Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spring garden update


Digging a carrot and radish
patch in early spring
After the very long and snowy winter, I ended up able to plant my garden right around the same time as I have in the past few years and many of my seedlings are now growing strong.  The main difference this year is that it has been incredibly dry so I have had to make sure to go up and water my seeds/plants so that they don't die.  The only bonus to this is that the weeds are not as prominent and strong as they usually are.

This year I am not planting any squash plants since I have tried without much success the past few years and they always end up with some sort of disease where they do not produce fruit and then die off mid-way through the growing season.  Last summer I planted about half my garden with various types of squash plants and ended up with one pumpkin -- which at least was a great pumpkin!

Instead this summer I am focusing on what actually grows best: flowers, peas, corn, peppers, carrots, radishes, basil, and a few other plants.

Two or three years ago I transplanted some mint to my garden and this year it is finally growing

My strawberry patch is doing well and almost all of the plants have flowers already 
Now that I have a real fence around my garden I planted more peas this year.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Summer break & done with first year of school!

Riding in my new SOAS racing team kit!
Last week I wrapped up my first year of law school and Tom graduated from law school! I really enjoyed my first year of law school, I learned a lot, met some great new people, and came away with a greater understanding of how everything works.  Now that I am out of school, I will have more time to post here and also more exciting things to post about.  During the school year I published the SBA (student government) weekly newsletter, so that served to take away from some of my blog-updating ability.


As for triathlon/running, I will again open up my triathlon season at the Cohasset triathlon and I might do a road race or two before that, and I will certainly update my progress here along the way!




Saturday, March 28, 2015

Summer Track and Field Camp

For those looking for a great one week camp in Newton, I will have my Garden City youth track and field camp again this summer at Newton North High School.  Below you will find a description of the camp and please email me with any questions at jessbarton1117@gmail.com.

Additionally, for anyone looking for a summer-long training opportunity, I also offer that through the Team Davis Training summer training program.  More information about that can be found here: teamdavistraining.com and you can also email the head coach Tom Davis at teamdavistraining@gmail.com with any questions. 
Click here (familyid.com) to be brought to the Garden City registration page.



Track and Field Camp August 3-7 at Newton North
  • August 3 - 7
  • 9am - 3pm
  • Ages 8-14
  • At Newton North High School
Both Newton North and Newton South, as well as surrounding area high schools, have a great tradition of track and field success and this camp is an excellent way to get started in the sport! The Garden City track and field camp is a great way for youth athletes to get introduced to the great sport of track and field.  The camp is great for both newcomers to the sport and for athletes looking to improve and gain more experience.  The coaches at the camp are all high level experienced track and field athletes with experience coaching youth athletes.  Over the five days of camp, we will work on the hurdles, distance running, shot put, sprinting, long jump, high jump, relay running, triple jump, turbo javelin, and strength and conditioning.  Campers will get to be timed/measured and try to improve their best marks throughout the week.  Campers will also learn about the mental side of the sport and competition, ways to improve on their own, and how to be a better overall athlete.  The small camper to coach ratio is great for campers to get individualized instruction on the various events.  The top notch facilities at Newton North that we have access to include the mondo surface 400-meter outdoor track, the indoor track and accompanying SOA area, the weight/exercise room, and the 25-yard indoor pool with diving boards.

The basic structure of a typical day of camp will look something like this: 

Morning:  Campers arrive and get into warmup groups with their coach.  Go over and participate in the morning event (sprinting, distance running, hurdles...) Then end with the morning session activity of a game or competition.

Swim/Lunch: All Garden City camps have access to the indoor pool at Newton North and we will eat lunch in the high school cafeteria. (The cafeteria will not be serving food so campers need to bring their own lunch.)

Afternoon: Warmup session as a group. Break into groups for strength and conditioning session (we will have access to the fully equipped exercise facility) and track and field event.  We will end the day with a wrap-up of what we covered and popsicles.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Warm weather Florida

Tom and I just got back from our road trip down to Florida for spring break.  We headed down 95 south to Savannah, and then from there had to decide whether we would go our typical route sticking to the east coast or whether to cut across the state to the west coast of Florida were we had never been.  After I called a campground in Cedar Key and found that they had spots available, we decided to head that way.  The drive across the state was interesting as it was mainly not what I think of when I think of Florida.  For about two hours we drove through miles and miles of rolling hills full of farms and horse pastures.  We eventually made it near our destination and drove down the straightest road I think I have ever been on until arriving at the coast. Cedar Key is an interesting place and like nowhere we had ever been.  The town is home to less than 1,000 residents, consists only of local businesses/restaurants and is apparently what the other Florida keys used to be like years ago.  When we first arrived there were these little bugs called no see ums everywhere and we got eaten up and almost packed up and left they were so bad.  Luckily we stuck it out as the next two days we were there the bugs only came out in the evening and even then they were not nearly as bad.  Overall, it was a great place to spend a couple of days relaxing before heading back to Boston to wrap up the spring semester. 

There was only a small beach on the main land.  The pictures don't do it much justice but it was the whitest sand I have seen.  Also, since there were so few people there it didn't matter that it was small as it was much less crowded than other beaches I have been to. 
We spent the evenings sitting on the docks watching the birds and the dolphins.  The waters are home to over 350 dolphins and they often swam around in the evening in groups of 2 or 3.   
Atsena Otie Key.  This is about a 15-20 minute kayak away from the mainland.

From the mainland you can look out and see a few islands.  They are now uninhabited but in the 1800s people lived on them.  In fact, the one we are on in this picture had about 100 people living on it in the 1800s and also had a very productive pencil mill.  Two hurricanes, one of which had a 10 foot tidal wave, knocked the factory and residences down and now the island just has a trail through it, an old graveyard, and a very nice beach.
Kayaking in the inland water on Atsena Otie Key.  There was lots to explore!
We stopped for some snacks on a little strip of beach.

You can see on the right side of this picture that there are some restaurants and shops on the water.  We didn't end up eating at those, instead we found a good pizza place and got pizza and garlic roles to eat in the park by the beach.
Here's the graveyard, the main attraction on the island. 20 or 30 years ago a developer tried to build on the island, but his plans were blocked by conservationists.  Now the land is part of the wildlife preserve. 

We stopped in Savannah on our way down and on our way back up.  The city has many great things to see and one of my favorites are the cool moss covered trees. 
You always have to stop for a bag of fresh Florida oranges!



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spring Break

This morning's TDT youth
development practice
Spring break has arrived!  This is my first law school spring break and Tom's final law school spring break.  We will be heading on a road trip down south.  If you would like to follow along, you can check out my twitter @JessBarton11 (https://twitter.com/JessBarton11).

In the past few weeks we have had some great TDT youth development practices.  For the most part we have been able to get outside and run on Comm Ave.   When we have practice early in the morning, like today, there are hundreds of runner out training for the marathon, so it is pretty crowded out there!

Also, in case you missed it, I have my track and field camp again this summer.  You can click here for registration information and you can click here for more information.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cornmeal Heart Cookies

As I sit here and eat one of the delicious cookies that I made over the weekend (they are still just as good four days later!) I feel the need to share the recipe as a recipe Thursday since they are so good and also fun to make. 

The recipe is from Martha Stewart, and there is a video on the site but I didn't watch it so I don't know if it's helpful or not. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 drops red or pink food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, and salt.  
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and half a cup of granulated sugar on medium-high until creamy (about 3 minutes). Add egg and one teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined. 
  3. With mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat to combine. 
  4. Place about 1/4 or more sugar in a bowl, roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll to coat with sugar.  Then put the balls on the baking sheet and using either your hand or a glass, flatten then to desired width.  Using a heart shaped small cookie cutter (or whatever shape you want) press the cookie cutter into the cookie to make an outline, but do not cut through. 
  5. Bake until the cookies are golden on the edges, about 10 minutes. Then let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack before decorating. 
  6. Mix confectioners' sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 3/4 teaspoons cold water. Mix in food coloring (one drop will do at the start then you can add more if you want a bolder color). Spread the glaze over the heart in the middle and enjoy!

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Track and Field Camp

Summer certainly seems very far away right now, but I know summer plans are already being made.  For those looking for a great one week camp in Newton, I will have my Garden City youth track and field camp again this summer at Newton North High School.  Below you will find a description of the camp and please email me with any questions at jessbarton1117@gmail.com.

Click here (familyid.com) to be brought to the Garden City registration page.


Track and Field Camp August 3-7 at Newton North

  • August 3 - 7
  • 9am - 3pm
  • Ages 8-14
  • At Newton North High School
Both Newton North and Newton South, as well as surrounding area high schools, have a great tradition of track and field success and this camp is an excellent way to get started in the sport! The Garden City track and field camp is a great way for youth athletes to get introduced to the great sport of track and field.  The camp is great for both newcomers to the sport and for athletes looking to improve and gain more experience.  The coaches at the camp are all high level experienced track and field athletes with experience coaching youth athletes.  Over the five days of camp, we will work on the hurdles, distance running, shot put, sprinting, long jump, high jump, relay running, triple jump, turbo javelin, and strength and conditioning.  Campers will get to be timed/measured and try to improve their best marks throughout the week.  Campers will also learn about the mental side of the sport and competition, ways to improve on their own, and how to be a better overall athlete.  The small camper to coach ratio is great for campers to get individualized instruction on the various events.  The top notch facilities at Newton North that we have access to include the mondo surface 400-meter outdoor track, the indoor track and accompanying SOA area, the weight/exercise room, and the 25-yard indoor pool with diving boards.

The basic structure of a typical day of camp will look something like this: 

Morning:  Campers arrive and get into warmup groups with their coach.  Go over and participate in the morning event (sprinting, distance running, hurdles...) Then end with the morning session activity of a game or competition.

Swim/Lunch: All Garden City camps have access to the indoor pool at Newton North and we will eat lunch in the high school cafeteria. (The cafeteria will not be serving food so campers need to bring their own lunch.)

Afternoon: Warmup session as a group. Break into groups for strength and conditioning session (we will have access to the fully equipped exercise facility) and track and field event.  We will end the day with a wrap-up of what we covered and popsicles.