Thursday, February 28, 2008

Daddy's Girl(s)

My brother recently posted on his blog about (among other things) how his daughter can pretty much get away with murder with him, because he has such a soft spot in his heart for his little girl.

That got me thinking a little bit. Why is it that girls are often able to work their fathers around their pinky finger, while the boys often have to actually earn the respect and love that they get? Is it because we're so darn cute? Is it because we're softer? Is it because we take care of our daddies more? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it. I think by and large, dads are just born that way, and any bright young girl soon learns how to work that to her advantage. I know I did.

When I was little, I would spend my Sunday mornings baking bread for my father (we didn't have church until 1:00 p.m.). He liked homemade bread, and he would pay me 50 cents for each loaf I baked him. In return for that, and also for the fact that I kept my hair long (he had a fondness for long hair), my dad would play games with me, and take me for ice cream, and listen to my worries, and laugh at my dumb elephant jokes, and do a million other things, some of which are too personal and too special to be posted here.

But, the fact is, as far as I could tell, he did those things for my brothers just as much as he did them for me or for my sister.

One time, when I was a teenager, the boys were teasing my dad about the favoritism he would show his daughters, and how we girls were able to get so much more out of my dad than the boys.

When the boys had gone off and it was just me and dad left there, I asked him about it. We were sitting on the couch, and I said something along the lines of, "Dad, that's not true is it? I mean, what do you give or do for me & Becca that you don't give or do for the boys?"

And then my father looked at me with a resigned smile, and spoke four words which changed everything for me from then on:

"Anything you ask me."

(This is my dad installing shelving in the shed that was part of my the purchase of my first (and so-far last) home. He spent last Thanksgiving break installing shelving and re-wiring the storage room in my sister's first (and so-far last) home. )

(I should mention here that it's only the boys who have any hope of inheriting the treasured hunting knife that once belonged to our Great-Uncle Scott. That's got to be worth something, right?)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The return of the random picture post! (have you missed it?)

For a quick update, we're doing well. We had a great weekend. Friday we went out with some of Eric's cousins as well as a couple in our ward and had a really nice time. Saturday we went out with yet another couple in our ward (the same family that invited us over to dinner the previous Sunday. You remember, when I was so discouraged because illness prevented us from making it?) and had a great time. It's been a while since we had such a full social calendar, and the change was nice. Not that I would want to be that busy all the time, but every once in a while, it's kind of a treat.

For Family Home Evening last night, Eric and I pored over different entertainment options for our Alabama trip (Which will take take place in just two weeks! Hooray!), and read Elder Uchdorf's talk from the last General Conference. I'd forgotten what comforting, helpful words he spoke that day, and it was a nice reminder.

And so that's the latest with us. Now for your viewing pleasure, here are a few random pictures, with some (hopefully short) explanations:

I took this picture on the trip I took to visit Tayneshia's Texas home in 2005. In the mornings, before the others woke up, I would take walks around the neighborhood, just to get a better feel for my surroundings. I love to do that. Anyway, here's one house/yard that I thought was interesting.

Speaking of interesting, here's a little turnabout. The picture on the right is Eric in what I call the blue room (also occasionally referred to as "the robot room" or "the man room") in our home. The picture below is what this same room looked like when the previous owners of our home lived in it (they had two children, both under the age of three). Personally, I like the homey-ness of the second photo. On the other hand, I love the fact that nearly all the robots in our house are confined to one room. Because of that, I have no problem with the changes we've made.

And the last picture is me at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. This picture was also taken in 2005, on a little "Homage to the 2002 Olympics" jaunt that I took. I just adore the Olympics, and having them come to Salt Lake in 2002 was an experience like no other for me.

And with that, I leave you for another bit.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's this Sunday?

This morning, as I was getting dressed and putting away the laundry that should have been put away a few days ago, I learned, to my surprise, that the Academy Awards are this Sunday.

Who knew??

There have been times in my life when I have been keenly interested in the Academy Awards. The year that Gandhi and E.T. (1982) were both nominated for best picture comes to mind. I had seen Gandhi because Mrs. Alderson had promised us extra-credit if we saw it and drew a picture depicting what we felt about and/or learned from the movie. I had really connected with the film, and I remember wanting it to beat out E.T. with the kind of desperation that only an eleven-year old girl can muster. Naturally, I was thrilled when I learned the next morning (having been made to go to bed before the award was made the night before) that it had won for Best Picture. That I would care so much about it seems kind of odd to me now.

Then there were the Theo years. For awhile before I fell for Eric, I dated another stellar-but-ultimately-not-exactly-right-for-me-(nor-I-for-him) guy. Among other things, he was very much into the Academy Awards. He would follow all the pre-Oscar award shows, speculate (with his family members primarily) about which films would be nominated, see as many of the shows that were nominated as he could get to, and just generally revel in the events surrounding the Oscar season. I would go to some of the films with him, and usually watch the awards ceremony with his family. It was a fun time, and I enjoyed my new-found (albeit limited) knowledge of this aspect of pop culture.

Now though, I'm back to my old oblivious ways. As I was listening to the radio report this morning, I didn't hear a single movie mentioned that I had seen, and only one of them (Juno) that I had even heard of. While I'm a little surprised by this, it doesn't really bother me. They are just movies after all, right? We find different interests at different points in our lives. Some interests (like religion, family, and chocolate) will surely stay with me forever, while others (calligraphy, racquetball, and reading everything at my local library written by Orson Scott Card) have and will continue to fade.

And (as we hear in Forest Gump, a movie I didn't love but that won the 1994 Academy Award for best picture anyway,) that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Best Chocolate Dipped Strawberries I've Ever Had

Well, here I am with a quick weekend report:

1. We did NOT end up sharing a Roger's Special over candlelight. We did end up eating left-over Mexican food by candlelight, and it was just delicious, and a lot of fun.

2. We had a nice weekend in Salt Lake City. We got a deal on a "Romantic Getaway" Package at a hotel down there, and since neither of us had ever done anything like that, we went ahead and tried it. Not bad. The best chocolate-dipped strawberries I've ever had, and since I'm a bit of an expert when it comes to chocolate-dipped strawberries, that's saying something.

3. I wasn't feeling well on Saturday, which was rare, and kind of a bummer. (I don't think it was due to the strawberries, if you're wondering)

4. By Saturday afternoon, Eric wasn't feeling well either, which was also kind of a bummer. (Again, I have no reason to suspect the strawberries)

5. Because we were feeling so poorly, we had to turn down the first dinner invitation we have ever received from a family in our ward. I was terribly disappointed at that. Oh well.

6. By Monday both Eric and I were feeling much better. Eric went to work and I (having the day off), lazed around, got a few things done, and had another tatting lesson. One of these days I'll have a beautiful picture of my work to post here. First though, I'll have to create something a little bit more beautiful than what I'm creating at present.

And I think that's it for today. I leave you with pictures of the aforementioned strawberries, and one very happy couple (pre-disappointment and illness).

Happy Tuesday,


Happy Birthday Jacob!

Today is the birthday of my brother Jacob.

Here is his picture:

(He's the tallest one, second man from the left)

And here is the poem that I took approximately three minutes to write:

Ode to Jacob
-By Charlotte C. Cantwell

Jacob was the second of my brothers born.

When we don't live close to each other, my heart is torn.

He's helped me so much,

Through good, bad, and such,

That without him I'd be very forlorn.

Happy Birthday Jay-bers.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yet Another Chapter in the Thrilling Lives of Charlotte and Eric

Here's a little of what we've been up to lately:

Tonight we're not doing much for Valentine's Day. The fact is, we're still pretty cheesy and romantic most days, so we basically decided to forgo the pressure of having to take it up a notch for one day. Besides, tomorrow we're headed for our little "we didn't gain any weight over the holidays" reward trip, and so we're saving our pennies to splurge there.

I am contemplating the purchase of a "Roger's Special" hoagie (Eric's favorite) for dinner, which (if I do it) we will briefly enjoy by candlelight with Martinelli's Sparkling Cider. After that romantic meal, Eric will dash madly to his evening class, where he will continue to learn about the growing field of employment opportunities for dashing young graphic designers such as himself.

Actually, I suppose that's more of what we will be up to, rather than what we've been up to lately. So, here's what we've been up to lately:

Last Saturday, Eric's mom started what may be the long process of teaching me how to tat. It took a while for me to get the hang of it, but I can definitely see improvement. We'll have another lesson on Monday, probably.

This is a treat for me because I've always wanted to tat. It's so dainty and pretty, don't you think? Also, it's kind of a dying art, and I like the thought of doing my part to keep it alive. Most importantly though, I like the thought of teaching my daughters and granddaughters to tat, and being part of the family tatting chain.

(Get it? The family tatting chain? Do I have a knack for wording or what???)

And as far as what Eric's been up to lately? Computer stuff. We bought a software upgrade, which necessitated getting a Windows upgrade, which necessitated getting more RAM, a new graphics card, and reloading all the software. Poor guy. He's been spending his life in the computer room this week. At least he has lots of robot friends there to keep him company.

Happy Valentines Day to you all,


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thanks, Mrs. Thomas

When I was young, I was into reading, big time. I read everything I could get my hands on. I remember setting my alarm clock for 5:00 and 4:00 in the morning when I was in elementary and middle school, just so I could have a couple of uninterrupted hours of reading time before I had to start my day. That's how into reading I was.

Anyway, at this same time, my younger brother (Brother #1) was establishing himself as the family math whiz. I noticed how good he was at it, and (as often happens with siblings) I was terribly jealous. Secretly, I would do extra math homework, hoping that if I just did enough extra problems, it would cause the magical math switch in my brain to click on, and I would gain genius-level math skills, while still maintaining my exceptional reading prowess. When my efforts failed to produce this result, I determined that I would probably never have a very good aptitude for math, and after mourning this for awhile, I went on my way.

I continued to struggle with my math classes, having a particularly hard time in Pre-Algebra. I did marginally better in Algebra, but by the time I started high school, I had pretty much consigned myself to a life of math mediocrity.

And then everything changed.

My 9th grade Math teacher was Mrs. Thomas. Now, I don't know if she didn't realize or chose not to notice that I had some math struggles. All I remember is that as she taught me, Mrs. Thomas made me feel like an absolute geometry genius. It was as if I could do no wrong in her class. Suddenly I was writing theorems and postulates and doing proofs as if I was born to do nothing but geometry. I'd never felt more secure in my (math) abilities before. I felt brilliant. It was absolutely wonderful.

I went on to further math conquests from there, eventually taking Trigonometry, and College Level Statistics and Calculus, earning A's and B's in each class. Now, twelve years later, I'm an accountant*. I work with numbers all day long, and anytime anyone here at the opera needs to figure something out that requires algebra, they come running to my office as fast as their little legs can carry them. I think about that sometimes, and the fact that it all started to happen because one teacher took the time to give extra encouragement to one single student. Wow.

I'd like to get in touch with Mrs. Thomas and thank her. Trying to track her down however, has been kind of tricky. Apparently, she retired a few years ago, and moved. I think she moved to California, but I'm not positive of that. Regardless, California is kind of a big state, and so that's about as far as I've gotten so far. I've tried google-ing her, I've tried calling the School District Office, and I've tried calling the High School. So far I've been unsuccessful in tracking her down. But I'm not giving up. Actually, part of the reason I'm even posting this is because I know that there are Cedarians (and transplanted Cedarians) who read this blog. I'm hoping that one of you will know a little more about the whereabouts of Mrs. Thomas than I do.

As for the rest of you, well, I guess I just felt like sharing.

May you all have a nice rest-of-the-day,


*In case you are wondering, Brother #1 took his genius math skills and became a structural engineer.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

another conversation


Scene: The living room. Charlotte and Eric are on the couch, catching up on the days events.

Charlotte: Hey, I posted a blog a couple of days ago about how I get so grumpy during the winter months.

Eric (not all that interested, but making a valiant effort to hide that fact): Really?

Charlotte: Yup. And some people left some comments that were kind of interesting. Jacob worked with a doctor who installed some of those sun-replacement lamps in his office, and it's been amazing to see the change in attitude there.

Eric (a bit more interested, but still fairly ambivalent): Oh yeah?

Charlotte: And my friend Jodi actually got a light box a while ago, and she said that it has made a world of difference for her.

Eric (less ambivalent now): Really? Huh.

Charlotte: I've been thinking that it might be a good thing. The only problem is, they run about $250.

Eric (suddenly completely involved in the conversation now, while at the same time contemplating the number of Japanese Robots which can be purchased for $250): Oh. $250, huh?

Charlotte: Yeah. That's the bad part. But, sometimes you can get insurance to pay for it, and even if my insurance won't pay for it, I bet we could run it through the flex spending plan at the opera.

Eric (with uncertainty): Well, if you think it would help . . .

Charlotte (also with uncertainty): Well, I have a feeling that it might. But that is a lot of money.

Eric (generously): Well yeah, but we have some Christmas money . . . How does it work?

Charlotte (not as sure now): Well, you're supposed to use it for fifteen minutes or so in the morning. I was thinking I could put it in the yellow room, and then when I go in there in the mornings to read scriptures and stuff I could turn it on for those 30 minutes.

Eric (remembering how he has been rudely awakened at least three out of the last ten mornings by an anxious Charlotte who had conjured up some impending catastrophe during time in which she was ostensibly doing "scripture study"*) : Actually, come to think of it, I think this light might be a really great idea. I think you should get it.

Charlotte (surprised): Really? Are you sure?

Eric (with certainty and authority): Yes. Absolutely.

Charlotte (still a little unsure): Yeah?

Eric: Yeah.

Charlotte: Well, okay. I'll do some research and let you know what I find out.

Eric: Sounds great.

[End Scene]

So, we ended up making the big light box purchase a bit ago. My insurance (not surprisingly) didn't cover it, but I am able to run it through the flex spending plan, as long as I attach the note from my doctor, detailing that it is for treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I found one (a light, not a doctor's note) here for $179.95, including shipping. It arrived last Friday, and I started using it last Saturday.

Now, it's only been one week, and it could be all due to the fact that I'm expecting this light to make a difference and so it does, but I have to say that this has been one of the least stressful, least anxious, most peaceful winter weeks I have had in years. As you will remember from this post, we've had an unreasonable amount of snow lately, and yet even that hasn't made much of a dent in my new optimism. So, after one week of very unscientific testing, I have to say that I'm a fan of the light box.

Thanks Jodi! Thanks Jacob!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Eric's morning sleep has been completely uninterrupted this week. Jodi & Jacob, he thanks you as well.

*It should be noted here that at this moment while Eric was in fact, concerned about his lack of sleep, he was more concerned about my happiness, and the apparent lack thereof on these particular mornings especially. This is because Eric is a prince of a man.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A bunch of white photos, and some pretty random thoughts

Living in a winter wonderland . . .

As in . . .
I WONDER how long I'll have to look at this same snow!
I WONDER how many more times it will snow this week/month!
I WONDER if all this shoveling Eric and I are doing is going to turn us into Mr. & Mrs. Atlas!
(Well, I don't really wonder so much about that last one.)

Remember our tree?

(October 2007)
(December 2007)
February 2007 (before I dug it out)

(These are shots of after I dug it out--I just wanted to make sure that it was still there. )

So, all is well with us, aside from the fact that it has snowed every other day for the past as-long-as-I-can-remember. Oh well. To be honest, I actually prefer the snow to the sub-zero temperatures that we get here when it doesn't snow. (Twenty-two degrees this morning--practically a heat wave!) So, it's all good. Yesterday I was out for my morning walk, and I happened to walk past a home that had a big home & driveway-to-yard ratio. (Does that make sense? Perhaps it would be better for me to say that it was a pretty average-size lot with a relatively large house and driveway sitting on it.)The snow from the driveway and sidewalks was piled super duper high on any and all available yard space. I couldn't help wondering what the occupants were going to do when the piles got too high for them to reach the top anymore. Honestly, what do you do in that kind of situation?

* Abrupt Change of Subject Coming *

I've increased my voice teaching pool--I now have six students as opposed to the two that I had in the fall. The group now ranges in age from 10 years to "old enough that I don't feel comfortable asking", and it's kind of a challenge to keep up with that many students. At the end of the day though, I really do enjoy it. As to my piano progress, I've learned a few more songs, and I'm still plugging away at Called to Serve. Everytime I play it, I'm reminded of my mission mom, and how she used to just burn up the piano with her rendition at our missionary meetings. My rendition is a bit more simplified, I'm afraid. Oh well. We do what we can.

And with that, I leave you. Stay warm out there.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

So, (just out of curiosity), is there a cash award with this?

Laura, blog author of Catholic Teacher Musings awarded me my first (and probably my last) blog award last week. I'm flattered and honored, particularly because I enjoy Laura's blog so much.

Anyway, as a recipient of this award, I now have the opportunity to pass it on to 10 other deserving bloggers. I've struggled with this task (while trying not to take it too seriously--these aren't the nobel prizes after all), because I enjoy reading several different blogs for varying reasons. However, after more deliberation than might have been warranted, and in no particular order, here are the honorees:

Jacob & Melissa, because nepotism is alive and well here at just a little bit of quirky-ness.

Jean, because I like her pictures (and she has the same name as my grandmother)(I don't think Jean has any idea that I read her blog).

Amanda, because of her "letters to no one" posts.

Laura, because I like the way she sees the world.

Tonya, because her "about me" section is one of my all-time favorites.

Becky, because she exhibits joy and exuberance as only a senior in high school can.

Heidi, because her daughter is just so darn cute.

Xiombarg, because really, who doesn't want to read a whole bunch of robot reviews?

Melissa, because the way she portrays herself on her blog is exactly the way I see her in real life.

Adam & Amy, because every other post there is yet another description of quirky family fun.

Okay-so dear recipients, it is currently your turn to pass this honor on to 10 blogs you think deserve recognition as well.

Now, just for fun, here are some of my favorite posts from our honorees:

I'll be happy when . . . at We are Corrys (Jacob & Melissa)

Does this ever happen at your dinner table? at Rayford's Crossing (Jean)

Letters to no one at The Adventures of Mama and Papa Hood (Amanda)

Lasting Moments at Catholic Teacher Musings (Laura)

Blessed Beyond Measure at The Sweet Life (Tonya)

First Week of School Jazz at Whoa. Deja-vu (Becky)

Then and Now at Musings and Mysteries (Heidi)

Dancouga Nova at Mecha Head (Xiombarg)

My Piano at My days and dreams (Melissa)

Please Mom, I'm trying to Eat Here! at Bluegrass Greenway (Adam & Amy)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

"Peace in our Hearts"

I've been posting a bit more frequently than usual lately, and because of that, I wasn't really planning on posting anything for a few days. But, I changed my mind, entirely because a few minutes ago, I was reminded of an experience that I had, and I want to share it. It's a little long, and in order to really tell it, I have to share some feelings that are more of a personal nature than I often do (although I doubt that there will be anything here that will come as a surprise to any of you faithful blog readers) Anyway, there's a fair amount of background that goes with the story, and background takes a bit of space, you know? But, I'll try to be as brief as I can.

Here is my story:

Most of us probably remember where we were on September 11, 2001. I certainly do. I was in Denver with my mother, visiting my brother and his family. We had spent the previous evening in a hotel on the Colorado/Utah border, and as we made it into Denver and pulled into the driveway of their home, my sister-in-law came out of the house, and told us that someone had crashed into one of the twin towers. We came into the house, and watched the coverage of the events that followed.

That day and the few days that followed it were some of the most anxious hours of my life. I have a tendency to over-react to situations, and I also have a tendency to assume the worst much more often than is really wise or necessary (this will not come as a surprise to anyone who has been reading this blog for more than about six months). In my defense, I will say that I come by those tendencies honestly-- my father, several of my aunts and uncles, and many of my cousins are exactly the same way. Sometimes I think of it as the "Corry Curse". But, it's okay, I'm getting better about my outlook, and there are many many benefits that come with being a Corry. So, I'll not complain. Anyway, back to the story at hand. . .

For the sake of brevity, I won't go into too much detail as to the state I was in as I watched the coverage of the attack. I was afraid. I was more afraid than I had ever been in my adult life. I had no idea what the future would bring, and my imagination ran wild, filling my mind with all kinds of horrible possibilities for our country and our world. But mainly, I was just absolutely, 100%, completely afraid.

As I do in any crisis, I prayed. In fact, I prayed like I'd never prayed before. And I waited. I waited for October Conference.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, every fall and every spring, we hold what is called General Conference. At that time, all the "higher-up"(for lack of a better word) leaders of the church gather in Salt Lake City, and for two days, they give talks in five different meetings. These meetings take place in a huge 20,000-seat auditorium, which was built specifically for this purpose. The meeting are also broadcast via satellite to LDS church houses throughout all the world, as well as on several television channels, and a few radio stations. The meetings are also streamed over the internet, and are later published in magazine form.

I love General Conference. I love the feelings I get when I listen to and watch the speakers, and I love the reminders of the things that I should be doing. I love the way I'm more motivated to live a better life when I've spent the better part of two days listening to that counsel. But most of all, I love General Conference because that is when I most often hear and see the Prophet speak. There is something that I feel inside, something that I can't completely explain, something that is absolutely precious to me. I have felt it every single time I have heard the Prophet speak.

And so, from September 11, 2001 to October 6, 2001, I looked forward to General Conference like I had never looked forward to it before.

And I wasn't disappointed.

As President Hinckley started his address, he mentioned the attack of September 11. He spoke of meetings he had attended with other religious leaders throughout our nation and world, to discuss the attack and its consequences. He spoke of some of the affects of the attack, how they might change things for us as a people, us as a church, and us as a nation. He gave us counsel. He asked us to avoid persecution of the innocent. He asked us to pray for those in battle. He asked us to get out of debt, to set aside some food in case of a time of need, to be prudent, and to go forward with faith.

He told us that treachery and terrorism began with Satan, and he told us that they would continue until Jesus Christ returns to rule and reign on the earth. He told us that we needed to do our duty, and that peace might be denied for a season. He told us that we might end up being inconvenienced, and that many of us might even suffer in one way or another, but that God would watch over our nation as well as all of the world who would look to Him. He told us that our safety was in our repentance, and that our strength came from our obedience to the commandments of God.

As he spoke, I started to feel better. What he was telling me was not new. I had heard all this before, and I had been trying to follow this very counsel for years. The sheer familiarity of it comforted me and gave me hope. I knew that I could do what he was asking me to do, and inside, I knew that if I did it, I would be okay. Perhaps I would be made to suffer. Perhaps horrible things would still happen. But, when everything all shook out, I knew that we would all be okay, and that things would work out. Most of all, I knew that the Lord had not forgotten us, and that as long as we didn't forget him, that He would stand by us and support us.

The talk that President Hinckley gave that day answered nearly a month's worth of fervent, heartfelt, at times even desperate prayers for me. It's been over seven years since that day, and I still remember the feelings I had then as if they had happened just a week ago. I will never forget that experience, and I hope to carry the things I learned that day throughout the rest of my life.

As President Hinckley concluded this particular talk, he said about four sentences that have been in my memory ever since. I think over them when the nightly newscast is particularly unsettling to me. I think over them when I need a little assurance. And sometimes I think over them when I'm feeling absolutely fine, just because they make me feel even better. Here are those words:

"Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us. "
(Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, November 2001 p. 74)

Peace in our hearts, and peace in our homes.

Every one of us!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Random Eric

Guess who made our bed this morning?

Happy Birthday Bethany!

Today is the birthday of my friend Bethany. After much deliberation, I have decided NOT to post a picture of Bethany with her birthday poem post, for three reasons:

1. I'm not sure she would appreciate having her picture up on this blog for all the world to see. (since we all know that ALL THE WORLD checks this blog DAILY)

2. Although I have many digital and printed pictures of her, I don't have any currently loaded on my computer, and I'm too lazy to go through the photo CDs I have to find one.

3. I DO have some pictures of Paris on my computer, and Bethany is a bit of a France fan. So, I'll post one of those in her honor, and we'll call it good.

And now, after two long birthday-poem-free months, I give you . . .

Ode to Bethany
by Charlotte C. Cantwell

Several years ago, although it seems just a day,
I met Bethany as our paths crossed one day.
She seemed so genuine, no games, (get the gist?)
And since I love those traits, I just couldn't resist.
My first time at her house, for hours I did stay,
I sat by her brother and we talked (about hay).

(Note: This is not a lie or something I made up to get a rhyme. It really happened. I learned more about hay that night than any non-farm girl should ever be allowed to learn. But, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Is that weird?)

Since then, Bethany and I have shared sorrows and joys.
We've learned some mysteries of life, (though we don't understand boys!)
One day we drove to Grand Teton National Park,
It was the first time I'd seen the mountain by dark.

(That was also the first time I'd seen anyone eat Kung Pao Tofu. Bethany ordered it, gave me a bite, and I've been hooked ever since. )

We watch American Idol together, and she teaches me to paint,
She's been patient with me and my watercolors, a regular saint.
Since this poem is sounding more and more like Dr. Seuss,
I'd better wrap it up, the rhymes are getting quite loose.
But before I end this, I want to make it clear,
I'll always need my Bethany, whether she's far or near.
Whether we're friends of the road, or friends of the heart,
Whether we live close to each other, or miles apart,
I'll always be glad that our paths crossed that day,
(And not just because now I know all about hay!)
She's been such a great friend to me, so loyal and true,
And so Happy Birthday dear Bethany, Happy Birthday to you!

Bethany is one of the Sugar Gliders, and we're having a birthday celebration lunch today at her favorite restaurant (which happens to be my favorite restaurant as well). So, that should be just peachy.

As for update on me and good old Enrique, things are good. Tomorrow we'll watch the funeral for President Hinckley on televison, and Sunday I'll teach the children in my ward the words and music to the song "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus", while Eric will continue his quest to guide his young men along the path from clueless-ly adolescent (adorable) boys to clear-eyed, Book-of-Mormon toting (also adorable) LDS missionaries.

It should be a stellar weekend.

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