Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Julia Gulia received a class assignment to have a family member write her obituary. I’m not sure why she asked me given my ability to be serious for, oh, about 2.68 seconds. I was limited to just a few lines and by the requirement that all information be factual.

This is what she turned in:

My sister, known as Julia~Gulia to family and friends, has left this world to be with her Creator. J~G was a woman of many words and frequently exceeded her daily quota of chatter*. She read the dictionary for fun and always had the perfect way to describe any situation. Although not one for reading maps, she has found her way home. Julia~Gulia is survived by her 2 parents, 5 siblings, 27 purses, and 38 pairs of shoes.

She informed me that no other classmate died so fashionably.

Coincidentally, I was searching through some pictures and came across a tombstone I saw in Charleston last year. Seems the author of the tombstone had a real eye for detail.

He was born about 1675, came to Carolina before 1706, and married, about 1707, Sarah, daughter of Captain John Croft and Katherine Childermass. He was buried near this spot 2nd September 1727.

I can only hope my legacy is less ambiguous.

*Julia~Gulia, I miss your ya!

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Cuban Blog Friend

I get a fairly standard response when I tell certain friends that I blog.

"Why do you blog? You don't even get to know who reads your blog."
"I know a little about them. I read who they are on their blog."
"Still sounds silly. Blogging doesn't provide any type of personal interaction."

Well guess what doubting friends...I met someone. That right. All due to this blog.

Remember the hula hoop in the tree? Well, while I was documenting that picture, I noticed several beautiful flowers next to a mailbox. The purple-pink buds were small and simple yet lovely. I took a few shots...but I wanted even closer. I looked around, saw I was alone, and knelt down to zoom in.

That's when the car backed out of the driveway.
She saw me kneeling at her mailbox and rolled down the window. "What are you doing?"
"I'm out taking pictures of spring flowers and I love these next to your mailbox."
"Oh! Those are wonderful!"

Nancy introduced herself and her daughter in the back seat. We talked for several minutes. Nancy was headed out to run some errands but would be back soon. She invited me to stay and take pictures of her backyard. During this time, a small, hunched woman shuffled to join the conversation. Olga was Nancy's mother.

I was over there for nearly two hours. Olga told me story after story. She told me about her childhood in Cuba; how she immigrated to America to earn money to send to her family; how she met her husband; the struggles of the depression; why she never returned to Cuba. I learned Nancy had other siblings - one of which lived next door in the house with the hula hoop tree. I was given a tour of the backyard and invited to come back when more flowers would bloom. Olga even offered to teach me Spanish. What a wonderful old woman.

Olga and I said goodbye and I promised to return. On my walk back home, I realized I'd met a woman full of stories and experiences simply because I wanted a picture for a blog post.

And people say blogging doesn't provide personal interaction. Ha!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ring Around The Rosy

I was driving the other day and turned down a road I don't use very often. I'm certainly glad I did. As I passed a row of trees with purple buds, an orange hula hoop hanging from a limb caught my eye. I giggled to myself and starting repeating Ring Around The Rosy.

Ring Around the Rosy. Mmmpff.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Signs of Spring

Spring is here! Glorious, beautifu... uh, UH, sniff.
Sorry about that. I thought I was going to sneeze.
As I was saying, I love spring. The flowers and blossoms are everywh...ere, ERE, Ahh. sniff. Whew. Too much pollen in the air.

One Sunday I went on a walk and took some pictures. My favorite signs of spring.

The colors were amaz.. ih, ih
aCHOoo! aCHOoo!
Sniff. Ah, I feel better.
Uh oh.



Cough, cough.

I’m sorry. I need a tissue?

Achoo-achoo-achoo-achoo ohhhhhhhh.

Cough, cough. Sniff.

As I wad saying, I hade spring. Da pollen. Id’s eberywhere. Cough.

Pollen Graffiti?

Nebermind. Dis is my faborite sign of spring.


Monday, April 21, 2008

A Little Turned Around

Sometimes it's hard for a growing boy to get up early in the morning. Sometimes the routine seems familiar yet different.

This past week I heard some giggling coming from Little Boy Blue's room. He announced, "I put my pants on backwards!" He has such a skinny frame, he can slip his jeans on without unbuttoning. Which he did. By the time I got to his room, he'd corrected his mistake. I sighed and said, "Oh, I could have blogged that." "Oh! Let me put them on backwards again! Hang on..."

Friday, April 18, 2008

How Nice

Michelle Johnson over at Shades of MJ told me something nice. Nice Matters. She even gave me a little banner to put on my sidebar. How nice.

Thank you Michelle!

Originally I didn't know who should receive this award, but since I've taken two weeks to think about it, I finally narrowed it down to Trevor's Blog. I found Trevor's Blog after the 2008 Bloggies. (Best Kept Secret Weblog Nominee) Trevor is an artist. Each blog is a story and picture - both by Trevor. He has used his talent to help children in South Africa and Central Africa. He has uplifted children who have cancer in the United States and entertained children of officers stationed at Guantanamo Bay.

So Trevor, this is for you because Nice Matters!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I See...Laughter

Eleven years ago, when I left for college, someone told me to enjoy every minute. College would be some of the best years of my life. Although the tests and the papers added pressure, I found the advice to be very true.

One day some friends and I each sat down with a sheet of paper, wrote where we thought we'd be in 10 years and pass the sheet to the person sitting to our right. They then wrote a prediction based on how well they knew the person. Each sheet was passed around until it came back to the original person. It was fun to see where we thought each other would be. I found my list last night and boy, oh boy, did I have people fooled...including myself. Here's what I wrote:

I will be married and living in Hawaii with my twin daughter and son. I will be able to play the guitar well. Um, since when can I order the gender of my children and specify they come as a set? Since when did I want twins?! As for the guitar, I was taking a beginner's class that semester. Haven't picked up the instrument since.

Here are other samples:

Charlotte will be married to a professional basketball player and will run a cooking company in her spare time. Have you seen my cooking?!

Charlotte will have 5 kids and be married to a professional basketball player that is 7'4". So I had a little crush on tall guys. The secret is out. Wait...5 kids?! I don't think we can be friends anymore!

Charlotte will be famous for her high grade in anatomy - never to be equaled. Riiiight. Tell me again why I'm currently taking that class over?

Charlotte will publish a health book directed toward early risers. *Cough, cough. ahem. I think I hit snooze 4 times this morning.

Charlotte will be fashion editor for Vogue Magazine. ha ha. he he. Aha. BWAHAHAHA

Charlotte will be a pediatrician. Husband is international sales rep for Jelly Belly. Will being a pediatrician require me to go to even more college? If so, I'm not interested. Oh, did someone say Jelly Belly? Where?!

Charlotte will be selling jumping rope and chewing gum on an Amtrak train. Chewing gum - that doesn't surprise me. Jump ropes - maybe. Amtrak Train? I'd have to find a station first!

I noticed no one mentioned I'd be living in Georgia, employed by a construction agency, or working on my graduate degree. While Georgia is hot, work is boring, and school eats away at my social life, I'd still say I have a great life. At times I'm glad we don't get to know how life turns out. I'm also glad life takes us down unexpected paths. I might have chickened out if I knew too many details.

Here's to the next 10 years!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Hallmark Moment

The question foremost on my mind since being accepted to UGA concerns the cost and how I'll be able to pay. I applied, albeit late, for an assistantship but all the positions are filled. While I wait to apply again, I've found several sites that list scholarship opportunities for graduate students. One in particular caught my attention. Applicants submit greeting messages or pictures for an online card company. The winner(s) will receive school funding and their idea becomes a virtual reality.

A few years ago, my bestest friend Elke went to the doctor for some pain in her wrists. The doctor said she was suffering from carpal tunnel. Since we live a few states away, I couldn't physically help her with tasks around the house but I tried to show sympathy with a card. In case you were wondering, there's not much of a market catered to carpal tunnel. I had to make my own.
What do you say? Should I give this company a call? Really, who can say no to talent like that?!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dreaming Double

It was a typical night. I went to bed, pulled up the covers, and quietly slipped into REM.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I was on a bus.
Talking to friends.
There was a wreck.
The bus would have to wait.
I got off the bus.
The friends also got off.
We walked.

I glanced behind and saw another friend. It was Greg, who, in my dream, had sprouted another head. *

I yelled out, “Hi Greg!”

Both heads turned and smiled, the sets of white teeth shining.

“Charlotte,” replied one head, “I don’t go by Greg anymore.”

I tilted my head and furrowed my brow.

In response to my confusion, one of the heads started, “I’m Miley,”

"...and I’m Smiley!”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I woke up laughing.

And confused. How did that dream come about? Why two heads? Miley? Isn't that a girl name? And Smiley?! What were his parents thinking? So many questions.

Though it's no question now why Greg has a new nickname.

* 10 Charlottalove points** to the first person to correctly identify this character and movie title.
** Points may not be redeemed. Bragging rights only.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Living with the President

I realize you don't have to look hard to find politics in the news. One practically stumbles over the constant updates just by turning on the radio. And yet, here's another post about politics but I assure you, this you haven't heard.

The neighborhood I live in has several get-togethers throughout the year. December is the month we choose a new president to oversee the following year's activities. Guess who didn't duck fast enough...

Meet the new neighborhood President and his First Lady.
(This picture is from a previous, much earlier campaign.)

Which makes this character the Speaker of the House.

Not so rare photograph of me doing what I do best - talking.