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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 01 2017 :  1:27:51 PM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge!

“I watched the trailer of the movie, "Vanishing Bees."
I own the book and have read Sue Monk Kidd's, The Secret Life of Bees, several times. This past weekend I read the book again; this time I wanted to look more closely at the parallels between humans and bees and the lessons we can learn from bees.

I grow many flowering plants to attract bees. Blueberry bushes always attract bees throughout the spring and early summer. I also have two types of lavender nearby, apple, plum, and peach trees, newly planted bee balm and tango mint. Living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, azaleas of multiple colors fill my yard.

Humans do so much damage to bees! Like Lily, humans need to learn from nature. We all have jobs to do, just like the worker bees. Without a strong leader to follow, we cannot thrive and prosper. When death comes, there is rebirth; The circle of life continues. It is our responsibility to maintain the life of bees for all mankind. I can do my part by planting more bee-friendly plants, maintaining my small farm without the use of pesticides, and educating myself and others on the secret life of bees!”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 08 2017 :  5:36:32 PM  Show Profile
Cyrie Wilson (Pixiedustdevil, #6941) has received certificates of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner and Intermediate Level Forage for Food Merit Badge!

“Applying for Beginner AND Intermediate.

I went to my local extension office and asked if they had any resources about local edible plants. Sad to say they had no idea what I was talking about. So that was a bust. So I went online and found a little information.

I know that we have salmon berries, blackberries, plum trees, apple trees, cattails plants, and Oregon Myrtle Trees (leaves are used like Bay leaves!). I found quite a few berries and small fruits while working on my 'Speak for the Trees' badge last year. I waited to submit for this badge until it was time to collect Myrtle leaves.

I've been collecting fruit and berries since I was old enough to play outside by myself. My grandma made berry buckets (old coffee cans and string). I swear we would eat 1/4 of our pickings and ALWAYS come home covered in poison oak. Good thing I'm more wary now.”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2017 :  09:47:20 AM  Show Profile
Kari Workman (Kari22, #4322) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“Over the years, I have been getting rid of the toxins we use in our home. We've switched to all natural cleaners, laundry detergent, as well as all natural and cruelty free body products.

Our mission statement is a shared belief between my husband and I to stick to natural cleaners from now on.

As a journal, I use a board on my Pinterest page that I have called "Clean Cleaning" with tips from others on how to keep the house clean without toxins.

It feels great knowing that we clean the house without toxins. It's better for the environment, better for us, and better for the pocketbook!”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2017 :  10:09:41 AM  Show Profile
Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Horse Dreams Merit Badge!

“One of my favorite things about being a MaryJane Farmgirl Sisterhood member is the opportunity to learn. I know I have mentioned this many times during the past few years but the best way to expand one’s being is to try new things! My son loves animals and we often admire all the different horses that are in our local area. I decided to surprise him and I booked a four hour guided trail ride for us.

I surprised me too since I have never been horseback riding! The breed of horse that we road was a Thoroughbred. My horse was named Slim and my son rode a horse named Bandit. Below is some basic information that I learned about this breed. I also learned that a horse can pick up if you are nervous which I was. However, I put my best mindful breathing into practice and managed to have a great time. My son did too. We rode along the ridge of the mountain and across the creek to a wildflower meadow. I only made one mistake while riding. This is important girls… So read this next part. If the horse you are riding decides to tailgate another horse and that horse in front of you decides to use the bathroom. Do not and I repeat do not try to move your show back when the horse moves to the side making you a target of bodily horse functions. The horse did not recognize what I was doing and decided to jump. Nevertheless, I was able to calm Slim down and hey green shoes might become a new fashion…. So if you never have rode a horse, give it a try and expect to be a bit sore the next day but the memory with my son was priceless.

Origin: England

Distinguishing Traits: Refined head; Long neck; Sloping shoulders; Deep body; Muscular hindquarters; Fine long legs

Description: One of the most popular and recognizable horse breeds in the world, the Thoroughbred is a hot-blooded horse best known for its ability to excel in horseracing. The word “thoroughbred” is often used to refer to any purebred horse, but the term actually refers to the English breed developed in the 18th and 19 centuries. In terms of appearance, the Thoroughbred resembles its Arabian ancestors. Although used primarily for racing, the breed is also used for other disciplines including jumping, fox hunting, and barrel racing

I did enjoy reading this book by Joe Camp. His writing style reminds me of James Harriott. Moreover, I really enjoyed reading about the relationship and perspective of the wild horse herd. Many of the quotes could even reflect on the relationship of he and his wife. I really admire Kathleen and I don't know how I would have responded to a birthday gift of a horse.

My favorite quote was, 'Just because something has always been done a certain way does not necessarily mean it's the best way, or the correct way or the healthiest way for your horse, or your relationship with your horse or your life.'”




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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2017 :  10:28:07 AM  Show Profile
Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Let's Get Physical Merit Badge!

“I went in for my Three Month Gym Check up! I have been going to the gym 5 days a week and have really changed what I have been eating!

Ok So here are the results!

At Three Months...

My blood pressure is 118/76 mmHg. Keeping my blood pressure within this range will
greatly reduce my chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

My Cardiovascular results of the Own Index assessment, your maximum oxygen consumption is calculated to be 24.0 ml/kg/min. Maximum oxygen consumption (known as VO2max) is a measurement of the maximum rate your body can consume and process oxygen during training. The
higher your VO2max, the better your cardiovascular fitness.
OwnIndex: 24.0 ml/kg/min

My Strength results are:

Max Push Up: 25.

Hand Grip Right: 24.0 kg

Hand Grip Left: 23.0 kg

Bicep Strength:61.0 lbs

Wall Sit: 67 seconds

Crunch: 67 repetitions

Flexibility Results

Sit & Reach: 11.2 in

BODY COMPOSITION


Your Bioimpedance Ranking
Fat Mass: 94.9 lbs
Lean Body Mass: 104.5 lbs
Body Weight: 199.4 lbs
Your Body Composition
37.3 %
Total Body Water:
47.6 %

I still have a way to go but remember I started out at 215.. That is 16 pounds!

I can not believe I am brave enough to add this last bit! But Hey just imagine what I will be when I post for my next badge! Yall better be ready for some more improvements!”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2017 :  3:20:46 PM  Show Profile
Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Speak for the Trees Merit Badge!

“I was able to purchase a book from Amazon for tree identification. (A Peterson Guide for Eastern Trees) and I walked in my neighborhood and identified several trees.

First, I must say that The Peterson Guide for Eastern Trees is the best identification book of trees that I have ever seen!. Not only do you see the colorful photos but perfect descriptions and information about each tree is provided. The price of $11.00 is not bad either. I plan on expanding this badge a bit with a trip to our local arboretum in the next few weeks. They will have many more trees for me to see and I can take photos.

In my yard we have the following trees.

1. We have eight Leyland cypress, Cupressus × leylandii (a fast-growing coniferous evergreen tree)
2. We have two Yoshino Cherry (Korean native cherry tree originated from Jeju Island)
3. One redbud tree (Cercis canadensis, this is a native tree.)
4. One Japanese Maple tree (Acer palmatum, commonly known as palmate maple)
5. Three Silver Queen trees (Native tree, Acer saccharinum)
6. One black cherry tree(Prunus serotina)

All of the trees are located around my neighborhood except for the Black Cherry. Maple trees seem to be the most popular. My husband and I counter 27! As for the Black Cherry, this one we did not plant but was a gift from a bird so we let it grow. I had to ask a master gardener what sort of tree it was. Many can be found in our area near the side of the mountain ridge. It was sad to learn that when our subdivision was built that many of the trees were cut down. This was sad to me. Trees are so important.”



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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2017 :  4:02:09 PM  Show Profile
Ginger Dawn Harman (Ginger Dawn, #6451) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Candlemaking Merit Badge!

“There are many different types of wax used in making candles.

Bee's Wax is known throughout history for its wide variety of applications, it can easily be used for crafts, cosmetics and candle making. Most beeswax is packaged in pellet form for easy handling and use. Beeswax has a higher melt point compared to other natural waxes, creating long lasting candles.

Paraffin wax throws fragrance extremely well and offers lots of candle making possibilities.

Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated. It is great because it is completely renewable. A well-made soy candle will burn cleanly and slowly.

However, we also like candles that smell nice! There’s a bit of a debate about whether fragrance oil or essential oil is better when it comes to candle making. Fragrance oils are usually synthetic, although they can smell like natural flowers, plants or fruits. Essential oils are plant based and made using distillation, cold pressing or they’re extracted with a solvent like alcohol. These processes gets the “essence” out of the plants to be used for medicinal purposes or for bath and body products. A con of Essential oils is that they cost more.On the other hand, they have a healing effect to them.

Now for color! I found a great video on YouTube that shows the natural way to color a candle. This does take a little bit of time but I would be ok with that. Here is the link for the different ways to color a candle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM8dpgA-bms

Another way to color a candle is with soap dye at Hobby Lobby. This can be expensive. Some use food color but I think the cheapest and fun way would be with those broken bits of crayons. I have seen several friends use this method it is makes a great candle and the color is very bright. A con would be if you had to purchase the crayons. Then it would be too expensive. Color Blocks can also be purchase. A pro is that they are formulated from aniline dyes to give clear, bright tones or shades and are sediment free. Yet, You better be ready to make lots of candles because one block will color 15 pounds of candle wax to a deep shade, these color blocks.

I learned a lot about this badge and am going to invite a few ladies over to make some candles. This will be a great way to connect and gather with the gals!”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2017 :  4:26:36 PM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level The Forage for Food Merit Badge!

“My local extension was not of much service but did recommend other avenues for me to pursue. So I did! My resolution for the remainder of this year is to get out in the woods more often and explore.

How exciting it is to find so many edible plants in my yard, in the woods nearby, and in my fields. After reading and studying Chris Bennett’s “Southeast Foraging,” and Alexander Schwab’s, “Mushrooming without Fear: The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms,” I have learned to recognize many edible plants and a few mushrooms. I maintain a small patch of elderberry plants for the berries but had no idea the flowers were edible as well. Just a few weeks ago, I mowed over wild Jerusalem Artichoke; I didn’t know what the flowering plants were at that time! I have dug many Greenbrier Smilax over the years, not knowing the tender green leaves make a delicious salad! The light colored roots are used as a thickening agent in soups. I am surrounded by Loblolly Pine Trees with long tendrils of Kudzu growing prolifically throughout the summer. In August, I will go in search of the fragrant grape-flavored flowers to make Kudzu jelly. Did you know Kudzu leaves are not only edible but can be used to make paper? I pulled up Chickweed by the handfuls in the early, cool spring; I didn’t know the leaves and flowers were full of nutrition and eaten like spinach. I already use Dandelion greens in early spring but didn’t know the flowers were edible and can also be used to make wine. Dandelions are considered a pesky weed in the South, so I can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to them next spring! Wild garlic grows in my yard during the summer months; I use it regularly in soups and salads. Sassafras, hickory and black walnut trees also grow along the wooded edge of the fields. I also found out the daylily blooms I transplanted from an old farmhouse years ago are edible!

I am excited about furthering my education on foraging and mushrooming. I have a friend who is part Cherokee Indian, and she has promised to show and teach me about edible mushrooms. We will be joined by an old high school classmate who also mushrooms and forages. I now know not to eat the ones with gills! I’ve signed up for a walk in the Great Swamp Sanctuary with a local wildlife biologist who was also my former biology professor. He will also touch on whatever we find to forage on in the swamp area. In the weeks I have worked on this merit badge, I have learned so much about what grows nearby, the parts of the plants that are edible, and the seasons to look for them! It’s also been fun to reconnect with friends who have the same interests. My son-in-law has also promised to forage with me in Idaho this summer. Nature truly does feed our body and soul, literally!”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2017 :  5:04:09 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Pampered Pets Merit Badge!

“I have attached a photo of the food I switched my cats over to this week - Grain-free Earthborn Holistics. I had only purchased the smaller 6# bags out of fear that the “brood” would not like it, but I can assure you, I am going to have to purchase the full size bag within a week!

For the second part of the Beginner badge, After much research, I was having a very hard time locating a “holistic” veterinarian within 50 miles of where I live. I suddenly had an “Ah-Ha!” moment and had a discussion with a coworker who is into all things Holistic, and has a dozen pets! Our discussion was very fruitful, as I was able to obtain from her the name of a mobile veterinary acupuncturist in the Pittsburgh area! She did inform me that it is “not cheap”, but when it comes to my cats, money is not an object!

I had been, for over a year, feeding my 5 cats Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food, never really paying attention to the fact that it had a fair amount of grain ingredients. I contacted the manufacturer regarding if any of the grains were GMO and they were not able to provide me with an answer. While the meats in that food are hormone and antibiotic free, the concern for me is that they were not able to provide a definitive answer as to “GMO grains”.

By switching to the Earthborn Holistic grain-free, I don’t have to worry about GMO grains or gluten. Also, the protein is 10% higher in content (44% compared to 34%) and has a much better quality of ingredients.

In addition to the food itself, EBH is very dedicated to the environment, teaming up with Terracycle for recycling of the packaging, packaging the food in BPA-free and much safer bags than standard cat food and has phenomenal environmental tips throughout their website!

I am extremely pleased to have done the research for this badge, as I am now able to better nourish my precious “babies”. Assuming “price” was a good indication of ingredients, I never really much paid attention!

For the Holistic Veterinarian:
I have contacted the practice (Kalmaren) and they are sending me all of the information regarding what is done and what to expect. I am hoping that this would be appropriate for my cat Glenn first, before the others. He is prone to severe respiratory infections. When I adopted him, he was suffering with a severe case of kennel cough he contracted at the shelter that turned into pneumonia within a day of bringing him home and almost killed him. I still feel that the antibiotic high-dose shot that the vet I took him to gave him, while saving his life, may have cause antibiotic resistance, as since then, when he gets ill, he doesn’t respond as quickly as he should to medication (I do provide him with daily doses of Lysine to build his immunity).

As with the food, I am so happy to have done the research for this badge, as I never really thought about “holistic” medical treatment for my cats, yet alone acupuncture - I didn’t even know it was a “thing”! I am hooping the cost is not prohibitive, as the information provided by the vet was clear the respiratory ailments are the most reactive to the treatment.”



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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2017 :  5:05:37 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning an Intermediate Level Pampered Pets Merit Badge!

“All 5 of my cats, and every animal I have ever had, are neutered and spayed.

I have found multiple “wet” organic cat foods for my cats and am phasing out the remaining cans of Purina and 9-lives over the next 5 days (the remainder left). I am switching over to several different bands - Newman’s Own (which I am luck enough to have found at the local Dollar Tree store for .50 a can!); Merrick Purrfect Bistro; Solid Gold, Wellness; Natural Balance and Taste of the Wild (which I believe that the cats were going to knock me down to get to the Venison!) I had purchased cans of this food in the past sporadically as “treats”, but I am switching 100% for their health and well being.

I have also been looking up homemade recipes that I could possibly make in bulk for them, and I have thrown out all bags of commercial cat treats, opting to purchase a few cat grass plants, purchased an organic catnip plant and I found a great recipe for homemade organic treats:

• Greased cookie sheet
• ½ c organic whole wheat flour
• ½ c non-fat, powdered milk
• ½ c cooked and chopped organic chicken
• 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 organic egg, beaten
• ¼ c water
• 1 Tbsp chopped, fresh organic catnip (optional)

Being that my cats are strictly indoors, I don’t have to use flea or tick repellent. I do plan within the next week to get rid of the large dog cushion that sits on top of my chaise ottoman for the cats, and I plan on making a “cat bed” of recycled clothes and sewing a cover from organic cotton material I purchased recently.

Finally, I am doing further research into “low” or no voc “natural” carpeting alternatives to redo the two cat tree condos I have and if I cannot find a suitable natural alternative to redo them, I am going to purchase sisal cat posts for them.

I have also convinced 2 of my girlfriends this week to seriously look into what they are feeding their cats and dogs and have provided the names of all of the brands above (this is especially important to my best friend, as she just adopted a new kitten a week ago, and I want her to get her started out “right!”). I also have given them additional information on natural flea repellent (diatomaceous earth on the back of their necks), and the dangers of imported, impurity laden cat toys.”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 13 2017 :  1:39:36 PM  Show Profile
Hope Johns (woolybunny28, #7249) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Sew Wonderful Merit Badge!

“Because I have been sewing for years, I put together a cute sewing kit for a fellow farmgirl who is just starting to sew! I used a quart sized mason jar and filled it with all the beginner essentials:

several spools of thread
pretty buttons
rick rack
ribbon
small sharp scissors
sewing needles
straight pins
safety pins

I made a little pincushion out of the mason jar lid with some pretty fabric and added a cute button on the bottom side (because why not!)

To dress up the outside of the jar I used some scrap yarn to crochet 2 granny squares to match the color of the pin cushion and slipped it around the outside of the jar. Because I chose a quart sized jar, there is plenty of room left to add more as time goes on!

My friend loved her sewing kit and plans to add to it as she sews more and more! I had so much fun putting it together!”



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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 13 2017 :  3:51:49 PM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Herbs Merit Badge!

“The two new herbs I chose for planting and using were Stevia and Tango Mint. Stevia is the perfect natural sweetener for diabetics because it has zero calories and is not metabolized by the body. I'd never heard of Tango mint and wanted to try it. I planted Stevia for the first time in mid-April, in a large container that sits on the steps leading down my deck. The Stevia plant gets full sun during the day, some shade in the afternoon. This plant’s growth has exploded in the hot South Carolina temperatures!

I decided to cut some leaves for drying outside in the hot sun. After about 12 hours of drying on newspaper, I lightly crushed the leaves and added just a pinch to a quart jar of sun tea. I also snipped a small amount of fresh Tango Mint leaves and added to the mixture. The jar sat in the fading sun, approximately an hour, before the taste test! The tea was absolutely delicious!

I had never heard of Tango mint until receiving a new plant/seed catalog in the mail, so I ordered three plants. I received them about a month ago and have nursed them to health in a small container outside on my porch. I will eventually transplant them outside in the herb garden; the plants still seem too fragile to withstand the heat and sun.

The tea was delicious with just the right amount of mint and a hint of sweetener! I intentionally used just a little of the Stevia; I’ve read it’s best to start out slowly. I hope to successfully dry enough Stevia to use throughout the winter months and will continue to experiment with amounts to use and different ways to preserve and use the leaves. Because I live in zone 8, I plan to overwinter the container of Stevia outside. I consider both of the new herbs a success. I'll send a picture of my new herb garden later when I file for expert level.”


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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 19 2017 :  2:14:07 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“I researched and made telephone calls to my Borough and other local entities to find out what recycling opportunities exist, as we do not have curbside pickup. Also, I contacted local churches and other entities to see what they accept for donation.

Upon contacting my Borough, I was informed the our Borough only sponsors Aluminum and "scrap metal" recycling. They provide a recycling trailer at the Borough building for aluminum cans and a dumpster for tin, steel and any other scrap metals. They informed me that 3 times a year, they have a "borough" clean up day, where they offer electronics recycling for a $5 fee with proof of Borough residency and provide dumpsters for larger items, which is upsetting to me, as that will only end up in a landfill. They did inform me to contact the local middle school, as they offer plastics and paper recycling also.

I contacted the Middle school as discussed with the Borough and they informed me that they have a dumpster for #1 and #2 plastics located in the parking lot at the building and they have several Paper recycling containers in the same lot that is sponsored for a charity.

I contacted two local churches and asked if they accept donations and they both stated that they accept clothing and shoe donations. One of the churches stated that their clothing and shoe donations are used for their Missionary work to Africa. The person I talked to (Nancy - a wonderful woman!) also said to call animal shelters, as they accept other items.

Finally, I contacted a nearby animal shelter and was informed that they accept donations of sheets, towels and blankets and are much needed at this time, due to the influx of stray animals during warm weather.”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 19 2017 :  2:14:46 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“I implemented the resources that I identified in the Beginner Level of the badge.

1. I purchased Two (2) regular kitchen garbage containers to use for recycling (as "recycling" containers were double the price) from Dollar General on 06/03/17 and immediately put them to use. One is being used for aluminum cans; the other for #1 and #2 plastics. (My phone is giving me grief uploading the pictures. As soon as I can get them uploaded to my computer, I will post them on the board!)

2. When I was grocery shopping this week, I purchased multiple brown paper bags for paper recycling and immediately put to use (which my household generates too much paper as you can see due to too much "junk mail" - almost filled up in a week!!!!).

3. I went through my home and gathered up all towels that are not being used and sheets for bed sizes we no longer have or use for donation to the animal shelter.

4. This morning (06/10/17), I also went to the local Salvation army and purchased several blankets for donation to the animal shelter and delivered those, along with the sheets and towels to the animal shelter (I also obtained information on volunteering at the shelter for my Expert level "Pampered Pets" merit badge!)

5. I scheduled to clean out my closets this coming week and will donate all of the clothing I no longer use/wear and donate those evenly between the two local churches.

6. I signed up on the Direct Mail Marketing website to eliminate as much "junk mail" as possible, because eliminating the main source of paper will benefit the planet even more than recycling it!”

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

12274 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12274 Posts

Posted - Jun 19 2017 :  3:49:48 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Mindfulness Meditation Merit Badge!

“From Friday June 2 to Friday June 9, 2017 I researched many forms and benefits of meditation. I practiced 5-7 minutes of breathing and visual meditation each day, twice a day.

Guides used - UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center Free Guided meditations “Breathing Meditation”.

Benefits to brain and body of meditation

Upon research, there are many body benefits to meditation:

--Lower blood pressure
--Creates a healthier heart. According to the American Heart Association, a study published in 2012 found that 200 people that practiced Transcendental meditation over 5 years had a 48% reduction in risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Lowers the stress hormone Cortisol, assisting in weight loss, better sleep and healthier weight
--Assists in balancing “mood disturbances”
--Increase body immunity to fight off illness
--Aids in decreasing physical pain intensity levels in the body
--Lessens inflammatory responses within the body/decrease inflammatory disorders
--Lessens premenstrual and menopausal symptoms
--Improves breathing and can decrease symptoms from Asthma


Mind/brain benefits include:
--A marked decrease of anxiety (up to 75%) and depression (up to 40%)
--Decreases impulsive behavior
--Enhances self esteem and self acceptance
--Increases optimism
--Increase relaxation
--Improves emotional intelligence
--Improves mood
--Helps assist in quitting smoking, emotional and/or overeating
--Increase mental strength and focus
--Better cognitive skills and creativity
--Improves memory recall and retention
--Can help manage symptoms of ADHD


Types of Meditation

There are many types of meditation, in fact, too many to list. I have included Ten (10) different practices as follows:

Transcendental meditation - This is a Hindu tradition where the goal is the state of enlightenment. This includes experiencing inner calmness, that quiet state of least excitation, even when we are dynamically busy. You traditionally sit in the Lotus position, internally chant a mantra, and focus on rising above the negativity. To learn this type of meditation, expert guidance is recommended.

Guided Visualization meditation - This method can be used for spiritual healing, stress relief, or personal development. The inspiration comes from Buddha, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Among other factors that set this form of meditation apart, the emphasis on one specific goal is defining. By imagining relaxing and positive experiences, the body will respond by releasing chemicals that generate feelings of positivity. This method can be done casually by imagining a certain situation in the brain.

Qi Gong - This method improves posture, respiration, and the ability to relax with greater ease. Qi Gong is one of the oldest forms of meditation and derives from ancient Chinese society. This art form of health and wellness uses breath to circulate energy through the body and energy centers. The focused combination on breathing techniques, movement, and meditation helps the individual to control their reactions to stress.

Mindfulness meditation - The Buddhist term sati translates to ‘mindfulness’ and breathes life into the practice. Conjuring mindfulness is essential in overcoming suffering and understanding natural wisdom. It is all about acknowledging reality by letting the mind wander, accepting any thoughts that come up, and understanding the present. The practice is done by sitting with eyes closed, crossed legs, the back straight, and attention placed on breathing in and out. For the period of meditation the individual focuses on his or her breathing, and when wandering thoughts emerge, one returns to focusing on the object of meditation, breathing. Research has found that a regimen of mindfulness can reduce anxiety, depression, and perceived distress.

Zazen meditation - This method is initially the easiest to engage in because it relies on self-guidance, however, the lack of guidance can make it difficult to progress in the future. Regardless, the mental benefits of Zazen are vast because you aim to forget all judgmental thoughts, ideas, and images. After sitting in a comfortable position ensure that the back is completely straight and you are centered. Breathing is an essential element of Zazen and this position will allow the breath to deepen and enhance the experience.

Kundalini meditation - A form of “upward” mediation, which focuses on the rising stream of energy. This form of meditation has roots in both Buddhist and Hindu teachings, and in Sanskrit translates to ‘coiled’. Many believe this to be a metaphoric form of mediation, however those who are able to access the dormant energy can attest to its healing benefits. To access this energy the individual must concentrate on their breathing as it flows through the energy centers in the body. Once that energy is felt, the individual can experience an altered state of consciousness.

Heart Rhythm meditation - this is a “downward” meditation, because it focuses energy on developing the application of consciousness. This form of meditation concentrates primarily on the heart, with an emphasis on breathing, and the purpose is to experience the mystics’ mantra, “I am a part of all things and all things are a part of me.” HRM is a triple threat form of meditation because individuals experience physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. It helps the individual better handle stress and develop an appreciative and joyous spirit.

Focused Attention meditation - Focusing the attention on a single object during the whole meditation session. This object may be the breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body, external object, etc. As the practitioner advances, his ability to keep the flow of attention in the chosen object gets stronger, and distractions become less common and short-lived. Both the depth and steadiness of his attention are developed.

Vipassana meditation - “Vipassana” is a Pali word that means “insight” or “clear seeing”. It is a traditional Buddhist practice, dating back to 6th century BC. Vipassana-meditation, as taught in the last few decades, comes from the Theravada Buddhist tradition, and was popularized by S. N. Goenka and the Vipassana movement. The first aspect is to develop concentration, through samatha practice. This is typically done through breathing awareness. This is an excellent meditation to help you ground yourself in your body, and understand how the processes of your mind work. It is a very popular style of meditation. You can find plenty of teachers, websites, and books about it, as well as 3-10 days retreats (donation based). The teaching of it is always free. There are no formalities or rituals attached to the practice.

Metta meditation - Metta is a Pali word that means kindness, benevolence, and goodwill. This practice comes from the Buddhist traditions, especially the Theravada and Tibetan lineages.

“Compassion meditation” is a contemporary scientific field that demonstrates the efficacy of metta and related meditative practices. Demonstrated benefits include: boosting one’s ability to empathize with others; development of positive emotions through compassion, including a more loving attitude towards oneself; increased self-acceptance; greater feeling of competence about one’s life; and increased feeling of purpose in life.”

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Posted - Jun 19 2017 :  4:24:00 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Shopping Green Merit Badge!

“Per the requirements I purchased 5 reusable shopping bags. I purchased 5 natural fiber shopping bags: 4 cotton and 1 jute. I did this because purchasing "#5 reusable shopping bags" defeats the purpose or eliminating plastic, since they are made from polypropylene. Also, as you can see in the photograph, 4 of them benefit causes I believe in deeply--animal rights, saving the bees and the empowerment of women in other countries.

I pledge to use these for every shopping trip from this day forward, and I also have 5 additional reusable bags on order at this time (also from causes close to my heart).

The bags are phenomenal and serve 2 purposes--shopping green and benefiting causes.”



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Posted - Jun 19 2017 :  5:11:27 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Water Conservation Merit Badge!

“Research into 20-25 different methods for effective water conservation. I shared these methods with my husband, parents, friends and co-workers. My husband had implemented not cutting the grass below 3" in length and I have purchased a drain stopper for my double basin-sink to wash dishes without leaving the water running. We both have pledged not to take showers that last longer than 10 minutes at the most.

Inspected all of the faucets in my home for drips or leaks. Identified on small drip in the shower - Removed the shower handle, identified that the ceramic washer inside was cracked and replaced the washer (A $12.83 repair).

This is a list of the best and easiest conservation methods I was able to compile from multiple sources.

1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks.

2. Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.

3. Check your toilets for leaks Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.

4. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks. Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.

5. Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators

6. Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank or install a "low flush" toilet. To maximize savings, intall an "ultra low volume" flush toilet that only uses 6 liters of water.

7. Insulate your water pipes.

8. Take shorter showers.

9. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

10. Rinse your razor in the sink

11. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads

12. Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.

13. When washing dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing. There is no need to "wash" dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.

14. Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water.

15. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge. If you are filling water bottles to bring along on outdoor hikes, consider buying a Lifestraw, a personal water filter which enables users to drink water safely from rivers or lakes or any available body of water.

16. Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants. If you are planting a new lawn, or over-seeding an existing lawn, use drought-resistant grasses, like Eco-Lawn. Consider applying the principles of xeriscape for a low-maintenance, drought resistant yard. Plant slopes with plants that will retain water and help reduce runoff. Group plants according to their watering needs.

17. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2 - 4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture.

18. Don't water the gutter. Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also, avoid watering on windy days.

19. Water your lawn only when it needs it. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn't need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering. Letting the grass grow taller (to 3") will also promote water retention in the soil.
Most lawns only need about 1" of water each week. During dry spells, you can stop watering altogether and the lawn will go brown and dormant. Once cooler weather arrives, the morning dew and rainfall will bring the lawn back to its usual vigor. This may result in a brown summer lawn, but it saves a lot of water.

20. Deep-soak your lawn. When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems.

21. Water during the early parts of the day. Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering, and late watering, also reduce water loss to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defense against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when it's windy - wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation.

22. Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns. Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention. Areas which are already planted can be 'top dressed' with compost or organic matter.

23. Don't run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing - this simple practice can save as much as 150 gallons when washing a car.

24. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.

25. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings. Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they're not as visible. But they can be just as wasteful as leaks indoors. Check frequently to keep them drip-free. Use hose washers at spigots and hose connections to eliminate leaks.”

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Posted - Jun 22 2017 :  10:59:59 AM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Know Your Roots Merit Badge!

“Unfortunately, my Mom is the eldest relative remaining in my family (64 years old). My father passed away in 1979 when I was 7, I am an only child and I have no remaining relatives on the paternal side of my family, so research there will likely be fruitless. This talk was long over due with my Mom. I took detailed notes for two hours, as neither of us own a video camera and my "smart phone" is only for work.

I asked my Mom about our "family tree" and how much information she has about our family, as I never knew anyone past my grandparents. My Mom retrieved "the Bible" from a drawer in her bedroom, which is an old banker's journal that my Grandmother (rest her soul) kept since she had gotten married to my Grandfather. Another unfortunate is that my Grandmother had extremely limited information on both her and my Grandfather's families, as both of their respective parents were immigrants from Austria, Romania, Germany and Hungary.

While I only have the names of all of my Maternal Great-Grandparents, I am using this as a starting point for research and hopefully, will find out who we are and where we came from, especially, because there are only Nine (9) relatives left in my family (all maternal), ALL women/girls, with myself being the second eldest at 44 and the family "name" already having 'died off'.”

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Posted - Jun 22 2017 :  11:00:45 AM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning an Intermediate Level Know Your Roots Merit Badge!

“Completed genealogy research on my Maternal Grandfather's side of my family, due to very limited information regarding my Paternal family and lack of information on my Maternal Grandmother's family.

Because of the lack of remaining family on both sides of my family, I was only able to do research through several genealogy sites on my Maternal Grandfather's side of the family . . . and the information I found stunned me!

I was able to trace back the 1600's - 11 Generations!

My Grandfather was E. Kiraly.

Great Grandparents (GG) - P. Kiraly (Budapest, Hungary) and M. Kiraly (Kovach) B. 1896 from Štítnik, Austria (which has passed "possession" multiple times in History - currently, it is in Hungary, but has been in Austria, Germany and Romania in the past).

GG x2 - A. Kovach and S. Kovach from Szenterzsebet, Heves, Hungry (B. 1865)

GG x3 - Alexander Kovach and Esther Kovach (Balazs) - Kecskemet, Pesl-Pilis-Sort-Kis-Kun, Hungary (B. 1830)

GG x4 - Joannes Balazs and Helena Balazs (Szabo)B. 1809

GG x5 - Joannes Szabo and Catharina Szabo (Bierkochs) B. 1769

GG x6 - Martinus Bierkochs (B. 1746) and Catharina Bierkochs (Ohrends) B. 1753 - Ruja Rosen Sibenburgen, Rumanien (Romania)

GG x7 - Georgius Ohrends (B. 1726) and Catharina Ohrends (Bucholzers) B. 1731

GG x8 - Johannes Bucholser (B. 1702) and Sophia Bucholser (Schmeid) B. 1703

GG x9 - Jacobi Schmeid (B. 1660) and Anna Mariae Schmied (Glaen)B. 1678

GG x10 - Georgii Glaen and Elisabethae Glaen (Beckmans)


I was able to only trace back to my Great Grandparents on my Maternal Grandmothers side . . .

Grandmother - E. Kiraly (Kramer)

Great Grandparents - J. Kramer and M. Kramer (Karoly) - Transylvania, Romania.”

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Posted - Jun 22 2017 :  11:22:29 AM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Farmgirl Gratitude Merit Badge!

“I received three books from Amazon on my birthday, May 12, and immediately began reading The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha. I tried to read just one entry per night but sometimes, the book was just too good or funny to put down! The Book of Even More Awesome has been a delight as well. I received the Awesome journal to put down my own awesome moments. I carry a 5"x 8" calendar organizer with room for daily entries to jot down those awesome moments. Then at night, I write about that moment in detail.

The journal entries make me realize that life is truly awesome. Those moments can be found in everyday simplicity. On Thursday, I was sad to leave my elderly neighbor's gravesite. She has been a fixture in my life for over fifty years. As I left the cemetery and drove onto the highway, a beautiful rainbow appeared ahead of me. I made several turns during my 25-mile drive, but the rainbow never left my sight. The rain fell from the sky just as I turned into my driveway, and the rainbow disappeared. Yes, I know the science behind rainbows, but it seemed a sign that all is well with my friend. I'll keep reading those "Awesome" books, sharing them with others, and writing my "Awesome" journals.”

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Posted - Jun 22 2017 :  11:45:51 AM  Show Profile
Lenora McMahan (firecatinc, #7131) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Make It Pretty Merit Badge!

“I did two drawings using colored pencils, I'm not an artist.”



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Posted - Jun 22 2017 :  11:59:41 AM  Show Profile
Melissa McCormick (#7399) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Shopping Green Merit Badge!

“Collecting bags is an easy task for me! My husband calls me a bag lady and being a teacher necessitates it. The challenge is making sure I bring them in the store. I have created a spot by the door and another basket in the car that I keep my shopping bags.

As stated above this was a easy task. In addition, in California it saves money! I love my bag collection. I'm even getting my husband to keep some in his car!”

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Posted - Jun 22 2017 :  12:04:54 PM  Show Profile
Melissa McCormick (#7399) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Get It Together Merit Badge!

“I took everything out of my cupboards and put them on the floor. Then I matched up all lids and containers. Surprisingly, I had a lot of stuff that I don't use and a lot of lids that had no container. So I put them in recycling. Then I organized all the containers and lids and put them away.

I have some extra space in my cabinets! And the cabinets look much nicer and organized now. I know now when I go to get a container for leftovers, it will have a lid!”

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Posted - Jun 22 2017 :  1:43:51 PM  Show Profile
Becky Gilson (#6695) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Backyard Farmer Merit Badge!

“I purchased 2 Black Australorp chicks and 4 Cornish Cross. I picked Australorps because they are supposed to be the best layer plus the are hear and cold hearty.
I chose the Cornish for meat because they mature quickly.

So far so good the little Australorps are growing and should start laying in August. I love them they are such sweeties.

We butchered the Cornish in May. The meat is so good and I'm happy to know where it came from. I don't like how commercial chickens are treated. I think we'll raise our own meat chickens from now on.”



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Posted - Jun 22 2017 :  1:45:17 PM  Show Profile
Becky Gilson (#6695) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Buttoned Up Merit Badge!

“I've been saving buttons I've found it salvaged from old clothing. My jar was almost full so I decided it was time to organize and count them.

Turned out great I'm surprised how fast they add up. I have over 100 buttons!”



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