Buy props used in MaryJane’s books and magazine!
5% of profits will benefit www.firstbook.org, a non-profit that provides new books to children from low-income families throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Look who we found reading NannyJane’s book, page by page. Before we took the photo, she’d been at it for quite a while. I had it out because I was making the book’s recipe for scalloped potatoes. It’s not the first time we’ve made them. They rate “best scalloped potatoes” in our home!
Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)
Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)
My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Katie Wright!!!
Katie Wright (#5600) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Level Shopping Green Merit Badge!
For my Beginner badge:
“I have used reusable bags for years and enjoy them. I also use two wonderful baskets, one long, with a low handle, and sturdy (pretty blues), and the other made by local Amish people with a wooden bottom and leather straps. When I walk into County Market, they see me coming and some of the younger ones call me the “basket lady,” not bag lady, even if I have bags also.
I have some purchased bags for shopping, one even from Africa, but I enjoy the ones I have sewn and also crocheted and lined. I keep them stacked in my baskets in the trunk of my car. Even my husband has begun using them and says that he just doesn’t like those “plastic” bags anymore. I even take my baskets into auctions with me. So, yes, I have at least six bags and the two baskets I use faithfully.
For my Intermediate badge:
I make a mixture of Dawn dish soap and vinegar, which I use to clean counters, bathrooms, and cutting boards. I don’t like the smell of many purchased products, plus they are expensive.
It benefits me to use this product instead of purchased products, not just because it is less expensive, but the smell does not affect me like some purchased products. I found some years ago when my asthma got worse that much of the problem was smells from the toxic ingredients in cleaning products as well as health and beauty products. At that time, I started to go green with things and am happy that my asthma is better due to it.
For my Expert badge:
I do not belong to a local farmgirl group, as I have yet to find one in my rural northeast Missouri area. I do, however, glamp and have rural country women who enjoy my love of camping, but who are not yet convinced to join the Sisterhood. With that said, I earned this badge by using reusable bags, making reusable bags, and sharing them with friends, plus giving them out to local shoppers randomly in grocery carts with a note to use reusable instead of plastic.
I was able to receive the joy of giving and also the joy of watching people pick up a cart and take up the bag, read the note with it, and smile. I also saw some customers talking with each other about their free bags and then later at the cashier, telling them about the free bag and that they planned to use it again and again.
My thought is that I having used reusable bags for a long time, even having my husband be a believer in them, and am stunned at how many people still use the plastic bags given at the stores. I am always sad to see so many bags go out in carts, each bag only having a few items in each. What a waste of our resources. I continue to preach and teach by example the using of reusable. I have my daughter-in-love now using reusable bags, and she has also become a recycle person (I believe my grandson helped with those ideas, as he has helped this grandma take recycling into town).”
Farmgirl Sister of the Year, Winnie Nielsen (Sister #3109, aka Red Tractor Girl) recently took fabulous trips to Europe, with stops in Iceland and Norway. She writes,
“Red Tractor Girl seems to get around to the weirdest places, but always finds a red tractor waiting! Here I am in UllKistan (WoolKistan?), where wool is king! You know you are in the right place because one of the few trees in Iceland is sporting a knitted sweater out front! How about Red Tractor Girl becoming a shepherdess? This tractor seems up to the task of a large Icelandic sheep farm. How about that beautiful wooly coat of the Icelandic sheep? No wonder they have shops full of beautiful knitted items and skeins of yarn! I wanted to sit on the tractor, but figured that would be pressing my luck a bit. I mean, how would you explain Red Tractor Girl to people who barely speak English?
The cowl on my neck was knitted from the wool I learned to spin last winter in a drop-spin class for my Expert Level Knitting Badge. It came out all different widths and degrees of tightness, but the ladies in the yarn store encouraged me to make it into something. Voila! A knitted cowl with “artisan” yarn. All wonky, tight, loose, and weird, like trying to knit rubber bands and fuzz. However, it turned out pretty nice in the end, and it was nice and thick and oh so warm.
As you know, the red tractor love started when I was 4 and my dad gave me a little red tractor toy from a consulting job he did for International Harvester in Chicago in 1955. I played with that thing for years and years. When I joined the MJF Sisterhood, I wanted some name that aligned me with some sort of farm identity, and the idea just popped into my head. I have never actually driven a tractor or know anything much about them. It is all a bit of fantasy in my head, but now I identify with red tractors as my farm connection. It has made for some darling MJF swap gifts, which I cherish and love!!”
Below are a few stunning photos from Winnie’s trips. I don’t know where these actual photos are from, but maybe Winnie will tell us in the comments section below …
Look who’s gotten into glamping …
Beyoncé’s sister, Solange, and some very fashionable friends went glamping in California’s Joshua Tree National Park for New Year’s Eve.
While there, they took an epic group photo that got me to wondering if Solange might be interested in knowing …
how glamping got its start.
Several years ago, myself and some B&B guests were sitting around a morning campfire (hope you got to enjoy one also, BTW, love your hat) when the husband of one of our couples (housed in tent 3) said, “You know, I have to tell you, when my wife said we were coming over here to spend perfectly good money to use an outhouse, I told her, ‘This MaryJane thing’s got you catnipped,’ but now that I’ve been here and seen it, I’m thinking I’ll go back home, buy a wall tent, put it up the way you’ve done, and the missus and I will finally have our cabin in the woods. So yeah, I get the girly camping thing now. But I’ll have to let her do the glamour part of it.” I said, “Right, how about we call it glamping?” To which we toasted our enamel coffee cups.
Now that someone like yourself gets it too, I’m thinking a star was born that morning (BTW, loved your wedding also, congratulations!).
MaryJane Butters (the woman who ever-so-proudly pioneered the concept)
P.S. Thanks for taking glamping to its highest fruition yet!!!!! Here’s my Airstream.
P.P.S. Next time you go, let me send you some of our s’more kits (w/our homemade marshmallows and organic graham crackers).