Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jumping on the Bandwagon--a little late, and a little sheepishly

quirky 11-11

So, you know how there are all these people on facebook and on their blogs and in general life who are taking the opportunity to share what they're grateful for this month?

Many of you won't say it, (or don't feel this way), but I will (and I do.)  Not the most interesting reading I've ever done.

However, as has been established, I've definitely seen the power for good that a little gratitude can do in a life.

So, purely for my own benefit, I'm starting my own thankful-in-November list.

But wait!  Rather than subjecting you to a day-by-day account of my gratitude, I think I'll just list it all here, day by day, in this post.  So, if you want to read it, you'll need to scroll down to check.  If you don't, you need not do a thing. Once the month is over, I'll change the date to November 30, 'cause it will drive me crazy if I don't.

And now, without further ado, here is:

 Charlotte's list of fabulous blessings as of November, 2011

November 1:  I'm grateful for the million-and-one recipes that are on the internet.  And, I'm grateful for Google, so it doesn't take me hours and hours to sift through them.  (Seriously, do any of you remember the beginning days of the internet?  Search engines have come a loooooong way, baby.)

November 2:  I'm grateful for blue jeans.  So comfortable.  So sturdy!

November 3:  I'm grateful to live in an age of glasses, contacts, lasik eye surgery, insulin pumps, and relatively pain-free dental work.  Honestly, I don't know how I would have survived in a pre-Novocaine world.  Tooth pain is the worst.

November 4:  Along those same lines of "I'd never have made it in the olden days", I'm glad I live in an age of recorded music.  I mean, just think of all we would have missed out if we had lived in the Renassaince, during that time where only people who could afford court musicians could have music.  Blessings, blessings.

November 5:  I'm grateful to be where I am with Eric.  Physically of course, but also emotionally, spiritually, and in a "we're on the same page, and we understand where the other one is coming from" sense.  We've always had each other's backs, but lately, it seems like we know better how best we can cover those backs, and we're both pretty willing to make personal sacrifices to do so.  It's a great place to be.

November 6:  You might have  to be an LDS Primary veteran to really appreciate this, but I'm grateful for those days when all those Senior Primary boys are attentive, or at least easy to settle down, making it so I can teach them a song or a principal, or bear my testimony, and it goes well, and we all learn together.  Those are golden golden days, and today was one of them.  :)

November 7:  I'm grateful that my life is such that if I feel crappy (like run-down and with a cold) I can go to bed at 8:00 if I want. What luxury!

November 8:  I'm grateful that when I do go to bed at 8:00, I wake up the next morning feeling like a whole new woman.  A woman who needs to carry tissues and cough drops with her at all times, but a new woman nonetheless.

November 9:  I've written this here before, but it bears repeating.  I'm so grateful for my job.  I work with great people, I do interesting work, and my situation there has changed to meet my needs every step of my journey from (stay with me here) almost-finished-grad student, to single-girl-who-wants-to-be-able-to-see-the-world-and-her-family, to married-mother-who-needs-to-provide-insurance-for-the-family-and-still-see-her-child-for-more-than-three-hours-a-day.  Honestly, this job is a miracle for me and for my family, and I'm blessed to have it.

November 10: I'm grateful that some mornings, my alarm clock, rather than being a pleasant but boring ring on my cell phone, is the tap (sometimes a semi-forceful whack!) of a little hand, followed by an excited, "Good Morning, Mom!"   Definitely a nice way to start the day.

November 11:  I'm grateful for my office space heater.  Enough said.

November 12:  Today I drove too and from Salt Lake City.  During the time that I was in Salt Lake, Logan had kind of a biggish storm.  Luckily, I beat the storm going down, and it had been cleared out by the time I came back, giving me smooth sailing in Wellsville Canyon both ways.  Soo grateful for that.

November 13:  I'm grateful that if something cold and icy, and heavy to shovel must fall from the sky each year for about 5 months in order for us to have sufficient water to make it through the other 7, that the stuff that falls has the magical capability to make everything it touches look breathtakingly clean and beautiful.

November 14: This morning, we had a few extra minutes before we had to do the mad dash out the door to start the craziness that is Monday.  Heather wanted to snuggle, so we did.  A little slice of Heaven.  Naturally, a little slice of Heaven is always something for which to be grateful.

November 15:  I'm grateful that when I was eleven years old and jealous of my girlfriends who were learning how to knit, my mom taught me how to crochet.

November 16:  I'm grateful for my Eric.  That he was born, that he found me, that he loves me.

November 17:  I adore being a mother.  That's probably in large part because I adore my little girl.  Seriously, if I had known how much I would love her, I would have been soooo much more distraught about  it all back when I was in those waiting years.  So, in addition to being grateful for Heather, I guess I'm pretty grateful that back then, I didn't know just how much I would love her.

November 18:  I'm grateful for a smallish house--one that I can get close-enough-to-presentable in about an hour, if I need to.

November 19:  I'm grateful for the hundreds of volunteers that work so hard at Bountiful Baskets.  I'm tempted to say that our participation in that organization has been life changing.  That might be going too far, but it has certainly drastically changed the way we eat around here--for the better.

November 20:  I'm grateful for the normalcy and unchanging-ness of Sunday.  I'm glad to know that every time Sunday rolls around, I'll be putting on a dress, giving Heather a little bit fancier-than-usual hair style, and that we'll all be going to church.  I'm grateful that there's one day a week where we don't spend any money.  I'm grateful to be able to take the sacrament, and spend three consecutive hours learning about Christ, thinking about Christ, and feeling more closely aligned with Christ.

November 21:  I'm grateful for answered prayers, and the courage and patience to wait in the meantime.

November 22:  I'm grateful for nieces and nephews.  Specifically, I'm grateful for thirty-two of the kindest, most humorous, cutest, grandest kids that have ever come to this fine earth.  And, I'm grateful that they put up with me & my quirks, and especially Eric and his quirks.  (Truth be told, I have a sneaking suspicion that many of them love Eric even more than they love me.  Blasphemy!)

November 23:  I'm grateful for Picasa and the blogger over at Clover Lane who taught me, nearly a year ago, how to put together my own blog header, using my own pictures.  It's been a year of fun for me, and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

November 24:  I'm grateful that, after 7 (or possibly more, I didn't really keep track) or more years of living in obscure and well-known cities all over the country, my brother Jacob and his family have finally settled in Cedar City, right where they belong.  I'm also grateful that my brother Robert and his family have settled in Cedar City.  I'm also grateful that although I didn't follow the trend, nearly every one of my siblings married people from Cedar City, meaning that if they are visiting their in-laws, they are in the same town as my parents.  One stop holiday visiting, a big old Corry party a couple of times a year.  Soooooo convenient.  (And awesome.  And delightful.)

November 25:  I'm grateful for all of you that come here from time to time.  Not to play favorites or anything, but I'm especially grateful for those of you who humor me by snapping stone lions pictures throughout the world.

November 26:  I'm grateful for the mountains of Utah.  Particularly the mountains of Southern Utah, since they feel like "home" to me, but really, I think most who have seen them will agree, all the Utah mountains are quite spectacular.

November 27:  This one is too long for this little list.  Go here.

November 28:  I'm grateful for my father-in-law.  He comes through in the crunch time and time again.  He does it without complaint, and then thanks us for giving him something to do.  He's a salt of the earth guy, and I am blessed blessed to have him.

November 29:  I'm grateful for the Musical Annie.  Specifically, I'm grateful that Heather will watch it from beginning to end when I really need a break.

November 30:  I'm grateful to and for the people who inspired me to make this list.


image courtesy of eekim 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gratitude MY EYE!

Remember how grateful I was for getting home safely on Sunday?

Well, I still am.


In the less-than-48-hour-time-period-since-we've arrived home, we've had stomach flu, (All three of us.  Eric is still down for the count (but improving), I am inching (well, probably more like "yard-ing") my way back to health.  Naturally, Heather is fully recovered and full of energy.) The handle of our kitchen faucet broke off (but at least I can still turn the water off and on using Eric's trusty needle-nose pliers), and, as I was using my last bit of strength to heave a load of laundry in the machine (I'm always amazed at how fast the flu can make it pile up), the knob on the washing machine broke off.  (fortunately, I can jerry-rig that for now as well.)  

I'd complain about the car being in the shop, but really none of us are driving anywhere, so the one car we have is more than enough for our needs.  

I'd cry if I wasn't laughing so hard at the 'what-are-the-chances' of it all.  

(Plus, my pioneer ancestors are reading this (Not really.  I'm sure they have better things to do) and shaking their heads at me.  Faucets and washing machine knobs?  Charlotte, you poor poor baby!)   

Now, if you'll excuse me, Heather wants popcorn for lunch.  Today I'm in no position to argue.  


Sunday, November 27, 2011

this gratitude entry deserves its own post

It's Sunday evening.  This morning, we woke up in Cedar City, and we are now home, safe and sound, in Cache Valley.  That's been the case for about 3 hours now.  We left Cedar City around 10:30 this morning, after attending Sacrament Meeting in my brother's ward.  Heather has a runny nose (making it so she wouldn't be welcome in nursery), and the older I get, the more antsy I am about going through Sardine Canyon after dark, particularly in the winter months.  So, we hopped in the car, choosing not to stay for Sunday School or Relief Society/Priesthood meetings.

We drove the car to Fillmore (about two hours from Cedar City, and three-to-four from Cache Valley), where we stopped to get some food and have a little bathroom break.  As Eric went into the store, he left the car running, with Heather and I inside.  After about 5 minutes, I smelled something burning, like plastic or rubber or fluid or something, and turned the car off.  I rolled down the windows to see if the smell was coming from a car around us, but that didn't seem to be the case.  When Eric got back, I told him about it, but the smell was gone by then, and everything seemed fine, so we continued on our way.

We stopped again in South Salt Lake (about one and a half hours south of Cache Valley) to fill up with gas.  I took over driving at that point.  As we were headed back on the freeway (which required multiple turns due to one way streets), I noticed that the engine and clutch seemed to be acting kind of weird.  I chalked it up to the fact that I haven't driven a stick shift in around six months, and determined that is was a driver error (mine) rather than a mechanical problem.

I got on the freeway, and it seemed that the car was laboring more than usual.  I chalked that up to the fact that we had a Christmas tree on our hood (pictures and report on that coming), and so our wind resistance must have been causing our car to slow down.

We got off the freeway at Brigham City (around 30 minutes away from home), and started on the highway through the canyon.  As we climbed the mountain, the car started to rev and rev.  I would take off the gas, and things would be okay, but as soon as I put my foot back on the gas, the rpms would shoot up again.  People were passing us like we were standing still (we weren't--we were going 55 mph), and I was flashing back to the good old college days that I'd had in the canyon in my trusty three-cylinder Geo Metro.  Finally, I started smelling that smell again, and as I looked out the back window, I seemed to be putting out some really black smoke.  There "just happened" to be a perfect pull-out spot right where I was, and I pulled over to a large area of dirt, one that had plenty of room for several cars, and one that is fairly rare in the canyon.  I woke up Eric and told him that I thought something was wrong.

Eric hopped out of the car and lifted the hood to take a look.  There was smoke coming from under the hood.  Not a whole lot, but enough.  We called Eric's dad (Wayne), who told us to check the oil.  Eric did, and found that it was low.  (However, the smell was more along the lines of transmission fluid than oil.  Not that I would know the difference, but both Eric and Wayne made that determination.)  Wayne hopped in his car and drove the 30-40 miles to bring us some oil, which we put in the car.  We tried to start the car then, and it started fine, but when Eric tried to put it in gear, the gearshift would go, but the car wouldn't move forward or backward or any way at all.

So, I got on the phone with our insurance company, who sent a tow truck out to us (one of the services we get for no additional cost as part of our monthly premium).  Meanwhile, Eric and Wayne unloaded all our things from the back of our Subaru and packed it into the back of Wayne's Santa Fe.  Then they loaded Heather there.  Then they untied our Christmas tree from the top of our car and tied it to the top of Wayne's.  Then they told me to get into the Santa Fe where it was warm.  Eric got on the phone and told the insurance people where to tow the car (a service station close to Eric's work), and we were on our way.  Thirty minutes later we were home, and Heather was throwing a sleep-deprived-I-spent-the-last-five-days-playing-with-cousins-and-am-totally-unable-to-handle-all-of-this-upheaval-tantrum over the fact that we had left her beloved pink headband in the other car and she couldn't wear it anymore.  (I later found it in the parking lot outside our home.  So, even that worked out.)

Tomorrow, Eric will talk with the people at the service station.  The car was acting similarly a few months ago, and although I can't remember what ended up being wrong, they fixed it, and it was working fine.  Apparently whatever was fixed is now broken again.

* * *

Now, no one likes car trouble. It's expensive, inconvenient, and, if you're me and you have no natural inclination towards mechanics, it brings on feelings of fear and utter helplessness.  (Although, I will say that those feelings have been lessened significantly since I became eternally linked to a man with Eric's talents and  attitude.)

However, I am more grateful than I can say that when we did have car trouble, that we had it a mere 25 miles away from home, in daylight, and that we were saved from even the inconvenience of waiting for a tow by Wayne's ability and willingness to come rescue us.  I count that as a miracle.  Remember, I smelled the beginnings of the problems 200 miles earlier in Fillmore.  I really don't see that we had any business getting as far as we did without incident.  I don't think for one minute that it was a coincidence that the car became basically undrive-able at first safe and convenient pull-over spot in the canyon.  Nor do I think it was a coincidence that Eric's parents were at home, just waiting for us to call them.  (These are busy people, and it seems that their Sunday afternoons always contain long walks, or church meetings, or other church duties.  In short, oftentimes, it can be hard to find them at home.)

I count it all as a miracle, and a testimony that God is watching over me and my little family, keeping us safe and sound.  As I think about it, I am reminded that if God is going to care enough about us to save us from having to figure out how to get home from Fillmore Utah, instead of 200 miles later, He is certainly not going to forget about us when it comes to the threats in our lives that carry the bigger weights and importance.

And I'm grateful.  At the risk of repeating myself, I'm more grateful than I can say.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Glorious Grand Junction--Part Two

The highlight of our jaunt to Grand Junction was attending the ward Trunk-or-Treat party on the Saturday before Halloween.

I had spent the previous month poring over pinterest, looking for interesting-but-easy face painting for fairies, only to have go time come, and discover that Heather wouldn't let me touch her face with anything resembling paint or make-up.

Fortunately, Pirate Evan came through in the clutch, letting me use my mad skillz to smudge a beard on that adorable face.  (Truth be told, it's probably about as much as I could manage, considering my art disability.)

quirky 11-11


Just as everyone was almost ready to go, Becca got a phone call from a realtor, asking if they could bring a potential buyer to the house in 30 minutes (or, it might have been an hour).  We all went into super-clean mode, picking-up, organizing, scrubbing, you name it.  When the time had arrived, we piled into the car and headed to the church for chili and cornbread, and most importantly, trick-or-treating.

(Incidentally, my sister is moving to Arizona in a few weeks.  If any of you are looking or know someone who is looking to move to Glorious Grand Junction, and would like a reasonably priced loved-filled home in a friendly neighborhood, have I got the house for you!)

Anyway . . .

This girl cracks me up.  Supposedly, once Jane heard that her big brother Evan was going to be a pirate for Halloween, she determined that she wanted to be a pirate as well.  But, not just any pirate.  No, she wanted to be a Spanish Dancer Pirate.  As you all know, that's a whole different animal.

I think the thumb in the mouth is particularly frightening.  You wouldn't want to run into this pirate in the dead of night, no siree.

When it came time to do the actual trick-or-treating, Heather got a real boon:
Evan, who had done this a time or two before, basically took Heather by the hand and led her to all the different cars, again and again and again.  She was in heaven.

Jane joined them for rounds one and two, but after that, her interest waned, and she took over the handing-out duty, along with Becca.


And then there was Marian:
quirky 11-11

When we arrived in Grand Junction (a day and a half before the Trunk-or-Treat), Marian had yet to decide what she was going to be for Halloween.  She came up with this go-go girl costume (with the help of her mom) in about 30 minutes, while browsing through a local goodwill store.  Pretty impressive if you ask me.

And that pretty much wraps it all up.  Of course, no trunk-or-treat/trick-or-treat report would be complete without a picture of the loot.  

So, here:


One more Grand Junction post, and then I'll probably have Thanksgiving pics to share.  Really, could anything be better?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Glorious Grand Junction-Part One

Remember how Heather and I took a little jaunt to Grand Junction Colorado to spend some time with my sister a few weeks ago?

This is the first of the posts where I share more pictures of the adventure, with a few salient details.

Detail Number One:  Random events on the way out.

  • Driving along Highway Six, we came upon a huge cattle run, right there on the highway.  Traffic came to a standstill as cows plodded along on one side of the road.  I'm no cowgirl, but I did grow up in Southern Utah, and I have to say, I've never seen that many cows in one place before.  Not something you see every day.  Probably not something I'll ever see again.  

I did not take this picture, but it gives the idea.  This picture is courtesy of

  • We stopped to get gas in Helper Utah.  It's nice, very small little town.  I was surprised to see that they already had their Christmas Decor up on the main drag.  Of course, considering that it was October 27th, and the decorations looked as if they'd seen quite a bit of dust, I'm kind of thinking they might have been up since the previous Christmas.  Kind of fun(ny).

Next Grand Junction post we'll document the fact that we actually were in Grand Junction.  You won't want to miss it.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks-giving (for Christ)

So, for our ward Christmas Program this year, our choir director has asked me to sing "Poor Mary".

I've done it once before.  Actually, singing this song was the highlight of my Christmas last year.  It turned out that a week and one day before our program, our Bishop heard this song performed at a concert, and asked our choir director if it would be possible to include it in the program.  (Let me make this clear though--he did not demand anything.  He just asked her if she could manage it.  Our Bishop is a humble, understanding, loving man.  I adore him.)

So anyway, the choir director asked me if I could do it.  To be honest, I didn't know if I could.  It's a deceptively tricky song, with a lot of sustained high notes, and I figured that it would probably take more breath support and finesse than a semi-retired-hobby-singer like myself could manage.

However, insecurities notwithstanding, the fact is, I have a little standing deal with the Lord.  The deal is, if anyone asks me to sing, anytime, anywhere, I say "yes", unless I am logistically unable to be at the appointed place at the appointed time.  In return, my hope is that the Lord will see that I am willing to share what talent he's given me, and will give me miracles in the talent-growth-and-maintenance department (not unlike the master did in the parable of the talents shared by Christ in the New Testament).  So far, I've held up my end of the deal, and the Lord seems to be willing to indulge me with what I hope to be His.

So, I said I would do it, and then proceeded to spend the next week practicing and praying.  Long story short, it went well.  Really well.  Many of those who heard it were moved, but more importantly (for me), I was moved.  As I worked on the song, it started to become very personal to me, and I gained a message from the lyrics that I hadn't seen at first glance.  The song tells how Mary didn't have anywhere to lay Jesus, how she didn't have anything to give Jesus, and finally, how she didn't have a song to sing Jesus.  In each case, miraculously, those needs were met, by the manger, the wise men, and the angel choir.

As I applied that to my own past experiences, I could see times when I had been lacking, at times severely so, and how my needs had been met, my efforts had been multiplied, and my heart had been filled by events and blessings that were to me, as miraculous as any angel choir or king on a camel.  As I realized that, I felt a kinship with Mary that I'd never felt before.

Sometimes, we come up short, you know?  Sometimes life is hard, and we are thrust into circumstances that are uncomfortable and painful and difficult.  But, we are never ever ever alone.  And the Lord will provide.  Just like He did for Mary.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

environmentalists beware

It's the third annual random video week here in quirksville!

Since it is Saturday, I thought we'd have a little cleaning-type video.

So, I present to you, something that has been life-changing around our house.  I'm talking about sparkly dishes, that elusive magic delight that I took for granted all those years, until mysteriously last summer, all my dishes started to get dingy and grey.

In short, here is how we've been combating the recent change in dishwasher detergent formula:


I'm a believer. (You can buy TSP at It's around $4 a box, if I remember right.)

(In case you are wondering, I assuage my guilt about possible TSP pollution by remembering that to get clean dishes prior to this discovery, I was using/wasting three or four times the amount of water that I usually do to pre-wash, pre-soak, and post-wash all our dishes.  Sixes, if you ask me.)


Friday, November 18, 2011

three for the price of one

It's the third annual random video week here in quirksville!

In preparation for this week, a few days ago I asked fellow facebookers for their favorite videos of awesomeness.  I got three absolute winners, and one that's a winner, but that I can't feel good about posting here, because it just feels too mean.  (but funny--oh, so funny.)

Here are the three:

The Jimmy Kimmel Halloween Challenge Highlight Reel:
If you (like Tasha) are squeamish about seeing kids crying at the thought of their heartless parents eating all their candy, skip to the last minute of the video (around 2:45, to be exact).  There are two kids there with personality plus and no tears.  Pure awesomeness.

Kid History-Episode #3
"Kid History" comes highly recommended.  If you aren't familiar with this series (I wasn't), it's a couple of brothers who get their kids to tell stories of things that have happened in their family.  Then, the parents (brothers) act out the story, mouthing the words that the kids say.  It is hilarious.  My favorite part of this one happens to be the hot dog guy, and the screaming deals he runs, although the "uno, dos, tres, four" is a close second.  (Kaylee likes episodes 5 & 6, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Spanish, and so episode #3 is my #1 pick.)

(True confessions time, I first heard about "Kid History" several months ago, but, thinking that it was a bunch of kids telling stories from American or World History, I determined it would be too dry for me.)(Sorry, Heidi.)

Guy on a Buffalo, episode #2
I honestly don't know what to think about this guy.  Is he for real?  I mean, not all of it, of course, but that cougar attack looks pretty real to me.  Who does that for a YouTube video?  Fascinating.  Fascinating and totally quirky.  You see why I had to include it, don't you.

*Update*  He's not for real.  Still pretty awesome though.  Click here for an explanation.

And, in case you just can't stand not knowing what the other one is, click here, and then here.  And then you'll know.

See y'all tomorrow!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

"We're in trouble, Elmo"

It's the third annual random video week here in quirksville!

I don't think I'm capable of doing a random video week post without posting something from Sesame Street. The fact that it has Adam Sandler in it is an absolute a bonus.

(Love the entry of the penguin.  The body-building shrimp is pretty good too.)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

there are no squibs

Fact #1:  Last May, in response to a post I wrote about Orson Scott Card, A faithful reader name Nate told me about a little site called (which happens to be Mr. Card's website, where he reviews everything, among other attractions on the site).

Fact #2:  Last July, Mr. Card wrote this, regarding the final installment of the Harry Potter movies:

 . . . it may be that the truest, most powerful review of this movie and the whole series is in a spoof made by some college students at Brigham Young University.

These college kids are the generation that grew up with the Harry Potter books and movies. Back when Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone -- er, pardon me, Sorcerer's Stone -- was turning non-readers into readers, they embraced the book, tried out their wands in darkened rooms, dreamed of the letter from Hogwart's that never came.

So on the occasion of the final movie's release, Whitney Call wrote new lyrics to Katy Perry's "Firework" and got her friends together to show all those magical yearnings that Harry Potter created -- but reality and growing up dashed.

It's so nostalgic and bittersweet that even as I laughed, I wanted to cry. It teases us about our Harry Potter obsession, but also expresses our feelings about stories that we love. It's more than a mere parody, it's a great piece of fervent literary criticism.

Fact #3:  I went to check out the video, at Mr. Card's invitation.

Fact #4:  I agree 100% with Orson Scott Card.  Both hilarious and nostalgic, this might be my very favorite of the week.  


(My favorite part?  1:05)


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

. . . just in case yesterdays offering didn't get you "feelin' groovy" . . .

It's the third annual random video week here in quirksville!

I remember listening to this song as a little girl in my dad's green and white striped truck.  He had gone through and recorded all his LP albums onto cassette tapes, and would play them as he drove around.  I think I might even remember the first time I heard it.  It was a new sound to me, different from any other music than I'd ever heard, and I knew immediately that I loved it.  To put it mildly, it was a favorite from the first time I heard it, and is still a favorite today.  

So, for fun, today I've got two versions of this song, both by the same guys, separated by many many many years.  



I love the contrast.  I love how bright and hopeful and clean and innocent and Sesame-Street/Disney-esque they seem in the first one (and how fun it is when the Smothers Brothers join in), and then, in a totally different way, I love how semi-hammered by the life they are in the second one, and especially how hippie their band is.  Classic people watching there for sure.  

Did you notice that they moved the key up as they got older.  That's a bit of a surprise to me.  I foresee myself moving down in pitch as I get older.  (Oh--and the second version is about two minutes longer than the first.  That's not all that surprising.  I definitely foresee myself getting more long-winded as I age.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

I know you've all been waiting for it . . .

It's the third annual random video week here in quirksville!

(And boy or boy, have I got some good ones lined up for you this year!)


Of course I love the music (It's a peppy tune after all)(also, Eric says it sounds like 80s music, and I still have a love affair with 80s music.  Don't judge-), but what I love very most is all the people dancing.  People in their living rooms, people in the snow, one Dwight-like guy in furniture store, a guy being superman in his kitchen, random kids all over the place.  Love it.  

I can hardly watch it without dancing myself.  Okay, I can't watch it without dancing myself.  I've tried.  To be painfully honest, in preparation for random video week, a few days ago I set up the tripod and took a video of Heather and I dancing around to this song, a la these guys.  (We do it about every other week or so--but never with the camera before)(or again.)

You won't be seeing that video.  Actually, my plan is that no one will ever see that video.  After looking over it, I am absolutely floored at the difference between the grooving Charlotte in my head and the grooving Charlotte that's out there for anyone to see.  Alas.  

I haven't deleted it yet, because if I were to be hit by a bus this year, there might come a time that Heather will treasure a video of her mom acting like a complete uncoordinated fool while dancing with her little girl.  But, barring that kind of situation, that video will never see the light of day.  

But enough of that.  

For those of you who are interested, my favorite parts of this little piece of perfection are found at:
1:04, 2:03  (actually, I think this guy is my favorite of the whole bunch), 2:32, and 3:06.


(What are your favorite parts?  Hmmmmm?)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Random Picture Post-bygones edition

Remember how I used to be a runner?


This is a shot of the 3-A girls lining up to start the Utah State Cross-Country competition last month.  One of those girls on the left hand side in the gold and maroon is my niece, Kaylee.  Kaylee is the reason that I was even at the competition and was able to take this picture.

As the girls were lining up, I felt the anticipation in the air.  As exciting as it all was, and as happy as I was that Kaylee was having the opportunity to do it, I have to admit that the overwhelming feeling that I had was one of relief, absolute relief that I will never ever ever ever again have to experience the nervous tension of stepping on the starting line of a State Cross-Country meet.

(It's kind of like how I feel about serving as a Mormon Missionary.  Soooo glad I did it.  Sooo glad I don't have to do it again.)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

a few random thoughts

Back when I had more control over what I did with my time, I spent a fair amount of time traveling to see my siblings and nieces and nephews. I loved it. However, it seemed like nearly every time I did so, I would catch some kind of bug, generally a cold, from little kids who had an immune system that was differently wired than my own. Now as I sit here, sniffling, coughing, and avoiding talking (no voice), it's oddly comforting (while not-at-all-oddly annoying) that some things never change.

* * *

My wedding ring means more to me than I realized.  I lost it for about 36 hours a bit ago.  I was braiding Heather's hair, and I took it off and put it in the pocket of my ratty not-ready-for-the-day-yet jeans and forgot all about it.  Later, I remembered, but I had already changed into other clothes.  I ran upstairs and looked in the jeans, but it wasn't there.  I turned the closet inside out, dumping out the dirty laundry FOUR TIMES, going through every single thing, turning every sock inside out, all to no avail.  I spent 30 minutes crying about it, and then the next day and a half alternating between 1)Telling myself that it was just a "thing" and the sentiment behind the "thing" was something that I still had and so I shouldn't be too sad about it, and 2)Feeling like if I could ever find it again it would be better than a hundred Christmases combined.

Thankfully, I found it the next evening, as I was changing into frumpy sweats for an evening of popcorn and videos.  I was shaking out my sweatpants, (which I keep on a shelf in the closet) and it fell to the floor.  I picked it up and bounded into the bathroom, where Eric was giving Heather a bath, screaming and dancing for joy (me screaming, not Heather or Eric).  That was a good day.

(Better than a hundred Christmases combined.)

* * *

Cleaning out/un-plugging the drain in the bathroom sink, while a little (or a lot) on the gross side, gives me a surprising sense of accomplishment.

* * *

I think that's enough for today.  I'm not even going to bother to find a random picture for this post.  I'm just going to slap it up there, and go on with life for a bit.  So there.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

a requiem of sorts

Cedar City-Summer 1992.  I'm on the far right, Jeri is in the back, at the top of the psuedo-pyramid.  The guy in the shorts is my friend Tony.  The other two people may or may not want to be named before the whole world, so I'll leave their names off this little caption.  We look a little rough-around-the-edges because we had just returned from a weekend of mountain-time.  (Also--this has nothing to do with anything, but man, I LOVED those boots.)

Last week I attended the funeral of a friend.  We ran around in the same group for about two years in college, and had a lot (and I DO mean a lot) of fun times full of laughter and smiles and giggles and just general mirth.  In fact, many of my best memories of that time feature him rather prominently.  I still have a note that he left on my car one day.  It's a whole piece of lined paper, with four words.  I remember I had been really busy for about two months at the time he left it, wrapping up school, preparing to serve a mission, being involved in performing groups and with my job in the college of business.  I hadn't had as much free-socializing time, and apparently he missed me.

quirky 11-11

(He alternated between calling me "cupcake", and "pumpkin".  This was to tease me--because I had mentioned at one point that it drove me crazy when people used food items as terms of endearment for people in their lives.  I find that ironic now, given that Eric's pet name for our Heather is "pumpkin" or "pumpkin-eater", and mine is "muffin-muffin".)

Anyway, this friend, his name was Tony, developed colon cancer awhile ago, and one thing led to another, until finally, after a very valiant battle, he passed shortly before Halloween.  The funeral was beautiful, a fitting tribute to a man who obviously loved life.

The whole thing got me thinking.  I don't feel ready or old enough to be having friends developing cancer, much less dying from it.  My feeling is that death is something that should happen to older people--people who are 80+, people who have lived all the life they want to live (or pretty close), people who have spouses and/or parents and dear friends on the other side waiting for them.  Tony was none of these.  (Neither was Phil).  So, losing him (them) is hard.  

Several years ago, I spent some time seeing a therapist, in hopes that by doing so, I would be able to get out of a pit of sadness and depression that was threatening to become my own personal home.  It (along with a little miracle called Lexapro) worked really well, but that's not the point I'm trying to make right now.  The reason I bring it up now is because one of the topics we talked about in those sessions was the impermanence of life, how everybody dies sooner or later, and the necessity of being able to accept that, and live with joy in spite of it all.

Sometimes I wonder how I'll manage when the inevitable day comes that I lose someone really close to me.

. . . And then, I decide that there's no sense trying to "prepare" for that day.  Really, is there any way to prepare for a loss like that?  I don't think so.  I think perhaps the best way to deal with it all is to get all the happy, peaceful, laugh-y, thoughtful, meaningful, joy-erific living done that you can, while you can, and with the people that you can.

And to trust in the Lord to fill in the gaps when the time comes that there are gaps to be filled.


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Can You Find the Stone(ish) Lion in this Shot?

Photobucket Orlando Florida.  Taken by Heidi, with some assistance from daughter Eden, and fellow USoSL member, Corrie.  



Friday, November 04, 2011

Random Photo-Please Tell Me You Think This is as Funny as I Do edition

The Monday after the Top of Utah Marathon (the route of which goes right by my house), I stumbled up this most excellent sign.

Photobucket Photobucket

Seriously, how awesome is this?

(Totally awesome.)

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