Archive for June, 2008

MaryJanes Outpost was my most recent read and it was fabulous!  Just released last week I have ooh’d and ahh’d over this book since Wednesday.  This book is all about enjoying the great outdoors!  If you like camping, fishing, hiking, or just enjoy being outside than you will truly enjoy this book.  It is filled with ideas, how-to’s, recipes and all kinds of helpful information.

In the year 2000 after I spent my first summer in Arkansas I thought I was going to die! Having been raised in New England where the days may be in the 90’s with no humidity and the nights often got into the low 50’s this deal of the temperature NEVER dropping below 75 about did me in.  But the truth is I have come to love the summers here and spending time outdoors is something I love to do. 

Earlier this summer I built a chicken coop and started a compost pile.  Currently I am working to build a fairly good sized raised bed garden for next season.  I should have it ready enough to plant some garlic this fall and put in a good crop of lettuce before years end. 

I have also really become interested in the concept of “outdoor living” where you create spaces outside that are just as comfortable and enjoyable as your own living room.  One concept that never really crossed my mind until I read “Outpst” was that of bathing outdoors.  Not until I came across the Instructions for an Outpost Bathtub anyways!  I’m not gonna share the directions-you’ll have to buy the book for that-but here is a picture of what I want to make.

I have an old cast-iron tub in the barn that will be just perfect for this little project.  It needs some major cleaning and some refinishing but by fall I will have an Outpost Bathtub!

To purchase this book please click here!

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Yes I am a teacher and yes school has technically been out since the 23rd of May and yes we did take 5 days to go to Virginia.  But we are also required to get 60 hours of professional development over the course of the summer.  The education co-op offers workshops all summer long but Richie and I decided we wanted to try to get them out of the way early this year.  Since we both have master’s degrees and Richie has about 40 credit hours beyond a master’s we have been in University classes every summer in the eight years that we have been married.  This is actually the first summer that neither of us have University obligations.  Well today was our last official workshop until school starts back on August 7th. I have 43 days of uninterrupted vacation ahead of me.  I was able to attend all art related workshops.  Richie attended 3 of them with me which was really nice.  It was really neat to see him tap in to his creative side and he did some interesting work.  Here are some of the projects we did over the last 3 workdays.


Covered Bridge by Richie

Covered Bridge (unfinished) by Julie

Pattern Turtle #1 by Richie – he didn’t like it so he “ran it over”

Pattern Turtle #2 by Richie

Pattern Turtle by Julie

Mixed Animal by Richie

Mixed Animal by Julie

Pattern Hand by Richie

Pattern Hand by Julie

Comic Strip by Richie

Comic Strip by Julie (I CAN NOT draw people!)

We really had lots of fun! I got lots of great ideas for my classes next year.  I was proud of Richie for trying everything and surprised to see that he actually has a lot of natural talent.  He said the last time he drew anything was about 22 years ago!!!

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Hairball, WHERE?

Hello Kitty! Did I wake you?

That’s it. Let it out.

Don’t be embarrased.

Lots  of cats sleep in the bathtub!





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Happy Fathers Day, Dad!

I love this picture! I took this picture about two weeks ago.  My dad was teaching Richie how to fly fish.  You can really see the sparkle and excitement in my dads eyes.  This is how he is about everything.  My dad is really smart.  He knows about so many things, is capable of doing many things and has accomplished many things in his life.  I am really proud of my dad.  I feel like I have learned so much from my dad.  I have never felt like I had to depend on anyone else to get anything done.  Dad has always taught us to do for ourselves and if we didn’t know how than learn how.  Of course Dad is never to proud to ask for help when he needs it.  I love this picture because in one single snapshot, a millisecond in time, I was able to capture who my dad is.  It really says a lot to me.  Plus he is wearing his favorite hat that he has had about 15 years or more!  I love you Dad! Happy father’s day!

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A Bakeover is a one-skillet savory meal made using any combination of veggies, meats and a Farmgirl Budget Mix™or other Mary Janes organic bread mix.  For my bakeover I used the organic Garlic Pesto Fry Bread.  This was my first attempt at a bakeover and it was SO good! 

My husband was gone for the day to a Chess Tournament so I thought this would be a good time to try this out.  Although he is getting better, Richie is often afraid to try new things, especially if it involves vegetables.

Here is my fresh veggie Bakeover.

Start with one package of your choice of organic bread mix available from MaryJanesFarm.org.

Chop 2 small or one medium onion.  I use Vidalia Onions.

Chop 1/4 to 1/2 of a red bell pepper.

Chop 1/2 of 1 zucchini.

Chop 1 whole yellow squash.

Halve a handful of cherry tomatoes.

Saute in 2 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium-high heat about 4-5 minutes until veggies just start to get tender.

Add any fresh herbs you have in your garden.  I used thyme, rosemary and basil.

Prepare the bread mix according to the package directions.  Roll a 9″ circle of dough and place over the veggies in the skillet.  Place the skillet in a 425° oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and invert onto a plate.

Immediately sprinkle the top with some hand torn fresh mozzarella cheese.  Garnish with thyme and serve.

It was VERY yummy!


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