Monthly Archives: February 2017



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Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Weaving In and Out, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,200 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,226 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/Weaving In and Out Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge with Yours Truly and trustworthy sidekick, Piper, we got ourselves a pile of yarn. You don’t need a pile necessarily, but I had a sneaky plan to have some help unraveling my large ball of snarled fibers, and at the same time, I’d teach Pipes to make friendship bracelets.

photo by eef ink via

(Crafty is my middle name. Both definitions of the word.)

Andy was loitering hovering casually nearby, so we ended up including him in our badge-earning process. He feigned indifference—probably because he assumed bracelets were too girly for such a testosterone-fueled mancub—but he came around when he had the bright idea to make his in sports team colors.

First, we needed to learn to braid. Piper’s mom usually braided her locks for her, so she was as new to the concept as Andy was. We took three pieces of yarn that were a bit longer than what it would take to wrap around their respective wrists. Next, we used a piece of tape to anchor them to the table. (Don’t want tape marking up your table? They can also tape them to their own pant leg. Helpful hint from me to you.)

We braided and braided. It took a few trials and errors, but the whippersnappers got the hang of it pretty quickly. Before I knew it, there were braided “tails” all over my house, taped to just about everything. It looked like a strange crime scene of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only without any donkeys.

photo by Zervas via

Also, we were out of tape.

There were approximately enough bracelets to adorn the entire town, so we bundled up a few and braided them together. This brought our number down to a more manageable and less ridiculous amount. (Though if your town needs some accessories, let me know.)

My pile of snarled yarn had been unraveled alright, but it had dwindled to the size of a thimble. I braided my last friendship bracelet out of it and I think it really makes my nail polish pop, if I do say so myself.

photo by KnitSpirit via

Piper was so bejeweled with her fabulous bracelets that she looked a bit like an over-dressed Christmas tree, and Andy appeared to be a sports fan straight outta Woodstock (if there ever was such a thing). However, they were happy as clams, so I picked up the nearly 1,384,563.877 tiny snippets of yarn they had left behind in their efforts to achieve the perfect length, and called it a day.

Intermediate Level for this badge? Making more out of different materials, gifting them to friends, and also buying Auntie Jane a new roll of tape.



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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 … Ginger Dawn Harman!!!

Ginger Dawn Harman (#6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Make it Easy for earning a Beginner Level Let’s Get Physical Merit Badge!

“In January, I spoke with my doctors and received the approval to exercise at our local Health and Wellness Center associated with our hospital. I have been battling a left bundle branch block and pulmonary issues. After several tests and a couple of different inhalers, my health has stabilized. So, time to increase my physical fitness. For starters, I have set the goal to visit the gym four days a week. I also did the physical assessment and will do another one in three months. This will also be given to my internal medicine doctor. For weight loss, I have set the goal for 10 pounds. It is best for me to go slow and steady so I do not get discouraged. As for eating, let’s face it, I eat too much and eat terrible food.

Nevertheless, I am making it a goal to purchase more local and organic items. Oh, and eat less of it. I am really proud of the progress that I have made in my first month. I have lost four pounds and have tried several different classes such as Tai Chi, Water Aerobics, Interval Weight Training, and the machines on the main gym floor. I am a fan of the elliptical and recumbent bike. My favorite class is Water Aerobics, but today, I decided to step it up and do Aqua Boot Camp. Oh Lordy, my arms and calves are still feeling it. This was a good lesson to not jump into the harder classes when I am not ready.

I feel very fortunate that I am able to attend the Health and Wellness Center and look forward to my next doctor’s visit with my results. Even if you set a small goal, with 250 steps an hour, that is a start. To be honest, I take my health for granted, even though it is not perfect. Many would be more than happy to walk, swim, or ride a bike. When I get discouraged, I imagine that those who are not able to do these things sorta step into my body and go for it. I imagine their joy and happiness. This snaps me real quick out of my negative mood. I feel that sometimes, our biggest challenge is ourselves. Anyways, I am glad that I am taking the time to take care of my health and I encourage all to do the same.”

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Lava in Yosemite??

While I’ve never heard of an active volcano in Yosemite National Park, for a few days each February, you can catch a glimpse of a lava-like flow at Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall.

Horsetail Fall is spectacular enough on most winter or early spring days, when the seasonal waterfall makes a more than 2,000-foot drop down the east side of El Capitan. But on certain days in mid-February, the sun sets at a particular angle that illuminates the waterfall for a few minutes in stunning reds, oranges, and yellows, and turning it into something called a “firefall,” when you’d swear you were witnessing a river of hot lava flowing down the sheer cliff face. Hundreds of visitors come each year with cameras in hand, hoping to catch the perfect shot.

photo by Steve Corey via

A couple of weeks ago while looking out my office window, I noticed a similar phenomenon when a patch of sunlight hit a bend in the lane to my farm. I fantasized that if I were to stand in that gorgeous patch of glowing light, I would somehow be transported to other-worldly realms.

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GIVEAWAY: “Spring Fever, Lemon Wreath”

Thank you for dropping by my Raising Jane Journal to participate in my giveaways! We’ve chosen a winner for this giveaway already (click here for details), but don’t be afraid to leave a comment anyway. I love reading them. And stay tuned for more great MaryJanesFarm giveaways.

For a chance to win this pretty faux-lemon wreath, tell me in the comments below what you most look forward to when you sit down with an issue of MaryJanesFarm. I’ll toss your name into a hat and draw a lucky winner sometime mid-April.


You’ll find out how to grow lemon and lime trees indoors, as well as get lots of ideas for lemon-themed décor, in the Apr/May issue of MaryJanesFarm. Stay tuned for more magazine-related giveaways. If you’re not yet a subscriber to my magazine, MaryJanesFarm, subscribe here for $19.95/year.

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