Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Round of Random Pictures

I hope I haven't already posted these photos on the blog before. Actually, I think I'll look through the blog after I get done with this post and see where I actually do have photos posted. Then it should be easy to check for duplicates in the future.

Anyway, these first two photos were taken at Christmas time a year or two ago. In the first one my dad is explaining something to two of my brothers. In the second, he is working on something electrical, while Brother No. 3 looks on and learns. (Brother No. 1 is already hard at work, doing I'm-not-sure-what).

This next photo I thought was cute, because it shows my niece's love of "holding the train". You might remember the picture of all the nieces holding my train at my wedding. Well, this is where it all started. This is the wedding of Brother No. 4 and his wife, which took place just over two years ago. (I think)

Next is one that I just thought was funny. I mean, "Sanitary Dry Cleaning"? What other kind is there? It was taken in Pikeville, Kentucky, on a trip I took there a couple of years ago.

And lastly is a picture of good old Cache Valley. If you look off in the distance you can see the "A" on Utah State University's Old Main Hill.

And that's it for today folks!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Creme Brulee and the Subaru

Well, just after I wrote the previous post, I had a meeting get cancelled, and so now it appears that I do have a few minutes in which to post something. Don't plan on anything earth shattering though. It's just the weekend report.

We had a glorious weekend. We determined not to go anywhere for the holiday, which was a great choice. Because of it, we were able to sleep in, do some house cleaning and cooking (that was me), take some old furniture to Goodwill (that was Eric), put together a computer desk (Eric again), and live a little bit of the life of luxury, courtesy of some of the gift cards we received for our wedding.

We ate great food, and purchased some new pillows (I LOVE new pillows! Really, is there anything better than a nice, fluffy, new pillow? ). We saw Raiders of the Lost Ark at our local Classic Theatre, and we had dinner at the same place we went to celebrate our engagement almost seven months ago. We were able to meet up with many family members as we did these errands, and (as mentioned in the last post) I was able to put together a list of the songs that I'll probably be singing at Summerfest. Whew!

As I write it all down, I'm a bit surprised at just how busy our "relaxing weekend" turned out to be. However, I still haven't written about the two biggest events. They are:

1. I introduced Eric to Creme Brulee, (having received a Creme-Brulee-making-kit-including-butane-torch for a shower gift) and he loves it. We both love it, in fact. We both love it so much that I will probably have to put a definite quota on the number of times we can eat it in any given month. That stuff is dangerous.

2. Eric introduced me to the two-foot drop-off in the driveway of his parents' home. Unfortunately this introduction was not made until I had backed the rear passenger-side tire of our car over it. Everything worked out okay--the car is fine, I'm fine, the driveway is fine. However, by the time everything was back to normal, we had seen and heard from pretty much every person living within a 2-house radius. As it turned out, we needed all their help to get the car back to normal, but still, how embarrassing!

I suppose I shouldn't be embarrassed though. Or at least, I should be used to it. Someday I might have to do an entry on my car catastrophes. I hate to admit it, but in the past 20 years, I've taken out (or at least run into) mailboxes, garage doors, carport poles, & bakery windows. Now I can add driveway drop-offs to my repertoire.

(sigh . . . )


Summerfest Update

I don't really have time for a "real post" at the moment, so that will have to wait.

However, I've had more than a few people ask for details as to when I'll be performing at Summerfest and all of that. If you go here, there is a schedule. Basically, I'm at 3:00 on Friday June 15.

I had one goal over the weekend, which was to get a set list put together for the songs I'm planning to do. I was able to do it, thank heavens! Now all that remains is to get the songs so that I feel comfortable performing them. That may take a little bit of doing!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Power Wagon

When I was about nine years old, my parents bought a new Dodge Colt. It was black (although it was later painted blue), and it became my mom's "drive around when you don't have all the kids with you" car. It later became the car that my father used to teach me how to drive a standard transmission. Even later, it became the car my father used to teach every one of my siblings the same skill.

When I got into high school, (and later college) I was allowed to take the car with me sometimes, and use it to run errands, and all that kind of stuff. When I left home to attend Utah State University, my parents allowed me to take the Colt with me. By then it was getting a little hammered, but it still ran, and it worked for me. Of all the cars I've ever had, this one is probably my favorite. Here are a few of my favorite memories:

In high school, I would sometimes drive it to the school and leave it in the parking lot while I went up to Northern Utah on track or cross-country or choir or band trips. Often when I came home, I would find it parked in a different parking spot, across a few different parking spaces. This was all courtesy of my male classmates, who would get together and physically move it (using nothing but thier newly developed muscles) from one place to another. High School Boys. They never change do they?

My friends at SUU used to call it "the Power Wagon", because it had a lever you could use to get the car from "economy mode" to "power mode" (I never noticed any difference in the amount of actual power, regardless of where the lever was. However, when it was in "power mode", the engine made more noise). One time, we were driving the car with some of our friends. We'd crammed six college freshman in the car, at least one of them with his legs hanging out of the hatch-back. It was late and I was driving through the mostly-deserted streets of Cedar City. I happened to start up one of the streets on the wrong side of the road, and we got pulled over by a policeman. It was only the second time I'd ever been pulled over (the first time had been two years previous when a friend in my neighborhood convinced the Police Chief to arrange to have me receive a "ticket" to go to the Junior Prom with him) and I was scared out of my mind. Come to think of it, we didn't get a ticket or anything. It was probably my fear and genuine regret that saved us.

Once I lost the car in an SUU parking lot for four days. I lived really close to the school, as well as to a grocery store, so I hardly ever drove anywhere. But, one day I did drive to down to school for some reason. Then I forgot that I had driven, and walked home to my apartment. Four days later, I went out to the apartment parking lot to drive somewhere, and couldn't find the car. I searched all over the parking lot, and concluded that someone had stolen it. That seemed odd to me, since it was FAR from being the nicest car in the area. Eventually (before I filed a police report or even told my parents) I remembered that I had driven it down to the University. I ran down there as fast as my legs could carry me, and sure enough, there it was, just waiting.

So, that's probably enough on this car. We don't have it anymore, unfortunately. When I bought my first car (a Geo Metro) in 1995, my parents took the Colt back and my other siblings used it for their needs. When my youngest brother left home, the car was way past being on its last legs and so my parents got rid of it. I think they actually donated it, if I'm not mistaken.

And that's it for today.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Comfort Zone? What Comfort Zone?

Well, I'm singing at Summerfest.

That may not mean much to some of you, but it's kind of cool (and even more scary) for me.

Summerfest is an art fair that happens here every summer. It's one of my favorite things about living here. It's not all that different from art fairs in other part of the country (the same booths where artists sell paintings, woodwork, handmade jewelry, etc., the same fair food, and random musicians performing throughout the day and evening), but for me there is something special about it. I can't really put my finger on what it is.

Anyway, I never planned on performing there, but a co-worker of mine was put in charge of the music this year and he asked me to perform. I'm nervous about it, because it will be the first time I've ever done anything like this before. Fortunately, I'm scheduled for a time in the middle of the afternoon, when the crowd will (hopefully) be fairly thin. I'll be playing the guitar and singing which is not my usual (or preferred) form of performance. (My usual is to sing one or two songs with a pianist as part of a banquet or wedding or funeral or something) So, I'm hoping to do it on a kind of casual basis. We'll see how it all comes out I guess.

I don't have too much else to report. Last night Eric and I went back to the rec center. He beat me on the treadmill competition, AND also when we came home to play Pac-man (which we got for our wedding). I've got to find something that I can do to salve my ego with him, and soon. He really should be able to win everything, now, should he?

(I suppose I am better at crocheting--but it's a small consolation)

Monday, May 21, 2007

For Amy

See this post , and the accompanying comments.

It's not as good as being there in person--but it's better than nothing, right?

Crossing "T's"

I didn't go running this morning, and my running time usually turns out to be the time when I come up with my best ideas for blog entries. So, I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to write about at the moment. I guess we'll just have to see.

One of my big projects lately has been trying to get my last name changed. A few weeks ago I spent about two hours in a room at the County offices, in order to get a new Social Security Card sent to me. It was kind of an inefficient process, mainly (I suppose) because representatives only come up here twice per month for 5-6 hours each time. On the bright side, while I was waiting, I finished my first ever Sudoku puzzle (having purchased a Sudoku puzzle book over a year previous).

After I changed the Social Security card, I went to change my Drivers Licence, which was much easier. I had to get a new photograph, and unfortunately this particular photo makes me looke like I'm not all the way there or something. But, at least it's Charlotte Cantwell who looks that way and not Charlotte Corry anymore. I also updated my weight on the new drivers license, adding 5 pounds so I'm not lying anymore. That was a little tough on the old ego.

After doing those things, I've mainly just been making sporadic calls to banks, credit card companies, and the like, getting them to change my name there. Since I sign all the checks for the opera company, I've had to get new signature cards for our checking accounts here as well. It's kind of a pain, but definitely doable.

Now I'm faced with the decision of how best to sign my name. I'm one of those people who crosses their "t's" with a little upswing in the middle of the word, rather than going back and crossing them afterward. This way works really well for "Charlotte", but not as well for "Cantwell" (the cross of the "t" ends up looking like a really sloppy "d". You probably can't envision it, so just trust me). Also, "Cantwell" is about twice as long to write as "Corry", which isn't a big deal unless your signing about 200 checks, which I will be doing approximately five times in the next 15 weeks. So, we'll see how that all turns out I suppose.

It is kind of fun though, I have to admit.

In other news, yesterday Eric and I were able to see a whole bunch of our friends from our days in the singles ward. That was definitely a treat!

And that's all for today amigos.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

just a quick note

Well, things are good, as usual. Work is starting to get busy, as all the technicians, singers, and the other people that bring all that theatre magic to our lives start to arrive here at the old opera house. They all seem to want to be paid, which is where I come in. Within about 2 weeks, I'll have to turn off my Windows Media Player, because the walls will resonate with the sound of rehearsals, and my own playlist will clash with that music, and give me a headache. But, the rehearsals are often really pleasant to listen to, and even when they aren't pleasant, they are definitely interesting. So, I don't mind so much.

This summer we're doing Porgy & Bess, Showboat, Most Happy Fella, and Il Trovatore. I don't know very much music from the latter three, but I love just love Porgy. I'm a big Gershwin fan in general. So, I'm hoping that that cast rehearses in the room that shares a wall with my office area. I'm probably going to be out of luck though. That room is one of the smaller rehearsal spaces, and the cast for Porgy is one of the larger casts. So, it's not looking good for me. Oh well. I can still hope.

And that's about all I have for today.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Dream Book

So, last night for Family Home Evening, Eric and I read one of the conference talks (for our lesson), and then we started work on what is going to be our Dream Book. It was SOOOO fun! Both of us were a little apprehensive about it all, but we went for it anyway, and we had a ball. Basically, we sat down with some blank pieces of paper and wrote out all (or at least most) of the dreams we have for our future. Some of them are pretty big dreams, and it may take a miracle or two for them to come about. But, we figure that they are more likely to come about if we decide we want them than if we don't have to courage to hope for them. Besides, I'm a big believer in miracles. So, we went ahead and "dreamed big".

The next step (which we'll probably do next Monday evening) is for us to look through magazines and in other places and find pictures that depict our dreams. Once we do that, we'll paste them into a really pretty photo album that we received for our wedding. As we get more dreams, we'll put more pictures in the album.

So, that's the big event of the moment. You might wonder where we got this idea--or you may not. But if you do, you can read the post entitled "The Dream Book-references". I've put some other things there that kind of tie it all together.

In other news, things are still good. We've been spending our free time in various projects lately--Eric setting up the man room, and me working on a guitar/singing project that I've allowed myself to be talked into doing. (more on that in another post probably)

And that's it for today folks.


The Dream Book-references

In order to really understand the post that will be posted above this one, you'll need to do a little bit of background reading.

First, go to this website, and read the account of Glenna's Goal Book. (I would just copy it here, but it's copyrighted)

Then, read the following account, which is a modified version of something I wrote up last February to give to some of my friends for Valentine's Day:

"Charlotte's experience with Glenna's Goal Book"

In 2006 I was a 35-year old single girl who had just ended a three-year relationship with a man that I loved. My best girl friend and roommate of seven years had become engaged and moved out in preparation for her wedding and subsequent move across the country. The year prior to all of this had been one of immense struggle for me, and I was a little concerned that the future might end up being even worse.

In March or so of that year, I was thumbing through my copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, and I found the account listed above. I had read this story before, and it had impressed me then, but I had set the book aside and hadn’t put together my own goal book.

I decided that this time I would do something about it. I was a little apprehensive about it all, worrying that I might put together a goal book and then nothing would happen and I would have wasted my energy and my hopes. But, I reasoned that I really didn’t have anything to lose. Many of my dreams didn’t seem to be coming true at that point anyway, and so if I were to make the book and they still didn’t come true, I would be no worse off than I was already. To put it shortly, I figured that it might not help, but it surely wouldn’t hurt, so I might as well take the chance.

I couldn’t justify the purchase of an expensive photo album (I’m overly frugal by nature), so I went to “Ross Dress For Less”, and purchased a photo album that looked expensive for about $6. Then I started combing through magazines, looking for the pictures of my dreams. Like Glenna, I was very specific with my pictures. They included:

  1. A woman about my age with brown hair, looking thoughtfully off into the distance, radiating peace and contentment.
  2. A woman a bit older than me with brown hair, playing with a hula-hoop and radiating fun and enjoyment.
  3. A man and a woman laughing together.
  4. A man and a woman sharing a tender kiss.
  5. A collage with an LDS temple, a diamond engagement ring, and a bride and a groom.
  6. Families riding bicycles, playing games, studying the scriptures, and spending time together.
  7. A man with a bit of a beard, on top of a roof with a nail gun, and another picture of a couple in a pick-up truck. (symbolizing to me that my husband would be more on the “handy” side than not)
  8. A girl at a microphone, singing to a crowd of people.
I finished my album towards the end of March. About 10 weeks later, a guy named Eric asked me to have dinner with him. I had known Eric for a few years at that point, and we were friends. Not “share-your innermost-dreams” friends, not even “hang-out-together-from-time-to-time” friends. More like “say-‘hello’-with-a-little-more-enthusiasm-than-normal-when-you-happen-to-run-into-each-other“ friends.

So, we went to dinner. And then we went hiking. And then we went to dinner again. Eventually we went from dating every other week or so to dating every week. Then we started seeing each other every few days, and then we started seeing each other every day. It wasn’t too long before I realized that Eric was my best friend, and even the best friend I’d ever had in all my life. I found that Eric had a sense of humor that was nearly a perfect compliment to my own. I found that Eric’s kisses made me feel all “shimmery” in a way that no kiss ever had before. In short, Eric grew into being a man that I loved, completely and in a way that I’d never loved anyone before. We got engaged on December 8, and we will marry each other in the Logan Temple on April 14, 2007.

Even before I started dating Eric, I found that other things in my life started to turn around. I felt more comfortable being in social situations, more confident, and happier. I felt more at peace about my future, even before it was clear what that future would be. As I felt better and better about myself, I was able to let loose and be more playful than I ever had previously. Part of this can obviously be attributed to the excitement that comes from falling in love. But, I firmly believe that it’s not the whole reason that these things started to change for me.

And as to the other pictures? I don’t know how the family-oriented ones will be fulfilled, nor do I have any firm gigs in the future involving me singing to great big crowds of people. There are also other pictures in that book that I didn’t describe here, and many of them depict events and situations that are still to be completed. But, when I met Eric, he had a bit of a beard, and he was working as a construction estimator in the family business, which just happens to be a lumberyard. If that’s not a handy man, I don’t know what is. Now, if the Lord cares enough about me and my life to send me a man who has a beard and knows how to use a nail gun, is he going to forget or overlook the desires that are infinitely more important to me? I think not.

To end this story, (for now), I have one more story. About two weeks ago, I determined that I would put together a scrapbook with pictures and souvenirs from Eric’s and my dating and courtship experience. As I was looking for an album to hold these pictures, I couldn’t find anything that I liked. I went to three different stores without finding anything, and had decided to go ahead and put it all in a basic three-ring binder. Just as I was leaving the last store, I glanced down at the bottom shelf in the “scrapbook album” aisle and saw some very familiar fabric. There was a scrapbook album with the exact cover as the photo album I had chosen for my “goal book”. Except for the size (the scrapbook was bigger), this album was exactly the same as the book I had bought nine months earlier at Ross Dress for Less.

Is this all a coincidence? Maybe. It’s entirely possible that if I hadn’t assembled my own goal book back in May that I would still be where I am today, at peace and full of joy and engaged to the man of my dreams. I will never know what would have happened if I had put together my goal book back years ago, when I first found the account of Glenna. I will also never know what would have happened if I wouldn’t have put together my goal book back in March. But, I do know this: I was right when I determined that trying out Glenna’s plan “wouldn’t hurt anything, and might actually help my situation”. It was a chance that I’m glad I took. So glad that I’m sharing the whole story with you.

-February 14, 2007

Okay. Now you've done your homework, and you can probably better understand Eric's and my activities of yesterday evening.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

flowers and vegetables

This may be quick, or it may be long--who knows?

We're at the home of Eric's parents. Eric needs to pick up some more "decor" (read: robots) for the "man room". I'm not sure how long we'll be here, so I went out back to look at the beautiful lilacs, and I thought I'd take a minute and blog while I'm waiting for him.

Being back in real life is not quite as fun as being on a honeymoon, but overall, it's not been bad. Our jobs have been stressful for us both, since the work really piled up while we were away. But, it was worth it. Last night we were able to have dinner with Greg & Tamara (Eric's brother and his wife), which was really quite fun. Before that, I did a little bit of work in what passes for our garden. I have tulips, and I just planted tomatoes yesterday. The hollyhocks that I planted from seed last year seem to be coming back, as are the daisies. In addition, Marcos & Adelina (childhood friends of Eric's who are fast becoming friends of mine as well) gave us about 5 different "love themed" plants as a wedding gift (bleeding hearts, bachelor's buttons, forget-me-nots, cupid's arrow), along with a kneeling cushion. So, I'm hoping to get those in the ground this afternoon.

I didn't realize how much fun it would be to plant things and watch them grow. When I was a kid, we used to plan a family garden every summer. Each child would have "control" over a certain amount of land, and we were free to plant whatever we wanted there. I usually did carrots and peas, because those were my favorite vegetables. (Interesting, because peas are my absolute least favorite vegetable cooked, canned, or frozen, but my absolute favorite vegetable fresh and raw) Anyway, when I was a kid, gardening, while bearable, wasn't all that fun. Now it's different. Ever since I moved to my own place last year, I've found that I love gardening. I love the planting, I love the watching for the first signs of growth, and I especially love the sitting on the back patio when the flowers are all in bloom, and just reading or writing or talking on the phone or whatever. Since most of my garden is a container garden, I don't have to weed very often or very much, which only adds to my enjoyment.

So, it's a nice time of year for me.

And I think that's all for today.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Joy and Gloriousness

This will be quick, because of course, I am absolutely SWAMPED. But, here are some pictures from the honeymoon of joy and gloriousness.

We were lucky to happen upon a free outdoor jazz concert on Saturday afternoon. It was fabulous.

We spent an entire afternoon in Chinatown. Eric bought me a dragon necklace, which I love. We looked at jade dragons, but since the ones we really liked were over $1,000, we decided to wait on those until we arrive at the point that we have so much money that we don't know what to do with it. We ate prawns with lobster sauce and lychee chicken in a Chinese roof garden restaurant. The view was as good as the food, and both were heavenly.

Oh-and every morning, I went for a little walk-about before breakfast. I saw this on one of my ramblings and thought it was kind of fun. It's a tavern on the corner of Grant Street and Green Street.
And that had better be all for today.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

excitement and blessings (and a final)

This will be quick, because I have a ton of things to do today. Eric and I leave for our honeymoon in two days. Yippee!!! We're going to San Francisco, and we're both terribly excited. I'm more excited than Eric at the moment, because before we leave he has to take the dreaded Math 1050 final (tonight). Yuck.

In a very pleasant surprise, all the people that I work with got together and arranged for us to have lodging in a very nice time share right in downtown San Francisco. So, basically, rather than having to pay $1,000 or so for our lodging while we're on the honeymoon, or having to find some budget place on the outskirts of town, we are able to stay in a beautiful location, in a beautiful building, and it's not costing us a dime. Isn't that just an amazing wedding gift? Wow. Sometimes I just sit and wonder how it is that things tend to work out so nicely for us. Today is one of those times.

I'm not saying that everything is perfect or that we lead this charmed life with nothing but days filled with rainbows and coconut trees. We have our inconveniences (wasps have recently begun to invade our attic and upstairs, for one), and we'll probably continue to have things that will not turn out exactly as we might have hoped they would.

But, all in all, we are blessed, absolutely completely, and joyously blessed.


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