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Posts Tagged ‘aging’

August 28, 2015 Edition Playfully, I stick a hair curler in my granddaughter’s hair. Charlotte innocently strikes a quick girly-girl pose for me and then pulls the curler out of her hair and goes about her busy job of playing. Watching her play, I marvel at the curiosity that babies have and at the wonder and excitement that they exude over the simplest of things. This observation makes me ponder, “What happens to these qualities as we age?”

#1 – Just One Question
“If you could change one thing about your body what would it be?” Responses to that question were captured in this short video and they reveal how many of us become more self-conscious as we age. If you were asked this question, what would your answer be?

#2 – Never Too Old for Blocks
Life-Size Legos: EverBlocks Building System When my children were young, they would spend endless hours playing with Lego building blocks. Piles of these small blocks would be strewn all over the floor and my children would create imaginative worlds of their own. Now, thanks to Arnon Rosan, adults can still “play” with interlocking blocks. EverBlocks, life-size blocks similar to Legos, can be used to build furniture, room dividers, modular buildings, and even emergency shelters. These blocks prove that you are never too old to play with blocks and, like when you were a child, you are only limited by your imagination.

#3 – Too Close
Extreme Close-Ups No matter how often I vacuum my carpet, Charlotte always finds a tiny particle of debris on it. Babies have keen eyes, but not as keen as artist Pyanek’s camera lens. For his project Amazing Worlds Within Our World, he photographed everyday items extremely close-up. You’ll never look at a sponge the same way again.

#4 – Ukes of Great Btitain
Every night, before Charlotte’s parents pick her up, my husband plays the ukulele and we have a little sing-a-long with her. She laughs, dances, and “sings” to her favorite songs. There’s no doubt about it, the ukulele is a fun and happy-sounding instrument. Enjoy this humorous rendition of the Theme from Shaft, as performed by the talented Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

#5 – Respect the Child
“We not only need to have a deep respect for children; but also a deep respect for the child in everyone.”
C. JoyBell C.

Now go and spread joy!

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July 24, 2015 Edition “Stop right there! Don’t take another step!” I called out to my dad. He stopped suddenly, looked around for signs of potential danger, and then looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “Why?” he replied impatiently. During a walk to the beach with my family, I noticed words etched into the sidewalk. As I read the words, I saw that my dad was on the verge of stepping on them. The moment was too perfect; I had to interrupt his stride. At his feet, scrawled in the concrete, were the words, “WE LOVE YOU GRAMPA.” Surrounded by his family for the weekend to celebrate his birthday, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to capture our love for him more “concretely.”

#1 – Ageless Graffiti
Senior Citizens Learn to Graffiti According to Merriam-Webster, “writing or drawing made on a public structure without permission” is graffiti. That means the etchings in the sidewalk could be considered graffiti. Is graffiti always a bad thing? That’s not so, in sections of Portugal. In an attempt to “banish ageist stereotypes through the art of graffiti,” an urban art workshop called Lata 65 brings together senior citizens and well-known street artists. Read the article and take a look at some of the artwork that comes out of this unique creative workshop by clicking here.

#2 – The Power of One
Great Invention: Shoes That Expand Imagine buying shoes for your children that grow with your children’s feet and last for years. Kenton Lee, “a normal guy with an idea,” designed a sandal-like shoe that does exactly that. His invention The Shoe That Grows can grow 5 shoe sizes and last at least 5 years. These leather and compressed rubber shoes protect the feet of children in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Columbia, Vietnam, and Laos and prevent the children from having to go barefoot. One person with one idea is helping children around the world.

#3 – The Hubbub About BookBub
BookBub: Free EBooks BookBub is a daily email service that finds free or discounted ebooks for its subscribers. It provides readers with opportunities to sample new authors and discover new books. Since readers can specify genres of books they are interested in, BookBub sends out emails with titles matched to readers’ preferences.

#4 – You Have Today
Interview with Tom Rath Don’t dwell on the events of yesterday and don’t fantasize about tomorrow; today and the present moment need your attention. Susan Cain shares her interview with author, researcher, and speaker Tom Rath on her blog Quiet Revolution. Mr. Rath’s philosophy of life resonates with me. Click on the link above to read the entire interview. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from it:

The broader learning for me, after battling cancer for a couple of decades, is: you have to do something today that will continue to grow after you’re gone. I may have a more constant threat to my mortality than the average person, but in reality the only thing any of us can count on with extreme certainty is that we have today to do what matters most.

#5 – A Bit of Perspective
“My granddaughter came to spend a few weeks with me, and I decided to teach her to sew. After I had gone through a lengthy explanation of how to thread the machine, she stepped back, put her hands on her hips, and said in disbelief, “You mean you can do all that, but you can’t play my Game Boy?”
Author Unknown

Now go and spread joy!

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Shape the Hive Two is better than one, three is better than two, four is better than three, and so on. Being a part of something larger and grander, lends us support and strength and gives us a better perspective. No matter what each of us is experiencing, good or bad, life is just better when shared with others.

#1 – Shape The Hive
Shape The Hive Be part of a creative community and help SHAPE THE HIVE, a digital interactive art piece. The website states: “SHAPE THE HIVE, at its foundation, is a creative community. Members contribute pieces that, when combined with others, will form a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.” Participants create and add images to cells using their own photographs. The built in software allows participants to manipulate their images to give their cells different kaleidoscopic effects. This is so easy and fun to do!

#2 – Makes Me Think
A while back I posted a link to a site called Makes Me Think: Today’s Thought-Provoking Life Stories. People submit entries about occurrences and observations that made them think (MMT). Recently, I came across this site again and I remembered to bookmark it on my computer this time. Reading the entries always engulfs me in an array of emotions and often times renews my faith in my fellow man. Here is a sampling:

Today, I went for a run and decided to go thru my town’s cemetery. While I was looking around, I came across an older women in a lawn chair reading a book next to a grave. I began talking to her, assuming she’d lost her husband recently, but it turns out she has done this every week for the past five years. Her love and devotion MMT.

Today, I am 16-years-old. I learned CPR yesterday in health class. I had no idea I would have to perform CPR on someone this afternoon. And when the paramedics arrived, they told me I undoubtedly saved my mom’s life. MMT

Today, instead of calling the cops on the homeless man that was caught stealing canned soup from the grocery store where I work, the store manager bought the homeless man an entire case of the canned soup he was stealing and told the man he’d prefer never to catch him stealing again. MMT

#3 – A Word To The Wise
Dishwasher Fires We’ve all heard about clothes dryer fires, but how many of us have heard about dishwasher fires? I normally don’t write about these types of things, but a friend recently shared her dishwasher fire experience with me and I think it is information well worth sharing. The interior of her home is being completely gutted, because of the extensive fire, water, heat, smoke, and soot damage. In her words,” . . . the common culprit appears to be an electrical defect in the control panel that was used by many manufacturers in the late 90s up through 2005-2009. Many, many models by many manufacturers are under recall – but nobody knows! Like many people, I did not register my appliances because I didn’t want to be flooded with junk mail/e-mail. Most manufacturers have a place on their website where you can check which serial numbers are under recall. Encourage people to do it – and to register appliances. Also, do not run the dishwasher when leaving the house or going to bed.”

Here are a few links I found regarding dishwasher fires:
KitchenAidFire.com
General Electric Recalls 1.3 Million Dishwashers for Fire Hazzard
Maytag Recalls Dishwashers Due to Fire Hazzard
ABC Action News “Dishwasher Dangers”

#4 – When The Mind Says Goodbye
After listening to my friends tell me their stories of dealing with parents who have Alzheimer’s Disease and after watching this video, my eyes were opened to this sad and cruel disease.

#5 – Counting Hours
“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”
~Anonymous

Show someone you care this weekend and your weekend will become infinitely better!

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photo of cockapoo

Romeo by Linnell Chang

“Romeo may be old, but he still has a big dog mentality,” I mused as I watched my 14-year-old cockapoo struggle up the stairs with a large rawhide chew in his mouth. At the top of the stairs, a pile of small chews reflects his dissatisfaction with treats meant for his size. Yesterday, on a whim, I gave Romeo a large chew left behind by my son’s black lab puppy. From the look in Romeo’s eyes, I could tell he was thinking, “Now this is more like it, Mom!” As he drags the large chew from room to room, he’s living proof that size is all in our heads.

#1 – Rules for Being Human
photo of person lean against tree Many misconceptions or beliefs fill our heads and convince us of what we are or what we are not. We are often guilty of perpetuating inaccurate self-perceptions; it’s incumbent on us to combat this form of negative mind control. Since my teen years, I’ve kept a collection of philosophical thoughts, motivational writings, and inspirational quotes to help me channel my thoughts and to empower me. Some passages from Marc and Angel Hack Life have earned their way into my collection. Here’s an example of some of their introspective reflections, “12 Rules for Being a Human Being.”

#2 – Help For Hands
foam sleeve on glass for arthritic hands Watching my father-in-law try to grip his glass of juice with his gnarly arthritic fingers, I thought to myself, “There’s got to be something out there that can help him.” While driving home from my visit with him, an idea popped into my head: why not slip one of those foam fruit protector sleeves over the glass? It will provide him with a softer and more malleable surface to grip onto and will help prevent the glass from slipping through his not-so-dexterous fingers. If you try this idea, make sure you use a glass with the proper diameter, so that the foam sleeve is snug and cannot slip off.

#3 – Bubble Therapy
In need of a little child-like oooing and aaahing to lift your spirits? Take a minute and enjoy the wonder of giant bubbles being blown on the beach and carried away by the wind.

#4 – Calcium Supplements Bad for Men?
graphic of pill bottle I wrote a post a while back about the push-pull of advice I was getting from my doctors. One doctor was adamant about my taking calcium supplements for my bones and another doctor advised me not to take calcium supplements because they irritate the heart. Obviously the heart trumps the bones, so I don’t take calcium supplements anymore, but I try to eat a diet that is high in calcium. Knowing that, I wasn’t surprised to read about the controversy over calcium supplements in USA TODAY’s article, “Calcium Supplements May Be Bad for a Man’s Heart.” The article also includes the recommended calcium amounts by age. Please consult with your doctor if you have questions regarding calcium supplements.

#5 – Cherish The Good Times
“Life rolls by in fits and starts, weeks, days, years and months, moments good and bad. You can’t help noticing bad times; they have ways of getting your attention. It’s the good times that are easy to miss, hard to recognize until they are gone. You have to slow down and watch closely for them. And when you see one coming your way, reach out and grab it. Clutch it to your heart. Stand in awe of your good fortune, and be thankful. And before you let it go, lift it up for your children, point it out like a shooting star and let it shine. Make sure they see it. Remind them, lest they forget, that they are loved and life is good.”
Sharon Randall

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Chinese New Year!

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Pasadena, CA

Photo by Linnell Chang

Like clockwork, my hip started to ache as soon as the weather grew colder. The saying goes, “You’re only as OLD as you feel.” Or is it, “You’re only as YOUNG as you feel”? Let me think about this: My hip hurts, so I feel old OR my hip hurts, so I don’t feel young. Really, I think the sayings are one and the same. However, if I disregard my cranky hip and listen to my mind instead, I am young. My mind is my fountain of youth – like the fountain I photographed one warm summer day, my mind “bubbles” with energy and activity.

#1 – New Life for Old Bottles
glass bottle Christmas Tree What to do with old bottles? The obvious answer is to find ways to reuse them! Check out this post Impressive DIY Ideas With Empty Bottles for more creative ways to reuse bottles.

#2 – It’s Okay
Orca Bookstore sign This sign from the Orca Bookstore in Olympia, Washington, gives you permission, as an adult, to read young adult books (YA). It’s not like you need anyone’s permission to read these books, you just need to get over the self-limiting-stigma you impose on yourself. Besides popular series such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, good books with great story lines exist in the young adult categories. If you’re too embarrassed to purchase a YA book in person, order one online. After reading the comments to the 22 Words post and taking notes on particular authors, my “Must Read!” list is now longer.

#3 – Under the Sea
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Moby Dick, The Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo reflect the interest of both the old and the young in sea creatures and the ocean. Oceanographer David Gallo said, “Today we’ve only explored about 3 percent of what’s out there in the ocean. Already we’ve found the world’s highest mountains, the world’s deepest valleys, underwater lakes, underwater waterfalls . . . . There’s still 97 percent, and either that 97 percent is empty or just full of surprises.” Watch this TED presentation and be prepared to be astonished at the amazing sea creatures captured on film.

#4 – Autumn Leaves
poplar leaves If the youthful side of you enjoys identifying familiar shapes in clouds, you might like New York Time’s illustrator and graphic designer Christoph Niemann’s Bio-Diversity collection of leaves.

#5 – As Young as You Feel
“You are as young as you feel. If you begin to feel the warmth of your soul, there will be a youthfulness in you that no one will be able to take away from you.”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Go ahead and feel young this weekend!

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Waiting in a doctor’s office for a yearly examination can give rise to poetic prowess! Here’s a poem I wrote today while waiting:

Ode to Growing Old

by Linnell Chang

 

I’m growing so old from my head to my toes,

No part is immune, that’s just how life goes.

 

I look in the mirror and see same old me,

Though most of my body’s changed ‘bove the knee.

 

A sleek stylish haircut provides youthful flair,

But, Sharpie pens need to touch up white hair.

 

My face has no pimples of an eighteen-year-old,

but my age is revealed through wrinkles and folds.

 

The light of my soul shines bright through my eyes,

But my sight’s changed, fonts need to resize.

 

A double chin makes a great safety hold,

For keeping those scarves under control.

 

My upper arms have a life of their own,

Reps of tricep curls . . . I wish I had known.

 

The darts on my dress are lower than before,

 ‘Cause “the girls” on my chest are nearer the floor.

 

The abdominal work at the gym that I go,

Does not make a difference to the belly I show.

 

Smooth shapely thighs are a thing of my past,

Discover a cure for cellulite – fast!

 

Can’t turn back the clock, even if I chose,

That’s my growing-old story, so I’ll close.

 

Despite moaning and groaning, I’ve come to learn,

That growing old is a gift, something one earns.

 

By living and loving, without any restraint,

I’m so glad I’m alive and that’s no complaint!

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The daunting task of “undecorating” my house lies ahead of me. Unlike decorating, “undecorating” is no fun. There is no thrill to wrapping things up and putting them away. But, if I don’t make haste and strip each room bare of its holiday cheer, a paralyzing-effect will come over me. It happens every year. In my head, the New Year is symbolically put on hold until the past year is tidily put away. No new projects can start until the last sparkle snowman is bid adieu for the season. So, without further delay, I’m pushing up my sleeves and singing this “Happy Working Song.” It seems to work in all the Disney movies!

Click to play Happy Working Song:

#1 – Time Is Nothing
A new year brings new dreams and new energy to pursue forever-dreams. Kien Lam is an example of someone who is pursuing his dreams. He says on his website, “I graduated with a business degree from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and worked in finance as a strategist for a few years before I parted ways with my company and started on a journey to live out my dream of traveling around the world.” As he traveled the world he took videos of what he saw and after careful editing created a beautiful five-minute movie called Time is Nothing//Around the World Time Lapse. Click on the first square on the left to start the movie.

#2 – Miniature Food
The idea of miniature food is probably appealing to those of you who are starting the New Year off on a diet, but the miniature food that artist Shay Aaron creates is not edible. Check out the tiny and intricate food made from Fimo clay. They are incredible inedibles!

#3 – Life’s Third Act
Here’s more food for thought. Watch this TED video in which Jane Fonda addresses the promise of life’s third act. The video description reads, “Within this generation, an extra 30 years have been added to our life expectancy — and these years aren’t just a footnote or a pathology. At TEDxWomen, Jane Fonda asks how we can think about this new phase of our lives.”


#4 – It’s Free!
If your pocketbook is suffering from the effects of holiday spending, you might want to check out these sites which link to offers for free things:

100+ Sites Offering Great Literature for Download

Surprisingly Things You Can Get For Free (Or Almost)

100 Best (Free) Science Documentaries Online

#5 – A New Start
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
Carl Bard

Enjoy your weekend!

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