Escape Fire

The average cost of health care per person, per year, in the U.S. is skyrocketing. But stats show that our health, as a nation, is on a rapid decline.

So, what gives? Watch the new documentary, Escape Fire, The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare.

To watch the full documentary, you can purchase it through iTunes for $17.99 or go to their website here and click on “see the film” for more showing opportunities.

Escape Fire has already won a large number of awards, including Best Documentary (Newport Beach Film Festival), React to Film Social Issue Award (Silverdocs Film Festival), and Human Rights Award (Full Frame Film Festival). It was also nominated at the Sundance Film Festival for the Grand Jury Prize.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Working in a huge academic medical center, I participate in this quest everyday. How do we take care of patients with quality care and still keep our heads above water? How do we balance the need to stay fiscally sound and treat all the uninsured? It is a struggle we live everyday in our little corner of the world. Like every other doctor’s office, hospital, clinic, or healthcare plan, we have to work together, work smarter, find new ways to use technology, and we must have a paradigm shift on how and who gets healthcare in this nation. Other countries have done a much better job of caring for their citizens and we can do the same. But we will have to move past partisan arguments and protecting the wealth of the business of healthcare towards accepting that we are all in this thing together and we all have to participate and give a little. Patients deserver our best efforts and we cannot deliver the care they need if we shutter doctor offices and rural hospitals and clinics. I am counting on America to do better and make this thing called healthcare affordable and available once and for all!!!

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Boy, that’s partly why I won’t go back to work as a nurse. Politics of medicine is not medicine. And why can’t people choose their own type of health care? We are not stupid. I go to a ND (naturopathic doctor) because conventional medicine did not help me at all. I get better care. But the looks & disgust I get from the medical community here angers me. Why are we as a nation so low on the scale of really helping? Ahh… my thoughts get the better of me on this subject.

  3. Karlyne says:

    The statement by Andrew Weill (sp?) that we don’t have “health care” but rather “disease management” is so sadly, sadly true. This looks like an interesting film, to say the least.

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false alarm

What do you do when you have a pregnant cow that’s breathing hard, falls to the ground, looks uncomfortable, and seems to be having contractions? Well, you assume she’s going into labor.

My dear sweet rotund Emma has about a month left before she gives us a little gorgeous boy or girl—according to our records (that may or may not be accurate). She looked a little, well, due yesterday and so we went into a tizzy—the news spreading like a head-to-toe farm rash. Ace and Karina hung about with cameras, farmhands kept an eye out, and everyone kept asking, “Anything yet?” Nothing compares to the excitement and sweetness of a newborn calf.

Royal pregnancies, Beyonce’s Blue Ivy … they don’t have a thing on our love of Jersey, cows that is! Not Shore. Today, our Emma is fine again but no bundle of joy. Yet.


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Do you ultrasound your babies to make sure they are headed in the right direction and the pain is not from the calf lying such that it cannot get out? I would be frantic not knowing if there was some serious reason that the baby had not been born. Another worry would be a stillborn causing issues as they sometimes arrive early. Never having lived on a farm or working with livestock, I can only relate to what happens in nursing with term dates and issues with babies. When do you know to call the vet? Let us know how this all works out.

  2. Shery says:

    Maybe the baby was just in a place that was uncomfortable for momma…? Love your cow’s fudgey-dark face.

  3. Nan Roberts says:

    Braxton-Hicks in cows?

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Good Morning Farm of Mine


_MG_5032 (Custom)


  1. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, I like this view! What’s growing in your garden patch? Nice rolling hills of green you have there & I think I see a pond to the left just beyond the tree? And could that be an outhouse or a tool shed behind the garden? Both seem like a good choice:-)

    How far is this spot from your home? And it looks like you may have another garden patch on the other side of the bend? Do you keep a garden patch in various spots along the driveway? Nice idea & great view too.

    • MaryJane says:

      The front, freshly-mulched patch is one of two lovage crops that we dry and put into our packaged meals. Further down is a new perennial flower patch and in between still needs to be rototilled but it hasn’t dried out enough yet. And in the distance is empty infinity! The shed is our Country Club/tool shed. I took the pic from the top floor of our facility.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, stunningly beautiful! How lucky you are to have such a view to enjoy. Idaho looks to be so rugged and peaceful all mixed together. I cannot wait to see some of the state myself this summer! Whoop!!

  3. Debbie says:

    Now THAT’S some wide open… so beautiful MJ… Someday I’ll come see you there!

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Don’t forget …

to stop and smell the flowers. Just a friendly reminder from Miss Mia, who had no idea the adult meaning behind it when she asked me as we rushed through our day if she could please stop and smell the flowers.

mia flowers

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Appears that Miss Mia and I are on the same page; I hope she always keeps that nature~first spirit:-)

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Mia is so right to stop and enjoy those daffodils! They just scream Spring and happiness and beg for someone to stop and enjoy their subtle fragrance.

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    How we always learn something from the younger ones!

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MaryJanesFarm Store Renovation

Hubs took a load of bedding and fixtures to our store in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, yesterday. Why?


Continue reading

  1. Elizabeth says:

    “They un-paved paradise and they put up an awesome park … oh, lalalala.”

    I Love this kind of news! Sounds better for all mankind…& wildlife too! And your employees can now take lunch or a break in a nice green setting. Sounds great for adults & kids alike:-) Hope you enjoy your new indoor/outdoor spaces!

  2. Laurie Dimino says:

    How exciting….more Mary Jane!
    Please tell me that the store will be open the weekend of 6/7-6/9???? I am heading out to Idaho all the way from New York, to meet up with some glamping farmgirls, and have plans of visiting the store. Oh please tell me it’ll be open?????

    • MaryJane says:

      Of course it will be open for you Laurie. I’m trying to juggle my schedule around for that weekend myself. So, so, so excited you’re coming to Idaho. We will decorate for you:)

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Mary Jane, I am currently planning a trip to Idaho to spend time with my friend and visiting your store in Coeur d’Alene is at the top of the list of “going to do”! At present we are talking about my visit being sometime in the 3rd week of July!

    I so remember “They Paved Paradise and put up a Parking Lot” wafting through the dorm hallways! It felt empowering to be a part of the early 1970s when our generation felt like we were so “enlightened” and going to make the world a better place. I am not sure we were very successful!

    • MaryJane says:

      Such great news. Winnie is Idaho bound!!! Our store is staying open during renovation. When you get more details of your trip here, by all means, let us know!!!!

  4. CJ Armstrong says:

    Yup, I’m with Laurie . . . will be LITERALLY! “Birdie” and I plan to take Laurie down to your store and check it out. We were there in 2011, but it’ll be exciting to see your changes. So, I can tell you that these THREE FARMGIRLS are headed your way that weekend!!!!! And, any other farmgirls we can find along the way!!
    ‘Twill be exciting!

  5. Laura says:

    I consider myself so lucky that I will be MOVING to that area this year! Can’t wait until your store is just down the road 🙂

  6. Laurie Dimino says:

    Thanks Mary Jane- I just breathed a sigh of relief! Lord knows I certainly wouldn’t want to come all the way to Idaho and not get my fix of Mary Jane! LOL
    CJ, Robin and I will definately be there, and of course we will be doing our glamping thing all weekend long together. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. After all the fun I had with CJ, Robin and the other farmgals in Arizona, I just couldn’t help myself, and had to meet up with them again in Idaho. Oh how I would LOVE to meet up with you too!

  7. Pingback: Sweet Dreams, Little Store! | Raising Jane Journal

  8. Lori Parr says:

    I am having much difficulty finding out if your store in Coeur d’Alene is open yet. There is nothing to indicate on your website. The phone number listed does not work. I stopped by in early May rather than bother your privacy at your farm because the website suggested that was a better idea. There is one brief yelp review that someone had actually shopped there but I still don’t know if it is worth the trek from Montana?
    Can you inform me please? Hours of operation if indeed it is operating?

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Crafty Homestead Bedstead

What were my son Brian, SIL Lucas, and the guys from our food facility hauling onto the second floor of our building yesterday?


Why, my very own crafting …


Years ago, I found a gorgeous brass bed in an antique store, but when I got it home to put into one of my B & B units, it was an odd size. Sized in between a twin and a double bed, I couldn’t find a mattress to fit it. Planter box? Nah, too gorgeous to be outside. As I was finishing up my new Pay Dirt Farm School classroom where I plan to teach sewing classes, I thought, “Why not turn it into a crafting table on wheels?”

Right after it was put into place (it wouldn’t fit up the staircase—the reason my husband lifted it with the tractor to the height of our guys waiting on the roof), we received an order for a pair of our Raising Jane knickers. So Saralou, our resident seamstress, crafter, and graphic designer, gave my idea a test run.

I figure a bed is all about dreams, right? I dream a world in which I teach dozens of young women the joy of sewing, including my grandgirls. How and when did you learn to sew?


  1. Laurie Dimino says:

    Love the bed/table! I know very little about sewing, but oh so want to learn! How I wish I lived closer…

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is a great way to use an antique bed with the limitations you discovered. I learned to sew with a needle and thread when I was about 8 years old. By the time I was 12, and entering the teen years, madras shift dresses were all the rage and I wanted one. My Mom used the opportunity to teach me to use the sewing machine and I made my first madras jumper. It was an easy pattern and I was thrilled! I so remember proudly wearing it to school with a yellow peter pan collared shirt. There were compliments and I was hooked on sewing. Your idea of a sewing school is a wonderful idea!!

  3. CJ Armstrong says:

    That is beautiful!!! Great idea and great plan!

  4. Terry Steinmetz says:

    How fun! And a great way to repurpose a bed. The best part is that you can make the table to your height. Hmmm. I’ll be bargain shopping soon!

  5. Nan Roberts says:

    I think it was in home ec, in junior High and High School. Then later I took a 5credit, 5 day a week class in college (Cal Poly, fondly known as Cow Poly). I haven’t sewn much since, but I want to mend things, and make aprons. I also want to make flannel nightgowns with PRESHRUNK MATERIAL. Apparently the clothing industry doesn’t know about preshrinking flannel (@#*&%).

    I’m inspired now to try other things too.

  6. Delores Salin says:

    I learned at about 8 yrs of age from my Mom was a 4-H leader and an amazing woman who knew how to do almost everything besides being an accomplished seamstress.

  7. Gail springman says:

    I began I’d guess around the age of ten making clothes for my barbie. Then it was home ec in grade school four years, then all through high school and soon after began sewing for others as well. Although I think I was born with a needle in hand. I remember making my own dresses all through grade school.

  8. Kathy Cain Foster says:

    Took my first sewing lesson in 9th grade home economics class… many years ago. Been hooked ever since.

  9. m lewis says:

    Love this idea…awesome! My grandma, where I stayed quite often, had a box full of scrapes and sewing stuff we could play with whenever we wanted to. Later when I was like 12 she showed me how to do a 9 block quilt. I have my great grandmothers sewing machine. Wish I could use it more 🙁

  10. JAN W says:

    I took sewing in high school but mainly I learned from my Mom who made everything from bed sheets to Bras. Sewing was my salvation after my husband had a heart attack followed by a stroke and I couldn’t leave him alone. Now I have given up sewing, but I did that one other time as well. I will pick it up again at some point. (Darned computer takes up all my time. haha)

    I love your idea of using the brass bed for a crafting table.. Perfect. I too have a brass bed with wierd rails but the right size. The rails are upside down so the springs set on top instead of down in. Son-in-law came up with the idea of using L brackets to hold the springs in place. Works like a charm.

  11. Beverly Ellis says:

    I started sewing in the 7th grade hom ec class and I’m still sewing. Have been sewing for over 50 yrs and its one of my favorite things to do. Love what you did with the bed frame. I agree it is much too nice to keep outside.

  12. Judy Acker says:

    Love the bed and the table idea!! I was 9 yrs old when I begged my mom to let me so something for me. She had already let me use the sewing machine to work on doll clothes. She finally bought me blue and white check material for a blouse and a pattern and said ok here it is. She would check on me but let me do it all by myself. Wonderful memories.

  13. Chrissy says:

    I learned to embroider at an early age. It’s a funny story. I must’ve been been a precocious child. My Mother ironed on designs to several tea towels. I still remember the look on her face when I finished them in one day. It was a look of horror and surprise from one who’d hoped to keep me busy for a lot longer than that. As for sewing, I learned in high school and make scrub tops to wear to work. Wonderful work table.

  14. Carol Hansen says:

    I love it! You can hang quilts on the head and footrails while creating new projects. Lovely!

  15. Pam Randolph says:

    I learned to sew when I was about six years old, at my mother’s knee, so to speak. I started by hand (and still have one of my first projects – an apron for my dolly), and later learned to machine sew on my mother’s old Singer blackhead machine. I took summer lessons at a Singer store for five years, from age 10 to 14, then took a class my senior year in high school, where my teacher encouraged me to make a 3-piece, plaid wool suit. Later, I took some college courses in Home Ec, taught it in a high school and an adult sewing class at a college, spent two years as a Home Economist for a fabric store chain, and now teach lessons for a sewing store and in my home. I LOVE passing along my love of sewing to others!

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Moonlight Gardening

Picture this,” invites night-beguiled blogger Moonfairy,

“It’s a warm summer night …

tree frogs and crickets are singing their night songs,

and the full moon is casting its glow on the landscape.

You wander through the moonlight until you come to a place

that seems to glow …

It is your very own moonlight garden,

and creating one is easier than you think.”


Cloud Study, Moonlight by Albert Bierstadt, c. 1860, via Wikimedia Commons

I’m entranced—how about you?

I wandered serendipitously into the magical world of moonlit gardens while wrapping up the latest issue of MaryJanesFarm, June/July 2013.

The theme of the magazine?

“Midnight Hour.”

So, I simply had to know …

Continue reading

  1. Elizabeth says:

    One of my absolute favorite times to sit outside is a couple of hours before sunrise. As you may have noticed from my posting times here, I am an early riser:-) I love to sit outside & just be among the quietness before dawn. Sometimes I think I hear a hummingbird fly to the feeder hanging not more than 2 feet away from me…? And in the deepest of our hot sticky, summer months a swarm of bats will circle for…? mosquitoes (we always have lots of those here) & before you know it, one of the bats will swoop around one of my planters sitting right next to me! The first time that happened I nearly fell out of my chair.

    Oh, & nighttime is a wonderful time to take pictures of your garden (true, as in your article & links) the flowers look enhanced & the blemishes of the plant seem to disappear:-) I also adore my white bloomers & intentionally try to sniff-out fragrant bloomers to plant for the bees, butterflies & me. I’ve often found bumblebees hugging/latched onto a flower as early as sunrise until it warms up a bit & can fly/move. Some creatures seem to enjoy traveling through town just as the sun breaks in the morning. It is at that time of day that I have seen: a raccoon family moving along the road & seen deer walk the sidewalk as if someone had an invisible leash attached (I really thought it was a Great Dane at first sight) & have spotted a scraggly looking coyote ( & foxes) which take the same path the deer followed.

    We have a friend that finds planting at night (midnight or later) very relaxing; she once planted over 100 tulips bulbs at that time. Moonlit gardens are indeed~enchanting:-)

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I never heard of moonlit gardens?? Where have I been? I have seen the lovely gardens in Fort Myers at Edison and Fords homes. They are quite lovely in the daytime for sure. So many beautiful blooming flowers create amazing landscapes around the two homes. But the moonlit gardens conjure up those fantasies of fairies and gnomes and other folk figures dancing about. Something similar to these gardens are canoe trips on the area rivers at full moon when the landscapes are transformed with the river and hanging Spanish moss. It is indeed enchanting!

  3. Reading this post reminds me of the beautiful moonflowers my mom and I raised one year. The blooms are large, smell sweet, and are a joy to photograph! They seem mysterious, but are so pretty, the white in contrast to the green vine.

  4. Terry Steinmetz says:

    How enchanting & romantic! I may try this one in the place where I plan to put my glamper on our property.

  5. Pingback: Lunar Gardening | Raising Jane Journal

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Happy National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day!

Happy National Wear your Pajamas to Work Day!


From a few of the (very comfortable) ladies of MaryJanesFarm!

  1. CJ Armstrong says:

    Aren’t you girls just the cutest!!! Just like a farmgirl . . to wear her workboots to bed! 😀 😀

  2. Chrissy says:

    Super cute! I wear two different pajama outfits to work regulary. I get away with it because the pajamas look similar to regular pants sets and they aren’t sheer and the pants are really long and are flared and drag the floor. I kinda feel sneaky doing it like I’m getting away with something but they look so nice nobody has ever said anything to me. I guess it helps that I dress them up with jewelry and really high heels, LOL! Here’s to being comfy even at work!

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What IS this thing? Revealed

All of your guesses were simply great yesterday. Your comments here and on the MaryJanesFarm Facebook page ranged from hog-bristle scraper, ice shaver, something that turns bulls into steers, vintage light-saber, kegel exerciser, old-style razor, vegetable peeler, cheese slicer, light magnifier, fancy cattle prod, colonoscopy tool, to cleaning item.

What fun! Then there were the smartie-pants that knew it all along (must be a generational thing).

Turns out … it’s a …

Continue reading

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I really do like that design. I own a 20 year (+) Corning-ware set that I bought from Woolworth & Lothrop shortly before they went out of business years ago; I use those pieces, a lot. My CW set has handles which you can clip on for stove top use & remove for oven use but your handle looks like it could actually go into the oven(?).

    For years now, I have searched for a true Corning ware shop (we use to have an outlet just across the bridge here) but cannot locate one here or online now? If I had my way, all of our food would be cooked in glass or glazed ceramic. Hubby only uses our small stove top CW pot for cooking his oatmeal:-) I’m using our CW sauce pans for oven use today & their glass domed lids. I love that you still have that nice sauce pan MaryJane & that it is in such great condition! Thanks for sharing Megan & happy treasure hunting:-)

    Oh, P.S:-) I believe hubby mentioned recently that they will soon faze out Pyrex…? I really hope they don’t do away with Pyrex too. My husband bought another (just-in-case) Pyrex measuring cup for us when he first heard the news about Pyrex but this new cup already looks different & the glass is a tinge yellowish~not pristine & clear like they made them before?

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    How very cool !! The photo makes it so plain as to the function. It was a great idea for providing a flexible item to use with many existing dishes! Too bad they still are not readily available today.

  3. Eileen Stone says:

    Wow! That is really cool!

  4. Shery says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!! What a relief to finally know it has a mate :o)

  5. Vivian V says:

    Here’s information from Wikipedia on Pyrex (and it explains why recent Pryex doesn’t hold up the same).
    Older clear-glass Pyrex manufactured by Corning before 1998, Arc International’s Pyrex products, and Pyrex laboratory glassware is made of borosilicate glass. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, borosilicate Pyrex is composed of (as percentage of weight): 4.0% boron, 54.0% oxygen, 2.8% sodium, 1.1% aluminium, 37.7% silicon, and 0.3% potassium.]

    According to glass supplier Pulles and Hannique, borosilicate Pyrex is made of Corning 7740 glass, and is equivalent in formulation to Schott Glass 8830 glass sold under the “Duran” brand name.[11] The composition of both Corning 7740 and Schott 8830 is given as 80.6% SiO2, 12.6% B2O3, 4.2% Na2O, 2.2% Al2O3, 0.04% Fe2O3, 0.1% CaO, 0.05% MgO, and 0.1% Cl.

    Pyrex glass cookware manufactured by World Kitchen is made of tempered soda-lime glass instead of borosilicate.[12] World Kitchen justified this change by stating that soda-lime glass was cheaper to produce, is the most common form of glass used in bakeware in the US, and that it also had higher mechanical strength than borosilicate—making it more resistant to breakage when dropped, which it believed to be the most common cause of breakage in glass bakeware. Unlike borosilicate, it is not as heat resistant, leading to an increase in breakage from heat stress.

    The differences between Pyrex products depending on manufacturer has also led to safety issues—in 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission received several complaints by users reporting that their Pyrex glassware had shattered at high temperatures. The consumer affairs magazine Consumer Reports investigated the matter after obtaining copies of the complaints, determining that the complainants had in fact been using World Kitchen-produced Pyrex products, and had incorrectly assumed that they would have the same characteristics and strength as their borosilicate counterparts.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the information on Pyrex, Vivian! It seems nearly everything nowadays is being made with cheaper quality material. I truly do not mind paying extra for a product that will more than likely last a lifetime & won’t poison us in the process.

    Most of the knock-off Corning-Ware products in my home have cracked at oven temperatures higher than 350 degrees. The cracking in & of itself is dangerous enough but there is also the possibility of the interior materials (most likely made with poisonous products) seeping through the tiniest of cracks & into our cooked food.

    …Now, I’m just waiting for our recycling center to post a day for accepting this kind of…garbage.

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GMOs – explained in one minute

Have you ever sat with someone who had an inquisitive ear (of corn?) and you’ve tried to explain what scientists are doing to our food to create genetically modified organisms?

If you’ve ever struggled to keep that explanation under 5 minutes, I hear ya.

Watch this one-minute excerpt from the Genetic Roulette movie for a pear-ed down explanation.

  1. Elizabeth says:

    This makes me so sad, it’s science gone very bad. Brings to mind the old saying, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. Thank you for bringing this out into the public awareness zone & reminding everyone just what’s at stake.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    These latest discussions here about GMOs have helped me understand it even better. Thanks Mary Jane for sharing all of the information lately. Greatly appreciated!

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    I loved this. Thank you Mary Jane for sharing once again with all of us! I have terrible allergic reactions to GMO products. I’ve always thought that my reaction to beef was in direct relation to all the pesticides, etc. Thank goodness that we garden, can, freeze, hunt & fish. On a similar note, my grandgirl was diagnosed with copper poisoning last year from the water in their town of Columbus, IN. She ended up in the ER when her vomit was blue. The ER docs called the CDC for more information to help her. The CDC told the docs that with all the pesticides & herbicides running off from the farms into community wells, it is no wonder. The worst states are Indiana & Iowa. She now drinks only purified water including at school.

  4. Karlyne says:

    I heard a few weeks ago (on a cooking show!) that the pesticide GMOs in corn cause the insects who bite into it to intestinally explode. And I wondered, “Is this why I often have an upset stomach after eating tortillas, especially?” So, I completely cut corn out of my diet and only let a bit of organic back into it recently. And, yes! I feel super again.
    This video really supports my theory!
    Terry, I’m so sorry about your granddaughter; we live in farm country, too, and have a whole house water filter for our “city” water, which is, frankly, disgusting!

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