Saturday, July 5, 2008

Breakfast at ABC Cafe

Although Ithaca is very vegan friendly, ABC Cafe is one of the only (if not only) exclusively vegetarian restaurants in town. It's also close to our house, and George likes the breakfast there, so we've eaten there a lot.

Vegan pancakes and home fries for me:

Tofu scramble and toast for George:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sagan Planet Walk

In 1997, Ithaca's Sciencenter created a walking scale model of the solar system to honor Carl Sagan, who was a Cornell Professor an Ithaca resident. Many of the stops are on the Commons, so George and I stopped last night to admire planet earth.

Sagan Planet Walk

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Iowa Pigs

Please help the Farm Sanctuary help the pigs affected by flooding in the Midwest. See photos of their rescue efforts here. Donate here. If you are planning on getting me a birthday gift (July 10th, I'll be 35!), please donate to the Farm Sanctuary instead.

Ithaca's Reputation

Although I would kill my students if they used Wikipedia as a reference, I found the following blurb about Ithaca's culture on the online encyclopedia:

Ithaca is commonly listed among the most culturally liberal of American small cities. The Utne Reader named Ithaca "America's most enlightened town" in 1997. According to ePodunk's Gay Index, Ithaca has a score of 231, versus a national average score of 100. Like many small college towns, Ithaca has also received accolades for having a high overall quality of life. In 2004, Cities Ranked and Rated named Ithaca the best "emerging city" to live in the United States. In 2006, the Internet realty website "Relocate America" named Ithaca the fourth best city in the country to relocate to. In July 2006, Ithaca was listed as one of the "12 Hippest Hometowns for Vegetarians" by VegNews Magazine and chosen by Mother Earth News as one of the "12 Great Places You've Never Heard Of.

In the New York Democratic Primary, Obama won one county in New York--Tompkins (Newsweek coverage). Can't imagine a place being more ideal for me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Unitarian Universalist Principles

I am excited that there is a Unitarian church in Ithaca. It's been so long since I've gone regularly. I didn't really feel comfortable at the UU churches in Oklahoma City or Norman, and the UU churches in the Valley are way too far from our house. The Ithaca Unitarian Church, from what I've seen on the website and newsletters, is more like the Salt Lake City congregation. While I may be wrong about that, I'm glad I will get the opportunity to explore UUism again. And, bonus, the church is walking distance from our house!

If you aren't familiar with Unitarian Universalism, these are the basic tenets:

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Unitarian Universalism (UU) draws from many sources:
  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Visiting the Fam: Oklahoma

Last Monday, Ysabel and I flew to Oklahoma from San Diego. Ardmore was very relaxing, except for the heated games of Pictureka! Grandma was the only one who would eat at Veggies with me, but we had lunch there twice, I taught Ysa to make bracelets and necklaces with Stretch Magic, we spent time at Lizzie's new house, I drank a ton of Diet Coke from Sonic, and we even managed to find time for Kelli to cut my hair.

Ysa on the plane...
Playing Pictureka!
Ysa showing off newly made bracelet...

Me, Ysa (in a pair of Lizzie's old glasses), and Kelli.

Mother, Grandma, Lizzie

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Visiting the Fam: California

Last week, I was in California and Oklahoma visiting family. In California, I met my baby cousin Gracelyn (6 months) for the first time. I also got to meet my baby cousin Jordin (3 months). Only at the last minute did I learn that Ryan, Jodi, and Jordin would also be in California. Yay!

It was a busy weekend. While I was there, Danile hosted a party for her unit and held Ysa's seventh birthday party!

I was also happy to see their dogs, Gidget and Sadie!

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