Monday, July 02, 2012


The heat and drought are already taking their toll on the garden.  Crepe Myrtles, however, laugh at these conditions.

 And leave their confetti-like blooms scattered in the pine straw.

A new favorite garden blog:  In the Garden.

At Megan's baby shower, in various conversations with my sisters-in-law (both adaptive PE teachers, although one retired last year) and my cousin, we found ourselves  discussing the benefits of exercise.  Schools have cut PE programs to concentrate on improving test scores (another dubious goal to my mind--all the emphasis on preparing for standardized tests), but with the growing evidence that exercise benefits concentration, focus, alertness, and brain activity--it seems that once again efforts at improvement have gone awry by eliminating PE.

For the last several years, more and more evidence from studies on physical exercise and brain activity have linked fitness and learning.  The discussions yesterday reminded me of the Naperville High School program that I think I posted about a year or so ago.

This following video is from a PBS program (you can skip the first minute or so to get to the good part):


  • obesity rates among young Americans are nearly 4 times as high as in the 1960's
  • only 2% of American high schools provide daily PE
  • the key is to get heart rates up right before most difficult classes
  • exercise promotes the growth of new brain cells
  • stimulating brain cells to grow and connect--perfect environment for learning
  • even 20 minutes of walking before a test raised test scores
  • it isn't simply gym time that works; it is fitness based PE 
My cousin and I also talked about how many kids spend their summers in front of the television, on smart phones, IPads, and computers instead of playing outside, riding bikes, and swimming.

I love all the new technology which can be used in wonderful, exciting, and inspirational ways, but as with most things, we can abuse the technology and neglect other really useful and joyful activities.

Retreating from the world of physical and social activities is a mistake (and a problem for me as I have social anxiety), but the best of all worlds can combine the physical, social, and technological opportunities available to us.

Technology can stimulate, inspire, and provide useful information.  I love my computer; still...there really is and should be more to life.
Working on the other side of the jacket, now.  Well, actually, I move around quite a bit on the jacket, from one side to the other and from front to back.  If a patch won't fit in where I'm working, I just find a place for it.


  1. "Hahaha" says Myrtle! No one understands why I toss the deadheads from the roses on the asphalt driveway, but to me it looks like confetti on the long stretch of hot black!
    I agree with the need for physical movement- we need to turn these kids (and us) around :)
    Glad you're posting again.

  2. Good to get caught up with you, jenclair. I was sorry to hear that you've dropped out of our Tuesday group because I always looked forward to your posts. Sounds like you life is pretty busy at the moment. So glad to hear that Megan and babe are getting along OK! BTW, I agree that it's crazy to be cutting PE just when the talk is all about childhood obesity. Doesn't quite compute, does it?

  3. Have you tried any dyeing or printing with the crepe myrtles?

  4. Nancy - Do you really? That makes me smile! I always love when the wind picks up enough to toss the tiny crepe myrtle blossoms everywhere.

    Judy - I neglected everything for such a long time, including T.S. There was a lot going on in all directions from May - June. When I get caught up on some things, I'm going to try and catch up with all of the TAST stitches I've missed!

    All the hoopla about the future health problems that result from childhood obesity--and they cut PE. All the info about the connection of fitness and learning--ignored.
    No, it doesn't compute. Maybe someday the powers that be will catch on.

    Valerie - No, I haven't. I only started dyeing and printing last fall, past crepe myrtle time. But I will try it this summer. Good bark, too, on the myrtles.

  5. My flowers/garden is in very sad shape this summer, due to the lack of rain.


Good to hear from you!