Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Final Homage to National Poetry Month

So, I'm a little out of practice on my poetry writing skills. Nonetheless, I have an un-met poetry obligation, and I aim to meet it.

You'll remember our Midwinter Musical Madness Extravaganza?

Remember how the winner turned out to be Melissa, who won last year and therefore wasn't eligible to have another poem written about her?

Remember how Carol won 2nd prize, and part of the winners package was a poem written by yours truly and posted here?

Well, here it is--an original poem all about Carol.

(If we can call it a poem, which I'm not entirely sure we can.)
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Oh-a note about this picture. Carol is just a little bit camera shy. So, by way of illustration, I went to wikimedia commons, and typed in "red-haired beauty", which is a pretty fitting description of our Carol. The picture you see here is what came up. Nice.

Ode to Carol
(this is not a completely G-rated poem, but I think you should be able to read it without having to repent too much afterward)
by Charlotte C. Cantwell

As I stepped into her home, the first thing in my view,
Was a full wall of temple pictures, both the old and the new.

As we met to discuss needs and policies and love,
Exchanging ideas and opinions, and hoping for guidance from above.

My first lengthy interaction with Carol was in a R.S. Presidency,
She was (eventually) the president, and one of two counselors was me!

Shortly thereafter we traveled to Salt Lake,
To obtain counsel and guidance, and a few memories make.

I got to know Carol better on that and other drives,
and as we spent time together, and shared parts of our lives.

I learned to know her as a caring and dedicated aunt,
a qualified caterer, with a talent for writing grant(s).

And as we drew closer and in her company I basked
I learned that Carol would do just about anything I asked.

So, when I got married, I asked her to make food for our guests,
She gladly agreed, and turned out a dessert that was "better than . . ." (this is the non-rated-G part)

So generous and giving, so thoughtful and wise,
I soon came to count our mutual friendship as a prize.

And although she's now moved, and I don't see her so much,
She's promised to start blogging (soon), so we'll be able to better keep in touch.

Now, I have to be honest, I'm looking forward to this,
For Carol has a view on life, that I've found that I miss.

So, Carol, dear Carol, I write these words sure and steady,
To say "thank you my dear", and "get your blog up and going already!"

And that's all I have to say about that.

Except for one more thing.

Love you, Carol.
(And you can take as long as you need to get your blog up. I can wait.)
(I hope.)

*red-haired beauty image here

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fortunately, birds don't have palms

Lately I've been itching to change things up on the layout of this here blog. Nothing major, but maybe a different header, different color background, different color buttons. I hesitate to do that though, just because it's so much work to re-educate myself on how to do all of it, and since I don't like things to look half-baked in the middle of the whole thing, I feel stressed once I start until I get it done. Yuck. I'm not a big fan of the ready made backgrounds that you can get either (not that I mind them on all of your blogs), so that further complicates things. Oh well. If that's my biggest problem, life is pretty good, wouldn't you say?

Remember how I bought and installed a bird-feeder at the end of March? Heather and I and even Eric have spent many happy moments looking out our window and seeing the different kinds of birds that stop by for a snack. It's kind of died off though, because apparently the only kind of birdseed left in the feeder is the kind that the birds don't like. I'm serious. If you look at the birdseed bag, there are probably four or five distinct offerings in the mix. If you look at the tray of our birdfeeder, there's one. Even more telling, if you look at the ground around the bird feeder, it's littered with the same undesirable birdseed. So, basically, the birds have been coming buy, scooping up the seed they like, and then pushing the undesirable seed to the ground to make it so the good stuff comes out of the feeder. Spoiled, Ungrateful Birds!

The whole situation reminds me of the trail mix that my mom makes for us all during the annual Corry Reunion. It's more like snack mix than trail mix, and it includes Cheerios, marshmallows, peanuts, M&Ms (peanut butter and plain), Skittles, and either raisins or Craisins. We sit around the deck chatting and laughing and eating it by the handful. Years and years ago we implemented a "no picking out" rule, also known as the "you get what you get" rule. That makes it so we don't end up with a bag of Cheerios and raisins twenty minutes in, you know?

But, then we all got married, and, I'm sorry to say that some of the spouses haven't been as obedient to the rule as we might have hoped (yes, I'm talking about you, Krista). That of course has the potential to ruin it all forever, and so whenever anyone is caught in the act there is a fair amount of ribbing and persecution. The best defense I've heard yet was this:

"I wasn't picking out, I was selectively scooping."

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Semantics. It's all semantics.

p.s. I don't think I'm going to win the writing contest I wrote about last time. Right now I'm in a distant third place, only two votes away from fourth place. That's okay with me. As I've read the other entries, I feel perfectly fine losing to such fine competition. Really. That's the absolute truth.

[image of trail mix found here]

Monday, April 19, 2010

SIX!!! (well, one of six, anyway)

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As it often the case around here, this picture has nothing to do with the post. I just like looking at this shot and pretending that I live with a little Hulk-ette, you know?

So, remember when I wrote about the Service Soapbox Baby Shower? The one that will benefit the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den? The one that will be held this weekend in South Jordan?

Remember that?

Well, I neglected to mention that as part of the festivities, the Service Soapbox Bloggers hosted a writing contest. Anyone was eligible to enter, the only requirement was that the entry be about compassionate service, charity, birth defects, or the March of Dimes.

Having been fortunate enough that I haven't had a whole lot of personal experience with birth defects or the March of Dimes so far, I entered the contest with one of my personal favorites--a post that I wrote about my mother, some compassionate service she provided to one of our neighbors, and how that service has blessed my life ever since. You can read that post here if you like.

I didn't think much more about it.

Until today.

I just found out that I'm one of six finalists! How fun is that?

Really really really really fun.

Anyway, if you'd like, you can go here, read all six of the final entries, and if you like mine the best, you can go here, scroll down about 1/4 of the page and vote in the poll on the left-hand side of the page. You'll know it because it says, "Which post should win the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den writing contest?"

(I'm serious about only voting for mine if you think it's the best though. I haven't even voted for mine yet, because I haven't read the other five.)

Happy reading!

* * *

I'd write more about our thrilling life here, but honestly, between these six posts, we all have enough to read for now, don't you think? Check back in a day or two (or three), when you may be enthralled with garden stories, mud pies, my views & opinions on reality television, a non-birthday poetry post, a treatise on how the birds in our neighborhood are far too picky for their own good, or any number of other topics.

What could be better?

Friday, April 16, 2010


(I know, I skipped "four". Oh well.)

Since very few people really want to read a travelogue of the Chicago Celebration, I'm just going to share with you five of my favorite photos from the trip.

You can thank me later.

Or now.

Either way is fine, really.

My brother Jacob came over with his family to visit while we were there. They live in South Bend, Indiana. Definitely a highlight of the trip to hang out with them.

Remember how I said that my favorite movie was filmed in Chicago? Well, maybe I'll have a new favorite movie in a year or so! AND, maybe I'll be in it!! (I remained in the area.)

Probably not though. The film company was from Canada, so I'm honestly wondering if I'll ever actually end up seeing or even hearing of the film. (No offense, Shauna)

Attending my first ever Major League Baseball Game. The White Sox lost in the 11th inning, 4 to 3.

Me and nephew Kristian. I love how neither of us is looking at the camera. We are an ultra-photogenic family, obviously.

And finally . . .

On my second-to-last day there, my mother walked across the stage (in front of thousands of screaming school board members and fans) and received honors and accolades by virtue of her being the President of the Utah School Board Association. I tried to get the moment on film, but flash photography was prohibited, and this is all that I was able to obtain.

Sorry mom.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


About a month ago I decided that I would do this really fun post on April 14, 2010.

However . . .

Time got away from me, and I never did it, and then I went to Chicago and just got back, and I'm under a pile of laundry and a stack of opera accounting things, and I still haven't gotten enough Heather and Eric time to satisfy me.

So, this blog is at the bottom of my priority list at the moment.

In light of that, I'm just going to say here that as of today, the Eric and Charlotte Cantwell family is three years old.


And, just for fun, here are five semi-random photos from the past three years:

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This photo just makes me laugh. I have no idea what was going on here, but don't we all just look absolutely confused?

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(If you want, you can check back in a year--just to see if I decide to do the ultra-fun-awesome post then. Who knows?)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?

Me neither.

If you want to know the truth, I'm not all that big into poetry. I think that's because I read fast, and get frustrated if I can't get the gist of something at first glance. Since poetry is all about the way the words move together and look and sound, and not so much about the sharing of information, I miss out when I try to go about it in my usual way.

Sometimes though, a poem will capture my attention, and I'll take the time to really think about it, feel it, and even let it be part of me. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

So, in honor of National Poetry Month, I present to you two such poems. The first one, "Good Timber" is one that I have been reciting to myself for years. Very frequently when I feel overwhelmed, taken advantage of, unfairly treated, or just plain unhappy I'll let some of the words run though my mind. Doing so always gives me courage and strength to carry on.

The second one, "i carry your heart" I learned as a song many years ago. I can't explain why I love it. I just do.

Anway, here are the poems:

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Good Timber

    by Douglas Malloch
    (italics and bold added by Charlotte--to give added emphasis to my very favorite part)

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

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i carry your heart with me by e. e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

timber image found here
heart image found here

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

this random blog post is brought to you courtesy of a few stolen moments

Eric and Heather are about to start the story time routine. Heather's got two teeth coming in, so she's been a little more moody lately, AND a little more insistent that all three of us need to be present for story time. We'll see how long I end up being able to stay at the computer.

In our kitchen, the dishwasher is humming quietly in the background. This hasn't happened since last summer. Oh, our dishwasher has been working all right, and cleaning our dishes, but humming quietly, not so much.

At three different times in the cycle, it would make this shaking sound--almost like a jackhammer. I shudder to think what kind of remodeling our neighbors thought we were doing every two or three days.

Anyway, we had to have a repairman come over three times since last August, but finally when he came over last week, he was able to hear the problem (fickle machine--the first two times it refused to under-perform when in the presence of someone who could actually do something about the problem.) and tightened a loose valve, and voila! quiet humming instead of heart-stopping shaking.

It's the simple things, you know?

I have to give a shout out to Darrel's Appliance in Benson, Utah. This particular repairman spent the time to come out to our home three different times, but we were only charged for the first time. This in spite of the fact that their invoice clearly states that services are only warrantied for 60 days. By my calendar, mid August to mid April is quite a bit more than 60 days. That's the kind of thing that keeps me trusting in humanity.

Oh-remember the cliffhanger? Well, I was going to inform you all that I'd gone for over two weeks with practically no chocolate or sweets of any kind, which for someone like me is really pretty much a miracle. However, yesterday I completely fell off the wagon and had three brownies in less than an hour.


I've been better today though, and I'm hoping to do better for another several weeks. Eric and I have a deal that if we both make it until June 15, we can have an overnight date in another town, sans her little highness. Of course, if we were being absolutely strict about everything, my little brownie fiasco would have ruined everything. Fortunately, we're "spirit of the law" people, and "make rules up as we go along" people. So, all is not yet lost.

And finally, I signed up on the organ donor registry today. If you'd like to sign up, you can as well. Go to, and click on "Commit to Donation".

p.s. I lied. There's one more "and finally". If you live around the Wasatch Front, and want to participate in something enjoyable and help out a great organization at the same time, click on the button below. Kind of fun.
Service Soapbox Baby Shower

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Who's the April Fool?

Saturday I put away the ice melt.

Tuesday I bought and set up a bird feeder.

This morning I woke up to this:
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April Fool's Indeed.

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