New Years Eve (Fri 31st Dec): 6am - 12noon
New Years Day (Sat 1st Jan): 8am - 12noon
My family is my motivation. I have been married for 30 years and have two grown sons, Matthew and Derek. My Marshy Bog Series was written about and for our two sons as they were growing up.
Our youngest son, Derek, had severe hearing problems as a child and I remember the times that he was made fun of due to speech problems. However, he was the type of person that could deffinately take care of himself when this happened but it still hurt. He does not have a speech problem today! Sadly, most children do not know how to defend against this type of situation and hide their fear of being taunted! I have approximately 12 stories written and I am excited that my first story was just released and titled, Billy Bob the Bullfrog. You see, Billy Bob has a tongue so long that it almost reaches the stars but due to this he can't speak properly. In short, Marshy Bog is Where Children Learn to Play!
I hope that my words encourage those that are different from others to find their own strength and become successful just like Billy Bob and Boomer the Badger.
Julie (pressing record on her voice recorder): Alright, so we are going to record our Java Junkie interview…
Jefferson (in the background): woah, woah… are we getting all high tech with our interviews now?
Julie: Don’t interrupt, this is valuable airtime you’re taking up here. So this is with Jane and Less Prior. How did you guys first find out about Read, Write & Brew?
Jane: Well, we take Taekwondo class across from the store, and I think the first person that really introduced us was Sara Webb. We try to come every Saturday after we work out. That’s our treat (laughs).
Julie: So what’s your favorite drink?
Less: The ‘Black and Tan’.
Jane: Yeah, the ‘Black and Tan’.
Less: So far…
Julie: What are you guys reading right now?
Jane: I did buy a book here when you had the Foothills and Vicinity Writers Group out here, and I’ve started to read that, the one about Kansas (‘What do you do with the yolks? ‘ by Carol Devlin). Since I’ve started homeschooling I’ve been reading a lot with Danny so, you know, my pleasure reading has kinda been put on hold, just because I try to read his lessons before the next lesson. I’m learning a lot from his studies.
Julie: How long have you been homeschooling Danny?
Jane: This is my second year. He’s in fifth grade. He loves to read. If he gets a good book, he’s a really good reader. So I’m really happy about that. That runs in our family.
Julie: So Jane, tell us about your project that you’re working on at the Taekwondo school.
Jane: Well I’m working on my black belt for December’s testing, and this testing is for my recommended black belt. My goal is to help raise money for the families who need assistance in paying for the Taekwondo classes. So to raise this money I’m helping Sara Webb with the Halloween event. We’re going to make it like a carnival and the money that people pay for the games goes towards that.
Julie: Oh, that’s the Trunk ‘n Treat! I remember you guys hosting that last year. What day are you having that this year?
Jane: Saturday October 30th from 4pm to 6pm. Everyone’s welcome to come and check things out and check the school out. We raise the money by people paying to take part in the activities, and Danny as well as Brett (Sara’s son) have volunteered to have people throw whipped cream at their face for one of the competitions. That’s the game I’m organizing for my project.
Less: There’s going to be food there too.
Jane: Everybody’s going to bring their own ‘pot luck’ for everyone to share. They’ll also have the contest for the trunks, where we all vote for the trunk that everyone likes best.
Less: And everybody gets candy because each trunk you go to, it’s like ‘trick or treat’, but it’s a ‘trunk or treat’, so you visit the ‘trunk’ and you get a ‘treat’.
Jefferson: So do you have junk in your trunk?
Jane: (laughs) In my trunk I’m going to have a donation jar and people are welcome to donate to the families with that. We have about 5 or 6 families that benefit from this fundraising, so we just need to get more money in there.
Julie: We’ll that’s awesome, I’ll have to make sure I promote that on our blog site [editor’s note: DONE!] So another question I usually ask our Java Junkies is, what would our blog readers be surprised to know about you?
Less: I met Mickey Rooney when I worked on the golf course. When I was at Tre Hills Country Club, I was top dressing tee’s and he was playing a round of golf with the gold pro. So he was giving the golf pro lessons. I ended up just top dressing and I went 4 or 5 holes with them. He was a character. And he’s really short like they say. He was just cracking jokes.
Julie: How long ago was that?
Less: Well, that was 30 or 40 years ago.
Jane: I think, what people would find surprising about us is that everyone thinks that Taekwondo is for kids but what we’re doing is something that’s really difficult for adults to do (taking classes). There’s about 10 parents that join in. But we’ve stuck with it and continue to stick with it. When I first brought Danny there I thought it was just for the kids but it’s for adults as well. That’s us getting on the mats and testing in front of people, which was hard because that’s not who I am. I have changed a lot from doing that in terms of confidence and how to talk to people. It’s hard for me to get up and speak in front of other people and I’m a little bit better with that now. I think that’s helped us a lot.Thanks guys for being our October Java Junkies - we hope you enjoyed your $10 gift certificate!
The meet and greet in full swing.
I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:
- June 28, 2010
It's an appealing notion that our daily pick-me-up may also confer a range of health benefits. And for coffee drinkers there's a lot of research percolating. Several studies suggest that a daily caffeine habit may help protect against Alzheimer's disease. But there's a catch. The cup or two a day that most Americans drink doesn't seem to be enough. Researchers say 500 mg of caffeine, or about five cups of regular coffee, is the dose that seems to protect the brain.
Five Cups A Day
This may sound like an excessive amount of caffeine. After five cups, lots of us would end up with the jitters and be making extra trips to the bathroom. But some coffee lovers are hard core:
"I drink five to six cups a day religiously," says Gary Arendash, a researcher at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, part of Florida State University. Arendash says he's convinced that caffeine is protecting his brain.
Arendash and his colleagues at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center have been studying the effects of caffeine on the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease. They've found that adding caffeinated water to rodents' diet results in big improvements. The mice perform better on short-term memory and thinking tests. But only if they get enough caffeine.
"The human equivalent of two to three cups of coffee does not have benefits in our Alzheimer's mice," says Arendash.
Arendash's team also documented that these super-caffeinated mice end up with about a 50-percent reduction in abnormal amyloid proteins, which are thought to play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's.
The typical American drinks about a cup and a half of coffee a day. "So you can see that many of us are below that threshold level that we believe confers protective benefits," says Arendash.
Evidence Not Conclusive
The Alzheimer's mice studies on caffeine are intriguing to researchers who are trying to translate the findings into advice for humans. But interpreting an animal study can be tricky.
"It's always a good starting point," says Joan Lindsay of the University of Ottawa. "But we never know how well it's going to hold up with humans." After all, people are a lot more complicated. And researchers have learned that mice can respond really differently than humans do to a drug, an environmental toxin or a change in nutrition.
Another challenge is to find a reliable test of the memory of mice. Arendash uses a mouse maze to assess the spatial memory of his Alzheimer's mice. He puts the mice in little swimming pools with lots of alleys and dead-ends to see how quickly they can find and remember hidden escape platforms. Similar computer-based maze tests are used in human studies.
"The first thing that is lost in Alzheimer's is short term memory -- the memory for what happened a few seconds or a minute ago," says Arendash. "That's what (the water maze) is focusing on."
Observations Of Coffee-Loving Middle-Aged Folks
There wouldn't be as much interest in Arendash's mice studies if scientists hadn't also begun to gather some evidence that a steady caffeine habit is beneficial to people, too.
One recent study comes from Finland where researchers followed about 1,400 coffee drinkers for more than two decades. Researchers found one group seemed to benefit the most: the people who'd been drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in their 40s and 50s.
"They had about a 65-to-70-percent reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in their 70s," says Huntington Potter, a neurobiologist at the University of South Florida. Potters says effects held up even when researchers controlled for things such as cardiovascular disease, which can influence the risk of dementia.
A few other smaller studies in Europe have led to similar findings, but experts say the research only establishes a correlation between coffee drinking and brain protection.
"I'd hesitate to say that there's epidemiologic evidence that coffee prevents Alzheimer's disease," says Reisa Sperling, an Alzheimer's researcher at the Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard University.
It's possible that these regular coffee drinkers might have other habits in common that could explain the protective effect. "People who are very active in mid-life are more likely to be drinking coffee than couch potatoes," says Sperling. Maybe the coffee drinkers aren't benefiting from the coffee as much as they are from keeping their minds and bodies active. The studies make it difficult to suss out.
Coffee Drinking Can't Offset Genetic Risks
Sperling says Alzheimer's is an incredibly complicated disease. Exercise and good nutrition do seem to be protective, but a person's risk is largely determined by genes. No one behavior or diet change -- like coffee drinking -- can erase that risk.
If future research brings stronger evidence that caffeine may modify the risk by some small percentage that means coffee lovers will have one more reason to drink away.
Just make sure those five cups don't keep you up all night -- sleep is important to health, too. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]
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