Wednesday, May 31, 2017


I ordered the boys a game called Mindflex, because one of them was having trouble focusing in school and at home.  To play this game, you wear a belt around your head with sensors on your forehead and ears.  It responds to brainwaves in the 'focused' zone, similar to an EEG.  When the player is focused or concentrating, the game's fan goes on, and the ball lifts into the air.

Once you learn how to control your attention, you can manipulate the ball up and down and around in a circle.  That's when the real fun starts.  You can add obstacles.

My hope is that once it's understood what attention and focus feels like, the boys can turn it on at will, just by changing their thinking patterns in the brain.  This is essentially biofeedback. 

The game is a little pricy, but I think it's a healthy way to help children learn to focus more effectively.  And I have to admit - the game is fun for adults too!  I suspect it will be popular with my psychology classes too, when we study EEGs and biofeedback.

Readers, do you feel like your concentration could use improvement?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

When Birds are Jerks

This spring, a little bird decided to build a nest in my clothespin apron, which was hanging on the deck (convenient for grabbing to hang clothes).  Everyday, the bird would add twigs, and I would remove them.  We went back and forth.  Stubborn little feathered friend.

That is, until I got really busy.  And forgot to check for a couple of days.  After which, I found this.  Not only is the nest complete - on top of all my clothespins - but now the bird is sitting there all day.  Probably on some eggs.  Look how SMUG this bird looks.
I guess I won't be hanging out the laundry any time soon...
Nicely played, bird.  You win.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Butternut, Moths, and Peep S'mores

Gosh I love Spring.  Temps in the 70s, everything in bloom and green.  The promise of new life, new gardening.  Here's a picture of the twins on Easter, waiting to make s'mores out of Peeps.

After the suggestion of one of my blog readers (who are always teaching me wonderful things, and giving me new ideas), I canned the butternut squash I had left from last fall, before it could start to go bad.  When canning squash, you have to cube it, and you must use a pressure canner.  It was a lot of work to peel and cube so much butternut in one go, but now all I have to do is open a jar!  I plan to use it a lot in soups or rice bowls.  You can see my garden corral in the background of this picture.

Another sign of spring?  All the butterflies and bees.  On a recent run, I discovered this rather unusual moth.  I don't carry a camera or phone when I run on our trails, so I went back and found it later.  I loved it's creamy yellow coloring and brown stripe.  According to google, this seems to be a swallowtail moth.

Readers, what are the small things delighting you this spring?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Go Fly a Kite

We had three kites from previous beach trips.  One breezy day over the boys' Spring Break, we took them down to the large pasture.  One was missing a piece.  Reid got his stuck in a tree when a breeze jerked it out of his hand.  But Cort?  Well, Cort had a grand time.

Behold the joy of Spring! 
Readers, when did you last fly a kite?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Egg Hunting, Two Bears Style

This was the first year that none of the boys had Easter egg hunts at school.  So we had to do something at home.  Rather than just hide a few eggs around the house or in the yard, we decided to get a little more....creative.  Paul and I hiked a trail loop on our property, hiding eggs along the way.  It's about a 3/4 mile loop. 

After we had all the eggs safely hidden, the boys were very excited to go.  A neighbor kid showed up right around this time, so we gave him a sack to let him hunt for eggs too (he was so delighted by his fortune in having shown up with perfect timing you would've thought he'd won the lottery).  A brief countdown, and they were off!

There were eggs in trees and in holes and even on limbs.  Eggs that had to be hit down with sticks.  Needless to say, this adventure was a HUGE hit with the boys, and they immediately wanted to do it again.  I suspect this will become a yearly tradition, assuming the weather is always as beautiful as it was on this particular week.