Lessons from the Hedgehog

Hedgehog meets the world and flees.

prickly 2

I’m babysitting my daughters Hedgehog. It’s very cute and I want to love it but it’s difficult because every time I pick it up it rolls into stickery ball of prickles. Clearly it thinks I’m scary, and while I’ve never seen myself in this light, I’m not offended since the hedgehog is afraid of everyone and everything. It’s too bad, because it actually has a pretty good gig.

It has a fun cage with lots of amenities.

The problem is this sleeping bag. See the green fuzzy blanket thing? That’s where it sleeps and also spends 99 percent of its time. Now I understand, the world is a crazy place. We often feel like tiny insignificant bugs easily crushed by the swatter of life and it can be tempting to stay in bed with the covers over our heads. But when we do, we miss out on a lot of fun. Hedgehog could be playing on its wheel or running up and down its ramp. It could be eating some of its fun treats – dehydrated cricket or mealworm anyone?

But instead, it hides in its bag or under a towel, or inside a drink cup, anywhere it can get away and pretend to be alone.

After a few days it began to warm up to me. It allowed me to hold it without inflicting stab wounds, and I believe it might eventually tolerate my friendship, but in the meantime it lives its life alone and misses out on a lot. I’m reminded of a story about a man who went on a cruise and stayed in his room eating saltines because he didn’t know about the free buffet in the dining room.

Lessons I’ve learned from the hedgehog? Don’t hide in the dark. Pluck up your courage and come out and play – even when you’re a little afraid. Most people aren’t that scary, and life might be more fun than you think.

Being alone has nothing to do with how many people are around.

Richard Yates

I found this great quote at Sleepy girl check out her blog!

Library Lady Where Have You Been?

It seems some of you have noticed I haven’t been writing lately. For those who were concerned, thank you for your nice notes but no I wasn’t sick, well physically anyway. For some reason I just stopped writing. I had lots of topics I wanted to address, but literally could not make myself sit down and do it. Instead I just checked out and opted to float for awhile.

I’ve decided it’s due to the stress of this crazy year. We in Utah started with a bang, In February Covid appeared on the horizon, and I watched in amazement as people in China donned face masks and refused to leave their homes. Hot on the heels of this disturbing development Utah experienced a 6.0 earthquake which caused major damage. Two days later, lockdown.

My place of employment, closed its doors and we were all assigned to work from home. Unfortunately, this did not compute. I work in a library, I help people find books. I check books in and out, I pull holds off the shelves. This is not a job one can do from home. Luckily my employers were flexible. We were given other tasks to do and were still able to keep our jobs, for which I am forever grateful, but it wasn’t long before I really missed my job.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

In the meantime, our society cracked open with the murder of George Floyd. Riots broke out and we watched in horror as people fought in the streets, occupied public areas and vandalized stores, all in the name of the racial equality.

Then we were back to natural disasters. California held it’s annual fire storm, but this year it was so much worse. At one point it seemed there’d be nothing left to burn if the fires continued to rage. Other states jumped on the bandwagon and in Oregon my poor mother was evacuated from her home as flames licked the edges of her neighborhood.

must look away!

The icing on the cake has been the appalling and cringe-worthy presidential election. The initial presidential debate left me stunned and sick to my stomach. Is this what we’ve become? Bullies pushing and shouting in the schoolyard? What happened to the professionalism, dignity and honesty that supposedly goes with the office of President of the United States?

I tried to unplug from the daily chaos that was the presidential race but it wasn’t always possible. I dreaded reading about the topic, yet kept getting sucked in. I felt like someone who’d stumbled upon a grisly auto accident and couldn’t make myself look away. When I realized that my heart would start to race whenever I read the latest election news, I finally got a grip and quit checking my google feed.

So now that it’s finally over, its really not. There are too many casualties, one of those being my confidence in my country’s democratic system. Seriously, can we all just calm down? If your side lost, try to move on. If your side won, be considerate of other’s disappointment.

While nobody likes a sore loser, there is much to be said for being a gracious winner. I read about someone driving a truck around Washington DC with a large picture of Donald Trump painted on the side, along with the words Loser. Badly done winners. I distance myself from people who gloat.

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

So how do we get back to ourselves? Somehow we need to to start acting like adults and not hormonal teenagers run amuck. We need to get back to America, the beacon on the hill. Lets rise up and shake hands and let go of our fury. 2020 is waning and a new year is almost upon us.

Lets do it better . . . I want to be able to write again

Have you been overwhelmed by 2020? What are you doing to keep your spirits up?.

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

Don’t Lose Your Wife, and other Travel Tips

Pixabay Photos

Ready for another installment of my epic travel fails? Read and learn – what not to do.

black chimpanzee smiling

Over the years I’ve discovered that travelling is a perfect way to broaden your horizons.  It’s life changing, mind-boggling, and blows your preconceived notions out of the water. Its also a good way to make a monkey of your self. When you travel you step out of your comfort zone. You meet people with different customs, and visit places where you don’t know what your’e doing. In short, no matter how carefully you plan, something is bound to go wrong. At that point you have a choice, you can either pack up and go home, or laugh and take notes for a future blog post – like this one

How to Lose Your Wife

In  September 1988 we were road tripping around Switzerland. Our party consisted of myself, my husband, and two other couples.  This was in the early days of our adventures and we loved being spontaneous and schedule free. It was also the dark ages, commonly known as the pre-cell phone era. Our travel system was relaxed. It consisted of doing whatever sounded interesting during the day and finding a hotel or B&B when the sun set.  As far as we were concerned, this approach worked well – until it didn’t.

In Switzerland we shared two cars between the six of us and at this point the girls were in one vehicle, boys in the other. It grew dark as we motored along and we agreed to follow the men’s car until we found a roadside inn. We stayed close on their heels – or so we thought, until we realized the license plate number of the car ahead of us had changed. Someone had sneaked between us and led us astray!

We pulled off the road in a panic, afraid to go forward, afraid to go back. In the meantime, my  brother-in-law was happily driving up a freeway on-ramp when one of his companions looked back and discovered we were gone. They shrieked to a halt and my husband jumped out of the car to direct traffic as they backed the car all the way down the ramp. Luckily it was mostly deserted at this time of night. (Crazy Americans!) But now what?

We had no way to get in touch with each other and we had not discussed what to do if separated. It was soon clear that the occupants of our two cars might never see each other again.  There we sat, frozen with indecision, when our knights in shining armor miraculously pulled up beside us.

Hallelujah! All was well, and we learned a good lesson. Spontaneity is great, but there is a limit. Always have a meeting place should you get separated. Always have a way to communicate with each other, and most important – try not to lose your wife.  

For more travel blunders click here or read the French Connection (which is one of my favorites.)

A Walk in the Woods – or beating those stay-cation blues!

Linked to Restless Jo’s Monday Walk

Good morning all. It’s a crazy time where all the rules have changed, but the one constant is this beautiful world we live in. I hope everyone’s managing to get out and enjoy it. As for myself . . .
Today I walked through fields of wildflowers. I sat by a lake surrounded by lofty pines and mountains that still held a trace of snow. I wish I could start every day like that.

Everyone’s staying closer to home these days and frankly, we’d rather not. But one of the unexpected benefits of not being able to travel, is having time to see the sights in your own backyard.

Hiking in today’s world?

I’m lucky enough to have friends who live within walking distance of several mountain trail heads and our excursion today took us to Cecret Lake. Lest you think I’ve missed a typo, rest assured that’s how its spelled. The lake was discovered by gold miners who named it Secret Lake but spelled it phonetically – Cecret.

Named by miners with questionable spelling skills.

It’s easy to see where the name came from. Cecret lake is invisible until you’re right on top of it. You scale a craggy ridge and surprise – there it is in all it’s tranquil glory.

Cecret lake is located in Albion basin, near Alta ski resort. A steep but not too difficult hike takes you from the trail head to the top of the ridge, but while the destination is amazing, getting there is more than half the fun. Here’s a few images of our walk on the way to this hidden gem.

The trail was lined with wild lupines, white star flowers, and many others I couldn’t identify but enjoyed just the same.

The variety of landscapes makes for a fascinating hike. In a short time we walked through meadows, rock strewn hillsides, and soaring trees all set against a backdrop of brilliant blue sky

While I’m still not happy about current travel restrictions, I’m coming around. Utah’s mountains are as spectacular as Switzerland’s. We have sparkling lakes and rivers, and people come from all over the world (well, they used to) to visit the national parks. I for one, have decided to get out and love the world I’m in. Hey, the view from the back porch is actually pretty amazing.

Dang! Don’t you hate those surprise selfies?

The Llibrary Lady would love to know what you’re doing for fun during these crazy Covid days. Outdoors? Indoors? Let’s share some ideas on how to bust those stay-cation blues.

Here’s another great post by my friend Margie at Happily Ever After Retirement, about the joys of getting out in nature.

Here’s another fun walking blog walk/https://restlessjo.me/2020/07/20/jos-monday-walk-the-end-of-the-world/

Duck Learns About Bad Apples

How can we come together when our communities are so divided?

(This is a guest post by the Library Lady’s friend, Duck.)

Duck and his friends were eating apples one day. The apples were red and shiny and tasted delicious, except for Duck’s apple.

It was bad. It made duck sad to get the bad apple, he threw it away.

Duck decided to go for a walk and visit his neighbors. They had lived by Duck for as long as he could remember, and they’d always been friends. As they talked, they told Duck that sometimes policemen were mean to them and didn’t treat them like everybody else. That made them afraid.

Good Apple!


Duck was confused, why would anyone be mean to his friends? And especially a policeman? Duck loved policemen. He thought they were heroes. Why would the people who take care of us be mean?

“There are some bad apples in the bunch,” said his friend.

Duck thought about his bad apple that morning. Maybe it was the same with the police, mostly good shiny apples but an occasional bad one?

Duck wished all the good apples would get together and throw out the bad ones so everyone could be friends. “Can’t we all just get along?” He didn’t know how to make that happen but somebody else did.

Good Apple!



Duck’s friends invited some policemen over to dinner. They were happy to accept. When the day came, they all sat down together, ate good food and talked about important things. Everyone listened. They got to know each other and felt a lot better. Duck thinks getting together to talk when things go wrong is a great way to solve problems, and that maybe people should do it more often.

Library Lady’s Note – I was proud of my friends for reaching out and trying to communicate in a calm and positive manner. And while one dinner is not going to solve all the racial problems besetting us it’s certainly a good place to start.

My friend Ludy and I have been walking buddies for years. She’s an amazing person who is raising excellent young men. In the midst of the rioting in Salt Lake City one of her sons went down to the police station. He rounded up some policemen and asked, “Have any of you ever been to dinner in a black household? My Mom’s a good cook and I’d like to invite you to our house.” So the policemen came, and they all talked about serious issues like the systematic problems in the police force which turn good apples into bad ones.

Clearly things need to change but killing and rioting is not the way to do it. Sitting down together in a friendly relaxed setting is so much better. I know there are good people on both sides of this equation and given the chance, they’re the ones who can fix this problem.


Hanging in There, or Fun Things to Do When You’re Stuck at Home

This is supposed to reduce stress – I’m not so sure.  (I think my husband is channeling Bela Lugosi)

Kindness Amidst the Chaos
Good Morning! Today I want to share some ideas for how to not go . . . Stir crazy after all these years . . . wait, has it only been two weeks?!  Also, I’m still looking for positive stories about kindness during this difficult time. Here are a few:


My friend Basia Korzeniowska left this comment on my last post. It made me happy so I thought I’d pass it along.

I was feeling a little bit low the other day, so I thought going for a walk would help and indeed it did. Combining it with an allowed shopping trip I went to Waitrose and was confronted with a seemingly endless queue. The sun was shining, the trolleys were being wiped assiduously by a member of staff and it was pleasant enough. After a few minutes I was allowed in – only 50 people in the shop at the time, and as I went in I was handed a huge bunch of flowers by an assistant. Lifted my spirits instantly!  Continue reading

Positive Thoughts on Negative Subject


Photo by Pixabay

Is Everyone O.K?

Hello fellow bloggers! I hope you are well and safe and making the best of our current situation.  It’s hard to believe how fast this change has come upon us, two weeks ago I was looking for flight deals to Springfield, Illinois, and now they’re in lockdown. I guess I won’t go to Illinois, or anywhere else for that matter.

An Earthquake – Seriously?

As many of you know, I live in Utah. Not only are we dealing with the virus, but last Wednesday we had a 5.9 earthquake. Due to all the shaking going on, our library is closed until a safety inspector comes in to give it the O.K. We were already closed to the public, but employees were going in. Now I’m not sure what the future holds, but I guess that’s the world we live in. Continue reading

Recognition Award

blog pic
Hi all, I’ve been nominated for the Blogger award by Sassy Library Fox. You might want to check out her fun book blog. Thanks, Sassy!

blogger award

Part of the deal for this award is to tell my blogging story and share two blogging tips. I can do that.

I started back in 2013, with a blog called the Library Lady Writes. It’s still out there but is seriously neglected these days. When I first started out I thought it would be fun to do a book review blog. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I realized I didn’t actually enjoy writing book reviews. (I’d rather read those written by others like Sassy Library Fox). What I really liked was writing about the crazy things that happened in my everyday life like a tarantula falling into my underwear drawer or the fact that I’m terrified of the weed wacker. I worked on that blog for about 3 years, then decided to try my hand at freelancing for magazines, etc.  I still do that, but in 2019 I started to miss blogging. At that point, my favorite things were traveling, and visiting cool libraries around the world, so I started the Library Lady Travels blog and have a great time with that.

As for blogging tips, I don’t know if I have any great ones, but I’ll throw a couple of things out there.

  1. Comments – if someone takes the time to comment on one of my posts I ALWAYS respond and return the favor by going to their blog and commenting on one of their recent posts. One of my favorite parts of blogging is the social network you build through interaction with other bloggers. Without this, blogging wouldn’t even be fun.
  2. Topics – Write about things that are dear to your heart. I love writing about travel and have so many ideas for posts that I’ll never get them all finished. I also love libraries, so I combine the two topics. I’ve read so many times that you need to specialize on one subject to have an effective blog. I don’t agree. If you can find a way to tie your two great loves together in one blog, go for it. Variety is a good thing, and you won’t get burned out from writing about the same thing over and over.

That’s all I have to say for now except that I appreciate those who support and follow me. I’m constantly inspired by all the great writers out there.

Watch for my regular weekly post tomorrow – Banning Group Hugs, & Travel Signs.



Carry On: The French Connection

Travel Blunder #367

It was midnight in Paris. Sound asleep, I was blissfully unaware that my husband was on his way to meet another woman . . . at her hotel.

It all started that afternoon when we flew into the Charles De Gaul airport. Since one of our travel companions wasn’t feeling well, we grabbed our suitcases from the carousel, hired a cab and hurried to the hotel so he could lie down. My husband John and I were eager to explore the city, so we stashed our bags, checked on our friend and set out to see the sights of Paris. Continue reading

The Library Lady Raises Her Voice!


I thought I’d change things up a bit today. The following was originally published on my other blog, The Library Lady Writes.

DISCLAIMER  –  Lest you get the wrong idea, I never have, nor do I intend in the future to write articles or blog posts that focus on the topic of . . . Urine.  I was reluctant to do so in my very first Library Lady installment, but I think you’ll agree if you read on, that the following post simply HAD to be written.

I like my job, it’s what I call a, yes I can job, which means that most requests for my help can be answered with a hearty, “Yes I can”.
Can you check these books out for me?
Yes I can.
Can you find my lost CD?
Yes I can, (providing you actually turned it in).
I can also shelve your books, place holds for you, explain that nasty fine on your library account, and share my current list of favorite books.
Very rarely do I come across a situation that requires a negative answer.
Can I get a library card even though I’ve failed to bring in photo I.D. or a proof of address? Is one of those. Another slightly less common but equally important, ‘No’ question goes like this:
Can I urinate on my library items and return them through the automatic book drop in hopes that no one will notice my transgression?Now watch, here it comes – this is the library lady raising her voice –
I will now pause to catch my breath and give you a chance to recover from my outburst.

Continue reading