Archive for the ‘Giveaway!’ Category

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Wednesday ‘s Woman: Amy Pennington from GoGoGreenGarden

You seriously need to check out this chick-a-dee’s blog and website.  TOO cool.  Such a great business mind and then to put her back into it and really make a difference in the urban frontier.  Not only does she say how much she loves food (good food) but she practices what she preaches.

If you were by here yesterday you know I am giving away a copy of her book Urban Pantry. It is a gem…a GREEN GEM!  You will adore the book and Amy.  I promise.


The drawing for the book will take place on Sunday of this week so get your name in.  Either on this post or the previous.  I don’t want to give too much away because her website and blog are really worth your time to go and read…PLUS…she just might be dropping in for a visit later if we can get our cabbages in a row! I sent her a message letting her know I was so in love with her book that I was giving a copy away to my readers and she sent me back a very sweet note saying she’d be happy to post a note for all you happy people.  VERY COOL. Hopefully she will allow me to post a picture or two…she’s adorable on top of everything else!  So check back later.  Hopefully we can get it all together today for you!  But while you are waiting…go check her out for yourself!

Happy Wednesday everyone.  I have a crazy busy day today ~ orthodontist, Chemistry Class (30 miles away), dentist, grocery shopping, gift delivery, plant nursery (gotta look for some pansies) and then back home to cook and clean because Jerry will be headed over the big blue ocean tomorrow! Can’t wait to see him.  It has been a long month. He won’t notice if everything is just so…but I like to do it anyway;)

Oh one more thing.  I found this article and I think the idea is a winner!  It pains me to think of books being destroyed.  YES, I have an IPAD and I do buy some books for it…but, I still love a “real” book as evidenced by my enormous collection of reading material. Plus an 8×10 storage building FULL of books from my Mom’s home and old homeschooling books and books we just don’t have room for.  I know, I know, I need to donate some of them.  It’s on my list.


Image by Ellen Forsyth via Inhabitat and Recylart


Treehuggin’ Tuesday – Giveaway! WOO HOO!

When you begin to surf the net looking for green products and websites, you immediately begin to recognize certain catch phrases and words. In fact we have heard about going green, living green, thinking green until frankly, the color green isn’t the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word “green“.

  • Think Green
  • Clean and Green
  • Sustainability
  • Urban Farming
  • Go Green
  • Earth Day is Every Day
  • Conservation
  • Global Warming
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Freecycle
  • Locavore

My personal favorite:


While I was doing my research for this post (yeah, I actually do read and try to get the facts and not just feed you from my very small bowl of useful knowledge) I figured out pretty quickly that I am really more of a Celadon, than actual true Green. However, I was very happy, when taking the Carbon Footprint quiz at, to find I was below the national average for CO2 emissions. I will probably go take it again, because it just doesn’t seem right.  I certainly don’t feel like I am doing that well.

Screen shot 2010-09-13 at 10.32.48 PM

I think what gave me such a great score was our home energy slice of the pie.  Maybe you would find it interesting to take the quiz.

Yeah, I love the idea of leaving things better than I found them, but I fail miserably most of the time.  Likely, because I am not radical enough.   Or at least I don’t see myself as radical.  I think of a radical as being bold and brash and public with their cause or causes.  I suppose I might have been classified as a radical cloth-diapering, co-sleeping, non-vaccinating, breastfeeding,  homeschooling mom.  But I did these things mostly in a quiet personal way.  Sort of.

I did use disposable diapers and cloth diapers.  I hated using disposables at all but time and work load with a large family sometimes made it necessary.  But I loved using cloth and even made some of my own diapers from recycled baby blankets.

We had a crib when we had our first child.  We put stuff in it.  Pretty much everything but the baby.  We moved when he was 8 months old and never put it up again.  We had a couple of bassinets over the years but Jerry built us a cradle and it was big enough that a little one could sleep in it until they were about 18 months old.  But mostly they  slept with us or each other until they wanted their own bed.  I suppose a lot of people would consider that unusual.

We didn’t vaccinate on time.  In fact Hannah, Rachel and Ben were 17, 14 and 10 when we started them. About a month after the second whooping cough vaccination in the series both Rachel and Ben got whooping cough and I have never seen anyone sicker than Rachel was.  I was more than a little agitated at myself for giving in but with them headed to university, I felt I had to.  Or should.

Breastfeeding is maybe my most radical behavior to date.  It wasn’t so much the fact that I exclusively breastfed, it was the length of time.  Both Hannah and Ben were 4+ when they weaned.  Crazy huh?   And the homeschooling thing might have been radical when we started in 1988, but it certainly isn’t anymore.

I suppose I do my small green things fairly privately as well.  Except for the few things I have shared here. And I suppose according to that big old green pie chart, I am not doing too bad.

Anywhoodle, I have a giveaway for you today!  YAY!  This is a great book called Urban Pantry: Tips & Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable & Seasonal Kitchen written by Amy Pennington.  Amy is a food writer, organic gardener, and owner of GoGo Green Gardener, an edible gardening business that builds, plants and tends edible gardens for city folk.  You can learn more about Amy and her work at  So if you would like to have your name dropped in The Mason Jar, just leave me a comment and say you want to enter to win and hey, if you have a few minutes to spare, share a tip or website or book title with us.  Isn’t the cover beautiful? The inside is chock full of good stuff!  You will love it!


Okay, Happy Tuesday everyone!  See ya’round!

NOTE: Don’t forget about the photo contest!


Prince Charles, HRH hosted a PAR-TAY! A BIG GREEN PARTY! Click here to visit the website and read the article.  Some VERY interesting green things! I love the Royal Family.  With all their quirks and controversy.  Prince Charles seems to have always just wanted to live in the country, dig in the dirt and teach sustainability.  Not the hand he was dealt I am afraid.


Image by B. Alter: the Royal Vegetable Garden


I am not going to let Facebook ruin my blogging!

Seriously.  I find I update my facebook page and feel like I would be repeating myself here! Not so.  Plenty of people have not gone the facebook route.  Many times I wish I hadn’t! So I am going to make it right!  Starting today!  I am going to catch y’all up on what has happened in my life since I last posted and reinstate some things that kept me writing and hopefully you reading!

WOW, where to start? Go ahead and get that cup of coffee or tea and a biscuit and have a seat, this may take a while!  And I will try not to confuse you and keep my timeline straight.

It honestly isn’t like I have been holed up not living life.  Au contraire, mes amis! This Summer of 2010 has been crazy busy!  Gardening, mowing, kids, grandkids, short adventures, long adventures.  I will admit the cooking bug has been squashed in this horrible endless heat.  We have had so many days over 100 and even a couple with the heat index into the 100-teens.  I don’t know all the statistics but July broke records for heat and drought in my area.  I will never believe anyone who says “But it was a dry heat so it wasn’t so bad.” BULL!  Hot is hot.

Last time I posted was my birthday.  And it was a very very good birthday indeed.  Big OLD 51.  Not a milestone but something about starting on the second half of a century is kinda mind blowing.  I got this great wagon from Jerry.


Isn’t she a beauty?  We have already put her to much use hauling pears from our one, insane pear tree.  These pears are inedible unless you are a raccoon or a possum.  And I forget how many Jerry said he hauled the last day he picked them up but it was a ridiculous amount.  They are gone and now the mama raccoon and her four little bandits are eating our cats’ food like crazy!  When Jerry gets home, if they are still around we are going to trap and relocate them before someone (namely Mo, Julius or Siobhan) gets hurt or killed.

Okay, so August moves along ~ rapidly it seems!  Jerry headed back to Tunisia the Monday after my birthday.  Here are a few pictures of the highlights of August. On the gardening subject, I have started some tomatoes I hope will be winter/greenhouse tomatoes.  This is a new thing for me.  I will see how it goes.  This is an early picture.  They are still alive, and have 6 little leaves, so that is a good sign, right?


Oh and I have new overalls!  I bought these for myself – sort of a birthday present – sort of I fell in love with them and needed them!


And the color is coffee!  Perfect!  And of course I needed new rubber boots and have been needing them for forever.  The ones I have are so dang heavy I can’t walk very far in them without getting leg cramps!


Cute huh?

Okay, let’s see.  OH both girls, Hannah and Rachel started college yesterday.  That is sort of getting my cart before my horse in the timeline but it is pertinent to the next bit of what is going on and what will be going on.  So yes, they are both Northwestern State University Demons as of yesterday.  Hannah is in Accounting.  Rachel in Fine Arts.  I am sure as time goes on, they will provide me with tales to tell!

With Rachel starting college, she is dropping the baking biz all together.  That was a given.  Baking does not fit in her very busy schedule.  So I did this order all by myself last week.


NOT FUN by myself!  Yes, that’s 16 boxes you count!  Petit fours, decorated cookies, mini Bakewells, cream wafers, chocolate chips…but it all turned out lovely and the customer was very very happy.


The person I made all this for is a friend from way back and she called yesterday to say it was all a hit.  So happy to hear that!  And I have a little baking order today and one for this weekend for family and I will try to get postings made of those.  But I learned a lot doing this big (to me) order by myself.  One thing, I want/need help for something that big.  Two, it’s not that much fun working in the kitchen by myself on something so important.  Three, I miss making soap.

There I said it.  I have been saying it to myself for 6 months. And to Jerry for almost that long.  Just blurting it out every now and again in the middle of a discussion that has nothing to do with soapmaking.  Then I would follow up with “I don’t mean that do I?”  I know how much he hated how the soap took over our house before.  Here is just a small example.  Look at all the soap stuff! My poor kitchen!


He even built me a shoppe.



And still there were oils in every corner, soap curing all over the place.  Stacks of wrapped. Girls wrapping soap.


Boxes waiting to be mailed.  UPS delivered something nearly every day. And this was a picture of my porch ONE DAY the week before Christmas 2007:


The post office sent a separate truck to my house. They were so excited!  So was I – as far as I know not ONE mistake in that day’s shipping!  Business was so good and then along came MaryJanesFarm!  WOW.  Amazing.

And then my mom got sick. And everything changed.  Everything.  Soap was WAY down on my list of things that mattered.

When I sold the internet part of my business and forwarded my wholesale customers information about the new owners, I agreed not to go back into the internet soap business and compete with the people I sold that part to.  However, I just learned last week that they are no longer making soap to sell.  And have closed their internet shop.  I found this out when an old customer of mine emailed me to say the site was down, she had been ordering from them since I closed, and I sent out an inquiry to try and help her get what she needed.  I got a response that said “I am still making soap, just not selling it at present.We have closed down the web site and do not now for the time being have an internet presence.”

WOW! Really?  So what does this mean?  Will they never?  Could I make and sell again without breaking my word?  I am still mulling all that over.  I never want to do wholesale again.  About all it did was keep a little money in the kitty for ingredients and work me half to death!  I don’t want to put up a website again.  For one thing I don’t want to maintain one.  That alone is a lot of work.  But I don’t think my making soap for customers who have asked for it since I quit, doing an catalog in pdf form and talking about it here and on facebook violates that.  Especially since they are no longer doing business.  It was almost like that was the door I was waiting to open.  I have not sold soap locally in over three years.  And that was always part of the agreement.  I could make and sell all I wanted to locally.  I don’t want it to get overwhelming again.   Some months I mailed 2000 bars of soap not counting the local wholesale and local retail.  It was too TOO much for just me. I always, ALWAYS, wanted to have my hands on every bar that left here. I never expected it to grow into something I needed to hire someone besides the girls to help with. And as girls grew up and got jobs outside home, they didn’t have time.  And now they are both in college.  And I don’t think Ben has one bit of interest in soap. Other than for his personal use 😉

So yeah…I’m a nut. That’s not news to anyone.  I have felt so happy since I decided to give the soap pot another stir.  I just have to keep it real.  Keep it manageable and do nothing to violate my agreement.  An agreement that may or may not exist any more.

Enough of that.  Here is what’s coming up.  Interviews this Autumn that you will NOT believe.  Seriously. I get butterflies just thinking about it.  Oh please, please, please don’t fall thru!  Opportunities of a lifetime!  To pick these brains!  And then share my pickins with you happy people!

So let’s see.  Soap? covered.  Interviews? said all I can at this time.  Squeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Now…more stuff. I am going to reinstate and reorganize some “Days of The Week with NotQuiteJuneCleaver”:

  • Magpie Mondays ~news from here, chit chat, talkie, talkie, interviews{squeeeeeeee!!!!!}
  • Treehuggin’ Tuesday ~ pretty self explanatory – I’m a treehugger and I am going to talk about it on Tuesdays! Green products, etc
  • Wednesday’s Woman ~ I will introduce you to a blog I follow and the woman who writes it-maybe even a short little something from her
  • Thoughtful Thursday ~ What ever is worth thinking about. Words of wisdom from all sorts of people who have inspired me & made me think.
  • Foodie Friday ~ Recipes and menus, food photography, trends, you know – food news 😉
  • Simply Saturday ~ things that simply find themselves bound to Saturday – movies, books, gardening, housework
  • So…It’s Sunday ~ recapping my week, announcing what’s coming up the next week, soap news – stuff, know what I mean?

This does not mean I will post everyday but I will at least have an outline!

AND I would like to do a  Photo Contest every so often.  Working on the details of that. Will announce that pretty soon.

So…whew.  Told you it would take a while. Okay, that’s what I have in mind.  Actually I have quite a lot in mind.  But the things I am most excited about are stirring up some soap and the interviews.  Whoa, baby! So excited!

By the way peeps, I LOVE comments.  So leave me some, mmK?  I know you visit.  I have a stat counter!  But you never comment.  I don’t mean NEVER never…but I do love comments.  Nice ones that is 😉 Okay, neither do I.  I visit the same wonderful blogs everyday but seems someone always beats me to the punch.  I think awwww someone already said that.  Well I have a new rule! I am not reading comments before I post mine.  If I repeat something well so be it!  I am saying my piece anyway!

Now for your Treehugging Tuesday Tidbit: Recycling Soup Cans – so cool! Click on the pictures to read all about it!


See you happy folks tomorrow.  It will be Wednesday’s Woman so stop by!

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