Thursday, December 18, 2008


We've been gone for a little while. Since our last post much has taken place. And now that I'm sick and don't feel like moving far from the couch, it's a good time to play catch up. For starters, we have a new beagle puppy, Ramona Quimby Utter. See below. This is face she made when I told her she wasn't getting any Christmas Cookies. Ben celebrated his 29th birthday last Sunday after a whirlwind weekend in Minnesota saying goodbye to his beloved Grandma Rosell. He also finished up his first full semester as adjunct professor at 2 local community colleges. It's exhausting work but his students seem to dig him. What else has happened since our last post?? Barack Obama won. I have a new running partner. And LOTS of people have had babies! I hope to keep up the blog here and there.

Advent Celebration at the Winters. All the delights of the season including carols and flaming figgy pudding straight out of "A Christmas Carol."

Saturday, August 02, 2008

TeamBUBU has temporarily relocated to Bomet,Kenya. We hope to post updates here and there!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We were graced this weekend with a visit from Ben's dad. We decided to bypass the usual spots for out of town guests and jump into the car for a trip to the Outer Banks. We ended up on Haetteras Island, home to the tree with the only clue from the lost colony of Roanoke as well as to one of several lighthouses. We chose a real motor inn (mostly because they accomodated dogs).
Sophie had a marvelous time at the beach-though I have no pictures, sadly. She went leash free and galloped all over, chasing hermit crabs. She also jumped into the ocean a couple of times. I was so happy to see her happy. It makes me wonder how much greater it would be to see one's children having a wonderful time.
Ben took this shot from a quick stop over in Durham, at Duke. It wins in my book as most aesthetically pleasing college campus. Ever.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Benjamin Utter, MA

Ben's enlivening experience came to a celebratory end last week. Pictured above are brothers Joe and Andy and below are Ben's wonderful classmates--all off to various exotic :) locales including Chapel Hill and Princeton, NJ. We'll be here in Winston, except, hopefully, for the month of August when we will be in Bomet, Kenya, Lord and finances willing.

Travel and Work

We are aiming at a month spent doing the Lord's work here.
We are a bit overwhelmed at the paperwork at the moment.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lights and Tunnels

This is the stack of books that Ben returned to the WFU library today after successfully defending his Master's Thesis on Thursday. I won't tell you how many of them are past due. The title of his thesis, as I know you are all dying to know so that you can stow it away and someday later buy his book, is " 'A dark rose of sunset between tree and tree': Landscape Imagery in the Arthuriad of Charles Williams".
This is his office which looks empty without all the books. Thankfully, he has hundreds of others in bookshelves all around. So now the only thing that separates Ben from graduation is a few hundred lines from Beowulf to translate from Old English. That shouldn't take much, right?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Around the House

This has been a rather wonderful weekend so far. Sophie started off right with two separate runs on Friday, and spent the rest of the weekend on her favorite perch which has now been marred by a new house that is being built across the street.
I took pictures of things growing around the house. I was so excited about the red tulips that were going to spring up-until I realized that we had bright pink azaelas on either side of the sidewalk. So much for the red contrasting with the black and white house. But the colors are nonetheless bright and brilliant and sing of spring.

I was particularly excited to see the hyacinths growing. They aren't giving off much perfume, which is what I love most about them. Perhaps because this is their first growing season.

This is the beginning of our garden. It includes broccoli, squash, tomatoes, various greens including red leaf lettuce and arugula. I planted a few herbs including tarragon. Some of them are seeds and some were established. I planted marigolds which apparently deter rodents. I'm not sure if 3 will do the trick but I was too cheap to buy more. There are a couple of roots in the way. I decided not to dig them up but rather to leave them in place. They are markers for the planted seeds. They way they project upward reminds me of the rock in the field in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimph. I hope everyone's weekend is blissful.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter and Hero Husband

With no family in town, Ben and I were forced :) to spend an Easter meal with other friends without family. So we, the budding Episcopalians, had a splendid meal with our Lutheran and Catholic friends. We seem to mesh pretty well despite our denominational histories. I was sad to have to return to work on Monday after a luxiourious 3 day weekend (3.5 if you count post-call) and didn't have time to shop for the week's groceries before getting home late Monday evening. Ben to the rescue! Home smelled like tropical heaven with his simmering mango chicken. I felt lucky indeed.
Then, after slaving in the kitchen all afternoon, he had to put on his plumbing hat as his dear wife forgets that the garbage disposal is not a magical place where leftovers disappear - especially when those leftovers are artichokes.
I felt very well taken care of this gloomy post-Easter Monday.

Earliest Spring Kitchen Notes

The ingredients of this stew are not particularly spring-ly but it is nearing the end of cold weather and time to squeeze in one more hearty dish before all the delights of spring vegetables make their way into the farmer's market and our plates. (By the way I dreadfully miss the LR farmer's market; we have no river nearby ours and not a single fiddle player). This dish comes straight out of an Italian cookbook called The Silver Spoon. Both the cookbook and the dish were introduced to us by way of one of Ben's fellow grad students. Her endless bottles of Pellegrino have helped us drink less diet cokes; sparkling water is our "transition drink," sadly. The cookbook was recently translated into English and the directions are sometimes rather vague, but the stew is forgiving and worth the guesswork.
Vodka alla Agnollo (lamb with vodka)

meat stock (I used beef)
1 3/4 lb leg of lamb cut into pieces
12 prunes pitted
2 tbs strained tomatoes
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
1 celery heart sliced
bay leaf
1/4 cup vodka
1 cup arborio rice
boil stock. add mutton (lamb) and simmer for 40 minutes. Place prunes in a bowl, add warm water to cover and soak for 30 minutes, then drain. Melt 1 tbs butter in a pot; stir in strained tomatoes, onion, garlic, celery, and a bay leaf. Cook 5 minutes. Pour in vodka, add salt paprika, cook for a few minutes more. Stir constantly. Add hot stock, a little at a time, stir constantly, then add lamb, rice, and prunes. Stir constantly for 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Yum! (my addition). Goes well with yeast rolls.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Ben and I attended our first-ever murder mystery party over the weekend. We were "Cassandra and Cash Steal" and our objective was to avoid revealing "Cash's" true identity at the grand opening of a new "speakeasy club" called "The Four Deuces" without getting whacked. The scene was set in the mid-20s and was complete with flapper dresses and white suspenders. I am REALLY sad that my camera on the fritz but it will have to do until the budget allows otherwise...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Time Away

It was time to get away, to leave behind our little house and our quiet streets with its familiar comings and goings, and most namely, anything to do with Wake Forest. I finished what seemed like endless weeks of every other day call in which I was unable to leave town and Ben has been locked away surrounded by books, breathing in their much-gathered dust. We sought refuge at the sea. I have always had a penchant for cold beaches; perhaps this stemmed from my first experience as a 7 year old exploring a Long Island beach. But most likely it began the summer after my graduation from college where I spent several lone hours contemplating the largeness of life perched on a Welsh cliff huddled in a sweatshirt I bought at a local thrift store, not realizing beforehand that summer in Wales generally means merely a change in the name of a month more than impending sunburns. In any case, I was not impeded by the cool temperatures surrounding the Atlantic; it did not interrupt the quiet peace of my solace.
Ben has been fortunate to endear himself to the lively friendship of his colleagues, and since one of them happens to be renting a house that directly faces aforementioned ocean, this worked well for our place of refuge.
To assume that my need for refuge was associated with work is on the right path; it has been particularly draining of late. I think this is likely a natural rhythm of things that can be related to a myriad of careers. Despite an irregular schedule I felt as though I was meshing with my role and gaining ground as a respected physician but over the past few weeks my patience had, like the last grains of sand in an hourglass, drained to very little.
So we drove to Ocean Isle, near the S.C. border, dumped our belongings into a cottage whose windows afforded a view to the Atlantic and allowed its waves to wash our stresses away. Oh, and we visited a lighthouse. (see top)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Beagle Ballet

Sophie has been taking ballet lessons. These are some of her refined moves. Probably best to void out the sound to ignore my giggling. My apologies for the poor quality-our camera needs a little fixing up.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Key Points

I was tagged by Kristen to list 7 random facts concerning myself: (this may get tedious :)

1. I pretend like I'm cool and all when it comes to music and knowing the most up and coming but in reality most of my now - favorite artists (with the exception of Billie Holiday and Waterdeep) came by way of Ben by way of Matt, and most of them have been around for much longer than I know.
2. As of this spring, Ben and I will be members of the Episcopal Church by way of confirmation. We both grew up in more traditionally evangelical church homes but separately came to desire what we have found in the liturgy and through the Eucharist. And my favorite part is that I get to kiss my husband each Sunday during the exchanging of the peace, which we first did together at our wedding. This is our church in Winston.
3. I initially wanted to adopt a beagle because I wanted a running buddy. I wasn't disappointed on that note but what I didn't think about is that 1. beagles are 95% nose and 2. the nose never follows a straight line, so running with her is always an adventure.
4. I own a "Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure" t-shirt, thoughtfully given to me by one of the members of our small group after I was bit on the foot by a cat. Sometimes I wear it under a fleece while on call for good luck.
5. I hate being on call except OB call when the deliveries are in the afternoon. :) (which, by the way, never happens.)
6. I cannot tell the difference between cheap wine and nice wine. And I don't really have an interest in acquiring the taste but I do love cooking so very much as well as gardening (neither of which I am very good at but want to acquire some knowledge.) Like Kristen, I am anxious to see what spring brings of the bulbs I planted last fall!
7. I have a very strange and unsuspectingly loud laugh.

On that note, I am going to go rescue my husband from his office and thesis-writing and go to bed.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Happy Music

This is one of our favorite bands of the moment:

Monday, January 28, 2008

This came in the mail from Ben last week:

Now if I only didn't have to work.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter Kitchen Notes: Northern Italian Minestrone with Polenta

olive oil
1 clove of garlic
2 ounces of prosciutto, finely chopped
sliced carrot
sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium sized tomato
3 cups of beef broth
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 cup of polenta
4 ounces of swiss chard
1 can (15 oz) of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
grated parmesan cheese

heat oil in 2-3 quart pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add prosciutto, carrot, celery, and onion; cook with occasional stir until the vegetables brown (7-10 minutes).
add tomato, broth, thyme, and polenta to pan. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce heat and simmer until polenta is soft (15 or so minutes)
trim and discard discolored ends of chard stems. Rinse and drain, stack leaves and cut in half length-wise, then cut crosswise into strips
about 5 minutes before soup is done, stir in chard and beans. Throw on parmesan just prior to serving.
Goes well with foccacia or other crusty bread.
Goes very well with January.