Monthly Archives: August 2013

Glamping Sites to Visit in 2013: Day 11 of 15

Now that you’ve read my book, Glamping with MaryJane, you need to find a fabulous place to get your campin’ glam on.

We’re back for the 11th day of where to glamp in 2013.

The open road, a map, glasses, the kids in the back, and a Mercury station wagon. Where are you? Route #66, of course. Oh, and it’s 1952.

This historic scenic byway was the route of travel from 1926 on, taking travelers from Chicago to Los Angeles, until the Interstate Highway System began construction in 1956.

After stopping to see The Blue Whale, Cadillac Ranch, or the Gemini Giant, an overnight stay at a Wigwam Village was the only logical way to end the day.

Wigwam Village Inn #2
Kentucky – Cave City
Four hours from Route #66

Wigwam Village Inn #6
Along Route #66

Seven Wigwam Villages were constructed between 1936 and the 1950s. Now, with only two left in operation, Wigwam Village #2 and #6 are persevering and still hosting weary travelers who want to stay in a wigwam.


Courtesy of SO-KY.

Yes, they’re actually tepees! Upon patenting the model for his first village, Frank A. Redford felt the word “wigwam” was more interesting than “tepee.”

During its heyday, Wigwam Village #2 boasted having the largest wigwam in the world, which served as the lunchroom. Now, it’s open to visitors as a gift shop.


Courtesy of SO-KY.

The classic structure of these wigwams is arguably one of the most recognizable along Route #66.

After losing revenue, Village #6 spent time as a gas station before reopening with an added museum detailing the history and significance of its placement on the National Registry of Historic Places.


Wigwam Motel #6, Holbrook, Arizona, USA; Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; Raleigh Muns

Below are more pictures of Wigwam Village #2, in Kentucky. You’re sure to feel just like a character from the show Mad Men staying in either of these two locations.

Photos of Wigwam Village, Cave City

This photo of Wigwam Village is courtesy of TripAdvisor. Wigwam #2

Photos of Wigwam Village, Cave City

This photo of Wigwam Village is courtesy of TripAdvisor. Wigwam #2




Advance Warning System

Have you ever been startled by an unbidden alarm from your cell phone?

Well, here’s a little “FYI” that was news to me …

Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEA, are emergency messages sent by government agencies through mobile carriers to alert the public of imminent safety threats in a given geographic area.

According to the National Weather Service, there are four types of mobile alerts you might receive:

  • Extreme weather warnings
  • Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action
  • AMBER alerts
  • Presidential alerts

If only cell phones had been around in Dorothy’s time …


Illustration by W. W. Denslow from L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz via Wikimedia Commons

A WEA will look like a text message, showing the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert.

How do you sign up for these alerts?

You may not need to.

The WEA messaging system is activated by default on most new smartphones or iPhones (iOS 6). In June, AT&T added WEA messages for iPhone users.

Don’t worry—you’re not charged for WEA alerts, and they don’t count against your messaging plan. But,

if you want to check the WEA status on your iPhone, you can access the menu by going to Settings > Notifications > and scrolling to Government Alerts at the bottom. You can also disable the alerts if you don’t want to receive them.

No alerts found on your phone?

Check with your carrier to see if your phone is capable of receiving WEA messages, and make sure you have the latest operating system.

For more information about WEA capable phones, visit


Fishing Merit Badge, Part I

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,518 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—7,301 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 Outpost/Fishing Merit Badge, I was inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Yep, that’s right: that pigtailed whippersnapper who was always scampering off behind the ol’ log cabin to do some fishing. Yes, fishing. She was the quintessential American tomboy, and the kiddo sure knew how to eat. Those books always make me so hungry … mmm, fish!

The only other time I’ve tried the sport of fishing (Is it a sport? A hobby? An art form? A pastime?) was during an especially long employee barbeque, where I got bored, wandered off, offered to man a pole for a pal, fell asleep, and got a wicked sunburn. And no fish. So, I had a bit of PTSD to overcome, but I was all in. Committed. Eager to learn (and eat).

For the Beginning Level badge, I just needed to learn some fishing knots: clinch, Palomar, turle, barrel knot, and double surgeon’s loop. Who knew there were knots in fishing, anyway? Not me, said the little red hen.

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Three Bags Full

What could possibly be mysterious about …


Photo by Roger Green via Wikimedia Commons


This is a question best asked of German writer Leonnie Swan, who seems to sense something a bit more …

sharp? savvy? shrewd?

about these curly critters than the average pasture passerby might surmise.

Swan is the author of Three Bags Full, an unlikely suspense novel surrounding—in fact, starring—sheep.


Cover of the latest edition of Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann; Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Warm up your funny bones, girls, ’cause this sleuth spoof is worth a read.

Picture an idyllic hillside meadow in Ireland …


Photo by Eric Jones via Wikimedia Commons

But don’t be fooled.

(No, we’ll have no wool pulled over our eyes.)

This is the scene of a crime.

A beloved shepherd has fallen victim to a garden spade,

duh, duh, DUH!

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Join me as I salute Sergeant Reckless …


Reckless with her main caretaker, US Marine Sergeant Joseph Latham. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia; USMC photographer

“Reckless” is not the nickname of the fellow in the photo.

In fact, Reckless was not a fellow at all.

She was a pack horse who served in the Korean War, carrying rifles, ammunition, and supplies to Marines.


Sergeant Reckless, a highly decorated US Marine Corps artillery horse in the Korean War, pictured with a 75mm recoilless rifle. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia; Geer, Andrew Clare. Reckless, pride of the Marines, 1955, page 120

Of course, she wasn’t the only horse who helped during the war, but Reckless was special.

Consider, for instance, the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953 …


Reckless delivered ammo to the recoilless rifle platoon’s firing sites. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; USMC photographer

In one grueling day of the brutal battle, Reckless made 51 trips from the ammunition supply point to the firing sites. She hauled almost five tons of equipment and carried numerous wounded soldiers over 35 miles, through open rice paddies and up steep mountains that were riddled with enemy fire.

And she made nearly every trip by herself.

“Going up the ridge, in and out of view, was this little mare,” recalled retired Marine Sgt. Harold Wadley, who witnessed the horse’s heroism. “I tell you, her silhouette in all the smoke—I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought, ‘Good grief. It’s Reckless!'”

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Pen Pals

Do you ever wish, in this age of click-and-text, that your child could be a little more in touch with pen and paper?

Call me old fashioned, again …

I love letter writing,


Photo courtesy of Collar City Brownstone;

and I want my grandgirls to know the delight of holding an unopened envelope in their little hands (not to mention develop lush letter-writing skills that transcend LOL and BFF).


Vintage photo of girl licking envelope; unknown date;

Of course, computers and social media sites have made it easier than ever to connect with people far and wide, but these instant avenues to acquiring “friends” don’t come without a modicum of risk, especially where our kids are concerned.

(That’s grandmotherly apprehension for you.)

Anyhow, this train of thought led me to lament the fading of a lovely tradition: pen pals.


Enfant écrivant by Henriette Brown, 1860-1880, V&A Museum Londres;

“Having a faraway pen pal is not only a fun way to boost reading and writing skills, but also a window into other cultures, or at least other parts of the country,” writes Teri Cettina of

I couldn’t agree more!

But … where can a blooming Jane find a pen pal these days?

Right here: Amazing Kids.

The Amazing Kids! PenPals Program is a non-profit, literacy-based, traditional letter-writing program that is available to all children ages 5 to 17 worldwide.


(One could get carried away with the exclamation points, couldn’t she?)

Amazing Kids! Founder and President Alyse Rome explains that the program’s mission is to help inspire kids to discover their own unique gifts and to use them in positive and productive ways to make a difference in their lives and in the communities in which they live. “It offers one of the few remaining choices for finding an established, safe, and trusted traditional letter-writing pen pal program for children.”

Now, that’s what I’m talking about (!!!!!!!!!)

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