Aging Well in the Gorge June 24th 2020

You may be playing it safe staying home and caring for your garden or overdosing on TV and Netflix. But what are you doing for your brain health as we weather this pandemic?

According to the Virginia Spine Institute, there are five things you can do to maintain and maybe even improve your brain health – and what the heck, you have the time!

Try to Maintain a Daily Routine. Maintaining a routine can limit stress. And during this pandemic, it can be your chance to develop a new and healthier routine: healthy breakfast, morning walk, afternoon meal, and then some time with hobbies that keep your brain working. Habit is a great motivator.

Exercise. Exercise can help maintain our physical as well as our mental health. Take an early morning walk – before it gets too hot. Or start with some easy and simple exercises at home: three legs lifts and gradually build up to more. Something is better than nothing. And which is the best exercise? The one you enjoy doing.

Get in Touch with Your Creative Side. How about creating a collage from your family pictures? Knitting? Working in your shop? Or pull those dusty cookbooks off the shelf or check out OSU’s FOOD HERO website and experiment with the recipes. Can you really add spinach to a fruit smoothie – and it will still taste good?

Stay Socially Engaged. I enjoy video calls because I can see who I’m talking to. But there is nothing wrong with the old fashion way: picking up the phone and dialing – and you don’t have to look “presentable”!

Put Time into Hobbies that Stimulate your Brain. Finish that James Patterson novel, work on puzzles or play cards online with friends using various apps including Trickster. Or check out the puzzles and games online at Sharpbrains and AARP’s Staying Sharp.

Speaking of stimulating your grey cells, try these eight brainteasers/riddles that I have enjoyed. And trying to solve a brainteaser is just as good for your brain as finding the answer – although not as satisfying. (The answers are posted under the Tab “Brainteasers Answers”.

1. Which is heavier? A pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?

2. How many three cent stamps are in a dozen?

3. On my way to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives. Each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats, and each cat had seven kits. Kits, cats, sacks and wives.

How many were going to St. Ives?

4. In a year, there are 12 months. Seven months have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?

5. A family has two parents and six sons. Each of the sons has one sister. How many people are in the family?

6. The water level in a reservoir is low but doubles every day. It takes 60 days to fill the reservoir. How long does it take for the reservoir to become half full?

7. Rearrange the letters: “nor do we” to make one word?

8. I have six eggs. I break two, I fried two, and I ate two. How many eggs are left?

One of the most widely recognized tobacco advertising campaigns before they were banned on television and radio in 1971 was “WINSTON Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should”. I received answers from Lucile Stephens, Sandy Haechrel, Deloris Schrader, Dave Lutgens, Tiiu Vahtel, Lana Tepfer, Jess Birge, Barbara Cadwell, and Tina Castanares who asked which cigarette was “a silly millimeter longer”? But this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Judith Morgan.  


While my wife and I were sitting around the breakfast table we thought of this radio show which had a cult following but I never listened to because, well let’s say, it was a little demented. The show played novelty songs from the likes of Spike Jones, Stan Freberg and of course Weird Al Yankovic whose career he helped launch. What was the name this trained music historian used when hosting the show? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a picture of the 1963 graduating class from Reed College.


Well, it’s been another week, making lemonade. Until we meet again, there times you want to be special, but when you get back your chest x-ray it’s nice just to be normal.


“Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…” And then do it.” Duane Michals, Photographer

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