Saturday, December 23, 2006

Perhaps the last post of the year

This will be another quick posting, as I only have a few minutes right now.

To the left is a picture I took on one of our visits to Jackie last summer. She lived in a beautiful area, don't you think?

Her funeral will be Wednesday. The next day Eric and I will head down to Southern Utah to spend a few days with my family. Many of my siblings haven't met Eric yet, and none of my nieces or nephews have, so it should be interesting. I'm quite looking forward to it.

Our boiler at work has gone out, so it's been pretty cold here in the building for the past few days. I have a space heater, and I'm well adept at putting on a few layers when necessary, but still, it's kind of a pain. Oh well.

And that's about it. Christmas is right around the corner. Hooray! I love Christmas, especially when I'm able to get all my shopping done relatively soon. I've been finished for a good week now (one of the benefits of not having children I suppose), and so I've been able to enjoy the hustle and bustle and the lights and the smiles, without feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Most importantly, I've only been inside Wal-Mart twice since Thanksgiving. That's got to have something to do with my good Christmas mood, right?

-c

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My friend Jackie

I received some bad news this morning.

My friend, Jackie passed away this morning after a long and arduous battle with cancer.

I met Jackie a few years ago. Our first meeting was kind of brief, I was conducting a sing-along for a ward activity, and Jackie sat on the lawn with me and about 20 other people and sang camp songs and hymns and folk songs and silly songs. After we were finished, she came up to me and we exchanged guitar stories. By that time (although I didn't know it then), Jackie had already been diagnosed and started her fight with cancer.

I didn't think too much about Jackie for quite awhile after that. She was just kind of a girl that I knew. Then about a year and a half ago, Ilsa invited me to go out to Jackie's home with some of our friends. At that time Jackie's cancer had progressed to the point that she rarely made the 30-40 minute drive from her rural area to my very metropolis-like area. So, I joined them all, and we were able to visit and laugh with Jackie and her parents for about an hour. I remember when I left, I felt lifted, and joyed, and much more at peace than I had felt when I arrived.

That was kind of the way things went from there. Every month or two after that, we would get together and go visit Jackie and her parents. I started bringing the guitar and the songbooks, and we would spend about 30 minutes visiting and laughing and about 45 minutes singing. Again, every time I left Jackie's home, I felt lifted and strengthened, and like I could take on the world.

I remember especially our visit to her last February. It was a bleak time for me, a time when a lot of things were up in the air in my life, and to be honest, a time when I wasn't positive that I ever had been happy or ever would be happy again. (You know how you get that way when things are bad? It's hard to remember that things used to be good. That's why it's a good idea to keep a journal.) We went to see Jackie, and I laughed for the first time in about two weeks, one of those good, long, tears-coming-out-of-your-eyes-'cause-you're-being-so-dang-silly laughs. And, as I was laughing, I knew that things were going to work out, and I was going to find happiness again.

That's the kind of gift that Jackie had.

I'll miss her terribly.

-c

(note to Melissa C--you are the reason I even learned to play the guitar in the first place. What a joy it has been for me to learn that, and to share it. Thank you.)

Monday, December 18, 2006

the weekend review

Not too much is going on at the moment. I had a lovely weekend though. Friday Eric was initiated into the wonderful world of making tamales. I make tamales every Christmas and take them to the people with whom I work. It works out well because people really seem to like them, AND I don't have to rack (or is it "wrack"?) my brain every year, trying to think of what little gift I should make/buy for each of them. Tamales aren't hard to make, but they are rather labor-intensive, which is why I try to make them with at least one other person helping. So, this year it was Eric's turn to help. If all goes as I plan, it will be Eric's turn pretty much every year from now on. We'll see I guess.

Saturday night Eric and I went to a concert with Tayneshia and Henrietta. Pedro (who, as you will remember is Henrietta's husband) is in an acappella singing group (you can learn more about them at http://www.voicemalemusic.com/), and we were all able to attend one of their many Christmas concerts together. It was hilarious.

And Sunday we traveled down to Utah County to attend my grandmother's 89th birthday celebration. Almost all my aunts and uncles were there, as well as more cousins than I've seen in quite a while. Nice.

And that's the weekend. So far the week looks good too.

-c

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Some good stuff and some bad stuff

This will be short, as I'm running like crazy all over the place lately.

Life is good, things are good, Christmas is coming, and that's all good.

I've been surprised at how fast good news travels. Since Eric and I announced our engagement, I've heard from three different new people, people with whom I had lost contact. All three have called/e-mailed to congratulate us, and all three had heard about us from other friends. Kind of fun, huh?

Tonight we're meeting up at Camilla's house for a little "French Night". I'm bringing my Paris photos, and we're going to eat crepes and look at pictures. It should be fun.

Work has been a little bit hard lately. The leadership of my company recently determined to outsource all our ticketing operations as of January 1. The main difference that will make for me is that within a few weeks, the employees who were formerly in our ticket office will no longer be there. One of those people in particular has been a very good friend to me for several years now, and I am going to miss her terribly. Rough rough stuff.

And that's my life in a nutshell today.

-c

Monday, December 11, 2006

The BIG BIG news!! (and of course, pictures)

So, I had an AWESOME weekend. On Friday night Eric (who was formerly known here as Elijah, but will now be known by the name his parents gave him) asked me to marry him.

Any guesses as to what my answer was?

We're getting married on April 14. I adore his family, and my family adores him. More importantly, I adore him, and he seems to be quite taken with me as well. Isn't it nice when it turns out that way?

I'll post a few pictures, since as they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words".

The one above was taken last night. I have a weird expression on my face, probably because I was about to laugh or something.

This is my birthday party last March. Eric and I didn't start dating until June, but he came to my party and gave me a gift. I don't know exactly what I'm doing in this photo, but as far as I can remember this is the first photo taken of Eric and I together. That makes it rather historic, don't you think?

This is Eric and I on our third date. We went hiking.

This (below) is the ROCK! Eric picked it out all by himself! A man with taste! I'm marrying a man with taste! How cool is that?
And finally, this is me, blissfully happy (and perhaps a bit cheesey) on Friday night.






And I think that wraps it up for this entry. Stay tuned for frustrations and surprises as we plan our wedding. Surely there will be more quirkiness to be found.
-c






Wednesday, December 06, 2006

They used to call me Hermana


Well, it's another regular day in the life of Charlotte. Tonight Elijah and I will play racquetball, and then I'll attend a basketball game with some friends. Tomorrow I'm going to an Enrichment meeting for my ward. Yesterday I was able to meet up with Henrietta (who is in town for most of the month) and another friend for dinner and a little "girl talk". That was a nice treat.


Two nights ago I had a nightmare in which I was once again a Mormon Missionary. I actually was a Mormon Missionary in real life back in 1993 and 1994. In real life I was sent to Northern California, and assigned to learn Spanish. It was a great time, with a lot of great experiences and a lot of hard experiences. I've always been grateful that I was able to have the opportunity to serve a mission. However, being grateful that I've had the experience doesn't mean that I've been anxious or eager to embark on a similar experience again.


So, anyway, in the 12 years since I've been home, I find that I have a dream every once in a while in which I'm back on my mission, or (as is the case this time) on another mission. It's always a relief to wake up and find that I'm still in my own bed, here in Utah, not a missionary. Two nights ago was no exception. In the dream I was stationed in Michigan. I have nothing against Michigan mind you, but I'm glad to be here, where I am, doing what I'm doing.


So there.


-c
ps-You might be wondering what the deal is with the picture. The only explanation I have is that I wanted to put a picture on this posting, and as I looked through those that I currently have loaded on my computer, this was the one that I liked best. It's from a trip that my mom and I took to Thailand about 2 years ago.
(Yup, more random-ness. What can I say?)



Friday, December 01, 2006

Just checking in

Well, things are going really great. Wednesday night Elijah and I played racquetball together for the first time. We didn't keep score, probably because I don't like to be bothered with having to remember to count points, and Elijah didn't care too much either way. I think we were pretty evenly matched, which is to say that we are both pretty bad. But, we got plenty of laughs, and a fair amount of exercise as well. So, I'm not going to complain. We're heading back to the Rec. Center tomorrow to check out some of the equipment there, and possibly to have a racquetball re-match. Wish me luck :)

Things at work are going pretty well. Every year we have an accounting firm come in and audit our company, so that we can submit an audited report with all our grant requests. It's kind of a stressful time of year for me, because really what it boils down to is that for a while I have experts coming in, looking at all that I've done over the year, and eventually telling the board of trustees whether or not I should be allowed to keep my job. So, not my favorite time of year.

So anyway, the audit is going on right now, and I'm pleased to report that it's going quite well this year, and the field work portion (which is my least favorite part) is nearly over. Whew!

And that pretty much sums up the goings-on as of late. We had some snow and frigid temperatures earlier in the week, but today the sun is out, and it's starting to melt some of that snow. Nice.

hasta,
-c

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As promised . . . (Paris Photos!)

This is Paris as seen through a really cool monument that they have just at the other end of the Trocadero. I thought it was really interesting. I took this picture on the day that Tayneshia and I split up to explore Paris on our own. Shortly after taking this picture, I ended up being followed (I think) by an unknown individual. We got off the metro at the same time, and then for a while I would see him every 5-10 minutes, whenever I went. It freaked me out a bit, but eventually I just started walking in the opposite direction, in close proximity to a older French businessman, and my would-be stalker gave up.


Above is a photo of me and Tayneshia in front of the Palace at Versailles. The photo on the right is the Arc d'Triomphe. I love the waving flag. It rained quite a bit on our trip, which in some ways was kind of a bummer, but the accompanying breeze sure makes the flag look cool, doesn't it?






Here is Notre Dame. I came to Paris for one day with my mom about 10 years ago. On that trip, Notre Dame was covered in scaffolding, so I wasn't able to take any really pretty pictures. The cloudy sky didn't really cooperate with me in taking this picture, but at least there's no scaffolding. Also, I like the cluster of umbrellas in the front--especially the yellow one.

Yellow is my favorite color, in case you were wondering.


And, finally, the photo to the right is a rather blurry, cheesy, fake-smile picture that Tayneshia took of me riding the Carousel that stands in the shadow of the Sacre Couer Cathedral at Montmarte. Cheesey fake smile aside, it was great fun to ride the Carousel (the fourth I've ridden this year incidentally), and great fun to be in Paris in general.



And I suppose that is enough for this entry. Getting back to regular life has been good, easier and more enjoyable than I anticipated. Sunday I put up my Christmas tree, and I spent my spare time yesterday and today decorating it as well as the rest of the house. Nice.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I love Paris in the springtime (and November too!)

Well, I'm back from Paris. I'm not back home to Utah yet (this is coming to you from New York City), but that will come later on today. In a bit (like a few days or so) I'll try to upload some of the 100 or so pictures that I took in Paris and Versailles, so you can look forward to that.

For now, a little travel review, with perhaps a few details on some of the more quirky aspects of the trip:

We left Salt Lake City for New York, where we crashed at the home of some of our friends out here for two nights. While here we were able to see a revival of Sondheim's Company, which I mostly enjoyed. Other than that, we mainly just hung out with our friends out here, and I was able to meet even a few more of Tayneshia's friends. That was a nice little treat. I was also able to attend Sacrament meeting at the Inwood first ward here in Washington Heights. I was surprised to see no fewer than four people that I already knew, one of them whom I hadn't seen since my high school days. The world is indeed a very small place.

Sunday night we boarded our flight (Air India) to Paris, arriving in Paris in the early afternoon. We spent the next four days seeing as much of the city as our legs, energy, and Euros allowed. We saw Notre Dame, and the Palace and Gardens at Versailles, and the Musee d'Orsay and the Louvre, and the Rodin Museum and the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower, and Montmarte, and lots and lots of Parisian alleys and back streets. We shopped and ate and laughed and rode metros and trains and a funicular. We met and became friends with other Americans, and Parisians, and people from Mexico and England and India.

It was wonderful. I Love Paris.

Here are (briefly) some of the oddities of our trip. I'll try not to go into too much detail, but you know I am prone to rambling, so be warned!

Versailles-We took the train to Versailles. It was beautiful and ornate and amazing. After we had gone through the palace, Tayneshia decided to take a little mini-train that would take her around the gardens and surrounding area. Not understanding just how vast the area was, we determined to meet back up at a certain place in 30-45 minutes. So, Tayneshia went on the train, and I went walking around (I love walking. I just love it).

Well, each path I took led to another path, and soon, I'd been gone about 40 minutes. In those 40 minutes I was able to see the estate of Marie Antoinette (among other things), which was a little treat. However, I was far far from 5 minutes away from our meeting place. So, I started walking back to what I thought was the palace at breakneck speed.

As I was furiously marching along, I noticed the flow of tourists to be lessening somewhat. I also noticed that fields that used to be bare now contained grazing sheep and cows. Not the best sign actually. I began to wonder if where I was and where I thought I was were the same thing. Finally, I came to a corner where I was reasonably sure I could turn and head straight to the palace. By this point I had been gone about 60 minutes.

Luckily for me, at this point, there was a nice French man, walking his dogs. He didn't speak English, and I don't speak French, but by doing a few gestures and pointing at my map, I was informed that the turn I was planning to make was going to take me exactly opposite of the way I should be going to meet Tayneshia. Horrors!

I turned around, and then really put it all into high gear. As I whizzed by, slowly I started seeing more and more tourists and less and less sheep. My legs were killing me, I was so thirsty I could have drunk a lake, and my imagination was going full steam. At this point, I had been gone nearly 90 minutes. I could just picture Tayneshia, who I supposed had been waiting for me for over an hour, frantically speaking to security at the palace, trying to explain that her dear friend was surely killed or at least hopelessly lost and in danger. I pictured them worried about me beyond measure, and I pictured them being relieved, but not a little bit annoyed with me when I finally arrived.

And I finally did arrive. When I made it back to the fountain we had agreed upon, I saw Tayneshia scanning the fountains below. Relieved that she had apparently not made her way to the police yet, I called to her and ran up, making it clear that I was safe and there was no need to worry.

That was when I discovered that Tayneshia had only been at the meeting place for 5 minutes. The train ride had been much longer than either of us had anticipated either.

So, we laughed over our silly mistakes, walked back to the train station, and went back to our hotel, no worse for the wear.

And, I think that might be enough for this entry. There were more adventures, to be sure and perhaps I'll write about some of them in detail, but for now, I'll just list them.

  • We made friends with a couple from Mexico
  • I was followed for about 30 minutes by a man about my age. This kind of freaked me out, but probably wasn't as big of a deal as I made it (that imagination you know)
  • I saw the tunnel where Princess Diana was killed in that car crash
  • We had a GREAT Thanksgiving dinner
  • I had a nice conversation with a man in a grocery store--a man who knew about Salt Lake City and Utah because of our Word Perfect and Novell connection.
  • We learned that the French meaning of the slang "bling" is not precisely the same meaning that we might have.

And I think that's definitely enough for now.

Au revoir,

-char

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pre-Paris Ponderings

So, tonight we leave for Paris. Actually, tonight we leave for New York City, and then on Sunday night we leave for Paris.

Have I even mentioned why I'm going to Paris?

Well, last summer, Tayneshia and I were thinking about where we might go for a vacation, and we found a company with some really economical (i.e. cheap) package deals to different places in Europe. We vacillated between London and Paris, but finally settled on Paris.

Then we got looking at times, and determined that Thanksgiving would be an ideal time to go, really. Tayneshia's family lives in Houston, and since she goes home for Christmas every year, she never goes home for Thanksgiving. As for me, I always go home for Thanksgiving, but this year I decided that I could bear to spend it in Paris, since I'll be with many of my family for Christmas. Since we get a few days off for the holiday anyway, we are able to take the trip without using up too much vacation or getting too far behind on our duties here at work. So, that's the deal.

We'll be spending about a day and a half in New York before we board the plane for Paris. That should be fun. We'll be going to a Broadway show together on Saturday (the new revival of Company-it's in previews now), and then on Sunday I'll be going to church while Tayneshia takes in a production of The Color Purple. Then we'll board the plane that night, sleep the whole way (I'm hopin'!), and wake up in blissful, colorful, romantic Paris.

Yesterday I was a little stressed about the whole trip. This always happens to me. Every time I go on a trip that involves any more than the smallest bit of planning, I tend to get burned out on the whole idea, and by the day prior to my leaving I'm asking myself what possessed me to plan to spend so much money and time on such a frivolous and potentially wasteful venture. I get myself a little bit worked up (it used to be a lot worked up, but I've learned a few helpful anti-worry combatants since the old days) about the things that could go wrong, and almost convince myself that I'm not going to have any fun at all.

But I never get worked up enough to cancel, and then by the time I'm actually leaving (like today), I'm all excited and thrilled and can hardly wait to go. So, I leave, and invariably I have a glorious, magnificent, superb experience, and it banishes all those bad thoughts from my memory.

Until the week before I'm to go on the next trip.

The last time I went to Europe, I was kissed by a street performer in front of about 35 Romans and four other tourists. We'll see if I can top that this trip. (I'm kind of hoping that I don't) Stay tuned.

I don't expect to have Internet access while I'm gone, so this will probably the last entry for a bit.

-c

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I can't think of what to title this entry

How's this for a random picture?

I took it on a trip that I took to Philadelphia last February. The plaque was on a restaurant about 2-3 blocks from the Liberty Bell.

Tonight I'm going to watch The Ghost and Mrs. Muir on video with some friends of mine. We get together every other month or so to watch old movies. So far we've seen American Graffiti, Lawrence of Arabia, The African Queen, and Frenchman's Crossing. Next we're looking at possibly El Cid, but I wasn't up for something that long tonight.

Last night I said goodbye to a friend. She's the girl I spoke about in the last entry, the one who is going home to Kansas to receive radiation therapy. She's actually not leaving until Monday, but I'm leaving for that Paris trip on Friday, and we won't end up seeing each other between now and then. So, we gave goodbye hugs and went on our way. She promised to e-mail from Kansas every two weeks or so, so that's some consolation at least.

Have you ever stopped to think about what your favorite word is? I have, but I've never come up with anything conclusive as of yet. I like the "ch" sound, as in "mocha", "chrysalis", and "chamomile" though. I also love the word "taffeta". A bit odd, I know.

I think that's probably enough randomness for today.

-c

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rachmaninoff I may never be

Well, the wedding went well. Dorothea and Sergei both looked blissfully happy, and it was a lovely event. In an added bonus, the wedding luncheon featured what is probably the best potato salad I have ever eaten. Nice huh?

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with some friends for yet another celebration. One of my friends has recently completed her prescribed series of chemotherapy (having been diagnosed with breast cancer last February), and will be heading to Kansas in a week to undergo her radiation treatments. (She has more family support in Kansas than she has here in Utah) So, it's kind of a celebration/farewell kind of event.

(note-abrupt change of subject coming up)

I've been taking piano lessons for over a year now. I took lessons when I was young, but quit before I was able to get very good. So, a bit over a year ago I started up again. For a while there, I felt like I was making some real progress. Now though, my priorities seem to have shifted somewhat, and it is becoming harder and harder for me to find the time to practice. So I'm kind of at an impasse. I hate to quit the music training, because I think it's important. But I hate to feel like I'm wasting my money, and when I don't practice, that's exactly how I feel. AND, I hate to spend time practicing when I could be spending it exercising, sleeping, being with Elijah, or fulfilling some responsibility that I have.

So, who knows how I'll work this all out?

For the moment though, it's kind of a moot point, because . . . in five days I'm leaving for my Paris vacation! Wa-hooo!!!!! Why worry about piano lessons when I have Paris to consider??

-c

Friday, November 10, 2006

You would think it was MY wedding or something!

All is well here.

For a brief moment this week, I was concerned that I had contracted infectious mononucleosis, but I got a good night's sleep both Wednesday night and last night, and now I'm feeling fine again. So, the hypochondriac in me can go back to dormancy.

Speaking of hypochondrism, and other mental challenges, I have to write a bit about the struggles I've been having regarding the wedding of Dorothea.

First, a few words:

Dorothea has been one of my best friends for a few years now. We've been there for eachother through good times and hard times and crazy times and everything in between. When my cousin took his life last Thanksgiving and I was bawling in the middle of the night, I called Dorothea for comfort. I didn't know it at the time, but she had also had an uncle take his life, and so she was very well equipped to comfort and help me. Plus, she didn't mind (terribly) being awoken at 2:00 a.m. by a crying Charlotte. That's the kind of friends that we are.

So, Dorothea has been dating this great guy (we'll call him Sergei) for a while now, and a few months ago, they decided to get married. The wedding is tomorrow. Because I'm a good friend to Dorothea, I helped her decide which of two engagement rings she should get (ask for), helped her make pecan tarts and mints for her reception, helped to organize her bridal shower, and I will be bringing a giant spinach and orange salad to the wedding luncheon tomorrow. Because I'm a semi-talented singer as well as a good friend, I'll also be singing at the actual wedding.

So, I'm kind of involved with the whole wedding thing, as it turns out. I had kind of thought that this wasn't all that big of a deal for me, but then I started having weird dreams about the wedding. Last week I dreamed that Dorothea had asked me to take tickets for the wedding. (Apparently she had decided that there would be so many people wanting to come that she would have to restrict entrance to those who had a ticket). Unfortunately, rather than sending the tickets out with the announcements, she had given the tickets to me to pass out, and then to receive. The tickets were very involved, and even had the name and picture of the guest on them.

So, in my dream, I'm there, trying to hand out and gather tickets, all by myself, and I'm doing a terrible job. Worse still, I'm holding up the line, and so the wedding is about to start and only one or two people are in the room, because the rest of the guests are all out with me, trying to get into the wedding, but being barred by my inablility to sort out the ticket situation.

Aack!

Then, last night I had another Dorothea wedding dream. This one wasn't quite as stressful or involved though. I just dreamed that I caught a cold and couldn't sing at the wedding after all. Luckily, when I awoke this morning, I felt completely fine.

Also luckily, Dorothea doesn't have tickets for her wedding, and I don't need to pass them out or receive them. So, chances are the whole event will go off without a hitch. Then perhaps I can go back to having weird dreams about my own life and the events there.

And now it's on to the weekend!

-c

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

obscenely early meetings, globetrotting, and chores

So, life continues as normal these days. This morning we had a meeting of the Board of Trustees for the company for which I work. The meetings are held at 8:00, which is an hour earlier than I usually arrive at work (I know, lucky me!). So, my morning schedule was kind of thrown off today. Oh well. The meetings are only once per month, and really, how many accountants have jobs where they don't start until 9:00 a.m. for all but one day of the month? Not many that I know.

I'm in the throes of preparation for the trip to Paris. Yesterday I went down to my public library and checked out four guide books (2 of them pocket-size) on Paris. Except for the time I spent as a Mormon missionary, this will be my first Thanksgiving away from my family. Actually, since my mission was in Northern California, this will be the first time I will spend a major American holiday in any country besides the USA. So, it should be interesting.

And other than that, things are pretty much the same as usual. My parents are coming up tomorrow, which means I need to get my house in "mom-approved" shape before tomorrow afternoon. Since I've been kind of slacking in the housecleaning area lately, that may take a bit longer than I would hope. Still, it shouldn't be too bad.

I guess that's enough for now.

-c

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Weekend of Celebrations

Well, I had a very busy but very enjoyable weekend.

Friday I went to the movie Flicka with Dorothea. It was Dorothea's idea, and we mainly went to see it because of Tim McGraw being in it. Dorothea is a die hard country fan. Anyway, the move was quite good. The scenery was beautiful, and I liked Tim McGraw much better in this movie than in Friday Night Lights. That could just be because he plays a much more likeable character in this one though.

Saturday was the busiest day of the week. I started out the day by attending a wedding of a friend, a friend with whom I actually went on a few dates back in April. Funny how things work out, huh? He's now married to someone else, and I'm with Elijah. I think we're both happy with our choices. It's so nice when it works out that way, isn't it?

After the wedding, I had just enough time to run a few errands and change my clothes before it was time to go to the bridal shower that I was helping to throw for Dorothea. That went well also. Dorothea has a whole bunch of really nice friends and family, so having them all together in a room laughing and eating and (my personal favorite) opening presents was a treat.

After the shower, I had just enough time to run home, and pick up a present to drop off at the wedding reception for the friend I mentioned before. After that I ran to Elijah's, and we then rushed off to a birthday celebration for yet another friend.

Before that celebration was completely over, we left there so that we could go Contra Dancing. Have you ever heard of contra dancing? If not, check out this website: http://www.sbcds.org/contradance/whatis/ All I will say is that it is FUN! I had been a few times in my college years, but it had been several years since I'd gone and Elijah had never gone. We messed up a bunch, and because of our inexperience, we ended up messing up a bunch of other people as well, but everyone was patient with us, and we all had a great great time.

Sunday was also a pretty busy day, but I think this post is already quite long enough. This week looks to be quite eventful as well. My father and mother are coming into town later this week to make a presentation to my Relief Society, and then Saturday is Dorothea's wedding. Then the next week I leave for Paris! Yippee!!

ttfn,
char

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mickey is alive and well


So, I'm back from Disneyland. It was GREAT! We had a three day hopper pass, and spent all of the first day in Disneyland. The second day we spent a few hours in Disneyland, but spent the bulk of our time in California Adventure. The third day we spent a few hours in both places, but by 2:00 p.m., we were in my sister's minivan, headed back to Southern Utah and home.

I have determined that if I ever go to Disneyland with children, I will do it the way we just did it. That is to say, that to truly enjoy Disneyland, you need to have at least three adults. It also helps if one of the adults doesn't like roller coaster rides very much. We were lucky in that we had five adults, and TWO of the adults didn't really care very much for roller coaster rides.

That played out well, because one or two adults could take the kids on the Alice in Wonderland ride, or the Autopia ride, or the Peter Pan ride, and the other adults could take a quick walk to Space Mountain, or Splash Mountain, or Thunder Mountain (are you noticing a trend here?) and ride those together. After the grownups were done with the rollercoasters, we'd call the others on the cell phones, and get back together for some all-family fun.

We very rarely did any important ride without taking advantage of the whole fast-pass system, which made the whole experience much much better than I remember it being even when I was a little kid. Also, Ryan (my brother-in-law) was adamant that we be at the park at or as close to the opening time as possible. At first I wasn't really big on this idea (sleeping in is almost more of a treat to me than eating chocolate), but I soon saw the wisdom of this plan. For about the first hour or two, we basically had the park to ourselves, which was a real treat.

So, it was lovely, just lovely. And now I'm back home, just in time for Halloween. Elijah and I are going to The Prestige tonight to celebrate, so unfortunately, I won't be around for the little trick-or-treaters to come knocking at my door. I left a basket of Mike & Ikes and Starburst on my doorstep. Here's hoping that the kids each take one or two, and that there's plenty for all. Let's be honest though, chances are, the first kid who comes by without his parents' supervision is going to empty the whole basket into his goodie bag and be off. Oh well. Mike & Ikes aren't that great anyway now, are they?

Happy Halloween,
charlotta

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ode to Dishboy


A-ha!! You thought you weren't going to be hearing from me for a few days, didn't you? So did I.

BUT--we were both wrong. I am compelled, for reasons beyond my understanding to have a complete blog entry, dedicated to my brother, Jacob.

Jacob writes a weekly letter, which he then sends to me and his friends, and other members of the family. It's good stuff. He writes the letter on Sunday usually, and it's always a treat for me to start my Monday morning by reading the latest happenings in his life and the lives of his family members. He is currently in medical school, living in Washington (state) with his wife and son and daughter.

Below are some of my favorite portions of his last few letters:

As far as the rest of life here in Yakima things are going good. I drew blood this week. I was practicing on one of the nurses (who has terrible veins). I didn’t get any blood, but I also didn’t bruise her so she says my technique is good (just have bad aim I guess). I was very distraught and since I have such good veins I decided to poke myself just to show that I could get some good blood. I did a wonderful job on my arm and quickly filled a vial, unfortunately drawing blood with one hand is much easier than removing the vial and needle with one hand so I had to yell for help so I could have the needle removed from my arm. (8/27/06)

Melissa finally got an ultrasound this week and we were informed that we are having a boy. Spencer apparently is having a horse and he says Jessi is having a frog so we're going to have a pretty full house come December. Melissa is excited because she doesn't have to buy a bunch of new winter clothes for the baby. We're unsure about a name at this point, but when we were looking at a baby names list the other day Melissa was particularly fond of Xing Xing. I may have to veto that one. (10/1/06)

And my personal favorite:

On the way to church today we were listening to Aunt Charlotte's CD. Spencer recognized her voice and said; "I think Aunt Charlotte sounds like a princess". With that I will end the update for another week. (10/15/06)

So, that's Jacob.

Until later,
-c

Monday, October 23, 2006

revisiting those fun things of childhood

Tomorrow I'm heading back to California for a few days. Funny, before September, it had been several years since I'd been to California. Now I'm going to be going twice in as many months. And both times to Southern California no less. Huh.

This time I'm going to Disneyland with my sister and her family, as well as my parents. I'm looking forward to it. Since I have no children of my own, the thought of being able to spend a few days in Disneyland with my adorable 5-year-old niece and her equally adorable younger brother is quite a pleasant one.

I had another nice weekend. Friday night I attended a slumber party. Can you believe it? I'm thirty-five years old, attending a slumber party. What's that all about? But, I did. The women in my church planned one for all the women to help us get to know one another better and just to let our hair down and play for a bit. I was actually on the planning committee, and it turned out quite well. We only had eight women actually spend the night, but at one point during the evening we had about 30 different women there, playing games and talking, and eating a WHOLE LOT of pizza. I had a lovely time, as did many other people. Kind of nice when it works out that way.

So, that's it for now. I'll check back in when I return from my trip.

-c

Thursday, October 19, 2006

will this keep me from being elected president?

Right now I'm listening to "Wheel" on the Heavier Things Album by John Mayer. I like this song, and by and large, I like this album. Tayneshia lent it to me about a month ago. I'm trying to decide if it's worth buying. Probably not. By the time I buy it, I'll be tired of listening to the songs. Better to just keep borrowing for a few more weeks. Tayneshia doesn't mind. She has literally hundreds and hundreds of CDs.

I was talking to a co-worker a few days ago about blogs and why she doesn't have one. Her main reason (as near as I can remember) is that she might want to run for office one day, and she thinks that having a blog might cause her trouble with this at some point.

I have no intention of ever running for any kind of public office (although I bet my mother would have said the same thing, and she's run successfully for her local school board four times now, and is working on her fifth election as I write this), so hopefully my having a blog won't come back to bite me later on.

I guess we'll just see.

I finished an afghan this week. I'm going to be giving it to a friend of mine soon. She's getting married on November 11 (I'm singing at the wedding), and we're having her bridal shower on November 4.

Monday, October 16, 2006

just a quick note

I had a nice weekend. On Saturday I went to Salt Lake City, where I met up with my old friend Lynn, and we went to an opera together. Lynn and I were roommates about 7 years ago, and we had a great time living in the same apartment. She's a great one to laugh with, to say the least. So, we caught up over some really great Mexican Food, and then went to "La Traviata". It was a good production, and a very nice way to spend an afternoon and evening.

Then yesterday I had a little dinner party for some of my friends. It was a smallish group, only six of us, and Elijah and I were the only two people who knew everyone else there. I was a little concerned that everyone wouldn't gel well together, but it all turned out just fine. The food turned out really well (I haven't been much of a cook lately, but as I do it more, I'm remembering that I really enjoy it!), and the company was just stellar. We laughed and laughed, and everyone was talking fast and interrupting eachother and trying to get their words in. Sometimes those kinds of things drive me crazy, but not this time. This time it felt just fine.

And now it's Monday and another week is starting. Isn't it nice to start a week when you had a good end to the last one?

-char

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Bucket of Frozen Frogs

So, Elijah and I were talking earlier today about some possibilities for new musicals. This conversation was prompted by a discussion we had regarding Frank Loesser's musical The Most Happy Fella. The thing is, this work is not necessarily about a man who is generally a really happy fella. (for a plot synopsis, look at this website: http://www.theatrehistory.com/american/musical021.html) But, we came to the conclusion that you can't really call a musical something along the lines of The Fella Who Was Pretty Happy Some of the Time, now can you? I mean, who would go see a musical by that name?

That got us thinking about some other possible new musicals:

"Death of a Salesman: The Musical"--doesn't that just scream success? I can hear some of the songs now:
---"The sun'll come out, tomorrow . . . or not"
---"I got rhythm, I got music, I got my man, who could ask for anything more? Well, how about for some success? Music and rhythm don't pay the bills you know."

Or, we thought about just putting happy words to really really mournful music. You know, like funeral dirges.

And then, we thought of a musical that we would call:

A Bucket of Frozen Frogs

Who knows what it would be about, but doesn't that just have a fun ring to it? I love it! The name comes from an experience that Elijah had in his youth. He had gone to visit his grandmother, who lived by some kind of a swamp or something. And, to his joy, in this swamp, he was able to catch a whole bucket of frogs, which he of course brought back to the house. Of course, his grandmother would not let him bring the bucket inside the house, so he left it in the backyard. Well, what should he find the next morning, but that he now had . . .

A BUCKET OF FROZEN FROGS

! ! ! How tragic! Elijah was unhappy, but what could he do? So, he went on to play elsewhere. Imagine his surprise when he came back later in the afternoon (after the sun had come out and warmed up the world) to find that he was now left with an empty bucket! The frogs had warmed up, and seeing that they were free to leave the bucket (earlier, before they had been frozen, Elijah had put a lid on the bucket. After the freezing episode, he had removed the lid, and not replaced it), they all jumped off and went along their little frog way.

It's a fun story, but for me the best party is just that little phrase about the frozen frogs.

Well, I have things to do tonight. So, I'd best be on my way.

-char

ps-lest you complain about the random-ness of this entry, let me remind you that it is titled "a bit of quirkiness" So, you knew what you had signed up for when you came to visit the site.

:)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

chinese cuisine and pasta

This one will be quick. I'm on hold with my favorite Chinese food restaurant, waiting to order my favorite Chinese dish (Kung Pao Tofu). You'd think I was a vegetarian wouldn't you? I'm not. I don't really like Tofu all that much in other dishes, and you will never catch me eating a garden burger again. I've eaten one and absolutely hated it. But, what can I say? Kung Pao Tofu is better than Kung Pao Shrimp or Kung Pao Chicken.

I don't eat all that much take-out food, but today's a special day. I'm not sure that it's special enough to justify this particular indulgence, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

As my old mission companion used to say,

Hasta pasta,
Charlotte

(The phrase "hasta pasta" makes absolutely no sense. "Hasta" means "until" in Spanish, "pasta" means "high-carbohydrate-noodle-like-substance-of-Italian-origin" in English. Oh well.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Queens of Birdland

Kind of an odd title for a blog entry isn't it? Well, read on and it will make more sense.

Right now I'm listening to the Trisha Yearwood version of the song, "To Make You Feel My Love" from the Hope Floats soundtrack. I borrowed this CD from Tayneshia. I'm not much of a country music fan, (to say the least) but I like this song. I also like "All I Get" by "The Mavericks", which is also on this CD. Other than that, I don't have all that much use for the music. I enjoyed the movie though.

Today has been kind of a low key day. I've gotten a few things accomplished at work, things that will be important as we head into our new fiscal year. So, that's been good. Tonight my company is hosting a workshop production of a new play based on the lives of Madonna, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Carly Simon, Patti Smith, and Chrissie Hynde. It's called "Queens of Birdland". Elijah will be joining me for this tonight, which should be interesting since he isn't much of a theatre buff. Since I am (a theatre buff), I've been stealthily introducing Elijah to the joys (and sometimes pains) of amateur theatre for a few weeks now. If my company did shows during the fall, winter, or spring, then I'd be able to introduce (or re-introduce) him to real live professional theatre, which would surely be more enjoyable for both of us. But, alas, we are a summer festival company. So, that may have to wait until July.

Until next time,
Charlotte

Monday, October 02, 2006

a (brief) vacation review


Well, San Diego was great. What can I say?

We went to Sea World, where I was able to touch a manta ray and hold a starfish. (That isn't my hand in the photo, it's Ilsa's. But, I held one too, honest.) We ate the most delicious French Toast I've ever eaten (and I'm actually quite a connoisseur of French Toast, so that's saying something) while looking over the La Jolla Cove. We explored San Diego's version of Little Italy, which was a little bit of a disappointment, but at least we got to eat some gelato. We attended the San Diego temple, which was absolutely beautiful. We ate great Mexican food in Old Town. We walked along the beach on Coronado island for as long as our legs could carry us. Most importantly, we only got terribly, heroically, impossibly lost one time. Not bad as vacations go.

And now it's back to work and regular life. But that's okay. These days I'm at a place where I'm quite pleased with regular life, so coming home to it is not a bad thing in the least.

ttfn,
Charlotte

(ps--do you know what "ttfn" stands for? If not, you should brush up on your "Winnie the Pooh".)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Serendipity

Tomorrow I'm heading out for a little vacation. The circumstances of this vacation aren't all that interesting, but those of a vacation about six months ago are, and those circumstances are the reason that I'm going on this one tomorrow. So, I'll fill you in on the back story.

Until last March, I had lived with the same roommate for 8 or 9 years. We'll call her Henrietta. Henrietta had a very good friend/sometime boyfriend for about the same amount of time. We'll call him Pedro.

One day, about a year ago, Henrietta informed me that the following April, she would be attending a conference in Orlando. Pedro was living in Alabama at the time, and Henrietta suggested to me that perhaps she and I and Theo (my boyfriend at the time) should go to Orlando together, meet up with Pedro, and the four of us could have a great time playing with Mickey Mouse and his friends. I was all for it. I waited a bit to tell Theo though, for reasons that I can't really explain.

Well, fast forward to last November. Henrietta and Pedro break up, this time for good. No longer is a cozy little double date in Orlando looking like such a great idea. So, Theo is summarily un-invited to Orlando (not a big deal since he never really knew that he was invited in the first place). Instead, Henrietta concocts an even better idea. Why not make it a girl trip? So, she calls two other friends of ours, Camilla and Ilsa, and invite them along. As it turns out, Ilsa works at the same place as Henrietta, and she arranges to attend the conference as well.

So, we're all set. Fast forward to last February. Theo and I break up. It's agony. There are tears and trials and pain, but it's all for the best (for both of us). Meanwhile, Pedro calls Henrietta from Alabama, and tells her that he can't live without her, that every moment he breathes causes him pain and suffering all because she is no longer in his life. Perhaps that might have been a slight exaggeration. Within a few weeks, Pedro and Henrietta are engaged. Suddenly, Henrietta has no desire to go to Orlando, or anywhere else except for Alabama.

So, long story short, Ilsa, Camilla, and I all go to Orlando on a trip that Henrietta arranged and planned for us. We have an absolute ball! We learn that we are GREAT traveling companions! It's heaven!!

And that is how it just so happens that tomorrow I'm leaving for San Diego. Ilsa has a conference for her work there, and Camilla and I are going to mooch off her hotel and play play play.

Isn't it nice when things turn out even better than you planned them?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A list of things I was going to do before the summer of 2006 was over

I wrote up (most of) this list last May, and spent the summer checking things off. The entries in color are those that I've completed. As to the rest, maybe I'll start a "things do to before Christmas" list. Or, maybe not.
  • Go to Lagoon (an amusement park just North of Salt Lake City)
  • Learn the "Andante Spinato" by Chopin (I'm sure working on it!)
  • Watch an episode of "The Twilight Zone"
  • Go Camping
  • Go to Old Ephraim's Grave (the gravesite of the biggest bear ever found or killed)
  • Walk around Mantua Lake
  • Plant a garden and eat at least one thing out of it
  • La experiencia secreta
  • Eat Dutch Oven Food three times
  • Learn five new guitar songs
  • Go to Denver (where I have a brother, a sister-in-law, two nieces and a nephew)
  • Go to Grand Junction (where I have a sister, a brother-in-law, one niece and one nephew)
  • Teach a lesson in Relief Society
  • Attend Black & White Days in Richmond, Utah (it's basically a celebration of the dairy cow)
  • Attend the wedding of the decade
  • Meet 10 new people and remember their names (I only got four)
  • Play Frisbee or catch with a dog
  • Fly a Kite
  • Go Geocaching
  • Make "Mormon tiramisu" (Mormons don't drink coffee or alcohol. I found a recipe that used Pero and apple juice. It worked pretty well)
  • Sing "America the Beautiful" for a bunch of veterans and golfers (this is one of those things I added to the list after I did it. I was asked to sing for the American Legion Memorial Day Program)
  • Learn to make
  • --a new dessert
  • --a new main dish
  • --a new salad
  • Attend the temple 12 times (weddings don't count)
  • La segunda experiencia secreta
  • Learn a song from "Wicked"
  • Sing and play (on the piano) "Simple Gifts" without noticeable mistakes
  • Go on dates with three guys I've never been out with before
  • Crochet two afghans
  • Host an ethnic food party
  • See a moose in the wild
  • Do something out of my comfort zone
  • Watch "The Wizard of Oz", while listening to Pink Floyd's "The Wall"
  • Survive a root canal
  • See a silent movie in a theater
  • Drink Mate (pronounced "MAH-tay"-an herb drink, mostly from South America)
  • Watch "American graffiti"
  • See a rattlesnake in the wild
  • Witness the baptism of a friend
  • See and hug every member of my immediate family
  • Attend the Shakespearean Festival

Not a bad summer, huh?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A walk in the mountains

Well, it's been a fun and busy couple of days. Work has been going well. It seems that there's always plenty to do, which makes the day go by more quickly. That's always nice.

Last night I went hiking with a friend of mine in the canyon above my home. It was just beautiful. The leaves are just starting to change, and I imagine in a week or so they will be just gorgeous. In two weeks or so, they'll be gone, and we'll be headed into winter with a vengeance. Oh well. The hike was nice. We left about 4:30, drove for about an hour, hiked for an hour an a half, and I got home around 8:30 p.m. Since it was so late when we left, it got kind of cold there on the mountain, but the views were worth the pain. My friend is a professional photographer (you can see his work at the following website: http://www.pikastreetphotography.com/), and so we did some stopping here and there for him to take photos. Although I enjoy taking a picture now and then, I'm strictly an amateur, so it was fun to be with someone with an eye for that sort of thing. I was able to see the area from a different vantage point than I ever have before--which was a treat.

Tonight should be kind of basic. I'll be teaching a few voice lessons, like I do every Tuesday, and then I have some visiting teaching to do. After that my home teachers are coming over. So, nothing too exciting, but plenty of social interaction. That's nice.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Second time ever

So, you just have to wonder--is the next entry in this little blog going to be titled, "Third time ever"? What about the next one after that? Will it be "Fourth time ever"? And really, how bad would it be to have a post that says "Seven-hundred and twenty-third time ever"? Would that be just too unbearable?

What will I do? It's all a mystery. Again, time will tell.

Life is good for me. I have a great job that I love. I have a great (and pretty big) family, but none of them live close enough to me that they are able to effectively run my life for me. They pretty much leave that to me, thank you very much, and are willing to give me advice when I ask for it, and for the most part, keep pretty quiet when I don't. How many people have that blessing, huh? And then, I'm surrounded by friends, co-workers, and other associates that I really quite enjoy.

I don't have television reception. Where I live, you pretty much can't get it unless you have cable or dish network or whatever, and I'm not home enough to feel like paying the money to have the TV sit dark all the time. Besides, there is a lot of junk on TV that frankly doesn't interest me all that much.

But, I DO like The Amazing Race, HGTV, American Idol, and (I hate to admit it!) America's Next Top Model. I also think I might like Dancing with the Stars, and Celebrity Duets, but I've never seen either, so I don't know for sure. Luckily for me, my good friend Tayneshia is more of a TV fan than me, and she has TiVo. Bless her, she's been recording some of the shows I've asked for, and tonight we're going to have a night of television. What could be better? Girl talk, quality(?) entertainment, a little bit of crocheting (did I mention that I crochet--oh yeah baby, do I ever!) Heck, I might even be able to round up a bit of chocolate for the occasion. Good times.

And I think that's quite enough for today.

Friday, September 08, 2006

First time ever

So, Last night I read an article in Reader's Digest about the i-media revolution, and blogging, and i-pods, and DVR's and a bunch of other stuff, and I decided that perhaps I would try a little bit of blogging on my own. So, I checked out blogger.com, and here I am. I don't have too much to say at this point, and I'll be honest, I'm a bit tentative about the whole blog thing in general. So, we'll see what happens from here I guess.

Hasta,

Charlotte

Saturday, August 19, 2006

About Yours Truly

I'm pretty much your basic, garden variety girl, and this blog is pretty much your basic, garden variety blog--with a bit of random wackiness thrown in from time to time.

When I started blogging (back in the fall of 2006), I was completely single, and so my posts mainly centered on


me,
Photobucket
(In the Bahamas)


my friends,
Photobucket
(eating crawdads)


my family,
Photobucket
(only part of my family shown here)


and my adventures.
Photobucket
(Thailand)



Then, in the spring of 2007,


I married my Eric,
Photobucket




and in the fall of 2008,



we were happily joined by baby Heather.
Photobucket


Obviously, life is a bit different now than it used to be.





My posts still mostly center on me, my friends, my family, and my adventures,




but now there's much more family,
Photobucket




and not nearly as many extravagant adventures.
Photobucket
(Pinion Ridge is located in the middle of nowhere, Eastern Utah)





That's perfectly fine with me.







Places I like to Visit



Someday Crafts














Etsy Traders


















Corry Family History















CJane enjoy it










NieNie Dialogues
















D-Dawg











Friday, August 18, 2006

Family Blogs

(click on the picture to go to the blog)




My Eric
(This is a geek blog that
much to my chagrin gets at
least as many hits per week
as my blog gets, even though
it hasn't been updated in
nearly a year. A true
testament to the power of
geeky-ness)




Jacob and Melissa Corry
(Jacob is my brother)
(A note about this blog--Jacob
Melissa both contribute, with
each of them writing about
the same amount of posts.
It makes for a delightfully
varied experience, in my
opinion. One day you read
about the woes and joys of
a medical resident, or a
sports rant, from a rabid fan,
the next you read about a new
quilt pattern. Then there's
always a cute/funny kid
story or two to tie it all
together. Maybe it's just
because I know them so well,
but I've got to say, I think
it's pretty awesome.)




Jacob's more opinionated blog





Melissa's quilting blog



Amy Greenway
(Amy is Eric's sister)




Adam Greenway
(Adam is married to Amy)




Rebecca and Ryan Esplin
(Rebecca is my sister)




Scott and Lindsay Cantwell
(Scott is Eric's brother)




Doug and Maegan Corry
(Doug is my brother)








Thursday, August 17, 2006

Links to Links

For blogs of my immediate family:
Click Here

For blogs of my cousins (and Eric's Uncle Lee):
Click Here

For blogs of my friends:
Click Here

For other places I like to go:
Click Here


friend blogs

CLASSMATES/CHILDHOOD FRIENDS
Harmony
Jeff
Jared
Amy
Jocelin
Tonia (Ashdown) (and family)
Charlie
Judy
Michelle
Sean
Nichole
Macayla
Tonia (Loveland)


PEOPLE WITH WHOM I WORK
Nellie
Stacy

FRIENDS I'VE "APPROPRIATED" FROM ERIC OR OTHER FRIENDS
Chelsie
Camille
Heather
Corrie
Michelle

FRIENDS I ENCOUNTERED WHILE ATTENDING VARIOUS LDS WARDS
(not counting those who were classmates and/or childhood friends)
Kami
Mary
Lisa & Paul
Michelle
Angie
Loren
Daela
Liz
Scott (a/k/a Grandpa P)
Katie
Aubrey (private)
Jamie (private)
Chelley

FORMER ROOMMATES
Heidi's blog about her life
Heidi's blog with helpful homemaking tips
Jeri
Lyn
Melissa
Amanda



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