Monthly Archives: July 2015



Mia’s Zucchini

Maybe you didn’t expect to see this post include pics from our local pool and water park. The title of this post doesn’t really fit, does it?

Except Mia is certain that their swimsuits are not actually tankinis or bikinis because both of those terms sound weird to her. She is sure they are actually zucchinis! Either way, both girls are over the moon that they are officially tall enough for the big slides at our local watering hole this year. Our state-of-the-art Aquatics Center was made possible by a local man who left $7 million dollars in his will “to the youth of Moscow.”



three Ys?

Here’s a brain teaser for you …

What’s the only word in the English language containing three Ys?

Yeppers, I said three … count ’em, THREE.

Even if you’re an ace Scrabble player, you probably haven’t come across this word … because Scrabble only has 2 Ys to work with. And a good thing that is, because this word also contains a Z.

Well, the word with 3 Ys also describes a rare astronomical event involving three heavenly bodies …

Syzygy [siz-i-jee]: the alignment of three celestial bodies in a straight line, the Sun, the Earth, and either the Moon or a planet.

Three Planets Dance Over La Silla.
Photo by Beletsky via Wikimedia Commons.

Lunar and solar eclipses are both examples of syzygy, when the Earth, Sun, and Moon fall in a straight line. Check out this video from One Minute Astronomer showing a dramatic example of syzygy when the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun in a total solar eclipse.




Pay It Forward with Pizza!

Have you heard of the concept of Pay It Forward, or maybe Random Acts of Kindness (RAOKs)? Simply put, they are a gesture of love for strangers. Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia is making the concept easy.

pizza pies via

If you’re hungry in the city of brotherly love, whose poverty rates are some of the worst in our nation, you can grab a slice of pizza from Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, because someone else has already purchased it for you. Owner Mason Wartman says it all started with a customer who was inspired by an Italian coffee-house tradition called caffè sospeso (suspended coffee) that began more than 100 years ago, where customers pre-purchase cups of coffee for less fortunate customers who come after them. Wartman wrote his extra purchase on a Post-it note and stuck it on the wall behind the register to be redeemed by the next homeless patron to enter the store. Word spread, and more and more people began to participate, until the wall behind the register blossomed with Post-it notes, each signifying one person’s act of kindness.

post its via

Wartman kept track of the pre-purchased slices with Post-its until he reached about 500, when the sheer volume forced him to select another method of accounting. But the wall of encouraging messages continues to build. Rosa’s has provided almost 10,000 slices of pizza to Philadelphia’s hungry, and 10% of their business is now represented by pre-purchased slices. Wartman says some customers who were helped by this generosity and have since found employment have returned to the shop to pay it forward for others in similar situations.

post its and patrons via

If you’d like to donate a slice from afar, you can at Or investigate the possibility of donating at your own local pizza joint. Together, we can feed the world, one slice at a time.



Get It Together Merit Badge, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,487 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,234 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 Farm Kitchen/Get It Together Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I got to start with one of my favorite things to do:

Making a list.

I heart lists. Sometimes I make lists about making lists. Or about how much I love lists, numerically or alphabetically.

photo by Adam Diaz via Wikimedia Commons

I sense your confusion and raised eyebrows from here. Let me explain:

  • Make a list for DIY rainy-day projects
  • Make a list for veggie shopping
  • Make a list for camping destinations
  • Make a list for prioritizing your lists

Etc, etc. You get the drift.

Anyway, I love lists because I love order and peace and the sense of accomplishing something, and also because I really have a thing for bullet points. They rock my world, chickadees.

So, my list today was how to have a working kitchen. At first glance, when I read that title, I pictured some sort of robotic, maid-and-butler-occupied, steampunk kinda thing, but I was making things more complicated than they needed to be (control your surprise). A working kitchen, my girls, is …

Well, I suppose it’s a bit different for every woman, isn’t it? For example, my friend, Midge, has triplets. Her working kitchen is likely going to include easy-to-clean, wipe-down-able, child-height, types of things. My gramma, Barbie? Her working kitchen would include a high-quality blender for Daiquiri Night when her girlfriends come over for Bunco, and the oven is only for decoration (she has a crush on the pizza delivery man).

photo by Bradross63 via Wikimedia Commons

For myself, now, a working kitchen is going to include some real key items, and they aren’t necessarily the same key items I would have included a mere few years ago. I am a changed woman, you see … and I no longer have a need for a microwaveable egg cooker, a touchless paper-towel dispenser, a hot-dog scorer, an automatic pancake maker, a corn kerneler, and a few other things that make ya go, whaaa?

Oh, and possibly three different makes of salad spinners.

Ahem. How embarrassing.

Anyway, I sent all my priceless artifacts weird inventions to my local thrift shop and got busy making my Dream Working Kitchen List.

MBA Jane’s Must-haves for a Working Kitchen:

  • A multi-level baking rack. How neato is this for my Annual Home-baked Pizza Cook Off?
  • A good quality mixer (pizza dough doesn’t make itself, peeps). Maybe a royal blue KitchenAid … or a bright red … or a lime green … or a pumpkin-orange … so many choices, so little counter space …

photo by g2boojum via Wikimedia Commons

  • My apron collection and a lovely place to hang/display them.
  • Good-quality kitchen shears for slicing me some chives (mmm, baked potatoes …).
  • A French press and a tea kettle.
  • A crockpot for long winter days (or conversely, long summer nights; I like to plug mine in on the porch when it’s just too darn hot to have anything warm in the house).
  • Good knives. I only need two really: a butcher knife and a bread knife. I keep them outside of a drawer to avoid nicks and cuts when searching, and instead keep them in a cute letter holder.
  • And the most important, I gotta have it, no holds barred, I will not be budged from ordering this right now this very second.

I’m sure the foodies out there agree with me. It’s just the bare necessities, really!



Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Terry Steinmetz!!!

Terry Steinmetz (teryouth54, #3600) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Intermediate & Expert Level Disconnect to Reconnect Merit Badge!

“My girlfriend, Mindy, and I set up our glampers at a campsite that I built. We stayed out there for the weekend. We left everything behind and just enjoyed the outdoors. We sat by a fire every chance we could get. Played games. Looked at the stars, cooked over the campfire. It was just nice to be there without anything to distract us.


We felt so relaxed, got to share ourselves more, and came back so-o-o refreshed. Looking forward to doing this again in September.

I decided I needed a few days away after the hectic garden and canning season. So I packed up what I needed and went out to my glamper at my campsite on the back of our 40. I brought 2 books, a magazine, and some knitting. Ahh! I looked forward to just me, myself, and I—alone and peaceful. I spent 3 days and 2 nights, enjoying every minute.


I read both of my books and my magazine, took naps when I wanted, and did some knitting on a scarf as a gift for my son for Christmas. I was so happy to have a heater in my glamper, as the temps dropped into the 40s with cold winds out of the north! I cooked most of my meals by the fire, except for the last meal of homemade chicken noodle soup. It was wonderful to just be totally by myself and do some self-indulgence! I loved the experience, even the cold weather.”