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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The Myths of Innovation | R. David Lankes

Worth a listen. Supports my feelings about the trending “maker spaces” and what libraries need to do to remain relevant.  In David Lankes’ words it is the library’s place to “facilitate innovation”

Source: The Myths of Innovation | R. David Lankes

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 LibraryReads May 2016 Top 10!

Source: Announcing the LibraryReads May 2016 Top 10!

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Recycle Book Crafting

21 Uses For Old Books http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Uses-Old-Books-23418154 “If you’re a die-hard bookworm, then you probably cringe at the idea of throwing away old books — even if your bookshelf has reached maximum capacity. Here’s a solution: upcycle them into things you want to keep around the house, like jewelry, furniture, and decor. You’ll still get to…

via 21 Uses For Old Books — Stephen’s Lighthouse

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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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Back In Step

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I am happy to say that Bill and I are back in the Adirondacks!

This trip has been an eye opener in many ways. After a knee injury set me back 9 months I have been happy to see that I am able to do hikes up to 4 hours with fairly steep inclines, and minimal scrambles. This may seem like nothing to most ADK hikers, but for me, it was a confidence builder that told me “I am not my knee injury” and I am back in step.

With that said, being out for so long has given me a new perspective on where I am in my hiking life. I use to think that I would love to learn to lead climb. I love rock climbing out on real rock, gyms are OK, but I was introduced to rock climbing on the real thing. It is exhilirating and nothing captures the feeling of being a kid again more than this sport. Lead climbing however comes with great responsibility. Not only would I be putting my life at stake, but whoever is below me would be dependent on my abilities. I am not willing to take this kind of risk.

Three days, three climbs.

Thursday: Poke-o-Moonshine. Considered one of the lower 54 this mountain was a perfect intro back into hiking ADK. A gentle hike 2.37 miles with a fire tower at the peak. No scrambling, no rock-hopping- river-bed trail, just a great foot path with serene forest, frogs, salamanders and a few birds. By the middle of the hike, I was in short sleeves it had gotten so warm.

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Friday: Mt Jo. The trail was a bit wetter than Thursday’s hike, but it had snowed in the morning just enough to coat everything with a white dusting. At 2,876 feet it was a bit higher than Poke-O-Moonshine, and the last few tenths of a mile were a scramble. Summit was windy, and colder as expected, but we had our proper gear and we used all of it by the end of the hike.

 

IMG_2357Saturday: A return visit to Big Crow. Always good for a “quick hike”  .07 mile and 2,815′  it was a perfect end-of-stay hike. Incredibly beautiful vista at the summit makes this trail a win-win. We  would laugh that the chattering birds, few that there were, were warning their families that we were on our way on the trail. It always amazes us how little wildlife we actually see when we are hiking, more wildlife passes through our backyard!

Quiet time, down time, time to reflect is all so important to balance all the challenges that come our way at both work and life in general. Nothing is more humbling than standing on a summit and looking at the mountain ranges around you. It really puts things into perspective.

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A year of silence

Its been quite some time since I have posted on my blog.

Two reasons: I have been diligently working on a blog/dashboard  for work and have been posting work related issues, employee information, and generally keeping all staff updated on daily business. It was fun designing, I learned a lot about WordPress and how I can keep a blog within a private forum. It seems to be working well, there are tweaks I learn all the time and I am continually building them into the site. I actually just figured out how to access this blog, which I just successfully signed into again (I thought I lost it ! :/)

The second reason is my mountaineering adventures have been curtailed due to a knee injury, and a good part of my contemplative time is spent on our hikes and time in the mountains. I am happy to say these will start up again soon!

Balance between work and home-life is key.

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