Monday, December 12, 2011

The Moth & The Crow

Jan and I were in Seattle just before Halloween for conferences. We stayed downtown in a nice hotel and were able to do some exploring whenever we had a free moment or two. We went in a few shops, stopped at a couple pubs and even an art supply store. One afternoon we decided to walk a little north before heading west down the hill to the waterfront. As we stood on a corner waiting for the light to change I noticed a moth flitting about just above us. It proceeded to land on the shoulder of my jacket. Jan tried to brush it off but I stopped her because I wanted to see how long it would stay there. These kinds of moments, especially in a big city, keep me connected to nature. I was strangely comforted. About the same time I noticed a crow that had landed on a street sign not far away. The Corvids are my constant companions and my anchors to Mother Earth. However, I wondered if the appearance of the crow was more than a coincidence. It didn't take long to find out. The light changed and we began to cross the street. The moth lifted off my shoulder and rose in the warm autumn air only to be snatched by the crow just over our heads. The mini nature show was over.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

""Parents of infants and toddlers should limit the time their children spend in front of televisions, computers, self-described educational games and even grown-up shows playing in the background, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned on Tuesday. Video screen time provides no educational benefits for children under age 2 and leaves less room for activities that do, like interacting with other people and playing, the group said.

The recommendation, announced at the group’s annual convention in Boston, is less stringent than its first such warning, in 1999, which called on parents of young children to all but ban television watching for children under 2 and to fill out a “media history” for doctor’s office visits. But it also makes clear that there is no such thing as an educational program for such young children, and that leaving the TV on as background noise, as many households do, distracts both children and adults.

” The recommendations are an attempt to be more realistic, given that, between TVs, computers, iPads and smartphones, households may have 10 or more screens.

Still, recent research makes it clear that young children learn a lot more efficiently from real interactions — with people and things — than from situations appearing on video screens. “We know that some learning can take place from media” for school-age children, said Georgene Troseth, a psychologist at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, “but it’s a lot lower, and it takes a lot longer.”

The new report strongly warns parents against putting a TV in a very young child’s room and advises them to be mindful of how much their own use of media is distracting from playtime. In some surveys between 40 and 60 percent of households report having a TV on for much of the day — which distracts both children and adults, research suggests.

“What we know from recent research on language development is that the more language that comes in — from real people — the more language the child understands and produces later on,” said Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University.

“We believe that parents should be actively involved in determining the media diets of their children,” he said. ""

This was taken from an article posted on yahoo today. I personally think children's minds should be stimulated by direct, hands-on activities until at least 3.5 to 4 years old. Anyone who has studied childhood development will realize how supremely important this is for the brain and nervous system of a young child. You stunt normal development if you fill those hours with passive input that the child is unable to process or understand. Limiting the exposure later in childhood is important as well. I wonder if anyone has done a longitudinal study of school performance in teenagers who have a TV in their room compared to those who do not?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Recently Found Quote

"The journey toward health and sanity is nothing less than an invitation to wake up to the fullness of our lives as if they actually mattered..." -Jon Kabat-Zinn

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Guess What We Did Tonight...

Mullets, T-Ball, vacations and friends/family, some now gone. Anali giving me the evil eye. Mallory preciously goofy at 8 years old. Yep, watching old family videos! Many shots with the video pointed at the ground filming when you thought it was off. Boy,I need to get some more of those 8mm tapes converted to dvds soon.

I miss my 8 and 10 year old little girls but it is great that they turned into such wonderful women who happen to be our two best friends!

I miss you Mom, Uncle Norman, Great Aunt Elsie and Ann O'Grady!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Most of us build up barriers to exercising or just getting out and doing things. Fear of the unknown is a big one. It is so much more comfortable to be in your home/apartment/cave.

My personal battle with barriers are multi-dimensional. While walking this morning I realized how I kept myself from walking much when my back was bothering me and not realizing at the time that it would have helped my back to walk more. How stupid is that for a physical therapist?!? The walk I took this morning was only about 2.5 miles but 6-7 years ago was not in my mental picture of what my back would allow me to do. The past month I walked 9 or 10 miles on a rail trail in the center of Washington State. Yes, I still have a bit of a problem and I know my current real limitations but that doesn't mean that I can't improve some more with regular exercise, weight loss and strengthening.

Yesterday's barrier was more of a mystery to me. I was feeling down for many reasons and I just moped around feeling sorry for myself. At dusk I finally went outside and walked just a quarter of a mile and it made a difference. It literally cleared my head and I then became motivated to do SOMETHING. That included dinner with my wife, viewing various art venues downtown and coming home and working on my drawing skills. It was weird like a switch being flipped and the 'real' me was back, enjoying life!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day

The year has dawned as the old one ended; cold and clear. A perfect day to get out the camera and snow-shoes. I strapped my trusty blue and silver supports over my insulated boots. I then headed east through the small meadows and stands of Ponderosa Pines to the edge of the basaltic cliff rimming the Latah Creek drainage. Then lazily southward and up to the ‘viewpoint’ a few blocks from home, stopping occasionally to snap a picture of snow shadows and tree silhouettes. The most striking visual on this very cold, still day is the cascade of brilliant crystals of snow and ice that tumble silently from the pine needles and apparently from the moisture in the atmosphere itself. I surmised this from the fact that I saw the same event from an empty wheat field this morning while cross-country skiing. There was nary a tree or power line for over 500 yards in any direction. Tumbling gracefully, these ethereal and ephemeral glints of gossamer ice make you think of stories of the snow fairies of northern mythologies. It is certainly easy to understand the cultural need to explain such unabashed beauty.