Monday, November 26, 2007

First Baby Shower

Not FOR me but BY me :) I threw a baby shower for friend Julie who is expecting over Christmas! I made my first ever "diaper cake" and had a good time baking. I made cranberry almond scones, raspberry crumble coffee cake, ham sandwiches with cream cheese and capers and had cheese and fruit. Julie is one of Ben's classmate's wife. Our guests were Ben's classmates so the conversation wavered between babies and Anglo Saxon. Ha. Baby Johnson acquired some good loot, including a demon deacon outfit.

Still behind..but catching up

I feel that being behind is beginning to be my life. I'm always behind on charts, housework, yardwork; I can' t even comprehend that I am supposed to be Christmas shopping!! In any case, about a month ago Ben and I had a little escape from our business in Winston to the Smokies. I could have never left. I do love mountain towns. We shared a condo overlooking a river in the mountains with another couple (who actually just invited us along). There was a fireplace in every room and jacuzzi tubs and Sophie was able to trot along the river leash-free which is a rarity for her. If you are ever out this way and want a recommendation for a romantic getaway in the mountains-this place is perfect.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A little behind the times

Last month I turned the corner on 28. I decided to do something I'd never done before on my birthday which is take the day off! It was sooo wonderful except that I did have to carry my pager for my nurse to get ahold of me; we usually have to find someone to carry our pager/answer pt queries if we are on vacation and I didn't want to have someone do this just for a day. Anyway, I spent the day relaxing and preparing our house to host our small group in the evening. I found a recipe for a pumpkin cake online and was greatly inspired to take it on. The idea is to take two bundt cakes and stack together in the shape of a pumpkin, cover with orange icing and, voila, instant pumpkin. Well, my bundt pans were less than cooperative so I ended up with a slightly lumpy-Charlie Brown like pumpkin, but the taste was not bad. I mixed pumpkin and cream cheese for the icing.
Just before small group, Ben took me to the Zevely House restaurant, which I have been drooling over since we moved here and drive by every Sunday on the way to St. Paul's. It's an old house, renovated a little with a backyard garden/patio. We dined on scallops and brie and nice red wine. Ben seemed to be in a hurry, which I thought was a little odd but didn't spend too much time wondering.
On the way home I panicked a little as we were getting close to small group time and I didn't want them to have to wait in their cars and when we turned onto Madison I saw a few cars and this worry was confirmed. We drove in the garage and walked quickly up the stairs, and opened the door into the kitchen where I heard "surpise."! Ben had invited all of our friends from my work and his program along with our small group to surprise me! It was so fun I forgot to take pictures! There were pumpkins for carving and hot carmel apples and pumpkin beer and champagne! It was a splendid time, all organized by Ben.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Buy local

I have been passionate about supporting local businesses for a long time and one of the reasons we moved to this particular part of town was its paucity of chain restaurants and stores. I was shopping for a friend's birthday when I happened upon a place called Gotham Park in downtown Winston. It is a beautiful store, far of out of my range and then some; imported-from-europe soaps and dishes and furniture. The most charming part of the visit was spent talking with the owner. I bought a gift that was small, in comparison with all that the store contained, and he spent about 20 minutes carefully wrapping the gift in brown tissue paper that he pulled from an antique dresser, placing it into a crisp white box and tying with a rich dark chocolate ribbon, chatting with us all the while. The contrast between this other much more well-known places of shopping was so stark and this purchase seemed so meaningful. The only problem with many locally owned shops is the steep price range, which is fair for the owner but often limits my ability to partake of their goods. I have come to realize that quality is far superior to quantity, and if my walls are more bare and my closet skinnier because of it, so be it.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Feast of St Francis

We celebrated the feast of St Francis today by taking Sophie to a special service at St Pauls for blessing of the animals. We sang "All Things Bright and Beautiful" and "Fairest Lord Jesus" and read passages from Galations and Matthew. There were all kinds of animals present--from birds to ferrets but mostly dogs of all shapes and sizes. Upon the minister's welcome a lab barked in response at just the right time :) Sophie received her blessing and later her dog treat. She also got a tour of the church flower and herb garden, and we posed with St Francis himself. St Francis of Assisi was known to preach with great tenacity, and at points when no persons would listen, he preached to the animals.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

There were pumpkins of all shapes and sizes at the farmer's market today. Ah, finally, autumn is making its way here.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mrs. Atcherson

Becca's wedding came and it was a success! The bride was beautiful and the groom dashing. Here are a few scattered pictures from the event (and they are scattered because I have neither time nor patience to sort them in a more appropriate manner):

The newly betrothed Kim and Steve, The three of us juxtaposed; we seem to be trading off the white dress--Kim's up next!
Su B and Sarah at Bec's lingerie shower-lovely to see them. And above, shot of the lady of the day that I like a whole lot.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Charles Towne

After wrapping up my time in the NICU I needed to get outta town for a little while and Ben felt the urge as well so we packed up and drove 4 1/2 hours south-to Charleston. I had never been and had been wanting to visit for a while. It didn't disappoint; we came upon great bookstores and lovely architecture as well as beautiful gardens. We wanted to stay in a place close to downtown without having to pay for it and Ben suggested we stay in a hostel, as he had never stayed in an American hostel and has fond memories of sleeping through Europe this way. So we found the "Not-so Hostel" a few blocks from downtown for a mere $50 a night. Well. Apparently $50 doesn't pay for things like hot water and good smells. It was less than ideal but we weren't there very much so we made up for it. Ben took me to a French restaurant where they served the food in Le Creuset dish-ware and it had a good wine and a cozy romantic atmosphere without being pretentious. There were bicycles parked all over town which made me happy. The pictures are: Ben perusing "Blue Bicycle Books,"

Willowy tree in a churchyard

unique and preserved architecture

Ben at Kiawah beach-

and below, our room at Not So Hostel

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Gas Leak?

Prostrate in July
Tawny tummies sunnyside
No purr stirs the air

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

One year down...

Ah, it's great to be done with intern year! Our class celebrated with a weekend at a nearby lake. We rented a house and a boat and it was great to kick back and relax all together. I really like our class-we've had a good year supporting one another and clinking glasses together in celebration of finishing one rotation or another.
We also welcomed a new addition to the class. One of the original "10" had to return home to California as her husband (also a medical-type person) could not find a job after finishing fellowship. So we lost her but gained a resident from UVa to take her place and her calls :)
Ben was able to join around his teaching schedule and came in just in time to fire up the grill. I have a relatively nice transition to 2nd year, starting out in peds clinics, while some of my colleagues had to transition from the relaxing lake to various intensive care units.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom and Lindsay at Mellow Mushroom. Good pizza, good times, good family.

Going to the Chapel

Rebecca is getting married to a wonderful man who allows her to register for many things in pink. I think he's going to make her very happy. This is how I celebrated with her over the weekend.
Then, I re-took in some of Little Rock's finest sights and doings with the two most darling friends in the world...pottery painting at Firefly...
Dinner at Ciao Baci-where Ben proposed...
And breakfast at Community Bakery where we were joined by Steve, Melissa, and Becca W. all the way from Colorado. I still didn't get to see the finished river bridge or make it back to Christ Church or see Silas, Micah, or Eleanor so it was far from complete but we'll be back in August to see Miss Zellmer become Mrs. Atcherson!!

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Is anyone else deeply disturbed at the sheer volume of press and headline news that one rich blonde girl in jail can make?


Meet Rudy. The newest addition to our clan. He was unexpected, that's for sure. Never say to your beloved, "I need change," because you never know what will run up to you on the street. Especially when, by "change," you really meant something like rearranging furniture. It took Sophie a little while to warm up to her new brother but I think she's taken a liking to him and would defend him if need be. Well, actually maybe not as she spent the first day or so being terrified of him. He's probably more likely to defend her. Anyway, Rudy kept me company today at our yard sale as Ben had to work and our neighbors who were supposed to join in had to cancel due to a medical emergency of sorts.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just In Time

While Ben headed off to Michigan for a Medieval Literature conference, I took off in the opposite direction for a little sun and beach in my sister's new town. Four days later, I with the smallest of tans was taken by Ben, whose skin did not see sun but simply took in more book dust, to the local lake where we had a picnic on a rowboat. It sure was nice. Last weekend we went hiking at Hanging Rock (the "hanging rock" is pictured) and then did the last of the week's runs in preparation for the Virginia Beach marathon in September. Now, there are two slight problems with doing a full marathon: A. I'm doing an intensive care month in September and don't even know if I'll be able to get away and B. My body simply wasn't made for this, no matter how much I try to change its mind. I woke up this morning ready to tackle our yard with gusto and was stopped short with the most gruesome back pain I've had in a while. This, along with my iliotibial band -knee problems, and a new achilles tendon problem makes me think the marathon just may not happen. But we'll keep on, I suppose, until my body can't take any more. Ben's joints and such seem to be intact for now. Below: this is Sophie with our neighbor's pup, Eden. If you scroll back a few blog posts you'll see a similar Christmas picture. My oh my has this dog grown. Sophie's just working on her lateral extension.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Obviously, summer has arrived . . .

. . . leaving me free to catch up on all the important things elided during the busy Spring semester. Things like taking the Supervillain Personality Quiz. Brandy hasn't yet taken the quiz (something about having to go to work? ), but you'll find my results below, as well as an artist's depiction of me that, though rather inaccurate, still captures something of my fashion sense. I realize that most of my friends are good and tired of tests at this point, but you may find this one less taxing than most. I encourage you to take this self-exploratory journey, and consider sharing with the group what you've learned.

Your results:
You are Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix
The Joker
Poison Ivy
Dr. Doom
Lex Luthor
Green Goblin
Mr. Freeze
A prime example of emotional extremes: Passion and fury incarnate.

Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cap'n Ben

Those crazy lit grad students are at it again. Just as Ben's "Hounds of Ulster" intramural basketball team winded down an illustrious season it was time for the "Catchers in the Rye" softball team to gear up and my darling husband is the captain. You can see him there in the chef's hat and apron cooking for the hard-working team. Veteran readers will recognize this get-up as his premier purchases during yard sale season. Softball means spring and hopefully more running for me and cycling for Ben. I'm post call from OB right now and wide awake after having had to attend our residency conference. I think instead of sleeping away this gorgeous day we'll go to Hanging Rock (cuidado: shameless plug to the Lumpkins)-yet another adventurous place for hiking.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Today is my grandmother, Beulah Mattie Conger's 98th birthday! I love her dearly and she can sure make a mean breakfast.
This week we were the lucky recipients of a (free??) new couch-it's there on the left. To celebrate the fact that we now have seating for more than 3 guests at a time, we invited folks over for rhubarb pie and coffee and wine. You can see that our new couch can comfortably seat at least 4. Not to worry, the old love seat is still with us and still uncomfortably seats 2.
I say free?? because our neighbors gave it to us and didn't ask for any money. I'm not sure what to do short of taking them to dinner.
I made the pies in my new apron from Kim and served coffee in mugs from Becca. I miss you girls!

And we are also the recipients of a "wee garden gnome" tee-hee. Maybe I've seen "Amelie" too many times but it makes me happy. So, until we have a garden for real he will have a home with our token house plant. In case you're wondering, this plant is a replacement for the previous one that I killed. I'm trying really hard not to kill this one.

Peace be with you all-BLU