Monday, March 02, 2015

Diva's the Roller Derby Queen

When I was 8 years old one of my favorite past times was roller skating.  The picture above are the street skates I used, complete with a skate key to tighten up the clamps on my shoes.  The skate key was very important or else the skate fell off every time you picked up your foot.  I lost many skate keys growing up and had to get my dad to use a pair of pliers to adjust the clamps so I could skate.

Not only were the skates heavy and awkward but I learned to skate on the sidewalks outside our home in Abilene, Texas.  Our side walks were cracked and if you had any speed at all and hit the rough and uneven pavement a fall was the predictable outcome.  I don't remember how many times I fell but I usually had bruises, skinned knees and elbows and lots of colorful  bandaids to show for my skating adventures. ( Remember this was long before knee and elbow pads and helmets.  So if occasionally Diva acts goofy its probably from a childhood skating accident.)  Occasionally my parents would take pity on my injuries and take us skating at the local roller rink.

Ah.....the roller skating rink with a wooden , even round floor with lots of room to skate and shoe skates that they rented out.  Back in my day it was 8 year old heaven.  For my 8th birthday my parents rented out the roller rink and had my birthday party there.  I was the most popular girl in school for that brief week.  I was able to invite all my classmates, Sunday School class friends, Brownie troop, neighbors and friends. What could be better than shoe skates, birthday cake,  presents , music to skate by  as well as skating games and couples skates.  I skated with Jerry Cleveland my third grade crush....he had braces, bright red hair cut in a crew cut, thick glasses and was the smartest boy in my class.  (Yes,  my darlings, your Diva was attracted to Nerds even back in the day.  Jerry was a math whiz and did my math home work for me. (But don't tell great grandmother--she just thought I got really smart in math in that year!) 

   I broke my arm roller skating.  It was the first of three broken wrists that I experienced in the first , second and third grade.  My cousins used to say that "I was slippery" , I think they meant that I was breakable.  It was my left wrist.  I was going too fast down an incline and couldn't stop myself from hitting a parked car.  I used my left hand to try and stop myself but it bent  backward and I heard it snap.  I wore a cast on it for 6 weeks.

In high school I used to watch Roller Derby on TV.  The girls skated on a banked track and it was really a physical contact sport.  My friends always laughed at me that I enjoyed watching it and called me the Roller Derby queen.  I actually got to go to a game in Norfolk and meet one of my heroes....Joan Westin of the Bay City Bombers. 

As I write this for you today I want you to know how excited we are to see you play soccer, skate, dance, write and create.  Poppa and I love you very much and pray for your every single day.  Know that you are always in my heart and in my thoughts.

Your Roller Derby Skating Queen......Diva

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Cleaning up so I can get help this weekend


partial view of my mountain of used clothing

This is Mount Clothesmore taken today.  This is just the side picture of my clothing mountain.  Charlie has had to build a temporary restraining  wall around it so we can maintain a walkway.  To make matters worse we are still taking in almost 2000 pounds more each week.

January and February are very cold months and gym is always freezing even with three heaters going full blast in the the clothing tent.  This Friday we are expecting a group of Pioneer Girls from Silver Springs Maryland to help put a sizable dent into the many laundry carts pile as high as we can get them.  The clothing in the tent is already pre-sorted and just in need of rolling them and packing and taping them.  We are hoping for about 100 boxes to be done over the weekend from this very remarkable group of teens.  In addition to the sorted clothing we also have 900 pounds of hospital linens to be boxed as well as shoes and a smaller hill of linens.

The hard part is getting everything sorted so they can come in and start immediately.  People will forgive you for many things but not for wasting their time.  We like all our groups to have projects that have a beginning, a middle and an end.  We like to have our volunteers feel like they have accomplished a task.

Orientation involves wearing some of unusual fashion accessories!
This is lovely Lydia who helped me this morning sorting even more clothing for the weekend group.  I loved her enthusiasm an many questions.  The clothing behind her have all been sorted for the this coming weekend.  She had some very good ideas about some of our discarded clothing and even volunteered to take them to a rag distribution center.  I love it when a plan comes together. Feel free to come help us box and sort.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Happy Birthday Becky

Happy Birthday to our oldest child Rebekah .  I still remember holding you in my arms for the very first time and thanking God for being able to participate in a miracle.  I was amazed by your perfection and tenacity (it was a long labor) but there you were perfect and complete and ready to change our lives forever.

You took 2 very inexperienced people and slowly shaped us into parents.  You knocked off our rough edges and taught us valuable life lessons.  You taught us how to improvise, how to function on very little sleep, how to love deeper  than we ever knew we could.

You broke our hearts with your tears, and made the day brighter with your baby laughter. (Still to this day baby laughter is the best sound in the whole world!)

You were the big sister to baby ZooZoo.  You were Mommy's little helper and quickly learned how to have an adoring audience with your siblings.  You were their protector, the instigator, the hero and the villain all wrapped up in one.

What a miracle to watch you with your own daughter now.  You have grown into a very strong, independent woman with  strong opinions and deep convictions.  I love how you encourage Emma to be a soccer player, princess, scientist, ballerina, ringette player, Brownie and reader.  You are a great example of a strong, compassionate, knowledgeable woman and a wonderful role model for your daughter.

Wish we could be there to spoil you.   Love Momma

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Our cats own us.

Meet the cats, Lucy Grey and JJ the orange marmalade .  They like to sleep on our bed during the day.  They are 12 years old now so have become seniors like the the two of us.

Did you know that owning a pet has been associated with a bunch of different health benefits? The root of these health benefits is probably the fact that owning a companion animal reduces stress and depression. This is probably because the love hormone, oxytocin (which we produce in response to physical touch, feelings of connection, love, and positive social interactions), regulates adrenal function and neurotransmitter production, with the overall effect of lowering cortisol production in response to stress and supporting brain chemistry linked with improved mood and resilience to stress. Oxytocin also regulates the immune system, and there are a number of fascinating research papers showing improvements in disease outcome with touch, human connection, and yes, pets.

Anything that reduces stress improves a variety of health conditions. In fact, reducing stress has been shown to be beneficial in every chronic disease in which a link has been investigated. So it's no surprise that companion animals also reduce blood pressure, reduce serum cholesterol, improve outcome in cardiovascular disease sufferers, lower risk of heart attack, reduce allergies, reduce obesity, lower risk of stroke, improve rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, and benefit those with ADHD.

Our cats have taught us that cat napping is a good thing.  There's good evidence humans can benefit from catnaps, too. A study involving about 24,000 people indicates regular nappers are 37% less likely to die from heart disease than people who nap only occasionally. Short naps can also enhance alertness and job performance.

Our cats love to be near us and are especially nice to snuggle up with on cold winter days.  They bring us dead mice, and greet us first thing every morning.  We have a brother and sister that have been together all their lives so they are pretty spoiled and have spoiled us.

As much as I miss our dog Spot...I must admit the cats are easier to care for and much more independent.  You own a dog, a cat owns you.

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