Thursday, September 30, 2010


When I was growing up in the late 60s and early 70s, this was one of the "protest" songs guaranteed to drive my folks up the wall. When I was in my 30s and trying to explain why I was against the war to a Navy EOD Chief, this is the song I sang (badly). Now? I think it is a tribute to our soldiers and I hope y'all take it that way. Be we for the war or against it, here's to the heroes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why do YOU donate blood?

Every 56 days or thereabouts, our local blood bank, Coffee Memorial Blood Center, has a blood drive in our town . It is generally held in the community center and it is definitely a community affair. Everyone shows up - young and old, employed and unemployed, moms with their kids and occasionally a grandparent with their grandkids. CJ used to go with me and it was really cool. Being held in the community center, there is no privacy so he got to see all the nuts and bolts involved in blood donation, from the pre-donation screening to the post-donation cookies and drinks which, of course was his favorite part. I always shared.

Last Wednesday, I had a 5:00 appointment to donate. I signed in and the intake person asked what my blood type was. I told her and she asked if I would be interested in symbol (maybe cymbal, I didn't ask). I asked what it was and she said that it was a double donation of red blood cells.

I had previously donated through the apheresis process at the blood bank's main office in Amarillo whereby they harvest platelets from your blood and then return your blood back to you with a nifty little machine. This double red cell donation is very similar.

Only one needle is inserted just like a standard donation. The difference? You donate about 1/2 a pint and it goes through a centrifuge. Then the machine reverses itself and pumps saline solution into you. This happens four times until you have donated two bags instead of one. The fun part? The blood leaving your body is somewhere around 98 degrees. The saline solution entering your body is room temperature or somewhere around 65-70 degrees.

I cannot begin to tell you how bizarre this feels. The phlebotomists check on you fairly often and make sure that you are warm enough, offering blankets if needed. It doesn't take but 25 to 30 minutes longer than the regular donation process and I was through by 6:15. The thing that I didn't realize before I got my paperwork is that the double donation also means that you can only donate every 112 days instead of 56.

After you are through donating, there is an evaluation form to fill out for the blood bank. They ask what they did well and what they could do better. The question that always stumps me is "Why do you donate?"

I don't know. It's just what you do. My dad and mom always donated blood to the Carpenter's Union account at their local blood bank. When my daughter was hurt in a car accident as a baby, she needed several transfusions. The blood bank was there.

When my youngest daughter had her son, she needed blood. The blood bank was there.

I asked my friends on facebook why they gave blood and, predominantly, it was out of generosity. Almost all of us know someone who has needed blood and almost all of us know someone who will need blood. As one of my friends pointed out, blood is one of the things that even the miracles of modern medicine cannot replicate. So, even though I have turned this over in my mind for a lot of time, I still just have the same answer.

I donate because it's what you do.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun Monday - Genie edition

Our hostess this week is Sayre, as she has been for the entire month. This week? Here's what she wants -"I want to know your heart's desire in the form of three wishes."

This is hard. Do I want y'all to think that I am loving and kind and altruistic? or do I just want to be honest? Hmmm. OK, here's my wishes and you can decide which direction I took.

1. I want to have "enough" money.
I don't want a certain amount. I don't want to be filthy rich. I just want to be able to get what I want when I want it and to give what I want when I want to give it and to be able to endow a library. Maybe I do want to be filthy rich.

2. I want to be thinner.
I do not want to be thin, just thinner - and I don't want to have to give up a single thing that I love eating to do it.

3. I want to be cherished.
I do not want to be just loved or appreciated, I want to be cherished - by someone other than God.

That's it, folks. Now hop on over to Sayre's and see what everyone else wants.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Out with the old and in with the new

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about my husband's Harley. I still like brand names and I guess he does, too. The bike I wrote about is the one behind him with the armadillo on it. His new bike is the one in front of him. I was less than gracious last night when he came home and told me that he had purchased it. So this is for you, hon. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Queen of the Mountain

Bonnie has always been the smallest and, until Goose, the youngest dog. The other dogs tolerate her mainly because they do not really recognize her as a dog. Goose, though, likes to make Bonnie make the squeaky toy noise and then Duck and Holly want to make her make the same noise. We do not encourage this behavior. We actively discourage this behavior. Bonnie generally finds someplace low and small to take refuge when she gets tired of being the squeaky toy.

The other afternoon, I got out of bed and made my way to the ladies' room which also doubles as the mens' room in my house. I was sitting there (aren't you glad you know these things?) when a motion caught my eye. Imagine my surprise when I saw this!

Bonnie evidently has learned that she can hide high, also!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


We DO remember

Father Mychal's Prayer

Lord, take me where you want me to go;

Let me meet who you want me to meet;

Tell me what you want me to say, and

Keep me out of your way.

Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M.Chaplain,

New York Fire Department

Copyright ©2001 Holy Name Province

While researching Father Mychal, I came upon this picture of a stained glass window in his memory at St. Francis of Assisi Church in NYC.

Please keep all of our heroes, civilian and military, both home and abroad, alive and deceased, recognized and unrecognized, past and present and future, in your prayers.

Slip-sliding away

I considered titling this post "a public service announcement for custom embroiderers".

I recently ordered some shirts for work. This is one of them. The lovely lady who did this laid the shirts out flat and then centered the embroidery.

I did point out to her that heavy people have the same middle as everyone else. I do not like this shirt. It looks to me as though the embroidery is trying to slide into my armpits, sort of like the girls do when I lie down.

Next week when I get paid, I will get new shirts. I will not get them from the lovely lady who embroidered this.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fun Monday - Que pasa?

Today's hostess is the lovely Sayre, who, bless her heart, is actually hosting for the entire month of September. Today's topic is learning. What new thing would you like to learn?

I was discussing this with my husband and there are a LOT of things that I would like to learn. Quilting, welding, cabinet-making, oil painting, caligraphy and last but certainly not least - Spanish.

When I was in high school, many, many moons ago, French was still the international language. French is what was spoken at the U.N., where I aspired to be a translator. Also, I had 8 years of French in grade school so when I did go to high school, it just seemed natural to continue.

Fast forward a bunch of years. I live in Texas. French? I don't use much French. I will be the first to tell you, however, that it has come in very handy as far as the etymology of words is concerned. Spanish is not all that far from French. Also, while I did not take Latin as Sayre did, I was raised Catholic in the olden days when it was all in Latin. Some of it stuck.

Every year I toy with the idea of taking Spanish at our local college. This may be the year.

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