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P.O. Box 2153
Cody, WY 82414

(307) 899-2799

Wendy Corr - helping people improve their lives through better health, fitness, and appreciation of the world around us!

Let's Ponder, Shall We?

Daily thoughts on motivation, nutrition, faith, fitness, music, family... whatever my focus is for that day!

Life left undone

Wendy Corr

One of the many hats I wear is as a house sitter. I enjoy helping out friends and acquaintances, I get some furry companionship, and I get a little extra money to help with the bills. Plus, it's a change of scenery! While I like my cozy little apartment, I am a nomad at heart.

This week I am helping out my friend Charlotte, whose husband passed away in May. She's getting to spend time with her family in California, and I get to spend time with little Cody, her chihuahua child. 

Gary and Charlotte were an amazing pair. Gary worked for Walt Disney (the man himself, not just the company!), and they traveled the world together, Charlotte always as Gary's right hand woman. They loved movies and books, and their little apartment is packed full of both! Movies of all genres (they have a whole bookshelf dedicated to Christmas movies!), books about the Bible, mysteries, devotions, and tributes to their love for adventure and the west.

As I was getting ready to go to sleep last night, I realized that I was in the mood to read... not a personal development book or Bible study, but a good old fashioned mystery, like I used to read all the time. On a stand in the living room I found a Mary Higgins Clark book, with the book marked about 2/3 of the way through. I started reading from the beginning, but I was careful not to move the bookmark from where it was.

Here's the thing - as I was ready to put the book down and go to sleep, it occurred to me that this was not a book that Charlotte would read. This was Gary's book. It was on the stand next to his chair, and was the type of book that he would love.

Gary left us in May. The book has remained on the stand, untouched, despite the dusting and cleaning and de-cluttering that Charlotte has been doing for the past couple of months as she adjusts to life without him. His slippers are still under the coffee table, even though Charlotte vacuums regularly. I still have the phone number in my phone listed as "Gary and Charlotte". It's like we all expect him to walk back in and resume his life where he left off.

Gary will never know "who-done-it". He'll never finish this book. His home projects won't be finished. Charlotte has to find ways and help in doing the tasks that Gary always handled, and go to bed every night without him in their bed.

Charlotte has amazed me with her resilience, with her faith, with her strength and her attitude. I am in awe of the way she handles the day to day events on her own, surrounding herself with friends and filling her hours with Bible study and volunteer work. But I know she would give all that she has to finish out her life with her beloved husband by her side to the end.

As I ponder these things, I realize that my life must be about more than my dreams and goals as they are written in a journal; I must live every day completing MEANINGFUL tasks that impact others in the best way. I CHOOSE to eat well, I CHOOSE to treat my body with respect, I CHOOSE to tell my friends and family DAILY that they are important to me. "I love you" is a phrase that I use frequently, but not carelessly tossed out - I do my best to make sure that the recipient understands that I mean it with all my heart.

Enjoy life. Enjoy the day-to-day occurrences, the tasks and the small steps that take you to larger outcomes, alongside the simple actions of taking out the trash and shopping for groceries.

And read a good mystery from time to time.

 

Cast Your Anxieties On HIM

Wendy Corr

When I opened my Bible this morning to the page I was on yesterday, I looked across to the other page and the first words I saw were, "be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith." This was from 1 Peter 5:8. And then I looked just above these words, and I found 1 Peter 5:7 – "cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

I believe these two verses go hand-in-hand for a reason – we are surrounded by temptation, by negativity, by sadness and evil. If we fall prey to those feelings, then the devil wins! But if we exercise self-control in every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat to the people we associate with, then we live as God's people, as an example to others about the peace and health that comes when we live as God intended! More than that, we have nothing to worry about – we cast all of our anxiety on God, because he can handle it, and he loves us! He loves us so much that not only did he create us, but he protects us, he teaches us, and he sent his son, whom he loved and who was perfect, to suffer and die in our place. We are free. We don't half to pay again for the sins that Christ already paid for.

Amazing Grace

Wendy Corr

Photo by Wendy Corr

Photo by Wendy Corr

(Written September 20, 2015)

Amazing grace - my chains are gone!
Singing this song today in choir gave me goosebumps. We sing “Amazing Grace” all the time, without truly thinking about what it means. Our chains are GONE, because of His sacrifice! Our God loves us so much, that he forgives us and sets us free from the fear of eternal damnation, pain and suffering.

Our chains are gone, I've been set free.
My God, my savior has ransomed me!
And like a flood, His mercy reigns…
Unending love. Amazing grace.

I walked this morning (carrying two five-pound weights to maximize the workout - yay for me today!), and my companion on my walks is always a “Daily Hope with Rick Warren” podcast. I really enjoy listening to Pastor Rick's sermons, because he organizes and presents his messages in such a way that I feel like I've really learned something that I can apply to my own life. I am always amazed how God presents themes over and over to get my attention… Today's podcast was about how God created us to LOVE US. He created His family, and all He asks is that we love Him in return.

How do I respond to that? How do I show my love for my Heavenly Father?

My prayer today:
Lord, help me to take care of my body so that I can better do Your work on Earth.
Let me joyfully offer my services as a teacher to help others, and be an example to those who are faced with the same struggles that I have battled.
Thank you for the gift of music, which I use to bring peace and joy to others.
Give me the strength of character to speak only kind things of others, rather than encourage or endorse negative thoughts.
Amen.

Our Bodies Are AMAZING!

Wendy Corr

One of the great things about studying to be a Certified Holistic Nutritionist is that I'm learning so much about how our bodies work... and as a society, we have made things SO COMPLICATED!

Our bodies NATURALLY do everything they're supposed to do, without us even having to think about it. There's a fabulous section in T. Colin Campbell's book "Whole" that compares how we view nutrition (and supplements, and macronutrients, and dieting) to how we catch a ball. I'm quoting from the text here:

"Think about the simple act of catching a ball that someone has tossed to you. Do you have any idea how complicated that process is? First, your eyes have to notice the object and identify it as a ball and not, say, a swarm of hornets or a balloon filled with petroleum jelly. Then your eyes, working in binocular fashion, begin sending a dizzying array of data to your brain to help determine the size and velocity of the ball. Even if you failed high school geometry, your brain calculates its parabolic path. Even if you flunked physics, your brain calculates the mass, acceleration, and force of the ball. And while your brain is processing all this information, it's also communicating with the nerves that control your arm and hand, the stabilizing muscles of your back, neck, and legs, and the para-sympathetic nervous system that may need to calm you down following the initial sight of an incoming projectile.

"Your body is amazing at juggling all these myriad inputs and orchestrating a perfectly timed response: your arm reaches and your hand closes around the ball. But imagine if someone insisted that the right way to learn how to do this was to do all the math and physics.

"If we had to rely on our brains to figure out what to eat, in what quantities, and in which combinations, or risk malnutrition or disease, the human race would have died out long ago.

HERE'S THE KICKER:

"When we eat the right foods, in amounts that satisfy but don't stuff us silly, our bodies NATURALLY metabolize the nutrients in those foods to give us exactly what we need at any given moment."

It's not about science and supplements and weighing and measuring and all that complicated STUFF! It's about real, whole food that our bodies can utilize in more ways that we can count.

Life Only Gets BETTER!

Wendy Corr

1991...

1991...

Who else has found that life only gets better as we get older??

I have always LOVED to sing. When I was in high school and college, I was in swing choirs and jazz choirs, singing for weddings and funerals and community events. Despite my weight, that was ONE THING that I could hang on to that I could be proud of!

Now I have a purpose, a mission, and a life that I truly LOVE! And I still get to sing and play music every day... but now it's for people from all over the world.

Plus, I've turned my weight issues into a POSITIVE instead of a NEGATIVE - I've taken the tough lessons and paid them forward, helping others through the things I've learned in my lifelong struggle with my weight.

My desire, my MISSION is to help people who are sick and tired of being SICK AND TIRED! Through nutrition, exercise, accountability and motivation, I am here to help YOU with your life goals!

If you know someone who could use a helping hand, I provide free consultations either in person here in Cody, Wyoming and the Big Horn Basin, or over the phone or internet! Contact me for more details!!

Improving MYSELF!

Wendy Corr

Photo by Wendy Corr

Photo by Wendy Corr

Happy birthday to ME!! I am INVESTING IN MYSELF this summer- because I LOVE being a health and fitness coach, I find myself fascinated by the science of nutrition, and how feeding yourself the right foods can reverse disease and improve quality of life. I have become so interested in this area that I decided to take a major step... I've decided to become a certified holistic nutritionist!! So for the next few months I'll most likely be posting fascinating facts that I'm learning in my studies... Wish me luck! It's going to be a busy summer, but totally worth it!!

If you're interested in following the same path, email me!! I'll point you towards the course I'm taking.

Gary Fravel - Teacher, Cowboy, Friend

Wendy Corr

Gary Fravel was a teacher, a storyteller, an adventurer, and a cowboy.

Gary’s story began in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 1940. Gary was the oldest of three children, born to parents with stories of their own. Gary’s mother, Josephine or “Jo”, hand twisted the foil wrappers of kisses in the Hershey Chocolate Factory, and his father, Jacob (Jake), a railroad fireman, served in World War II as part of a top secret scientific team in the Pacific.

When Gary was eight years old, he developed a severe kidney disease and wasn’t expected to live. At that point, young Gary asked Jesus to be his savior, and he carried the card that he signed witnessing to that until the end. God spared his life, the doctors declaring his return to health a miracle. He did remain bedridden for the next three months, though, during which time his mother cultivated his love for books and taught him how to embroider. Gary was very precise in everything he did, so was a natural with needle and thread.

In 1952, Gary’s family moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona, where Gary spent summers with his aunt and uncle on a guest ranch in Dateland – which is where his love of the west began. He loved it so much that he stayed to live with them for three years, year round. Gary loved everything about ranch life – working with the horses, even learning to cook ranch food with his aunt. He went back to live with his parents in order to finish high school.

Gary Fravel, Jungle Guide at Disneyland!

Gary Fravel, Jungle Guide at Disneyland!

The year before Gary graduated, the family took a trip to Disneyland right after it had opened. Gary decided then and there that this was where he wanted to work someday… setting into motion the next phase of his life. Although he enrolled in Tempe University in Arizona, and spent two years there, he spent the summers working as a jungle boat guide at Disneyland. After his second summer, he made an 8 millimeter film of a behind-the-scenes look at being a jungle cruise guide and Disney employee. They played the film at the end of summer party, where it caught the attention of Van France, advisor to Walt Disney and the man who would become Gary’s mentor. Van and Walt had a plan to create a training facility for employees, to learn the “Disney” way… and when Van showed Walt Disney Gary’s short film, Walt saw the kind of person he wanted to help create “Disney University.” They put Gary in charge of teaching classes, training supervisors how to train their employees. Disney University is still alive to this day.

In 1965, Gary left Disney to return to his cowboy roots. He bought a small guest ranch in Cottonwood, California and named it Timber Trails. It was here that he met the love of his life and his partner, Charlotte Frazier. Charlotte was the best friend of Gary’s youngest sister, Joan, and when Gary’s family came to the ranch to help him fix it up, Charlotte often went along. Most of their courtship happened in the mountains of northern California. Charlotte graduated in 1967, and they “officially” began dating at that point. Gary proposed to her on Christmas Eve, and they were married in September of 1968.

Gary and Charlotte spent their honeymoon at Colter Bay Village in Grand Teton National Park – Charlotte had grown up a city girl, but loved the mountains. They rode horses in Grand Teton, they floated down the Snake River on a WWII pontoon raft, they went to the Bar J Chuckwagon. This trek to the Tetons became an annual event.

Returning to California after their two week honeymoon, they settled first in a little California town called Elk Creek. But soon Van France was calling Gary back to Disney, asking him to take over Disney University and assisting with the opening of Disney World at the beginning of 1970. The company flew Gary and Charlotte to Florida to see the property while it was still under construction. Gary’s first job was to make a 20 minute short film on the construction of Disney World, so he and Charlotte took pictures and made notes, wearing hard hats and mud boots. They returned to California, and Gary began editing his short film which would be shown in theatres to promote the opening of the Magic Kingdom, but he soon had to return to Florida to begin training all the employees in the “Disney Way.” There were 1200 employees in all, and he and two friends were responsible for teaching all of them. Disney World opened with all the stars and TV galas in October of 1971, and Gary and Charlotte were there behind the scenes for the whole thing. Charlotte worked in the floral division, and Gary had to assist from time to time because of the enormity of the job! Charlotte’s first delivery was 100 red roses from Blake Edwards to Julie Andrews… the arrangement was so huge it wouldn’t fit into their small delivery van, so Charlotte and her assistant had to use the monorail, which was still being tested! 

Walt Disney was the dreamer, and his brother Roy was the financier. Walt passed away just before Disney World opened, and Roy passed away in 1973. At that point Gary and Charlotte watched the magic of Disney World transform into a money-centered business, and they decided to move back to California.  

Gary went to work for Bank of America in Redding, California, as operations officer, transferring to Fall River Mills in the mountains soon after, where he and Charlotte bought a five acre piece of land with a log house and loved it. They still traveled to and from Wyoming as often as they could, though, and Gary soon came to the conclusion that he wasn’t a banker. When they noticed an ad in the newspaper advertising for summer help in Grand Teton, they knew where they were headed. Gary was hired as training director immediately, and Charlotte went into merchandising. They had two months to sell everything, put their house up for sale, and head to Wyoming in the summer of 1976. Gary’s sister Joan and her husband joined them, and their summer jobs soon turned into full-time, year round employment. Gary was hired to develop new training programs, taking over human resources in their third year, and soon developed innovative recruiting practices which are still in place today – such as hiring retirees with campers as a stable workforce during the shoulder seasons, and working with Christian Ministries to recruit seminary students to offer services in the park.

After almost six years, Disney called again, and Gary, who was tired of being a supervisor, took a job as a submarine guide at Disney World. But the hiatus didn’t last – a headhunter soon convinced Gary to take a job as head of human resources and executive trainer for Amelia Island off the coast of Florida. Soon after, he received a call from Stouffers, which was opening large restaurants at hotels near major airports, and they asked him to institute training programs for them. This job took them from Denver to Los Angeles, until Rockefeller Holdings called him to do trainings for their hotels in the Caribbean. They spent the next year and half there… until finally Gary decided he needed a vacation! So they stayed home in Sacramento for a few months. While on their “vacation,” Charlotte began a business building miniature Christmas tree scenes… which would become a large part of their life in later years.

Rockefeller’s Rock Resorts put Gary to work next on a small island in Hawaii, where they stayed for two years, until Rock Resorts sold and Gary began doing independent consulting work. One of his consulting jobs was for the Greenbriar Hotel in West Virginia, which soon turned into a permanent job offer. Although they only planned to stay there for a couple of years before heading back west, they developed wonderful friendships and enjoyed their church so much that they stayed in West Virginia for the next 26 years.

Gary and Charlotte with their dog, Cody, soon after they got him in 2005.

Gary and Charlotte with their dog, Cody, soon after they got him in 2005.

No matter where they went, Charlotte was always Gary’s right hand woman. She set up rooms, she helped with pre-interviews, she typed and helped him prepare papers. Often she would work in the retail shops for the hotels and resorts Gary worked for. But the miniatures business she started in the mid-seventies, “Master’s Touch,” became a tremendous undertaking while in West Virginia. The Greenbriar was the first to sell her pieces, but soon they were in other states. Tom Clancy, who frequently did his writing at the Greenbriar, bought several pieces, along with Michael Landon and others, with pieces shipped to England and all over the world. Although the business started out as Charlotte’s, Gary contributed more and more over the years.

Indian Nativity Scene - Gary's work

Indian Nativity Scene - Gary's work

The Fravels continued to vacation in Wyoming, and as soon as he could retire, he did… and they came to visit Wyoming in 2010 with the intention of finding a place to spend their retirement. Their first night in Cody, they came to the Dan Miller Cowboy Music Revue. The next morning, they made an offer on their home in Powell… and returned to the Music Revue that night, announcing to their new friends that they were moving to Wyoming! It took them a month to pack up their life in West Virginia and head to Wyoming.

At the Dan Miller Cowboy Music Revue in 2014

At the Dan Miller Cowboy Music Revue in 2014

Gary and Charlotte’s giving nature came into play in my life when my twelve year old son became critically ill, and they offered to spend time sitting in the hospital with this young boy whom they had never met, while I had to spend time at work. They became close friends of our family and grandparent figures to my son, a tribute to their giving hearts and loving natures.

Right after he married them, their pastor said, “Gary, you’ll have to learn to find and be able to worship the Lord in a church…” and “Charlotte, you’ll have to learn to find and be able to worship the Lord in nature.” Gary could find God in a church, but always felt nearer to him outside. So many places they lived didn’t have a church building, especially when they worked for the national park service. There they found God in the open spaces, where they would have services. They loved to hike and get up in the mountains, and that’s where they both felt the Lord closest to them, many times.

Gary’s love was always for the west, for the mountains, for being a cowboy. Gary spent his working years appreciating the freedom that his employers gave him to be creative, in all the places he worked. He loved to teach, he loved people, he loved writing... he loved being Charlotte's husband. He loved the magic! Gary was a child at heart, his whole life.   

Rest Day

Wendy Corr

It's important to take a day of rest - rest from exercise, rest from work, rest from responsibilities. Yesterday I pre-posted all of my coaching posts, and made the determination not to do my coaching work today. I did my Miracle Morning routine - Silence (prayer), Affirmations, Visualization (reviewing my goals, picturing what I want my life to be like), Exercise (lots of that today!), Reading (The Secret), and Scribing (writing in my prayer book). I went to church with my son, then we picked up some easy food from the grocery store and had a picnic lunch in City Park! After he left, I took my friends' dog on a long walk to the base of the Buffalo Bill Dam, and came back to my apartment... to do what?

I'm not good at "resting." I have to have a purpose! I tried reading a fiction book, but couldn't get into it. I surfed Facebook for a while, looked at a cookbook, all while a Harry Potter movie played in the background... then picked up my personal development book for a bit, which today is "The Secret." I reached the part in the book where it speaks about the importance of Visualization, and realized that this is a non-work project I can do today! On my Vision Board I've just got a bunch of sticky notes, no actual "visuals", of the way I imagine my life should look like. So I spent some time on Pinterest and picked out some visuals to paste on my board.

What does your rest day look like? Naps? Movies? Time spent with friends or family? Whatever you do on your rest day, make sure it's something that refreshes you and prepares you for the upcoming busy week! Enjoy it. Make sure it makes you smile.

Nibbles-Dam-Road