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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 06 2012 :  4:51:49 PM  Show Profile
Kristina Nelson, (FieldsofThyme #800) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an expert level Birds badge.

"I watched birds for a little over a month.

I identified:

Bird Watch 4/30/2012 – 6/6/2012
1. Chipping Sparrow
2. White throated Sparrow
3. Hairy Woodpecker
4. Downy Woodpecker
5. Cardinal
6. Turkey Vulture
7. Black Vulture
8. Canada Goose
9. Mourning Dove
10. American Robin
11. Barn Swallow
12. Blue Jay
13. American Crow
14. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
15. Chickadee
16. Rough legged Hawk
17. Common Grackle (Blue headed black bird)
18. Red-winged black bird
19. Baltimore Oriole

I also started printed photos of several of them, and put them into a photo album. Even the younger girls are taking pictures of the barn swallows and other birds.

We had a family of Canadian Geese in the woods behind us. There was a female, male and a few babies. One of the girls took a short video of the family. One baby played dead while she filmed. It was very neat to watch.

I've shared information on my blog, and will continue to."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  11:56:19 AM  Show Profile
Robin Armstrong Miller, (birdie71 #1301) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Farmgirl Grammar badge.

"I am a teacher of 15 years, so far. My efforts to use correct grammar are ongoing. However, it seems that in the past couple years I noticed colleagues that don't use correct grammar and spelling. I find that a shame and try harder to do better for that reason and because I am setting an example. Within the past couple months I have chosen to be more careful in my text messages to set a good example mostly to my teenage son.
Near the beginning of April of this year, I decided to begin learning new words and learning the definitions to words I didn't know. I signed up with a website, Word of the Day, that emails me a new word every weekday. They give the definition and how it is used in sentence. I write the word and definition down in my planner everyday.

I am enjoying using proper grammar and spelling and learning and understanding new words. I suppose at times it is frustrating to me that what seems to be laziness is setting in with improper use and spelling. I also find it frustrating that there is also the tendancy not to keep the brain sharp by learning anew and with a little more sophistication and maturity. There's something to be said about "the way things were"! As a teacher, this becomes more of an effort to teach a generation to be a bit more educated and less complacent!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  11:57:13 AM  Show Profile
Robin Armstrong Miller, (birdie71 #1301) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level The Secret Life of Bees badge.

"I watched the trailer for "Vanishing Bees" some time ago and have actually been making an effort to educate and encourage others around me to have a more watchful eye for them. I live in a metropolis area and beekeeping and hives are not common things for "city folk" to see. However, as a teacher, I try to educate the importance of why they are flying about, for the students to keep from flapping their arms about, and then smashing them.
I have also planted an assortment of flowers. I picked up a package of California poppies. I just love how they look in the springtime. I was also given a mixture of seeds, of which I was not sure what was in there but they sure were pretty! I also plant heirloom sunflower seeds that get to be about 8 feet tall!
I also read Sue Monk Kidd's book "The Secret Life of Bees" and fell in love with it! After I read the book, I watched the movie! I just love that story and watch the movie occasionally to remind me of farmgirls, farm, honey, bees, and "the good ole days"!

I understand better what my grandpa did as a beekeeper, the importance of bees, and that I need to help others understand that importance!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  11:59:00 AM  Show Profile
Robin Armstrong Miller, (birdie71 #1301) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a beginner level Grease Chicks badge.

"I actually began learning auto maintenance as a teenager when I started driving. My parents wouldn't have it any other way. It came in handy shortly after I began driving alone. I got a flat tire and without hesitation, got right to work changing it! Thanks Mom and Dad!
I'm now 40 and about 10 years ago I found myself single and buying my first brand new car! I babied that car for several years. Of course it was easy to take care of. It hasn't been until the past couple of years that it's age and some of my earlier slacking off is rearing it's ugly head. Our mechanic fixed that ugliness and I have been forced into having a regular watchful eye on the car. I regularly watch the oil level and when the oil is getting dirty which is a signal to me it's getting close to oil change time. I am rather oversensitive to the cooling system and coolant levels since this was the biggest and most recent ugly head that reared. I also live in a climate that demands watching the cooling system carefully! I also have to watch the power steering fluid since I possibly have a VERY slow leak and I just like to see through my windows so I keep an eye on the windshield washer fluid. I check my tires and have kept a mileage and fuel usage record since I've had the car. I want to make sure it's maintaining good mileage.

I think having the knowledge and understanding of basic care and maintenance helps me extend the life of the vehicle! It's rewarding to have had this car ten years, it's paid off, and the only expenses that go into it are normal maintenance and an occasional bigger expense because of age. I am glad that have learned over the decades to be watchful so that when the big stuff happens I have a better understanding of what's next!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  11:59:45 AM  Show Profile
Robin Armstrong Miller, (birdie71 #1301) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a beginner level Let's Get Physical badge.

"My neighbor and I actually began talking in January of this year about walking every weekday. We began doing it shortly thereafter but it wasn't regular. It wasn't until the middle of April that we set out to walk Monday through Thursday thirty minutes a day until I was done with the schoolyear. She set out on a weightloss goal and I set out on a getting toned and we both wanted to feel better! Three weeks ago, we switched our walking to Monday through Friday at least 40 minutes a day!

There's no stopping us!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:01:17 PM  Show Profile
Deborah Meyer, (Country Girl Forever #4099) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Farm Girl Grammar badge.

"I have spent two weeks looking up and using new words for the past two weeks. I have posted the new words on my blog: http://countrygirlforever-deborah.blogspot.com

I enjoyed learning the new words and how they were used."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:06:58 PM  Show Profile
Sue Feely, (Sue Feely #349) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Buttoned Up badge.

"Even before I joined Mary Janes Farm I had a love for collecting buttons! I would guess this button collection has been about 8 years in the making. Some of the buttons I have received from some of my Mary Jane's Farm Sisters, many I have salvaged when I had to discard clothing and others have been picked up at garage sales or the like! I have two really pretty jars to display them with, one came from a friend who was cleaning out her MIL home and the other, my husband stumbled upon at a sale for me!

I am really quite proud of my button collection and I do have more but am currently looking for another pretty jar to put them in; it will not be hard though, as this is garage sale season!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:08:09 PM  Show Profile
Sue Feely, (Sue Feely #349) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a beginner level Shopping Green badge.

"By collecting re-usable shopping bags from different stores (most stores around here do offer re-usable bags), even drugstores offer bags with their logo! I think I have been collecting re-usable bags for about 5 years now, I even have one from a market in Florida that I purchased while visiting my son!

They are kinda like my purses, I use different ones whenever I am shopping. My son in Florida uses re-usable bags too and last Christmas I purchased several bags and sent them to him, he thought it was really cool to use bags from his hometown.

After emptying these bags after shopping; I stick them back into the trunk so I always have them with them on errand days when I may need them!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:09:13 PM  Show Profile
Donna Scanlon, (ladylouise #4197) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Blogging badge.

"I read Tara Frey's book Blogging Bliss. I got a copy from the library, and I have since ordered a copy to keep for personal reference.

The book was very encouraging, and it helped me understand that choosing a topic on which to focus doesn't mean that I could only write about knitting or art or whatever my focus was. I realized that the focus could be my eclectic interests and how they make me the person I am.

I dislike labels and blanket statements, and I want to promote a culture of eclecticism in my blog.

While the book was very heavy on sample blogs, I found it useful in terms of being able to follow the blogs that interest me, and the practical directions were useful too.

I'm ready to launch a blog!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:10:24 PM  Show Profile
Gretchen Lohrbach, (#4149) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Birds badge.

"I studied guides to find the birds native in my area and also obtained a "checklist" of birds to be spotted from the local audubon society, zumbrovalleyaudubon.org. At the top of my birds wishlist were the hummingbirds & I have already seen them this year!

Good! My daughter & I look for birds every morning when we are outdoors eating breakfast!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:11:11 PM  Show Profile
Gretchen Lohrbach, (#4149) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Horse Dreams badge.

"My father & step mom have started boarding their horses at my mom's farm! They have an pure bred arab, a morgan, and a morgan-arab cross. We still look at all the horses we go past in the area, but it's been fun to have them here with us at the farm!

Good! Nitro, Adiah, and Beauty seem very happy out here and with our company!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:11:59 PM  Show Profile
Gretchen Lohrbach, (#4149) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a beginner level Music badge.

"I refreshed my memory about the three elements of music: rhythm, melody, and harmony. The three songs I listened to and identified the elements in were: Blueprint's "Inner City Native Son" (Rap), Big Wreck's "Ladylike" (Rock), & "O'Fortuna" (Opera).

Wonderful! Fun!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:12:48 PM  Show Profile
Gretchen Lohrbach, (#4149) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth badge.

"I planted a large veggie garden this year & am doing it entirely organically! We are using well rotted horse manure for fertilizer. As far as pest control, we are doing good so far; although I have seen & squashed some cutworms. I also read "Montrose: Life in a Garden" and the pictures were wonderful!

Everything is thriving so far and we were lucky to have an early spring this year!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  12:13:41 PM  Show Profile
Gretchen Lohrbach, (#4149) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a beginner level Fishing badge.

"I learned to tie all the knots: clinch, palomar, turle, barrel, and dbl surgeons loop and a few others.

Good! Oddly, the turle knot gave me the most trouble."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  4:13:01 PM  Show Profile
Julia Riach, (#4210) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Get It Together badge.

"I had too many different shapes and sizes of storage containers, and most of the lids didn't fit anything. I got rid of all of them and replaced them with 15 identical storage boxes so the lids are all the same and they stack. They were cheap too, so I can replace them easily if the lids get lost.

My cabinet is much more organized now that all of my boxes stack together, and they are easier to use."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  4:14:12 PM  Show Profile
Julia Riach, (#4210) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Unprocessed Kitchen badge.

"I made chips from organic potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

They were a little soft but still good. I am going to make them again and let them bake longer."
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  4:15:15 PM  Show Profile
Amanda VanDusen, (AmandaVanDusen #4117) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a beginner level Get It Together badge.

"I de-cluttered my tupperware and lids. I got rid of all the miss matches I had.

It was awesome because I didnt stop there. I actually cleaned out and organized EVERY cabinet in the kitchen!"
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  4:18:09 PM  Show Profile
Julia Riach, (#4210) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Sew Wonderful badge.

"I made a pincushion and put my pins in it. I organized my sewing basket so I can find my thread, buttons, scissors, needles, straight pins, and safety pins.

I can find all my sewing supplies and can start a project without having to buy all the supplies."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  4:21:08 PM  Show Profile
Julia Riach, (#4210) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Aprons badge.

"I made a half apron. I spent about 3 hours sewing it.

The ties are a little short so it isn't very comfortable to wear. I will make another apron and make sure I modify the ties."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  4:21:54 PM  Show Profile
Julia Riach, (#4210) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Knitting badge.

"I made a baby hat for a friend who had a baby. I spent about 5 hours. I taught my daughter to knit a scarf.

The baby hat turned out great. My daughter needs more practice, her stitches are a little loose. She is going to try another scarf."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 11 2012 :  4:22:49 PM  Show Profile
Julia Riach, (#4210) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a beginner level Cross-Stitch badge.

"I already know how to cross stitch. I made a baby birth announcement.

It turned out very nice. It is hanging in her room."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 14 2012 :  10:44:01 AM  Show Profile
Nicole Strait, (KansasFarmMomma #4209) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a beginner level Farmgirl Shutterbugs badge.

"Research the following terms and how they relate to photography:

F/stop - Photographers use both their f/stops & shutter speeds to attain the correct exposure for a photo. The f/stop is what is in charge of regulating how much light goes through the lens. This is done by changing the size of the hole that light is allowed through. The higher the number, the more light is allowed through. For example, f/1.4 will allow more light through than f/5.6

Shutter Speed - Your shutter speed works hand-in-hand with your f/stop to regulate the light intake in your camera. The lower the shutter speed, the more light is going to come through because the lens would be open longer. Your lower shutter speeds allow you to shoot in lower light however because the shutter is open, the slightest movement will leave you with blurry photos.

ISO (film speed) - Your ISO number originally came from how sensitive the film was to light. The higher the number, the higher the sensitivity. In the age of DSRLs, your ISO refers to how sensitive the image sensor is. The darker it is, usually the higher the ISO you want to shoot with so you can work it with your shutter speed. The downfall to a high ISO is you end up with very “noisy” pictures, meaning they are very grainy.

Depth of Field - Your depth of field is just how much of the photo is in focus. If you have a shallow depth of field, the objects immediately closest to the camera will be in focus compared to a deep or wide depth of field.

Framing - Framing is a huge part of composing your photos. I shoot a lot of horses and I love using fences & barns to frame photo because it puts everything into context. Framing can also be very useful in drawing your eyes to the focal point.

Rule of Thirds - The rule of thirds is one of the very first things photographers should learn. You divide your photos into thirds. If you are shooting a horizon for example, it should not be dead center of the photo but rather higher or lower at one of the 3rd lines. You focal points should also ideally be at the 4 locations where the lines intersect. The rule of thirds CAN however be one of those rules that can be bent or even broken depending on the situation & the photographer. Photography is art, and while there are some basic rules, when it comes down to it, art is the vision of the artist.

Leading Lines - Leading lines could be lumped in with framing. Your eye automatically follows lines in photos.


Take at least 20 photos that demonstrate how you are living the farmgirl lifestyle and share some of them on our Farmgirl Connection chatroom or create an online photo album on a photo-sharing site.

While I’ve taken hundreds, I shared 10 photos on the chatroom of the life on my farm & gave descriptions for each one.

My photography is one of my true passions so being able to take more photos and search for ones that defined my life made for a very good evening."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 14 2012 :  10:45:12 AM  Show Profile
Nicole Strait, (KansasFarmMomma #4209) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a beginner level Woman-at-Arms badge.

"Familiarize yourself with gun-safety rules and gun regulations in your state. Find a hunter-safety course in your area and enroll in it.

-Being a former firearms instructor & a competitive shooter I am well versed in the basic gun safety regulations. A quick summary: Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use, treat every gun like its loaded.

-I have already taken my both my hunter safety course & trapper education and am actually working towards getting certified as an instructor.

Gun safety is second nature to me so there wasn't much to do in that department. I have already taken my hunter safety a long time ago but this did inspire me to get going again on my instructor certification."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 14 2012 :  10:46:08 AM  Show Profile
Nicole Strait, (KansasFarmMomma #4209) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Backyard Farmer badge.

"Start your own chicken flock or become a patron of farm-fresh eggs or raise some backyard rabbits for fresh meat and learn how to butcher them.
- We don’t have any chickens but we raise ducks for meat & eggs. We have also raised & butchered our own rabbits in the past however we do not have any currently. We do also raise pigeons for meat. Squab certainly isn't very popular but there are some fantastic recipes for it.

Feed your animals organically as much as possible.
-The ducks free range on the grass & ponds for most of the day. When they require grains, they are fed fresh grains from the co-op. It is not certified organic but it is the best option we have here. Plus I personally know the farmers that have grown it and I trust them.

The ducks always taste great. Home-raised duck is our traditional Christmas dinner! The eggs are also great as well. They taste much better than chicken eggs!

Squab is also fantastic, plus we like eating things that other people look at us crazy because we like."

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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 14 2012 :  10:47:01 AM  Show Profile
Nicole Strait, (KansasFarmMomma #4209) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a beginner level Horse Dreams badge.

"Drive around your city, community or town and admire any horses you may find. Try to identify the breed, making a mental note if one becomes more of a favorite and why.

Here in Kansas the primary breed of horse are Quarter Horses, followed closely by Paints, then Appaloosas. There are some(like myself) who enjoy more of the english type horses such as thoroughbreds & arabians but they are certainly the minority around here. Thoroughbreds have always & will always be my favorite breed of horse. Growing up in NY, seeing the race horses was the only type of exposure I had to horses when I was young. It gave me a deep love & passion for thoroughbreds.


Give yourself the opportunity to “meet” one up close and personal. Either through a neighbor, farmgirl, or local riding stable or boarder.

-Well giving myself the opportunity to “meet” one isn’t too hard, all I have to do is walk out my front door with a feed bucket. I did go out today though and groom Yankee(my thoroughbred) and work him in the round pen for a little bit. He hadn’t been ridden for much of my pregnancy so now is quite fresh and headstrong. He is my “once in a lifetime” horse. He’s VERY much a “one-person” horse. He tolerates my husband & hates everyone else. He is the horse that brought me from a cautious adult beginner to the rider I am today. He’s thrown me over barbwire fence, ditched me in the pasture a half mile from home, been naughty as can be...but at the same time he has been the most faithful BOMBPROOF horse I could have asked for. He has taken me up & down mountains, through rivers, and safely carried me through terrain where other riders told me I was stupid to take a thoroughbred through because only mules & quarter horses were sure-footed enough(they made sure to tell me after the ride that they were shocked & quite impressed with how well he kept up and handled everything). He is one horse that even though he can be a pain in the rear & he costs more to feed than our other 4 horses combined...I will never sell him!

It was relaxing & enjoyable, as is all the time I get to spend with my big 1200lb baby!"

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