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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 23 2018 :  09:47:25 AM  Show Profile
Marlene Laverty (#7503) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Embroidery Merit Badge!

“I made my first sampler! I have done counted cross stitch in the past but felt that embroidery would be too daunting a task so I never learned. I got a stitching guide of some basic embroidery stitches with my Sisterhood Membership kit and it intrigued me. I had some leftover linen from some tea towels that I made a year earlier loads of floss. Time to get to it.

I had a hard time starting this project. I was afraid I wouldn't be very good at it. Well of course I wouldn't be very good yet, I'm still learning how to create these stitches. As I worked the sampler, I stared to see my stitches improving and gained a bit more confidence. It didn't turn out too bad. I think I might go back and list the name of each stitch above each line of sample stitches. I should definitely "sign" it with my name and the date.”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 24 2018 :  09:23:45 AM  Show Profile
Dawn Conrad (DawnC, #7297) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth Merit Badge!

“I have planted a vegetable garden for the past eight years. I have not used pesticides or synthetic fertilizers for the last three and have enjoyed sharing my organic garden experiences and knowledge with gardening friends and family. Always emphasizing how important it is to protect the pollinators.

I purchased and read the book "Montrose: Life in a Garden" and enjoyed it very much. I especially enjoyed Nancy Goodwin's specific detail given to individual flowers and all of the beautiful illustrations. As a result of reading Montrose life in a garden I have made a "wish list" of plants I would like to add to my garden. I suggested the book as beneficial reading to my gardening friends.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 24 2018 :  09:24:55 AM  Show Profile
Dawn Conrad (DawnC, #7297) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning an Intermediate Level Bee Good to Your Mother Earth Merit Badge!

“I decided to add more "native" plants to my perennial garden to benefit the birds, butterflies and pollinators. I added Bee Balm and Obedient Plant (gifted to me from a friends garden.) I added a small water feature and an additional bird bath. I also planted some seed I collected from established Cone flowers and Liatrus.

Results were wonderful. The new plants thrived and the hummingbirds, bees and Gold finches loved them. Both new plants reseeded excellently. The Cone flowers and Liatrus also did well. I am continuing to research and learn regarding seed saving.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 24 2018 :  09:43:51 AM  Show Profile
Dawn Conrad (DawnC, #7297) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning the Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Levels Bee Good to Your Mother Earth Merit Badge!

“Identify five herbs and uses for them along with using them daily in cooking and/or crafts= accomplished Beginner Level.

Started an Herb Garden. Grew more than two herbs used them in coking and some for medicinal use. Harvested and used the herbs. = accomplished Intermediate Level.

Identified issues re: location of the Herb Garden. Moved the herb garden to a new location. Planted additional three herbs, harvested and used them. Dried Basil, Thyme, Lavender and Stevia. Packaged in gift bags, used in cookie recipes, used fresh. and gifted to friends and family. I also Joined a local Herb Society which has been very informative and helpful. Accomplishing Expert Level requirements.

Super FUN and satisfying to grow your own herbs! Herbs are such interesting plants and there is SO much you can do with them. Herbs offer a great learning experience and I find it very relaxing to be in the herb garden.”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 24 2018 :  3:09:47 PM  Show Profile
SuZan Brown (Imascholar2, #4394) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Scrapbooking Merit Badge!

“In May 2017, I went on a two week literary tour of England with 12 other women. When we returned home, I gathered the 16k photos that were taken. After editing the photos I decided to use and gathering the journaling from each participant, I compiled a 280 page scrapbook. It took 1500+ hours. I had the 12”x12” hardcover book printed at Blurb.com and then delivered one copy to each participant.

It turned out FANTASTIC! All recipients were thrilled.”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2018 :  12:14:48 PM  Show Profile
Kristy De Vuyst (#7419) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Crochet Merit Badge!

“I crocheted 10 dish cloths for Christmas presents. I taught my daughter Brook to crochet as well. We used chain, single and double crochet stitches. They turned out beautifully.”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 26 2018 :  12:15:58 PM  Show Profile
Kristy De Vuyst (#7419) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Homespun Christmas Merit Badge!

“I made dish cloths for all of my friends and family with a side of baking. My kids and I also decorated out tree with edibles. We made bird seed ornaments and dried oranges and Apple slices to hang on the tree. We also strung popcorn for garland. When we took our tree down they were all hung outside for the birds.

It was the most beautiful tree we have ever had and our friends and family loved their gifts!”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  09:59:58 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Water Conservation Merit Badge!

“My husband and I went over all the taps in the house and tightened and fixed any that were leaking. Here is a list of ways I came up with to conserve water:

1. Incentive for the kids to take a shorter shower - ie, if you take a short shower (but still clean yourself well!) then we will read an extra story.

2. All family members have been taught to turn off the faucet while brushing teeth.

3. When washing our animals, we'll have the children take a bath first, and then have the pet use the same water.

4. We wash our fruits and vegetables in a sink of water, rather than running water.

5. All family members have a drinking glass/tumbler at hand for the entire day.

6. All family members are required to scrape the plate clean so we don't need to rinse it. If needed, bread will be served to scrape up any "soupy" food left behind.

7. We purchased a new washing machine that is HE, and uses less water. If it's necessary to wash a small load, I can specifically tell the machine how much water I want it to use.

On average, a person uses 130 Litres of water a day. Our goal was to get this down to 50 Litres of water a day. This was accomplished through all the above methods. We are able to re-use our cooking water as plant water, or giving it to the pig.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:00:38 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Water Conservation Merit Badge!

“Gray Water: Ideally, gray water would be piped directly outside into a holding ticket. We don't have that option at this point, so we collect it from dish water/bath water etc. and then will use it to water our plants. We also set up a rain barrel.

We set up several rain barrels under our gutters from different buildings/barns. The biggest and most useful one is the one we use that comes off the pig shelter that we installed. Now the pig always has water ready and waiting. We use the other rain barrels for watering our goats and gardens.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:10:24 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“We looked up a recycling guide online and have it hung up on the inside of a cupboard door in our laundry room. We make sure to put everything possible in our recycling bin, which gets picked up the first Monday of each month or we return for a refund at our local recyclable plant. I will save all 2L juice containers to re-use as my soap molds.

Everyone in the family is on board with recycling. We made it our oldest sons responsibility to be in charge, and when we return the recyclables that he's able to get paid for, he receives the money as the incentive for taking care of and organizing all the recyclable containers. We were able to accomplish this for one week and were very pleased with the reduced amount of waste in the garbage container.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:11:02 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“We recycled for a full month - which has now turned into several months. We also guided and advised a new neighbor on how to recycle and how to sort. It's exciting to see us not have to use the garbage can nearly as much, between recycling and composting!”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:26:50 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Home Insulation Merit Badge!

“The insulation in certain areas of our home is quite old. The previous owner had even put up Styrofoam in the perimeter of the home to add "insulation". Obviously, this is not going to keep the heat in as it should. One key thing we learned is that a well insulated house's roof won't melt the snow off as easily! For windows, we have older windows and newer windows in the home. However, all the older windows have storm windows that will be put on during winter months to be more effective. There are not any current credits available, but, I do have a husband who is handy, so our plan is to re-insulate the house January 2018, and replace all old windows July/August 2018.

I posted my findings in our Wildflower Sisterhood. I'm excited to hear what others have done to learn from them.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:27:33 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Home Insulation Merit Badge!

“This was an exciting badge to work on, as we live in a cold and sometimes rather windy province. My husband and I always have fun testing our homes for air tightness. We found a couple of leaks by some electrical outlets, that were sealed and fixed. Windows were all in good shape, as well as doors, plumbing fixtures, ceiling fixtures and electrical boxes. The majority of the attic was leaky, but my husband re-did the attic and fixed all leaky walls/windows/fixtures.

Our house is incredibly warm in the winter, despite it being very cold and windy here. Last week we had a wind storm of 110km per hour, along with -30C temperatures, and we were snug in our little home easily keeping temperatures at 24C. There were no drafts or cold breezes!”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:28:01 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Home Insulation Merit Badge!

“This was one badge I was most looking forward to achieving, as we really need to install new insulation with a higher R value in our attic walls/roof and basement entry. My husband bought the insulation and installed and redid walls as needed. Part of the attic is our boys' bedroom, and it was quite leaky and cold, so last week we happily fixed that problem by putting in extra and new insulation. Downstairs in the basement we replaced a hatch door with a real regular door. We did this for two reasons - a hatch does not keep in warmth well and also doesn't retain moisture well. The new door is able to seal properly against unwanted bugs and leaky air. The outside walls were then all properly insulated and wood strapping was laid over-top, a cheaper but efficient, alternative to gyproc.

The project took a bit of money, but not much as we did all the labor ourselves and it was just the cost of material. We are happy to have a warm and cozy home for this winter!”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:39:29 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level My Fair Farmgirl Merit Badge!

“I have long wanted to make my own soap...and I finally did! Not only is it healthier - but it's considerably cheaper and the bar lasts twice as long. I also made my own shampoo, conditioner, hair rinse, face wash, toner, face serum, and aftershave for hubby.

I realized that making soap can be used for many different things! I grate it for my laundry detergent (homemade now!), bubble bath for the kids and some other recipes that I haven't tried yet but are on my list, such as foaming hand wash. All health and beauty products in our home are now 100% natural and homemade. Although it may seem that initially it costs more as you need to by supplies, in the long run you save a considerable amount as the supplies last quite a bit longer than buying one simple store bought item. For Christmas, we gave only homemade goodies - the baskets included bath salts, soaps, and aftershave for the men.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:45:39 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Intermediate Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“I made my own laundry detergent using washing soda, borax and soap flakes. I then added essential oils--lavender. For soap, I made three batches so far, and I use coconut oil, lye, olive oil, lard and essential oils. For our cleaners, I use castile soap, vinegar, and essential oils.

I really enjoyed making my own cleaning products, and am pleasantly surprised at how cost effective it is and how it helps me save on my grocery bill. The most exciting thing was making my own homemade soap--this is something I've been wanting to do for years.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  10:48:51 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning an Expert Level Going Green Merit Badge!

“Our house is organized and "green"! We installed an outside clothesline and purchased an old fashioned (the kind you pull out from the wall) drying rack for the rainy and winter months. All paint in the house is non-toxic, but for the most part our walls are wall-paper. We removed all carpets from the house, and replaced several areas with a braided area rug, non-toxic. I donated six hours of time to help others - but I split it among three people, two hours each.

For each friend/family member, I helped them make soap, advised and gave simple recipes on household cleaners, and we discussed the danger of using toxic cleaning products. I have three books that have many "green" recipes that I have shared with others, and whenever we go to someone's house for supper or a visit, I come with a little gift of a green product, that is homemade, along with a recipe or the offer to borrow my green books.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 29 2018 :  11:06:11 AM  Show Profile
Joyce Hein (GinghamGirl, #6071) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Green Energy Merit Badge!

“Our local power actually comes from a different province. Because we are on an island, our power comes from the neighboring province of New Brunswick - which has a nuclear power plant. The energy is transported through pipes under the Northumberland Strait.

Most renewable energy sources produce little to no global warming emissions, even when including the "life cycle" emissions of energy - the manufacturing, installation etc. For example, burning natural gas releases between .6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt hour. Coal emits between 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of COWE/kWh. Wind, though, only emits .02 to .04 pounds of CO2E/kWh - wow!! Solar is .07-.2 and geothermal is .1 to .2 and hydroelectric between .1 and .5. Wow! I'm really impressed - we have a lot of wind turbines going up in our area, and now I can see why! I also learned about the improved health - air and water pollution from coal and natural gas plants are linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, cancer, premature death and more. I was really saddened to hear of all this. As opposed to wind and solar - no water to operate, thus no pollution to water resources - which affects our agriculture, wells, drinking waters etc.

It was wonderful to discuss all my findings with my husband - he's drawn to Green Energy and really enjoys learning and implementing ideas so I think it was really special for him for me to show interest in this topic. I honestly didn't think I would enjoy learning about all this, but as I got into reading and discovering and researching I discovered I really enjoyed learning and discussing my findings with my husband and my Wildflower group.”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 30 2018 :  09:41:55 AM  Show Profile
CJ Armstrong (ceejay48, #665) has received a certificate of achievement in Make It Easy for earning the Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Levels of the Jewelry Making Merit Badge!

“JEWELRY MAKING MERIT BADGE: This application is for ALL THREE levels of this badge: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert.

BEGINNER: I’ve been making jewelry for about ten years and have accumulated all manner of tools and supplies. I have quite a selection of beads which include plastic, glass, wooden, metal, clay, ceramic, stone (semi-precious), etc in every size and shape. I also have tiger tail, nylon, elastic, waxed cording, chains, memory wire and all kinds of pin backs, ear wires, jump rings, split rings, a variety of clasps, etc. Some of my favorite things to work with also include charms, ribbons and even buttons.

I have already established that Celtic design jewelry is my favorite, but also like simple designs using semi-precious stones. I used to have a lot of costume jewelry that I wore for work, but since retiring I hardly wear any of that and gave most of it away. I had some pieces that were turquoise, made by Navajo silversmiths, most of that I gave to family members, except for a few favorite pieces. I do NOT try to replicate these pieces because I’m not native. But I still have all my Celtic style jewelry which I plan to keep and still wear and I’ve made some of my own Celtic style pieces.

INTERMEDIATE: I am a self taught jewelry maker, but learned quite a bit from my husband who is a silversmith himself and has made a lot of jewelry as well. With what I learned from him, some printed material and trial and error on my part I became quite skilled at it and have made dozens of pieces in all kinds of styles, combination of beads, wire, etc.

I like to buy a lot of my supplies from Fire Mountain Gems and have been able to learn a lot from the info they provide. I have made more than the required beaded and spiral wired piece of jewelry

EXPERT: I have made bracelets, necklaces, earrings, cell phone charms, key-chains, zipper pulls, lanyards, pins/brooches, stick pins and have used beading/wire/charms to embellish papercraft projects such as cards, journals and tags.

I have sold many pieces through the local Farmers Market and a variety of craft shows/bazaars. I have made custom orders for folks wanting a particular style or color and I have made many pieces for gifts, usually either a matching necklace and earrings or bracelet and earrings. The cards, journals and tags were also sold through these venues. I have made matching sets for my daughter and we have matching breast cancer awareness bracelets (more than one) and lanyards. The rings I have made were using elastic cording and beads.

The necklace and bracelet in the photo are a Celtic design set that I made for myself. The necklace uses waxed cord and a section of memory wire with the beads and charms. I have had a lot of fun making jewelry and it’s been nice to sell some pieces, that certainly is a complement to me. Perhaps there is more of that in the future!!”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 30 2018 :  09:54:22 AM  Show Profile
CJ Armstrong (ceejay48, #665) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning the Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Levels of the Geography Merit Badge!

“GEOGRAPHY MERIT BADGE: This application is for ALL THREE levels of this Merit Badge: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert

BEGINNER: Geography was always a favorite subject in school and I have always been fascinated by different countries and cultures. I’ve studied the globe, maps, and travel brochures extensively.

I’ve been able to travel to many of the states in the US, several other countries and enjoy watching travelogue type programs. My husband and I have enjoyed some foreign travel and one year, for Christmas, I gave him a globe as a “to my traveling companion” gift. We are both very skilled at map reading and finding a specific location, calculating mileage, elevation changes, etc.

I have learned most of the basics as well as more extensive geographical information. What I have done most recently is learn more about the countries that are now known by a different name than they were many years ago. Examples of this would be: Persia is now known as Iran; Burma is now known as Myanmar; etc.

I find cartography to be fascinating and enjoy reading maps. It’s thousands of years old going back to cave drawings. We humans have been drawing maps of every sort throughout history for every purpose of finding something, some place and how to get there.

INTERMEDIATE: I currently have a Farmgirl Penpal who lives in Minnesota. But I also write to friends who live in Thailand, several who are in Canada and several in Scotland (those we met on previous trips there).

We have gone on several overseas trips; three separate trips to Scotland/Ireland/England/Wales; one trip to Maui, Hawaii. One trip to the Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas, and one trip to British Columbia, Canada. For every one of these trips I spent weeks, sometimes months, planning all the details for our travels, including flights/airfare, car rentals, motels/B&B's, itinerary, special events, route planning... you name it, it was planned in advance, except for any side trips which we allowed time for. Because we have a disabled son it was important to be able to leave all of our travel information with his caregiver in the event they needed to contact us. Tickets for events and/or attractions were purchased in advance, so that 1) we would have them in our possession and 2) we saved money by purchasing them in advance. We planned our route in advance (except for side trips) keeping in mind the distance between overnight stops and whatever we wanted to see or do during the day. Two of our trips included planned tours, but we extended time on both of those to include travel on our own, having to work out details to coordinate with the tour details.

EXPERT: We love Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales! Both of us are of Scottish ancestry and we really feel “at home” in Scotland! While we love to travel to other places, Scotland is probably a favorite. We have hundreds of photographs, travel journals, recordings of special concerts, scrapbook memorabilia, guide books to attractions (purchased them so we could read about these castles, manor houses, etc. for years to come). We have and continue to share all of this with family and friends.

Our house is graced with many framed photos (my work) and other treasures from our travels. There have been several folks who have consulted with us on our recommendations for travel in Ireland and the UK.

My husband has an aunt and uncle who have done extensive family ancestry research on the Armstrong family. I have a cousin on my father’s side who has done the same for the Gardner family (my maiden name). We have extensive records from both of these relatives and find it to be very interesting to read through it from time to time. Our families on both sides have also received these records. I feel that we are more informed about our ancestry and heritage than many folks. Part of our travels in Scotland took us to areas where the clans for both of us were centered and to buildings and museums that coincide with our clan.

We love to travel and wish we could do more it. We enjoy discovering new places, meeting new people, trying food and activities of different cultures.

We hope to travel back to Scotland soon, however, with unexpected health challenges that I’m dealing with it may not be possible. Thankfully, we have lots of memorabilia to look at and lots of memories to talk about!”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 30 2018 :  10:02:08 AM  Show Profile
CJ Armstrong (ceejay48, #665) has received a certificate of achievement in Farm Kitchen for earning the Intermediate and Expert Levels of the Geography Merit Badge!

“CANNING MERIT BADGE: This application is for both the INTERMEDIATE and EXPERT levels.

INTERMEDIATE: Because I've been canning most of my life I have all the equipment/supplies necessary.

Most of what I can using water bath method are fruits. So, for this project I canned pears (we have our own pear tree) and applesauce.
I always share with my disabled sister and/or my daughter. My recipes are simple. I just use a light syrup in fruit and I usually can the applesauce without any sugar or spiced. Generally it's sweet enough for our taste as is and I add cinnamon after opening a jar.

EXPERT: I have all the equipment and supplies for using a pressure canner as well. I don't can as much as in the past but always do my green beans this way and also did dilly beans and tomatoes. Again, I share with my disabled sister and/or my daughter. I add nothing to the beans or tomatoes but share how I use them when opening a jar. I love the dilly beans and have shared that recipe with my daughter.

I'm grateful to my mom for teaching me how to can and I will continue to preserve food this way as much as is possible. I have a plethora of canning jars and take care to keep them in top condition for canning, including the rings. I'm also careful to check for cracks and nicks and handling of the lids.”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 30 2018 :  10:12:25 AM  Show Profile
CJ Armstrong (ceejay48, #665) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning the Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Levels of The Good, Bad, and Ugly ... Bugs Merit Badge!

“THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY... BUGS MERIT BADGE: This application is for ALL THREE levels, Beginner, Intermediate and Expert.

BEGINNER:
At least four different beneficial bugs I’ve identified for my garden in the area include:
-bees
-lady bugs
-praying mantis
-green lacewings

At least four different harmful bugs I’ve identified for my garden in the area include:
-aphids and thrips
-squash bugs
-slugs
-cutworms and tomato worms

I’ve done a lot of research on ways to control or get rid of the harmful bugs and attract those that are desirable. It can be a bit daunting in finding the “magic” that works successfully.

I have also consulted with our nearest (and best) local nursery/greenhouse about their recommendations and have had some success with those products. I have stressed my desire to use organic products.

I have also researched what plants, whether perennial or annual, to use to attract beneficial bugs. I also like to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

INTERMEDIATE:
One of the worst situations in my garden was squash bugs. For many years I did not have those nasty things, but then the first year I planted pumpkins (along with summer and winter squash) they came along. It was too much to try to remove the eggs/bugs, but my husband was able to keep ahead of them with vodka/water/dish detergent spray. After harvest we cleaned up all the vines, etc and burned it all. The next year they were back! We were able to keep ahead of them for a time but then they destroyed my pumpkins and winter squash. We decided to NOT plant any of these vegetables for a while, in hopes that they’d “die out”. I guess you could say that the spray and not planting for a few years were our two solutions to the problem.

This last year I planted only one hill of zucchini and we did NOT have squash bugs. We’ll see what next year brings. I have found that, after the squash bug problem, the only other real bug problem we’ve had has been aphids on the kale and thrip on one type of lettuce. An organic product from the nursery takes care of those quite well.

EXPERT:
Our garden is near to sagebrush and rabbitbrush and I believe they attract several kinds of good bugs because of the rabbitbrush blossoms and fragrance of the sagebrush. I have also planted Russian sage which attracts bees and butterflies.

I plant marigolds in the vegetable garden which do attract many beneficial bugs and help control the bad ones. I like to use a variety of colors and sizes and this year they were abundant. I also plant sunflowers (not the huge ones for seeds) and they attract all kinds of good “critters”.

I’m hoping for a good year for my garden this coming year. While the harmful bugs are a problem we have greater issues with squirrels, rabbits, gophers and deer, so we’re working on dealing with those garden “destroyers”. I already know that, because of the raccoon population in our area, it is a futile endeavor to plant corn, so I don’t! I just plant what I'm interested in, what does well and enjoy the results.”



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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 31 2018 :  09:55:38 AM  Show Profile
Erin McBride (notathreatinsight, #3762) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning the Beginner Level of the Geography Merit Badge!

“I have a couple globes, and many maps of the world, and the United States.

Having worked as a trainer for an airline for 8 years, I have what I would consider more than a basic level of knowledge of national and world geography. One of the nice things about homeschooling is that when your kids learn something new, you have to learn it too. We are currently studying the United States, and have learned all of the capitals (I did know these already) along with the location on the map of the US. Now we are learning geographical features, including mountain ranges, lakes, bays, rivers, trails, canals, deserts, and other prominent features, along with their locations.

YouTube is full of resources for learning more about geography in fun ways. We are using maps and songs to learn these features which I would recommend to anyone of any age! It's fun to learn and you gain valuable knowledge about the world you live in.

We also used this book to study cartography and map out the US. We all enjoy drawing, and this was a fun project to help us learn more about the geography of our country.”





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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 31 2018 :  10:12:42 AM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning the Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Levels of the Civics Challenge Merit Badge!

“This is a civics lesson I needed! I’ve completed all three levels but the beginner level was the most difficult for me. I answered the questions I knew, then went back and researched the others. I’ve not had civics class in many years, so this section was a good refresher.

Yes, most of what I had learned in high school civics class returned to memory. Although I have reread the seven Articles of the Constitution and the Sections under each, The Bill of Rights, and the twenty-seven Amendments, it is my goal this year to study and “know” the Constitution. I learned new things about the Constitution; it was a hotly contested document before the Bill of Rights was added to appease both Federalist and Anti-Federalist. I realize I am not well versed in our early history. I want to read more about early American history and the making of our Constitution, the conflicts that pursued, the resolutions that took place, and the people who made it happen. I have purchased Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America's First Constitution.

Thanks for another topic to keep this aging brain active and life interesting. We had SNOW in SC, no school, no work, too cold to get outside, so it's been a perfect time to research and complete this topic!”

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

13285 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
13285 Posts

Posted - Jan 31 2018 :  10:24:29 AM  Show Profile
Teresa Roberson (carolinacateyes, #7386) has received a certificate of achievement in Each Other for earning a Beginner Level of the Bibliophile Merit Badge!

“I acquired my library card many years ago when it became mandatory to show it to check out books. Back then, we signed the card that was in the back of the book. Then when technology became available, I received a new card with a scan code, and life became so much easier for bookworms. With the new card, Inter-library loans are available and can be acquired online without leaving home until the loaned book arrives at the library.

Audio books and magazines are available for checkout, state and local newspapers can be read in the library. There is also an area where books can be donated and then sold as a fundraiser for the library. My local library also has book signings every quarter, a mystery book club for adults, and free community classes such as computer literacy, genealogy, weight loss and yoga. The library also exhibits local art in many forms and occasional readings by Lowcountry authors. We can also research the archives of our local newspapers, find out who is buried in the county’s many cemeteries, and review past high school class yearbooks. There is also a “closed” room full of local history and old books; you literally have to sign in and out of this area.

Computers are available for those who do not have computer access at home. The Bookmobile, a walk-in library on wheels, travels throughout the county to provide services and books to rural children and elderly patrons. The library is still one of my favorite places to go. Although I read many Kindle books now, I still love the feel and smell of books!

I read a quote years ago that aptly applies to me: “So many books, so little time.” I’m not a newbie bookworm so the stack of books continues to grow. This week I am reading Crossroads for Liberty, a nonfiction book about early American history and the making of the Constitution. My goal is to finish it by Monday night (MLK holiday on Monday so no work for me).

Allie and Bea is a fiction book I downloaded into the Kindle; I will probably finish that one next week as well. As a Prime Amazon Patron, I take advantage of Early Reader, the free book I can download every month, and also one book I can borrow. Mockingbird, The Light of Hidden Flowers, The Practice House, In Farleigh Field, Wives of War, North Haven, The Heart Echoes, Mrs. Saint and the Defectives, Mad City, Baking Soda Bible, and Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails are just some of my Kindle books available to read. I also have my own library at home with many “to read” books; it also needs to be downsized then organized! (Expert Level)”

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