Aging Well in the Gorge July 5th 2016

Today there is tremendous interest in keeping your brain sharp, fit and tanned. And last week I shared several techniques to help remember what you are trying to learn. In addition, there are many brain activities being promoted to strengthen your brain. But which ones actually help? To help choose the best activities to work your brain, ask the following five questions.
1. Is the activity challenging? The activity should force you to concentrate and pay close attention. You may feel frustrated and discouraged. But don’t stop. If it doesn’t push you, it may not provide the necessary workout your brain needs. 2. Is it progressive? Now here is the second part. As you learn the skill, the difficulty needs to increase so you can continue challenging yourself. You can’t rest on your successes, but instead use them to motivate yourself to try the next level. 3. Does it engage several of your brain’s processing systems? You should try to use different parts of your brain in the same activity. For example as you dance – under dimmed lights to your favorite romantic song, following your partner’s firm lead and appreciating his masculine cologne, try eating a sloppy Big Mac. 4. Is it rewarding and surprising? If you don’t enjoy the activity and find it interesting, you probably won’t be doing it for long – unless you are a glutton for punishment. So make it fun and reward yourself – maybe with some brain healthy dark chocolate and a small glass of wine?

Okay now that you know the questions to ask, how about a few Brain Rattlers that are fun, challenging and get progressively harder – at least in my mind. I’ll provide the answers next week.
1.) If there are two ducks ahead of a duck, and two ducks behind a duck and one duck in the middle, how many ducks are there?
2.) Before Mount Everest was discovered what was the tallest mountain on earth?
3.) Melissa’s mother has seven kids. Their names are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. What is the seventh child’s name?
4.) In the dead of winter you are in a house with only one match. There is a gas lamp, a fireplace, and a wood stove. Which would you light first?
5.) Two boys are identical in appearance and have the same parents. One was born five minutes after the other. These two boys are not twins. How is this possible?
Whether you try memory techniques or challenging Brain Rattlers, the bottom line is to keep learning, keep moving and keep trying something new every day.
Paint parties are a great way to enjoy an evening out: having fun creating your own painting to take home. To make sure you aren’t missing the fun, Meals-on-Wheels has scheduled a braveART paint party fundraiser on Friday, July 8th at 6:30 PM at the Center. For $40 per person, all supplies are provided as well as light refreshments with all proceeds supporting the valuable work of Meals-on-Wheels. To purchase tickets, contact Jenny Loughmiller at
For the Center’s Tuesday Night Music last week, I almost had two bands show up. My apologies to Bob, Roger and rest of the Country Road band for my mess up. But the Center is back on the regular schedule, so on the 12th, Martin and Friends will be playing for your dancing and listening pleasure. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and donations are appreciated.
The name of the popular animated series of short films, first created in 1940, about a cat always trying to catch the same mouse (and also the name of a winter holiday drink) is Tom and Jerry.  
For many young baseball fans’ in the 50’s, like myself, the New York Yankees was the team you loved to hate – winning eight American League pennants and six World Series during the 1950’s. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, who spent his entire 18-year career with the Yankees winning 236 games? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with a #16 Yankee jersey.
Well, it’s been another week slapping on the sun screen. Until we meet again, isn’t it true that as you grow older, you don’t have to worry about avoiding temptation. It will avoid you.

 “Never make predictions, especially about the future.” Casey Stengel

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