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I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.

- Laura Ingalls Wilder


I sat at the snack table at the Blood Center and read a newspaper article about how Arnold-the-patron-saint-of-children-Schwarzenegger, the "I will never cut funding for schools" governor, is considering cutting funding for schools.

Hmmm...are we surprised?


Steve in Concert

This was a video made on World AIDS day at the Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles.  You can view the extremely moving service, or download the video.  For anyone who has wondered about Steve, as I've written about him over the years, this is your chance to see what all the fuss is about.  There is the service, and Steve sings several songs. 


Breakfast:  Special-K berries, toast with peanutbutter

Lunch:  crackers, donuts, and coffee!  (and later some chicken soup)

Dinner:  (haven't decided yet)


Just the prescribed shoulder exercises.  I was running around too much to do any other exercise


Confused.  It didn't know if it wanted to be grey and rainy or whether the sun wanted to shine.



10 December 2003

I felt like Homer Simpson as I stood there looking at the box, trying to decide between glazed and maple. I hadn’t had a donut in two years.

I had just written an impassioned piece yesterday about my problems with food. What the hell was I doing even thinking about having a donut, much less with a napkin in my hand and glaze on my fingers?

Because they told me I should, that’s why.

I had just deposited a pint of my precious bodily fluids into a bag at the local blood bank and they gave me a piece of paper which directed me to the snack area, and told me to stay there for 15 minutes, and to eat. My choices were things like candy, cookies, fat-filled cheese and a host of other things NOT on my list of things to eat. And the donuts, of course.

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But this was all good for me today and what the hell. I was going to have a donut. I savored every mouthful, envisioning it immediately rushing into my blood stream shouting words of encouragement to all those molecules to reproduce themselves and fill up the void that had been left by their departing brethren.

I poured myself a cup of coffee (flavored...blech), got myself a nice, fat, puffy, sugary donut and a package of cheese crackers with peanut butter and sat back to let the blood start regenerating.

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This was the first time I’d given blood in this place. I used to give blood all the time, twice a year, when we lived in Oakland. Then when we moved to Davis, I had to drive all the way to Sacramento to donate, so my donations were fewer and farther between. I think I got back into donating again when they had a blood drive at the high school and I went with Jeri. ("Look, Mom," she told me later when our lab reports came back. "I get an A+ even when I take a blood test." Smartass kid. :) ).

I then gave somewhat regularly until the year I went to Houston to live with my friends Mike and Bill, after Bill’s recent hospitalization. When I tried to give blood again, I was rejected because Bill had Hepatitis C and you can’t donate if you’ve been in close contact with someone with Hepatitis C. I figured my blood donating days were over, since I planned to visit them regularly. But Bill has been dead for a couple of years now and if I picked up any cooties by sitting at the dinner table with him for six weeks, they have long since died and I am once again on the list of desirable blood donors.

So when they called me yesterday, asking if I could come in because the need was dire, I was only too happy to do it. I’d never been in this facility–only the mobile facility, which is a medical trailer.

Talk about the Taj Majal of blood draws. I’m from Kaiser Permanente, where you’re lucky if you don’t have to share a rolling stool with someone else when they do a blood test. Here I was welcomed with open arms (almost literally), taken to a lovely interview room where they could "ask the nasty cootie questions," she apologized. I did thank her for the compliment when she asked if I were pregnant.

Then out to the blood room, where I discovered that my blood pressure was very high, which is not good for me, but great for blood donation, since I filled the little bag in a little over 5 minutes. While I was lying there, I had a lovely conversation with the nurse about which digital camera she should buy, since I insisted on taking a photo of my own arm with blood coming out of it.

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She wants something that is very user friendly and after she looked at my little Casio decided she wanted one.

"Where did you buy it?" she asked.

I told her she probably would not have to go all the way to Australia, but suggested she try the Ritz camera shop which was just a few doors from the blood donation station.

Then I had my donuts and my crackers and waited the requisite 15 minutes to make sure I wasn’t going to keel over from loss of blood, and then I went on with the rest of my day–doing the one thing I hate more than anything else at this time of year: standing in the long line at the post office.

I had a box to mail off to Australia and it’s always tricky figuring out when the line is likely to be the shortest. People were lined up out into the lobby of the post office, but, uncharacteristically, the Postmaster had put enough people at the windows the the wait time was reasonable.

Giving blood is definitely more pleasant than standing in line with a bunch of toddlers begging Mommy for a gumball out of the machine in the center of the post office.

Finally, my errands run, I came home to follow the instructions on my "post blood donation" sheet: "eat a hearty meal."

I wonder if they’ll let me donate blood every day. I could get into this thing!!!


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The "train picture."  We used to take picture like this of the kids
under the tree each Christmas Eve...usually in matching sleepwear
(this happens to be a non-matching year!)

For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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Weight Lost to date:  48.6 lbs

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Created 12/09/03