Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Do you ever wonder how stuff started? You’ve probably heard that old joke, “Who was the first person to look at a chicken and think, ‘I’m gonna eat the next thing that comes out of that thing’s butt!’?”

I wonder that about a LOT of stuff. Like, all the time.

Some things make a certain kind of sense. Even chicken eggs: you can see how some heretofore uninformed young cave dweller could notice that chickens laid eggs, and that snakes and dogs birds bigger than chickens liked to eat those eggs … and didn’t die. And you can imagine how that forward thinking (and, let’s face it, probably Aspie) young foodie would consider doing the same thing.

But then one has to wonder: at what point did they first think of applying heat? Was it a great big accident, like the hilarious skit in Ringo Starr’s unhit Caveman? Perhaps. Or perhaps a certain kind of brain and inclination conspire together to make obvious what is utterly opaque to the rest of us.

Take music, for instance. I love music. But I’m no musician. Even singing in key is beyond my . I certainly don’t have the kind of mind that could originate great orchestras. At best – with a GREAT amount of practise and effort (on both my own part and that of my instructors) – I might be able to replicate a not-too-painful to listen to facsimile of the original. If the original was Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. On a xylophone.

I’ll never be Mozart. I’ll never even be Macklemore. And let’s be honest – there’s a pretty big gap between those two.

But the thing is: they, and the millions of music makers that have ever lived, have the ability to hear something beautiful or powerful or moving in their heads, and convert it into something audible that we can all hear. And they’re actually instrument agnostic. It’s not as if they sat at a piano for a few hours and recorded whatever came out and hoped for the best. They created it. They originated it.

How? How was that in there?

Even more fascinating to me is the concept of creating a musical instrument in the first place. The users of those instruments are genius, surely. But the dudes who made them? Wow. That’s a kind of lateral twistification I just don’t think my brain could begin to comprehend.

Who first made a brass tube, twisted it, and blew into one end to see what happened? Who tied some strings to bits of ivory and gave them a whack? Or even a tickle, as the saying goes … I mean, how does a piano become an obvious design in someone’s mind?

I was thinking about that today (as you can tell). We were talking about the impact of a bullet on a watermelon. As you do. And I got to thinking: why does the watermelon explode? Why doesn’t the bullet just go neatly through, and lodge itself in the next available surface? (In fact, perhaps it does. But not in the movies. And that’s my frame of reference.)

It occurred to me that the shattering watermelon is the result of the exploding bullet. The watermelon rind is hard enough to cause the bullet’s impact against it to explode the bullet. But unlike, say, human flesh, the flesh of the watermelon yields too little resistance to obstruct a catastrophic explosion. So, instead, the whole thing explodes, pips and all. Mush.

Which made me wonder: who invented bullets? More specifically: how? I can imagine that throwing rocks at people you’re not fond of is a time-honoured tradition and effective in most circumstances. And I can see how the slingshot wouldn’t be too big a leap once we worked out the whole wearing clothes and cutting fabric palaver. Along the way, people realised that the greater the force applied, the more satisfying the result.

All of that makes sense. It’s logic. I can even see how a strip of fabric could develop into a slingshot could develop into a catapult (the same, only bigger) could develop into a canon could develop into a gun. It only takes one freak accident next to a keg of gun powder to see the explosive potential there. (Sorry ;))

But the true feat of engineering genius is the bullet. Everything about it as a marvel. The shape. The materials it’s made of. The tooling. The contents. The way it works. It’s incredible. Who thought it all out … and how did they get there? Stones and things like stones have worked for millennia. Who finally said, “You know, let’s throw something else.”?

And as I thought about it, I realised, the person who created the first exploding bullet was probably not a genius like Mozart. He probably didn’t have a fully formed gorechestra (see what I did there?) in his mind before he started tinkering. He was probably just doing exactly that: tinkering. He may have had some vague idea of where he was headed. But he was probably trying things out to see what would work.

When he started, he didn’t know where he was headed.

He didn’t know.

When a baby takes her first step, she has no idea what she’s doing or why. She doesn’t know what’ll happen. She just does it. She tries different things. She discovers her own potential, and the options made available by this new skill. She learns and grows and improves. And she loves it. Every step is fun. Each improvement is an achievement.

There’s a sense of wonder at her unfolding new knowledge and skill – a joy that drives her to push the boundaries and discover more and more. An excitement that makes us all her greatest cheerleaders.

When do we lose that?

When do we finally decide, “I know enough. I have the knowledge I need to accomplish everything I have ever wanted to do. If I don’t know it now, I never will. And if I don’t do great and amazing and perfect, flawless things from now on, I never will – the only way I can possibly fail is if I am truly an idiot.”?

Maybe it’s when we finish the formal phase of our education – be it school or “higher” education or anything else we sign up and pay for. We think that anyone with a (degree/diploma/matric) should be able to do whatever thing we’ve set out to do.


Based on what? No one ever got the thing right on the first try. (Well, except those Mozart types. Are you one of those? Because if so, this isn’t for you.)

We need to rediscover the joy of not knowing stuff. We need to reignite our courage and wonder and excitement and just try stuff out. We need to explore and investigate and see what works – and bravely admit to what doesn’t.

Most of all, we need to learn and grow and learn and grow some more … and just keep doing that wonderful stuff until we breathe our last.

That way, we can never, ever fail. Our ideas might not always work out the way we hope. But that’s great. That let’s us try new ideas, new perspectives. New projects. New new new. And all the while, we keep learning.

And we never, ever lose our sense of wonder.

Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder

Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder

Inside an Anorexic Mind

I’ve shared before about my journey through anorexia here and here, and more recently here. Today I was listening to random TED talks while working, and I found this.

For the first time, someone gets it.

I am free of this disease. It’s been a long time since this “noise” Laura Hill describes controlled my life. But I do still have it sometimes. It’s a relief to hear Dr Hill’s insights and the results of her research, and to know: it’s not selfish or shallow or spoilt or stupid. It’s just a disease – and it’s treatable.

Elexoma: Brain Stimulation for Novices

Elexoma: brain Stimulation for Novices

We’ve been using the Elexoma device since Thursday. And by “we”, I mean mostly me. I’ve been making Goldilocks do it too, when time permits.

She was reluctant at first, but soon came to see the value.

Yesterday I couldn’t find it, so I didn’t use it. Goldilocks was in a bad mood and retreated to her room, and when I went to check on her I found her using the Elexoma all by herself. And it helped a lot, she said – even though she only managed to squeeze in about nine minutes.

I must say that I am feeling more relaxed and better able to cope generally. My sleep has also improved enormously. And, interestingly enough, my tics seem to be better now, too. So that’s a very good thing.

In fact, I’m using it now, as I type.

In the first post, I mentioned that my cysts were taking strain: they were noticeably bigger, and felt as though they were about to burst. Now, however, they’re a lot smaller. And they barely hurt at all. In fact, I’m no longer even aware of the ones on my head, and it’s been a very long time since I could say that. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve cut out chocolate and crisps, or if it’s the Elexoma doing it’s thang.

Maybe it’s both.

My particular interest is to note that it’s helping Goldilocks. Like – a lot. She is calmer, more confident, and less prone to tics. Her concentration seems to have improved, as well. That’s not to say that we don’t still have melt downs to deal with. Because we do. But they’re less intense and easier to resolve.

So far, so good.

Read more here: www.BoostMyBrain.co.za

Coffee. Productivity in a cup. Well, mug. Well - pot, really.

Coffee. Productivity in a cup. Well, mug. Well – pot, really.

Let’s recap the detox: Day 3 started badly. We both ached from head to toe and sported pounding headaches, rank breath and scratchy throats. Our voices were croaky, and clean teeth and fresh water did little to improve matters.

Faced with a large, greasy breakfast, I felt ill and battled to finish it. In fact, I couldn’t, and gave my excess bacon to Goldilocks. Who even knew there was such a thing as excess bacon?? Staggering out of bed late, we were only eating breakfast by 8:30, and I doubt we even made it to 9AM before I caved and made us coffee. Bulletproof, of course.

Oh. My. Word. Sweet hot ambrosia that wipes away the pain and badness of – well, everything. I confess that I chased the first delicious cup with a second, and then everything was right with the world. Armed with confidence, energy and a clean(ish) intestine, the girls and I tackled the mammoth task of sorting out their rooms. Not only did we tidy them – we switched the beds from one to the other, and threw away an entire bin bag’s worth of debris! And it only took us three hours – unaided by male assistance, I hasten to add.

It was amazing.

Then I made lunch, went shopping, got some work done, and we spent some family time huddled around the TV, watching Chuck. As you do. Red Riding Hood has decided to become a spy. Obviously. I think the role would suit her. She can be enigmatic if she wants to. And black certainly looks great on her.

Work was so much easier, since I had a clear brain and could focus on what was most important, and what needed to be done next.

We had our customary, doctor approved cheat of tiny avos and small amounts of biltong in the mid afternoon, but by seven o’clock we’d caved utterly. I guess it’s my fault for making what is arguably the best ever crustless quiche. Or maybe just the best food starving people have ever tasted. And yes, I know. We were hardly starving. We were weak and yielded easily to the temptation of the overfed.

Sunday morning was a doddle. We woke up refreshed and energised, ready to tackle a caffeine-fueled day, and be awesome. A big breakfast (with coffee) was followed after Church by raw nut and dried fruit bars from DisChem. Lunch comprised absolutely amazing omelettes, stuffed with fied onions, sautéed mushrooms and delicious cheese. And supper was chicken stew cum bone broth and boiled / steamed veg.

All in all, it was delicious, and we certainly feel cleaner and more focused. Papa Bear can concentrate better than ever (except the last time he did SCD with us); his mood is better, and he’s lost 4kg! (I, on the other hand, lost nothing, and made no progress whatsoever towards sorting out my little problem. Which, frankly, is so disheartening that I’m thinking of seeing a doctor.)

Last night I sat and made a comprehensive list of what I need to achieve this month. It’s doable, and having it all laid out in front of me makes me feel confident that I can and will achieve it, and that it’s manageable, rather than overwhelming. Which is definitely what I felt before I did that.

I’ll write a separate post on the Elexoma.



You’d think a “fast” that includes a healthy plate of bacon and eggs very day would be a doddle.

It ain’t.

This morning, we woke up late. And we felt awful. Wracked from with pain from head to toe, and sporting killer headaches, we were not happy campers.

We ate our breakfast and even survived the ginger tea – which I normally love. But it just isn’t coffee.

We used the Elexoma CES programme, and I even used the sinus programme, to try and get the headaches in line. But after painful throbbing all morning, and completely fuzzy brains, we gave in and each had a (doctor-approved) aspirin.

It helped.

I am far from perky and bright, but I feel a whole lot cleaner. I’m holding out hope that by Sunday we’re refreshed and renewed.

We shall see.

Starting today, we’re using ourselves as guinea pigs. We’ve gotten our hands on a second hand Elexoma device (thanks, Doc Frank!). We’re using it to help us with

  • Anxiety
  • Migraines
  • Concentration
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Tics
  • And anything else it can take care of.
Elexoma - close up

Elexoma – close up

Here’s what the Elexoma site has to say on the site:

How can a little device make people happy?

Well, no one knows exactly how it works, but it has been clearly proven that the Elexoma Medic increases the energy inside the neurons by 500 to 800%. The brain uses this extra energy to improve performance. Furthermore, tests have shown that the emotional (irrational) part of the brain is subdued by treatment, while the rational part is stimulated (more about this later). In other words, the Elexoma Medic gives the brain the energy it needs to perform better, and creates an environment fit for best rational and creative performance.

Here is what one study found:

A 386% increase in attention span test results after just 20 minutes of a single CES treatment in healthy volunteers
– Southworth S, A Study of the Effects of Cranial Electrical Stimulation on Attention and Concentration, Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, 1999, Vol 34:1, 43-53.

Papa Bear, Goldilocks and I have all used it today. So far, we’re more relaxed and concentrating better. And we’re happier generally. The various cysts on my body are throbbing and painful – they feel as though they want to burst.  My tics feel more marked, and I have a one: a strange hand twisting thing that vaguely resembles a very strange and pedantic sign language. I haven’t heard, yet, what Goldilocks’ experience is, but Papa Bear said he’s feeling happy and chilled out.

Intermittent Fasting

Doc Frank has also given us an interesting, and very unusual fast. We do get to eat – but only once a day. (Breakfast, as you can imagine.) You get one meal, comprising as many eggs as you’d like, bacon, and thick organic plain greek yoghurt. No coffee. No alcohol. No sugar of any kind – even fruit or honey.

(The girls aren’t doing this, of course. They’re going gluten free, but that’s the extent of it. )

(Well, they were … until Papa Bear bought them each a Steers Burger.)

So, this morning around 7AM we treated ourselves to bacon and eggs and delicious yoghurt. It was awesome. We didn’t feel hungry until around 3PM … and in fairness, we didn’t feel hungry then, either – we were ravenous. So (I confess) we snuck a few sneaky strips of bacon. I hope it’s not too big a cheat. We shall see.

We’re on the fast for three days, and then we launch GAPS. I’d love to tell you aboutit … but frankly, I’m a little woozy from the fast.

(It really makes me think hard about those folk who have so little to eat, and have to get a day’s work done. Yikes.)



The Phantom. Snazzy threads.

The Phantom. Snazzy threads.

After spending the afternoon with their best friends – and their best friends’ remarkably enchanting little brother – my girls have decided that the time has come. We need to adopt a little boy. (Brown for preference.)

They’ve even picked out names.

I’m trying – to absolutely no avail – to explain just how expensive babies are. And how busy I am (not to mention tired!). Goldilocks’ response? “We’ll take care of him!”

Before I could jump in and point out that she’s far too young for that kind of responsibility, Red Riding Hood said pointedly, “That’s what she said about the bird … and it DIED!”

(Unfortunately this is true. It was an old bird, mind you. And her comedic timing and delivery were impeccable.)

I tried to distract them. Somehow, my meanderings led us to the subject of marriage. Goldilocks reiterated her frustration at the fact that more women are becoming breadwinners. (I’d have thought she’d be thrilled: feminism:1, patriarchy:0. But no.)

At this, Red Riding Hood replied emphatically, “That’s why I’m never getting married!”

Being an evil mother, I asked, “What, not even if he’s the Phantom of the Opera?” (She has a huge crush.)

Goldilocks supported me. “He’d be better: no kidnapping!”

Red Riding Hood leapt to her true love’s defence: “Actually, she went with him, you know. I would never go with a creepy guy who steps through my mirror – no matter how good he looks, or how great his voice is, or how well he dresses!”

At least she has her priorities right?

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