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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2024 :  3:24:44 PM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level The Good, Bad, and Ugly ... Bugs Merit Badge!

"I started by taking an organic pest management course from Joe Gardener and by getting a book on Texas bugs from Howard Garrett. These helped me get started with identifying good vs bad bugs. I also read several books on attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects. Following an Integrated Pest Management approach, I monitored the garden to see what was there, including coming out after dark a couple of nights to spot moths (and caught an infestation of leafcutter ants on one of those nights).
When I first moved to this property it was a barren, depleted homestead with no ecosystem. During the first year we were inundated with plague-like waves of pests. Using organic and permaculture principles, Iím finally seeing a huge improvement this year.

The top four ďbadĒ bugs I deal with are:
Leafcutter ants (non-native, very destructive)
Cabbage worms
Leaf-footed bugs
Grasshoppers

Four beneficial insects I have are:
Lacewings (finally!)
Butterflies (so many almost year-round)
Orb Weavers
All kinds of bees and parasitic wasps

This past year I really saw the first signs that my ecosystem was finally coming alive and into balance. The lacewings magically appeared which was especially cool because my grandfather used to manually deploy lacewings in the fields of our farm as a means of pest control. Any warm day we have (even in winter) I have all kinds of butterflies fluttering about. The garden is always humming with activity from all the good guys. I also had SIGNIFICANTLY less pest issues and had to do very little intervention.

Companion planting and using natives are two methods I have employed to help manage the populations. I take the wait and let nature handle approach where I can, especially for aphids and such. Even organic pesticides can be harmful to beneficial insects as they are non-selective, meaning they can harm the beneficial insects too. Examples include Neem, BT, and Spinosad.

To attract beneficial insects, I have implanted tons of herbs and flowers. I have planted many natives and let the native volunteers pop up and reproduce. The bees love the herb flowers. I planted marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, salvias, lantana, and others, which are faves among the beneficial insects. The native plants that have self-sown and proliferated in my garden include: bluebonnets, prairie phlox , tootheye daisy, Mexican sunflower, and morning glory. Itís so lovely to see all the life buzzing around the garden."



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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2024 :  4:12:56 PM  Show Profile
Denise Thompson (#43, levisgrammy) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

"I have spent a long time researching products looking for those with clean ingredients that have been made cruelty free. I've found those made this way are a bit more expensive but healthier to use in the long run. I found shampoo, conditioner, and soaps to replace the ones I had been using. I've also learned how to make my own bath salt using essential oils.

I'm learning more as I go along, and I'm happy with the results of using products that are organic and have clean ingredients."

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2024 :  4:43:51 PM  Show Profile
Denise Thompson (#43, levisgrammy) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

"As time has gone on I have found that some of the items I started out using could be found with much better, cleaner ingredients. Since starting this journey I have changed products often and am satisfied that what I am using is the best I can find. I have changed more products out such as toothpaste, lotions, face creams, lip balms and makeup. I have also changed supplements that I use to those that are organic instead of synthetic. I use those that are non-gmo without any sort of fillers, using herbs as well as vitamins that are triple-tested for toxicity.

I am pleased with the results I have had with changing so much of our items over to the the cleanest products I can use for both my family and me. What goes into our body is just as important as what goes on our body."

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2024 :  4:54:45 PM  Show Profile
Denise Thompson (#43, levisgrammy) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

"I have taken what I've learned and shared it with others. The response from some has been great, and from others not so much. It seems that since organic is more expensive they choose to go with commercially less-expensive products. With these people I've shown them how to make some of the products, or I've explained how they can make it for themselves. I've made my own shampoo and when they discover it is more cost effective, then they find it appealing. I've continued to change all of the products in our household and they are available for my husband, as well as my grandchildren when they come to visit.

I have been very happy with the choices I've made by changing to all clean, organic products and using what I make myself."

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 10 2024 :  08:55:32 AM  Show Profile
Tina VanDaam (#8431, TinaTina) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Intermediate Level Calligraphy Merit Badge!

"I earned this badge by practicing my calligraphy with the nibs and sent out 3 letters, one to a farmgirl, one to my Mom, and the last one to my neighbor.

This merit badge turned out okay. The books and videos make it look so easy and then when you practice it doesn't look as nice, but it is still fun. I just need to practice more."



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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 16 2024 :  11:11:20 AM  Show Profile
Candy Hogan (#8283, Tigger9777) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning an Expert Level Safe Toys Merit Badge!

I made my Topsy Turvy doll by combining 2 soft dolls. Then I made both their outfits so that when you turn the doll over it becomes a new doll.

I sewed a child apron to match my apron for the 2 doll aprons I made for a different badge. I gave the child apron to my foster daughter who is 4 years old.

It went well.






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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 16 2024 :  12:51:21 PM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth Merit Badge!

Prior to purchasing our property I had attended a number of workshops and events hosted by the Texas Native Plant Society so I could learn about native plants and supporting wildlife. Texas is a big state with several different ecological zones, which impacts what is native for our part of Texas. We are in a narrow band called the ďPost Oak Savannah,Ē essentially we have a mix of southern plains and coastal plain conditions with sandy soils, heat and drought, but also dense stands of post oaks and other native trees.

So when we moved in I brought a few natives with me, along with a wish list of native and adapted plants to grow to support a balanced ecosystem on our property. Beauty berry was one that was on my list to purchase, but I discovered it grows wild on our property (to the point of being invasive). By employing a variety of earth-friendly practices and planting natives, as well as letting volunteers naturally pop up on their own, we now have a diverse range of native plants and a diverse group of critters too!

Some of what has shown up on its own include: prairie phlox, bluebonnets, toothleaf goldeneye, morning glory, hairy vetch, chicory, black eyed Susan, Mexican sunflowers, beauty berry, cranes bill, wild primrose, daisy, spiny poppy, spotted bee balm, hen bit, cleavers, Mexican clover, and horse herb to name a few. That gave me a beautiful wildflower meadow that spanned a couple acres. I also planted coral honeysuckle, Greggís mist flower, Jerusalem sage, frog fruit, tons of salvia and more. Iíve built little brush piles and nesting sites as well as native wood mulch and leaves from the property for all the little wildlife. Iíve picked up old bowls, cups, and other dishes to put throughout the garden for water sources as well.

The seed starting has been hit or miss. Luckily they self-sow pretty readily without my help. Native plants need outdoor conditions and cold stratification to germinate.

This is year three and I had the most plant and wildlife diversity Iíve ever seen! Year one we didnít have much life in the garden. So far this spring I have seen at least six varieties of lizards (there were only two before), dozens of varieties of butterflies year-round, so many bees and other insects, hummingbirds, and more! I even saw my first horny toad last week. I have been designated as a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation! My honeybees arrive in a couple of weeks. The beekeeper whoís coaching me was impressed by the bee activity and abundance of pollen and nectar plants I have. The native bees have plenty too. Canít wait to see how it continues to evolve.




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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2024 :  09:15:35 AM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Water Management Merit Badge!

The biggest factor that impacts soil quality is the soil type. Different soil types have different structures and qualities that impact their ability to hold water. Clay has the smallest particle size and holds the most water. Sand is on the opposite end of the spectrum, with larger particles that allow water to pass through quickly. We have almost pure sand, so it drains very fast and has little to no retention. Sandy soil can be improved by adding organic matter such as compost or manure, or by adding inorganic matter such as peat or vermiculite.

Mulching aids water retention by reducing evaporation from the soil surface. It also breaks down and adds organic matter. Straw is an excellent mulch in arid regions where I live in South Texas. Itís lightweight, inexpensive, easy to apply, and light enough to use in annual vegetable beds where I direct sow seeds that would not be able to push through wood mulch. In the pollinator beds I use oak leaves and wood mulch, which are abundant on my property.

Ground covers also make an excellent living mulch. Not only do they aid in water retention they also aid in building up the soil food web and can be used as green manure in the case of annual cover crops. Annual cover crops that do well in my area include buckwheat, hairy vetch, and annual clover. Perennial ground covers that work well include low growing Mediterranean herbs like oregano, strawberry and Mexican clover, horse herb for shady areas, and frog fruit.

I use all of the above methods, along with lasagna mulching with cardboard and banner compost. I chop and drop as much as possible, as well. This is year three, and I have noticed a huge improvement in water retention and a reduced need for supplemental water. Straw has been a game changer in the veggie areas. Iíve been building up living walkways so that water retention and the soil food web are continuous across the garden, not just in the flowerbeds. Still have a ways to go, but making steady progress every day!

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2024 :  09:45:55 AM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Make It! Merit Badge!

For the first project, I picked up an old headboard off of Facebook Marketplace. I used that and some pine boards to make a bench, which I then painted with mineral fusion paint. The paint is both eco-friendly and long-lasting for outdoor use.

I didn't need another tool caddy, so instead I made a curing rack out of 2x4s and hardware cloth for curing veggies from the garden. The chickens were also in need of more space to roam while protected from predators, so I built an extension to the run, which I framed on two sides with a raised bed made of scrap metal and wood - so I could grow more herbs and greens for their snack time.

Everything turned out great! I put the bench on the front porch for curb appeal. The curing rack is great - I just need to find a good spot for it that my husband can agree to (LOL). And the chickens love their new space! Herbs are planted and salad greens are sprouting!





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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2024 :  10:13:29 AM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning an Intermediate Unprocessed Kitchen Merit Badge!

For this badge I continued to replace some of my favorite guilty pleasures with organic homemade options. The first item I tackled was whipped cream. I love whipped cream with fruit as a sweet treat. However, most whipped cream has lots of extra (unnecessary) ingredients and often comes in packaging thatís not eco-friendly. So I did some research and found a recipe to make my own from scratch using organic whipping cream, organic sugar, and pure vanilla extract.

For the other treat I wanted to replace boxed caked mix and canned cream cheese frosting. My daughter had found a blogger with the BEST cookie recipes. She also had a bunch of cake and frosting recipes. So I downloaded her instructions for my favorite cakes (lemon, strawberry, vanilla, carrot) and her cream cheese and buttercream recipes. All very simple, no weird ingredients, and more importantly no corn or corn byproducts (which Iím allergic too). Plus, I was able to use organic carrots I grew in my own garden for the carrot cake and eggs from my chickens in all the cakes!

They all turned out awesome! I did overbake the strawberry cake a bit, and making the strawberry purťe and cooking out the excess water took forever, but everything else was pretty quick and easy. Iíve made several batches not just for myself but for a few family gatherings. I have a few lemon trees in pots and I am trying to grow strawberries. I hope to be able to use them in the recipes. I also bought the cookie cookbook the blogger just released and I canít wait for more. She doesnít state organic as a requirement for the ingredients, but thatís what I used. Her blog is "Live Well Bake Often," in case youíre wondering!


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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2024 :  1:20:57 PM  Show Profile
Shennandoah Connor (#8578, Shennandoah) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Expert Rootin' Tootin Merit Badge!

In addition to planting successive carrot crops, I grew red and yellow onions, softneck garlic, red and white potatoes, and just got another batch of sweet potatoes planted.

In Texas itís not easy to do traditional root cellars, because of the soil and extreme heat. I researched and tested a variety of methods. For example, itís commonly recommended to store carrots in a crate or bucket filled with sand. Red and white potatoes are usually kept in crates or burlap bags in dark, dry areas, while sweet potatoes do better in humid conditions. Garlic and onions are often cured then braided or placed in nylon tubes.

You can also process many of these by dehydrating, freezing, or canning.

This was my second attempt at red and white potatoes. This year I did them in reclaimed molasses tubs, which dramatically improved results. My onions and garlic grew better this year, although they still didnít get as big as I had hoped. I just make sure I have a constant supply of carrots sown.

The challenge came with the storage. The sweet potatoes were the only thing I could store without processing, freezing, or refrigerating. Itís too warm and humid here; even indoors the other veggies get moldy quickly. I tried different mesh bags, different rooms in the house, etc., and it just kept happening. So the carrots I either shred and freeze, or just refrigerate. Surprisingly, they last a long time in the fridge. Onions and potatoes I also have to refrigerate but in different refrigerators. I tried dehydrating some potatoes to make instant mash, but I guess I didnít do a thin enough layer and they turned brown too quickly and never really got to where they could be flaked. Iím going to try again since instant mash potatoes are a convenient weekday dinner side and I would like to have a healthier, less-processed option. I did do some pickled red onions (which I love!) and they turned out great. Iím going to pressure can some carrots from my next harvest and see how they do. I want more stuff that is shelf-stable just in case we have power issues.



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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2024 :  1:27:35 PM  Show Profile
Denise Thompson (#43, levisgrammy) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Lost Art of Letter Writing Merit Badge!

I made a portable letter writing area. I found a favorite basket from my collection and in it I put stationary, some note cards, stamps, stickers, address labels, some new pens for lefties that I came across.

I like that my basket is big enough to hold plenty of supplies without being cumbersome to carry around. And it is easy to grab even if I want to go out on the deck with a cup of tea or even for long car trips that I can pass time writing letters.



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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 25 2024 :  09:34:14 AM  Show Profile
Jill Yelland-DeMooy (#6748, jillyd) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Herbs Merit Badge!

I am currently growing rosemary, chives, thyme, sage and mint in my garden and sweet basil on my windowsill. All of these did well over winter, here, just outside Victoria, BC (except the basil).
I use rosemary in bread and roasted poultry. The thyme and sage also go into (onto) roasted poultry as well as chicken soup. I use the chives in all sorts of dishes such as cheese and chive scones, scrambled eggs, and salads. Iíve even used the flowers with cream cheese on crackers; both beautiful and delicious. I use the mint when cooking lamb, for teas, and I have made a mint simple syrup which is delicious in lemonade during the summer.

I love using the herbs from my garden and am planning to plant parsley, cilantro, lemon verbena, basil, oregano and savoury shortly.

I use both fresh and dried herbs as part of my regular cooking.



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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2024 :  10:04:39 AM  Show Profile
Jill Yelland-DeMooy (#6748, jillyd) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Birds Merit Badge!

I am lucky to live in a rural area of Vancouver Island. For many years we had bird feeders and old cats who couldnít catch birds. However, our current cats are avid birders so no more bird feeders. I still see Bald Eagles, Ravens, Crows, Robins, House Sparrows, Juncos, Annaís Hummingbirds, Chestnut-Backed Chickadees, Bushtits, Rufous Sided Towhees and three different types of woodpeckers Ė Pileated, Downy and Hairy in or from my backyard.

I live by the ocean and would really like to be able to identify various sea birds. Thereís a few that I know, but mostly I find them hard to identify as I canít get close enough to take a good picture. I will take my bird book with me one day and try to identify a few. I know the Glaucous-Winged Gull, but donít know the following gulls Ė Mew, California, Thayerís, Bonaparteís or Heermannís. This is what I will focus upon first, then all the various varieties of ducks. The gulls are at least often on the beach edge and thus closer for me to try and identify.

I used to really enjoy watching the birds that came to our deck feeders, but I think going to the beach with the object of observing the gulls will also be very satisfying, both being outside and learning something new. I spent quite a bit of time teaching my children to identify the birds that came to the feeders. I shall start to teach my grandsons now.


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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2024 :  2:37:11 PM  Show Profile
Kellie Wade (#8487, kelliewade) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Let's Get Physical Merit Badge!


I have always been very active. As I have aged my cardio activities have declined. I eat a plant slant diet and maintain a healthy weight. Unfortunately, my cholesterol numbers continue to be high. I started a walking plan in March of 2023. I began by walking my dog around the block, then 2 blocks, then a mile. I soon realized that his frequent stops to sniff and pee where slowing me down. I ditched the dog! My husband bought me an Apple watch and I was off. I worked first on increasing distance then my speed. I now do a run/walk for 5 miles once a week and have started ruck marching with a 10 pound weight once a week. My plan is to add a bike routine this summer.

My weight has dropped but best of all my legs look amazing (for a 64 year old).

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2024 :  3:01:41 PM  Show Profile
Kellie Wade (#8487, kelliewade) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Let's Get Physical Merit Badge!

I just applied for the beginner badge in this category and in that I discussed my plant slant diet. I have my own organic garden and regularly choose organic when buying green leafy vegetables and any foods that do not have a protective covering. As far as portion size, I normally eat one meal a day, one snack. I have never been a big eater.

I maintain a steady weight and a normal BMI of 24 and have maintained my run/walk 5 miles and weighted ruck marching. I am currently adding biking into my routine. I am signed up for a 5K in June and will have labs drawn again in August to check my cholesterol. I will keep you posted.

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2024 :  3:21:02 PM  Show Profile
Kellie Wade (#8487, kelliewade) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Buzzin' Around Merit Badge!

My chainsaw adventure was a quick study when my 90-year-old mother-in-law had a tree fall that required being sawed up and removed. I happened to be visiting alone (without husband), sooo I did what needed to be done. She had in her shed an old electric chain saw. It did require a thorough cleaning, oiling and a tightening of the chain prior to use. I found the information I needed to perform this task online. I found some gardening gloves and googles in the shed as well.

I Did It! It was intimidating at first and frustrating at times when the chainsaw would get stuck. I have in the past watched my husband use one many times, so had some idea on what to do during different scenarios. I was proud that I was able to clear the tree and bundle all the branches and smaller logs for a pickup. I scratched up my arms pretty good and was sore all over the next couple of days, but I did it.

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - Apr 30 2024 :  3:28:15 PM  Show Profile
Kellie Wade (#8487, kelliewade) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Intermediate Buzzin' Around Merit Badge!

I watched a video that was recommended on women only chainsaw use. It left me with more questions, so I found several other sites. The Chainsaw Journal sight was very helpful.

I am collecting my own safety gear for the next time I need to use a chain saw (see my beginner badge story).

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - May 07 2024 :  09:33:44 AM  Show Profile
Krista Davis (#528, MaryJanesNiece) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Intermediate Lost Art of Letter Writing Merit Badge!

I earned this badge by reading the book "If You Find This Letter" by Hannah Brencher and sending three letters to fellow farmgirls.

It was interesting to read about leaving love letters for those you don't know and the impact it can have on those who find them. It's amazing how much a love letter can change someone. I hope my three letters will bring a smile to each recipients face.

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - May 07 2024 :  09:52:10 AM  Show Profile
Krista Davis (#528, MaryJanesNiece) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Expert Lost Art of Letter Writing Merit Badge!

I earned this badge by participating in two Farmgirl Mail Art swaps.

I think they turned out good. My first swap was a learning experience, but I like how my bag turned out. The second swap was a challenge, but I really enjoyed making some geometric hot pads. It was a fun experience.



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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - May 07 2024 :  10:05:08 AM  Show Profile
Krista Davis (#528, MaryJanesNiece) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Mosaics Merit Badge!

I earned this badge by making a star shaped coaster with glass mosaic tiles.

I think my mosaic coaster turned out pretty good for my first attempt. I struggled a little with the caulk, but after watching some videos I was able to figure it out.





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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - May 07 2024 :  10:15:15 AM  Show Profile
Krista Davis (#528, MaryJanesNiece) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Macrame Merit Badge!

I earned this badge by learning how to macrame and doing some research on basic knots and macrame cord. I chose to make a bracelet for three of my kids and then make three keychains.

I made the bracelets with paracord and used a cobra weave. The kids still use their bracelets and they are holding up great. I made the keychains with macrame cord and used the square knot, larks head knot, and double half-hitch knot. All three turned out great. I'm very happy with how they turned out.



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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - May 07 2024 :  11:15:13 AM  Show Profile
Hannah Frankowski (#6994, GinnyBelle) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Mindfulness Meditation Merit Badge!

To earn this badge, I researched the benefits of regular meditation on the brain and physical body. I also looked into some different types of meditation. I found some 5 minute guided meditations on YouTube and did them for a week.

I think it turned out pretty well! I tried to use meditations that were gratitude focused and that really seemed to help me be more conscientious of the blessings in my life.

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - May 07 2024 :  11:26:02 AM  Show Profile
Hannah Frankowski (#6994, GinnyBelle) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Mindfulness Meditation Merit Badge!

To earn the Intermediate level of this badge, I extended my 5 minute Meditation to 10 minutes. I tried to find some different kinds of meditations, but the ones I liked most were the ones that focused on breathing and gratitude.

It turned out mostly okay, but I found myself losing focus toward the end of the longer segments. I powered through though, and I do think it helped set a more positive mood for my day.

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

16301 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
16301 Posts

Posted - May 07 2024 :  11:33:29 AM  Show Profile
Hannah Frankowski (#6994, GinnyBelle) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Mindfulness Meditation Merit Badge!

To earn my expert level I did some research into how to meditate while walking. I also meditated for another month, using a few different types of meditation.

Ultimately, it turned out good, though at first I wasn't sure. I tried the walking meditation a couple times, but I didn't like it. I much prefer taking walks with my husband and dog, which makes meditation impossible. Haha! I also started to find that the 10 minute meditations I was still doing were beginning to get on my nerves rather than relax me. They began to feel like I was wasting time and sitting still made me more antsy than relaxed. However, I was also learning yoga for another badge and once I had the poses down, I began to incorporate some of the breathing and gratitude exercises into my yoga routine. This seemed to work MUCH better for me. Instead of feeling like I was wasting valuable time doing "nothing," I felt like I was getting the benefits of the meditation aspects, but at the same time I was stretching my body and I found that to be a very relaxing and grounding combination. In fact, I am still doing this routine daily.

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