The Little Man and The Music

Long before our son was born he was listening to some great music. While in the womb our son was treated to audiophile headphones piping classic recordings (along with some recently released music) on vinyl records. My wife constantly spend time dancing with him to the latest pop music. He responded favorably to certain television theme songs and certainly seemed like he enjoyed and had found the beat. Music, it seems, has been a part of his life from the beginning. After he was born he’s still respond with recognition to certain songs. There is a pop music CD we … Continue reading

Homecoming: Casey

I was home in New Jersey for a few days, and had the opportunity to visit some friends. One stop I couldn’t miss was the home of my friends M. and L. and their dog Casey. Casey has appeared in the Pets Blog before. I used to be the first choice pet sitter when M. and L. went away for a weekend — she would happily romp in the yard with my dogs Moose and Lally. I’ve known her since she was just a puppy, and was with L. when she picked Casey out at a pet adoption event. When … Continue reading

Homecoming: Becca, Lily, and Kuma

It’s been quiet on the Pets Blog for the last few days because I took my first trip back to the East Coast in more than a year. I moved west with my two dogs in May 2007 — I managed to get home to visit twice in that first year, but hadn’t been home again since January 2008. I was a little worried that it had been too long, and the furry family members back in New Jersey wouldn’t remember me. It’s not like I can chat with them on the phone too often (some pets will sit and … Continue reading

Out of Place

Have you ever met someone and you know their face is familiar and you know them but can’t think where from? I have great difficulty with this one, especially if I can’t place the person in the right context. It happened recently. I saw a guy at choir and couldn’t determine if it was someone I knew from tennis or not, because he was dressed differently. In the end I realized it was. This weekend my husband kept thinking he knew this guy but couldn’t figure out where from. It turns out he is our new mayor and his face … Continue reading

Test Your Relationship Memory

Do you ever get asked questions by others about your relationship? Wayne and I do. People are always either curious, impressed, or appalled that we’ve been together for as long as we have and since such a young age. Mostly it’s younger couples wanting to know how (and sometimes why) we’ve stayed together. (By “younger” I don’t necessarily mean younger than us in age so much as in their years together.) However, sometimes even older couples with a couple of decade’s worth of anniversaries on us pose us questions. When I was running my mom to various appointments, or spending … Continue reading

Seven Ways Scent Can Enhance Your Health

Your nose is as much as ten thousand times sharper than your taste buds. That can make your sniffer a pretty powerful tool for your health! Here are some ways you can use aromatherapy to boost your health. Food scents can actually help you lose weight! A study from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago found that sniffing food scents like apple, banana, and peppermint could help stave off cravings. Try keeping your favorite food scent handy and see if you a whiff of something delicious can keep your stomach happy. Use rosemary to boost brainpower. … Continue reading

What Your Nose Knows

Don’t knock your nose — scientists believe that the nose is capable of recognizing thousands of smells. In fact, studies are showing that your sense of smell may be as much as ten thousand times sharper than your sense of taste. That’s pretty amazing! So how does smell work? Inside your nose are millions are cells that act as scent receptors. We have hundreds of different kinds of smell receptors that allow us to identify lots of different odors. Once your scent receptors detect a smell, they send the information to a cluster of neurons in the brain known as … Continue reading

Marriage Can Make You Smarter

A study from Brigham Young University recently reported that a happy marriage could lower your blood pressure. Now neuroscience is noticing that marriage can make you smarter, too. In the early stages of a relationship (that first, exciting rush of love), your brain might not be in the right state for intellectual pursuits. A lot of the beginnings of love are driven by the euphoric feelings that come from dopamine — a brain chemical that produces powerful, pleasurable feelings. As relationships mature, dopamine levels become less important and other parts of the brain are engaged. In the later stages of … Continue reading

Watching a Loved One Lose Time

When I started writing for the Health Blog, I was living with my grandmother and acting as one of her primary caretakers. Among a laundry list of other health issues, my grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease. In the three years I lived with her, my grandmother’s disease seemed to progress quickly. She went from the occasional “senior moment” to more concerning behaviors like leaving the stove on, forgetting to take her medicine, and hiding her purse in strange places. My grandmother has entered a new stage of Alzheimer’s disease, one I call “losing time”. You might call it living in … Continue reading

The Power of Music

Until last week when we sang it at church, ‘Made me Glad,’ was a song I had never heard and certainly hadn’t sung. But after singing it, I found an interesting thing happened. This week that song stayed with me, the lyrics imbedded in my head appearing at various times of the day and night. Throughout a busy week those words under girded each day. Some examples were: When I had to do something I had not attempted before When I had to stand up for what I believed against a number of others When I was sad because plans … Continue reading