Gathering the straws of life together

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Kale and vitamin K

Kale and vitamin K

Could kale be the new wonder veggie? It is something we have in our fridge, almost every week. I was buying it at the markets a few weeks ago and as I stood in the line waiting to pay for our fruit and veggies a […]

Thyme in the garden

Thyme in the garden

Our thyme in our garden is doing very well. It is also a good “time” of the year to get out into the garden and do some of those gardening jobs before the weather gets too hot.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I […]

What’s up with the English language

What’s up with the English language

For regular blog followers you may have noticed I have not been blogging lately! Life has been busy and there has been no time for a regular blog. Now I am busy getting ready for Christmas.  I am decorating our tree today and other household chores. Earlier this morning I completed my lady-in-waiting duties for the “Princess Chickens” Carmella and Lucy. They love living at our place and we love living with chickens. Bread is baking and the kitchen is tidy – a good start to the day.

A picture speaks without words

I received the following information from family yesterday. It reminded me how quirky the English language. Secondly, explaining the English language to a person, when this is not their native language, can be difficult. This is before we even get to Aussie Slang!  To start with you can ruminate on points 1-20. If you want more just click on the link to the Huffington Post below.

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Around 375 million people speak English. That’s a lot of us getting confused, from time to time, with the English language.

Click here on the HUFFPOST article by Paul Anthony Jones if you want to read more about the incongruity of the English language.

Manus Island – the Simple Life

Manus Island – the Simple Life

What type of life are the 600 men living on Manus Island experiencing? From all the news I hear, not a good life, but a life of fear and deprivation. They may be living a simple life, when they get the basics to live, but […]

Chicken Jail

Chicken Jail

The broody chicken Carmella has been in chicken jail for 48 hours. I tried a number of methods to stop her broody behaviour e.g. take her out of the nesting box and give her a treat after placing her in the run, cold packs under […]

Tickety Boo Meaning

Tickety Boo Meaning

Are you familiar with the words “tickety boo”? It is not a common term these days but every now and again it will surface. In fact, I heard it yesterday! I became familiar with “tickety boo” when I was a child. In the 1958 movie starring Danny Kaye he sings the song titled “Everything is tickety-boo”.

What does tickety boo mean? It means that everything is going along smoothly. Yes, things are just fine and dandy. When things are “tickety boo” then you really need to sing about it. Life has its up and downs and when we are down – we do not feel like singing.

It has been proven though that singing is good for us so when I am feeling down, on the odd occasion, I will sing my way into a “dreamy, peaches and cream” day. This is the type of day that Danny Kaye had. I am not sure what a dreamy, peaches and cream day is like, but it is much better than feeling down in the dumps.

Singing and feeling good!

I don’t have to sing “tickety boo” to enhance my mood, any song will do. When we sing we release endorphins and it just makes us feel good. Another hormone that is released during singing is oxytocin which relieves anxiety and stress – much better for our health than a “happy pill” from the pharmacy.

We all know how children love to sing. Along with it they enjoy dancing and clapping their hands. Similarly, when we get older we should not stop singing, dancing or clapping our hands. What is it that when we get older, we lose the capacity to enjoy the simple things of life? Singing improves our brain function, improves our quality of life, increases out social support (such as joining a choir) and networking – and it takes us into a more positive space, whatever our age! I must sing more – but maybe not “tickety boo”.

Urban farming

Urban farming

For these past few days I feel like I am a farmer in Tasmania. It is wet and windy and my pink gum boots go with me every time I step out of the house. There is something about putting on those boots that gives […]

Older and waiting

Older and waiting

We all must wait, but when you are older and waiting there is another story! When you are older, waiting can be more difficult. The longer you sit, the harder it is to get up. Of course, I am not talking about myself, I am […]

A no brainer – keeping our brain young

A no brainer – keeping our brain young

A no brainer is something that requires little effort. When we are young little effort usually goes into thinking about keeping our brain young! As our body ages though other organs, including our brain grow old. The brain is a very important organ, so much so that it is protected by our skull. The brain needs to keep functioning in tip-top shape as it runs our body and controls everything we do, even when asleep.

While I said it is a no brainer to keep our brain young it does take some brain power and effort to look after ourselves. If we look after our brain, our brain will look after us. Looking after our brain does not help if we are couch potatoes, lying around and expecting our body to work. I am referring to those who are able-bodied. But what about those who are in a wheelchair and do a lot of sitting around? It is a different story altogether!

One person with an amazing life story who is not as able-bodied as others is Kurt Fearnley. He is my favourite Australian wheel-chair athlete and a three-time Paralympic Gold Medallist. Kurt is not just an athlete who gets around in or out of a wheelchair, he is a powerhouse of energy, motivation and inspiration. Even though he was born without the lower part of his spine this has not held him back in life. He gets plenty of physical exercise, mental stimulation and to live the way he does he would have to have a healthy diet. These are three ways we can keep our brain young as we age – physical exercise, mental stimulation and a healthy diet.

Mental stimulation keeps the synapses in our brain working and connected. Mental stimulation can include reading, researching a topic, doing crosswords or puzzles, or learning something new. When I was younger I would laugh when explaining my exercise routine to friends. My main form of exercise was mental gymnastics. It all happened in my brain – no regular physical exercise for me! But times change and I have grown older and I need to exercise. I must keep my body healthy and I need regular physical exercise.

Getting physical can help our brains be more efficient and adaptive. Exercise lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels and is good for our cardiovascular functioning. Also, it just makes you feel good. Even my chickens love getting out of their coop and exercising. Hanging greens such as kale or spinach on a piece of string keeps chickens amused and moving. Just like me I am happier when I am amused and moving, except when I am cleaning the house – just finished that task an hour ago!

Physical exercise keeps the brain young

Keeping our brain young helps if we are not overweight. Keeping our weight under control helps improve blood pressure. I have experimented with exercise to control my blood pressure. I find that good diet and exercise makes a difference.

There are medicines that we can take to control our blood pressure, cholesterol and help us sleep. But how much better if we can take the necessary steps and keep these all under control without having to step inside a pharmacy.

There are other ways to keep our brains young and healthy and tobacco is off the menu! Younger people who are fit and healthy and smoke cigarettes don’t think too much about the future. There is not too much thought about ageing. If they continue to smoke into old age it will take longer for the body to bounce back to good health. Good health and smoking tobacco don’t go hand in hand.

Similarly, too much alcohol is not good for us. Alcohol can damage the brain and too many drinks over the years can cause alcohol dementia. Next time I lift that wine glass to my lips I will have to think about this! A little wine is good for us and there are studies which show that low-dose alcohol may reduce the risk of dementia in older people. Excessive consumption of alcohol may cause cognitive decline and dementia. Note, the research says “may” and more evidence is required. Nonetheless, to keep on the safe side it is probably wise to have a few days a week alcohol free so the brain can take a rest and recover!

Another way to keep our brain young is to by having a good night’s sleep. Exercise helps us sleep better and this is something I have found to work. Working on the computer, like I did the other night for hours before bed did not give me a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep robs our energy and can affect our immune system. Preparation for sleep can help. Preparation can include, allowing a few hours between eating and bedtime, no caffeine, no screen time and no bright lights in the last hour before going to bed. Lowering the lights gets the chemical melatonin in our system flowing and prepares us for sleep. We begin to feel drowsy and this is the perfect time to toddle off to bed! What about you? Do you have a bedtime wind-down routine?

I want to keep my brain young so I am on a quest to make sure I take steps to do this. My mental stimulation is at work writing this blog. I read all types of interesting articles when researching different topics. Not only does it add to my knowledge but it is healthy for my brain. A step in the right direction to reduce my risk of memory loss. Time to do some shopping. Now, where did I put those car keys!

The Human Life Cycle

The Human Life Cycle

When I was younger I did not think much about the human life cycle. I had so many years ahead of me that I thought life would just go on. As I age, though I feel young at heart, the years are adding up and […]


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