13 Great Self-Improvement Challenges

This is so good! Read ia out these very good self-improvement challenges today! If you are already there, that’s great! I am not. These are great challenges to work toward for me.

13 Signs You’ve Finally Grown Up

My List of 6 Best and 5 Worst Romantic Places for Lodging in Northern Utah

I am going to make a list of my favorite places to stay and get breakfast in the morning. Just so we are clear, these are my needs and wants, when looking for a romantic stay.:

  1. My top priority is a bed that does not get so hot at night from retaining body temperature heat, that I cannot sleep on it. In the case that the bed is retaining heat, I would like a clean and comfortable alternate place to sleep. There are certain mattresses that are made which retain heat. As far as I know, most hotel owners do not know about this. It is just something about the mattresses. The mattresses that have this feature always have an extra division, which is for comfort. The mattresses are extra high and thick. In my case, a mattress which is oldfashioned and thinner, is better, although I would prefer a non-feather mattress and no-feather pillows (because I am vegan).

  2. My 2nd priority is a couch in front of a t.v. Sitting on a bed to watch a movie is so uncomfortable for me. I have a bad back and it hurts my back so much! I prefer a room with a couch so that I can sit right by my husband and watch a movie. A room with no couch in front of the t.v. will get a lower rating.

  3. Privacy and control are my next priorities. If we have to share a microwave, a T.V., a couch, a table and a dining experience with other guests (strangers), and if we cannot do these things in complete privacy, that is not romantic. If we are not in charge of temperature, but the manager or owner is, that is really annoying. Let me control my room temperature!

  4. Next, my priorities are a DVD player, a large jacuzzi tub, delicious and filling vegan breakfast, a nearby place for a vegan dinner whch includes protein and iron (vegan beans, nuts or tofu), cleanliness, spaciousness and larger table size. Since all of these are of equal importance to me, they are listed together.

The 6 Best

The Best. The Inn on the Hill, Salt Lake City (“King’s Peak”)

What was great: Mattress did not retain body heat, couch in front of t.v., privacy and control, large jacuzzi tub, great vegan breakfast, cleanliness, spaciousness, large table, fridge, microwave, DVD player

This was just really awesome. The vegan breakfast was a 10/10. The room size was large. The jacuzzi tub was large and very romantic. There were lots of free, healthy snacks that they let us have which were part of our stay. We walked to the temple and back and had a view of the temple. We had a DVD player and couch in the room. It was very romantic in appearance and in every other way. We got to control our own temperature. Service was above par by a long shot.

2nd Best. Crystal Inn, Logan (This is no longer in existence, but there is one in Brigham City) (King Jacuzzi Suite)

What was great: Mattress did not retain body heat, couch in front of t.v., privacy and control, large jacuzzi tub, great vegan breakfast, cleanliness, spaciousness, large table, fridge, microwave, DVD player

The jacuzzi tub was extremely large and very clean and nice. We could see the t.v. from the couch and the tub. There was also a bathroom with a shower/ tub combo. There was a very nice dvd player and t.v. The bed was very nice, also. It was a very good room. We swam in the pool. It was nice. The breakfast was great. Dinner, we ate at a nearby restaurant. There were no protein options for vegans (beans, nuts, tofu).

3rd Best. Snowberry Inn (Eden)

What was wrong: Not enough privacy and no control of temperature of room

This was a nice, beautiful and quaint place. The jacuzzi tub was nice, but a little bit of gel or gunk from the previous users came all over our skin when we used the tub. I think it was in the jacuzzi jets system. It was not in the tub when we got there. There was a sign that said please not to use that stuff, but the previous people had used it. It had a towel warmer, but we did not figure out how to use it right. We had a bed that was nice and comfortable. The room was tiny. We had less privacy than we are used to at a bed & breakfast. There was no shower. There was a private sink and toilet. There was no t.v. or table and chairs our room. There ws a table in the common area for the upstairs. There was a t.v., DVD player and couch in the common area upstairs. It happened that we had the entire upstairs to ourselves, so these were all ours to use, but the owner could come to this area, too. It was a public space, after all. We could not control the temperature of our own room or of the floor we were on. I wore lots of warm things to keep warm. The owner tried very hard to find a vegan meal for me at a local restaurant. I had anticipated this. We had brought our own microwave dinners. We cooked them downstairs near the lobby area. Breakfast was vegan french toast, vegan potatoes and fresh fruit. The french toast was so amazing and delicious that I asked for a recipe. The owner wrote the recipe down for me. That is really sweet. The owner was very friendly and nice. We ate downstairs in a common dining room with other guests.

4th Best. Comfort Suites, Ogden (and attached restaurant, Cactus Reds) đŸŒ” 

What was wrong: No couch in front of t.v.

This was a comfortable and good place to stay. It had a fridge and microwave. It had a shower with a small tub. We could control our own temperature. There was cable t.v. We loved the attached restaurant, Cactus Reds. The breakfast was big and was great, with enough of vegan options for proteins and other nutrients.

5th Best. Alaskan Inn, Ogden Canyon (The Orca Cabin, Misty Fjords Cabin)

What was wrong: No couch in front of t.v.

These cabins were great. We had a jetted jacuzzi whirlpool tub, dvd player and flat screen t.v., nice bed, refrigerator and shower. We got a great vegan breakfast in the morning for me and the meat one for my husband. We ate them outside on our mini patios. The view is great. Dinner nearby at restaurants is great.

6th Best. Ben Lomond Hotel, Ogden (upstairs, jacuzzi suite)

What was wrong: No couch in front of t.v.

We loved the hotel. We ate nearby in Ogden. The jacuzzi tub was large. We could watch the t.v. from the tub. There was no dvd player. The bed and room were very comfortable and spacious. There was a couch in a separate room which I nursed a baby in (we brought a new baby along). It was a comfortable couch, too. The view of Ogden from up high was spectacular. We could control the room temperature ourselves. The restaurants in the same building did not have vegan food and besides that, were cost prohibitive (expensive)! We had breakfast downstairs. It was good.

The 5 Worst

5th worst. Anniversary Inn, Logan (“Lost in Space” room)

What was wrong: No couch in front of t.v.

This room was cool looking but, oh, so cramped. Everything was tight, tight, tight. There was a table with chairs, a bathroom, a shower and a jacuzzi tub. There was a very tiny tube t.v. above the bed so you have to look up high to see it. There was a dvd player. The breakfast was very small. It left us very hungry as soon as we were finished eating. We went on a tour and saw the other rooms. We decided to get a bigger and better room next time. I recommend the tour. It is a good idea. Tours were 1-3 p.m. most weekdays.

4th worst. Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City

What was wrong: There was no jacuzzi tub, couch, t.v. or breakfast. The attached restaurant had a muffin which cost $8. That is ridiculous. We had no dinner because it was too expensive. No dinner is not romantic. I do not think this place had free breakfast.

This was luxurious but did not include all of my priorities. It had a nice view. It was spacious and clean.

3rd worst. Best Western, Uintah

What was wrong: Mattress retains body heat

This place as nice, but the bed got too hot at night. It is a thermal memory bed that retains the heat from the people. I slept on a nice hair and footrest combo., which was large and better than the floor. It had a microwave and fridge. The food was nice. It had cable t.v.

2nd worst. Castle Creek Inn, Cottonwood Heights (Romeo & Juliet Suite)

What was wrong: Mattress retains body heat

I had to sleep on the floor. The bed retains thermal heat of the persons sleeping on it. I do not like a hot bed. I don’t even heat up my water bed. I tood some blankets and my pillows and slept on the floor (which was a clean floor). My husband does not enjoy, either, having his wife sleep on the floor and away from him for an anniversary. There was a jacuzzi tub shich was nice. The bathroom was so tiny (like the ones on a train). We could not control the temperature in our room. I turned the fireplace on to get warmer. Then they turned the a/c up. It was a battle. It had a t.v. with roku but the bandwidth was too small, so for every 20 minutes of movie watchingk we got 30 minutes of “loading, loading….” That was very frustrating.  I honestly do not remember the breakfast.

Worst. Alaskan Inn, Ogden (“Cascade” Queen Suite)

What was wrong: Mattress retains body heat

The bed got too hot at night. It retains body heat and I do not like this. Since there was not a clean floor, there was no alternate place for me to sleep. The view and surroundings of Ogden Canyon are unbeatable. There was a shower and jacuzzi tub in one. The room was simple by way of decor. The vegan breakfast was great. I had a special-request breakfast (as always). The floor was not vaccuumed in the corners and the windowsill and lampshades were very dirty. Other than that, it was clean. There was no microwave and no dvd player. There was cable t.v. We used the lobby microwave for our microwave popcorn.

My Dream Indicates that Anti-Genderism is Coming!

Here is my dream from last night.
I just had a dream last night that I was in a mall. The only shops there were gender-neutral. Great numbers of young adults were there celebrating with confetti in gawdy clownish costumes with make-up and wigs. They were singing, dancing and celebrating the absence of genderism in the mall and in society. They were dancing and sining all over the mall, up high, down low, climbing on displays which went to the ceiling and so forth. There were food courts and people were getting and eating a huge variety of foods, too. 

I heard that there was only one store owner in the mall that had not accepted this, and refused to sell gender-neutral things or allow anti-genderist groups to come sing and dance in his store.  I heard the history from someone, also. He had refused 20 years before, to allow a Lesbian group to come and perform in front of his store a very sexual and immoral dance with little to no clothing on. Ever since, nobody had shopped at his store, yet his shop was still there. His stood resolute with a determined look on his face, ready to sell his wares. I kept trying to get to this one unique store, but I could not. There were too many people in my way. Also, all my friends and family there with me at the mall were celebrating with the anti-genderists. (That is the name I came up with for them).

I think my dream includes symbolism. I think that perhaps this man who is the unique shop owner represents God himself, abandoned by the people of the world, yet still there, on the ready, determined and unchanging. I think that perhaps the mall represents the world. What of my role in the dream? Does this mean it will get increasingly more difficult to get God’s word in this world? Will there be blockages of people in my way? If so, I think I need to get to this “shop” now and just stay there. Of course, a person does not live in a mall. It is only a place one visits now and then. Will it be harder to get to the temple? Perhaps that is it. Perhaps this unique shop that will not let the world in, is the temple (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). I think I need to go there more often! We all do!

Dreams and Visions

Joel 2:28-32

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A28-32&version=NKJV

Is a Busier Student, Better? Does a Busier Student Learn More?

My daughter and I conversed this morning. It came up that she has a belief that because she thinks that other homeschooled and public schooled kids her age are signed up for more classes, that they must be learning more than she is. This makes her conclude that she is “behind” her peers. When questioning further, I found out that she does not know that they are signed up for more classes than she is. She just thinks they are. Why? Because they seem busier.

It makes me sad, but I cannot be surprised, because here in the U.S. in our suburbian neighborhood, it is our culture (which we should not be proud of) to believe that the busier one is, the better a person they are. I am positive that this industrialized attitude is not a good one, having read “Don Quixote” and having lived in Chile during my LDS mission there.

Having read about Don Quixote striving to keep the culture of home production and knights guarding a lord’s township, as opposed to welcoming industrialization (the windmill), I believe our culture has gone into a negative cultural set of traditions, thinking they were a positive set. Having lived in Chile among a people who would never allow being busy to take away their time to relax and be happy among family and friends, I truly think our culture is a huge mess socially, mentally and emotionally to think that being busier is being better.

Can we please try to get over this lie our culture has fed us in the U.S.A.?

One reason that it is hard for me to stay a mother who is not worrying about earning money was said very well by my friend recently. She said 90% of the mothers she talks to regularly in her LDS ward are earning money by working a job of some sort. She said it is so hard for her because she keeps feeling a push to do what she got her education to do, and earn money doing it.  am almost always feeling pushed toward that, too. She said she is capable. She can do it. She would be good at it. I know she has the education and experience!

I am almost always feeling the same temptation. I know I am good at the money earning career of graphic design business owner. I am very good at it. I know our culture does not believe that a woman who homeschools her children instead of earning money in a career she is trained for, is a successful one. I know our society believes I am wasting my education. 

I also can see that this same culture is the very same that is teaching my daughter about its beliefs. They are leading her to believe that because her colleagues seem to be busier than she is, that they are ahead of her in life. It is so sad that she feels this way. I do not know how to help her to see. Oh, I have one idea, though. I really need to have a good, long talk with her and maybe even recommend some reading. I also need to help her experience cultures of less hurrying and scheduling. She also needs to see that even in cultures of less overscheduling and hurry, there is great success and happiness and some of the people are maybe even better and some even more educated, people.

Relaxing is wise. It is not foolish or a waste of time. It helps with happiness. Being scheduled every minute of every day is foolish. That culture of hurry and overscheduling is part of the reason people need drugs for depression and part of the reason so many people feel they need to sign up to do even more. They feel unsatisfied, which means they need more joy. More joy will only come if they let go of more things and have less on their schedule. 

I have another thing. This is the big one. 

When Jesus spoke to the woman of Samaria at the well to tell her about the living waters, why was he sitting there when she came? When was Jesus too busy to talk to someone? Did he have a schedule? He probably had a routine. He walked places. He sat and taught people. He taught people while walking. 

Now let us think on the disciples who had to leave their jobs to become His twelve apostles. Why did they have to leave their jobs first? Why did they have to stop doing what they were busy doing in order to learn from and serve alongside, the Savior? 

How is being busy so good, then, if Jesus could not have a busy person be His Apostle? 

Can LDS missionaries have a job while on their missions? Why would that not work? It would not work because they cannot be busy with other things. They must be busy serving the Lord. Their schedule must be open enough to find people and to teach those people the gospel.

Can a person really feel and hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost going from one scheduled event after another in a tight, inflexible schedule? Not really. How is there time for that?

These things bring me to the conclusion that being busier does not mean being a better disciple of Christ. I believe a better person is one who realizes they need forgiveness, so they need to drop everything and follow the Savior.

Now onto the next topic. My daughter believes that people who appear to be busier public schooled and homeschooled students, are learning more than she is and are ahead of her in life. Our first instinct is to want to compare one child’s learning to another’s. For this, we would most likely, in our day, turn to standardized testing. 

That is not what I will do here. If you believe standardized testing shows things clearly and accurately and tells the gruth about all of the important things, then in my opinion, you are messed up by our idiot U.S. culture, which is why you cannot see clearly.

Another insinct our culture would have you go toward to know whether a busier student is a more educated one, is to performances and displays. These shows of talent are ever so popular in our day and in our culture. They do not mean that a person is more educated, either. One who believes that a person who can perform or display things, is well-educated, is also messed up by our culture.

What standards will I go by, then? Why, God’s. I know. Shocking, right? Why did God see a boy who kept sheep as the person to fight Goliath? I will answer that with another question. Why did David himself know he could fight Goliath and win? I am sure you know: He knew God would deliver him! That is a truly well-educated person as an example for you. From my point of view, a good education is one that gives a person faith and trust in, and dependence on, God and Jesus Christ. If everything else is know and understood, what good does it do if not on a foundation of faith in God and Jesus Christ. It is all like rotted organic matter turning into black dust. 

This is how I know my daughter is not behind:

  • She loves her family.
  • She loves God and Jesus Christ.
  • She listens to the Holy Ghost.
  • She prays to Heavenly Father and reads the scriptures with extreme intent on learning and understanding them.
  • She serves others with the love of Christ.
  • She works hard at housework and helping around the house and yard.
  • She works hard at academic learning and excels at learning whateter is put in front of her.
  • She is humble and teachable. 
  • She has extremely strong desires to always do what God leads her to do.

My daughter is not behind.

Another thing I have to say is this: What is “behind,” really? Even in academics, is there a way to compare one person to another for real? No. One person has a talent for mechanics and is awesome at fixing anything. Another has a talent for mountain climbing and can lead people up Mount Everest on a daily basis. Are these people ahead or behind a person who wins the worldwide contest for concert pianists? What of the mother who gives birth to her first child? Is she ahead or behind the person who just paplied for a patent on their first invention? 

These are things we cannot compare. These accomplishments cannot be compared and people cannot truly and accurately be compared. People were never meant to be compared and life is not a race to get to a finish line. Is death a finish line? Is an amount of money or an academic degree a finish line? No. None of these ae a finish line. If there is no finish line, then there is no “ahead” and there is no “behind.”

Therefore, my daughter cannot possibly be “behind.”

40 Year Old Utah Mormon Vegan Homeschool Mom with Large Family Trying to Get to a Healthy Weight

I have a large family. I have a large family for a Utah Mormon (not just for a city-dwelling New-York City resident or Hollywood movie star, because their definitino of a large family is not mine). I am vegan. I have been pregnant and breatfeeding for what feels like half of my life. I am 40. I wake up early, not to excercise, but to take my daughter to her early morning homeschool seminary class.

I try hard to eat right. I just barely skim the surface of having a habit of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on time. I try to eat healthy foods, but it is tough to find time to prepare something healthy when our lives are so busy.

I try to find time to exercise. I just cannot find it. O.k., so I know where it is. It is right there when my husband gets home, gives me the chance to go to the gym, and I hear my preschooler bawling at the top of his lungs about his hunger, my husband says to ignore him, and I make him something to eat, following which my husband leaves and my was-gonna-be-tending-while-I-went-to-the-gym son throws a fit, begging me to let off on the homeschool assignments for the week so that he can play on the wii. The screaming, throwing things and bawling from the torture of the immensity of the assignments is so great that I do not go to the gym. I stay home and my husband gets back and tries go help us through the rough patch. Then I make a vegan dinner for only myself and am too exhausted (and it is too late at night) to go to the gym.

This is just one day in the life of the Utah Mormon Vegan Homeschool Mom with a Large Family who is trying to lose 30 lbs. and thus reach a healthy weight. I tell you, I am sick to death of all the blog posts and youtube videos I find with women who have 2 kids and send them to school during the day, then tell me how they lost all the baby weight in 6 weeks.  am also sick of all the “you need animal protein” lies out there, written by weight-loss gurus who are not vegan!

“Thou shalt not covet” the women who lose baby weight in under a year. Seriously, the toughest commandment out there. Arghhhhh!

I seriously cannot be the only one! I hate feeling alone. I do not expect to find someone just exactly in my situation, but a bunch of groupies close to it would be nice. A support group would help immensely. There have to be vegan homeschool moms out there with large families, and who also large bellies like mine that have not gone away when the baby is a preschooler!

If you are one and have found this post, please comment. I need a support network of women who know what I am going through! Advice about exercise would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

De-Cluttering: State What You Want A Space to Become!

Yesterday my mom said to me, “I need this to be a play area for the grandkids for Thanksgiving!” She started out by stating what dreams she had for that particular space. That is a big thing I learned from her. Instead of just de-junking, I need to envision what I really want to do wit my house and with each room and with each space. This will help me to turn this into the house and life I love and what we need for this time in our lives.

I was at my mom’s and helped her de-junk one large corner of one room. One thing she said was she just has to get rid of “just a little” or “just a few” at a time because then my dad (who likes to keep everything) will not notice. I have to do this in my home, too. I think the more you have, the less each bag dejunked, will be missed. However, my mom really only got rid of about four feet cubed of stuff. She knows she cannot eliminate more than that in a day, or it will be noticed. I know that I can eliminate about a bag from each room each time I do ot and it will not get noticed. We have many rooms though, so I cannot do more than about two rooms in each session of decluttering.

We also discussed our strategies of getting it done fast and taking it away from the house (to charity or something) immediately and before our husbands get home so that they will not know or notice. She said at one point, “He won’t know becuase he doesn’t even know these things exist.” Amen to that. It is the same way here. She also said at one point, “Look, I gained this much space!” Isn’t that inspirational!

This helping my mom was very inspirational and motivational for me. I got rid of two bags today and took them to charity. I feel so inspired that I want to find more to get rid of. 

The Federal Reserve Was Created By Congress, Can End By Congress, but is Not Controlled by or Owned by the U.S. Federal Government 

I know this title comes as a shock to the majority of people, but it is true. Many private banking corporations and corporate investors back up the lending of money to you when you get a loan from your bank or credit union.

Please read more about it here.

About the Federal Reserve