Monday, March 31, 2008

Home sweet home

A couple of people have asked me to put up some pictures of where we live. People (and this included me before we moved out here) don’t think of “New York” and “rural” in the same sentence. When I thought of corn and soy bean fields, New York was not the state that came to mind. Now my thinking has changed … we do live in the middle of corn fields and it is very rural. We live in the township of Seneca Falls - population 6,861 and in Seneca County – population 34,724. For comparison’s sake, the population of Farmington, Utah is 15,540 and the population of all of Davis County is 276,259. So … compared to what I am accustomed to, Seneca Country is quite small.

The area is known as the “Finger Lakes” region due to the abundance of lakes. We live next to Cayuga Lake, near the north end of the lake. Cayuga Lake is the longest of the finger lakes – just under 40 miles from tip to tip. You can drive down the entire length of the lake and end up in Ithaca – and it’s a gorgeous drive. We also enjoy being close to Seneca Lake, another big lake with gorgeous drives. It never ceases to amaze me how very BLUE the lakes are. Photos don’t really do them justice – they are a beautiful deep blue color that’s just amazing to look at.

Left to right: Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake at night, and near Ithaca in the fall.

Our house was built sometime in the mid-1800’s and was used in the Underground Railroad. We are surrounded by corn fields – seriously. We have one neighbor and the then no one for a while. We don’t live in a subdivision, as it is out west. Our landlords own about 100 acres, and they rent the land out to Mennonite farmers, who work the land. It sounds so Pioneer times, huh? Many Mennonite and Amish people live around here (Mennonites are a branch of Amish people – they use electricity and drive cars but they still dress with the women in bonnets and dresses, and the men in trousers). It’s not uncommon to see Amish people plowing their fields by hand (no tractors for them!) or to see them in their horse-drawn buggies “driving” down the road. In many ways it feels like a simpler time out here.

Left to right: Downtown Seneca Falls, seen from the canal system that runs through town, Amish farmer working in the fields and Seneca Falls in the spring (see what I mean about rural?)

So yeah …
that’s us. Sometimes I wish we lived somewhere that wasn’t so rural. For example, since we live in the middle of farmland, we are not close enough to any restaurants to have food delivered to us. The closest pizza place is Pizza Hut … but not close enough, because we live out of their delivery boundaries. We’re not close to a Chinese or Mexican place, either. This can be a good thing - we hardly spend any money on eating out – simply because there are no restaurants (fast food or otherwise) anywhere near us. I also wish that we lived closer to stores like Target and Wegmans (an awesome grocery store out here). There is truly nothing by us. BUT … it is quite simply a beautiful place to live in. The lakes are gorgeous and very calming. It’s quite green in the spring and summer, and the fall colors are fantastic. There’s so many hikes, waterfalls and spectacular scenery around for exploration. I like not having to fight with traffic (it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to work – from walking out my front door to being at my desk). I don’t miss the congestion and the inversion/smog of Utah – though occasionally it can be lonely on the country roads out here. All in all, it’s a great place to live. We don’t plan on staying here forever – we’ll be moving on when Cory finishes with school – but for now we are rather content with where we are. It’s beautiful out here!

ft to right: Overlooking Canandaigua Lake, overlooking Keuka Lake in the fall, and the campus of New York Chiropractic College (where Cory goes to school and I work). You can see Cayuga Lake in the background of the picture. The school sits on 286 acres, including a 9-hole golf course and the large pond you can see in the picture.

Now for some pictures of our house. Keep in mind that right now is not the prettiest season - it's still winter so everything is dead and spring has not yet come ... I promise to post some more pictures of the surrounding area as spring comes around.

From left to right: our place (we live on the 2nd floor of the home and someone else rents the bottom level), looking south of our h
ouse (we live right on the highway that runs the entire length of Cayuga Lake), looking east (towards the lake and the field that is normally all cornstalks), north of us (you can see our one neighbor), west of us (again normally all cornstalks), and the view from our bathroom window (you can see the lake in the distance).

And last but not least ... we attend church at the Peter Whitmer farm. It's where the Mormon Church was officially re-organized on April 6, 1830. These pictures are taken at the church.

From left to right: cornstalks (corn is everywhere! Really!), the cabin where the re-organization took place (hiding in the trees), and the church building.

A few more random pictures: rainstorm out here (I know it rains in Utah but out here it just pours! It's crazy!) and the campus of Cornell University down in Ithaca. It's a really old and beautiful campus - overlooking Cayuga Lake.

I can't believe that I am saying this ... but we really will miss it when we move! I'm glad we've got a bit longer to enjoy it all!

Friday, March 28, 2008

More snow ...

So this is what we woke up to this morning ... more snow! March 28th and it's still snowing here in upstate New York. The snow was really wet and heavy, which made shoveling fun for Cory. The temperatures have only been in the 30's for weeks now, so I am seriously hoping that spring comes soon! In the meantime, maybe Cory and I can have a snowball fight or something ...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Harry Potter Movie #6!

Some trailers for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince have hit the internet. Check out this one -- it looks awesome!
And this one is good -- but it makes me want to cry:

Man, I can't wait for November 21st!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

ABC Tagged

So I've been tagged again, but this one is different. It’s a Nutrition weekend for Cory, which means I have all day Saturday and all day Sunday to myself while he’s in class … and yeah, I am a bit bored (and oh so grateful for March Madness!) So here goes …

A- Attached or Single: Very happily attached!! I can’t imagine going back to being single!
B- Best Friend: Definitely Cory! But I still have some very close girlfriends, even though I don’t get to see them very often (or at all, really -- but I love you girls!)
C- Cake or Pie: Neither –- give me cookie dough or some cinnamon rolls.
D- Day of Choice: Saturday! I love Sundays also, but they signal that Monday is coming, so Saturday wins as my favorite day!
E- Essential Item: Chapstick and lotion … I could not live without these items. Seriously -- I think I am addicted.
F- Favorite Color: Red, yellow and orange
G- Gummi Bears or Worms: Either one, as long as they are sour.
H- Hometown: Farmington, UT
I- Indulgences: Lately it’s been candy, which is weird since I normally don’t have a sweet tooth. And plenty of college hoops on TV -- what can I say? I LOVE March Madness!
J- January or July: Is this even a question? July all the way!!!
K- Kids: Not yet … ;)
L- Life is Incomplete Without: Cory, my family, and the Gospel (and Harry Potter!)
M- Marriage Date: August 18, 2004
N- Number of Siblings: 3 brothers, all younger
O- Oranges or Apples: Apples, but by a small margin. I love fruit, especially in season.
P- Phobias or Fears: It’s going to sound strange … but I am terrified of grasshoppers, dragon flies, and popping balloons.
Q- Quote(s): Go big or go home! (the Tate family motto)
R- Reason to Smile: Spring is coming ever closer … and summer isn’t way far away.
S- Season: Spring and summer (bring on the heat!) I like fall, too, but after it follows winter and you all know how I feel about winter!
T- Tag: I tag anyone who feels like answering (Muhlstein, Megan Jones -- this means you -- and anyone else who wants to)
U- Unknown fact about me: I secretly want to work for the CIA.
V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animal: This makes me look like a sadist, but I love meat! I would die if I tried to be a vegetarian … all I like is spinach and corn. :)
W- Worst Habit: Impatience (more like my worst personality trait)
X- rays or Ultrasounds: Ultrasounds are good … and much safer than having lots of X-rays done.
Y- Your Favorite Food: Pizza, enchiladas, beef stroganoff, ice cream … I love food!
Z- Zodiac: Sagittarius

Friday, March 14, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Enough already!

I said it a few posts ago ... I was not looking forward to March, since its infamous out here for big winter storms. Well I am happy (read that sarcastically) to report that March is living up to its reputation. We got an ice storm in the middle of last week, then another blast of winter over the weekend (even church was canceled, it was so bad). Sheesh - could I ask for anything more? (again, read with sarcasm). Here's a few pictures to showcase our awesome weather. These first 2 pictures are from the ice storm -- it covered the branches and turned my car into a giant iceball!

These next pictures are from the weekend -- we got snow, then freezing rain, then rain, then snow, and to top it off, we got wind. It made everything more frozen that it already was, since nothing had melted from the ice storm. Trees are down all over the place (including a big branch from the tree in our backyard, showcased in the picture) and lots of people were without power. We were lucky and didn't lose power -- we stayed inside all weekend long.

But to end on a happy note -- Cory's sister Bridgette and her husband Bryan had their first child last Tuesday. A little girl named Bailey -- she's sooooo cute! Congrats guys!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Winter In New York

It's been really, really cold for the last week. It had rained previous to our arctic cold spell, so most of the snow was gone and it was just frigid outside. But last week it decided to dump more snow on us ... but stay very frigid outside. This is a picture of Taughannock Falls, which is south of us about 25 or so minutes. Taughannock Falls plunges 215 feet past rocky cliffs that tower nearly 400 feet above the gorge. I think it's really awesome looking in the winter with all the snow and ice. Notice how the water is still flowing -- amazing, given that we've been in the single digits, with wind-chill factors putting us well below 0 degrees. Oh the joys of upstate New York winters! I won't miss them once we're gone! But I will miss the gorgeous scenery around here -- it's a beautiful place that we live in!!