Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Standing Up For What You Believe In

I haven't written on this blog in so long that I guess it would take an issue like this that would compel me to write again.  Those of you that know me well know that I do not take often publicly take sides on any issue.  I think it comes from the fact that I do not like public conflict and that being a history/government teacher I have gotten very use to play devil's advocate, issue informer, etc.  and not taking sides to avoid forming a bias in my students. I state this for those that do not know this about me because I want to make a point that I am only speaking out because I think it's important.

I had heard some about the Bears Ears Monument in the news, but I hadn't thought too much of it.  What else is new in Utah?...Someone considering a national monument....not a new thing. It wasn't resolved, it seemed there were compromises on the table etc.  Then yesterday I saw this post from an old floormate at BYU who lives in Montcello---near the proposed monument. Here are Christa Boswell's own words:

Friends, I need your help. Some of you have come to visit us here in Monticello, and you know that we live in a little paradise on the edge of a pristine National Forest, surrounded by BLM land. We live on the border of the reservation and this public land is full of sacred sites to these tribes. This is our land. This is where we cut the wood to heat our home, this is where we hunt, this is where we bring our children to understand and care for the earth. And this is all in jeopardy. Obama, along with fiercely dishonest and deep-pocketed environmental groups, are trying to use the Antiquities Act to turn 1.9 million acres of San Juan County into a proposed Bears Ears National Monument. There are so many reasons why this is wrong. 1.9 million acres is so far outside the bounds of what the Antiquities Act allows, as borders that "shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected." (Sec 2, Antiquities Act). Utah already has the third greatest amount of acreage under National Monument Status. If this monument is passed, it will destroy our community. Look at what happened to Escalante after the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument was designated. It will completely restrict access for gathering food and fuel, and hundreds if not thousands of miles of roads will be closed. It will become a fee area, and increased tourism will bring more traffic to these sacred sites, which will then fall prey to increased vandalism such as we are seeing at other National Parks and Monuments. The locals DO NOT want this monument. The local tribes DO NOT want this monument. We are protesting our hearts out, but there aren't enough of us. There are only 15,000 of us in San Juan County, and our voices are being silenced. Take a look at this graphic and the sheer size of this proposed monument. And then look at this image that my dear friend Brooke Pehrson has created of our beloved Abajo Mountains. Please sign this petition. Please share with your friends and ask them to sign this petition. Please educate yourself on this issue, and contact your representatives to let them know that you do NOT support this monument. The federal government does not need to designate this land. It is beautiful, it is well-loved and cared for, and it is essential to our community. NO Bears Ears National Monument!
So I did what she suggested.....I did some research.

I found a video from AYL--At Your Leisure, a local wilderness/outdoor program.  They did a lot of interviews that showed everyone's opinion on the issue.  I really wanted to find out the other side--it seems like their biggest issues are the environment and protecting burial grounds more than the current BLM status does.

Then I found this video on Facebook from Senator Mike Lee's page.  This was a call-in town hall meeting that he did.  Someone from the Grand Staircase-Esclante called in  and explained what had happened to them when it was made a national monument.  The other thing that surprised me from that video was that according to the Senator, no local elected officials supported the Bears Ears Monument.

I went looking for Representative Bishop's compromise information so that I understood that as well--I really wonder where that will go. It might solve it somewhat--not sure with the information that I can find on the local news station websites.

I got to thinking about where I live--in the Uintah Basin---there is a portion of the Ute tribe here and people that would consider themselves locals that don't live here, just like in San Juan.  This would cause a lot of tension here if people really didn't want a national monument here.  Now, I don't see a monument designation happening at the present--but it would divide this community, just as it has San Juan.

This is why I decided to go ahead and make a decision.  I stand with San Juan locals.  People who do not live there should not decide what happens.  The protections in place already are plenty, and this is a large amount of land for the federal government to take more control of.  It also does feel like a losing cause--so as a result I signed the petition with the hope that it will show the White House that people do not support this.  President Obama holds the ultimate decision--so it seems to make the most sense. I encourage you to do the same!

Sign the petition here 

the picture Christa referred to

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Peace I Leave With You

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”--John 14:27

This is the scripture repeatedly given in President Hunter's message for my lesson tomorrow.  The Lord is truly there for us if we just ask Him.  He will not leave us alone to do this life by ourselves.  It is very easy for me to get overwhelmed and discouraged--especially with my job.  I know my job is what I am suppose to be doing (most of the time I feel that way at least), and I couldn't do it without the support that I can feel from the Spirit.  

After being at work for 8 hours today and coming home with a TON of grading to do, I really started to feel overwhelmed.  I had downloaded the lesson to think through and listen to while I drove home and I felt better by the time I was done.  I was still exhausted, and if I thought too much about it the overwhelming feeling and stress were still there, but the peace that it will all be alright eventually just had to keep coming to forefront as I worked on tonight's lesson.

Thank you Google for helping me find this picture.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Five Minute Friday

The word today is present.

Remember I have to type for 5 minutes about this word.

So I thought of two things when I saw the word---being in the present and gifts.   Being in the present can actually be very difficult for me, because I am such a planner.  I am usually thinking three or four steps ahead.  This can a good thing, because I am usually planning for lessons or activities etc.  It helps to make life run smoothly.  However, it can get me in trouble because I am overwhelmed by everything that has to be done and I want it to just be over and done with. Being a school teacher is the worst with this, because I want to get the material done, but the grading is just a killer and I want to fast forward it to being done!

Gifts are tricky things with me.  I usually have very high expectations with gifts.  I like to be surprised and have things that are very special and meaningful.  However, if you asked me what that would be I have absolutely no idea.  As a result, the person giving the gift has really no shot at succeed and I have no shot at being satisfied.  I actually have started to not like Christmas as much as a result, because I think ooh all the presents that are coming when in all actuality at the end of the day I am rather let down to the big huge build up in my head.  This year I did try to keep the build up at a minimum, and I think it seemed to help the after Christmas slump that often happens.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Quote of the day

I felt like this quote today was appropriate because I could use the reminder to stay in the moment

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Outside the Window

Today I decided to track down one of the writing prompts that are on the main lists floating around Pinterest.  This list has 365 Creative Writing Prompts.  The prompt is:
What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?
It is winter in the Uintah Basin (Utah) which either means one or two things.  There is a ton of snow on the ground or it is bitterly cold outside.  With this year being an El Nino year, we have had a lot of snow--like days on end of snow at some point.  We got pretty pounded today, but a lot of melted so I'm not sure how much we actually got but I would say at least 2 inches on top of the foot already on the ground outside my house. My phone says it's 21 degrees outside, which is actually not that cold.  If we don't gain any cloud cover tonight it will probably bitterly cold in the morning.  Not excited about that at all.

I would love to be some place where I could go to the beach anytime I wanted.  All the white/grey is starting to get old.  This is the beach that would be great to go and sit and just read all day.  No work, no responsibilities, and warm weather with no stuffy noses and coughs.

I know it is generic....but this picture looks like a great idea

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What classic has most surprised you so far and why?

The classic that has probably surprised me the most is a tie between Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  I love Persuasion, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice....but I barely finished Sense and Sensibility and I haven't been able to finish Mansfield Park.....I don't know why but it surely is surprising to me that I haven't enjoyed these two Jane Austen classics. Maybe one of these days I will try to get through Mansfield Park and I will try Sense and Sensibility.
January 2016's Question Meme from Classics Club (Repeat of February 2013).  Add your answer.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes

Today as we have been celebrating Martin Luther King Day, I have seen a few quotes that are really cool.

I hope these are accurate.  Even if they aren't...they are a great sentiment.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

10 million dollars

I have struggled to figure out what to write about and all the lists were not helping.  But I found this list.

I liked idea 2...$10 million...so here is what I would do with it.

  1. Quit my job
  2. Pay off debt 
  3. Go on a huge road trip across the country
  4. Go to Europe and do a big tour there. 
  5. Save whatever is left over and figure out some job to do from home. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

President Hunter: Have Faith

I am going to do a quick post tonight while I prepare my lesson for tomorrow and hurry to bed. We are studying the Teachings of President Hunter.  I have found two great quotes, and it was actually kind of hard to just pick two.  You really should read section 5 as well...these both come from section 4....one in a video and one from the lesson about how we can really turn to the Lord in times of trial.

All of us have seen some sudden storms in our lives. A few of them … can be violent and frightening and potentially destructive. As individuals, as families, as communities, as nations, even as a church, we have had sudden squalls arise which have made us ask one way or another, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” [Mark 4:38.] And one way or another we always hear in the stillness after the storm, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” [Mark 4:40.]
None of us would like to think we have no faith, but I suppose the Lord’s gentle rebuke here is largely deserved. This great Jehovah, in whom we say we trust and whose name we have taken upon us, is he who said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” (Gen. 1:6.) And he is also the one who said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.” (Gen. 1:9.) Furthermore, it was he who parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry ground. (See Ex. 14:21–22.) Certainly it should be no surprise that he could command a few elements acting up on the Sea of Galilee. And our faith should remind us that he can calm the troubled waters of our lives. …
I love that last part the most....our faith should help us remember that He is there for us.   It isn't that we don't have enough faith to get us through the trial it is that our faith helps us to rely on the Lord so that He can help us get through it--not our faith getting us through.  Lastly...this video from President Hunter:

We should have faith for our whole lives not just when times are hard--by having faith in our whole life we have the faith we need for the hard times.  We should have the faith that the hard times will be short and it will be okay in the end.  Even if we can't see the end. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Long day

I am not going to write anything tonight but this good night world.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Remembering Alan Rickman

This was just a huge shock today to learn of Alan Rickman's passing.  He really made the character of Snape come alive for me.  I am currently listening to the first Harry Potter book again, and even though we don't know Snape very well at this point technically, I feel like I have a much better understanding of him as a person because of the portrayal that Rickman had in the movies.  He is one of those characters that I think is better on screen--the body language really helps us to understand the character.  And honestly it was his voice too.  They could not have casted someone who would have done as great a job.

Today seeing all of the things online, I didn't realize that he was in a Sense and Sensibility movie, so I might have to see if I can track that down.  I was going to wait until I finished listening to the books all the way through again, but I might just break down and do a Harry Potter marathon while I grade this weekend so that I can honor the memory of a great actor!

My favorite quote that I ever saw attributed to him....to bad he won't ever get to be 80 in that rocking chair...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Great Article about the Temple

Yesterday, I found this article from a fellow blogger about his experiences with the temple.  Read it for yourself here: http://www.ldsdaily.com/personal-lds-blog/why-i-went-to-the-temple-100-times-last-year/

I love how he goes through things that he learned.  I thought I would do a couple of things that I have learned from going to the temple.

1. Repetition makes everything easier
2. The peace that comes helps you with things that you wouldn't think off
3. This peace helps you feel less stressed even if you don't have time to do everything.
4. Great inspiration can come when you have problems
5. You can feel so much better!

Vernal Utah Temple--my current temple!
From mormonnewsroom.com 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A 102 Year Old Teacher

I found an article today about a 102 year old teacher.  She teaches cooking and sewing, home economics, at a pre-k to 5th grade private teacher. She is just a sweet little old lady, and I don't know if I could keep teaching at her age....but she does it because she loves it! Thank you Granny for reminding me to love my job :)


Monday, January 11, 2016

Bout of Books Wrap Up

Ugh! This weekend had very little reading---yesterday was justt the Book of Mormon.

While I was on Bout of Books, I read:
Year of Yes--finished! Probably started at half. See review here
Book of Mormon--got like 20 chapters read which is awesome!
Harry Potter 1--almost a whole disc

Looking forward to May!

Bout of Books

Hopefully--I figure out something to write about tomorrow!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bout of Books Day 7

Yesterday I read less then earlier in the week. ..and as I am lying in bed I know today was even less. I really do much better with the hour of driving and listening to audio  books.  If it wasn't for that I don't think I would be reading.  I started wildwood dancing which seems like it will be good. ...should have read some today but couldn't bring myself to.  Interesting thing when the depression hits I don't want to read even though it would be an escape. Glad to have finished this week of reading. Though after tomorrow's recap I have no idea what I am  going to write about...I almost forgot to write tonight. And this week is parent teacher conferences. ..so hopefully I keep up with the writing.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Bout of Books Day 6

Update--started listening to Harry Potter 1...it was actually kind of cool because I learned that my hour long drive everyday is just about a disc which means I could listen to the book in about a week. I also did my Book of Mormon reading which is good.  I feel like I have been keeping steady.  Today I did a lot of reading of music for choir rehearsal and grading papers and writing e-mails. So I think I will get off my blog and go give Wildflower Dancing a try.  Happy reading everyone.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes/Bout of Books Day 5

Bout of Books Day 5 requires a day 4 update---I finished a book!  Here is my first book review of the year.

Title: Year of Yes
Author: Shonda Rhimes
Genre: Memoir/Self-Help
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why Did I Read? Honestly, it was a bit of an impulse. I love Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice, and How to Get Away With Murder---all four TV shows she has done. As a result---I buy book because I'm curious what she has to say.

Summary: Shonda was the type of person who was shy, introspective, and addicted to her work.  She never said "yes" to anything that challenged her--which was almost everything.  She decides to start saying yes to everything.  What results is a complete change and renewal of the person that she wants/is/needs to be.  She goes through her year explaining her experiences, what she felt, did, and what she learned.

What Did I Love:
 How inspiring it was! I felt rejuvenated every time I listened to this book.  I did do the audio which Shonda reads herself--I loved that she did because she reads so beautifully. I could feel her passion, and honestly I felt like we were just having our little class every time I turned it on.  This is also a book that I want to read again and again.  I want to buy it in print now so I can mark it up and annotate it.  I very rarely say that! This is a book that I'm really wondering if I listen to when I have depression come up or I am feeling like I can't do life anymore.  This is one of those books that I feel like you could learn something new from each time you read or be reminded again of something that you knew you knew but needed someone to tell you again.  

What Did I Hate:  Honestly nothing....I love this book!

Thank you audible for this great quote wall paper
--now to figure out how to download it to my phone

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bout of Books Day 4

Update from day 3---I read Book of Mormon and Year of Yes--I will finish this (and I did today so I will update on that tomorrow), super excited.

Bout of Books

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bout of Books Day 3

Update from Day 2-- I read the Book of Mormon and Year of Yes. I wanted to start another book--a print one...but I went to bed super early so no such luck. Today I think I will go to bed earlier too....I hate leaving schoolwork not completely done yet, but I did get something done. That's at least something!

Bout of Books
Yay Bout of Books!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bout of Books Day 2

As I posted on Day 1's progress...I am starting to see my prediction of two books being read this week coming true.

I read/listened the Book of Mormon--starting Mosiah, which is one of my favorite sections as we listen to King Benjamin's speech.

I read/listened some of Year of Yes and I love it. I love listening to memoirs read by the authors because the words really come alive--it is like they are telling me about their life.  I don't know if I could read a memoir after I have done two as audio books.  And this one is more of an advice book too and I'm learning so much and feeling edified--it's awesome.

I did read a little bit of Courage and Defiance while my students read--that's one of my favorite things if they will let me. So I got to start it and get a good 15 pages in.

Today's challenge looks really fun--it's a game of Would You Rather...from Writing My Own Fairy Tale
Would you rather:
Lend books to someone who dog-ears pages or to someone who reads with cheesy Cheetos fingers?
Would you rather:
Be able to meet one character of your choice or meet one author of your choice?
Would you rather:
Never be allowed in a book store again or never be allowed in a library again?
Would you rather:
Have to choose one of your favorite characters to die in their book or have to pick one of your favorite couples to break up in their book?
Would you rather:
Be required to read Twilight once a year for the rest of your life or The Scarlet Letter once a year for the rest of your life?
1. Dog-ears....cheesy fingers are nasty and licked
2. Gosh this one is hard...I think author because they are actually living and the characters are in my head and might not live up to expectations.
3. Book store--if I can't buy that's okay it will save my money--library just keeps me from books
4. Probably die because at least they would probably die happy and that would mean the end of the story instead of the end of the happiness of the character and depressing books
5. Twilight--Scarlet Letter is awful

Thank you Amazon for the pic
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Monday, January 4, 2016

Bout of Books Day 1

Today is the first day of Bout of Books.  I am glad, because I don't know what I would post about today if it wasn't for that.  This was good timing last time I started this little 365 challenge it helped me get through the first little bit.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Typically I set goals....though I make them hopefully easy to reach but just out of reach to make them a challenge.  Today I am very tired from the first day back, all the planning, and then on top of it all loosing the keys to the car--I have no idea where they are right now. I feel like I will be lucky if I do more than just my audiobook.So....my goals are:

1. Listen to the Book of Mormon everyday
2. Listen to Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes--hopefully finish this week

Bout of BooksThese are the books that I'm hoping to start/read some during this week--but maybe, maybe not
Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark
By Deborah Hopkinson
The Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marilier

Sunday, January 3, 2016

School Starts Tomorrow...

This is too late for me to be posting...and I didn't get a chance to plan out posts today.  Maybe I will tomorrow.  The sad thing is that I keep thinking of things that I really need to do tomorrow....so I'm not sure if I will get to it tomorrow or not.  Yeah this is real...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Pros and Cons of 365....

Okay...so I'm still trying to figure this out.  I'm going to take a cue from Rory Gilmore--and do a pro con list


  • It gives me something besides work to do everyday.
  • It forces me to write everyday which I know is good for me.
  • I like being able to talk about books, knitting, teaching, and I want to add in some more journal writing type ideas.
  • It might force me to use some better time management.
  • Might help me to get a brand off the ground, which I do think about a lot.
  • It is important to have accountability which this blog is giving me
  • It is really hard to come up with topics to write about everyday.
  • The last time I tried this while working at my current job, I was often too tired and it was too late to write--which is actually kind of sad about my "new" job that I thought would give me more time.
  • Getting too personal that I cross professional/ethical/moral boundaries
  • Is there something else that I really should be doing with my time?
  • My computer is being silly...at some point I might have to replace this thing if I decide to keep this up
What if I can't do it....it looks like the pros are winning but just barely....maybe I should start planning

From Pinterest

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

So....I haven't written on this blog in almost a year.  On January 1, 2013, I wrote a blog starting a 365 day blog project.  In 2014, I tried to keep this blog up with like 3 posts a week....that didn't really work.  On January 1, 2015, I started up a 365 day challenge again.....that lasted until like February maybe....the last time I posted.

Today...I have been debating about starting a new 365 project....I have not decided yet....but I should at least post today while I keep thinking and deciding...

If anyone is reading.....feel free to chime in with your opinions :)