The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Please Don’t Drink The Paint Water! August 28, 2012

You don’t have to be an artist to paint. I know, and from the response I got from people asking them to come along was the same “I haven’t picked up a paint brush since I was a child.” Well, at Spirited Art in Knoxville you really don’t have to be an artist to paint. I thought I would write this blog to inform people about this place and how much fun it is, really!

The painting we did was named Nude Picasso. The original was created in 1902 at a time when Pablo Picasso was still mourning over a friend’s tragic death. The only color he used was blue. 

This is from their website:

Spirited Art ® is an optimistic, creative class for folks who want to learn the basics of acrylic painting in the company of great friends and good wine. In each class we will show you step-by-step how to create your own masterpiece that you can be proud of and take home at the end of the night. Don’t worry if you can’t even draw a stick person. We believe it’s easier to learn when you’re having fun; and if you know your letters, shapes and colors then you are prepared to learn how to paint!

You sign up online and choose for one of the many painting they have everyday for the current month. There are many different classes but the adult class is $35. (There is a buy one get one in the Knoxville school coupon book)  Once signed up arrive at the studio about 10 to 15 minutes early to get all you painting supplies ready before the class begins. Oh and I almost forgot, you are allowed to bring whatever drinks or snacks you like, this includes alcohol. They have cups and wine openers there for you to use so you don’t have to bring that with you.

  • First, you start off with a canvas and the art instructor has already penciled on a basic outline of what you are going to paint for that class on the canvas. It is hard to see in the picture but it is there. You get your provided paint colors, cup of water, brushes and an apron and you are all set.


  • The instructor will give you step by step instructions on what to do. Super easy and fun. 
  • The class takes about 1-2 hours and your painting should be dry enough to go home with you. Mine is the painting on the left my friends is on the right. You can add whatever you want to make your painting your own. As you can see my lady is watching a meteor shower, I know I’m a nerd.




Hiking Ijams – Mead’s Quarry August 27, 2012

Earlier this month the hubby and I went for a hike at the Mead’s Quarry in the Ijams Nature Center. The trail we hiked is called the Tharp Trace Trail. This is the most strenuous trail at Ijams. It is 1.1 mile loop with a few steep long hills but once you reach the top you are looking over the quarry and on a clear day you can see Mt. LeConte. This is a great place to take pictures but with all the leaves from the surrounding trees it was hard to get a clear picture of the lake, maybe we will try again in the fall.

What goes up must come down. After you reach the summit you work your way down back to the bottom of the quarry but on your way down the trail is the historic Stanton Cemetery. This was an old family plot but later became a community graveyard for people that lived and worked on the quarry. Some of the graves date back to 1870 and the latest 1939. For some odd reason I really like old graveyards. If you read the sign it says that the husband and wife where buried next to each other however they were faced in opposite directions. This is due to the fact they were divorced in life.


Tharp Trace trail is great for a small hike. It takes about an hour or two if your not rushing which we weren’t because we had the dog and was looking for a relaxing daily hike. I highly recommend all the trails in Ijams. This is one of my favorite places to visit because there is so much to do. The best part is it is free and you can take your dogs there as long as they are on a leash.



Project 365: Week 44 August 26, 2012


Sent all day Sunday learning the art of canning.


Went to Circle G Ranch, again. I just love that place.


Girls night out, painting at Spirited Art.


Found this bad boy at Walgreens. It was green in the middle.


If it fits, it ships!


Finally got a clear night to try out my new eye pieces.

Umm, ok?


How To Make Apple Butter In a Crock Pot August 20, 2012

I went to visit my Mom and Dad this weekend in Loudon. I don’t get out there as much as I like but I try to go at least once a month and stay for the day. My mother had just went to the Amish farm that morning and had gotten a little too much and decided to give me some of the extra. Well, knowing good and well I can’t eat 4 pounds of apples, a box full of tomatoes, and about 7 pounds of sweet potatoes, I had to find some way of using it all before it went bad. Thus, I had to learn the art of canning!

Yes canning, like your grandmother use to do. I had no clue where to start so of course I went to my go-to source, Mr. Google. There I found recipes for all my vegetables and the fruits and decided to spend my Sunday learning how to can. I started with an easy recipes for apple butter that you can make in a Crock Pot. I don’t know if apple butter is poplar everywhere in America but in the south this is a staple pantry product and one of my favorites. Anyways, I thought I would share this easy recipe and please note you DO NOT have to can the apple butter. You can make it and stick in the fridge. Just eat it soon, enjoy!

  • Approximately 3 lb. apples (I did around 4 pounds)
  • 3 cups sugar (you can sub 1 cup of sugar for 1 cup honey if you like your butter a little less sweet)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves (I did not have cloves so I just left them out and it turned out great)
  • Dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup water or fresh apple cider


First: Fill Crock-pot 3/4 full with peeled, cored and sliced apples.

I have this apple peeler my mother-in-law gave me that worked out great for this project. It peels and can core and spiral cut the apples all at once but I just used it to peel them this time.


After peeled cut up into small pieces.


Fill up your slow-cooker with apples


Add all the spices and stir. Let this cook for about 8 hours or overnight on low. If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching.

When mine was finished I ran it the blender because I still had quite a few clumps. Worked great and tasted delicious.

On a side note: Making this makes your house smell wonderful!


If You Want To Can The Apple Butter

Get your jars ready: I soaked the lids and jars in a hot water bath for about 15 mintues


Then place them on a cooling rack to dry.


Fill your jars with 1/4 head room that the top for expansion and fingertip tighten the lids. Place jars into boiling water for about 10 minutes. Remove and  let cool and tighten lids. You should hear some popping when the jars are sealed. If you have some that do not pop simply place in the fridge and enjoy it now verses later.  Apple butter can be stored in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks and in the freezer for longer storage.




Project 365: Week 43 August 19, 2012


My husband trying to brush the Mr Mal’s teeth.


Meet Mr Rex. He is the clinic cat at my work and I made him this bed. I think he is pleased.


Been waiting for my first to arrive, finally.


Maria and I made some gingerbread cookies with cream cheese icing, yum yum.


My first pumpkin, and the dog thought it looked good enough to eat and well she plucked it and carried it around the yard. I wasn’t too happy with her.


No comment on this night.

Very funny movie!



Lil iFFy: Wizard Rappers?!? August 17, 2012

Filed under: postaday2012 — Sheena @ 12:46 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

My husband and I went with some friends to The Well in Knoxville. They have live music or some type of event every night and this Thursday night a friend of a friends band was going to be playing, so we thought we would go support some local music. I have never have been to this place and really wasn’t sure what to expect. The place was in a mini shopping, upper scale, mall and all the surrounding shops had already closed for the night. We walk up to the door and there was a man sitting in a chair checking ID’s and taking money. It was $5/person to get in the door and you had to be 21 to enter. Once you enter the building, you walk down fleet of stairs and you feel like you are walking down into a basement. that was a little creepy. It was dark with some dim lighting, rap music blasting, and place had an uncomfortable feeling to it. To your left was a stage, in front a bar, to the right bathrooms and a smoking den. I didn’t feel very safe at first but after being there a few moments I settled into the environment.

I had no clue what kind of group was playing that night and later found out the the band was called Lil iFFy and they were rappers who rapped about wizards. You read that correctly, Wizard Rap. Everyone thought this was perfect for me since I LOVE Harry Potter. Ha, not so much. They get on the stage around midnight and I noticed first of all there are way too many people on the small stage. There were maybe 8 or 9 plus a DJ and they are all dressed in 80’s neon colors and carrying big poles that I guess were their wands. They had shirts on that said “Ask me about my Wand Core?” I wasn’t sure how this had anything to do about Harry Potter but I am opened minded and gave them my full attention once they started.

The show begans, and the”rapping,”  I honestly couldn’t understand but only a few words. Every other sentence I would hear the word Muggle or Wizard but I could not understand the reference. Later, I found out their style of music is called “Angry Harry Potter Rap.”  I guess some people really like that type of music because they seemed to have a small fan base that were singing along with them and wearing Gryffindor hats in their support for the group. (I happen, by chance,  to be wearing my Deathly Hallows earrings at night. I made such that I kept them covered with my hair the entire night) I will say the DJ was good and the music had a good beat however the “rappers” were horrible! I don’t think I have heard music that bad ever, and my brother has been playing hardcore punk rock for over 10 years. I took a video because I knew no one would believe me about them.

I am not a big Rap music person, so maybe I am being a little critically on Lil iFFy but I will let you all decided. To me, this music is a disgrace to Harry Potter and should never be played again.

On a funny note: A friend tried to give them some advice and insteed of being thankful they were jerks to her so her boyfriend took off  with the fat guys, whose belly keep peeping out from under his shirt all night, huge wand (you can see it in the video, he is on the right of the stage) and put it in the flowerbed at the street 🙂

What a night!


Project 365: Week 42 August 13, 2012


If you look where I am pointing I noticed Google didn’t forget about the Mars rover landing.


Just received my new eye pieces and camera attachments for my telescope


As you can see, it was a big week for science.


The husband smoked a pork butt and we used the leftovers to make a pizza. It was so good!


Phil and I joined the SMAS club this week and had our first meeting

This picture is of a Perseid Meteor Shower flying past the Milky Way. Awesome shot by one of the SMAS members at the start party this Saturday at Look Rock.

Had some great weather this week. Getting my dose of Vitamin D.