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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 - Aug 01 2017 :  11:28:59 AM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Disconnect to Reconnect Merit Badge!

“My daughter, her husband, my two grandchildren and I, packed up and headed to a cabin on the Salmon River in Clayton, ID. Everyone agreed to no electronics, including television, for the duration of our trip. I let the family in SC know I would not have cell service until my return to Fairfield on Sunday night. We arrived at our destination late Friday night; it was still daylight of course. After an abundance of laughter due to the sleeping arrangements, (four of us in one double bed, my son-in-law in a double bed alone), we settled in for the night.

Daylight in Idaho comes early, so off we went to explore the area. After a delicious breakfast at the local general store and eatery, we drove to a lake to fish for rainbow trout. We spent most of the day admiring the catches of others, searching for unique rocks, picking wild onions and dandelion blossoms, talking to the locals, and picnicking. We drove into Stanley to eat pulled pork for dinner, and then returned to the cabin to cook s'mores on the grill. The grandchildren pretended to cook the greens for us also. Long after dark, we declared time for bed after an exhausting day.

On Sunday, we ate a breakfast of cereal and milk along the river before packing up to leave for yet another adventure. We toured a mining establishment and then continued up the long dirt road to the ghost town of Custer. After spending hours there, we meandered back to the main highway and snacked along the Salmon River as we watched the rafters and kayakers travel down the cold waters. No rush to get home, we stopped off in Stanley to view the town’s annual antique market. Finally we returned Fairfield late Sunday night.

How did it turn out?
FUN! CONVERSATION! LAUGHTER!

We played, watched the wildlife, hiked, cooked and ate outdoors. We fished, we met some of the locals, and really enjoyed our down time. I had to remind my daughter only twice not to look at her cell phone. We truly connected with nature and each other with no distractions! This will go down as one of the most enjoyable times of my life with my Idaho family!”

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 - Aug 03 2017 :  10:55:40 AM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Community Action Merit Badge!

“I am disgusted with the litter strewn on the highways in my neighborhood and in my yard. So,I researched the "Litter" issue in my community.

Litter remains a problem in rural South Carolina. The South Carolina Dept. of Health and Environmental Control heads both Palmetto Pride and Keep SC Beautiful, affiliates of the national Keep America Beautiful, and the Adopt-A-Highway program. In my county, The Walterboro Chamber of Commerce organizes the Keep Colleton Beautiful. DHEC controls the Adopt-A- Highway program.
In partnership with a variety of local organizations and agencies, the objectives of Keep Colleton Beautiful are to:
• Conduct continuing education programs regarding litter, recycling, and the proper handling of solid waste in Colleton County.
• Develop and enhance programs that will result in the sustained reduction of litter and graffiti and increase the use of recycling in Colleton County.
• Encourage stricter code enforcement regarding litter and dumping, and review and recommend, where appropriate, legislative change regarding environmental ordinances in Colleton County.
• Encourage the placing, planting, and preservation of trees, flowers, shrubs, and objects of ornamentation in Colleton County.
• Maintain certification with the national Keep America Beautiful organization.
• Solicit and accept donations and appropriations of money, services, products, property and facilities for expenditures and use by KCB for accomplishment of objectives.
• Make an annual report to the Colleton County Council.
• Cooperate and work with other County departments, agencies, and groups to carry out the general purposes of the Commission.
Keep Colleton Beautiful organizes and promotes the Great American Cleanup, annually in April.

Until the day of the Great American cleanup in April, I will keep my roadside clean and document the amount of litter I retrieve from my area and the time I volunteer. I will recycle the items from the litter I collect. After speaking with the Chamber's office, I plan to ask to become a member of their Keep Colleton Beautiful board next year.”

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 - Aug 07 2017 :  11:19:39 AM  Show Profile
Jennifer Ettlin (MsKathleen, #7128) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Home Insulation Merit Badge!

“We got lucky on this area because we managed to get the attic insulated in mid-to-late June before the summer heat kicked in and before all of the weird natural disasters have been hitting our area. We were severely under insulated when we had our energy audit, down to an R value of 8 in some areas. None of the attic was insulated to the same level either. So, following an insulation ruler and adding some blown cellulose insulation, we were able to bring it up to an R17 value evenly throughout the attic. It looks like it snowed in our attic.

Our walls have proven to be an interesting addition of insulation as we are in a Berm or Earth contact house. It’s underground like a Hobbit hole, so insulating walls is a bit different than insulating above ground. We still get air drafts and things from the windows and sky-lights, but with insulation our big problem is underground humidity. It molds extremely fast in the walls, especially if it’s a higher R value. Luckily, we were able to check the insulation to find we have stiff back-board insulation with mold resistant barriers built in (it’s a pink sheet of solid fiberglass insulation with two layers of moisture barrier glued to the back and one on the front). This is exceptional for a house that is underground since it means all of our escaping air was going out of the attic … Which now has more insulation. And we were notified today that the power company got our rebate application.

We’re toasty and our energy bill has dropped in half this summer! I’m fairly happy. Our rebate is still under review with the power company, but they have acknowledged that they have it. They’re just having difficulty processing it with all the unusual weather going on in the Kansas/Missouri area (we had the largest flood in our area in the last 40 years just last Thursday) so they said it will be back probably around the end of the month. Three tornado incidents, a flood and a power outage that knocked out the power for 14,000 people during a super-hot summer have kept them busy.”

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 - Aug 07 2017 :  11:57:53 AM  Show Profile
Michal Cole (#7441) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Sew Wonderful Merit Badge!

“I put together a sewing kit for my daughter who will be a Junior in college at the University of Idaho. I like to try and do a fun back to school gift but as she is in her third year, she has more than enough of the typical items. When I last visited her she commented on all the little baggies she had of extra buttons from the clothes she gets so when I read the requirements for this badge it all just kind of came together. There is a significance behind the acorns. She is in a sorority and the name of her “family” in that sorority is the Acorn branch of the nut family tree. I thought it would be fun to include those. I had so much fun putting it together!

I included two small mason jars, one for the many extra buttons she has. The other has several bobbins wrapped with thread, and some empty ones.

She is a lefty so I bought her left handed scissors, and sticking with her signature color, spray painted them pink. I also added a scissors fob with her initial, and acorn and a pretty button as well as a felt cover for the blades.

I made her a needle book based on a pattern from Nana Company. I added a small pocket to it to house a soft measuring tape, a seam ripper and an ez-Pull bodkin.

Lastly I crocheted a small amigurumi acorn, wrapped some steel wool in batting and stuffed it for a pin cushion. For the straight pins I found some cute heart tipped ones and included those.

I think it came together in such a fun and cute way. It was my first shot at making the needle case so next time I will make some adjustments but otherwise I am really happy with the results.”



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 - Aug 07 2017 :  12:29:57 PM  Show Profile
Nancy Noble (NancyOH1, #7441) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“My first paperweight is one with my paternal Great Great-Grandfather’s name in script writing in the center with marble chips all around his name. The story I was told has it that he obtained it while attending the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. I believe since my Great Great-Grandfather’s name is in the center of the paperweight that there is no other piece like it in the world.
I watched a video on www.youtube.com on Paperweights published by Corning Museum of Glass on a gentleman who does a lot of botanical decorative paperweights. The gentlemen in the video uses the following tools to create his paperweights: a torch, natural gas and oxygen, small tweezers, miniscule flowers and animals to make the inside arrangement first. Once the center of the paperweight is put together it then has several layers of glass that encapsulate the botanical arrangement. Once side of the paperweight is left flat for balance.

I did some research to check on any clubs and chatrooms online that revolve around paperweights. I joined a couple of groups on Facebook: Paperweight Haven, Whitefriars Paperweights, and Glass Paperweight Group. I went onto Google and typed in “paperweight clubs” and here are a few of the suggestions that I came up with: The Paperweight Collectors Association, Inc., Paperweight Collector’s Clubs and Associations, Art Glass Paperweights, The Paperweight Mall.

It turned out great. I learned something about how my GG Grandfather's paperweight might have been made. I started my paperweight collection.”



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 - Aug 07 2017 :  12:32:32 PM  Show Profile
Nancy Noble (NancyOH1, #7441) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Intermediate Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“I have been keeping my eye out on eBay and at the local antique mall, Heritage Antique Mall, for paperweights. Both places have a selection of paperweights and I have my eye on a few of them. Some I can purchase now and some will have to wait and be put on my wish list for purchase later.

I did start a spreadsheet today with my current collection of paperweights. This spreadsheet can always be added to now and much more information can now be added for future purchases. This information can be where I purchase the paperweight, how much it cost, and any information obtained about the paperweight.

My second spreadsheet is started for my paperweight wish list. Here I can now list any paperweights that I might want to purchase once I have the money or ones that I would come across in articles, online, or in stores. That way once I locate and/or can afford to purchase them I can mark them off my wish list and put it on my inventory spreadsheet.

My collection, inventory, and wish list have all turned out great. Now to be on the look-out for more paperweights to add to the collection.”

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 - Aug 07 2017 :  12:43:19 PM  Show Profile
Nancy Noble (NancyOH1, #7441) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Collect It! Merit Badge!

“I have been keeping my eye out on eBay and at the local antique mall, Heritage Antique Mall, for paperweights. Both places have a selection of paperweights and I have my eye on a few of them. Some I can purchase now and some will have to wait and be put on my wish list for purchase later.

I did start a spreadsheet today with my current collection of paperweights. This spreadsheet can always be added to now and much more information can now be added for future purchases. This information can be where I purchase the paperweight, how much it cost, and any information obtained about the paperweight.

My second spreadsheet is started for my paperweight wish list. Here I can now list any paperweights that I might want to purchase once I have the money or ones that I would come across in articles, online, or in stores. That way once I locate and/or can afford to purchase them I can mark them off my wish list and put it on my inventory spreadsheet.

My collection, inventory, and wish list have all turned out great. Now to be on the look-out for more paperweights to add to the collection.”



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 - Sep 29 2017 :  1:56:00 PM  Show Profile
Heather Bedford (nnfolkways, #7462) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level UFOs Merit Badge!

“I was working on de-cluttering my craft area when I realized I had several unfinished projects. I placed each project worth continuing in a bag along with necessary supplies (I started with 11). A few days later, I grabbed a bag and got to work. I worked on it off-and-on for about two days when I was able to squeeze in a few minutes to myself.

It turned out well. The purse started as a market bag but I didn't like the way it seemed to bulge. I then decided it would be a purse and went off pattern to add a different style strap and enclosure.”



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 - Oct 06 2017 :  11:09:18 AM  Show Profile
Heather Bedford (nnfolkways, #7462) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Backyard Farmer Merit Badge!

“I care for a backyard flock of 53 chickens and 26 ducks. I have raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for a few years now. I feed them all an organic, non GMO, non-medicated laying mash. It is more money but I feel the costs are offset by the benefits of eating organic food. I also make my own fodder from black oil sunflower seeds and corn.

Unfortunately, I can't find non-GMO corn but it is sourced from a local farmer. I soak the seeds in a bucket to allow them to sprout. This is given in place of scratch grains. The ducks also free range a wooded area and a pasture. The chickens are threatened by hawks so they remain in an aviary. However, I do have "maggot generators" in their run and I also give them a diet of "weeds" from my garden.

So my flock is healthy and happy. I do believe sprouting the fodder adds more nutrients to their food and my egg yolks are a rich orange color.”



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 - Oct 10 2017 :  11:21:57 AM  Show Profile
Cyrie Wilson (Pixiedustdevil, #6941) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Dyeing for Color Merit Badge!

“For the presentation part, I let the 9 year-old neighbor girl 'help' me dye some fabric for a doll. I explained what kind of fabric to use, what to use for dye (tea in our case), how to boil the tea water, turning the fabric, then how to set the color.

I dyed a poly-cotton bed sheet to make doll skin. I filled a pot and used 40 tea bags (30 green tea and 10 hibiscus tea). The longer the fabric sat the darker it was. I put mason jars full of water on top of the fabric to keep in submerged overnight.

I can say that while it did turn out ok; I wouldn't use poly-cotton again, it doesn't take color well.”



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 - Oct 10 2017 :  11:30:02 AM  Show Profile
Cyrie Wilson (Pixiedustdevil, #6941) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Dyeing for Color Merit Badge!

“On Aug 12th I drove out of town, to get out of the lights, to see the meteor shower. I saw 1 meteor but the fog rolled in early.

Of course, being from Oregon, I viewed the solar eclipse. My town was too far south to see it totally eclipse, but only by a sliver! It was so foggy, we could see it without eclipse glasses.

During this month I've been able to see Jupiter and Saturn in the southeast. The only planets I really know by heart are Venus and Mars, but they're too hard to see right now.

Not being able to see the meteor shower was disappointing. But at least the eclipse was worth 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 - Oct 10 2017 :  11:46:57 AM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Crochet Merit Badge!

“I crocheted a simple, double crochet stitch scarf for summer wear - made of lightweight Bamboo Rayon yarn. It can also be used for a lighter winter scarf.

Being that I have always had an issue with crocheting when it comes to starting on the second row (I can crochet a mean single row for miles!) where I just always "screw up", I feel it came out quite well. I worked very hard and very patiently on making sure I counted the stitches and that they were even and not too tight. I am actually very proud of myself, because by the 5th row, I started flying along, and now I am ready to try some more intricate stitches and another project for my Intermediate Badge!”



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 - Oct 10 2017 :  12:46:13 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge!

“I watched the vanishing bees trailer. I have expanded my Bee friendly NATIVE plants - but not by my own hand. I purchased a used, second edition copy of The Secret Life of Bees (Reuse and recycle!)

My friends and family call me the "Cat and Bee Whisperer", so this is a badge I really wanted to earn. Oddly enough, I am allergic to both!

I am very aware of CCD and that much of the collapse has been caused by Neonic pesticides and GMO's. This is why ANY pesticides are banned from my property, and I have begged my neighbors to forego any chemincals on their lawns and gardens in favor of organic methods.

I have attached a picture of one of my Bees. Even though I do not keep bees because of local ordinances (suburbia - pfft!), I have many bees that call my property their home. I have a huge amount of Russian Sage planted along side of my house, which I allow to grow unhindered and untouched all Summer. I planted this as a sole plant approx. 10 years ago, and now, it takes up over half the length of my home, and I attribute that to my Bees.

Now, in among the Russian Sage, Butterfly Bush has begun to grow. I attribute that to my Bees, too. They are bringing me gifts of new plants!

I have Honey Bees, Bumble Bees and Mason Bees that "live here". I have a a Bee House that hangs near my front porch, where I sit within a foot of it, listening to the bees hum along. They will sometimes land on my or very close near me, but never do they sting. I have a feeling they know they could hurt me (allergy). I have seen several butterflies now starting to "hang out" with the bees and all are one big family!

The book was very touching, and I feel, in modern society, with all of the issues going on right now, it is more poignant than ever. One simple sentence in the entire book touched me deeply - Page 216

"Change the world - that's how we gotta think".

While the story itself has many meanings - family, community, bees, civil rights - it is that one sentence I find most important. That sentence, alone, shows the need for humans to change the way we live, as we are destroying the natural world.

It has been fairly recognized that toxic chemicals are causing CCD, and unless we do something about it, not only are the Bees destined to disappear, but we will, too. We are a corporate-run nation that tells us "chemicals are good for you" and "GMO's are the same as the real thing, only better". Until we get out of that mindset and take a stand for Nature AND ourselves, we are all on a one way path to destruction.

"You have to find a Mother inside of yourself" is another passage from the book. I have found that Mother in myself and it is to be a Mother to Nature and all of her creatures, especially the 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 - Oct 10 2017 :  1:26:28 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level Farmgirl Gratitude Merit Badge!

“Purchased a used copy of The Book of Awesome (recycling!) from Ebay, have read an entry a day for a month and I am now keeping my own gratitude journal (been doing for a little over 1 month).

I am in love with my previously much-loved copy of The Book of Awesome I purchased. While I always try to be grateful for "the little things", this book has reminded me of even more things that I have to be grateful for in addition to many of the entries bringing a smile to my face. I find I am looking at the book during the workday, too, when stress gets to me.

I was even luckier to find myself an "old" NEW copy of MaryJanes Farmgirl Journal to keep my Gratitude Journal entries in (found both at the same seller of used books!) I actually thought it would be hard to do with making sure each entry was different, but I was wrong! I find that I have many things to be grateful for every single day, even when times are bad.”

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 - Oct 10 2017 :  1:35:36 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning a Beginner Level Forage for Food Merit Badge!

“With much research, I was finally able to locate the local Extension Office and obtain some information from them.

Because I live in a Suburban area, only 14 miles from a major city, it was a little difficult to locate an Extension office. However, I was finally able to locate the one for Allegheny County, PA at Penn State.

They were able to provide me with the following and other additional information that I was already aware of (e.g. Dandelions, which I have been using for the best diuretic tea in the world for 15 years!)

Water Lily: The leaf and unopened flower buds can be cooked, while the tuberous root stock can be prepared like potatoes. Early spring is the best growth.

Field Mustard: From the leaves to the buds to the seeds, the entire plant can be eaten, just avoid the bitter upper-stem leaves. Winter annual.

Clover: Both red and white clover can be eaten. Reds should be soaked and boiled 5-10 minutes; white should be eaten before the flowers appear. Winter hardy (photo I took of one in my yard attached!)

Burdock: The young leaves and inner roots and pith (remove the green rind) can be eaten as a salad though the roots should be boiled first. Roots must be cut before dried, as they become rock hard. Summer - harvest seeds first year in the fall.

Staghorn sumac: The red berry clusters can be soaked in cold water and, once strained, make a cold tea. Fruits from August to September

Pine trees: All variety of pine needles can be steeped to make a hot tea rich in vitamins. Young, male cones can be cooked in an emergency, and inner bark (as well as the inner bark of spruces and firs) used as flour. Year round.

Black locust: The flower clusters may be dipped in batter and fried as fritters. Bloom in May/June

Wild fruits: Pennsylvania has a number of wild fruits such as grapes, strawberries, and raspberries that can be eaten fresh. Other fruits like elderberries require some cooking. Varies.

Wild nuts: Beech, chestnut, and chinquapin are all edible nuts that need only to be roasted to get at the kernels inside the outer husks. Varies.

Fiddleheads: So-called because of their shape, when taken off bracken and ostrich ferns they may be eaten as-is or boiled (recommended for the bracken). Do NOT confuse them with hemlock, which is poisonous. When in doubt, leave it. Spring.

Great Bulrush: Found in mud or shallow waters, the young shoots may be eaten as greens and the tips of the root stocks may be prepared like potatoes. Pollen and seeds can be made into flour. Spring.

Mushrooms: There are edible mushrooms in Pennsylvania, most notably morels found in the spring. Only eat mushrooms you are 100% sure of. Varies.”



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 - Oct 10 2017 :  1:51:03 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning Beginner and Intermediate Levels of the Build It Green Merit Badge!

“Both Beginner and Intermediate.
Research and action on how to decorate and change to a Green environment in my home

For Intermediate - posted my findings and Ideas to the Merit Badge Chit Chat board.
Without really realizing it, I actually do decorate my home rather Green! Plants . . . natural elements, such as Seashells, unfinished wood, rocks, crystals, etc. . . . but even more importantly - up-cycling, re-purposing and reuse.

Some great examples of up-cycling, repurposing and resue:

Wine bottle vases
Tree stump tables
Concrete cinder block planters
Christmas card ornament balls
Candy tin diaroamas
"Fancy" empty bottles just placed out and about
Recycled Sari rugs


For natural decorating, always opt for Organic fabrics and furniture if possible.

Instead of buying overpriced, imported junk" , decorate shelves and coffee tables with natural elements:

Reused wide mouth jars filled with collected seashells . . .

Carved natural statues/candleholders/etc (like soapstone) - but make sure these are "unfinished".

Handmade, fair trade and natural
baskets.

A pretty bowl (from a thrift store!) of Amethyst or other crystals

Geodes (natural - not dyed)

Here are some of the examples of things I have done:


About 5 years ago, I took an old 1940's newspaper page I found in my Grandmother's Cedar Chest passed to me and had it professionally framed with a reclaimed wood frame.

I have a large piece of Presili Btluestone on my coffee table a friend brough back for me from Wales. In case you are wondering, Presili Bluestone is the stone that Stonehenge is made from. It can only be found one quarry in the entire world.

I have live plants as curtains in my Kitchen instead of toxic, synthetic fabric curtains.

I have bamboo blinds in my bathroom and several bamboo plants in my bathroom.

I have Aloe plants all over my home (it will not stop growing!) in various vintage, thrift-store purchased containers or clay containers.

I have random stones all over the house on shelves that were acquired in various places and have special meanings (example - a simple stone my husband found in his Mother's driveway that was simply out of place)

I have large Tridacna seashells I purchased at an estate sale on my dresser in my bedroom.

Most importantly - NEVER purchase store bought flowers unless you can be sure they are organic. Most Florist flowers come from other countries where workers are exposed to toxic and dangerous conditions and paid slave wages.

With Eco/Green Decorating, you can get quite creative - you are only limited by your imagination. You don't need to spend a lot of, if any, money, and trust me, you will feel good doing 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 - Oct 10 2017 :  2:03:29 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning Intermediate and Expert Levels of the Rocks and Minerals Merit Badge!

“I am applying for both Intermediate and Expert Badges for Rocks and Minerals - and I am pretty sure I am a Rock Hound for Life! I now own several books on rocks/crystals/stones and have been reading them every night in bed!

For the Intermediate Badge: I went to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA and visited the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems (I didn't want to leave!).

For the Expert Badge: I researched and identified what type of rock/mineral that all of my purchases were and I also purchased a fossil - Belemnite.

Intermediate - At the Hillman, I purposely didn't look at the name of the minerals and gems and was able to identify 32 of them by site alone!

A week later, my husband and I went to Gettysburg for a weekend and I found two stores there that sell different gems/stones/crystals and I purchased 15 different stones/crystals (I was not kidding - I have turned into a Rock Hound!). I purchased Clear Quartz, Smokey Quartz, Rose Quartz, Black Tourmaline, Clevelandite, Sulfur, Clinozoisite, Kambaba Jasper, Picasso Jasper, Brown Tourmaline, Moldavite (Which is a meteorite gem that is only found in one place in the world and was formed when a meteorite struck the earth), Lithium Quartz, Selenite, Stramatolite and Amphibole Quartz.

Expert - The Belemnite (photo attached) is an extinct order of cephalopods which existed during the Mesozoic era, from the Hettangian age of the Lower Jurassic to the Maastrichtian age of the Upper Cretaceous. Belemnites were superficially squid-like. They possessed ten arms of equal length studded with small inward-curving hooks used for grasping prey.

I have also talked to my Sister-In-Law, who a few years ago, visited a Garnet mine in Arkansas, and she and I are considering a trip in the Arkansas and North Carolina to actually dig for Garnets, Emeralds and clear quartz.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
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MaryJane
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Posted - Oct 10 2017 :  2:29:45 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning an Expert Level Mindfulness Meditation Merit Badge!

“I researched and contacted a "Mindfulness Centre" on Walking Meditation and I continued (and still am continuing) daily meditation.

From the Mindfulness Centre I contacted -
Wherever we walk, we can practice meditation. This means that we know that we are walking. We walk just for walking. We walk with freedom and solidity, no longer in a hurry. We are present with each step. And when we wish to talk we stop our movement and give our full attention to the other person, to our words and to listening.

Walking in this way should not be a privilege. We should be able to do it in every moment. Look around and see how vast life is, the trees, the white clouds, the limitless sky. Listen to the birds. Feel the fresh breeze. Life is all around and we are alive and healthy and capable of walking in peace.

Let us walk as a free person and feel our steps get lighter. Let us enjoy every step we make. Each step is nourishing and healing. As we walk, imprint our gratitude and our love on the earth.

We may like to use a gatha as we walk. Taking two or three steps for each in-breath and each out-breath,

Breathing in “I have arrived”; Breathing out “I am home”
Breathing in “In the here”; Breathing out “In the now”
Breathing in “I am solid”; Breathing out “I am free”
Breathing in “In the ultimate”; Breathing out “I dwell”

I have practiced this a minimum of once a week for the past few weeks and I love it!

Over the past month plus, I have continued to do Breathing Meditation every morning and Guided Mediation in the evenings before bed (which is assisting in a much better night's sleep!).

I have also begun to practice "Noble Silence" for three hours every day, from the time I finish work until my husband gets home during the week, 3 hours on Saturday when my Husband spends time with his Mother and then 4 hours every other Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00. This is a period of deep silence where I speak no words (I am alone, so I am able to do this) during the week and even though I am doing other things (such as making dinner or cleaning), I allow my mind to be free of thoughts. It is amazing how I have been able to clear my mind at the end of my work day.

I find that the meals I cook have tasted better, as if the silence until my Husband arrives home is awakening other parts of my body (such as my taste buds). During the weekend, I have been sitting outside, near my enormous Russian Sage plant that takes up almost half of the one side of my home, and I concentrate and mediate on the bees that engulf the plants. I watch them take nectar from each little petal and move on to the next one. I watch them dance with each other. All without a word from my lips. I took my camera outside with me and I have attached a photograph from my Noble Silence meditation this past weekend.”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
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MaryJane
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Posted - Oct 10 2017 :  2:36:24 PM  Show Profile
Cyndie Parzuhoski (cyndieparz72, #7407) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“I have been recycling for over a month now. I now have my Mom and Dad, 2 of my friends and my husband involved, too!

I have continued recycling all paper, aluminium and #1 and #2 plastics. I am also now recycling any plastic bags that can be recycled (#4), cardboard, and I have begun collecting #5 PP to send to TerraCycle, since most of those products cannot be recycled locally. Our Borough, in mid-July, finally put in a "scrap metals" dumpster for tin and steel, and I have petitioned my Borough if it is possible to get glass recycling for the town, too.

In addition to myself, I now have my Mom and Dad starting to do paper recycling and aluminium can recycling. My 2 best friends are now aware of all recycling options in their own towns and I finally have my husband agreeing to not just throw away "junk" mail, but to give to me instead for recycling (with him, it is a matter of going slowly).”

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MaryJane
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MaryJane
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Posted - Oct 25 2017 :  2:55:16 PM  Show Profile
Martha Koukios (Martha K, #508) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Sew Wonderful Merit Badge!

“I put together a sewing kit in a canning jar, and made a pin keeper out of the top. I included straight pins and needles, scissors, assorted buttons and thread colors, safety pins, measuring tape and a thimble.

It came out very nice. I am partial to bees so I made the pin keeper out of a bee hive fabric.”



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MaryJane
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Posted - Oct 25 2017 :  3:40:10 PM  Show Profile
Erin McBride (notathreatinsight, #3762) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Water Conservation Merit Badge!

“I checked for leaks from our faucets, toilets, and shower heads. I didn’t find anything that needed to be fixed. Since we live in an old house, that was a pleasant surprise.

Some of the ways I’ve found that we can conserve water as a family are to turn off water while brushing our teeth, turning the water off in the shower between soaping up, and rinsing off, being conscious of how often the water is running needlessly at the sink in the kitchen, operating the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full.

I must admit that my husband already implemented most of these water conserving strategies, and he’s been on me for a while to pay more attention to how much water I waste. I have really tried in the past couple of months to be more mindful of how much water I’m using. Since I have small children, putting these ideas into practice falls mostly on me. I’ve tried to emphasize to them the importance of water and that it is a resource that we need and shouldn’t take for granted.

By implementing these water saving plans I estimate that we have saved weekly, 250 gallons of water from running the dishwasher and washing machine only when full, 670 gallons a week from “navy showers”, and 250 gallons a week by turning off the water while brushing our teeth.”

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
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Posted - Oct 25 2017 :  4:29:56 PM  Show Profile
Hope Johns (woolybunny28, #7249) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Quilting Merit Badge!

“A talented quilter in my knitting group offered to teach me how to quilt! I jumped at the opportunity, since quilting has always been on my wish list. We started out with the basics, how to properly cut your fabric, and different methods of piecing (I now love strip piecing!). I learned how to read a quilt pattern and how to select colors for a quilt. I made a mini quilt for my kitchen table using fabrics I had purchased a while ago in the hopes of using them in a quilt! I quilted it on my sewing machine and sewed the binding down by hand.

I LOVE how my mini quilt turned out, and I learned so much. The whole experience was so enjoyable that I have already started on a second quilt--the next one is definitely going to be bigger! I see many quilts in my future…”



MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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MaryJane
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Posted - Oct 25 2017 :  4:54:33 PM  Show Profile
Jennifer Ettlin (MsKathleen, #7128) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“We’ve tried our recycling plan for one month now. The smaller bin with the new set up has proven to be most effective. We grab the recycling on our way to the city when we have to go pick up/drop off grandpa or for special trips. The only down side of our new plan is that the compost part of our recycling plan has needed to be revised. We don’t have enough compost to make soil between the farm animals and the deer/raccoons that have decided that this is a great place to eat leftovers. We may need to add a new cover.

Overall, very well. Composting needs to be re-evaluated and the panicked squeals or curses about how we forgot the recycling are still amusing (but we still turn around to go back and get it if we do forget. We have yet to leave our street before anyone notices). We even got my sister-in-law to start recycling.”

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

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MaryJane
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Posted - Oct 25 2017 :  5:11:51 PM  Show Profile
Peggy Smith (Forever Young, #1815) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning a Beginner Level Mindfulness Meditation Merit Badge!

“I researched different types of meditation and for right now the mindfulness is right for me. It is focused on stress relief. The benefits of any meditation is for improving the mind, heart and body. The relaxation from meditating helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure and improves heart rate, breathing and brain waves. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as the body receives a quite message to relax.

Meditation is mind without agitation, Stress creates agitation. It connects with your real source of energy. It tends to make you want more things that are better for you. Meditation puts you on the fast track of being happy.

I began meditating for health reasons. My husband is in at home hospice care. My blood pressure was getting really high, I am already taking blood pressure pills and did not want to raise the dosage. That same day I received a newsletter about meditation for anxiety. I started that day, Sept.9. My blood pressure went down and it also helped my stress level. I will continue meditating for my own health and happiness.”

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

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MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
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Posted - Oct 25 2017 :  5:20:44 PM  Show Profile
Peggy Smith (Forever Young, #1815) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge!

“The health difference between regular honey is being pasteurized and filtered. Pasteurization is the process where it is heated at high temperatures to kill any yeast that may be present in order to prevent fermentation. Raw honey comes straight from the bee hive. It is totally unheated, unpasteurized , unprocessed honey.

I buy pure raw honey from a local bee farm, Bekemeir's in Neosho, MO. which is close to where I live. I read the book, Natures, Little Wonders.

I have been taking a teaspoon of this honey every morning for a year now for allergies. I have not been back to the doctor since, it really works for me. I also cook with it.”

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