Pick your favorite(s) and give it a NEW caTption! (in the comments)
5. How to heal…
7. The little thrills in life
This is a new field of study called neuroesthetics, which uses brain imaging and biofeedback to learn about the brain on art. Scientists are learning about how art lifts our moods and captures our minds.
Evidence from biological, cognitive and neurological studies show visual art boosts wellness and the ability to adapt to stress.
MINDFULNESS AND FLOW — The arts have been found to be effective tools for mindfulness (a trending practice in schools that is effective for managing mental health).
There is a wealth of studies on the relationship between the arts, flow, and mental health, and flow-like states have been connected to mindfulness, attention, creativity, and even improve cognition.
The first rule of all my Creative Expression workshops is:
Try something new and be willing to make mistakes to learn. Most professional artists practice for years and admit to making lots of pictures they don’t like before one they are satisfied with. Those we now consider “masters” destroy pieces of their art – we only see what they felt was successful.
Play and experiment with reusable materials:
When your goal is to experiment you emphasize practice and process over product and take the pressure off to make something that looks good. If you want to keep a copy, snap a photo of the work, then let it go.
Don’t talk when you are making art, and if you are listening to music, choose something without lyrics. The parts of the brain activated during visual art are different than those activated for speech generation and language processing. Give those overworked parts of the mind a break, and indulge in the calm relaxation that comes from doing so.
Once a month I facilitated a free, non-denominational HeART of Spirituality workshop. Tapestry Unitarian Congregation hosted. There was a different theme each month.
For those of you who want to think about your own spirituality Here’s the information and the exercises for you to do.
For those who just want a peek at the heART the participants create take a look!
When everything is going well we try to maintain the status quo (for good reason!). To change, learn and grow we all need an impetus. The most powerful stimuli for change and growth are when we face pain or fear.
In Buddhism there’s a distinction between pain and suffering: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Suffering is based on our perception and emotional response.
Basic to Baha’i beliefs:
Stacked writing is a great way to keep things confidential and not have to hide your journal under the mattress. You can spill your thoughts & feelings out on paper and no one (including you) will be able to read what you wrote.
Workshop Materials: I pasted colored tissue paper on large sheets of paper for the participants to write on. These sheets were later turned into mini 8-page journals.
*“Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. Many poems composed in free verse thus tend to follow the rhythm of natural speech.” Wikipedia
Here are the participants Healing Poems. Take a look!
Poetry, ideally, is meant to be recited out loud. Get your moneys-worth and orate!
“Each of us carries around millions of microorganisms – including bacteria, fungi and viruses — on the inner and outer surfaces of our bodies. Most of them aren’t dangerous. In fact, growing evidence indicates that they help us in lots of ways. Scientists call this collection of organisms our microbiome.”
‘”A lot of the recent work on the human microbiome has revealed that we’re kind of spilling our microbial companions all over our houses and our offices and the people around us.”
“. . . the findings raise a number of possibilities, including, maybe, one day being able to identify a criminal by analyzing the microbial cloud he or she leaves behind at the scene.”
(In Judy’s case a lot is routine since she’s been in self-imposed Covid isolation!)
(At first I used colored marker pens, but now I start with pencil-in case I make a mistake.)
We had a brrrrrrriliant idea! Compile all the information in a book and amuse ourselves by drawing pictures.
First came the research to back up all the neuroscience . . . one year later . . . Amusement NOT.
Second came the pictures (they amused us and hope they amuse you)
Third came the formatting into a book (not so amusing) and another year later we gave up and Peggy put 12 of the hacks into a calendar – which is now available for 2021.
Fourth – 3 years later Peggy massaged the 21 hacks into a template on Kindle. We sent out some free PDF’s to get feedback before making it public. Take a LOOK!
“This is great. Clear, clever, and doable for most. Congratulations!” Betty Rawlings, Director, Psychiatric Services, West Anaheim Medical Center, Ret.
“ I took a look, out of curiosity. I wanted to see if there were any hacks I didn’t know about, and there was – being warm! As someone who hot flashes constantly right now 🙂 I had to giggle when you said to embrace them! Not exactly on my to-do list! Ha. All in all, though, great book! Love the playfulness of it, the graphics are great and of course the info is spectacular. “ Shannon Lambert , Parenting, pet, and lifestyle freelance writer
“It’s holds some terrific thought provoking ideas and action evoking concepts. I’ve smiled at the pics and engaged with the thinking, thanks for putting this together.”
“You offer a lot of very easy to do hacks with all the scientific background for them with humor, encouragement and the cutest drawings! How could anyone try these hacks and not feel better? It was encouraging to hear that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re thinking you might be able/want to do and actually being able to do it. What a novel concept that one doesn’t usually hear about.
My only caveat came from hack involving drinking hot sauce. Hope no one takes in a deep breath when taking that drink!
This is a great book for almost all ages to help anyone help themselves to a better life.”
We blog for many reasons. Chief among them is to keep ourselves amused in our advanced years. We’ll let you figure out the other reasons.
Judy amuses herself by writing silly stories and “pomes”, loses interest and moves on to her next project.
Peggy is more cerebral (and organized). She amuses herself by rescuing Judy’s abandoned projects and massaging them into REAL books.
Peggy is now in the process of colorizing, and putting together Judy’s last abandoned project The Princess Frog.
1. Judy Writes a story.
2. Judy does rough sketches for the story.
3. Judy’s publishing staff (meaning Peggy) uploads the sketches on her i-Pad and makes a clean outline.
5. Judy’s staff frames the pictures
6. Judy changes her mind and wants different pants on the Prince.
7. Judy’s staff re-draws, re-colors the picture.
Stay tuned . . . Peggy’s on a roll
Peggy has already well amused herself by publishing (Click on the titles):
I’m not, I swear I’m NOT jealous but I am AFRAID. When Peggy becomes even more famous she will leave me . . . blogging alone into the dark night.
“In a new research paper published in Scientific Reports, scientists reveal that juvenile American alligators appear to have the ability to regenerate portions of their tails if they have them severed by a predator or due to some other form of injury. It’s a remarkable finding that demonstrates that even some of the most well-understood spaces on the planet may still have some secrets to reveal.”
“The regrowth of limbs is something that isn’t uncommon in the world of reptiles. Many smaller lizards have the ability to regrow their lost limbs. It’s an invaluable tool when escaping predators, and creatures like geckos can regrow multiple tails, even regrowing the spinal cord that extends into the tail, and they can do it in as little as a month.”
“However, the ability to regrow limbs has been thought to be something that was reserved for much smaller species. An American alligator is a very large creature and even as a juvenile, they are typically larger than the kinds of lizards that are known to have the ability to regrow their limbs. However, after an alligator tail was sent to a team of researchers at Arizona State University, a team of scientists was able to determine that its tip had in fact regrown.”
“As is often the case with limbs that are regrown, the tail was slightly discolored and its scales were significantly smaller than they should have been, based on the age of the animal it came from. Using x-ray scanning and an MRI machine to get an inside look at the tail structure before slicing it open themselves, the researchers were able to determine that the tail was regrown.”
“We saw a lot of similarities between regenerated alligator tails and lizard tails, including the presence of a cartilaginous structure, the scale patterning, and the coloration. We also saw the regrowth of peripheral nerves and blood vessels,” Cindy Xu, lead author of the study, said in a statement.”
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P.S. Don’t tell anyone else but:
Name (silently or outloud) taking a deep breath between each:
“Your pets will know if you are stressed during this pandemic. They pay close attention to you. Pets sense if you are wary, if you are not your usual self. Animals notice your non-verbal behavior, how we move, what our faces look like, and also our tone of voice. They have learned from us and know when we are sad (and often come and comfort us) when we are mad (and may avoid us) or when we are happy (they may bark) or when we are stressed (they may be stressed by this, too). They even notice changes in our small–that we may not be aware of.”
Our Happiness Hacks book has been in the works FOREVER (Maybe not forever, but several years). We started writing and drawing the book when we realized we had several MAXyourMIND posts outlining how-to easily and quickly tweak your neurochemistry to feel better.
Why did it take so long?
(Yes, you read it right – only FIVE to TEN minutes out of your day to feel happier.)
Brisk It, Splish Splash, Sing it Out, Charmed, Wee3, Breathe into It, Choc full, Air it Out, The Write Way, Show Them the $, Dial a Smile, Imagine Me, Seek ‘n Find, Warm it Up, Happy Snacky, Be Nosey, Tender Eyes, Pet a Pet, Do-Good, Touch Much, Flip’n Good
HACK away Doldrums, HACK away Blahs
Some people are born with “happy” brains. This booklet is for the rest of us who want to feel happier and are impacted with the stress of daily living, plagued with pain of past events or worries about our future.
“There is no partisan or political divide in this misconception,” Ola Rosling, who now runs the Gapminder organization, told CNN. “In a changing world, systemically, on the left and on the right, people are equally outdated about the world.”
It seems we don’t want to let go of those negative assumptions. In a 2018 study cited by psychologists, including Canadian-American author Steven Pinker, as evidence of people’s ignorance of global improvements, Harvard researchers asked participants to look for different things, such as blue dots, threatening faces, or unethical actions.
“We found that when participants were looking for a category that became less common over time, they ‘expanded’ that category to include more things,” the study’s lead author, David Levari, told CNN. “So when blue dots became rare, people called a wider range of colors blue. When threatening faces became rare, people called a wider range of facial expressions threatening.”
*Funsho, whose work as chair of Rotary International’s polio-eradication program in Nigeria earned him a spot on Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
*P.S. We bought calendars for ourselves with a Zazzle discount coupon. Make sure to check out the Zazzle specials. Remember! Half of the 5% profit we make is donated to The Gentle Barn Animal Rescue Charity.
This year, holidays might look different for a lot of us. Here’s the opportunity to incorporate some of the most beloved Christmas traditions from around the world in your own home.
“The Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul Sampernandu) is held each year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando – the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.” Eleven barangays (villages) take part in the festival and competition is fierce as everyone pitches in trying to build the most elaborate lantern. Originally, the lanterns were simple creations around half a metre in diameter, made from ‘papel de hapon’ (Japanese origami paper) and lit by candle. Today, the lanterns are made from a variety of materials and have grown to around six metres in size. They are illuminated by electric bulbs that sparkle in a kaleidoscope of patterns.”
“Since 1966, a 13-metre-tall Yule Goat has been built in the center of Gävle’s Castle Square for the Advent, but this Swedish Christmas tradition has unwittingly led to another “tradition” of sorts – people trying to burn it down. Since 1966 the Goat has been successfully burned down 29 times – the most recent destruction was in 2016.”
“If you want to see how the Goat fares this year when it goes up on December 1st, you can follow its progress on the Visit Gävle website through a live video stream.”
“A beast-like demon creature that roams city streets frightening kids and punishing the bad ones – nope, this isn’t Halloween, but St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice, Krampus. In Austrian tradition, St. Nicholas rewards nice little boys and girls, while Krampus is said to capture the naughtiest children and whisk them away in his sack. In the first week of December, young men dress up as the Krampus (especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day) frightening children with clattering chains and bells.”
“Christmas has never been a big deal in Japan. (Shinto and Buddhism are the main faiths). Aside from a few small, secular traditions such as gift-giving and light displays, Christmas remains largely a novelty in the country. However, a new, quirky “tradition” has emerged in recent years – a Christmas Day feast of the Colonel’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
“In the 13 days leading up to Christmas, 13 tricksy troll-like characters come out to play in Iceland. The Yule Lads (jólasveinarnir or jólasveinar in Icelandic) visit the children across the country over the 13 nights leading up to Christmas.”
“Not to be confused with Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas), Nikolaus travels by donkey in the middle of the night on December 6 (Nikolaus Tag) and leaves little treats like coins, chocolate, oranges and toys in the shoes of good children all over Germany, and particularly in the Bavarian region. St. Nicholas also visits children in schools or at home and in exchange for sweets or a small present each child must recite a poem, sing a song or draw a picture. In short, he’s a great guy.”
“The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is celebrated with much fanfare across the United States with one of the most elaborate events taking place on a national stage. Since 1979, a giant nine-metre Menorah has been raised on the White House grounds for the eight days and nights of Hanukkah. The ceremony in Washington, D.C. is marked with speeches, music, activities for kids, and, of course, the lighting of the Menorah.”
“The lighting of the first candle at the White House takes place at 4pm, rain or shine, and an additional candle is lit each successive night.”
“Love Christmas, but think it could be improved by a spot of roller-blading? If the answer is yes, visit Caracas, Venezuela this year. Every Christmas Eve, the city’s residents head to church in the early morning – so far, so normal – but, for reasons known only to them, they do so on roller skates. This unique tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so that people can skate to church in safety, before heading home for the less-than-traditional Christmas dinner of ‘tamales’.”
“Little Candles’ Day (Día de las Velitas) marks the start of the Christmas season across Colombia. In honour of the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception, people place candles and paper lanterns in their windows, balconies and front yards. The tradition of candles has grown, and now entire towns and cities across the country are lit up with elaborate displays. Some of the best are found in Quimbaya, where neighbourhoods compete to see who can create the most impressive arrangement.”
“In wintry, wonderful Toronto the annual Cavalcade of Lights marks the official start to the holiday season. The first Cavalcade took place in 1967 to show off Toronto’s newly constructed City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square. The Square and Christmas tree are illuminated by more than 300,000 energy-efficient LED lights that shine from dusk until 11 pm until the New Year. On top of that, you’ll get to witness spectacular fireworks shows and engage in some outdoor ice skating.”
3. This assignment was to do a self-portrait pencil sketch and incorporate symbols that reflect something about ourselves. As I was sketching one fine day, feeling like “death warmed over” the images of swords flashed so that’s what I incorporated, not thinking about the symbolism until . . . .
. . . one of the participants asked me “why the swords?” and here’s what came to mind:
I was very fatigued and couldn’t bring myself to move to a table so sat on couch, my sketch book in my lap, holding a mirror in one hand, sketching myself with the other hand. The image of swords popped in my mind.
They are a part of my hair because I (we all) carry a sense of the precarious, the dangerous with us, each in a different way. As I drew myself I was struck by how my internal image I have of myself is not what I saw in the mirror and what I saw has become someone I don’t recognize. The knives evolved in my mind of living on the knife’s edge.
There were originally 4 knives and I eliminated one. Now I’m wondering if they are also symbolic of “time” – past & present on the left (touching/intertwined) and future on the right??
Looking at the picture now, more detached, it appears almost as if my throat has been slit (I drew the shadow/wrinkle on my neck). It’s a disturbing picture but very reflective of how I feel when I’m in a flare of symptoms.
I call this “Self Portrait with Pears”. I tore up another charcoal picture that I didn’t like and pasted it on an acrylic painting of a bowl of pears that was a practice assignment from 2 years ago. The bowl of pear picture is upside down . . . if you’re wondering where the pears went . . .
The British Museum is dedicated to art, culture and human history. It’s collection of eight million works is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. The collection covers human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was established 267 years ago! Take the virtual tour.
The museum houses a collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary works. The museum is housed in landmark building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is in a unique, cylindrical building, wider at the top than at the bottom, a “temple of the spirit”. Its unique ramp gallery extends up from ground level in a long, continuous spiral along the outer edges of the building to end just under the ceiling skylight. Google’s Street View feature lets visitors tour the Guggenheim’s famous staircase.
The National Gallery has two online exhibits: one of American fashion from 1740 to 1895, including many renderings of clothes from the colonial and Revolutionary eras and one of the Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer. The National Gallery of Art has an attached Sculpture Garden. The Gallery’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts follows the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present. It has a painting by Leonardo da Vinci and a mobile by Alexander Calder.
The Musee d’Orsay primarily holds art from France from 1848 to 1914. It holds the world’s largest collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world. It has works by Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, Manet, Gauguin, Seurat and Sisley. Musee d’Orsay is one of the largest art museums in Europe. You can do a virtual walk through.
Seoul is the newest of the four branches of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). It exhibits global contemporary art. It can show every mode of art as it ihas multiple facilities, including a library, theater, and a multipurpose hall. Google’s virtual tour takes you through exhibits of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.
As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon has a lot to offer – even if you can’t physically be there. This historical museum is home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon..
The Antiquity Collection or Antikensammlung goes back to the prince-electors of Brandenburg who collected objects from antiquity and contains sculpture from the archaic to Hellenistic ages as well as artwork from Greek and Roman antiquity. The main exhibits are the Pergamon Altar from the 2nd century BC, with a 113 meters (371 ft) long sculptural frieze depicting the struggle of the gods and the giants, and the Gate of Miletus from Roman antiquity.
Explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. Google offers a Street View tour of this iconic museum, so you can feel as if you’re actually wandering its halls.
Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum – the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.
European artworks from as far back as the 8th Century can be found in this California art museum. Take a Street View tour to discover a huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photographs.
This less well-known gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence, Italy’s most famous families, the de’Medicis. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de’Medici, but anyone can wander its halls from anywhere in the world.
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo has possibly the most important collection of European art in the southern hemisphere. it holds over 11 thousand artworks: paintings, sculptures, objects, photographs, videos and pieces of clothing from various periods, from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Take a virtual tour.
World’s largest collection of ancient Mexican art, including the Sun Stone or Aztec Calendar, a recreation of Pakal’s tomb in Maya exhibit room, and a Jade mask of the Zapotec Bat God in Oaxaca exhibit room.
(the other 50% goes to the cost of our URL’s)
The Gentle Barn is on a six-acre paradise in Santa Clarita, CA. The Gentle Barn has a second location in Nashville, Tennessee, and a third in St Louis, Missouri. It is their goal to open Gentle Barns in every state so that everyone in America can hug cows, cuddle turkeys, give pigs tummy rubs, and look into the eyes of these animals and know for certain that we are all the same, and deserving of the same rights, respects, and freedoms.
It’s known that the progress of these diseases can be slowed by eating a diet rich in antioxidants and maintaining normal levels of blood sugar, body weight and blood pressure. Now LIGHT therapy is a focus of research.
In a study published in the Journal of Gerontology, subjects looked at a specific spectrum of red light for just 3 minutes a day. All subjects had an improvement in color perception, with people over 40 showing the most improvement.
The study was small and there was no control group. More study is needed to ensure this treatment works and is safe, and even then treatment should be under a doctor’s care. The promising news is that red lights have been shown to be safe in other studies.
Mitochondria is involved in other disease, such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, so it’s even possible red light therapies may help these and other conditions.
Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.
Admittedly, part of my reason for wanting to lose weight is vanity. More importantly, the other part is for my health.
My body does not bounce back as easily as it once did (even though there’s more to bounce).
I’d like to blame it on genetics but since neither of my parents was overweight I know it’s my lifestyle choices. Here’s my take and confession (in red) on this article about “Six of the top lifestyle habits to focus on”.
“Fat in the mid-section is metabolically active and we gain more of it as we age. That’s not a good thing. As opposed to the fat we gain in our thighs and rear, abdominal fat can lead to several chronic conditions.” (Totally agree!)
“A 2014 study found that the type of fat we consume might make all the difference. Participants in the study were asked to eat 750 extra calories every day for seven weeks. Those having excess calories from saturated fats had activated cells that promoted fat storage in the belly and increased insulin resistance. However, individuals who had had a high consumption of polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish, nuts and seeds, gained less abdominal fat and were more likely to increase muscle mass instead.”
“Multiple studies have demonstrated this connection between saturated fat intake and belly fat, especially when it is coupled with reduced levels of estrogen.”
(My problem is not cutting out saturated fats – it’s eating too many nuts and seeds. I love the crunch and crunching food expends calories)
“Jump off the treadmill, if want to lose weight. If you change nothing about your exercise routine now, it’s almost a guarantee you will find the pounds creeping up. This all boils down to a loss of muscle mass — a condition called sarcopenia that begins at 40.”
“In fact, up to 40 percent of muscle mass is lost between the ages of 40 and 80. (Ay yi iiii I only have a short time before ALL my muscles are gone) This alone is the kiss of death to metabolism. Muscle weighs more than fat making it a metabolically superior calorie burner.”
“. . . attempts to lose weight on low-calorie diets can lead to even more lost muscle. Studies have found that regular resistance or strength training may be a better alternative than your daily runs to preserve and gain muscle — even when coupled with a low-calorie diet. Aerobic exercise is still important, just don’t make it your only form of activity.”
“A study from the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that healthy behaviors, like eating fruits and vegetables daily, significantly improved the odds of successful aging. Plants provide a protective measure against oxidative stress and free radical formation — two things that go hand-in-hand and increase with age.”
“Oxidative stress occurs when the balance between free radicals in the body and our ability to fight against is uneven, with free radicals prevailing. Free radicals can cause disease and there is an association with an increased risk of formation of free radicals as we age. That’s why after a certain age, building up our defenses (through having lots of antioxidants in plants) can help reduce this imbalance and stack the cards in our defense system instead.”
(Many studies focus on the inflammatory process being involved in many chronic conditions, including the fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue and Hashimoto’s diseases I have. I struggle with eating more vegetables and THAT I blame on my father who rarely ate vegetables . . . but lived to 93 . . . )
“The more years we live, the higher our risk of developing a disease, especially heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. All of these conditions are tied, in some way, to inflammation. A 2017 study from Georgetown showed that mindfulness meditation had a significant impact on reducing stress hormones and inflammatory proteins and a 2014 study found that just 25 minutes of meditation a day could alleviate stress levels.”
If you don’t have 25 minutes to spare each day, a 5-minute meditation helps. Or 1-minute meditations can calm your mind. It’s that easy.
“Even individuals with relatively healthy diets can be deficient in magnesium. Adequate magnesium is important to protect our bones. In addition to promoting bone health, magnesium plays a role in protecting our brain, heart and nervous system. It’s also associated with keeping energy levels up and bathroom habits regular.”
Women between ages 31-50 need 320 milligrams daily, according to the National Institutes of Health. Magnesium-rich foods include:
The American Heart Association found that heavy drinking in middle age — defined as more than two drinks daily — increased the risk of heart attack and stroke (and breast cancer) more than traditional risk factors such as diabetes and heart disease.
Here’s the article: How to Lose Weight After 40
A picture book for children for the reduced price of only $6.99!
To read Maui’s story click here
Many, many, many years ago, at a business lunch, I defended the pig as being a very intelligent animal. I pointed out that pigs were one of the few animals that would drink alcohol willingly. You have to remember I was young and so was my view of intelligence.
My colleagues found it humorous. In the ensuing year they inundated me by pigs of all sizes, shapes and incarnations: Stuffed pigs, pig pens, pig posters, marizapan pigs, ceramic pigs, wooden pigs, pig calendars, pig stationery. Drowning in all things pig, I vowed never again to defend a sow in public and hence forth I would make it a point to talk about expensive crystal or gemstones.
I’ve always been fascinated by the brain and applied a lot of what I read about neuroscience when I treated psychiatric patients. I recognized that Maui was using brain plasticity to help him recover. But I was writing his story with my then 5 year old granddaughter in mind. So I didn’t put in the neuroscience. But Maui’s story seemed a perfect introduction to perseverance, hope and healing.
“As a behavioral pediatrician, I see many children with a variety of difficulties. It can be hard to persist when you are having a bad day. However, I think the story of Maui and the will to continue to try, not give up on what he truly enjoys can be a wonderful conversation starter for children facing adversity. I will recommend this book to my families in clinic.” Nerissa Bauer, M.D., Behavioral pediatrician, Consultant, Blogger, Carmel, Indiana
Clancy Tucker writes young adult fiction for reluctant readers but has also achieved success as a poet and photographer. Clancy has lived in four countries, speaks three languages, has photography accepted and published in books in the USA (Innocent Dreams, Endless Journeys & A Trip Down Memory Lane), used as covers for magazines (‘The Australian Writer’ – 2008 & ‘Victorian Writer – 2008), has work registered with the International Library of Photography, published in literary magazines and he’s written more than 90 short stories.
At Risk Youth
Special Needs Children
“Viktor & Rolf subvert the traditional catwalk by showcasing this collection in a special haute couture presentation. The film is directed by Marijke Aerden, narrated by MIKA and shot on location in the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam. The ‘Change’ animation is realised by Studio Maan Bijster. Concept and text by Viktor & Rolf.”
My name is Alexander Hamilton.
And there’s a million things I haven’t done.
But just you wait, just you, wait.”
“I’m a general, whee”
Charles Lee served as a general in the Continental army during the American Revolutionary War
Philip and Eliza with piano
Eliza was Hamilton’s wife. Philip, his son, was killed in a duel (before Hamilton was).
Spinning piece on stage
Stage with lift in back to raise actors
“Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot”
I was blessed in my first forty plus years with relatively good health. In 1995 that changed for me with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue. I admit it’s been a struggle trying to ignore, over-ride or giving in to the daily fatigue, pain and various other “irritants”. The older I get the harder it’s been.
In public I look fine and only those who intimately know me would know if I were feeling exhausted, in pain or depressed. When I’m feeling particularly bad no one knows as I shelter in place – stay home and lick my wounds. Any contact, even a phone call, can feel overwhelming. Weirdly, having to isolate at home during the pandemic has been a relief.
CURIOUStotheMAX blog has been my in-home companion: A way to connect to the world and my incredibly understanding friends while expending minimal energy; posts that remind me to eat better, be grateful, and most of all Peggy and her delightful drawings that make me smile.
My Baha’i faith, above all, is what sustain me. Even on my worst days my question is never “Why me?”. I ask God for guidance, the wisdom to understand that guidance and the where-with-all to carry it out . . . one day at a time . . . sometimes one hour at a time.
Levels of epicatechin tend to be much lower in milk chocolate, which contains little cocoa, and white chocolate contains little or none of the nutrient. (Fine by me, since I do NOT consider any white food to be chocolate.)
“Epicatechin is known to prompt cells that line blood vessels to release extra nitric oxide, a substance that has multiple effects in the body. Nitric oxide slightly increases vasodilation, or a widening of the veins and arteries, improving blood flow and cardiac function. It also gooses muscle cells to take in more blood sugar, providing them with more energy, and it enhances the passage of oxygen into cells.”
Read the entire article and click here:Chocolate Really can boost your workout.
Judy Formato collects people – from bus rides, parties, meetings and invites them to her “POP” gatherings – Painting on the Patio. A few years ago I met her collection of very talented and welcoming women who have been meeting for many years to paint, chat and share resources.
I experimented with my newly purchased pastels to color two of my quickie life drawing sketches.
The afternoons were topped off with wine and snacks. Judy served a verrrrry tasty egg plant dip that had zing from some delicious pepper sauce imported by the family fine Italian food company Formato Brothers.
Here are my “befores” and “afters”:
The cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner in 2002, was among the first to propose that attention is a limited cognitive resource and that some cognitive processes require more attention than others. This is particularly the case for activities that require conscious control, like reading or writing.
These activities use working memory, which is limited. The brain circuits for working memory are in the prefrontal cortex.
Researchers have thought that the emotions being processed in the amygdala do not affect the attention resources of working memory. But new evidence indicates the circuits that connect the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex are important in determining what is relevant and what is not for whatever activity is currently being undertaken.
For tasks that need a lot of cognitive resources, there is more interference. The more someone needs to concentrate, the more easily they are distracted. Research by Michael Eysenck supports this idea. He and his colleagues showed that people who are anxious prefer to focus on the perceived threat, rather than the task they are performing. This can include internal thoughts or external images. This is also true of worry. Both anxiety and worry use up attention and cognitive resources that are needed for working memory. This decreases performance, especially if a task is complicated.
Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and diplomat (1904–1973)
“Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”
— From his 2017 memoir, “Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America”
“You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone — any person or any force — dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant.”
— From his 2017 memoir, “Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America”
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
— A tweet from June 2018
“My dear friends: Your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.”
— A 2012 speech in Charlotte, North Carolina
“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”
Nearly four months into a strict no-visitor rule due to the coronavirus, an assisted living community in North Carolina tapped into the power of social media to get its residents connected with people from all over the world.
After reading this CNN report we thought it would interest some of our readers to take out a pen and address a card to brighten up someone’s life. Isolation isn’t impacting only those at senior homes but many people around the world as the pandemic continues to change the way we are able to connect with each other.
“It has been mentally straining on them not to see family members and loved ones,” Meredith Seals, the chief operating officer of Victorian Senior Care, told CNN on Wednesday. “When you are used to having family there every day and then you can’t, it’s very lonely for them.”
“They are overcome with joy when they see the mail,” Seals said. “It’s good to bring people together as much as we can.”
Since this program started last week, mail and packages for residents have been received from all over the world including Germany, countries in Africa and New Zealand.
“We posted a world map in each facility and they are tracking where they are getting letters from,” she said.
She added that the residents are enjoying getting photos of pets and people. They are working to get a pen pal board added to each facility so residents can hang up pictures they get.”
Here’s some samples:
Here’s the not-so-good news:
A few weeks ago I had a HUGE seizure. I’ve had several mini-seizures since. Scared my humans a LOT so they’re being extra nice to me. My new veterinarian is giving me phenobarbital to hopefully control the seizures. All your prayers are licking good.
My humans are not allowing me to eat carbohydrates – the vet said that was a good idea – and my treats are deeeeeelectible: chicken, egg, cheese, pure beef patty bites. Much tastier than the packaged treats, if I do say so myself.
by Freddie Parker Westerfield
*”The researchers, Benjamin Chapman at the University of Rochester and Lewis Goldberg at the Oregon Research Institute, profiled nearly 800 people in Oregon, USA, most of whom were white, and their average age was 51. The personality test asked participants to rate how accurately 100 different trait adjectives described their personalities, including words such as bashful, kind, neat, relaxed, moody, bright and artistic. The researchers then compared these personality test scores with the same participants’ answers, recorded four years later, to how often they had performed 400 different activities over the last year, from reading a book to singing in the shower.”
Here’s the entire article: Everyday Habits that Reveal our Personalities
Did you know sleep isn’t for your body? Sleep is for your brain. When completely deprived of sleep, for only a few days, research shows that at best our immune system is depressed, we have trouble concentrating or processing information and at worst become paranoid and schizophrenic.
Maui, my cat, was a superb sleeper. No matter where I went in the house I found him stretched out. Whatever magically found its way to the floor (I certainly never put it there) I’d find him asleep on it – pillows, magazines, empty boxes, dirty clothes . . . new clothes. A particular comfy spot was in the middle of a pathway at the top or bottom of the stairs.