Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Picnic Hope for Mayonnaise Haters

This month the EtsyBloggers are blogging about a book review or their favorite grilling/picnic recipe. The book I'm reading is very deserving of a positive review, but I'm not quite done reading it. My grill recipes are simple: marinate some chicken or squash in some store bought marinade sauce (preferably the 30 minute marinade variety), or toss on a veggie burger - I'm a simple girl. There is a picnic recipe I'd like to share with everyone, however.

I am the pickiest eater EVER, which makes even finding a snack at a summer barbecues difficult. I was fifteen when I realized that the three inches of mustard on my hamburger had nothing to do with mustard love, but actually the fact that I didn't like hamburgers. Well before the dislike-of-hamburg epiphany, someone told me about the contents of hot dogs, which took care of that food as well. I don't even like soy dogs if they taste like hot dogs. No, I'm not a vegetarian, though I get asked that all the time - I love chicken, turkey, sea food, I'm just obnoxiously picky. If I'm going to a barbecue, I usually bring my own Boca Burger, in case chicken isn't on the menu.

Mayonnaise is also on the long list of foods that I don't like, and for this I've been accused of being Un-American. What's a picnic or barbeque without macaroni salad, potato salad, and pasta salad (with pepperoni of course - also on my black list). Oddly enough, this year at a Fourth of July barbecue and I ate potato salad for the first time in about fifteen years - mayo free potato salad! I got the recipe but have not made it yet...

Salad of Bow Ties, Red Potatoes & Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing
(A.K.A. Mayo-Free Potato Salad)
(4 servings)

1/2 pound small red potatoes, sliced 1/4 in. thick
1/2 lb bow tie pasta
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste)
1 Tsp red wine vinegar
3 scallions, root ends removed and finely chopped (1/2 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper

Place sliced potatoes in a small saucepan fitted with a steamer basket
and steam over boiling water (or boil in salted water) until
tender. 7-10 minutes.Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Boil bow tie pasta in large pot of water until al dente (7-10 minutes).
Drain & transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.

When pasta and potatoes have cooled to lukewarm, combine in serving bowl
and gently mix being careful not to break potatoes.

Combine mustard, oil & vinegar in a small bowl with a wire wisk and beat
until smooth & thick.

Season the pasta & potatoes with salt and pepper
to taste. Pour mustard dressing over them. Toss to combine. Garnish with
scallions and serve at room temp.

I have no pictures to provide, you'll just have to take my word for it. I would probably use less salt and more mustard, however.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Treasury Fever

I picked the wrong week for a mini-vacation! It's been raining pretty much the entire time. Even when it's not raining, the sky is dark and threatening to do so. And if I even think about going outside... forgetaboutit!

Anyway, to express my displeasure and to entertain myself inside the house, I waited for hours with nothing better to do, checking in on the treasury page until it became available for submission. Here is one I created, called Rain, rain, GO AWAY. For a better view, click on the screen shot below, and you will be directed to the treasury until it expires early Sunday morning.

My buddy SpottedCowSoaps from Vermont must be pretty soggy and bored inside too, cuz she also snagged a Red Hot treasury, featuring my Onyx Hypnotic piece. Her treasury is below, and clickable for a better view until Saturday evening.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blue Skies at Blue Mountain

Lucky Number Seven

Our hike up Blue Mountain, the seventh fire tower mountain we've conquered in the Fire Tower Challenge, tied together a few rarities for us on our Sister Hikes:
  • A climbable tower including access to the cab
  • An amazing 360o view
  • Blue skies - no rain or over-cast to obstruct the view available
At the trail head, hikers are provided with a self-guided tour guide, much like the one on Mt. Goodnow. The first station explains that Blue Mountain is located in The Adirondack Park, which was created in 1892 and is the largest park in the 48 continental states. Forty-five percent of the park owned by the public, but the trail head and parking lot of Blue Mountain is owned by Finch, Pruyn, & Company. The summit is NY State land.

Here is a picture of a balsam fir growing on a rock as a response due to competition for space in the crowded forest. Balsam firs have many uses such as oil of fir, manufacturing of perfumes and incense, balsam pillows, paper from the wood, and the sticky resin is an ingredient is Save the Baby, a repellent for black flies.

This is a mushroom I came across, I'm not sure what its called, but the underside was was more interesting that its top.

The pamphlet explains that this little stream here is on one of the five major Adirondack watersheds. It will make its way to the St. Lawrence River, and eventually to the ocean. Hikers are warned not to drink water from streams, as they can harbor Giardia, a parasitic microorganism that will no doubt ruin your vacation and make you wish you weren't in the woods. It is noted that crossing this stream marks the end of the first 1/3 of the trail, but there was no warning that the trail had been deceivingly easy up to this point, and the final 2/3 would be much more difficult.

Here is a yellow birch tree, much different looking than the white birch. This type of birch tree commonly germinates on rocks and decaying logs. Branches of young yellow birches smell of wintergreen and pioneers would boil the branches and leaves to make tea and birch beer.

During the last ice age, the area was covered by glaciers which acted like sandpaper, carving and polishing the land scape. The crack is probably from an earthquake and is over 1.15 billion years old. The mountain, however, was formed with the rest of the Adirondacks only about 5 million years ago, and still rising about 1mm per year. You will have to take my word that the stretch of smooth, bare rock was the hardest part of the hike. My pictures never do the steepness of the slope justice.

At last, the tower! Sister took a picture of me up inside the cab, click on the picture for a close up shot. Regrettably, the rumored college intern interpreter at the top was once again no where to be found. With map and compass in hand, I acted as interpreter, trying to decipher the surrounding landscape and bodies of water.

The large lake is Blue Mountain Lake. To its left is Eagle Lake. You can barely make out what I think is Raquette Lake way in the back.

Minnow Pond, Mud Pond, and South Pond are in this direction, but don't ask me which is which.

Tirrell Pond, Tirrell Mountain behind it. Just to the left I think is Tongue Mountain (not to be confused with the Tongue Mountain Range) - Algonquin Mountain in line with Tongue Mountain. Just to the right of the gap by Algonquin should be Avalanche Pass and then Mount Colden )I think) is the second highest behind Tirrell Mountain, but I could be wrong. Keep in mind, just finding a trailhead is a challenge for me!

This is the observer's cabin- barred, boarded, locked, and covered in graffiti.

For all the pictures, and some further detail, see my Flickr set.

The Adirondack Mountain Club selected the fire tower on blue Mountain in 1993 to draw attention to fire towers' restoration potential throughout the Forest Preserve. With over 15,000 visitors a year, it is very popular. The restoration later was assumed by the Cornell Cooperative Extension agen for Hamilton County, and the DEC forest ranger and Indian Lake's town Supervisor.

In 1994, the tower was revitalized and an intern was hired to provide interpretation to greet the public at the summit.

Originally, the Iroquois named the mountain To-war-loon-da, which means the Hill of Storms. It was later renamed Mount Clinch, after a state assemblyman who was in support of the Eckford survey of 1811. At that time, Blue Mountain Lake was called Lake Janet, after Ecfkord's daughter.

Verplanck Colvin's Adirondack Survey crews had set off their bright explosions each night, allowing them to synchronize their chronometers, improving the accuracy of their latitude and longitude determinations.

Verplanck Colvin was a lawyer and topographical engineer obsessed with finding the altitudes of the highest peaks in the Adirondacks. His actions lead to the Forest Preserve and creation of the Adirondack Park.

Round Trip Distance: 4.0 mi
Elevation change: 1550 ft
Summit Elevation: 3759 ft
Difficulty: Starts out really easy, look out in the middle. The steep part seems to go on forever. Overall difficulty is moderate.

Information from:
Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills, by John P. Freeman

Blue Mountain Trail Guide: Rocks Ice, Trees, Steel and History prepared by students at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sharing the Road

My recently renewed interest in bike riding can mostly be attributed to the rising gas prices. I calculated that each 7 mile round trip to the YMCA costs me about a dollar in gas money. Doesn't seem like a lot, but if I go 3 times a week, it slowly adds up. Having the money to put dinner on the table is certainly not determined by whether or not I drive or bike to the gym, but I like to see it as having a small positive impact on my health and my wallet.

Picture taken by Sister - Her bike on a local bike trail

It started with the gym, but now I'll ride to the grocery store, the bead shop, and meet my husband for lunch at Subway. I'm finding myself encountering several other bike riders on my little excursions as well. I came across a disturbing article on today, which points out the increased number of car/bike accidents now that more people are fueling their commute with leg power as opposed to gasoline.

I personally had to re-familiarize myself with New York's rules of the road when I began riding my bike around town. I'm glad I did for my own safety as a rider, as well as for the bikers that I encounter when driving. What many bikers don't realize is that they are supposed to be following the same traffic laws that the automobile drivers have, including stopping at a stop sign and yielding to pedestrians. On the flip side, drivers are often not familiar with the proper hand signals that bicyclists use, or that bike riders are allowed to do things like enter traffic to make a left hand turn. Both drivers and bicyclists need to be aware of their state laws for the safety of everyone - now more than ever.

Here are just a few tips that drivers and bicyclists should be aware of:
  • You must ride your bike with traffic so that drivers can better predict your actions.
  • Bicyclists are supposed to obey the traffic signs and lights that automobile drivers do.
  • If a bike lane is provided, the bicyclist is to ride in it, unless debris or unsafe obstacles are in the way.
  • Bikers can ride on the sidewalk but must yield to pedestrians.
  • Riding a bike in the dark requires a head light and tale light.
  • The hand signal for a right hand turn is an upward bend at the left elbow, making a right angle with the fist towards the sky
  • The hand signal for a left hand turn is the left arm straight out to the left. If the bicyclist can do so safely, they then move into the right lane of traffic (after and during the proper signal) to make their left turn when safe to do so. Another option is to dismount the bike and cross the street when safe as pedestrians do.
  • The signal for stopping is similar to the right turn, only the fist is toward the ground, with downward bend at the left elbow.
  • If the bicyclist chooses to listen to an audio device, like an MP3 player, only one ear piece may be used while riding, leaving the other ear available to safely listen for oncoming traffic and so on - or at least that's a law in New York.
Here are some websites that have some useful information. Be sure to find out what the laws in your state are!

New York Bicycling Coalition

The Police Note Book: University of Oklahoma Police Department Bike Safety
New York State Department of Transportation
New York Bikes!

Churning Buttermilk Falls

On July 12, Sister and I swung by Buttermilk Falls on our way home from Blue Mountain. One of the perks of being in the Adirondack Mountain Club is the discount on the books for sale at the club's headquarters in Lake George. I was intrigued by Russell Dunn's book, titled Adirondack Waterfalls Guide, the club discount was a plus. It seems like 1.5 hours or more is a far drive to go to just do one hike, so we've been trying to cram a little more into our trips up north.

Near Deerland, NY (Hamilton County), Buttermilk Falls is quite easily accessible. Its simple to find, even for the two of us who would probably get lost inside a cardboard box. The trail, if you'd even call it that, to the falls is less than 0.05 miles long. Parking is plentiful.

Buttermilk falls is formed on the Raquette River, which rises from Raquette Lake and eventually spills into the Hudson River. Second to the Hudson river, Raquette River is number two on the list of longest rivers in New York. Falling over a series of terraces, the falls are about 40 feet in height.

Seneca Ray Stoddard, a 19th century writer and photographer, suggested that the name came from the churning that the river gets at the bottom of the falls. It is a rather generic name for waterfalls, as there are several other waterfalls in New York that share this name. Despite its generic name, the waterfall itself is anything but! It's truly an amazing sight. We spent probably close to an hour there, taking pictures, enjoying the view, feeling the mist from the water slamming against the rocks below us.

Raquette Lake gets its name from the French word for snowshoe, and according to legend, the name was the result of the Tories, led by Sir John Johnson in 1776, ditching their snowshoes in the spring thaw at the lake during the Revolutionary War.

Native Americans named the river Ta-na-wa-deh, which means "swift water." Two guys, possibly in their late teens, challenged the swiftness of the water by jumping from some rocks about half way up. Better them than me.

I can't wait to check out some of the other falls presented the book.

To see all the pictures from Buttermilk Falls on my Flickr page, click here.

Information from:
Adirondack Waterfalls Guide, by Russell Dunn

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bear Safety

Black bears are New York State's second largest land animal, with only the moose being larger. At one time they were thought to only inhabit the forests, but now they are being found in developed areas as well. Earlier this spring, my local newspaper, The PostStar, reported sightings of a bear walking down Canada Street, the main road going through Lake George Village.

One of my favorite outdoorsy blogs, New York Outdoors Blog, recently referenced a second PostStar article explaining the expansion of the bear population, as well as other animals.

The Adirondacks have the highest black bear population in New York, about 4000-5000 bears. There are an estimated 1500-2500 black bears in the Catskills, and a smaller but growing population of 300-500 in the Allegany region. With a growing and expanding population, you need to know how to prevent an encounter, and how to protect yourself should you ever come face to face with a bear when hiking or camping.

Bear facts:
  • Bears are curious creatures, and often times bear/human encounters are the direct result of them exploring for food.
  • They learn from experience. If the direct result of an action is food, they will continue to repeat the action. (So don't feed the bears or they will keep coming back and possibly become bold and aggressive). If an experience with a human is negative, they will avoid humans.
  • Bear proof containers are necessary to keep your food safe from them. They have an excellent sense of smell and can detect food odors on clothing, so food and cooking clothes should be left in your car, not in your tent when camping. Their excellent sense of smell may allow them to pick up a human scent causing them to head in the opposite direction.
  • They have excellent hearing and especially sensitive to high pitch sounds. They also use their ears as body language. If pointing forward, they are at ease. If they are back, or flat against their head, they are annoyed, angry, or even aggressive.
  • They can climb trees.
There are several things you should do to prevent bear encounters when hiking or camping. Avoid intentional and accidental feeding of the bears. Don't leave your trash out, clean your cooking utensils and grill. Food should never go in your tent. When hiking, travel in large groups, or if you are alone or in a small group, make lots of noise. If you know you are near a bear populated area, clap your hands frequently or use a whistle. Making noise is especially important when the wind is blowing toward you, as they may not pick up on the human scent. They usually will go in the other direction if they smell or hear humans, as they typically want to encounter you as much as you want to encounter them.

Custom beaded safety whistle available at A Keeper's Jackpot

Should you follow the precautions and still encounter a bear, remain calm. Running away only invites them to pursue you. They are also very fast runners, and they will likely catch up with you unless you are sure you can make it quickly to safety. While making lots of noise wards off bears, if you are face to face with one, its is better to speak softly and calmly, making slow movements. It is more likely to attack if it feels threatened or if its cub is nearby. Some sources say that you should slowly raise your arms above your head and sway them so that you appear larger. Carefully, slowly, and quietly back away from the bear while facing it and return in the direction that you came from. Should your efforts fail and the bear confronts you, try bear repellent or play dead. Lay down on your stomach with your hands over your neck and lay motionless. When the bear determines that you are not a threat, it will hopefully retreat. It has been suggested that if you are attack to fight back. Easier said than done, right? That's what I was thinking.

If you are interested in a custom made safety whistle to bring with you in the woods, see my Etsy Shop for details.

Safety whistle attached to my hiking back, at the summit of Sleeping Beauty

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ear Candy

The two topics for the next EtsyBloggers blog carnival are "My favorite creation" and "Heat wave - keeping cool this summer"

If you have ever read my blog I'm sure you know how I have fun in the sun (heck, even the rain), and its certainly difficult to keep cool while doing it! And I can't blog about my all time favorite creation, as I already have blogged about it.

I guess my favorite new creation is my line of "Ear Candy". It's a nice summertime treat, and zero calories at that!

Glass beads made into hard candy shaped earrings of many "flavors". I have Small and Large Orange Creamsicle Ear Candy, Lime Creamsicle Ear Candy, and my newest "flavor", Tropical Punch Ear Candy.

They are for sale, you can get more information on each pair by clicking on their pictures.

While they look yummy, they are not actually edible :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Not much to share here except some pictures. I try to find as much information about my hikes before blogging about them, but there isn't that much out there on Sleeping Beauty, a mountain in the southern region of the Adirondacks.

Hawk Circling above the summit, Lake George can be seen

Sleeping beauty was a last minute choice to hike last weekend. The weather was gorgeous, not to hot, no rain, mostly blue skies in fact! We made the relatively short drive to Fort Ann, New York to the trail head. We began our hike at Dacy Clearing, named for John "Jack" Dacy, a farmer that once owned the property. The road to Dacy Clearing is sometimes closed, adding a couple miles to the hike, but we were able to drive right to it.

From the trail head we walked to the large boulder that marks the two trails. We took the trail on the right side of the boulder to the summit, which is 1.8 miles in distance, stopping frequently to take pictures of wild flowers, toads, and trees.

Bumps Pond trail to the left, straight to the summit on the right

Wild flowers


We were rewarded, though little effort was involved, by the gorgeous summit with views of Lake George, Bump Pond, the Green Mountains. Hawks made circles above us calling out to each other.

Lake George, and that might be Buck Mountain in front, but I could be very wrong...

Bumps Pond from above

We took the trail to Bump Pond on the way back down. This trail starts of junglish - if that's even a word. Bug spray is highly recommended. Dead tree wasteland was to the left, but there was plenty of green as well. We came little bridge goes over the Bump Pond outlet where we watched the little salamander-like-lizard creatures swim.

Bumps Pond is tiny with an island and an overwhelming number of dragonflies. Voices carry, as we could hear the conversations of the people on the other side. The muddy trail around the pond leads to an area of wild flowers. Look closely behind the wildflowers, there is an old chimney. We would have missed it if not for 'Ansel Blue' and crew who pointed it out to us. Ansel found my Flickr set of Sleeping Beauty and recognized me from the pictures, contacting me to say it was her group that pointed out the Chimney. (Many thanks Ansel and friends).

Bumps Pond from below

I could not find information for sure, but I did come across some speculation online that it was from an old hunting cabin.

Really bad picture of the chimney

The loop meets again at the large boulder and the large hollowed out tree stump and down the rocky path back to the parking lot.

A nice day hike if you are staying in the Lake George area. It's a rather easy trail, only 3.6 miles if you go to and fro the summit, longer if you 'do the loop' as we did. If you can't park at Dacy Clearing, add maybe another mile or two round trip.

See all my pictures from this hike here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sharing the Spotlight Giveaways!

I joined the Etsy Bloggers Street Team several months ago. Etsy street teams typically share a common interest or location and work together to promote each other's Etsy shops. One team activity is to feature a designated member for the month. I was chosen for July (YAY!!!!). That's the great thing about being part of a team - we help each other out, we give and ask for advice from crafting to blogging, even about life in general. Promoting is just a small part of our teamwork!

To thank my "sponsors" I'm having two give-aways.

Giveaway #1 is over! Congrats to the winner Shell Mitchell

Giveaway #2 is open for everyone (except members of the Etsy Bloggers team). Winners will not have to pay for shipping either.

Giveaway #1 (Congratulattions to Shell Mitchell, winner of Giveaway #1)
Members of the Etsy Bloggers team- post your link to my feature in your blog in the comments of this post. Everyone that posts a link in comments will be entered into a drawing. On August 5th (to allow time for those who run behind) I will draw the name of a participating Etsy Blogger at random, and they will win a custom bracelet, maybe something like the one below. See here for possible letter beads. It can say your Etsy shop name, or anything else that you would want. If you are the winner I will contact you for information about the beads and phrase that you want and for the address to ship it to. I will also announce the winner here and at our Etsy Bloggers forum.

Giveaway #2 (Open to everyone except Etsy Bloggers and still ongoing)
Visit the blog of any of the Etsy Blogger participants of Giveaway #1 by clicking on their submitted link in comments, as they are posted. If you do not have Firefox with the Linkification add-on, their links are not clickable, just click on their blogger name to find their blog, or copy and past their link into your address bar. Come back here to comment on this post and say something nice about the Etsy Blogger's blog that you visited. Each Etsy Blogger team member's blog you visit and comment on here will get you another entry into Giveaway #2. The prize for Giveaway #2 is a pair of Periwinkle Rose Dangle Earrings, shown below. The winner of Giveaway #2 will be drawn on August 31st and announced here. I will also contact you if your blogger profile/blog provides me with a way to contact you. You

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So I'm a month behind....

Time to talk about my June project(s) of the month. I know, it's July. I'm not as much that I'm a month behind as much as it is that I simply forgot to write about it. Luckily my memory was jarred when I sold one of the two pieces yesterday!

Anyway, the BeadStyle calendar suggested June project of the month is the Alexandrite and Pearl Necklace; it's double stranded with some dangling pieces in the front as a focal point. I can't afford real pearls and the fake stuff looks cheap so I found inspiration in the fresh water pearls.

My first June project, which sold yesterday, was titled Fresh Water Necklace, because of the fresh water pearls, and the shades of blue involved. Instead of pearls dangling from the front, I made a pendant out of two triangle shaped metal connectors, wire, seed beads, and of course teal fresh water pearls.

My second pieces, generically titled Crocheted Pearl Necklace, is a new style of necklaces that I'm getting into. I've actually made two other ones similar that I've been trying out on myself. I get good feed back, so I've decided to make some to sell. I crocheted some silver colored copper wire threaded with tiny bright blue seed beads and white fresh water pearls and twisted and wrapped the pieces around each other. The hook clasp was made with matching wire. For more information, click on the pictures below.

If you like the Crocheted Pearl Necklace and want to buy it, mention in the "message to seller" box upon purchase, or contact me before or after buying it, that you saw this on my blog. I will give you free shipping as a reward for suffering through my blog posts! If you pay by PayPal before contacting me I will refund the money back to you, or you can contact me ahead of time and I will adjust the shipping in advance.

Like the idea but not the beads or pearls? Request a custom order!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dreams Crushed at Hadley Mountain

The first time Sister and I hiked Hadley Mountain was last year, before we knew the Adirondack Mountain Club Fire Tower Challenge existed. You can imagine my excitement when Sister called to tell me she hiked it again with a friend and that there was a Potsdam intern at the top passing out signed cards proving that you got to the top, as some of the original fire tower observers did when they manned the towers.


OK, maybe you can't imagine my excitement. But it is exciting - to us. He even had the cab of the tower open so you could get up inside. Jealous of Sister's souvenir and inside-the-cab experience, I convinced a coworker who was excited about the hike, not the intern, to hike it again with me. Well, apparently he has Wednesdays off. Or at least that one he did. Anyway, according to the write up on him in the free local paper, there are also interns on Mt. Arab which we already climbed, and Blue Mountain which is our next adventure this coming Saturday. There's still hope.

Brad-the-Intern's natural refrigerator

Despite the padlock on the cab to the tower, coming back empty handed with no signed card, the view was great, the weather was fantastic, and the mountain seemed much easier than it did as a beginner hiker last year. In fact, it seemed easy.

Stupid padlock!

Anyway, here's the run down of my first and sixth fire tower hike, Hadley Mountain:

June 2, 2006
3.6 mi round trip
Elevation change 1526 ft
Summit Elevation 2675 ft

The 40 foot Aermotor tower originated in 1916. Its original steel ladder up the side was a safety concern, and eventually wooden stairs were installed in 1918. These stairs did not survive the weather well, so in 1929 some permanent steel stairs replaced the wooden ones. However, before these steel stairs were put in, in 1919 the tower was blown over in a wind storm but was quickly repaired and back in use within a year. The tower closed in the 1970s and remained unused until it was restored in 1995-1996 by the Hadley Fire Tower Committee with the help of the DEC ranger corps.

The tower, currently open for climbing

Its original destination was supposed to be on top of Ohmer Mountain, but a property dispute led it to be placed on top of Hadley Mountain instead. It was one of the original 10 towers purchased by the Conservation Commission, costing about $530.00 at the time.

From the tower you can see the Green Mountain range to the east, The Great Sacandaga Lake to the south, and a few High Peaks of the Adirondacks to the north. On a really clear day you can see the Catskills to the south as well. Spruce Mountain, also a fire tower mountain, is to the west. The cute little bald mountain below is called Roundtop.

Sacandaga Lake

Roundtop Mountain,

Looking below in the valleys gives you a great appreciation for all the green that you see, because it was all destroyed in 1903 and again in 1908 by wild forest fires. The soil has still not completely recovered from being sterilized in these fires.

Information from:
Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills, by John P Freeman

Click here to see the full photo set of my hike up Hadley Mountain.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Which Widget Is It?

The topic for the July 7th edition of the EtsyBloggers blog carnival is to discuss your favorite widget. If I didn't like the widget, it wouldn't be on my blog, but which one is my favorite? It's like a seven way tie. I'll just talk about three of my favorites and why I love them. You'll have to be patient to see them all, my recent blog carnival is slowing up my page.

One of my most favorite widgets is the chat box in my left hand column. If you like it, you can actually get one yourself, the link to get one is towards the bottom of the widget itself. The chat box is great because I can use it to help promote other Etsy sellers. If you are having a sale, feel free to shout out your shameless promotion in my chat box. At least I'll look at it anyway! If you don't have an Etsy shop, or don't wish to promote it, I always get excited when I see a new message from someone saying hello anyway.

By now my page has hopefully caught up with your reading. On the right hand side I have my Mini-Me as I call it. It showcases my three featured items in my shop as well as my 13 most recently listed items. It's a little free advertising for my shop. By clicking on each picture, you will be brought to the listing of that item. I also have a ginormous mini (oxymoron?) at the bottom which shows a lot more items in my shop.

Another widget that I love is one that I made myself. It is on the right hand side and shows me dressed up like an Eskimo in front of a fire tower on Hurricane Mountain. If you click on it, you will be directed to all my blog posts related to the Adirondack Mountain Club Fire Tower Challenge. The Challenge is an endeavor that my sister and I are taking; the goal is to climb 18 of the 23 fire towers in the Adirondack Mountain range and all five in the Catskills. Within each post are links to my Flickr sets for each mountain.

While you are here, feel free to check out all my widgets or comment about which one your favorite is. See one you like? You can ask me about it and I'll give you information on how to get one for your blog.