photo of the day


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Yes, I would love a tomato sandwhich for lunch!! This beauty looks delicious.

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photo of the day


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I love radish sandwiches with good butter, french bread, and a sprinkle of salt on top!

  2. Ah, I love radishes! I am harvesting my rare Polish Zlata radishes now. They are bright yellow ( and ripen later as larger ones in orange ) and so nice on a mixed relish plate. They taste the same as most red radishes but look so cool. I like to shred my radishes and mix them in with cream cheese for a nice spread with some crunch.You can also also add sweet pepper to it.

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Today’s Recipe: Rhubarb Lemonade


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Rhubarb does not grow down here and is very expensive when even available. I have, in years past, made a delicious rhubarb cobbler at least once to celebrate Spring. It has a delicious taste when paired with other fruit as well. I bet this lemonade is quite refreshing!

  2. Melissa McDonald says:

    Rhubarb grows like a weed in Maine. I’m churning a batch of rhubarb ice cream right now. Tarts, pies, upside down cakes have all been enjoyed. Luckily, it freezes well. Going to make the lemonade for this weekend!

  3. Sarah Blue says:

    Melissa, those things all sound amazing especially rhubarb ice cream! How gorgeous is that lemonade though, and it looks so cool and refreshing!

  4. wyonne says:

    love it and magazine


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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    She is just so pretty in the bright sunlight. Love her colors with the red comb.

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Such a sweet face. Little blond blue-eyed presence in your life!

  2. Deborah McKissic says:

    “Nanny Jane” you are a blessed sweet!

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Rose Etta wants YOU to want a cow.


  1. Colleen Maki says:

    I’ve found my new love.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Does she has any solutions for reluctant husbands who are not swayed by her adorable eyes?

    PS. While a backyard cow does not seem in my cards anytime soon, my Mason Bees have been shipped and I am quite excited to raise my own little flock(?is that what you call them. Or is it a swarm?) of 50! Ever since your post earlier this winter, I have been waiting for the time when the Florida species, Leafcutters, are available. Apparently down here, they pollinate in July and August. It takes about 4 weeks for the cocoons to hatch so I should be ready for the opening of the season down here in my back yard. Crown Bees have a nice beginner kit that has everything you need to get started. Whoop!!

  3. calle says:

    Those lovely eyes. She can come live at our house! I will make garlands of wildflowers for her neck.

  4. Would that my zoning here would allow a cow, or better yet a mini-cow. I am in a farming community but since my farmette is divided by 2 counties I am under 2 jurisdictions, neither can agree on anything. Wow, politics, does that sound familiar ? Anyway I can have chickens but that’s about it. And with my coons, foxes , etc, those poor biddie’s nuclear half life would be a week or less. So I will visit my further down the road neighbor’s cows. He has his calves with their mothers, very unusual around here. There used to be a buffalo farm nearby but some of his buffaloes were ” russeled” ( sp?) and he sold the rest of the herd. I want to know who is brave enough ( and stupid enough ) to tackle mother buffaloes at nite and separate them from their babies ? Bigtime money for them I guess. Around here buffaloes are rarely kept. Maybe out west where you are MJ they are, but not in Amishland. So I will just have to dream of cows and creme fraiche and cheese and……

  5. Laurie says:

    Oh how I wish we could have a cow. I must be content on our little urban farm with our flock of chickens and garden. Just keep those photos coming! I just ordered the new book, so I can have fun with the recipes and daydream of my cow named Buttercup.

  6. Eileen Stone says:

    I’ve always said that we should have our own cow since I find myself purchasing great quantities of milk @ the grocery every week.

  7. Dana sperry says:

    My hubby is finally convinced to get a cow, but where to look? I know I want a heritage jersey. Maryjane, if you have any suggestions on reliable breeders or any insight as to how to find our next family member, it would be much appreciated!

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Pastoral …

It’s a big word for a couple of little girls, but it’s one we should know. It might just sum up our days at the farm with Nanny Jane and her cows.

Photo May 11, 3 11 16 PM

As an adjective, it’s used for or related to the keeping or grazing of sheep or cattle.

Photo May 11, 3 20 15 PM

Little Beaumont was curious about the wheat grass we brought. The sound of a bucket brings the cows. They always come running when a bucket clangs.

Photo May 11, 3 29 09 PM

Miss Daisy was happy to stop and graze in one place while we gave her some love. But we think the noun definition of pastoral describes our days at the farm even more perfectly. Pastoral is a work of literature portraying an idealized version of country life.

Photo May 11, 3 30 20 PM

Miss Daisy, who gave birth to her first calf, Beaumont, almost three weeks ago, stayed with us for almost an hour while we brushed and petted her. Her eye lids closed and her head got lower and lower like she was sleeping standing up. Eventually she started swaying back and forth as we brushed and loved her with our little hands. She loves to be loved! Ideal country life, yes.

  1. Kelly says:

    What sweet photos of gorgeous cows & beautiful kids! From that angle, Beau’s little heart shaped white spot on his face kind of looks like the profile of one of my chickens!

  2. Oh my, what a perfect depiction of pastoral, in these sweet shots of the girls and the ” sweetheart calf ” Beaumont and mommie Miss Daisy. Thanks for sharing, looks ever so inviting.

  3. Karlyne says:

    Not only are they lucky little girls, but I’m betting that they will always know that they are!

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Wendy House

Let’s escape to one of England’s Wendy Houses.

What’s a Wendy House, right?

According to Wikipedia, “A Wendy house or playhouse is a small house for children, large enough for one or more children to enter. Size and solidity can vary from a plastic kit to something resembling a real house in a child’s size. Usually there is one room, a doorway with a window on either side, and little or no furniture other than that which the children improvise.”

Something, oh, like this little dandy on the grounds of Mona Vale, a historic homestead in Christchurch, New Zealand:


Photo by Ann (Helen) Devereux via Wikimedia Commons

Such a playhouse would suit any young Wendy … or Jane, as the case may be.


The original “Wendy House” was, as you might have guessed, built for Wendy Darling in J. M. Barrie’s 1904 play, Peter Pan. When Wendy was shot by one of the Lost Boys, Peter and the boys built a small house around her body, attempting to construct the cottage that their beloved Wendy had once wished for:

“I wish I had a darling house
The littlest ever seen,
With funny little red walls
And roof of mossy green.”


Illustration of Wendy’s house by Alice B. Woodward via Wikipedia

But, just as Peter Pan refused to grow up, even “big girls” hold fast to dreams of dwelling in a cottage like Wendy’s. How can we resist? The temptation is particularly irresistible in the face of houses such as these …


Photo by Len Williams via

That’s beguiling brick Marycot at Chartwell, constructed for Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter, Mary. Below is a whimsical Wendy House on the grounds of Eaton Hall in Cheshire, England.

I think my favorite may be the marvelous Mawley Hall Wendy House in Shropshire, a wooden model of the estate’s summer house, built in the 1970s. It stands about 6 feet tall and contains scaled-down furnishings for little lords and ladies.


Photo by Alan Terrill via

Last on our tour through Neverland is “Y Bwthyn Bach” (The Little Cottage) at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, given to the queen on her sixth birthday in 1932 “on behalf of the people of Wales” and renovated within the past few years by Princess Beatrice.


Photo courtesy of

Lucky for us, the video below gives a precious peek inside (!) the queen’s cottage:

Now, if we could just find some of that “Drink Me” potion that shrunk Alice to miniature size …

But (sigh) they probably only have that in Wonderland.

  1. Oh my stars and whiskers! I would have loved such a tiny home as any of those. The greatest gift I was ever given from my grandmommie was a ” real” teepee. It was made of canvas with fairly authentic Indian designs on it. I fairly much lived in it until it finally rotted away from the elements. I was allowed to sleep outside in it year round as long as I could take the cold.
    I also was enchanted by tree houses and was always trying my hand at building them. Not always successfully but much to my pleasure never the less. My last tree house was when I was 13, I was living rather ” wild” that year, as my father had custody of me and hadn’t a clue what to do with an adolescent girl . Finally the neighbors called ,concerned for my ” welfare” and that was the last fun of my childhood. I had to clean up , dress like a girl and be miserable. Sigh.
    Yes, the little queen to be and all those others were so lucky to have their “Wendy Houses”. In my vintage 1921 copy of ” Peter Pan and Wendy ” , with illustrations by Mabel Lucie Atwell, Wendy’s house appears to be built of branches , some with leaves on them and has a green thatched roof.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What little girl or big girl for that matter wouldn’t just love such a little house to play in? These examples are simply elegant and beautiful!

  3. Pingback: Meet Heather Benning | Raising Jane Journal

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  1. CJ Armstrong says:

    Love this photo. That handle looks just like one I have that is separated from it’s “fork”. I’ve been told it’s for harvesting potatoes. I have all the pieces but the fork won’t stay in the handle.

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Spring Trees

I’m often curious what my girls think of each season. Even more so, I’ve wondered how many details they observe and notice. So, I decided to turn it into a craft project for their entire class. Buttons are always a good starting place. Stella’s kindergarten class was sure that the trees this time of year are all very pink, purple, white, and green, it being spring and all.

Photo Apr 24, 4 49 25 PM

First, I traced their arms and hands. The students agreed the outlines make perfect tree trunks with branches for spring blossoms.

Photo Apr 25, 1 14 37 PM

All 16 of them took a wee bit of time to cut out.

Photo Apr 30, 9 13 00 AM

Each child’s interpretation of spring blossoms on a tree was unique. And obviously they’d noticed that some of the blossoms are set free by the wind.

  1. Deborah McKissic says:

    These are so sweet! I like the button granddaughter, and grandson, love to play with my button jar and all the buttons inside. My daughter made me a similiar art piece…she traced my grandchildren’s hands onto brown paper..and then attached them to a small canvas that they painted blue and look like the sky..then attached the hand prints and cut out small pieces of pink tissue paper which my grandchildren twisted to look like blossoms on a cherry tree and glued to their hand trees…I have that artwork on my desk by my reminds me of spring and is the favorite thing on my desk..and, now..another granddaughter…born last Oct., will have to add her little hand to my artwork! It is so nice that you do projects with your daughters class! I used to teach sunday school and my favorite part was the crafting!

  2. Gail says:

    What a great idea! My daughter is getting her teaching credential to become an elementary school teacher and I will keep this idea for her to use. Thanks Megan, Oh, my daughter is a Meghann, too!

  3. Rebecca Taylor says:

    That’s a great idea!
    I help teach in the preschool room on Sunday’s often and this would be a great craft for them to try. Thank you for the idea!

  4. Corri says:

    What a great idea! I will definitely be doing this with my 7 year old daughter!

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