“If someone said ‘Write a sentence about your life’ I’d write, ‘I want to go outside and play.'” – Jenna Elfman
Awhile back I mentioned that one of my all time favorite books was MaryJane’s Ideabook – Cookbook – Lifebook by MaryJane Butters. I also LOVE her magazine. If I could wave my magic wand and give myself a life makeover… I might just have to be the next MaryJane Butters. She rocks!
Anyway, a couple months ago I got her latest book called MaryJane’s Outpost – Unleashing Your Inner Wild. The book is all about living your life outdoors, no matter where you live geographically. I was hooked from the moment I read about how she would sleep outside under her kids bedroom window many years ago. This allowed her to feel connected with nature and yet still close to her kids in case they needed her. This is a quote from the introduction:
Haven’t we all heard by now how important it is to eat a diet high in roughage? Likewise “roughage” (spending time outdoors) is essential to our mental health. Even if it is a settee on the porch, we need it. Gotta have it…
The book is an absolute treasure and if it does not make you hot to trot outside with the power of a thousand burning suns, nothing will. Short of traveling to Idaho and asking MaryJane if she will please, please be your mom and adopt you, you can get this book and bring a little of that MaryJane magic into your life every day and let nature, nurture you.
The book is broken up into sections. Outhinking has lots of inspiration and stories. Outbound gives you some ideas you never would have dreamed of… making a willow table, putting and actual bed or bathtub outside, making lanterns, doing special things with the kids, etc. Outstepping is a call to get out in the wild with a backpack and a good pair of hiking boots. MaryJane was actually one the first women back-country rangers for the US Forest Service. In Outspoken she tells stories of the women who have already blazed a wild trail for us to follow.
This book is worth getting just for the inspiration to get outdoors but it also has tons of awesome recipes and craft instructions. It has a great recipe for Bugoff bars for instance, bug repellent bars she makes in muffin tins, that I am going to try this summer. It was also this book that gave me the idea for a reading tree…. setting up pillows and blankies and reading to your kids outside. I also loved the tutorial on making your own tree swing with wood and rope.
This is one of those books I will never, ever sell or otherwise let go. It is a permanent fixture in my personal library.
This week I am reading another book that has a profile of MaryJane in it…though I didn’t know that when I bought it. It is A Mile in Her Boots – Women Who Work in the Wild. It has essays and stories from park rangers, smokejumpers, field scientists, and other female outdoorswomen.