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‘Tis the Season

 

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving. I think that rule is dumb and I don’t see why I can’t start shopping, cooking and listening to the Michael Bublé Christmas album NOW.

While thinking about hitting the mall, I remembered the Giving Tree from last year. I am pretty sure it’s the Salvation Army Giving Tree or the Christmas Angel Tree. Last year we got to pick someone who needed or wanted something for Christmas and had no one to get it for them. You can pick the age and, man or woman, or just grab a profile or two. It’s really fun to shop for other people! You can even do the whole angel thing online and never step foot in a mall! In 3 weeks the tree leaves.

I found a local group operating multiple methods of volunteer time and money donations, The Helping Hand House. They do an Adopt-a-Family program for Christmas too. I helped with that in my home town and I really miss it!

I also love Holiday Mail for Heroes. They’re always on my list and the only ones that get a special, non-generic card from my super special stash of cards.

Sleep Country’s Foster Kids Secret Santa toy drive is also a usual stop for me. I always see a super cute pair of gloves that I want whenever I go to Target. I always make a point to buy them and promptly drop them off to Sleep Country so that some girl can think “OMG! Super cute!” and TWO people’s days were made!

So whatever you do, feel good doing it!

Lean, Mean GLEAN

I was a lean, mean, gleaning MACHINE today! Our group of about 12 people at one time gleaned a gorgeous orchard of Liberty apples in Roy, WA on a typical Washingtonian day. It was cloudy but not rainy, cool but not cold and spirits were high. It was quite simply…perfect. The birds were chirping and the bees were buzzing. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my morning. In 3 hours our group gleaned the entire orchard. We must have done over 50 trees. Total glean?

3,066 POUNDS.

That is some serious gleaning my friends. :) It could give each person in Colfax, WA 1 pound AND probably a piece of apple pie. It would also mean 8 pounds a DAY for one year for one person! HAHA!

I ended up with 20 pounds of ground fall apples myself… Any gluten/dairy/sugar-free ideas????

**Check out our day at The Tacoma News Tribune!**

Don’t know about gleaning? Check it out HERE.

I Vant Your Blood!

Although I live 4 hours or so from Forks, I have yet to give blood willingly (or unwillingly for that matter). Sunday Jon, Braxton and I hit up the annual Steilacoom Apple Squeeze. Fresh pressed apples giving you their juices! Delicious!! Isn’t it funny that these people press apple cider, but it’s just the juice from a pressed whole apple. Apparently apple juice has sugar added. That’s DUMB! I have no clue why you would WANT to add sugar to this! Cinnamon and Jack Daniels, sure! Sugar? No. So after politely ignoring the apple cider floats, apple fritters and apple pie stands we indulged in a cup of warm apple cider. Then we mosied on over to the blood bus. I’ve never donated blood before, and I felt like that time had come. Jon has done it a few times before and he always made it out alive. We “in-process” which is relatively simple. Then they check your iron saturation (40%!) with a finger prick, take your blood pressure (98/52 thank you!), temperature and then if all checks out you are in a comfy chair.

The process is relatively simple, in fact the paperwork took longer. They clean your arm with iodine after they have found the glorious vein. I say ‘glorious’ because if it sticks out nice and blue and pretty, the ladies LOVE it! I can see how that makes their job easier! So after my nurse oogles my veins, cleans me and has a blood pressure cuff on…she sticks me. And you know what? It wasn’t bad at all! I think a tetanus shot hurts more. So they leave you there to periodically squeeze your ball and get things moving. It took me 6 minutes to produce 630 grams of blood. Between Jon, Braxton and me, I left the bus with my water and sesame sticks as raining speed-blood champion. From what I gather, 6 minutes is pretty awesome. They can definitely expect to see me regularly every 8 weeks as it is one of the easiest donations I have ever given. I certainly ate well and drank lots of water for the following 2 days and I feel just peachy! Also, I’m O+, roughly about 40% of the U.S. Only about 4% of eligible donors donate blood though. That’s not what I want to hear when Edward smells my sweet blood 400 miles away and needs a nibble. If you’re not the giving type though, there are other benefits to donating blood:

  • You get a free mini physical every two months.
  • According to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, consistent blood donation is associated with lowered risks for cancers including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers.
  • Lower the iron levels in your body every time you give blood, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Florida Blood Services reports that regular blood donors who donate regularly over years have an 88% lower risk of heart attacks and a 33% lower risk of any severe cardiovascular event, such as a stroke.
  • Help your body function more efficiently by allowing it to replenish your blood supply regularly. This process of replenishment can help your body stay healthy and work more efficiently and productively.
Thanks Cascade Regional Blood! You rock!
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