, and they’ve come to life again. Pet rescue I think they call it.

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    I loved the pictures! We had rain yesterday, and most of our snow is gone. Photos tell such great stories. I love to use photos that I don’t want to scrapbook, but are beautiful, to make cards for others.

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