daily post challenge: talker’s block? writer’s block?

Writer's Block (album)

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As regular readers of hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul can attest, I’ve never been stricken with writer’s block.” It’s not something I’d brag about though. I’m probably a prolific writer because I’m also a non-stop talker, when given the opportunity. Some might think I’m doubly gifted because I never experience “talker’s block” or “writer’s block.” The truth is…these so-called talents can be a royal pain in my behind, my touche, my backside, my rump, my hynie, my booty, my (Hawaiian) okole, my arse…and yes, my ass! 

Let me list some reasons why I sometimes wish I had “talker’s block.”
1. If allowed I babble endlessly, switching topics effortlessly, leaving listeners wondering what we were talking about in the first place.

Wonder Woman as she appeared in the 2009 anima...

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2. As I’m speaking I begin to detach myself, listening to what it is I’m saying. Sometimes I cringe hearing the moronic stuff spilling forth from my mouth. Yikes! Is that me talking??? 

3. I hate pregnant pauses. You know, when no one speaks. And it feels like the minutes are ticking by as if loaded down with sandbags. Because of this, I’ve taken to being the Wonder Woman  of the talk show circuit. I break out with all the blah, blah, blah I can muster and keep the dribble going, only stopping if someone else feels the urge to break in. Otherwise…it’s me, me, me…and more me. Yuck! 

4. Believe it or not, when I’m speaking and all eyes are upon me, I feel as though I’m physically shrinking so as to avoid being the center of attention. I can feel myself on the verge of menopausal hot flashes, sweat beginning to bead under my armpits, hairs standing on end at the nape of my neck. I’d prefer substituting a speaker box  in my place so that I could be “heard, and not seen,” unlike childhood days when I was told to be “seen and not heard.”

Aiwa loudspeaker enclosure

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5. Finally…yes, there is an end to this in case you were wondering…when I plunge headlong into a conversation, I’m inclined to spit out the words as fast as I can. My fear? That if I dally too long, eyes will begin to roll, butts will start to squirm, and then the final trump card… “I think it’s time I got going. I’ve got lots to do.” 

“Writer’s Block?” Why would I wish it? Read on…
1. I’ve an addiction to writing, or haven’t you noticed? I’ve even written about it in https://hugmamma.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/task-reward-task-reward/ and https://hugmamma.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/addicted-me-nahhh/. And we all know that addictions are taboo. I’ve not seen research studies denigrating writers’ needing to pen their thoughts 24/7…yet. But give the naysayers time. They’ll get around to us sooner or later. We needn’t fear being overlooked. Trust me! They’ll get around to ripping the pens from our fingers, and the keyboards out from under our frenetic grasps. Hey! I might start the ball rolling and have public pressure move me to have “writer’s block.” Hmmm…a thought…

2. Insomnia’s another reason I’d cozy up to “writer’s block.” At my age sleepless nights are usually guaranteed. So it’s a double whammy to be kept awake at night, ideas bouncing around inside my head, wanting out…now, now, now!!! I’ve posted of this in https://hugmamma.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/daily-post-challenge-204-does-your-mind-go-blank-when-you-close-your-eyes/, and in  https://hugmamma.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/cure-for-insomnia-blogging/.

3. Apart from loving to write, I love being a homeowner, a gardener, a pet owner, a friend, a wife, and, of course, a mom. But somehow all the rest take a backseat to writing. The fluidity and speed with which I can knock off post after post far surpasses my ability to dust, scrub and vacuum…weed, water and rake…pop pills and rotate feeding dishes for 3 special needs cats…socialize…pamper…and smother with love.

Work It Out (Beyoncé Knowles song)

4. Life is about balance. Tell that to “hugmamma.” She needs a megaphone secured to her ear through which Beyonce’s never-ending voice screams Balance! Balance! Balance!”

5. I’d like to take up another hobby. Not sure what it is yet; haven’t had the time to peruse the possibilities. Maybe I’ll figure it out in an upcoming post. At least writing things down puts them front and center, for my consideration. Now if I could only move my bones in a new direction afterwards.

…so don’t talk to me about “talker’s block”…or “writer’s block,”…be thankful you can “pull the plug”…

………hugmamma. 

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daily post challenge #204: does your mind go blank…when you close your eyes?

Illustration depicting thought.

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Heck no!!! My mind has never been blank. At least not that I can recall. I remember very vividly asking my husband of only a few months what he was thinking as we lay in the dark, after going to bed. “Nothing,” He replied. “Nothing?” I asked, incredulous. “That’s impossible. You must be thinking about something.” “Nope.” Came the retort. I think I tried to convince him that he must be thinking something, but to no avail.

Imagine that ? A mind free of clutter. Free of yesterdays, todays, and tomorrow’s stuff. No lint to pick off one’s brain. Totally clear and unemcumbered. Like an “in” tray on a secretary’s desk, cleared out and ready for the next day’s tasks.

Regal Cinemas 24

Image by marklarson via Flickr

Meanwhile my brain is like a Regal Cinema with several theatres running the latest films concurrently. The difference is I often run the same movie over and over again. It could be an event that makes me feel warm and fuzzy, or one that has me pondering the “what ifs.” Only in recent years, with my husband’s patient reminder that I shouldn’t worry about something over which I have no control, and Dr. Daniel Amen’s advice that negative thoughts are at the heart of our mental undoing, have I opted to shut down the movie reels when I finally lay me down to sleep.

Regal Cinemas

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Of course that doesn’t prevent dreams, sometimes even discombobulated nightmares, from awaking me in the middle of the night, or early morning, making it difficult for me to fall back to sleep. And then the reruns begin. But I try to pick and choose. If my mind has to run flicks nonstop, then they’ll have to pass the “G” rating…only family attractions allowed and, of course, always in technicolor. No blood, no gore, no violence…only happy endings…and happy-in-betweens.

if i can’t beat ’em…and i have to join ’em…then it’s going to be…on my terms…hugmamma.

sleep, “ever catch up?”

12-hour digital clock radio

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I envy those who regularly fall into bed at 10 p.m. or earlier. I’ve not done that in many, many years. I’ve always been the proverbial “night owl.” Bedtime for me is midnight, 1 or even 2 a.m. And every night before I close my eyes, I murmur to myself “Gotta get to bed earlier, 10:00, tomorrow night, 10:00.” It’s become more like a prayer, than a resolution.

Downtown Honolulu, HI, view from Punch Bowl.

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I can recall when we were first married, and were renting a nice 2 bedroom apartment in Honolulu. We could afford a larger unit because my husband worked odd jobs around the complex, in exchange for the discounted rent of $125 a month. Can you believe that? An unheard of amount in a major metropolitan city these days, but especially in Honolulu.

University of Hawaii

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My husband had just graduated from a private Catholic college; I was finishing up my last year at the University of HawaiiBetween trying to be the good, little wife, and the good, little student, I was “burning the midnight oil.” I was also interning as a 4th grade teacher as a requirement for the 5th-year teaching certificate towards which I was studying. Oftentimes, I’d take a break from all-night cramming, and do a little household cleaning. I’d even run the vacuum. I was 20 when I married, so what did I know about the right time to do chores? I did them when I could. Funny, the neighbors never complained. But my husband did. He had to get up early for work.

Winfrey on the first national broadcast of The...

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While my penchant for cleaning late at night has dissipated, my desire to hang onto the last moments of a waning day have not. No matter where I’ve lived or what course my life has taken, there never seem to be enough hours in the day to do all that I want. That’s not to say I make the most of every minute. No. I dawdle…a lot. I stop to read parts of the newspaper. I crouch down beside Mocha to tell her I love her and nuzzle my face into hers. I catch parts of Ellenor Oprah.” I munch…munch…munch. I pick up Sitka. Oh, and of course, I blog. Those of you who subscribe, or are regular readers, know that I blog. Can’t help myself. Love to write.

Chatting with my husband when he arrives home from work and interminttently throughout the evening,  prepping dinner, dinner itself, cleaning up afterwards, more blogging, a little reading before switching off the light, and before long the clock reads midnight, or later.  Where does the time go? And it doesn’t help that Dr. Oz, and a myriad of others, continually advises that 7 0r 8 hours of sleep a night is mandtory for good health. I resolve to do better…in my next life. Promise. Meanwhile…

A Westclox Big Ben Clock

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Are you an early bird, or a night owl like me, or both? God bless you if you’re both. I’d be napping all day.

know where i can borrow some hours?…hugmamma.

god bless the children

god bless the children

for they know not what they do,

bouncing basketballs at 9 on a sunday morning

while i’m trying to sleep in,

bears no weight with them.

god bless the children

for their glorious shouts of joy,

with each “hallellujah”

my brain reaches out anew.

god bless the children

for disturbing the sabbath’s peace,

god created them

so he must’ve had a clue.

god bless the children

they’re just being the little buggers,

god always meant them to be.

god bless the children

now that i’ve dragged myself from bed,

they’ve decided to call it quits.

god bless the children

their antics can make me nuts,

but you know what?

gotta love those kids

…and i do…hugmamma.

“getting over getting old,” laughing helps…a lot!

You want more laughs? You’ve got it! The usual instigator being my Brit friend with the wicked sense of humor…Sylvia.  🙂

 
 
 
Questions and Answers from AARP Forum
Q: Where can men over the age 
of 60 find younger, sexy 
women who are interested 
in them?
A: Try a bookstore, under fiction.
Q: What can a man do while his 
wife is going through 
menopause?
A: Keep busy. If you’re handy with 
tools, you can finish the basement. 
When you’re done you’ll have a 
place to live.
Q: Someone has told me that 
menopause is mentioned in 
the bible. Is
 that true? 
Where can
 it be  found?
A: Yes. Matthew 14:92: 
“And Mary rode Joseph’s ass 
all the way to  Egypt …”
Q: How can you increase the 
heart rate of your 60-plus 
year old husband?
A: Tell him you’re pregnant.
Q: How can you avoid that 
terrible curse of the elderly 
wrinkles?
A: Take off your glasses.
Q: Seriously! What can I do for these Crow’s feet and all those wrinkles on my face?
A: Go braless. It will usually pull them out.
Q: Why should 60-plus year old people use valet parking?
A: Valets don’t forget where they park your car.
Q: Is it common for 60-plus year olds to have problems with  short term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem– Retrieving it is the problem.
Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.
Q: Where should 60-plus year olds look for eye glasses?
A: On their foreheads.
Q: What is the most common remark made by 60-plus year olds when they enter  antique stores?
A: “Gosh, I remember these!”
SMILE, You’ve still got your sense of humor, RIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

     

    

just in the nick of time to help me reach my goal…hugmamma. (gotta love my friend Sylvia!)  

 

cat nap? wish i could

In another post, published on 1/12/11, “solution to insomnia? blogging!” I owned up to the fact that I’m an insomniac, not good for someone with Alzheimer’s in my genes. It’s been proven that 7 to 8 hours of restful night-time sleep is a must in fighting the dreaded disease. Another thing I’m working on, even as I type.

I still struggle to clear my mind as my head tosses and turns on the pillow. Last night it seemed to help that I kept repeating to myself, “melatonin, melatonin, melatonin.” For those of you out of the loop, melatonin is a natural supplement which aids sleeplessness. It’s actually present in us, in varying degrees. I guess those blest with more, sleep better; those like me, registering a deficit, lay awake counting, or not counting, sheep. Too lazy to get my body out of bed, to down the “wonder” pill, I opted for “mind over matter,” and said the word instead. It worked! I think the process is called meditation. Evidently that’s another helpful solution for insomnia. Hey, I’ll do anything, short of hitting myself over the head with a two-by-four!

I wish I could slide into “la, la land” as easily as cats seem to do. While their radars are probably still on “full alert,” their bodies look sublimely relaxed in repose. The following photos are of my ballerina daughter’s, adorably, photogenic, buddy Misha, named after the famous ballet dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov. It’s hard resisting the urge to snatch him up and cuddle him without end. But as you can see, I resisted long enough to capture these sleeping images.

Too cute!

…too, too cute!!

Beyond cute!!! Absolutely precious!

And the little rascal always knows when we’re talking about him…

now if i could only take after my “grandson,”…hugmamma.

“40 winks”

children’s voices drift in through the window,

trying to catch “40 winks” isn’t happening.

are they squabbling again, bro and sis?

too faint, sounds like mumbling, can’t tell.

jasper’s bouncing his basketball,

bounce, bounce, bounce,

bounce, bounce, bounce.

like the time he was riding his pogo stick,

boinga, boinga, boinga,

boinga, boinga, boinga.

childhood memories of

gulping and swallowing, 

fresh air, extra “d”s,

extra benefit? 

endorphins, endorphins, endorphins!

gets me up, can’t lie still,

brain cells throbbing, red eyes bulging,

incoherent, have to blog this.

aaahhh…

maybe now, maybe now,

“40 winks.”

going to try.

close the window,

maybe now…maybe now…maybe now…

zzzzzzzzzzzzz…hugmamma.

cure for insomnia?, blogging

I knew that once my daughter recovered from her health issues, and I recovered from mine, my brain cells would be on the move once again. At least I hoped. You can imagine how elated I am to be at my keyboard, virtually nonstop within recent, very recent, days. A writer, even one who dabbles like me, never wants to experience “writer’s block,” or worse, come to a virtual standstill. But while my faith might have wavered, I’m certain my family never doubted that I’d be back as “hugmamma.” Correction, let’s just say they were praying for my speedy recovery.

When my daughter was younger, she and my husband teased me about the multi-tome collection of books which I could pen, entitled “Life According to Mom.” That hasn’t happened, YET, but it’s for sure they don’t want to return to the days when they were the sole beneficiaries of my diatribes on life.

But aaahhh, how glorious it is to have my “grey matter” back working at almost tip-top capacity! Words that have been bottled up for too long are happily tumbling over one another, excited to be free, exhilarated to find their voice once more. And I’m only too thrilled to get them out of my overstuffed pantry of a brain. I love the little buggers, but they can be a real pain in the butt when I’m trying to doze off at midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m.

The last words I consciously will myself to think are “Thank you God for all your blessings.” And then I try a few “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee”s, since I don’t count sheep. But chiseling away at the furthest corners of my mind, with stealth and unrelenting determination are words, words of all sizes and meanings, infiltrating, and ultimately undermining my attempts to sleep. The battle wages on for hours, until exhausted, my brain and body give in to some much-needed “zzzzzzzzzzzsss!”   

but not this morning,… i’ve already posted 4 pieces, this being the 5th…hugmamma. (WRITING AND BLOGGING EMPTIES MY BRAIN OF WORDS, SO I CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT!)

good night’s rest

A memory foam mattress is my favorite companion for a good night’s rest. Having invested in one for our daughter several years ago, since her  job as a dancer takes its toll, I convinced my husband that we should get a king-size one for our bed. We both agree with our daughter, that it was the best investment we could have made for our general well-being.

The memory foam mattress lies on top of the mattress that came with our bed and box spring. Rather than having gaps between the mattress springs and the curves in my body, especially my arthritic lower back, the memory foam curves with my body. As extra support for my back, I use a pillow under my knees.

To solve the issue of the uncomfortable gap between my neck and my pillow, I also have a memory foam pillow. Laying my head on it alone seems to afford the same curvature comfort for my neck, as the mattress does for my body. Needless to say the rest of my family revels in the same comfort, having their own memory foam pillows.

I share this information hoping that it might help others who have chronic insomnia due to aches and pains. I may have other problems like blogging into the wee hours, but my body is extremely grateful for my memory foam mattress when I finally fall into bed.

wishing you a good night’s rest too…hugmamma. (can I crawl back into bed now?)

“good for you” foods

Ever wonder why doctors, nutritionists, exercise gurus, and others, tell us to eat certain foods, that they’re good for us? Well someone who works with my husband passed along the following list, which takes the mystery out of their recommendation. And so I post it here for you to incorporate into your life, and share it with those you care about, just as… I care about you…hugmamma.

  • Apples – protects your heart, prevents constipation, blocks diarrhea, improves lung capacity, cushions joints
  • Apricots – combats cancer, controls blood pressure, saves your eyesight, shields against Alzheimer’s, slows aging process
  • Artichokes – aids digestion, lowers cholesterol, protects your heart, stabilizes blood sugar, guards against liver disease
  • Avocados – battles diabetes, lowers cholesterol, helps stops strokes, controls blood pressure, smooths skin
  • Bananas – protects your heart, quiets a cough, strengthens bones, controls blood pressure, blocks diarrhea
  • Beans – prevents constipation, helps hemorrhoids, lowers cholesterol, combats cancer, stabilizes blood sugar
  • Beets – controls blood pressure, combats cancer, strengthens bones, protects your heart
  • Blueberries – combats cancer, protects your heart, stabilizes blood sugar, boosts memory, prevents constipation
  • Broccoli – strengthens bones, saves eyesight, combats cancer, protects your heart, controls blood pressure
  •  Cabbage – combats cancer, prevents constipation, promotes weight loss, protects your heart, helps hemorrhoids
  • Cantaloupe – saves eyesight, controls blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, combats cancer, supports immune system
  • Carrots – saves eyesight, protects your heart, prevents constipation, combats cancer, promotes weight loss
  • Cauliflower – protects against prostate cancer, combats breast cancer, strengthens bones, banishes bruises, guards against heart disease
  • Cherries – protects your heart, combats cancer, ends insomnia, slows aging process, shields against Alzheimer’s
  • Chestnuts – promotes weight loss, protects your heart, lowers cholesterol, combats cancer, controls blood pressure
  • Chili Peppers – aids digestion, soothes sore throat, clears sinuses, combats cancer, boosts immune system
  • Figs – promotes weight loss, helps stop strokes, lowers cholesterol, combats cancer, controls blood pressure
  • Fish – protects your heart, boosts memory, combats cancer, supports immune system
  • Flax – aids digestion, battles diabetes, protects your heart, improves mental health, boosts immune system
  • Garlic – lowers cholesterol, controls blood pressure, combats cancer, kills bacteria, fights fungus
  • Grapefruit – protects against heart attacks, promotes weight loss, helps stop strokes, combats prostate cancer, lowers cholesterol
  • Grapes – saves eyesight, conquers kidney stones, combats cancer, enhances blood flow, protects your heart
  • Green tea – combats cancer, protects your heart, helps stop strokes, promotes weight loss, kills bacteria
  • Honey – heals wounds, aids digestion, guards against ulcers, increases energy, fights allergies
  • Lemons – combats cancer, protects your heart, controls blood pressure, smooths skin, stops scurvy
  • Limes – combats cancer, protects your heart, controls blood pressure, smooths skin, stops scurvy
  • Mangoes – combats cancer, boosts memory, regulates thyroid, aids digestion, shields against Alzheimer’s
  • Mushrooms – controls blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, kills bacteria, combats cancer, strengthens bones
  • Oats – lowers cholesterol, combats cancer, battles diabetes, prevents constipation, smooths skin
  • Olive Oil – protects your heart, promotes weight loss, combats cancer, battles diabetes, smooths skin
  • Onions – reduce risk of heart attack, combats cancer, kills bacteria, lowers cholesterol, fights fungus
  • Oranges – supports immune systems, combats cancer, protects your heart
  • Peaches – prevents constipation, combats cancer, helps stop strokes,aids digestion, helps hemorrhoids
  • Peanuts – protects against heart disease, promotes weight loss, combats prostate cancer, lowers cholesterol, aggravates diverticulitis
  • Pineapple – strengthens bones, relieves colds, aids digestion, dissolves warts, blocks diarrhea
  • Prunes – slows aging process, prevents constipation, boosts memory, lowers cholesterol, protects against heart disease
  • Rice – protects your heart, battles diabetes, conquers kidney stones, combats cancer, helps stops strokes
  • Strawberries – combats cancer, protects your heart, boosts memory, calms stress
  • Sweet Potatoes – saves your eyesight, lifts mood, combats cancer, strengthens bones
  • Tomatoes – protects prostrate, combats cancer, lowers cholesterol, protects your heart
  • Walnuts – lowers cholesterol, combats cancer, boosts memory, lifts mood, protects against heart disease
  • Water – promotes weight loss, combats cancer, conquers kidney stones, smooths skin
  • Watermelon – protects prostate, promotes weight loss, lowers cholesterol, helps stop strokes, controls blood pressure
  • Wheat germ – combats colon cancer, prevents constipation, lowers cholesterol, helps stop strokes, improves digestion
  • Wheat Bran – combats colon cancer, prevents constipation, lowers cholesterol, helps stop strokes, improves digestion
  • Yogurt – guards against ulcers, strengthens bones, lowers cholesterol, supports immune system, aids digestion (Lemon yogurt is the only one that is a natural anti-biotic with NO side effects.)

As with anything, proceed with caution. The information provided appears to be valid, but we must each consider our own diets, allergies, restrictions. One size does not necessarily fit all. I think I’ve heard that grapefruits should not be consumed by someone on Lipitor, a statin to lower cholesterol. Honey increases energy because it contains sugar. Tomatoes belong to the “night family” of veggies, along with green peppers and its relatives. Some people are allergic to them. And not all fish are created equal. The best options seem to be salmon, tuna, sardine, and halibut. Peanuts consumed in great quantities can be fattening because of its calories. (Something I must be particularly wary about.) A friend feasted on seedless grapes and aggravated her diverticulitis. Evidently the seed piths were still present, so they lodged in the lining of her intestines causing excruciating pain. So beware!

I’ve concocted my own diet of sorts based, in part, upon information gleaned from “The Perricone Prescription” by New York dermatologist, Dr. Nicholas Perricone. I read the book cover to cover on a flight home from spending 3 weeks with my daughter at a dance program in Martha’s Vineyard. By the time my plane landed, I was a believer in Dr. Perricone’s theory that “Inflammation is a probable culprit, a contributor to most major diseases and degenerative conditions, from cancer to Alzheimer’s, arthritis to stroke. Proinflammatory diets, exposure to sunlight, environmental pollutants, and a host of other agents assault our cells and cause them to generate inflammatory chemicals. This subclinical inflammation goes on day after day, year in and year out, leading to numerous disease states as well as the disease of aging. Yes, aging is a disease–a chronic, uniformly progressive, inflammatory disease that is always fatal. …I explain how inflammation occurs on a cellular level and detail my search for powerful anti-inflammatories–antioxidants that stop inflammation and repair the damage. If you can prevent and stop inflammation, you can prevent and stop the signs of aging.” Dr. Perricone goes on to say that “Sugar causes inflammation…”

I tried Perricone’s diet for 3 weeks, but couldn’t remain on it because it was so restrictive for me. Nonetheless the information he imparted made a lot of sense, and so I’m still a believer. Sugar causes inflammation; extra-virgin olive oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory food; trans fats are dangerous to my health; the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers can be lowered by eating fish, and their omega-3 fatty acids reduces the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. And green tea does ramp up my metabolism, as does alpha-lipoic acid supplements.

Along with Perricone’s book, I’ve adapted much of what is contained in “The Anti-Alzheimer’s Diet” by California neuroscientist, Dr. Vincent Fortanasce. Because of him, I eat blueberries most days, fresh or frozen. “If free radical damage causes aging, then ingesting antioxidants in high enough quantities should be able to slow aging. Ironically, you don’t have to eat tons of foods high in antioxidants to slow down brain aging! For instance, studies have shown that eating just 3/4 cup blueberries per day can turn back the clock dramatically.” Fortanasce adds “Berries, including blueberries…are filled with anthocyanins,…that…sweep out, harmful free-radical molecules that trigger inflammation…studies show that antioxidant filled berries help fight against aging problems, such as short-term memory loss. Dark blue and purple berries also are linked to a significant reversal in motor dysfunction that correlates with aging and dopamine deficiency.”

hoping this may help…hugmamma.