What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

My kindergarten class spent an afternoon coloring our plans for the future. From firefighter, THE cashier, to football player… My classmates and I chose what we’d like to be when we grow up.

Photo Jan 28, 10 25 43 AM

And my mom and a classmate’s grandmother made our artwork into this beautiful quilt!

Photo Jan 22, 3 09 41 PM

Each class does an art project that gets auctioned off at our annual school fund-raising auction. The art projects are usually some of our highest bids and this one went for $1,600.00!

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Stella Jane, your class quilt is fantastic. All of the pictures are so well done and colorful. NO wonder it sold at auction for $1600!! Congratulations on the success of your class project!

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    I love your class quilt, Stella! 🙂 You & your classmates must have been very excited about helping your school with the money.

  3. cheri says:

    I adore this quilt! Both of my boys draw constantly this is the perfect way to showcase some of my favorite pieces from them through the years

  4. Cynthia says:

    Fabulous quilt! Stella, I hope you grow up to be the quintessential YOU!

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Mustache Monday?

I pick up my Mia from pre-kindergarten just before lunch. This works out well, as we often sneak down to our local Moscow Food Co-op to pick up a little lunch and grab a few dinner groceries. Guess what happens sometimes on Mondays?

Photo Jan 14, 11 31 36 AM

It’s Mustache Monday! Their yummy little deli/bakery gets a little wild with the breadsticks on Mondays. Perfect for dipping into some of their scrumptious homemade soup.


  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    So precious!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    How perfect is that for a soup dipper? Or, slice open the back of it and stuff with cheese and warm till melted for a sort of calzone?

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Ice crystal petals. Now that is amazing!!

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Sweetheart and Charlie

Mother and child. Or rather … sweet and sweeter.

Meet Lord Charles (properly), Studmuffin Charlie (daily), and his mother Sweetheart (properly), Loverly and Sweetie Pie and Dream Girl (daily).

Don’t you love they way they posed for you? Not at all camera shy these two.



  1. Laurie Dimno says:

    They are both just too cute!!!!!! What a great shot. Thanks for sharing and warming my day.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    They are a photogenic pair! Such beautiful coloring with those beautiful big brown eyes. The petite features of the mini Jersey’s make them so much prettier and seemingly friendlier. Would you say they are more friendly that a standard size cow? I cannot wait to dive into all of the glorious details in your next book and hear all about the fun and challenge!

  3. CJ Armstrong says:

    Just the right pose at just the right time for the photographer! Adorable!

  4. Eileen Stone says:


  5. Looks like little Master Charlie knows how to get all the publicity shots, eh? This photo is just too cute for words! I can’t get enough of Charlie and company. Keep ’em coming MaryJane ! I believe any cow that is handled a lot lovingly and treated to extra attention will be even friendlier than their natural curious and loving dispositions.

  6. Debbie says:

    Just precious MJ! Great capture!!!

  7. Naomi S. says:

    So sweet! I love cows! What breed are these brown and white ones? I know the black and white ones are Holsteins and the all-over brown ones are usually Brown Swiss, but I don’t know the name for these photogenic ones of yours.a

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Today’s Recipe: Preserving Herbs in Oil

I recently used up the last of the “herb cubes” in my freezer. Here’s the recipe again—an oldie but a goodie!

Preserving herbs in oil is a quick and easy process that adds convenience to cooking and reduces waste. Whether you buy herbs from the market or you grow your own, it always seems like there comes a time when you have more than you need. Rather than let them sit in your fridge with the best intentions of using them before they spoil, try preserving them.

First, gather your ingredients …


To properly preserve whole sprigs of hardy herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme for later use, place a sprig in the bottom of a small jar and cover with olive oil, butter, or a combination of both.


Place in the freezer and remove when ready to use.


For convenient portions of minced herbs, mince any extra and fill ice cube trays about ¾ of the way full with herbs. For our cubes, we used parsley rosemary, sage, thyme, and basil.

herbs_butter-1537  Continue reading

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Whoop, I love these recipes! I just planted my favorite herbs last week and was thinking about trying something new to preserve them. I love the idea of the frozen cubes. Perfect!

  2. I am SO excited to learn how to do this! Such a great idea! Thanks again Mary Jane for your endless inspiration!

  3. Karlyne says:

    I have a garden full of sage, but it’s usually gone by Thanksgiving and Christmas when I need it most. So last fall, I popped softened butter, a few garlic cloves and lots of sage into the food processor where I proceeded to grind it all up. I spread it on a parchment lined cookie sheet and froze it. (It’s easy to just put in a ziplock and moosh it down until it’s about 1/4″ thick, too, and then freeze) Break off frozen pieces as needed! Not only was it great for my holiday stuffing, but it’s lovely on pasta!

    • LOLA COLLINS says:

      That works so well to breadk off what you need. I do that with pesto. The basil from our herb garden goes crazy, and we can’t keep up with it, so last summer I made lots and put it in zip lock bags, flattened the pesto. How easy is that to add broked pieces to pasta, etc?

  4. Vicki says:

    Does this work for cilantro?

  5. I love these ideas. I grow a lot of herbs and have not been able to preserve them. This is great! Thanks.

  6. CAROL MAYO says:

    i rec’d this from a friend and can’t wait to try it. i’d like to get your recipes regularly. thank you

  7. Roseanne says:

    What great advice. No more wasted herbs in my fridge!

  8. Sharon says:

    I dried my abundant crop of parsley from last years garden. I keep it in mason jars on the kitchen counter to sprinkle on my salads and in meals I cook, plus it looks lovely in the jar. I love this herb! It has such a fresh flavor, even dried. I also recently learned how nutritious it is. I will try this frozen recipe this year, bet it is good in the butter. I let some of the parsley go to seed in the garden, sprinkle it on the soil in the fall and it makes new plants the next spring! How easy is that?

  9. Kathy says:

    I really love this idea. Thanks so much passing it along again for those of us who somehow have missed it!

  10. Susan Laquintano says:

    Can’t wait to try these wonderful ways to save herbs. I have been dreaming about this and I am finally going to do it. Thank you all.

  11. Sandi O says:

    OMG, I love this idea! I have a little ice cube tray and have several fresh herbs I’ve been tying to winter over! I’ve almost killed my basil several times, now I don’t have to worry about it! Thanks MJ! xoxoxo

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I am guessing a feed mill?

    • MaryJane says:

      Actually, grain (wheat) storage probably not for animals but human consumption. Quite a few farmers in our area construct these so they can hold onto their wheat while they watch the markets for a good time to sell it. The assemble pictured in today’s photo is a central hub where farmers take their wheat to sell it. From there it’s loaded onto trucks and eventually barges.

  2. Mary Jane Knight says:

    We actually call it a “silo” here in Michigan. I grew up going to my Uncle Eddie’s farm and he had quite a few of them. He filled them full of field corn for his dairy cows. Love the picture. MJ

  3. Karlyne says:

    Oh, that blue sky!

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  1. OOOOOOOH, I have greenhouse envy! This is the year I hope to put up a small hoop house/greenhouse for vegetable garden starts for my small organic seed business. It is a project that had to take a back burner when first moving to this farmette two years ago, but I hope to build it this season. The local Amish and Mennonite farms have taken to building ” hoop houses” in a big way to jump start the season and grow hot house veggies and especially berries.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Is this the home of your morning salad with tea when you write to us?

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I am guessing here that this whisk was best for making whipped cream and fluffy egg whites? It seems a bit ingenious with those internal smaller loops for infusing more air if that is in fact what they are there for. Possibly from the Edwardian Era?

    • Mim Stewart says:

      I thought it was a rug beater. My Mamaw had something similar. She would hang out all the braided rugs in the Spring and beat the Winter dust out of them.

  2. Barbara Gross says:

    I recently began taking MJF and love the old pictures. I’ve got a few items that I’ve picked up over the last 68 years and would love to share my photos. Please let me know if this is the correct place.

    I have an awesome picture of my chicken coop that I would love to share with you.

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Happy New Year Mary Jane! Our formidable Queen Bee Ploughin through!! I am so happy to have met you in 2013. Who knows, maybe 2014 will offer another chance to do so again?! I wonder if Delta will be charging us “extra” to stand in line at the boarding gate?

  2. Corri Riebow says:


  3. After yesterday’s postings on all things ” bee” how apropros a photo indeed. Was amazed reading one of my favorite nature books last night ” Earthly Pleasures” by Roger Swain. There is a chapter on gathering swarms of wild bees to take back to your own empty and waiting hive. Evidently there are ” bait hives ” you can build ( instructions in book) to attract them and then carry that to your own hive and the switch is easily made ( according to the book) Fascinating stuff.
    Here is what one of your loyal readers Debby Mckissic ( and winner of one of the Tomato t-shirts!) told me today in an email when I told her about yesterday’s ” telling the bees” thread here :
    “My mom kept bees for years in Va., and on their farm. In Northern Va., she kept bees, taught bee keeping at George Mason University and was an extension expert in bee disease and went after “swarms” often in people’s yards and brought them to local beekeepers..she is the expert beekeeper and now I wish I had kept bees and learned from her in her younger years..I always had honey…free..and it was the best…especially that from the farm..the bees would be on certain plants and she always knew from the color and taste of the honey what kind it was…” Just wanted to share .

    • MaryJane says:

      Love the idea of a bait hive. Will need to get his book. Ah, Debby has it in her … she might think she didn’t “learn” but she probably got her mother’s bee prowess through osmosis of sorts. I’ll have to see if I can find the study again, but we can GET the “experiences” of our lineage through DNA.

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