Every Picture Tells a Story – What Story Does This Picture Tell?

If every picture tells a story, what story does this picture tell?

Lynn Kelley, Every Picture Tells a Story

Think fast. What flashes through your mind at first glance?

Those brick steps are really cool?

Her boots are to die for?

The guy’s got his eye on that girl?

A Matter of Perspective

Did you do a double-take? Got a nagging feeling something’s off kilter?

If so, you get a cookie for being perceptive.

So, what’s up that photo? There are clues.

Some of you have already figured it out.

Others, like me, who suck at puzzles, are still trying to piece it together.

A Few Hints

Focus on the bricks.

Now, check out that wall.

Look at her body language. Does she look comfortable?

What color is the sky?

(Okay, that was a BIG hint.)

Here’s another hint: GRAVITY

Hmm, what’s up with her hair? Bad hair day?

Or, bad hair moment?

Can’t defy GRAVITY, although more hair spray would have helped.

Do you love a good story with twists you didn’t see coming?

Kind of like that picture, in a way. It’s got a twist to it. A sideways twist.

Time for the BIG REVEAL (in case you’re still stuck).

If you have a laptop or cell, turn your screen. If not, tilt your head sideways.

The guy and the girl are on the sidewalk. What looks like brick steps are actually parts of a building that jut out. You can’t see the sky because that’s the street at the top of the photo.

Here’s what the scene actually looks like. This couple’s having engagement pictures taken near Union Station in Los Angeles.

The trick photo was the guy’s idea, and the photographer went along with it, just for fun.

IMG958623This is what the setting looks like in proper perspective.

For Pete’s sake, stop checkin’ out her boots. I love ’em, too, but I’m trying to make a point here!

Lynn Kelley, Every Picture Tells a Story

Same setting from another angle.


A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye.  ~Samuel Grafton

It isn’t that they can’t see the solution.  It is that they can’t see the problem.~G.K. Chesterton

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.  ~Henry Miller

What are your thoughts? Do you strive to notice extraordinary aspects in ordinary things? Turn things sideways, upside-down,or stand on your head to find a new perspective or add dimension?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Posted in Creativity, Lynn Kelley | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Dad Gets Locked Out – Parenting Plights & Delights

Have you ever been locked out? By your kid?

Mariam Taguchi shared one of her favorite parenting stories with me. She took her oldest daughters to her niece’s baby shower while her husband, Derek, stayed home to look after 23-month-old Noelle, who was too rambunctious to take along.

Frantic Phone Call

While Mariam was enjoying herself at the shower, she received a frantic call from hubby, who had run to the neighbor’s to use their phone. Derek had stepped out front for a moment. Noelle closed the door and locked him out.

Lynn Kelley, locked out, Parenting Plights & Delights

“She’s in the house crying and crying,” he told Mariam. “You have to come home NOW.”

Lynn Kelley, locked out, Parenting Plights & Delights

“Stay calm,” Mariam said, then told him where she hid the extra key.

Not What He Expected

By the time Derek got inside the house, he found a mess in the kitchen. Noelle had spilled water from the dog’s dish all over the floor, in addition to throwing dog food everywhere.

He then discovered his free-spirited toddler had taken off her clothes and was running through the halls, screaming with laughter, which Derek had mistaken for hysterical crying!

Lynn Kelley, locked out, Parenting Plights & Delights

What are your thoughts? Have you ever been locked out? Do you have a parenting or grandparenting memory or another story you’d like to share? 

If you’re not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too!

I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to receive future posts, fill in your email info in the “Subscribe” window in the sidebar under the welcome video.

Thank you for stopping by!

“Home” photo credit: Comfreak at Pixabay

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Posted in Humor, Kids, Lynn Kelley, Parenting Plights and Delights | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Large Study Shows Vitamin D Can Help Prevent the Flu

Lynn Kelley, Health and Wellness Wednesday

Note: It is recommended that you talk to your doctor before taking new supplements or medications or starting any new health program or treatment.

Lynn Kelley, Vitamin D study According to an article in Medical News Today by Tim Newman, “A large-scale meta-analysis using more than 10,000 participants concludes that vitamin D supplementation may help to prevent a major cause of global death – acute respiratory tract infections.”

Wow! I don’t know about you, but this is huge news to me that taking vitamin D supplements may help us avoid the flu.

Lynn Kelley, Vitamin D study

This study came out in February 2017 and I’m wondering why it hasn’t received more coverage.

Lynn Kelley, Vitamin D study

 

That same article also mentions: “Some researchers have concluded that vitamin D has the ability to trigger an immune response to certain viruses and bacteria.”

However, despite the large number of participants and thoroughness of the study, due to limitations, some researchers remain skeptical of the effect.

Here’s what the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy had to say about the study:

BANT welcomes the publication of the study by Martineau et al., which concluded that taking Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall. Patients who were very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses experienced the most benefit”.*

Lynn Kelley, Vitamin D study

I, too, welcome the information provided in the study. Influenza is bad enough when we get it ourselves, but worse when our children or grandchildren get it. Or an elderly family member.

It’s not only heartbreaking, but in many instances, life threatening.

Lynn Kelley, Vitamin D study

So, I’m getting the word out to all my friends, loved ones, and readers. I hope you’ll help me spread this valuable info.

Lynn Kelley, Vitamin D study

Based on the study, some doctors suggest healthy adults take 5,000 to 8,000 IU (international units) daily during flu season to prevent influenza.

The Vitamin D Council recommends that healthy adults take 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Their site also lists the lower doses recommended by the Endocrine Society, which recommends 1,500 to 2,000 IU a day for adults. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends 600 IU daily for adults, but 800 IU for seniors.

The Food and Nutrition Board’s doses are the U.S. government’s official recommendations.

Lynn Kelley, Vitamin D study

If you’re wondering why there are discrepancies in the recommendations from these various sources, The Vitamin D Council explains, “Some researchers believe that there isn’t enough evidence to support taking higher amounts of vitamin D yet. On the other hand, some researchers believe that research is proving, or will prove, that taking lower amounts isn’t enough.”

To learn more about Vitamin D, you can find a wealth of information on The Vitamin D Council’s website. It lists certain medical conditions and medications that you will need to take extra care and check with your doctor or a specialist before taking Vitamin D.

Next week, we’ll cover more on preventing the flu.

What are your thoughts? Had you heard about this study? Have you had the flu? What do you do to prevent it?

I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to receive future posts, fill in your email address in the “Subscribe” window under the welcome video in the sidebar.

Thanks for visiting!

*According to The Free Dictionary, a bolus dose is a quantity of fluid or medicine given intravenously at a controlled, rapid rate.

Sources:

The BMJ: Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data

BANT – British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy: Vitamin D – Not Just for Bones and Muscle.

Medical News Today article: New evidence that vitamin D prevents respiratory infections.

Images: Courtesy of Pixabay: kdbcms, geralt, gfhjkm123, mohamed_hassan, ElisaRiva

Note: It is recommended that you talk to your doctor before taking new supplements or medications or starting any new health program or treatment.

Lynn Kelley, Vitamin D study

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Posted in Health and Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Disastrous and Funny Hair Stories

Do you like funny hair stories? I sure do.

Lynn Kelley, funny hair stories

It seems almost everyone has a disastrous or funny hair story. I had an endless supply of ideas for scenes in Curse of the Double Digits, my humorous children’s book for kids ages 7 to 10.

A Few of My Favorite Funny Hair Stories

First up, Annie Howland, award-winning author of Hobo Annie Hits the Road : “I was camping with a group of friends up in Big Bear, and as we stood around in the woods listening to a campfire speaker, I leaned against a big ol’ pine tree. When I stepped away, my hair was stuck to the trunk!

Lynn Kelley, funny hair stories

Hobo Annie and her husband, Len

“Turns out the sticky icky sap had been dripping into my long locks the whole time! It was a gooey mess! Fortunately my McGyver hubby knew enough to coat the mess with MAYONAISE, which softened and removed it! Unfortunately, I smelled like a sandwich for the rest of the weekend!”

Smelled like a sandwich! You crack me up, Annie.

Here’s a funny hair story from Rhonda Hopkins: “When I was about 8, my aunt decided to trim my bangs. Not only were they nearly to the top of my scalp but they were cut at an angle. I cried and cried. Once my nieces were old enough to understand I’d tell them, “If Aunt Dell ever tries to cut your hair, run screaming and tell another adult.”

“One day, I heard this yelling and my oldest niece came running and jumped in my lap screaming that Aunt Dell was trying to cut her bangs. I thought I was going to bust a gut laughing so hard. Good thing my aunt has a sense of humor.”

Lynn Kelley, funny hair stories

Wow, I can sure relate to that story, Rhonda. Here’s a screen shot from a home movie of me at three years old. My mom used to cut our bangs really short. Maybe a tad uneven, too. Haha!

A Strange and Interesting Hair Story

My writer friend, Nancy O’Connor, shared the following story with me:

Lynn Kelley, funny hair stories

Nancy O’Conner with some of her books, part of the Flying Start collection, Okapi Educational Publishing.

“My nephew, Sean, came to visit one fall. I hadn’t seen him for a while, so I was a bit surprised to see his new hair style. Although he was a quiet and polite kid, he was very proud of his red and blond spikes, which made him look like a punk Statue of Liberty! To make the long spikes nice and stiff, he used Elmer’s glue.

“When I asked him how he ever washed his hair, he patiently explained that when he took a bath, he leaned back into the water and went, ‘Crick, crick, crick, crick,’ bending the spikes back and forth until the water softened the glue enough to shampoo his hair. Then, once it was clean and dry, he started the process over again. When he started looking for a job, he had the audacity to comment on the narrow-minded employers who judged his abilities by his hair style.”

Lynn Kelley, Funny hair stories

Your nephew is quite creative, Nancy. I never would have thought to use Elmer’s Glue. I might try it sometime.

For another funny hair story told in my one-minute animated video, check it out here.

Thanks for the chuckles, Annie, Rhonda, and Nancy. We all need a little giggle getaway!

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had a bad hair experience, or do you know someone who has? Are you having a good hair day? 🙂

I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to receive future posts, add your email address to the “Subscribe” window in the sidebar under the welcome video.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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Posted in Funny, Hair, Humor | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Two-Year-Old Put Raisins Up Her Nose – Parenting Plights and Delights

Lynn Kelley, Parenting Plights and Delights

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: If you tell children, “Don’t put peas in your ears, they’ll put peas in their ears.” Supposedly putting the idea in their heads makes them want to do it.

We never had a problem with our first three kids putting things in their ears or their noses. Our fourth child, Suzee, was another story.

When she was two, I packed raisins in her lunch all the time. Below is a note I received from her preschool teacher one day.

It reads: “Suzee put raisins up her nose today. I got all I could see and checked her through the day. I haven’t seen anymore. But please check her at home to make sure.” Signed by Ms. Anna

George and I thought it was funny, but we didn’t think she’d do it again. “Didn’t think” being the key words here. She put raisins up her nose two more times at preschool.

The third time, Ms. Gayle, the preschool director said, “Mrs. Kelley, could you please stop packing raisins in Suzee’s lunch? They keep sending her to me and it’s hard to get them out.”

Miss Gayle was very sweet about it, so of course I agreed to put an end to the raisins.

Not too long after that, while at home Suzee stuck a rubber eraser that had broken off the end of a pencil up her nostril. I tried pushing on it gently to work it out, but it didn’t help.

What to do? What to do? I wasn’t comfortable sticking tweezers up her nose.

I grabbed my purse and keys. “Looks like we need to see the doctor.”

She started wailing. “No, no, I don’t want to go to the doctor!” She cried so hard, her nose ran. Lo and behold, the eraser slid right out.

That was a lucky break. We got off easy that time. It’s funny after the fact. I’ve had plenty of laughs about this through the years and even wrote a speech for Toastmasters about it, so how cool is that?

What are your thoughts? Were you a kid who put things in your ears or nose, or do you know any kids who did? Are you always ready for something unexpected to occur? Are you familiar with Toastmasters?

I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to receive future posts, please add your email address in the “Subscribe” window in the sidebar, just below the welcome video.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in Parenting Plights and Delights | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Preventing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Part 2 – Health & Wellness Wednesday

Part 1 of Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease covered a major study published in the Journal of New England Medicine, which revealed fascinating findings about certain leisure activities that reduce our risks of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Lynn Kelley, dementia

Image courtesy of Pixabay

As if playing board games, reading, engaging in small detail crafts, learning a new skill, or learning to play a musical instrument didn’t offer a nice variety of choices to help ward off Alzheimer’s, the number one biggie turned out to be dancing, specifically ballroom dancing.

Lynn Kelley, preventing Alzheimer's Part 2

The rapid-fire response required for following a partner while engaging in ballroom dancing seems to explain why it’s so good for our brains. Changing partners also helps because we have to adjust to dancing with a different person.

Dancing is my passion, and I’d love to learn ballroom dancing someday, but first I need to focus on the beginning tap dance class I signed up for  two weeks ago.

Lynn Kelley, Preventing Alzheimer's and Dementia Part 2

Image courtesy of Pixabay

In Part 1creative thinking and decision making are also listed as being helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Here’s another activity I was thrilled to learn can help fight Alzheimer’s. A November 12, 2013 article in the Daily News reported a four-month study done at a care facility showed singing helped fight dementia. Basically, singing favorites like show tunes in The Wizard of Oz, OklahomaThe Sound of Music, and more.

That article is more than four years old, yet most people I know have never heard about singing being helpful in fighting dementia. I hope you will share this knowledge with others.

Lynn Kelley, Preventing Alzheimer's and Dementia Part 2

A little bird told me . . .

Below is a YouTube video with the song Summer Nights, one of my favorites from the movie Greece. It’s got the lyrics, so sing along and learn the words if you don’t already know them. Learning new songs is going to pay off for you in the long run.

If you don’t like to sing or you think you can’t sing, don’t let that stop you. Sing in your car or when you’re alone, or sing in a soft voice. Just sing in some way, somehow, in whatever creative way you can come up with to overcome your first inclination to poo-poo this idea.

Patients with moderate to severe dementia showed far more improvement over those who only listened to the songs.

According to Jane Flinn, a scientist who participated in the study, “Even when people are in the fairly advanced stages of dementia, when it is so advanced they are in a secure ward, singing sessions were still helpful.

“The message is: don’t give up on these people. You need to be doing things that engage them, and singing is cheap, easy and engaging.”

Lynn Kelley, dementia

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I agree. Singing is a sweet, pleasant way for those who suffer Alzheimer’s or dementia to reconnect with something from their past. Singing a favorite song learned earlier in life seemed to ignite hidden memories in those patients.

An article in the August 31, 2016 issue of Daily Mail by Neuropsychologist Catherine Loveday covers why SINGING can help battle dementia. “Could music provide an important channel of communication when so many other abilities are failing?

“The surprising thing about music is that, contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually learn songs particularly easily. However, once those memories are formed, they become exceptionally robust and easily accessible.”

The article also states, “Jorn-Henrick Jacobsen and his colleagues found that memories of old songs activate very specific areas of the brain.”

Lynn Kelley, Preventing Alzheimer's and Dementia Part 2

All this information is interesting and inspiring to me. It gives me hope that we can take action to fight these brain-destroying diseases. So, singing and dancing can help me prevent Alzheimer’s? Twist my arm! Haha!

Have fun while fighting Alzheimer’s! Who woulda thunk?

Lynn Kelley, Preventing Alzheimer's and Dementia Part 2

This is me when I’m 120 years old after singing and dancing my way through the second half of life.

More fun: In case the song Summer Nights in the above video isn’t one you care to learn, perhaps this one will appeal to you, Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.

If this song isn’t for you, go on YouTube and find some videos of songs you’d like to learn, then sing your heart out.

My grandmother never sang. It seems at some point in her life someone told her she couldn’t sing, so she stopped. As a kid, I wouldn’t have cared if she could carry a tune. It would have been fun to sing with her. I love to sing with my grand darlings.

Confession Time

I can’t sing so great myself. My own kids used to tell me I couldn’t sing. Too bad for them because I kept singing anyway!

Lynn Kelley, Preventing Alzheimer's Part 2

Keep on singing!

Another activity which may prevent Alzheimer’s is juggling. If you want to learn to juggle, read my post on the Benefits of Juggling.

Image courtesy of Mohamed Hassan at Pixabay

According to the January 2004 issue of Nature magazine, juggling increases gray matter. Just practicing the movements improves your brain and coordination even before you succeed.

Good News For Pets

A comment from Amy Shojai, CABC in response to Part 1 said, “Interestingly, the same precautions reduce the risks for dogs and cats! (my area of expertise *s*) Practicing mind-stimulating games like tricks, or having cats ‘hunt’ for their hidden bowl of kibble, keeps their brains nimble. And…maybe music (since my dog used to howl when I sang or played my instruments, LOL!).”

Isn’t that neat? Thanks for sharing that with us, Amy.

This is an ongoing series, so as I find more info, I’ll write about it. There are some foods that are good for the brain, so we’ll cover those in a future Health & Wellness Wednesday post.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you like to sing? What’s your favorite song? Do you know someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia? Do you know how to juggle?

If you’d like to receive future posts, you can subscribe by email in the sidebar under the welcome video.

Thanks for stopping by!

Daily News – Singing Show Tunes Helps Fight Off Dementia

Why SINGING can help battle dementia,

Lynn Kelley, Preventing Alzheimer's and Dementia Part 2

Posted in Health and Wellness | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Retro Jewelry Haul – Cute or Ugly? Part 1 – Bangles and Beads

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Do you like this piece?

Do you like retro jewelry? If you do, then you’re in for a treat. I’m going to show you pieces of retro jewelry I found at an estate sale.

I was looking for pieces of jewelry to use for my altered art projects, but after going through them and trying them on, some aren’t as bad as I thought.

Some are actually cute in an ugly sort of way!

My Mom watched some of the videos, and she told me, “You sure got a lot of ugly jewelry, Lynn!”

I laughed. “Yep, I sure did.”

Lynn Kelley, retro jewelry part 1

Do you think this is ugly?

I’m taking a vote to see which piece is the ugliest. Actually, I already tagged one particularly gaudy piece as the booby prize. That one is in Part 5 of the videos, I believe. It’s so strangely ugly, it deserves to have a video made about it all by itself.

Perhaps I’ll do that, make a short video about that one necklace, made out of some hard plastic or resin. I don’t know. It might make a good writing prompt, too, for anyone who wants to work on a creative writing piece.

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Wow, that’s a lot of beads

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Holy cow! It’s falling apart before your very eyes!

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

This one will go into the pile of craft supplies.

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Yep, this will make a nice border for a decorative box.

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Beads, beads, beads galore!

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

White tiny-beaded, multi-strand necklace

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Bangle bracelets

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Bangles bangles bo bangles

Banana-fana fo fangles

Me my mo mangles

Bangles!

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Yea or nay?

Lynn Kelley, Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1

Wooden beads

So, dear peeps, what’s the verdict? Good taste? Bad taste? Do you think one of these pieces qualifies for an “Ugly” vote?

Would you wear any of these? I’m not talking about for Halloween. I mean for reals. I’d say the bangles are decent and practical and light weight, so they’d be comfortable to wear, except for three of them, which are too heavy for me.

I kind of like the yellow necklace pictured at the top of the post. Just need to find the right top or dress to wear it with. Not sure I could find earrings to match, though.

That concludes my Retro Jewelry Haul Part 1. I hope you found it entertaining.

What are your thoughts? Do you like retro jewelry? Men, would you want to give your wife, mother, daughter, or annoying coworker any of these pieces? Do you prefer expensive jewelry?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’d like to receive future posts, please fill in your info in the “Subscribe by email” window in the sidebar under the welcome video.

Thanks so much for stopping in!

 

Posted in Jewelry, Photo Essay, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Funny Things Kids Say – Parenting Plights and Delights

“When humor goes, there goes civilization.” ~Erma Bombeck

In an article titled You’re Not Laughing Enough and That’s No Joke, Therapist Pamela Gerloff stated, “The average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day. The average 40-year-old? Only four.”

I’m on a mission to help change that.

Lynn Kelley, funny things kids say

Light-hearted moments – we all need more, for sure.

Here’s a conversation between my nephew Corey and his four-year-old son:

Corey: Quit messing around and get ready for bed.
Son: Hey, I was born ready.
Corey: I SAID QUIT … wait, what? Where did you hear that?
Son: I don’t know, probably Youtube.
Corey:

The other day, four-year-old granddaughter Ninja Doll (my nickname for her) tried to pull a fast one on her mom:

Ninja Doll (whining): MOM! I have a tummy ache, so I n-e-e-e-e-d a marshmallow!
#nothappening

Haha! Good try, Ninja Doll.

Next, one of my favorite parenting stories. It falls into the embarrassing-moments-in-parenting category.

Lynn Kelley, funny things kids say

Caution: If you blush easily, you might want to skip this one.

Lynn Kelley, funny things kids say

Little Miss Sassy Pants a year or two after the shopping trip.

Ginger: “Ah … kids! Being embarrassed by them in public is part of a parent’s initiation to the big leagues.

“I was shopping with my very young daughter who was in the early stages of talking. I took her temperature that morning and announced she was running a fever, low-grade, no big deal. Off to the store we go.

“In the feminine product aisle (no less!) we pass two senior citizen women who smiled at my daughter and exclaimed how cute she was.

“My darling daughter announced in an alarmingly articulate manner, ‘I have a beaver.’

“No amount of shh’ing or repeating ‘fever’ would stop her from telling everyone about her beaver. Then she asked for a Dora balloon, the one with a dick.

“STICK, honey, a stick.

“Yes, I want it with the dick.”

*Sigh*

Did you blush? There are plenty of embarrassing moments while raising kids. Believe me, I’ve had many. I’ll share the ones I remember in future posts.

Lynn Kelley, funny things kids say

“I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: ‘Checkout Time is 18 years.”
~ Erma Bombeck

Those 18 years zip by at light speed, but then the grandkids and more nieces and nephews come along to keep us young at heart.

Can you relate to any of these conversations? Do you have some of your own you’d like to share, either as a parent, grandparent,  aunt or uncle, teacher, or from your own childhood? 

Do you have any tooth fairy stories? Any amusing anecdotes while shopping with kids?

I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to receive future posts, you can subscribe by email by filling in your info in the “Subscribe by email” window in the sidebar below the welcome video.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in Parenting Plights and Delights | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Preventing Alzheimer’s Part 1 – Health and Wellness Wednesday

Recent studies show Alzheimer’s disease may soon outpace heart disease.

Lynn Kelley, Health and Wellness Wednesdays

Do you find that information as alarming as I do? Has Alzheimer’s or dementia affected someone you know?

A Recent Study on Preventing Alzheimer’s

Presently, there’s no known cure. However, a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine reported there are things we can do to help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia:

“Among leisure activities, reading, playing board games, playing musical instruments, and dancing were associated with a reduced risk of dementia.”

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Photo: Courtesy of Bernard-Verougstraete at Pixabay

I find this info absolutely amazing and exciting. So, we don’t have to engage in tortuous, mind-bending exercises in order to lower our risks for developing Alzheimer’s. By participating in fun, stress-relieving activities, we may be able to ward off the stinking, heart-breaking, brain-erasing disease.

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Photo: Courtesy of Stevepb at Pixabay

Now, doesn’t that make you want to get up and do a happy dance?

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Image courtesy of Pixabay

More Good News

An article in Getting Healthier titled How Dancing Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease addresses how creative thinking and making decisions helps improve memory and brain function. Here are some recommendations it lists for activities that involve creative thinking:

  • Ballroom dancing
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Sudoku
  • Reading
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Small detail crafts such as needlework, knitting and sewing
  • Cooking classes and practice
  • Learning a new skill
  • Drumming

Which ones sound good to you?

Seems like my altered art scrapbooking would fall under the “small detail crafts.” Woo hoo!

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Page from altered art book

Cooking classes and practice? Ugh, not my cup of tea, but I may have to get back into the kitchen. Once upon a time, I used to bake very cool and delicious dishes and desserts.

Dancing Rocks

Another stellar article I found is titled Dancing Makes You Smarter, Longer. It’s from Stanford (link is listed below) and it discusses that same study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The article states “One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia.  There can be cardiovascular benefits, of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.

“There was one important exception:  the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

  • Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia
  • Bicycling and swimming – 0%
  • Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week – 47%
  • Playing golf – 0%
  • Dancing frequently – 76%. That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.”

According to Juliette Siegfried, Master of Public Health, “Improvements to cognitive function occur when we learn something new, something we haven’t done before. The dancers in the recent study who showed the most resistance to dementia practiced what is referred to as freestyle social dancing – foxtrot, waltz, swing, tango, and Latin dance.”

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Image courtesy of Pixabay

This is great news for me since dancing is my favorite form of exercise. I usually dance at home while I’m cleaning.

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Image: Courtesy of Mohamed Hassan at Pixabay

Senior Center

Last week I started a beginner’s tap dance class at a local senior citizen center. Anyone 50 and over qualifies as a senior. For $3.00 a lesson, you can’t beat that.

While it may not be ballroom dancing, I’ll still learn new skills by taking tap. My senior center offers ballroom dancing classes, too. I guess I could sign up by myself, but I’d rather take it with George. Dancing is not his passion, though.

Talent is Not Required

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Image: Courtesy of ErikaWittlieb at Pixabay

Unfortunately, dancing is not appealing to many men. However, it goes without saying we do not have to be talented as far as doing those recommended leisure activities in order to improve our memories and lower our risk of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s. We reap the benefits throughout the process of learning new skills.

So, regardless of having two left feet, no rhythm, no experience in dancing or doing those other activities, our brains still improve.

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Experts suggest we start doing these activities now and keep doing them frequently.

Loved Ones Affected by Alzheimer’s

My father has had slow progressing Alzheimer’s for years. He’s physically fit and at almost 85 years old plays tennis two or three times a week. Dad used to do crossword puzzles every day, which should have lowered his risk by 45% according to that study. And, man, can he dance.

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

Mom and Dad a week before their 65th anniversary

So, why did he get this dreaded disease? My hunch is his diet has contributed to his Alzheimer’s. Although I can’t prove it, there are plenty of unhealthy additives in processed foods and beverages, so we’ll  address nutrition and healthy eating in future posts.

Part 2 will cover another fun activity which is helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s, plus it helps people who already have it.

What are your thoughts? Are you familiar with this study? Do you participate in any of those leisure activities? Are there any new ones that sound appealing to you?

I’d love to hear from you.

Please share this valuable information with others. Let’s spread the good news.

If you’d like to receive future posts, you can sign up by email. Fill in your address in the window in the sidebar under the welcome video.

Thanks for stopping in!

New England Journal of Medicine article

Use it or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter, Longer – Stanford

How Dancing Can Prevent AD

Lynn Kelley, Alzheimer's Prevention

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Posted in Health and Wellness | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Welcome Video Using Green Screen Effect – Trial and Error

Welcome to my welcome video!

Lynn Kelley, welcome video

Screen Shot of Beginning of Welcome Video

I’m flabbergasted over how many years ago I signed up for Katie Davis’ Video Idiot Boot Camp, aka VIBC. Looks like it was in 2013. The years have passed at warp speed.

Although I’ve made lots of other videos, the Welcome Video was challenging. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say so I kept putting it off. Four and a half years later. . . here it is!

Maybe I’m not a vidiot (Katie’s term) anymore, but I am a tech idiot, so making this video was not a piece of chocolate cake with cherries on top.

Using a green screen for the VIBC course wasn’t a requirement. Far from it, but I seem to have a knack for making things more complicated than they need to be.

Special Video Effects in iMovie

When I upgraded to Mac’s Yosemite (I believe that’s the version), they changed iMovie. I had to relearn the basics, but as far as the special effects like green screens, I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Finally, maybe nine months later, I found a tutorial on YouTube showing me how to add advanced special effects: the green screen effect, picture in a picture, and split screen.

My laptop is old, so the green screen effect only worked when it wanted to. Some of my clips were successful with the green screen background and others wouldn’t work no matter how many different things I tried, yet they worked if I used them to do a split screen effect:

Lynn Kelley, welcome video

Split screen effect in iMovie

You may wonder why the green screen looks yellowish in some of the frames. It must be the lighting. The same green felt fabric was used for all the clips.

Lynn Kelley, welcome video

Split screen in iMovie

Or picture in a picture:

Lynn Kelley, welcome video

Picture in picture special effect in iMovie

Green Screen Wouldn’t Work Every Time

No way was the green screen going to cooperate with certain clips, so I ended up detaching the audio and I used the sound clips with photo or video clips for the background.

Some of the still photos wouldn’t work either, so that limited my choices. In the spots where I added a few different photos, all that showed up was a black screen. I had to delete them and try another photo. Some worked and others didn’t. Trial and error.

Lynn Kelley, welcome video

Photo isn’t showing up, just a black screen

Lighting is something I struggle with, despite watching tutorials on YouTube and reading various articles. Wearing eyeglasses makes it especially tricky with the way lighting throws shadows on one’s face.

After recording clips for the Welcome Video, I was up until 3:00 a.m. editing it and uploading it to YouTube. The next morning at a writers’ meeting, Maria Cisneros Toth, fellow writer and YouTuber, asked if I wanted an honest critique on the video. Of course. I appreciated her feedback. Basically, it fell flat. Those are my words, not hers.

When I got home, I redid the video and used some of the other clips, which were “snappier” as Maria later told me. I thought so, too, so this is the version I’m keeping. For now. It’s at the top of the sidebar, on my “About” page, and above in this post.

Learn From My Mistakes

Despite the challenges, I’ll continue my quest to conquer the green screen effect, and I’ll share my mistakes with others so they don’t run into the same problems.

You can learn from my blunders in the video below, “Green Screen Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make.”

This is from Christmas Day 2013. I set up this hokey green screen at my sister’s, although I didn’t think it was hokey at the time. For my green background, I used felt fabric, which I found on sale for less than $1.99 a yard. It’s very wide, so it was a good deal.

It took a couple of hours to set it up, way more hassle than I bargained for, and I was sweating by the time I was done.

As it turned out, my bright idea wasn’t so great. In this video, I highlight the worst mistakes made that day.

Family members were good sports and donned some of the funky costumes I provided. Great fun. Preserving these memories was well worth the effort that went into making them, even if they’re imperfect.

Here’s another one of my green screen videos, Time Travel Baby Writer’s Prompt. Trying new techniques is cool.

Ongoing Quest

The quest to conquer the green screen effect shall continue, along with the quest to figure out lighting, angles, and important details like keeping my finger off the microphone so the sound isn’t muffled when using my iPad.

Lynn Kelley, welcome video

Image: Courtesy of cripi at Pixabay

It’s time for a refresher on the basics of making good videos, so I’ll review the VIBC course. I need to step things up, especially since I’m building up my YouTube channel LynnKelleyAuthor. Am having a blast with it.

What are your thoughts? Do you like to make videos? Have you tinkered with iMovie, Movie Maker, or other video editing software? Are you tech savvy? 

I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to receive future posts, you can subscribe by email. Fill in your email address in the window in the sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in Green screen, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment