Give yourself time to wonder and please share!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Iamwonderingabout ... Using Ceiling Fans in the Winter

Ceiling fans are wonderful luxuries that provide a cool "wind chill factor" breeze on a warm summer's day. Though sometimes overlooked, one of the best uses of these fans is to circulate air. Depending on the room size, the location of the air/heat source, the direction of the fan and the fan speed, the circulation of room air provides a better balance of heat/air, eliminating warm and cold spots and maximizes energy use for efficiency. A look at the benefits of a variable speed fan is an opportunity to learn how to them to produce quality, energy efficient heating or cooling and at the same time, save money.

Advances in microelectronics and control technology, within the past 10 years, make variable speed fans an excellent solution to effective air circulation. A high-speed setting is great for a fast, significant breeze to provide a quick feel cool down, but to push the warm air down from a high ceiling in the winter, use the medium speed in the updraft setting, the reversed fan direction; in contrast, in summer, for cooling, use the medium speed in the downdraft setting. If the ceiling is low, use the low speed setting and modify fan direction for summer or winter usage. If the fan does not have a reversible option, the low speed setting is the most consistently effective choice for circulation.

Using a variable-speed ceiling fan is an overlooked option that can provide a high quality, great comfort solution to heating and cooling needs and makes the flip of a switch, an easy way to take advantage of energy cost savings.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Iamwonderingabout ... the Pareto Principle

I have often it heard said, “about twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work.”

 It seems that may carry over to other areas of life as well.

 Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, created a mathematical formula in 1906, to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth.

Since that time, others attributed this 80/20 rule to Pareto and now refer to it as, “The Pareto Principle.”


The idea is that you are most efficient and accomplished when you use this 80/20 rule.

In other words…   simply said -

Focus your energy                on the

                                                  top 20 percent

                                                of what allows you to

                          accomplish 80 percent of your goals.

                    An interesting principle? Yes, and one you should use wisely.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Iamwonderingabout... What Makes a Piece of Furniture an Antique?

The urge to find and refinish a piece of furniture is a feeling that some say, can develop into an addiction. Nevertheless, if you are new to this experience and your determination has you seeking for a piece, a great place to start looking is a garage or an old attic. After finding that wooden treasure, it is time to make sure you know the difference between the old and the antique, when it comes to furniture.

What is the difference between a piece of furniture that is just old and a real antique?

Depending on the type of antique dealer, the age of an antique is subjective. A general antique is usually considered any piece of furniture older than 50 years. A fine antique is generally one that is 150 years or older. Examining the joinery, the joints or places it comes together, to see whether it is handmade or precisely cut, reveals its age. A piece made pre-1860, before machine cutting began, is generally antique. Another way to tell is the finish: pieces made before 1860 were finished with shellac. You can test a piece in an inconspicuous place with denatured alcohol, or if the finish is painted over, with ammonia. Additionally, the wood itself is a possibly a final clue. Much of the furniture before the 1700s was made of oak; after 1700 walnut and mahogany wood was widely used. Looking over these clues on the piece, gives you a fair idea of whether it is just old or really an antique.

Having come to a fair conclusion, that the piece is an antique, the next worthy step is an expert opinion. A dealer who markets antiques can help determine its authenticity. With that knowledgeable opinion, you are ready to begin a careful and patient journey to restoration.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I am wondering about... A WEEK WITHOUT FACEBOOK ?

FB        Can you imagine what a WEEK without FACEBOOK would be like?

  • Would we actually call each other on the phone?
  • Would we go to a friend's home for a visit? Would we sit in their home and chat?
  • Would we gather more at a restaurant, a hangout or at a church to share some good news and to pray for our families, our soldiers, our country, our world?
  • Would we read a newspaper, a good book, or perhaps even the Bible?
  • Would we rest more, work more, play more, pray more or depend more on God? 
                   Do you think you could even go one day now without FACEBOOK?
                           Might we find    something we are    missing      if we did?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Iamwonderingabout... the Harvest

Harvest -the process of gathering mature crops

You tube - The Hymn of Autumn      Restaurant - Harvest
                                                             in St. Louis has
                                                             Autumn Menu
World changers - The Harvest

Top 25 Fall Foliage Towns in New England
  Fun Kid's game - Piglet's Honey Harvest

As I have watched my neighbors cultivate, sow and harvest their fields for many years, I have enjoyed the transformation of barren field to a harvest crop. I am thankful for the farmers. For their labors to provide the food we eat. The dust from their combines fills my home and covers my furniture, but I do not care. Corn cobs and stalks gather on my lawn and I rejoice; the harvest has come!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

amwonderingabout… First Time Home Ownership

With property prices and mortgage rates at enticing lows, it seems like a great time to buy your first home. Here are a few helpful tips I found, if you are considering a first time home purchase, that may help you decide if a “buy when low” opportunity is a right fit for you.

Consider your current life status and your local housing market

·         Do you plan to move in the next year?

·         Do you have job security?

·         Do you find that rent is cheap and homes are more costly in your city?
Flipping houses quickly for more money is not easy now, real estate liquidity has changed. If you are unsure of your job situation or plan to move shortly, renting is a better option. However, if you are not moving in the next year, your job is secure and rent is moderately high while home sales are reasonable, then the time is right to explore a first home purchase

Check list your finances

·        Get an up to date credit report from all three major bureaus: Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. FICO credit scores affect the interest rate and payments relating to your loan. The higher your FICO score the more you save; use an online loan savings calculator to see scores and loan rates.

·         Plan for a down payment. Unless you have 20 percent of a home purchase price saved, a high loan payment is in store for you and can make your budget squeeze: maintenance, property taxes and insurance plus the loan payment can get you in a bind.  Health issues, job termination, etc. could mean a loss of your home, when you have such a large housing expense. Check out the online First Time Home Buyers Guide. Get expert advice and current home market information.

If you have great credit scores and enough saved for a 20 percent down payment, begin to check out your options. Look at the HUDgovernment site to help answer many first time buyer questions. A loan pre-approval by your financial institution is another great tip, it gets you set to move quickly when you do find a great bargain.  As you start your search, a Real Estate Directory can save you time and effort, helping you find a local realtor who can focus on your particular wants and needs for finding your perfect home.

If you are financially ready for a first home buyers bargain, there are unique tax benefits, awesome interest rates and great real estate properties that await you. Find helpful resources to guide you in your path and act confidently, knowing that the “buy when low” opportunity is your golden ticket to your first home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I am wondering about ... what it would be like to have a "Reflection Day" in America

What could happen?

This past week, Yahoo hosted a live interview session with President Obama and ABC's George Stephanopoulos. Over 30,000 questions were submitted, of which a select few were addressed. One of the questions asked, but not addressed was, "Do you think a national "Reflection Day," to think of where we have come in America, to ask ourselves 'what each of us as individuals could do for America' and to set future goals would benefit our economy, our government and our strength as a people?"

The basis for this question was: "Life experience teaches us that any time a person or a people look back from where they have come, reflect on where they are now and decide how they can combine the past and the present together to set future goals, there are always some positive results that come from the experience."

Can you imagine - turning off your TV, your phone, your computer, your car, your distractions etc. and spending a whole day to write down pros and cons of past experiences, then evaluate where you are in your life at this moment and remember how you got there? Taking thought of what really matters in your life and doing a personal check up to see if you are on track and "pleased with your daily living." Finally, setting goals for yourself, your family, your community, state and national involvement, ending with a prioritized, organized summary and a follow up plan.

What could this mean for you? for those you influence?

In geometry, reflection has the same size as the original image. Every point is the same distance from the central or "mirror" line. What if we as American citizens were on the same page, as a united team that was unstoppable? Focused on whatever it took to aid each other, forgive each other, find a common ground to stand on with each other? Isn't that what made America great to begin with? Hm?...

This wonder has been answered, tomorrow brings another...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I am wondering about... living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

A few days ago, Multiple Sclerosis was in the top five of Yahoo's trending topics. MS affects over 400,000 people in America. About 200 people are diagnosed every week with MS.

What is MS?

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic and incurable inflammatory disease caused by the body's own immune system attacking the nervous system. The brain and spinal cord are damaged. MS effects the brain, the vision, the speech, the muscles, the bowels, the bladder, etc., the entire nervous system.

How do people live with MS?

I wonder about ...  my aunt who lives each day with this crippling, painful disease.

Sitting in her wheelchair, she smiles at you. To look at her you would think that she never feels pain, but I am certain she suffers a great deal. She no longer is able to prepare meals and must depend on her husband, my uncle, to aid her in just about every aspect of her care from bathing and eating to combing her hair.


    I am thankful for my aunt and her sweet spirit and I rejoice
    that new medications, exercise and improved therapies are
    now availlable for those with MS.

You can learn about the National MS Society and how it supports and funds research for
MS,  as well as how to become an MS Research Champion by clicking this link., another great resource, is an online social network that connects those with  MS, as well as their families and friends.

As I think more about my aunt and her fight with MS, I am further encouraged by a cousin and dear friend,  for they too have this nerve wretching disease. These three courageous folks continue on with their smiles, living one day at a time with constant pain that is sure to challenge their very being and must at times seem more than they might think they can bear. Yet each of these three, live each day with hope and press on with their faith and renewed strength. I count it a privilege to know them, they are indeed brave warriors in their fight; but be encouraged my family and friends: the battle that each of you face is soon to be over and MS will be no more!

This wonder has been answered, tomorrow brings another...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I am wondering about... what it would be like to go to the Colorado Mountains

As a freelance writer who writes for an e-commerce website, I write and learn about many things each day. Today I was writing about the
Colorado Mountains. Writing about them, made me wonder... what
would it be like to go there?

From what I learned today, Colorado has 100 mountains, including
the Rocky Mountains, Pikes Peak and many others. In fact, everywhere you go in Colorado, you are surrounded by mountains.
With all the mountains, Colorado is considered to be an "outdoor adventurer's paradise."

As I read about the Rocky Mountains with elevations from 7,500 to 14.500 feet and how the park is divided by the Continental Divide, I felt in awe of God's beauty and I had not even seen it yet. I read on and longed to see the splendor of a starscape free of man-made light or to feel the exhilaration
of looking over the clouds; and though it may sound a bit weird, I even longed to hear the haunting night music of coyotes and bugling elk. Oh, what a vast domain of nature awaited me.

Thinking about more of what nature could have in store for me, I pondered about the skiing, biking, hiking, fishing, boating, walking, camping and more. I was tired from just reading, but it sounded so peaceful as I read the words.

I then thought about the weather. It snows a lot in Colorado in the winter. The snow is beautiful, but how much of the nature could I really enjoy in the winter? I believe summer would be a better season to visit these iconic mountains.

I enjoyed what little I learned today about the Colorado Mountains. I do want to go their some day, perhaps even stay for awhile, in a summer season. So much of life's landscape remains unknown, but maybe I shall.

This wonder has been answered, tomorrow brings another...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Iamwonderingabout... Airline Boarding Procedures

How do airlines determine boarding order and why do they use that method?

Brittany, my Facebook and doing Life friend, is returning home from a cruise (I love cruises, by the way; my favorite is the Disney cruise). Well, it looks like she had a great time, from last week's posts, but this morning I just happened to see her post saying that she did not understand "why planes load from front to back," thinking it made more "common sense" to do the opposite. Well, Brittany, your post got me wondering... So here goes.

One of the most interesting bits of knowledge I learned about airplane boarding order is that just within the past two years, a physicist determined the best process to use, random seating, though it is currently only used by three airlines: Southwest, Northwest and US Airways. 

According to the Guide to Airline Boarding Procedures, there are five boarding styles used:

       -  outside-in (window, middle, and aisle order)      United Airlines
       -  random (no assigned seats - seat determined by order of check-in)  see Airlines above 
       -  rear to front    Air Canada, Alaska, American, British Airways, Continental,
                                 Frontier, Jet Blue, Midwest, Spirit and Virgin Atlantic
       -  rotating zone (first class then alternating zones in back and front till filled)  Air Tran
       -  zone/block style (first class, then elite, followed by back to front)  Delta

Additionally, most airlines give first preference to business class, first class and those with special needs as much as possible and sometimes passengers with children.

The guide above is designed to help you find the best seat before you fly, with seat advice for over 700 seatmaps, backed by over 25,000 flier reviews.

Some further research information I found said that the positioning of passengers proportionately could also benefit the weight, balance and shift of the plane, affecting take off and landing if unevenly balanced. This is similar to how cargo is loaded onto a semi-truck trailer.

From a financial aspect, the airlines definitely seek efficiency in getting passengers on board: the sooner they are boarded, the sooner the plane flies which means a faster turnaround time so that more flights are made. Down time means loss of revenue.

Learning about airplane boarding order was interesting, Brittany. I found some information that is sure to make me wiser for the future. Thanks for giving me the spark of a thought to ponder. I hope I passed along some helpful knowledge for you and others as well.

This wonder has been answered, tomorrow brings another...

Iamwonderingabout... a Great Location for Fall Season Travel

Gatlinburg and Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, TN

Recently, our family took a lovely scenic trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Taking a fall vacation was a long awaited and much needed treat for all of us. As we drove closer and into the mountain area, the fresh mountain air and beautiful harvest displays of pumpkins, smiling scarecrows and gorgeous mums made us feel like we were in "just a little touch of heaven."

Making our way to our first destination, Gatlinburg, we spent our first few days awing the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of one of the most favorite, fall season, U.S. travel destinations. We also did what most people in Gatlinburg do, we shopped. Passing by, through and into many shops, we did not buy much, but it was just oh, so fun to look. Additionally, a great perk about going in the fall was that many of the shops had sales of up to 70 percent off! We got some great deals on a couple of t-shirts, a souvenir coffee mug, some inexpensive early Christmas shopping gifts and lovely, Indian made jewelry. Our lodging was a great bargain too. We arrived on a Monday and stayed till Wednesday; this was a great time to go, it was easy to get around and less busy - great time for exercise too - brisk, cool air mornings and evenings, with warmer afternoons and lots of walking.

After all the commercial shopping experience and hub bub of awesome Gatlingburg, we wanted to get out into some nature. Tuckaleechee Caverns, about a 20 minute drive from Gatlingburg over to Townsend, TN, was a great choice. Unlike a larger cave system, this cavern is family-owned and operated. Started with only a $500 investment, over a period of 50 years, they have developed the cavern pathways and tunnels, offering a guided tour that is very unique and extremely informative. The highly knowledgeable tour guide tells of the cave's history, limestone rock formations and many little known facts that keep you intrigued to move onto the next area ahead. I was impressed with his repetitive explanation of the difference between a stalactite (coming down from the ceiling) and a stalagmite (going up from the floor). I was certain that the tour he led just hours earlier for a group of 100 elementary school students would leave them with a definite understanding of the difference in the two formations.

If you are going to the Smokies in the fall season, this is the best time to visit the caverns, as this is the dry season for the cave, making more of it accessible without the flooding of underground streams. It definitely is a must see.

This wonder has been answered, tomorrow brings another ...