Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dear California Drivers

While living in Boston, a city know for its notorious drivers I faced one automobile-related brush with death. Was I jay-walking? Most likely.

Now all you California drivers out there. You brag about your logical city blocks, and your six lane freeways, and your good drivers. I have heard you scoff at Bostonian drivers. If I may be so bold, I would like to contradict you. Since living in California, I have been hit by a car once. Was I crossing legally? Of course! Only lunatics jay-walk in this place. (Luckily I was on my bike and sustained no injuries.)

As for brushes with death, I have had many. Tonight, for example, I was crossing on a green light, I was wearing light colors, and I looked both ways. And yet the person turning left felt no need to slow down and missed me by inches. If he/she could not have seen me, he/she should not be driving. If I had a dollar for every time this happened, I could buy more people Christmas presents this year.

Now I realize that wherever you are going is far more urgent than where I am going. But it is really in your best interests to wait for me to briskly cross the street before turning left. I promise you I will walk fast enough that you won't get stuck at the light. If nothing else, think of the cramp an accident would put in your schedule.

Warm Regards,


Friday, December 3, 2010

World Peace through Postcards

Lately, I have been working on a number of projects. I've been creating homemade gifts for family members, reading the Bible, attempting to sew a skirt, etc. When my sister asked me how I have time to do these things I replied that it is what I do while I am waiting for the phone to ring. These days that is much less pathetic than it sounds.

I have also found a hobby in The Postcrossing Project, a website devoted to sending snail mail postcards to strangers around the globe. I love it! The site generates addresses for me to send postcards to, the recipients register their card, and then a different person sends me a card. I've received cards from China, Canada, the Netherlands and more.

I picked up this replica of a vintage card while in Sacramento. I chose to send it to someone majoring in history in hopes that she will appreciate it.

I have had this beauty since my mission, but decided to send it on to Oregon. The recipient loved it! Who wouldn't really?

Just when I hit my peak of autumn withdrawals, I received this card from Quebec! It is wonderful to get something besides bills and Trader Joe's ads in the mail.

Some might think this is a waste of time. Admittedly, I have found a geeky pastime. But think of it this way - I am spreading the love of culture and positive international relations around the world one postcard at a time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Post About Books

I decided to post about books because it has been awhile. For those of you with young children, you may find this interesting. Enjoy!

Bear Snores On
by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

Bear’s friends party at his house while he sleeps through the winter. Rhymes and repetition make this a fun book to share.

Bubble Bath Pirates! By Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Kids celebrate bath time with this fun filled pirate rhyme.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Kids love to say “no” to this selfish, but fun-loving pigeon.

Don’t Worry Bear by Greg Foley

Bear is a faithful friend and watches anxiously while his caterpillar friend lives in a cocoon and turns into a silk moth.

Guji, Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen

This is great story about the power of family. Mother duck hatches a crocodile and eagerly accepts him. It’s up to him to save the day when the mean crocodiles want to hurt the duck family.

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Rhyming, counting, and beautiful illustrations make this book fun to read over and over.

Llama, Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Llama, Llama loves his mama and can’t wait for her to tuck her in at night, but he goes a little too far. This is a fun, bedtime story.

The Magic Hat by Mem Fox, illustrated by Tricia Tusa

A magic hat floats into town and starts turning people into animals. Use the rhyming text to guess what animal they will be transformed into.

Move Over, Rover by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jane Dyer

Rover is feeling very lonely until a rainstorm hits and the doghouse becomes a little uncomfortable. Have kids chant “Move over, Rover,” along with the text.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


So I am just finishing up my weekend conference in Sacramento. I arrived Friday and had one of the best meals of my life at the Firehouse in Old Sacramento. Delicious, including sorbet to cleanse the pallet. I spent most of Saturday anxiously awaiting the time to five my presentation. I heaved a sigh of relief when it was finally over and people said they really liked it.

The rest of the trip, I have spent waiting to go home. I am sitting at the airport now. This morning, I went to the train museum and took these photos on my cell phone which accounts for the poor quality.

One on the trains in the museum

This is the postal train car. Without stopping the train picks up the mail and it all gets sorted as teh train is moving. Pretty cool!

This is a golden spike such as was driven into the ground in Promontory, Utah. It was very shiny.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Things

Laura has very politely reminded me that it is time for an update to my blog. I have dexiced to oblige with a couple updates. In late August, Jerry came for a visit to LA. Luckily it wasn't too hot, but we had sunny weather. He took me to Solvang, a tourist trap Danish town with windmills and pastries.
He took me to Sea World for my birthdayday. I LOVE WHALES! We had a great time and saw the Shamu Show twice. We sat so close that Shamu literally spit on us. We also saw the dolphin show, fed dolphins, and got very wet.
Next my parents came and we went to Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks. The trees and overall beauty were stunning. I loved them almost as much as the whales. I did not get tired of all of the trees and beautiful vistas.
I think that every should go there. It was truly an example of God's masterwork.
Since then, I got to go to conference. Jerry met up with me Utah and it was fantastic to be in the Conference Center and see family.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Best Friend's Wedding

My best friend, Emilysa, got married in August. I had the privilege of being the maid of honor and wearing orange. I had a friend make me the dress.
The night before the wedding, we had a small shower for her. Each of us had our photo taken with the star of the show. Eventhough we were laughing, we decided this was a cool picture.

This is a nice picture of me in my dress.

I really had a great time with Emilysa's family and friends. This is Emilysa's friend Lora, who I got to spend a lot of time with.

It was such a pleasure to be a part of the wedding. It was wonderful to be in the San Diego Temple for the sealing and to be a part of the weekend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Green Thumb

A few months ago, I blogged about my small garden. Now I have a small piece of fruit. I think I'm going to take Cat's advice and turn it into some jam!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


About a year ago, I could easily be described as a stress ball with a bun. My first year of summer craziness made me unable to breath let alone relax. This year, hewever, I am like a whole new person. A year of experience and a few other distractions have made me ... well, zen.

This is me just after a successful chalk art program. I'm pretty sure I didn't smile for the entire month of July last year.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I Am a Master

This week I used my Master's Degree to:

  • scrub obscenities off a book drop.
  • teach young children the crab walk.
  • make a vegetable costume.
  • explain to young ones that soccer is an outside game.
  • and place 1,232,673 holds on Diary of a Wimpy Kid (the book, not the movie).
It's a good life!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An Assignment

On the bus ride to work today, I was told
that I looked "neat and tidy."

On the bus ride home, I was told that I
looked like Britney Spears.

What is wrong with this? Discuss ...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Berry Small Garden

As I was preparing to move to California, I told everyone who was willing to listen that I wanted a small bit of dirt to grow things in. California seemed like the ideal place. My first apartment had just that, but sadly I did not take the opportunity. Luckily, I work for a garden obsessed library.
Meet my container garden - two little strawberry plants. It will sit and grow on my little stairway. I will love it, and water it, and sing to it, and maybe even hug it a little until one day a small berry will grow. Then I will eat it and feel very proud that I have accomplished one thing I set out to do.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Huntington

My mom came for a brief, but wonderful visit last weekend. Whenever I have guests, I always try and do something I have never done before. We headed to the Pasadena area where there is a place called The Huntington - a combination library, art gallery, and garden. The gardens were delightful and we spent most of our time there.
This is looking towards the Japanese gardens and the tea room, which was originally built in Japan, dismantled and sent to California.

The roses never cease to amaze me. I've blogged about this a year ago, but I am still obsessed. I think they are amazing.

After visiting the gardens and perusing the art galleries, we headed into the bookshop. I normally get a bookmark from every place that I visit, but I stumbled upon the collected works of Randolph Caldecott. Caldecott was a pioneer in children's illustration and the prestigious Caldecott Medal is named for him. After taking stock of my wants and my needs, I decided I couldn't live without this book. I now own a little bit of children's literary history.
The day was sunny, wonderful, and ended with some frozen yogurt. Glorious!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another Bus Story

I've gotten used to my bus riding routine especially on Wednesdays. Typically, I wait in intense sun for my first leg of the trip. If glares could kill, the driver of this bus would have murdered me months ago. I can feel hate emanating from her aura. (It is not necessarily directed at me, but all who would have the audacity to ride her bus.)

At night, I'm used to seeing the same friendly driver. I sit near the front to avoid the riff-raff in the back. We make small talk usually about the broken money collecting machine, the weather, and our gladness that the day is nearly over. Then, I wait for what seems like eons for my last bus to come. That driver gives no indication that I regularly ride his bus.

Well, it's been a couple weeks since I've done my regular Wednesday night routine. Today I got on the bus greeted the usual driver, and we chatted for a bit. She asked me why I haven't seen her and what I've been up to. Then she told me that last week when she didn't see me, she decided to wait a few minutes. She didn't want me standing alone in the dark wondering when the next bus would be along.

I decided that that was pretty much the nicest thing ever! At the end of the day, when she could have sped forward and gotten of work a few minutes early she waited for me. I am pleased to announce that there are some nice bus drivers out there.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rockin' Rexburg

Yesterday, I returned from a visit to Rexburg. Having gone my entire Provo experience without visiting Idaho, I assumed I was in the clear. Now four years later, I flashed back to college life for the weekend. Some family friends from Maine graciously allowed my friend, Meagan, and I to stay with them while we visited my other friend, Sarah.
Here we are happy to be reunited. We drove from SLC to Rexburg in excellent time, but some confusing Google Map directions made us very happy to finally see each other.
Sarah gave me a tour of the BYU-I Library. I was quite impressed. I'm a library tourist. It being late March in Idaho meant that it was still pretty cold. Meagan and I tried to cope, but complained occasionally and stayed bundled up.
On Saturday, we were pretty tapped out on ideas of what to do in Rexburg. We drove out of town. We found this lovely park and river in St. Anthony.
This giant root beer mug is Ashton, Idaho's claim to fame.

This trip was relaxing and fun - my two favorite things.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dress Shopping

Emilysa will be getting married in August. As her best friend I am taking my role as wedding planner very seriously. I told her that I wanted to wear a mustard colored dress and sent her some examples.


She would prefer that I wear something a little more modest, and has chosen this for me.


Because she has chosen my wardrobe for the day, I went ahead and chose her wedding dress. I also decided that she should have a nautical themed wedding.

Just wait until you see the centerpieces I picked out!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Favorite Doctor

This week the library/education world has celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with a nationwide program called "Read Across America." Yesterday, I was invited to read at a local school, and today, we celebrated at that library. This means that I have spent the last 2-3 days thinking in Seussian rhythm. Each of my thoughts seems to include some strange word or radical invention. What I love about Dr. Seuss is how well his books translate to my life.

"I am the Lorax I speak for the trees." from The Lorax

The Lorax is an enviromentally motivated story starring this lovable creature. I would never describe myself as "green," but did I ever tell you that I am obsessed with redwood trees. Someday I will see them. Seeing as I live in the right place for that it will be sooner rather than later. I am Michelle, and I speak for the sequoia.

"The Waiting Place" from Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Seuss describes a place where people wait and wait for their lives to happen to them. I'm sick of waiting for the perfect time to fix my internet connection, clean my desk, and organize my drawers. The time to apply for a promotion is now not in a few months. I'm moving out of the never-ending waiting room and moving on.

"Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them Sam-I-Am" from Green Eggs and Ham

I recently read that trying new things actually contributes to a person's happiness. I believe this. One simple example is that I just finished reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians. A friend of mine pestered me for months to read it. I have a ton to read so I kept putting it off. Plus, I did not want to find a replacement for my love of Harry Potter. Yep! The books are fun. (It was no Harry Potter, but it was entertaining.)

"I said GO and GO I meant..." from Marvin K. Mooney Will Please Go Now

This is how I feel every day at closing time.

Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for being a life-long influence.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ode to an Awesome Friend

I have nominated my most awesome friend, Emilysa, for the "Most Awesome Friend of the Year" award.

Qualifications include:

  • being a great mission companion, roommate, and friend for nearly six years.
  • teaching me how to make cookie dumplings, rice and beans, and other concoctions.
  • always asking the right questions.
  • being willing to drive approximately 115 miles to cheer me up on a rotten day, and waiting unfazed while I periodically felt the need to stare into the toilet during her visit.
  • embarking on adventures that some may call "geeky" and others call "nerdy," but we call "fun."
  • finding the time to see me in some less than convenient places like the Salt Lake Airport and a church in the Phoenix area.
  • being a fabulous example.
  • understanding me.

Vote for Em for the most "Awesome Friend of the Year Award" and wish her a "Happy Birthday" this week.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I'm bored! It's day eight of sickness. What I thought was a migraine, turned out to be the flu, then turned into pneumonia. Yep, it's been fun. I wish I could invite you all over to share in the joy. Some of the best moments when were I thought to myself, "Oh, it's 2010, I wonder if I am allowed to take more Tylenol," or when I was told it would be a 45 minute wait at the pharmacy for prepackaged antibiotics.

But like all trials, I have learned some things. Allow me to share.

1) Broth - The doctor told me to eat soup - lots of it! I'm not sure what her definition of "a lot" was but let me tell you mine. I can't muster more than one can a day. I have tried. I have failed. I am supplementing my broth eating with hot herbal tea and warm Jell-O. Is that sufficient, doctor?

2) Asking for help isn't the worst thing in the world. I really hate asking for help. People have turned out in droves to help me though. My roommate did my laundry. A friend brought me yellow Gerber daisies. I got a blessing, and my Relief Society president brought me real food last night. Roasted chicken has never tasted so good! I am spilling over with gratitude which brings me to my next thing.

3) I've become grateful for unique possibly weird things.

First, Sir Alexander Fleming, all of humanity should praise you. Antibiotics are a miracle. Thank you for your discovery. Without antibiotics, I would probably be in a hospital or worse by now.

Second, I am always a little happy every time phlegm comes shooting out of my mouth during a full body convulsive cough. Yes, people this is TMI, but I think it means I'm getting better. I could be wrong, but I'm trying to stay positive. Do NOT contradict me!

Third, I am grateful I have a place I would rather be than sick. I would take work over sick days anytime. I'm not looking forward to my backlog of work I have to do, but I am excitedly anticipating my return.

4) Lastly, I'm practically better. I was convinced on Monday night that the world was coming to an end, but it hasn't. 8 days really isn't that long afterall.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

It has been ages since, I have sat down to write an update of my life. But so as not to disappoint my reader(s), I return. I find myself in day three of the flu (the pigless kind). Besides feeling horribly uncomfortable, I'm terribly bored. I can't muster the strength to clean my room, but it takes far less energy to exercise my fingers.

The reason for my blogging delinquency is simply that I've been busy. Yes, folks, it's true. I tend to write more when life is pretty slow. In addition to my relatively busy schedule I've been sick, traveling or in all other ways lacking the desire to blog. So here are a few highlights of November and December 2010.

My parents came to visit. We visited the Newport Beach Temple, the Getty, Hollywood, and San Juan Capistrano. It was fun to share my life with them and get to do a few things I hadn't done yet.

The week after that I flew to Utah on Thanksgiving to enjoy turkey with my sister's family. I made the cranberry sauce. Even people who hate cranberry sauce claimed to enjoy it.

I was in charge of the library staff holiday party. I learned a couple of things in the planning of this party. People expect decorations at holiday parties, and The Office is more true to life than most people are willing to admit. My manager declared it a success. Maybe party planning, has potential of being a talent of mine.

On December 19th, I anxiously awaited my flight to New York where I would spend two days with my brother and sister-in-law before heading up to Maine. Well, obviously my flight got cancelled. I arrived in New York on December 21 and spent approximately 11 blissful hours in New York. I did get to see the tree at Rockefeller Center which did not disappoint.

The rest of my holiday was spent in Maine. I slept late, watched schmaltzy Christmas movies, ate delicious food, and had a great time with my family. Unfortunately, I'm lacking photos of the experience.

Well, I'm getting a little sleepy. To all of you out there. Happy New Year. Here's to a wonderful 2010.