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Berry Good
July 2011

Reap Big Benefits from Summer’s Tiny Gems

BerriesFresh berries, nature’s little gems, full of flavor and flavonoids, reach their peak during the warmer months. Each berry’s burst of juicy deliciousness carries antioxidants, vitamins C and E, riboflavin and fiber that work to fight obesity, protect brain function and promote urinary health. The red, blue and purple pigments in berries, known as anthocyanins, also help our bodies detoxify, repair damaged DNA, fight cancer and help lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, levels.

The Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University cites scores of studies that point to the many health benefits from consuming a variety of fresh berries. Each berry offers not only a unique flavor and color, but also a particular health protection.

 
Pool Cats
July 2011

Paddling Classes Can Keep Them Safe

Swimming_CatYes, cats can swim. This is good to know if your home features a resident pet and a swimming pool. While most cats are not in love with a dip in the water—neither would you be if you had to dry your nose-to-toes fur using a tiny pink tongue—what would happen if a favorite feline fell in? If curiosity or circumstance caused her to take the plunge, could she make it to the edge and safely pull herself out of the pool?

Our family has taken seriously the task of teaching our five cats how to swim, and always proceeded with loving care and patience. We’ve experienced considerable success by following these steps. Remember that the “swim class” is designed to teach your cat what to do if she finds herself accidentally in the water.

 
The Beauty of Summer Boredom
July 2011

Recapturing the Golden Days of Childhood

PlayingKidsRemember those endless hours of imaginative play during your youth—tree climbing, making mud pies, flying kites, fishing, building forts/tree houses/lemonade stands, swimming, watching clouds, playground swinging, tea parties, making and then launching sailboats in the creek, catching fireflies/butterflies/frogs, playing jacks and pickup sticks, jumping rope, hopscotch, rolling down hills, daisy chains, skipping rocks, backyard camping, neighborhood baseball games (with self-made rules), twilight games of hide ‘n’ seek and flashlight tag?

The summers of childhood are potent, enabling children to find their personal bliss and cultivate interests and memories that can last a lifetime. The gifts of less-structured summer days are precious, allowing time and space for the possibility of magical activities. Both children and parents benefit from unscheduled breathing room to revisit the forces of creativity and restore resiliency.

 
Play Together, Stay Together
June 2011

Develop Closer Intergenerational Bonds

FamilyA new study has confirmed an old adage: A family that plays together, stays together. According to researchers from Canada’s Concordia and Wilfrid Laurier universities, shared leisure is vital in the formation of bonds that can bridge generations.

“Shared leisure time allows grandchildren and their grandparents to establish common interests that in turn enable them to develop strong inter-generational relationships,” explains Concordia Professor Shannon Hebblethwaite. Grandparents often use get-togethers as opportunities to share family histories, personal experiences and life lessons and to teach, mentor and pass on values, traditions and family legacies.

The study builds on previous research that found how healthy inter-generational connections help grandparents age better and exhibit more positive feelings about life. Family cohesiveness also tends to sharpen youngsters’ sense of empathy as adults.

 
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