Category Archives: Healthy lifestyles


February 11, 2018

Grafedie In The Library has been a learning, growing experience for me over time. At first, I wanted to use this blog as a vehicle to share my reader advisory skills, hoping that I could improve my writing skills in addition to promoting books that we had at my library. That was the intent, and I was perfectly happy blogging in my own little world. My opinions were not controversial, or political or witty so there was no reason for any one particular group of readers, or library user to even notice.

But as time went on, I let go of the Library related posts and concentrated on adding my GardenSpot page and documenting our Hiking trips. Two things that have come to be my passion. This post is just a bit of retrospect, looking back over a few years how I have changed and continue to learn new things. Recently I have been listening to Podcasts. My favorites are on Sustainability, Horticulture and Gardening.

Just a bit of rambling

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Filed under aging, gardening, gardens, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Hiking the High Peaks, Wildlife

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


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.


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.


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


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


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



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 


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