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Author Merit Badge Awardees - Woo-hoo Sisters!:  Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badge Awardees 
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:11:52 AM  Show Profile
Rachel (Naylor) Scott (raynaylor, #8515) has received certificates of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Levels of the Recycling Merit Badge!

"I completed all three levels. I used the handout given to me by my local recycling pick up to review what to recycle. I kept out all of my cans and cardboard and put them in my recycling bin. During Christmas I was able to use my cardboard boxes to wrap gifts in. I continued to recycle and even got my husband on board.

It has been working out really well as I have been able to find new uses for cardboard and if not it gets recycled anyways."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:13:24 AM  Show Profile
Julie Hofmann (Treelady, #2748) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Farmgirl's Best Friend Merit Badge!

"My favorite pet was one I owned for 16 years. A breed of black lab and springer spaniel. She was the sweetest dog I have ever had.

Her health started declining rapidly and I had to make the decision to let her go. Holding her while she crossed over the rainbow bridge was the hardest thing I have ever done."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:14:16 AM  Show Profile
Julie Hofmann (Treelady, #2748) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Intermediate Level Farmgirl's Best Friend Merit Badge!

"I pet sit my neighbors dogs and cats while they are away. Their Great Pyrenees is such a sweet, gentle giant.

Even though I have 2 house cats I know I am a dog person.

I need a dog who is mid sized and will do well on a farm.

Pet sitting helped heal my heart after loosing our old dog.

I still pet sit when needed."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:15:28 AM  Show Profile
Julie Hofmann (Treelady, #2748) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Expert Level Farmgirl's Best Friend Merit Badge!

"After losing our beloved dog, it took a few years for our hearts to heal enough to decide to add another dog into our lives.

We decided to adopt a dog from a shelter. I made many trips to various shelters meeting puppies and dogs trying to find the right fit.

On September 21, 2021 the sweetest 12 week old pup climbed into my lap and snuggled in. He was rescued from a high kill shelter out of state and brought in to the shelter with his siblings. He is a Blue tick coon hound and black lab. He is the sweetest, goofiest dog I have ever seen and has such a joy for life. He has filled that hole we had in our hearts."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:17:14 AM  Show Profile
Hannah Frankowski (GinnyBelle, #6994) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Know Your Roots Merit Badge!

"I took my Pop-pop (my mother's father) out to lunch this afternoon and asked him questions about his life and growing up and his time up in New Hampshire with my Mee-mee. He is 92 years old and his mind wanders a bit, so he tells the same stories over. He is also very stubborn and hard to lead into conversations, so no matter what I ask, he tells whatever story he wants too. But I did hear some new stories and it was wonderful just to spend time with my Pop-pop. He is in good health for his age, and he has lived a remarkable life. I feel blessed to have him as an influence on who I have become.

It turned out well! As I already said, it was time well spent. I was able to record it all on my phone as well, though it wasn't as clear as I'd hoped since the restaurant was kind of loud. But it was clear enough for me to hear him talk and I know that will be priceless one day."


MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:19:58 AM  Show Profile
Hannah Frankowski (GinnyBelle, #6994) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge!

"I researched the health differences between raw and processed honey.

I asked a friend of mine that raises bees if she would be my local honey dealer and she said she would love to.

I read Bees: Natures Little Wonders by Candace Savage

The research was super easy. Most of it I already knew. Basically raw honey is only filtered to get out particles and potentially icky bits out, but remains otherwise intact as far as all its magical health properties go. Processed honey, on the other hand, is heat treated, which kills off most of its healthy qualities. Also, a lot of processed honeys contain added sugars to keep it cheaper.

Having a reliable source for local honey has been very nice! I especially love it in my morning ACV tonic.

The book was a delightful read! It was a light and fun read, but still informative. I learned lots of fun facts!"

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:21:40 AM  Show Profile
Hannah Frankowski (GinnyBelle, #6994) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Expert Level The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge!

"As I don't have the means to raise bees on my own, I opted for the second option and approached my beekeeping friend about letting me help harvest some honey.

I wrote about my experience on the merit badge chit chat board.

I thought it was an amazing experience! I learned a lot. There was definitely more to it then I expected. Unfortunately the seal around the spout in the bucket started to leak, so my friend opted to get that sorted out and complete the straining process the following day so I was unable to help with that part. She did explain what she would be doing, however, and she sent me home with a jar of unstrained honey. Yum yum! "



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:23:38 AM  Show Profile
Heather Neeper(nndairy, #4701) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Relaxation Merit Badge!

"For this badge I researched the benefits of regular relaxation. I discovered that it can lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep quality, lower your heart rate, reduce anxiety symptoms, improve your concentration, and boost your immune system. I also took 5 minutes out of my day to "breath deeply, clear your mind, and relax your body."

It was surprisingly difficult to sit for 5 minutes and just "relax" without thinking of things that I could be doing instead! I find that doing nothing is not as relaxing to me as accomplishing something."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:24:59 AM  Show Profile
Heather Neeper (nndairy, #4701) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Relaxation Merit Badge!

"I actually started this before I knew there was a badge for it! And I know it sounds crazy, but I earned the intermediate level of Relaxation by taking a cold bath. It's my version of an ice bath. I simply turn the water on as cold as I can and fill up the tub then sit in it for a bit - usually about 15 - 20 minutes.

At first it was a bit stressful to get in. There was even a little hooting and hollering in the process of sitting in the cold water and then laying back in the tub. While it doesn't sound relaxing it is. The shock to your system makes you focus on the moment! You breath deep and your mind is all cleared out. Once I get out it's amazing how wonderful I feel. My mood and energy levels are fantastic, and my sleep quality has improved greatly. I've been doing this for about 6 weeks now and don't plan to stop."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:29:10 AM  Show Profile
Jill Yelland-DeMooy (#6748) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Expert Level Spinning Merit Badge!

"I am currently working on my Master Spinner certification through Olds College in Alberta, Canada. This current year I am learning to spin regenerated fibres, some of which include nylon, bamboo, rayon, soy, rose, lyocell.

I have spun a Corriedale wool skein and given it to my mother-in-law. I have also spun 2-ply, 3-ply and chain plyed yarns. I have a spinning group which meets every second Sunday morning for spinning and chatting. I also have a 4H Fibres Club where I teach 4H members to spin, weave and felt monthly.

I have spun so so many more than 40 hours. Each year's homework for the Master Spinning program is at least 150 hours if not more. I am currently working on Level 5 of 6 levels, so I'm looking at an investment in the certification of at least 700 hours so far.

Spinning is one of the joys of my life. I love getting together with others to spin and visit. I love taking the Master Spinner Certification and being made to step out of my comfort zone and learn how to spin all kinds of new fibres using a wide variety of techniques. I am currently working on knitting a sweater from hand-spun hand-dyed yarn which I'm really pleased with."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 14 2024 :  11:30:45 AM  Show Profile
Jill Yelland-DeMooy (#6748) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Relaxation Merit Badge!

"I have been having a great deal of difficulty sleeping. I wake up and have thoughts whirling through my mind and have great difficulty going back to sleep. I decided to try an app called Calm. It includes meditations, sleep stories, relaxing music as well as life balance programs. I have found that I have done a meditation every morning for the last two weeks and this has helped me start the day in a clearer frame of mind. I have also really enjoyed listening to the sleep stories and so far haven't reached the end of any of them before I'm asleep again. This is a big improvement.

I am feeling calmer and am getting much better sleep. This in itself makes my day go much more easily. I am definitely planning to keep up the subscription and continue this practice."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  11:25:42 AM  Show Profile
Jordan Peterson (#8620, xxjordanmariexx) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Herbs Merit Badge!

"I completed the research on 5 different herbs, and I used one in my own kitchen/apothecary.

Here is my merit badge journal entry for the Garden Gate: Herbs badge.

1. Identify herbs and their possible uses:

Thyme: cooking and medicinal uses
Thyme can be used to regulate blood pressure, treat a cough and bronchitis, help the formation of red blood cells, treat chronic fatigue, asthma, sore throat, laryngitis, fight disease, and more.
Preparations: can be consumed raw or cooked, in oils, tinctures, tea
Examples of uses: thyme cough syrup, scalp oil, smudge sticks, fire cider, thyme syrup, thyme tea, brine, antibacterial cleaner, design on top of focaccia bread

Holy Basil: cooking and medicinal
Adaptogen, antioxidant, antibacterial properties. Promotes balance throughout the body and acts as a natural protector of organs and tissues in the body. Improves immune system functions, may reduce damage from some types of stress (poor diet, depression, heavy metals, etc.), cancer prevention, improved mental health, and improve asthma symptoms.
Preparations: most health benefits when taken fresh. Consumed fresh or dry, in supplement form, tea, extracts, oils.
Examples of uses: Holy basil tea, add fresh or dried to cooking, holy basil essential oil face wash, add tea to your bath, immune support tincture.

Garlic: cooking and medicinal uses
The compounds found in garlic have antimicrobial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Preventing infection, lowering blood pressure, reducing fevers, reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. Can boost your immune system, can help detoxify heavy metals in the body, may improve bone health
Preparations: can be consumed raw or cooked, in powder form in cooking, in capsules, oils, and tinctures.
Examples of uses: Garlic infused honey, fire cider, pickled garlic, garlic infused olive oil, roasted garlic soup.

Ginger: cooking and medicinal uses
Can remedy common ailments like nausea, pain, vomiting, inflammation. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Preparations: fresh, dried, pickled, candied, powdered. Can be used as a tea, in cooking, fresh, topically, dietary supplement.
Examples of uses: Ginger poultice, ginger infused honey/ginger syrup, ginger tea, ginger lemon shots, pickled ginger, pain relief balm/salve, fermented soda.

Turmeric: cooking and medicinal uses
Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anticancer properties. Used for upper respiratory infections, the digestive system, skin problems, allergies, arthritis, depression, internal parasites and liver disease. Used to keep the mind, body and spirit in balance.
Preparations: powdered, capsules, topical paste, oils, tinctures.
Examples of uses: ďGolden milkĒ/ĒMoon milkĒ, turmeric infused oil, pain salve, fire cider.

2. Try at least one of these:

Roughly a month ago I made the recipe for garlic cloves in raw honey. I burped it daily for a couple weeks and turned it upside down a few times while keeping it in a dark place. I recently got sick in the sense that my esophagus has slowly shrunk over the past month (finally getting to an ENT this week), and I am not able to eat solid food at the moment. Since I couldnít take my homemade medicine without choking, I added a good helping of the honey and garlic to one of my soups and pureed it up. It added a wonderful element of flavor and I was also able to still reap the benefits of my medicine without having to swallow solid food! I will be adding this as a cooking ingredient again in the future and I look forward to being able to take it straight once my throat gets fixed."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  11:28:58 AM  Show Profile
Linda Bowlby (#7595) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Horse Dreams Merit Badge!

"The breed I fell in love with is the Gypsy Vanner that was highlighted in the Feb/Mar 2020 issue of Mary Jane's Farm magazine. They are incredibly beautiful and I have had a Gypsy Vanner calendar each year since. It was so fascinating to read of their origins and how they came to America in the 1990's, and finally registered as an official breed here in 1996. They are also known as Irish Cob, Traditional Gypsy Cob and Romani Cob. They are associated with Irish Travellers and English Romani Travellers. They were bred by the Gypsies of Great Britain for the Gypsy caravans. They are known for their calm temperament. The average selling price of a Gypsy Vanner is $12,000. The Amish use Belgians for their farm work and I love to watch them in action - very similar in stature and beauty to the Vanners. I am trying to locate a nearby farm with Gypsy Vanners that I can visit this summer.
I read "The Soul of a Horse" by Joe Camp and was completely enthralled. Then I bought a copy for my husband who loved it and learned so much. Then I bought a copy for my young 12 year old friend who is a horse lover. I loved this book, the gentle and thorough way Mr. Camp presented all his discoveries and material. I learned more about hoses in the 4 days it took me to read the book than in all my other experiences. I was so enamored with the way he gentles a horse and fascinated by the shoeless concept. That has me looking at the feet of every horse I see! The website is lovely, very informative and I enjoy the comments and pictures.

I learned a great deal about horses in general. Their life in the wild is so different than what we humans think it should be.

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  11:42:52 AM  Show Profile
Linda Bowlby (#7595) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Expert Level Know Your Roots Merit Badge!

"WARNING! this is very long - more like an essay. So grab your favorite beverage and sit with me a bit.
When I started the work for this badge, and completed both the Beginner and Intermediate levels, it was with the sure knowledge that I would not be able to complete the Expert level. Who knew?!!
I got THE text on March 14, 2023 from my favorite cousin Sandy in Cozad NE that a Dunlap family reunion (my Mother's family) was in the works for the last weekend in August in Arapahoe NE. It would be cousins only; not kids and grandkids. Though my husband is not a fan of such gatherings, we talked about it and we were in the game.
From then on I worked closely with Sandy to brainstorm, notify cousins and set things up. She lives only 1/2 hour from site, while I live 665 miles away. Her mother and my mother were sisters and Arapahoe is their hometown. The sites to be visited were already established. We would do the same "tour" of family sites that had been done in the past (I had not been able to attend any of those). Sandy had all the connections to gain permissions from landowners where the sites are now located to be on their land. She also made arrangements for mowing very tall grass (think armpit high) in 3 of the locations. Deciding on food and meals became a challenge as Arapahoe is only 957 people with no restaurants. Together we arranged for a catered meal on the one evening we would all be together. We decided that we would all get our lunch from Subway and eat at Arapahoe Park where a couple of other cousins would join us briefly. This is the park where all the family reunions were held in the 1940's and 1950's when our grandparents were still alive, our parents were young and we were all little. We decided on the overall schedule - we only had one full day to accomplish this. Friday would see everyone arriving at various times; Sunday would see most leaving.
Since this would be my very first family reunion, I set out to accomplish some very special tasks that I would share with my cousins. These would be my unique contributions. And I was so excited.
The very 1st thing I created was a special folder for everyone to have. Think an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock, turned landscape and folded into thirds. The front has my favorite picture of my grandparents and all their personal information. Open it and you see pictures of them, their parents and siblings and all their children in group photos. Fold over the far right section and I printed a poem my grandfather Jess wrote in 1937 about his family. The very back is left blank and says "We Were Here" - a place for all of us to sign. Kind of like a prom program #128522; Had them printed and ready for Nebraska.
The next item was my true thrill. For over 40 years I have been in possession of a short story my grandfather wrote in 1907. The manuscript is 164 handwritten pages written in pencil in a thread-bound notebook. As a young man in his mid 20's he spent at least 3 summers traveling with a carnival throughout Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana. He operated the steam engine merry-go-round. This is the true story of his experience in 1905. No one else (except my mother who had given it to me) even knew this manuscript existed! This was the golden opportunity to finally transcribe and print it.
It took several weeks of typing as I could only work on it about an hour at a time. I typed it exactly as Jess had written it, adding only some punctuation and some paragraphing. I did not correct spelling or grammar, wanting to retain the flavor and character of my grandfather's thoughts and observations. Often I had to closely examine his beautiful script in other places or explore context to decipher a word. At the end there was only one word I could not figure out. I edited my typed manuscript 3 times.
I chose a picture of Jess with the steam engine for the cover and my favorite of him in his 20's for the back cover. I wrote a short biographical piece about him and one about me. Then I composed my dedication. I saved it all to a flash drive and went to the printer. I had 25 copies printed with a box-edge cover and sepia toned photos.
Then I dug into more online genealogy and created a 5 generation chart to copy and hand out. I actually have completed an 8 generation chart for this side of my family but Sandy and I agreed no one would like be interested beyond the 5. (I'm currently working on a 15 generation chart.) My biggest thrill through that project was fleshing out a line into the early 1600's in the Netherlands!
I also compiled a photo album for my cousin Charlotte's adult daughter Melissa. Charlotte died just one month before the reunion. And I compiled a photo album of old family photos just in case my cousins had not seem some of them.
Now the actual reunion! We had an entire Lodge to ourselves and it was wonderful. There were 9 of us, plus 5 that joined us on Saturday for lunch at the park. Sandy and I had everything on display. We both have diaries of our grandmother's and various autograph books from grandmother and our mothers. I have my mother's Arapahoe High School Class of 1935 ring (which I had cleaned for the reunion).
First stop was Snowball School. My grandmother, who was born in 1894, attended school there as did all of her 6 children (including my Mom!). It is the oldest school in Nebraska still located on its original foundation. Next to the east Muddy Cemetery, established in 1888. The Dunlaps settled in this area in 1879 and the land for this cemetery was donated by them. This is where the older ancestors are buried. Lunch at the park and pictures at the iconic spots where we all stood as children.
Back to the Lodge for a while. Sandy had designed 2 games for us to play. She and I worked together earlier in the summer to acquire baby pictures of all the 16 cousins. Then she made a poster with the cousins, all our parents and our grandparents' baby pictures and we had to guess who was who. That was a hoot! There was lots of cheating #128514; She made Dunlap Bingo cards with all our adult pictures plus a few spouses. The prizes were all Nebraska-made products.
Then 6 of us loaded into 2 vehicles and set off for the old homestead where our great-grandparents, grandparents and parents lived. Several outbuildings are still standing, some built by my grandfather. But the house is gone and we could not even find the foundation. We did find the old cedar tree where all the family photos were taken.
The adventure continues! And this was like being in an Indiana Jones movie! We set off for the location of the dugout where my great-grandparents started life in Nebraska in 1879 and my grandfather was born in June of that year. Keep in mind it is the last weekend of August and it is 85 degrees. Nebraska back roads are "minimally maintained" in any season. When it is hot and dry these roads are like driving through flour several inches deep. Some of these back roads are like driving through ravines with high sides curving in ways you can't see till you get there. We drove this one road 3 times before we finally found the right turn in. They kept talking about a white bucket - I had no clue. I later discovered I had missed that particular piece of information when Sandy was giving instructions before we left. Well, we drove up this little hill and my cousin Judy hopped out of her SUV and yelled "I see the white bucket!" Turns out the man who now owns the land where the dugout is located and historically marked tied a white 5 gallon bucket in a tree over the location so we could see it. And off we went. At first I was surprised we were going to trudge across the high grass Nebraska prairie on an 85 degree day. But if my cousin Jerry, frail and with a cane, can make it - so can I. It was just over 1/4 mile and there was a ravine that we had to go down and back up. The dugout was at the edge of what was then a creek. Finally we came to the historical marker that forever designates the site. It was an awesome moment for me. Glad I have pictures. Of course we had to retrace our journey across the Nebraska prairie. And we would be back to the Lodge just in time to load up for dinner - no cleaning up or changing clothes for us.
We had reserved the patio at the local bowling alley all to ourselves for our catered meal and it was lovely. Lots more visiting at the Lodge before we called it a day. And it was a very good day.
One cousin left for home in Colorado at 4:30 Sunday morning. Jan left just before lunch. Three of them went to visit relatives on the other side of their family for the afternoon. Sandy and her husband stayed with us till about 5 when they headed home. The 3 who had been out for the day came back in late and we met them in the game room to chat for the next 2 hours. They left before we got up Monday morning. And then we headed back East to Illinois about 8:30.

It was indeed the adventure of a lifetime for me. It was so exciting to literally spend the summer getting ready for this reunion and working with Sandy. I was deeply moved at Snowball School where my mother learned and grew. She painted it 3 times and I have 2 of them. I have a doorknob plate and nail from the school and am in the process of creating a display for it. I will never forget spending this precious time with my cousins, some I had not seen in over 40 years, and immersing myself in the past and history of my Roots.
I kept a diary/journal of the trip and now I have this 'essay' to keep the memories alive."

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  11:44:33 AM  Show Profile
Nancy Joplin (#8352, Nancy Joplin) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Canning Merit Badge!

"I gathered up all of my water bath canning supplies and canned apricots and peaches.

I shared some of the bounty with my neighbor.

Everything turned out amazing! It was great fun to get back into canning. My neighbor loved the fruit so much that she wants to help me next season!"

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  11:49:07 AM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Homespun Christmas Merit Badge!

"I was a busy bee this year for my holiday crafting and gifting. I was already well underway with knitting Christmas ornaments in the summer. Itís also become a tradition that many of my family receive homegrown herbal tea and propagated plants or seeds. My nieces, eldest daughter, and sister received hibiscus, blue butterfly, and lemon balm tea from the garden. My mom, sister, aunt, and nieces also received plants I propagated myself. At thanksgiving I got a last minute request from my NY niece and nephew for another knitted hat each. Nephew wanted one like Santa and niece wanted a frozen theme. They each got a hat and a scarf.


It turned out great! This was my second year doing plants and teas and they all just love them. Iím planting more herbs for teas so I can do more varieties and blends.

My aunt loved the pink African violet I propagated for her. It was blooming when I gave it to her. My NY niece and nephew loved their hats and scarves. I was surprised at thanksgiving when i asked what they wanted for Christmas and they said another hat. Turns out the Santaís helper hats I knitted for the last year have been worn nonstop, and they even fight over them if someone accidentally leaves it at home. Made me feel good that they enjoyed them so much!

I was also able to bring green beans from the garden for Christmas dinner!

I told them they need to get their orders in sooner though. I was knitting like a madwoman!"




MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  11:51:58 AM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge!

"First I watched the trailer on vanishing bees. As an environmentalist and organic gardener and former landscaper/garden coach I was very familiar with the plight of bees and other beneficial insects. In fact when I had my garden coaching business I taught a series on attracting pollinators for a number of local nurseries. I dedicated an entire class to just bees and on supporting all types, not just honey bees.

That being said my garden is full of pollinator friendly plants. I have all kinds of bees any time the weather is warm enough. We have 4.5 acres. On the back part I let the wildflowers do their thing. In my cottage/portage garden I have planted a number of bee friendly plants including salvias, almond verbena, lantana, lots of flowering herbs, roses, rudbeckia, sunflower, and of course fruit trees.

I had a hard time with the Secret Life of Bees. I have adhd and struggle with reading fiction (nonfiction is no problem). So I went with the audio version. I do love the romance of bees and have always dreamt of having honeybees but have always been a little terrified. I took a hands on workshop from the extension service on beekeeping in October. There I met a gal who lives near me who has been working with a beekeeper who coaches new beekeepers. I went ahead and put a deposit down on two hives that will arrive in May.

When the beekeeper coach came to survey my property to help me decide where to site the apiary, he was able to witness dozens of honeybees feasting on the Mexican sunflowers, asparagus flowers, herb flowers, etc. he missed the bumblebees, which tend to come early morning and late evening. They also love the salvias but I find them most often with their little fat butts sticking out of a blue butterfly pea vine flower or morning glory. If the sun is out the garden is usually humming with lots of busy bees pollinating the fruit and veg and flowers. Itís so lovely! The honeybees are hard to catch with my camera but in my attached pic I have a bumblebee."



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  1:46:01 PM  Show Profile
Lyla Gauthier, Lacey Gauthier, and Lily-anne Hein (Mentoring Sister: Joyce Hein, GinghamGirl, #6071) have each received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Icing on the Cake Merit Badge!

"We got together one afternoon in January with our Farmerette Group and studied the basics of cake decorating with our Mentoring Sister. We learned how to properly fill our bag, which angle position to use for the type of flower or decoration we were creating, using couplers and also how to make our own buttercream and royal icing. We discussed how to bake a cake, freeze it before icing to help prevent crumbs, how to cut it in half and properly fill, and practiced many different flowers, leaves, stars etc.

We had a lot of fun as a group learning, and feel comfortable to move up to starting the Intermediate Level!"

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  1:50:41 PM  Show Profile
Lyla Gauthier, Lacey Gauthier, and Lily-anne Hein (Mentoring Sister: Joyce Hein, GinghamGirl, #6071) have each received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Level Icing on the Cake Merit Badge!

"We created our own basic cake-decorating kit with couplets, icing bags, food colouring, tips and tools. We made a cake using the leaf, wilton rose, star, shell pattern and basket weave.

We had a lot of fun learning to take our cake decorating to the next level! We are excited to be able to create cakes for our family."







MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
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Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  1:54:43 PM  Show Profile
Laurie Scott (#8572, laurzgot) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Knitting Merit Badge!

"I knitted a ruffled scarf as a Christmas gift for my daughter in law. I used a multi-colored blue yarn that when you cast on it starts to become ruffled.

This scarf turned out very pretty. And my daughter in law loves it."


MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
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Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  1:56:10 PM  Show Profile
Laurie Scott (#8572, laurzgot) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Buttoned Up Merit Badge!

"I have an assortment of buttons that I have collected over the years. I have separated them into mason jars by color. Some of them I have taken off of old clothing. I like to repurpose them.

It turned out nicely. Now that they are all separated it is easier for me to see what I have."



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  1:59:51 PM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Heirlooms Forever! Merit Badge!

"I had already read gardening with heirloom seeds a few years ago. Iíve also read seed Libraries by Cindy Conner, The Seed Garden by Seed Savers Exchange, and the complete guide to saving seeds by Gough.

Iíve always been fascinated by the idea of seed saving, but got turned on to the importance of heirloom seeds from Joe Lampíl and a couple of other gardening podcasts I listen to. That introduced me to both the Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek, and Southern Exposure Seeds. I have read a lot of the resources they have on their websites and learned how open pollinated, heirloom seeds are not only the best varieties to get true to seed types, but also important for biodiversity and for finding varieties best adapted to your conditions. I also learned about isolation distances for different types of plants, and how to collect and store seeds.

Last spring I planted my first heirloom plants. They included calypso beans, African Marigold, Mexican Tarragon/Mint Marigold, and Waltham butternut squash.

Those heirloom varieties did amazingly well! They handled our crazy South Texas weather, produced well, and just made my day in the garden. I was able to harvest seeds from all but the butternut. By the time I left the last few fruits on the plant to mature to seed, we got hit with an intense heat wave and drought. I could not keep up with watering and the heat stress was too much with base temps of 110 degrees.

I started my first wave of seeds for spring, which included the marigolds and Mexican tarragon seeds I harvested. Theyíve all sprouted and are looking healthy! The pollinators love them and they can be added to herbal preparations, not to mention my bouquets that I put around the house and give to friends and family. I also gave away a bunch of marigold, blue butterfly pea vine, and rosella hibiscus/Jamaica seeds over the winter to local gardeners and friends and family. I love doing that!"



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  2:02:17 PM  Show Profile
Heather Neeper (#4701, nndairy) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level UFOs Merit Badge!

"To earn this badge I organized my projects into 2 big totes. I then picked a project to finish. I chose some Christmas slippers that I started making for myself 2 years ago!

The slippers turned out, like all my crochet projects, a little big but super cute. It's also wonderful to have everything organized! It has motivated me to get to work on finishing some projects."




MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  2:04:57 PM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Herbs Merit Badge!

"In my herb garden Iím currently growing lavender, rosella hibiscus/Jamaica, apothecary rose, Italian oregano, Greek oregano, apple mint, spearmint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, senna, blue butterfly pea vine, English thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, dill, Mexican mint marigold, feverfew, and garlic.

From the herbs I make herbal teas, culinary spices, glycerites, and feed the chickens.

My lemon balm glycerite does wonders to help with seasonal allergies. The chickens love all of the herbs and it helps keep them healthy without unnecessary meds. My family love my herbal teas and culinary spices. I keep adding more tea herbs to the garden so I can produce more varieties and make more tea blends. Iím having a hard time growing chamomile here. But the tropical herbs absolutely thrive. I canít wait till I can start getting honey from my bees, so I can make garlic, thyme, honey cough syrup and hibiscus headache tonic. I use the hibiscus and feverfew for managing migraines (along with not drinking alcohol which is why I do glycerineís instead of tinctures). I have my own little apothecary going!"



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

16302 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16302 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2024 :  2:07:30 PM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Rootin' Tootin Badge!

"The two different root vegetables I grew were carrots (Nantes, Danvers, and tricolor) and jewel sweet potatoes.

The carrots I did in a stock tank bed and in a wooden raised bed. The sweet potatoes I did in old molasses feed tubs with drainage holes drilled in. We have gophers so this ensures they donít get eaten.

The carrots were soooooo delicious. Much better than from the store. I used them to make soup stock, ham and bean soup, and chicken noodle soup. We of course added carrots into the soups themselves. I also shredded and steamed some to make carrot cake cupcakes. Oh man, they were all so good. The depth of flavor in the homemade stock was tremendous especially with the Dutch oven.

The sweet potatoes struggled this year, so not as big of a batch as in years past. Still I was able to give some to family and friends. We mostly use them as a side dish. My family prefers them cubed, salted and tossed in olive oil, and baked until slightly crispy. I also like to do a baked sweet potato and whipped maple sweet potatoes. They go great with honey ham and with my five slice pecan crusted chicken. The perfect cold weather flavors."

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