The Guide to Going Green With Solar Panels

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The Guide to Going Green With Solar Panels

Solar power is here to stay. With solar capabilities growing and incentives in place, now is a smart time to integrate solar power into your home. Check out this guide to solar power installation for more information from Princess Tiger Lily on just how to go green

What Roofs Work Best?

Solar panels are compatible with almost all kinds of roofs. There are, however, ones that work better to maintain a reliable foundation for the panels. Asphalt shingles are the most frequently used in roofing because of their durability and flexibility, two qualities that make them the perfect choice for solar panels. Metal roofs can also be wonderful with solar panels, though, as standing seams eliminate some of the work involved in the installation.

Tiled roofs can be more expensive to install solar panels on, but they’re still an excellent option due to their sturdiness. Even flat tar and gravel roofs can be good hosts for solar panels, though you’ll need to ensure the panels can be angled to optimize their output.

How Do You Install Solar Panels?

To install solar panels, you’ll first need to decide the best place for them to be placed. Check out the roof for the best angles and directions to maximize sun exposure and increase efficiency. Once you have the location, build the platform for your panels to be installed on. Ready your dedicated conduits to be connected to your platform.

Affix the solar panels to the platform using professional tools. Depending on the type of panel and platform, you may need brackets, pincers, clamps, bolts, meters, and tubes. Once the panels have been placed, wire them together using junction boxes and fuses. Then you may connect the panels to the electrical components. Because installing solar panels can be dangerous, it is worthwhile to engage a professional to complete or help guide the installation to eliminate accidents and guarantee power production. 

What Should You Expect Once Panels Are Up and Running?

Your solar panel setup, the amount of sun your panels can get in a day, and how much electricity your home uses will determine how much power your panels can generate, but all homes with solar panels properly installed should see a substantial decrease in power costs. Some solar panels generate enough power that homeowners are able to get credit from their electrical company due to the overabundance. Most solar panels are good for 20 to 30 years, with their efficiency diminishing over time.

What Programs Are Available To Offset Costs?

For those with a Federal Housing Authority home loan, the Department of Energy suggests utilizing the FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program. It is an excellent way to get the costs of energy-efficient improvements to a home added to an existing mortgage. There are guidelines that must be followed, but qualified applicants can get a significant amount of the costs of going solar covered by the addition to the mortgage, if not all.

The federal government also offers a solar tax credit to those who have installed residential solar photovoltaics. The eligibility rules for this credit state that the solar panels must be owned by the person claiming the credit and have been used to provide power to a qualifying structure. Some states also offer energy rebates or tax credits for those who have installed solar panels and use them to run their homes.

Bringing solar panels into your workplace is not only a great investment for long-term energy savings, many states offer financial incentives for solar energy users including rebates and purchasing back energy.

More and more people are going green. If you’ve been considering ways to bring your home into the twenty-first century, now’s the time. Take advantage of the incentives available today.

The mission of Princess Tiger Lily is to help you find green, organic and/or fair trade companies for your purchases.

Coloring Google Charts

Programmer

I recently updated my xg_graph.js javascript library to allow coloring of Google graphs. (Google calls them charts). xg_graph.js makes drawing bar, column, line, pie, table, and geo charts easier. Line charts can contain lines or points or both. Pie charts can have a hole in the middle, in which case they’re a donut chart.

So, what can you add color to on a Google graph? Google graphs have colors by default, so you’re not adding colors, you’re overriding colors. This is even true, when you’re giving the text a color other than black.

For a bar chart, you can override the colors of annotations, the background, the background of the chart area, the colors of the bars, items along each axis, items in the legend, the title text, the tooltip or hint (the text that appears when you hover over something), and trendlines. You can maybe override background color, text color, border color, and/or transparency, depending on what you’re overriding the color of. Note: To override transparency, you override opacity which is the opposite of transparency. When will css add transparency to styling? That’s what I’d like to know.

While you can override colors for all those various things on a bar chart, xg_graph.js only allows you to override the primary coloring, which is for the bars. Bar, Column, and Line charts come in two basic fashions. In the first one, there are single bars/lines. In the second, there are multiple. When there are multiple, these are called series. The first of the series is called the primary. In the case of bar and column charts the series can be stacked on top of the primary.

So, the question comes, if you’re coloring the bars are you just coloring the primary bars, are you coloring the series, or both? Let’s talk about the series first, because that’s easier to color. You can color the series with the colors option. Just provide an array of colors. There is also a series option which accomplishes the same thing. However, you have to provide an array of objects, whatever those are. I use the colors options.

Google graphs use 31 default colors for the series. If you have more than 31 series (and why would you), the colors start repeating. In 2014, Google start providing Material charts. Material charts use Google’s Material Design Colors. When coloring series for Material charts, the first three series are different shades of blue, then next three are different shades of red, then orange, then green, purple, aqua, peach, gold, blue violet, pink, and now we’re up to 30. Even though it’s been 8 years, Material charts are in beta.

To color each primary bar differently, you have to add a style column to the data array. In your data array for Google graphs, the first row is headings. The heading for the style row is {role:’style’}. The brackets indicate that this is an object. This column for the other rows can contain the color ‘red’, or an object which is the style {color:’red’,opacity:50%}.

If you’re confused at this point, don’t worry, I’ve made it easy. To draw a graph with xg_graph, you place some code in the <head> of your webpage. Then you call xg_graph_google_init(‘bar’) or whatever graph type you’re drawing. This sets xg_graph_color_scheme to ‘default’, which will make it use the default colors. Then you set up your data array. To change the primary bar colors, change xg_graph_color_scheme to ‘primary’. Define a color array, and call data_array = xg_graph_google_apply_color(data_array, color_array). If you don’t specify enough colors, the colors you specify will be repeated. This adds that style column to your data array for you. To change the series, set xg_graph_color_scheme to ‘series’ or to ‘primary+series’. Then call xg_graph_google_apply_color(data_array, color_array). The data array doesn’t need to be updated, so don’t say data_array = …. Series colors are kept in a global array behind the scenes.

Let’s talk about pie, pie graphs to be specific. Donut graphs aren’t separate from Pie graphs for Google. You just specify the size of the pie hole. If there’s a hole, it’s a donut graph. It’s too bad that you can’t make the hole transparent and place an image of ice cream below the pie graph. Then you’d have a pie a la mode graph. Well, maybe you can, try setting background color to ‘transparent’. If you get this to work, let me know.

Another thing to note: Pie graphs can be 3D. Donut Graphs cannot be 3D. Pie graphs are the only type of Google graphs which can be 3D. You can somewhat fake 3D for Bar and Column graphs, by specifying border colors in the style column. I provided for 3D Pie graphs. I didn’t provide for fake 3D Bar graphs.

For pie graphs, xg_graph_google_apply_color colors the slices. This could have been done with either the colors or slices option. I used colors, because slices is an object, so more difficult. These colors work the same way as series. But, since there is only one option, you don’t have to change xg_graph_color_scheme. It is changed for you.

Geo graphs are maps made of line drawings. Google also has map graphs which use google maps and markers. Markers and colored text on geo/map drawings require you to obtain a maps API key and let Google Graphs know what that is. I didn’t provide for that.

By default, Geo graphs color the regions/locales in your data_array with a white-green gradient. A gradient varies the color based on the gradient colors. So the countries with lower values will be more white. Those which higher values will be more green. Geo graphs are always going to color locations based on a gradient.

For Geo graphs, it looks like you’re stuck with a gradient. However, you can give that gradient whatever colors you want, and as many colors as you want. Call xg_graph_google_apply_color(data_array,color_array). For the previous graph types, colors in color_array are repeated until there are enough colors. For Geo graphs, they’re not. If your color_array contains red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet, the countries will be colored using a gradient made of all those colors.

But wait, what’s this? If your data_array contains n locations and your color array contains n colors, each location is colored differently. If you want to color each location with a separate color, xg_graph.js also allows you to do that with an svg (a specific image type) map. You have to provide the svg.

And last, but not least, table graphs. A table graphs displays data in a table. The user can sort the data. You’ve probably seen these somewhere on the internet. Perhaps in Wikipedia. In a table graph, you may want to sort the various rows. By default, Google uses a white lavender gradient for the header row. Then, every other data row has a background of snow. With xg_graph.js you can apply background coloring to the header row. You can also apply coloring to either all data rows or to every other data rows. Table rows are styled using the cssColorNames options. This is an object containing the class names to be used in styling the rows.

In xg_graph.js, you need to provide the following classes, if you want to color the rows: xg_table_header_color, xg_table_row_color, and xg_table_alternating_row_color. Each class should contain background-color. The header row background color will be a gradient of white and whatever color you specify. If xg_graph_table_alternating_row_style=true, every other row background is colored. Since these classes are styles, and since you’re providing the classes, you can specify more than just background-color. Since coloring a table graph is based on classes, rather than the data array and color array, call xg_graph_google_apply_color(”,”) to apply coloring.

That’s it. If you want to provide other coloring or if you want to color other types of google graphs, you’ll need to code that yourself, unless you talk me into providing that capability in xg_graph.js. I provide the simpler coloring. The rest looks like it gets more complex.

Rhiana, Mother of Trees

The Wind

There she sits among the trees
Talking to them
Feeding them
Nurturing them
Loving them as deeply as deep can go

Who is she?
Rhiana
She is their mother
She is the one who cares for them above all others

Selvene is in the ocean
Caring for fish and reef
Teaching them how to live their best life
Blowing them bubbles of joy

Selvene is their mother
She cares for them deeply

The mountains too have their mother
And the air, the butterflies, and dragons

Those walking the land, the mammals
Their mother is Qgore
She strokes their fur
As she kisses them
She sings them lullabies goodnight
And then loves them till morning
When she starts to care for them all over again

Birds ride in invisible airships
They climb the unseen stairs
Who put those there for them to find?

K’tani the elevated one
She who once was an albatross
And long ago, an archaeopteryx

K’tani, like Qgore, Selvene, Rhiana, and the others
Has been there forever
She knows what it’s like to be cared for
For once, she too was young
Once, she too had a mother who tucked her in at night
Her mother was Honua, Isi, Toprak, Zelmja, Terra
Earth was her name
Earth was the one who cared for all

We too have a mother who cares for us
She cares as deep as the core of the Earth
For that is where her heart is
She pulls us into her sanctuary
That bless-ed place within

She pulls us in to her heart of hearts
For there, we learn to care
There, we find our own heart
There, we know what others need
There, we all become mothers
To the next generations of hearts

Documentation – Good, Bad, and Don’t Go There

Documentation applies to lots of things – programming, writing books, financial records, and conversations (but I won’t go there). It’s a good thing that we are more than what’s documented about us. And sometimes, it’s good that we’re nothing like what’s documented about us.

If programming, and this applies to other areas, there are various types of documentation. There are comments in the program. Yet, comments are not always updated. So, if they’re documentation, they may not be current.

A friend of mine would use function names to tell a story. Some books do this with chapter headings. While creative, those types of comments are usually not documentation.

There are high-level and low-level comments in a program. High-level tell what each function does. Low-level gets into the details of how that function does what it does.

There is also (or should be) documentation about a program outside of the program. This might include the before and after. The before might be programmer specs, but sometimes those are kept up-to-date. This external documentation should have one easily findable final version. It should be obvious that that is the final version. This external documentation should speak to everybody who needs to know – CEO, Managers, Analysts, Programmers, Internal Users, and External Users, and Vendors, and Partners, and ….

In the case of a book, documentation might include a Table of Contents, an Index, Notes for the Reader (I sometimes include a who’s who of characters), About the Author, and Description. This documentation needs to be understandable by everybody who reads it. Sometimes for the description, I just include a section of the book. I probably should include a little more.

So, documentation needs to be organized (yikes). And it needs to be understandable by all the various parties. Often techies write documentation from the computer side of their brain. I don’t, but I might be a rarity in that respect. As a writer, I need to write the Description so that the reader can understand it. (I also need to write the book so that the reader can understand it. So, I try to make my computer and other reference books easy to understand.)

There are situations where you don’t need to make documentation understandable by all. Who’s going to read the comments in your program, other than another programmer? But even then, not all programmers understand coding at the level that you do.

I worked with three sets of documentation (not my own) recently. The first was with Paypal. It took me two months to get Paypal to work on my website. I didn’t spend 8 hours every day on it. But I did work on it most days. Some of that time was getting my page to work the way I wanted it to, which had nothing to do with Paypal. And I would have gotten done a lot sooner, if I had contacted support. But I wanted to keep track of what I had done and understand what I was doing and why I was doing it.

I blame the process taking so long on Paypal’s documentation. I just wanted to add the buttons – no programming involved, the documentation said. Paypal has a nice button generator. You just paste in the code they give you, and nope it didn’t work. The documentation about the button and how to set it up, didn’t explain it well to me. Me being somebody who didn’t have a good idea how I wanted the button to look and why I wanted it to look that way? The documentation wasn’t from a business point of view or a beginner’s point of view. It was more technical. It was left-brained. It was almost written for those who already knew what they were doing.

Also, the documentation kept taking me into how to program – when there wasn’t supposed to be any programming involved. And, several of the links in the documentation got 404 errors (page not found). These were links to other places in the documentation. I guess nobody checked when they renamed or removed a link, if it was referenced elsewhere.

The documentation talked about registering the app. It finally told me that the default app is the button. I hadn’t bothered registering because I wasn’t using an app. I was using a button. The apps in my mind were those things which took programming.

In the meantime, I decided to write some helper routines for Google Graphs. Google Graphs are nice and easy to understand. However, the data is mostly hardcoded – no real chance to change it. You can get the data from an external source. I just wanted to be able to change it. Since I was doing something abnormal (out of the ordinary), that documentation was harder to find. But, I found it without too much problem. And there were no 404 errors.

Sometimes, I found myself reading about something, only to find out after much more reading that it’s no longer done that way or this feature is only in beta (not really ready for production). Google Chart’s documentation is for programmers, so it didn’t get too generic and didn’t really need to.

Still, the documentation introduced a couple of programming techniques which were new to me, without really introducing them. They were just presented it with little or no explanation. It took some time for me to wrap my head around them. I would consider these advanced techniques. Maybe they should have had a separate section which explained these in more detail. Overall, Google Charts documentation was good.

I also recently added a Buy Me a Coffee button to my website, in case people want to make a donation. (hint, hint). Their documentation was also good. What was missing were some hidden features, that perhaps I shouldn’t be using. The default icon for the button is the Buy Me a Coffee logo. Buy Me a Coffee allows you to change this icon to an emoji. There are many choices for the emoji, but not all emojis are available. You can use those non-available emojis (cut and paste from Emojipedia), but only in certain situations. The default icon/logo is an image. You can place html where the icon goes to use your own image, in some situations. I did that. You can also use html to stylize the text.

Other things that are hidden, or harder to find than they should be: You can set how much you want each cup of coffee to represent. This can be $1 to $5. The person donating, can only choose 1, 3, or 5 cups of coffee. So, the maximum that can be donated is $25, unless I missed something. You should also set up your payment page, which can be different from your button. Still, they should go together thematically.

I would have liked to have those things explained up-front – before I signed up. I still would’ve ended up signing up. But I would’ve researched other options longer. I also wouldn’t have spent my time figuring out that the break-even point between Paypal and Buy Me a Coffee is $25. If it’s less I end up getting more when someone pays me through Buy Me a Coffee. If it’s $25 or more, Paypal takes less away. Oops, Buy Me a Coffee doesn’t allow donations of more than $25. And, I take it back. Yes, I would have done that analysis.

So, how do you ensure that your documentation is good, that it speaks to everybody, that there are no holes or at least no deep pits, other than the unavoidable ones like external links which no longer work (or which no longer work the way they did when you created them)? The best answer, is to get another set of eyes to look at it. But don’t just get any set of eyes, get a set of eyes who has the perspective of someone who’s looking at this from outside, who knows what they’re talking about. If this is technical documentation, IMHO it’s good to use a non-technical tech writer (documenter) or a technical techwriter who can write non-technical documentation, like myself. Get somebody who doesn’t know your business. If it’s a book, an editor is a good choice. However, if it’s the description, you may want to get a marketer’s opinion. After the documenter’s done, have other parties review that documentation to make sure they understand it from their viewpoint.

I don’t always do that. I’m good at writing technical documentation. I’m also good at writing books. I’m good at editing. However, one of my book edits is to have the computer read the book back to me.

I also use Word’s spell checker (now Editor) as my first edit. Even so, I don’t accept all of its corrections. Neither should you accept all the corrections / suggestions of that other set of eyes.

I have Editor set to show me the reading ease and grade level. If the ease is less than 70 or the grade is higher than 6, I often go back and make the book easier to understand. Usually this requires me to break up long sentences, but at least me long sentences don’t run on forever and ever, taking up several lines and getting convoluted while they’re at it. Oh, really?

Another reason that I don’t usually have someone else do documentation for me, is that there’s the question of having the money to pay them. But Paypal, Google, Buy Me a Coffee – they can probably afford this.

One Final Note: I wonder how many small business owners tried to put Paypal on their website. Maybe they were partially successful. However, they couldn’t understand how to make the transition from the button code to the testing platform (sandbox) to production (live – where the money actually gets to you or at least to your paypal account). How many of them gave up? How many of them switched to some other payment transaction platform? How many of them think that the button is making them money when it ain’t because they didn’t make it live? Is bad documentation costing you money, or time?

I thought about giving up and switching to a different platform, but all the other popular platforms which take credit cards, required a monthly fee. This includes Selz which I had used previously. Selz didn’t notify me or if they did, I missed that they changed to requiring a monthly fee. I wasn’t paying, so they dropped my account. I only found out because I happened to check it one day. I usually get paid outside of my websites, so I wasn’t too worried about it. Selz documentation was good. It was easy to add the button.

A non-functioning button, caused me to be more cautious about adding Paypal. And that caused delays – I wanted to get it right.

I did have a different payment processing something-or-other on one of my websites before Paypal became really well known. But let’s not go there.

Helper Routines for Google Graphs

Programmer

Google calls them charts, rather than graphs.

I updated my xg_graphs.js javascript graphing library. Before, I had provided for easy svg manipulation. This time, I wanted to add simple bar (horizontal) and column (vertical) graphs. I realized that the graphs wouldn’t look that good. And I won’t mention that it was getting way too complicated. So, I started looking for alternatives. I ended up writing helper routines to make using Google Graphs more simple.

I hesitated to use Google Graphs, because I like to keep my footprint small – makes for faster loading and uses less energy. Yet, I knew that Google would keep things as light as they could. So, I went down that route and I like the results.

Using Google Graphs, you can create all sorts of graphs: annotation, area, bar, bubble, calendar, candlestick, column, combo, diff, donut, gantt, geo, gauge, histograms, interval, line, map (uses satellite images rather than line drawings as geo does), org, pie, sankey diagram, scatter, stepped area, table, timelines, tree map, trendlines, waterfall, and word trees. I only coded for the most popular types of graphs. I’ve never heard of some of these graph types.

Donut charts are Pie charts with a pie hole in the middle. Bar and Column charts are similar, the bars just go different ways – horizontal vs vertical. A Table is a sortable table as you may have seen somewhere on the web. Geo charts use maps to graph things – slightly similar to my svg graph routines.

You can read the documentation here. I kept it simple and generic, which meant there are limitations. Still, my routines will help you draw a nice looking graph, simply. I’ll be adding more functionality. And I’ll be posting about those improvements.

A Generic Substring Function

Programmer

You may not remember the PL/I programming language (that’s a roman numeral 1, not an uppercase i), but I do. Well, not a lot. What I do remember is that the code looked like the programmer. That is, it looked like the programming language that the programmer knew. While, this is true of all programming languages, PL/I was designed with this in mind.

But, back to substrings. One substring of abcde is bcd. Depending on the language you’re programming in, the substring function or method is written differently. Function is typically, substr(string,start,end). Method is typically string.substr(start,end). The differences are in the name of the function / method and in the start and end.

Let’s take excel for instance. If you’re writing a formula, the substring function is mid (for middle). mid(string,start,length). In this case, start is the starting position. And length is the number of characters to return. mid(“abcde”,2,3) returns “bcd”. If you’re in excel writing macros (vba), it’s the same function, which is nice.

COBOL is similar. SUBSTR(STRING,START,LENGTH). The only difference is the name of the function.

Javascript uses the method substr(string,start,length). The difference here is that start is an index, rather than a position. Javascript is zero-based. VBA, etc. are 1-based. Therefore index is one less than position.

According to Mozilla, substr is deprecated in favor of substring and slice. W3Schools just says, substr is part of Javascript and is supported by all major browsers. ICanUse agrees with W3Schools. And, I’m not finding anything in the javascript (ecmascript) documentation that says it’s deprecated. Perhaps Mozilla is planning to not support this in their Firefox browser. I figure as long as there’s plenty of substr functions out there, they and all the other browsers will support it. So, I continue to use it.

But what about that substring and slice function? Python doesn’t even provide substring, only slice. How are they different?

substring and slice methods use the same format, other than the name. string.slice(start,end). You can get fancy and use negative values for start and end. If you do, substring and slice work differently. I suggest that you not do that, because whoever has to maintain your code, may get confused. In my case, that would be me.

So, instead of specifying the length or number of characters to return, substring and slice specify the end index. However, they make it (IMHO) complicated. Start and end both refer to indexes. However, start is inclusive and end is exclusive, according to Python documentation. What that means is the start index is where the substring starts. The end index is one character after where the substring ends. If you weren’t confused before, you probably are now :(.

All programming languages that I researched (and I researched about 15), use one of those syntaxes to return a substring, though they might call the function / method something different. Lisp calls it subseq and uses the slice syntax.

So, how to make one substring function which allows programmers to use the syntax they’re used to? I think that’s important, because getting the parameters wrong can cause havoc. Trust me on that one.

I added x_substr function to my x_press.js library as an example generic substring function in javascript. First, you have to work in the language that you’re programming in. For javascript, that means start and end have to be converted to indexes, if they’re not passed that way.

You also have to know whether the programmer is passing positions or indexes (or lengths). I determine this with parms. x_substr(string,start,end,start_type,end_type). start_type and end_type are arrays. The first element of the array is pos, ind/idx, or str => Position, Index, or String. Notice that I introduced a new way of returning a substring – identify it with strings. For end_type, the first element can also be len for length. The second element is bef, at/on, aft – for before, at/on, or after. VBA syntax is at or on for start. Slice syntax is at/on for start and aft for end. Perhaps I should add sli for slice. For len, the second element should be ”. In addition to adding str for either start or end, I also added bef. I figure to be fully generic, if there’s an aft, there must be a bef.

substr(string,start,end,[‘pos’,’at’],[‘len’,”])

substr(string,start,end,[‘ind’,’at’],[‘ind’,’aft’])

After I determine what the start and end indices actually are, I have to extract the substring and return it. I used a simple for loop to accomplish this. Using slice may have been slightly faster, but not enough to matter. And besides I understand the for loop, sort of.

Krennelin Berry

author

A shmaltzy Romance set in the far reaches of space. This is my 109th book.

Krennelin Berry could never reveal who she truly was. Yet, she was tempted to do so, for love.
That line alone from this story, should reveal to you what type of romance this is. If that doesn’t do it, read the first few lines of the first chapter. When he kissed her, she was a queen in her castle. Oh, was this ever nice. She could stay in this castle forever.

Or, you can read the last few lines of the story, if you want to spoil the ending. I’m not judging. You’re the one who’s reading the book. If you want to spoil the ending, that’s your business.

Yes, this is a schmaltzy romance. The shero, Krennelin Berry, can’t help that she has a crush on a Celeb named Tlotl Hsen. See, even her name lets you know the kind of story this is. It certainly informed me.
All I knew, in the beginning about this story, was its title. I also knew that the title was the main character’s name. It wasn’t too long until I knew the first few lines. And that confirmed where this story was going and how it was going to get there. Well, partially. This story also has it’s share of surprises.
Now you know just a little bit about Krennelin Berry. You should also know that she also goes by K.R. And she’s a Cadet aboard a Spaceship.
Tlotl Hsen, her crush, is a Celeb. He has his own secrets, which you’ll find out about soon enough.

Some terms in this story will be familiar to you, as it takes place in Earth’s future. Others, you’ll need to learn from the story itself, for the same reason. It takes place far enough into Earth’s future that some things have greatly changed.

If you don’t like shmaltzy romances, don’t worry. I have written several romances, each of them very different. You can find them all at Stubbart.com.

Also, just because this story is shmaltzy, doesn’t mean that the protagonist is weak. Krennelin Berry has several methods at her disposal to level the playing field, especially when it comes to relationships. And, she’s not hesitant to use them. Still, timing is everything.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RB5GDLX

Life Purpose Quiz

The Wind

Life Purpose could be your career goal. It might be what you want to do most in life. For some, it’s their divine calling or the ultimate reason that they were born. Determining you life purpose can be difficult. Defining it can be excruciating. Mine is described on my website Stubbart.com.

I and others can help you get closer to determining how you can best spend your life. I use Spiritual Consulting to help with that. However, if you’ve thought about this for a while, you may have some ideas, but aren’t certain if you’re correct. And perhaps you know what it is, but would just like some verification.

The Life Purpose criteria in the following quiz recently came into my understanding. If you flunk the quiz, don’t worry. It’s possible that your life’s definition has other criteria. Go ahead and take this quiz whether you know what your life purpose is or not. If you have no idea what your life purpose is, this quiz will give you some good guidelines to go by.

Life Purpose Quiz

  1. Does your Life Purpose or what you want to do in Life, bring you joy? Does it bring others joy? If you hate your Life Purpose, what good is it doing you?
  2. Does it help you connect? Does it help others connect? This could be feeling connected to the Universe. It could be connecting to people. Etc.
  3. When you’re practicing your life purpose, do you feel at ease? Does it make others feel at ease? Yes, there will always be someone who doesn’t feel at ease, no matter what you do.
  4. Does it make you feel like you matter? Does it make others feel like they matter? Your life purpose might even make people, including yourself, feel special and important. https://www.yellowbearjourneys.com/beachreport/who-matters-in-todays-world/
  5. When you follow your life purpose, are you making the world a better place for yourself? Are you making the world a better place for others? Are you making a difference, even if that difference is only for you and one other person, or even if that difference isn’t felt for a millenia?

That’s the quiz. Short and sweet. Notice how all the questions ask how your life purpose works for you and others? If it only works for you or if it only works for others, it’s probably not your life purpose. It may be something which needs to be done. That doesn’t mean you have to do it. There are roughly 8 billion people in the world. Chances are high that somebody else will do that if you don’t. Chances are higher that several somebody elses are already doing that.

Some people will take issue with this quiz. They might say that we have to do things we don’t like to do. They might say that some parts of our life purpose won’t put us at ease, that we sometimes have to push ourselves do to things which are uncomfortable.

All I can tell you is, that’s not the path I’m on. Yes, sometimes there are things I need to do which are uncomfortable. However, I wait until I’ve worked past the uncomfortableness, before I do them. I’d probably better tell the truth here and say that I’m getting better at waiting. There are times when I’m like a bull in a china shop. I just keep pushing ahead, hoping it doesn’t hurt too much.

You may take this quiz and say, Oh no! I thought I knew what my life purpose was, but it’s not joy into the world, or …. Well, maybe it is your life purpose and you just need to add that element. Of maybe your life purpose isn’t at that stage yet. If your life purpose (or your idea about what your life purpose might possibly be) doesn’t meet all those criteria, don’t throw it out yet. You may just need to understand how it can meet those criteria.

And maybe you don’t need to know what your life purpose is. Maybe you’ll just live your life purpose by living your life. Out of 8 billion people, there’s got to be at least one person who’s doing that.

Who Matters in Today’s World

The Wind

If I were to report on the state of today’s world, I’d say the most pressing problem is that not everyone matters. In today’s world, we’re constantly reminded of how some groups think that only those in their group matter. This problem may become more glaring when we’re reminded that some individuals act like only they matter. No matter what you do, it will never be good enough for them.

But, the problem is not new. It took a long time for women to be able to vote. Minorities are often treated like second class citizens, if that well. It wasn’t that long ago that children were to be seen and not heard. I realize that I’m generalizing world attitudes, based on those in the U.S. If you’re country is an exception, if this problem isn’t pervasive in your country, great! I’d like to hear about it.

I believe that this problem is so pressing right now, for a few reasons. The first, is that it’s being reported on more. And that’s a good thing. The second is that those who treat others as so much less than themselves that they may as well not matter, are becoming a minority. They’re afraid of losing their positions of power. So, they’re speaking out more.

The third reason, this problem is so glaring, is due to resistance. The oppressed are willing to stand up for themselves. The old teaching was to be submissive to oppressors. That teaching is still their. Those who aren’t supposed to matter, aren’t listening anymore.

It looks like the only response to those who make you fell like you don’t matter, is to matter, at least to yourself. And, I think, the only way to matter, the only way to come out from under all those years of being told that you didn’t matter, is to be yourself.

Some people talk about being yourself, in terms of living your life purpose. That can be kind of vague. Even though I help others figure out their life purpose, right now I’d rather talk about being yourself, as being the best you that you can offer the world. What terms describe that best you? 

  • Creative
  • Gentle
  • Kind
  • Resourceful
  • Beautiful
  • Understanding
  • Caring
  • Passionate
  • Steady
  • Determined
  • Connecting
  • Protectors
  • Parents
  • Children

I think those type of people are what the world needs most right now. I may have forgotten a type or two. Feel free to add that in, especially if it a applies to you.

The World needs people right now who matter and who make others feel like they matter. We are all people. We all matter.

Several, including myself, are willing to help people find out their life purpose – what matters to them and what makes the matter. You may contact me at Stubbart.com

Staying Fit: The Best Tips On Getting Healthy In 2022

By Ginger Reid

Photo via Pixabay

These days, it’s hard for many people to find the time or motivation to work out regularly and cook healthy meals, but it’s important to make time. You can lengthen your life by eating the right diet and exercising every day, plus you’ll feel better. The key is to carve time out of your schedule and change up your routine so that it doesn’t become stale.

Find a workout that works for you

Daily exercise is extremely important, so find a workout that you’ll want to stick with, such as dance aerobics or swimming. If you make it fun, there’s a better chance you won’t get bored or give it up after a month or two. Another way to amp up your workouts is to listen to heart-pumping music. Create a playlist of your favorite songs that will keep you motivated during your workouts, ensure you have a durable phone case and an armband, then buy a good pair of wireless headphones so that cords won’t be in the way.

Exercise your mind

In addition to physical exercise, mental fitness rounds out a person’s whole wellbeing. Keeping our brain active must be intentional, which means avoiding watching countless hours of meaningless TV programming or never picking up a book. Make it a point to have mental “workouts” on a regular basis. Pick up a new hobby or watch a TED talk video online on a topic that interests you. For seniors, the good news is that memory can be improved when mind exercises are employed.

Lifelong learning is another way to stay on top of our mental game. Consider taking online classes in a field that you’ve always been curious about. If teaching is a goal, for example, look into education degrees offered online that lead to both a degree and teaching credentials. Big benefits of taking remote coursework are that you can study at your own pace and wherever you choose — no need to travel to and from a traditional college campus.

Plan and prepare

It might not seem appealing to make a big grocery trip and cook several meals, but if you don’t keep food in the house, you’ll likely break down and do whatever is quickest on busy weeknights: fast food. Plan out a meal for each night of the week and either save the leftovers in reusable plastic containers or prepare food for several lunches at the same time. Chicken and veggies can be seasoned and prepared several different ways, and having a dish ready to go that you can grab from the fridge in the morning will save you time and money as well as keep you from reaching for less healthy options.

You can also be prepared by setting out your workout clothes the night before. This frees up time in the morning so you can just throw on your gear and go. Need new athletic wear? No sweat! Turn to stores like Kohls, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target or Walmart to find reasonable deals on activewear. You can also easily find Kohls coupons or Walmart promo codes if you shop online.

Once you have your diet, meal prep, and exercise routine in line, you may discover that these regimens help reduce stress in your day-to-day life. Just knowing that you’re working toward a goal is enough to bring you a little peace.

Drink plenty of water

Many of us don’t drink nearly enough water during the day, but it has several health benefits, including being good for your skin and helping you feel full so you don’t find yourself snacking. It’s a good idea to keep a large reusable water bottle with you all day and refill it as you need to; this way, you can keep track of how much water you’re drinking.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can affect your performance at work or school and can leave you feeling bad, which might lead to comfort eating–likely junk food–and lethargy, which can inhibit your ability to get in a workout. Set a reasonable bedtime and stick with it, and make sure you turn off your phone, television, and computer at least an hour before bed. According to Cleveland Clinic, looking at a screen before bed can keep you awake. You’ll also want to make sure your mattress is in good shape in order to get a good night’s sleep. And don’t forget to keep your bedroom tidy; clutter can often cause stress, which isn’t what you need when you’re trying to fall asleep.

Get the family involved

Getting healthy and staying that way is a decision you should make with your entire family. That way, you can all support one another and can go through the journey together, including exercising every day. Go for a long walk after dinner or play a game of softball in the backyard. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be getting in quality time with your loved ones at the same time.

Take on more active roles

If you’re looking to make some extra money, consider finding a job that lets you stay active, such as dog walking or housekeeping. MyNetDiary notes that cleaning is a great way to exercise, especially if you keep up a steady pace while vacuuming or mopping the floors. This will allow you to get in a workout while you’re earning extra cash.

Think about long-term improvements

Most importantly, when working towards your health goals, go slowly. Making gradual changes to your health increases your chances of achieving and maintaining long-term positive results. Trying to change your habits quickly, on the other hand, can actually hinder your efforts. Instead, try to work on one aspect of your goal for one month, then work your way up at a gradual pace. This will make it easier to kick your bad habits for good.

This year (and beyond), make it a priority to create a healthier you. Not only will you feel better, but you could add more years to your life. While these tips are a great starting point, you should also talk with your doctor about tailoring a health plan that will fit your needs.

 

Is shopping “green” a priority for you? Look to PrincessTigerLily.com for the best in green/organic and fair trade, as well as really well designed items and/or hard-to-find items!

Article by Guest Blogger Ginger Reid

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