Saturday, April 19, 2008

U G _ Y

I want to make note of something that was recently pointed out to me by my friend. Very often, towns or cities will paint a letter on a hill to recognize a sports team, high school, college, or city. Now, with that knowledge in mind, let's check out the Wasatch front.

I often find myself driving along this stretch of I-15, and now I only think of one thing: U G _ Y.

Starting in Salt Lake, we have the U on the mountain which of course stands for the University of Utah Utes. Traveling further south we then next see a G on the mountain for the town of Pleasant Grove (at least I think that's what it's there for). Finally, in Provo we come to the home of Brigham Young University, which displays its school pride with the Y. And so, in that order, from North to South we have the letters U G Y.

Now, all that needs to be done is for the town of Lindon, located just south of Pleasant Grove, to add an L to the mountain. Yes, we would have UGLY spelled out along the mountain range for all to see. It's probably no coincidence that this hasn't been done already.

Just a little trivia for your thoughts today--and every day that you're making that drive along I-15.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Unlucky Blue Shoes

This is the story of the unlucky blue shoes . . .

I saw them in the store and was instantly attracted to their suede and corduroy shell. Trying them on sealed the deal; they fit my feet like a good, comfortable pair of socks. The blue tennis shoes of my dreams. Little did I know . . .

While wearing the blue shoes at Lagoon, I had a misstep and all but broke my ankle. Wearing a boot for six weeks is definitely not good luck, and so they became the "unlucky blue shoes."

Now, I was willing to give them another try, so I wore them while hunting for trilobites in the west desert of Delta. While there, I slipped two times, bruising bones, causing knees to bleed, and basically injuring all four of my limbs. I blamed it on the shoes.

However, the other day while wearing the blue shoes, I did have a bit of luck. While at the tire store, I was able to get two of my tires fixed for no cost. That's definitely lucky! My past history with car repairs has been anything BUT lucky. So, I figured that the unlucky blue shoes were working their way back to being just the "blue shoes," no bad luck attached.

This weekend I went camping with a friend to Capitol Reef. She wanted to go on a "short drive to see the scenery and the places marked on the map." Although I wanted to go on a hike, I agreed to go and see what beautiful wonders of erosion that Capitol Reef had to offer. Well, to make a LONG story (and I mean long) short, here's what happened.

We ended up missing the turnoff for the road, and had to backtrack about 34 miles. The road was very rough, and it took us until almost 5:30 to get to the end of the loop. Just as we came around the bend (about three miles from the main road), the road ends and we see--yes, a river! The road has been taken over by a river. So, we had to get back in the car and drive the 54 miles back the other way. Not a big deal, but when you're so close, as we were, and had been driving since 10 that morning, it was very depressing. Upon seeing the river, Misty said questioningly, "Where did the road go?" while I cried, "Noooo! Look. The road's over there." Anyway, so we ate a few cookies, had a debate whether to ford the river or not, and turned around. 3 1/2 more hours and several closed roads later, we were finally back to the main road. As we were driving back to camp, Misty says to me, "Michelle? What shoes are you wearing?"

Yep, you guessed it. Unlucky blue shoes!

Better luck next time . . . OR remember to read the signs.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Who is This FICA Guy?

So, I can honestly say that sometimes I'm appreciative of taxes--like when you come home froma month in Peru to paved roads, freeways, parks (ones that you can actually walk on the grass), etc. However, at a time like this, yes--Tax Season--I find myself asking--Who is this FICA guy, and why is he taking all my money. Taxes are just frustrating and one more way to get even yet more money out of a person. Who knew that a grant would be taxed . . . That's supposed to be like free money. "Free money" doesn't exist, I guess. Just another punishment for attending graduate school. I consider myself a bright person and have filed my taxes by myself individually, but this year I just became a little overwhelmed with all the paperwork, so I decided to use TurboTax. About 2 hours later . . . and let's just say a lot of disappointment. I think I'm going to take a tax class and start saving EVERY receipt in order to get all the deductions possible. Oh, and one other thing while I'm on the tax rant--check out this website and see just how much our government wastes each year. Yep, those taxes--that 33 percent of your hard earned moolah--hard at work, again. . Here are a few of my favorite ways that my tax dollars are being spent:
"$450,000 added by the House for plantings on the eastern front of the Capitol. This will allow members of Congress a chance to “stop and smell the roses” before they proceed with plunging the country deeper into debt."

"$950,000 for a parking facility at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. The museum, built by the wife of prominent businessman George Joslyn, profits from donations, as well as $7 tours, $25 lectures, $45 memberships, and $220 art classes."

"$300,000 for the Oquirrh Institute. According to the Institute’s website, “The Oquirrh Institute was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. The Institute's mission is to shine early light on public policy dilemmas and establish innovative solutions. The Oquirrh Institute is currently involved in four areas of concentration: Moving to Competency-Measured Education, Improving Environmental Management, Advancing Health Information and Research and Enhancing Governance Through Technology.” According to USDA testimony, “The principal researchers have not yet determined a completion date on this project.” A total of $500 has been raised from corporations and foundations. Taxpayers have “contributed” $550,000 to Oquirrh since 2004."

I hope that the Oquirrh Institute can research better ways to spend our taxpayer dollars. Until then, I will say goodbye. I'm done with my rant on taxes and must finish getting them mailed and filed. Until next time, remember to "manage your money, or it will manage you."

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My New Favorites

These are a few of my favortie things . . . or I guess you could say favorite people! Here is little Axton Fifield sleeping away.

The baby boy cousins together. Dante and Axton take a rest on Grandma's bed. Dante is 3 weeks old and Axton is about 7 weeks old.
Here's Dante sitting on my lap, taking a nap. I think I have a picture exactly like this of Zoe when she was a baby.
Zoe is so good to Dante. She is so sweet with him and loves to pat his head and kiss him.
Here is Zoe holding her eggs she found on the Easter egg hunt. What a cutie!

Zoe and Dante posing for a picture for me. This was a good one!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Money, Money, Money

Yes, money is a motivating factor in just about everything that we do in life. It may be sad, but it's true. This week I got a roommate. Why? To save money. I think in the long run that it will be good. It's only for a few months. I think that overall, roommates are good--you know, it's all that sharing that goes on and teaches us to be more patient people--but sometimes the thought it just overwhelming. It's hard being a single girl in the city! Such is life. This has been a crazy couple of weeks. I've been interviewing around Salt Lake and Davis school districts, finally deciding to take a job at Syracuse Elementary (in Syracuse) teaching 6th grade. It will be a challenge, but I believe it will be worth it. Syracuse is a year-round school and I will start teaching on July 21. I will be rotating classrooms every 9 weeks with the other teachers as we go on/off track. However, I will have from Thanksgiving to after New Year's Day off, which is a definite bonus. Also, I will have an hour of prep time each day with a classroom aide. Right now, it sounds fabulous. Why did I change? Well, there are many various factors . . . one being money. :)

Goodbye . . . Hello

Goodbye, Dee . . . Hello, Syracuse!
Goodbye commuting, hello short drives
Goodbye traditional, hello year-round
Goodbye 3rd grade, hello 6th grade
Goodbye tattling, hello hormones
Goodbye South America, hello Mesopotamia
Goodbye no-walled school, hello own brick room
Goodbye no time, hello prep time
Goodbye old friends, hello new friends
Goodbye Dee Dolphins, hello Syracuse Stingers