Friday, February 27, 2009

More I cannot wish you


Heather has been upstairs, taking the longest nap known to man, and I thought I'd take a minute to post a thing or two here. However, I can hear her talking to herself on the monitor, which means two things. 1)She's awake. 2)I probably have about 10 minutes before she gets bored of listening to herself talk and starts whining. Once that happens, I have about 2 minutes before the whining turns to whimpering, and then about 15 seconds before the whimpering turns to angry impatient yells. So, this may be a short one.

Not that I'm ruled by my daughter or anything.






This was a week of good news. My father has endured what should be his last chemotherapy treatment, met with his oncologist, and has been told that things look really good. He still has a few weeks of radiation to go, but that's more of a "just-in-case" afterthought than anything else. To say that I'm grateful doesn't even come close.


As I've pondered on this bit of good news, I've remembered something that happened around Christmastime. We were at my parent's home, and in what had become a rare occurrence*, the house was full of grandkids. I think it was the morning of December 26. It was around 10 o'clock in the morning, and the house looked like a tornado hit it. Toys were strewn from wall to wall. Half-empty cereal bowls, partially-drunk cups of milk, and assorted other breakfast remains littered the kitchen bar. The rooms rang with the cacophonous sounds of children-laughing, crying, whining (just a bit), giggling, running, and just being kids in general. Pajamas (belonging to those who were now dressed) and day clothing (belonging to those who still weren't) sat in little piles throughout the rooms.


As I looked around at what two days ago had been my mother's spotless house, I opened my mouth to apologize, and perhaps even offer to help a bit with some clean-up. Oddly enough (and luckily for lazy old me), at just that moment, my mother opened her mouth, and with a tone that rang with satisfaction, she said,


"It FINALLY feels like Christmas here."

The house was waaay messier than this.




In a week or so, Eric, Heather, and I are headed down to the old homestead for some spring break relaxation. My sister and her family will be joining us, and then of course, there's my brother and his family who live down there all the time. As luck would have it, we'll arrive on my mom's birthday (and four days after my dad's birthday). As I've pondered this and tried to think of a gift that she would appreciate, and that would fit into our new-economy-budget, I've realized that anything we get her would probably be superfluous.


Having a healthy husband and a houseful of noisy, messy grandkids again is probably the best present she will have received in years.


Happy Birthday Mom (& Dad).




*Once my father was diagnosed with lymphoma, he was essentially barred from spending very much time in close contact with young children, including his grandchildren (in order to protect his fragile immune system). This was hard for everyone, but, as I found out on this occasion, it was especially hard on my mother.

* * *

10 points for the name of the musical

5 points each for the name of the character who sings this song, and the character he/she sings it to

3 points each for any other bits of information tying this musical and my life together.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's the storm not you, that's bound to blow away

I haven't been feeling as saucy this week as perhaps I was feeling last week. In fact, for a few days now, I've been feeling downright anxious. When I feel like that, I don't much feel like writing.

It's not that anything is really wrong--in fact, most things are really quite right. I have a beautiful daughter, a home and temporal situation that is more than sufficient for my needs, and I wake up every morning with my best friend right beside me. Honestly, does it get much better than that? I'm guessing that if the answer to that question is "yes", it's only marginally so.

Yet far too often, I succumb to pessimism and anxiety. I look to the future when I would be better served to live in the present. I let the uncertainties of the economy and other unknowables rob me of the peace of mind that my life and faith will afford me, if I will only allow them to do so.

Silly Charlotte.

Not that I'm up in arms all the time. Oh no, we still have plenty of laughter at the old homestead, and there are silvery jewel moments that I plan to treasure for years. Just this afternoon, I had one as I got Heather up from her nap. As I paraded her around the nursery, she became fixated on my chin. Time and time again she would lunge for it, mouth open, eyes wild with determination. Sometimes she would catch it, and when she did, she hung on for dear life (thankfully, she is yet to have any teeth in that little mouth of hers). I laughed so hard, I had tears coming out of my eyes. What a funny little girl.

And that's where we stand at the moment. I'll leave you for now with a few lyrics, quotes, and scriptures that I've been repeating to myself when I'm in need of a little added comfort.

Fear not, I am with thee, oh be not dismayed.
For I am Thy God, and will still give thee aid.
I'll strenghten thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot desert to its foes
That soul though all hell should endeavor to shake
I'll never, no never, no never forsake.
--John Rippon

* * *

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
--Doctrine and Covenants 123:17

* * *

It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out.
--Gordon B. Hinckley


10 points for the name of the song.
5 points for the name of the musical
3 points for the name of the character that sings the song in the musical.
Other points awarded as whims dictate.
(No points for knowing the name of the hymn quoted--don't even try it!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Larry

Larry H. Miller 1944-2009

Larry H. Miller was the owner of the Utah Jazz and a whole bunch of car dealerships, not to mention restaurants, movie theatres, and I don't know what else.

We only met one time, and I'm sure he wouldn't have remembered me. But through his generosity, he has blessed my life every day for the past twelve years.



I am far from the only Utahn who can say that.
I will miss him.


More Information Here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

gulped, swallowed, or chewed, still worth a king's ransom






Guess who started solids today?


10 points for the name of the song.
5 points for the name of the Musical.
Assorted other points awarded as whims dictate.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

but now and then he'll saaaaay . . . something wonderful (or if not wonderful, at least it will be rather amusing)

SOMETIME LAST WEEK, CIRCA 8:30 P.M.

Scene: The Living Room/Dining Room. Charlotte is on the couch, wasting time on the laptop. Eric is on the Desktop computer doing homework.

Charlotte (with exasperation): Aagh! I cannot believe all the worthless stuff that's on the internet! I mean really, some of these women and their blogs! They drive me crazy!

Eric (mildly): What do you mean?

Charlotte: Well, here's a blog where some woman has just gone on for pages and pages listing every letter of the alphabet and for every letter, she's listed a bunch of boring facts about herself that start with that letter. I mean really! Who wants to read all that?*

Eric: Whose blog is it?

Charlotte (hesitantly): Well, I don't exactly know her. I just found the blog by clicking on the recommendations from my google reader.

Eric (with a little gleam in his eye): So, you don't know her, but you're reading her blog and you're bugged because it's not interesting to you?

Charlotte (somewhat defeatedly): Umm, yeah.

End Scene

* * *

MONDAY MORNING AROUND 11:00

Scene: Same scene-except this time Charlotte is on the desktop computer, and Eric is passing through to the kitchen to get himself an early lunch.

Charlotte (gleefully): Oh, I'm so excited! I just did a post on my blog challenging the world to a little game.

Eric: What kind of game?

Charlotte: Well, for the next little while, every time I post, I'm going to title the post using a song lyric. Then people have to guess where the song is from.

Eric (somewhat incredulously): Really?

Charlotte (with pride): Yup!

Eric (With sarcasm, but not the biting kind. More like good-natured sarcasm): Well, it's a good thing that you aren't filling up the internet with a bunch of worthless stuff, isn't it?

Charlotte (catching his reproof, but standing her ground): Absolutely. The stuff I post is completely critical.

End Scene

* * *

MONDAY NIGHT

Scene: The master bedroom. Eric is in bed, reading a comic book. Charlotte enters and hops in bed.

Charlotte: Hey, you've got my pillow!

Eric (with confusion): Huh? Which one is your pillow?

Charlotte (motioning to a pillow under Eric's head): This one. You get three pillows, and I only get two. That's why I get this puffy one.

Eric sighs and hands the puffy pillow over to Charlotte. Then he pulls out his scriptures from the side of the bed.

Eric: Are you ready to read?

Charlotte (still basking in her pillow triumph): Yup.

Eric (getting down to business): Okay, I think we're going to finish this chapter today, right?

Charlotte (saucily): Well, if that's what you want to do. You are the Priesthood leader of our family after all.

Eric (authoritatively): In that case, I think we need to redistribute the pillows.

A fair amount of giggling ensues. Eventually the chapter is finished, but tellingly, the pillows are not re-distributed.

End Scene




Eric cracks me up.







10 points for the first person to name the musical from which the song comes.

No points for the title of the song (because that's too easy).

Five points for the name of the actor who IN THE MOVIE played the part of the "he" to whom the title refers.

Three points for every western that you can name that "he" starred in. (Remember-only your wits are allowed! No imdb.com!)(I don't know westerns, so I'll be asking Eric for help with the verification on this).







*Note to the woman whose blog is discussed here: If you are reading this (and I can't imagine that you are, since we've never met, have no friends in common, and I've even forgotten who you are or how to find your blog again) I hope you aren't offended or hurt. I mean you no disrespect. I was in a particularly critical mood on the night that I said this to my Eric. I'm sure your blog is lovely, and if I took the time to really read it, I'd find that I would enjoy it thoroughly. Please don't stop blogging. If it makes you happy to write these posts, who really cares what some crabby pillow-obsessed lady in Northern Utah thinks of it anyway?

Monday, February 16, 2009

a lark! a spree! It's very clear to see . . .

When I was growing up, anytime I would walk anywhere alone, and often when I walked with others, I would (silently) count the number of steps I would take between the cracks/dividers in the sidewalk. I obviously tried to miss all the cracks (who wants to break their mother's back anyway?), but I also would try to get exactly the same number of steps in each open spot. This proved to be a little tricky when I would run into a panel containing several cracks. I was almost always triumphant though. That's 'cause I'm a stubborn little sucker.




Now that I'm grown up and have a drivers' license, whenever I get caught in construction traffic or any other kind of traffic slowdown on the freeway, I look over to my right and then to my left and choose a vehicle near me. I mentally challenge that driver to a duel--a duel of driving wits! From then on, I try to be in front of that car. Sometimes I'll do a lane change, if I think it will help me. Sometimes, I will use my mental powers to get other cars to pull in front of my worthy opponent. Sometimes I win. At least as often, I lose. But man, does it pass the time! Traffic jams become fun! These days I tremble in happy anticipation whenever I see the previously-dreaded orange construction signs! "Yippee!!" I say to myself, "It's game time again!" "Tremble in fear, motorists! You have met your match in the great Charlotta!"



Today is February 16. Valentines Day is over. My birthday is nearly a whole month away. It's cold outside. It's cloudy, it's frozen, it's snowy. The warm glow of Christmas is a distant memory, the promise of spring is a hazy hope for the future. Amigos, we have entered what is quite possibly my least favorite three week period of the entire year. It's time for a little bit of playing.

Have you noticed that the titles of the last two (now three) posts here have been lyrics of songs? They have been. That was a coincidence, but I'm going to work it into a little game for us to play. For the next three weeks, I am going to use all my considerable song-trivia-talent, and attempt to title every post here* using nothing but song lyrics, and when possible, song lyrics from musical theatre productions. You, should you choose to be one of my worthy opponents, will match your wits against mine**, and attempt to name the title of the song AND for extra points, the musical from which it comes.




Together, we will thrive in this mid-winter madness!



Friends! Let the game begin!!!
***





10 points to the first person to name the song from which this title was pulled. Five bonus points for naming the movie.








P.S. We're good. Valentines Day was fun, as was the day before, as was the day after. I gave Eric The Dark Knight on DVD, and Eric gave me a mini-Zen Garden with sand and rocks and one of those little wooden rakes. Our adopted neighborhood grandparents watched Her Little Highness, so we were free to go to Coraline at the movie theatre. It was a little more scary than I expected, given the fact that it's an animated/stop action movie, but I enjoyed it, as did Eric.














THE FINE PRINT
*Posts that center on the Proclamation on the Family don't count.
**Only your wits allowed. No using Google. You're on your honor.
***The game has actually officially already begun, and Amy Greenway is in the lead with 10 points for her correct answer to the question posted here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's the most wonderful t-i-i-i-me of the year

What a hunk!




Poor Eric.



Tomorrow is Valentines Day.

One month later is my birthday.

One month after that is our anniversary.


The next month is Mother's Day.






Lucky, lucky Me.



(a month after Mother's Day is Father's Day)




I'll do a real post soon--you know-the kind with real paragraphs and stories and stuff.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

when I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely . . .

I didn't vote for Barak Obama (although I flip-flopped more times during this past election process than I ever had before).


I probably would vote for Warren Buffet, given the chance.


So, I was glad to read this in a magazine today.





"It's never paid to bet against America. We come through things, but it's not always a smooth ride."

--Warren Buffett, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, discussing the nation's money woes. Buffett likened the recession to "an economic Pearl Harbor" and said of incoming President Barack Obama, "You couldn't have anybody better in charge." (AP)







10 points to the first person who can name the song from which the title of this post was pulled.

In case you are wondering--I'm not counting this post in my "two blog posts per journal entry" count.
(It's my rule, so I can make exceptions like that. )

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gloating

We have a television in our bedroom.


I used to be vehemently anti-television-in-the-bedroom, but now I'm pro-television-in-the-bedroom, with an asterisk.


*The television can only be used for watching movies. It should not be hooked up to cable, or dish, or TiVo, or anything like that.


At this point, we subscribe to none of these services, so for us it's kind of moot.


This brings me to the Char & Ric conversation of the week. It's a little hard to follow, because there are quotes within quotes. It's also not quite as witty as some of the conversations that you may have come to expect here. Ah well. With that glowing recommendation, I'm sure you are all dying to read on, so I'll end the explanation and let you get to it.








LAST NIGHT


SCENE: The living room. Charlotte is sitting on the couch, using the laptop. Eric is sitting at the desktop, working on school projects.


Charlotte: Hey, listen to this! This is from Melissa's blog. They got a flat screen TV and put it in their bedroom. Here, I'll read you what she says. (reads) "I always said I would never have a TV in the room. Jacob hooked me when he promised it would never be connected to the dish and was strictly for watching movies in the comfort of the bed so we didn't have to keep fighting for laying room on the couch. Jacob was on call last night so I decided to give the TV a dry run and watched pride and prejudice. It was amazing. I never want to go back to watching a movie on our old "blurry" TV on the uncomfortable couch. Ah, my husband is so wise!"


Eric is silent, knowing in his wisdom that Charlotte is almost surely not finished yet.


Charlotte: Now, do you want to hear the comment I left her? You'll like it.


Eric (knowing that there's only one right answer to this question): Uh-huh.


Charlotte (pleasantly): Good. (reads): "Eric and I had a similar situation. I was anti-tv in the bedroom, but when we got married, we found ourselves with an extra (as well as an extra DVD player). So, it's in the bedroom, but not hooked up to cable or anything. We hardly ever watch it, but sometimes it is nice to just lie there and watch a bit. I hate to admit it when Eric is right, but this time, he certainly was."


Eric (triumphantly): VICTORY!!!


Charlotte is silent, allowing Eric to savor his moment of superiority.


Eric (slightly more humble, but only slightly): Never ever argue with a man when it comes to television.


END SCENE




And with that, I wish you a Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Beloved

"All Human Beings--male and female--are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. "
-(The Proclamation on the Family--2nd paragraph)



I wonder how my actions would change if I remembered this more often. Would I be so curt to the kid on my doorstep-the one who tells me that he's earning money for college by selling magazine subscriptions? He may or may not be telling the absolute truth, and even if he is, I'm not reading all the magazines that we receive now. Still, whether or not I buy one, I can still be kind, right?


What about the other people I encounter in a given day?


What if Heavenly Father spoke back to me, (in a voice that I could actually hear with my own ears) at the end of my nightly prayers? Would he gently rebuke me for the way that I had treated one or more of his beloved sons or daughters that day?


Honestly, on most days, there would probably be cause for that kind of reproof. I try to be kind, but the fact is, I can do better. I can remember every day that each person crossing my path is beloved by God, and has a divine nature and destiny. As I remember that, my thoughts about each of them will change, and as my thoughts go, so go my actions.







I'm sure I won't do it perfectly, but I can definitely do at least a little bit better.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Password Protection (?)

At least once a year, I go through and change all the passwords to all my online accounts. It's a pain, to say the least, but it keeps me more safe, and so it's worth it to me. Yesterday was the day. I decided on new passwords, and began the process of changing them. It's a lot of work, made a bit more arduous by the fact that passwords nowadays are M0rrE c*mplic8tED than they used to be. No longer can I type in my old trademark fake middle name of Julien and feel safe knowing that my secrets are secure. Nay, now I need to make up impossible-to-figure-out passwords, (which also tend to be nearly-impossible-to-remember passwords), and spend the next week or two in semi-frustration as my fingers go automatically to the old passwords even as my brain scrambles to recall the new ones. Sigh. Technology--I love it, really I do. Just maybe not today.

On another note, I may be blogging a little less often in the future (but I've said that before, so we'll see). The thing is, I have a journal. I used to write in it each week, pretty much without fail. Then I got married and journal-writing fell down the priority list somewhat. Then I got pregnant and journal-writing fell down the list a little more. Then Heather was born and . . . well, you get the picture.

The thing is, as much as I like blogging, there are things that happen in my life that I do want to remember but don't want to share with the world. There are things that I want to share with my posterity, but that I don't want known just yet (oooh-doesn't that sound mysterious). And then there are things that are just too boring to post here, things that are important to me, but not so much to the blog-reading population at large.

Those topics have been sadly neglected for the past little while, and I've decided that it's not okay with me. So, I've made a goal. The goal is that for every two posts that I write here, I will write one entry in my regular journal. I don't know if I'll be able to keep the goal perfectly, but I'll try for it.

And that pretty much wraps things up for me at the moment. As for the rest of the clan, Eric is teaching himself how to use Maya when he's not working on homework projects, and Heather is teaching herself how to roll over when she isn't consumed by those ultra-fascinating fingers at the ends of her arms.


Life is good, and once I get those new Pa$swO0rDz ingrained in my mind, I'm thinkin' that it's going to get even better.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

who says "by crackie" anymore anyway?

If you've been reading this blog for more than a year or so, or if you've gone back and read in the archives, then you will have already read this story. All the same, I'm telling it again . . .








A couple of years ago, I had a conversation that means more to me now than it did then.


You know how sometimes that happens?


Anyway, it was with one of my voice teachers. She was a wonderfully eccentric lady, free-spirited and fun, quick to speak her mind, kind of quirky, and happily married. I don't know if she had married late or just had kids a little bit later in life, but when I knew her, she had an seven-year old boy and a four-year old girl. She was probably in her mid to late forties at the time of the conversation in question.


Anyway, we were talking about the events of the day, and she was telling me about how she had gone to a concert that afternoon to see her kids perform. As she was describing the event, she included a description of her conduct during the concert. Specifically, she said that she had taken the video camera, and was climbing over other parents and audience members, most of whom were at least 10 years younger than she was, in an attempt to get the best shots of her little darlings.


She showed no remorse for doing any of this, and as she told her story, she laughed at her conduct, saying, "I know they all thought I was crazy at the best, and rude at the worst, but you know, I waited a long time for these kids! I'm going to enjoy them!"



I realize that there are FAR more pictures of Heather on this blog than are dictated by the bounds of good taste. I do. I am also acutely aware that there are billions of children out there, most, if not all of whom are just as cute, interesting, adorable, etc., as my Heather. (Well, at least to the unbiased observer. Not so much to me. )


All the same, I just can't help myself. I have to post Heather pictures. I have to tell Heather stories. I'm helplessly and hopelessly in love with my little girl, and I have no desire to even try to fight it.


Cut me some slack though, will ya? I'm thirty-seven-and-a-half years old. Heather is my firstborn child. I'll celebrate my second wedding anniversary in two-and-a-half months.


I spent years and years hoping that and wondering if I would one day find myself in the glorious situation in which I currently reside.



Know what? It's every bit as good as I ever dreamed it would be, and more and more and more.



And by crackie, I'm enjoying it.



The pictures are a farewell. The yellow dress was a gift that I've had since before Heather was born. It is my absolute favorite article of clothing in our entire house. Heather has worn this dress time after time after time, but the fact is, she has outgrown it (as you can see by the photos), and I need to pack it away. Today was the final donning of the exquisite yellow dress. I consoled myself by taking these pictures, and once I had the pictures, I further consoled myself by posting a few.

Thank you for your indulgence.







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