Where kids’ Olympic hopes begin

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When everyone was hunkered down at home on Sunday, escaping the cold and ice, I joined Heidi Acuff, Theresa McHugh and Jeff Crandall at Frontier Ice Arena for the Lake City Figure Skating Funtastic Exhibition.

Our mutual friend and ice skater extraordinaire, Amy Bartoo, enlisted us to serve as faux judges while the young skaters gained the experience of performing alone on the ice and in front of judges.

To say it was a most delightful way to spend a couple of hours would not do the event justice. Watching these budding young skaters in a local ice rink while the Winter Olympics is happening gave real appreciation to where Olympians are made. The grace and athleticism of the figure skaters we’re seeing at the winter games started with families spending time at the rink. I don’t know if any of the two dozen or so young skaters on the ice Sunday will ever achieve the dream of Olympic gold, but their love of skating looked like a win to me.

Check out frontiericearena.org for classes, clinics and exhibitions.

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Dr. Jenni Grimmett is a large animal mobile veterinarian who lives in Sagle. I love following her adventures via her blog and Facebook page. She had this message for people who have animals larger than dogs and cats in this dangerously cold weather.

“February is an awful month for these cold snaps because many animals are already stressed, tired and immunologically challenges by the long months of winter. It was almost 50 degrees in some places last week and now it’s barely 1 degree and windy. That’s a tough adjustment. Here is how you can help prevent a visit from me this week.

1. Blanket your horses. Even if it’s just for a few days, the windbreak alone is helpful in these temps. It doesn’t mean you will have to leave the blanket on the rest of the winter. Just until temps are in the 20s and 30s again.

2. Feed lots of grass hay. The fiber digestion in the hindgut keeps them warm better than that added scoop of grain does. Up the hay.

3. Push the salt. Add loose salt to the grain. Offer a handful of the stuff to your horses by hand. Mine will lick several tablespoons out of my hand at times. This will help drive thirst and water consumption.

4. Check your tanks and heaters. Make sure they are working and the water is clean. If you’ve just been topping off the tank and not dumping it all winter you may have accumulated a layer of detritus that your tank heater has been crock potting that has added a funk to the water. Cleaning tanks in these temps sucks, but not as much as paying for the vet to administer fluids via NG tube.”

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For a lifetime I’ve marked the date of my birth in May, but Feb. 24 is when I celebrate my second chance birthday. That’s the day in 2006 that stents were placed in two coronary arteries that were nearly 100 percent blocked. I dodged the heart attack bullet by maybe a day or a week or a month. Without the intervention of the Kootenai Heart Center, I would have had a heart attack that I may or may not have survived. I did have a heart attack two years later on Jan. 17, 2008, but getting to the emergency room at the outset allowed the trained medical professionals to again place stents and permanent damage was prevented.

Coronary heart disease is America’s No. 1 killer, claiming twice as many people as all forms of cancer combined. It is not a man’s disease or an old person’s disease. It’s an equal opportunity disease that’s been particularly prevalent in my Baby Boomer generation. We’re not dumb, we’re in denial.

Being proactive and assertive where medical care is concerned is vital. I continue to be humbled by the knowledge that, for whatever reason, I’ve been given not one but two second chances at life. www.heart.org.

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Things to Do: Thursday, Empty Bowls soup dinner to benefit the Post Falls Food Bank’s weekend backpack nutrition program. Receive a hand-painted bowl to keep and sample dozens of homemade soups. $20 per person, from 5-7 p.m. at the Post Falls Senior Center.

Friday, Hearts for Homes dinner, dance, auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity North Idaho. Hagadone Event Center, 6-9:30 p.m.

Saturday, Teddy Bear Clinic at Heritage Health, 10 a.m. - noon. Children bring their favorite stuffed animal to learn about visiting the doctor. outreach@myheritagehealth.org, 208-292-0280.

Sons of Norway Lutefisk and Lefsa dinner at Trinity Lutheran Church in Coeur d’Alene. 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Reservations: 772-2903

On Sunday the rescheduled 21st Annual Frosty Bunz Run, 9:30 a.m. at Lawrence’s Motorcycles in Coeur d’Alene, ride ends at Curly’s Hauser Lake.

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Happy Birthday today to Megan Reagan, Diane Zell, Jerry Moss and Paige Watkins. Tomorrow Mark Sales, Tami Crawford, Joseph Louck, Billie Jo Campbell, Jim Clark and Jack Lash take another trip around the sun. Celebrating Friday are Sydney Knox, Janet Curry (50!), Shawn Telford, Corinna Hunter, Diane Mort, Louise Robeson, Bill Kaufman, Holly McNee, Denise Wilbanks and Marion Brendis. Saturday birthdays belong to Ingrid Allen, Sheila Wooley, Betty Leonard, Tamara Booth (60!) and Barb Koerner. Nathan McLeod, Peter Braunlich, Barb Dietrick, Rosalie True (70!) and Jimmy Conrow mark their special day. Brad Medlock, Tina Hough, Lauren McShea, Jeremy McComb, Carolyn Peterson, Peter Braunlich, Clara Hester, Sherry Wallis, Sunny Day and Ron Gonzales will celebrate on Monday. John Darlas, Karen Cocoran, David Sheridan, Tawny Brown, Camille Hutchison, Steve Lux, Eddie Jerome, Hailey Pierce and Mary Herrick are blowing out the birthday candles on Tuesday.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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