Monday, March 31, 2008


This is one of Lucy's favorite ways to lay. With her back legs pointing one direction, and her front legs pointing the opposite direction. I marvel at her flexibility every time she does it.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Making a quilt is something that has been on my list of life goals for a while. I actually started this quilt, oh, several YEARS ago on a whim, thinking I'd make it for someone who was pregnant. It's been so long I"m not even sure who I was thinking I'd make it for. Obviously, though, it did not get done then, mostly because I was sewing it by hand and quickly realized that it would take a LONG time to finish. Little did I realize just how long that would be.

Last year while I was in Texas I got some steam and got the front mostly finished, then ran out of steam again when I tried to order this special foot for my sewing machine that then didn't fit, and so the quilt was again relegated to the closet. Moving, of course, put another damper on getting it done, as did the general business of being an intern.

Saturday, though, on my day off, the weather was blah and so I decided to work on it. I realized I could just use the regular foot my sewing machine already had, and I quilted it! Then I made some seam binding, sewed it around the edges (with much gnashing of teeth), and now it's finished!!! So I can mark one more thing of my list. here are the photos of it. Just don't look too closely. There are so mistakes in this thing I can't even count them all. Like the fact that it's not even remotely square. And the binding was a little too narrow, so I ended up having so re-sew it several times, and it still looks sort of messy. Thankfully you can't tell that from the photos.

Here is the front:

Here is the back. I actually really love the way this part turned out, with all the different scraps.
And here I am using it. Because now that I've worked on it for so long I decided I needed to enjoy it.
It doesn't exactly match our living room, but I do like the general cheerfulness of it. It is also nice not to have that pile of fabric taking up space in my craft closet. Now I'm planning my next quilt, hopefully one that will coordinate with our living room colors, and maybe I'll finish it before I finish residency.

We'll see.

And I guess I need to start figuring out the next thing on my life goal list. Anyone know how to get published in National Geographic?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Under the Sea....

Gatlinburg, besides the numerous pancake houses and steak houses, also does have a rather cool aquarium. The best part (besides the mesmerizing jellyfish) is a long tunnel that goes right through a massive aquarium so you get to watch things swim right over you. It was great.

I thought this looked like a very funny face...

There were lots of sharks. I briefly had this thought about that Jaws movie where Jaws is in the aquarium and breaks through the glass of the walkway that looked a LOT like the walkway we were on.

I definitely was able to appreciate the impressive dentition of these guys...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dancing Jellyfish

Jellyfish are beautiful. I could watch them all day.


I am off tomorrow. That makes over 36 hours in which I get to enjoy the fresh air outside the hospital.

Can you tell I've been on medicine for almost two months? I can.

To celebrate my day off I made chocolate souffle tonight, with raspberry sauce. There is nothing like warm, soft, chocolately goodness to put a smile on my (somewhat tired) face.

Monday, March 24, 2008

brain freeze

Too tired to blog.

tired of call.

Ready for April, which will bring an easy rotation, warmer weather, and Sam to SC.

I'm learning I have a funny brother.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Warning: The following post contain explicit images of springtime. Readers in cooler climates who are prone to experiencing spring-envy should proceed with caution.

It's Spring! Greenwood is welcoming the season in style with some very pleasant spring time weather. To mark the occasion I planted some flowers this morning. Ever since moving into our new house, Aubrey and I have been jealous of all our neighbors pretty mailbox plantings while our own mailbox languished in blahness. But not any more. Our realtor from last year dropped off some tulips as a thank you for recommending her to some of the new incoming residents, and I planted them.

There are also some extra bulbs in there that will hopefully make an appearance soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


All the "how to start a garden" books that I looked at advise starting small. They say you should start with a little patch, and not too many plants, lest you get overwhelmed, and you won't have to spend too much time, blah, blah, blah....

Aubrey and I have adopted the opposite philosophy. Namely, that if we plant enough stuff, surely something is bound to grow. Which is why our one south facing window is doing double duty as a greenhouse right now.

Make your plans now to visit us about mid-july, and hopefully we'll have some good homegrown produce to share!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tasty vegetarian pasta

I've never been a huge fan of regular old, pasta with tomato sauce. But I'm discovering that there are plenty of other pasta dishes that I do love. I've also been trying to use what we have in our kitchen recently, as well as eat more vegetarian dishes since it is cheaper and healthier. With these guidelines in mind, this is what I came up with for dinner last night.

Jeff and I had just gotten back from swimming, and I had no idea what we were going to eat. Since I've starting my fun and very busy job, I've had a hard time planning ahead for meals. My dear husband is great at doing this, but he also has been busying working on a paper for class, and he hadn't come up with anything, either. So it was after 7pm, and I needed something quick and good.

But here is what I made:
Sage and Brown butter tortellini with mushrooms, onions, and peppers

Melt 1 to 1.5 sticks butter in a large skillet.
Chop several tablespoons of fresh sage and add to pan when butter is melted.
Add some finely chopped mushrooms, onions, and peppers to butter. (I'm guessing you could use whatever veggies you like. This is what I had on hand.)

Continue to cook until butter turns brown. 5-10 minutes (??)
Add salt and pepper to taste.
After cooking pasta, add pasta to skillet and mix.

Serve with salad and top with parmesan, if desired. (I had some fresh asiago that I grated on top. It was de-licious.)

So there you have it - a quick, very tasty dinner in about 20 minutes. And when I tasty, I mean tasty - this is one of the best things Jeff and I have eaten recently. (Jeff is graciously letting me eat the leftovers for dinner tonight when I'm on call. He gets to eat whatever they are offering in the cafeteria.)

Quick and Tasty always works for me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Over the weekend Aubrey and I retreated to Gatlinburg for the annual resident retreat. It was fun. We stayed in an enormous log cabin with a pool table, foosball table, and hot tub on the deck with a good view of the smoky mountains.

Here we are on the deck with some really smoky mountains in the background on Saturday morning. Sadly the weather went all downhill from here.

All the first year residents (and one second year) went out to breakfast at one of Gatlinburg's four million pancake houses. What is the deal with all the pancake houses? Here is a poorly centered picture of us in the parking lot of the pancake house.

Then we went to the other quintessential Gatlinburg experience, go cart racing. Here is a pic of Aubrey leading the pack.

In the afternoon we joined our friends Brian and Amanda, along with baby Corrie the Deep Sea Explorer, for a visit to the Aquarium. It was a surprisingly good aquarium, considering it was in Gatlinburg. The highlight is definitely the glass covered walkway through the shark tank. Pictures from that will follow in a seperate post.

After a weekend in Gatlinburg Aubrey and I were feeling a little over commercialized and over advertised to. So we drove home on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the only signs are the ones telling you your elevation, and the name of the gap your driving through. We went over the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway, over 6,000 feet high. Here I am attempting to set the timer on the camera, but forgetting something about the timer button.

Here is a silhouette of me basking in the beauty of the mountains, and striking my best imitation of a bro-like pose.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Scattered thoughts.

I finally took down my Christmas wreath. Just thought you should know.

In case you need us, we'll be here this weekend on our resident's retreat. Our whole program gets to go spend a weekend hanging out in the mountains. We're just a wee bit excited.

I finally found some make-up I'd been looking around for over the last few days. I apparently had accidentally put it in the recycling bin.

And most importantly..... here is my newest cousin, Mitchell Robert. He came into this world 6 weeks early with a few health problems, but everyone can be praying for him (and his parents, Jared and Julia) as he recovers - he is still on a ventilator and had some surgery to correct a problem with his GI tract.

But Welcome to the Family!! We are so happy he's here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Swaying in the breeze

It was warm and sunny today. So instead of stuffing the laundry in the dryer, I decided to hang it up to dry in the back yard.

It saves money. It saves energy. It's good for the environment(it makes the environment smell like clean clothes). And it inculcates a overall sense of pleasantness.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


If they say a journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step, then the journey of redoing a chair must start with a small cushion.

I've been meaning to redo this chair for a while to help make it blend with our new living room. Although it's quite nice and comfy, the fabric, as you can see, just does not really go with our pale blue, brown, and green scheme.

I bough new fabric several months ago (on sale!!), but the thought of starting such a seemingly monumental task has just been too overwhelming thus far in intern year. Over the weekend, I felt like sewing, and so decided I'd recover the tiny accompanying pillow in some green and brown fabric. (Sadly I forgot to take a before pic of that pillow).

Last night, I decided to take on the large cushion, so I'd be one step closer to finishing.

Plus having a half-finished project will just about drive me crazy, which hopefully will be another good motivation to do the rest.

One nice change from my usual projects is that I didn't need to buy anything to finish this. (Something I've actually been working on avoiding.) I took the zipper out of the old cover, and used some cording from an old pillowcase to make the edge around the new little pillow.

As much as I love making my little presents, most of what I sew is not exactly useful. Cute, yes, but useful, not as often. This is one of the rare times when I feel like my sewing is a very useful and practical skill, as opposed to just fun. Recovering a chair would normally be very expensive, but I can do it myself!!

So yay for sewing machines. And for having a little motivation. I'll post more photos when I finish the rest.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Confessions of an M.Div.

As a guy who's been to seminary, and is a wanna-be pastor, I find that people have certain expectations. For one they expect that I know stuff about the Bible and theology. Knowing that such an expectation exists, I feel like there are a few things I should just let everybody know ahead of time...

1. I often get the words "Calvary" and "Calgary" mixed up. Technically I do know that one is an infamous hill outside Jerusalem, and the other is a city in Canada, but I always have to think for a second before I can remember which is which. There's probably about a 95% chance I'll mess this up in a sermon someday and people will laugh at me.

2. I still have to use a mnemonic to remember what order Galations, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians come in.

3. I used to know the difference between Infralapsarians and Supralapsarians, and I kinda still know it in a vague, undifferentiated sort of way. But please don't ask me to explain it, or remember which one we're supposed to be.

4. I feel like I'm supposed to like reading theology, and sometimes I do. But most theology is so dry, overwritten, and undernuanced. I hope to help change that some day.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Operation Save the Baby Squirrels

About an hour and a half ago Aubrey and I were enjoying a nice, quiet, albeit windy, Saturday afternoon. Aubrey was napping (post-call) and I was reading some articles for school. The enormous hickory tree in our back yard was standing upright, in the manner common to trees.


The first order of business is to thank God that the tree fell the direction it did. Because the base of the tree is only about 20 feet from the corner of our house, and it easily could have put a sizable hole in the roof. Thankfully it fell in the perfect direction to avoid just about everything of value, except for several other trees.

I don't think either of the pictures really does justice to the size of this tree. It's huge. On its way down it took out another tree of equal size which fell further back into the forest.

I went outside to investigate. Neighbors Dave and Kimber were already out investigating. Amidst the wreckage, Kimber had heard the whimpering of several baby squirrels, and was gathering them up in towels to bring them inside.

These poor little guys must have had an awfully wild ride. Thankfully our neighbors (and Aubrey) are exceedingly kind hearted toward small rodentia, and they were getting taken care of quite nicely. We even called our friend Sally, who is a vet, and who lives just down the road, and she came and examined the squirrels. Our neighbors are going to consider raising the squirrels, and if not, they will pass them off to one of Sally's friends who does squirrel rehab.

Squirrel rehab. Who knew?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Paging Dr. Tale

I was very excited about getting to go home this afternoon and take a nap before call. I was almost home when I got a page from my office. I called back and was informed that there was a gentleman at the office who needed to SERVE ME with a SUBPOENA.

A SUBPOENA. As in going to court. Needless to say, I didn't exactly have a restful nap until the guy got to our house and I could see what it was about.

Apparently it is about some sort of custody hearing. Not, like I was envisioning, someone suing me for doing something wrong, leading to me losing my license, not getting a job, and going into to bankrupcy. (For instance.)

I guess I can get in touch with the guardian litem, and I may not have to go to court, which would be nice. I'm not really sure what I'm going to add to the conversation, seeing as I barely even remember this patient, and I only saw this person one time for something minor. I also obviously need to write my name neater as both the subpoena AND the "witness fee" they will pay me for my services ($25) were made in the name of Dr. Auby Tale.

That's me. Auby Tale. Which is sort of funny since when most people say my name who are from these parts it sounds like "Tay-el".

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I feel like I've entered a new club. When I'm on call now, I take outside calls. This means that our patients can call the hospital operator after hours and ask us questions or to call in medicine if they are sick. These calls are usually not very exciting and often just involve us giving some simple advice or reassuring someone that they are ok.

But occasionally they get a little more exciting. Like, for instance, a few weeks ago when a lady called in to tell me her husband had been doing some electrical work and hadn't unplugged the washing machine, and when he touched the cord, there was some sort of "explosion" and his eyes had been burning ever since, and she wanted to know what to do.... As if the answer shouldn't be clear by the fact that her question contained the word "explosion" and "burning eyes." I told them they should come on in to the ER.

On Monday night, though, I had a call of a different kind. A patient we had just discharged from the hospital was calling to complain about being in pain and wanted me to call in some pain medicine. Unfortunately, we have lots of patients who in our practice who are addicted to pain medicine. And therefore we have a policy that we NEVER give prescriptions for narcotic pain medicines over the phone. This gentleman, however, wasn't even our patient. We had taken care of him in the hospital, but he does not see us in clinic, yet another reason not to give him any medicine as we also have a policy about that. What I didn't realize, though, is that the reason he had been hospitalized is because he had actually overdosed on pain medicine. But here he was, calling because he needed something for pain.

I politely explained to him first of all that we do not call in pain medicines over the phone, and he should talk to his regular doctor about it in the morning. Then, after he told me who his regular doctor was, I also politely told him that we do not call in medicines for people who are not our patients. Then he told me he didn't have time or the money to go and see his regular doctor, and that I was just trying to make all my money off the hospital. (I'm not really sure what that meant.) I apologized, but stated again that I could not call him in anything.

Then he called me, as well as the rest of the residents, sad sacks of s@!#. Then he hung up.

So now I've entered that club of people who have been cursed out by a patient.

I'm just glad he was alliterative.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lucy's admirable qualities

Among other things that contribute to her sweetness, Lucy has two very admirable qualities that strike me as somewhat undoglike. Both of them came into play tonight.

1. We had dinner at a friends house tonight, and while we were away Lucy weathered a pretty impressive thunder storm in the back yard. So when we got home she was sopping wet, and dying to come inside. Thankfully, Lucy LOVES being dried off. She likes shaking too, but she will sit patiently for as long as you want to rub her with a towel. Even having her paws dried is fine with her.

2. She also LOVES taking her medicine. I don't know what flavor her heart worm medicine is, but at the very mention of them she starts getting excited and running through her repertoire of tricks. Never before have I had a dog who would eat a pill without it being buried in a hot dog.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Jeff's February Reads

Well, with school starting at the beginning of February I did more reading this month than I have in a long time. However, I didn't really finish that many books. I am in the middle of about 8 of 9, but because of the school scheduling, I won't finish them for a few more weeks. So this month is an exercise in humility, and a reminder that its not about quantity, its about quality.

Blessed are the Hungry by Peter Leithart - A collection of meditations on the Lord's Supper. A mixed bag. (7)
Creation Regained by Albert Wolters - For school. Some books are like a good wine. This is a 1988 vintage from Canada. It has subtle hints of hamartiology, soteriology, and a christian worldview all aged in the rich barrels of eschatology. Full bodied and substantial, yet suprisingly sweet; it goes down easily. (9)


The shoes are made from this tutorial.

The skirt is more or less based on this one.

So craft away!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Cute baby gifts

I guess I'm just at the stage of life where lots of friends are having babies. Which means I get to enjoy making some very cute things. Such as:

These shoes are quickly becoming a favorite thing to make. And making that tiny little skirt was just too much fun!