Category Archives: Healthy lifestyles

Fall Harvest Time!

Stop by Gardenspot and see how the garden is shaping up this season!

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Filed under fungi, gardening, gardens, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking

July 4th-Mohansic Lake

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It was an early morning trip to Mohansic State Park. Families were gathering and setting up for the day, grills, hammocks, flags, music…all picnic stations were buzzing with life. A bit further down the road, past the last parking lot there was the boat launch site quiet and serene.

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This was our third kayak trip this summer, the lake was still and the launch was an asphalt drive with a rubber mat half in / half out of the water. It was clean and easy entry, no murk or pebbles to stick in my water shoes.

There were only a few other boaters, some were fishing but most just coasting around. Lilly pads were lining the edges of the lake and appeared around the outcrops. I am still uneasy seeing plants under water so I paddle into the center of the lake to face my other fear, which is deep water (getting better with this as long as I keep my eye on the horizon)  I did see a water snake making it’s way across the lake. Happy to say it looked to be only about 18 inches long , Anaconda comes to mind and I remind myself that this is not the Amazon.

It was a great two hours. Bill did some fishing, I paddled about learning how to maneuver  the boat.  We had coffee and breakfast on the lake “alfresco”

Good Day, but I really need to take a class for safety sake.

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Filed under Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Mohansic Lake, Paddling, Roosevelt State Park, State Parks, Summer Kayaking

Trading Hiking for Kayaking for the Summer Months

June 25, 2017 Croton River

Summer is not hiking weather for us, however we have taken to the water. Two weeks ago we went to Croton point park, Today we went to Croton once again, but we tried the Croton River Tributary.  Certainly quieter than the state park, and some serene calm to begin the day. It was fairly shallow in places, and fairly clear as well, however there were pretty murky spots with lots of Hydrilla or Water Thyme.

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This is pretty much what my summer boating outfit will look like. New hat, new PFD (Personal Floatation Device) and a beautiful new Wilderness Systems Pongo 120 Kayak.

Two times out so far since we got them. My comfort level has gotten better, although I still focus on the Horizon rather than looking down.

Funny, I have less issue with looking down when I am rock or ice climbing  than I do looking into water.

 

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Filed under Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Paddling, Summer Kayaking, Wildlife

Ask Well: The Downside of Smoothies – The New York Times

Do I absorb more sugar and calories when I drink fruits and vegetables in a smoothie as opposed to just eating them whole?

Source: Ask Well: The Downside of Smoothies – The New York Times

When I have a smoothie  I consider it  my meal. I add whey protein, peanut butter (if I use bananas) or spinach. I will not be hungry for a good 4 hours after. Roughly 250 calories it is all I need. No such thing as a downside in my book!

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Mel Bartholomew, an Engineer Who Popularized Square Foot Gardening, Dies at 84 – The New York Times

I just came across this in the NY Times this morning, and I wanted to share the article, as this is the book that help me plan my garden for decades, no matter what kind of space I had available. I have to admit that I never really accomplished the one-seed concept, the urge is always to put two or three…just in case, and then they all shoot up and I hate to pull the weaker one, But, the concept is brilliant, multi-use of a simple square foot of space.

For those of you who garden it is worth a look. (and look at my GardenSpot page while you are here, to see my garden progress this season)

Mr. Bartholomew’s innovation saved water and space by folding traditional rows of vegetables into a raised bed that could fit on porches, patios, decks or roofs.

Source: Mel Bartholomew, an Engineer Who Popularized Square Foot Gardening, Dies at 84 – The New York Times

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Filed under gardening, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Nature in the Highpeaks, Reader Advisory

Marching into March

Back in the ADK. Funny how it draws us every two months, and it has been that way for the last 7 years. “Vacationing” traditionally a one to two week break that is taken two times a year, has never been possible for us.Instead a three day end of week/weekend works best by not cutting deeply into a work week and allows a physical break from daily routine. This is how we have been able to maintain high level stress and taxing decisions during norman work days.

March 4th Ampersand Mountain: -2 Degrees

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We have never attempted to hike in below zero weather. It poses challenges greater than putting one foot ahead of the other and knowing what gear to switch out to. Keeping your nose, for instance is what is important, exposure to extreme cold will frost-bite skin in a short time, and is painless while it is happening but damage is life long afterwards. It was a long beautiful trek with a gradual inclineIMG_4934 that was wooded and slightly snow covered. It was a beautiful clear day and the crunching sound of the micro spikes was all that could be heard.

Ampersand mountain is in Saranac Lake, an area that we have yet to hike, so although it is the Adirondacks it was outside of Keene and Lake Placid area which we are familiar with. Driving 30 minutes to get to a peak added a bit of stress to the day, but we looked at it as expanding our comfort zone to add to our experiences. At the start of the final mile the trail took a sharp ascent, was icy, and far too challenging for us to attempt after two hours of hiking. We opted to turn back, and save this summit for later seasons when crampons are not needed. Total hours: 5

 

March 5th : Rocky Falls / Indian Pass Trail

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This is one of our go-to hikes when we want a lower trek, no or minimal altitude. The reward at the end is a serene waterfall and a great comfy tree covered  rock that you can sip coffee, cider and snack on trail mix.

It was warmer (14 degrees!) windless and a bit cloudier but we were under dense woods for the entire hike, so it’s not as if we were going to summit and catch a grand valley view. It was a great day and a relaxing walk, just what was needed after the challenge of slick ice covered boulders.

 

March 6th: Rooster Comb Mountain 

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One of our favorite things to do on a winter hike is to look for footprints of the wildlife. We are always amazed at the absence of animals when we are up in the mountains and we attribute it to the fact that they are way too shy to be seen. On the other hand… they may just be stalking us and waiting for us to weaken and then pounce! We made the mistake of watching a horror movie of a couple that were camping in the Canadian wild and were attacked by a bear. A cautionary tale that stays with us and is never too far from our thoughts when in the woods!

IMG_4955 Spotting moose prints was a pretty exciting event for us. I feel its the closest we will ever  get to “seeing a moose” but, we will be coming back, there is always a next time.

The hike was challenging. This is the second time we have done Rooster Comb, the first time was in October of 2010. It was criss-crossed with elaborate  bolder stairs and traverses that ascended pretty quickly to 2700. When we saw the ice covered stairs at a 45 degree angle, we opted  to call it, and once again come back later in ice free seasons. It would not be a wise choice to make one wrong slip and ruin the rest of the season to an injury. It was a beautiful crisp day, all along the way glimpses of the sky and mountains would remind us why we keep coming back.

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Filed under Adirondack Club, ADK, animal tracks, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Hiking the High Peaks, Nature in the Highpeaks, Wildlife

einst_7“Curiosity is more important than knowledge.”― Albert Einstein

A colleague and I were comparing observations we have noted over time working in the library. One of the most disturbing    things noticed was that the younger patrons, teens and young adults specifically, if seen in the library at all, seem to lack curiosity.

Let’s think about this for a moment. Think back to your own childhood, and reflect on the benchmarks, the moments of learning and discovery came out of play, and teaching moments either by a parent or teacher. Play, conversation, experimentation are all part of education. But presenting a fact, or simply memorizing is not what education is about, its much deeper and richer.  Education is fulfillment of a curiosity. Question+Research+Answer=Education.

Students will ask for assistance with projects, that is a positive thing, however after pulling resources with enthusiasm and inspired interest, the response is basically “all I need is one book”

Oh…ok.

Even launching into the speech about its OK to gather MORE than you actually need, hone down, organize and outline…”all I need is one book, this is great..yeah, thanks”  The wind really takes a long time to leave the sails though, as a librarian its just not that easy to let it go. Still, we read on and over some of material…because now OUR curiosity is peaked, we laugh to ourselves and shrug our shoulders.

Fat books…bad, bad, fat books. God FORBID…you read beyond the little bit of information you need is found. Since when is a book judged by its length? If you are reading for facts, or to understand a concept, what difference does it make how long a book is? How is it that all curiosity is so squashed?

My only thought is that there are so many other things that are distracting their train of thought, the dance lessons, the softball games, the social networking windows opened tenfold on the computer screen. There is not enough time in their day to actually spend it on one topic. Multitasking is a way of life for them. Even the television programs that babysat them in their early years would flash dozens of images rapidly on the screen would teach them the art of scrolling and scanning. There isn’t any time to sit and think and reflect on a comment, or an image. No time to formulate questions, or wonder, or just to stop and “smell the roses”

What should a parent do? Do they even realize what they are doing when they make a comment like “take this book it’s thinner” Or do they even realize that they are not helping their children by doing their projects for them? I believe they have the best of intentions, but I really can’t say if its going to end the way they planned it.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. But I would suggest perhaps there should be a step taken back. A moment of hesitation.Quiet time. Have kids do puzzles,  Draw with a pencil. Watch a butterfly land on a flower. Garden with the kids. Make cookies and bread together. Teach them to see, to really see shadow, light, color. Compare and contrast the colors of the seasons. Play.

Sometimes doing things the old fashioned way may not be the fastest, but its a good way to see just how things are done, and hopefully children can stop long enough to watch and want to learn more, rather than learn “just enough”

I

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January 11, 2014 · 4:22 am