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“The Female Brain” while cutting Quilt Squares

August 26, 2009

Last night I picked more tomatoes from my garden.  I didn’t think it was possible, but we had too many to eat so I gave a bowl of cherry tomatoes to the neighbors.  They’re the ones that seem most annoyed by the chickens, so I try to butter them up occasionally.  They admitted they’d been staring at our tomatoes over the fence and daydreaming that I would give some to them, so I think it was a good move.

I also picked one cucumber, and then made another salad with the homemade blue cheese dressing.  It was delish!


We still have a bunch of zucchini, so I chopped them up into strips, brushed them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese, then broiled them in the oven.  These were tasty, too!


When we went to the vet on Monday, Greta was diagnosed with a yeast infection of the ear.  Gross!  We have drops we give her each morning and I think her ear is slowly getting better.  The total bill from the vet was mind blowing…$150.  For an ear infection!  We went to the dog park with her last night, which was fun.  She is pretty big (112 lbs according to our last vet visit), but she’s afraid of the other big dogs at the park.  There was another Great Dane there last night that we wanted her to play with, but she just sniffed him a little bit, tucked her tail under really tightly a lot, and couldn’t really get into it.  She always seems to pick out small puppies to play with – she prefers her playmates to be less than 18 months old and also less than 50 lbs.  What a scaredy cat.

Speaking of pets, Barbie sometimes does not get out of the way when I make my bed in the morning.  So I just make her into the bed.  I came back into the bedroom 15 minutes after making her into the bed, and here’s what I found.  I think she likes to be nice & tucked in like this!


Last night after work I cut out about 6 more quilt squares.  It took me about 40 minutes to do this – am I doing something wrong that this takes so long?  I’m using a self healing cutting mat, a rotary cutter, and a clear ruler to cut alongside to keep the lines straight.  Laying out the fabric precisely, and doing the cuts as square as possible, seems to take forever.  I don’t get it.  I had more fun than usual last night, though, because I listened to an online lecture on while cutting the squares.  It was pretty interesting – titled The Female Brain.  It talked about hormonal changes throughout a female’s life, and how those hormones affect the brain.  One of the weirdest parts was that they’ve found the female brain shrinks by on average 8% during pregnancy!  It’s more than just a change in water weight, and they’re not sure exactly where the change takes place in the brain.  The good news is that the brain bounces back to normal by 6 months post-partum.  Oh, and the female brain also optimizes itself to care for infants.  One example given was that mothers can hear babies cry much earlier than the fathers hear them.  Also interesting: men with children hear babies crying much earlier than men without babies.  I guess it makes sense – your brain reorganizes itself and optimizes for whatever life situation you’re in.  Sort of like how if you practice piano every day, your fingers learn how to move in that exact way without you having to think about it!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Danilo Vargas permalink
    August 28, 2009 4:14 pm

    You are so lucky to have built a life surrounded by the most important things in life: your family, your backyard, your tomatoes, your chickens.
    I read every word of your description of your travels, I love bicicles and I love traveling. I wish I would have been smart enough to put them together earlyer in my life.
    Surprisingly, your life now is almost as interesting to me as those days that you guys were on the road.
    Congratulations on the baby.
    Please keep us informed.

    • August 29, 2009 1:26 pm

      Thanks so much for this sweet comment, we really appreciate it. We’re having a lot of fun with our garden, pets, and soon to be baby. I’m glad we can keep in touch with some of the people who followed our bicycle tour!

  2. Johanna permalink
    August 31, 2009 5:34 pm

    That hearing baby cry is pretty right on. I think I could pick out my babe’s cry over other cries. It’s pretty neat having a bionical ear 🙂

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