Monday, April 30, 2007

Congratulations Lisa & Randy

On Saturday we traveled to Ephrata, PA for my cousin Lisa's wedding. It was such a good time. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was fun. Great food and favors (my cousin Tori made these really cute flowers with Hershey kisses in the middle - they live really close to Hershey, so it was quite fitting :) And then we all headed to Lisa & Randy's house for the "after party." It was so much fun to be together with everyone and just relax and enjoy one another's company. Like I said before, we hadn't seen most of them for over a year and some even longer, so it was nice to reconnect.
Highlights included Hershey flowers, flipping chairs over, great food, dancing on the porch, baby ducks, fart noise makers :P, bubbles and much laughter. Overall a great time, I wish it could have lasted longer. Thanks Lisa & Randy!!

The happy couple!

The whole fam (minus Randy - taking the picture)

We try to get dressed up sometimes :)

Here is a papercutting that I made for their special day. It was nice to get back into cutting since I haven't really done any since Christmas. I really need to make more time to do the things I love - it's good to be reminded once in awhile! Hopefully there will be more of these this year! (You can click on it to enlarge it - the two hearts at top represent Tori & Calvin - the two children that were brought together through this marriage.)

Ithaca's IPAbbey

The new beer from Ithaca is called IPAbbey - and I must say, it's quite good. Here is a description of it:
A Belgo-American Ale brewed with special Canadian Honey Malt, generous additions of Simcoe, Amarillo, and Saaz hops, and an authentic Trappist Ale Yeast. Enjoy the tawny color, thick scent of tropical fruit and flowers, warming flavors of honey and clove, and clean, bitter finish.
Friday night Mike and I ventured downtown to a cool bar called Korova. It's located in "The Commons" which is a 2-block street section only open to pedestrians. It's a fun spot in town with cute shops, great restaurants, and usually some type of entertainment. So we sampled the brew and were happy with it. I personally liked the White Gold from last week a little more, but I do like the sweeter, lighter stuff. I can't say for Mike though. But it was a good time, and then a large group of us headed over to another bar/restaurant called Kilpatrick's for some dinner. There was some live entertainment (actually very good - we need to find their name out). And we were all treated to great food and drinks by Ithaca. Coaster flipping, improv beboxing, and unmentionable lobster parts eating - it was good times for all. I'm looking forward to the next release party - although I don't think it will be until later this summer.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Taughannock Falls State Park

(I'll admit it - I found this photo on-line. It's pretty cool though, wouldn't you say?)

Well, I've had a pretty cool day so far! I had my first interview this morning for an office type position at Taughannock Falls State Park - and I got the job! He offered it to me on the spot and I couldn't resist. My first day is next Thursday and I think that I'm going to enjoy it a lot. I'll be working in the park office, helping customers, taking reservations, and also working at the gates. I know it's not a "dream job" but it's full time and goes into mid-October (the longest I've seen for these seasonal positions that I've applied for.) So I'm happy, I'll get my foot in the door of the parks and not get too stressed out. Then hopefully I can spend more time working on some of my other interests in my free time. It's just nice to know that we aren't going to burn up all our savings and I can stop worrying about finding a job. So good!

We also have a busy weekend ahead. Tonight we're going to another release party for Ithaca Beer Co. Tonight's new beer is called IPAbbey. I'm not real sure how to describe it, but I'm sure that after tonight we'll have some reviews :)
Then we're heading to Lancaster tomorrow for my cousin's wedding. Should be fun to see a lot of relatives. We had missed our Christmas gathering last year, so it's been over a year since we've seen most of them. Good times ahead!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Other News

So I actually have been making progress on the job search. I have an interview tomorrow at Taughannock Falls State Park, and then I also have an interview next Wed. at Cornell for their Summer Day Camp positions. And I've also gotten my resume out to a few other places this week. So we'll see what comes up. They all seem like they would be good jobs, I'm just not sure on hours/pay and longevity. But that will all be learned in the near future. Overall, I'm feeling pretty good about the progress and have now turned my attention to other duties.
When I was working at The Peninsula (in Delaware), I was helping them put together interpretive signs for their nature trails. Well, I wasn't able to finish before leaving, but they were kind enough to basically contract my services to continue working on them. So I've been working on them and enjoying it. Only thing that frustrates me is that of course now that I'm starting to look for jobs and work on these signs, all I really want to do is finish unpacking the house. Funny how I didn't really feel like doing that when I really had the time. Oh well, it will all come together someday - and then it will be time to move again!
Bah - what can you do? Just keep pluggin' along.

Allan H. Treman State Park (marina) - it's on the other side of the lake from us - but it looks like it could be a fun spot to put in.

Two turkey's out our back window. Still trying to get a closer picture - one of these days I'll catch them!

An update from the 2nd Bedroom. It's getting there (but as you may have noticed, I'm only showing one angle :)

Kitchen Time

So I thought that I would share some news on the kitchen front. It's basically done being unpacked (although its really been done for a few weeks now.) I just thought that I would share. Here's two different views - it's really small, but the good thing about that is that it can't get too dirty - not enough room.

Note the kick-ass RED microwave - quite an exciting purchase :)
And I thought that I would show my lunch for today. I always seemed to get comments on what I brought to work for lunch, so I thought some of you might like to see what's been on my plate lately. This is an ENORMOUS burrito that I made - it really is on a plate but the tortilla hangs over (I found these at a local co-op) they're amazing!
Contents include: sour cream, refried black beans, fried tempeh, black olives, feta cheese, fresh red pepper, tomato and spinach. YUUUUUMY!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cascadilla Falls

Happy Earth Day!
Today we went for a hike along the Cascadilla Creek and saw a whole other set of falls. The day was so nice and people were out everywhere. It seems as though spring is finally here.

Excelsior Release Party

Mike and I headed back to Ithaca Saturday evening to go to a release party for a new Ithaca Beer. It's the first of four beers that will be released this summer in a series called Excelsior. The beer they released last night is called White Gold and I must say it is great! Here is how they describe it: The White Gold is a strong pale wheat ale. From the label: "A Belgo-American Ale brewed with domestic barley and French wheat malts, the finest Saaz and Santiam hops and an authentic Trappist Ale yeast."
The party was held at a local bar called Pixel Lounge ( in Collegetown. It was a great time and a lot of fun to finally meet some of the people that Mike works with.

Trip to Keuka

Friday evening we headed over to Keuka Lake (another finger lake west of us) and spent the night at Mike's parent's lake house. The weather was BEAUTIFUL and it was fun to spend time with the folks and Mike's grandparents.

One of the big projects for the weekend was to put in the boat dock. Mike, his dad, John (Mike's grandfather) and a nice neighbor tackled the job and were very successful. The real challenge was getting into the COLD water (which actually still had ice floating on top the day before). Luckily they had these handy waders that kept them dry and protected.
Here's Mike in his monkey suit - quite an outfit!

Here they are putting the dock in. Thank goodness it was such a beautiful day!

And here is the neighbor's dog - Reggie. This pup was quite an entertainer - he went into a full-on spasm after taking a few steps into the freezing cold water.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Neighborhood Walk

We have an awesome gym in our apartment complex that we can use for free (it's really included in our rent.) But it's been great to have. I've been going pretty much everyday and I'm beginning to feel the effects. Usually I use the eclipse machine and then the weight machine, but the other day Mike and I decided to switch over to the treadmill. I LOVE running, but my knees continually remind me that they do not. But it had been a few months since my last attempt and I thought I would give it another try. It was great - I ran a mile and really didn't have any problems......until the next day :( Back to having a balloon in my knee - it's all swollen and full of fluid. Just figures. SO I decided to take it a little easier today and do some exploring around our neighborhood. I have heard that there is a "nature" path and a pond close by, so I went to see if I could find it.
It's basically across the road from our apartment complex - a small, paved path that winds through a sort of industrial park area. It was enjoyable, lots of little picnic areas, and I actually was able to find enough places to check out that I was gone for an hour. I'm sure that the workers over there really enjoy it when the weather is nice.

Here is the pond that I had heard about - decent size - man-made.

Lots of Canada Geese (and poop) - world domination could possibly be their mantra - they really are showing up everywhere!

It was also great tracking weather! I found several different tracks in the snow - mainly common animals - deer, squirrel, rabbit, goose, random birds. These are turkey tracks - we actually have a HUGE turkey population right around us. On several occasions we have seen flocks of about 15 wandering through our apartment complex. It's quite a site!

Here's a little run-off trough from the pond. It just looked nice - I'd like to take a ride down it if it was a little steeper!

And finally, as I was walking back home - I spotted some skunk cabbage poking up through the leaves. They often say this is one of the first real signs of spring. I am sooo ready for sunny days!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Making Progress

Well, the snow is melting and it looks like we'll be in the 60's by the weekend. I really loved this little snow storm, but the idea of spring is sounding nicer and nicer everyday.

Here are a few deer we spotted outside our apartment the night of the snow. We actually have a very large deer population and it seems to be a big topic of conversation around here (how to control and lower the population). I still think they're pretty cool though.

Sleepy Days
All the animals are napping away today.
Abner & Myra sleeping on their favorite blanket (my mom's old sweater).

Even Flash is sleeping so heavily! I have NEVER seen him so passed out. I guess he's been swimming extra laps lately.

And here is what I'm currently working on - the explosion in our second bedroom. I've been putting this room off for weeks - I think that I was actually scared to open it up. But I'm growing tired of the "box scene," so onward into the disaster zone. My hope is to have it all done by the end of the week. Stay tuned for the "after" pictures :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Falling Trees - Oh My!!

I swear this will be the last post for the day - but something crazy just happened!! I was sitting at the computer - diligently working on my job search - when I heard this LOUD bang and sort of felt the place shake! I didn't think too much of it but it was even loud enough to wake the cats from their deep sleep. So a few minutes later I took a walk through the house and when I looked out our back porch window, I saw tree parts hanging from our neighbors roof! Our beautiful pine tree had too much snow and couldn't take the weight anymore. You can see it still standing in my last post from this afternoon (the droopy snow-covered pine) in the middle of the pictures. So sad, luckily no one was hurt and it doesn't look like anyone's apartment was damaged. But what's really crazy is that just this morning (only a few hours earlier) I signed up for renter's insurance, which we haven't had for years, but I decided that I wanted it again. How crazy is that!!
Our poor neighbor's porch.

Our poor, poor beautiful pine tree :(

Smacked, all the way down!

It's Still Falling!

OK, OK, I know - I'm addicted (to snow AND to this blog!) But it's just so pretty. It's been going all day! Just a light snow, but it never stops and they're still calling for another 2-4 inches. I just had to share!

Looking out our bedroom window.

Looking onto our porch from our living room.

Looking out our side window into the woods.

Snow Came Through!

Well, after anticipating and waiting for this snow over the whole weekend, it has finally come! They kept pushing back the start times and by the time we were going to bed last night, we were a little discouraged. But when we woke this morning, it was a fluffy, white, wonderland outside!! So beautiful! And it's still snowing, I guess they're calling for at least another 6 inches (that's about how much we have already.) Unfortunately, the beer industry plugs on and Mike didn't get away with a snow day. But who knows, maybe he'll make an early escape!

Taken this morning, a playground right next to our building.

A view of our apartment building - our place is the top floor on the left (corner) - we really feel surrounded by a blanket of white.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Waiting For the Snow

So yesterday as we were out on our walk, we noticed signs of Spring everywhere! It was really exciting, especially after leaving Delaware right when the trees and plants were beginning to bloom. But all we could keep thinking was, "You poor plants, within a few hours you're going to be buried in the cold snow." :( Although I must say, Mike and I are still SOOOO excited for the possibility for one last snow storm. They say that if we get as much as what they're calling for, it would break the record for snowfall in April! Right now it's only raining, but it's still in the forecast that we could get around a foot over the next two days!
Hold on plants and animals - you still have one more blast to endure!!

Exploring Our Town

Yesterday, Mike and I decided to take the day and go exploring. It was our first day in Ithaca with no real plans, and with the threat of a snow storm coming, we thought we should take advantage of the good weather. So we ventured up and down one of the local gorges along Fall Creek. It's just so cool to be able to drive 5 minutes and discover such beauty!
This was the first set of falls that we came to. We're still not sure of the name of them, but they were really neat. We climbed down some steep stairs to the bottom and then realized that there wasn't a path to follow along the creek (our initial hope.) So back up to the top!
(By the end of the day we had a much greater appreciation for the people of Ithaca's physical endurance.)

Next we traveled up the creek and came to Triphammer Falls/ Beebe Lake Dam. There's a cool bridge that goes across these falls. What's neat about this place is the name. In Delaware, Beebe is a very common name - it's what the hospital in Lewes is called.
(Well how 'bout that!)

At the other side of Beebe Lake is this inviting corridor. We noticed as we hiked around the lake that they have canoes to possibly rent out. Another thing added to our list of things to try out. The hike around the lake is a leisurely 1 mile.

As we traveled further along the gorge, we realized that our little canoe ride would come to a quick stop! So beautiful, and the sun finally decided to come out!

As we circled back around to head back to our car, we decided to walk through Cornell a little bit. This is looking down Libe Slope into Ithaca and you can see Lake Cayuga out in the distance. We hear that at the end of the semester, they have a big party here with bands and festivities. Although I guess you need to be a guest of a "Cornell-related-person" to attend. Oh well, maybe next year we'll have more connections :)

We also stopped and checked out the Johnson Museum of Art. They had spring festivities happening and candy for all :) This is looking onto campus from the 3rd story of the museum.

And here we made our last stop at Ithaca Falls. Very impressive! As you can see it's like you can practically walk up to the bottom of the falls. I bet it gets pretty icy here in the winter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Weekend

Over the Easter weekend, we traveled home to State College. It was nice to be back since we hadn't been there since Christmas. Now that we are in Ithaca, it's only a 3 hour drive instead of the 5 hours we used to have to go from DE. It's a real treat. It was fun to be back home. My brother and family were in town as well, so it was good to have the whole group together. We stayed with Mike's parents and they were nice to have everyone over for dinner on Saturday. Then we all had Easter dinner at my parent's house on Sunday.
Saturday morning we got to take the boys to an Easter egg hunt at my parent's church. It was so much fun. Mike and I stayed with Evan while Dave & Jeannie helped Conell. Evan was quite the hunter and managed to win about 6 prizes!

Here's Conell, Dave, Evan, & Mike before the Egg Hunt. It was SOOOOO COLD!!!

Evan with Auntie Chris - he really hated waiting to start!

Here he is after the battle - with all his findings :)
Quality time with Uncle Mike, Geotrax are pretty sweet!