If you haven’t lost all your marbles try this!

Marble Machine built and composed by Martin Molin
Video filmed and edited by Hannes Knutsson

Rube Goldberg would be in awe of the engineering complexity in this marvelous music machine that creates sound with 200 marbles! Its wooden parts are carved and Molin built it after drawing the design in 3-D software.  It’s programmable, and he can change keys midsong.  Take a look at videos about the process of creating the machine on Molin’s website.

Frankly Freddie – Dog Dance

Dear Aunt Jane, Human Being,

Thank you for sending me this video.  It’s obvious that this dog is performing solely out of fear of being stabbed by the thing on her head.  Otherwise, there’s no explanation for it.


Freddie Parker Westerfield, Canine Dog

Dogdance Freestyle – Sandra & Lizzy

Sneak a Peek into my Mind – it’s still the same.

This weeks’ haiku prompt is HOME.  My Haiku (which I’ already posted the last time the prompt was “home”) is inspired by Gene Autry singing Home, Home on the Range.  

Panic on the Prairie Haiku

Home, home on the range
it’s much more comfortable
when the gas is off

by judy's brain

by judy’s brain

Max’s Video Pick of the Month – Nono & Sio

Dear all my best friends,
My Uncle Rick sent this. I don’t know what Nono and Sio were thinking when they chose those ill-fitting clothes to wear in public.

The waitress forgot the water. I hope they didn’t leave her a tip




We’re all in the same boat.

Origami boats

look good before sinking fast.

Water-proof your life

How to make an Origami boat Icosahedron

How to Make an Origami Canoe

If Pudsey can melt Simon Cowell’s heart . . .start dripping now!

This video is worth it even though the start-and-stop-video feed is frustrating!  If you like dogs you’ll LOVE Ashleigh and top dog Pudsey’s on super cute Britain’s Got Talent audition. Dancing together to BC-52 tune The Flintstones

In case it doesn’t load, click here http://youtu.be/dv_gOBi8Wpk

Thanks Joyce for the SMILES!

The Pale Blue Dot

Not only is April the birthday month of my brother Rick and my poet pal Ramesh but April has perhaps the most days of all the months of religious celebrations throughout the world.
I think it fit that as we acknowledge our spiritual connection to take a look at the home we all share.
  • April 1Ramanavami – Hinduism, Palm Sunday – Christian
  • April 5 – Maundy Thursday – Christian,Lord’s Evening Meal – Jehovah’s Witness Christians
  • April 6
  • April 6 – 9 – Theravadin New Year – Buddhist
  • April 7 – Lazarus Saturday – Orthodox Christian
  • April 7-14 – Pesach (Passover) Passover – Judaism
  • April 8Easter – Western Christianity, Palm Sunday – Orthodox Christian
  • April 13Vaisakhi – Sikhism, Holy Friday – Orthodox Christian
  • April 14 – Baisakhi New Year – Sikh
  • April 15EasterEastern Christianity, Easter/Pascha – Orthodox Christian
  • April 19 – Yom HaShoah  – Judaism
  • April 21 – First Day of Ridvan  – Baha’i
  • April 23 – St. George Day – Christian
  • April 27 – Yom Ha’Atzmaut  – Jewish
  • April 29 – Ninth Day of Ridvan  – Baha’i
  • April 30 – Saint James the Great Day – Orthodox Christian, Lazarus Saturday – Orthodox Christian
Photo credit ~ courtesy of the Carl Sagan Planetary Society and in the public domain.
Video uploaded to YouTube by . The Pale Blue Dot: The picture of Earth from 4 billion miles away. As told by Carl Sagan through  favorite films set to the music of Mogwai.

Remember to Forget it!

Upon awakening this morning I clearly remembered an incredibly intelligent, scintillating, provocative and engaging post written, edited and spell-checked I wrote to share with you.  But now I can’t remember what I remembered.

Which brings me to an interesting question (well, I think it’s interesting):  What do I really pay attention to  in my waking life?  The hours, the days, the years – a recorded history of “me” somewhere,  largely irretrievable at will.  I only remember bits and pieces of events, stories told and repeated until I too believe  the version of how it happened, pictures in an album that prove I was there . . .

I remember now that this might be  the post I remembered and forgot . . . I think . . .?

International Woman’s Day, March 8th

International Woman’s Day  is not a frivolous day of self-congratulations.  It’s a recognition of the need to empower and help women all over the globe to be self-sufficient, be safe, promote peace and help create a better world for men too!

More information:

International Woman’s Day

The Hunger Project

Ten Ways to Help Celebrate 

The Ultimate Grace of Gratitude

Becca Givens always inspires me with her poetry, her art, her vision of the world. She reposted this short film, THE ULTIMATE GRACE OF GRATITUDE, by Jamie Dedes from INTO THE BARDO

I can’t say it any better than Becca: “May this touch your heart, soul and spirit in the ways you need – as it did mine! Enjoy with many blessings ~”

Becca Givens “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea”

Stoned Fish (Parenthetically Speaking)

Stoned Stone Fish

I feel a FISH post coming on!

For those of you new to CreativitytotheMax FISH is the single most searched for word that leads to this blog.  Go figure.  It all started serendipitously with this post  Butterfly Fish and the Single Scene

In order to amuse myself ( I amuse easily) and see if it drives up more fish hits I started posting interesting (well, to me anyway) things about the fishy underworld.

SOOOOOOOOO on that note here’s a double whammy word search for you:  STONE(D) and FISH.  (Stayed tuned)

“This fish has no scales, appears to be a rough stone with a rounded fish body and huge bug-like eyes. It weighs about 5 pounds and can grow to about a foot long, (The fishy biblical version – A foot for a foot).  It feeds upon other fish gliding above what they think is nothing but a harmless rock. Many a small fish or shrimp has become a meal for a fish so quick it snaps up its prey in less than a 15th of a second (Fast fish Food).
Human victims of the stonefish’s venom can’t do much to save themselves with the possible exception of applying heat. The application of heat to the stonefish’s venom renders the toxin somewhat ineffective. (Always carry a heating pad with you to the beach). But in cases where a simple application of heat won’t save the day, anti-venom is available. (if you can make it to a hospital before you die). Fishermen and others not careful about where they walk will feel the deadly sting of this remarkable animal, and some may not live to tell the (fish) tale.

The stonefish is prey to bottom-feeding scavengers like sharks. (When did you ever think you’d thank a shark?) However, its defense, the row of 13 (hmmmm) spines along its back, is quite effective against any fish that may attempt to put its jaws (what would posses any self-respecting fish to do that? – must be teen-ager fish) around the stonefish. The venom causes severe pain, paralysis and shock, and, once discharged, takes a few weeks to regenerate itself. (Always check first when was the last time the venom was discharged before thinking about stepping on a stone fish) During this time. the stonefish is not necessarily rendered helpless, the spines are still painfully sharp and surgically incisive.

The stonefish is not threatened or endangered in any way. (If I looked like that I’d be left alone too.)


This post dedicated to Laurie “FISHler”

(we had a tiny revelry but you’ll have to see for yourself:

Eppiglottis vs Butterfly Fish)


Art & Creativity for Healing

I just attended Art & Creativity for Healing HeARTS for Healing Women’s Guild meeting.  Art & Creativity for Healing is a non-profit organization I volunteered for as a facilitator in the early years of my being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Laurie Zagon is a working artist, art teacher and the founder of Art and Creativity for Healing.  I credit Laurie for helping me process the physical, emotional and spiritual upheaval I was experiencing and reconnect with my creativity.
However, I can’t give Laurie all the credit. She has to share it with the local throw-away Penny Saver paper.
Laurie had put an insert ad in the Penny Saver (the first and last time she ever did that) announcing community Art & Creativity Workshops.
I was tossing junk mail out and her insert fell out of the pile, catching my attention. (the first and last time I ever read a Penny Saver insert)  I was VERY skeptical that this was a legitimate organization that really provided free art workshops to help others. Who would advertise such an organization in a PENNY SAVER, on cheap grainy, low resolution paper no less?
I called mostly out of curiosity.  Laurie’s enthusiasm  convinced me to give one of her community classes a try.  The rest is history: I became enthralled, impressed and grateful for the process and program Laurie created; Much of the art work processing my relationship with fibromyalgia I created during that time was done under Laurie’s encouraging and loving  guidance.
This picture is one  I painted at Art & Creativity for Healing.  It is the only one I ever did that is a figure.  I painted it very quickly — maybe 15 minutes — and the figure emerged just as the second head is emerging from her shoulder.  

I didn’t consciously know it at the time but this painting reflected my own emergence from suffering.  The pain was still there but I no longer asked “Why me?”.  I began to focus on what I was capable of instead of what I no longer could or should do.

This painting hung in my office as a reminder for me that whatever my afflictions and limitations we are all capable of creating a better and more meaningful life for ourselves and others.

I probably should take out a “Thank You” ad in the Penny Saver.  Until then, this will have to suffice:  
“Thank you, Laurie!” 

Like all non-profit organizations it relies on contributions and community grants.  100% of  the money earned through community workshops  goes to providing  Creativity for Healing workshops for children and adults suffering from abuse, illness, grief or stress on-site, and at military bases, hospitals and non-profit agencies.

Since 2000, more than 30,000 children and adults throughout Southern California have participated in classes and workshops. The Zagon Method of Art4Healing® was originally developed by Laurie in New York City in 1987, as a workshop designed to help busy Wall Street executives deal with stress.
There are also community workshops and opportunities to be trained to work as a facilitator.  Check it out!

Art & Creativity for Healing


My Goal is to Get Adults to “Paint” Feelings like Children.

I set 3 rules for participants when I facilitate a Therapeutic Creative Expression workshop:

  1. There is no right or wrong way to express feelings with color.*
  2. There is no right or wrong way to express feelings with color.**
  3. There is no right or wrong way to express feelings with color.***
I am not looking for nor do I expect beautiful “art”.  
Take a look at examples of what I DO expect****

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

Pablo Picasso

* Exception to rule #1: No painting the walls

**Exception to rule #2:  No painting the carpet

***Exception to rule #3: No painting the facilitator.

****Every person in every workshop has exceeded my expectation.

Paintings from classes taught by Therese Lydia Joseph at

Dandelion Studios 

Take a look at Therese’s site – she’s a fabulous artist.  I love her use of color!


Can “Art” Be Medicine?

For the first time in my 26 years of being a therapist I have cancelled every single client and Jumbo Journal workshop for the entire week.  Some cold virus landed on me and decided to use my body to procreate.  If I didn’t feel so miserable it could be kinky.

Now I truly believe  that Creative Expression in any form – painting, dancing, singing, drawing, scrapbooking, knitting, journaling – is THERAPEUTIC.  

If I walked the walk I should be drawing, painting, collaging, singing and dancing.  Instead I just watched this video while I creatively sneezed into softy tissue and therapeutically moaned.  That’s about all the medicine I can swallow right now. 

P.S.  Please wash your hands after viewing the video because I touched it and

I don’t want you to get sick.
The transcript is below.

(Pictures are from my Therapeutic Creative Expression Workshops)

Transcript: Can Art Be Medicine?

Since the beginning of time art and the creative energy behind it has captured our imagination, energized us, comforted us, and inspired us. Creative expression has an undeniable power providing insight into what it means to be human. Is there something about creativity…how we engage with it and share it with others…that can actually improve our health? Can art be medicine?

Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD – Director, Penn State Institute for Diabetes & Obesity
Art has been around since the origins of our species and for it to have lasted as long as it has says something right away about how important and central it is to the human existence.

Edward Hirsch – President, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
There’s never been a culture without art. There’s never been a culture without poetry. There’s never been a culture without music. They must be delivering something to us that we really need for our pscyhes.

Robert A. Gabbay
You think back to those days and all the challenges that existed just to survive and have food, but they still took time for art so obviously it had some value for them. And that value clearly had something to do with health. We’ve forgotten the original stuff that worked quite well before we had all the medications and technologies for treatment.

Captain Jason Berner – US Marine Corps
Here I am a strong, physically demanding warrior. Why do I have to do art? I plan battles. I plan wars. I take life if absolutely necessary. I’m not doing art.

Stephanie Paseornek – Writer, Heart Transplant Recipient
The first second that I’m writing a poem…the first second that I started typing…I lived, I breathed a little bit deeper than I had that whole time. It felt better than trying to communicate with the doctors about how I was feeling or trying to communicate with therapists about how I was feeling because in truth in those situations people are trying to help you but you don’t necessarily know how you’re feeling.

Creative engagement bfings us into the moment. It puts us in touch with who we are and connects us with others. It helps us get unstuck. It helps us move forward.

In very traumatic illnesses and very traumatic situations like war, everyone is changed.

Captain Jason Berner
I lost three marines due to IEDs…I lost several of my friends in one deployment.

Stephanie Paseornek
When I was sixteen years old I had a heart transplant. I was in the hospital for three months.

Captain Jason Berner
I found it odd that each time I did something with art therapy I felt better because there was something in me that was dying to get out. And through art I was able to express it.

Stephanie Paseornek
I remember writing about this. I remember writing to my heart. I remember asking it to please work with me. I remember really almost in letter form just saying that I know this environment isn’t natural for you…I know that you’re in a foreign place and so am I…and together we can find a home.

The first thing is to think about something that you like about being at the hospital. Is there anything you like about being at the hospital? Is there anything good about being here?

Steven M. Safyer, MD – President and CEO, Montefiore Medical Center
It’s essential to add other components into traditional medical modalities. Anything from the use of artwork to the use of light, to the use of drama, to the use of storytelling…and the engagement of the patients and the patients’ families in an art experience to help them have the optimal care they deserve.

Charlotte Yeh, MD – Chief Medical Officer AARP Services, Inc.
We are learning that storytelling and arts and emotional health is just as fundamental to well-being as your physical health.

And just thinking about it, talking about it, writing it down, expressing it obliquely, expressing it directly…that can help.

Nobody knows what a scream looks like. Make your own scream.

Helen Meyrowitz – Artist, Alzheimer’s Care Giver
And one of the ways of doing it is to say to yourself, “I am feeling lousy today. I am feeling so goddamned (sic) blue and disgusted I could just scream.” Take out a pen and make a scream. Whatever that looks like…nobody knows what a scream looks like. Make your own scream.

Linda Hettick – North Hill Memore Care
Do you have a memory of the fall leaves…what you used to do and play with them? And what would that be? I remember as a little girl we’d have a bunch of friends and we’d gather up all the leaves and make it into a big pile and jump into it. And you remember doing that?

Captain Jason Berner
I would have never have talked about what this meant. But I was able to express it through something that everybody could see what it was and see what it meant. But it wasn’t me. I was shielded in some ways…I was protected. I was able to express it in a way that was safe for me.

Melissa Walker – Art Therapist & Healing Arts Program Coordinator, National Intrepid Center of Excellence
Drama’s actually encoded as sight, sound, smell.

Captain Frances Stewart, MD – Integrative Medicine Physician, National Intrepid of Excellence
Part of the brain that’s involved in speech called Broca’s Area just really does not work as well when people with PTSD are trying to talk about their experiences.

Melissa Walker
When you’re able to process what you’ve been through using the right hemisphere and then apply words, you’re then re-integrating the brain.

Arts can reduce stress and any emotional overlays that are associated with it. And stress and emotional aspects clearly are related to a variety of hormonal changes that can then lead to disease.

Captain Robert Koffman, MD, MPH – Deputy Director for Clinical Operations, National Intrepid Center of Excellence
I really believe that in the next few years we will have some detailed examples as to what works and those individuals that come in are studied intensely. And in doing so we are able to catch them in that freefall, but at the same time hopefully inform the system in months to years to come.

If all we did was sit back and wait to begin until something’s proven, nothing will ever happen. I predict more and more we will learn the benefits of storytelling, of writing, the use of various art modalities, and we’ll use that in our enviornment to create wellness and health and prove that it works.

Meghan D. Kelly, MSEd, CCLS – Director, Child Life Programs – The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
My dream for this work would be for it to be accessible in all venues…in the clinics, in the community, in the schools. It’s really such a valuable part of how to teach children and families how to deal with challenges in their life that I can’t imagine a single setting that it wouldn’t be appropriate to put it into.

Can you imagine if the prescription is not only for what the next pill is, or a prescription for not to have too much soda in your diet, but the prescription could also be: where’s your happiness? Where’s your pleasure? Where’s your artwork? Where’s your music? Come in and show me next time.

You don’t need to be an artist to do this kind of art that we’re talking about for healing. Anybody doing anything that feels good to do that is getting something in you out. I think the beauty here is this is all very accessible to virtually everybody.

Even though people might think that art is not the same as medicine, it was my medicine and I think that without it I would have still been sick.

Through simple things…able to create something that makes it okay to feel the way I feel…and help take that burden away.

Scientific research has already shown that harnessing the power of art can promote health and healing. It is now critical to expand these efforts. Exactly how creative expression promotes healing may forever remain somewhat mysterious. But the ability to draw on the power of art to transform and expand our lives, reduce suffering and create new possibilities is beginning to be accepted as real medicine. As real as an antibiotic or surgical procedure.

Medicine has made great strides in the past one hundred years. It’s now time to go one step further by incorporating artistic expression into the ways we provide health and healing. All will stand to benefit.

Foundation for Art and Healing

Read more: http://www.arttherapyblog.com/videos/can-art-be-medicine/#ixzz1d8u5cjoE

A Hug A Day Keeps Indifference at Bay

Dear All my Best Friends,

My human showed this video to me after she saw it on  the  Sunshine and Chaos blog.  The title ” Caturday Cuddles” (posted on Saturday – get it?) was much more clever than my Human’s Title.  (Her titles tend to be rather preachy, I find. – don’t tell her I said that)


This is one of the reasons I want my own kitty-cat.



More can be less & Less can be more

“There is always someone who has more and someone who has less than you”.
Growing up I remember my Mother telling me that over and over.   She would say it in response to my laments: My grades, my allowance, my looks, what I had, what I wanted . . .What I presumed others had that I didn’t . . .

My Mom deeply loved me and I knew then, as I know now, she was trying to teach me not to be jealous or covet what others had and to make the most of what I was given.  However, as a child I took it two ways:

1.  I would always be “average” no matter how hard I worked to excel.
2. I should not complain about what I don’t have and be grateful what I do have.

 After seeing this 5 minute video, it struck me that I need to reorganize those childhood beliefs:

It ultimately doesn’t matter if I’m average, below or above – be grateful for what I have, not lament what I don’t have and do my very best.
More or less all I have is me.

All God’s Creatures – Rescue of a Baby Hummingbird

Back in the “olden days” when it was safe for kids to walk to school I would find newborn birds that had fallen out of their nests in the large palms that lined our street.  I would carry them home where my Mother would feed them with an eye dropper. Most were much too young to survive.  When Sharon and Norris sent me this video it brought back memories.

This young man found this baby hummingbird after it was attacked and he nursed it back to health.

Be sure to have your sound on. The song in the background is almost as good as the video itself.

Click here to watch:

What do baby hummingbirds eat?

The female will feed them with a mixture of nectar and tiny insects and spiders, that she will collect in her crop and regurgitate the mixture into the mouths of the young. The insects and spiders will provide the protein that the baby hummingbirds need to grow.

The baby hummingbirds will be ready to leave the hummingbird nest in about three weeks.

How often do hummingbirds eat?

Because of their extremely high metabolism, hummingbirds will have to feed every 10 to 15 minutes, except at night when they go into a state of torpor to slow down heir metabolism so they can survive without eating until morning.

Thanks Sharon & Norris for the video!

Too Pooped to Post

Had a great Christmas at our good friends Susan and Don’s: Lots of deeeeeeelicious food, lots of people, lots of food, lots of gifts, lots of food, lots of champagne, lots of food, lots of laughter, lots of food.   We drove home at 10:30 pm in the lots of pouring rain.

And I ‘m too pooped to post!

(Pooped Positively Out Of Proprietary Eye-opening Didactics)

So, if you are wondering how lots of others celebrated Christmas  . . . .sit back and relax . . .

It’s a Small World After All.