Category: Guide

With school beginning and summer drawing to a close, Christmas will be upon us before we know it and grandparents all over will be asking “what do I get my grandchild that they really want?” I can tell you this, from one mothers’ point of view, there is nothing like time spent with a grandparent to brighten a child’s day.

And even if you are miles apart there are so many ways you can keep in touch with your grandchildren. Believe me when I say, that even implementing one of the ideas listed below will prove to pass the test of time with your grandchildren in a way that no plastic doll or electronic gadget can. The list below comes not from your pocketbook but from your heart and to a child, that is the best gift of all.

1. set up a “regular” time you call to talk to the kiddos…not Mom or Dad just kiddos then they know THEY are the important ones!

2. video tape yourself reading age appropriate books and send it to them along with a copy of the book so they can “read along” if they want to!….that way they will always have Grandma to read to them if Mom or Dad are too busy or they simply want to connect with you!

3. Send them 2 craft kits with a self addressed envelope so they can send back one of the creations to you….that way you have a connection (key chain kits are always a hit for the “backpack” crowd)

4. write them an ACTUAL letter….not email but a REAL letter they can hold in their hand…it needn’t be
a lot…even a note tells them you are thinking of them!

5. take pictures of yourself around the house or better yet have someone follow you around one day and videotape your day….if the grandkids have access to a camera they can do the same….these can be GREAT fun to share!

6. join a social network such as and start your own private family group. Publish a note to your grandchild every day with a riddle or question they have to find the answer to. OR help them with their homework online. The internet offers so many ways to keep in touch these days!

7. Send them an 18″ square of muslin (if you send 2 or 3 they will have some practice ones too) and a small tube of fabric paint…ask them to put their handprint on the square and send it back to you…then make one of your own hand…..using these 2 squares, make a pillow for them edging the squares in fabric that matches their room……that way they always have you close!

There are so many simple ways to connect with your grandchild. Even a simple note, handwritten by you to arrive with the afternoon mail is special. I know, I have letters my grandmother wrote me over 30 years ago and they are still as special today as they were when I opened them three decades ago

If you have elementary-age school children, and you want them to learn how to make healthy choices to eat better and get more exercise, The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective by Kaiser Permanente is something you should add to your list of acceptable Web sites for your children to visit.

The free online video game was developed for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. The site is based on the games, and former PBS TV show, Where In The World is Carmen San Diego.

The graphics and sounds are wonderful. Both you and your child will enjoy playing The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective game. My nine year old nephew loved playing this game — and so did I!

To play The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective Game, you’re given an assignment to investigate and solve for each child, specific to that child’s health problem. While there are areas where the ability to read is beneficial, the main investigator explains nearly everything that you need to know to “solve” a case.

  • The scenarios they depict and want you to investigate are common to many children. The children and their health issues are:
  • Cole – Eats too much junk food
  • Catherine – Not very strong
  • Michael – Doesn’t exercise enough
  • Antonia – Needs to play more
  • Emily – Eats too much
  • Enrique – Teeth and bones are weak
  • Matthew – Tired all of the time
  • Althea – Skips breakfast

When you click on a child, the main investigator will tell you what the problem is, and give you clues to “solve” it. It could be clicking on a soccer ball to indicate getting more exercise and less TV, to choosing a quick and healthy breakfast. While it helps to read, the game is intuitive enough and the main investigator tells you enough that you could play it without being able to read. Play it with your child anyway, you’ll help your child learn and have fun together at the same time.

After solving the case, there are two additional options. Each character that you investigate has a series of three short mini-games that reinforce the solution to their problem, and each also has a series of activities that you can print and do off-line.

The online mini-games are quick and fun. Your child will love going back to them over and over again. The games are specific to the health concern, and serve as a great reinforcement for healthy behavior.

One of the off-line activities is always a healthy recipe, and other items to print that are fun, handy and useful.

For instance, one of the off-line activities is a healthy goal setting chart. The chart is designed to be used for the entire month, and include such things as “I watched less than one hour of TV or video games,” and “I ate 3 to 4 cups of fruits and vegetables.” I liked the charts so much that I’ve printed some for my own family to use, and my daughter is in high school!

You’re probably thinking, great, another video game that will suck my child into the black hole of video games. Nope, not this one. When the game senses that you’ve been playing long enough, it stops and forces you to take a break – and the main investigator even tells you that it’s time to get active!

Best of all, this site is available in English, or in Spanish.

If you want to encourage your kids to learn healthy habits, playing the free online game, The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective is a great way to teach them, and reinforce, healthy behaviors that will help them for life.

I can’t wait for the next installment.

Kundalini yogis believe that energy exists, like a coiled snake, at the base of the spine. Through Kundalini yoga, this energy can be released to travel upward along the spine, causing spiritual awakening. Kundalini energy is carried through three nadis, or channels. The shushumna is parallel to the spine, and the ida and pingala, which spiral around the spine. The intersection of the channels forms the chakras, or energy centers of the body. 

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

Yoga Journal has featured a number of Kundalini yoga teachers over the years. One of the most popular is Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. Born Mary May Gibson in rural Illinois, Kaur Khalsa has had a lot of unusual experiences. She attended San Francisco State in the 1960s. After that, she lived in a tent with a friend, doing without money or a car and scrounging for food. She moved to Maui, where she lived for three years before moving back to California. She became a Sikh after a friend introduced her to Kundalini yoga at an ashram in Tucson, Arizona in 1970, where she met Yogi Bhajan.

Today, Kaur Khalsa has her own yoga studio, Golden Bridge Yoga, which has locations in Los Angeles, California, and in New York City. Kaur Khalsa also teaches meditation and pre- and post-natal care. She has several books and DVDs out on the market.

The Three Gurus

The following three gurus have been friends since the 1970s, and all took their vows from the late Swami Muktananda.

Swami Shankarananda was born in New York and migrated to Melbourne, Australia. He is the spiritual director of the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga. He is also a meditation master in the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. He has been a member of the Columbia University national chess championship team and a United States chess master. He has also taught Renaissance poetry and English literature at Indiana University. He met American guru Ram Dass in 1970. He then traveled to India and studied with several important masters of meditation and yoga.

Shankarananda uses a classical practice, which involves bringing attention to the primary chakras, and asking oneself a series of questions. He also uses deep breathing and mantra chanting in his meditations.

Swami Chetananda, the abbot of the Nityananda Institute in Portland, Oregon comes from a different tradition. His spiritual lineage is descended from Ghagawan Nityananda, a renowned Indian sage. Chetananda was ordained in 1978, and has traveled extensively. He studied Kashmir Shaivism in Srinigar from 1980 to 1986. He adopted the practice of Triki Yoga, which regards every ethnic group and lifestyle as equal.

Chetananda understands the difficulty in silencing the mind. He believes that by focusing on the breath and the flow of energy through the body, the mind’s thoughts will become like background static.

Master Charles Cannon is the founder of the Synchronicity Foundation in Faber, Virginia. He uses technology-enhanced music to assist students with their meditative efforts. He has an educational background in the arts and philosophy. He spent many years in India studying with Paramahamsa Muktananda. He has been ordained as a monk in the Vedic/Tantric tradition. His CDs use Holodynamic Vibrational Entrainment Technology (HVET) in specific frequency ranges. The Synchronicity Alpha series, for example, are in the Alpha range of 8 – 14 Hz. Synchronicity Theta soundtracks feature a lower vibration of around 3.5 – 7 Hz, for a deeper meditative experience. Synchronicity Delta soundtracks are recorded in the Delta range of 0 – 3.5 Hz for the deepest form of meditation.

If you are interested in maintaining your CD’s in working condition, you must pay some attention to the procedures for proper maintenance which will make them last an increased length of time and play better. You may be building up a personal collection of CD’s or you may be making copies to use, but it is advisable that you learn you should care for your discs.

It is essential that you should not forget the specific components and materials that have gone into the production of the CD. There are inner layers made of metals which are compatible with optical options and laser reading, as well as outer layers including adhesives which protect the disc. The designers of CD have built them with specific insulation against cold and heat, and with a life span of up to hundred years. However if proper care is not given the discs could be spoilt.

The primary precaution to protect your CD’s is to put them away in a place of safety. The protective layers of the CD are where the tracks are recorded and therefore should not be removed by scratching. Scratching not only damages and removes the protective layer itself but also the metal that is under. With such a scratch, the data recorded in the tracks is lost.

At the same time keeping your CD’s clean is a priority. Various materials are to be found that will enable you to clean your CD’s without damaging or scratching them. If your CD seems to have been giving some trouble and it has not been kept in safe storage, you should rectify the matter as quickly as possible by cleaning it and preventing the loss of data.

In addition to damage being caused to the CD by it being out of its case, touching can also cause harm. The recommendation is to hold your CD’s from their outside edge or at the holes in the middle. These empty spaces contain no information and so there will not be adverse effects caused by grease, dirt or any other substance getting lodged in the area for data. If by any chance you happen to touch the inside section of the CD, you should not neglect to clean it thoroughly to keep grease away.

If you have built a collection of CD’s for yourself, you will have to be careful about what goes onto and inside your CD’s. For instance a permanent marker should never be used to write on CD’s. For labelling purposes this might seem an easy option, or you may even use a cheap design to label the CD. However the chemical in the marker ink absorbs oxygen which in time causes damage to the protective layers, allowing the deposit of dirt and other injurious substances, and eventually causing loss of data.

For the optimum maintenance of your CD’s whether they are part of your personal collection or part of your stock for duplicate sales, the simple care of the discs should always be foremost in your mind. This will ensure your discs are dirt free and longer lasting providing you with access to enjoy all your music etc.