Saturday, October 29, 2011

Having a Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Here

Heather and I are in Grand Junction Colorado, visiting my sister and her family for a few days.








We've been to our first pumpkin patch,
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Attended our first Trunk-or-Treat,
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And in general, have just had a marvelous time.

A full report will likely be coming later (like in a month or two, if the past is any indication of the future.)







 

Friday, October 28, 2011

random photo-gardens and eden edition

So, back earlier in the year, when we still had tomatoes growing in our backyard, Eden came to visit one day.  After she and Heather had spent most of the day wearing Eric out, I came home from work and took a shift as well.  Long story short, we were in the garden, and Heather was eating the cherry (jelly bean) tomatoes as if there was no tomorrow.  I asked Eden if she wanted some as well, and she hesitantly said something along the lines of, "Umm, okay--I'll eat some."  I'm not for sure, but it seemed as if Eden wasn't a real big tomato fan in her regular life.

Well, no one can stand up to the Jelly Bean tomatoes (seriously--soooo sweet and delicious!), and certainly not Eden.  She loved them.

She was so proud of herself for eating and liking tomatoes that she wanted to immediately share the good news with her best friend of the day, who happened to be Eric.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, Eric was worn out, and was taking a much deserved nap.  So, I told Eden that she would have to wait for awhile to share her happy news.

Eden was concerned that we might forget to tell Eric, so she had me draw a picture of her with her orange tomato, and then, she got me to write the words explaining the drawing.


Voila!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back Again!! The Monthly Round-up, October Edition

Okay, so turns out, I'm the girl who cried wolf.

As much as I'm enjoying Pinterest, I've found that I do still feel the need/desire to post a few fun things over here from time to time.  So, it looks like the monthly round-up will continue.  Hooray!



I'm liking this recipe from the Promise Website.  Eric loves spinach and I love white beans.  Looks like a match made in heaven.  And for Heather?  Well, her tastes aren't developed enough for her to really get a say at this point, right?  (Please note that Promise Buttery Spread did NOT request that I post this, nor are they compensating me for this generous plug of their recipe.  What's up with that?)






Is it even possible for me to put one of these round-ups together without including a wreath?  I think not.  I love this one, and it looks pretty darn easy to do.



Here's a handy list of how to store different kinds of fresh produce.  Did you know that as soon as you wash fresh fruit it strips the outer layer and quickens the ripening process?  I didn't.




Reader's Digest gives us a list of 12 little tips to save time and money here.  I like the one that says you're wealthy enough to give some money to worthy causes if you can buy all the groceries you need.  I also like the tip to avoiding lunatics on city buses. 




I love the Readers Digest Feature, "13 things a ______ won't tell you."  Recently they did one on 13 things a funeral director won't tell you.  One of my favorite tips:  You can buy caskets that are just as nice as the ones in a showroom for thousands of dollars less online from Walmart, Costco, or straight from the manufacturer. Who knew?



This garden tomato sauce looks delish, easy, and doesn't have a lot of fat-filled stuff in the recipe.  Put it over fish or chicken or whole-wheat pasta and it's an easy healthy meal.  Actually--I have some frozen roasted tomatoes as well--I wonder how well it would work with those.  Perhaps I'll try it and update you on it later.


I'm into braiding these days.  (In case you haven't noticed).  And, I think this braid looks awesome, and there's a tutorial to boot.  Yippee!




I'm thinking about doing a little redo in Heather's room this year--maybe.  If I do, it's highly likely that this free printable will be making an appearance.  Love it (and for those of you non-yellow-ites, it comes in different colors too.)




We have a big shoe box full of cables and other things that we probably don't need, but are afraid to throw away, "just in case".  I'm thinking that until we get up the gumption to just toss them, this might be a better option for storing them.  (those are just old toilet paper rolls you know?  Genius!)




Here's an easy-as-pie recipe for homemade hair detangler.  I haven't made it yet, but with Heather's hair growing longer by the day, and winter (which is generally long-hair weather for our family) around the corner, it's absolutely only a matter of time.



The other day, I ran out of Clorox Clean-up.  So, rather than going to the store, I hopped on pinterest, and typed in "Homemade Clorox Clean-up" in the search box.  I was immediately directed to this site where Katie taught me that a mixture of 1/4 cup bleach, 1 Tbs dish soap, and the rest of the container of water (in my case, my old Clorox Clean-up bottle) works just as well as the stuff you buy in the store.  I tried it out, and I have to agree.  Hello extra four dollars!

This article from Reader's Digest lists eighteen different tips that are used in various cultures and countries to combat obesity.  Some that I might try:

  • Thailand:  Thai food is among the spiciest in the world.  Hot peppers raise your metabolism, but the real benefit is that eating spicy food slows down your eating, giving your body time to signal that it's full.  
  • Brazil:  Nearly every meal in Brazil is served with a side of beans and rice.  These sides are lower in fat and higher in fiber than many of the sides that dominate traditional Western fare, and are thought to stabilize blood sugar levels.  
  • Germany:  Nearly 75% of Germans eat breakfast daily, and the meal consists of fruit and whole-grain cereals and breads.  (The percentage of Americans who eat breakfast daily is around 44%)  Recent studies indicate that if you haven't eaten breakfast, your brain's reward center will light up more vivdly when you see a high-calorie food, making you more likely to indulge.  




   

Monday, October 24, 2011

Well, hello there!

I finally saw Harry Potter this weekend. You all know this of course, having seen it months ago, but that movie is absolutely awesome. Probably my favorite of the year. I cried, I laughed, I felt wistful about the end of an era, and comforted that it ended so well.



Loved this part.


I became completely annoyed with the family of five (two parents, three kids aged two to six) that sat directly in front of us and proceeded to say "What's that Mom?",   "Where's Harry?", "I  need more popcorn!", "I want the ORANGE soda!"  ad nauseum throughout what seemed like every tender or quietly suspenseful scene in the entire movie, but even that couldn't mar the joy for me (particularly after we moved mid-movie to quieter seats).

I've decided to pretend that the family was there for one last family togetherness time before the father is deployed somewhere scary and dangerous.  Not that I would wish that on anyone (it was just a movie after all), but it makes me feel less frustrated with the situation.  And who knows? Maybe there really were extenuating circumstances that, if I were aware of them, would help me to feel more kindly about it all.

* * *

In other news . . .

I know you're dying to know how long I ran this morning.  Well, I'll tell you.

Twenty-five minutes.  Non-stop.  

Oh yeah baby, I'm tearing it up.



 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

As far as I'm concerned, This is more of an excuse for me to post three freaking adorable pictures of Daxton than anything else, but we'll call it a USoSL post anyway.

So, as I've mentioned, my brother Doug recently moved from Ohio to Texas.  You might remember that just before he moved, he sent me some Cleveland-area lion pictures that he took on the weekly Sunday walk that he would take with his family.

Well, now we start the Texas installment!

This lovely lion can be found in Canton Texas, at the Canton trade days.  This event is held the weekend before the first Monday of every month.  Basically, it's the largest flea market in the world, with as many as 500,000 shoppers during the weekend.

(That cute Dodger fan?  Oh yeah, that's my little nephew.  Adorable, no?  Check out that smile!)

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Now, if you're just in it for the fabulousness that is Stone Lions, you can probably just click off to something else here.  However, if you 're up for a little bit of finagling (although no points will be awarded), and vintage Doug-ness, then read on.  See, we are about to see Doug link stone lions to his favorite subject/hobby of them all.  Of course I am talking about sports.

(Seriously--between not liking to sew, and not caring one fig for professional sports, sometimes I wonder if my parents adopted me.  Good thing I can sing, and that I worry.  Two very Corry/Willis-esque traits.  Anyway, back to the promised sports link by Doug.)

To get the full effect, I quote from Douglas directly:

[This] reminds me of another stone (or stone like) lion I have seen. This is in Canton Ohio. I admit I did not take this picture in Ohio.  Although I have visited the NFL hall of fame twice, the only picture I have of this bust of Barry Sanders is of half of his face that I got while taking a picture of the bust of Dan Marino.  So, I am not sure this is blog worthy or not.  (Note from Charlotte:  Obviously I have deemed that it is.) And in case you are wondering Barry Sanders was a running back for the Detroit Lions during the 90's. (In fact, I was wondering that very thing.) He was inducted into the hall of fame in 2004 which hall of fame is located in Canton Ohio about an hour away from Cleveland. 


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Doug continues:


You knew it was only a matter of time before I weaseled sports into the USoSL.  I'm nothing if not consistent.

Now, if you have any doubts that I have not seen this in real life I also attached another picture as proof that I have (that's the Lombardi trophy given to the winning team of the Super Bowl). Photobucket



And there you have it folks.  Two stone lions (sort of) and a stone football (sort of).  Knowing my brothers, I fear that I may have opened a Pandora's box with this one.  Time will tell.  As is generally the case, time will tell.  

Let's hope for the best, shall we?





Friday, October 21, 2011

another appearance of the random picture post

Back in my early blogging days, I would often take a day (a Friday usually) and post a few random pictures, generally with some explanations.

For some reason, I feel inclined to do the same again today.  So, here (without too many explanations this time around) is a semi-random selection of some of my favorite pictures from September.



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Heather and Rachel live it up at the Spanish Fork splash pad.
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Kamree is also excited to be at the splash pad.  
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Rachel reaches for the camera. 
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This splash pad is obviously a little more fancy than our  Cache Valley version.  (But, we can walk to ours, which is a definite advantage.)
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I love my brother.  I also love how you can see me taking the picture reflected in his glasses.  (Not!  Ha-ha, does anyone say "not" anymore?  I don't think so!  A little behind the times am I, as usual.)(Also, watching a lot of Empire Strikes Back lately, have we been.  Tell, can you?)

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The two newest Corry members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Kamree and MaKell were both baptized within a month of this shot.  (Kamree later on that day, and MaKell about a month prior.)
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Poor Heather.  It's not easy fending off an overly affectionate mother.



     
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Not easy at all.


The End.  


I've got a few more random pictures in the hopper, but they deserve their own post, so be watching on future Fridays for those.  I know, you can hardly wait.  But you're gonna have to.  Sorry, that's just the way the ball bounces.



 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

so, to continue with that thought . . .

As long as I'm talking about training for 5Ks, and being overweight, I might as well share something else that's been on my mind lately.

Last week, we had family pictures taken.

I was hesitant to do so.  I mean, to be perfectly honest and more open than I generally am here, I'm not all that confident or pleased with the way my body looks at this particular moment in my life.  In saying that, I don't mean to be ungrateful.  My body works marvelously, and I'm lucky to have it.  However, I haven't been as careful with what I've been putting into my body as I should, particularly considering the fact that I'm not twenty-two anymore, and have the metabolism of the forty-year-old that I am.

So, at the moment, I don't feel particularly breathtakingly beautiful.  I don't feel hideous, or awful, or discouraged beyond repair, but I don't feel all that pretty, and as I was contemplating the whole family picture thing, I wondered if I really wanted to have a film-record of our family (and more specifically me) right now.

But, I determined that it was okay.  I mean, Heather is only going to be three years old for a little while.  Sure, Eric and I look decidedly middle-aged, and somewhat pudgy, but a big part of that is the fact that we  are middle-aged.  Furthermore, as I reasoned to myself, I may not look my very best, but I'm already walking around my life looking like this for anyone to see.  In light of that, why should I let some extra pounds stop me from getting a record of the joy that is our family is right now?

So, photographer recommendations were sought (I was looking for that magical intersection of talent and frugality), and a photographer was chosen.  We donned complemenary outfits and drove up the canyon, where Jennifer Bryner was waiting, camera in hand.


She was marvelous.  


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I'm so glad that we did it.  I'm so glad that I didn't let my own insecurities keep us from going forward.  It's true that there are shots that give me a little bit of heartburn regarding my own appearance (the two right above, for example).  But on the whole, the overwhelming feeling I get from these pictures is happiness.  I feel that they capture our family as we are right now.  Very happy, enjoying life, a little cheesy, and absolutely blessed.  Life's too short to wait for it to be picture perfect, you know?


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Of course (as we see with this shot), there's always the chance that a life that you think isn't picture perfect, turns out to be precisely that.  Isn't it nice when it works out that way?



   

Monday, October 17, 2011

True Confessions

This is not the confession.  This is something that makes me laugh my head off.  






Here's the confession:

I am training to run a 5K.

To some of you, this might not seem like a big deal.  But it is a big deal, and not in the ways or for the reasons that you might think.

See, I used to be a runner.

I used to smirk a little at the idea that a person would need to train to run a 5K.  A 5K was something that you ran when you were trying to train for something else.  It was where you started.  Working up to a 5K?  Ridiculous.

(Kaylee--don't laugh at me!  Have mercy!)

Here's my other true confession:

I'm actually enjoying training to run a 5K.

Can you believe it?  Honestly, I'm not sure that I can.  When Heidi asked me (about a month ago) if I wanted to train to run a 5K with her, and I (semi-reluctantly) said yes, I wasn't sure I could do it.  It had been at least 10 years, and probably closer to 15 since I had run for longer than 4 or 5 minutes consecutively.  So, the thought of 3-point-1 miles of straight running was daunting to say the least.

Fortunately, we started out small.  We live on opposite sides of Cache Valley, so we trained individually, and checked in from time to time on our progress.  We started out with the following grueling workout:

5 minute warm-up walk
90 second run
90 second walk
3 minute run
3 minute walk
90 second run
90 second walk
3 minute run
3 minute walk
90 second run
90 second walk
5 minute cool-down walk

It wasn't all that hard (shocker, I know), and it gave me courage to try the next one and the next one and the next one, for a few weeks now.  And then came this morning.  The morning of glorious triumph!

The morning that I, Charlotte Corry Cantwell, a woman diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, a woman who is 30 pounds over her ideal weight and 15 pounds over her "this is close enough for me to be satisfied" weight, a woman who has been telling herself for years that running just wasn't her thing anymore . . .


This morning, I, Charlotte Corry Cantwell ran for twenty-freaking-amazing minutes without stopping a single time.  


!!!!!!!


I know, right?  This really isn't as big a deal as I'm making it.  Twenty minutes of running is not that big a deal.  It especially seems a little strange that it would be a big deal for a girl who practically defined herself by her running performance, which is something that I was tempted to do in my teen years.

But, I gotta tell you, it feels like a big deal.  It feels like a great big wonderful big happy deal.

I'll take it.  


(Thanks Heidi.)






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Friday, October 14, 2011

Circles

quirky 10-11
our backyard paradise--August 2011


A few days ago, Heather and I took two hours and winterized our little garden.

We stripped all the tomato plants of all the green tomatoes, probably thirty or forty of them.  (Note to 2012 Charlotte--next year, skip the Best Boy, Jet Star and DX-whatever-was-developed-at-USU and just plant Early Girls, Jelly Bean Mix, and Grape Tomatoes.  Actually, you can skip the Grape Tomatoes too, and just plant two plants of the Jelly Bean Mix.  When you read this again and you wondering why, I'll tell you.  The Early Girl plant was the only one that actually produced red ripe full-size tomatoes before the frost came!)

We detached the beading wire from the tomato cages (which I had placed earlier in the summer to tie them all together, making it so one semi-unsecured plant didn't meet an utimely demise on the hot-as-a-frying-pan cement pad.), and with a lot of grunting, freed the cages from the tendrils of the plants.

We took six trips to the dumpster, one for each plant.

We clipped all the basil.

We moved the (potted) strawberry plants over by the house and covered them up with visqueen, with high hopes that they will survive the winter and give us another year or two or ten of berry deliciousness.  (Eric's mom said that putting them near the house might help the roots make it thought the hard freezes.  Gary from work (a/k/a "Farmer Gary" according to Heather) said that once it snows, I should pile a bunch of snow on top of them, which will provide them insulation from the freezes.  I'm planning to follow both sets of instructions.  Hedging my bets you know.)

We sprayed off the cement pad, making it look cleaner, and clearer, and more empty.

I (sans Heather) moved the green tomatoes down into the crawl space, where I'm told they should ripen over time.  (At that point, you know I'll be making more roasted tomatoes.)

We separated the basil leaves from the stems, cut them up (Heather used safety scissors), put them into ice cube trays and covered the trays with water.

We sprayed off our muddy shoes.

We went to Wal-Mart to return the jelly jars I bought last week in a fit of delusion (somehow I thought I'd make 24 half-pints of pomegranate jelly and give them as Christmas gifts.  Have you ever made pomegranate jelly?  It is absolutely delicious.  It is also quite possibly the most labor-intensive edible I've ever made.)(and keep in mind, I make tamales at least once a year), and came home with 6 cubic feet of mulch, which we put in the shed for next year.

It was hard work.  Heather actually handled it all pretty well, with lots of questions, and observations, and talking and talking and talking.

I handled it pretty well too, but by the end of it all, I was exhausted.

The next morning, as I was eating my toast smothered with gold pomegranate jelly, I looked out the window at our bare, clean cement pad, and felt a little sad.  We had a great summer out there, painting rocks, painting the cement, (painting spiderman), harvesting, playing in the kiddie pool, sitting under the sun umbrella reading or crocheting, laughing, and laughing some more.

Looking out the window, it reminded me of that song from the Forgotten Carols, the one (that I don't especially care for) that says, "I cry the day that I take the tree down."  As much as I enjoy Christmas, I'm not one who generally cries the day that I take the tree down, although I am often tempted to curse as I try to fit all the decorations back into the boxes that they came from.  But, I guess maybe I am one who almost cries the day that I take the garden down now, aren't I?

And yet, if the summer didn't end and I didn't have to take the garden down, then winter wouldn't begin, and I wouldn't be able to put the tree up.  And then if Christmas didn't end and I didn't have to take the tree down, then spring wouldn't come, and I wouldn't be able to plant the garden again.

So, I guess I don't mind taking the garden down all that much after all.  Fact is, it was a lovely spring, a great summer, and an even better fall.  Who knows?  Maybe winter will be the very best of all.

Here's hoping.






    

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dery Own!

So, I have this fuzzy green and blue bathrobe that is made out of that soft sweatshirt material (what is the technical name for that material anyway?) that I love.  (I know you will all be disappointed to learn that there will be no pictures of me in said bathrobe posted here.  I do have some pride.)

Anyway, as I said, I love that bathrobe.  It is soft, it is warm, it is comforting, particularly in the winter when I've just gotten out of the shower and I am freezing to death, or in the summer when I have just gotten out of the shower and Eric has the A/C on full blast and I am freezing to death.  (Like many couples that I know, Eric and I have temperature disputes on a regular basis.  That silly man likes it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I like it cheap which generally means the opposite.  Surprised?  I thought not.)

Oh--did I mention that my mom sewed the robe for me?  She did.  That will be an integral part of the story, so I'd better not forget to mention it.

So, awhile back, I was hanging out in my pjs and my robe, trying to get Heather dressed for the day.  It was a Saturday morning, so we had some time to spare here and there.  Kind of out of the blue, Heather noticed my robe, how soft it was, how warm it was, how totally awesome it was, and she asked me where her robe was.  I informed her that Heather had no robe, which unsurprisingly, made her sad.

So, I did what any other non-indulgent mother who is trying to raise a child up in a manner so that she learns that awesome robes of joy don't grow on trees would do.  I picked up the phone and we called grandma.   As it turned out, grandma wasn't home, so Heather left a voice mail message for her.  It was this:

Grandma!  I need a robe !

Please!
(The "please" came after a bit of motherly prompting)


We went along with our lives for a few weeks after that, and then it so happened that I was talking to my mom on the phone, and I asked her if she'd received Heather's robe order.  She had, however, she hadn't been exactly clear on which member of the princess pack* was making the order, and so it had kind of slipped to the bottom of her consciousness.  


Luckily, I was able to set her straight.  Even more luckily, mom was scheduled to come up for a visit later that month.  


Long story short, she brought up her sewing machine, a few yards of different fabric options, and bada bing bada boom, two hours later, Heather had a a soft, warm, pink robe.  


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I think my favorite part of the whole thing was seeing her joy as she tried it on for the first time.  "A robe of my dery own!", she kept exclaiming, "A robe of my dery own!"


Grandma, you totally came through for us again.  Thank you.








 

*The Princess Pack is the name I've given to a group of Corry girl cousins.  It starts with Jane (age four) and ends with Josie (age 2-3 weeks), and it includes no fewer than seven little girls within that four year age span.  At almost exactly one year younger than Jane, Heather is sitting pretty in the middle of the pack.  

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Another Scrapbook-esque Entry - (calling a spade a spade)

Remember when I wrote about how Heather and I were going to have a mother daughter date to Salt Lake/Provo, and that we were going to see Grandma Corry's Temple, and ride the train, and eat cupcakes at the Sweet Tooth Fairy?

Remember how I wrote that I might post pictures later?

Well, today is the day that I'm doing just that.

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I realize that I'm over a month behind in posting pictures, and that this might be annoying to some of you.  However, as I look over the photos to decide which ones to post, I'm reminded of the incredibly fun time that we had together, and doing so brings me peace and contentment inside, and reminds me just how happy I am with my life, just as it is right now.

So, for those of you who are still checking in in spite of the fact that the stuff that is posted here isn't exactly timely, thank you.  Your willingness to read influences my motivation to post, which adds to my joy.

Thank you.






   
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