Thursday, March 30, 2006

Our New Neighbors

Our lack of recent posts to the blog has not been for lack of good material, but rather because our computer has been a bit under the weather. It still is, so tonight I post from Andrew and Melanie's computer.

We have some new neighbors now. They moved in last Saturday while Aubrey and I were in Atlanta visiting Kim, Kristin and Ikea. Two little doves have staked out a corner of our porch and decided to call it their own. They seem nice enough. They don't do too much, mostly just sit, walk around a little bit, and coo. One of them walks with a limp, but Aubrey and I aren't yet convinced if its a real limp, or if he's just trying to play on our sympathies so we don't kick him off the porch. They don't fly very much. If you walk up to them, they mostly just walk away.

They haven't built a nest yet that I've seen. Although they have plenty of material right at hand. In December when we trimmed the branches from our Christmas tree, I threw the extra branches into this corner of the porch, and some of them are still there. There's also a paint pan on the porch which they enjoy sitting in. They seem to have learned that its best not to sit right at the top of the stairs, and so far they seem to have avoided drawing Jessie's attention, which is for their own good.

I've decided to name them: Lo-Ammi (see Hosea 1) and Ephraim (Hosea 7:11). It is a bit difficult to tell them appart, which is the same problem we always had with Shear-Jashub and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Ikea, I love you.

Jeff and I just returned from our first ever trip to Ikea. Wow. That is about all I can say. Ever since my roommates, Maggie and Stephanie, talked about Ikea during freshman year of college, I have wanted to go and see one. But I had NO IDEA it would be like it was. There is so much stuff there!! First, you go all the way to the top floor, which is set up mostly in showrooms with all the different furniture in sets. The next floor down is where everything is sold individually - they have kitchen appliances and wares, all kinds of linens, photos, glassware, and obviously all kinds of furniture. Prices on everything seemed pretty reasonable. Jeff and I ended up getting a cute galvanized steel window box container. Check it out here.

Jeff was also quite excited about some under cabinet lighting. I also wanted 2 of these for our back porch, but we decided to wait. I guess that just means there will be something to look forward to the next time I come down. And there will be a next time. :)

Monday, March 20, 2006


















sprinting to the finish line Posted by Picasa
















Finishing the swim Posted by Picasa
















My body markings Posted by Picasa
















my classmates and I, at the race Posted by Picasa

Aubrey Tell, #333

My body markings are slowly fading from my first ever triathlon, and I didn't come in last! Overall I was 71st out of 103 total women, not too bad for a first timer. The oldest female to beat me was 53. And I did get beat by a 67 year old man. But I came in 7th out of 18 novice females. My total time was 1:27:24, with 10:59 on the swim, 46:18 on the bike and 27:18 on the run, meaning that I ran around a 9 minute mile, which is a fast time for me running. I even missed the last turn on the run, which added a few extra seconds to my time. I would like to do another one, hopefully getting some more practice on the bike, which was definitely my worst part. Having to borrow a bike that didn't quite fit probably didn't help that either. Overall, I was quite excited about my time, and racing is always fun, especially with my husband and mom there to cheer me on. I am looking forward to the next one. So enjoy some photos!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Hail to the Chief

So Dick Cheney was in town this weekend. I'm not exactly sure what he was doing. I guess probably giving some speeches. While Mom and I were walking around downtown, a bunch of people were sitting across the street from this building, just watching it. I asked someone sitting there, and sure enough, Dick Cheney was in that building. Mom and I didn't want to waste time sitting around waiting for him to come out, so instead we kept walking. And even if we didn't see him, we saw the next best thing: His limousine. Cadillac 2. Or whatever it is actually called. And lots of secret service guys standing around, dressed just like in the movies with dark glasses and suits. And they were nice enough to let me get some pictures.

















Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 16, 2006

my job is pretty cool

Soo....I will say that sometimes I do have a great job. I mean, I got to ride IN THE COCKPIT, while WEARING THE HEADPHONES. How cool is that?!? Our pilot kept on saying "6356 charlie." That was our name. Or handle. Or whatever it is called in the aviation world.

The whole experience was great. We went to the Pee Dee center, a residential "facility" for adults with physical disabilities and mental handicaps. You always hear about people with disabilities getting put in "institutions" and the connotation is always negative. This place was way better than I would ever have imagined. The nursing staff does such an incredible job taking care of these people. They really become part of their family. The people who live there can have jobs and make money to buy things they want.

I'm not sure why, but people there really seemed to respond to me. Maybe it was the bright green shirt I was wearing. We were walking through a building where the residents were working. And this younger guy, wearing his helmet to protect his head and face when he has seizures, came up to us. He began asking all of us our names and shaking everyone's hand. I said, "Hi, I'm Aubrey." He then says, "Hey baby!" And gives me this huge hug. Later we went to visit one of the classrooms, and this woman with obvious mental handicaps came over to me as soon as we got there. She had this huge smile on her face and was drooling everywhere. She came right over with her arms outstretched and gave me a big hug. All I could think about was that I hoped I wasn't going to drooled on.

It made me think of Jesus, and how he was never scared to touch the lepers and eat with prostitutes. And here I was, trying to not get drooled on by this sweet woman who was made in God's image. I was convicted and reminded how it is not alwasy easy to love others. But that is the kind of love that God calls us to - the kind of love that recognizes his image in everyone, not only those who are pretty or cute, but also those who might get you dirty.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Aubrey's Job is Cooler Than Mine

I have this vague undefined feeling that Aubrey's job is just a bit more exciting than mine.

Today at my job I had checked the clock 3 times by 9:16. Yes, we opened at 9:00. But around 10:15, someone actually came in, and I got to help them. That made the next minute go quickly, then they were done. I spent the rest of the morning emailing with my friend Cy. This was generally fun. For the afternoon I tried to prepare for Bible Study in between reminding people of their PIN numbers and explaining how you can only write checks for the amount of money you have already deposited. That was my day.

Aubrey's day began by driving to the airport to meet the private jet which was waiting for her. She got to ride in the cockpit as the jet took off, and whisked her away with a team of doctors to go serve a clinic in an underserved area of South Carolina. She worked with Nuerologists, and took care of people in important and significant ways, helping to improve their quality of life. Then they were whisked back, also by private jet, and were back in town by 3.

This is twice now that Aubrey has gotten to ride in private jets, last time there were also limousines involved. Not once has the credit union chartered a plane, not even a propellor plane to take me somewhere do an emergency PIN change, or reprint an emergency bank statement. Once I had to go outside to see if the ATM machine was clean. That's about as adventurous as credit union life gets.

Monday, March 13, 2006


















my bagels Posted by Picasa

bagel nation

Over the weekend I was in a rather crafty mood. I haven't made anything recently and I also didn't cook last week. (Not even once - sheesh, I'm a bad wife) So this weekend I was really needing to get some creative juices flowing, and decided to make bagels. Well, I really wanted to make doughnuts, but Jeff and I have also been trying to cut back on the calories lately and doughnuts do not really fit into that scheme. Sadly. But bagels seemed like a fun replacement. I was surprised at how easy it was. They are very similar to normal bread dough, so I used my kitchenaid mixer, and then rolled them out into bagel-shaped...well...bagels. I learned that bagel comes from either german or yiddish and means either "stirrup" or "round loaf of bread." Or according to the Southern Living cookbook "water doughnut." "Round loaf of bread," though, is not a very creative name, and I'm not sure I trust the fact checkers at Southern Living since I couldn't corroborate "water doughnut." So I like "stirrup" the best, especially since mine looked a lot more like stirrups than something perfectly round. After they are rings, you boil them briefly in water (or "bole 'em" if you live in these parts) and then bake them for about 15 minutes. I put cinnamon in the dough and then mixed raisins into half and chocolate chips into the other half. I have yet to eat a chocolate chip bagel, but the cinnamon raisin tasted really good. Not too tough, but nicely chewy. A very bagel-y bagel.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

a real life mtv "crib"

Jeff and I just got back from visiting the nicest house I have ever been in. It is even better than the Zeller's lake house, which is kind of hard to imagine. (sorry, Kristin) The house was 3 stories, with a garage on the bottom and then two floors of living space. There were: 2 full kitchens, a game room with a bar, lots of bedrooms, including two master bedrooms, one of which had a separate sitting area, a formal dining room (which could probably seat 25), a casual dining room, plus a large kitchen table. One of the bathrooms had a huge tub, a separate shower with two shower heads, and a sofa and TV. So there's really no need to ever leave the bathroom. Outside was a hot tub/infinity pool, where it looks like there's no edge to the pool and the water falls over the side and is pumped back up into the pool. This house sat facing west on the Stono River, part of the intracostal waterway. You can sit on the back deck and watch the sunset over the marsh. They also had a long walkway over the marsh out to the river where they had a boat. In the kitchen they had a spiral staircase that went up to the second kitchen. Plus the whole thing was beautifully decorated. And spotless. I'd hate to have to clean that house. (Although if I could live somewhere like that, I might be able to put up with it.) Mostly I think I was jealous of the huge bathtub. I often wish for a better bath. And maybe the bathroom sofa.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My Faithful Steed
















Many of you who read this blog will immediately recognize the above picture. Its a picture of strength. A picture of nobility. A picture of steadfastness. Yes, its a picture of Junior. Junior is my beloved truck.

Junior is a 1986 Nissan Pick-up, which means this year he'll be turning 20 years old. I don't know his exact birthday. He didn't become a part of the Tell family until he was 8 years old, in August of 1994. That's when I moved with my parents to Colorado Springs. It was too far for me to walk to school, and my parents surely were not going to drive me everyday, so I ended up with Junior.

Oh, the places Junior and I have been together. Several trips to San Diego, across the Mojave desert in the summer with no air conditioning. Through the Colorado mountains, crossing Vail Pass in the snow, valiantly using 3rd gear to get up the hill. At least 16 seperate trips across the expansive void which is Kansas(one with Bro snoozing in the passenger seat). Sweltering summers in St. Louis. A 24 hour nonstop drive from St. Louis to Utah for spring break 2003. A 4,000 mile road trip from Colorado to South Carolina to Pennsylvania and back. Junior and I have lived in four states together.

The current not-so-flattering picture of Junior displays the fact that as of this weekend, Junior has a legal liscense plate for the first time since 2003. Its not that he has been unregistered, its that his old Missouri plate was stuck. Stuck good too. I broke 3 screwdrivers trying to get it off. But this weekend I finally got it off, and now Junior is a proud resident of South Carolina. The picture also shows some extra character Junior picked up in his turn signal when Aubrey backed him into a tree.

I'm pleased to say that Junior has over 213,000 miles and show no signs of slowing down. He's a good faithful truck. Not too showy or flamboyant, real down to earth, the kind of truck you can feel good about driving. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The cost of pride

Right after Jeff and I started dating, he and his roommate Peter had signed up to do a triathlon. Jeff asked me to come and watch him in the race, which was in Columbia, MO, about 2 hours from St. Louis. My very nice friend Kristin, being very nice, said that she would come with me, since we were going to have to spend the night near Columbia as the race started early in the morning. And since we were all poor graduate students, we figured we would camp. Kristin and I didn't get to leave St. Louis until 8 or 8:30, which meant we didn't get to Columbia until quite late. Thankfully, the boys had already set up the tents. Kristin and I got to sleep in the large spacious 4-person tent, while Jeff and Pete snuggled in the little 2-man one. That night was probably the loudest thunder storm I have ever camped in. It rained, the wind blew, and thunder was crashing all around us. No one got very much sleep, and then we got up and Pete made a fire before we went off to the starting line around 6. We got there and then bought some breakfast at the grocery store and tried to stay dry. It was still pouring rain, but neither Kristin nor I had brought a jacket. On our way to the race, we stopped at a Walmart and bought the ugliest windbreaker/jackets I have ever seen. They had only big sizes, so the jackets were huge on us, reflective silver on the top and black on the bottom. And they weren't actually water proof, more like slighty water resistant. When we got to where the race started, they had decided to postpone the start hoping for the weather to clear. It didn't, and so then ended up doing only the swim and running portions. Kristin and I spent most of the morning cold and wet.
What amazed me most was that I had been expecting the people at this race to all be incredibly fit, elite-looking athletes. They weren't. Well, some were, but there were young people, old people, fat people, and normal looking people who probably don't go out and run 20 miles just for fun. In other words, people more or less like me. Ever since then, I have wanted to do a triathlon, mostly just to prove to myself that I could, and have been telling people of this desire. Which of course means that now I definitely have to, or I'll just seem like a wuss. I could be one of the those average looking people doing my best to finish. I finally have my chance. Several of my med school classmates (mostly who are exceedingly fit and probably do run 20 miles just for fun before playing a good game of basketball) decided they wanted to do a triathlon down at Parris Island, and then a bunch more people all got excited about it. Without much contemplation, I just went ahead and signed up. Now, however, many of those who originally got excited about it didn't sign up, so racing will be me and all my super fit classmates. Oh well. Today I did my first trial practice triathlon. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but my legs are seriously tired. I really wonder how it's going to go in 2 weeks when I do the real thing. It will probably be fun no matter what happens, but I don't want to finish dead last. Of course I couldn't wait and make sure some slower people signed up before I paid. But I am finally following through on my desire to do a triathlon. And what does this pride cost me? $57 dollars, to be exact.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Not Guilty, Your Honor

For those breathlessly awaiting the results of my sentencing this afternoon, I am happy to report that the tickets were all waived, and I have saved myself $928. This is a good feeling. Not only that, but the whole process at the courthouse took about 4 minutes, and most of that was going through the metal detector. I was suprised, I thoroughly expected to be frustrated by the mindless beauracracy. But no, Charleston County is running ship shape down there at the Public Services Building. Good work, County.